New food court spices up student center

Bradley students returned for the fall semester to a renovated food court and new dining options with longer hours in the Michel Student Center. 

Four new restaurants — Moe’s, Greens to Go, Topio’s, and Chick-fil-A — fill a spacious food court in place of the previous cafeteria and dining services. Moe’s Southwestern Grill offers Tex-Mex favorites; Topio’s has pizza, salads, and pasta; Greens to Go features made-to-order salads; and Chick-fil-A is famous for chicken sandwiches and waffle fries. 

Restaurants were chosen based on nationwide research and student surveys, said Matt Wilton, Aramark’s dining services general manager at Bradley. He said eventually there will be 175 to 180 full-time and student workers.

“I like the variety of the food, and the soda machines are really cool,” said AUSTIN BEACHUM ’16, who praised the Coca-Cola Freestyle drink machines that allow users to customize their beverages with added flavors and combinations. 

A P.O.D. (Provisions On Demand) convenience-style store replaces Outtakes. It offers fresh fruit, cereals, baked goods, drinks, and more. Chick-fil-A is open for breakfast, and other restaurants serve until 3 a.m. seven days a week. Along with the central dining area, there is a separate space for faculty and staff dining and one conducive to study just around the corner from the food court. 

– Bob Grimson ’81



Research grant leads to international award

Companies with expensive parts for which there is sporadic demand may have a better time forecasting how to handle that demand, thanks to research by a team of Bradley computer science graduate students and faculty. 

Dr. Ross Fink; JOHN GRIFFITH, MS ’13; SHASHWATI RAMTEKE, MS ’12; and Dr. Chris Nikolopoulos with their trophies for winning the International Demand Forecasting Competition, sponsored by Caterpillar Logistics. Graduate student and team member SHUA MURTAZA is not pictured.

The research was supported by a Caterpillar Inc. grant awarded to Dr. Chris Nikolopoulos for the 2011–12 academic year. Three universities partnered with Caterpillar Logistics’ Research and Innovation Group to work on the International Demand Forecasting Competition. Participants attended a three-day conference at Cat Logistics’ Morton facility in June. Bradley’s research assistants JOHN GRIFFITH, MS ’13; SHASHWATI RAMTEKE, MS ’12; and SHUA MURTAZA, along with principal investigator Nikolopoulos and consultant Dr. Ross Fink, were recognized with individual and team trophies for winning the competition. 

Other top finishers were Brunel University in London and Tsinghua University in Beijing. The project focused on forecasting the need for parts with intermittent demand. The infrequent need for the parts makes inventory control difficult, and traditional forecasting methods are not adequate. 

“Each team’s forecasting system was evaluated on optimizing such criteria as service level, profit, return on net assets, and inventory turns by testing on a set of blind data provided by Caterpillar,” Nikolopoulos said. “The competing universities were among the best in the world, so it was especially gratifying to win this competition. We were able to extend principles from artificial intelligence, intelligent systems, and data mining to deliver a new forecasting approach which is superior, we believe, to traditional statistical techniques.” 

– Bob Grimson ’81



Accounting for success

Two accounting professors, along with an adjunct professor of business management, were honored for writing the best paper published in 2011 by the monthly Journal of Accountancy

Associate Professor Coleen Troutman (left), and Assistant Professor Mollie Adams (right), with Adjunct Professor Gail Petravick (center), won the John Lawler Award for a paper on “Advising Financially Stressed Clients.” It appeared in the September 2011 issue of the magazine, which is published by the nation’s largest organization of CPAs. 

“By the time a client consults a bankruptcy attorney, he or she may have lost assets which, with proper advice, could have been preserved,” Troutman said.

The award carries a $500 prize and is determined by a vote of the editorial advisers. 



Meeting the Dalai Lama

Education’s critical role in the future of humankind was on the Dalai Lama’s mind during a visit from educators and counselors in June. Dr. Chris Rybak (holding the Dalai Lama’s hand) was in Dharamsala, India, for a conference when he met the spiritual leader. Rybak co-presented a workshop at the 2012 conference for Tibetan school guidance counselors. The Bradley professor chairs the Department of Leadership in Education, Human Services, and Counseling. In 2009, he was a Fulbright scholar in Nepal, and in 2002–03, he completed a Fulbright sabbatical to India. Rybak teaches several Bradley graduate-level courses, including Group Counseling and Counseling Diverse Populations.