Plastics Pioneers Association awards scholarships to seven students

December 28, 2016

The Plastics Pioneers Association (PPA; McHenry, IL) announced at its fall meeting in Arlington, VA, that it has awarded scholarships to seven students. Recipients of the scholarships are as follows:

  • Christina Sheng, an honors senior undergraduate studying materials science and engineering at Rutgers University. She has conducted research on polymers, among other materials, since her freshman year.
  • Macy Johns, a senior at University of Louisville, majoring in chemical engineering. She received the W. Mueller scholarship.
  • Casey Baran, a senior at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. He has followed in his older brother Tyler’s footsteps, spending the past two summers as a plastics tooling engineering intern for Apple Inc.
  • Emma Adams, a senior at Auburn University, is pursuing a dual degree in chemical engineering and polymer and fiber engineering. She received the M. Holland scholarship.
  • William (Bill) Miller attends the University of Wisconsin-Stout and is enrolled in the senior year of the plastics engineering program. He also serves as the vice-president of the UW-Stout chapter of the Society of Plastics Engineers.
  • Logan Tate, a junior studying plastics and polymers engineering technologies at Pennsylvania College of Technology. In 2015, Tate graduated from Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania with a B.S. in physics. At Penn College, he is the SPE Student Chapter President and is employed at the Plastics Innovation & Resource Center as a student researcher.
  • Chris Buse, a senior at Ferris State University, has a goal of working in medical injection molding. He has spent two summer internships at a molding company, where he was responsible for integrating a new collaborative robot into a production work cell.
College costs
Image courtesy hywards/

According to the PPA Education Committee report, the budgeted annual expenditures projected are approximately $48,000, plus another $6,000 for two scholarships that are pledged. The group’s planned expenditures for 2016 included a $3,000 scholarship at UMass Lowell, plus a $15,000 payment on a commitment toward a $75,000 endowment for a perpetual scholarship, to be paid from the interest. “We are in the fourth year of a five-year payment plan,” said Lance Neward, Chair of the Education Committee. “Once the payment plan is completed in 2017, there will be a permanent scholarship in PPA’s name at Lowell.”

The PPA also supported the Polymer Ambassadors program with a grant of $5,000 to help elementary through high school teachers understand how to teach and integrate positive information about plastics into their classrooms and lesson plans. A similar grant will be awarded in 2017.

The SPE PlastiVan program is also supported by the PPA to the level of $7,500 with $2,500 of that carried over from 2015 and $5,000 freshly budgeted for 2016. Another $5,000 will be budgeted for the year 2017.

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