Submitted by: Phil Riebel 07/17/2014
This blog was written by Kate Miller of Western Michigan University and the Paper Technology Foundation
Paper Engineering Students from Western Michigan University participating in the TAPPI/PIMA Student Summit 2014
My current role is the Student Recruitment and Outreach Officer for the Paper Engineering Programs at Western Michigan University. I have the pleasure of working with hundreds of pre-college age students every year, many times I am the first person who introduces them to Paper Engineering or the Forest Products Industry. I host them at the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences for presentations, activities, and open houses or am invited to do presentations or small workshops at their schools. Over the past year, I have become very reliant on the Two Sides Infographic Video not only for the content but also for the music. I use this video as an introduction when students or families are arriving, I play the video with the audio quite loud on repeat. Each time I see eyes go right to the screen and many times dancing and whistling follow. I also use this as background music and information during some of the engineering competitions we host. After students and families see this video, a conversation about greenwashing normally starts the presentation. This term is new to most of the students I have worked with and is a great platform to talking about how sustainable the industry really is.
Two Sides as an organization has been partially responsible for inspiring many of our students to do presentations in the local community to “bust” common myths on the Paper Industry and related products. This has led to an effort by our Ts’ai Lun President, Katie Stickels, to set up a more formal outreach program to educate more on how truly awesome this industry is.
The website and the extremely responsive team at Two Sides have been tremendous resources by providing relevant and interesting information, blogs, and advertisements to help us educate and recruit more quality students. Our enrollment and quality of student has been raising substantially for the past two years and this partnership is one of many that is helping us exceed our goals.