2018 Scholarship Recipients


Jason is a Senior at Ferris State University, majoring in Plastics Engineering Technology. He held an internship at Plastipak Packaging where he operated the downstream equipment of the bottle line and was part of the palletizing equipment team. His second internship was with Royal Technologies where he worked as a molding operator, then moved to a mold setter, where he excelled according to his Technical Manager. Jason maintains a 3.91 GPA, is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Society of Plastics Engineers, and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, and became an Eagle Scout at age 14. He would like to begin his plastics industry career as a process engineer, eventually working his way to the role of project manager.

Michael is a Senior at UMass-Lowell, majoring in Plastics Engineering. He is an active member of the UMass-Lowell Student Chapter of SPE and of e-Nable Lowell, which manufactures and delivers 3D printed plastic prosthetics to children in need. Michael has held three internships. He served as a Manufacturing Intern at Polartec LLC, then held two co-op rotations for GE Appliances, where he participated in a production floor-level pitch to GEA’s CEO and VP of Manufacturing, among others. His third internship was as a Product Design Engineer with Forgione Engineering where he designed custom, low quantity, complex geometry parts using CAD software, industrial strength 3D printers, and the most advanced collaboration tools and technologies. Upon graduation, Michael hopes to use his knowledge of plastics to improve people’s lives.

Michelle is a Senior at Ferris State University, majoring in Plastics Engineering Technology. She obtained her Associate in Applied Science degree in Plastics and Polymer Technology from Ferris in 2017. Last summer, Michelle served as an intern at Ess Tec Inc., where she worked with tooling engineers performing mold maintenance , did problem solving with operations and project engineers, and created a tool for operators/auditors to use when extracting heavy trays from totes. This past summer, she interned at Magna Industries Norplas Division in Ohio where she worked with injection molding machines in an industrial setting. Because she loves problem solving, upon graduation, Michelle would like to obtain a position as an Operations or Project Engineer.

Levi is a senior majoring in Plastics & Composites Engineering and minoring in Astronomy at Western Washington University. His introduction to plastics came from working at his father’s accident reconstruction company while he was in high school. Last summer, he worked on a project with faculty investigating polymer adsorption of volatile organic compounds, and fungal degradation. He most recently worked on a resin system research project for JCATI in partnership with Zodiac Aerospace. His research involved working with additives to tune properties of a new resin system being incorporated into aircraft composite panels. Levi plans to continue on to graduate school and is considering staying in academia upon graduation and becoming a professor leading research.

Danial is a Senior at Pennsylvania College of Technology (PCT) majoring in Plastics & Polymers Technology. He obtained his Associates in Plastics & Polymers from Ferris State University in 2016. A chance encounter with a plastics company entrepreneur resulted in Danial’s enrollment at Ferris. After two years at Ferris, his advisor guided him to PCT so he could obtain more hands-on processing experience. Danial has held three internships with Yangfeng Global Automotive Interiors where he first worked in maintenance, process, tooling, quality and operations departments; his third internship was as an Engineering Intern in the injection molding process. This past summer, he worked at Eastman Chemical doing R&D work with injection molding tailored materials for specific customers. His ideal position upon graduation would be as a process engineer with emphasis on R&D work.

Eric is a Senior majoring in Plastics Engineering at the University of Massachusetts— Lowell (UML). He held summer internships in 2015 and 2016 with BAE Systems where he studied RFID to implement an automatic inventory system. In the summer of 2017, he was a Engineering Technician at Tecomet, Inc. where he improved his 3D modeling skills while growing their library of standard assembly procedures. He continues to participate in a work-study program at UML while tutoring chemistry. He works independently, mixing and testing photopolymerizing resins of polyethylene glycol and polyethylene glycol diacrylate, presenting the newest results on a weekly basis. A professor commented that Eric’s solo project, a small T-Rex, which he designed and 3D printed, was not only creative, but whimsical as well, showing both his adherence to the assignment requirements and his sense of fun. Eric plans to continue his education at graduate school.

Emilie is a sophomore at North Carolina State University where she is majoring in Textile Engineering. During high school, she worked for two years with Dr. Richard Kotek from the College of Textiles to develop more efficient plastics heat-degradation processes. Last year, she was the only freshman accepted into Dr. Bryan Ormond’s Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear lab in the Textile Protection & Comfort Center at NCSU, where she researched firefighter hood materials to improve safety and durability. Emilie spent this past summer at the ITECH Textile and Chemical Institute of Lyon, France, where she gained global perspectives on the plastics and textiles industry, thanks, in part, to the scholarship she received from PPA last year. She also serves as Advertising Chair for the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, and participates in the NC State Vietnamese Student Association, and the NC State Summer Textile Exploration Program. Using her Textile Engineering and Polymer Color & Chemistry background, Emilie hopes to become an industry researcher as a Material Developer or Process Engineer.

Nicholas is a freshman at Penn State Erie—the Behrend College, majoring in Interdisciplinary Business with Engineering Studies. While in high school, he also enrolled in the Precision Machining class at Erie County Technical School. He was the first student in his class to receive a co-op position, which was at Reddog Industries, where he learned about every aspect of the mold building process. As a co-op, Nick worked mornings in the tool & die shop, and attended high school in the afternoons. His supervisor at Reddog described Nick as a self-driven and naturally talented young man who is on his way to a very productive career. A cross country and track & field runner, Nick volunteers each year at the Erie Marathon. His plans at Penn State Erie are to expand his education of the mold building process to include all aspects of the plastics industry and eventually become a team leader in a plastics company.

Gillian is a Senior at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Chemical Engineering with a concentration in polymer science, where she maintains a 3.94 GPA. A Women’s Division 1 NCAA cross country and track & field runner, she represents the studentathlete population at Pitt in community outreach and service activities. Gillian worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Chemical Engineering Department fabricating and assessing batches of controlled-release microspheres encapsulating immunotherapeutic drugs. She served as a Pharma R&D Intern at Lubrizol Advanced Materials independently investigating biodegradable thermoplastic polyurethanes and their application as a controlled-release drug delivery system. She also works with the University of Pittsburgh Innovation Institute to develop her idea for a unique polymerbased drug delivery system for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Gillian plans to obtain a Masters in Engineering Management and then work as a project manager, leading a group of scientists researching polymer-based drug delivery systems.

Jackson is a Sophomore at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville (UTK) where he is majoring in Materials Science & Engineering. Attendance at two ASM International science camps as a high schooler got Jackson hooked on engineering; doing failure analysis on prosthetic implants sparked his interest in plastics. Following high school graduation (as valedictorian), he was accepted as an intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the Materials Science and Technology Division where he worked on a project involving an in situ gas reaction that successfully delivered water vapor into a closed cell. He assisted in the presentation of this work at the Microscopy and Microanalysis conference before entering UTK. Jackson serves as a Regional Liaison for the Microscopy Society of America Student Council, serving university students in five states. An Eagle Scout, he also is an Assistant Scout Leader. Jackson wants to ultimately obtain his Ph.D. and become a research fellow at a major university or national laboratory working on problems of global importance.