Paper Science & Chemical Engineering Foundation
Letters from the Executive Director, President, Chair, and Dean
Dr. Gregg Aiken,
Executive Director
  • UWSP Chemistry & Biology Major
  • Class of 1979

Thank you for your support of the Paper Science & Chemical Engineering Program! The Covid-19 pandemic threw a hard curve at our students and Program in 2019-20. The following is our 2019-20 Foundation Scorecard and Action Plan.

2020-21 Scorecard
  • 2021 Graduates: Nine students graduated from the Program, one of which was a ChE only major. One is still looking for employment.
  • Scholarships: $90,700 were awarded in scholarships to 51 students in the fall semester and 31 students in the spring semester.
  • Pilot Machine & Lab Equipment: Mead Winter endowment proceeds funded two sets of refiner plates and two stock pumps for the pilot machine. ND Paper contributions in 2020 and 2021 were used for the purchase of a STFI Short Span Compression tester for the Paper Test Lab.
  • Endowments: One new endowment was established -- the Dayna Harris Endowed Scholarship. Dayna is a 2021 graduate working for Mersen in Tennessee. Dayna also donated additional funds to be used for a 2021 Fall Scholarship!
  • Chemical Engineering Freshmen Students: Five freshmen scholarships were presented at the October 2021 Awards Program.
  • Contributions: Contributions were 7% over budget and 5% over than 2020. The number of corporate and individual givers both increased versus 2020. 
  • Recruiting: There are 28 freshmen enrolled this fall, total department enrollment is 94. This matched the enrollment last fall. Our goal was 40 freshmen -- Likely enrollment was negatively impacted by the lingering pandemic. 
2020-2021 Action Plan
  • Recruiting: Dr. Biasca will continue working with campus recruiting to increase enrollment in 2022. The goal is 40+ freshmen in 2022. In five years, department enrollment should reach 200, doubling the number of Paper Science & Engineering students
  • Contributions: Increasing the Foundation contributions is essential to maintain current levels of student support as enrollment grows
  • Alumni Engagement: An ad hoc committee led by Chris Satori (Class of 97)  was established to keep alumni engaged and actively supporting our students, department, and foundation

The 2021 Golf Outing was a successful fundraiser at SentryWorld, whose course was recently modified for the Senior PGA open in 2023.

The Awards Ceremony and Annual Public Meetings were again both virtual events in 2021. Hopefully the 2022 Awards Banquet will be a live event. 

I have announced my retirement as of June 30, 2022. I have enjoyed my tenure as Executive Director and look forward to a smooth transition to my successor. it has been an honor to serve the Foundation and the Paper Science and Chemical Engineering Pro

Ed Buehler,
Board of Directors President 
  • Retired- VP & General Manager Specialty Papers, Verso Corp.
  •  UWSP Paper Science Class of  1984

One of my favorite quotes is from legendary baseball manager Yogi Berra,  “ It is tough to make predictions, especially about the future!” It is true there will be unanticipated trends and events, however embracing change can create opportunities when coupled with an ability to adapt. For example, for the first time our foundation meetings were held virtual.  We discovered that this format for the annual meeting produced a threefold increase in participation with inclusion unimpeded by geography. So, we will provide virtual access to this meeting going forward.

As you read the messages from Dr. Gregg Aiken and Dr. Kayrn Biasca, it is evident that exciting things are happening in the Paper Science & Chemical Engineering Department.  Mark Hassman’s message is a great testament to the skills honed by program graduates that prepare them to take on wide and varied challenges.

Two key areas of focus by the foundation this past year have been

Increasing endowments to support the growth of the program

There are now over 50 established and initiated endowments valued at over $4.5 million. This includes 15 Class of and 6 individual alumni endowments.  

Creating new avenues to foster and facilitate alumni engagement in the program

Chris Satori has led the committee driving this effort which includes incorporating new technologies.  Examples include Virtual Class reunions, Mentoring Senior Design Projects, Process Consulting, guest lectures, and student recruiting to name a few.

Trained engineers and leaders will be needed to address known and unknown future challenges with innovative solutions. Your support of the program, both with donations and volunteering of your time and talents, makes a difference in the recruiting and the retention of students and ultimately in graduating skilled engineers. Let’s keep this pipeline full along with providing a platform for our graduates to embark on rewarding and fulfilling careers.

Thank you to all the Foundation Contributors - Corporate, Alumni, Industry Professionals, University Staff, and friends that have supported the mission of the Foundation.   

On a final note, Dr. Gregg Aiken will be retiring as the executive director of the foundation next June.  We wish Gregg well in retirement and thank him for his leadership in the continual improvement of the foundation during his time as a board member and as executive director. 

Dr. Karyn Biasca, PS&ChE Department Chair at UWSP

Another year of covid protocols and trying to determine what “business as usual” might mean now. The good news is that faculty, staff, and students have developed the resilience needed to adjust to requirements that seem to change weekly.

Speaking of good news, the ABET accreditation for both Paper Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering has been approved! This is a significant achievement. Many UWSP faculty, staff, and students were involved in the review process, and we thank them all for their efforts.

We continued teaching our courses in several formats during the spring semester, from face-to-face for our smaller classes to 100% online for the courses with enrollments that will not fit into the reduced-capacity classrooms. Students and faculty are adapting and making the best of the restrictions. We remain focused on ensuring students’ success, whatever form that classroom takes.

The Academic Advisory Committee meeting featured presentations of the senior design projects by all Paper Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering majors using the Zoom platform. Attendance was up from last year, and the discussion of the senior projects and curriculum was as engaging as always.

The fall semester finds us teaching courses at 100% classroom capacity with masks required. This is a welcome change; we work best when we have the students in person.

The UWSP STEM Career Fair was a virtual event once again this fall. Twenty-seven companies attended the fair, providing an assortment of group presentations and 1-to-1 discussions for the students.

Recruiting students into our majors remains a very high priority for the department. As a result, our total enrollment is up significantly from last year, as shown in the chart below. We remain focused on preparing students to begin their careers in process engineering; we are committed to providing the technical talent needed for paper and chemical companies to thrive.

The scholarships these students receive from the Foundation are a crucial part of our recruiting process. In addition, the Foundation’s support of our student organizations (TAPPI, AIChE, and SWE) helps keep these students engaged once they are here.

As always, thank you so very much for your support of our students and academic programs. We would not have this level of success without you!

Brian Sloss
Dean of the College of Natural Resources 

Kudos to Dr. Biasca and the PS&CE faculty, staff, and extended family (Gregg and the Foundation) for the reaccreditation of our Paper Science program and accreditation of our Chemical engineering degree.  The lift that Dr. Biasca and Co. put into these efforts were well received and provided a wonderful representation of our majors.  Thank you everyone for your support on this.

College enrollment is up this fall.  We are at 1,462 undergraduates and 42 graduate students in the CNR as a whole.  This represents an approximately 4.5% increase in our enrollment over last year.  Overall, campus has reported an approximate 1% enrollment drop.  Despite being lower than last year, this is actually better than we had feared given retention concerns with Covid-19 and fierce competition for traditional first-year students. It is reported that other than UW-Madison (which grew in enrollment), our enrollment represents the best performance of the remaining 12 UW System Universities. I defer the good news on PS&CE enrollment to Dr. Biasca.

CNR achieved these enrollment figures despite having a vacancy in recruitment this year associated with budget reduction mandates with Covid-19.  We will be searching for a full-time, dedicated recruiter in the CNR for the first time ever.  Previously, recruitment has only been a part-time responsibility of a student success center employee.  Look for the announcement of that position soon.

On a sad note, Dr. Bob Engelhard, retired professor of Forestry from the CNR, passed away recently.  Dr. Ring let me know that Bob was a staunch ally of the Paper Science program at Stevens Point and a key founder and developer of our European summer field experience.  Many of you may have known Dr. Engelhard.  As one of the historical “Old Oaks”  in the College, his legacy and shadow runs deep and wide in our College.  A future celebration of life (when Covid allows) will be announced and I will let the Foundation know when I get the notice.

Finally, I’d like to wish all of you and your families good health and happiness.  These are trying times and we still have jobs to do, stresses to deal with, and futures to look toward.  That being said, now more than ever it is also important to take a moment, appreciate the friends and colleagues that have helped you get where you are and appreciate the blessings we all have in life.  From a College perspective, you, the UWSP Paper Science and Chemical Engineering Foundation are, without a doubt, a blessing to our College and to our University.  Thank you one and all for your support of our students, our faculty and staff, and our greater College.