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.

2019-20 Scorecard
  • 2020 GraduatesFifteen students graduated from the Program, two of which were ChE only majors. Three are still looking for employment.
  • Scholarships: $89,800 were awarded in scholarships to 45 students in the fall semester and 34 students in the spring semester.
  • Pilot Machine & Lab Equipment: Mead Witter endowment proceeds funded the calibration of paper test lab equipment plus a flowmeter and stroboscope for the pilot machine. ND Paper donated $10,000 to be used with Mead Witter proceeds in FY 2021 for the purchase of a STFI Short Span Compression tester for the Paper Test Lab. 
  • EndowmentsSix new endowments were established – Class of 1996, Class of 1999, Class of 2019, Sappi North America, Kemira and Pixelle Specialty Solutions - Stevens Point Mill. The Class of 2019 initiated their endowment with nine contributors!
  • Chemical Engineering Freshmen Scholarships: An ad hoc committee led by John Shulstad obtained funding for seven freshmen scholarships that were presented at the October 2020 Awards Program
  • Contributions: Contributions were 9% less than budget and 18% less than 2019. 2020 giving was impacted by Covid-19 but was in the upper quartile of giving in the last twenty years. The number of corporate and individual givers both increased versus 2019.
  • Recruiting: There are 27 freshmen enrolled this fall, plus 9 transfers, so total department enrollment increased from 82 to 94. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, freshman enrollment was expected to be over 40.  So, the program was impacted by the pandemic, but still posted significant growth.
  • Website: The Foundation website was updated and is now cloud based and no longer on an outdated campus server. Thank you to Angie Hauer, Department Administrative Specialist and Jodi Hermsen, CNR Executive Assistant, for making this happen
2020-2021 Action Plan
  • Recruiting: Dr. Biasca will continue working with campus recruiting to increase enrollment in 2021; a Foundation ad hoc committee will assist. The goal is 40+ freshmen in 2021. 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 is being established to keep alumni engaged and actively supporting our students, department, and foundation

The 2020 Golf Outing had 40% less participation due to Covid-19 than prior years. It was still a successful fundraiser safely hosted at Stevens Point Country Club. The plan is to return to SentryWorld in 2021.

The Awards Ceremony and Annual Public Meetings were virtual events in 2020. Both were well attended. The 2021 plan is for the Awards Banquet to be a live event, but to keep the Annual Public Meeting virtual.

Thank you again for your continued support of our students, the Program and the Foundation!

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

While gathering my thoughts to compose this note on the past fiscal year, the famous opening line from Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities kept coming into mind.   “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” 

While the country experienced economic growth and a resurgence in manufacturing it also faced significant social and economic upheaval from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The PS&ChE program and Foundation were no different.  It was exciting to see the continued expansion of the Chemical Engineering major but difficult to see a university shut down and scramble to create virtual classes to meet their students’ needs.  A big thank you to UWSP leadership and the PS&ChE Department!

Trained engineers and leaders will be needed to address these current and future challenges with innovative solutions.  For decades, UWSP’s PS&ChE program has produced a long line of engineers.  I am confident by helping students with Foundation scholarships and support, the program will continue to meet the needs of the future.

Your support of the program, both with donations and volunteering of your time, makes a difference in the recruiting and the retention of talented 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 Corporate Contributors, Alumni, Industry Professionals, University Staff, and friends that have supported the mission of the Foundation.   The needs and challenges remain so I encourage your continued support whether it be a donation, creating an endowment, or volunteering. 

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

What a strange year it has been! Our ability to adapt to very different operating conditions is being tested as never before…so many virtual meetings, events and classes.

The second half of spring semester was a whirlwind of activity with a transition to 100% online classes. It was quite an adjustment, but we made it work. Students completed the requirements for their courses and kept their education on track.

The Academic Advisory Committee meeting featured presentations of the senior design projects by all of the Paper Science and Engineering and Chemical Engineering majors using the Zoom platform. Attendance was down a bit compared to previous years, but the discussion of senior projects and curriculum was as engaging as always.

The fall semester finds us teaching courses in a variety of formats, from face-to-face for our smaller classes to 100% online for the courses with enrollments that will not fit into the classrooms after the dramatic reduction in capacity to prevent transmission of the coronavirus. Students and faculty are adapting and making the best of the restrictions. We remain focused on ensuring the success of our students in the classroom, whatever form that classroom takes.

This fall brought a virtual STEM Career Fair. By working with the UWSP Career Specialists we were able to offer companies the opportunity to speak with students from all STEM majors (including ours, of course). Twenty-three 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. The talented people in the Office of Admissions and Recruitment have provided leadership for the UWSP recruiting activities, and we supported their efforts by providing the information needed to recruit highly qualified students into our majors. 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 key part of our recruiting process, and 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 

I am excited to be your new Dean of the College of Natural Resources. After a 40+ year career in the CNR, Dean Christine Thomas retired at the end of June 2020. I thank her for all she has done for our College and all she has provided me personally and professionally as my mentor and friend. I couldn’t be more proud to represent this College and our remarkable faculty, staff, students, and alumni.

What a whirlwind the past 6-plus months has been! The global pandemic has stressed our patience, capacities, and talents to new  levels. Our CNR community has responded with a level of resilience, professionalism, compassion, and drive that has been inspiring. All classes shifted online after a 2-week Spring Break last spring. We finished the semester and immediately turned our attention to the CNR summer field experience. Starting in July, we hosted 190 students on campus (not the field stations) in a field experience unlike any other the College has encountered in our 50 years. Planning, demanding preventive protocols, and diligent faculty, staff, and students helped us complete the experience with only one positive COVID case. As is our way, we led the way for campus to better understand how to host in-person experiences, how to react to positive cases (which were and are inevitable), and how to show compassion and adaptiveness in the face of this challenge. Fall semester has us teaching both in-person and online, taxing faculty and students but proving necessary in this pandemic world. Spring promises more of the same as we adapt to the Covid-19 consequences. We have met these challenges successfully, as is our custom, with determination, class and dignity. I am very proud of our faculty, staff, and students.

Despite the ongoing challenges facing campus and the greater higher education world, the CNR continues to strive to meet the demands of our students and our professional partners. By promoting critical-thinking, problem-solving strategies, and hands-on experiences. With our caring faculty and staff, we consistently achieve high standards in teaching excellence, scholarship production and leadership, and outreach activities that bind our local and professional communities to our College beyond the classroom. We are, ourselves, a community of faculty, staff, students and alumni with our own expertise, strengths, attitudes, and values. As was true when many of you were our students, we are so much more than the sum of our parts. Together we create a fantastic tapestry of professionals who proudly represent the College and all its programs.

The Paper Science and Chemical Engineering Foundation is a special partner in our College. Your support and passion for this program is amazing. Your financial support of our students and program are integral elements in our students’ success and of our programmatic success and its future. The public relations and reputation you provide us through your support and championing our program is priceless. I have made a point to be an active member of your Foundation Board meetings and events (who doesn’t like the golf event?). However, I am not sure you are aware how much I personally benefit from these moments. I often find myself sitting in awe of the time and energy you are all giving to our students and our program. You all have many other things to do with your time but choose to prioritize us. Thank you!

It is alumni and industry partners like yourselves that simply reinforce what I have felt since coming to UWSP in 2002. This is a special campus, a special College, and a special Paper Science and Chemical Engineering program and Foundation.  Thank you for all you do for our program!  Stay well through these challenging times