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Bonding with Classmates
Due to the generosity of our friends at Domtar this year marked the return of the off campus Freshman Retreat for Paper Science and Engineering students.
On Friday, August 26th, the newest cohort of PSE Freshmen set out to the Eastern 4-H Environmental Education Conference Center. The off campus retreat was a unique opportunity for PSE Freshman, and exemplifies the investment that the College of Natural Resources is willing to make for
Preparing for the Future
Upon arrival students underwent a night of professional development led by Jennifer Piercy and Dr. Byrd. The night included a competition, students were split into two teams and faced the challenge of moving a rolling marble from one side of the room to the other, placing it in a cup. Each student on the team was given half of a wooden pipe, the focus of the exercise was to demonstrate how a team is effective when they communicate clearly and each member participates. After many frustrating incidents of marble dropping, one team succeeded in moving their marble along the length of the room and into the cup! Jennifer Piercy explained how functioning as an effective team is a life skill which will be essential to the student’s future career. The night continued with examples of how students can succeed with a degree in Paper Science Engineering and the multitude of opportunities available to them if they are willing to put in the work. Each student discussed their future career goals and Dr. Byrd explained how their time at NC State will prepare them to successfully take on the future.
Visiting a Domtar Mill
On Saturday, students toured tour the Domtar Mill in Plymouth, North Carolina. Students were once again split into teams and told they would have to do a presentation on a specific portion of the mill. Students saw everything from the wood yard to the paper machine itself. Through the tour students were able to see how a paper mill functions. Students were dumbfounded by the sheer size of the expansive mill. After the small taste of the industry students were buzzing and excitedly detailed their specified area of the mill through presentations.
Functioning as a Team
To hone the essential message of teamwork and communication, students went through a challenge course graciously provided by the staff of the Eastern 4H Center. The activities built upon each other and moved from trust falls to rock climbing. These courses challenged students, but also made them think about how they function as a team and how trust is an essential component of any effective team. As the fun filled weekend drew to a close, students returned home with a bonded cohort of friends, and ready to take on the rest of there school year.
By guest blogger – Emmy Howell, Class of 2020