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In May, myself and approximately 45 Juniors and Seniors will embark on an amazing 10-day trip abroad.  This sixth occurrence of the Paper International Experience (PIE) will help us better understand the global nature of the paper industry and help the US industry stay competitive and strong.  Past participants have traveled to China, Finland, Chile, and Brazil.  Thanks to Dr. Hou-Min Chang, we once again have an opportunity to visit Chinese mills that normally are not accessible to visitors including four manufacturing facilities, one supplier, and three universities.  We will also have an opportunity to sightsee, ride a magnetic levitation train, a bullet train, and interact with Chinese students.  The trip will come to a conclusion at the top of the Great Wall of China (that is if we can make the climb!).

“Right-of-Passage”

Personally, I have been looking forward to the PIE trip since I started in the PSE program – so yes, it IS a great recruitment tool.  This  trip has always seemed to be a “right-of-passage” and one big final hurrah either before starting the infamous senior year or to celebrate being on the coveted side of senior design with a diploma in hand. The TAPPI student lounge is filled with pictures from past trips, found memories, and a bond among alumni that lasts a lifetime.

PIE 2013 China Trip

Chatter… FOR Trip and FROM Trip

PIE is always the talk of the program.  On the years we go, students are always asking around about fundraising progress, itineraries, meeting dates, and whether Dr. Jameel is going.  In the year that falls between trips, students are always talking to those who went on the previous trip, where they went, what they did, the karaoke nights, the new foods they got to try, and what they would give to go back, even if it was just for one day.  I cannot begin to explain just how excited I am that my first trip out of the country will be with the PSE program to China.

How YOU can help!

The PSE program owes much of its historical success to the faithful support of alumni and friends.  On behalf of my fellow Juniors and Seniors, I am asking if you would be willing to offer your support for PIE?   In order to permit myself and my fellow students to participate at an affordable cost, we are trying to raise $67,500 in funding by March 1, 2017.  The cost of the trip, including round-trip air travel, lodging, and meals, will be approximately $3,000 per person.  It is our hope for students to pay no more than $1,500 of the cost and to provide the rest of the funding through donations from kind supporters.  A PIE Donation in any amount will be greatly appreciated and recognized in the illustrated trip report, published by the students upon our return.  

Once In a Lifetime Opportunity

Alumni, friends, and supporters of the PSE program are welcome to come along on this trip – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to observe and interact with us.  We look forward to the opportunity to broaden our pulp and paper education, as well as experiencing a new and exciting culture.  We will greatly benefit from this opportunity to meet and interact with industry professionals. Individuals who wish to participate are asked to cover their own costs.

by guest blogger Heather Starkey