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Rebecca Robertson Williams – Class of 2005

Rebecca Robertson Williams graduated from NC State in 2005 with a dual degree in Paper Science & Chemical Engineering. We reached out to Rebecca to find out about her current career and advice to students.  Thanks for sharing Rebecca!

Experiences at NC State

  • Internship/co-op experience: Summer 2001 – Internship with International Paper in Roanoke Rapids, NC,┬áSpring/Summer 2002 – Co-op with International Paper in Roanoke Rapids, NC
    Summer 2003 – Internship with International Paper in Franklin, VA, Summer 2004 – Internship with International Paper in Franklin, VA, 2003-2005 – Worked for Dr. Pawlak in the Paper Physics lab
  • Favorite Class: SE 360 – Pulp and Paper Unit Processes II – I remember thinking how meaningful the calculations were to designing an industrial process. I still have my Cameron Hydraulic Data book. PSE 212 – Paper Properties – My work for Dr. Pawlak in the Paper Physics Lab made the lab for this course even more meaningful.
  • Best memory at State: Dr. Jameel challenged another student to a footrace on the last day of class. We all paraded outside to the intramural fields for the big event. We had an NCSU football player in our class who ended up being the victor, but Dr. Jameel turned out to have an impressive sprint.
  • Worst memory at State: The recurring nightmare that students have about missing an exam…I lived it. The schedule during exams was always different from the normal semester schedule. I accidentally missed a chemistry lab exam and realized it right after it was scheduled to end. Thankfully, the TA allowed me to take it with another section.
  • Clubs/Hobbies: I was involved in TAPPI/PIMA and Intramural flag football. I remember endless study sessions in the basement of Riddick, Trivia night at Sammy’s, and karaoke at Playmakers. I signed up for a “fun” PE most semesters (for credit only) – bowling, golf, volleyball, scuba diving, and social dance. It was a great way to learn something new and relieve stress. I also discovered Cru my last semester and met some great people. That was one program I wish I had found sooner.
  • Favorite part of PSE Program: I loved the community aspect of the PSE program. I remember a cookout for freshman when we first got to campus. We got to meet all of our professors and the other students in the program. These were the people who almost all of my college memories include. My professors still know me by name when I see them. PSE is truly a special program thanks to the people who pour their lives into it.
  • Most important thing PSE taught me: I remember one of my favorite PSE professors telling us “College is all about jumping through the hoop. Sometimes it is a big hoop, sometimes it is a little hoop, and sometimes we light the hoop on fire. But it is all about jumping through the hoop.” To me, that meant that college is all about learning to think and perseverance. The PSE program was on point in these areas.

Current Career Information

  • Company/job position: Nash Community College – Chemistry Instructor
  • Years at current job: August 2016
  • Favorite part of current job: I love my students and I love being able to make chemistry relevant! I am able to draw from what I learned in PSE/CHE and my industry experience to give real world examples of how theoretical concepts are used.
  • Biggest accomplishment in your career: I have had several students leave my classroom and go on to major in something related to chemistry. So far, two of my students have either been entertained or inspired enough by my paper stories to enter the PSE program. I’m excited to be able to give back to the program in such a meaningful way.

What other positions have you held

  • What other positions have you had: Weyerhaeuser/Domtar in Plymouth, NC. I served as a process engineer in the power and recovery department as well as on the fluff pulp machine. I also taught high school chemistry for several years prior to entering the post-secondary teaching environment.

What is your advice for current students

  • Make time to get involved.  There are so many opportunities to find people you connect with on campus.  Step out of your confort zone and try something new.

Personal Information

  • Family: My husband, Anthony, and I have been married for 8 years and live in Nash County, NC. We have two children. Marshall is two years old and Caroline is 10 months old. We also have a 9 pound dachshund named Ollie who thinks he is a German Shepherd.
  • Hobbies/interests: When you have an infant and a toddler, there is suddenly a huge difference between your hobbies and your interests. My interests include reading, being active in church, and crafting. My hobbies are silly songs, Veggie Tales, bouncy seats, and Paw Patrol. Love every minute of it!