Phillips Family Leadership Incentive Awarded

Richard and Mary Phillips

The History Behind the Award

The Phillips Family Leadership Incentive is endowed by Dr. Richard Phillips (’64, ’66 MS, ’70 PHD) and his late wife, Mary Phillips. The endowment given by the Phillips family was created to recognize paper science and engineering students who show a strong interest in business and professional success. The recipients of this award are to demonstrate academic achievement, strong leadership, and service within their community. This leadership incentive will allow for paper science and engineering students to pursue a business administration minor from the Poole College of Management at NC State.

Before coming to NC State, Dr. Phillips retired as the Senior Vice President- Technology and Manufacturing from International Paper. Dr. Phillips is currently an Adjunct Professor and the Executive in Residence in the Department of Forest Biomaterials at NC State. He teaches and consults with our faculty and industry to elevate the level of our courses and curricula, research, teaching and outreach.

PSE Student Allison Hellwig

The Recipients are…

This year the Phillips Family Leadership Incentive was given to two outstanding students in the PSE program at NC State, Allison Hellwig and Breonda Snead. They are the seventh and eighth recipients of this award.  Allison Hellwig is from Jacksonville, Florida and will be going into her fifth year at NC State. She is a chemical engineering and paper science and engineering dual major, with a minor in business administration. When asked what made her choose NC State, she stated “I chose NC State because I loved how much emphasis the school put on gaining real-world work experience. I was drawn in by how many students that I met pursued amazing jobs, with all the companies located so close on Centennial Campus, and Raleigh being right in the Research Triangle. I knew from the beginning that no matter what type of engineering I ended up in, I wanted to have the opportunity to do several co-ops and internships.” With both parents having technical education backgrounds and working in sales and management, Allison knew that pursuing a business minor would help her in preparing more for any type of job opportunity.

Breonda Snead is from Charlotte, North Carolina and will be going into her fourth year at NC State. She is a paper science and engineering major with a double minor in chemical engineering and business administration. When asked why she chose NC State, she stated, “I chose NC State because of the amazing opportunities this institution has. When I visited campus for the first time, I felt right at home, especially after meeting with faculty and staff in paper science and engineering. Being a part of this program has pushed me to become a better student in the classroom, become a leader on campus, and develop professionally through multiple internship experiences in the industry.” Breonda witnessed the unique opportunities individuals had when combining their technical skills with business principles. Inspired from those individuals, Breonda knew that studying a subject she had previously not been exposed to would allow for a powerful combination and uniqueness within the industry.

PSE Student Breonda Snead


Along with their incredible academic achievement, these two award recipients are both heavily involved with PSE and NC State as a whole.  Allison has been actively involved in NC State’s chapter of TAPPI, holding officer positions for three years. Also within the PSE program she is involved in the Student Advisory Committee. Outside of PSE, Allison likes to stay busy! She was involved in club volleyball for two years and is the president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Within these various positions she has learned to be confident in her capabilities as a leader.

Breonda is involved with a variety of on campus organizations. She currently serves as the Standards Chair of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, is President of the National Pan-Hellenic Council at NC State, and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and TAPPI. Breonda is also a Goodnight Scholar, a program on NC State’s campus that  prepares the top STEM students into becoming top leaders at NC State and North Carolina as a whole. With the leadership gained through her involvement in various organizations she is well prepared to head out into the workforce.

And Then…the Work

Between Allison and Breonda they have a combined total of sixteen months of experience within the industry.

During Allison’s sophomore year she completed a co-op with International Paper in Eastover, SC working as a process engineer on the paper machines. The following summer she spent working with Solenis. Following her junior year, she spent the summer working for ExxonMobil at their global headquarters in Houston, Texas. During her time there she worked in Fuels and Lubricants as a sales and marketing intern and has returned this summer to the same department.

Breonda has completed two summers at with International Paper working as a process engineer and is currently with Cascades Tissue Group in Wagram, NC as their Paper Science Engineering Intern.

Final Thoughts

With the knowledge she has gained both in the classroom and in the industry Allison has learned that she thoroughly enjoys both the engineering and business worlds. She hopes to pursue a career that will allow her to further develop in both of these areas. Allison also hopes to pursue her MBA soon after graduation.

After graduation in December of 2020 Breonda plans to work as a Process Engineer within the paper industry. She wants to be in a position that will allow her to combine her technical skills with the business principles she is learning through her minor.

Thank You and We Will Pay it Forward

Allison Hellwig and Breonda Snead will be the seventh and eighth recipients of the Phillips Family Leadership Incentive. They are previously followed by Patrick Leasure, Joe McDonald, Bobby Oglesby, Alex May, Kable Young, and Winslow Gurney.

When asked how she felt about being a recipient of this award, Allison stated that “This award is such an honor to me, I am so thankful for the support of the PSE program and the Phillips family. I am excited to finish my business minor and begin pursuing my MBA soon after graduation!”

To answer the same question, Breonda stated, “I am extremely honored to be a Phillips Family Leadership recipient! My family and I have been extremely grateful for the support that NC State and the Pulp and Paper Advisory Committee have provided me throughout my collegiate career. Now, that supports extends even further by the generosity of the Phillips Family and we can’t wait to pay it forward!”

Congratulations to both these recipients on this wonderful achievement! We know you will both do great things!

Guest Blogger Heaven Davis