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Meet Kaya Kusmierczuk, TAPPI Student President 2024-25

–Noah Crowder, Student Advisory Committee, Vice President

The Student Advisory Committee is excited to announce Kaya Kusmierczuk as next year’s TAPPI President. I recently had the opportunity to chat with Kaya and learn more about her goals for the coming year. 

Kaya has been an active member of TAPPI since her freshman year. Throughout the 2023-24 year, she served as the Activities Chair, planning events and providing insights on what TAPPI can do to better serve its members.

In conversation, Kaya mentioned how much she admires the 2024 senior class’ close-knit community and extensive participation. As these members prepared for graduation, she realized how important it was that someone step up to represent the new senior class and encourage a community of continued support and involvement. She stated, “One of the reasons I decided to run for president is because I want to emphasize the importance of student involvement in this chapter. The opportunities and experiences I’ve had through TAPPI have created a lasting impact, and I want to continue this for all members.”

Through her involvement with TAPPI, Kaya grew close to Bennett Surrett and Bryanna Lawry, the two prior presidents. She mentioned they have shown her what dedication and servant leadership look like. As president, she vows to work to follow in their footsteps and make a lasting impact in the chapter. Kaya concluded by sharing that she “hopes to be someone the underclassmen can look up to and feel comfortable coming to when they need something.”

Kaya’s primary focus for the coming year is to foster engagement. “I want students to think of TAPPI as their second family and be excited by events we have planned. I hope to create an inclusive environment and support the personal and professional growth of all members.” Specifically, she hopes to build on the recently established mentorship program and deepen ties between the under- and upperclassmen. PSE is well regarded for the speed at which it gets freshmen into interviews and internships, and Kaya sees the value of having a network to ask questions and learn more about the industry.

Hoping to learn more about Kaya, I reached out to Bryanna Lawry, TAPPI’s previous president. When asked about Kaya, she shared the following:

“I could not think of a better successor to the TAPPI presidency than Kaya.  This year, as the Activities chair, she has shown so much commitment and enthusiasm toward the club.  She cares about the well-being of members and has a fire to get people involved.  I can not wait to see the impact that Kaya makes on TAPPI as our incoming president!!”

As Kaya prepares for her term as TAPPI President, she can rest assured that she has the full support of Paper Science and Engineering’s faculty and staff.