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Student Success

Weston Cregger ’24 Awarded Cullison Scholarship

Weston poses for camera - Weston Cregger '24 Awarded Collision Scholarship - College of Natural Resources News NC State University

Weston Cregger, a senior majoring in paper science and engineering and chemical engineering at NC State, has been awarded the William L. Cullison Scholarship from the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI).

The William L. Cullison Scholarship is awarded to undergraduate students with a major in a pulp and paper science course of study who maintain a 3.5 GPA or better through their first two years in their major program and demonstrate outstanding leadership abilities.

Cregger currently serves as service chair for NC State’s student chapter of TAPPI. He has been a member of the organization since 2019. He is also a member of the university’s ChemE Jeopardy Team and Summit College, the college ministry of The Summit Church.

We recently asked Cregger about his decision to study paper science and engineering at the College of Natural Resources and his goals for the future after graduation. Check out the Q&A below to learn more. 

What does it mean to you to receive the Cullison Award?

This award means more to me than financial support; it is a validation of my dedication to academic and extracurricular pursuits pertaining to the pulp and paper industry. Moreover, this acknowledgement of my hard work inspires me to continue striving for excellence as I transition from my studies at NC State to an early-career engineer. This scholarship also serves as a reminder to make the most of the opportunities presented, not only for my own growth, but also to give back to the paper science and engineering community that has supported me during my time at NC State University. 

Why did you choose to study paper science and engineering?

I participated in the Paper Science and Engineering Summer Camp leading into my senior year of high school. The first thing I noticed was the strong sense of community among the students, professors and faculty. Coming from a small high school, the Paper Science and Engineering program made a large university feel much more approachable. Within two weeks on campus, I attended a professional development retreat with my incoming freshman class. Quickly establishing a support network on campus was crucial for my well-being and success during my freshman year. In the years that followed, I found a community of like-minded students who challenged themselves to become engineers, and I’m proud to call them my friends.

What is your favorite memory or class from your time at NC State?

I had the unique opportunity to participate in the Paper International Experience in the spring of 2023 and traveled to Finland with my peers to learn about the challenges of paper making in Europe and how the global pulp and paper industry differs from the United States. This experience opened my eyes to the potential of working abroad and made me a better global citizen and engineer. It was a truly enriching experience that broadened my perspective and deepened my passion for the pulp and paper industry. As an honorable mention, I’ve enjoyed all the late nights studying with friends in my major. Without their support, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

What are your career goals?

I am eagerly preparing to launch my career within the pulp and paper industry and want to continue building my technical background. I have an interest in returning to school several years into my career to pursue a master’s degree in business management. I strive to continue to treat others with respect and kindness in all my pursuits. At the end of the day, I have a passion for learning and am excited to see where that takes me. 

How has the College of Natural Resources prepared you for your future?

Throughout my undergraduate studies, I’ve gained valuable work experience with industry leaders in the pulp and paper industry, including Suzano, Kimberly-Clark, WestRock, and New-Indy Containerboard. I am on track to graduate in May 2024 with 20 months of work experience. These opportunities would not have been made available to me if it wasn’t for the incredible faculty and staff within the College of Natural Resources at NC State and their relationship with industry professionals. I am extremely grateful to have participated in this community. 

What advice would you give to students entering your major?

Your experience at NC State is what you make of it, so it’s important to invest your time in things that you’re passionate about. I encourage you to maintain a genuine interest in your subject matter of study. Build your network within and outside of your major. There’s an abundance of resources available on campus to connect with like-minded students. I also recommend studying abroad. My experience in Finland not only broadened my perspective and deepened my passion for the pulp and paper industry, but it also enhanced my relationships with fellow students in my department. Finally, you need to find a healthy balance between your academic and personal life to avoid burnout. 

Tell us about something you are passionate about outside of your academic studies.

While in college, I’ve developed a passion for cooking, and I thoroughly enjoy bonding with friends and family while experimenting with new dishes. I often make homemade desserts to share with my roommates and friends. Most importantly, I cherish the opportunity to connect with those around me and value the time we all set aside from our busy schedules to enjoy each other’s company.