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Student awarded PACK EXPO Scholarship

November 8, 2018

Ray Cummings, Clemson Packaging Science Student

It was announced at PACK EXPO International in Chicago last month, that one of Clemson’s Packaging Science students, Ray Cummings, has been awarded a $5,000 scholarship from PMMI (The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies). PMMI held their annual PACK gives BACK™ networking reception at PACK EXPO International, a large trade show attended by Clemson University on October 14-17. Cummings is one of six students from across the nation who won the 2018 scholarship. Read the following Q&A with him to learn more!

Sonoco Institute (SI): Tell us about the PACK EXPO Scholarship!
Ray Cummings (RC): I was one of six students nationwide to win a Pack Expo scholarship for $5,000, with no clause limiting the use. It is sponsored by PACK Gives BACK at the expo itself, with at least part of the proceeds going toward the scholarship. You can find out more info here.

SI: How did you learn about the scholarship?
RC: Ms. Pat Marcondes, a lecturer in Food, Nutrition and Packaging Science at Clemson University. She tracked me down early in the Spring semester to tell me about it. I hadn’t planned to apply, but Ms. Marcondes was convinced I was a strong contender – and apparently I was!

SI: Describe the application process.
RC: The application was relatively simple and straightforward. It required some general information like my name, college and major, a copy of my transcript, a letter of recommendation and an essay on my experience with packaging. I was fortunate enough to have worked closely with “Mistamoore” (Mr. Bob Moore), a faculty member who has since retired, who wrote a very kind – and very strong – letter on my behalf.

SI: What does this mean for you?
RC: For me personally, this scholarship is freedom. I plan to use it to tailor my co-op. This money allows me to try to find a position that matches my career ambitions, easing the burden on me if I need to live in an area with high living expenses, or that’s a significant distance away. Now, I can take the best offer I can find, without having to worry if it would be more prudent to find a job closer to home.

SI: When do you graduate, and what are you thinking of pursuing?
RC: I’m slated to graduate in May of 2020. At the moment, I think I’d like to go into design with a focus on luxury packaging, most likely cosmetics, electronics or spirits/liqueurs. Specifically, I’m hoping to find a position where I can have a hand in a wide variety of duties like structural design, graphic design, product development and marketing. With this segment of packaging, there’s a tendency to have really interesting, eye-catching innovation, and there’s typically enough of a profit margin to support even the most outlandish ideas. There’s so much thought that goes into the design of luxury packaging, with every color or font or material carefully chosen to evoke a reaction. And people really take the time to appreciate it and the experience it creates by making “unboxing” videos and keeping the bottle/box for years.

Learn more about Clemson’s Packaging Science major.



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