College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences

Clemson packaging science students win scholarships


Sophia Luettke

CLEMSON – Two Clemson packaging science students have been recognized by the New Jersey Packaging Executives Club for outstanding work as undergraduates.

Cameron Plezia, a senior from Middletown, Rhode Island, and Sophia Luettke, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, were each awarded $5,000 scholarships from the Packaging Executives Club.

Plezia expects to graduate in May 2019.

“I really appreciate that the NJPEC sees me as worthy of one of their scholarships,” he said. “It’s great to have my hard work in the classroom recognized.”

Plezia has worked as an intern in the BMW plant in Greer for the past 7 months. He plans to use this experience to work in some segment of the automotive industry.

Luettke plans to graduate in December 2019. With a year to go before she earns her degree, Luettke said she is thankful for the opportunities this money will afford her.

Cameron Plezia
Cameron Plezia

“As an out-of-state transfer student, I was not eligible for scholarships when I came to Clemson,” she said. “So, paying for my education has been a burden. This scholarship eases the burden and allows my next loan amount to be less. I will be using this scholarship to study abroad this summer to complete my minor of sustainability.”

After she graduates from Clemson, Luettke plans to go green with her experience and knowledge.

“My ultimate career goal is to re-design existing packages to make them more environmentally friendly and reduce the ecological footprint the packaging industry has,” Luettke said.

Packaging Science is a diverse industry. People who choose this field of study learn about design, engineering, science, innovation, research and business. Average salaries for packaging engineers can range from $57,000 to $73,000.

Clemson offers one of just a few packaging science undergraduate degree programs in the United States. The Clemson program focuses on four areas: distribution, transportation and engineering technology; materials; food and health care packaging; and package design and graphics. This program is in the Clemson College of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences and ranked in the Top 20 Best Value Packaging Programs in 2017.


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