Gravure AIMCAL Alliance – February Newsletter

The Gravure AIMCAL Alliance is a partner in all things PGSF. We are pleased to share some highlights from their February 2022 Newsletter, featuring College Outreach, Career Days, and More!

Read all here https://gaa.org/news/

Keeping the Printing/Converting Industry as a viable career option for the next generations!

University and College Gravure Day: This program helps students understand all the industry segments that use the Gravure process and provides awareness of all the careers in printing and converting. Interested in holding a “Gravure Day?” Email info@gaa.org, subject line: “Gravure Day.”

Clemson GC Spring 2022 Internship & Career Fair

The Graphic Communications Department will be hosting its next, twice-annual Internship & Career Fair on March 7-8 at Clemson University. If you have an upcoming internship or full-time position to fill, this is a great opportunity to get in front of more than 200 graphic-arts students, and the graduating class at a reception the evening before the main event, to recruit top talent.

Internships & Careers (clemson.edu)

Career-Snapshots Helping Students with Career Discovery.

Career-Snapshots www.career-snapshots.com is a tool that came out of necessity from the COVID-19 pandemic to give high-school students a way to virtually do career exploration and awareness. Mike Realon, Career & Community Development Coordinator at Olympic High School in Charlotte, NC, working with industry volunteers, built the Career-Snapshots tool. The site has received 2.3 million hits since its launch one year ago. The link was spread through the CMS school district and is being passed across the Carolinas and beyond.

In an effort to promote careers in printing/converting and related industries, the Gravure AIMACL Alliance and other associations were asked to invite members to contribute a video. A career video is simply a way to tell students how you found your career, how you learned (apprenticeship, certificate, degree), why you like it and a potential salary range. There are easily 10 careers associated with printing/converting (Prepress, Graphic Design, Production, Inks/Substrates, Finishing, Inspection, Package Design, and so on.) Please visit the CS and pass it on. If interested in contributing a video, go to www.career-snapshots.com, click the “Contribute” tab or email tdoanto@gaa.org.

Endowment History – The Flint Ink Corporation

Established 2000

FlintGroup

The Flint Group is a manufacturing company with its headquarters in Luxembourg. Having a revenue of $2.3 billion and about 7,900 employees, Flint Group is one of the largest suppliers to the printing and packaging and labeling industries worldwide. Flint Group operates 180 sites in 40 countries across the globe. 

Flint Ink has chosen to support the entire industry by adopting general scholarship criteria for this endowment, instead of narrowing the criteria to its market niche. 

Flint Ink recognizes that by financially assisting bright and talented students’ educations, they are directly investing in the future workforce of the industry. This scholarship will assist in meeting the goals of qualified students pursuing a career in graphics communications or printing technology.

The Flint Ink Corporation Scholarship is part of our Gutenberg Society which is comprised of members that have made a gift commitment of $100,000 or more. To learn more about all of our endowed scholarships go to our updated online book. Learn more about the opportunities and benefits of creating an endowment with PGSF on our Endowments page. More questions – contact the PGSF Director of Development, Jeff White.

Endowment History – The Madeline Gegenheimer McClure Scholarship

The Madeline Gegenheimer McClure Scholarship

Established 1978

Madeline Gegenheimer McClure Scholarship EndowmentMrs. McClure, a former member of the board of directors of Baldwin
Technology Corporation, spearheaded the advancement of graphic arts
education programs. In 1985, Mrs. McClure contributed a sizable gift to the NSTF program, thereby establishing a permanent endowment in her name.

Funds are provided through the endowment to assist students in pursuing Careers in the graphic arts. Sons and daughters of Baldwin employees are considered first. If no suitable candidates are presented, funds may be used in support of a graduate fellowship in graphic arts research. If no graduate students in graphic arts research apply, awards are made to any qualified graphic arts student.

The Madeline Gegenheimer McClure Scholarship is part of our Gutenberg Society which is comprised of members that have made a gift commitment of $100,000 or more. To learn more about all of our endowed scholarships go to our updated online book. Learn more about the opportunities and benefits of creating an endowment with PGSF on our Endowments page. More questions – contact the PGSF Director of Development, Jeff White

PGSF Opens Annual Poster Design Competition

Winners to Receive $500 Prize

Winning posters to be displayed in schools across the United States

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) is holding its annual poster design competition to promote the hundreds of college scholarships it offers students yearly. The winning posters will be showcased in schools across the United States, and contest winners will receive a plaque to display in their schools. Two winning entrants will each receive a $500 check, an award certificate, and recognition in PGSF’s promotional materials.

Educators are encouraged to offer the design competition as a real-world working assignment.  High school and college students are invited to visit PGSF.org/2022-poster-design-contest to submit poster designs by June 1, 2022. Contest winners will be notified before June 30th.

“Each year PGSF dispenses over 200 scholarships ranging in value from $2,000 to $5,000, and we are asking students to design a poster to promote these award opportunities. We encourage communities all around the U.S. to connect with the schools, especially on social media, to share information about this design contest as well as careers in the graphics industry,” comments Jules Van Sant, Chair, PGSF. 

Recent Contest Winners

​​The 2021 winner of the poster contest for full-time students was John Latham, a student at SOWELA Technical Community College in Louisiana. ​​Randy Jackson, a student at Camden County Technical School in New Jersey, was the winner for the part-time student poster.

Abigail Carter of Mattoon High School won the 2020 design contest thanks to graphic arts teacher Laura Roberts, who offered the design project as a school assignment.  

Design entries must meet the following standards:

  1. They must place a strong emphasis on the availability of scholarships.
  2. They must prominently display:
    • the PGSF name and logo;
    • the scholarship application due date of May 1, 2023; and
    • PGSF contact information: PGSF.org, contact@pgsf.org.

Visit PGSF.org/2022-poster-design-contest for more information. For questions or assistance, email dianne.bullas@pgsf.org or call 866-556-7473.

About PGSF

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is a not-for-profit, private, industry-directed organization that dispenses technical and college scholarships and assistance to talented youth interested in graphic communications careers. The mission of PGSF is to promote the graphics industry as a career choice for young people and then to support them through their education process. 

“Hey, I want to be included!”

Diversity of Students Around Table

By: Ken Macro, PhD

California Polytechnic State University, Graphic Communications

First, I wish to apologize for my hiatus this past couple of months. The wacky world of education coupled with, well, the wacky world challenged time, which took its toll.

But I am back and full of (among many things) new ideas.

As with most educational institutions and progressive thinking organizations, the landscape regarding diversity, inclusivity, and equity remains prominent. With this relatively new social outlook, faculty, students, leaders, employees, and the public as well are engaging in discussions that bring such subjects to light. Most recently, I helped facilitate a departmental DEI event for our student constituency. It was hosted by a trusted professor within our department and included other guest panelists from the department including another faculty member and two students who closely represent the backgrounds of our student constituency.

Diversity equity inclusion

The event was held during an evening in February, and it was held as a face-to-face event (masked, of course) with two guest speakers who “Zoomed” in on the screen. The attendance was around 25 students, four faculty from the department, and three guests from industry who also serve on our departmental advisory board.

One question that was posed to the panel and speakers was, “what frustrates you today with regards to inclusivity?” One of the panelists responded, “I don’t like that companies within our discipline are not open to having these discussions openly and are afraid to listen to younger generations about their interests, social causes, and progress towards change. I just don’t feel as though I belong, or, will ever?”

I think this sentiment strikes a loud bell for us all. In keeping with my WWWdWD theme, Wynkyn De Worde understood this as well. An immigrant from France (Alsace), De Worde, most likely fluent in French, German, and Flemish, immigrated to England to set up the first press of London with William Caxton. Upon Caxton’s death in the late 1400s, de Worde inherited Caxton’s shop for which he moved to the now famous Fleet Street in London. As an immigrant, he was restricted in business activities so as not to reduce the opportunities for “local and native” printers to receive jobs. And, he would certainly not have been considered or commissioned for any Royal commitments due to his immigration status. He knew, first-hand, what it was like to be treated as an outsider and to be excluded from the dominating community. Because printing was still rather evolving at this time, he was able to obtain work from Royal suitors, members of the elite, clergy and academics alike, however, he also took his work to the common people and translated content that was most appealing to them in a language they could understand.

I think the big lesson here is that companies and organizations should do the same. When recruiting younger generations, they should take great efforts in listening to them, learning from them, and including them. As our industry changes, so do the people. But this change cannot be productive nor progressive unless everyone is included. How are you engaging diversity, inclusivity, and equity within your organization?

WWWdW do? He would say put aside put on a serious face and actively engage in serious conversations with the younger generation, or you will find that your company will want to be included.

Ken

Should you have questions on how to establish a DEI initiative within your organization, feel free to contact me. I would be excited to assist.

“Ding, Ding!”

Having turned in my grades for the past quarter (Fall 2021), I do so with great expediency in that it was a challenging and arduous experience. As many schools reconvened “in person” at the end of August, the lurking and dismal continuously-ringing tone of COVID and Zoom Lectures kept heightened awareness of the complexities of classroom logistics and dynamics. It brings new meaning to the term tintinnabulation (a continuous ringing in the ear).  

Challenged with a large college Freshman introductory course in Graphic Communication, I decided to ease the burden of class attendance by providing a F2F (face-to-face) lecture subsidized with an online ZOOM live simulcast. This offered an option for those who wished to remain in the confines of their homes and not within the assigned lecture hall auditorium. Exhausting as this exercise was (I get quite animated in my lectures), I attempted to entertain the F2F students (albeit without the opportunity to read expressions from their faces) while simultaneously engaging students ZOOMing in for the online lecture (not being able to see their condensed on-screen faces). And doing this while gasping behind a mask and/or face shield for the assigned time and talking in front of me, then turning behind to speak to the computer located directly behind me.

What I found most interesting was that most of the students came for the F2F lectures while a quarter of the class lurked online. I stopped several times during my lecture to ask if students would have been easier and more convenient to have offered the course online exclusively, to which I received a resounding “no .” I was intrigued because many faculty members believed that the student constituency preferred online class offerings. Side note – our University held a hardline on the decision to come back and teach F2F, but there was some dissension amongst the masses).

In many challenging and tiring situations requiring decision making, change, and redirection, I think, once again, of our good friend Wynkyn de Worde (WWWdWD). When many printers in Europe were busy chasing, acquiring, and translating manuscripts about theology, science, and classics within the humanities, Wynkyn went with what he knew best, the public. And, as such, began to publish books that appealed to the public. Not an educated aristocrat, but a highly talented printer, he was the first to publish “how-to” guides to better educate his community. He learned this by being embedded within his community, stimulating dialog, and inquiring first-handedly. I always imagine a bell sounding off in his printshop store-front as many of his friends, authors, educators, clients, and residents walk through the door to say hello or engage in stimulating conversation—that is to say—face-to-face.

If you want to know what is best for the people you serve, simply ask them. As a society, we cannot continue to live confined to our Zoom Rooms (it worked when we needed it to). We must face the incessant tintinnabulation and listen to Wynkyn to understand and serve our communities and customers.

I hope your holidays are warm and fulfilling, and, more importantly, I wish you all a sane, healthy, productive, and rejuvenating New Year.

Ding! Ding!

Ken

6 Tips for Writing a Personal Statement

Personal Statement

It can be difficult to talk about yourself. When someone says, “Tell me about yourself,” it’s not surprising to have a brain freeze and not know where to start. Writing a personal statement when applying for a scholarship presents the same challenge, but fortunately, you will have time to figure out how to present yourself in writing.  

In order to secure scholarship funds from PGSF, we ask applicants for a personal statement. A personal statement should include information about yourself that won’t be part of a transcript or letter of recommendation. Since this essay is for a scholarship, please indicate why you think you are deserving of the award.  

Address the Requirements 

The first piece of advice is to make sure to write on the topic given to you, answer the question posed, or include the writing prompt. Most applications will include a word or character count (more on this in the fourth tip) to aim for, but not exceed. The scholarship you are applying to is specific to the graphic communication and printing industry. Why are you interested in pursuing an education or career in this industry? What challenges do you anticipate? What are you excited about for the future? 

Be Yourself 

Be honest and true to your experience. Concentrate on your strengths; use real-life examples; don’t exaggerate. We all have something that makes us unique, an experience or talent, or interest. Use it as an inspiration to talk about yourself. Maybe you started drawing when you were 4 years old using Power Puff Girls as inspiration or loved paging through catalogs that came to your grandparent’s house or had a relative in the printing industry. Tell us the story. 

Make an Outline 

An outline will help you organize your thoughts. It doesn’t have to be highly detailed but should include your topic, an idea for an intro paragraph, three to five points you want to make, and a conclusion.  

Write a First Draft First 

This may sound simplistic, but it’s important. Set aside some time, follow your outline, and just write. Don’t bother with word count or finding the perfect way to express yourself yet. Don’t edit as you write; that comes later. For now, get your ideas and thoughts into a document without limiting yourself. Put this draft aside for a day or so before coming back to it to refine and edit. In the second and third drafts, you will aim to get to the word count and clarify your ideas. 

Read It Out Loud 

Once you are satisfied with what you have written, read it out loud. Read it in front of a mirror, or even record it and play it back. This step will help you create a consistent tone. If you are missing transitional phrases or relevant segues, hearing your essay out loud will reveal this weakness, and give you the opportunity to strengthen your writing.  

Share It with Someone 

Share it with a few people for that matter. Ask a teacher, guidance counselor, parent, employer, or friend who does well in English class to read through your personal statement. They should look for typos, grammatical mistakes, or out-of-place punctuation. If you feel their insight will be valuable, you can also ask for constructive criticism. Ask for feedback about whether the essay addresses the topic, and if they think it illustrates something that makes you stand out from the crowd.  

Bonus tip:

If this process sounds like it takes time, that’s because it does. Procrastinating on writing your personal statement until the day before your scholarship application is due may jeopardize your chances at consideration. You can give yourself a couple of days or even up to a week to complete each step of the process, and make your writing shine.  

We are looking forward to hearing from you, and learning more about you!  Start your application today! 

Asking for Letters of Recommendation

Letter of Recommendation

As part of your Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation (PGSF) application, we would like two (2) letters of recommendation. A letter of recommendation helps us get a sense of who you are beyond your transcripts and personal statement. A teacher or employer can tell us about your unique personal assets, the talent or drive that you will bring to the table as a scholarship winner. 

Whom to Ask

An effective recommendation will come from someone who knows you well and can address your strengths and personal character. If you are a student applying for a scholarship, ask a teacher, coach, or guidance counselor with whom you have a good rapport. Choose a teacher in whose class you performed well or a coach who had high praise for your teamwork or leadership. As a high school student, you will probably want to ask someone from your junior or senior year because they will recall recent interactions.

If you are an employee asking for a letter of recommendation, be sure to ask a supervisor or manager. You can also ask a colleague from work or a professional organization. These people will know your day-to-day performance and should be able to attest to your passion, dedication, and enthusiasm for the printing and graphic communication industries.

How to Ask

Although all we need from you is an email address for each of your recommenders, you should ensure that contact from PGSF doesn’t come as a surprise. Set up a short meeting or schedule a time during office hours to ask for a letter of recommendation in person. 

Give the person you want to engage details about the scholarship you are seeking and the organization awarding it. (Feel free to send them to www.pgsf.org for more information as well.) Let them know your interest in pursuing a career in printing and graphic communications. Confirm that it is okay to share their email address with us. Finally, make sure to tell them the application deadline. (For 2022, it’s May 1st.)

When to Ask

Be sure to give the person enough time to write, refine, and submit their letter of recommendation. Most guidelines say to make your request at least two months before the due date. Remember, teachers and guidance counselors will have many requests for recommendation letters as college applications are being submitted, so be sure not to rush them.  For those in the professional field, a three-week lead time is suggested.

A week or two before the letters are due, follow up with a reminder or inquiry into the progress of their submission.

What to Do Once You’ve Asked

The most important thing to remember once someone has agreed to write a letter of recommendation for you – they are doing you a favor. Sending a thank you card or email after it’s submitted is the expected etiquette. At this time, you can also ask for a copy of the letter. Finally, circle back with your advocates after you hear about your scholarship award. If they have recommended you, you can be sure they are interested in your success and will want to know the results of your application.