Elmer's Awards $2,500 Rio Scholarship
April 18, 2013
Fine Woodworking student William Newell adjusts machinery before making precision cuts during class on Tuesday, April 16. Through the Fine Woodworking Program’s partnership with Elmer’s Products, Inc., Newell received the inaugural $2,500 Elmer’s Scholarship.
RIO GRANDE, Ohio – Tuesday seemed like just another day in the workshop for William Newell and Michelle Black, Fine Woodworking students at the University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College.
Newell was making precision cuts for his chest of draws and Black sketched future designs, while Professors Eric Matson and Mark Nelson met with Emily von Stein, Associate Product Manager – Hardware for Elmer’s Products, Inc.
Such guests are common in the Fine Woodworking Annex at Rio Grande thanks to a partnership with Elmer’s that makes the program a site for continual research and development and product innovation.
Tuesday, however, proved different. Newell was awarded the inaugural $2,500 Elmer’s Scholarship as the Rio Grande essay contest winner, and Black won the inaugural Innovation Idea Award.
“The whole concept of this partnership is to work directly with and learn from our power users, the people in the workshops every day who utilize our products,” von Stein said. “The students here at Rio Grande represent that perfectly. It’s been a pleasure working with them to accomplish their goals, and their feedback on our products and future innovations has been tremendous.”
The Ohio-based Elmer’s has inspired people to create, build and learn for more than 65 years through its creative adhesive solutions and industry leading technology.
The scholarship essays required each student to address three topics: the future of fine woodworking, the importance of fine woodworking in today’s society, and address a controversial problem effecting woodworking with a possible solution.
Each member of the Elmer’s team was then invited to read and vote on the essays, with Newell’s call for better efficiency in all phases of timbering winning out.
“I was slightly shocked … I did not expect to win,” Newell said. “I just addressed an environmental issue; too much timbering that results in a lot of material waste.”
Newell acknowledged that woodworkers are a minimal component to the much larger issue. But he explained how better efficiency with products is a responsibility all much share in order to change the overall mindset.
The Innovation Idea Award grants Black the responsibility of designing a Class of 2013 Fine Woodworking t-shirt compliments of Elmer’s. Each student was encouraged to submit ideas for innovation to improve existing Elmer’s products or create something new altogether.
“I had about 14 different ideas that were on various enhancements to their glue and X-ACTO knife line,” Black said. “I just tried to think about how the products were used and come up with easier ways to use and apply them.”
For more information about the Fine Woodworking Program at the University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College visit Rio.edu/FineWoodworking or call 800-282-7201.
The University of Rio Grande / Rio Grande Community College is the only combined private university and public community college in the country. Serving more than 2,400 students annually, dreams become reality while nestled into the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Ohio.
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