Julie Burton receives 2022 MSU Packaging Alumni Association Paul Schmidt Service Award

Julie Burton received the 2022 MSU Packaging Alumni Association Paul Schmidt Service Award at the School of Packaging Celebration on Apr. 19.

Julie Burton

Julie Burton received the 2022 MSU Packaging Alumni Association (PAA) Paul Schmidt Service Award at the School of Packaging Celebration on Apr. 19.

The PAA Paul Schmidt Service Award is presented to School of Packaging alumni who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer service to the MSU School of Packaging and/or meritorious service to the packaging community on a local, state, national or international level. This award is named in memory of Paul Schmidt who gave endless support, love and encouragement to the entire School of Packaging community throughout his long and fulfilling packaging career. As a 1968 graduate of the School, his commitment to service benefited the packaging industry in the areas of outreach, teaching, and research and will be his legacy as the lives he touched will be enriched forever.

Burton attended MSU from 1977 to 1981, earning a bachelor’s degree in packaging in 1977. Her father, William (Bill) Johnston, also graduated from MSU’s School of Packaging in 1958, making Burton the first second generation graduate from the School – a legacy and responsibility that she has wholeheartedly embraced.

Burton’s love for the field and MSU graduates, drove her future hires and fostered relationships that have lasted over 40 years. Between 1982 and 1992 Burton encouraged MSU interns at General Foods and Kraft in their pursuit of careers in packaging. Later, while at Graphic Packaging International (GPI) she worked with the MSU School of Packaging to co-launch a focused sales internship program. Since establishing the program in 2015, Burton and the GPI sales team has hired, trained and mentored over eight interns pursuing packaging careers.

Over the past ten years Julie participated in the School’s Career Fair student preparation sessions, critiquing resumes, offering interviewing advice, and providing feedback during Packaging Career Fairs. Burton and her team at GPI also took part in the Ignite Sessions associated with the Packaging Career Fair, where she loved answering student questions and speaking to them about the many exciting opportunities in the packaging industry.

During this same period, Burton also coordinated guest lecturers for the Paperboard Technology Course at the School of Packaging, and lead career discussions for Pi Kappa Gamma and the Coalition of Packaging Professionals and Academic Connections (COPPAC). She led several round table discussions and manned a career booth at the 2018 MSU School of Packaging Jamboree, that connected students from all packaging schools across the country and encouraged collaboration and growth in the field of packaging. In February of 2022, Burton served a guest panelist for the School’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee’s Successful Women in Packaging seminar. She has a passion for young people in the field and will always say yes if there is an opportunity to help them succeed in this rewarding field.


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