Our Team

Your paper is handmade by a small group of dedicated and talented students who believe in hard work, beautiful paper, and and a better future through economic and environmental sustainability. They are undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Illinois who not only hand pull sheets of corn, soy, or prairie grass paper, but also plant, weed, and harvest them on the sustainable student farm. The paper is made by students and funded by students via The Student Sustainability Committee.



Eric Benson - Co-Founder

Eric is a sci-fi loving, tree-hugging nerd from Michigan who is also the Chair of the University of Illinois Graphic Design Program. He co-founded Fresh Press in 2012 and has been running his 501(c)3 non-profit Re-nourish since 2006. 

Emma Sielaff - Studio Manager

Emma is a passionate sustainability ambassador in her daily and artistic life. She is from Chicago, IL and is New Media major interested in screen-printing.

Donna Dimitrova

Donna hails from Bulgaria, and sometimes cries tears of joy when Pascale sings. She also sings her favorite Arctic Monkey tunes (in Russian) to her two pet Cockatails. 

Cynthia Liu

Cynthia likes spontaneous travel and is obsessed with photographing the sky. She is a sophomore in graphic design.

Andrea Worthington

Andrea likes to imagine herself living at Hogwarts playing piano for actor Adam Scott. She also is a hero, saving her hometown church from burning down! She is a sophomore in Graphic Design.

Sarah Ginnard

Sarah, unlike most of America, hates coffee, but loves taxidermy. She hails from Hillsboro, IL and is a second year student in Painting.

Merryta Liu

Merryta likes to make drawings from her imagination by using lots of colors and complex patterns. She is a sophomore in graphic design.


Pascale Grant

Pascale is a townie who will sing you "O Mio Babbino Caro" if you ask very nicely. She is a sophomore in Graphic Design who someday will probably be a famous actor. 


Amber Sims

Amber is from Chicago, IL, studying Landscape Architecture. I love all kinds of performing arts, playing trombone, and playing soccer. Most importantly, I’m very interested in learning how to protect and flourish the environment at all costs.