Integrated Marketing Senior Project Course Returns to Host Entrepreneurship Festival

Marketing Students at Rational Middle EventPictured above: BUS464 students at last year’s Rational Middle screening event.

Marketing Professor Joan Lindsey-Mullikin and Cal Poly alumnus Doug Klein of StudioGood are working with a group of marketing seniors to plan, promote and execute a landmark entrepreneurship event in San Luis Obispo. The event, slated for winter quarter 2016, will be the culmination of Mullikin’s BUS 464: Integrated Marketing Senior Project course.

According to Mullikin, the event will be “part TED conference, part Shark Tank, and part crowdfunding festival.” It will bring together a mix of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and community members in a place where students can share their startup projects, learn from industry experts, pitch ideas, and gather funding for new endeavors.

Marketing students participating in the senior project class will research and execute the best format for the event, focusing on elements such as collection of event sponsors, creating interests in the venture capitalist community, acquiring industry speakers, ideal location and time of year, and adopting practices from similar successful events, such as the OneSpark event in Jacksonville, Fla. Students will also create and push the promotional content on social media and other channels.

Last year’s BUS 464 students went through a similar process to develop an integrated communications plan to host a film screening and panel discussion for the Rational Middle, a video series on energy sources sponsored by Shell Oil. The group of 25 students was able to meet and exceed all of the goals they had set for the event, including attracting more than 200 students, faculty and staff to the screening for a spirited discussion on energy consumption, policy and the environment. The team presented a final report on the event’s impact to Shell in December 2014.

Mullikin hopes to see similar success in this year’s class, and is excited to help put San Luis Obispo and Cal Poly on the entrepreneurship map.

For more information about the senior project course and the event, contact Professor Mullikin at


Marketing Faculty Update

Area Chair Norm Borin To Use Biomimicry in Senior Project Course

Biomimicry, a field that seeks to “mimic” the patterns and behaviors of the natural world in new solutions for human technology, has been receiving an increased amount of press and participation over the past few years. In April, Professor Norm Borin attended a four-day workshop on this influential new topic in Occidental, Calif.

Borin is using the multidisciplinary approach to biomimicry as inspiration for a new senior project course. “One of the most exciting parts of biomimicry is the need for multiple disciplines such as chemistry, engineering, design, architecture and biology to be involved,” Borin says. “I’ll be running a senior project this winter that has students from a variety of disciplines solve food problems using nature solutions.”

For information and updates on the biomimicry senior project, contact Norm Borin at

Professor Neill at Yanshan UniversityStern Neill Takes Sabbatical at Yashan University in China

Marketing Professor Stern Neill is on sabbatical for the 2015-16 academic year, serving as a visiting scholar at Yanshan University in Qinhuangdao, China. At Yanshan University, Neill will conduct research with senior faculty and also help graduate students and new faculty develop research projects. He will combine his previous research in entrepreneurial and global marketing by examining entrepreneurship in China.

Qinhuangdao is a coastal city about 190 miles east of Beijing. Yanshan University is similar to Cal Poly in that it is a comprehensive polytechnic school, but with a student population of about 38,000. The business school offers undergraduate, master’s and doctorate degrees. Neill will bring back to the classroom new ideas about the capabilities that enable innovation and value creation for customers.

Jeffrey DanesJeff Danes to Retire

Marketing Professor Jeffrey Danes will be retiring in June 2016, after 29 years of dedicated service to Cal Poly.

Danes has a long history of research and innovation in marketing, with work ranging from research in mathematical models and multidimensional scaling to new product development, packaging and beyond. Danes has collaborated with many other Cal Poly professors on cutting-edge research projects and his work has been published in a number of prestigious academic journals, including the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Business Research, Journal of Sales and Personal Selling, Human Communication Research, Advances in Consumer Research, and the Journal of Marketing Research. He has a strong interest in entrepreneurial activities and co-founded the online discussion tool Dialogr.

Danes earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from San Jose State University and a doctorate in communications from Michigan State University.

Norm Borin in ThailandNorm Borin Ventures to Thailand with Cal Poly Students

Professor Borin took 34 Cal Poly students from a variety of majors to Chiang-Mai, Thailand for a seven-week course on the global environment.  The course, which is also taught during the year at Cal Poly, focuses students on learning about the three critical areas of sustainability – people, planet and profit.  “We are using our natural resources and adding waste to our environment faster than the planet can handle it,” says Borin. “The only way to maintain ourselves, our communities, our businesses and ultimately the planet is to maintain our balance amongst these three p’s.”

Throughout the course, students examined their role in creating a sustainable future while also contrasting the U.S. position on environmental and ethical issues against that of a developing country.  During the course students were able to stay with Thai Hill tribes, visit an elephant sanctuary and bee aviary, all while examining the walkability, pollution, congestion and cultural values of the Chiang Mai area.

American Marketing Association Grows, Plans Next Marketing Career Conference

AMA Executive Board

Many alumni were members of Cal Poly’s chapter of the American Marketing Association and remember it as a club that provides students with opportunities to build their resumes and practice Learn by Doing. As one of Cal Poly’s largest and oldest professional business clubs, AMA also provides insight into a variety of career opportunities related to marketing.

This past year, AMA received the Club of the Year Award from Cal Poly, the Leaders in Community Outreach Award from the Orfalea College of Business, and placed second in Mustang News’ Poly Picks for Best Academic Club. The club continues to recruit and engage new members every quarter and recently selected executive vice president Chris Melchione as Member of the Year.

A few highlights to look forward to this upcoming year include quarterly corporate tours to top employers such as Workday, Facebook and Sony; weekly meetings and workshops; networking events; professional speakers; and collaborative events with other clubs including Net Impact and Cal Poly Entrepreneurs. AMA will be hosting its own Marketing Career Conference on Feb. 26, 2016, bringing top employers from across the country for a full day of networking, workshops and marketing competitions available exclusively to its members. AMA is accepting conference sponsorships from companies looking to present and recruit top marketing students at the event.

For more information on Cal Poly’s AMA chapter or to learn how you can get involved with the organization as a marketing alumnus, visit the club website at

Marketing and Packaging Collaborations Create New Opportunities for Students and Faculty

Consumer Packaging Solutions Student

Over the past year, the Orfalea College of Business’ Marketing and Industrial Technology & Packaging areas have seen incredible collaborative success in new hands-on student learning and faculty research opportunities.

In the spring of 2015, the Orfalea College of Business celebrated graduation with the first-ever cohort of business students concentrating in consumer packaging solutions (CPS). The concentration was launched in 2012 and offers business majors entry into the rapidly expanding and dynamic field of consumer packaging.

The intersection between packaging and marketing yields fertile ground for Learn by Doing experiences, such as the CPS culminating senior project experience designed by marketing Professor Lynn Metcalf with support from packaging faculty advisor and Professor Javier de la Fuente. In the course, students work in small groups and use design-thinking techniques to drive packaging innovation. Students have the opportunity to create new-to-the-world package designs, and conduct extensive research in the consumer and retail environments to uncover areas of opportunity for value creation. In the final stages of the project, the groups then develop prototypes to be validated by existing customers.

Matt Wright, president, CEO and co-founder of packaging startup Specright, supported cross-disciplinary student learning in the CPS senior project class. “The combination of marketing and packaging produces a skillset that enhances speed to market, which is critical to a company’s ability to compete.”

Students aren’t the only ones gaining valuable experience in this emerging field. This fall, Metcalf, de la Fuente, and Professor Jeff Hess will build on previous research work to further establish consumer package decisions as a fundamental consideration in the marketing value chain. Faculty collaboration on research is expected to promote a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines.

“If this research is successful, it will motivate marketing and packaging decision-makers to rethink the impact of packaging on the consumption experience and by extension a product’s value proposition,” said Hess.

The college is excited by the present collaborations between the two areas, and is looking forward to continued work in the fields of marketing and packaging.

The team is considering hosting a focus group during the 2016 Open House weekend. Marketing alumni interested in getting involved should contact Lynn Metcalf at

Mustang Memories – Marketing

Student in classJoshua Burroughs (Business Administration, ’08)
Senior Development Manager, Barry Swenson Builder
“I had the pleasure of traveling with Lynn Metcalf to Peru with 20 other Cal Poly graduates and deliver over 500 wheelchairs to children and adults with disabilities. I’ll never forget the year we spent raising $100,000 together as a team and Professor Metcalf’s leadership as our fearless advisor.”

Richard Husky (B.S., Business Administration, 2006, Economics Minor)
“A favorite memory… Dr. Tietje lead a team of 18 students on a year-long senior project. Our goal was to plan and execute a marketing campaign for the all-new Honda Fit. This was a competitive campaign and our performance was compared against many other universities. Our group placed among the top three universities and was flown to Honda’s USA headquarters to present our findings. While giving our presentation, I snuck a few quick looks at Dr. Tietje. He looked so proud. I’ll never forget his support and guidance throughout this project. Thanks Dr. T!”

Kyle Cameron (B.S., Business Administration, 2008)
Controller, James Loudspeaker
“Professor Hess is very engaging, personable, and knowledgeable.”

Erin Shafqat (B.S., Business Administration, 2013)
Marketing Director, Carlsbad Manufacturing
“Daily photos of Professor Borin’s dog!”

Ayano Kumazawa (B.S., Business Administration, 2012, Graphic Communications Minor)
Real Estate Administrative Assistant, Costco Wholesale Japan
“I can’t pick one, so I will write two, Dr. Metcalf and Dr. Neil. They both have incredible knowledge and experience to share with us. I enjoyed every assignments and projects I have done in their classes!”

Which Cal Poly professor do you remember most? If you haven’t already, share your Mustang Memories with us via our online form.