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.