Marketing Professor Joachim Scholz Wins “Paper of the Year”

Marketing Professor Jo Scholz Wins "Article of The Year" Award

Cal Poly Marketing Professor Joachim Scholz has received “Paper of the Year” honors and a monetary prize from Business Horizons, a journal focused on analyzing business problems and publishing articles that present solutions. Professor Scholz, along with Suffolk University’s Assistant Professor Marketing Andrew Smith, were recognized for their article, “Augmented Reality: Designing immersive experiences that maximize customer engagement.”

In the journal, Scholz and Smith explore the emerging technology of augmented reality and its applications in redefining the brand experience. Often associated with the Pokémon Go craze, augmented reality places digital information over real-world spaces. Scholz’ and Smith’s article provides a framework of the dynamics of using augmented reality and the basic decisions that marketers must consider when creating an augmented reality campaign. It also gives actionable recommendations for executing effective augmented reality experiences to maximizing customer engagement.

Scholz is assistant professor of marketing at the Orfalea College of Business. Currently, Scholz is teaching the only undergraduate marketing class in the country on augmented reality. Scholz has also created his own website — — where he publishes the latest news on augmented reality and social media.

Cal Poly AMA Chapter Tours Industry Firms

AMA members on the rooftop at AdobeCal Poly American Marketing Association (AMA) board member Michaela Iunker describes the club’s industry tour hosted during fall quarter.

On Friday, Oct. 28, a bus transported sleepy and eager AMA members to San Francisco to tour McKesson and Adobe while having lunch at Zynga in between. We were led by marketing lecturer and AMA Faculty Advisor Lisa Simon. On our journey to San Francisco, AMA members brainstormed questions to ask the speaker panel at McKesson. Upon arrival, all members were dressed to impress and ready to connect with the panel. Our group included many underclassmen and first-time freshman who were taking their first visits to major employers.

AMA members at McKessonWe received a tour in McKesson’s “Vision Room,” which displays all the products they create, all with messages on how much they affect, not only their cutovers, but also the medical industry. After the small tour, it was time to meet with the panel, which included Jeff Stalcup, VP of corporate marketing; Andy Burtis, senior VP of corporate marketing and communications; Stasia Lord, VP of brand for McKeson Corporate; Chi Nguyen, VP of health system marketing for the U.S. pharmaceutical business; Dara Shulman, senior director of marketing for the McKesson Specialty Health business; Rohit Parbhakar, director of digital marketing strategy for McKesson Corporate; and David Bone, director of enterprise employee communications for McKesson Corporate. The AMA members could easily see what it was like to work for a big organization like McKesson and if they felt like the culture fit their style.

Going on a corporate tour is more than having the opportunity to see really cool companies, but it’s a chance for members to see if working in those kind of environments would truly make them happy after graduation.

After the members finished with the panel, we hoped on the bus to have lunch at Zynga. I was a totally different style than McKesson, and it was a great opportunity to see a different style of company culture. We were also fed breakfast for lunch, which was fun for the AMA members.

Once we had a lunch and explored the company we were quickly whisked away to Adobe. Adobe was more creative-based and had a very friendly laid-back atmosphere. Members could really see the difference to what it would be like to work for a company versus a creative brand like Adobe. The really nice thing about Adobe was that the company employs a lot of Cal Poly alumni, so we got a chance to have a panel with them to learn more about the company and ask questions.

Cal Poly AMA would like to say a huge thank you to McKesson, Zynga and Adobe for hosting our group and supporting the success of Cal Poly marketing students.

Hear about the impact of the visit from a few AMA members who took the tour:

“Going on the corporate tour was an amazing experience because I got to see how diverse companies are within the same area. Being a first-year just starting to explore my opportunities in business, it was very beneficial to see how different companies operate, treat their work environment, and provide for the public. It gave me a better idea of what to expect in the professional world depending on what type of industry I choose to go in. The biggest thing that I learned from the corporate tour was that no matter what your specific background is, there are always opportunities to excel within a business, as long as you crave that success.” — Daniel Gonzalez

“It was extremely beneficial to hear a panel of around 10 Cal Poly Alumni discuss their experience and give tips & tricks to us, as they were in our positions only a few years ago. I thoroughly enjoyed bonding with other members of AMA and meeting new people as well, and I would recommend a corporate tour through AMA to anyone! I am thankful for this wonderful experience and hope that I have the opportunity to attend another tour in the future!” — Elena DeAngelis

“I really enjoyed going on the corporate tour this quarter. It was really cool to see so many different industries in one day. Going on this tour has especially sparked my interest in the healthcare industry and perhaps even McKesson. What I love about the corporate tours is that you get to see a side of the company that you wouldn’t otherwise get to see at a career fair or through a company’s website. At McKesson, you could really see the passion that people had for making a difference in other people’s lives, something that resonates with me. Overall the tour was a great way to get to know new members in a smaller setting as well as learn about what different industries have to offer.” — Casey Li

AMA members at Adobe“The corporate tour experience was wonderful. Before I went on this tour, I had never been to a successful corporate office or had the behind the scenes look that I received after this experience. I had never considered working at Adobe before the tour, but after it seems like a job that is very appealing to me. It helped me learn about opportunities and careers I’d enjoy that had never occurred to me before. It was great to get to hear from the panel at McKesson, they gave a lot of great advice that will stick with me for a long time.” — Rachel Yenofsky

“The professionals at McKesson had great advice regarding what to look for in a career. One of the panelists mentioned the analogy of picking a career like you would pick professors for classes in college. When we’re choosing classes, we always try to pick the best professors based on quality, whether we’ll actually learn something from the class, and if it will be a good overall experience. Deciding on a job position should be done in the same way. Rather than choosing a job based on simply the job description, the professionals at McKesson emphasized the importance of choosing a position that forces us to be better and more innovative than we were before. Overall, I had a great experience on the tour and am endlessly thankful for the opportunities and connections I’ve gained through AMA.” — Marisa

“As a freshman, I enjoyed seeing what different opportunities and experiences lie ahead for me in terms of my education at Cal Poly, and my experience in certain fields in the workforce. What really impressed me in all three of these companies was the amount of Cal Poly graduates they hire, along with their high praises of the preparedness of Cal Poly alums. During these tours, I was quite pleased to see how business and marketing could be applied to such a variety of fields, from healthcare to mobile games to software, and many more.” — Tali Pilip

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.

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

Alumni Spotlight: Molly Holcomb

Molly Holcomb

When Orfalea College of Business alumna Molly Holcomb (nee Roberts) was an undergraduate at Cal Poly, she never expected to find a career in the financial sector. But the 2006 business administration graduate is thriving in the professional world as director of marketing and communications at Xceed Financial Credit Union, a full-service financial institution that manages more than $1.2 billion in assets.

With a concentration in marketing and a minor in wine and viticulture, Holcomb began her career managing client accounts at Pacific Communications Group. In 2008, she joined Aerospace Federal Credit Union as a marketing manager tasked with the opportunity to build a marketing department almost entirely from scratch.

“I was hired to start their first in-house marketing department from the ground up,” Holcomb says. “It required a lot of trial and error and thinking outside the box, but it was a really great learning experience. After a few years of proven success, I was promoted to vice president and asked to attend monthly meetings with the board of directors — a great feat at any age, but especially while still in my 20s.”

After seven years with Aerospace Federal Credit Union, she joined Xceed Financial Credit Union, where she works to achieve similar growth initiatives but on a much larger scale.

“When I sat in my classes at Cal Poly, I never thought that I would be marketing financial products — ever!” Holcomb says. “It’s very different from marketing typical consumer goods; it forces you to be creative. Personal finance is not as sexy as the latest fashion trends or electronic gadgets, so you have to find new ways to capture your audience.”

Holcomb says that Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy was essential to her success at Cal Poly and beyond. She remembers the excitement of her hands-on senior project experience, working with Professor Lynn Metcalf to fundraise and deliver wheelchairs to those in need in Belize.

“I think that philosophy and the way Cal Poly encourages students to get hands-on experience is key,” Holcomb says. “The knowledge I gained in my senior project classes, in the American Marketing Association, and in classes that had outreach components to businesses in the community provided a great foundation for transitioning into the workforce after graduation.”

Even today, Holcomb feels the Cal Poly spirit all around her. She had the chance to work alongside Cal Poly alumnus Huong Halpin (Statistics, ’01) and still promotes Learn by Doing as a standout quality in the workforce.

“I regularly reference Learn by Doing. As someone who now hires people on a regular basis, I know that hands-on experience definitely sets candidates apart.”

Holcomb urges students about to begin their professional careers to get involved outside of the classroom and be open to new experiences that come their way.

“Just think outside the box. Travel, join a club outside of your major, attend lectures from visiting professionals and alumni, and network through your professors. I knew nothing about credit unions when I graduated, but there are some really great opportunities for students who are willing to look at smaller companies to get their start. It just requires a little more effort to research and find out who they are.”