Cal Poly Teams Place in National Student Packaging Design

Four interdisciplinary Cal Poly student teams were among the top award winners at the Paperboard Packaging Alliance 2017 Student Design Challenge, announced at PackExpo, an annual packaging industry conference held in Las Vegas on Sept. 25-27.

The 14th annual competition, which is open to universities throughout North America, seeks to foster awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging among educators and the next generation of packaging design decision-makers.

Students had to design interactive packaging for wearable fitness trackers that allows a consumer to try on the wristband and later reuse it to store the device. More than 60 student teams from 14 universities across the U.S. — including Clemson, Indiana, Michigan State, Rutgers, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Jose State and University of Wisconsin — submitted entries.

Cal Poly students from a variety of majors developed their entries as Learn by Doing projects during a series of packaging and design courses taught earlier this year.

Moov Now PillowThe university’s top entry earned second place for the “Moov Now” product, which featured 100-percent compostable and recyclable materials. The design was considered innovative for the product category because it used part of the packaging as a carrying case. The manufacturing process also employed efficient die lines that reduced material scrap. The design was created by industrial technology and packaging students Nicolas Le (San Jose) and Konstantine Marowitz (Culver City), business administration student Julia McKeag (San Rafael), and Cody Mindling (Santa Cruz), who is studying art and graphic design. The group was advised by packaging Professor Javier de la Fuente, packaging lecturer Irene Carbonell and art and design Professor Mary LaPorte.

Moov NowA second Cal Poly team’s design for the “Moov Now” product earned one of the two runners-up awards. The entry was the work of industrial technology and packaging majors Macintyre Peek (San Marcos) and Adrian Rico (San Luis Obispo), art and graphic design student Paul Guzman (Bay Area) and graphic communication major Amanda Ornelas (Torrance). de la Fuente, Carbonell and LaPorte advised the group.

Cal Poly projects also received two of the judge’s seven “shout out” honors.

“ReCord” was created by industrial technology and packaging student David Dixon (Novato), graphic communication student Jacob “JB” Berkowitz (San Luis Obispo), Recordart and graphic design student Jordon Gonzales (Pismo Beach) and Peter Jensch (Healdsburg), who is studying business administration. Faculty advisors included de la Fuente, Carbonell and LaPorte.

The “TriFit” package was created by graphic communication students Michaela Purcilly (San Luis Obispo), Leah Gilchrist (Santa Ana) and Hanna Crowley (South Pasadena) with industrial technology and packaging major Karan Singh (Los Angeles). The group was advised by graphic communication Associate Professor Collen Twomey.

Winners were chosen by a team of paperboard packaging industry professionals who rated submissions based on their response to the competition scenario, innovative structural and graphic design, functionality and the quality of the finished product. TriFitThe second-place team received a $3,000 to share among team members, and Cal Poly also received $3,000.

Cal Poly has placed highly in the competition since 2015 when student teams took first place. According to faculty, the teams’ interdisciplinary approach that fuses package design and branding has been key to a string of recent success in national competitions.

For more information on the competition and a full list of winners, visit

The Orfalea College of Business Leads Spring Break Trips Abroad

Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business led two student groups on international trips abroad during spring break. The excursions are part of the college’s push toward making international experience a key part of its career-readiness initiatives.

Students in CubaInformation systems Professor Barry Floyd led a cohort of 22 students on the college’s first official trip to Cuba. Throughout the week-long journey, students visited with business leaders in a variety of business sectors, including agriculture and art. Students attended a discussion on U.S./Cuban Relations lead by Paul Rodriguez from the University of Havana as well as a round-table discussion with Ricardo Torres, a macro-economist at the University of Havana, about the changing forces of Cuba’s economic structure. The group also took time for cultural immersion, from touring historical sites including Cuba’s most famous landscape, Valle de Vinales, to taking a salsa dance class. The trip coincided with President Obama’s visit to the nation as diplomatic relationships with the Unites States begin to ease. Director of Student Services Amy Carter and Advisor Katelyn O’Brien also led the trip with Professor Floyd.

Students in BrazilAt the same time, industrial technology and packaging Professors Ahmed Deif and Javier de la Fuente took a class of Cal Poly students to Florianoplois, Brazil. The excursion was part of BUS 304: Doing Business in Brazil, a course that looked closely at supply chains in the South American nation. Throughout winter quarter, 21 students studied different industries in the region; the trip allowed students to then visit major players in the supply chain in telecommunications, agriculture and healthcare. Students also embraced Brazilian culture on the tour by visiting an indigenous tribe and learning the samba with a local instructor.

These trips allowed students the opportunity to “learn by going” and see how the concepts they learned in class applied to the real world. The students not only saw how the local businesses were run, but they also got to immerse themselves in the local culture and hear from local business experts. As they toured historic landmarks and interacted with the locals, students were provided with the opportunity to learn and experience different cultures.

As the students return back to Cal Poly, they will carry with them the lessons they learned about business and local culture that will no doubt help them as they continue to pursue their degree and a career in business.

Cal Poly Student Teams Place High at National Packaging Design Competition

Ameristart Award Winning Designs

(Clockwise from top left) Contact Solution and Lens Case; Ergonomic Pill Bottle; EZ Pour Funnel; No Mess-Scara

Four Cal Poly student teams placed high in the recent Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP) AmeriStar Packaging Awards Competition.

The teams developed consumer packaging designs for health, beauty, pharmaceutical and other products through the Orfalea College of Business Packaging Fundamentals courses.

A Cal Poly team earned second place in the student competition for its design of an all-in-one contact lens case and solution bottle. The product was designed by business administration majors Kevin Chiu of Fremont, Rachel King of Granite Bay, Elaine Cohen of San Luis Obispo, and Rachel Berman of San Diego. In the design, the contact lens case sits directly above the bottle of solution, and a one-way straw delivers the solution to the lenses by simply squeezing the bottle.

Cal Poly students Mariah Barnum, a business administration major from Loomis; Tyler Beaty, a business administration major from San Diego; Arek Boloyan, an industrial technology major from El Cerrito; Scott Burbach, a business administration major from Mission Viejo; and Kathryn Cassidy, a graphic communications major from Santa Clarita, won third place for their redesign of a pill bottle that is both childproof and ergonomically designed for those with arthritis. By requiring palm strength to open, the bottle reduces stress on the wrist joint.

Two other teams from Cal Poly earned honorable mentions. Taylor Crump, a journalism major from Elk Grove, Rachel Day, a graphic communications major from Bonsall (San Diego County), Galen Dresser, a business administration major from San Luis Obispo, Sean Gorman, an industrial technology major from Atascadero, and Jonathan Han, an industrial technology major from Napa, developed the No-Mess-Scara, a flexible mascara bottle and wand that prevents clumps. Business students Aline Schmitz of Carlsbad, Jordan Sligh of Atascadero, Stephen Smail of Copperopolis (Calaveras County), Devadasi Stuart of San Luis Obispo, and Blake Tillery of McMinnville, Ore., also earned honorable mention for the EZ Pour Funnel, a sleeve-style plastic funnel built into the packaging of a standard motor oil bottle.

Cal Poly packaging Professors Javier de la Fuente and Koushik Saha advised the student teams throughout the year on their projects.