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Graphic Communications Management students participate in Phoenix Challenge

(l to r) Dylan Lakes, Jessica Slusher, Jordan Burke, Devin Beech, Drew Tackett

A team of Eastern Kentucky University Graphic Communications Management students traveled to Baltimore to participate in the Phoenix Challenge: International Collegiate Flexo Skills Competition on April 26.

The Flexo Skills Competition is a year-long competition for 2- and 4-year programs teaching flexographic printing as a part of their curriculum. Flexography uses a photopolymer plate to image paper, film or other substrate.

Teams were presented with the opportunity to work with a charity, nonprofit or company, helping them rebrand, promote, label or package. The team was to produce a minimum of two and maximum of three flexographically-printed products, at least one with a scannable QR code. The competition is judged in four categories: research, concept, execution and graphics, with winners in each category and an overall winner.

EKU Graphic Communications Management students who participated were: Dylan Lakes, Cynthiana; Jessica Slusher, Somerset; Jordan Burke, Louisville; Devin Beech, Lexington; and Drew Tackett, Hagerhill. This is Lakes' second trip to the Phoenix Challenge. He was a member of the 2013 EKU team that took first place in the research category at the Phoenix Challenge: International Collegiate Flexo Skills Competition in San Diego, Calif.

The research category was broken into depth of research (10 points), breadth of research (10), citations and sources (10), use of industry resources (15) and market research (40).

Eleven institutions participated in the competition. They included overall winner California Polytechnic State University; Excellence in Concept, Research, Graphic and Execution winner University of Central Missouri; Appalachian State University; Clemson University; Wakesha County Technical College; Illinois State University; Ryerson University; Central Piedmont Community College; EKU; and Millersville University.

“This is only the fourth year that EKU has participated in this competition, and now we rank with the best,” Dr. David W. Dailey, professor of applied engineering and technology, said.

“We received our press about five years ago in a transfer from Gateway Community and Technical College when their program closed. We offered our first course, GCM 318, Flexographic Printing, in Spring 2012. We had covered flexographic printing in our classes, but students were unable to have hands-on application until just a few years ago. By achieving this honor, the EKU program steps up to show that we can compete with the major programs in the country. This will also enable us to add to our software, supplies and equipment through donations from companies in the industry.”

Published on April 28, 2014

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