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Graphic Communications Management Team Wins Award in Phoenix Challenge

From left are EKU team members Dylan Lakes, Cynthiana; Catherine Thompson, Versa

A team of Eastern Kentucky University Graphic Communications Management students won first place in the research category at the Phoenix Challenge: International Collegiate Flexo Skills Competition on April 27 in San Diego, Calif.

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 design proposals for a local music or arts festival of narrow web flexographically printed labels and/or packaging to be used for concession food items to be sold at the event, as well as a promotional piece. The sustainability of the items was also to be considered, as “the amount of waste could be large.” 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; Catherine Thompson, Versailles; Nichole Arbino, Cincinnati; Alex Carson, Falmouth; and Dawn Plunkett, Crittenden.

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). The EKU team met with the coordinators of the Richmond Jubilo Festival and sought rebranding ideas. Three designs were chosen after a large number of proposals. Those designs were then uploaded to the EKU Graphic Communications Facebook page for voting by interested parties. Once a final design was chosen, students began to create the packaging that would be printed for the competition. Considerable research went into specifications for print, FDA requirements for food packaging and other important considerations.

Eight other institutions participated in the competition. They included overall winner Ryerson University from Canada, Excellence in Concept winner California Polytechnic State University, Excellence in Graphics and Execution winner Clemson, Western Michigan University, Illinois State University, University of Central Missouri, Central Piedmont Community College and Wakesha County Technical College.

“This is only the third 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 four 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.”

The EKU team also presented its work on May 2 in the College of Business and Technology Capstone Presentation. Each of the six departments in the college presented work that was done in association with their classes. Presentations were judged by outside judges, and the Graphic Communications Management students won first place for the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology.

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Published on May 08, 2013

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