MU graphic communication students ‘Wrap Up’ packaging competition

The student team of Drew Kramer, Bryan Parrish, and Dan Sparkes took top honors with the team of Erin Sensenig and Nolan Myers coming in a close second.

Kaitlin Specht
News Writer

On February 20, 2013, two teams of Millersville University students from the Department of Applied Engineering, Safety & Technology won first and second place from the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation’s (ICPF) 14th annual International Careers in Corrugated Packaging & Display Teleconference. First place went to the team of Daniel Sparkes, Bryan Parrish, and Drew Kramer for their “Pirate’s Plunder – Dual Purpose Display,” where their prize was $1,000. Second place went to the team of Erin Sensenig and Nolan Myers for their “Pirate’s Plunder – A Treasure of a Mix,” where their prize was $750. Third place went to the student team from Clemson University with a prize for $500.
The Millersville University student teams developed their package solutions as part of a Graphic Communication course titled “Packaging & Specialty Printing.” Last fall, both teams competed in the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) student design competition in order to qualify for the “Best of the Best” competition. Dr. Mark Snyder, Associate Professor, mentioned how, “As a school that has received funding from ICPF, we participate annually in the AICC student design competition and the ICPF ‘Careers in Corrugated’ teleconference.”
“There’s two rounds to the whole thing; the first round, Erin and Nolan won first place in two categories, and we won second and third place; that’s what got us into the competition,” said Daniel Sparkes, Senior.

The student team of Drew Kramer, Bryan Parrish, and Dan Sparkes took top honors with the team of Erin Sensenig and Nolan Myers coming in a close second.
The student team of Drew Kramer, Bryan Parrish, and Dan Sparkes took top honors with the team of Erin Sensenig and Nolan Myers coming in a close second.

Each team was required to explain their packages planned objectives, structural development, design challenges and other information. This had to be created as a five-minute video as part of the judging criteria for the entire ICPF competition. These videos were meant to emphasize each team’s ability to present their packages concepts.
“It was not a simple process,” Drew Kramer said, “The initial designs we can up with we did not end up with and then broke off and did more focus with proficiency with different segments of the design.”
“We all collaborated with the design,” said Sparkes, “Drew created a lot of graphics and Bryan and I did more of the structural design. It pretty much took all semester.”
Michigan State University in East Lansing hosted the teleconference in which industry panelists Jay Carmen, President of StandFast Packaging, and Brian Walker, Manager of Technical Services & Product Design at Green Bay Packaging, addressed “The Business of Corrugated Packaging & Display.” The program and panel presentation was moderated by Jennifer Walker, Prepress Engineer at Mid-Atlantic Packaging, Ann Recke, Corporate Sales Representative at Landaal Packaging, and Brett Kirkpatrick, Chief Operating Officer at Bay Cities. There was a round of live questions for all participating colleges, and the conference lasted about two hours. “The experience I got out of it was the real world application to what we were learning in class,” said Kramer.
There were over 450 packaging participants from all over the United States, which included: graphic communications and design; marketing and sales, supply chain management; and other business students and faculty from 17 different colleges and universities (including Millersville University). Landaal Packaging gave a video presentation outlining ICPF resources in connecting students with corrugated packaging firms. Also included in the teleconference was ICPF’s annual “Best of the Best,” student design presentation competition. The top three teams that passed the first round were then asked to “show, tell and sell” their winning entries by explaining the objective, and research conducted, design and other background. “The first level was done purely just sending our package in, but that wasn’t a part of the teleconference,” said Kramer, “Ours, the other group and third place, we were able to present our five-minute presentation to sell our design concepts to the judges there at the teleconference.”
Sparkes explained how the plan was to design a package for a 6 oz. retail display package for the design challenge. They had to write down ideas as to what they had to accomplish and from there used a CAD program to design the package.
ICPF’s mission is to enhance corrugated packaging and graphic design programs to, “achieve state-of-the-art technology and equipment at colleges and universities,” and promote corrugated as a career choice. ICPF was created by the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters (AICC) and the Fibre Box Association (FBA) and launched its first online corrugated curricula in spring of 2007. According to Dr. Mark Snyder, Millersville University received a matching funds grant from ICPF in 2009 that was approximately $80,000. “The grant enabled us to acquire equipment that allowed us to introduce a ‘Packaging & Specialty Printing course in our Graphic Communication’ curriculum,” Snyder explained.
Snyder continued to mention how, “As part of the matching funds grant, we acquired a plotter table (referred to as a samplemaker) for creating package prototypes. The samplemaker cuts out package structure dielines from corrugated board and paperboard materials. Using additional matching funds, we purchased a wide-format inkjet printer, a laminator and other peripheral equipment that enable us to design and produce package prototypes.”
Kramer said both teams were able to apply what they were learning about packaging for the competition. According to Kramer, “it was different than an internship,” and how, “we took the content and applied it to the people that were actually in the working world.”
Dr. Mark Snyder is the Faculty Advisor and Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Engineering Safety & Technology. Drew Kramer, Bryan Parrish, and Dan Sparkes are all seniors majoring in Technology Education. Erin Senenig, senior, and Nolan Myers, sophomore, are both majoring in AETM, Graphic Communication.
To view Sensenig and Myers video for the ICPF competition, please visit:
To watch Kramer, Parrish, and Sparkes video ‘trailer’, please visit:
For more information about the Millersville University Graphic Communication option, please visit:
To view information about the ICPF event, please visit:
To view the 2012 AICC Student Design Competition results, please visit: