PPA launched the Student Design Challenge (SDC) to foster university students’ and professors’ awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging.

Since 2004, the SDC has distributed more than $600,000 in cash awards to winners of the challenge and scholarships to students at participating schools.

Over the years, the SDC evolved to reflect the newest trends and practices in the paperboard packaging industry. Check out the challenge scenarios, winners and more below!

  • Fitbit and Amy's Kitchen participated as guest judges
  • 17th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design an interactive package for a fitness tracker that can be reused to store the product and allows customers to try on the product.
    • Schools: 14
    • Entries: 66
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: RIT - Stacey Yip, Andrea Shaver, Diana Elias, and MiMi Ace
      • 2nd Place: CalPoly - Nicolas Le, Julia McKeag, Konstantin Marowitz, and Cody Mindling
      • 3rd Place: RIT - Garret Chase, Jessica Belcher, Kaia Bolland, and Yunjing Jiao
2017
  • Barilla and General Mills participates as guest judges.
  • 12th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design an unconventional innovative premium package for dry goods food packaging. The package should contain a structural component that enhances its function and stands out on upscale grocery store shelves.
    • Schools: 16
    • Entries: 73:
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: University of Florida - Kyle Yeldon, Wilson Lam, Michelle Pollard, Kimberly Hafner, and Austin Pluskot.
      • 2nd Place: RIT - Nathan Gamson, Wentian Chen, Marina Solis, and Grace Milton
      • 3rd Place: Virginia Tech - Vina Le, Loc Pham, Anthony Tram, and Miguel Comparativo
2016
  • Hasbro Toy Company participates as guest judge
  • 11th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a limited edition innovative toy package that can also be reused as an interactive structure for the toy.
    • Schools: 10
    • Entries: 53
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Cal Poly - Alyssa Harben, Austin Turner, Michael Udinski, and Griffin Meinken
      • 2nd Place: FIT - Kaitlyn Dorrian, Jae Young Kim, Jessica Olavarria, and Ryan Prinz
      • 3rd Place: RIT - Jacqueline Moshier, Stephen Reed, Ellie Peters, Ashley Slaby, and Carly Rumpf
2015
timelinelogo
  • PPA conducts program evaluation with professors and alumni. Results show that student designs attract interest from top packaging companies and some students acquire packaging jobs prior to graduation.
  • Chowan University joins the program.
  • Unilever Packaging Engineer participates as guest judge.
  • 10th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design an innovative men’s cosmetic gift set package that can also be used as a merchandiser display.
    • Schools: 12
    • Entries: 59
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Pratt Institute - Paula Ip, Elizabeth Taurisani, and Amy Shun Yeh
      • 2nd Place: Pratt Institute - Hsiao-Han Chen, Inyoung Bae, Jia-Ru Lin, and Sungmin Kim
      • 3rd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Claudia Arisso, Moonhee Cho and Tracy Pellington
2014
timelinelogo
  • PPA’s mission and scope revised to primarily focus on facilitating the program.
  • Maryland Institute College of Arts (MICA) joins the program.
  • Mars Chocolate U.S. Senior Packaging Scientist participates as guest judge.
  • 9th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a creative and functional movie theater candy package and explain how it could be merchandised.
    • Schools: 13
    • Entries: 57
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Pratt Institute - Jennifer Ip, Elizabeth Taurisani, and Amy Shun Yeh
      • 2nd Place: Pratt Institute - Marina Brant, Renato Cerqueira, Maija Rozenfelde, and Jessica Vande Werken
      • 3rd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Daniela Maldanado, Shirley Dai, Samiel Laury, Carla Yuen, and Anna Cheung
  • The Responsible Package conducts millennial research on the use of paper-based packaging.
2013
timelinelogo
  • North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University, Pratt Institute and Ryerson University join the program.
  • 8th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a functional and creative package for a quick-serve chain kids’ meal, and address how the plan could be altered to serve an additional purpose.
    • Schools: 13
    • Entries: 65
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Rochester Institute of Technology - Katherine Bukys
      • 2nd Place: Pratt Institute - Jiawei Feng and Heegyum Kim
      • 3rd Place: Clemson University- Matthew Barber, Kyle McMurphy, and Dan Zold
2012
timelinelogo
  • 7th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a retail package for a smart phone.
    • Schools: 10
    • Entries: 43
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Shari Baitcher, Linda Conlin, Ryan Irven, Katie Klausner & Tim Mclaughlin
      • 2nd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Louis Annunziata, Liv Frederiksen, William Paybarah, and Mihaela Savu
      • 3rd Place: Clemson University- Daniel Hutcherson, Isaac Levin, Evan Funderburk, Brooks Patrick, and Calvin Hutto
2011
timelinelogo
  • Millersville University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) join the program.
  • 6th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a sustainable and marketable retail package for a decorative globe to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
    • Schools: 11
    • Entries: 50
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Michelle Jin, Ani Bijoyan, Carly Mankowski, Marissa Loiodice, and Zed Yasay
      • 2nd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Emily Ball, Stephanie Smith, Bridget Quinn, and Allison Braunstein
      • 3rd Place: Michigan State University - Alexandra Siciliano, Emily Wiggins, Jackie Doroshewitz, and Erin Sachau
2010
timelinelogo
  • 5th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a package for a set of financial planning DVDs.
    • Schools: 6
    • Entries: 26
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Rochester Institute of Technology - Lynsie Gibson and Zachary Mendoza
      • 2nd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Jacqueline Roll, Allessandra Greco, Nicole Nardi, and Hannah Nicoloa
      • 3rd Place: San Jose State University- Sayaka Uchida, Bradley Bussolini, Thura Lin, Derek Lam, and Zach Yambrach
2009
timelinelogo
  • Mohawk College and San Jose State University join the program.
  • 4th Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a package for a Christmas tree topper.
    • Schools: 7
    • Entries: 22
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Fashion Institute of Technology Cassie Garcia, Janine Gomez, Kei Hayashi, and Hiromi Tatsuta
      • 2nd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology Alexis Champa, Joyce Liao, Stefanie Stalder, and Samira Villamor
      • 3rd Place: Rochester Institute of Technology Pooja Ashokan, Breanna Dolan, Matthew Jenkins, Ragi Kota, and Shen Lin
2008
timelinelogo
  • An Instructor’s Guide to Designing in Paperboard” by SDC judge Richard E. Depaul is released to participating schools.
  • PPA sponsors Clemson University Packaging Jamboree event.
  • 3rd University Educators Paperboard Symposium
  • 3rd Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a single-serving sized package for a food item so it can be eaten on the go.
    • Schools: 5
    • Entries: 27
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: California Polytechnic State University - Brian Calcagno, Jesse Dundon, Brandt Haener, Angelica Li, and Steve Munio
      • 2nd Place: California Polytechnic State University - Rebecca Giordano, Parker Milhous, Erik Rheinisch, and Chris Hamblin
      • 3rd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Samantha Li, Anna Kolodina, Boyean (Kay) Suh, and Mayuko Hari
2007
timelinelogo
  • 2nd University Educators Paperboard Symposium
  • Michigan State University and Fashion Institute of Technology join the program.
  • 2nd Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a folding carton for breakfast cereal.
    • Schools: 5
    • Entries: 15
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Rochester Institute of Technology - Allison Bebee and Katie Palermo
      • 2nd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology - Danny Park, Katherine Scialabba, Alexy Shkolnik, Randi Teitel and Ya Ching-Yu
      • 3rd Place: California Polytechnic State University - Ryan Hill
2006
timelinelogo
  • PPA website paperboardpackaging.org launches.
  • 1st University Educators Paperboard Symposium co-hosted with MeadWestvaco (now WestRock). The symposium covers essential paperboard topics: grade structure, manufacturing, paperboard characteristics, packaging trends, and a tour of paperboard mill.
  • PPA holds “CEO Guest Lecture Series” at California Polytechnic State University, Michigan State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Massachusetts College of Arts, and Clemson University.
  • 1st Annual Student Design Challenge
    • Scenario: Design a paperboard promotional piece (also made of paperboard).
    • Schools: 6
      • California Polytechnic State University
      • Clemson University
      • Indiana State University
      • University of Cincinnati
      • Rochester Institute of Technology
      • University of Wisconsin-Stout
    • Entries: 36
    • Winners:
      • 1st Place: Rochester Institute of Technology - Jennifer Farrin, David Lickstein and Robin Matusik
      • 2nd Place: California Polytechnic State University - Lauren Bienenfeld
      • 3rd Place: California Polytechnic State University -Aaron Chan and Samuel Hsu
2005