Press Releases

Paperboard Packaging Alliance Announces 2019 Student Design Challenge Winners

WASHINGTON – The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) announced the winners of its 2019 Student Design Challenge, a competition designed to foster awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging with university educators and the next generation of packaging design decision-makers. The winning teams presented their designs to executives from top North American paperboard packaging manufacturers at the Paperboard Packaging Council’s (PPC) annual fall meeting in Minneapolis, Minn.

Students were challenged to design packaging for a gaming system that enhances the unboxing experience and can be used while playing the game. 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. All submitted designs can be viewed on the PPA Website.

“The PPA Student Design Challenge provides students an invaluable, real-world product development experience that results in a tangible package to add to their professional portfolio,” said American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Heidi Brock. “It is energizing to see young designers contributing to paperboard packaging innovations through teamwork, determination and creativity.”

“The Student Design Challenge offers tremendous opportunities for participants to hone their design skills, perfect a product and network with top industry executives,” said Ben Markens, PPC President. “PPC strives to nurture the next generation of packaging professionals, and we are delighted to support the Challenge and all it has to offer.”

2019 PPA Student Design Challenge Winners

1st Place: California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly)
Entry name: Party Box
Team: Sam Baber, Morgan McKean, Vance Perkins & Samantha Phan
Advisors: Javier de la Fuente, Irene Carbonell & Mary LaPorte

2nd Place: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Entry Name: XBOX One S Cyberpunk
Team: Monica Steelman, Torrey Dickman, Chris Flemming & Kelly Fellner
Advisors: Lorrie Frear, Carlos Diaz-Acosta & Emily Barclay

3rd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Entry Name: Nintendo Switch Essential Trunk
Team: Jaeho Sohn, Monica Kim & Naeun (Erin) Lee
Advisors: Sandra Krasovec & Adam Straus

Winning student teams received a cash prize, and their respective schools received a cash award to support academic programs. First place: $5,500 to the team, $5,000 to the school; second place: $3,300 to the team, $3,000 to the school; and third place: $1,650 to the team, $1,500 to the school.

View “The Judges' Take” videos featuring the 2019 judges discussing what inspires them and why they encourage students to pursue careers in packaging.

2020 Student Design Challenge
The 2020 challenge is to design a packaging toolkit for educators to be distributed by the TICCIT® (Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees) program and engage third through fifth graders in an environmental and educational activity that highlights the renewability and sustainability of paper and paperboard packaging.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 5, 2020.

To download the challenge packet, visit


About the Paperboard Packaging Alliance
The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) is a joint initiative of the American Forest & Paper Association and the Paperboard Packaging Council. The mission is to promote the benefits of paperboard packaging to influence preference for these materials in packaging design and selection. PPA is a proud supporter of collegiate packaging and design programs across the U.S. and Canada, donating thousands of dollars in scholarships, materials, and classroom resources each year. Alliance membership includes companies representing the full range of mills and converters engaged in the production of paperboard packaging. Additional information about PPA can be found at

About the American Forest & Paper Association
The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

About the Paperboard Packaging Council
PPC is the leading industry association serving suppliers and converters of all forms of paperboard packaging. PPC works to grow, promote, and protect the paperboard packaging industry while providing its members with resources and tools to compete effectively and successfully in the marketplace. For more information, call 413.686.9191 or visit