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Appalachian’s Morgan Batley wins ‘Best of the Best’ for her tailgate party pack

By John Craft

BOONE, N.C.—A tailgate party pack designed by Morgan Batley, a senior graphic arts and imaging technology major from Mooresville, has been named “Best of the Best” by the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF). The honor includes a cash prize of $500.

View larger imageSenior graphic arts and imaging technology major Morgan Batley presents her “Party Pack for App State Homecoming” during the live teleconference Feb. 23. Photo by John Craft

Batley’s “Party Pack for App State Homecoming” had placed first in the graphic design category of the 2016 Student Packaging Design Competition of the AICC, the Independent Packaging Association. That win qualified her to enter the pack into a best-of-the-best contest that took place this past February as part of the annual ICPF-sponsored Careers in Corrugated Teleconference.

She was given five minutes to sell her design during a live telecast on Feb. 23. The audience consisted of more than 500 faculty and students from schools across the country, as well as a panel of professionals in the packaging and design field. Her competitors included student teams from California Polytechnic State University and Millersville University.

“It was a huge honor to be able to represent Appalachian in this competition,” Batley said. “The live presentation experience was definitely a change, since I had to actually sell my product to a panel of judges. It was definitely intimidating to have to describe and sell my product in five minutes, but I was told that this was my best presentation yet.”

Batley first designed “Party Pack for App State Homecoming” at Appalachian for Dr. Mandy Wu’s Introduction to Packaging class in spring 2016. Wu challenged her students to design for the AICC competition and told the class she would submit the best project to the competition’s committee.

“Dr. Wu deserves a tremendous amount of credit for mentoring Morgan towards mastering the ArtiosCAD software and outputting her designs using the 3D sample maker cutting table,” said Dr. John R. Craft, professor of graphic arts and imaging technology at Appalachian. “Without Dr. Wu’s guidance and dedication in teaching Morgan, this award would not be possible for our program.”

Batley hopes to secure a patent for the design of “Party Pack.” She is in talks with the Kannapolis Intimidators, a minor league baseball team, to sell the pack in its stadium during home games. She eventually wants a packaging company to begin production of multiple packs.

“I’ve gotten numerous requests for (packs) from colleagues, friends and families,” Batley said.

Students and faculty in the graphic arts and imaging technology (GAIT) program at Appalachian participate in the teleconference, which is hosted by Michigan State University, on an annual basis. In addition to the live competition, this year’s event included a panel discussion of career opportunities in the packaging and design industry. Students and faculty from 18 universities, including the University of Florida, Virginia Tech and Clemson University, took part in the telecast.

The GAIT program is housed in Appalachian’s Department of Art. ValueColleges.com included Appalachian at No. 15 in its ranking of top 20 U.S. schools with academic programs in packaging, which is among the world’s largest industries. The Top 20 Best Packaging Programs ranking relied on three main data points: affordability, reputation and return on investment. The website said Appalachian’s takes “an innovative approach to packaging science” with its Bachelor of Science degree in graphic arts and imaging technology. “Combining art, technology, and management, the GAIT program prepares students for a wide range of career paths and incorporates a community and global engagement component to foster responsibility and service. It’s everything Appalachian is renowned for, and a 21st century value,” the website said.

Appalachian was the only North Carolina school on the list. Other schools included California Polytechnic State University, Missouri University of Science & Technology, Purdue University – Northwest, University of Florida, Virginia Tech, Rutgers University, Dunwoody College of Technology, Rochester Institute of Technology and Clemson University.

About the Department of Art

One of seven departments housed in the College of Fine and Applied Arts, the Department of Art at Appalachian State University prepares students to explore art, identity, expression and creative problem-solving while challenging them to go beyond their previous limits by discovering new connections to culture. The department offers degrees in art and visual culture, art education, graphic design, studio art, commercial photography and graphic arts and imaging technology, with minors in art history, studio art, commercial photography and graphic arts and imaging technology.

About Appalachian State University

Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

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