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University Teams Think Outside the Box on Student Design Challenge

Each year, the Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) Student Design Challenge showcases the creative talent, design skills and innovative approaches of students, helping foster awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging with the next generation of packaging design decision-makers.

This year 30 teams participated. Their challenge was to design an innovative packaging toolkit for educators as part of the Trees into Cartons, Cartons into Trees (TICCIT®) program, which engages third through fifth graders in an environmental and educational activity, highlighting the renewability and sustainability of paper and paperboard packaging.

The challenge was more than a contest. The winning design will help make a real-world impact.

Student designers from Ryerson University won first place and their design will be put into production and adapted for use in the TICCIT® program. Congratulations to the winning teams, and all the participants!

2020 Students Design Challenge Winners

1st Place: Ryerson University Team: Dorotea Bajic and Laura Rendell-Dean Advisors: Natalia Lumby and Jay Park

2nd Place: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Team: Rachel Goldberg, Luke Hallick, Brianna Johnson, Allison Kunz, Jenna Robinson Advisors: Carlos Diaz-Acosta, Lorrie Frear, Emily Barclay

3rd Place: Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) Team: Valeria Bornacelli, Michelle Kim, Ashley Markiewicz, Margaret Seleznev Advisors: Sandra Krasovec, Adam Straus

Honorable Mention: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Team: Daeya Shealy, Erica Boyd, Anna Schum-Houck, Sierra Babcock Advisors: Carlos Diaz-Acosta, Lorrie Frear, Emily Barclay

The 20th annual PPA Student Design Challenge will kick off soon. Students will design packaging for a hunger relief organization that enhances the recipients’ experience and can be used for storage. The deadline for submissions is Friday, June 4, 2021. The challenge packet will be available in the coming weeks at

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recyclable resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative —Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper