Cal Poly Graphic Communication Institute

Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department Forms International Alliances

In a move to internationalize its academic program and reach out to industry, Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department has formed alliances for students, faculty and industry exchanges groups in Canada, China, and Germany.

In Canada, an alliance was formed with NorQuest College in Edmonton, Alberta, to bring graphic communication educational programs and training to western Canada and to the Pacific Northwest of the United States. NorQuest College, with an enrollment of about 12,000 students, has a graphic arts program focusing on print media.

The partnership will be headed by Cal Poly graphic communication Professor Ken Macro and NorQuest’s Josh Ramsbottom, coordinator of the college’s Centre for Excellence in Print Media. The partnership will facilitate faculty exchanges that allow Cal Poly faculty to teach at NorQuest and NorQuest faculty to conduct research at Cal Poly. It will also provide NorQuest students with opportunities to transfer to Cal Poly.

The partnership will also allow faculty from both institutions to collaboratively consult with industry; work together to publish books and articles in peer-reviewed journals; and hold seminars and workshops addressing topics such as augmented reality, color management, elimination of waste in graphic communication, graphic communication production, human resource challenges, large format printing, lean management and manufacturing, MIS JDF, and variable data printing.

“Our relationship with NorQuest is a step toward Cal Poly’s initiative to enhance diversity and ‘internationalize’ the university’s student body and faculty development,” said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department.

Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Department has long collaborated with educational institutions and industry in China, providing inkjet and toner testing services as well as exchanging faculty for teaching and research. Professors Penny Bennett and Xiaoying Rong have led the department’s involvement with China.

Most recently, faculty members have traveled to China to speak at conferences and conduct classes at Chinese universities. Cal Poly students have also traveled with faculty to Beijing and Shanghai.

Professors from Shanghai Publishing and Printing College, Beijing Institute of Graphic Communication, and Wuhan University have come to Cal Poly for up to a year to study and do research.

“China has much to offer in the international graphic communication industry,” Levenson said, “and collaboration between Cal Poly and universities in China provides mutual benefits for students and faculty from both nations.

Under the leadership of graphic communication Professor Malcolm Keif, the department recently signed an exchange program agreement with the Munich University of Applied Sciences. The first German student will join Cal Poly in September. Soon after, Cal Poly graphic communication students will study in Munich.

“The two institutions share a commitment to deepening the international dimension of their activities,” Keif said, “and recognize the value of providing faculty and students with international opportunities and encouraging cooperation between their respective academic departments.”

Professor Ken Macro recently visited HochSchule Der Media in Stuttgart to discuss collaboration initiatives with Cal Poly, and the Graphic Communication Department is a partner with some of the world’s leading graphic communication vendors headquartered in Germany – particularly in Heidelberg.

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