Outlook Magazine - Fall 2020

ore than 40 years ago, Great Northern Corp. hired its first UW-Stout graduate. Packaged for success Great Northern Corp. investing in leading-edge classroom initiative to advance innovation M

UW-Stout is an ideal partner for Great Northern, Davis said. “As a polytechnic university, UW-Stout is committed to an experiential learning environment. I can’t imagine a better learning environment in which to bring two disciplines together to simulate the real-world challenges of creative problem-solving.”

“Since then, Stout grads have held virtually every job within Great Northern,” said CEO John Davis. “There’s always been a special connection between our two institutions based upon our shared values: work hard, have fun, be creative, respect everyone and do the right thing.” That connection, which currently includes 30 UW-Stout alumni at Great Northern, has become even stronger. A new collaboration will provide upper level design and packaging students an opportunity to work in cross-disciplinary teams to solve a problem or complete a project or competition. The UW-Stout Great Northern Corporation Collaboration Experience course is a four-year pilot project. The course is slated to be offered in the spring 2021 semester. Great Northern, which manufactures packaging and retail displays, is providing $100,000 in funding. The course will be co-taught by Robert Meisner, associate professor and packing program director, and Nagesh Shinde, professor of graphic design and interactive media in the School of Art and Design. It’s a “multidisciplinary design and packaging class that replicates the way we work with our customers on design projects,” Davis said. “The students will also learn that teamwork and problem- solving skills are critical in any collaborative effort and that these skills are highly valued by employers.” Great Northern has locations in Appleton, Chippewa Falls and Racine and employs more than 1,700 people nationwide. Meisner and Shinde said the course would not have been possible without Great Northern. “This collaborative project will allow students to appreciate each other’s unique skill sets and compromise in order to develop a package that meets the needs of the customer, just like in industry.” They are excited to work on a groundbreaking education experience. “Robert and I are most excited to investigate and research emerging packaging and retail-experiences for Great Northern and our professions,” Shinde said. “We are looking forward to examining and exploring emerging human-centered, design-driven solutions for the future with Great Northern. This course is a perfect example of why our campus is internationally recognized as a leader in higher education.”

Packaging class

Design Class

John Davis (Great Northern); Nagesh Shinde and Robert Meisner (UW-Stout)


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