Christina Casci

The Polymers and Coatings Science Program in the College of Science and Math and the graphic communication department in the College of Liberal Arts have joined forces to create a big opportunity for the students interested in the polymers and coatings industry.

“Right now, it is a fund drive,” said Harvey Levenson, the head of the graphic communications department. “We are basically pooling our resources to generate private funds.”

The reason for this combination is the similarities between the programs in each department, Levenson said. They all have similar interests in the field.

The graphic communication department has a lab to learn about coatings, paper making and printing. Currently, the polymers and coatings program is only a concentration under some majors in the College of Science and Math and a graduate program at Cal Poly.

“There is no other program in the country like this,” said Raymond Fernando, director of the polymers and coatings program. “The combination will be very strong.”

Coatings are what give brochures their sleek, glossy look. The graphic communication students focus on how to apply coatings while the Polymers and Coatings Science Program focuses on the actual coating makeup.

The Polymers and Coatings Science Program wants to put its funds toward three modern labs that will be 1,000 square feet with a conference room for some classes, offices for personnel and research space in the new Science and Math building that they are planning, Fernando said.

The department of graphic communication doesn’t plan on building anything. It only wants to improve upon what it already has, Levenson said.

“The most important thing in all of this is that students will be involved at every level,” he said. “Students will benefit from this and learn from this. It will almost be like an internship.”

Not only will students benefit from this fund raising, but so will the faculty, Levenson said, noting that it will be a center for professional development for them.

The polymers and coatings industry is in much higher demand than ever before, Fernando said. “We cannot keep up with the rising demand.”

Currently, the fund-raising process has reached $2.5 million, but they need to make $3.5 million by the end of this year.

Levenson said this is an international issue because digital technology has introduced new ways of printing and kinds of paper.

“We figured that we have so many bright people, bright professors, bright students, learning this stuff that we should get together and pool our resources,” he said. “This should show that Cal Poly is focusing on something people need.”

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