Alyssa Lee Harben

Alyssa Harben

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Academic Specialist
School of Packaging



Alyssa is an Academic Specialist at the School of Packaging. Alyssa’s research interests are centered on human-packaging interactions, the communication function of packaging, packaging history, and packaging for sustainability. Her dissertation, titled, “Optimizing OTC Labels for Older Adults: Empirical Evaluation of Labels Designed to Provide Older Users the Information They Teed to Minimize Adverse Drug Events” focused on objective evaluation of OTC label formats by older adults. In addition to her disciplinary research, Alyssa is also an active scholar of packaging education, regularly conducting teaching as research projects evaluating the effects of pedagogical choices on students’ sense of belonging and development of learning communities in packaging classrooms. Current projects are investigating improvement of the labeling of OTC medications, sustainability labeling of food products, and sustainability and healthcare product-packaging systems.


  • PhD Packaging, Michigan State University, School of Packaging, expected 2021
  • M.S. in Packaging, Michigan State University, School of Packaging, 2017
  • B.S. in Business Administration, concentration Consumer Packaging Solutions, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 2015

 Instructional Activity

  • PKG 101
    • Course Description: Packaging systems, materials and forms and their relationship to the needs and wants of society.
  • PKG 480
    • Course Description: History and development of packaging laws and regulations. Relationships among law, government regulation and commercial regulation. Effect of current laws and regulations on packaging.

Research focus:

Alyssa is a part of the HUB team with Dr. Laura Bix. HUB, which stands for Healthcare, Universal Design, and Biomechanics is a research group focused on improving health outcomes through packaging. Alyssa is primarily interested in research focused on the interface between people and packaging, specifically within the product category of over-the-counter medications. 

For more information about her work please visit