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Download the application form.


The Ravi K. and Amalia Sawhney Creative Excellence Award—a cash award of $10,000—will be awarded to recognize and celebrate the creative achievements and professional promise of a graduating senior in the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication.  The primary goal of the award is to help launch the professional career of an outstanding graduating senior.  


Seniors who will graduate in Summer and Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 from the six departments of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication may apply for The Ravi K. and Amalia Sawhney Creative Excellence Award if the accumulative GPA at the start of the student’s final semester is 3.0 or higher.

Annual Award

$10,000 and trophy designed by RKS

Special Instructions

This award will be paid to the recipient from the CSUN Foundation on or after July 1, 2014. The award is taxable income. Recipients will be required to complete an IRS form W9.

Selection Process

Step 1: The Dean of the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media, and Communication will invite the College’s six department chairs to identify qualifying seniors in their respective departments.  The chairs will invite those students to apply for the award by submitting the following materials to the chair:

  • One-page application form with the signature of a faculty sponsor
  • Resume
  • Portfolio of creative work
  • Five-year career plan following graduation (maximum 250 words)

Step 2: Each chair will review his or her students’ materials, weighing portfolios and plans with equal consideration and recommend up to three candidates to the Dean’s Office.

Step 3: A jury will review candidates, identify three finalists and select the award recipient.

Award Recipient Obligations

In addition to composing and mailing a thank you letter to the Sawhneys, the award recipient must commit to speaking to a class of MCCAMC students to share his or her experiences since graduating and winning the award once at the end of each of the two spring semesters following the award (2015 and 2016). The recipient’s home department will coordinate these visits.



  • Eligible graduating seniors with 3.0+ GPAs are identified by department chairs.

January 31

  • Department chairs invite eligible students to apply by filling out an application and submitting a resume, portfolio and five-year plan.

March 7

  • Deadline to submit applications are Department Chairs. 

March 14

  • Chairs recommend a maximum of three candidates from each department to the final jury.
  • The jury reviews applications and selects three finalists, who may be interviewed before the recipient is selected.
  •  Final award decisions are announced by the end of the month.
  •  Press releases are sent from the University and RKS.


  • The Ravi K. and Amalia Sawhney Creative Excellence Award recipient is announced at Commencement.
  • The Dean will host a luncheon honoring the recipient, his or her parents or a spouse and the Sawhneys.  


Ravi K. Sawhney has spent more than thirty years in product design and technology innovation. As founder and CEO of RKS, he has developed solutions for clientele in diverse industries, incubated companies, created licensed products, assembled a high-caliber team of colleagues and accumulated accolades recognizing the team’s hard work. RKS focuses on the belief that “it’s not how you feel about the design or experience, but rather how it makes you feel about yourself,” which has helped RKS consistently develop human-focused solutions for clients representing healthcare, consumer packaged goods, appliances, housewares, sustainability solutions, entertainment/audio, consumer electronics and lifestyle accessories. Recently, Sawhney led the firm’s efforts to deliver a game-changer in the field of DNA sequencing, to help the blind to better see the modern world with a new optimized smart phone and to introduce a revolution in live sound for performing musicians.

Sawhney invented the Psycho-Aesthetics® design methodology, which Harvard Business Press explored as a business school case study. Psycho-Aesthetics® is the focus of Predictable Magic, co-authored by Sawhney and published by Wharton School Publishing in 2010. Sawhney is a Fellow in the Industrial Design Society of America (IDSA) and received an honorary Ph.D. from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. He lectures around the world at conferences and prominent design and business schools. Sawhney is also a contributor to FastCoDesign, and Core77.  He is the innovator/Jury Chair emeritus of IDSA’s Catalyst case program, championing design’s power to effect positive change in business, in lives and throughout the world.