The Pennsylvania State University

School of Visual Arts

Penn State School of Visual Arts Student’s Waterpark Design Earns Him PGAV Destinations Scholarship

Andrew Reiff Image

Penn State School of Visual Arts senior Andrew Reiff is the 2014 recipient of the PGAV Destinations Spot Experiential Scholarship for his design of a waterpark. The first-of-its-kind scholarship was launched in spring 2013 and challenges U.S. college students to design a destination based upon one of seven unique environmental concepts, from a solar-powered research station in the Antarctic to a new home for Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdales. Winners receive an all-expenses paid trip to an attraction designed by PGAV Destinations, a leader in designing and developing theme parks, aquariums and other unique destinations.

Reiff’s submission envisioned an immersive waterpark called “Appalachian Creeks.” In his narrative, Andrew described a town founded by visionaries to bring fresh water to those without access that was eventually converted into an engaging waterpark attraction. His multiple renderings depicted individual rides, park layouts and a sophisticated demonstration of the kind of thinking that goes into exceptional destination design. His focus was bridging the gap between spectators and the participating riders.

“Andrew went above and beyond just envisioning a wild water ride,” said Ned Diestelkamp, PGAV vice president and head of the scholarship review panel. “He showed a deep level of thinking about the guest experience from all angles; considered park signage, basing it on creative storytelling; and demonstrated really impressive technical sophistication.”

Reiff was given the choice of visiting PGAV-designed Discovery Cove, Space Shuttle Atlantis, Table Rock at Niagara Falls, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, or the Georgia Aquarium, and chose Busch Gardens.

Reiff will graduate in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Design in Interdisciplinary Digital Studio. A Dean’s List scholar and previous employee of Cru (Campus Crusade for Christ International) and Walt Disney World, he is a member of the Themed Entertainment Association and International Association of Amusement Parks, and is a self-proclaimed theme park enthusiast, most notably a roller coaster junkie. After graduation, he hopes to begin his career in the themed entertainment industry as a 3D visualization artist.

“It’s such an honor to be the scholarship recipient this year,” said Reiff. “As an artist and as a future creative individual in the themed entertainment industry, I’m so honored and I appreciate it so much.”

For Reiff’s full Spot Experiential Scholarship submission, please visit PGAV Destinations’ blog. For more on PGAV Destinations, visit

Photograph provided by Leighton Hajicek


Appalacian Creeks Water Them Park Design by Andrew Reiff