Cal Poly CLA News

The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

CLA Shoutouts

Check out our monthly roundup of faculty, staff, student and alumni accomplishments and news. Submit your news and stories here.


May 2024


Oceano (for seven generations) book cover
Oceano (for seven generations)

Art and design Associate Professor Lana Z Caplan published a monograph of photography with award-winning German art publisher Kehrer Verlag in December 2023. Caplan spent seven-years researching and collaborating with the community of Oceano, California and yak tityu tityu yak tiłhini Northern Chumash Tribal leadership, to produce a conceptual collection of histories from the Oceano Dunes. These are the dunes of Weston’s modernist photographs; of Cecil B. DeMille’s recently excavated and restored sphinxes from his 1923 Ten Commandments movie set, buried in the sand after filming; of the nearly lost Northern Chumash tribe; and of the — the artists, poets, nudists and mystics squatting in dune shacks in the 1920s-40s — who hosted Weston during his shooting trips; and of the 1.5 million ATV riders who visit each year.

The resulting book, Oceano (for seven generations), offers both an interrogation of photographic conventions regarding landscape and representation, a feminist response to the standard masculine landscape and confronts historic approaches to portraiture by enlisting the past and present inhabitants in performative and co-constructed moments. Oceano questions legacies of colonization, photographic history, utopian ideology and the future for the politically charged and environmentally threatened Oceano Dunes.

Learn more about Oceano (for seven generations).


Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts Department Chair David Kirby's new book, "Demons of the Mind: Psychiatry and Cinema in the Long 1960s" was recently published by the Edinburgh University Press. "Demons of the Mind" examines the mental health interventions that changed 1960s British and American cinema. Learn more.


GIS map

Geography Associate Professor Andrew Fricker and some of his geographic information system (GIS) undergraduate students and colleagues have been hand-digitizing geographic boundaries of oil palm and cacao plantations in Ucayali, Peru and Para, Brazil in support of SERVIR Amazonia goals. These data sets, supported by training documentation describing methodologies, have been published in the Harvard Dataverse, in ways that make them available to local land managers, farmers and scientists to create a more transparent supply chain, preserve biodiversity and reduce additional deforestation.






ACP Awards
Mustang Media Group members at the Associated
College Press (ACP) awards.

Congratulations to Mustang Media Group (MMG) for winning the Pacemaker Award for Best Student Media Business at the Associated College Press (ACP) awards last month! The Pacemaker is the ACP's preeminent award and considered one of the highest honors in college media.

The Pacemaker is the ACP's preeminent award and considered one of the highest honors in college media.

  • Business student Yuka Shindo, a member of the MMG advertising team, won best advertising representative.
  • Journalism student Michael Hernandez won second-best sports video story. Journalism students Katy Clark and Cassandra Garcia won third place for their reporting on the Turning Point USA protests. 
  • Mustang News won second place for best social media campaign for the Poly Pick’s campaign. 
  • Graphic communication student Cindy Nguyen won numerous awards for her designs for KCPR and the MMG business team.

Learn more and see who won awards from the California College Media Association.

Congratulations to music and physics student Wyatt Willard whose piece "Cascade" will be published in C. Alan Publications. While working on "Cascade," Willard received mentoring from his composition teacher, Aaron Kline, and the big band Music Department's big band interim director, Dave Becker. 



Mira Rosenthal
Mira Rosenthal.

Congratulations to English Associate Professor Mira Rosenthal whose book "To the Letter" has been long-listed for a major literary award, the Griffin Poetry Prize. The Griffin Poetry Prize is one of the world’s most generous poetry awards. As of 2023, the prize is worth C$130,000, making it the world’s largest international prize for a single book of poetry written in, or translated into English. "To the Letter" is translated from Polish written by Tomasz Różycki. Learn more about "To the Letter."





    At the inaugural Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) Symposium last October, the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion (OUDI) announced the HSI Mini-Grant Program to further the university's mission of becoming an HSI that thinks critically and holistically about serving the Latine/x community.

    Out of 39 applications, OUDI selected 16 projects for funding including five CLA projects led by five CLA faculty members and one student.

    Congratulations to:

    • English Associate Professor Jason Peters
    • Communication studies student Lilianna Rivas and Assistant Professor Leslie Nelson
    • Music Assistant Professor and Director of Bands Christopher Woodruff
    • Psychology Assistant Professor Susana Lopez and Associate Professor Jay Bettergarcia

    Read more about the projects.



    Cal Poly's Cantabile presented a send-off concert on Friday, March 1, in the First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo, which included works by Hildegard von Bingen, Caroline Shaw and new works by David N. Childs and Cal Poly music Professor Meredith Brammeier.

    The concert served as a preview of Cantabile’s performance at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Western Region Conference titled “Lift Every Voice and Sing” in Pasadena, California, on March 8. The conference represents choral directors, singers and composers from seven states, and is one of the largest choral conferences in the U.S.

    “An invitation to perform on an ACDA regional conference is highly competitive and sought after and one of the greatest honors a college choir can receive,” said Scott Glysson, Cal Poly’s director of choral activities and vocal studies.




      Two CLA students, Collin Marfia (history and anthropology and geography) and Jason Brown (history), helped lead the Cal Poly universities’ “Shock n’ Roll: Powering the Musical Current” float to victory on New Year's Day as part of the San Luis Obispo team's leadership and construction departments, respectively. The team received the Crown City Innovator Award at the 135th Rose Parade® held in Pasadena. 

      Read the story in Cal Poly News.





        A group of English Department alumni have released a new online publication, Abraxas Review, featuring nonfiction, fiction and poetry submissions. The team of editors include Marin Smith, Savannah Anderson, Sholeh Prochello, Sarah Horne and Lacey Buck. 

        Read Issue 1 of Abraxas Review.



        See the 2023 Shoutouts 

        See the 2022 Shoutouts 

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