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Cal Poly CLA News

The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

Fall Conference 2022


Fall Planning Resources

Roadmap Website previewPlanning for the quarter ahead? Cal Poly’s Roadmap can help point you in the right direction. Students, parents, faculty and staff can find links to virtual resources and updates on campus operations you’ll need for a successful fall.

General Faculty and Staff Resources

From RPT policies to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion modules, CLA-specific faculty and staff resources can be found here

Diversity Action Plan

CLA Diversity Action Plan cover pageBoth data-driven, and vetted by members of our diversity community, the CLA's Diversity Action Plan will guide us for the next five years as we work toward creating a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive college across several fronts. View the Diversity Action Plan.




Department Chairs

View the 2022-23 department chair roster.




New Faculty and Staff

The College of Liberal Arts is excited to welcome the following new faculty and staff to Cal Poly.

New Tenure-Track Faculty

Darrian Carroll
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Specialty: Rhetoric

John Paniagua
Assistant Professor, History
Specialty: World History 1000-1800

Alison Cheung
Assistant Professor, Communication Studies
Specialty: Rhetoric

Alicia M. Doyle
Department Chair and Professor, Music
Specialty: Ethnomusicology

Ashley Clemons
Assistant Professor, English
Specialty: African American Literature

Julie Herndon
Assistant Professor, Music
Specialty: Music Technology

Leanne Giordono
Assistant Professor, Political Science
Specialty: Public Policy

Krista Sarraf
Assistant Professor, English
Specialty: Technical Communications/Professional Writing

James Anthony
Assistant Professor, Psychology and Child Development
Specialty: Cognitive Neuroscience

Jorge Moraga
Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies
Specialty: Latina/o/x Studies

Susana Lopez
Assistant Professor, Psychology and Child Development
Specialty: Counseling/Clinical Psychology

Gabriel Soldatenko
Assistant Professor, Ethnic Studies
Specialty: Latina/o/x Studies

Nikhil Deb
Assistant Professor, Social Sciences
Specialty: International Political Economy and Social Movements

Donna Templeton
Assistant Professor, Graphic Communication
Specialty: Strategic Media

Alexia Arani
Assistant Professor, Women's, Gender and Queer Studies
Specialty: Feminist/Queer/Trans* Disability Studies

New Full-Time Lecturers

Tianquitao Chen (Art and Design) 

Erin Victoria Zamora (Communication Studies)

Stina Attebery (Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts) 

Brandiff Caron (Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts)

José Gutiérrez (Political Science)

Kevin Simmt (Political Science)

New Staff

Lauren May
ASA , Art and Design

Beatriz Peralta
ASC, Psychology and Child Development

Celine Realica
ASA, English and History

Ashley Davis
ASC, Theatre and Dance

Rabia Shahbaz
ASC, Ethnic Studies

Melinda McClintock
ASC, Women's, Gender and Queer Studies

Daphne Purisima
ASC, Music

Christi Brizzolara
ASC, Psychology and Child Development

Nicole Troy
Communications Specialist, Dean’s Office

Steve Standifer
EMT II, Graphic Communication 

Michael Aponte
Photo and Video Instructional Support Tech, Art and Design 

Kyle Wilhelm
Studio Instructional Support Tech, Art and Design 


Welcome the 2022-2023 DEI-Focused Cluster Hires

The College of Liberal Arts is excited to welcome the newest cohort of DEI-Focused Cluster Hires. Meet the 2022 cohort.

New Promotions and Tenure

Promotion to Professor

José Navarro (Ethnic Studies)

Linda Lee (Psychology and Child Development)

Colleen Twomey (Graphic Communication)

Thomas Bernard (Theatre and Dance)

Matthew Harsh (Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts)

Huei-Yu Chen (World Languages and Cultures)

Promotion to Associate Professor

Lana Caplan (Art and Design)

Laura Krifka (Art and Design)

Megan Lambertz-Berndt (Communications Studies)

Steven Ruszczycky (English)

Dina Vees (Graphic Communication)

Farah Al-Nakib (History)

Yan Shan (Journalism)

Scott Glysson (Music)

Jay Bettergarcia (Psychology and Child Development)

Amber Williams (Psychology and Child Development)

Liz Johnston (Social Sciences)

Sara Lopus (Social Sciences)

Joan Meyers (Social Sciences)

Christian Anderson (World Languages and Cultures)


Lana Caplan (Art and Design)

Megan Lambertz-Berndt (Communications Studies)

Dina Vees (Graphic Communication)

Farah Al-Nakib (History)

Matthew Harsh (Interdisciplinary Studies in the Liberal Arts)

Yan Shan (Journalism)

Scott Glysson (Music)

Kelly Bennion (Psychology and Child Development)

Jay Bettergarcia (Psychology and Child Development)

Laura Cacciamani (Psychology and Child Development)

Liz Johnston (Social Sciences)

Joan Meyers (Social Sciences)

Christian Anderson (World Languages and Cultures)

Dean's Office Contacts


  • Josh Machamer — Associate Dean of Operations
    Josh provides leadership for the support, development and advancement of internationalization efforts in the college, currently including: coordination of current and new international initiatives; building capacity in emerging areas of direct and virtual exchange; communication of internationalization opportunities/development for students, faculty and staff. Email Josh.
  • Kate Murphy — Associate Dean for Student Success
    Kate is responsible for student-related issues such as academic advising, academic probation/disqualification, change of major, graduation initiatives, new admissions/re-admissions or any other issues related to academic success. This can include updates and clarification of policies and procedures as well as coordination and processing of a variety of forms that include substitution forms, grade change forms and many more. Email Kate.
  • Dawn Neill — CLA Director of Research Engagement
    As the inaugural Director of Research Engagement, Dawn will provide information, guidance, and support to faculty and students across areas of scholarship and creative activities within the CLA.  Her main goals for the upcoming year include expanding awareness of opportunities, enhancing a culture of scholarship, promoting diversity, equity and inclusion, and broadening access to resources to support scholarly engagement. Email Dawn. 
  • Jennifer Teramoto Pedrotti — Associate Dean for Diversity and Curriculum
    Jennifer’s job is focused on all initiatives related to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts in the college. In addition, she is responsible for all curriculum issues in the college, including development of new courses, programs or minors, course and program edits, and the curriculum process at large. She also supervises and runs the Intergroup Dialogues program and course. Email Jennifer.

Administrative Support

  • Heidi Velasco — Receptionist
    Heidi oversees the daily operations of the Dean's Office and is the primary contact for phone calls and office visitors which include students, staff, faculty, parents, and community members.  Heidi also coordinates several College of Liberal Arts and campus events throughout the year.
  • Lynne Ricard — Assistant to the Dean
    Lynne provides administrative support for the dean, which includes all scheduling. She assists the three associate deans with calendaring appointments, committee meeting preparation, scheduling, agendas, minutes, communications from the dean and more. She also provides planning coordination for several college-wide events.
  • Lilliana Curtis — Faculty Recruitment and Contract Analyst
    Lilliana processes all Tenure Track hire letters and documents; monitors contracts and offers for part-time lecturers and works closely with the budget analyst and associate dean to review workload and assigned time for faculty in the college. She also works closely with the CLA Tech team as their administrative support.
  • Melissa Bodin — Evaluations Process Analyst
    Melissa manages/coordinates all retention, tenure, promotion, post-tenure and lecturer evaluations. She helps faculty with development of their Interfolio Working Personnel Action File (eWPAF), answers all evaluation related questions during the review process, and processes all dean’s funded travel.
  • Joy Sisler — Finance and Budget Analyst
    Joy provides strategic direction and oversight of the state budget, expendable foundation funds, endowment funds and fee-based corporation funds. She serves as a primary resource in the college for budgeting, accounting, payroll, procurement, auditing and financial support.

CLA Development

  • Debi Schwartz — Administrative Coordinator for Development
    Debi processes all incoming gifts received through department offices, sends weekly donor acknowledgement reports to chairs, works with department ASCs to obtain donor information, processes department advisory board member nominee submissions, and is the contact for any donor/alumni record (information) updates. 

CLA Communications

  • Cara King — Communications Specialist
    Cara oversees production of the college magazine titled “Impact,” and works with University Marketing and Communications to promote CLA-related awards and events to the campus community and the media. Contact her to share stories of faculty, alumni or student success.
  • Nicole Troy — Communications Specialist
    Nicole assists with day-to-day communications needs, including running the CLA's social media accounts, writing feature stories and updating the CLA's websites. Contact her for help with website updates.

CLA Advising

Our service model has changed! Visit the CLA Advising webpage for current virtual and face-to-face meeting opportunities.

The CLA Advising Center is available to help undergraduate students with a wide range of topics, including academic advising/planning, registration, understanding academic polices and procedures, change of major and general student success. We encourage students to meet with an advisor at least once a year to ensure good progress towards graduation.

CLA Campus Connections  

  • Brett Bodemer — CLA Librarian
    You can basically ask Brett anything library-related, and he will direct you to the right place. He provides course-related library instruction, and supports students and faculty alike through individual consultations. Email Brett. 
  • Laura Hunkler— CLA Career Counselor
    Laura spends much of her time meeting 1:1 with students helping with anything from exploring career possibilities to the job or grad school application process. She is also available for classroom presentations on topics such as job/internship search, career exploration, building connections, and writing resumes. Email Laura.
  • Taylor Law — CLA Employer Developer 
    Taylor spends her time researching potential employers, doing outreach, and meeting with employers looking to hire College of Liberal Arts students. She helps facilitate communication between departments and employers, as well as collaborates employer events. Email Taylor.
  • Molly Clark — Cal Poly Arts Director
    Cal Poly Arts provides most of the professional touring performances at the Performing Arts Center and in Spanos Theatre, including national tours of Broadway shows, renowned music artists, dance companies, comedy, family programs, speakers’ series, and Met Live in HD simulcasts from the Metropolitan Opera. With our full-time staff of five, we typically present 40-50 live events each year. The California Department of Public Health has mandated that proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the event is required for indoor events with capacities of 1,000 or more. The Performing Arts Center (both Harold Miossi Hall and Spanos Theatre) and Cal Poly Arts will comply with these new guidelines for all Cal Poly Arts events. The Cal Poly Arts team is working to develop verification procedures to ensure that this process is as smooth as possible for our audience members. Please check our website for the latest updates and a schedule of coming events in the Cal Poly Arts 2021-2022 Season. Email Molly.
  • Academic Senate
    Academic senators are the elected CLA faculty voice in the Academic Senate body. The senators and caucus chairs are a great resource for faculty to interface with the administration and bring college- and department-level issues forward.

Faculty and Staff Awards


Congratulations to the 2022-23 faculty and staff award winners

Health and Wellbeing Resources


COVID-19 Information

Please visit the official Cal Poly coronavirus website often for critical updates and advisories.

Vaccination Requirements

Cal Poly's vaccination requirement page contains the most updated information and resources for faculty, staff, and students.

FAQ: COVID-19 Safety Guidelines and Classroom Procedures

Please visit Cal Poly Academic Affairs' Frequently Asked Questions page for updates and information about on-campus instruction. Additional resources will be added on an ongoing basis.

Public Health Resources

Mental Health Resources

Faculty and staff can contact the Employee Assistance Program for confidential counseling services (available to employees and their families) at 800-367-7474, or visit

Cal Poly students can contact Cal Poly’s Counseling Services and 24/7 hotline at 805-756-2511.

Basic Needs for Students

Visit Cal Poly's Basic Needs website for food and housing resources. It includes information on the Cal Poly Food Pantry, Cal Poly Cares Grant, CalFresh Outreach, and more.


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