Alumni Stay in Touch button


Cal Poly CLA News

News & Notes

Awards and Accomplishments

Cal Poly faculty and students are making a difference — on campus and beyond.


In recognition of their work last year on “A Year with Frog and Toad,” Ian Billings and Cadence Mitchell (Theatre & Dance) received Meritorious Achievement Awards from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

Mariah Cochiolo (Graphic Communication) was selected as the Scholar Athlete of the Year for the Big West Conference.

Kevin DeBoer’s (Art & Design) project, “American Forests,” won an Applied Arts magazine award and was published in the November/December 2013 issue.

Mustang News, the Journalism Department’s student-run integrated newsroom, received 20 national and state awards in March from the Associated Collegiate Press and California College Media Association, including first in Best of Show – Website Large School category and first in Best of Show – Multimedia Package.

Bryan Pride (Master of Public Policy) and Nicola Williams (History) were two of 10 students selected to represent Cal Poly in the statewide CSU Research Competition. Pride’s project is based on his independent research titled “Taking Back the Farm: How Corporate Farms Create Food Insecure Communities.” Williams’ research is titled “Fashion, Feminism and Morality: A New Look at the New Woman.”


Ryan Alaniz (Social Sciences) was accepted as a World Social Science Fellow. Additionally, he was selected as one of the San Luis Obispo Tribune’s 2014 “Top 20 under 40” award winners.

Richard Besel and Jnan Blau (Communication Studies) are the editors of a new book, “Performance on Behalf of the Environment” (2013).

Bernard Duffy (Communication Studies) was the 2013 recipient of the university’s Distinguished Scholarship Award.

Two of the three Cal Poly professors accepted into the Coleman Foundation Faculty Entrepreneurship Fellows program are from CLA — Mary Glick (Journalism) and Lorraine Donegan (Graphic Communication). The Coleman Foundation is committing nearly $500,000 for fellowship grants and program support at involved campuses.

Juana Villa

Juana Villa (Graphic Communication) was awarded the 2013 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement, one of the highest student distinctions within the CSU system.

Patrick Lin

Patrick Lin (Philosophy) received a grant of nearly $500,000 from the National Science Foundation for “Safeguarding Cyberspace with Ethical Rules for Cyberwarfare,” a collaborative project with the Naval Postgraduate School and Western Michigan University.

Jasna Jovanovic (Psychology & Child Development) and a colleague were awarded a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant to study women in STEM fields. The study examines factors that promote the entry, retention and success of underrepresented women.

Jane Lehr (Ethnic Studies) and colleagues Helene Finger and Beverley Kwang received the American Society of Engineering Education 2013 Best Zone Paper Award for their paper titled “When, Why, How, Who — Lessons from First-Year Female Engineering Students at Cal Poly for Efforts to Increase Recruitment.”

Charmaine Martinez (Art & Design) was awarded a 2013 American Graphic Design Award from Graphic Design USA for her project “Visualizing a Healthy Food System” — a comprehensive branding campaign for Central Coast Grown.

Kathleen S. Murphy (History) received a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies for the 2013-14 academic year. The award supports research in the humanities and humanistic social sciences that the council considers to be particularly promising. Murphy received the fellowship to support her research into the history of science of the slave trade.

Todd Pierce’s (English) short story “Rockman 1951” appeared in The Harvard Review.

Univisión (the Spanish-language TV conglomerate and most-watched TV channel in the world) featured Craig Russell (Music) in a fall news segment. In the segment, Russell was filmed in the Santa Barbara Mission, discussing (in Spanish) California mission music.

Tom Trice (History and Women’s & Gender Studies) taught at the Padma Kanya campus in Kathmandu, Nepal, as part of his Fulbright Scholar award

Gloria Velásquez (Modern Languages & Literatures) published her ninth novel in the Roosevelt High School series, “Tommy Stands Tall.”

Affordable Colleges online High ROI Colleges badge

Affordable Colleges Online has ranked Cal Poly the fifth best college in the nation for return on investment (ROI) for its English and humanities programs. Affordable Colleges Online determines ROI rankings based on total weighted cost and a 30-year net ROI. Cal Poly ranked in the top five among institutions including Harvard University, the University of Pennsylvania, UC Berkeley, and James Madison University.

Mustang Band performs at Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco

Music Groups Perform in Chinese New Year Parade and Carnegie Hall

The Cal Poly Mustang Band was invited to participate in the Feb. 15 Southwest Airlines Chinese New Year Parade in San Francisco, named one of the top 10 parades in the world by the International Festivals and Events Association. Cal Poly was one of only two university bands invited. Parade judges awarded the Mustang Band first place in the Adult Marching Band category.

PolyPhonics, Cal Poly’s premier chamber choral ensemble, and the Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble traveled to New York to give the showcase performance at the World Projects 2014 New York Choral Festival at Carnegie Hall March 16-18. The ensembles also performed at the Graduate Center in New York City and at St. Peter’s Church in Philadelphia.

Homecoming for the Mind

The College of Liberal Arts held its third annual Homecoming for the Mind event following the Homecoming game on Saturday, Nov. 16. Alumni, students, faculty and staff were able to discover what CLA has to offer and catch up on all of the cutting-edge disciplinary and interdisciplinary endeavors of students and faculty. The event featured an intimate and cozy “coffeehouse” setting, with live music performed by Cal Poly’s Jazz Ensemble, a poetry reading, and student project displays.

Mark your calendars — Homecoming for the Mind 2014 will be held Saturday, Nov. 1. Watch your inbox for more information!


Related Content