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Three CLA Students to Represent Cal Poly in CSU Research Competition

Cal Poly will host the 31st Annual CSU Research Competition April 28-29. The competition is held to promote excellence in undergraduate and graduate scholarly research and creative activity by recognizing outstanding student accomplishments throughout the 23 campuses of the California State University. Three students from the College of Liberal Arts will represent Cal Poly at the competition. 

Ten students from each CSU campus are selected to compete in the competition. Of the 10 students selected from Cal Poly, three are from the College of Liberal Arts: Katelyn Tomasello (Music and Psychology ’16); Sayaka Tsugai, a fourth-year political science major; and Emily Matthews, also a fourth-year political science major. The CLA delegates' research projects are each related to their areas of study.

CSU Research Competition Delegates from CLA
CLA delegates from left to right: Katelyn Tomasello,
Emily Matthews and Sayaka Tsugai




As a political science major, Matthews’s research project aims to define the problems of United States leadership in global politics. “I focus on domestic partisanship and challenge conventional wisdom that ideology drives partisan divides in the area of climate change,” Matthews said.

Tsugai’s research is related to her political science studies, as well as her aspirations for a career in global politics. “My research was inspired from my initial reaction when I moved from Japan to the US and realized the history I knew about WWII was very different from my peers at high school in San Diego,” Tsugai said. “In my research, using Japan as a case study, I look at how hyper nationalism is implemented to shape citizens’ minds to fear ‘others’ through education, rituals, and popular culture.”

Tomasello’s project was a fulfillment of her Cal Poly senior project. She says her research tries to answer the question: How has music been used among juvenile offenders, and what characteristics does that music have? To this end, she analyzed the musical characteristics (e.g., tempo) of pieces successfully used in published reports/music therapy.  

Finalists will make oral presentations before juries of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California. They will be judged on their oral presentations and written abstracts.

All three CLA delegates admit to being nervous to speak in front of a crowd, but are excited about their hard work being recognized. “Of course, there are some nerves, but I am more excited than anything,” Tomasello said. “… it is such a joy having the opportunity to present my own research on a topic I am very passionate about.”

Cash prizes will be awarded to students for the most outstanding presentations.

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