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The latest online edition of CLA's Impact Magazine

News & Notes 2023

Teach In attendees participate in a drum circle

Seventh Annual Social Justice Teach In Boasts 4,400 Attendees

At the seventh annual Social Justice Teach In, 4,400 students, faculty and staff from all six colleges gathered along with community members for a day of learning. Forty-six events and presentations covered a variety of topics such as Cal Poly’s path to becoming a Hispanic-Serving institution, reproductive justice and restorative justice.

Nico Viñuela Reports on National Murder Trial for Student Media Organization

Nico Viñuela

Journalism student Nico Viñuela reported on the Kristin Smart murder trial for Cal Poly’s student-run news organization, Mustang News. Viñuela was one of only a few student reporters who sat in the Salinas, California, courtroom. With support from journalism faculty and students, he produced 36 stories for Mustang News and 43 audio updates for Mustang Media Group’s KCPR radio station, as well as five stories for KCBX, the local NPR affiliate where he was an intern and a weekend host before becoming an associate producer at Dateline NBC.


Student Playwrights Earn First-Place Awards at Regional Conference

Two theatre arts major playwrights earned first-place awards at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region 8 conference. Taylor Wendell Lozano’s one-act play, “Horizons,” was performed as a staged reading and earned top prize in the region’s 10-minute play competition. Max Kennel performed an excerpt from his play “The Story of Jimmy Kaplingus” and won the monologue competition.

New Interdisciplinary Research Center Dedicated

William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation

The William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation was officially dedicated on May 5. The new interdisciplinary center includes the James A. and Felicia M. Cashin Expressive Technology Studios, which will provide specialized equipment for Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies projects to come to life.

Sophia Velasquez presents her research at the SURP+ Symposium.

Student Researchers Showcase Learn By Doing
at Second Annual SURP+ Symposium

Student researchers presented their findings at the second annual CLA Summer Undergraduate Research Program+ Symposium. The event included 11 hands-on projects led by faculty experts alongside 21 student researchers on topics ranging from exploring LGBT religious activism to reducing bullying to preparing an archival oral history of the Black community during and after WWII.

2+2 Sociology Program

A new 2+2 transfer student pathway with Allan Hancock College will allow students to complete a sociology associate degree of transfer from the community college, transfer to Cal Poly, and earn their bachelor of arts degree in another two years by taking classes at Hancock’s Santa Maria campus. The program is designed with a more flexible schedule so nontraditional students can benefit from Learn by Doing while balancing other responsibilities.

Cal Poly Arts and Passport to the Arts

Cal Poly Performing Arts Center

Cal Poly Arts’ Passport to the Arts program provides free or deeply subsidized access to performing arts experiences for low-income and/or marginalized communities. Attendees who have not historically had access to high-quality, artistic programming may attend Cal Poly Arts performances, pre- and post-show events and performing arts workshops.

CLA Welcomes High School Students for Two-Week Summer Program

High school students got an immersive Learn by Doing experience through the two-week Summer Springboard @ Cal Poly program. The 115 students stayed in on-campus dormitories and took courses from CLA professors ranging from graphic design to coding to judicial politics for a special collegial summer experience.

Music Students Sound Taps at Madonna Inn’s Vietnam Memorial

Chris Woodruff sounds taps at the memorial.

Cal Poly student trumpeters and Director of Bands Christopher Woodruff sounded taps at “The Wall That Heals,” a 75-foot, three-quarter scale replica of the Washington, D.C., Vietnam Veterans Memorial, at the Madonna Inn last March.

Rob Moore

Rob Moore Wins Los Gatos City Council Race

Rob Moore (Political Science, ’21) was elected to the Los Gatos City Council at age 24, making him the only member of the council under 55. Moore, a former CLA Student Diversity Committee member, strives to bring a unique perspective to the council and provide a voice for those who are often underrepresented in council decisions, particularly younger people, the unhoused population and marginalized communities.

Mustange Media Group members pose with their award certificates.

Mustang Media Groups Wins Big at
Prestigious College Media Conference

Mustang Media Group, Cal Poly’s student-run media organization, won over 20 awards at the 2023 Associated Collegiate Press Spring National College Media Conference. The group placed first for best newspaper in the nation, best broadcast news program, best website and best advertising special newspaper section, among other accolades.

Nailah DuBose Co-Wins MLK Jr. Legacy Award

Nailah DuBose

Psychology student Nailah DuBose shared the MLK Legacy Award at Cal Poly’s annual MLK Jr. Legacy Event in January. DuBose is the 2023-24 president of the Black Student Union, a volunteer trainer with Cal Poly Athletics, a recipient of the Black Student Scholarship and very involved with the Black Academic Excellence Center. She accepted the award with fellow honoree Michael Witt, a biomedical engineering professor.

Collin Marfia Rides on Board Award-Winning 2023 Rose Float

Rose Parade team members walk in front of the Cal Polyf parade float.

History student Collin Marfia rode sight unseen aboard the Cal Poly Universities’ award-winning float, “Road to Reclamation,” at the 2023 Rose Parade. Marfia served as the San Luis Obispo team’s hydraulics and engine lead as well as the drive engine operator. The team’s yearlong project featuring a forest floor, animated snails and colorful mushrooms received the Extraordinaire Award.


Cal Poly TAGA Team poses with the Helmust Kipphan Cup

Student Team Wins 2023 Helmut Kipphan Cup at
National Graphic Arts Conference

Seven graphic communication students won and received the prestigious Helmut Kipphan Cup at the annual conference of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts in March. The team’s technical journal, Vol. 40, includes five student research articles, original illustrations, augmented reality experiences and intuitive packaging design.

Ethan Gutterman Wins Second Place at CSU Research Competition

History student Ethan Gutterman took second at the 2023 CSU Research Competition for his research on the 54th Coast Artillery regiment, the U.S. Army’s only all-Black, heavy artillery unit. The unit that fought during World War II had transferred to the Central Coast in the 1940s. Through oral history and written records, Gutterman’s research seeks to better understand the reasons individuals would have left or stayed in the area. He was supported by his faculty advisor, history Professor Thanayi Jackson.


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