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Cal Poly Students to be Honored at State Capitol on March 9

Twenty Cal Poly students who have received state and national awards and other honors will be recognized for their accomplishments by state lawmakers at the Capitol in Sacramento on March 9.

“These students are indicative of our Learn by Doing philosophy and reflect what their peers are also accomplishing at Cal Poly,” said university President Jeffrey D. Armstrong. “We want to honor these representatives of our six colleges for their success in the classroom and for their extracurricular activities throughout the community.”

California State Capitol

The group will be introduced on the floors of the Senate and Assembly by local representatives Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian and Senate Majority Leader Bill Monning. In addition, the students will meet with Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. They also will greet family, friends and alumni at two receptions in the Sacramento area March 8-9.

The group includes: statistics major Jimmy Wong, who took second at last month’s National Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition; Delany Bales, a mechanical engineering major and member of Cal Poly universities’ award-winning 2015 Tournament of Roses Parade float; liberal arts major Gabrielle Amar, who was selected for a Clinton Foundation internship in 2014; and Christopher Bet, a business major and member of an interdisciplinary team that took second at the recent National Association of Home Builders Residential Construction Management Competition.

State lawmakers will also honor Dr. Philip Bailey, the longtime Cal Poly faculty member who has headed the university’s College of Science and Mathematics since 1983. Bailey will receive a joint Senate-Assembly resolution for his nearly 50 years of service at Cal Poly.

The resolution is co-sponsored by Assemblyman Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo, who graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in business administration; Sen. Monning, D-Carmel, whose district includes San Luis Obispo and Santa Cruz counties and portions of Monterey and Santa Clara counties; Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Modesto, who attended Cal Poly; and lead sponsor Sen. Jean Fuller, R-Bakersfield.

“This resolution honoring Dr. Bailey is special because Sen. Fuller is from outside our district,” Armstrong said. “Usually, resolutions come from local representatives.”

Fuller’s sister, Elaine Rathbun, is a Cal Poly alumnus who thinks highly of Bailey and urged the senator to sponsor the resolution.

Bailey, the senior science dean in the California State University system, joined Cal Poly’s faculty in 1969. He has taught almost every term since then. 

He campaigned for the Warren J. Baker Center for Science and Mathematics — the second-largest building on campus — for 17 years before construction began in 2010. Every niche of the 189,000-square-foot structure, which opened for classes in September 2013, reflects this vision, from the study areas with couches and room for up to 400 students to the terraces that boast some of the best views on campus. 

• • •

Participating Cal Poly students

Twenty Cal Poly students from all of the university’s six colleges will participate in the visit to the state Capitol. The students live throughout the state — from Sacramento to San Diego.

• Gabrielle Amar is a liberal arts and engineering studies major in the College of Liberal Arts. Her hometown is Los Angeles. At the New York-based Clinton Foundation, Amar worked on the Clinton Climate Initiative, which develops projects that can be tailored to local conditions while also serving as innovative models for tackling global climate change in a way that makes sense for governments, businesses and economies.

• Delaney Bales is a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering. Her hometown is Folsom. She was a member of the Cal Poly universities’ Tournament of Roses Parade float team. On Jan. 1, the parade’s only student-built float, “Soaring Stories,” won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful non-commercial float at the 126th annual parade.

• Gordon Belyea is a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering. His hometown is Laguna Beach. He was team leader for Cal Poly’s unmanned aerial vehicle, “SkyBarge,” that maneuvered through an obstacle course to earn runner-up honors among 21 collegiate teams at the 22nd annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Design Competition in Montreal, Canada, in November.

• Christopher Bet is a business management major in the Orfalea College of Business. His hometown is Woodside. He headed an interdisciplinary team of Cal Poly students that captured second among universities at the 2015 National Association of Home Builders Residential Construction Management Competition in Las Vegas. Some 54 teams participated, representing association student chapters at universities, community colleges and high schools across the country.

• Juan Alberto Bonilla is a city and regional planning major in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. His hometown is Tijuana, Mexico, and nearby Chula Vista, Calif. He was a member of student team that placed second at last year’s 23rd annual Bank of America Merrill Lynch Low-Income Housing Challenge. Teams submitted proposals for a low-income housing development to meet the needs of local communities. Other teams included first-place UCLA, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine and the University of Washington.

• Natalee Consulo is a graphic communication major in the College of Liberal Arts. Her hometown is Penryn. She was a member of a team of graphic communication students who won the Phoenix Challenge Flexo Packaging Competition last April in Baltimore. The competition encourages students to explore opportunities in the flexographic printing, which uses flexible printing plates and special inks to print on plastic, foil, acetate film, brown paper and other materials used in packaging.

• Alex Henige is a landscape architecture major in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design. His hometown is El Cajon. Henige was part of a team of Cal Poly landscape architecture students to earn a national award of excellence for the 5,000-square-foot playground they designed and built at a South African orphanage. Ratang Bana Orphanage Park received one of only three awards of excellence given out at the 2014 American Society of Landscape Architects Student Awards competition, which attracted more than 500 entries from 77 universities across the nation.

• Michelle Lam is a computer science major in the College of Engineering. Her hometown is Sacramento. Lam was Cal Poly’s representative for the 2014 CSU Trustees’ Award For Outstanding Achievement. The award, presented in September, included $6,000. “CSU trustees’ scholars have defied the odds, rising above circumstance to become leaders among their classmates and exemplifying the CSU mission of access to a quality higher education,” said CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White. “Through talent, determination and drive, they now grasp the promise of a brighter future — for self, family and community.”

• Emily Mallet is a business administration major in the Orfalea College of Business. Her hometown is Stockton. Mallet and her teammates took second in the structural design portion of the Association of Independent Corrugated Converters Student Competition. The students were challenged with using corrugated fiberboard and other paper materials to create a family of products that would help their university recruit new students. The team incorporated San Luis Obispo’s iconic hills throughout their cardboard series of products, in addition to the Cal Poly logo and Mustang mascot.

• Melissa Nunez is a journalism major in the College of Liberal Arts. Her hometown is Downey. She was on the staff of Mustang News, the student-operated media organization that garnered national honors from the Associated Collegiate Press and the College Media Association at last fall’s National College Media Convention. The staff received 17 awards including, for the third time in eight years, the ACP Online Pacemaker Award, one of the most prestigious awards in college journalism.

• Matthew Philley is a mechanical engineering major in the College of Engineering. His hometown is Arroyo Grande. Philley and two teammates won the Academic Olympiad competition at the 40th Society of Hispanic Engineers Conference held in Detroit in November. The trio defeated some 60 other collegiate teams in the Olympiad, which tests each teams’ technical knowledge in mathematics, physics, chemistry and several disciplines of engineering, including electrical, civil, computer and mechanical.

• Samantha Rawlins is an aerospace engineering in the College of Engineering. Her hometown is Los Angeles. She is the first Cal Poly student inducted into NASA’s Student Ambassadors Virtual Community, an online network designed to elevate the experiences, visibility and contributions of NASA interns. She joins 104 other top-performing interns across the nation selected to serve as 2014 Cohort VI student ambassadors, representing the sixth year of the program. In 2013, Rawlins worked as a summer intern at NASA Langley Research through the Langley Aerospace Research Student Scholars Program, one of NASA’s most prestigious and successful student research programs. In 2012, she interned at the NASA Propulsion Academy in Huntsville, Ala., where she joined a team made up mostly of college graduates and master’s-level students.

• Jake Rogers is an agribusiness major in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. His hometown is Bakersfield. Last April, Rogers was part of a 10-student team that won a national marketing competition hosted by the National Agri-Marketing Association in Jacksonville, Fla. The team spent several months before the competition conducting market research, writing a marketing plan, and developing a presentation for the marketing of a high-end specialty leafy green, branded as Belgian Crowns.

• Kaylinn Roseman is a graduate civil and environmental engineering student seeking a master’s degree in the College of Engineering. Her hometown is Long Beach. She is president of Cal Poly’s student chapter of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, which in August was named as the institute’s international chapter of the year. The student group was honored for organizing and hosting the Western District Student Leadership Summit — ITE’s first-ever conference designed by and for students. Roseman was the summit’s lead organizer.

• Taylor Santos-Karney is an agriculture system management major in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. His hometown is Creston. Santos-Karney is part of Cal Poly’s Rodeo Team. He won the tie-down roping title at the College National Finals Rodeo championship held in June in Casper, Wyo.

• Jaime Savitz is a nutrition major in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Her hometown is Torrance. She was part of the five-member team that earned a first-place award in the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition. The food science and nutrition students created a product — Amma Mamas — aimed at improving maternal nutrition in Chad, Africa. Amma Mamas is a sweet tortilla-like product made from soy flour, millet, bovine milk, sweet potato and cinnamon — ingredients readily available in that impoverished Central African nation.

• Hannah Stombler-Levine is a graphic communication major in the College of Liberal Arts. Her hometown is Davis. She finished second in the 2014 GEF/Flint Group Technical Writing Competition for her work, “Potential Areas of Growth in Rotogravure.” The Flint Technical Writing Competition is a national contest for student technical research papers on the topic of gravure, a major print process. Essays were judged on rigorous standards of relevance to the topic, depth and complexity of research, organization and clarity. Stombler-Levine also received $500.

• Yakov Suvorov is a civil and environmental engineering senior in the College of Engineering. His hometown is San Jose. He was part of a student team that placed second at the International Environmental Design Contest held last April at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, N.M. The team was recognized for its design of floating solar panels for a hypothetical copper mining operation in the southwestern United States. It also picked up an innovation prize for energy efficiency. The 11-member team received $1,000 as contest runner-up and the Energy Efficiency Innovation Award of $500 from New Mexico State’s Institute for Energy and the Environment. Suvorov and a teammate were part of the group that won the 2013 competition. The event brings together students from across the U.S. to develop technological solutions to environmental problems.

• Courtney Thomas is an environmental engineering major in the College of Engineering. Her hometown is Mount Aukum. She is president of the Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers, which received the Outstanding Collegiate Section Gold Award — the national Society of Women Engineers’ highest award. It is presented to the collegiate section with the most outstanding overall program for the previous academic year. Cal Poly received the honor for the fourth consecutive year and the 11th time since 2002.

• Jimmy Wong is a statistics major in the College of Science and Math. His hometown is Los Angeles. In February, Wong was runner-up in the National Undergraduate Statistics Project Competition. The competition is sponsored by the Consortium for the Advancement of Undergraduate Statistics Education, which is made up of colleges and universities across the country. Wong analyzed data from a National Science Foundation-funded project that investigated ways to make statistics more accessible to a wider audience. He plans to pursue a doctorate in statistics and data science after graduation.

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