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January 5, 2018

In fall 2017, a team of Cal Poly students and faculty braved the harsh conditions of Antarctica for a 10-week research expedition to study Weddell seal pups in the wild. The goal: investigate how the seal pups quickly adapt to the polar environment and regulate their body temperature on the ice and in the frigid waters. Cal Poly’s team included Dr. Heather Liwanag, assistant professor in the Biological Sciences Department, Dr. Linnea Pearson, a post-doctoral fellow at Cal Poly, Dr. Lars Tomanek, a professor in the Biological Sciences Department, Emma Weitzner, biological sciences graduate student, and Melissa Voisinet, biological sciences graduate student. Weddell seals give birth to one pup in October or November — spring in the southern hemisphere. The scientists based the expedition close…

November 1, 2017

One Cal Poly professor is dedicated to innovating the way classrooms operate, and his efforts have not gone unnoticed. Mathematics Professor Stan Yoshinobu was just named as one of ten Teaching Innovators by the Chronicle of Higher Education, a print and digital news organization for universities. The Chronicle was impressed by his efforts to change the way math is taught to students. Yoshinobu is a proponent of inquiry-based learning (IBL), a technique that embodies Cal Poly’s “Learn By Doing” philosophy by letting students discover and solve mathematical concepts on their own instead of memorizing information. IBL has been shown to…

October 15, 2017

When huge fires started to tear across Northern California, many Cal Poly students jumped into action. For some, the disaster hit close to home. Jacob Everest was woken up by his roommates in the middle of the night. “There’s a huge fire in Santa Rosa,” they told him, “you’d better call your parents.” By the next evening, he was hightailing it to his home town. Everest, a second year mechanical engineering major from Santa Rosa, CA, lived in SLO with several other students from the same area. By the time he was in the car, three of his friends at…

October 8, 2017

This fall, Cal Poly’s Women’s and Gender Studies Department announced the launch of a new minor program in queer studies. The new 24-unit program, which could see its first graduates as early as spring of 2018, was largely the result of student advocacy. When fourth year political science major Matt Klepfer first came to Cal Poly in 2014, he noticed something was missing. “There was no LGBTQ student club on campus, which is really sad for a campus of 21 thousand people,” he said. As a freshman, Klepfer helped start the Queer Student Union, a club for LGBTQ support and…

September 27, 2017

When a brush fire broke out on the hillside near Cal Poly’s iconic P this fall, one news organization was on the scene in moments: the student journalists of Mustang News. “Mustang News gives all of its reporters the opportunity to go live in certain situations, but this was the first event, at least for me, where there was real-time breaking news on a potentially dangerous disaster unfolding,” said Connor McCarthy, a third-year journalism major and Mustang News anchor who spent the day reporting at the scene in videos broadcast live online. “When it comes to breaking situations like a wildfire,…

September 13, 2017

For the 25th consecutive year, Cal Poly has been named the best public, master’s-level university in the West by U.S. News & World Report’s annual America’s Best Colleges guidebook. The 2018 guidebook lists Cal Poly in 11th place overall in the West for regional universities. The Western regional list includes 141 public and private institutions in 15 states that provide “a full range of undergraduate and master’s-level programs but few, if any, doctoral programs.” Universities that grant doctoral degrees, such as those in the University of California system, are listed in a separate category. “We are honored that U.S. News has now recognized the value of a Cal Poly education for a…

September 5, 2017

It’s Friday morning and Cal Poly students slowly emerge onto the streets of San Luis Obispo, percolating in exodus towards their last classes of the week. Earbuds in, many of them march to the same tempo, perhaps the calming drumbeats of The xx or the mellow indie sounds of Mac Demarco. Their chill morning wakeup anthems are brought to them by a hard working DJ in an upstairs studio of the Graphic Design building. Little do these students know, the channel they tuned into was just named the nation’s “Top College Radio Station” by the website Great Value Colleges, beating…

May 3, 2017

Demonstrating unprecedented support for the nation’s largest public university system, Cal Poly alumnus William Frost and his wife, Linda, have given a CSU-record $110 million to Cal Poly’s College of Science and Mathematics. The gift is among the largest ever given to public higher education in California. The Frosts’ gift is aimed at transforming science and mathematics education at Cal Poly by greatly enhancing the resources for undergraduate research. That includes funding for a new interdisciplinary research center that will contain almost 18,000 square feet of science and mathematics facilities; $3.6 million annually to support student scholarships and research stipends; cutting…

April 20, 2017

Cal Poly will break ground this summer on a solar farm that will generate renewable energy, create Learn by Doing opportunities for students and save the university millions of dollars. “This is the first major energy project Cal Poly has undertaken since we committed to achieving climate neutrality,” said Dennis Elliot, the university’s director of energy, utilities and sustainability. “This is a huge step toward our goal of climate neutrality, and we are very excited about using this new facility to support student hands-on Learn by Doing.” The 18.5-acre solar farm, slated for completion this winter, will be erected adjacent…