Senior Moment

Senior projects are an essential part the Learn by Doing experience. We recently asked Cal Poly Magazine readers to describe their senior projects and tell how those projects impacted their lives and careers. Here are some of our favorite responses.

Joshua Burroughs Curtiss
(Business Administration, ’08)

“My senior project at Cal Poly was the Wheelchair Foundation. Our team created a partnership with Rotary clubs on the Central Coast and raised more than $100,000 for wheelchairs for those less fortunate around the world. Right after graduation, I had the privilege of distributing more than 500 wheelchairs with my team in Peru. It was a life-changing experience, and I knew I had to continue the mission. Since 2008, we’ve fundraised for and delivered more than 3,000 wheelchairs around the globe, raising close to half a million dollars toward projects in Mexico, China, Bangladesh, Thailand, Slovenia and Nicaragua.”

Thomas Sanders
(Applied Art and Design, ’06)

“I recently concluded a 22-city tour photographing World War II veterans all around the country. My assignment started as a senior project at Cal Poly in 2006. Since then it has blossomed into the largest modern day photo collection of World War II veterans, preserving the stories and images of those who served in the war. It also became a book published by Random House in 2010.”

John Osumi
(Computer Engineering, ’10)

“Bishop Peak Technology, originated five years ago as an Android development class project — the SLO Transit app — from Cal Poly students Jeffrey Brown, Zach Negrey and myself. The app is still in use and helps members of the community better navigate the wonderful public transit in San Luis Obispo. Since its start, we’ve deployed our technol- ogy to transit systems across the country, with our very own SLO Transit leading the way.”

Thomas Goodell
(Mechanical Engineering, ’67)

“For our senior project, we created a plan for a combined business — my friend Vasco Costa’s rock crushing operation and my asphalt plant equipment design and operation company in his native Brazil. Upon graduation Vasco got a job offer from a corporation specializing in rock crushing, conveyors and asphalt production, and road-paving equipment manufacturing and sales. I went to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, where I was in charge of an asphalt plant and road-paving platoon in Vietnam. Vasco and I have remained friends for life, traveling to and from Brazil as often as we could. Both of us are now retired and living in Sarasota, Fla.”

Do you have a story to share about the impact of your senior project? Send your memories to, and we’ll add it to the online version of this story at

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