News for June 2015

May 2015
July 2015

Cal Poly Is a ‘Top Value’ among Public Universities
June 19, 2015

A Cal Poly education is one of the best values around, according to recent rankings by Consumers Digest.

In terms of providing a “top value” education, the publication ranked Cal Poly second in the nation among public universities. The top five include Truman State University (Kirksville, Mo.), Cal Poly, University of Minnesota-Morris, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, NY).

“Our analysis is designed to help families make an informed decision that puts their hard-earned money to the best use,” says Randy Weber, publisher of Consumers Digest.

The rankings, published in Consumers Digest's June issue, were derived from a formula that blends the academic excellence of first-time freshmen at an institution (standardized test scores, high-school rank, grade-point average) with its educational quality (four- and six-year graduation rates, student-retention rate, percentage of faculty holding a Ph.D). That value index score was factored with the cost of attending each school to determine which institutions offered the most academic value per dollar.

Consumers Digest first narrowed the list of schools based on a minimum level of academic performance by students accepted. For public schools, the publication considered only non-resident tuition. Military institutions and extremely specialized colleges were excluded. Financial aid was not considered because of inconsistencies in distribution between schools.

“Expert opinions and solid recommendations are two of our strengths, so we applied well-developed research standards and thorough analysis to this examination of our country's higher-learning institutions to help parents and students find schools that will meet families' performance and financial requirements,” says Weber.

Published for 54 years, Consumers Digest is designed to inform and educate readers so they can save time, save money and buy with confidence. It is committed to providing practical advice, factual evaluations and specific recommendations that lead consumers to exceptional values in today's complex marketplace. For more information, visit ConsumersDigest.com.

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Outstanding Cal Poly Engineering Graduate Profiled in The Tribune
June 15, 2015

Industrial engineering graduate Jeffrey Silva from La Habra, Calif., was featured as one of Cal Poly's "Great Grads" in The Tribune's front-page coverage of the Class of 2015 commencement ceremonies. Silva, president of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), was named the College of Engineering's Outstanding Graduating Senior for Service to the Community.

In addition to Silva's active involvement in SHPE, the largest Hispanic club on campus, he has provided leadershp that has helped other organizations, communities and individuals thrive. He has worked as a Partners Ambassador for two years, visiting Partner Schools and giving tours to student groups who come from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Cal Poly’s Partner Schools comprise California public high schools that have low percentages of students advancing to college. His community contributions also include volunteering with the Center for Community Engagement and organizing Alternative Breaks to New Orleans, a program to help rebuild homes devastated in Hurricane Katrina.

In The Tribune article, Silva shared how, as a first-generation college student, his road to success has had its share of bumps.

Silva was among more than 4,200 Cal Poly students eligible to graduate last weekend — 999 of them with engineering degrees. His next step is a new job in Indiana with Schneider Electric, a global company that specializes in electricity distribution and equipment.

To read the full story, go to http://bit.ly/1SigU7i.

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Cal Poly Engineering Announces 2015 Outstanding Graduates
June 04, 2015

Contact: Amy Hewes
College of Engineering
805-756-6402
ahewes@calpoly.edu

Cal Poly Engineering announced its 2015 Outstanding Graduates at the collegewide Project Expo held May 29. The students honored included the top senior for academic excellence and three graduating seniors recognized for service to the college, university and community. Also announced were the Student Volunteers of the Year.

Environmental engineering senior Nathaniel Homan from Glendale, Calif., was recognized as the College of Engineering’s topmost graduating senior for academic excellence. With a 3.988 GPA, Homan has made the Dean’s List and President’s List every quarter from 2011 to the present. He has been a member of the Cal Poly Marching Band for three years. For the past year, Homan has served as an intern with the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District working to update the district’s emissions inventory. He also contributed to a student team that won second place at the 2014 New Mexico State University Institute for Energy and the Environment Competition for its design of floating solar panels. Homan notes that a class on water and wastewater engineering taught by Professor Rebekah Oulton helped form his professional goal to generate engineering solutions to water resource challenges. After graduation, Homan will attend UC Davis’s environmental engineering master’s degree program.

Mechanical engineering senior Haden Cory from San Francisco was named Outstanding Graduating Senior for Contributions to the College of Engineering. As the lead shop tech in the College of Engineering’s student project shops for the past two years, Cory has been responsible for a staff of 30, including scheduling and training; and shop safety, efficiency and maintenance. In addition to providing volunteer support to clubs, teams and individual students of all skill levels, Cory has served on a collegewide committee to provide input on needs, features and equipment for a proposed new student projects building. According to a faculty nominator, “Haden has really given back to Cal Poly in his involvement in
 the hands-on education that we emphasize in the shops.”

The Outstanding Graduating Senior for Contribution to the University was computer science senior Cristina Formaini from Stevenson Ranch, Calif. Formaini has served as a dedicated officer and president this year of two high-profile Cal Poly computer science clubs: Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH) and White Hat, a security and hacking group. For both clubs, Formaini has instituted organizational practices and new programming that have enhanced co-curricular learning content and resulted in increased membership. As the outreach officer for WISH, Formaini inaugurated a hands-on outreach program for local elementary schools. She also developed a mentoring program for incoming first-year female students, which boosted female retention rates in the Computer Science Department. The success of the program led to Formaini’s participation in a panel at the SoCal Women in Computing Conference in San Diego. Formaini is considered a role model for other women in computing on and off campus.

Industrial engineering senior Jeffrey Silva from La Habra, Calif., was named the Outstanding Graduating Senior for Service to the Community. Silva has been actively involved in the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, the largest Hispanic club on campus. He has provided leadership that has helped the organization thrive, including serving as president for the past year. In addition, he has worked as a Partners Ambassador for two years, visiting Partner Schools and giving tours to student groups who come from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Cal Poly’s Partner Schools comprise California public high schools that have low percentages of students advancing to college. Silva’s community contributions also include volunteering with the Center for Community Engagement and organizing Alternative Breaks to New Orleans, a program to help rebuild homes devastated in Hurricane Katrina. 

The Engineering Ambassadors were announced as the Student Volunteers of the Year. Now in its 21st year, the 80-member group serves as the “face” of the college to prospective students and parents by leading all the visitor tours for the college. To date in this academic year, Engineering Ambassadors have provided 160 two-hour tours for some 4,500 visitors. Ambassadors undergo a rigorous application and training process that includes 10 hours of mandatory training sessions with quizzes and mock tours. According to Zach Meyer, 2014-15 Engineering Ambassadors president, the student volunteers are motivated by their positive experience at Cal Poly and their desire to give back. “Sometimes, it’s hard to put on your smiling ‘game face’ for 30 guests when you’re thinking of the midterm that you’ll be taking right after the tour,” commented Meyer; “but it’s very rewarding when students on campus come up to you and say, ‘I chose Cal Poly because of you.’”

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