Awards

Minh Le - First Place in the Master's Student Poster Competition for "Improving Sustainable Fertilizer Practices for Pomegranate By Leaf Nutrient Concentration Evaluation and Fertilizer Trials" awarded at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS).

Graduate Conference/Presentation Awards

Each year, some graduate students are selected to present their thesis or research at professional and academic conferences. Graduate Education is proud to be able to offer financial awards to support their participation. Visit the Graduate Student Presentation Award page for requirements. Here is the list of conferences and paper titles for the 2019-2020 academic year.

2019-2020 Graduate Presentation Award Research Projects

Conference Abstract/Presentation Title
American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Conference End of Sudangrass Cover Crop Residues and Soil Solarization on Weed and Verticillium Dahliae Populations in Organic Strawberry production
Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists (JMIH) Thermal Ecology of the Federally Endangered Blunt-Nosed Leopard Lizard (Gambelia Sila)
INFORMS Annual Meeting Intra-Project Learning in Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling
Optimal Payment Policies and Resource-Constrained Project Scheduling With Discounted Cash Flows: The Contractor’s Perspective
100th Annual Meeting of the Western Society of Naturalists Ecological Drivers and Long-Term Impacts of Parrotfish Predation on Endangered Orbicella Annularis Corals
The Effect of Multiple Upwelling Stressors on Oxidative Stress Protein Expression in Mytilus Canifornianus
International Embryo Technology Society Cytokine Addition Does Not Increase Competence of In Vitro Produced Bovine Embryos
Western Regional Conference for NASPA An Investigation in Volunteerism’s Effect on Anxiety and Depression Among College Students
Western Political Science Association Conference Connecting to Wellness: Transition Assistance and Relapse Prevention
Evaluation of Trauma Training for Public Employees
Thriving, not Just Surviving
32nd Annual CSU Biotechnology Symposium Optimization of Medio Mix, Cell Ratios, and Antibody Concentrations for Co-Culture of Human Colorectal Cancer and Vasculature
American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting Two Years of Sap Flow for Evapotranspiration Characterization in Riparian Vegetation
NACADA - National Academic Advising Association (5) Experiences of Student Affairs Professionals of Color at Predominantly White Institutions
IISE Annual Conference & Expo 2020 Production Planning in Integrated Circuit Supply Chains
A Selection Framework, Return on Investment Model and Best Practices List for Successful RFID Implementations in Retail Supply Chains
14th IEEE International Conference on Semantic Computing Automating Deep-Sea Video Annotation Using Machine Learning
NODA Region I & II Conference (2) Graduate Orientation Practices: A National Survey

Academic Excellence

Master’s degree candidates who are academically in the top 10 percent of their program and are recommended by their Graduate Program Coordinator are eligible to be recognized for Academic Excellence. Nominations must be approved by the appropriate College Dean. If approved, the student will be permitted to wear “honor cords” at commencement.

Outstanding Graduates of 2020

Julie Lynem

At Cal Poly, Julie teaches Multi-Cultural Society & Mass Media, which examines the ways in which U.S. media has been used to perpetuate stereotypes about people of color and other marginalized groups. A newspaper journalist for more than 20 years, including about a decade at The Tribune, Julie always knew that she would choose teaching as a second career.

Julie Lynem

2020 Graduate Student

After becoming a lecturer in the Journalism Department in 2016, Julie set out to earn a graduate degree in Curriculum & Instruction. At Cal Poly, Julie teaches Multi-Cultural Society & Mass Media, which examines the ways in which U.S. media has been used to perpetuate stereotypes about people of color and other marginalized groups. A newspaper journalist for more than 20 years, including about a decade at The Tribune, Julie always knew that she would choose teaching as a second career. She comes from a family of educators and is passionate about encouraging students not only to deepen their knowledge, but to find their voice and make lasting contributions to society. A SLO County resident for 17 years and the mother of two children, Julie also helped to establish RaiseUp SLO, a local organization dedicated to building community for families of color on the Central Coast and helping all families who want to raise race-conscious children. She is also a steering committee member of R.A.C.E. Matters SLO County.

Julie's graduate work focused on conversations about race and race-related subject matter in the undergraduate classroom. Her action research project examined the use of restorative circle practice as an instructional technique to increase the comfort level of Cal Poly students when confronted with potentially controversial topics like racism. Julie found that this technique did, in fact, have a positive impact on raising student comfort level when discussing race and racism.

I would like to acknowledge all of my professors in the Curriculum & Instruction program for encouraging me to persevere and succeed. My advisor, Dr. Briana McCaul Ronan, was and is a huge source of support. Finally, I would like to thank my lovely children for being patient and believing that their mommy could do it!

Nicholas Dekker

Continuing in the ARCE graduate program was the best route I could have taken because it picked up where the undergraduate program left off and it gave me the tools to succeed in more than just structural earthquake engineering, all through Learn by Doing.

Nicholas Dekker

2020 Graduate Student

I grew up in a family of Cal Poly Mustangs in Lakewood, California building anything and everything out of Lego bricks. I have always been interested in engineering, finding out how things work, and hands-on activities, but it wasn’t until high school that I found my interest in design and architecture as well. Cal Poly’s Architectural Engineering program is the perfect blend of art, design, math, and science, and I will always be fascinated with how those disciplines can come together to create something beautiful. I believe well-designed buildings can have an enormous positive impact on their occupants, the community, and the environment. The ARCE undergraduate program prepared me well for a career in the field, but I was eager to learn more. Continuing in the ARCE graduate program was the best route I could have taken because it picked up where the undergraduate program left off and it gave me the tools to succeed in more than just structural earthquake engineering, all through Learn by Doing. I am proud to represent the Architectural Engineering Department and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design.

The topic of my research was the dynamic analysis and seismic retrofit of the Point Sur Lighthouse, an unreinforced masonry structure in an area of high seismicity. The original first-order Fresnel lens is no longer in its original setting but has been approved to return by the U.S. Coast Guard on the condition that a complete seismic evaluation be conducted on the lighthouse. I was able to evaluate the lighthouse in ways that standard analysis procedures could not, using a combination of ultra-low forced vibration testing and finite element modeling. I ultimately developed a retrofit scheme that would be effective in mitigating the most prominent deficiencies while remaining unobtrusive to the lighthouse’s historic character. My research will be published in the proceedings of the 17th World Conference on Earthquake Engineering this September and presented either digitally or in person when the conference is held in September 2021 in Sendai, Japan.

I would like to thank my family and friends for their continued support throughout my time as an undergraduate and graduate student. Thank you also to my advisor Cole McDaniel and the rest of the ARCE faculty and staff for their time and effort in making the program so successful.

Jack Keefer

In the fall I will be attending UC Santa Barbara for my Ph.D. in economics. From almost failing out of school to being honored as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the College of Business, my professors and mentors have given me the support and opportunity to become the academic I am.

Jack Keefer

2020 Graduate Student

I began my college career in electrical engineering at Cal Poly in 2014. My first year in college did not go as I had hoped and I performed very poorly, being placed on academic probation twice. In my second year, I realized that I needed to make some essential changes in my life. I decided to take time off school to figure out what major I would like to study, as engineering was not for me, and to improve my lifestyle. When I returned to Cal Poly, I switched into economics because it was something I was interested in and felt I could excel in. I began to do very well in my classes and was noticed by my professors. My professors investedin me by providing resources and opportunities to TA or help with research.
I decided in my final year to finish my minor in statistics and pursue a Ph.D. in economics. I decided to attend Cal Poly’s Master’s in quantitative economics in order to bolster my application and develop the skills useful for a Ph.D. student. During my Master’s program, I had the pleasure to TA and RA for my professors, and even to research alongside Dr.Doremus. I was also given the opportunity to be a co-lecturer with Dr. Fisher and teach the first part of the International Trade Theory class. In the fall I will be attending UC Santa Barbara for my Ph.D. in economics. From almost failing out of school to being honored as the Outstanding Graduate Student for the College of Business, my professors and mentors have given me the support and opportunity to become the academic I am.

I am co-authoring a paper with Dr. Doremus in which we study the impacts of social media use on mood and body image in high school students. We surveyed over 3000 high school students at four high schools in the California Bay Area, with questions related to mood, body image, demographics, economic status, family, social media, and timeuse. We have found that high social media use (greater than 2 hours daily) is associated with higher rates of anxiety/depression and body image esteem issues. Additionally, among female students, we found evidence suggesting that the increase in anxiety/depression associated with high social media use may be explained by increases in body image esteem issues. We will continue to analyze the relationship in the future.

I would like to mention a number of my professors in the econ department at Cal Poly. First, I would like to mention Dr. Steve Hamilton who provided invaluable advice in navigating the Ph.D. application process, without whom I would not have been accepted into the Ph.D. programs that I was.
I would like to mention Dr. Jacqueline Doremus who has been a mentor and guide through the world of economics research. She gave me my first opportunity to TA during college and believed in my research abilities enough to work with me on a research project. Her insight and support have made me a better researcher, academic, and critical thinker.
I would like to mention Dr. Carlos Flores who has been a constant source of advice and support. His Advanced Econometrics and Math Economics classes inspired me to pursue a Ph.D. in economics and a minor in statistics. The opportunity he gave for me to be his RA also gave me valuable experience and a look into the world of academic research.
I would like to mention Dr. Eric Fisher who helped guide me through teaching my first undergraduate course in economics. Without his support and guidance, I would not have been successful in teaching.
I would like to thank Dr. Stefanie Fischer who has constantly provided honest advice, encouragement, and wisdom in my career as an undergraduate, graduate, and future Ph.D. student. Her advice has made a real-world difference in my future career at UC Santa Barbara. Her insight was also instrumental in helping me determine which Ph.D. program I would attend. I would like to thank Dr. Shafran who provided me the opportunity to teach an undergraduate course in International Trade Theory. This was a remarkable opportunity that I will remember for the rest of my life and is one of the marks of honor that I cherish greatly from my time at Cal Poly.
There are many other professors and staff that I am greatly thankful for due to their advice, encouragement, teaching, and more. They include Dr. Matt Cole, Dr. Jason Lepore, Dr.Jonathan James, Dr. Eduardo Zambrano, Dr. Daniel Seiver, and Sheila Smith.

Kolton Yager

In 2018, I was one of three Cal Poly students to join Dr. Zoe Wood on an expedition to Malta, where we surveyed shipwrecks using autonomous robots. The survey data was then used to create a detailed 3D reconstruction of the archaeological site. This work directly lead my first two academic publications.

Kolton Yager

2020 Graduate Student

I am a graduate student in the Cal Poly Computer Science department. I have many interests beneath the umbrella of computer science, however computer graphics has been my focus throughout my time at Cal Poly. I first became interested in CG during high-school, and have found it to be one of the most engaging topics by virtue of its uniquely challenging problems and tangible results. Since then, I have targeted my interests towards a career in CG research and development, and I have been fortunate to participate in several internships within the field. In 2016, I accepted an internship with the Institute of Creative Technologies. There I developed software for the production pipeline of the New Dimensions in Testimony project. In 2018, I was one of three Cal Poly students to join Dr. Zoe Wood on an expedition to Malta, where we surveyed shipwrecks using autonomous robots. The survey data was then used to create a detailed 3D reconstruction of the archaeological site. This work directly lead my first two academic publications. Finally, in 2019, I developed software at DreamWorks Animation as the intern for the FX/CFX Research & Development department. I have returned to DreamWorks again this summer.

Yager, K., Clark, C., Gambin, T., & Wood, Z. J. (2019, October). Underwater Photogrammetry Reconstruction: GPU Texture Generation from Videos Captured via AUV. In International Symposium on Visual Computing (pp. 127-138). Springer, Cham.

I would like to thank Dr. Zoe Wood for her consistent support of my learning.

Jack Keefer

Orfalea College of Business

Master of Science in Quantitative Economics

Weston Grewe

College of Science and Mathematics

Master of Science in Mathematics

Julie Lynem

School of Education

Master of Arts in Curriculum & Instruction

Joel Leonard

College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences

Master of Science in Agriculture - Plant Protection Science Specialization

Kolton Yager

College of Engineering

Master of Science in Computer Science

Courtney Thompson

College of Liberal Arts

Master of Arts in History

Nicholas Dekker

College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Master of Science in Architectural Engineering

Professional Development/Achievements

Ten Cal Poly students' work was presented at ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games Online based on an animated short we made last year in CSC 572: "Into the Graphics-verse: developing an openGL rendering engine and short in the style of `Into the Spider-verse' in a ten week period; Kolton Yager, Douglas McGirr, Elleis Souza, Matthew Key, Camden Stocker, Jack Pietrock, Jillian Empey, Kelsey McDonough, James Asbury, Jacob Loh, and Zoe Wood"

Of the 10 Cal Poly students; Kolten Yager, Elleis Souza, Matthew Key, Jack Pietrock, James Asbury, and Jacob Loh were graduate students.