Cal Poly Report — April 22, 2020 


Thousands Attend Virtual Open House

Text reading Virtual Open House with photos of campus.Cal Poly’s first-ever Virtual Open House kicked off over the weekend to great success. It began with a University Welcome from President Armstrong and ASI President Mark Borges on Friday. Saturday consisted of information sessions from each of the six academic colleges and their departments. Sunday focused on student life with a welcome from Vice President Humphrey, housing and dining information, a session on diversity and inclusion efforts and more. Thousands of newly admitted students and their supporters attended these virtual information sessions and were able to ask questions and experience Cal Poly in their own homes. Thank you to New Student and Transition Programs, Admissions and Recruitment, University Marketing and all others who made this virtual event possible. View recordings of most events as well as this week’s events at

Cal Poly Honored Again by Arbor Day Foundation as a Tree Campus USA

For the sixth consecutive year, Cal Poly has been named a Tree Campus USA for its commitment to urban forest management, the Arbor Day Foundation announced. The 2019 award honors campuses for their previous year’s commitment and recognizes Cal Poly’s best practices in managing one of the largest and most diverse university urban forests in the nation. “Cal Poly’s urban forest serves many important functions,” said Christopher Wassenberg, the university’s landscape manager. “It is a living laboratory for students and an environmental filter for our air and water, and it provides psychological benefits to improve our everyday quality of life.” Since 2014, Cal Poly has met Tree Campus USA’s five standards, which include maintaining a tree advisory committee, a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance, and student service-learning project. Cal Poly is among 16 California colleges or universities and more than 360 other schools in 47 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., to carry the Tree Campus USA designation. But it stands apart from the rest boasting the largest variety of tree species on a university campus in the nation. Read more here.

Fourth Annual Cal Poly Earth Week to Offer Online Events

Earth Week logoThe fourth annual Cal Poly Earth Week and the first ever all digital Earth Week is taking place this week with a goal of building an online community of sustainability champions. Learn more and RSVP here to receive the Zoom links for each event. Events include:
— Wednesday, April 22 (Earth Day), 11 a.m. to noon: "Climate Action NOW." Join San Luis Obispo Mayor Heidi Harmon, ASI Student Government President Mark Borges, and Cal Poly Director of Energy, Utilities and Sustainability Dennis Elliot for a panel presentation to discuss how Cal Poly and the city of San Luis Obispo are acting to fight climate change and what our current pandemic means for the future of climate action.
— Thursday, April 23, 11 a.m. to noon: Careers in Sustainability Networking. Join Green Campus, Career Services and Net Impact to learn about local and regional jobs and internships in sustainability. Invited guests will represent the governmental, nonprofit, startup, and consulting realms.
— Thursday April 23, 7 to 9 p.m.: Join Eco Reps for a film screening of "Awake," followed by a discussion on environmental justice.
— All month: Surfrider Make Waves Film Fest, Artivism art displays and social media challenges can be found on the @cpgreencampus instagram account.

Cal Poly Corporation Board of Directors to Meet May 1 

The board of directors of the Cal Poly Corporation will hold its regular meeting virtually at 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 1. This is a public meeting. To join the meeting  email Ann Roy at for login information. Public comments for this meeting must be submitted no later than 5 p.m. Thursday, April 30, via email to A copy of the meeting agenda is available by download here or by contacting

Cal Poly Foundation Board and Annual Meeting to be Rescheduled

The Cal Poly Foundation board of directors meeting previously scheduled for Saturday, May 2, in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion Room, has been postponed due to the COVID-19 related closures. Details are pending and will be announced in future editions of Cal Poly Report. For more information contact the Cal Poly Foundation office at ext. 6-7147 or

ASI Launches New Website Designed to Improve User Experience

Screenshot of the ASI homepage.ASI has announced the launch of the organization’s new website at The new website offers an improved user experience, including easy-to-navigate pages, digital submission of forms, a consolidated calendar for programming and events, an enhanced facility scheduling process, and a mobile-friendly interface. The project has been more than three years in the making and has been a true collaboration among all areas of the organization and the university. From day one, students and the student experience drove every decision. From focus groups and data gathering, to committee review, concept testing and designing components on the page, students were involved in every step of the process. With the necessity to offer virtual programming and services immediately, the new website has been modified to reflect and promote ASI’s current virtual offerings. Anyone with questions can contact Dora Mountain, coordinator — Public Relations, Communications and Marketing, at

Student Success

Virtual Tomato Spectacular Sale, with Plant Pickups, Started April 17

Two Cal Poly students pose with tomato plantsCal Poly’s annual Tomato Spectacular plant sale will go on — with plants available for purchase online and scheduled pick-up times on campus. More than 70 different types of tomato plants are available at the annual Tomato Spectacular sale. Online ordering began April 17 at and will continue until plants are sold out. Customers will be asked to provide a phone number and will be called with a day and time to pick up their orders in parking lot H-12, south of the horse and horticulture units on Via Carta Road off Highland Drive. Additional pick-up locations will be provided in Los Osos and Morro Bay for customers in those areas. Brandywine, Early Girl, Kellogg’s Breakfast, Homestead, and a selection of cherry tomato plants, including Nature’s Bites, are some of the unique cultivars that will be available during the student-run enterprise project, one of several such hands-on courses offered by the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. The cost is $6 per plant. “We have more than 3,000 tomato plants available for purchase that students worked hard to cultivate,” said Wendy Robinson, campus greenhouse manager. “While we are not able to offer the traditional sale because of important social distancing requirements related to COVID-19, staff and students alike worked hard to find a virtual platform to make sure the community is still able to support these students’ hard work.” 

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Faculty & Staff

On-Demand Stress Relief and Mindfulness Resources Available to All Employees

Photo of stones balanced on a beach.The CSU has a newly launched Work/Life Balance Learning Bundle containing theme-based courses and videos that are packaged for easy access. The Work/Life Balance Learning Bundle is available on the Learning Hub and provides courses, a quick video and several CSU’s Got Talent webcasts for team members and managers. The "Introduction to Mindfulness Meditation” webcast with Dr. Juliet Hwang is recommended for anyone feeling stressed about the COVID-19 situation — it’s worth an hour of your time. Click here to view the Work/Life Balance Learning Bundle. Mindfulness has been shown to improve attention stability, increase cognitive capacity, improve stress regulation and reduce emotional reactivity. The Employee and Organization Development department also offers a Mindfulness Toolkit that includes videos, online courses, articles, and eBooks. Click here to view the Mindfulness Toolkit. Additionally, Human Resources offers easily accessible information on the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) webpage, which provides individual assessment and referral, solution-oriented personal issue resolution, counseling, life management services, and other resources aimed at assisting faculty, staff and their household members with personal and workplace challenges.

Give Your Research a Boost During COVID-19

Graphic reading Center for Expressive Technologies Faculty Research Grants Available The Center for Expressive Technologies is seeking proposals for research grants from tenure-line faculty and lecturers in all colleges. What is an expressive technology? Projects funded by CET usually engage with visual and creative technologies (often digital), but the "what" is not as important as the "how" and the "why." Expressive technologies allow us to tell stories that give us voice, help us meet our communal goals, inspire creativity and imagination that can engender empathy, help us learn from histories, or promote our cultural diversity. This is an opportunity for faculty members to work with colleagues from other departments or colleges on new ideas to keep their research moving. For more information, visit Have questions or need help finding a collaborator? Email CET Director Matthew Harsh

Campuswide Policy on Data Management Now Available 

The interim campuswide policy on data management (CAP 152) is now available and online. As everyone on campus works with data in some form, this policy applies to all. CAP 152 outlines what is defined as Cal Poly’s data, how it is managed, how it can be accessed and how it should be properly distributed and handled. The full campuswide policy on data management can be read here.

CTLT Offers Accessibility Resources to Assist with Transition to Remote Instruction

Graphic of an outline of a person inside a blue circleTransitioning to remote instruction with limited time presents challenges for instructors and students alike. Modifications to course materials and activities can introduce new access barriers for students with disabilities. At the same time, online learning can be extremely accessible, offering new opportunities for participation and collaboration. Below are resources to help faculty members create accessible course content as they transition their courses to the virtual learning environment. Log in to the Cal Poly portal to access the links below. Anyone with questions can contact Pam Dougherty, instructional designer and accessibility specialist for the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT), at
— Self-enroll link: Creating Accessible Canvas Content
— Self-enroll link: Creating Accessible Documents
— Self-enroll link: Creating Accessible Video

Learn How to Work Securely From Home

Photo of a woman working at her computer, holding a cup of tea.Now that Cal Poly has transitioned to virtual working and teaching, it’s important for faculty and staff to know the basics of securely working from home. Ninjio has released a special information security training video featuring Jon Lovitz called “Safe at Home,” which walks users through some critical at-home security tips, like updating your computer’s operating system and making sure your antivirus software is current. Watch “Safe at Home” on the Cal Poly Learning Hub under the Staff and Faculty Training tab on the My Cal Poly Portal (log in before clicking the links). For more tips, read “Securely Working from Home” on the ITS Knowledge Base. Unfortunately, hackers have exploited the pandemic in a new wave of phishing emails related to coronavirus. Anyone who receives something suspicious should send it to the Information Security Office either by reporting it as phishing in Outlook, or by forwarding it to

New Book and Learning Circles to be Offered Virtually in Spring

Book cover reading The Small Changes that Change Tiny HabitsEmployee and Organization Development invites employees to participate in the spring 2020 Book and Learning Circles. The circles will be offered via Zoom and books will be sent electronically to participants.
— Book Circles involve reading a book over the course of three to five sessions. The first book, "Crucial Conversations" by Patterson, Grenny, McMillan and Switzler, has revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when the stakes are high. The second book, "Tiny Habits" by B.J. Fogg, the world’s leading expert on habit formation, shows how you can have a happier, healthier life.
— Learning Circles involve watching a video or reading an article and participating in a discussion during a single session. In the first learning circle, "Crucial Conversations: Master My Stories," Cricket Buchler explores how cognitive biases can lead us to misplace blame resulting in confrontations that go badly. She goes on to offer a framework of six sources that influence human behavior and strategies to rethink our conclusions for healthier and more positive outcomes to our crucial conversations. The second learning circle is "How Frustration Can Make Us More Creative," with Tim Harford, and shows us that challenges and problems can derail your creative process — or they can make you more creative than ever. In the third learning circle, "How to Create Meaningful Connections While Apart," Priya Parker highlights the value of gathering despite distance, and shares tools for creating meaningful connections. To view a full description and register to attend, visit the Book and Learning Circles webpage at

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Catastrophic Leave

Korey Long, administrative support coordinator in IRAE — Technical Support — Academic Affairs, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help him remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Alisa Williford at ext. 6-6173 or agwillif@calpoly.eduto request a donation form.

Eric Troxell, custodian in University Housing — Custodial Operations, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help him remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Karen Schmidt at ext. 6-5935 or to request a donation form.

Amy Wiley, lecturer in College of Liberal Arts — English, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help her remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Susan Bratcher at ext. 6-5850 or to request a donation form.

Renee Elliott, administrative analyst in Financial Aid, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help her remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Linda Ortiz at ext. 6-1304 or to request a donation form.

Alberto Jimenez, custodian in University Housing — Custodial Operations, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help him remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Karen Schmidt at ext. 6-5935 or to request a donation form.

Pedro Andres, custodian in Facilities Custodial Services, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help him remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Laura McCarren at ext. 6-5212 or to request a donation form.

Guadalupe Aguilar, custodian in Facilities Custodial Services, has qualified for catastrophic leave. Those wishing to donate leave credits to help her remain in full-pay status during an extended leave of absence should contact catastrophic leave coordinator Laura McCarren at ext. 6-5212 or to request a donation form.

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In Memoriam

Armando Pezo-SilvaArmando Pezo-Silva, director of Student Academic Services and the Educational Opportunity Program at Cal Poly from 1980 to 2002 and a key staff member with Student Affairs for more than 25 years, died Friday, April 17, in Cusco, Peru, where he had lived since retirement. Pezo-Silva was dedicated to the success of first-generation, low-income college students and was a principal writer of numerous grants and programs designed by Student Academic Services, including Student Affirmative Action, Educational Talent Search, Upward Bound, Student Support Services, the initial Minority Engineering Program, Summer Institute and many others. Pezo-Silva's legacy at the university is  the successful funding of these grants and the ongoing programming that benefited first-generation college students. His tireless work on data-driven planning and assessment throughout his career greatly improved the graduation and job placement rates of underrepresented students. Pezo-Silva was enchanted with accelerated learning, technology and virtual learning early on and was committed to innovation in all areas of education and administration, including the development of the Cal Poly portal. His commitment to student success resulted in Cal Poly’s recognition as a leading campus in engineering and architecture for Hispanic students. Pezo-Silva was a visionary guide and the heart of Student Academic Services and its many programs for several decades. Those who knew him also knew he had the biggest heart and appreciated his contagious humor. Always a gardener and botanist, he designed and created stunning nature-scapes at his homes in Atascadero and San Luis Obispo, then continued this avocation when he relocated to Peru in 2002. A memorial will be planned at a future date. 

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Campus Announcements

Cal Poly Food Distribution Site to be Held on Campus April 28

Logo for the Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo CountyCampus Health and Wellbeing (CH&W) is continuing its Basic Needs services for the campus community. Any student, staff or faculty member can stop by the lower level of the Health Center (No. 27), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday to receive a grocery bag of food. In addition, the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County’s on-campus food distribution site continues to be held on  campus. On Tuesday, April 28 from 3:30-5 p.m., the Food Bank and CH&W volunteers will be on Mott Lawn to distribute grocery bags. The Food Bank Coalition administers TEFAP (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) once a month at no cost to low-income families and individuals to help with nutrition assistance. This service is being provided to ensure that all students, faculty and staff have access to nutritious foods. Campus Health and Wellbeing will continue to support this food distribution site every fourth Tuesday of the month. For more information, contact

Campus Dining Venues Transitioning to Grubhub Ordering

In an effort to decrease social interactions during the COVID-19 situation, Campus Dining is transitioning all venues to only accept payment through Grubhub. This new process will not only lessen potential contact between employees and customers when completing the financial transactions, but will also speed up the process, making it easier to purchase and pick up. Grubhub takes credit cards and dining dollars for students on dining plans. Starting this week all purchases at Einstein Bros. Bagels, Starbucks UU, Canyon Café, Bishop Craft Burger and Tu Taco will be Grubhub only. Student Choice, Village Market and Chick-fil-A will transition to Grubhub next week. The Grubhub app was introduced to campus last fall and has helped to increase the efficiency and throughput at many dining venues throughout campus.

Lease a Home Within Walking Distance of Campus

Photo of the Bella Montana housing communityA beautiful Bella Montana home is available for lease. This two-bedroom, one-bath home has a contemporary kitchen, elegant living area, attractive bath and energy-saving appliances. The nearby location offers easy access to hiking trails, shops and restaurants. The home is part of a 5.3-acre planned housing community that was designed and crafted with Cal Poly employees and their families in mind. Located within walking distance of campus, Bella Montana encompasses 69 individually owned homes on Highland Drive near iconic Highway 1. For more information visit


Event Calendar

To find out what’s going on at Cal Poly, visit the Events Calendar. The site includes community events that are open to the public and Campus Life events open to students, faculty and staff. The calendar also includes events at the Performing Arts Center. A link from the calendar allows staff, faculty and students to check facility availability before requesting and reserving on-campus locations for activities and events. For more information about publishing an event on the calendar, contact

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For an overview of up-to-date sports information, photos and videos, visit Students always get in free. Faculty and staff discounts are available.

Upcoming Events @ Home

All athletic events through the spring have been canceled.

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Job Vacancies

Employment Opportunities

For all available job openings, visit All new positions opened this week are listed below. To apply, go online and complete the application form. Current employees can also find job postings at CSU Careers, an internal job site for CSU employees. For assistance, call Human Resources at ext. 6-2236. 

#496612 — Retention Advisor (Student Services Professional II), Academic Affairs - University Advising. $51,648-$73,440 per year. Anticipated hiring range: $51,648-$53,148 per year. Open until closed.

#493430 — Coordinator of Student Development (Student Service Professional II), Student Affairs — University Housing. Anticipated hiring salary: $51,648 per year. Open until filled.

#496270 — Biological Sciences Budget Analyst (Administrative Analyst/ Specialist), College of Science and Mathematics — Biological Sciences Department. $39,456-$76,164 per year. Anticipated hiring range: $50,400-$62,400 per year. Open until closed.

For a full list of available jobs, go to

Faculty Employment Opportunities

Visit for all available job openings. The part-time lecturer pools are now opened. Visit for current openings, further information and how to apply. For assistance, call Academic Personnel at ext. 6-2844. 

There are no new listings at this time.

Corporation Employment Opportunities

Cal Poly Corporation is a separate entity operating in concert with the university to provide a diverse range of services and resources to students, faculty and staff. To view all available job postings or apply, visit the Corporation website. For assistance, contact Human Resources at ext. 6-1121.

There are no new listings at this time.

ASI Employment Opportunities

Candidates are asked to visit the ASI website to complete an ASI application and apply for open positions. For more information, visit the ASI Business Office in UU 212 or call ext. 6-5800.

There are no new listings at this time.

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Submission Guidelines for Cal Poly Report

Cal Poly Report (CPR) is Cal Poly's official employee newsletter, designed to communicate information about officially sanctioned university news or events to faculty, staff and administrators. Submissions may run a maximum of three times and should be limited to 150 words. To help ensure CPR continues to contain only relevant and approved information, submissions are required to come from or be approved by the employee designated to approve submissions in the respective colleges, units and work areas. A list of designated approvers is available on the Cal Poly Report index website. Entries submitted by those other than the designated approver must be accompanied by an approval form signed by the unit's approver. The approval form is available online in fillable pdf format or a downloadable Microsoft Word format. CPR is published weekly during the school year, except during academic breaks, and monthly in the summer. The deadline for each issue is 12:30 p.m. the Friday prior to publication.

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