Cal Poly Report — Sept. 30, 2020 


Cal Poly Study Finds Changes in Bird Songs in San Francisco During COVID-19 Shutdown

Jenny Phillips bikes into a field site during the shutdown with all recording equipment strapped to her back.When the roads emptied of traffic in March and April because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bay Area residents reported hearing more birds. They were halfway right. Jennifer Phillips, a researcher at Cal Poly, and Elizabeth Derryberry, a professor at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, collaborated with a team of fellow ecologists to evaluate whether and how songbirds responded to the quieter environment, the result of much less traffic as the pandemic kept most people home. The researchers’ findings, recently published in the journal Science, were based on a comparison of soundscapes and songs of the white-crowned sparrow recorded across the San Francisco Bay Area prior to and during the recent statewide shutdown. “When I saw photos of an empty Golden Gate Bridge, it struck me just how little traffic there was,” said Derryberry, lead author of the study. “I realized we were in a unique position to look at how changes in human behavior might affect wildlife and what the noise reduction might mean for the songbird we study.” As a graduate student from 2013-17, Phillips studied the song of the white-crowned sparrow in the Bay Area. Now a postdoctoral researcher at Cal Poly, she returned to her former study sites in April and May 2020 to record noise and song samples from urban and rural sites surrounding San Francisco and Richmond, California. Read more on Cal Poly News.

Student Success

Students Use Graphic Communication Skills to Promote COVID-19 Safety Measures

Photo of a sign being pulled from a box to install on campusAs the coronavirus pandemic progressed during the spring quarter, Facilities Operations Executive Director Jude Fledderman started thinking about posting signs on campus to help people safely navigate Cal Poly in the age of COVID-19. Meanwhile, University Graphic Systems, the Graphic Communication Department’s student-run printing and design operation, was brainstorming how to keep their business running during the pandemic. “I knew Facilities was looking to get these signs printed quickly and we have the equipment and capacity to produce them,” said Colleen Twomey, chair of the Graphic Communication Department. “It was serendipitous.” Since July, the students who primarily operate UGS have been making the signs, which show people how to get around campus buildings while maintaining social distance, among other things. The student managers on the UGS team, who were mostly trained on their duties via Zoom during the spring quarter, knew this year would be different. But the sign project hammered home the new normal of adapting a business to serve customers in pandemic conditions. Read more on Cal Poly News.

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Faculty & Staff

Eight Cal Poly Development Officers Earn Blackbaud Prime Officer Award

In 2017 Blackbaud, a University Development and Alumni Engagement fundraising partner, introduced its Prime Officer award. This annual award recognizes the top gift officers in the Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management Community and is a result of analysis of the fiscal year 2020 activities of over 2,506 gift officers. Prime Officers outperform their peers in both visits (top quartile) and number of proposals submitted at or above $25,000 (top 2 quartiles). Eight Cal Poly college and unit-based development officers have achieved fiscal year 2020 Prime Officer status and are among the top 13% of all Blackbaud Fundraiser Performance Management gift officers based on the above metrics. Congratulations to:
— Allyson Dela Cruz, director of development, CAFES.
— Elise Erb, associate director of development, CENG. 
— Russ Kabaker, assistant dean of advancement and external relations, CAFES.
— Cory Karpin, director of development, Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. 
— Timothy Northrop, senior director of development, CAFES.
— Ashley Offermann, senior associate athletic director for development, Cal Poly Athletics. 
— Jessica Otten, senior director of development, CAED.
— Jenna Tognazzini, associate athletic director for development, Cal Poly Athletics.

Applications Accepted Oct. 1-21 for Early Exit Program

As a mitigation strategy to offset the university‘s budget deficit and to potentially minimize future cuts, Cal Poly is implementing an Early Exit Program (EEP) and accepting applications from Oct. 1-21. Employees must separate on or before Dec. 30, 2020. The EEP provides the opportunity for employees who are CalPERS-retirement eligible with five years of service at Cal Poly to voluntarily resign and collect a severance package from the university. Employees may, but are not required to, retire upon separation. Human Resources will host a virtual Zoom information session followed by Q&A from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 7. Click here to participate. More information about the EEP is available at This is a one-time, non-precedent setting program.

Open Enrollment Open Through Oct. 16

Illustration of stop lights with text reading Ready Set EnrollOpen Enrollment, employees' annual opportunity to review and update their current benefits for the upcoming year, is now open through Oct. 16. Employees can enroll, change or cancel CalPERS health, dental, vision, FlexCash, Dependent Care Reimbursement (DCRA), Health Care Reimbursement (HCRA) or voluntary benefits plans. You must enroll or re-enroll in HCRA and DCRA during open enrollment to participate in 2021. The effective date for all changes made during the Open Enrollment period is Jan. 1, 2021. Note: For plan year 2021, United Health Care HMO will only contract with CCPN and will no longer be contracted with Physician’s Choice medical network. Blue Shield Trio HMO is a new low-cost plan that will be contracted with Physician’s Choice. View the Benefits Open Enrollment webpage for 2021 rates, plan information and more. Alternatively, visit the Human Resources Virtual Front Desk through Zoom, or call HR Employee Support Services at ext. 6-2236 to chat with a HR representative.

CalPERS To Host Virtual Workshops on Retirement

CalPERS logoCalifornia Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) will virtually present two sessions of its Planning Your Retirement workshop to help employees within one to five years of retirement learn how to plan for retirement and the process of retiring. The workshop will be held from 9-11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, and Friday Oct. 9. Click here for detailed information on how to enroll. Questions? Visit the Human Resources Virtual Front Desk through Zoom, or call HR Employee Support Services at ext. 6-2236 to chat with a HR representative.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Every week in October, the Disability Resource Center will offer tips to raise accessibility knowledge for the campus community.
— Tip 1: Use Meaningful Link Text. Most screen readers provide users with a list of all links in a document, no matter the users’ current position in the document. This feature also describes all links without their original context. The text of links should accurately describe the purpose of the link and the destination content. Avoid link text like “Click Here,” “More,” and “Read More.” These can be confusing when read out of context by a screen reader. For example: “For more information, visit the Cal Poly page on the coronavirus” will sound clearer and more useful to screen reader users than “for more information on Cal Poly and the coronavirus, click here.” 
See more guidance on meaningful link text on Cal Poly's Accessibility homepage.

Retired Faculty and Staff Fall Quarter Program to be Held Virtually Oct. 8

The Cal Poly Retired Faculty and Staff Association’s (RFSA) fall quarter program will be held virtually from 2-2:45 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 8. This quarter’s program will feature a live presentation and interactive question-and-answer session with President Armstrong. Register for the virtual event. The Zoom meeting link and password will be provided upon your registration. Questions about the event can be directed to RFSA President Bill Kellogg at

Pilot Program Will Explore Whiteness, Inspired by Building Anti-Racist White Educators

Sign up for a pilot program exploring whiteness inspired by Building Anti-Racist White Educators (BARWE) co-sponsored by the Office of University Diversity and Inclusion and the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology. Over the course of five sessions, participants will explore whiteness, its influence in our personal and professional lives, and work on developing anti-racist practice. This five-session program will take place Tuesdays beginning Oct. 6 and continuing through Nov. 3, from 10-11:30 a.m. via Zoom. To register, fill out this form by Friday, Oct. 2. Questions? Contact Ryan Adserias in OUDI  at

Emeritus Parking Permits Now Virtual

Transportation and Parking Services has announced that the 2020 roll out of virtual emeritus permits has been a smooth transition. Following the successful launch of License Plate Recognition (LPR) throughout campus parking lots, physical parking permits are not needed as license plates now serve in place of those placards. Physical emeritus permits are now expired and no longer valid. All emeritus who continue to need access to campus are asked to email to initiate a virtual parking authorization. For more information about LPR, visit the TAPS website at To stay compliant make sure that your parking account reflects accurate information at all times. Log into your parking account and ensure that the license plate number is correct and linked to an active parking permit. Contact with any questions or concerns.

New Virtual Book and Learning Circles for Fall

Whistling Vivaldi book coverEmployee and Organization Development has announced the fall 2020 Book and Learning Circles, which will all be held on Zoom.
— Book Circles involve reading a book over the course of three to five sessions and discussing in a group. The first book, "Whistling Vivaldi" by Claude M. Steele,  paints a compelling picture of how simply being aware of negative stereotypes toward our social group diminishes our ability to perform. The second book is "Crucial Accountability: Tools for Resolving Violated Expectations, Broken Commitments, and Bad Behavior," by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan and A. Switzler. Discover tools for improving relationships in the workplace and in life and for resolving all broken promises, missed deadlines, and poor behavior — permanently. The third book, "The Happiness Advantage: How a Positive Brain Fuels Success in Work and Life" by Shawn Achor, reveals how rewiring our brain for happiness helps us achieve more in our careers and relationships and as students, leaders and parents.
— Learning Circles involve watching a video or reading an article and participating in a discussion during a single session. The first learning circle is "Mindful Leadership," featuring talks from Janice Marurano, Mark Bertoli and Jessica Amos. The second learning circle is offered as a series of three sessions and provides an eye-opening discussion tool to help people examine their beliefs about race, privilege, policy and justice in "Race — The Power of an Illusion." In the third learning circle, "How Language Shapes the Way We Think," Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language and suggests that the various languages around the world shape the way we think. 
To view a full description and register to attend, visit the Book and Learning Circles webpage at

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Campus Announcements

Illustration of a house with text reading Healing from the Inside OutOctober is Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month: Healing from the Inside Out

Join Safer in learning and healing together. For Domestic Violence Awareness and Prevention Month this year, Safer is highlighting the "triple pandemic" of domestic violence, institutional racism and COVID-19. Safer will offer education on these intersections, reflection prompts, a webinar on trauma-informed virtual environments, and opportunities to get involved through pledges and community art engagement. Follow the outreach campaign all month on Instagram at @calpolysafer.


Certified Kosher Food Available at Grand Ave Market

Rabbi Chaim Hilel, left, with Campus Dining Executive Chef Resford Abrigo, pose in front of some kosher offerings.Campus Dining is increasing certified kosher food offerings throughout the university, starting at Grand Ave Market and soon expanding to Campus and Village markets. Dining management and chefs worked closely with local Rabbi Chaim Hilel of Chabad of SLO, who provided guidance during the planning process (pictured, left, with Campus Dining Executive Chef Rensford Abrigo). Rabbi Hilel regularly works with many Jewish students on campus. Additional work included a focus group that was also held last year with a cohort of Jewish students to better understand their needs and desires for kosher food on campus. Initial offerings that are currently available at Grand Ave Market include sandwiches, salads, wraps and side dishes. The glatt kosher meals are provided by Emuna. Campus Dining is pleased to offer a wide variety of kosher foods and meet the needs of the student population.

Spread the Word about Virtual Preview Day Oct. 3

Graphic reading Virtual Preview DayTo help prospective students get to know Cal Poly better, Admissions is bringing Cal Poly to them with Virtual Preview Day on Saturday, Oct. 3. The event starts at 10 a.m. with a welcome from President Armstrong and a student-led panel, which will give prospective students an inside look into Cal Poly's Learn by Doing philosophy and what life is like for students. From there, prospective students can pick and choose which of the six colleges they want to learn more about by attending college-specific presentations. Share the news and encourage prospective students to mark their calendar and register (for the welcome session and a college session or two) at

Cal Poly Preschool Learning Lab Reopens 

Photo of playground equipment at the Preschool Learning Lab.The Psychology and Child Development Department’s Preschool Learning Lab — which is open to the entire campus community — has reopened and is accepting applications for children ages 3-5 years old to attend 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Children of faculty and staff receive priority. The program focuses on inquiry-based learning experiences that encourage each child’s natural interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The lab offers a low teacher-child ratio, while providing a high-quality preschool atmosphere that supports the developmental needs of the whole child in a warm, nurturing, play-based environment. For more information, visit or contact Director Patty Clarkson at

Statistical Consulting Service Available During Fall

The Statistics Department provides a statistical consulting service to the university community to facilitate research design and data analysis in a wide variety of disciplines. Consulting will be available through Tuesday, Nov. 24, by appointment only. Ulric Lund will serve as the consultant. He is available to advise on data collection, experimental design and analysis of research projects. In addition, he will be available to lead seminars or tutorials on requested topics and offer advice on various computer packages available at Cal Poly. Faculty, staff and students interested in utilizing the consulting service are encouraged to access the Statistics Department website for additional information, including what to bring to a consulting session. To schedule a consultation, email


The Cost of a Revolution: An Evening with Patrisse Cullors and the Family of George Floyd

Cost of a Revolution event speakers Patrisse Cullors, Angela Harrelson and Selwyn JonesASI Events and the Black Academic Excellence Center present "The Cost of a Revolution: An Evening with Patrisse Cullors and the Family of George Floyd." Join the virtual event at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 30, for a keynote speech from Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors and a moderated discussion with Angela Harrelson and Selwyn Jones, George Floyd’s aunt and uncle. Participants are invited to submit questions for Patrisse Cullors, Angela Harrelson, and Selwyn Jones prior to the event. Participants must be current students, faculty or staff members with a valid email address to join the Zoom webinar at Anyone with questions or needing more information can visit the ASI website or contact ASI Programs Coordinator Missi Allison-Bullock at

RSVP for Sustainability Month 2020

Photos of Dr. Mustafa Santiago Ali, "Green Girl" Leah Thomas, Xiuhtezcatl (X) Martinez, and CSU Chico AS President Breanna “Bre” Holbert.October is Campus Sustainability Month. Join various Cal Poly and CSU groups throughout October for a series of virtual events to educate and inspire students, staff and faculty on sustainability and social justice. This year's headlining event, "Climate Justice = Social Justice: Conversations Exploring the Intersections of People, Planet and Power," will feature two live sessions. Join a live Q & A with renowned thought-leader on climate justice, Mustafa Santiago Ali, from noon-1 p.m. Oct. 5. From noon-1 p.m. Oct. 14, join a panel conversation with "Green Girl" Leah Thomas, Xiuhtezcatl (X) Martinez, and CSU Chico AS President Breanna “Bre” Holbert as moderator. Both events are open to students, staff and faculty at all 23 CSU campuses with the goal of empowering people to connect the dots between environmental and racial justice and to get out the vote this November! RSVP for the events. Virtual meeting details will follow in the coming weeks. There will also be multiple student-hosted virtual events throughout the month: Tie-Dye Craft Night from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 5, Sustainability Speed Dating from 3-4 p.m. Oct. 7Zero Waste Cooking Lesson from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 13, Social Justice Movie Discussion from 6-7 p.m. Oct. 19, and Sustainability Jeopardy from 3-4 p.m. Oct. 27. Questions? Contant Sustainability Coordinator Kylee Singh at

Free Streaming Concert Series Starts Oct. 2 Featuring Classinova 

Graphic with a microphone and text reading Live from the PACLIVE from the PAC is a free live-streamed concert series highlighting local artists performing live in Miossi Hall for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. The program includes behind-the-scenes content and artists interviews and is filmed in accordance with safety protocols. Developed as a way to connect with audiences, LIVE from the PAC is a virtual experience created and produced by the Performing Arts Center San Luis Obispo. Classinova kicks off the series at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2. Classinova has been described as classical violin, meets Bossa Nova meets Jazz Standards with Celtic palate cleansers in between — world music with a twist. Visit for details.

Cal Poly Arts to Present Music and Conversation Series Starting Oct. 11

Promo photo for The Muse Hour with Karamo BrownCal Poly Arts is presenting a four-evening, live-stream music and conversation series, The Muse Hour, presented in partnership with Luther Burbank Center for the Arts and Tacoma Arts Live. The first episode will air live at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11, with Karamo Brown, three-time Emmy Winner and culture expert on the Netflix reboot of "Queer Eye."  Speaking on the topic of “Making Your Mark in the World: Creating Awareness and Change,” Karamo will share his thoughts as a black man, openly gay man, son of immigrant parents, Christian, single father and former social worker on how he strategically utilizes these numerous identities to achieve success. The event will be moderated by SLO County Medical Examiner Dr. Joye Carter and will be followed by a Q&A session with audience members. Tickets are $11.50 and are available through

PLATFORM Artist Conversations Fall Virtual Event Schedule

Image to accompany the Oct. 22 talk.The newly formed ConSortiUm, a collaborative project of art museums and galleries from the CSU system, has announced a virtual event series to actively engage students, faculty, staff and communities through visual arts-based dialogue. The inaugural program, PLATFORM, includes six live virtual conversations with contemporary artists, collectives and curators whose work is critical to current re-imaginings of the art world and the world at large: Postcommodity: A Conversation with artists Cristóbal Martínez and Kade L. Twist at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22; and Forensic Architecture: A Conversation with founder Eyal Weizman at noon Thursday, Nov. 12. All events will be presented live via Zoom with access for all CSU campuses. Recordings of the events will be available for post live-stream viewing and archived by the sponsoring institutions. These events are free and open to the public. More details are available on the University Art Gallery website at

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

Per guidance from the Big West and Big Sky conferences, all of Cal Poly's fall sports events have been postponed until 2021. Check for updated information on fall sports.

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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. 

#497628 — Oppenheimer Family Equine Center Manager (Administrator I), Academic Affairs — College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences. Salary commensurate with the background and experience of the individual selected. Open until closed.

To find internally posted positions, start from the Cal Poly Portal. Click “Cal Poly Jobs” on the left-hand menu. On the next page click “Apply.” All internally and externally posted positions appear there. 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 open. 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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