Recent News

Cal Poly Universities’ Rose Float Entry Will Go Over the Moon in 2022

Sep 17, 2021

The Tournament of Roses® Parade returns New Year’s Day after COVID-related hiatus

Cal Poly universities' 2022 Tournament of Roses Parade Float rendering.
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Hey, diddle, diddle, the Cal Poly universities’ 2022 Tournament of Roses® Parade float features a cat and a fiddle — but the cow jumping over the moon will be wearing a jet pack.

When the parade returns on New Year’s Day after a one-year pandemic-related hiatus, the only student-built parade float will once again roll down Pasadena’s Colorado Boulevard. Called Stargrazers, the float brings to life a scene from the classic Mother Goose nursery rhyme “Hey Diddle, Diddle,” except with an engineering twist that only two polytechnic schools with a seven-decade connection to the Rose Parade could create.

The float aims to exemplify the 2022 theme of “Dream. Believe. Achieve.” The theme of the 133rd Rose Parade celebrates education’s ability to open doors, open minds and change lives.

Cal Poly Project Leverages Artificial Intelligence Deep Learning to Aid Wildfire Recovery

Sep 16, 2021

A heavily damaged nursing home in Paradise, California.
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. –– A pair of Cal Poly professors and a team of students have used artificial intelligence to train a computer to quickly assess wildfire damage — potentially improving response time for efforts to recover from major wildfires.

Accurate and timely damage assessment has become critical for response and recovery as the threat of wildfires increases. Damage assessment reports inform first responders’ strategies, affect residents’ ability to file insurance claims, and guide state and federal authorities’ plans for future disaster relief and financial aid.

To date, most wildfire event inspectors must personally visit affected areas and manually document the severity of building damage, a process that often takes weeks.

Cal Poly Named Best in the West for 29th Consecutive Year by U.S. News

Sep 13, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO —Cal Poly has been named the best public, master’s-level university in the West for the 29th straight year in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best Colleges guidebook.

The 2022 guide, released Sept. 13, provides data on more than 1,800 colleges and universities and rankings for more than 1,400 institutions. It lists Cal Poly as No. 2 overall in the West — up one from last year — and as the top-ranked public university in the region.

In addition, several Cal Poly College of Engineering programs were ranked among the best in the nation for masters-level educational institutions, and the university was ranked as the top school in the West for veterans among public and private institutions that participate in federal initiatives helping veterans and active-duty service members pay for their degrees.

Cal Poly Public Policy Graduate Student Receives CSU Trustees’ Award

Sep 13, 2021

Christine Lam of San Francisco will receive a $6,000 scholarship

Christine Lam
SAN LUIS OBISPO — A Cal Poly public policy graduate student from San Francisco has received a 2021 California State University Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement — CSU’s highest award for students.

Christine Lam, 22, was selected as Cal Poly’s awardee, the Trustee Wenda Fong and Daniel Fetterly Scholar, for her academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. She will receive a $6,000 Trustees’ Award scholarship as part of her recognition. 

Cal Poly City and Regional Planning Courses Recognized by American Planning Association for Work with Village of San Martin

Aug 30, 2021

 A rendering by Cal Poly students of a concept for San Martin’s main intersection, which includes a proposed roundabout, horse sculpture, train station and a linear park on the right.
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Fifty Cal Poly city and regional planning (CRP) students will be honored for proposals that may ease urban encroachment on farmland around a Santa Clara County community.

Their work in the village of San Martin, a community of about 7,000 residents in the southern end of Santa Clara Valley, about 20 miles south of San Jose, received two awards from American Planning Association California chapters: an Academic Award for Excellence from the Central Coast Section; and an Empowerment Award of Excellence from the Northern Section.

The APA is a national organization, representing 40,000 urban planning professionals in 47 chapters, with 22 divisions that embrace the wide range of land-use planning responsibilities. The student awards for the Northern Section will be presented in November in San Francisco at the annual Northern Division gathering. 

Cal Poly Posts First-Ever Livestream of Rattlesnakes

Aug 26, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly Biological Sciences Department researchers have set up the first livestream of rattlesnakes in the wild. During daytime hours, viewers can see expectant mother snakes at a large communal nest on California’s Central Coast, and, in days, their pups.

“Rattlesnakes are portrayed on television programs as bloodthirsty, aggressive beasts; nothing could be further from the truth,” said biology Professor Emily Taylor, who leads the research team. “I hope that by watching rattlesnakes behaving as they actually do, with mothers taking care of their pups and even babysitting for each other, people might think better of rattlesnakes.”

Taylor expects the pups to be born in the next few days and to remain at the rookery with their mothers through mid to late September.

Cal Poly to Host Campus Comeback Sept. 18-28 for Returning Students

Aug 26, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Student Affairs division will host Campus Comeback, a series of campuswide events to be held Sept. 18-28 to help returning students re-engage with the Cal Poly community.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many students have been away from the Cal Poly campus for more than a year, while others haven’t had the opportunity to experience it at all. Campus Comeback will offer a wide selection of opportunities to help students find their sense of community, get familiar with the physical campus and surrounding area, and connect with faculty, advisors and support services. Students will also have opportunities to learn about and sign up for clubs and organizations, meet classmates, locate key campus resources, and attend in-person social events.

Cal Poly’s Education Talent Search Secures New Five-Year Federal Grant

Aug 19, 2021

Program supports local students seeking to attend college

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Educational Talent Search (ETS) program recently received a new five-year federal grant that will serve 500 local junior high and high school students per year.

The federally funded pre-college program supports sixth- through 12th-grade students in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties who want to pursue higher education at a community college or university with counseling, as well as information about college admission requirements, scholarships, college entrance exams, and more.

All told, the five-year grant will award $277,375 to the program on an annual basis through 2026.

Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch Receives $4.7 Million Grant to Assist with Post-Fire Recovery Efforts, Increase Fire Resilience Strategies

Aug 19, 2021

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Swanton Pacific Ranch was recently awarded a $4.7 million grant from Cal Fire’s Forest Health Program to assist with post-fire recovery efforts.

The grant is the second of two Cal Fire grants, totaling nearly $9 million, recently awarded to further the ranch’s efforts to bring about sustainable, long-term solutions to the management and stewardship of working landscapes.

The grant funding comes one year after the CZU Lightning Complex Fire swept through Swanton Pacific Ranch in Davenport, California, destroying many of the structures and much of the surrounding forest. 

Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is Headed to Paso Robles

Aug 12, 2021

CIE extends two of its flagship programs to North County entrepreneurial facility, THE SANDBOX Paso Robles

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation for Entrepreneurship (CIE) is expanding — bringing its Incubator program and Small Business Development Center (SBDC) to THE SANDBOX Paso Robles, a resource center for North County entrepreneurs.

The two programs have been at the forefront of technology, innovation and economic development in San Luis Obispo County. The CIE will host an open house for its new partnership with the facility at 1345 Park St. from 5 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1. RSVP on Eventbrite at


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