Recent News

Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble Fall Concert to Include Morro Bay High School Choirs, Critically Acclaimed Guest Artists on Dec. 3

Nov 2, 2022

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Arab Music Ensemble and Dance Troupe will be joined by the Morro Bay High School Choirs and critically acclaimed guest artists for its Fall Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 3, in Spanos Theatre on campus.

A special feature of the concert will be a collaboration between the Arab Music Ensemble and the Morro Bay High School Choirs directed by Katie Bravante, a 1999 graduate of the Music Department. The groups will perform an adaptation of Joy Hirokawa’s arrangement of “Lamma Bada Yatathanna,” a foremost example of Arab art music.

The critically acclaimed guest artists to be featured in the concert include Ishmael on qanun (zither), Fathi Aljarrah on kamanja (violin), and Faisal Zedan and Keeth CrowHawk on riqq (tambourine), daff (frame drum) and darabukka (goblet drum).

The program will feature contemporary works and traditional genres with roots in the Eastern Mediterranean, the larger historical Ottoman Empire and the legacy of Andalusia, as well as some of the most celebrated repertoire of Southwest Asia-North Africa. Improvisation (taqsim) will also feature prominently in the concert.

Cal Poly Choirs to Present Sixth Annual ‘Holiday Kaleidoscope’ on Dec. 2

Nov 2, 2022

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Choirs, which include Cantabile, Chamber Choir, PolyPhonics and University Singers, will present the sixth annual “Holiday Kaleidoscope” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in the Performing Arts Center’s Christopher Cohan Center.

This year the Cal Poly Choirs will be joined by the Cabrillo High School Madrigal Singers, directed by Cal Poly alumna Jennifer Peterson (Music, ’95); and the Central Coast Youth Chorus’ Cadence Choir, led by Cal Poly music majors Danna Dumandan and Katelyn Caron.

Cal Poly Director of Choral Activities Scott Glysson established the concert in 2017 to showcase and celebrate Central Coast choral traditions and collaborations. The four university choirs and the two guest ensembles will each perform a short selection of repertoire and then will unite for some larger works.

A 20-piece student orchestra will accompany the choirs on several pieces and during carol sing-alongs. The evening will include other fun features, such as College of Liberal Arts Dean Philip J. Williams narrating “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.”

Cal Poly Professor Co-authors Research Article Examining Strategies to Maintain Weight Loss After Regain

Oct 27, 2022

Study published in Obesity journal surveyed nearly 2,500 WeightWatchers members who lost an average of almost 58 pounds and kept it off for over 3.5 years

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Science shows that weight regain over time is common, but a new study — co-authored by a Cal Poly faculty member — has gathered new data on effective strategies to recover from weight regain.

Suzanne Phelan — director of Cal Poly’s Center for Health Research and a professor of kinesiology and public health in the College of Science and Mathematics — assisted in the article published Oct. 25 in Obesity, a peer-reviewed journal covering topics regarding health and medicine in association with weight-related topics. Phelan’s team surveyed thousands of participants in the WW (WeightWatchers) program.

Cal Poly Names Coordinator of New Off-Campus Housing Support Program

Oct 24, 2022

Program aims to help students successfully transition from on- to off-campus housing

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly has named Sarah Bacio as coordinator of its Off-Campus Housing Support Program, which seeks to help students successfully transition from living on campus to off campus within the San Luis Obispo community.

Bacio will help students identify and secure affordable and safe off-campus housing, assist in identifying resources to assist with housing expenses, and provide opportunities to help them better understand the off-campus housing market.

In her new role, she will also offer a Renter Certification series to educate participating students on various aspects of off-campus housing to improve the renter experience for both students and landlords.

Cal Poly Statistics Department Receives $447,000 Federal Grant for Low-Income Student Scholarships, Mentorship

Oct 19, 2022

Statistics Professor Andrew Schaffner works with a student writing equations on glass walls
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Statistics Department, in the College of Science and Mathematics, has received a $447,000 grant award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to help with financial support and to mentor low-income students to continue their higher education in graduate programs.

The grant is part of a $5 million funding investment involving multiple West Coast universities through the Pacific Alliance for Low Income in Statistics and Data Science program supported by the NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (S-STEM) Program.

Cal Poly President Offers Comment on Guilty Verdict in Trial Over Kristin Smart’s Disappearance

Oct 18, 2022

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong offered comment Tuesday on the guilty verdict against Paul Flores in his trial over the disappearance of Kristin Smart in 1996.
“Kristin Smart’s disappearance is a tragic part of our Cal Poly community’s history, and our university has closely watched the case, hoping throughout for justice for Kristin and resolution for her family,” Armstrong said. “Today’s guilty verdict is a welcome development in the pursuit of justice, and our university community hopes this brings some comfort and a measure of resolution to Kristin’s loved ones.
“Our thoughts continue to be with Denise and Stan Smart and family.

Cal Poly’s Fall Jazz Concert on Nov. 18 to Include the Release of Two Singles

Oct 17, 2022

Members of the Cal Poly Vocal Jazz Ensemble Perform in 2022

SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Jazz program will present its Fall Jazz Concert season opener at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, in Spanos Theatre.

Cal Poly’s Jazz Ensemble and Vocal Jazz Ensemble will perform music by jazz legends including Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Pat Metheny and Wayne Shorter.

The concert will also celebrate the release of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble’s two new singles: “Sunlight,” by Esperanza Spalding, which was arranged by Director of Jazz Studies Arthur White; and “Let the Good Times Roll” by Fleecie Moore and Sam Theard, arranged by Jeremy Fox. For the recordings, “Sunlight” features music major Danna Dumandan on lead vocals and Grammy Award-winning Gregg Bissonette on drums. “Let the Good Times Roll” features Bissonette, plus Kim Nazarian and Darmon Meader of the New York Voices. White plays multiple instruments on both tracks.

Both singles will be available for free download the day of the concert. The full-length album, “if you look in,” will be released later in the quarter. DownBeat magazine recently gave the Vocal Jazz Ensemble its “Undergraduate College Outstanding Performance” award in the Asynchronous Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble category.

Tickets to the recital are $20 general and $10 students. Tickets can be purchased from the Cal Poly Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. To order by phone, call 805-SLO-4TIX (805-756-4849). Event parking is sponsored by the PAC. The Music Department offers a 20% discount to patrons who buy season tickets to four of its events through the Cal Poly Ticket Office.

The concert is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, visit the Music Department’s calendar website, email or call 805-756-2406.

- Tickets  
- Performing Arts Center 
- Cal Poly Music Department Calendar

Members of the Cal Poly Vocal Jazz Ensemble perform in February 2022.

October 17, 2022
Contact: Michele Abba

Cal Poly to Host Andrew Surmani for Music Industry Lecture and Q&A on Nov. 17

Oct 17, 2022

Andrew Surmani  is coming to Cal Poly

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Music Department and Jazz Studies program will host Andrew Surmani for a lecture and Q&A about the music industry, music business and entrepreneurship at 11:10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in Room 216 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45).

Surmani is president and CEO of Surmani Business Coaching and teaches music industry studies at California State University, Northridge, where he is also the academic lead of the music industry administration master’s degree program. He previously served as CEO of Caleb Chapman’s Soundhouse, a contemporary music training program.

As chief marketing officer for Alfred Music, he oversaw global sales and marketing operations. While there he helped consolidate company operations following the largest acquisition in print music publishing history — Alfred’s purchase of Warner Bros. Publications — and launched and oversaw major product lines including the release of “Accent on Achievement,” “Strictly Strings,” “Choral Designs,” “Alfred Pop Choral,” “Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory” and the revolutionary new customizable band and string methods, “Sound Innovations.”

Surmani also works as a freelance musician and has performed in numerous international jazz festivals. He has been a band leader and played lead trumpet in shows at Walt Disney World, and he has managed high school groups tours to Hawaii and Japan for a music production company.

He was a founding board member and past president of the international Jazz Education Network. He currently serves on the Music Technology Advisory Board at Indiana University/Purdue University Indianapolis, the Technology through Music Education advisory board and the College Music Society editorial board.

Surmani holds a Bachelor of Music degree in trumpet performance and a Master of Business Administration degree from California State University, Northridge.

The presentation is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Cal Poly’s Music Department, College of Liberal Arts and Instructionally Related Activities program. For more information, call the Music Department at 805-756-2406 or visit the department’s calendar website.

- Davidson Music Center map 
- Cal Poly Music Department Calendar 

Cal Poly’s Music Department and Jazz Studies program will host Andrew Surmani for a lecture and Q&A about the music industry, music business and entrepreneurship at 11:10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 17, in Room 216 of the Davidson Music Center (No. 45). He is president and CEO of Surmani Business Coaching and teaches music industry studies at California State University, Northridge, where he is also the academic lead of the music industry administration master’s degree program.

October 17, 2022
Contact: Michele Abba

Cal Poly Campus Dining to Host ‘Festi-Ful’ Event to Celebrate Fall, Build Connections Through Food

Oct 17, 2022

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Campus Dining will be one of 300 college campuses across the nation participating in Festi-Ful, an event on Wednesday, Oct. 19, intended to bring together students and local farmers through food and fall activities.

Festi-Ful is a daylong celebration that will feature various fall activities, including a Farmers Market, fall-themed menus, cider tastings and more. The event will take place at Campus Market from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and at Vista Grande from 5-9 p.m.

“We’re thrilled to host this fun fall event that encourages our students to enjoy and learn about the different locally grown foods and the faces behind those farms,” said Campus Dining Director Jess Dozier.

The day will begin with an on-campus Farmers Market that will celebrate the agricultural heritage of both the university and the local community with a variety of on-campus and local producers. In addition to local produce, the Cal Poly Plant Shop will be selling fresh flowers and plants. Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo community members can also visit the Cal Poly Sustainability and Climate Pledge groups to learn how to help Cal Poly attain zero waste and how to make a global climate pledge to protect the planet.

The weekly Campus Market barbecue by Mustang Eats will offer a special menu with items celebrating the fall season. Attendees can get their apple a day at Apple Mania, featuring apple flights, a cider bar and apple flavored treats like cookies and cakes.

The day will conclude at Vista Grande with outdoor games, a fresh-squeezed juice bar and a fall-themed menu takeover at Streats and Sweet Bar.

About Cal Poly
Founded in 1901 and part of the renowned California State University system since 1960, Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, four-year, comprehensive polytechnic public university located in San Luis Obispo, California. Known for its Learn by Doing approach, small class sizes and open access to expert faculty, Cal Poly is a distinctive learning community whose 21,000 academically motivated students enjoy an unrivaled hands-on educational experience that prepares them to lead successful personal and professional lives.

About Cal Poly Corporation
Cal Poly Corporation is the nonprofit auxiliary organization to Cal Poly, providing self-supporting, innovative and high-quality services to the university and assisting the institution in achieving its educational mission. For additional information, visit or call 805-756-1451.

October 17, 2022
Contact: Kassidy Church

Cal Poly’s Annual Student Leadership Institute Event to Feature David Hogg on Oct. 14

Oct 11, 2022

Parkland Shooting Survivor and Co-founder of March for Our Lives to Deliver Keynote Address

SAN LUIS OBISPO — David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor and co-founder of March for Our Lives, will serve as the keynote speaker at Cal Poly’s annual Student Leadership Institute (SLI), slated for Friday, Oct. 14 in the Multi-Activity Center on campus.

Themed “Amplify the Voices of All Leaders,” SLI is a one-day leadership conference focused on empowering students by providing educational experiences that support and challenge them to build and apply leadership skills to effect social change. The event aims to provide an open and free opportunity for all Cal Poly students to engage in leadership development opportunities and learn from and with their peers.

“The Student Leadership Institute will bring students from a variety of experience levels together to learn from each other and explore topics that are rich and relevant to our campus community,” said Jason Mockford, director of Leadership and Service at Cal Poly. “I'm excited to see what students take away from the experience, whether they are just beginning their leadership journey or have been exercising their skills for years.”

Hogg was a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when a lone teen gunman opened fire and killed 17 students and school staff members on Feb. 14, 2018. The tragedy prompted Hogg to co-found March for Our Lives, a youth-led movement dedicated to promoting civic engagement, education and direct action by youth to eliminate gun violence.

As part of the SLI event, Hogg will participate in a moderated student interview and a meet-and-greet session, followed by his keynote address and Q&A with guests. The daylong event will also feature three afternoon leadership sessions, including a session titled “Truth-Based Leadership for Public Policy” presented by Charles Feltman, founder of Insight Coaching and author of the book “The Thin Book of Trust.”

For more information on the Student Leadership Institute and how to attend, visit:

October 11, 2022
Contact: Diego Abeloos


Related Content