Cal Poly to Host Inaugural African-American Male Spring Summit

SAN LUIS OBISPO — More than 50 middle and high school students from the Lompoc Unified School District will participate in the inaugural African-American Male Spring Summit on March 12 at Cal Poly.

The summit is designed to introduce visiting Lompoc students to the various cultural facets of Cal Poly’s campus, while promoting the importance of education and mentorship. The daylong event, hosted by Cal Poly’s Student Academic Services department, will feature presentations, breakout sessions and a panel discussion of Cal Poly students, among other highlights.

“We are grateful for this opportunity to host these young men on campus,” said Jamie Patton, assistant vice president for student affairs, diversity and inclusion. “As we stand on the shoulders of others, this summit provides members of the next generation a chance to connect with current African-American students, faculty and staff to learn that when they get to Cal Poly, there are people here who support them.”

The event has been a goal of Mardel Baldwin, assistant director of Student Academic Services. “Since my arrival at Cal Poly in 2015, I’ve dreamed of bringing this event to Cal Poly,” he said. “As an educator who identifies as a black man, I believe it’s my duty to give back to our community through mentorship and guidance. As an undergrad, I was fortunate to have African-American role models who pushed me to be great every day. This event aims to provide a similar experience for these students.”

The event is a partnership involving the university, the Lompoc Unified School District and the Central Coast Cal-SOAP (California Student Opportunity and Access Program) Consortium, which is administered through the California Student Aid Commission. 

Established by the state Legislature in 1978, Cal-SOAP operates 15 locations with the common goal of increasing the number of under-represented students attending college. The program serves more than 150,000 elementary, middle school, high school, and community college students throughout the state. The program focuses primarily on students from low-income families, those who attend schools with low-eligibility or college participation rates, and first-generation college students.

The Central Coast Cal-SOAP Consortium serves students in six school districts, Cuesta and Allan Hancock colleges, several community organizations in northern Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and Cal Poly and UC Santa Barbara.

About Student Academic Services
Cal Poly’s Student Academic Services (SAS) offers a network of academic services, advisors and activities designed to promote the academic success and wellbeing of students from backgrounds that have been traditionally underrepresented by income and/or disability in the California State University System. In addition, SAS aims to ensure that all students at Cal Poly have equal opportunity to achieve academic success and graduation through access to higher education, facilitating the transition to the university environment, and assisting in the development of academic and personal skills. For more information, visit

Contact: Diego Abeloos

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