Cal Poly Honors Community Volunteers, Groups with Service Awards

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Individuals and organizations in the Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo communities were recently recognized at the 32nd annual Community Service Awards ceremony.
The event, held May 10, honors the contributions of university and San Luis Obispo community members and groups that contribute their time, energy and resources to help build new partnerships and fill unmet needs in the community. The celebration is sponsored by Cal Poly Student Affairs, the Dean of Students and the Center for Service in Action.

“This 32-year tradition is an exciting way for Cal Poly to let the community learn about the fine work our students, staff, faculty and community partners are doing in the county,” said Bradley Kyker, senior coordinator for Cal Poly’s Center for Service in Action. “We had some outstanding nominations from many of our 350 community partner agencies and from a variety of offices and individuals on campus.”
During the ceremony, Cal Poly President Jeffrey D. Armstrong recognized the following individuals and organizations for their efforts during the 2017-18 academic year:
Significant Contribution
Student: Danielle Taber, who volunteered at Restorative Partners, including participation in art and Sunday service programs, and the Alternatives to Violence project.
Student Team: Emily Anderson and Claire Ruth, who served as group leaders for the North County Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program.
Organization: Alpha Phi Omega, which volunteered more than 500 hours to United Way of San Luis Obispo County.
Staff: Kimberly Marsalek, director of student services in the College of Engineering, who served more than eight years as a fundraiser and coach for Special Olympics of Southern California.
Service Learning
Faculty: Kelle Brooks, Architecture Department, who provided design expertise on design projects for local, underserved K-6 schools, including Rice Elementary School in Santa Maria.
Faculty Team: Dennis Bashaw, Margaret Kirk and Gregory Starzyk, College of Architecture and Environmental Design, who created an interdisciplinary studio experience focused on rebuilding and assisting the wildfire-ravaged town of Weed, California.
Outstanding Community Partner and Collaboration
Partner: Transitions Mental Health Association, which provided volunteer and internship opportunities for Cal Poly students in mental health and suicide prevention, personal development and peer support, and horticultural therapy programs, among others.
Collaboration: Pacheco Elementary, World Languages and Cultures Department, which provided teacher’s assistant opportunities to more than 75 Cal Poly students in eight Spanish-language classrooms.
This year’s event also recognized AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Project (VIP) fellows who were placed with local partner agencies for the purpose of developing sustainable volunteer programs. The program focuses its efforts on underserved populations throughout San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties. This year’s partner agencies included One Cool Earth, Restorative Partners, the Cal Poly Cross Cultural Centers, SLO Noor Foundation, Wilshire Health and Community Services, ECOSLO, the Cal Poly Disability Resource Center, Cal Poly Safer, CAPSLO/Project Teen Health, Cal Poly Energy and Sustainability, Cal Poly Center for Service in Action, and Stand Strong.
For more information, go to:
About Student Affairs
Cal Poly’s Student Affairs supports student success through the Cal Poly experience by promoting Learn by Doing opportunities; delivering student-centered programs; encouraging personal growth; and empowering our students to live within a safe, healthy, inclusive and supportive environment. For more information, visit
About Dean of Students
The Dean of Students Office promotes student development and leadership; enhances student success and retention; and facilitates a respectful, diverse and inclusive campus. The office does this by providing educational programs, direct support, advocacy and resources for the successful navigation of campus and community life. For more information, go to:

Contact Diego Abeloos

June 4, 2018

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