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2015 Conference Archive

The second More than a Motto: Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing conference will take place on Friday, November 03, 2017. Click here for the call for proposals. 

The conference schedule below from the inaugural conference in May of 2015, highlights the various ways in which the campus community enacts Learn by Doing. We're looking forward to our second conference, where the campus community again will come together to contribute to the university's Learn by Doing legacy!

Conference Schedule at a Glance:


time Location

Opening Remarks & Official Welcome from President Armstrong (includes Continental breakfast)

9:10-10:00 am 

Chumash Auditorium

Concurrent Sessions A

10:10-11:00 am 

See specifics below

Concurrent Sessions B 

11:10-12:00 pm 

See specifics below

Lunch and Keynote Address from Noah Stokes (IME '01)

12:00-1:15 pm 

Chumash Auditorium

Poster Session (NotePosters will be on display 9:00-3:00 in Chumash and in Kennedy Library Gallery May 18–29)

1:15–2:00 pm 

Chumash Auditorium

Concurrent Sessions C

2:10-3:00 pm 

See specifics below

Concurrent Sessions D

3:10-4:00 pm 

See specifics below

Learn by Doing Faculty Scholar Award Presentation
and Closing Remarks
Wine reception

4:10-6:00 pm 

University Art Gallery

Full Conference Schedule

Opening Remarks & Official Welcome from 9:10-10:00
Location: Chumash Auditorium
Description: Opening remarks by Dr. Brian Greenwood and official welcome by President Jeffrey Armstrong. Continental breakfast will be served.

Morning Presentation Sessions

Concurrent Sessions A from 10:10-11:00

Ashley Stephens, Joi Sullivan, Katie Magnus, & Anika Leithner (Advisor)
Political Science (CLA)
Paideia—Learn by Doing Together
Location: Chumash Right Wing

Description: Paideia is an academic journal produced by political science students for fellow students and alumni with the assistance, support, and guidance of the political science faculty, staff, and Alumni Advisory Board. This co-curricular project provides an opportunity for current and past students to showcase what they’ve learned and how they’ve applied that knowledge, whether through a paper or through a career.

Russell V. Westphal (Donald E. Bently Professor) & Rachael Schelley
Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
The Cal Poly Boundary Layer Data System (BLDS)
Location: Chumash Left Wing

Description: This long-term student-focused project provides Cal Poly engineering students with meaningful project-based, hands-on learning opportunities that also connect them with prospective employers in California’s world-leading aerospace/defense and high technology industries. The project objective is to develop, improve, and apply BLDS instruments. These instruments, as conceived by Dr. Westphal, are a unique family of small, autonomous micro-controller-based devices aimed at providing flow measurements within the boundary layer during flight tests of aircraft and aircraft-borne models, as well as for ground-based testing.

Lisa Sperow
Accounting & Law (OCOB)
Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic: Learning By Helping Others
Location: UU 220

Description: The Cal Poly Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) provides an example of an integrated curricular university-sponsored service-learning project that encourages students to interact and engage in helping others while resolving actual accounting problems. Conference attendees will learn from students about how working for LITC adds value to their education through specific cases on which they have worked and the clients they have helped. 

Pat M. Fidopiastis
Biological Sciences (COSAM)
Genome-enabled Tools to Understand Symbiosis and Encourage “Learn by Doing”
Location: Building 180 (Baker), Room 113

Description: Through a National Science Foundation funded project, Dr. Fidopiastis has integrated hands-on molecular genetics research across a number of undergraduate Biological Sciences courses. Fidopiastis, a 2014-15 Distinguished Teacher Award winner, will demonstrate the mutated gene model being utilized and discuss the impact of this innovative approach to teaching and research.

Concurrent Sessions B from 11:10-12:00

Erin Clark, Arin Miller, Jake Odello, Greg Avakian, & Janet Tarlton
Associated Students, Inc. (Student Affairs)
Professional and Leadership Development through Student Employment
Location: Chumash Right Wing

Description: Associated Students, Inc. (ASI) offers student employment opportunities to over 500 students annually, but working for ASI offers more than a paycheck. Training and development activities are focused on the success of the student and allow them the opportunity to supplement their income while developing professional and leadership skills. ASI student leaders and managers will be the primary presenters, utilizing video technology to bring their experiences to life. Conference attendees will be able to experience and participate in an actual leadership module developed for ASI student employees.

Dana Paquin
Mathematics (COSAM)
Mathematical Modeling of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
Location: Chumash Left Wing

Description: In this progressive research study, Dr. Paquin has mentored a team of Cal Poly undergraduate students as research assistants. The team has worked to develop, numerically simulate, analyze, and refine a mathematical model for strategic treatment interruptions for Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML). Conference attendees will be actively engaged in this mathematical modeling process and through the Socratic method, Paquin will lead participants through a series of discussions on the role that mathematical modeling plays in discovering, addressing, and helping to resolve complex medical problems.

Jennifer Jipson, Patty Clarkson, & Kari Bowers
Preschool Learning Lab - Psychology & Child Development (CLA)
The Cal Poly Preschool Learning Lab: A Site for Students to Learn by Teaching, Researching and Designing
Location: Building 38, Room 127 (includes a tour of the Preschool Learning Lab)

Description: The Preschool Learning Lab (PLL) provides high-quality, full-day, inquiry-based early learning experiences to 30 children between 3 and 5 years of age. An integral feature of the program is that it serves as a teaching, research, and design laboratory for students, faculty, and the professional staff working in the lab. Conference attendees will receive the unique opportunity both to tour the lab and see Learn by Doing in action while hearing firsthand from those working to make this lab come to life for preschool-aged children.

Philip Barlow & Al Hauck
Construction Management (CAED)
Implementing a Service Learning Program into the Construction Management Curriculum
Location: Simpson Strong-Tie Lab (Bldg. 187), Mezzanine Level

Description: The connections that Learn by Doing fosters in the community are highlighted through this service-learning program in Construction Management. The presentation will feature a tour of the Simpson Strong-Tie Lab and one of the construction projects currently being built by Construction Management students. Participants will also get a chance to submit project ideas and learn firsthand about the process, outcomes, and impact of the program on the community.

Lunch & Keynote Speech from 12:00-1:15
Location: Chumash Auditorium

Keynote Speech by Cal Poly Alumnus Noah Stokes, Industrial Engineering (Class of 2001)

Noah StokesDescription: Alumnus Noah Stokes has a unique career trajectory that most recently landed him at Creative Market where he serves as Senior Product Designer. Stokes is a web industry leader in front-end development, design, and implementation. After years as a senior engineer for Apple and Palm, Stokes co-founded the design and development studio Bold, which served clients such as Yahoo, PetSafe, Delicious, and Rdio. With over 14 years in the industry, Stokes has the unique ability to communicate business logic to engineers and engineering logic to business folks, and his keynote speech will highlight the ways in which Learn by Doing at Cal Poly enhanced his ability to succeed at web design and client relations.

After lunch, conference attendees are encouraged to remain in Chumash Auditorium, and all Cal Poly faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends are invited to join us for the poster session featuring fifteen Learn by Doing examples selected through a competitive peer-review selection process. No registration is required for this event.

Poster Session from 1:15-2:00 - No registration required (drop-in & mingle)
Location: Chumash Auditorium

Description: The poster session will include an extraordinary cross-section of curricular, co-curricular, and research-related Learn by Doing examples from across campus.  Presenters will be on hand during the poster session to discuss their work and interact with conference attendees.

List of poster presentations:

Craig Baltimore
Architectural Engineering (CAED)
Teaching Large Scale Structures Through Hand Sized Toys (K’nex)

William Riggs & Charlie Coles
City & Regional Planning (CAED)
Designing Streets for Bicycles and Pedestrians: Engaging Students in Research and Service in California Communities

Karen Lauritsen
Robert E. Kennedy Library (Information Services)
Making Memorable Experiences with Cal Poly Science Café

Sandy Stannard
Architecture (CAED)
Learn, Explore and Be Inspired By Nature: A Design/Build Case Study

Tom Bensky
Physics (COSAM)
The Computer + Newton’s Laws = Learn by Coding in Introductory Physics

Aydin Nazmi & Kevin Taylor
Cal Poly Center for Solutions Through Research in Diet & Exercise (STRIDE), Food Science & Nutrition (CAFES), and Kinesiology (COSAM)
Health Ambassadors And A-Team: Creating a Sustainable Model for Learn by Doing in the Health Sciences

Laura Hosman
Political Science & Science, Technology & Society Program (CLA)
Solar Powered Digital Library Kits for Pacific Island Schools: Hands-On Projects in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies (LAES)

Marie Yeung
Biological Sciences (COSAM, students from CAFES)
A High-Impact and Interdisciplinary Learn by Doing Experience to Answer Real-World Questions: Evidences from a Microbiology Research Project

Soma Roy, Allan Rossman, Beth Chance, Karen McGaughey, & Kevin Ross
Statistics (COSAM)
Helping Students “Discover” and Learn Statistical Concepts by Doing

Brennan Davis, Sharon Dobson, Lynn Metcalf, Stern Neill, & Lisa Simon
Marketing (OCOB)
The Impact of Experiential and Collaborative Learning on Career Readiness and Skill Development: Examining the Role of Peer Mentoring

Andy Ia
Student Community Services (Student Affairs)
Making a Difference in the Community

Alex Dekhtyar & Anya Goodman
Computer Science (CENG) and Chemistry & Biochemistry (COSAM)
Teaching Bioinformatics in Concert

Alyssa Wigant, Trudy Vinson, & Tammie Velasquez (supervisor & mentor from the Gender Equity Center)
Graphic Communication (CLA) and Gender Equity Center (Student Affairs)
Galentine’s Day: Ladies Celebrating Ladies & Eliminating Girl Hate

Joy Harkins & Jeffrey Silva
Dean of Students (Student Affairs)
Alternative Breaks: Learn by Doing Good!

Conny Liegl
Robert E. Kennedy Library, Communications and Special Initiatives (Information Services)
Designing the Future: Implementing the Kennedy Library Master Plan with Help of Student Assistants

Michael Lucas, Carmen Trudell, Keith Wiley, James Bagnall, Richard Beller, Angela Bracco, Ryan Brockett, Kevin Dong, Megan Dorrian, Brent Freeby, JoAnn Moore, Humberto Norman, Bryan Ridley, Ed Saliklis, Schani Siong, Jermaine Washington, Greg Wynn, & Margarita Yin
Architecture and Architectural Engineering (CAED)
Beginning: Acceleration into Making and Representation

Afternoon Presentation Sessions

Concurrent Sessions C from 2:10-3:00

Solina Lindahl
Economics (OCOB)
A Dismal Art Project: Rock-O-Nomix. A Multimedia Project in the Dismal Science (Economics)
Location: University Union, Room 219

Description: In an effort to excite and energize a General Education course in Economics that has long been taught in a more rote and information-laden manner, Solina Lindahl implemented  a project into the course that brought to life course material and engaged students through the creative medium of a music video. Conference attendees will view several of the student-created music videos submitted to the Rock-O-Nomix project, and Lindahl will discuss her future intentions and aspirations with this assignment.

Jonathan Reich, Joe Ragsdale, Paul Wack, Tom diSanto, Adrienne Greve, Beverly Bass, Chris Clark, & Margot McDonald
Landscape Architecture, Architecture, City & Regional Planning (CAED)
Implementing Sustainable Environments: Cal Poly’s National Leadership in Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Sustainability Education
Location: Chumash Right Wing

Description: This award-winning interdisciplinary curriculum offers Cal Poly students an opportunity to shape their own education informed about principles and problems of sustainable environmental design with global, regional and local perspectives and concepts; students then implement sustainable practices locally. Conference attendees will be asked to weigh in and vote on potential outcomes at key points in the presentation, as both past and current sustainability proposals are presented.

Megan Guise, Nancy Stauch, Kurt Payne, Dan Neff, & Ben Woodford
English (CLA), Physics (COSAM), & Central Coast New Tech High School (Community)
Preparing for a Career in Teaching: Cal Poly Teacher Candidates Immersed in a Project-Based Learning School
Location: Chumash Left Wing

Description: This presentation highlights a partnership established between Cal Poly’s Single Subject Credential Program and Central Coast New Tech High School (CCNTHS), a project-based learning school. Through a panel discussion, conference attendees will learn about the dual impact on CCNTHS and Cal Poly students through this unique Learn by Doing approach to teacher education.

Concurrent Sessions D from 3:10-4:00

Lindsey Chase, Alexa Coburn, Baheej Saoud, Michael George, Brian Self, & James Widmann
Mechanical Engineering & Aerospace Engineering (CENG)
Hands-on Inquiry Based Learning Activities: Learn About Learning by Doing
Location: Chumash Right Wing

Description: This interdisciplinary team of students and faculty will demonstrate an innovative active learning approach utilizing Inquiry Based Learning Activities (IBLAs) in the classroom. Instead of a passive lecture-driven learning environment where the information is simply delivered by the instructor, this team will demonstrate how IBLAs are implemented in an undergraduate Dynamics course in which students participate in hands-on activities with their peers in order to learn the concepts presented. Conference attendees will take on the role of students, as the presentation team demonstrates and facilitates a typical day in this Dynamics course.

Colleen Twomey
Graphic Communication (CLA)
Phoenix Challenge College Packaging Competition
Location: Chumash Left Wing

Description: This instructionally-related activity provides students with a co-curricular opportunity to compete with an international field of colleges and universities to design, prepare files, and print a "real life" package to be judged at the annual Flexographic Technical Association Forum. The Phoenix Challenge Foundation is an organization of industry professionals who are dedicated to encouraging today's youth to explore the exciting career opportunities available to them through the flexographic printing and packaging industry. Conference attendees will hear firsthand from the 2015 Phoenix Challenge Cal Poly team comprised of seven students and led by Graphic Communication professor Colleen Twomey.

Learn by Doing Faculty Scholar Award Presentation & Closing Remarks from 4:10–6:00
Location: University Art Gallery

Description: The conference's closing event will feature a wine reception, music by the Cal Poly Backline Quartet (jazz), and the announcement of the inaugural Learn by Doing Faculty Scholar Award recipients. This new faculty award, which was established and funded by members of Information Services’ external advisory board and administered by the Kennedy Library, recognizes outstanding faculty scholarship on Cal Poly's signature pedagogy.

For more information, feel free to contact the More than a Motto team:

CONTACT Name Department phone email OFFICE
Brian Greenwood, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Experience Industry Management 756-5093 pgreenwo@calpoly.edu 11-254
Dawn Janke Director, University Writing and Rhetoric Center 756-2066 djanke@calpoly.edu 10-131
Lorraine Donegan Professor, Graphic Communication 756-7302 ldonegan@calpoly.edu 26-215
Keri Schwab, Ph.D Assistant Professor, Experience Industry Management 756-1113 keschwab@calpoly.edu 11-256


Related Content


Paideia team
Congratulations to the 2017 Learn by Doing Scholar Award recipients, Lynn Metcalf and Catherine Waitinas! 

Learn more.

Signature Book

Get your copy of the special edition More than a Motto book that celebrates Cal Poly's unique institutional identity today! 

Copies are available for purchase at Cal Poly University Store and Cal Poly Downtown. Online sales are available here.  

Upcoming Events

February 1-4, 2018
SLO Discovery Weekend
(Books available for purchase)

Cal Poly Talks Series
Emcee: Brian Greenwood
Friday, February 2, 2018
5:00-7:00 pm
University Union, Room 220

SLO Discovery Reception
Saturday, February 3, 2018
5:00-6:30 pm