Recent News

Schedule Posted! Open House

Apr 9, 2023

All Cal Poly 2023 Open House participants and members of the Cal Poly community are invited to join the Office of Student Research at Open House. 

Access the schedule now!

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Schedule Posted! 2023 Cal Poly Undergraduate Research Week

Apr 9, 2023

All members of the Cal Poly community are invited to participate in the 2023 Cal Poly Undergraduate Research Week (M 4/17 to F 4/21/23). 

Access the schedule now!

Cal Poly Delegates Advance to the 2023 CSU Student Research Competition

Mar 14, 2023

Ten research projects have been selected to represent Cal Poly at the annual California State University (CSU) system-wide competition April 28-29 hosted by San Diego State University.

The 19 Cal Poly delegates were chosen from 34 projects involving 69 undergraduate students, graduate students and recent alumni. The Academic Senate Grants Review Committee selected the 10 projects to move forward at the university’s internal competition.

“It is exciting to see how students, faculty and staff are making a difference in their disciplines and our world with their research, scholarship and creative activities,” said Jane Lehr, director of the Office of Student Research. “These were the most consistently strong presentations that I have had the opportunity to see compete in this process.”


Student/Alum Researchers 

Research Advisor 

Snake Relocation Policies and Practices within the Continental United States  

Robin Bedard*, Megan Rottenborn (CSM) 

Emily Taylor 

Abiotic & Biotic Constraints on Blue Oak Woodland Restoration in the Sierra Foothills  

Iris Bookholtz, Fiona O'Neill (CAFES) 

Jeremy James 

Fabrication and Characterization of Electrospun “Blood Vessel Mimic” Scaffolds  

Squeaky Buentipo (CENG) 

Kristen O'Halloran Cardinal 

Drivers of Nearshore Marine Heatwaves and Cold Spells in the California Current  

Michael Dalsin (CSM) 

Ryan Walter 

The Torus of Triangles  

Madeleine Goertz (CSM) 

Eric Brussel 

Special Collections at Kennedy Library: The Historic Black Community of San Luis Obispo  

Ethan Gutterman (CLA) 

Thanayi Jackson 

Codependency, Internalizing Symptoms, and Relationship Dissolution in Emerging Adulthood  

Marina Kare, Olivia Wallin, Ariadne Kaylor (CLA) 

Jasna Jovanovic 

EIC Crab Cavity Low-Level RF Design  

Trevor Loe, Trevor Hidalgo, Matti Toivola (CSM) 

Themis Mastoridis 

Gaze Detection for Drivers to Monitor Distracted Driving  

Nam Nguyen*, Pranshul Lakhanpal*, Asmita Sharma* (CENG) 

Jonathan Ventura 

Valorization of Carrot Processing Waste  

Jordan Richards*, Jack Madden (CAFES) 

Samir Amin 

* Denotes graduate student standing at the time that the research, scholarship, and/or creative activity was completed 

Read more about Cal Poly's participation in the CSU-wide competition.

Feb 24-25: Cal Poly Hosts Student Research Competition

Feb 14, 2023

On February 24th and 25th 2023, Cal Poly will host an internal competition to select the 10 projects that will represent Cal Poly at the CSU Research Competition at San Diego State University in April 2023.

At the internal competition, projects will be presented by Cal Poly undergraduate students, graduate students and recent alums from across the colleges. All members of the campus community and supporters are invited to attend. 

Learn more at the CSU Research Competition Info Page.

Enter by F 1/20/23 - 2023 CSU Student Research Competition

Jan 16, 2023

All current undergraduate and graduate students and alums who graduated in 2022 are invited to enter the 2023 CSU Student Research Competition. Enter by F 1/20/23. 

Get more info now!

2022 SURP+ Symposium

Oct 11, 2022

Please join us on Friday 10/14 from 2-4pm for the 2022 SURP+ Symposium at Engineering Plaza. Learn More

Continue reading 2022 SURP+ Symposium...

Summer 2022 Campus-Wide Student Researcher Workshops

Jun 13, 2022

The Office of Student Research and the CSU-LSAMP Program at Cal Poly – in partnership with Research Integrity & Compliance – are delighted to share the schedule for the Summer 2022 Campus-Wide Student Researcher Workshops series. ❤
Workshops are Tuesday and Thursday 11:10am to 12pm from T 6/21 to Th 8/18. Workshops are Zoom-only from 6/21 to 6/30 and hybrid from 7/5 to 8/18. (If joining by Zoom, participants will be required to sign-in to their Cal Poly or other Zoom account.)
Open to all disciplines, the workshops are for current and future student researchers and their mentors. All members of the campus community are welcome to join at any time throughout the series.
Check out the calendar at
Stay up-to-date by checking the calendar regularly and following the Office of Student Research on Instagram @calpolystudentresearch.
Have a question? Please email and cc

  • Students enrolled in the zero-credit, zero-cost UNIV 421: Summer Undergraduate Research Experience course are in the loop!
    • Can’t register for the course? Please let us know if you would like to be added to the UNIV 421 canvas site.
    • Reminder: All continuing students supported in Summer 2022 by a student researcher fellowship financial award (or stipend) that is processed via Financial Aid (e.g., Frost or College-based SURP) must enroll in this zero-cost, zero-credit course. Other students active in Summer 2022 student research are welcome to enroll.
  • Hosting or know about an event open to the campus community (at Cal Poly or elsewhere) that should be added to the calendar? Please let us know!
  • Faculty & staff: If you are requiring that students participate in one or more of these workshops as part of their summer research experience, please know that we will be asking participants to sign in at the start of each workshop and can coordinate with you at your request.

Four Cal Poly Students Recognized at CSU Student Research Competition

Jun 13, 2022

Clockwise from top left are Tanvi Gehani, Jacob Campbell, Issac Ho and Savannah Weaver
SAN LUIS OBISPO — Four Cal Poly students were awarded first- or second-place prizes at the 2022 California State University (CSU) Student Research Competition. Cal Poly, Fullerton and Sacramento State were the most recognized universities in the competition, with four awardees each.
“Our students were phenomenal representatives of Cal Poly at the competition, and I am thrilled they have been recognized at the CSU level for the quality of their work,” said Jane Lehr, director of the Office of Student Research at Cal Poly. “This event is an amazing opportunity for our students to share their work and show what makes research at Cal Poly such a great experience.”

Students from across the CSU competed in 10 divisions in the following categories: Behavioral, Social Sciences, and Public Administration; Biological and Agricultural Sciences; Business, Economics and Hospitality Management; Creative Arts and Design; Education; Engineering and Computer Science; Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences; Humanities and Letters; Physical and Mathematical Sciences; and Interdisciplinary.
“It was really humbling to present my project alongside so many other talented students and learn from their projects as well,” said Tanvi Gehani, a fourth-year Cal Poly biomedical engineering major from New Jersey. “Having spent the past three years working in Dr. Maj’s lab and having to switch to a completely remote setting during the pandemic, it felt incredibly rewarding to still be able to present significant and relevant findings.”
Gehani won first place in the Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences undergraduate category. “I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to support such an impactful project, given the increasing global threat that metabolic syndrome, due to the Western diet, poses to society,” she said. “I believe that this experience will play a great role in my ambition to pursue my Ph.D. and to eventually lead to cutting-edge research initiatives within the biomedical industry.”
San Francisco State University hosted the 36th annual competition. Students presented their work through a prerecorded video and participated in a live virtual Q&A with a jury and an audience. They competed by discipline category and, where feasible, as an undergraduate or graduate student. First-place finishers were awarded a $500 prize and second-place finishers were awarded $250.
The four Cal Poly projects awarded are:
First Place in Health, Nutrition and Clinical Sciences — Undergraduate Category: Tanvi Gehani (Biomedical Engineering), Effect of Coconut Oil Intake in a Pig Model of Pediatric Non‐Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Advisor: Magdalena Maj (Biological Sciences Department)
Second Place in Education — Graduate Category: Jacob Campbell (Higher Education Counseling in Student Affairs Graduate Program), Defining Mixed‐Race College Students: Examining Graduation Gaps Between Multiracial and Monoracial Undergraduates
Advisor: Sonia Ramrakhiani (School of Education)
Second Place in Behavioral, Social Sciences and Public Administration — Graduate Category: Isaac Ho (Food Science Blended Master’s Program), Use of Preference Analysis to Identify Early Adopter Mind‐Sets of Insect‐based Food Products 
Advisor: Amy Lammert (Food Science and Nutrition Department)
Second Place in Biological and Agricultural Sciences — Graduate Category: Savannah Weaver (Biological Sciences Graduate Program), Additive Effects of Humidity and Temperature on Acclimation in a Lizard
Advisor: Emily Taylor (Biological Sciences Department)
Cal Poly was also represented at the 2022 CSU Student Research Competition by Jack Alexander (Biological Sciences), Kimiko Casuga (Food Science Graduate Program), Hannah Heath (Nutrition), Ariadne Kaylor (Psychology), Trevor Kirkby (Computer Science Graduate Program), Jack Koster (Agriculture Master’s Program, Crop Science Specialization), Mary McCafferty (Mathematics), Chloe McGovern (Food Science, ‘21) and Patrick Perrine (Computer Science Graduate Program).

Contact: Keegan Koberl

May 19, 2022 - Original Press Release posted here

NSF GRFP - Cal Poly Students Studying Effects of Climate Change Earn Prestigious Research Fellowships

May 4, 2022


Student Annie Meeder on a grassland plot on Santa Cruz Island

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Two Cal Poly graduate students in the biological sciences program were awarded National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships to support their ongoing research on responses to environmental changes to plants and animals in California.

Annie Meeder, a first-year graduate student from Paso Robles, with the support of her faculty advisor, Jenn Yost of the Biological Sciences Department, is studying dynamics of Santa Cruz Island vegetation communities and how these communities have changed in response to certain historical disturbances.

Meeder plans to continue researching in this field and to pursue a doctorate on island vegetation communities and their response to historical, current, and future disturbances. She hopes her research can be used as a model for assessing vegetation dynamics and management strategies in both island systems and mainland areas where vegetation has undergone alteration from overgrazing — and that work can be used to help predict island vegetation response to climate change.

“My first exposure to ecology and science was in high school on a trip to Santa Cruz Island doing volunteer research,” Meeder said. “I now help lead those trips and mentor high schoolers. As a researcher on Santa Cruz Island, I have had an incredible opportunity with Dr. Yost to just collect awesome data, do meaningful work, and give Cal Poly students and faculty alike an incredible research experience.”

Savannah Weaver, a second-year graduate student from San José, plans to continue to study the water balance of reptiles, specifically how water requirements and water-conserving adaptations vary over time and among species and different habitats.

“As the climate crisis continues and drought and heatwaves become more frequent and intense, understanding the water requirements of reptiles, and all animals, will be essential for conservation management,” she said.

Weaver has studied the abundant Western Fence Lizard (Sceloporus occidentalis) under the mentorship of Emily Taylor, professor in the Biological Science Department. Weaver hopes to study other lizards and snakes in her doctoral program.

​“I've always loved nature, and I’ve become increasingly passionate about the conservation of wildlife and wild landscapes,” Weaver said. “When I started graduate school with Dr. Taylor, I realized that very little was known about reptile water balance, despite its importance. I read everything I could about it and was immediately hooked, because there was so much information that I felt was missing and that I could try to figure out.”

Two Cal Poly alumni, Gabriel Medina-Kim (Computer Science, ’20) and Nicole Siguenza (Biochemistry and Microbiology, '20) were also awarded fellowships. Medina-Kim is in the second year of the doctoral program in science and technology studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He was previously selected for the CSU Chancellor’s Doctoral Incentive Program, a program to support the development of future faculty and support doctoral education. Siguenza is in her second year at UC San Diego, pursuing a doctorate in biomedical sciences.

“I am thrilled to see our students and alumni be recognized for their outstanding work in their fields and receive support from the NSF to continue that work,” said Bob Crockett, Cal Poly’s administrator in charge of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education. “These students are tremendous examples of what can be done at Cal Poly when our students and faculty can collaborate.”

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions.

Fellowships provide students with a three-year annual stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees, as well as access to opportunities for professional development available to NSF-supported graduate students.

tudent Savannah Weaver holds a brown treesnake during a research trip in Guam

Both photos courtesy Cal Poly

April 27, 2022
Contact: Keegan Koberl

See original news release here.


Apply by May 6 (extended)! OSR Summer 2022 Student Research Fellowships

Apr 26, 2022

The Office of Student Research is excited to announce that applications are now open for up to five Summer 2022 Student Research Fellowships. 

OSR Student Research Fellowships are open to students in all disciplines and are undocufriendly. Students must qualify for need-based financial aid. 

Summer 2022 Fellows will receive a $3,500 stipend to support their professional development and training via a hands-on research experience mentored by a Cal Poly faculty member. 

Learn more


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