2019 Awardee Profiles

John Bellardo

Distinguished Scholarship Award

John Bellardo
Professor, Computer Science and Software Engineering

John Bellardo, who directs Cal Poly’s CubeSat Lab — the campus epicenter for a class of small satellites about the size of a loaf of bread — was part of the team that made history in July during the LightSail 2 mission. The Planetary Society, which has partnered with Cal Poly on its two LightSail CubeSats, successfully proved the concept of solar sailing by raising the orbit of the footlong satellite. Bellardo was part of the mission control team that sent radio commands from Cal Poly’s ground station to the craft orbiting 720 kilometers above Earth to unfurl the Mylar sail. CubeSat is a worldwide standard for small satellites originally developed 20 years ago as a collaboration between Cal Poly’s CubeSat Lab and Stanford University. CubeSats give students the opportunity to design, build and launch small satellites into space. What began as a vehicle for students has been embraced by space agencies, industry, governments, and amateur developers across the globe. Hundreds of CubeSats have been launched including nearly dozen built by Cal Poly students. For the past nine years, Bellardo has “focused on advancing the technologies, services and scientific results of CubeSats,” said his nomination letter for the Distinguished Scholarship Award. “His work has brought international recognition to Cal Poly as a leader in advanced CubeSat designs. Designs and ideas introduced by Dr. Bellardo five years ago are just now getting incorporated by other CubeSat vendors.” It has truly been an out-of-this-world experience. In the 2018-19 school year alone, the Computer Science professor and his team of 80 students, faculty and staff launched a trio of homegrown Cal Poly satellites and also assisted with the twin MarCO satellites, the first CubeSats to leave Earth’s orbit as a part of the InSight Mars landing mission. He has brought in more than $3 million in funding to Cal Poly, which has expanded Learn by Doing opportunities for hundreds of students from many majors across the campus.

Professor (B.S., Computer Science, Cal Poly; M.S. and Ph.D., Computer Science and Engineering, University of California, San Diego)
Computer Science and Software Engineering Department, College of Engineering

Beth Chance

Distinguished Scholarship Award

Beth Chance
Professor, Statistics Department

Beth Chance has been on a mission to improve statistics education during her 20 years at Cal Poly. Consider her numbers: She’s penned more than 20 peer-reviewed publications, eight book chapters and six books; received over $2 million in research grants; and mentored dozens of undergraduate research students, who’ve presented their findings nationally and internationally. “More important than the numbers are (her) contributions to teaching and learning statistics,” her nomination form said. “Her pedagogical innovations have pushed statistics education in new directions, emphasizing active learning and making statistics accessible to all students.” Much of her teaching (and research) involves introductory statistics courses — the kind that non-majors dread but still must take. Chance enjoys seeing these students’ initial distrust of statistics and a lack of confidence in learning the world beneath and beyond the bell-shaped curve morph into “increased appreciation” and ultimately confidence. She has received several national awards: the inaugural winner of the American Statistical Association’s Waller Education Award in 2002 for innovation in the instruction of elementary statistics; the 2003 Statistical Education Award from Mu Sigma Rho, the national statistics honorary society, which recognizes excellence in undergraduate or graduate statistical education; and selection in 2005 as an ASA Fellow and in 2018 as an International Statistical Association Fellow. Her research, which also explores use of technology, active pedagogy and assessment, resulted in the 2011 MERLOT Award for Exemplary Online Materials. That applet collection required her “to keep teaching myself programming skills (that) allows me to witness the development of student understanding as they explore key concepts on their own.” Through insight, encouragement and humor, Chance serves as a beacon to help others thrive and succeed — as an inspiring mentor to colleagues as well as students.

Professor (B.S., Applied Mathematics, Harvey Mudd College; M.S. and Ph.D., Operations Research, Cornell University)
Statistics Department, College of Science and Mathematics

Marni Goldenberg

Distinguished Scholarship Award

Marni Goldenberg
Professor, Experience Industry Management

The Experience Industry Management Department’s Marni Goldenberg has earned a reputation as a researcher in her 15 years at Cal Poly. She has investigated outcomes and benefits associated with recreation participation in a variety of settings, from outdoor education and long-distance hiking trails to charity sporting events. Her research has resulted in numerous written works: 23 peer-reviewed publications; 15 peer-reviewed proceedings; 27 publications (including books, book chapters and articles); 67 international/national presentations; and 72 state, regional and local presentations. Goldenberg has secured more than $803,000 in grant funding, which is extremely significant in the EIM professional field. One student researcher, in nominating her for the Distinguished Scholar Award, said that Goldenberg helped “construct a study that catered to my professional and personal interests and equipped me with the tools to succeed.” Another student nominator lauded the veteran educator’s classroom skills, which foster “a learning environment that is positive, enthusiastic and encouraging. She is creative in her teaching styles and incorporates a true embodiment of Learn by Doing into all of her classes.” Goldenberg takes great pride in her role. “I have been very lucky to work on projects with incredible students and colleagues over the past 15 years,” she said. “This award goes to all the collaborations that I have had over the past years to create an amazing research agenda that has been impactful. Some of the most rewarding experiences for me include the excitement when students present or publish a paper, and they feel the pride and accomplishment of hard work and dedication.”

Professor (B.A., Recreation Administration California State University, Sacramento; M.S., Health, Kinesiology, and Leisure Studies, Purdue University; Ph.D., Recreation and Sports Studies, University of Minnesota)
Experience Industry Management Department, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

John Chen

Distinguished Teaching Award

John Chen
Professor Mechanical Engineering

John Chen engages and motivates his students to grasp challenging concepts through a hearty dose of humor, which several student nominators said transform his class from a lecture into “a fun club” or even a late-night talk show. “Professor Chen’s lectures should be collected, edited and then titled ‘Late Night with John Chen,’” one student nominator wrote. “They are relaxing, entertaining, and most of all, engaging. When I attend his lectures, I feel like I’m watching Conan or some other late-night talk show host, but rather than hearing jokes about celebrities or popular news, I’m hearing stand-up comedy about technical engineering concepts.” Chen, who came to Cal Poly in 2008, teaches a mix of lower-level core course and upper-level discipline-specific courses and enjoys working with students from a variety of majors. He also conducts research engineering education, for which his students usually become his study subjects. Chen’s research interests include technology-mediated learning, active-learning strategies, conceptual change, lifelong learning, metacognition, and non-cognitive factors that support student success.  “His creativity in lectures make it a highlight of my day,” another student nominator wrote. “From playfully pretending to be a rotating mass to his genuine excitement when we get the answer to a problem correct, his passion for teaching is very visible.”

Professor (B.S., Mechanical Engineering, University of Virginia; M.S. and Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University)
Mechanical Engineering Department, College of Engineering

Dale Clifford

Distinguished Teaching Award

Dale Clifford
Associate Professor, Architecture 

Dale Clifford’s teaching style inspires his students to work hard in his classes and strive to improve. “He has set a studio culture around collaboration, and skill-sharing, and critical analysis of ideas and developments, believing in the idea that two minds are better than one,” wrote one of his student nominators. Clifford, who joined Cal Poly in 2014, teaches design experimentation and creativity. His scholarship applies the principles of natural systems to construct a more agile built environment that is responsive to environmental changes. His courses are multidisciplinary “sandboxes” that bring together the disciplines of architecture, art, materials and computer science to develop new approaches to architecture by working across disciplinary boundaries. Students are encouraged to listen critically to their peers, ask thoughtful questions, and to send articles and readings to each other, so the entire class, Clifford included, can continually learn and improve. “His willingness to learn as well as teach and support has motivated me to work as a student and has made me feel encouraged,” another nominator wrote. “He empowers us by helping us discover the tools that we need to reach a goal but will challenge us to test, learn and explore through those tools ourselves.”

Associate Professor (B. Architecture, Pratt Institute, New York; M.S. Architectural Studies in Building Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Architecture Department, College of Architecture and Environmental Design

Brenda Trobaugh

Outstanding Staff Award

Brenda Trobaugh ​​​
Deputy Chief of Police
University Police


Brenda Trobaugh is recognized as a leader who works tirelessly to ensure that the University Police Department is providing professional, effective, efficient services to the campus community. Along with her extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of law enforcement, her passion serves to keep the department on the leading edge of trends and best practices. Trobaugh is known for consistently engaging with partners both on and off-campus. She works directly with a diverse campus community and recognizes and embraces the differences each member brings. One supporter cited Trobaugh’s exceptional organization and planning skills in handling the department’s budget. “CPPD is a 24/7/365-a-year organization, and operating it efficiently and effectively is a constant challenge. Her ability to ensure we are always properly staffed and equipped to provide the service level required on this campus is outstanding.” Trobaugh is credited with successfully leading the initiative to develop a K9 unit on campus that is completely self-sustaining. “Through Trobaugh’s leadership and fundraising activities, the department has been able to obtain and maintain two K9 teams,” wrote a colleague. Trobaugh is also credited for her hands-on approach with staff and for creating positive partnerships throughout the campus and beyond.

Deputy Chief of Police (B.S., Criminal Justice concentration in Forensic Psychology; M.S., Forensic Psychology, Walden University)
University Police Department

Marilyn Allison-Bullock

Outstanding Staff Award

Marilyn Allison-Bullock  
Assistant Director Assignments and Administrative Services
University HousinG

Marilyn Allison-Bullock is cited for her reliability, consistency and dedication to her role managing the licensing and assignments for all students living on campus. She is known for streamlining processes to provide students and families with the best possible experience. “She leads by example and garners respect from all those who work for her and with her,” wrote a supporter. “She is impeccable with her record-keeping and communication.” Allison-Bullock’s team is confident in her ability to meet deadlines and to find the best solution to any issue.  Last year, she led a team in implementing a new software program to streamline the assignment process for staff and students and align with the Strategic Planning Initiatives within Student Affairs and Housing. Allison-Bullock is a trusted member of the Housing Leadership team, effectively managing strategic plan initiatives and shepherding their implementation. A known problem-solver, Allison-Bullock strives to provide the best possible solutions to everyone’s needs. “Her commitment to the families and students who chose to attend this university is second to none,” wrote a colleague. “She is always the first to tackle any project and to volunteer wherever she is needed to ensure the success of not only Student Affairs but Cal Poly as a whole.”

Assistant Director Assignments and Administrative Services (B.S., Home Economics, Cal Poly)
University Housing

Susan Olivas

Outstanding Staff Award

Susan Olivas
Associate Registrar for Catalog, Curriculum and Scheduling
Office of the RegistraR

Susan Olivas is praised as a “consummate professional” and an “invaluable asset” in the Office of the Registrar. Her knowledge related to catalog, curriculum, course requisites, blanket substitutions, and the academic class schedule is unparalleled. Her supporters commended her open and friendly disposition. “One of her most notable strengths is her ability to include others,” wrote a colleague in support of her nomination. “Her door is always open, and those around her value her insight and opinion.” It was also noted that Olivas is “quick to encourage, compliment and lend a helping hand whenever the need arises.” Colleagues say she is a “joy to work with” and call her a “wonderful leader who radiates warmth and has an uncanny knack for putting people at ease. She cares about her staff, not only in the workplace, but is vested in who we are as people.” She is known for “going the extra mile” to meet deadlines and expand her knowledge. “She dives into a project to not only complete the task at hand but also become a subject matter expert that can be relied upon to share that knowledge with those around her,” wrote a supporter. “Not only is she dedicated to her job, she is also dedicated to the faculty, staff and students at Cal Poly.”

Associate Registrar for Catalog, Curriculum and Scheduling (B.S., Social Sciences, Cal Poly)
Office of the Registrar

Brian Granger

Provost’s Leadership Award for Partnership in Philanthropy

Brian Granger
Associate Professor, Physics

Brian Granger’s work to forge partnerships with several prestigious charitable foundations and corporations at the forefront of data science and artificial intelligence development has brought outstanding research and learning opportunities to the students and faculty at Cal Poly. His efforts will greatly affect the future of the Physics Department, the College of Science and Mathematics and the university. Granger was nominated for this honor by Dean Wendt, dean of the College of Science and Mathematics. “Brian Granger provides an excellent example of not only partnership, but of leadership in philanthropy,” Wendt said. “The philanthropic work Brian has done will have a lasting impact on our students, the emerging field of data science, and growth in the national and international reputation of our university.” Granger has spent the last decade as a professor of physics and data science, and is currently on professional leave from Cal Poly to serve as principal technical program manager at Amazon Web Services. Granger is co-founder and co-director of Project Jupyter, which develops open-source software, open-standards and services for interactive computing across dozens of programming languages. In 2018, Granger was able to leverage funding made possible by Bill and Linda Frost of the Frost Foundation to secure $2.3 million for Project Jupyter from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and Schmidt Futures. He is also an advisory board member of the NumFOCUS Foundation and has served as a faculty fellow of the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Along with other leaders of Project Jupyter, he is a winner of the 2017 ACM Software System Award.

Associate Professor (B.S., Physics Engineering, Westmont College; Ph.D., Theoretical Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics, University of Colorado at Boulder)
Physics Department, College of Science and Mathematics

Lauren Kolodziejski

Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award

Lauren Kolodziejski
Associate Chair and Assistant Professor, Communication Studies

Lauren Kolodziejski’s commitment to student success is clearly articulated in her advising philosophy, which focuses on three guidelines: listen more than talk, don’t wait for a question to be asked, and share the struggle. These guidelines are reflected in the comments submitted by Kolodziejski’s student nominators. “She deeply cares for each and every one of her students,” one nominator wrote. Another stated that she is “the only professor that has made a profound impact on my experience at Cal Poly.” Kolodziejski has served as an advisor for students’ senior projects, encouraged and mentored students through the law school application process, and provided support for students during times of stress. Students shared many other examples of Kolodziejski’s caring and supportive nature — evidence of her unwavering dedication to students. Kolodziejski has also served as a volunteer academic coach for the First Year Success program. She worked with students from a variety of majors to help them establish goals for success and followed up to see if they are meeting their goals. Kolodziejski, who joined the communication studies faculty in 2014, has in her work explored manufactured science-based controversies, including contemporary anti-vaccination attitudes; the rhetorical power of expert discourses; the influence of scientific appeals in public address; and representations of science in popular culture.

Associate Chair, Assistant Professor (B.A., Math and B.S., Science Communication, Winthrop University, South Carolina; M.A., Communication, University of Colorado-Boulder; Ph.D., Communication, University of Washington)
Communication Studies Department, College of Liberal Arts

Javier de la Fuente, Irene Carbonell, and Mary LaPorte

Learn by Doing Scholar Award
Completed Research Category

Javier de la Fuente
Assistant Professor, Industrial
Technology and Packaging


Irene Carbonell
Lecturer, Industrial Technology and Packaging


Mary LaPorte
Professor, Art and Design


Project Title: Design Thinking as a Framework for Teaching Packaging Innovation

Professors de la Fuente, Carbonell and LaPorte conducted a four-year collaborative pedagogical research project to improve creativity and innovation of student work using a design thinking project-based learning approach. The faculty members devised a framework to advise and coach cross-disciplinary teams of graphic design students and packaging students. The resulting student work has been widely recognized at national and international design competitions, earning a total of 33 accolades from independent industry judging panels — an average of four awards per cross-disciplinary course collaboration. As a result, during this four-year period, Cal Poly won a total of seven awards at the WorldStar Student Design Competition, the most awards of any American university. Cal Poly also became the first university in the world to place two top winners at this global competition. The faculty members’ work has resulted in a peer-reviewed article published early this year in the Journal of Applied Packaging Research. It has also led to an international conference paper at the International Association of Packaging Research Institutes (IAPRI) Symposium 2019 and conference presentations in the Netherlands and the U.S. This research is expected to influence students, colleagues and the profession at large. 

Javier de la Fuente, Assistant Professor (Bachelor of Industrial Design, Universidad de Buenos Aires; M.S. and Ph.D., Packaging, Michigan State University)

Irene Carbonell, Lecturer (B.Eng., Agricultural Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València; M.S., Packaging, Michigan State University)

Mary LaPorte, Professor (B.A., Graphic Design, Washington State University; M.F.A., Graphic Design, Washington State University)

Industrial Technology and Packaging Program, Orfalea College of Business 
Art and Design Department, College of Liberal Arts

Sara Bartlett

Learn by Doing Scholar Award
Proposed or In Progress Category

Sara Bartlett
Lecturer, Psychology and Child Development

Project Title: Effectiveness of Intergenerational Service Learning Programs for Psychology of Aging

Bartlett will use service learning as a model for studying geriatric education. The objectives of this work include connecting students with an older adult in the community and, in the process, challenging the myths and stereotypes the students might hold regarding aging and older adults. This exercise is intended to make students more comfortable interacting with the older adult population and, in turn, teach students how to effectively interview someone. The ability to conduct effective interviews is a valuable skill for use in assessment, a key intervention needed in many aging-based disciplines. Ideally, this work will provide support for Cal Poly curricular revisions to enhance and expand students’ knowledge and attitudes about aging. The revised curriculum seeks to generate additional interest in aging services fields so that more students could work in these critical professions in the future, as the Baby Boomer generation ages and requires more support services. This work will clearly contribute to filling a gap in the existing literature as Bartlett completes her doctorate in social work at the University of Pennsylvania.

Lecturer (B.A., Psychology, UC Davis; M.S.W., UC Berkeley)
Psychology and Child Development Department, College of Liberal Art

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