Cal Poly

Randol White - KCBX News

The organic farm at Cal Poly is being called one of the ten best university-based farms in the nation.

The organization Best College Reviews says the school's 11 acre farm in San Luis Obispo integrates well with the main campus and surrounding community, has good student interaction, and is sustainable.

Cal Poly's farm is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers organization. It's managed by students, faculty and staff.

Students in the Santa Maria valley will soon be part of math program that uses real word applications to help teach the STEM curriculum.

The three year program pairs local teachers from the Santa Maria-Bonita School District up with the Cal Poly Mathematics department. The two have been working together since 2006.

Kate Reily, a mathematics professor at Cal Poly, says her department is excited for this newest opportunity to work with the school district.

Flickr member Chris Potter

Volunteers at both Cal Poly and UCSB are set to begin helping Central Coast residents prepare their tax returns—for free. The program is called VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance).

Levi Satterthwaite is part of the program at Cal Poly and says he's excited to be involved.

"As college seniors at Cal Poly we're trained and we're IRS certified to prepare tax returns and to help them out," said Satterthwaite. "It's a wonderful opportunity and we love to give back to the community."

Jordan Bell

Experts at Cal Poly are starting work on a project to help disadvantaged communities in California access safe drinking water.

The ongoing drought has left communities particularly those in California's Central Valley with two major problems: a lack of water, and the water they do have contains concentrated contaminates like nitrates.

Water is the main focus at Cal Poly's Irrigation Training and Research Center (ITRC) for Dr. Stuart Styles. He says because of the drought a lot of farmer's turned to groundwater, drying up surrounding wells.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

The launch of a soil moisture monitoring satellite from Vandenberg Air Force Base was in a 24-hour delay cycle on Thursday afternoon because of a problem with upper level winds Thursday morning.

The SMAP satellite (Soil Moisture Active Passive) is now scheduled to launch Friday morning at 6:20.

Three other nano-satellites—or CubeSats—are also onboard the Delta II rocket sitting on the Vandenberg launchpad, and they're what scientists and students from Cal Poly will be watching.

A recent string of sexual assaults reported by Cal Poly students has left all greek life on social probation and one fraternity is no longer recognized by the university. Two students, Hannah Poplack and Nadine Leffler wrote a 'letter to the editor' of their school's newspaper in response an article about the university's disciplinary action. 

NASA

Scientists are looking forward to using a new satellite that will help them track California's ongoing drought and create more accurate and longer-term forecasts.

It's known as SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive) and is scheduled to launch at Vandenberg Air Force Base Thursday morning at 6:20 a.m.

It's main purpose is to observe the entire surface of the Earth with a focus on soil moisture and the world's freeze and thaw zones.

Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

Charges could be filed as early as next week against the man accused of making violent threats last weekend toward the Isla Vista community.  

The suspect is a Cal Poly student who made the threats were made on a social media app called Yik Yak. It allows users to post anonymously with messages showing up for other users within a ten mile radius.

San Luis Obispo Police Lieutenant John Bledsoe says they were able to track down 22-year-old Stefan Hall by tracing his computer's IP address.

Bledsoe says Hall identified himself as UCSB Psycho.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

A Cal Poly fraternity is no longer welcomed by the university and the rest of the Greek System, including both sororities and fraternities, is on social probation. 

The university announced the moves Tuesday, following the third sexual assault reported this academic year associated with Greek houses.

Keith Humphrey is the Vice President of Student Affairs at Cal Poly and says these cases are affecting the health and safety of students. Although the university has paused all social activities in response, regular chapter operations can continue.

Cal Poly float earns honors in 2015 Rose Parade

Jan 1, 2015
Tom Zasadzinski - Cal Poly Pomona

Cal Poly's student-built float earned special honors at the Rose Parade Thursday morning in Pasadena.

The float called 'soaring stories' won the Lathrop K. Leishman Trophy for the most beautiful non-commercial float.

85 percent of the flowers on the Cal Poly float came from within the state. Just before the final judging Wednesday, it was certified as California Grown by the California Fresh Cut Flower Commission.

Jessica Paterson

Your ability to easily search California legislative hearings—complete with full audio transcripts—is about to take a big leap forward.

A $1.2 million grant to Cal Poly's Institute for Advanced Technology and Public Policy (IATPP) will help fund this program, called Digital Democracy.

This first-in-the-nation system will work by using voice and face recognition software to convert video files of state government meetings into searchable text-based documents.

Tom Zasadzinski / Cal Poly Pomona

Students from Cal Poly are busy at work putting the finishing touches on this year's Rose Parade Float. For several decades, the San Luis Obispo and Pomona campuses have joined forces, each building one half of the same float and then bringing them together with award-winning results.

This year's Cal Poly entry includes solar power to assist with some of the float's many moving parts, the first time solar has been used this extensively by any parade entry.

Flickr member Tan Huynh

Cal Poly students are preparing for Saturday's Fall Commencement, a tradition that started in 1955. 

Although Fall Commencement started in the '50s, there were only two ceremonies that decade. It returned to Cal Poly in 1984 with only 262 graduates that December. This ceremony marks the 30th consecutive year the university has held Fall Commencement.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

The Colleges and Universities that dot the Central Coast do far more than create an educated populace, they also account for a major portion of the area’s economy.

A recent study took a look at one university in particular—Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo—and found when you tabulate all of the various economic interactions that institution, its students, faculty and staff have with the surrounding area, the sum of those accounts for 12 percent of the entire county’s economic output.

Guests:

Students, staff and faculty at Cal Poly received an official Crime Alert message Friday evening regarding an attempted sexual assault on campus.

The University Police Department says it received information on Friday that the crime happened this past Sunday at 3:00 a.m. between Mott Gym and the parking structure.

Clara Knapp, KCBX News

When you first step on to the Cal Poly Research Pier in Avila Beach, you can barely see the university's facility a half-mile away.

“It is unique, I don’t think that there’s another structure like it along the entire west coast of the United States," said Dean Wendt, Director of the Cal Poly Center for Coastal Marine Sciences. "Things that people need to do on a ship sometimes can be done right from the end of our pier, last year about 1200 students took coursework out at the pier.”

Flickr member youngthousands

You'll have an opportunity this weekend to give the administration at Cal Poly some future direction as to where it should head with major projects like land development, circulation and facilities.

The university is working on it's 20-year-plan and Saturday's open house is one of the first steps.

Linda Dalton is part of the project and says the university is hoping to hear what the public has to say on possible projects.

A Cal Poly fraternity is on suspension while the university investigates a reported sexual assault.

According to a university crime alert email sent out to the campus community, a woman reported being assaulted at the Pi Kappa Alpha (PIKE) fraternity house on Foothill Boulevard during a Halloween party on Saturday.

The woman said she believes she was drugged.

"When the survivor awoke a white male with blond hair and blue eyes with the first name of Jake was engaging in sexual activity without her consent," the letter stated.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

A pair of Cal Poly alums are donating the largest single gift in Cal Poly history to the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.

Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer are giving the school $20 million to go toward a variety of University initiatives. President Jeffrey Armstrong says those include the creation of a new Agricultural Events Center, an equestrian pavilion, and a new farm store.

In addition, the Oppenheimers are helping to feed Cal Poly students who are food insecure.

My Culture is Not a Costume video on YouTube

An official Cal Poly Greek system event last Halloween season caused reaction over what many saw as a racially insensitive party theme. In response, an effort on campus this year has a very different approach.

Cal Poly's University Diversity and Inclusivity (UDI) staff members partnered with the Cross-Cultural Centers to make a video called "My Culture is Not a Costume."

It features some faculty and students, including members of Greek life and Cal Poly athletics.

Flickr member Sean MacEntee

A new Gallup poll shows hacking is the number one crime concern for Americans. Nearly 7 in 10 surveyed say they're most worried about having their credit card information stolen by hackers at retail stores.

Second on the list—at 62 percent—are those concerned about having their computer or smartphone hacked and that information stolen by unauthorized persons.

Superior Solutions Manufacturing, Facebook Page

A pair of Cal Poly Mechanical Engineering alums are the winners of this year's Tech Pitch competition held last night at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo.

It was 22-year-old Justin Russo who gave the presentation for his company's removable LiftGator device designed for pickup trucks. He runs Superior Solutions Manufacturing with fellow Cal Poly grad Marty Affentranger. Their device is a product out of the HotHouse incubator. The Lift Gator makes it easy to load heavy items into truck beds.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Cal Poly University is hosting its first Art Galley of the new school year, "Photography now" , which exhibits modern photography with a vintage twist and highlights the work of nine San Jose State photographers, most of whom attended galleries opening.

The artwork is a mix of old photography that dates back to the infancy days of before the civil war to more modern images that we're used to today.

Jeff van Kleek, the gallery coordinator for the University Art Gallery describes the show:

Cal Poly Food Science & Nutrition

Several varieties of chocolate candy bars made by students at Cal Poly are being voluntarily recalled. 

The reason behind the recall action is that the chocolates may be contaminated with undeclared allergens including peanut, milk or soy. The university did not stipulate which one.

The products may also have been exposed to microbial contamination, according to a press release.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

A record-breaking number of registered students were enrolled as Cal Poly's fall quarter got underway this September. For the first time in history, more than 20,000 students are enrolled at the university.

The previous peak enrollment at Cal Poly was prior to the recession at 19,777. It dropped as low as 18,360 in 2010 and completely rebounded this fall with 20,102, a 2.4 percent increase of 2013's 19,623.

Cal Poly President Jeffery Armstrong says the school is currently experiencing an upward trend with an improved state economy.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Last month a group of Cal Poly students worked to test elements of a high-tech spacecraft they're working on with Stanford University. But, a communications glitch forced a trip back to the drawing board.

On Tuesday night however, the students enjoyed the thrill of success.

Doug Stetson, the LightSail program manager for the Planetary Society, said the test involved, "simulating all of the activities that the spacecraft will conduct when it's on orbit after launch."

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Monday was the first day of the academic year for Cal Poly students.

Incoming freshmen will be happy to learn that Cal Poly ranks No. 3 in California for having the highest paid graduates of any public 4-year degree programs. The school ranks just behind UC Berkeley and UC San Diego according to PayScale.com.

Cal Poly President Jeffrey Armstrong says the overall financial situation for the university is on a good upward trend, following years of budget cuts during the recession.

The upcoming 4th Annual TechPitch event is put on by the SLO HotHouse in partnership with Cal Poly and the greater San Luis Obispo community.

Mike Manchak, President and CEO for the Economic Vitality Corporation and Chelsea Brown, Media Coordinator with the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, discuss the details with KCBX News Director Randol White.

EVENT DETAILS:

Wikipedia user: Coolcaesar

The Central Coast is home to two of the most highly ranked public universities in the nation according to this year's college survey from U.S. News and World Report.

Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo ranked No. 10 in the magazine's overall list of the West's best universities, while UCSB came in No. 10 on a separate national list.

Cal Poly also ranked No. 1 nationally for its Industrial/Manufacturing Engineering program. UCSB's College of Engineering—which is ranked on a different list of schools that offer doctorates—came in 20th nationally.

UC Santa Cruz

One of the athletic fields on the UC Santa Cruz campus is now shut down for the fall after a summer of reduced irrigation in an effort to conserve water. 

The Upper East Field is used for a variety of sports and events, but management feels light watering has put the field in a state that it can no longer be used.

At UC Santa Barbara however, the fields are in much better shape because there was no need to hold back on irrigation this year.

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