Cal Poly Students to be Honored by Lawmakers at State Capitol on Feb. 1

Twenty-one students, who garnered a variety of awards and honors, represent all six of the university’s colleges

Twenty-one Cal Poly students will be recognized for their awards and other accomplishments by state lawmakers on the floors of the Assembly and Senate in Sacramento on Monday, Feb. 1. Four students will represent the Orfalea College of Business.

“These fine students are indicative of our Learn by Doing philosophy and reflect what their peers are also accomplishing at Cal Poly,” said university President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, who will accompany the students to both legislative chambers. “We want to honor these representatives of our six colleges for their success in the classroom and for their extracurricular activities that have been honored regionally and nationally.”

Elaine Cohen is studying business administration in the Orfalea College of Business. Her hometown is Paso Robles, Calif. She was part of a four-member team that took second at the 2015 Institute of Packaging Professionals AmeriStar Packaging Awards Competition for an all-in-one contact lens case and solution bottle. “Congratulations to all the student AmeriStar award winners,” said Jane Chase, IOPP chair. “Your work is truly inspiring to our student community of future packaging professionals.”

Jimmy Phung is a business administration major from Westminster, Calif. He was one of five Cal Poly students to receive a Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year. Phung will study in China. He speaks Cantonese and Mandarin and has proficiency in Spanish. The scholarship program aims to diversify the kinds of students studying and interning abroad, and the countries where they go. It is a nationally competitive scholarship, congressionally funded and sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. State Department and administered by the Institute of International Education. On campus, Phung served for two years on the Inter Housing Council, a student government group that works to enhance the experience of students who live in on campus residence halls.

Janel Takeda is an industrial technology major from San Jose, Calif. She was part of a team of business students who took second in the nation in the 48 Hour Re-Pack, Student Packaging Competition. that gives students just two days to redesign a consumer product’s packaging. The five-member team also received $2,000 at an awards ceremony held in Atlanta. Their task was to redesign a line of gluten-free flour called Nature’s Medley. They came up with a nine-sided package featured a pour spout with removable lid that doubled as a measuring cup. The recyclable paperboard also protected its contests from pests and transportation damage. The Cal Poly team engineered the package structure, designed its labeling and produced a video showcasing the packaging benefits — all within 48 hours.

Reese Woodard of Davis, Calif. is studying business administration in the Orfalea College of Business. He was part of Cal Poly’s American Marketing Association chapter that was recognized for excellence in professional development, chapter planning and membership at the 2015 AMA International Collegiate Conference held in New Orleans. The team also took second for its video contest entry promoting Be The Match, the association’s national philanthropic partner. Cal Poly students created a mini-documentary that shared stories from bone marrow donors and recipients whose lives have been changed by the organization. Woodard has a passion for videography. In San Francisco, he created videos for a tech startup. After graduation, he intends to pursue employment in the startup sector. This school year, Woodard serves as director of videography for the student AMA chapter’s executive board.

The group will be introduced to the Senate by Majority Leader Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and to the Assembly by Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, R-San Luis Obispo. Both men represent San Luis Obispo County. Achadjian is an Orfalea College of Business graduate.

Ceremonies will be held in each chamber Monday afternoon.

In addition, the students will meet with the Office of the Governor Jerry Brown, Office of the Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and representatives from their respective Senate and Assembly districts.

Most of the students hail from throughout the Golden State — from Carlsbad to Woodland Hills, as well as three from the Central Coast. Three are from outside of California.

Each has distinguished him or herself as an individual or on a team that has received a national industry award or on such high-profile events as the Tournament of Roses Parade, with its TV audience of 100 million, and the team that raised $600,000 for a net zero solar home that was judged third best in the nation.

The group also will greet family, friends and alumni at a series of receptions in the Sacramento area Sunday and Monday.

Other Cal Poly students to be honored in Sacramento include:

Christina Barton — Kansas City, Mo.

Seth Borges — Visalia, Calif.

Kevin Carstens — Rocklin, Calif.

Paul Carvalho — Torrance, Calif.

A.J. Chamorro — Emerald Hills, Calif.

Benjy Egel — Davis, Calif.

Mario Espinoza — Modesto, Calif.

Preston Fernandes — Tulare, Calif.

Leah Horner — Sacramento, Calif.

Kenna Lewis — San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Joyce Lin — Kirkland, Wash.

Megan Montalvo — Woodland Hills, Calif.

Alyssa Parr — Clarksville, Md.

Rachel Santa Olalla — Ventura, Calif.

Tanner Shelton — Santa Paula, Calif.

Ryan Smith — Carlsbad, Calif.

Partick Steffanic — Portola, Calif.