Cal Poly Students Honored by Lawmakers at State Capitol

Cal Poly Students at the State CapitolTwenty Cal Poly students, including four students from the Orfalea College of Business, were recognized for their awards and other accomplishments by state lawmakers on the floors of the state Assembly and Senate in Sacramento on Monday, Feb. 13.

“I am so pleased to share with our state leaders the can-do Learn by Doing ethos that this group of dedicated and talented students exemplify,” said university President Jeffrey D. Armstrong, accompanied the students to both legislative chambers. “These fine young men and women from all six of our colleges will be future leaders in their respective fields.”

The group was introduced in the Senate by Majority Leader Bill Monning, D-Carmel, and in the Assembly by Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-Templeton. Both men represent San Luis Obispo County.

Ceremonies were held in each chamber Monday afternoon.

In addition, the students met with the Office of Gov. Jerry Brown and with representatives from each student’s respective Senate and Assembly districts.

Most of the students call California home — from Solana Beach, in San Diego County, to Roseville, near Sacramento — including one from the Central Coast. Four others are from outside the Golden State — Alaska, Hawaii, New Jersey and Oregon.

Each has distinguished him- or herself as an individual or on a team that has received a national industry award or on other high-profile events, including the Tournament of Roses Parade, with a worldwide TV audience of 100 million.

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

Participating Orfalea College of Business students:

Eric Bet
Woodside, Calif.

Eric Bet, a construction management and business finance senior in the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, was captain of Cal Poly’s interdisciplinary team that took third at the 2017 National Association of Home Builders Residential Construction Management Competition at the International Builders Show in Orlando, Fla. The team included business, architecture and construction management students who were challenged to prepare a land-acquisition proposal, including building cost estimates, a construction schedule, cash flow and return-on-investment projections, and marketing and risk analysis. The team was runner-up among 35 competitors. It marked the 12th time since 2001 that Cal Poly has finished in the top five at the NAHB. Bet was also the co-captain of the same team in 2016 that finished second among 34 competitors. In addition, Bet received the Construction Management Department’s 2016 Outstanding Leadership Award. He served as captain of the Commercial Team at the 2016 Associated Schools of Construction Regions 6 and 7 competition and as president of the Cal Poly Real Estate Club.


Cal Poly Students at the State CapitolBrooke Billmeyer
Solana Beach, Calif.

Brooke Billmeyer, a senior majoring in industrial technology and packing in the Orfalea College of Business, was part of a three-member team that won the Institute of Packaging Professionals, Southeastern Chapter’s 48 Hour Repack Student Design Competition. The team redesigned the packaging of Keurig coffee pods into re-closable and recyclable cardboard dispensers that showcased the five coffee blends available. Their design and promotional video created over two days edged out 45 other entries to claim the $3,000 top prize. “The industrial technology program allows me to design creative innovations to cutting-edge products and packages through exploration of the physical and chemical compositions of these products,” Billmeyer said.


Hannah Poplack
Hillsborough, Calif.

Hannah Poplack, a senior studying finance in the Orfalea College of Business and co-founder and co-president of Cal Poly’s Women in Business Association, was selected as a “Nominated Changemaker,” joining hundreds of other nominees last June at the White House’s first United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C. Organized by the White House Council on Women and Girls and hosted by then-first lady Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey, the summit focused on advances made in gender equity. It featured speakers and workshops from then-President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Amy Poehler, Cecile Richards, Gloria Steinem and others, centered around such key topics as economic empowerment, female entrepreneurship and innovation. “I feel tremendously grateful for this opportunity to represent Cal Poly, my Women in Business founding board, and collegiate women from across the nation,” Poplack said. “I left the summit profoundly inspired to continue creating change for young women and empowered with a new level of understanding about the issues impacting women today.” Poplack is a five-time U.S. Presidential Service Award Winner (Gold Level), a U.S.  Jefferson Award recipient, and she was named 2016 Cal Poly Panhellenic Women of the Year.


Marshall Zia
Benicia, Calif.

Marshall Zia, who is studying business administration in the Orfalea College of Business, was a member of a student team that was runner-up in the American Marketing Association’s annual International Collegiate Business Simulation competition held at the annual International Collegiate Conference in New Orleans. Zia and his three teammates placed second among 30 schools in the SABRE (Strategic Allocation of Business Resources) business simulation competition. The team also took second in the Best Community and Social Impact video and Collegiate Website categories. In addition, it was ranked in the top 25 of AMA’s collegiate chapters for outstanding performance in chapter planning, professional development, membership, communications, fundraising, and social impact/community service — the highest Cal Poly’s chapter has ever received. Zia has been involved in a host of marketing efforts on-campus and off — including an eight-month stint in 2015 as marketing and business development manager of AppScrolls, a student-run startup that sought to build the largest online community to connect, educate and entertain mobile gamers. The startup was invited to participate in Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship SLO HotHouse Summer Accelerator program, an intense 13-week program aimed at helping new ventures succeed. Zia helped grow AppScrolls from concept to viability, working to close the company’s first key accounts.