Cal Poly Marketing Mentor Program Featured in Marketing Education Review

Cal Poly faculty members Stern Neill, Lisa Simon, Sharon Dobson, Brennan Davis, and Lynn Metcalf have teamed up on research that will appear in the next issue of Marketing Education Review.  The article, titled “The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Marketing Content and Mastery,” was based on research they conducted this fall regarding a newly established marketing mentor program in the Orfalea College of Business.

Neill had the initial idea to start a mentorship program at Cal Poly, which formally paired older marking students who had exemplified academic excellence with freshman who were interested in pursuing a concentration in marketing. Metcalf worked with Neil to develop the concept and bring it to fruition at Cal Poly. The mentors worked in collaboration with the faculty members Davis, Simon and Dobson to provide guidance and assistance to the younger marketing students and provided the opportunity for all involved to Learn by Doing.

Throughout the quarter, the professors assessed the course and the effect that the peer mentors had on mentee content mastery. Their research found that students who worked with mentors performed better on a standardized test, reinforcing that the mentors had a positive affect on their learning. Additionally, the study  found that the mentors who had key leadership skills had students who preformed better on the tests.  The research ultimately showed that, when working a collaborative learning environment, students learn best when mentors seek to involve and recognize their contributions.

The experience not only provided valuable insight about how students learn, but it  also provided the mentors with a chance to grow and learn as well. The mentors were immersed in a demanding and engaging learning environment that gave them the tools they will need to succeed in their future careers.

“They say the best way to learn something is to teach it,” said Jenna Hoffman, a business senior who participated as a mentor in the program. “So now I feel like my degree in business and marketing is completely legitimate and qualified as I transition into my career.”

During the quarter the marketing mentors worked along side the professors and gained insight as to what exactly goes into the lesson planning process. They also spent a lot of time working hands on with the students, providing them guidance and assistance wherever they could.

Hoffman’s experience as a mentor not only showed her how classes are run, but also helped to improve her interpersonal skills as she learned to work with different personalities.

“Different leaders have different ways of going about their tasks,” Hoffman said. “As a mentor—and eventually as an employee — it’s important for me to be able to adapt to these variances and contribute my personal best regardless.”

For the full article in Marketing Education Review, visit ____.

Cal Poly to Host International Marketing and Public Policy Conference June 23-25

Cal Poly will host the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) 2016 Marketing and Public Policy Conference Thursday through Saturday, June 23-25. The event is expected to attract marketers, academics and public policy makers from around the world to the Cal Poly campus, representing a wide range of universities, agencies and organizations.

With the theme “fostering change for communities and societies,” speakers will explore how policy on large and small scales can ignite change and impact the quality of life for consumers. Cal Poly alumnus Peter Feldman (Business Administration, ’89), global product general manager at Amgen, will give the keynote presentation at an awards luncheon Friday, June 24.

AMA will also host an intensive workshop and doctoral seminar prior to the event June 20-23. The workshop is intended to increase the number of scholars and the quality of research in the marketing and public policy domain by providing doctoral-level education and mentoring sessions from accomplished senior researchers. Participants will have the opportunity to hear talks, receive feedback on research, interact and socialize, and identify new research ideas and directions along with these researchers and mentors.

The event is co-chaired by Brennan Davis, associate marketing professor in Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business, and Beth Vallen, assistant marketing professor at Villanova University.

Registration and conferences details are available at

Cal Poly Professor Named Emerging Scholar by American Marketing Association

Brennan DavisCal Poly associate marketing Professor Brennan Davis was recently named the 2016 Emerging Scholar in Marketing and Society by the American Marketing Association’s Marketing and Society Special Interest Group (MASSIG).

The award honors the contributions of a researcher in the earlier stages of their academic career who tackles significant societal issues that substantially advance the industry’s collective understanding. Winners of the annual award have contributed a significant body of work in developing and advancing research in the areas of marketing and society, public policy, and marketing ethics.

Davis was selected because of his strong history of impactful service to the marketing field. His research into marketing’s impact on obesity and public health has played an integral part in the transformative consumer research movement, which focuses on consumer welfare and the quality of life for individuals affected by obesity across the world. His research has been published in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, the Journal of Business Research, the American Journal of Public Health, and the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research.

“This award is great recognition of Brennan’s commitment and hard work,” said Orfalea College of Business Dean Scott Dawson. “He continues to make an important impact on his industry and our students, and we are lucky to have him as part of our faculty.”

Davis is the Hood Professor of Marketing in Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business. He has taught core marketing classes and developed marketing analytics classes at the undergraduate and graduate levels since he joined Cal Poly in 2014. In addition to teaching, Davis has eight years of experience in marketing management for the automotive and technology industries.

For more information on the MASSIG awards, visit

Cal Poly’s Newest Marketing Analytics Courses Make a Big Impact

Marketing Analytics Student Presents to ClassFall 2015 was a significant quarter for the Orfalea College of Business. One of the significant events was the start of our graduate course offerings in business analytics. In addition, many of the college areas added undergraduate offerings in analytics. “In the marketing area, we knew our undergraduate and graduate students needed to show they could analyze data; gone are the days of marketing strategy, content or creativity driving decisions without data,” said Brennan Davis, associate professor of marketing. Davis is the creator of the marketing analytics course for undergraduate marketing majors and a strategic marketing analytics course for business analytics graduate students.

Students in Davis’ first marketing analytics courses delivered a real-world project for Dmytro Marushkevych, director of analytics for Rosetta in San Luis Obispo. The students analyzed data for Rosetta’s client, a multinational global 100 smartphone brand. The project centered around connecting unstructured data from sources like, eBay and Twitter with a big database of customer responses to a series of recent online marketing campaigns. Marushkevych said the project was valuable to Rosetta and its client. “One the teams in particular came back with a little nugget that really got the attention of the client,” he said.Marketing Student Presentation

The project was also a collaboration with two Cal Poly computer science courses. Marketing analytics students modeled the practice they will likely have in future jobs by acting as marketing agents managing requests to an IT department, represented by students in a graduate-level distributed systems taught by Chris Lupo, associate professor of computer science. “The distributed systems students worked on an interdisciplinary team with a real, external client. They developed software to aggregate data from a number of internet data sources,” explained Lupo.

They also collaborated with an undergraduate database systems class taught by Lubomir Stanchev, associate professor of computer science. Stanchev added, “The database students were happy to get experience solving real-world problems. In the spirit of Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing motto, students had hands-on experience working with a real-world database and writing queries that represent real-world customer requirements.”