Professor Lynn Metcalf Among Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing Scholar Award Winners

Lynn MetcalfLynn Metcalf, a faculty member in the Industrial Technology and Packaging Area of the Orfalea College of Business, and Catherine Waitinas, an English faculty member, have earned Cal Poly’s 2017 Learn by Doing Scholar Awards.

The annual awards, administered by Kennedy Library, were established in 2014-15 to recognize outstanding scholarship examining Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing philosophy. Winning research projects study the effectiveness of interactive, hands-on teaching methods and make important contributions to scholarly literature. A faculty committee representing each of the university’s six colleges and the library selects the winners, who are formally recognized at Cal Poly’s Fall Conference.

Metcalf received $2,000 in recognition of her completed research, “The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Marketing Content Mastery.” She collaborated with Orfalea College of Business faculty members Stern Neill, Lisa Simon, Sharon Dobson and Brennan Davis to design and test a student-mentor program. Top-performing seniors majoring in marketing management helped students in BUS 460: Principles of Marketing to apply lecture concepts when developing comprehensive marketing projects. Results showed students’ increased content mastery and higher positive perceptions of the class. The research is a valuable contribution to peer mentoring program literature, and the team’s published methodology guide is helping others to develop and improve hands-on peer mentoring programs.

Waitinas received $1,000 for her in-progress research, “Flipping Whitman: Collaborative Learn by Doing in the (Digital) Humanities.” Her work explores how digital manuscripts give students unique historical insights into Walt Whitman’s writing and editing process, comparing Whitman’s drafted manuscripts with his published poems.

“This fresh application of digital humanities demonstrates how new technologies provide innovative opportunities,” said Brett Bodemer, Learn by Doing Award committee chair and College of Liberal Arts librarian. “Waitinas’ research has already received praise from the Modern Language Association and promises to expand applications for other new instruction methods.”   

For more information on the awards, visit: For more information about this year’s award and selection committee, visit: