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Insights and Impact

Insights and Impact: An Alumni Speaker Series 

Go behind the scenes of the new William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation in the next episode of Insights and Impact: An Alumni Speaker Series, Thursday, March 10.

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Insights and Impact is an ongoing speaker series for Cal Poly alumni. Each academic quarter we'll delve into issues that matter, utilizing our own faculty and alumni experts to offer insights and show us how we as Cal Poly alumni can make an impact in our communities, California and the world. This academic year, Insights and Impact will focus on the ways alumni are transforming campus through new facilities that will make an impact on the lives of students for years to come.

Catch up on all sessions of Insights and Impact: An Alumni Speaker Series: 

A view of the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation

Fall 2021 - Spring 2022: Campus Transformations & New Learn by Doing Facilities

Session One: Behind the Scenes of the New JUSTIN and J.LOHR Center for Wine and VitIculture

While classes went virtual in 2020, transformative work on campus continued. Tune in to see what we've been working on, starting with the JUSTIN and J.LOHR Center for Wine and Viticulture - the largest donor-funded capital project in CSU history - directly from the alumni, faculty and students behind the projects.

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Session Two: A Sneak Peek of the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation

Get an inside look at the William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation. The new facility is currently under construction and will include space for the College of Science and Mathematics, the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, and the College of Liberal Arts.

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Professor Chris Dicus surveys fire damage in Santa Rosa.

Spring Quarter 2021: Cal Poly Strategic Research Initiatives 

Session One: Strategic Research Initiative, Environment of California and Beyond

Our host for the quarter, Interim Dean of Graduate Education, Elizabeth A. Lowham, Ph.D., leads a discussion with faculty members leading interdisciplinary projects responding to the urgent need for research-informed strategies, collaborations, and outreach to overcome environmental challenges. 

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Session Two: Strategic Research Initiative, Community Health

Interact with the students working with the People's Movement for Health, a social movement to empower people and reduce health disparities that includes Learn by Doing projects such as the Women and Infants Mobile Health Unit. In this session you'll also get the chance to learn more about "Eating in the Anthropocene" to learn how people think about food and policy and how they may change our fundamental understanding of the relationships surrounding food and nutrition. 

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Session Three: Strategic Research Initiative, Central Coast Place-Based Research

Learn more about The Center for Applied Study of Place-based Indigeneity, Race and Ethnicity (ASPIRE), from three of the faculty members behind the project: Grace Yeh, professor of ethnic studies, interim chair of communication studies and co-lead for the ASPIRE Center and the Public Humanities Collaboration; Jenell Navarro, associate professor and chair of the Ethnic Studies Department, co-lead of the ASPIRE Center; and José Navarro, associate professor of ethnic studies and co-lead of the ASPIRE Center. 

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A student works at a laptop

Winter Quarter 2021: The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship 

Session One: How it All Started, an Introduction to the CIE with Startup Company Alydia Health

Host John Townsend (Business Administration, '81), the Executive Director of the CIE and an innovative entrepreneur, experienced business executive and passionate educator will take us through how it all started with Jon York, associate professor of entrepreneurship in the Orfalea College of Business and a founder of the CIE. They'll be joined by Jessie Becker (Business Administration, '11), the co-founder of Alydia Health, a medical device company and product of the CIE; and Becker's CIE mentor Jan Haynes, a business development executive in the medical device industry.

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Session Two: Engaging the Next Generation and Creating a Pipeline with Startup Company Flume

Host John Townsend (Business Administration, '81) is back with a look at the current status of the CIE, including a dive into goals for student engagement, faculty fellows and more info on the program's pipeline programs, including The Hatchery, Accelerator and Incubator. This session, we'll be joined by Eric Adler (Mechanical Engineering, '16) one of the creators of Flume, a smart home water monitor, their CIE mentor, Associate Professor - Innovation and Entrepreneurship Tom Katona and Flume investor Julie Henley McNamara (Business Administration, '00), an operating partner at Entrada Ventures.

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Session Three: The Next 10 Years of Entrepreneurship with Startup Company Alwell Mental Health

Learn more about the future of the CIE with host John Townsend (Business Administration, '81) and CIE director of development Cory Karpin taking a look at the vertical industry model, the Cal Poly Venture Fund and the impact startups have on the Central Coast. They'll be joined by alumni and founders of Alwell, Ryan Murtaugh (Biological Sciences, '20) and Nathan Brickman (Agricultural Communication, '20) talking more about their company that connects mental health providers with patients through a secure social media style program.

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A student wearing a mask walks in front of the library

Fall Quarter 2020: A Focus on Coronavirus 

Session One: The Top Five Things You Need to Know About COVID-19

In our first session of Insights and Impact, with a focus on COVID-19,  our host Aydin Nazmi took us through the top five things the public needs to know about COVID-19 and answered alumni questions on masks, letting kids play on public playgrounds, why the virus affects some people more than others and lots more.

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Session Two: Medical Treatments and Vaccines for COVID-19

During session two of Insights and Impact, with a focus on COVID-19,  Aydin Nazmi, epidemiologist and professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences led a live discussion with guest panelists Dr. Nathaniel Martinez, Ph.D., and alumnus Dr. J. Trees Ritter (Biological Sciences, '96) focused on medical treatments and vaccines for COVID-19.

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Session Three: Business & Entrepreneurship During a Global Pandemic

 Kristen Hazard (Mechanical Engineering, '95) and professor Jonathan York joined Aydin Nazmi, epidemiologist and professor in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, to discuss business and entrepreneurship during a global pandemic. 

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Session Four: The Intersections of Biology and Sociology Related to COVID-19

This episode focuses on the intersections of biology and sociology and how social and cultural aspects of the pandemic can impact physiology and the outcomes of the disease.  Host Aydin Nazmi will be joined by Dr. Martine Lappé, Assistant Professor in Cal Poly’s Department of Social Sciences whose research focuses on lived experiences of health, science, and medicine. 

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