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Cal Poly Honored for Efforts to Save Energy and Water This Summer

Cal Poly and has been honored with state awards for efforts to conserve energy and water. The university received two sustainability best practice plaques July 21 at the 2015 California Higher Education Sustainability Conference in San Francisco. Cal Poly has received 24 awards in the 11 years the statewide competition has been held. The competition is open to California’s 112 community colleges, 23 California State University and 10 University of California campuses, as well as private colleges and universities in the Golden State. The goal is to showcase innovative and effective energy-efficiency projects and sustainable operations that can be adopted by other institutions. At Cal Poly, work is underway to compete a $4 million project to install lighting, cooling and heating retrofits this summer — a project that received the 2015 Sustainability Innovation Award for its financing and repayment arrangement.The university also garnered the 2015 Water Efficiency/Site Water Quality sustainability award — the third time Cal Poly has won that category — for its 16-page drought plan. Find out more here.

Renovation Project Revitalizes Cal Poly P Landmark

CCC crew members work on the Cal Poly PWork has begun to renovate the Cal Poly P, a hilltop landmark that has overlooked the campus and city of San Luis Obispo for nearly a century. “The area around the P has deteriorated over the years and is in need of repair,” said Leigh Ramirez, Cal Poly’s interim executive director of Facilities Management. “The project will correct some erosion issues and restore the P to a safe condition for students to continue the tradition of decorating the monument to commemorate campus activities and displays of school spirit.” Late last year, the university temporarily stopped that decades-old tradition over safety concerns that erosion had made footing around the concrete structure unsafe for students toting 5-gallon buckets of paint, brooms, brushes and paint rollers. The commitment to improving and maintaining this iconic Cal Poly landmark and its tradition of decorating the P was so great that members of the student-run University Union Advisory Board of Associated Students Inc. OK’d funding for the project — the first major overhaul of Poly P since 1997. Read more on the project.

Cal Poly Ethnic Studies Student Receives CSU Trustees’ Award

Mario Espinoza, Cal Poly's CSU Trustees Award winner for 2015Cal Poly comparative ethnic studies student Mario Espinoza of Modesto, Calif., was awarded the 2015 California State University (CSU) Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement. The awardss are presented annually to one student from each of the CSU system’s 23 campuses. Honorees are selected for their superior academic performance, personal accomplishments, community service and financial need. As part of the recognition, Espinoza will receive a $6,000 scholarship. Espinoza, a first-generation college student, will begin his senior year in the fall. Since transferring to Cal Poly from Cuesta College in fall 2014, Espinoza has been active on campus as a peer counselor for the LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Allies) group, co-chair of the cultural club Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlán (M.E.X.A.), and volunteer at the Cal Poly Pride Center and MultiCultural Center. In the community, Espinoza is a volunteer event coordinator with the AIDS Support Network. Find out more.

Cal Poly and UC Berkeley Receive $6 Million Grant to Enhance Collaboration in Data Science

Cal Poly and UC Berkeley have received a $6 million grant from a three-foundation partnership to further develop an open-source software that already influences the way work is done in a variety of industries such as genetics and finance. The software package, called Project Jupyter, makes data science more collaborative and interactive. Think Google Drive with a brain. The new funding comes from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. Fernando Perez of UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Brian Granger of Cal Poly will lead the effort. Project Jupyter is the evolution of Perez and Granger’s work developing the IPython Notebook, a popular user interface for interactive computing across multiple programming languages. “More than a million people are currently using Jupyter for everything from analyzing massive gene sequencing datasets to processing images from the Hubble Space Telescope and developing models of financial markets,” Granger said. Find out more.