Intersections Magazine - 2023
From the Dean
Learning from history is important for progress. It’s both valuable and educational to examine how we arrived at where we are today and the pivotal, transformational change that took place along the way. That awareness helps shape how we do things moving forward and how to grow in productive, meaningful and collaborative ways.
In this issue, you will learn about an influential leader who helped her college’s culture evolve by creating a generational shift in gender bias and championing inclusive and caring approaches toward students — all while producing important academic work that positively impacted Cal Poly and beyond.
Exciting news was formally announced in May of the college’s renaming to the Philip and Christina Bailey College of Science and Mathematics. This historic tribute speaks to the remarkable legacy of a determined and dynamic faculty/administrator couple who wanted to make the college a better place and dedicated their careers to doing so.
Our lead article shares the story of former Chemistry Department Chair/Professor Tina Bailey, and the rise of women in STEM. When Tina first set foot on this campus as a new faculty member in the early 1970s, she was vastly outnumbered by her male colleagues. That clearly wasn’t easy. But Tina’s trailblazing helped those who followed to feel welcomed and to thrive as female faculty members became the norm — not the exception — mirroring broader changes taking shape in industry and academia as well.
In addition to Tina’s influential life and legacy, our stories highlight what it means to be a K-12 teacher today, as well as research around adding new types of trees to populated communities, which effectively reduce levels of carbon as global temperatures continue to increase. You will get a glimpse into the lives of students with Ukrainian ties navigating life amid a brutal war and a first-generation Latino student returning to teach at his San Luis Obispo County elementary school. Lastly, we’re proud to include a section highlighting some of our standout students and their achievements, prestigious honors and well-earned opportunities for outstanding scholarship and research.
When I first came to Cal Poly in 1989 as a transfer student from the Sacramento area, part of the first generation in my family to attend college, I was captivated by my Learn by Doing experience and enthralled with the idea of becoming a scientist. I did not take for granted my academic growth opportunities, and I can see how similar experiences will enhance the lives of others. As dean, I’m proud of the important, fascinating and groundbreaking teaching and research that occurs across our departments each year, continuously raising the bar we’ve set for ourselves. With this trajectory, I’m so encouraged by what’s to come.
As part of our bright new future, over the past year, we have celebrated the opening of the new William and Linda Frost Center for Research and Innovation and the Cal Poly Plant Conservatory — both spectacular, cutting-edge new facilities that received generous support from donors and the university. They are impressive educational resources to offer students the chance to obtain the invaluable skills and foundational tools to make a difference in the world and to guide the next generation.
I hope you enjoy reading this publication and find a way, however you wish, to keep the importance of our educational mission in mind. The college thrives because of support and connective relationships, and that is what will propel us into our next chapters as we champion a positive, diverse and impassioned academic community.
Dean E. Wendt
Dean, BAILEY College of Science & Mathematics
Frost Center Dedication and Bailey College Renaming Announcement
A proud look at the college as one of the nation's premier undergraduate research institutions and how the program benefits students, faculty and Learn by Doing.
2023 Student Research Conference
Learn more about the college's annual conference showcasing student research, faculty talks and alumni mentor sessions.
Women in STEM
Tina Bailey: Portrait of a Pioneer
She overcame challenges of hardship in childhood and gender bias in her career to become a trailblazing scientist, professor and mentor.
Better Pigments Through Chemistry
Faculty and students use "molecular Legos" in groundbreaking research to develop new covalent organic frameworks.
Teaching and Innovation
The Power of Teacher-Mentors
A conversation with a first-generation graduate of the educational leadership and administration master's program.
Whale Chat and Travel? Bioacoustics Data Can Provide Insight
Cal Poly marine sciences, statistics and biological sciences researchers team up for multi-year study in Central Coast waters.
Sense of Place, Near and Far
College Life in Wartime: Ukrainian Student Stories
Russo-Ukrainian fighting weighs heavily on Frost Research Scholars with ties to the war-torn region.
Urban Tree Diversity and Global Warming
Cal Poly Plant Conservatory’s Urban Tree Diversity Project partners faculty and students with arborists and city governments.
Bailey College Standout Students
Highlights of accomplishments by Bailey College students and recent graduates over the past academic year.
Daniel Kostalnick: Honored Alumni
Kostalnick mentors aspiring medical students and advocates for increasing the number of physicians worldwide to address a growing shortage.