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College of Science and Mathematics

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LSAMP Volunteer Recognized for Commitment to Increasing Opportunities on Campus

As an undergraduate, Noya Kansky began to recognize the ways in which she could help advance Cal Poly’s goal of building a more diverse and inclusive campus. After earning her bachelor’s degree, she put those ideas to work helping historically underrepresented groups to pursue hands-on research opportunities.

“I just want undocumented and traditionally marginalized students to feel comfortable on campus and to know that they do have access to these Learn by Doing activities that their peers have access to,” said Kansky, who served as an AmeriCorps volunteer with Cal Poly’s Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority and Underrepresented Student Participation (LSAMP) Program. “For undocumented students, their lack of documentation impacts a lot of their learning opportunities. But I want them to feel like they can realize themselves as students.”

That dedication earned Kansky a President's Community Service Award, which recognizes students, faculty or staff who have contributed to advancing the quality of life in San Luis Obispo.

“Noya’s success in these endeavors is awe-inspiring,” said Jane Lehr, LSAMP program director.  “She has – with generosity, kindness, and an unbelievable amount of labor – made significant contributions toward our achievement of our aspirations for Cal Poly as an inclusive, diverse and equitable institution.”

While working with LSAMP, Kansky was tasked with increasing underrepresented groups’ access to undergraduate research experiences and increasing services for undocumented students.  Kansky also coordinated a series of successful workshops aimed at training staff and faculty on how to support undocumented students. The response to those workshops has been tremendous.

“It’s been really amazing to see how many people have come to the workshops,” Kansky said.

“I’ve seen a lot of faculty, staff and administrators showing interested in supporting undocumented students,” she said. “So hopefully we can all make a concerted effort to really provide them with the tools and opportunities they deserve.”

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