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Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore

Competitive Grants to Support Learn by Doing

Faculty and students work on undergraduate research which analyzes ocean water samples from the Cal Poly Pier to determine the Carbon dioxide content of local seawater.

Baker and Koob Endowments

The Warren J. Baker Endowment for Excellence in Project-Based Learning and the Robert D. Koob Endowment for Student Success support hands-on, project-based learning opportunities for individual students and groups at Cal Poly. Because of their similar purpose, distributions of the two endowments will be pooled and used to fund multiple student projects via a competitive process that utilizes a single application.

Funds may be used for, but are not limited to, student support, student and faculty travel, student and faculty expenses associated with participation in student research, group projects, conferences, competitions, and equipment and materials related to student research.

The use of funds is not restricted to a specific major or college, but rather is intended to support multi-disciplinary, cross-college collaborative Learn by Doing activities. In addition, the Koob Endowment seeks to support students with financial need.

Who may apply

All Cal Poly undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to apply. Some restrictions apply:

  • Applicants that have projects currently funded through an Instructionally Related Activity (IRA) from Academic Programs and Planning are not eligible.
  • Applicants that have projects currently funded through another university endowment (e.g., CPConnect) are not elgibile.
  • Only one project for an individual student or group will be funded in a given year.

All applications must name a faculty advisor and include a letter of support from this advisor.

How To Apply

To apply for funding, students must complete the Baker/Koob cover page and proposal and obtain a letter of support from the faculty advisor named in the proposal. Complete instructions and additional information is available in the Request for Proposals file. 

The application period for the 2023-24 Baker/Koob grants is open and applications will be accepted through Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Critical Documents

2022-23 Awarded Projects 

Project Title Student Researcher Student Department
Deep Ocean Vehicle (DOV) Research + Improved Design Development Nichole "Nikki" Arm Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Sexual Health Education Canvas Module Alexa Asson Biological Sciences (CSM)
EfSynthetic Design and Anisotropic Conductivities of Polymeric Mixed Ion-Electron Conductors Nika Bondar and Jachin Boaz Clarke Chemistry and Biochemistry (CSM)
Acoustic Release/Reciever System for Hydrophone Evan Brown Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Determining the Tidal Prism in Morro Bay Kaden Caliendo Civil and Environmental Engineering (CENG)
Moving through Monoracism: Critical Dance-making with Multiracial College Students Jacob Campbell Higher Education Counseling and Student Affairs (CSM)
Climate Change and Alpine Plant Community Turnover in Yosemite National Park Rachel Friesen Biological Sciences (CSM)
Design and Test the Effectiveness of Interpretive Signs Using Eye Tracking and Biometric Data Hadara Gordon and Wendy Miyazaki Experience Industry Management (CAFES) and Communication Studies (CLA)
Can population-level differences in metabolic physiology inform us about climate resilience in desert pupfishes? Teresa Guerre Biological Sciences (CSM)
Rapid Composter Senior Project Lukas Kolbl Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Herbie and the Magic Caboose: Exposing Cal Poly Preschoolers to STEM Concepts Garrett Kunkler Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Perfumo Creek Restoration Tommy Melilo Biological Sciences (CSM)
Wearable Lumbar Spine Posture-Monitoring Device for Back Pain and Injury Prevention Aaron Rosen and Emma Jacobs Computer Engineering (CENG) and Biomedical Engineering (CENG)
Effects of dietary fatty acides on hippocampal injury and memory formation in juvile pigs with metabolic syndrome Macy Rowe Biological Sciences (CSM)
Education and Land Management on the Pacific Crest Trail Phase 4 Ben Sherman and Audrey Gregg Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) and Experience Industry Management (CAFES)
Chemical and sensory effects of fermentation temperature and cap mgmt techniques on cool climate Syrah from the Edna Valley AVA of CA Emily Stoffel Food Science & Nutrition (CAFES)
JPL University Projects James Truman Mechanical Engineering (CENG)

2023-24 Baker/Koob Grants Faculty Review Committee

Name Department
Matt Cole Economics (OCOB)
Amanda Emberley Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Martine Lappe Social Sciences (CLA)
Sean C. Lema Biological Sciences (BCSM)
Jeff Ponitz Architecture (CAED)
Gordon Rees

Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences (CAFES)

Warren J. BakerEndowment for Excellence in Project-Based Learning


Dr. Baker was named to the role of university president of Cal Poly in 1979, the youngest campus president in California State University history. He served with distinction in that role until his retirement, July 31, 2010.

Robert  D. KoobEndowment for Student Success


Dr. Koob served as Cal Poly's senior vice president and vice president for Academic Affairs from 1990 to 1995 and as provost and vice president for Academic Affairs again from 2008 until his retirement in 2012.

Recognizing Learn by Doing Scholars

The Learn by Doing Awards recognize outstanding faculty contributions to Cal Poly’s signature pedagogy of Learn by Doing. In 2022, these awards are evolving to emphasize the impact of Cal Poly’s distinctive educational approach by translating learning into practice to make a difference in disciplines and industries across California and around the world. Successful applications will provide compelling evidence of the impact of Learn by Doing through curriculum-related instructional and research/creative activities, as well as demonstrate an academically rigorous and student-centered approach to learning. Two awards will be presented, each accompanied by a cash prize of $2,000.

For more information, please visit the Learn by Doing Scholar Awards webpage.


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