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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 (PDF) file. 

The application period for the 2022-2023 Baker/Koob grants is now closed. 

Critical Documents

2022-23 Baker/Koob Grants Faculty Review Committee

Name Department
Amanda Johnston Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Ajay Kathuria Industrial Technology & Packaging (OCOB)
David Kirby Interdisciplinary Studies (CLA)
Sean C. Lema Biological Sciences (CSM)
Jeff Ponitz Architecture (CAED)
Gordon Rees

Natural Resources Management & Environmental Sciences (CAFES)

2021-22 Awarded Projects 

Project Title Student Researcher Student Department
Analysis of Gene Expression Investigating Biology Underlying High Regenerative Ability of Marine Invertebrate Botrylloides Violaceus Cassidy Andrasz Biology (CSM)
Mechanical Horse Ben Apt Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Effects of Conventional and Biodegradable Plastic Mulch Leachates on Plant Development Apollonia Arellano Natural Resources Management and Envionmental Sciences (CAFES)
Deep Ocean Vehicle (DOV) Team  Nichole "Nikki" Arm Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Machine Learning Star Tracker Jered Bell Aerospace Engineering (CENG)
Effects of Irrigation Strategy and Nitrogen Rates on Yield and Quality of Broccoli Growing on Constracting Soil Types in the Central Coast Region  Anthony Secondo Bella Agriculture (CAFES)
Mars Rover Mechanical Arm and Turret Kendall Chappell Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Using Discourse Analysis to Expore the Influence of Gender on Brainstorming Effectiveness Aimee Chiem Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
PowerSat Ricardo Contreras Aerospace Engineering (CENG)
Investigations of Behavioral Syndromes related to Libido during the Breeding Season in Rangeland Beef Cattle Jason Dubowsky Animal Science (CAFES)
Project Mobius Carolyn Flitsch Aerospace Engineering (CENG)
CO2 Capture from Automobiles Using Adsorbents Derived from Waste Biomass Nicolas Galardi Materials Engineering (CENG)
Kinetic Energy Harvesting Device for Long Distance Thru-Hikers David Hernandez Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Developing Machine Learning Techniques for Bluff Body Aerodynamics Eddie Hsieh Aerospace Engineering (CENG)
Mars Rover Structure Will Kish Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Advancing Wellness in the Workplace Karli McCarthy Food Science & Nutrition (CAFES)
Analysis of Post-Eradication Transitions and Dynamics of Santa Cruz Island Vegetation Communities  Annie Meeder Biological Sciences (CSM)
Solar Solution for Mini Mars Rover Michaella Ochotorena  General Engineering (CENG)
Wildlife Tracking  Brian Padilla  Electrical Engineering (CENG)
Develop a Nancellulose-based Smart Packaging Material to Monitor and Preserve Fish Products Quality Kate Perry Food Science & Nutrition (CAFES)
Motorized Theatre Turntable Ruodolf Rumbaoa Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Design, Build and Test Innovative Origami-Inspired Deployable Disaster-Relief Shelters Colby Scanlon Civil and Environmental Engineering (CENG)
Bridging the CSR Information Gap: A Market-Oriented Approach to Addressing Market Failures Justin Sharer Political Science (CLA)
A Cost-Effective Way of Measuring Software Test Success Austin Shin Computer Science & Software Engineering (CENG)
Desalination System Powered by a Novel Concept of Wave Energy Conversion Charlie Sinclair Mechanical Engineering (CENG)
Injectable 3-D Microvasculature for Drug Screening Eric Stuehr Biological Sciences (CSM)
Engineering Interdisciplinary Senior Project - Air Wear Ada Tadeo Biomedical Engineering (CENG)
Development of Polyethylenimine-Modified y-Cyclodextrin Metal Organic Frameworks for Enhanced Post-Combustion CO2 Capture Corrine Watson Environmental Engineering (CENG)
Utilizing AI to Share the Research and History of Swanton Pacific Ranch Melissa Wesolowski Computer Science & Software Engineering (CENG)
Fixed-time Artificial Insemination Estrus Synchronization Protocol Effect of Reproductive Microbes in Beef Cows Jordan Williams Agriculture (CAFES)
Heat Orientation Preference of Tortoises  Elizabeth G. Withers Animal Science (CAFES)
1U-3U CubeSat Avionics Stack Mark Wu Electrical Engineering (CENG)
Novel Application of Thermoresponsive Polymers in Regenerative Medicine Chloe Zimovets Chemistry & Biochemistry (CSM)

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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