Learn by doing’ showcased at campus-wide event

By Hannah Mueoz

Around 230 people from the campus community visited Cal Poly’s
“learn by doing” exhibit, which was showcased with various
presentations and more than 60 displays at the inaugural “Achieving
Our Mission: Stories of Successful Learning” event held Tuesday and
Wednesday in the Bronco Student Center.

“We wanted the discussion of a learning-centered university to
be ongoing, for there to be a better understanding of what is being
done across campus to improve student success,” said Claudia
Pinter-Lucke, associate vice president of Student Affairs.

The campus-wide event was hosted by the Western Accreditation
for Schools and Colleges Steering Committee.

It was aimed at showing attendees diverse methods of learning,
to become familiar with various services on campus as well as being
aware of Cal Poly’s goal: being a learning-centered university,
according to Lisa McPheron, senior communication specialist for
public affairs, who planned a majority of the event.

Many students, faculty and staff created poster boards to be
displayed in Ursa Major, and they also accompanied their displays
to further inform attendees of their exhibited subjects.

Some showed various ways of learning, while some displayed
organizations on campus, such as Counseling and Psychological
Services, Rideshare Services and the Bronco Mentoring Program.

“It’s a great opportunity to see all different faculty from all
different departments,” said Jenni Adams, coordinator of Greek
Life, who presented a display board at the convention.

Other staff members also expressed their appreciation for the
event.

“I think it’s a really good idea for the department to become
familiar with other services,” said Nicole Ruzek, psychologist and
research coordinator for CAPS, who also had a display. “Often, work
isn’t recognized because we can’t make it to the other side of the
campus.”

In addition to the exhibits being shown, there were a few
presentations that took place Tuesday. Research projects were
presented, as well as an Ethics Bowl presentation, and a panel
discussion led by Cal State Northridge, which also has the
learning-centered approach as its campus goal.

Many students attended to see how the event could benefit
them.

“I decided to just come and support [my counselor],” said Mercy
Daramola, a second-year political science student.

Volunteers from Kellogg Honors Program also helped with
registration, security and other logistics both days with around 12
volunteers each hour.

According to Nancy Page Fernandez, director of the
interdisciplinary general education department and member of the
event planning committee, since the honors program must fulfill
community service hours, many chose to volunteer for this
event.

The idea for this event came up in fall 2006, and further action
to pursue the event began in July 2007. McPheron thoroughly planned
the event, beginning in October.

To promote the event, it was announced to the Western
Accreditation of Schools and Colleges Committee during the Fall
Conference, and in November a Web site was constructed, proceeded
by a few Polycentric articles that were published. A Facebook page
was also created in hopes of recruiting students to attend.

“Since it’s an inaugural and voluntary event, we got the word
out in the best way we could and hoped for the best,” said
McPheron. “Word-of-mouth and direct recruitment resulted in many of
the presentations.”

The planning committee received positive feedback from many
attendees.

“Several faculty members whom I brought to the event have told
me that they too enjoyed it very much,” said Zuoyue Wong, a history
professor and member of the planning committee.

Page Fernandez also received positive feedback, especially
concerning displays.

“Overall, I received very positive feedback. Both attendees and
participants told me that they enjoyed seeing the posters about
projects from across campus that supported learning,” said Page
Fernandez.

McPheron was also pleased with the turnout.

“We felt for a first time shot the event went very well,” said
McPheron.

According to Pinter-Lucke, the committee plans to hold the event
again next year.

“We would like it to be an annual event, right there with
BroncoFusion, the Outstanding Advisors Award and commencement,”
said Pinter-Lucke. “Sharing the success of our faculty, staff and
students is very important to helping the learning-centered efforts
to spread from department to department, office to office,
improving the experience of our students as they progress to their
goals.”

Learn by doing

Brandon Tan/Poly Post

Learn by doing’ showcased at campus-wide event

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