Business Administration | Marketing Concentration
Initially coming to Cal Poly seemed intimidating not only academically but in finding my place and friends here. However, through the numerous diverse clubs and activities on campus, I was able to find the people that I have come to love. Clubs like Chinese Students' Association, Black Student Union, the Garden Club and Women's Rugby have embraced me for who I am, and I have many life-long friends because of them. There are so many opportunities to try new things and build relationships that have led to Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo feeling like my second home.
Kaela is from San Francisco and is involved with the Black Student Union, Garden Club and Cal Poly Women's Rugby. She had previously been involved in athletic intramurals, the Chinese Students' Association and was a member of the Track and Field team.
Finding my community through various programs and organizations was crucial in helping me navigate my college experience at Cal Poly. My Cross Cultural Experience WOW group and involvement in the College of Liberal Arts' Underrepresented Student Network connected me with many amazing individuals who could understand and validate my experiences. The relationships I was able to build with my fellow students and faculty members made Cal Poly a more welcoming and inclusive environment where I could feel like I belong.
Data and Budget Analyst, Cal Poly Scholars
Joining the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Faculty and Staff Association (APIDA FSA) has helped me build community at Cal Poly. As a multiracial person, it can sometimes feel scary to navigate identity-oriented groups and spaces, but I've never been made to feel like I wasn't enough or didn't belong with my APIDA peers on-campus. College is an exciting time to learn about yourself but it can also be intimidating -- know that you don't have to navigate this experience alone. My advice is to be authentically you. Your identities and lived experiences bring such strength and vibrancy to our campus!
Jacob is a Data and Budget Analyst for the Cal Poly Scholars program. He is a member of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Faculty and Staff Association (APIDA FSA).
When I was a faculty member, I was one of very few Asian American professors in the college and was often sought out by APIDA students looking to talk about their experiences or career trajectory. In my current role, I'm able to have more impact on things like hiring of faculty and can make sure that the college is clear in voicing our value for expertise in DEI. That means students can find understanding and knowledge in a variety of professors — some who look like them, and some who don't.
Computer Science Major
Computing for the Interactive Arts Minor
Coming into Cal Poly as an out-of-state student from Maui, I felt that I was behind my peers academically, especially those that had more opportunities than me growing up on the 'Mainland.' I also felt that homesickness would be a big challenge. Joining the Society of Women Engineers and Women Involved in Software and Hardware gave me lots of opportunities and helped me build my resume and become a better candidate for internships and jobs. They also introduced me to my closest friends, helped me in my major classes and gave me a sense of community while being far away from home.
Jaelyn is a computer science major from Kula, Maui. She is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), Women Involved in Software and Hardware (WISH) and the Hawaii club.
Olivia Bảo-Khanh Trần
Coordinator, Womxn and Gender Equity Initiatives
As a queer Asian American at Cal Poly, there is nothing more exciting to me than meeting other LGBTQ+ BIPOC on campus and hearing their stories. I've found the most joy in creating spaces through Student Diversity and Belonging and the Ethnic Studies department where students can explore their experiences and be honest, open, and vulnerable in ways they don't often get a chance to. Student-centered programs like Queer Womxn Wednesdays and Original Womxn's Narratives through the Gender Equity Center, and the APIDA Social Justice Retreat and APIDA Heritage Month through the Multicultural Center, are all such incredibly multifaceted opportunities for students to show up as their most authentic selves and speak their truth without compromising any part of their identity.
Graphic Communication Major | Design Reproduction Technology Concentration
Spanish and Studio Art Minors
Coming to Cal Poly I was worried about the difference in diversity and perspectives. In the beginning it was a struggle. But, I was able to find long lasting friends, inclusion and community through the Chinese Student Association and the Multicultural Scholars Program, as well as a wonderful and welcoming learning environment in the graphic communication department.
Alex is originally from Berkeley, CA and is involved with the Chinese Students' Association and the Multicultural Scholars Program.