Learn by Doing Scholar Awards

The Learn by Doing Scholar Awards recognize faculty who are advancing Cal Poly’s signature pedagogy through research on Learn by Doing. Two awards are given each year: an award of $2000 for completed research and an award of $1000 for proposed or in-progress research.

The awards acknowledge scholarly research that goes beyond descriptive examples of Learn by Doing projects and recognizes how faculty are directly contributing to the pedagogical understanding and practice of Learn by Doing.

Cal Poly faculty approach and practice Learn by Doing in a variety of ways, across programs and disciplines. Principles and methods into instructional research and scholarly activities take many forms, such as pilot studies, reflective analysis, and experimental work; applications representing quantitative and/or qualitative research are invited.

The Learn by Doing Scholar Award applications are reviewed by faculty representing broad of disciplinary perspectives; the Learn by Doing Award Committee includes one tenured faculty member from each college and the library.

The Learn by Doing Scholar Awards were established in 2014 and are financially supported by the Library Dean’s Advisory Council in recognition of the quality, significance, and impact of Learn by Doing scholarship.


All current members of the Cal Poly faculty (i.e. members of collective bargaining unit 3) are eligible to apply for either award. Research must have been or is proposed to be conducted primarily at Cal Poly. Researchers self-nominate.

Individual and team (collaborative) applications are welcome for both awards. Team applications may include Cal Poly students and non-Cal Poly researchers. The primary researcher must be a faculty member that has completed at least two years of full-time service or its equivalent at Cal Poly.

Proposed or In-Progress Award applicants must be active at Cal Poly for at least one quarter during the academic year in which they are nominated (for example, faculty who are on leave for an entire academic year will not be eligible for that year).

Only faculty members who have not previously won either award are eligible.

Note: It is the responsibility of the applicant to clearly articulate whether the award application is for an individual researcher or an entire team.

Review criteria

Applications must be focused on scholarly inquiry into Learn by Doing practices that have or will result in research on Learn by Doing; the completed or proposed/in-progress research must detail work that goes beyond mere descriptive examples of Learn by Doing.

The successful applications will present a compelling definition of Learn by Doing and clear evidence as to how the scholarship contributes to the understanding and practice of Learn by Doing. More generally, successful applications will demonstrate quality and intellectual merit, creativity, clear methodology, and meet all application requirements.

Deadline for Submission has closed.
Announcement of Awards: The winners will be publicly recognized during Fall Conference 2019.


Please contact Jeanine Scaramozzino, Learn by Doing Scholar Awards Committee Chair, at ude.yloplacnull@omaracsj.


Previous Learn by Doing Scholar Award Recipients

Year Award
Completed Award Recipients Proposed or In-Progress Award Recipients
  • Design Thinking as a Framework for Teaching Packaging Innovation
  • Javier de la Fuente, Industrial Technology and Packaging
  • Irene Carbonell, Industrial Technology and Packaging
  • Mary LaPorte, Graphic Design
  • Effectiveness of Intergenerational Service Learning Programs for Psychology of Aging
  • Sara Bartlett, Psychology and Child Development
  • Learning by Doing Statistics: Having Students Engage with Scientific Studies that Matter, Every Day
  • Soma Roy, Statistics
  • Beth Chance, Statistics
  • Karen McGaughey, Statistics
  • Allan Rossman, Statistics
  • Building Intercultural Competence Through Cultural Immersion Projects
  • Julie Rodgers, Psychology and Child Development
  • Why Do Some Students Choose to Get Involved in Co-curricular Engineering Projects?
  • Graham Doig, Aerospace Engineering
  • The Impact of Peer Mentoring on Marketing Content Mastery
  • Lynn Metcalf, Industrial Technology
  • Stern Neill, Marketing
  • Lisa Simon, Marketing
  • Sharon Dobson, Finance
  • Brennan Davis, Marketing
  • Flipping Whitman: Collaborative Learn by Doing in the (Digital) Humanities
  • Catherine Waitinas, English
  • Inquiry-Based Learning Activities in Dynamics
  • Brian Self, Mechanical Engineering
  • James Widmann, Mechanical Engineering
  • Cal Poly Studio Chemistry: An Examination of Student Outcomes
  • Alan Kiste, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Gregory Scott, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Learning Design Through the Lens of Service: a Qualitative Study
  • J. Kevin Taylor, Kinesiology
  • David Hey, Kinesiology
  • Brian Self, Mechanical Engineering
  • Lynne Slivovsky, Electrical Engineering
  • James Widmann, Mechanical Engineering
  • Challenging to Students to Design Their Process for Becoming a “World-Class Engineering Student”: Pedagogical Innovations
  • Steffen Peuker, Mechanical Engineering
  • Jennifer Mott, Mechanical Engineering