Learn by Doing Scholar Awards

Cal Poly’s Award
Recognizing Scholarship on
Learn by Doing Pedagogy

2020 Awardees announced

Read more below.

2021 Awards Information

Information will follow soon.


Please contact Jeanine Scaramozzino,
Learn by Doing Scholar Award Committee Chair

About the Award

The Cal Poly Learn by Doing Award was established to recognize faculty members who demonstrate excellence in the scholarship of teaching and advancement of Learn by Doing pedagogy. 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.

Each year, two awards are presented, with a cash prize of $2000 for the career award (typically 6+ years focused on pedological scholarship) and $1000 for the emerging career award (typically 1-5 years focused on pedological scholarship).

Faculty self-nominate for the award. Individual and team (collaborative) applications are welcome for both awards. Team applications may include Cal Poly students and non-Cal Poly researchers. The Learn by Doing Scholar Award applications are reviewed by 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.


2020 Award Winners

Learn by Doing Scholar Career Award

Architecture Department Associate Department Head Professor Robert Arens, Associate Professor Carmen Trudell, and Assistant Professor Brian Osborn for their project titled “Teaching Architectural Technology: A Scholarly Approach.” An exemplar of their research was an article, “Testing is Teaching Too: Transitioning a Large-Lecture Course from Summative to Formative Exams,” which was published in June 2019 conference proceedings of the Building Technology Educator’s Society. This work has already been viewed 79 times and downloaded 40 times.

Learn by Doing Scholar Early Career Award

Assistant Professors Javin Oza and Katharine Watts of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department for their project titled “Genetic Code in a Test Tube: Unlocking the Cell for Learn by Doing.” Their work has resulted in numerous publications and presentations and has been supported by a National Science Foundation Research in Undergraduate Institutions (NSF-RUI) grant.

Applicant Eligibility

The primary applicant must be a current, active member of the Cal Poly faculty (i.e. member of collective bargaining unit 3) and must be active at Cal Poly for at least one quarter during the academic year in which they apply (for example, faculty who are on leave for an entire academic year will not be eligible for that year).

Faculty members at all ranks are eligible as long they have completed at least three years of full-time service or its equivalent at Cal Poly. Faculty members who have previously won either award are not eligible.

Review Criteria

Applications must be focused on scholarly inquiry into Learn by Doing practices 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.

Previous Learn by Doing Scholar Award Recipients
Year Award
Completed Award/Career Award Recipients Proposed or In-Progress Award/Emerging Career Recipients
  • Teaching Architectural Technology: A Scholarly Approach
  • Robert Arens, Architecture
  • Carmen Trudell, Architecture
  • Brian Osborn, Architecture
  • Genetic Code in a Test Tube: Unlocking the Cell for Learn by Doing
  • Javin Oza, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • Katharine Watts, Chemistry and Biochemistry
  • 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