Distinguished Scholarship Award


The 2023-2024 DSA Nomination Period is now closed.

The Academic Senate Distinguished Scholarship Award Committee invites nominations for the Distinguished Scholarship Award. Each year, three awards are presented, each accompanied by a cash prize of $2,000.

These awards recognize achievement in scholarship and creative activity across the entire range of disciplines represented at Cal Poly. They honor work conducted primarily at Cal Poly and celebrate both exemplary specific accomplishments and outstanding bodies of achievement

Faculty, students, staff, and alumni may submit nominations.  Faculty members may nominate themselves. All nominations must be submitted using the online nomination form.

All nominees must be current members of the Cal Poly faculty (i.e. members of collective bargaining unit 3) and 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). Faculty members at all ranks are eligible as long as they have completed at least three years of full time service or its equivalent at Cal Poly.

Selection Criteria:

1.Quality of the creative or scholarly work as evidenced by any of the following:

  • Extensive peer recognition of the work as substantial, seminal, and scholarly
  • Contributions to improvements in the human condition and quality of life
  • Use of the ideas, techniques, and creative work by industry, practitioners, and others

2. Importance of the scholarly work to students as evidenced by any of the following:

  • Influence of the nominee's scholarly and creative work on student learning
  • Effectiveness in furthering scholarship and creative activity among students
  • Quality and significance of related senior projects, theses, and other student work
  • Influence of the work on curriculum improvement and enhanced student learning experiences

3. Importance of the scholarly work to Cal Poly as evidenced by any of the following:

  • Enhancement of the reputation of Cal Poly or its academic units
  • Significance of grants and contracts received
  • Mentoring and facilitating the professional development of other faculty and staff
  • Recognition from industry, professional and academic organizations, and other institutions

2022-2023 Award Recipients

Carlos Flores

Economics, OCOB

Clinton Franchis

Biological Sciences, BCSM

Seeta Sistla

Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences, CAFES

Previous Distinguished Scholarship Award Recipients

Year Name Department College
2021-2022 Anarag Pande Civil and Environmental Engineering CENG
  Nishanta 'Nishi' Rajakaruna Biological Sciences BCSM
  Alison Ventura Kinesiology and Public Health BCSM
2020-2021 Frederico Cassassa Wine and Viticulture CAFES
  Stephen Hamilton Economics OCOB
  Briana Ronan School of Education CSM
2019-2020 Scott Hazelwood Biomedical Engineering CENG
  Foaad Khosmood Computer Science and Software Engineering/Computer Engineer CENG
  Diana Stanton Theater and Dance CLA  
2018-19 John Bellardo Computer Science and Software Engineering CENG
   Beth Chance Statistics CSM
  Marni Goldenberg Experience Industry Management CAFES
2017-18 Todd Pierce English CLA
  NFN Taufik Electrical Engineering CENG
  Zoe Wood Computer Science and Software Engineering CENG
2016-17 Patrick Lin Philosophy CLA
  Suzanne Phelan Kinesiology CSM
  Jay Singh Industrial Technology OCOB
2015-16 Ronald Den Otter Political Science CLA
  Peggy Papthakis Food Science & Nutrition CAFES


William Siembieda

City & Regional Planning CAED

Wyatt Browb

Horticulture & Crop Science CAFES
  Philip Costanzo, Chemical & Biochemical Engineering CSM
  Lars Tomanek Biological Sciences CSM

Steven Klisch

Mechanical Engineering CENG
  David Marshall Aerospace Engineering CENG

Bernard Duffy

Communication Studies CLA
  Lanny Griffin Biomedical & General Engineering CENG

Chris Kitts

Biological Sciences CSM
  William Hendricks Recreation Parks & Tourism CAFES

Michael Geringer

Management OCOB
  Jordi Puig-Suari Aerospace Engineering CENG

George Cotkin

History CLA
  Rafael Jimenez Dairy Science CAFES

Patrice Engle

Psychology & Child Development CLA
  Dean Wendt Biological Sciences CSM

Terry Jones

Social Sciences CLA
  Michael Marlow Economics OCOB

Mark Moline

Biological Sciences CSM
  Craig Russell Music CLA

Dan Biezad

Aerospace Engineering CENG
  Andrew Morris History CLA

Estelle Basor

Mathematics CSM
  Rami Shani Management OCOB


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