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Cal Poly Student Affairs Staff Members Recognized by Industry Peers

December 15, 2017

SAN LUIS OBISPO – A handful of Cal Poly Student Affairs staff members were chosen by the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) Career Services Commission to receive its annual Innovation Award.

Four members of Cal Poly’s Freshman Focus Team – counselors Ashley Eberle, Mallory Stoffel, Travis Raynaud and Katie Ottoson – are being recognized for their dedication to student success.

The Freshman Focus Team was established by Career Services in 2014 to help incoming freshmen discover their career development needs. The program offers incoming students a host of services and support, including career exploration opportunities; academic, personal and career goal planning through individual counseling and planned events; and resources to help students shape their academic and career direction. During the 2016-17 academic year, the program supported more than 1,200 first-year students through one-on-one counseling, while serving 804 students in group and workshop events. In addition, the team engaged 100 percent of first-year students through a variety of programming.

“I am quite proud of the Freshman Focus Team for its commitment to helping first-year students make important decisions and explore what’s next for their collegiate careers,” said Eileen Buecher, executive director of career services. “This team has achieved 100 percent outreach in the past two years. They are a providing a firm foundation for these students to actualize their goals and dreams.”

Amie Hammond, assistant director of career counseling and education, added, “Our Freshman Focus Team career counselors are dedicated to engaging first-year students in the career discovery and planning process early on. The counselors are approachable, helpful and innovative professionals who provide invaluable support and guidance to students.”

The California College Personnel Association (CCPA), which serves as the California State chapter of ACPA, also announced that it will recognize Cal Poly’s Center for Leadership student assistant Kelsey Hayes with the Outstanding Graduate Student Award. The Center for Leadership supports the ongoing development of student leadership skills through a variety of quarterly programs, workshops and other events. Center Coordinator Lauren Irwin nominated Hayes for the award, citing her compassionate, inclusive and student-centered approach to her work.

“Kelsey has done so much for the center’s programs and students over the last two years,” Irwin said. “I feel so fortunate to work with a graduate assistant who approaches this work with such wisdom, intentionality and compassion. I have no doubt that she will continue to positively influence many students and colleagues in her career.”

Hayes said she was honored to be chosen for the award. “I am grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had as a graduate student and for the incredible students, colleagues and mentors who have impacted me as a person and a professional.”

Hayes and the Freshman Focus Team members will be formally honored during ACPA’s annual convention in March.

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