Cultivate Spring 2020

Cultivate Magazine cover title


Dean Andrew J. Thulin

As Cal Poly and our community work to adapt to the unprecedented challenges we are all facing during the COVID-19 global pandemic, my heart is full knowing that together we remain strong.

This issue of our magazine was complete and headed to the printer when this global challenge emerged. In just a few short weeks much of what we know has changed — and will continue to do so.

On April 6 we launched a virtual spring quarter — the first in Cal Poly history — with a focus on ensuring that student learning continues successfully while protecting the health and safety of all. We had to cancel very few classes, underscoring the creativity and dedication of our team. From assembling jam-making kits for delivery to Food Science students to filming drone labs for BioResource and Agricultural Engineering students, we have all come together to continue to provide the education that our students both expect and deserve.

I am humbled and inspired as I watch our alumni and industry partners come together to help their surrounding communities. From working long days and nights to make sure there is food for the hungry, to making hand sanitizer to share with those in the health care industry frontlines, to collaborating to think beyond the struggle to days ahead.

In this issue you’ll read stories about our community connection such as real-world projects focused on helping citizens of Malawi improve the nutritional programs available in their country; enhancing the food safety measures of the leafy greens industry; and, in our cover story, rehabilitating the Oceano Dunes with native plants. These projects all — most importantly — involve students, and the experience they gain while working to solve real-world problems will equip them for a lifetime of learning, critical thinking, and career success.

CAFES resides at the intersection of academia and industry — taking learning theory and applying it to the real world. We are fortunate to have community and industry partners who see the value of this model to community health and industry success. I hope that these stories provide a bright spot for you in these challenging times. I encourage you all to continue to work together and we will continue to do our part as well.

Wishing you all good health in the coming months,



College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences


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