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Welcome Biological Sciences Alumni - We Want to Hear from You!

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Welcome Alumni! If you haven't heard from us in a while, that probably means the department does not have your e-mail address. Update  your contact info here.  The department is also on Facebook - "Like" our Facebook Page to get the latest news and fun links - and post your own.

If you haven't checked it out yet, visit Cal Poly's official online alumni directory: PolyLink (www.calpolylink.com). There are 5,240 Biological Sciences alumni in the PolyLink directory. See what they're up to and use the PolyLink BioSci Alumni Group interactive Google map to see where they are now (Password & login required).
Click here to request a first-time login password for PolyLink.

Catch up with department news in the College of Science and Mathematics E-newsletters and the Biological Sciences Department E-newsletters


 

What Our Alumni & Friends Have to Say About Cal Poly Biological Sciences

Matthew WebbMatthew Webb

B.S. Biological Sciences, 2010
Accepted to the USC Keck School of Medicine, 2010

Cal Poly's classes definitely gave me an edge in medical school.  The human anatomy classes were invaluable.  I thought it was standard to work with human cadavers in a college anatomy course -- apparently not!  I know people from Harvard, Princeton, UC Berkeley and UCLA who had taken anatomy, but never worked with cadavers. 

I was flying through first-year anatomy in medical school because of my Cal Poly classes.  I am currently working in research at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.  Doing research with Dr. Lars Tomanek in the proteomics lab has proven to be invaluable.  Classes like organic chemistry, physiology and cell biology are extremely good for preparing for research. 

Dr. Elena Keeling, Dr. Emily Taylor, Dr. Christy Strand, Dr. Lars Tomanek were the best biology teachers.  They expect a lot from you, but you'll learn a ton of relevant and fun information. 

I wrote in my personal statement that Cal Poly's motto is "Learn by Doing."  My undergraduate experience was more along the lines of "Learn by Re-Doing."  Only through lab work and making mistakes, learning from those mistakes and proceeding accurately will you deeply learn something.  I'm applying that same philosophy to medical school and so far its working out great.  

Alumna Serra Hoagland with baby turtleSerra Hoagland

B.S., Ecology and Systematic Biology, 2008
M.S., Environmental Science & Management, UC Santa Barbara, 2011
Ph.D. in progress, Northern Arizona University

Hoagland spent her second summer as a Cal Poly student interning in Yellowstone National Park. After graduating, she went to work as a biological technician at Padre Island National Seashore in South Texas. She patrolled 80 miles of seashore, researching endangered nesting Kemp's Ridley Sea Turtles, and worked as a U.S. Wildlife Ranger. She's currently a Biological Scientist for the USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station, North Carolina, and was chosen in May 2012 as one of only ten young wildlife professionals nationwide to participate in the Wildlife Society's Leadership Institute class of 2012-13. The Leadership Institute is designed to teach leadership skills to young professionals in wildlife research and management so they can play a pivotal role in shaping the profession in the coming decades

"My dad graduated from Cal Poly in 1974 in Biochemistry and ever since I was little I knew I wanted to go to Cal Poly; there was no other option.  The hands on training and research experience I obtained at Cal Poly gave me an edge in grad school and in all of my work positions. Within the biology department, Dr. Villablanca, Dr. Perrine, Dr. Wendt, Dr. Keil, Dr. Nakamura – to name a few – were very helpful. Many of them gave me the confidence and training to pursue my graduate education.

"I attribute my practicality and real-world approaches to solving complex problems to my Cal Poly education. Often times in conservation and environmental management, we tend to become too abstract and we veer away from solving actual issues. I think my education and experiences at Cal Poly allow me to think in the abstract but come back to practical, tangible solutions.

"Cal Poly is such a fantastic school and I am so proud to say that I am a Cal Poly alumni."

The Webb FamilyDiane and Rick Webb 

Cal Poly Parents
Rick, Matt, Diane and Claire Webb at the "White Coat" ceremony at USC Keck School of Medicine 

"Our son Matthew Web graduated from Cal Poly in 2010 with a B.S. in Biological Sciences He has just completed his first year of medical school at The University of Southern California's  Keck School of Medicine with flying colors.  He will be spending the summer doing research in pediatric oncology at Children's Hospital, Los Angeles.

"We ( his parents ) know that Cal Poly and especially COSAM and all his instructors and mentors gave him the knowledge and tools to succeed.  An interesting note: the experiences that Matt received at Cal Poly (especially in research and anatomy/dissection opportunities)  far exceeded the opportunities that his now-classmates had -- and we are talking Ivy League schools. 

"Matt's opportunity to Learn by Doing benefited him in the best way possible.  He entered medical school running and has remained at the top of his class. 

"Thank you, thank you, thank you Cal Poly!"    

Alumni: Share your career stories with the Biological Sciences Department.