Cal Poly CIE Welcomes Three Professors to the Faculty Fellows Program

The new 2018-19 CIE Faculty Fellows, from left to right, are Bo Liu, Michael Whitt and Erik Sapper.

SAN LUIS OBISPO — Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) has named three professors to its multidisciplinary cohort of Faculty Fellows, a program that is helping build the entrepreneurship culture at Cal Poly.

Three of Cal Poly’s six colleges are represented in this new group of fellows: Bo Liu of the BioResource and Agricultural Engineering Department in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences; Erik Sapper of the Chemistry and Biochemistry Department in the College of Science and Mathematics; and Michael Whitt of the Biomedical Engineering Department in the College of Engineering.

These new CIE Faculty Fellows become part of an interdisciplinary community that is committed to inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs. They join a contingent of 18 other Faculty Fellows all working to raise awareness for the center’s programs and provide guidance to students and faculty with an interest in innovation and entrepreneurship.

“This year’s cohort of Faculty Fellows is particularly exciting, because it reaches across three colleges at Cal Poly and continues the deep interdisciplinary focus of the program,” said Jonathan York, CIE co-founder and academic director. “Each year, the Faculty Fellows program grows stronger and creates even more opportunities for students across the campus to build skills in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Liu believes CIE programs embody Cal Poly Learn by Doing philosophy, and he hopes to provide an opportunity for ideas that sprout in university classrooms to be nurtured and converted into action. Likewise, Whitt said he will focus on helping students transform problems into solutions that also have commercial potential. Sapper is integrating entrepreneurial thinking into the courses he teaches and will focus on empowering undergraduates and master’s degree chemists to create innovative companies.

“I am very excited to be joining the CIE as a Faculty Fellow,” said Sapper, an assistant professor of Western Coasting Technology Center who obtained his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Cal Poly in 2007. “Apart from the great opportunity to meet and engage with entrepreneurial students and faculty colleagues across campus, this program also provides me with resources needed to champion entrepreneurship within the College of Science and Mathematics, where those sorts of career paths are generally overshadowed by more traditional graduate school or industrial options.”

The CIE Faculty Fellows program began in 2012. The 2018-19 fellows join: David Askay, communication studies; Philip Barlow, construction management; Enrica Costello, art and design; Bob Crockett, biomedical engineering; Ahmed Deif, industrial technology and packaging; Graham Doig, aerospace engineering; Dale Dolan, electrical engineering; Lorraine Donegan and Charmaine Farber, both graphic communication; Mary Glick, journalism; Brian Granger, physics; David Janzen, computer science; Lynn Metcalf, entrepreneurship; Stern Neill, marketing; Clare Olsen, architecture; Christiane Schroeter, agribusiness; Lynne Slivovsky, computer engineering; Taryn Stanko, management and human resources; and Umut Toker, architecture.

About the Cal Poly Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
The CIE opens a world of entrepreneurial opportunity to Cal Poly students, faculty and community members and promotes entrepreneurial activity and dialogue across the university and throughout San Luis Obispo. For more information, go to

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