Our Honors Ambassadors are available as a resource to all Honors students to share about their experiences in Honors (e.g., balancing Honors & major requirements, requirements of the Honors program) and as Cal Poly students more generally. Please feel free to reach out to any of our ambassadors via email if you have any questions and/or would like to meet a new friend within Honors! They are here for you!
Meet the Ambassadors
Samantha Avalos (she/her)
Major/Year: Psychology Major. Child Development and Biology minors; 2nd Year
Hometown: Clovis, CA
Campus Involvement: I am a supplemental workshops in science facilitator where I lead a BIO 161 workshop. I am also part an undergraduate research assistant for Dr J's relationships lab.
Career Interest: Psychology professor and researcher
Why is Honors valuable to you? "I think that Honors is such a great resource to have. You are surrounded by so many like minded people that are always willing to support you. Honors also encourages you to get involved and take advantage of your time at Cal Poly!"
Ellie Conlin-Day (she/her)
Major/Year: Food Science; 3rd Year
Hometown: Kennett Square, PA
Campus Involvement: In the FSN department, I work on the JARS Crew, making Cal Poly Jam and BBQ sauce, and the Sensory team, running Corporate and Research testing. I also am a CAFES Ambassador, taking time to represent my college to prospective students and communities throughout and way beyond Cal Poly. You can also occasionally find me happily serving food to students, staff, and faculty at Campus Market!
Career Interest: Consumer Insights and Sensory Science
Why is Honors valuable to you? "The Honors program is so valuable to me because of the community it creates. I have friends and acquaintances I never would have met had we not all been in the honors program."
Madeleine Goertz (she/her)
Major/Year: Mathematics; 2nd Year
Hometown: Kirkland, WA
Campus Involvement: Active Member of Math Club, Association for Women in Mathematics student chapter, Simple Group, Plants Peaks and Pals Hiking Club. Treasurer of the Country Line Dancing Club
Career Interest: Mathematician
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors has allowed me to build valuable connections and relationships with others. In particular, the honors calculus classes helped me successfully launch into my major."
Ryan Hoskins (he/him)
Major/Year: Agricultural Business; 1st Year
Hometown: Denver, CO
Campus Involvement: Agribusiness Management Club, Cal Poly Investment Banking Club
Career Interest: Venture Capital
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors is valuable to me because the Honors specific housing gives me a place to make friends but also come back to an environment that is chill and good for studying. Another major perk for Honors to me is the priority class selection. The priority class selection allowed me to craft a winter quarter schedule that gives me lots of freedom with how I utilize my time during the week. Finally, my Honors peers have so many skills that they are willing to share with me, and I have learned so much outside the classroom from my peers."
Emma James (she/her)
Major/Year: Business Administration major, Accounting minor; 2nd year
Hometown: Monterey, CA
Campus Involvement: CPA Licensing Advisor, Mustang Consulting, Cal Poly Accounting Club, Volunteer Note Taker, Women in Business, Intramural Softball
Career Interest: Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Why is Honors valuable to you? "The Honors Program is valuable to me because it surrounds me with a community of like-minded, ambitious peers. Honors is an invaluable resource that opens the door to research, mentoring, and leadership roles. My college experience would not be the same if it wasn't for the friends, classes, and extracurriculars the Honors Program brought me!"
Samuel Kaplan (he/him)
Major/Year: Computer Science, Concentration AI/ML; 1st Year
Hometown: San Francisco, CA
Campus Involvement: oSTEM, Cal Poly Magic Club, Cal Poly Robotics Club
Career Interest: Software Engineering
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors has given me a community of diverse and innovative thinkers. It's this community that has constantly driven me to push my limits academically and socially, giving me new and interesting opportunities to expand my horizons."
Shea McGowan (she/her/they)
Major/Year: Environmental Earth and Soil Science; 3rd Year
Hometown: Walnut Creek, CA
Campus Involvement: ASI Craft Center
Career Interest: Soil Field Work/Research
Why is Honors valuable to you? "'I've loved getting to know and connect with other Honors students. It's nice to see familiar faces around campus and SLO. The Honors classes I've taken have had excellent professors and allowed me to make valuable peer and faculty connections. Honors also motivates me to push myself to try new opportunities and make the most of my time in college."
Shane Townsend (she/her)
Major/Year: Political Science; 2nd Year
Hometown: Orange County, CA
Campus Involvement: Undergraduate Law Association, Alpha Chi Omega
Career Interest: Lawyer
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors has provided me with numerous opportunities to personalize my academic career and build community at Cal Poly. I have found many like minded students that motivate me to care about my future and truly learn by doing. The Honors program is extremely valuable to me as it has been a place for me to work in many interdisciplinary settings and expand my own skillsets."
Lizzy Velthoen (she/her)
Major/Year: Political Science major, Sociology minor; 2nd Year
Hometown: Ventura, CA
Campus Involvement: Political Science Club, Women Empowerment Club, Ceramics and Jewelry making
Career Interest: Lawyer
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors has provided me with an amazing community of faculty and students who are dedicated and passionate individuals that encourage both my academic and personal goals. This program has given me access to so many amazing resources and opportunities that would not have been possible otherwise."
Isai Villanueva (he/him)
Major/Year: Spanish (transferring to Aerospace); 1st Year
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Campus Involvement: Cru, Mustang Aviation Club, Minna no Anime
Career Interest: Airline captain
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors is valuable to me because it represents hardworking scholars. It is also a very supportive community that encourages excellence."
Zachary Wallpe (he/him)
Major/Year: Environmental Management and Protection, Planned minors in Environmental Studies and Economics; 1st Year
Hometown: Lake Tahoe, NV
Campus Involvement: Cal Poly Club Ultimate Frisbee B Team, Association of Environmental Professionals Club (AEP)
Career Interest: Environmental Consulting, Clean Energy, Wildfire Management
Why is Honors valuable to you? "Honors is valuable because it: creates a community of fellow high achievers to work and live with, provides opportunity to engage with rigorous course material in small group settings, provides additional resources and support, and pushes me to engage with leadership, service, and research."