Stay Involved

Parent Advisory Council

The Cal Poly Parent Advisory Council is a group of parent leaders focused on student success, volunteerism, and bridging the parent and supporter community with the university.

Parent Advisory Council meetings are held twice a year and are open to all Cal Poly parents and supporters. Parents interested in membership are invited to observe one meeting. The application processes consist of a questionnaire and telephone interview with the Parent Advisory Council Chair or Vice Chair, with final approval made by the Vice President for Student Affairs.

If you would like to attend an upcoming meeting or learn more about the council, please email calpolyparent@calpoly.edu.

Member Roster

Parent Advisory Council members are available to answer questions and share their experiences and perspectives with other Cal Poly parents. Please feel free to reach out to any member by clicking on the email address in their bio below.

 

Jim Pirkle, Chair

perk8@earthlink.net

Term: 2018-2021

College of Engineering Liaison

Hometown: Monterey, CA

Cal Poly Students:

Geri, Experience Industry Management '21 - College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences

Scott, Aerospace Engineering MS '20/BS '19 - College of Engineering

 

Fort Ord brought me to Monterey in 1982 and after serving 2 terms there I didn’t want to leave so I opened a small insurance brokerage in 1990 and in 1993 married a local nurse, Beth (Fresno State).   We love having our two kids just 2 hours away making it possible to see them both play lacrosse (A Club Sport at CalPoly) and visit the wonderful SLO area.   I’ve been very impressed with the support the CalPoly community has given my kids, as they have both had some ‘bumps’ in their roads to maturity/graduation.  Geri changed majors (and colleges, M&S to CAFES) after her 2nd quarter and studied abroad during the Fall 2018 quarter.  She’s worked multiple years with the WOW program and other activities around the school/SLO area.  Scott took 5 years to get his undergrad degree, plus 3 minors and then took advantage of the Blended Plus 1 program to get his Masters in Aerospace in just one more year.  Both kids worked at CalPoly and in the SLO area.  We are an ‘All-In’ Mustang Family and want to help any future/current families feel as confident about this school as we do.

 

 

Brian Barrett, Vice Chair

bbarr@sbcglobal.net

Term: 2019-2022

Career Services Liaison

Hometown: Valencia, CA

Cal Poly Students:

Andrew, Mechanical Engineering '23 - College of Engineering

Daniel, Computer Engineering '20 - College of Engineering

 

I recently retired after a very enjoyable 40-year career in the Aerospace Industry, although I remain active in a consulting role.  I attended a large mid-western University where learn by doing was also a strong part of the culture.  I personally benefited in my career from the jump start that a learn by doing approach to higher education provided and it was a major draw for my two Mustang sons as they began their university journey.  I am excited about the opportunity that I have, as the PAC Career Services Liaison, to work with the university administration in getting the message out to industry about the benefits of hiring a Mustang who has relevant hands-on skills from day one. Even in retirement, I continue to practice “learn by doing” as I am in the process of building an experimental aircraft that my wife and I will use to visit our 3 sons….wherever they may end up. 

 

 

Nicole Birdsall

nicolebirdsall@icloud.com

Term: 2020-2023

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Cal Poly Student: Jaclyn '24, College of Liberal Arts

 

I have been a technical product management for a range of eCommerce, FinTech, and start-up companies in Silicon Valley for 20 years and an adjunct professor teaching undergraduate and graduate marketing management, eCommerce and digital marketing in-person and online courses for 16 years. I received my BS in Operations Management and Information Systems from Northern Illinois University. While at NIU, I spent a semester studying aboard at the University of Wolverhampton in Wolverhampton, England. I received my MBA concentrating in Marketing and MA in Psychology focusing on Organizational Behavior from Golden Gate University. I'm currently working on my Doctorate in Business studying the convergence of Cyberpsychology and Consumer Behavior. My husband is a Cal Poly Alumni and we split our time between our homes in the Bay Area and San Luis Obispo. I have had the great pleasure of mentoring students and colleagues over my career and I'm thrilled to be a part of Cal Poly's Parent Advisory Council where I hope to share my own knowledge and experiences with Cal Poly parents, supporters, and students.

 

 

Kimaili "Ken" Davis

kauthar44@gmail.com

Term: 2020-2023

Hometown: Oak Park, CA

Cal Poly Student: Kate '23 - College of Science and Mathematics

 

I was born and raised in New York state, earned my BA in Political Science from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania and moved to Southern California after graduation. I have worked in the Insurance field for 30 years helping businesses navigate the Risk Management process. My goal while on the Parent Advisory Council is to support Cal Poly SLO's vision of Diversity and Inclusion. I strongly believe that Cal Poly SLO has so much to offer a student while attending and after graduation. During my tenure on the PAC, I will be of service to students, parents and supporters. My wife and I are so proud of Kate's attendance at Cal Poly SLO and excited to be part of the Mustang family!  I am a Lambda Chi Alpha Alumnus. I am a Mason with Conejo Valley Lodge 807. I enjoy riding my motorcycle and practicing Tang Soo Do. I look forward to meeting and assisting you in the years to come! 

 

 

Stacy Flaherty

flahertyfamily@sbcglobal.net

Term: 2018-2022

Disability Resource Center Liaison

Hometown: Ballard, CA

Cal Poly Students:

Lauren - Agricultural Communication '22, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Keegan - Agricultural Business '19, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Taylor - Animal Science '17, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

 

I’m a newly retired teacher and I have always been very active in my children's school. I’ve always enjoyed my decades of involvement in PTSA, School Site Council and leadership roles both as a teacher and parent. I’m excited to continue my relationship in my kids’ education at the collegiate level. I’m hoping to bring my experiences to Cal Poly’s PAC which include: Sorority and Fraternity Life, Quarter Plus Program, DRC (disability resource center), CP Men’s Lacrosse, CP Rodeo/Rodeo Booster & having 3 children with different majors & minors.  During my first year of empty nesting, I’ve kept busy horseback riding and traveling along with business trips with my husband of 25 years. I’m also very true to my sorority, Delta Gamma; as I’m an advisor at the UCSB chapter. The DG house of 283 girls has kept me young and active!

 

 

Bill Hanna

billhanna8@gmail.com

Term: 2018-2021

Orfalea College of Business Liaison

Hometown: Los Gatos, CA

Cal Poly Student: Matt '21, Orfalea College of Business

 

As a Parent Advisory Council member, my goals are to contribute useful information and thoughtful insights from the perspectives of a parent and CSU professor with 44 years in education and to help parents and students know “Learn By Doing” curricular and co-curricular Cal Poly opportunities.  I candidly, clearly, and humorously offer to share my parenting experiences from helping my son throughout his Mustang journey to assist fellow CP parents. 

 

 

Joss Maas

joss_jlsd@cox.net

Term: 2019-2022

Colleges of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Liaison

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Cal Poly Student: Matthew '22 - College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

 

I am very excited to be a part of the Mustang Nation. I am here to promote health and wellness throughout the Cal Poly Community. I am a Registered Nurse and Nurse Practitioner with years of experience working with youth and young adults. I am a Red Cross First Aid and CPR instructor. I am also an adult scouter in the  Boy Scouts of America where I have been a merit badge counselor, camp nurse, committee member of my troop for special events as well as being on the Eagle Board of Review Committee in my district. My board experience includes 3 years as the Clinic Vice President of my nurses union UNAC/UHCP.  I am also an active member in the Junior League of San Diego where I was on the Executive Management Team for two years. I am looking forward to working with CAFES and supporting them through all the wonderful projects that are in process. I also look forward to meeting new and existing families and staff in the Mustang Nation.

 

 

Stacey Napolitano

stacey@napolitanofamily.com

Term: 2020-2023

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Cal Poly Student: Mia - Kinesiology '23, College of Science and Mathematics

 

I grew up in San Jose, California, received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education from California Polytechnic State University, SLO Class of 1998 and a Master’s Degree in Education and Administration at San Jose State University.  I was a high school educator for 20 years and currently fill my time as an Interior Decorator.  I have served in several leadership positions and on educational boards.  As a parent, alumni, and educator I am excited to be a part of PAC and to share my time and talents with the Cal Poly Community.  My love of Cal Poly’s “Learn by Doing” philosophy has led my desire to give back to Cal Poly!

 

 

Cassandra Ornelas

cassandra.ornelas@gmail.com

Term: 2018-2022

University Housing Liaison

Hometown: Santa Barbara, CA

Cal Poly Students:

Carleigh '22 - College of Science and Mathematics

Jenna '14 - College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

 

I possess a unique perspective both personally and professionally as a Cal Poly suppporter and student advocate.  Professionally, I am a Credentialed School Nurse with over 24 years of experience currently working at Montecito Union  School. Our school has experienced devastation and loss during Thomas Fire and subsequent Debris flow, and now uncertainty and fear during the COVID-19 pandemic. For both my job as a School Nurse and as a member of PAC, I have been challenged more than ever before to think outside the box, promote health and safety, develop COVID-19 health protocols and parameters for testing and treating. As an active student advocate, I hope I can support you and your Mustang. My strengths include welcoming new parents, being an attentive listener, providing referrals to pertinent campus resources, and being a representative for Cal Poly students and supporters. My area of expertise is housing as I serve as the housing liason, focusing on resources related to on and off-campus housing options. I have two beautiful girls who both have/have had the opportunity to attend Cal Poly. My oldest graduated in 2014 with a degree in Animal Science and has followed her dreams this summer to accept a position as an Assistant Supervisor at the ASPCA in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Our youngest is currently attending Cal Poly and is a junior studying Liberal Studies with a minor in Biology. I am grateful to have the opportunity to contribute my time and expertise to the PAC and Cal Poly University since 2010. I hope I have the opportunity to support your Mustang or you in the future!

 

 

Jennifer Roberts

robertsnapa@gmail.com

Term: 2020-2023

Hometown: Napa, CA

Cal Poly Students:

Celeste '21 - College of Liberal Arts

Maddy '17 - College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

 

While raising my three children, I often found myself engaged and participating in all of their activities.  We kept busy with extracurriculars like: 4-H, Boy Scouts and every sport imaginable! I found myself coaching, leading 4-H groups and being a summer camp counselor for 14 years. I loved every minute of it, so much so that I wanted to keep up my involvement and support in their lives. Through supporting my girls at Cal Poly and my son at U.C. Davis, I have been fortunate enough to find a welcoming community in both places. It seemed only natural to be a part of the Parent Councils at my kids schools where I could continue on with being a part of their new communities.  Professionally, I am a residential realtor. I love helping my clients find their new home and enjoy utilizing my design background to help them visualize changes. In my spare time you can find me with a camera in hand, training my donkeys, baking cookies, gardening, sewing dog-dana’s, or my latest adventure of canning my garden goods.  Engaging in face-to-face activities with parents and students is my favorite, so I am really looking forward to the time when we can all be together in person. Let’s Go Mustangs!  

 

 

Ellen Solum

Emeritus Parent Advisory Council Member

ellen.f.solum@gmail.com

Cal Poly Home Economics/Dietetics and Food Administration ‘79

Term: 2012-2018

Hometown: Cayucos, CA

Cal Poly Students:

James – Forestry and Natural Resources Management '16 and Forestry Sciences '20, College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences

Erica – Software Engineering, '17, College of Engineering

 

Topics I’m familiar with include: student housing; Greek life; student special needs; support; graduating in 5 years vs. 4 years; and, women in Computer Science.

 

 

Anne Wilkas

annewilkas@yahoo.com

Term: 2020 - 2023

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

Cal Poly Student: Cole ‘24, College of Science and Mathematics

 

Anne Wilkas has served on conservation boards for over three decades, including The Alaska Center, Alaska Conservation Foundation, Alaska Geographic and Trustees for Alaska. Trained as an attorney, she was a law clerk for the Alaska Court System and worked as an assistant Public Defender in urban and rural Alaska. Anne left her full time law practice to obtain a Master of Arts in Teaching then taught high school in the Anchorage public school system. Currently she is a pro bono attorney, volunteering in the areas of housing justice and immigration asylum. Anne is married with two teenage boys and a rescue pup. In her free time she enjoys playing in the mountains and traveling as well as growing and cooking her own food. Anne is excited to be part of the Mustang family!

 

Representatives

 

Tom Bensky, Faculty Rep

tbensky@calpoly.edu

Term: 2017-2020

 

 

Shayna Lynch, Student Rep

sglynch@calpoly.edu

Term: 2020-2021

 

Council Meeting Minutes and Documents

View past Parent Advisory Council meeting minutes:

Spring 2020 Meeting Minutes: May 7, 2020

Fall 2019 Meeting Minutes: October 27, 2019

Spring 2019 Meeting Minutes: April 14, 2019

Fall 2018 Meeting Minutes: October 21, 2018

Winter 2018 Meeting Minutes: February 3, 2018

Fall 2017 Meeting Minutes: October 22, 2017

Spring 2017 Meeting Minutes: May 6, 2017

Winter 2017 Meeting Minutes: February 26, 2017

Fall 2016 Meeting Minutes: October 23, 2016

Spring 2016 Meeting Minutes: May 7, 2016

Winter 2016 Meeting Minutes: February 21, 2016

Fall 2015 Meeting Minutes: October 25, 2015

Bylaws:

View the Parent Advisory Council Bylaws.

Parent Philanthropy

At Cal Poly, we have a strong culture of parent giving and involvement. We invite you to be a part of it. Learn more and give now at giving.calpoly.edu/get-involved/parent-philanthropy.

Related Content

Stay Connected

 

  • Spring CommencementFacebook

    Follow Parent and Family Programs on Facebook

  • Spring CommencementInstagram

    Follow Parent and Family Programs on Instagram

Give Today

Give Today

Strategic Plan

Get the Strategic Plan

Stay Involved

Cal Poly Proud Volunteer Corps

Parent Volunteer Corps

Join Our Council

Join Our Council