Alumni Return to Cal Poly Pomona as Professors for a Day

Alumni Return to Cal Poly Pomona as Professors for a Day
Jack Kulp of TrafFix Devices shows off his company's Scorpion roadside protection device during Professor for a Day.
Paul Salverda of Agilent Technologies, a 1982 Cal Poly Pomona graduate, talks with Chemistry students during Professor for a Day.

Nearly 70 alumni from business to engineering, plus a few friends of the university, came to campus Oct. 27 to share real world experiences with students as professors for a day.

The Professor for a Day program, which began in 1997, provides an opportunity for alumni to highlight the numerous career options available to students after graduation and to reconnect with former professors and old friends. Twice a year, alumni are invited to serve as guest lecturers in a classroom setting. Through this experience, students gain a perspective on life beyond the university.

This year, one professor took Professor for a Day to the next level by using technology to provide the guest lecture experience in an online class. Horticulture, Plant & Soil Sciences professor Frank Gibbons conducted an in-person interview about biotech foods with Martin Lemon, who works for Monsanto, a leading provider of agricultural products. Gibbons, who video streamed the discussion, plans to share the interview with 50 students enrolled in his Agriculture and the Modern World class.

“This was my first attempt at an online Professor for a Day,” says Gibbons. “The 'class' was video streamed for asynchronous viewing. I plan to have a bulletin board discussion on the session when I release it to the students during the section on sustainable agriculture later this quarter.”

“The next time I do this, I may try an interview that will be recorded live,” he says.

The guest-lecturers and host faculty members were recognized for their support to the university during a luncheon at The Restaurant at Kellogg Ranch. President Michael Ortiz, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tomas Morales and Interim Director of Alumni Affairs Melissa Riordan thanked the participants for offering their time to share their career stories with Cal Poly Pomona students.

For more information on the next Professor for a Day event, which will be held on May 12, 2005, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (909) 869-2963 or by e-mail at