Dr. Ryan Alaniz
Dr. Ryan Alaniz has a PhD in Sociology and is an assistant professor at Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo. Dr. Alaniz is currently affiliated with the United Nations University-Institute for Environment and Human Security for his work on disaster recovery and resettlement. His current research interests include resettlement, community development, drought, and transformative pedagogy.
Dr. David A. Askay
Dr. David A. Askay joined the Communication Studies faculty in 2013 after earning a Ph.D. in Organizational Science from UNC Charlotte. At Cal Poly, he teaches courses on public speaking, teamwork, organizational communication, intergroup communication, and internship. He has also co-developed and co-taught a course entitled Solving Big World Challenges for the entrepreneurship program in the Orfalea College of Business. More
In 2012, he was recognized with the Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award for the top-ranked student-authored paper at the National Communication Association Annual Meeting. Dr. Askay also received the Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for Top Graduate Teaching Assistant at UNC Charlotte in 2012.
Dr. Megan Lambertz-Berndt
Dr. Megan Lambertz-Berndt is an Assistant Professor of Communication Studies. Her educational background includes a B.A. in Mass Communications from Delaware State University, a M.A in Communication Studies from the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and a Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. More
Her research examines diversity training initiatives from non-profit organizations such as the Starbucks, #raceconversation and affinity group communication. She has taught a wide range of courses including public speaking, organizational communication, business and professional communication and intercultural communication. Personally, she loves playing and conversing about sports.
Dr. Jnan Blau
Dr. Jnan Blau came to Cal Poly in Fall 2008. He is co-editor, along with fellow Communication Studies Department professor Richard Besel, of the book Performance on Behalf of the Environment. More
Dr. Blau’s work has appeared in the following academic journals: Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies, Trans: Transcultural Music Review, Cultural Studies <> Critical Methodologies, and Popular Music and Society. He wrote the entries on Chilean icons Violeta Parra and Salvador Allende for the Encyclopedia of Activism and Social Justice. He also has contributed essays to the blog section of the music-and-politics website HeadCount.org.
Dr. Bethany A. Conway-Silva
Dr. Bethany Anne Conway-Silva joined the Communication Studies faculty in Fall 2015. Her research agenda focuses on the intersection of mass and political communication; more specifically, she analyzes the many influences that shape news coverage in an effort to understand “collective sensemaking” in politics. This includes the role of new media in political campaigns and its influence on journalistic outcomes, as well as the networks of sources that journalists turn to for information on elections and government policy. More
As an affiliate with the University of Arizona’s National Institute for Civil Discourse, she is also involved in a long-term project analyzing perceptions of political incivility, including variable tolerance for incivility, and how demographic and political factors, media consumption, and online political engagement are associated with variable tolerance for political incivility. Notable achievements include sole and co-authored articles published in the Journal of Computer Mediated Communication, the American Behavioral Scientist, and the International Journal of Public Opinion Research. In 2014, Dr. Conway and her research team at the University of Arizona received a top paper award from the National Communication Association Political Communication Division for their manuscript “What is Political Incivility?”
Dr. Ronald C. Den Otter
Dr. Ronald C. Den Otter was born in San Francisco and grew up in Marin County. He received his B.A. from the University of California, Davis, his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and his Ph.D. from UCLA. At present, he is a professor of Political Science at Cal Poly and has been here for twelve years. His teaches mostly public law classes, including Judicial Process, Civil Rights, Civil Liberties, American Constitutional Law, and Constitutional Theory.
Arlene Grant-Holcomb, EdD, RD
Arlene Grant-Holcomb, EdD, RD is a Registered Dietitian with more than 20 years practice experience in clinical dietetics, community nutrition and foodservice management. Arlene has been on the nutrition faculty at Cal Poly since 2000 and is the Director of the Didactic Program in Dietetics.
Dr. Gita Kolluru
Dr. Gita Kolluru obtained her B.Sc. in Biology from Queen’s University in Canada, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Riverside, where she studied mating behavior in tropical fishes and crickets. She went on to a postdoctoral position at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Lecturer position at Humboldt State University. More
She is currently an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, where her student-centered research program focuses on the costs and benefits of mating displays and aggressive behavior in freshwater tropical fishes. She teaches courses across the curriculum in ecology, evolution and behavior and maintains a freshwater fish colony at the university. In her free time she likes to travel, read, hike and enjoy the natural beauty of the Central California coast.
Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett
Dr. Stephen Lloyd-Moffett is an internationally known Religious Studies scholar and Professor in the Religious Studies Program at Cal Poly. More
Author of Beauty for Ashes: The Spiritual Transformation of a Modern Greek Community (St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press) and the forthcoming The Soul of Wine: Finding Religion in the Fruit of the Vine, Professor Lloyd-Moffett holds a B.A. in Economics and Film Studies from Claremont McKenna College, a Master of Theology degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from University of California, Santa Barbara. A dynamic, popular community lecturer, he is the recipient of the Cal Poly College of Liberal Arts teaching award and the President's Community Service Award.
Mr. Skiles is the Interim Director of Forensics. His research interests include argumentation, cultural studies, and rhetorical theory and criticism.
Dr. Emily Taylor
Dr. Emily Taylor got a B.A. in English at the University of California, Berkeley followed by a Ph.D. in Biological Sciences from Arizona State University, where she conducted research in the field of environmental physiology as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. More
She is currently a Professor of Biological Sciences at the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California and co-author of the introductory biology textbook Biological Science published by Pearson. She teaches numerous undergraduate and graduate courses in biology, and received the California Faculty Association’s Distinguished Educator Award in 2010, Cal Poly’s Distinguished Teaching Award in 2012, and the Meritorious Teaching Award in Herpetology from the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and Herpetologists’ League in 2016. In her spare time, she likes to travel, run, cook, and play with her German shepherd dogs.
Sheree Twisselman Davis
Sheree Twisselman Davis is a Lecturer in the Communication Studies Department. She graduated from Cal Poly with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Communication and from Fresno State with a Master's degree in Communication. She has also studied Public Administration at the University of Southern California. More
Sheree has taught courses at Cal Poly such as Public Speaking, Small Group Communication, Public Relations and Media Relations. In addition to her twenty plus years of teaching experience, she has worked in the banking, electronic and telecommunications industries. More recently she served as Director of Government Relations for the San Luis Obispo Chamber of Commerce and President and CEO of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce. She is a fifth generation native of San Luis Obispo County and is active in her community and family's cattle ranching business.
Dr. Jason Williams
Dr. Jason Williams received his doctorate from UC Santa Cruz in 2001, and has taught in the Psychology Department at Cal Poly since 2008. His research interests include the study of eye movements, attention, and emotion. He is currently examining how people are able to tell whether others are listening to them when they are speaking. His hobbies include playing guitar and pinball, and he is currently the San Luis Obispo town pinball champion.