Meet Your Quarter Plus Team!
It takes a village:
The Quarter Plus team is focused on student success and guiding incoming freshmen through the adjustment to college life. All of the academic and outside activities are carefully planned by Dr. Sara Ahmadi, Program Coordinator, and our on-site coordinator, Marisa Balmana with the support of the entire Extended Education staff.
Quarter Plus has a rigorous academic schedule, with students taking 8 units in a four week time period. Cal Poly faculty have been highly supportive of the program and it's positive outcomes. Quarter Plus Learning Assistants, many of whom are program alumni, attend classes, study sessions and activities. In order to be a Learning Assistant for the Quarter Plus program, a student must meet GPA requirements, commit to a busy schedule and attend pre-program training sessions.
See what one of our previous Quarter Plus students had to say about Learning Assistants:
Sara Ahangar Ahmadi, Ph.D.
Sara Ahangar Ahmadi received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Ohio University in April 2016. She has her Master’s and Bachelor’s degree in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Azad University. She has a long history of teaching classes at the university level and coordinating educational programs at language schools. Additionally, she has been teaching literacy and ESL both to children and adults. More
Sara joined Extended Education as a Program Coordinator this spring and has been busy planning and launching the 2017 Quarter Plus Program (the fourth year) in collaboration with other Extended Education staff. In addition to Quarter Plus, Sara is also organizing and developing program/courses in cooperation with College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Science; College of Engineering; and College of Liberal Arts; plus Non-credit Writing classes.
Marisa Balmana earned her Bachelors of Science in the field of Psychology at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. For the past four years Marisa has been working for RISE, a nonprofit that offers services to those affected by sexual assault and intimate partner violence. More
As RISE’s Volunteer Manager, Marisa was in charge of facilitating a 65-Hour state certified crisis counselor training for volunteers and new staff. Marisa loved working with college students at RISE and is excited to continue doing so as a part of the Quarter Plus team.
Quarter Plus Advisor
She received her Master’s in Education from the University of Texas studying College Student Personnel Administration and her Bachelor’s Degrees from the University of Colorado in English and Art History. Allie moved to San Luis Obispo a year ago and has enjoyed exploring the area and getting to know all of the wonderful people at Cal Poly.
Quarter Plus Learning Assistants are the lifeline of the program. Serving as peer mentors, Learning Assistants are positive role models that demonstrate academic success, personal integrity, and a commitment to the Cal Poly community. Learning Assistant involvement is critical to mentor students and provide consistent, daily communication between staff, faculty and program coordinators. The majority of this year’s Learning Assistants are Quarter Plus alumni, and many are also members of the University Honors Program.
- Attend classes with the students
- Manage study sessions
- Plan/attend activities and much more...
Attending Cal Poly for, soon to be, my fourth year, I am a philosophy major and a premedical student. More
I have worked as a Learning Assistant for the past two summers in addition to being a Learning Assistant for the Chemistry Department for the last two years. My intrigue for computers is satisfied by my position with our university’s ITS department, and I attend Relay for Life club meetings. In my leisure, I may be improving my climbing proficiency at the local rock gym, reveling in the clever verses of Lil Wayne, or staying up to date on politics.
My name is Eden, and I am a Nutrition major and Spanish minor. More
I grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Nevada City. I have always loved hiking, kayaking, going to the lake, and any anything else that involves the great outdoors. I also love traveling. I have been to Canada, Mexico, Ireland, Spain, England, France, and just returned from studying in Cusco, Peru for spring quarter. Outside of studying, I’m involved with Intervarsity, Nutrition Club, and intramural sports. I love living on the Central Coast and am excited to share all Cal Poly has offer!
My name is Josie Chamness and I am a second year psychology major at Cal Poly. More
I love coffee, art, food, and any of the above when enjoyed with a friend or two! When I was a freshman, quarter plus gave me a jump-start to my time in college and helped me find my best friends. I can’t wait to start my third year by helping new students transition into college and by making SLO feel like home.
Hello there, I’m Jenna Edwards! I am a lover of alternative rock, hiking, ferocious beta fish, cliff jumping, intended puns, books and banana bread. More
I also love to meet new people and share funny stories. I am here because I want to make sure your experience in Quarter Plus is a positive one and that you feel successful while you are here. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me to ask for help with anything! Or to share a good story.
Top 6 facts about Serena Enzerink that you may be interested to know: More
- I’m ridiculously proud to call Cal Poly my home and I can’t wait to help you feel the same!
- I can’t not sing along to music, even if I know exactly none of the lyrics.
- I’m an RPTA major in the Honors Program and the Mustang Band. I work on and off campus, use the Craft Center, and have been a WOW leader and a Quarter Plus LA.
- I play sousaphone in the aforementioned Mustang Band.
- 2017 marks the year that I learned how to keep a succulent alive.
- Favorite animal: Cuttlefish.
I am a mechanical engineering student from the North Bay Area hoping to concentrate in robotics or manufacturing. More
In my free time, I enjoy hiking, biking and playing and watching football, basketball, soccer, baseball and golf. I consider myself an adrenaline junkie, as I ride motorcycles, wakeboard, jet ski, have skydived from 12,000 feet, and once backpacked into the Canadian Rocky Mountains and survived alone for 3 days without food.
Hey There! I’m Marc. I can’t wait to see you at Quarter Plus this fall. I loved it so much last year; I know you will too. More
Although it is a challenge taking nine units in three weeks, the program is a truly memorable experience. I met some of my best friends at Quarter Plus last fall! It’s a great way to get to know the community and campus before your first year of college, and it’s also sprinkled with fun activities like hiking and canoeing around SLO to help show you the true Cal Poly Experience. See you soon!
Described as the “nice guy” by professors and colleagues, I am a business major, marketing concentration hailing from Calabasas, CA. More
When not biking or hiking, you can find me at the Orfalea College of Business Council, participating in Greek life and philanthropy, or studying at Cal Poly’s arboretum. I have a passion for helping improve mental health and plan on working in sales for a company that aims to improve emotional, social, and physical well-being.
As an Animal Science major at Cal Poly, the majority of my time is spent out in the animal units on campus. More
I enjoy the environment of this lifestyle and the people I meet are purely rays of sunshine. As for non-related to school activities, hiking and going to the beach are my two favorite past-times - both I do in the company of my beloved dog, Buck. School can be so challenging but having grown up on the central coast, I’ve always been able to hit the beach for a dose of Mother Nature’s stress-relief; I do so quite frequently!
Hi Quarter+!!! My name is Emily Harrison and I am a third year Liberal Studies Major with a History/Social Science concentration. More
I’m hoping to teach abroad after graduation! I love punny jokes, dramatic TV shows, tea, traveling, and corn (both corn on the cob and candy corn!!). Cal Poly is so lucky to have so many awesome incoming students- I can’t wait to get to know all of you and show you how much San Luis Obispo rocks!
Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Heinrich, and I am a second-year Business Administration major with a minor in Global Politics. More
Here at Cal Poly, I am involved with the Honors Program and the Orfalea College of Business Peer Mentor Program, as well as a proud recent alum of the Quarter Plus Program. Outside of Cal Poly, I am an avid fantasy baseball manager (four-time champ!) and eater of SLODOCO donuts. I cannot wait to meet all of you and help you soak in all that Cal Poly has to offer! See you soon!
I am a quirky Engineering student who is obsessed with Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Winnie the Pooh. More
I focus on my studies religiously, but also find time to be adventurous with cliff diving, snowboarding, and hiking the Cal Poly hills. Though I am in Engineering, I enjoy indulging in creative activities in my downtime. My talents vary over a wide range of creating 3D objects to knitting while watching Netflix. Some call me an introvert, but I’m always ready to meet new people and happily introduce them to Cal Poly SLO.
I’m a first-year Biomedical Engineering student from Shoreline, Washington. More
In my free time, I enjoy going to the gym, playing ice-hockey (when I’m back home), exploring the outdoors, playing the ukulele, and relaxing at the beach. My life philosophy is to keep an open mind and do one thing a day that scares me because I only regret the things I never tried. I came to Cal Poly because I wanted to get away from the bubble of the urban lifestyle in Seattle and experience the wonders of the Central Coast.
Hi there! My name is Sean, and smiling’s my favorite. I am a third year history major in the Honors program and a future middle school teacher. More
My favorite pastimes are eating kimchi, learning new languages, and brewing kombucha at home (why pay for it?). Let’s be friends!
Hello! I’m Marisa, a second-year math major in the Honors Program. I am involved in the Math Club and AWM, and my favorite place to eat on campus is Red Radish. More
I did Quarter Plus and absolutely loved the experience. I have a fear of public speaking, but made it through COMS 101! I watch a lot of movies in my free time and love Marvel. My favorite movie is Captain America: The Winter Soldier and I firmly believe it’s the best Marvel movie so far. I look forward to being a Learning Assistant in Quarter Plus this year!
My name is Morgan, and yes, I am crazy enough to apply for Quarter Plus twice. More
I am an Animal Science major here at Cal Poly, and have fallen in love with the school and this city. I like to describe myself as a total geek when it comes to anything music or dog related (I probably have more dog friends than human friends) and I’m always looking for adventures. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my Quarter Plus family and am super excited to help out the next generation of Mustangs!
Hey! I’m Michael Pangburn, and I’m a second-year Software Engineering major. More
I’m a member of the White Hat Cybersecurity Club and the Mobile App Development Club. However, I do a lot more than just program cool stuff on my laptop—I’m an energetic person and can be easily convinced to try new things. I can often be found outside hiking in the SLO area, playing Spike ball, basketball, or volleyball at the Rec Center, line dancing at the Graduate on Thursday nights, spinning LED nunchucks with the SLO GLO club, or playing Super Smash Bros. with my roommates.
My name is Amanda Parlog and I am a second year Mechanical Engineering student from Discovery Bay, California. More
At Cal Poly, I am active in my sorority as well as Panhellenic, the sorority governing board. I chose Cal Poly for its engineering program, Learn By Doing philosophy, and of course its proximity to the beach. I was a Quarter Plus participant last year and can’t wait to use my experience to assist all of you in reaching your Quarter Plus goals.
Hi! My name is Shivani Rangwala and I am majoring in Business Administration! More
I am incredibly passionate about puppies, sunsets, and lying in my bed watching Netflix. I like to think I am an adventurous person; I love being outdoors and going to cool viewpoints, which SLO never disappoints with. One of my favorite things to do is exploring new and different places in the city, both to visit and to eat at, but I am also always down for a chill night in watching a movie or playing pool with friends!
For those that know me or will soon, I may have a serious conversation with you about the wonders of our existence or crack incessant jokes. More
I like to grind in the gym or at the library but I also love to go out hike or just purely kick back with friends. I love action movies but also chick flicks. I can jam out to ASAP Rocky or Katy Perry. I seek a unique balance in my life and I try to help others find it with me.
Hi! My name is Susie Rogers and I am a business student at Cal Poly. More
I am a member in Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed business fraternity. I love sports and am on the club basketball team! I absolutely love San Luis Obispo and in my free time I can be found exploring the beautiful city.
Hi! My name’s Kelly Sheehi and I’m an Animal Science major. More
Last year I moved to San Luis Obispo from a little island in Maryland, called Kent Island, and I couldn’t be happier with my decision. A fun fact about me is that I've lived in six states: Massachusetts, Virginia, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas, and California. As you may guess, I love travelling and exploring the U.S., as well as the world. I spend my time riding horses and exploring Cal Poly for now, but one day I will become a P.A. and further my career in the medical field!
Hello! I’m Shannon Wesley, and I’m a third year Nutrition major and Child Development minor. More
I’m from the small Central Valley farming town of Ripon, California. My dream is to become a pediatric dietitian, so that every day I can work toward helping little kids with dietary restrictions or overweight issues eat healthy, delicious food. My favorite pastimes include: playing video games of all forms, hiking around SLO, going to the beach with friends, and having a good mid-afternoon nap. Finally, my favorite part of SLO is probably SLODOCO, just because it never fails to satisfy my huge sweet tooth.