Dr. Winny Dong, cohort 1995-96, joined the Cal Poly Pomona Materials and Chemical Engineering Department in 2000. Since then, Dr. Dong has focused her efforts on creating an environment where all faculty and students can develop their strengths. Her successes include bringing in various grants totaling over $9 million to target increased participation by underrepresented groups in science and engineering.
Dong is proud that her efforts have resulted in an improved campus climate and increased access to high-quality education for all students. She creates opportunities through her work leading the Office of Undergraduate Research; co-leading a National Science Foundation grant to increase graduation rates in STEM; and through personal mentoring of up to 25 graduate school candidates.
"The students are typically first-generation, low-income, or underrepresented,” says Dong. “Working with them is important to me because it contributes to a campus and a society where every person has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
Dong, whose research is in creating new materials with high-surface areas for use in such applications as space travel, thermal insulation, and drug delivery, says CDIP helped solidify her career path, showing her what it meant to teach at CSU. With the professional guidance of her CDIP faculty mentor, Dr. C. Barclay Gilpin, Professor Emeritus at CSU Long Beach, she was able to transition from a doctoral student to faculty member. The mentorship was especially valuable in preparing her to be a competitive applicant for a CSU faculty position. “I think the mentorship is the most important part of CDIP,” says Dong, whose mentor connected her to other faculty who became subsequent mentors.