CPP Magazine

Broncos at Work

Vincent Marsala

Vincent Marsala

’17, civil engineering 
Superintendent at Turner Construction Company 
’06 to ’10, United States Marine Corps Bulk Fuel Specialist

I have worked for Turner Construction Company since June 2017 as part of the team managing the construction of SoFi Stadium, located at Hollywood Park in Inglewood. This will be home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers and will be the largest NFL stadium to date. As a superintendent for Turner Construction, I am part of a diverse team that oversees project safety, construction quality, site logistics and construction scheduling.

Military service gave me a greater form of respect, discipline, leadership and maturity. We take pride in our work and put the mission first before ourselves. Being unselfish and willing to sacrifice allows us the ability to take on larger roles in any environment, even that of the classroom.

For my first three years, my GI Bill benefits covered the cost of tuition. However, I exhausted those military benefits prior to graduating. I went to the Veterans Resource Center to seek counsel on obtaining additional financial assistance. I immediately connected with all veterans in the resource center, which led to employment at the center. This allowed me to participate in veteran outreach for the College of Engineering. I received scholarships, and it was truly a blessing in disguise. President Coley, her husband and the university do an amazing job in supporting our nation’s military veterans.

I have donated to the Veterans Resource Center, attended the Veterans Future Forward event as an alumni panel speaker, and was the keynote speaker for the 2018 incoming class of veterans. I also assist Turner Construction in recruiting veterans for our company.

Lisa Diggs

Lisa Diggs
’93, hotel and restaurant management; ’08, master’s in education, curriculum and instruction
Teacher, Moreno Valley Unified School District
’83 to ’92, United States National Guard Administrative Specialist

Lisa Diggs has always been committed to giving back to her community, even if it meant returning to college to completely change careers.

She served nine years in the National Guard and continued to serve one weekend a month while working part-time and earning her bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management at Cal Poly Pomona. During her 15 years in the hospitality industry, Diggs served two terms in AmeriCorps to mentor at-risk students. As a result of her experience in teaching struggling students, helping them with academics and improving their emotional development, she decided to return to her alma mater to study education — earning a teaching credential and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction —with the goal of teaching English language learners.

Diggs is currently an intervention teacher and mentor for at-risk students in school districts in Riverside, Pomona and Rialto.

My experience in the National Guard taught me time management. This was valuable in my undergraduate studies, as I still served my country by dedicating one weekend a month to the National Guard while maintaining a full school schedule. I also was very active in extracurricular activities, including being involved in the Hospitality Council and as a business senator in the Associated Students Incorporated.

I became more involved in the veteran community in 2012 when I attended a Women’s Leadership Conference, organized by CalVet and the State of California Office of Veterans Affairs. From that conference, I was ignited with an interest in serving as a Veteran Service Advocate. I am also involved in organizations including the Foundation of Women Warriors and The Mission Continues.

The financial aid office had a veteran representative who ensured that I received my monthly GI Bill benefits and informed me about scholarships. I was also employed at the Kellogg West Conference Center, which jumpstarted my career in the hospitality industry.

I continue to pay it forward at Cal Poly Pomona by giving to the Annual Fund and supporting scholarships and various events through my alumni networks in The Collins College of Hospitality Management and the College of Education and Integrative Studies. I am a very active alumna – I recently was a moderator at the 8th annual Interdisciplinary Symposium.

I also mentor students at CPP by sharing my knowledge and life experience to help those who are developing their studies and career path. I advocate for veterans to enter higher education and pursue career development opportunities.

I have been checking on all my senior citizen neighbors, delivering their food and medicine to them and even calling them to see how they are doing. I donated my time at a local food pantry and donated at my local Lifestream blood donation center.

I am hoping for the best with this COVID-19 situation, and I am staying positive that it will end soon.