Awardees for 2021-2022


Excellence in Teaching

Paul Beardsley

Professor of Biological Sciences and Director of the Center for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (CEMaST), joined Cal Poly Pomona in 2011. He has thoroughly enjoyed serving as an educator for over 27 years, for middle school through postdoctoral students. He is committed to active “leaning by doing” and inclusive pedagogy that motivates learners in accordance with Robert Frost who said, “‘I am not a teacher, but an awakener.” Beardsley is a strong believer in CPP students and in the teacher/scholar model.  During his time at CPP, he served as Principal Investigator or Co-PI for grants in excess of $11.4 million to develop and study teaching interventions to support all students. Currently, he is PI for the $1.5 million Polytechnic for All: STEM Success via an Inclusive institutiON (PASSION) NSF HSI project. He delivers intensive professional development for teachers across the country in collaborative partnerships with school districts, universities, and scientific research institutes. He is the originator of the Biology Learning Assistant program at CPP.



Wen Cheng

Excellence in Scholarly and Creative Activities

Wen Cheng

Dr. Cheng, Ph.D., P.E., PTOE, is a professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Cal Poly
Pomona. He obtained his Ph.D. from Arizona State University. His research interests span a variety of areas including research into the human and engineering causes associated with transport system related crashes, advanced traffic operation strategies, and application of deep machine learning in transportation. He serves as an Editorial Board Member for multiple journals. Since he joined CPP, he has received about 3-million-dollar research grants, and has published more than 100 peerreviewed journal papers and conference proceedings along with his students and colleagues.



Phyllis Nelson

Excellence in Service

Phyllis R. Nelson

Dr. Nelson, a Cal Poly Pomona alumna, joined the faculty in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 1999. Previously she had held positions as an engineer in the aerospace industry and as a research staff member at Université Claude Bernard – Lyon 1 in France and at UCLA. At Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Nelson has served as Vice Chair and then Chair of the Academic Senate, Chair of her department, and Co-Director of the Center for Macromolecular Modeling and Materials Design. In addition, she has represented her college on the Veteran Success Committee, has served on numerous search committees, was a member of the Police Advisory Taskforce, the Cal Poly Pomona Foundation Board of Directors, and the Inclusive Excellence Council Executive Board.  She is currently the Faculty Director of Data Analytics. In addition, she has been a member of the Mt Baldy Volunteer Fire Department since 1999, first as a firefighter and now as a dispatcher and Secretary of the Board of Directors.


Read the "Recipients of Provost's Awards for Excellence Announced" article on Polycentric