2014 Past Honorees 



College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences

Peter Oppenheimer

B.S., Agricultural Business Management, '85


Oppenheimer graduated in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural management and an MBA from Santa Clara University in 1987. After 18 years, Oppenheimer retired from Apple in September where he served the last ten years as CFO. Prior to Apple, Oppenheimer served as a division CFO for ADP and a consultant with Coopers & Lybrand. He is currently a director of Goldman Sachs and the Cal Poly Foundation, currently serving as Vice Chairman. He also serves on the Cal Poly President’s Cabinet and the Board of Sacred Heart Schools in Atherton, California. His wife, Mary Beth Oppenheimer, graduated from Cal Poly in 1986 with a degree in home economics and a concentration in interior design.  The Oppenheimers have two sons, John and Mark. Their younger son, Mark, is in his third year at Cal Poly in the Mechanical Engineering program.


From left to right: Dean Andrew J. Thulin, Ph.D.,
CPAA President Kirstie Macpherson Boyett,
Honored Alumnus Peter Oppenheimer,
and President Jeffrey D. Armstrong

College of Architecture & Environmental Design

Ted A. Hyman

B.S., Architecture, '79


Hyman is a Fellow with the American Institute of Architects and the Managing Partner of ZGF Architects LLP. As a LEED Accredited Professional, he has a passion for developing strategies for the integration of sustainable systems, materials and technology and has had the opportunity to work on some of the greenest buildings in the United States, with LEED-Platinum ratings and net-zero energy footprints. Hyman is also the proud designer of the Warren J. Baker Center for Science & Mathematics on the Cal Poly campus.

From left to right: Dean Christine Theodoropoulos, AIA, PE,
Honored Alumnus Ted A. Hyman,
and President Jeffrey D. Armstrong

College of Engineering

Carson Chen

B.S., Electronic Engineering, '73


Chen is co-founder and chairman of Innovation Quest (iQ), a nonprofit philanthropic corporation dedicated to giving back and enhancing innovation. iQ is managed by a group of Cal Poly alumni dedicated to fostering innovation and creating new companies and jobs. Retired from Cisco Systems, Chen was the vice president and general manager of the Cable & Wireless Platform Division. He is responsible for issuing more than 30 U.S. patents and holds six patents himself. He wrote the book, “Active Filter Design,” and serves on the boards of several technology companies.

From left to right: Dean Debra Larson,
Honored Alumnus Carson Chen,
and President Jeffrey D. Armstrong

Orfalea College of Business

Michael C. Bickel

B.S., Industrial Technology,  '95 M.S., Industrial & Technical Studies, '02


Bickel is the president and owner of RPS Holdings, Inc. in Los Osos, Calif. RPS Holdings provides electronic products and services to aerospace and defense operators and contractors. He is a longtime supporter of the Industrial Technology (IT) program and has served on the Industrial Technology Board since 2005. He is heavily involved with IT, mentoring students, guest lecturing and providing student projects. In 2008, Bickel created the Bickel Family Scholarship Endowment to support incoming IT freshmen.

From left to right: Dean Scott Dawson, Ph.D.,
Honored Alumnus Michael C. Bickel,
and President Jeffrey D. Armstrong


College of Liberal Arts

Kelli Seybolt

B.S., Political Science, '90


Seybolt is the director of international affairs and foreign policy advisor for the U.S. Coast Guard and key policy advisor on a complete range of activities related to international affairs. A member of the Federal Civil Service for more than 20 years, she has 18 years of experience working space policy and international affairs for the U.S. Air Force. She served as the external affairs officer for a presidentially directed satellite program. As the chief for international space cooperation, she led negotiations on a roughly $6 billion memorandum of understanding for the joint acquisition of the Wideband Global Satellite communications system, which has increased interoperable communications capability for both the U.S. warfighter and a major strategic ally.

From left to right: CPAA President Kirstie Macpherson Boyett,
President Jeffrey D. Armstrong,
Honored Alumna Kelli Seybolt,
and Dean Doug Epperson, Ph.D.

College of Science and Mathematics

Michael Abbott

B.S., Biochemistry, 94


Abbott has been a General Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) since 2011 and focuses on investments in the firm's digital practice, helping entrepreneurs in the social, mobile and cloud computing sectors rapidly scale teams and ventures. An engineering leader, entrepreneur and investor, Abbott has led the building of innovative, high-performance applications and services at Twitter, Palm and Microsoft before he joined KPCB. He is also an expert in "big data" businesses, having been the founder of Composite Software in 2002 (acquired by Cisco). Formerly the vice president of engineering at Twitter, Abbott led the team to rebuild and solidify Twitter's infrastructure to eliminate ’The Fail Whale', growing the engineering team from 80 to more than 350 engineers in less than a year and a half, and scaling Twitter's architecture to support hundreds of millions of daily tweets. 

From left to right: President Jeffrey D. Armstrong,
Honored Alumnus Michael Abbott,
Professor Emerita Christina Bailey, Ph.D,
and Dean Philip Bailey, Ph.D.

Cal Poly Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award

Bassel Anber

B.S., Construction Management, '94


As a student, Anber served as ASI vice president of operations and as a Poly Rep University Ambassador. After graduation, he quickly became involved with the Cal Poly Alumni Association (CPAA), joining the East Bay Chapter in 1995. He spearheaded networking events and played a critical role in growing the region’s alumni database. In 1997, Anber began re-energizing the San Francisco/San Jose Chapter and through his leadership, it underwent significant growth and development. In 2007 Anber was elected to the CPAA board of directors as the Northern California regional director, a position he held until 2014. Anber is proud to have provided a platform for other alumni to create great events and glad to see the San Francisco/San Jose Chapter growing beyond his leadership.

From left to right: CPAA President Kirstie Macpherson Boyett
and Honored Alumnus Bassel Anber

Sandra Gardebring Ogren Leadership Award

Jon N. Monett

B.S., Industrial Engineering, '64


Monett graduated in 1964 with a degree in industrial engineering and went on, 30 years later, to earn a master’s in international transactions from George Mason University. Monett served in the U.S. Air Force and spent 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency. On his return to civilian life, Monett founded O-Tech International, which later became Telemus Solutions, a global security consulting and intelligence services provider. Monett founded the College of Engineering’s Quality of Life Plus Laboratory (QL+), a facility dedicated to the development and application of technology to improve the quality of life for wounded and disabled veterans of military, law enforcement and intelligence organizations. Monett is the recipient of the CIA’s Intelligence Medal of Merit, and was the 2009 Honored Alumnus from the College of Engineering. He is a member of the Cal Poly President’s Cabinet and the Foundation Board.

From left to right: CPAA President Kirstie Macpherson Boyett
and Honored Alumnus Jon N. Monett


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