Jonathan Stalvey: Class of 2012
How did you choose your major?
I transferred to Cal Poly and got accepted for Mechanical Engineering. I decided to change majors. I no longer wanted to be an engineering student and I wanted to go to school for something I loved. I knew I loved architecture, and architecture was what got me into drafting. Drafting was what got me into engineering, and unfortunately I got stuck there for many years. I made a big decision after two or three years of night school at Riverside Community College, after applying here for engineering and after working in the engineering field for seven years. I decided to go back to my roots. The architecture program was impacted, so my counselor suggested landscape architecture instead.
I made the decision and I wouldn't take it back for anything. It changed my life. I found something that I love and I found something that hopefully will keep me inspired for the next lifetime.
What do you appreciate about Cal Poly Pomona?
I love the learn-by-doing approach but most of all I enjoy the motivational and inspiring faculty. They have gone above and beyond in making my education a lifelong experience and giving me the opportunity to embrace my major in a way I never saw possible. The faculty truly opened my eyes and have allowed me to stay curious in my endeavors. The campus offers a unique experience in that is sits in a prime location, giving access to all of California's resources and allowing students to reach out and engage these resources.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Before coming to Cal Poly Pomona and even in high school, I never saw myself being involved in school politics or school clubs. When I arrived at Cal Poly Pomona, I made a decision to get involved in more than just one way. So when I became president of ASLA, I looked into volunteering opportunities that would not only benefit the Cal Poly students but the community as a whole. I have had the privilege of participating in many great projects over the years but none more exciting and rewarding than the Garden in Every School project. This was a great opportunity to interact with middle school and elementary school children to work beside them and help educate them on how to design, build and maintain a garden. I had never done any volunteering work prior to this. I fell in love with working with younger students, and having a connection with the community is something that I now feel everyone can learn from.
What are your plans after graduation?
I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do. My professors have inspired me to become a professor so as of now I would love to go to grad school. I may have to work part time but ultimately I will try pursuing a career in education and hopefully return to the school that changed my life, Cal Poly Pomona. I also plan on visiting with friends and family that I have neglected over the past four years. They understand my sacrifice of time but are also waiting for my return into their lives. Hopefully all of this includes some traveling because that is one thing Cal Poly instilled in me is the love of traveling.
What advice would you give incoming students?
Be bold, embrace change and stay curious.
Awards, Accolades & Campus Involvement
Student Chapter President of the American Society of Landscape Architects 2009-10
President of ENV Council for 2011-12
Howard O. Boltz Award (2012 Outstanding Senior Student)
During Commencement season, PolyCentric will highlight outstanding graduates from the Class of 2012. Nominated by faculty and staff, these students have stories of perseverance, creativity, academic excellence and a commitment to serve the community. They will share their triumphs, challenges, college experience and how their Cal Poly Pomona education has changed their lives.