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Cougars & Mustangs 

After more than four frustrating months of spoiled athletes and greedy team owners arguing over out-of-this-world paychecks, the National Football League lockout is finally over! And that means big business for several former Cal Poly football players. Former Mustang wide receiver Dominique Johnson is expected to sign an undrafted free agent National Football League contract with the Minnesota Vikings this week. Johnson, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound mammoth catching machine caught 90 passes in his two seasons for the Mustangs after transferring to Cal Poly in 2009 following two seasons at UCLA.

Cal Poly now has several former football players under NFL contracts: Linebacker Chris Gocong is preparing for his sixth NFL season; wide receiver Ramses Barden is in his third season with the New York Giants; defensive back Courtney Brown is also on the New York Giants roster; and linebacker Mark Restelli signed a futures contract with the Miami Dolphins in January.

Transitioning from athletics to education, three Cal Poly graphic communication students were awarded scholarships at the 2011 Bookbuilders West Scholarship Competition. Christina Dillon, Daniel Triassi, and Jeannie Nguyen each won $500 for their book design projects.

Bookbuilders West focuses on the design, typography, production, and manufacture of books. Student competitors were asked to select and design a limited-edition book. Submissions are judged on creativity, meeting design objectives, and presentation.

Thanks to an $848,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health, 14 students from Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria are spending their summer as paid research interns at Cal Poly. This is the third summer Cal Poly has been host to Hancock students through the NIH’s Bridges to the Baccalaureate program. The students are paid $10 an hour for up to 30 hours a week working under the supervision of Cal Poly faculty. The grant also pays for up to $500 in research supplies for the students’ projects. They can also apply for funding to attend national or state conferences with their professors to make presentations on their research findings.

The aim of the grant is to increase the number of underrepresented students who earn degrees in biomedical or behavioral science and go on to successful careers in science-related fields.


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