CENG Staff Spotlight: Katie Jennings

A woman smiling for the camera with trees and a building in the background

Job Title/Department: 

Assistant Director & Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) Coordinator, Engineering Student Services 

Hometown: Irvine, CA 

What brought you to Cal Poly College of Engineering?   

I started at Cal Poly in 2014 at Career Services and then transferred to the College of Engineering as the retention adviser in 2017 to support the Graduation Initiative 2025. In June 2023, I moved into my current position in Engineering Student Services to continue our support for students in the College of Engineering.

What is your favorite part of your job?  

Advocating for our students and staff. I enjoy working alongside a student and empowering them in their journey. It’s a privilege to play a role in someone’s life as they navigate challenges, and you help them find clarity while they meet their goals. 

What is your favorite place in San Luis Obispo County and why?  

I currently live in Los Osos, and my favorite place in SLO County is my garden at home. I enjoy seeing how things grow and change through the seasons. I can rejoice in the fruit of my labor or learn better ways of doing something in the future. I love seeing new life and creatures come together in one place. 

How do you like to spend your free time?  

I love to spend my free time outside with my husband and dogs. On a good day, you will find me eating a great meal overlooking the ocean in Los Osos or Morro Bay. 

What is the most helpful advice you’ve received?  

“Do what is right, not what is easy.” It’s a reminder to me that doing what is right takes time and bravery to step into the hard spaces. 

What is something you can’t live without?  

Lately, I can’t live without my Kindle. I love to read, and it helps me unwind at the end of the day. 

How do you support the college’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion?  

Our team in Engineering Student Services (shoutout to my amazing coworkers) support the college’s commitment to justice, equity, diversity and inclusion through the support and care of our students. We care deeply to have welcoming spaces and help our students know that we are here to advocate and support them. Specifically, in my role as the MEP coordinator, I have the privilege of supporting our students who have been historically underserved in engineering by providing personal, academic, social and financial services. It’s important to me that as our students navigate our campus, they feel heard, seen and supported.