Office of Undergraduate Research - Student Profile

This profile was written in May 2020, and published on the Office of Undergraduate Research's website. The article was coauthored with Sophia Baroz.

The link to the original article can be found here:

Ashish profile picture

Office of Undergraduate Research - Student Profile

Expected Graduation: Class of 2020

Major: Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) with an emphasis in Information Assurance

Mentors: Dr. Sonya Zhang, Dr. Jae Min Jung, Dr. Preeti Wadhwa, Dr. Olukemi Sawyerr, Dr. Winny Dong, and Dr. Nastaran Simarasl

"My exposure to business, IT, and people has given me an appreciation for technology; no matter what context, technology can allow people to create and disseminate, even in a resource-scarce world." – Ashish Hingle

Ashish's research journey and experiences were quite different from most. His ability to navigate the system and make do with what he had is how he found his interest in technology and the impact it can have. Growing up in a resource-scarce country, he mentioned that if something needed to be fixed, there was not someone you could take it to; you had to figure out how to fix it on your own. He is a self-proclaimed “tinker out of necessity.” Once he discovered the diversity of computers and information systems, and how they connect with just about everything around us, he never turned back from this passion. 

Ashish Hingle is one of Cal Poly Pomona's international students, who transferred from Pasadena City College in 2014. Ashish completed his undergraduate degree at CPP in Computer Information Systems and decided to continue his education here as a grad student in the College of Business. His ambition has powered him to push forward, in what he would soon realize would be an unforeseen road of difficulties that challenged him throughout. Nonetheless he describes this experience as most rewarding. 

Some of the struggles were part of the migrant experience. He was not only challenged by the new environment of the U.S. college system, but in a grander view, being in a culture that is significantly different. Being apart from his family, in a new country, far away from a home–a home that he has known his whole life–was Ashish's biggest obstacle yet. He had to quickly learn how important independence and responsibility was for someone in his situation. 

But, out of the concrete grew a rose. What bloomed was his identity and the person he has become. Ashish said that his migrant story has given him many opportunities to do some soul-searching, and it helped him to really figure out who he was, what he wanted to do, and where he wanted to grow. Ashish broke through these obstacles and began to tackle his new journey. He looked to conquer the mountains in his path by  concentrating all his efforts towards his academics. 

Saying that Ashish is a very involved student would be an understatement. He is currently the Director of Public Relations for the Research Scholars Association. As an undergraduate, Ashish was deeply involved with both the research and entrepreneurship scene at Cal Poly Pomona. Ashish has been an employee of the Office of Undergraduate Research since 2014, growing in different positions within the OUR and helping make Cal Poly Pomona a “research for all” campus. He was the first employee for the CPP iLab and his designs are still on display throughout the lab. He has previously served as the Lead Web Developer for the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization, Lead Organizer and Advisor for the Bronco Startup Challenge (2017/18), Ambassador and Social Media Coordinator for PolyTransfer, and Vice President of Communication in the Market Research Club, just to name a few. Additionally, Ashish has served the community and volunteered as a judge and mentor for Entrepreneurship Summer Camp hosted by Student Innovation Idea Lab, was the Lead Volunteer at the Showcase of Excellence, a participant in the Pomona Beautification Day from 2015-2018, and has also served as a Lead Planner for the Women in IT Conference. Ashish's significant contributions to Cal Poly Pomona, his peers, and surrounding community have been beyond phenomenal and has helped make a difference on campus.

Ashish has also received several scholarships and fellowships in his time at Cal Poly Pomona. These include continued support from the Mercer Business Scholarship, the Bob & Agnes Suzuki Scholarship, the CIS Leadership Scholarship, and the Wagner Fund Scholarship to name a few. Ashish was also named a 2016 President's Council Scholar and awarded the Michael and Eileen Considine award through the College of Business Administration.

Ashish has been a part of several successful research projects since his start at Cal Poly Pomona. He says that he owes his early exposure to research to Dr. Sonya Zhang, who has been his research mentor and someone Ashish has looked up to for many years. Dr. Zhang's "never give up" mentality has helped Ashish power through many of the obstacles that research projects naturally have. Although he has been in the research realm for a while, Ashish still experiences difficulties that were similar to when he first got involved with research. He explained that part of it was because there was a slight disconnect between trying to conduct research in a college that has traditionally been industry driven.  It can be difficult to sustain and nurture independent research in such an environment. Nevertheless, Ashish continues to push through and envision all the possibilities about how his projects can benefit him, which motivates him to keep going. 

Ashish explained that his most recent research projects are focused on student self-efficacy in high-impact practices in higher education, technology, and entrepreneurship, in addition to emerging technologies in information systems. He aims to understand factors that enhance student success rates. His first project is a mixed-methods assessment of entrepreneurial capabilities, using a pre- and post-survey, of students who participate in the Student Innovation Idea Lab. Ashish assisted in creating the survey instrument to identify student success by collecting data on participating students' perceived abilities. This is an ongoing project and has been presented at the 2019 European Conference on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Kalamata, Greece. The second project looks at the impact of undergraduate research on student success at a public, Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). The final project looks at the technology acceptance model and how likely students are to accept institutionalized food delivery applications.

Ashish emphasized that his successes happened because he had great support from his faculty members. He said, “The availability of experienced and willing faculty has been a vital tool in growing my research projects. Faculty members are vital in creating a thriving culture through accessible and visible mentorship and this is what has been true for all my mentors.”

Ashish will be graduating with his Master of Science in Business Administration (MSBA) in spring 2020 and will be joining a doctoral program in fall 2020. Ashish hopes to continue to broaden his research skills, acquire new knowledge and educate others as well.  Ultimately, he is striving to work in either an industry or academic high-tech field. Ashish, without a doubt, will continue to do great things in academia, research, his field, and in the communities around him. 

Ashish stated, “My research in some ways is about my journey and the journey of others just like me.”

Advice for student researchers

 “You are never too early or too late to start a research project. When I first heard of being involved in research at CPP, it sounded as though it was a 1-2-year process that you end in your senior year. Learning through research, and the skills you build doing this task, is something that does not end in your senior year. It starts a path that I expect to be on for many more years to come. I think you should look at this with the same lens.”

From Ashish's mentor, Dr. Sonya Zhang

Dr. Sonya Zhang is a professor in the Department of Computer Information Systems and started working at Cal Poly in 2011. Dr. Zhang believes that research is one of the most important concepts to teach students because not only is it highly relevant to course subjects, but she believes it also promotes interest, confidence in the material, and builds that student-faculty mentorship collaboration. By incorporating her research into her classroom, she noticed how well Ashish excelled, which is why she did not hesitate to be Ashish's mentor.

Dr. Zhang shared that Ashish was not only responsible and picked up material quickly, but most of all he was enthusiastic about his academics. In most cases students learn from their mentor; however, Dr. Zhang said that in this case, she learned much more from Ashish. She emphasized that his persistence was honorable and very inspiring to her. She has watched Ashish grow from this research experience, and more so, grow into a humble graduate student, whose hard work and dedication is apparent. 

Dr. Zhang states, “I have no doubt [Ashish] will succeed in his upcoming journey as a doctoral student and as a future faculty in higher education. I'm glad to have helped him get a good start.”

To Ashish, from the Office of Undergraduate Research Team

Ashish has been an extraordinary model student, and an inspiration to all throughout his academic career at Cal Poly Pomona, including to his Office of Undergraduate Research (OUR) team. We at the OUR would like to personally congratulate and thank Ashish for his years of dedication to himself, our office, and our students. His contributions have exceeded all of our expectations, and words cannot explain how thankful we are to have had him on our team. Thank you for your hard and honest work, selflessness, devoted time, and commitment. We wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and many successes on your path ahead.