College of Arts & Sciences

Pearson Scholars

The Pearson Scholars for Leadership and Engagement in Global Society is full-time summer research funding available to students in the Global Studies program at Cal Lutheran.

During a 10-12 week intensive summer program, Pearson Scholars will participate in experiential learning opportunities — "domestic immersion" projects that serve two purposes:

  1. Expose students to global issues and diverse communities in Los Angeles (and possibly other global cities)
  2. Give students the opportunity to be agents of change in society through civic engagement.

Historically, Cal Lutheran and the community of Thousand Oaks, despite geographic proximity, have been politically, socially and culturally removed from adjacent global and diverse areas like greater Los Angeles. "Domestic immersion" projects offered through the summer research program allow students to apply classroom knowledge to real-world problems via projects developed in conjunction with external organizations addressing global issues. Pearson Scholars are generally selected from those who produced the best projects in a capstone course.

Cal Lutheran strives to prepare students to succeed in an increasingly diverse world by educating them "to be leaders in a global society." Students must be prepared and equipped to work, live and thrive in environments of demographic and cultural diversity. Our students will be more competitive if they can effectively interact with communities and populations that reflect global diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic status and gender differences. Domestic immersion projects will occur in the Los Angeles area where students will primarily work with agencies that serve diverse populations including immigrants, racial/ethnic minorities, and other underrepresented and underserved groups. 

Working in close conjunction with a faculty member, each student in the summer research program will develop a project that addresses global issues or affects global populations in L.A., establish social and political networks, and observe/participate in relevant civic engagement activities such as public meetings, community forums, etc. The Pearson Scholars program was made possible by a generous gift by the late Alma Pearson of Santa Barbara in 2008. Since then, the Pearson Scholars produced excellent scholarship and presented their work at professional and/or undergraduate research conferences.

Examples of Student Research

  • Erin Boettcher "Refugees and Access to Higher Education: A Case Study of Iraqis in Los Angeles"
  • Christine Behymer "Muslim Women in Los Angeles: A Study on the relationship between their cultural retention and their lives in the workplace"
  • Nikki Mills "Christianity in the Lives of Chinese Immigrants"
  • Lulit Bereda "1.5 Generation Ethiopian Immigrants: Educational Achievements and Assimilation"
  • Kelly Fry "A Comparison of Civic Engagement: Thai and Korean Immigrants in Los Angeles"
  • Tricia Johnson "Analyzing Day Laborer within: A Case Study of Day Labor Centers in Los Angeles"
  • Jessica Weaver "Korean Language Schools and Korean Dual-Language Programs Investigations"
  • Kayla Barnett "Environmental Activism and Minority Youth in Los Angeles"
  • Paul Dilger "Immigration Policy and Gangs: Los Angeles and Special Order 40"
  • Sergio Salazar "Los Angeles High School Workouts 2006"