Mathews Leadership Forum


This forum provides an opportunity for the campus community to engage in meaningful dialogue on an important topic with prominent business and community leaders.

This evening event begins with networking followed by roundtable discussions where civic, business, and community leaders are paired with Cal Lutheran students and faculty members in order to build relationships and provide mentoring opportunities. The table topic discussions are led by a distinguished group of facilitators. This is followed by dinner and a keynote address or panel discussion.

The committee chooses an interesting and timely topic that fits into a major emphasis of the academic programs. The event is made possible through the generous support of local business and community organizations.

For more information, please click here or contact Robin Fielding in University Relations at 805-493-3084.

Save the Date

Finding Your Path to Success

Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019

5:45-9:00 p.m. in the Lundring Events Center




Melissa Baffa '95 (Moderator)

Development Officer, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History


Melissa Baffa serves as a Development Officer in charge of Foundation and Corporate Relations at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Previously, she worked for the Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast as Vice President of Program and Volunteer Services. Prior to that, she served as the executive director of two nonprofit organizations (Gull Wings Children's Museum and Friends of Channel Coast State Parks), taught middle school science in Simi Valley, California and marine biology in the Upward Bound program based at California Lutheran University, and worked as a research associate at Amgen.

She is a Science Communication Fellow with the Ocean Exploration Trust, having sailed on the E/V Nautilus twice in the past two years, exploring the deep sea alongside Dr. Robert Ballard and sharing her experience on and through blogs and newspaper articles in the Ventura County Star. An avid nature and outdoors enthusiast, Melissa is also active in her community, serving on the board of directors of the Ventura County Leadership Academy and the Ventura County Women’s Political Council, the Ventura County Women’s Economic Roundtable, and the Steering Committee of the Nonprofit Leadership Council. Melissa graduated from California Lutheran University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology, and lives in Ventura with her husband and two children.



  • Melissa Baffa, Development Officer, Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History
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