Faculty Grants

The proceeds of charitable events such as Hats and High Tea and the Annual Golf Tournament are sponsored by the Community Leaders Association to support the Cal Lutheran's academic progams and its students.

Over the years, the support of the Community Leaders Association has resulted in the donation of nearly $2 million toward enhancements in equipment and technology. In addition to providing funding for the academic departments at Cal Lutheran, the Association also awards faculty grants each year to faculty who are involved with and are committed to the community.

2017 Faculty Grant Recipients

Gerhard Apfelthaler
Gerhard Apfelthaler, Ph.D.
  • Title: Dean, School of Management
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to continue and expand "Start-Up-Kids" program. With funding by the Community Leaders Association in 2016, they were able to start delivering entrepreneurship education  program to a total of approximately 70 children in grades 3, 4 and 5 at Westlake Elementary School in Westlake Village. Read more about the story.
Scott Chiu
Scott Chien-Hsiung Chiu, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant Professor, English and Writing Center Director
  • Project Descriptions: The funds will be used for two projects. The first project is aimed at promoting community literacy practices on and off campus. The funds will be used to serve Latino employees at Cal Lutheran and senior residents from University Village through writing workshops and reading receptions, we will help them write their stories. The second project funds will be used as scholarships to support underprivileged and low-income children from the local community to participate in the CLU Summer Youth Writing Camp.
Brian Collins
Brian J. Collins, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to help start up an annual summer philosophy camp for local high school students. The goal in establishing this camp is to expose students to the study of philosophy, give them additional exposure to the university, and help them continue to develop the communication and critical thinking skills necessary for post-secondary education and their vocations and careers. Click here to read more about the story. 
Sarah FIschbach
Sarah Fischbach, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Project Description: The funds will go towards the student-run President’s Council on Honesty and Integrity (PCHI) to provide opportunities for Cal Lutheran to collaborate with local high schools and peer institutions in raising awareness and establishing strong academic integrity standards and practices. The funding will be used to sponsor a conference with a poster session.
Michael Gerson
Michael Gerson, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate Professor, Master of Science in Couseling Psychology (MFT) & PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology
  • Project Description:  The funds will be used to purchase an additional workstation license for the software component of  our eye tracker device. The present system only allows one computer to be licensed thus limiting the  availability of the eye tracking technology for one research project at a time. The requested funds  would allow graduate psychology students to carry out additional research projects with special  needs populations such as autistic spectrum young adults.
 Maura Martindale
Maura Martindale, Ed.D.
  • Title: Chair, Department of Learning and Teaching and Associate Professor of Special Education
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to help teacher candidates in the Cal Lutheran Deaf and Hard of Hearing Credential Program participate at No Limits for Deaf Children in Oxnard. They interact directly with families from Latino heritage homes, thus increasing their cultural competence. Read more about the story.
Mary Oksala
Mary Oksala
  • Title: Assistant Professor of Physics
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to update the equipment in the Physics Department for practical laboratory exercises in Astronomy for the general education courses PHYS 100 Introduction to Astronomy and PHYS 110 Physical Science for Liberal Arts Majors. The equipment serves a dual purpose, with numerous outreach activities possible with various groups within the community of Thousand Oaks and its vicinity.
Michael Panesis
Michael S. Panesis, MBA
  • Title: Executive Director, Center for Entrepreneurship
  • Project Description: The funds will be used for two sponsorships. The first sponsorship is for the 2017 New Venture Competition (NVC). The second sponsorship is for the 2017 Entrepreneurship Speaker Series.
Ryan Sharma
Ryan N. Sharma, PsyD, ABPP
  • Title: Associate Professor and Director of Clininal Training, PsyD Program in Clinical Psychology
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to purchase assessment materials used by PsyD students in external practicum (clinical training in the community). These assessment materials will allow students to provide psychological testing services at the Ventura County Medical Center to aid in diagnosis and treatment planning for underserved populations.
Bethany Simmons
Bethany Simmons, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant Professor, Master of Science in Counseling Psychology (MFT)
  • Description: The funds will be used to support two research groups, one firefighter family study which includes 16 families to understand the experiences of families with fire fighters, the other is a sleep circle study which includes 50 participants to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of teaching a sleep skill to technique to women ages 18-94 suffering from insomnia.
Sam Thomas
Sam Thomas, Ph.D. 
  • Title: Professor of Religion
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to construct an outdoor Teaching Kitchen at the SEEd garden .
Vlad Vaiman
Vlad Vaiman, Ph.D.
  • Title: Associate Dean, MBA Program Director, Professor
  • Project Description: The funds will be used to continue and expand the "Start-Up-Kids" program. With funding by the Community Leaders Association in 2016, they were able to start delivering  entrepreneurship education  program to a total of approximately 70 children in grades 3, 4 and 5 at Westlake Elementary School in Westlake Village.
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