CLU professors receive project grants

Group funds bee habitat, suicide research, film fests

A $2,000 grant will enable faculty and students to build a small-creatures sanctuary in the CLU SEEd Project Garden.

Photo: Brian Stethem

(THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – March 26, 2013) California Lutheran University faculty members have received $16,000 in grants for projects that include establishing a bee habitat, launching an international film festival and researching suicide treatment.

The CLU Community Leaders Association awarded a total of eight grants to support faculty projects.

Bryan Rasmussen, an assistant professor of English, received $2,000 to build a small-creatures sanctuary in the CLU SEEd (Sustainable Edible Education) Project Garden. Faculty and students will construct habitats and bring in bees to pollinate, worms to compost and ladybugs to control pests in the garden.

Sheridan Wigginton, chair of department of languages and cultures, received $2,500 to hold the first CLU International Film Festival in 2013-2014. Inspired by the six-year success of the university’s French Film Festival, Wigginton will replace the annual event with one that also features Spanish, Chinese and German films.

Jamie Bedics, director of the Master of Science program in clinical psychology, received $1,500 for equipment to expand the research he and his students are conducting on the effectiveness of clinical training in the treatment of suicidal behavior. The program, which provides psychotherapy at CLU clinics in Thousand Oaks and Oxnard, has had success in improving the lives of people who are suicidal.

Michaela Reaves, chair of the history department, received $2,500 to create a digital archive of the university’s extensive collection of McCall’s magazines. It would be posted online for student and outside researchers.

Louise Kelly, an assistant professor of exercise science, received $2,500 to purchase a body composition analyzer. Students will use it in class, to assist Kelly with her research into childhood obesity, and for their own investigations.

Mathematics faculty members Nathan Carlson and Hala King received $3,000 to expand the Thousand Oaks Math Teachers’ Circle they formed to connect local math teachers with professional mathematicians.

Tim Hengst, chair of the multimedia department, received $1,000 to host the second annual Conejo Valley Film Festival in fall.

Debby Chang, a lecturer in the Languages and Cultures Department, received $1,000 for the university’s annual Chinese New Year celebration.

CLA was founded in 1963 to stimulate the community's interest in CLU's academic, athletic and cultural programs. Members organize fundraising and social events throughout the year to support academic departments and scholarships. The organization has provided more than $1.8 million through the years.