Lori E. Varlotta

Renewed Funding for Campus Grant Programs!

Dear Campus Community,

In the blink of an eye, the first day of the fall 2022 term will be upon us. As we get ready to welcome new students, faculty, and staff and welcome back returners, I write today with more good news to augment the note that went out on Tuesday. Over the last few months, many staff and faculty at Cal Lutheran have worked diligently to submit renewal applications to the Department of Education to support critical grants. They include:Traditional Upward Bound, Upward Bound Centinela Valley, Upward Bound Math and Science, and the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program). Their hard work has paid off!

We have recently received official word that the two additional TRIO program grant submissions for funding were approved. In total, Cal Lutheran will receive $6.7M in renewal funds to support the aforementioned programs. The time and energy that the community put into these well-written and researched applications demonstrate Cal Lutheran’s commitment to our deepening efforts to support diversity, equity, inclusion and justice(DEIJ).

Here are a few exciting details about these programs:

The McNair Scholars Program is one of six Federal TRIO grants on campus. This award supports five more years of funding for the McNair Scholars program. McNair’s mission is to prepare first-generation college students with financial need or those from traditionally underrepresented groups for Ph.D. programs. These programs expand students’ undergraduate experiences to include scholarly research and funding, faculty guidance, professional networks and associations, staff support, and community-based peer support. The two-year program admits 25 students annually and is highly-selective. Almost three-quarters of Cal Lutheran’s student body is eligible.

Along with the above, I am thrilled to report that we will be able to continue our outstanding service to the local pre-college community. Our Traditional Upward Bound program, Upward Bound Centinela Valley, and Upward Bound Math and Science have likewise been approved for another five years. Collectively, these programs assist 226 high school students across Oxnard, the South Bay of Los Angeles and other schools in Ventura and Los Angeles counties. The goal of Upward Bound is to increase the amount of first generation students and/or students from low-income families who attend and complete secondary institutions.

These programs would not be possible at Cal Lutheran without the help of many dedicated colleagues. Executive Director for the Office of Sponsored Research & Projects Lauren Causey and Senior Director for TRIO Pre-University Programs Sergio Galvez have worked tirelessly to write these grants and secure this funding. Director of Institutional Research Cathy Alexander was invaluable in providing data to demonstrate the high need for the McNair Scholars Program on our campus. Project Director Elena Jaloma, Program Assistant Ashley Ayala, and Executive Director of Student Success Angela Naginey have been instrumental in supporting students through their journeys, from implementing on-campus, retention-based programming to helping students discover their academic potential.

Because Cal Lutheran is a designated Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) and places high priority on DEIJ, the McNair Scholars Program and Upward Bound programs align perfectly with our campus values and Strategic Plan.

I greatly appreciate the hard work that went into writing these critical applications. It’s an honor to lead an institution that serves students from underrepresented backgrounds through these outstanding TRIO programs. This commitment is one of many that reinforces our embodiment of the Lutheran values of inclusivity and service to neighbor.

With pride and appreciation,

Lori E. Varlotta
President

More

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