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Faculty Legacy Fund: Emeriti Support Junior Faculty with Dollars and Release Time
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Caption BulletBill and Sharon Blischke; photo by Joanie Harmon

Faculty Legacy Fund: Emeriti Support Junior Faculty with Dollars and Release Time

The first year of the Faculty Legacy Fund has yielded approximately $240,000 in endowed and regular funds to provide new faculty with the resources to enhance their teaching. Bill Blischke, emeritus professor of sociology, helped establish the fund with his colleagues in the Emeriti Faculty Association (EFA), with the hope that “emeriti faculty at Dominguez Hills [will] use their assets to support succeeding generations of faculty…in their teaching, research, and professional development in general.”

This spring, four faculty members were awarded grants and one faculty member was given release time to further their research thanks to the Faculty Legacy Fund.

Ashish Sinha, assistant professor of earth sciences, received a $2,500 grant for his project titled, “Testing the Sea Surface Temperature – Drought Variability Linkage in the SW US Using Stalagmites from Sequoia National Park.” His analysis of stalagmites in the caves of Sequoia National Park will allow the assessment of long-term drought and precipitation variability in the southwest. The grant will provide a summer stipend to assist in travel to Sequoia for Sinha and two student assistants. Their work will lead to the development of two new earth science courses at the university.

Laura Talamante received $600 to assist her research in “Women’s Agency and the Development of Citizenship Practices in Pre-Revolutionary and Revolutionary France.” The assistant professor of history is studying the degree to which the French Revolution enhanced women’s social and political power. The grant will be used to hire a student assistant to catalog a database of over 2,000 pages of digital images.

Erika Verba was awarded a summer stipend of $1,000 for her project titled, “The Life and Work of Chilean Artist Violeta Parra.” The assistant professor of history is working on a book-length biography of the famous Chilean folklorist and composer.

Kara Zugman, associate professor of sociology, received a $900 grant for her research project on urban social movements in Los Angeles and Mexico City. She is planning to publish a book on the project, “This Bridge Called Zapatismo: Building Alternative Political Cultures in Mexico City, Los Angeles and Beyond.”

In addition, Terry McGlynn, assistant professor of biology, will receive three units of release time from the federally funded Quality Educator Development program for “Inquiry-Based Learning in a Non-Major Science Laboratory.” This project focuses on establishing a new and improved laboratory curriculum for the general education biology course. The resulting materials will be made available to instructors at other institutions.

Blischke, who established the fund with the help of Leni Cook and Sue Gemmell, emeritus professors of teacher education, says that they turned to a convenient, but unorthodox method of fundraising with a “non-event.”

“Instead of having everybody coming to a wine and cheese reception or a dinner, we mailed something out and asked them to sit in their own chair, enjoy an hors d’oeuvre [at home] and write us a check,” he laughs. “They didn’t have to get dressed up or anything.”

The EFA are planning another “non-event” fundraiser in November. Blischke hopes that his colleagues will come to the fore in order to ensure the longevity of the Faculty Legacy Fund and at the same time, the professional future of current faculty at CSU Dominguez Hills.

“The real key to the future of [the Faculty Legacy Fund] is to get more people to give major contributions through estate planning, which will create a substantial endowed fund so we can use the interest of that in perpetuity rather than trying to raise money on a yearly basis,” he says.

For more information on the Faculty Legacy Fund, contact Bill Blischke via email at wblischke@csudh.edu.

- Joanie Harmon

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Last updated Friday, August 29, 2008, 10:08 a.m., by Joanie Harmon