Emeritus Faculty Association Enhances University with Scholarships and Funding for Junior Faculty Projects
Nearly 200 members of the Emeritus Faculty Association (EFA) of California State University, Dominguez Hills are serving the campus by providing financial support to current faculty through the Faculty Legacy Awards and scholarships for students. Retired professors also volunteer in a variety of ways, from assisting junior faculty with proofreading grant proposals to advising students during peak times.
At the annual EFA luncheon and membership meeting held last month, the organization’s commitment to the university was evidenced through the presentation of the Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Emeritus Faculty Association Scholarship and the Dr. Lois W. Chi Emeritus Faculty Association Science Scholarship. In addition, recipients of the Faculty Legacy Fund grants, which support junior faculty in their research endeavors, were announced.
“Active service beyond that of teaching and research has always been a hallmark of the Dominguez Hills faculty. When I taught teacher candidates we talked a lot about extrinsic and intrinsic reward systems — the difference between a ‘token economy,’ where the rewards were tangible, and an atmosphere where rewards were not,” says emerita professor of teacher education Leonora Cook. “We [serve] because of the intrinsic reward that we get from still being a part of a teaching and learning community.”
At the luncheon, two students were awarded the Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Emeritus Faculty Association Scholarship, named for the late founding president of CSU Dominguez Hills and his wife. The scholarship is open to undergraduate and graduate students who demonstrate excellent academic performance and aspire to careers in teaching or academic research, educational administration, or other public service. Megan Delgado, who earned her bachelor’s degree in liberal studies from CSU Dominguez Hills, was awarded $2,500 to help her complete her master’s degree in education. She is planning to graduate next spring and become an elementary school teacher. Carol Salame, who earned her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UCLA, was given $2,500, and is currently working on her master’s degree in biology at Dominguez Hills.
Also presented at the event was the Dr. Lois W. Chi Emeritus Faculty Association Science Scholarship is named for the emerita professor of biology, who is an active member of the EFA. It is offered each year to undergraduate or graduate students in biology, chemistry, and the natural sciences. Norman Ilagan, a transfer student from Cerritos College, who is currently working on his Bachelor of Science in clinical science with a medical technology option at CSU Dominguez Hills, was awarded a $2,500 scholarship.
In addition, the recipients of the Faculty Legacy Fund grants were announced at the luncheon. The program awards up to $5,000 total per year for “junior” faculty to pursue research and creative projects, with priority given to non-tenured full time faculty. Bill Blischke, emeritus professor of sociology, initiated the fund in 2007 with the help of Cook and Sue Gemmell, emerita professor of teacher education. Through “non-event” fundraisers, where EFA members are humorously invited to give a donation from the comfort of their homes without having to attend a wine and cheese reception, Blischke and his colleagues have been able to raise $14,000 over the last two years. Donations from friends of the university, as well as a $1,000 matching grant from Schools Federal Credit Union have also contributed to the fund.
Last year, the EFA sponsored four faculty projects and release time for a fifth professor with the Faculty Legacy Fund.
This year, four more faculty members benefitted from the awards. Doris Ressl, coordinator and assistant professor of dance, received support for the performance of “Signature Moves,” a cooperative venture with the City of Carson which may lead to a community-based modern dance company-in-residence program. Matt Mutchler, associate professor of sociology, was awarded funding for training graduate students to analyze and code interviews as a part of his research project on “Sexual Health Communication.” Dennis Corbin, assistant professor in the Master of Social Work program, received a grant for a pilot study to identify factors that motivate, affect and impact success and completion rates among “First Generation Minority Students in Graduate Education.” Assistant professor Susan Einbinder, Corbin’s colleague in the program, received funding to purchase the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey database, which will be used for secondary analysis in her project, “Social Capital in Los Angeles.”
Sam Wiley, emeritus professor of physics, currently serves as president of the EFA. He says that the organization’s goals of enhancing the academic life of the university demonstrate the dedication of its members, among them many members of the university’s founding faculty, to CSU Dominguez Hills.
“For them, the campus has always been much more than the place where they worked, and their faculty position was much more than just a job,” he says. “They believe in the university and its mission. They care about its students. They saw the campus through its formative years. They want to see it continue to develop and reach its full potential, and they hope that current and future faculty will have the same feelings for Dominguez Hills.”
- Joanie Harmon