Emeritus Faculty Association Advances Research and Creative Activity Through Student Scholarships, Faculty Grants

The California State University, Dominguez Hills Emeritus Faculty Association (EFA), with more than 200 members, administers two student scholarships as well as Faculty Legacy Fund Awards aimed at professional development for faculty. Awards for the 2013-14 academic year were presented to three students and three faculty members during the EFA’s spring luncheon held in the Loker Student Union in May.

Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Scholarship

The Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Scholarship, named for the late founding president of CSU Dominguez Hills and his wife, is bestowed to outstanding undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in a public service field and who demonstrate excellent academic performance and career commitments to teaching or academic research, educational administration, or other types of public service.

Maria Vaquerano

Maria Vaquerano

Maria Vaquerano, one of two recipients of the scholarship, was awarded $2,000 to help her complete her Master of Social Work at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Vaquerano, who earned a bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in criminal justice from CSU Los Angeles in 2005, has worked as a case manager at Providence Community Service since 2007 and the Violence Intervention Program since 2001, where her supervisor highly praised her organization and communication skills as well as her professionalism. She is a dedicated member of her church and co-leads a group for women who have lost children by helping them achieve a balance between dealing with their loss and creating a new normalcy in their lives.

“I’m humbled to be the recipient of the Leo F. Cain scholarship award. The Emeritus Faculty Association has played a critical part in funding my graduate education in order to impact the lives of people that have been oppressed for many years,” Vaquerano said. “I want to protect, defend, and educate, the most vulnerable of all—children.”

Stephanie Wagner

Stephanie Wagner

Stephanie Wagner is also a recipient of the scholarship with a $2,000 award. She is a student in the occupational therapy master’s program, and represents her class as a member of the CSU Dominguez Hills Student Occupational Therapy Association. She earned a B.A. in psychology with a minor in Spanish from CSU Channel Islands. Her professors have lauded her work, with one saying, “She’s one of the brightest students that I have come across in 18 years of teaching.”

Her ultimate career goal is to help underrepresented populations by facilitating bilingual support groups to empower people to overcome communication obstacles and isolation.

“I see suffering all around me, often caused by barriers related to diversity that could work as strengths in the right context. Occupational therapy is a broad field with the flexibility to allow its practitioners to find innovative solutions to these problems,” Wagner said, adding, “I am grateful to the Leo F. and Margaret B. Cain Scholarship committee for believing in me enough to so generously fund my education!”

Dr. Lois W. Chi Scholarship in Science

Named for the emerita professor of biology and EFA member, the Dr. Lois W. Chi Scholarship in Science is open to undergraduate or graduate students pursuing a degree in biology, chemistry, or closely related field in the biomedical sciences, who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and a demonstrated need for financial assistance.

Tamara Escajadillo

Tamara Escajadillo

Tamara Escajadillo, a senior biochemistry major who was awarded the $1,500 scholarship, well exceeds the scholarship’s minimum requirement with an overall GPA of 3.92 and a perfect record of straight A’s in all science courses she has completed to date. While a Minority Access Program Scholar she carried out research at the University of California San Diego in 2011 and 2012, focusing on hormone metabolism and cholesterol homeostasis.

Based on her work, she presented at the Endocrine Society’s exposition in Boston, Mass., in 2011 and the Experimental Biology meeting in Boston in 2013, where she won an award for her presentation. She is the primary author of a manuscript, which reviews her findings and is in the submission process for publication in a scholarly journal.

“I am truly honored to have been selected by such an admirable organization that has been such a beacon of hope in the scholastic empowerment of so many individuals who have later transcended in their fields,” said Escajadillo, who plans to join that laudable list of previous recipients by continuing her education to earn a Ph.D. and ultimately become a university professor with research in biochemistry.

Faculty Legacy Fund Awards

The Faculty Legacy Fund Awards were established in 2007 by Bill Blischke, professor emeritus of sociology, and Leni Cook and Sue Gemmell, professors emeritus of teacher education. The awards were created to provide financial assistance to current tenure-track and tenured faculty members—with preference given to non-tenured, tenure-track faculty—to encourage and support their professional development in the areas of teaching, research and creative activity. 

Anne Choi

Anne Choi

Anne Choi, assistant professor of interdisciplinary studies and the program for adult college education (IDS/PACE), received a $3,300 grant to conduct qualitative research regarding the impact on frail low-income older adults and their families of the elimination of Adult Day Health Care (ADHC) as a Medi-Cal benefit.

Choi plans to evaluate how the recipients and their families perceive the March 2012 discontinuation of ADHC services. She and her student research assistants will conduct a series of interviews to track the course of adjustment to the change in services.

Sue Needham

Sue Needham

Susan Needham, chair and professor of the anthropology department, received a $1,745 grant for two projects to be completed this summer in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The first involves helping to create an eight-week ethnographic field school in Cambodia to be run in the summer of 2014. Students will be trained in ethnographic methods that focus on home-school, formal and informal socialization, and educational practices in Cambodia.

The second project will dovetail on Needham’s ongoing work with the shadow puppet theater of Cambodia and help support their performances during the Cambodia Town Cultural Festival held annually in Long Beach. Students, who Needham involves in her research, as well as the Southern California community, benefit from her work in sustaining Cambodian traditions in the U.S.

Doris Ressl

Doris Ressl

Doris Ressl, coordinator and assistant professor of the dance program, received a $2,455 grant to attend the Zena Rommett Floor-Barre Certification Program to become a certified instructor in therapeutic dance technique. Although it was originally created for dancers, the discipline offers benefits to all by utilizing movement techniques, which relieves the pressure of gravity to aid in body alignment and strengthen joints.

For more information about the Emeritus Faculty Association, visit www.csudh.edu/EmeritusFaculty.

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