CSU-ERFA Charitable Foundation Funds Ten Research Grants

Marshelle Thobaben, CSU-ERFSA Grants Committee Chair

The CSU-ERFSA grants committee, composed of Professors Beatrice Pressley (East Bay), Marshelle Thobaben (Humboldt) and Don Wort (East Bay), recommended ten grants be awarded, and the CSU-ERFSA executive committee concurred with their recommendation, as per the bylaws. The following faculty were awarded a total of $7,000, the amount made available this year from the generous support of the CSU-ERFA Charitable Foundation:

Gregory A. Antipa, San Francisco State University, research project is Phylogeny, Taxonomic Relationships, and Worldwide Distribution of Conchophthirus. He began his research in 1966 investigating aspects of the biology of the ciliated protozoan Conchophthirus as a thesis project; it has continued for over 50 years. His grant will allow him to obtain fresh collections of Conchophthirus in Illinois that lend themselves to DNA analysis, which was not possible until recently. His expected outcome is a publication in the journal Acta Protozoologica.

Linda Bunney-Sarhad, CSU Stanislaus, creative project is Dissemination of "Aesop’s Fables: An Operatic Mashup." She and her colleague Professor Kavasch created the opera under commission by Opera Modesto's Summer Opera Institute, an annual training program for young singers. Her grant will allow her to attend the Opera America conference in Seattle and meet with conference attendees to encourage them to consider using the opera in their own programs.

Terry Christensen, San Jose State University, creative project is Making the Oral History of San Jose and Santa Clara County Accessible. The grant will enable him to reconfigure oral history interviews from 1960s to the 2000s from his monthly show Valley Politics to make them accessible as stand-alone programs on YouTube (see “CreaTV Valley Politics History Interviews” on YouTube). 

Gamini Gunawardae, CSU Fullerton, research project is Effect of Student-Teacher Co-Creation Process on Student Satisfaction in Undergraduate Business Programs.

His grant will allow him to hire a research assistant to help him explore the application of co-creation to course design and implementation in undergraduate business programs where the students are allowed some participation to co-construct the course.

Anna Hamre, CSU Fresno, creative project is Fresno Master and Orchestra Concert Highlighting Homelessness in Fresno County to be held on March 29, 2020. Professor Hamre is the Artistic Director of the Fresno Community Chorus, Inc., a nonprofit organization. The grant will help to defray costs of presenting Henry Mollicone’s Beatitude Mass (for the Homeless).  The concert is expected to increase attention to the homelessness problem in the Central Valley.

Susana Hernández Araico, CSU Pomona, research project is "Relaciones entre padres e hijos en el díptico trágico de Calderón, La hija del aire: la reina asiria y sus antecesores en La vida es sueño y Yerros de naturaleza," translated into English: "Parent-child relationships in Calderón’s two-part tragedy The Daughter of the AirThe Assyrian Queen Semiramis and her predecessors in Life is a Dream and Nature’s Errors." Her research hypothesis in analyzing these three closely connected plays points to the abuse of royal power rooted in parental repression. Her purpose is to show that, with dramatically powerful scenes, these Hispanic seventeenth-century plays remain relevant today as they spur reflection on the link between the abuse of political power and parental domination. She will present her results at the XIX Coloquio Anglogermano on Calderón in Vienna on July 2020, and will subsequently publish her research paper. 

Daniel Kessner, CSU Northridge, creative project is International Low Flutes Festival (performance) in Urayasu, Japan. He has been invited to perform recitals, including performing and conducting his own compositions, at the International Low Flutes Festival in Japan. He was selected to perform at the festival as a result of a competitive proposal and audition process.

Joan Melton, CSU Fullerton, research project is Speak Like You Sing: Integrating Classical Techniques from Theatre and Music in Spoken Dialogue for Opera. Her research is designed to compare the acoustic characteristics of sung and spoken sounds produced by the same performer(s) in the context of an opera. The results of her research can make a significant contribution to the training curricula and practical skill set of classical singers.

David R. Sprung, CSU East Bay, creative project is String Quartet No. 2. He is a patron of the Delgani String Quartet, one of Oregon’s most distinguished chamber music groups. He has been composing, and Delgani anticipates performing, his String Quartet No. 2. Delgani's performance of the Scherzo and Interlude of his 1st String Quartet was enthusiastically received in Eugene and Salem.

Professor Turrill-Lupi, CSU Sacramento, research project is the Florentine Renaissance painter, Plautilla Nelli, and art production at her convent. Her grant will pay for photo reproduction rights for her essay, “Pursuing a Savonarolan Thread: Patrons, Painters, and Piagnoni at S. Caterina in Cafaggio”, in Convent Networks in Early Modern Italy and for travel expenses to complete research for her book on Nelli, which will be published by Lund Humphries.

CSU-ERFSA 2020 Small Grants Award Program Applications are due electronically in the CSU-ERFSA Office no later than 2:00 p.m. PDT October 31, 2020. Grant applications and guidelines can be downloaded from the CSU-ERFA Grant Awards Program web page, by calling the CSU-ERFSA office at (818) 677-6522, or, by emailing your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.