California State University Emeritus & Retired Faculty & Staff Association


CSU-ERFA Charitable Foundation Funds Seven Research Grants During 2020 Grant Cycle


By Marshelle Thobaben, CSU-ERFSA Grants Committee Chair

The CSU-ERFSA grant committee, composed of Professors Ted Anagnoson (LA), Marshelle Thobaben, Chair (Humboldt), and Don Wort (East Bay) recommended that all seven proposals received in the current grant cycle be funded. The CSU-ERFSA executive committee concurred with the recommendation, as per the bylaws.

The CSU-ERFA Charitable Foundation has awarded 79 grants for a total of $75,871 since 1997.

The following retired CSU-ERFSA members were awarded a total of $6,000, the amount available this year:

Dr. William Belan, CSU LA. Project: A Guide to Research for the Choral Conducting Program — “Three-Summer Master of Music Degree Master of Music Degree in Choral Conducting (MMCC).” Professor. Belan will develop a booklet that provides clear guidelines for the final MMCC project, in order to aid domestic and international graduate choral conducting students in completing their Master of Music Degree.

Dr. Benjamin P. Bowser, CSU East Bay. Research: Social Dimensions of COVID-19 for Citizens 55+ Years of Age. Professor Bowser will analyze CDC data on COVID-19 cases and deaths to isolate statistically significant social and economic factors associated with high senior COVID-19 deaths rates. When it is safe to do so, he will conduct focus groups from different Oakland (California) zip-codes to gain further insight into his hypotheses that social and economic factors influence COVID-19 death rates.

Dr. Marylee Bradley, CSU Stanislaus. Research: Lorna Sage: The Writer Who Taught
Us. Professor Bradley will continue her research on Lorna Sage, English author, academic, and literary critic. After Sage's 2001 death, her family archived her collected papers at the University of East Anglia. The collection includes academic notes and lectures, and reviews written for the Observer, The Times Literary Supplement, and the Guardian. On site research is required for the project, since the documents are housed in 77 boxes and not available electronically. Professor Bradley will write chapters for publication in literary journals, and ultimately, a monograph on Lorna Sage's professional life.

Dr. Barbara Glaeser, CSU Fullerton. Research: Training Special Education Teachers to Use Comics and Graphic Novels to Teach Students with Disabilities. Professor Glaeser will analyze patterns and trends from artifacts-data from students’ lesson plans who attended her lectures. She plans to develop a lesson plan guidebook that will detail lessons for using highly recommended and award-winning comics and graphic novels for teachers to use with students with disabilities to improve the students’ motivation, behavior, reading, and writing skills.

Dr. Katharine Davies Samway, San José State University. Research: Teachers’ Perspective on Online Teaching and Learning. Professor Samway’s research involves interviewing teachers who are working with students in grades K-8 who are English learners and/or from low-income homes. This study will provide a window into online instruction for English learners and students from low income families.

Dr. Victor M. Valle, Cal Poly San Louis Obispo. Project: The Poetics of Fire: Decolonizing the Metaphors of Chile-eating in the Borderlands. Professor Valle's soon-to-be completed project explores the metaphors with which native and non-native North American borderlands societies have interpreted and practiced the fruit’s meaning in the last five centuries. Chapter One (“Taste, Place, Memory”) discusses ways different cultures of chili-eating interpret capsaicin’s ability to trigger the TRPVI neuro-chemical heat sensing mechanism. The second chapter excavates the Nahuatl diphrase, "the chile, the salt," to show how that metaphor can help us understand the ways Mesoamericans saw the human body as an ecological event.

Dr. Edythe Krampe WalkerCSU Fullerton. Research: Caring for Children or Partnerships for Adults? The Function of the Family in the Contemporary U.S.  Professor Walker is completing a paper ​drawing from the structural functionalist perspective on ​the functions of the family in the late 20th and early 21st centuries in the U.S.  She is planning to present her research at the Theory Construction and Research Methodology Workshop at the​ Annual Meeting of the National Council on Family Relations, Baltimore, MD in November 2021 and submit an article for publication in a professional journal.

Small grants proposals for the next cycle are due on Sunday, October 31, 2021. CSU-ERFSA encourages members involved in research and creative projects to apply for a grant. The small grant program is competitive, with past awards ranging from $100-$2,000, depending upon the number of proposals and the amount of money made available by the CSU-ERFA Foundation. Preference is given to first time grant applicants when grant proposals are of equal merit.

Grant applications and guidelines can be downloaded from the CSU-ERFSA Grant Awards Program web page, by calling the CSU-ERFSA office at (818) 677-6522, or, by emailing your request to

The CSU-ERFA Foundation welcomes tax-deductible contributions. The CSU-ERFA Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.


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