CWU News

CWU Foundation Announces Len Thayer Grant Winners

A family literacy effort, a new culinary medicine program, and a solar power conference top the list of this year’s recipients of the 2017-2018 Len Thayer Small Grants.

“We’re extremely honored to announce the eleven recipients of this year’s Len Thayer Small Grants,” said Scott Wade, Vice President of University Advancement and Executive Director of the Central Washington University Foundation. “A total of $50,370 was awarded to these worthy projects that will benefit students during this coming academic year.”

The following projects were awarded grants, based on an application asking for a summary of whom the project benefits, how the proposed work is successful, and how the work will align with the CWU strategic plan and other CWU program plans:

• Culinary Medicine - The faculty in the Department of Health Sciences plan to develop and implement a nutrition education program to students in the following programs:
1) Central Washington University: Dietetic Internship & Paramedicine programs
2) Pacific Northwest University: Osteopathic School of Medicine
3) Washington State University: Nursing & Pharmacy programs
4) Heritage University: Physician Assistant & Nursing programs

• Historical Aerial Photograph Project - The geography department plans to use the Len Thayer Grants funds to purchase historical aerial photographs to complete the Benton and Klickitat portions of the Central Washington Historical Aerial Photograph Project. These historical aerial photographs will be freely available on the CWU Geography website for all interested parties including students, faculty, K-12 teachers, resource managers, and the general public.

• CWU Opera - The CWU Opera Ensemble will present a number of “run-out” performances at schools in the region to perform a shortened version of an opera suitable for children. Music Education majors will help develop the curriculum that will be distributed to the school teachers prior to the performances and introduce the performances and lead the students in activities before, during, and after the performances.

• Family Literacy Nights - In collaboration with the teacher candidates enrolled in Teaching Children’s Literature, Family Literacy Nights (FLNs) have been conducted for more than 8 years in collaboration between the Department of Education, Development, teaching and Learning, the Center for Diversity and Social Justice, and recently, the Brooks Library. The purpose of this project will be to purchase books for distribution to the children who attend the FLNs, including board books, picture books, Spanish language children’s books, and chapter books.

• Re-Writing the Streets at the MCE - The Museum of Culture and Environment (MCE) proposes to bring in a traveling exhibit, Re-Writing the Streets: The International Language of Stickers. The exhibit is planned for the Ellensburg area from January 3rd through March 10th, 2018, accompanied by a series of lectures, workshops, and an exhibition component that will engage students and faculty from a range of disciplines, as well as community members.

• Solar Power Conference - The Institute for Integrated Energy Studies will hold a half-day conference with presentations by and a panel discussion among a variety of stakeholders about the economic, policy, and cultural implications of utility-scale solar development in Central Washington, and beyond.

• CESME STEM Events - The Center for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Education (CESME) plans to organize and host family STEM events in the regions served by the Central Washington University campuses. The events would take place over the next year.

• Enhancing Geology Science II - The CWU Geological Sciences department has requested funding to support an undergraduate student intern for academic year 2017-2018 to develop several, important projects for the success of the department overall.

• Natural History Collections - The Department of Biology is requesting funding to be able to digitize various collections of information, as well as to purchase a freezer to assist with pest control. The natural history collections (preserved biological specimens) at universities and museums are critical resources for scientists and the communities they serve, therefore it is essential to protect future projects and/or specimens from potential harm.

• Visiting Writer Series Seeking Novelist and Filmmaker - To enhance the sustainability theme chosen by the Social Justice and Human Rights Dialogues committee, the Lion Rock Visiting Writers Series (hosted by the English Department) and the Brooks Library, plan to bring an award-winning novelist and/or filmmaker to campus. The guest, who has been identified but not yet confirmed, would offer a reading and Q & A open to the public and online students, as well as commentary for some of the student work from advanced creative wiring classes. Targeted timing is spring of 2018.

• SOURCE - The Office of Undergraduate Research hosts the annual Symposium of University Research and creative Expression (SOURCE), the longest-running student research symposium in the State of Washington. Funds will be allocated for two purposes; (1) to allow them to expand their preliminary efforts to involve local and regi

onal high school students in presenting at and attending SOURCE, providing supporting activities in advance of SOURCE and while they are on-campus, to introduce them to college in general and promoting involvement in research and scholarly activities for everyone, and (2) to continue to offer the SOURCE Celebration dinner as an awards banquet that brings together students, faculty, staff, alumni, and donors.

CWU has been involved in the Len Thayer Grants application and awards for the past five years. The projects were evaluated by a committee of CWU Foundation staff, students, CWU faculty, and staff.

The grants are awarded to efforts at CWU that serve a large population, contribute to the university and student’s needs, and promote the advancement of knowledge. Partial grant funding comes from the Leonard and Betty Thayer Endowment, and bears Thayer’s name in honor of his contributions and service to Central and the Ellensburg community.

Media Contact: Claire Cox, University Advancement Communications, (509) 963-2145,