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The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Professor Megan Fung Named First Recipient of Cal Lutheran Faculty Fellowship Program

Assistant Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences Megan Fung has been named the first California Lutheran University faculty fellow to receive funding through the new Cal Lutheran Faculty Fellowship Program. 

The idea of the fellowship was presented by President Lori Varlotta, and was made possible through donations from Doctor of Medicine Laureen Hill and her husband, Mica Hill. Laureen Hill is a current medical professional, having graduated from Cal Lutheran in 1983.

“She’s incredibly generous and she has been generous to her alma mater for a good number of years,” Vice President of University Advancement Regina Biddings-Muro said. 

Through this gift, Laureen Hill will fund a 16-month fellowship appointment for Fung.

“We’ve never had a gift quite like this one, what’s unique is that the donor is giving money to offset costs in our current budget,” Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Leanne Neilson said. “Simultaneously, the gift is also given to recognize a faculty member, so it covers the costs of the faculty member, so it helps our current budget while at the same time meant to recognize our current faculty.” 

Neilson said that the nature of Fung’s research lends itself well to what the fellowship program is centered around.

“Her research is exciting, she is an incredibly well-rounded faculty member in all ways, she mentors students, she does research with students, she’s great in the classroom, her own research is very exciting, she is a leader in many ways on campus,” Neilsen said. “She’s been applying for a number of grants to bring funding in to support the work of her research and the university, so she rises very much to the top.”

Senior and ASCLU President Mia Deck said Fung is a professor who always goes above and beyond. Deck said Fung helps students engage, understand and learn the content that she’s teaching. 

“I think she succeeds in the way she teaches, and the students love her,” Deck said.

Neilson said the fellowship will allow Fung many opportunities over the next 16 months to share her research passions in geology and highlight student partnerships in the lab. She said these opportunities would not only benefit Fung but also Cal Lutheran as a whole and draw attention to the work she leads.

“It gives us an opportunity to recognize the great work that Dr. Fung is doing, so I think it allows us to have opportunities for Dr. Fung to speak at events, to highlight her in the media, to raise the awareness of the types of research the faculty are doing on our campus, so in all of those ways I think it benefits Dr. Fung and Cal Lutheran,” Neilson said. 

Biddings-Murro said she hopes that the fellowship and recognition of Fung’s work will allow for continued university advancement once the 16 months are up.

“That’s really what advancement is all about, we are looking for individuals who want to invest in the university, in a significant way, so that we have more resources, more opportunities,” Biddings-Muro said. “We get to participate in ways that we wouldn’t if we didn’t have those levels of advancement, so it raises our bar.”

Fung will be recognized at the State of the University event in February of this year, which Neilson said will be open to the community. Additionally, Fung will be giving a presentation on her research at the Festival of Scholars this spring.

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    Michael BuryFeb 6, 2024 at 11:40 am

    Excellent reporting!