Faculty Fellows for the Public Good

Request for Proposals

AY 2021-2022 and AY 2022-2023
Proposal Deadline:  CLOSED

Program Background

The Faculty Fellows for the Public Good program is intended to encourage and promote engaged scholarship and interdisciplinary interaction around the central theme of the University and the public good.  Engaged scholarship redefines the focus of faculty research from the application of academic expertise to the practice of community engagement.  In doing so, it involves faculty in a reciprocal partnership with the community in a manner that not only works across disciplines; but also integrates the faculty roles of teaching, research, and service.

Faculty Fellows Program

In accordance with Cal State LA’s critical role as an anchor institution, the Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good initiated a two-year program in Fall 2018 that focused upon collaborations with communities and community partners within the Cal State LA service area and surrounding neighborhoods. The primary objective of this strategic program was, and still is, to enhance the long-term sustainability of the residents, employers, and community organizations in that context. Two Faculty Fellows for the Public Good successfully completed the first two-year cohort during 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.  Learn about their community-engaged scholarship at: /engagement/faculty-fellows-public-good.  We are happy to announce that we are restarting our two-year program for 2021-2023!

Once again, potential topics of interest that are prioritized under the Faculty Fellows for the Public Good Program include, but are not limited to, issues identified in recent reports on poverty and human rights in Los Angeles County and the United States.1,2,3  In addition, in an effort to foster an interdisciplinary approach to improving the economic and social well-being of our local communities, faculty proposals that approach the same or similar community issues from interdisciplinary perspectives will be prioritized.

Overview of Cal State LA’s Two-Year Faculty Fellows for the Public Good Program:

  • Year 1 (AY 2021-2022): Needs Assessment of Community Challenges
  • Year 2 (AY 2022-2023): Implementation of Key Community-Based Solutions

The Faculty Fellows for the Pubic Good Program will support the community-engaged research of full-time, tenure-track faculty members by providing one course release (three units) during Spring Semester 2022 and one course release (three units) during Spring Semester 2023.  In addition, faculty fellows will automatically receive a $500 stipend in January 2022 and again in September 2022 to provide assistance with the cost of materials and equipment associated with the proposed fellowship deliverables. Stipends will be awarded based upon the completion of all project deliverables by the requested due dates. (Please note that this fellowship involves community-engaged scholarship and does not provide funding for course-based civic or service learning projects or pedagogy. The ultimate goal of this faculty fellowship is a peer-reviewed journal article in the respective faculty member’s disciplinary area and a long-term, mutually-beneficial relationship with the respective community partner.)  

1 Alston, Philip (2017).  UN Human Rights Council, 2017 United Nations Report on Extreme Poverty and Human Rights (https://digitallibrary.un.org/record/1630475?ln=en
2 Matsunaga, Michael (2008).  Concentrated Poverty in Los Angeles, Economic Roundtable, Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.  https://economicrt.org/publication/concentrated-poverty-in-los-angeles/
3 Bohn, Sarah, Danielson, Caroline, Malagon, Patricia (2021). Poverty in California, Public Policy Institute of California, https://www.ppic.org/publication/poverty-in-california/

Deadlines and Related Dates for Proposal Submission: 

  • Virtual Information Session #1:  Tuesday, September 28, 2021 from 3:30-4:30 pm (zoom link will go out September 27)
  • Virtual Information Session #2: Friday, October 1, 2021 from 1-2 pm (zoom link will go out September 27)
  • Proposal Due Date: Friday, November 12, 2021 by 11:59 pm Pacific Time (link to online proposal submissions will go out on October 1)
  • Proposal Decisions: Final proposal selections by December 15, 2021 (Notification by Campus Email)

Proposal Submission Checklist

  • Narrative (see format below)
  • Abbreviated curriculum vitae (three pages in length maximum)
  • Letter of support from community partners (on organization letterhead) that clearly states commitment to the proposed project and benefit to the community/organization

Proposal Narrative Format

  • Maximum 500 words or less in length
  • Narrative should include the following information (in this order):
  • Project Description and Significance:
    • Description of the project purpose and community issue(s) that it addresses
    • Significance and importance of the project to the community
    • Identification of community stakeholders and how the project will involve them
    • Project objectives, timeline, and work plan
  • Evaluation and Dissemination of Project Results:
    • Explanation of how the project results will be shared, utilizing both traditional and community-based opportunities and outlets

Expectations and Deliverables for Faculty Fellows

  • Engage in dialogue with other faculty fellow scholars and Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good directors (kickoff meeting in early Spring 2022 and additional meetings in fall & spring semesters each year)
  • Regular meetings and collaboration with respective community stakeholders
  • First-Year Interim Progress Report (May 2022)
  • Second-Year Presentation to community-engaged faculty, community partners, and designated invitees (May 2023)
  • Second-Year Final Progress Report (May 2023)

Review Process and Criteria:

The Center for Engagement, Service, and the Public Good directors and a review committee of past faculty fellows will review applications.  Priority will be given to projects with a demonstrated interest in working directly with community partners on a long-term basis. One-time, short-term projects that involve “observation without engaged long-term solutions” are strongly discouraged.  In addition, projects associated with class projects, student internships, fund-raising, or student pre-professional fieldwork requirements do not qualify for this program. 


Dr. Melanie Sabado-Liwag r

Dr. Melanie Sabado-Liwag received her Ph.D. in Health Promotion Sciences at the School of Community and Global Health at Claremont Graduate University and a Master’s in Public Health at California State University, Fullerton. Prior to joining Cal State LA, Dr. Sabado-Liwag finished a postdoctoral fellowship at the National Institute of Minority Health and Health Disparities at NIH in Bethesda, Maryland. Her research in minority health and health disparities aims to understand psychosocial, environmental, and biological determinants related to adverse health and social outcomes across the life course. Dr. Sabado-Liwag is a mixed-methods scholar who uses advanced epidemiologic analyses to identify how these associations are related to risky behaviors in late adolescence and young adulthood. Her other research efforts include working with underrepresented communities and developing evidence-based, culturally-tailored projects and interventions through community-based participatory research methods and mobile health (mhealth) strategies.


Project Research

Despite being one of the third-largest and rapidly expanding ethnic groups, the health needs of Filipinos are poorly understood and underestimated.  Often aggregated with other Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups, the social and economic diversity of AAPI ethnic groups such as Filipinos are often masked, overlooked, and deemed as unproblematic.  Academics, researchers, and community advocates have rallied around this problem to provide information that may be culturally reflective for individual AAPI and immigrant communities.  The role of culturally-specific organizations in particular has a pivotal place in addressing these social inequities and temporarily resolving social service gaps created by health disparities.  In this effort, the Filipino American Services Group, Inc. (FASGI) is one of the few non-governmental organizations (NGOs) serving low income, marginalized, and underserved Filipinos in Los Angeles County.

To complement and extend existing research on Filipino communities throughout Los Angeles, Dr. Sabado-Liwag will be working with FASGI and other community organizations to: (1) understand the role of these organizations in the community, (2) address gaps in providing the best quality services to marginalized groups, and (3) create strategic plans to guide the enhancement and development of projects to (re)engage the community.  This community engaged scholarship will not only help to build capacity for FASGI and the network of Filipino service groups in the area, but also engage with all stakeholders (board members, volunteers, and other organizational leaders) to inform and build services and resources to the community and existing research on health promotion 


Dr. Shikha Upadhyaya Dr. Shikha Upadhyaya received her Ph.D. in Marketing with a Minor in Gender and Women’s Studies from the University of Wyoming and is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Cal State LA. Her research focuses on the identity projects and multidimensional experiences of economically disadvantaged consumers in different consumption and marketplace settings. Such scholarship provides important insights on consumption-related discrimination and disadvantage with implications in the areas of public policy and transformative consumer research. She has published articles in a number of journals including the Journal of Macromarketing, Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, and Consumption Markets & Culture. She has also published technical reports for the United Nations Women (Asia and the Pacific) reflecting her work with the women market traders in Fiji. At Cal State LA, she teaches community-based social marketing (a civic learning course), qualitative marketing research, and principles of marketing.


Project Research

California has the second highest poverty rate (19%) in the U.S. and Los Angeles has one of the highest in California (24.3%).  Impoverished families who live in concentrated poverty neighborhoods in Los Angeles are disproportionately Latino and Black families with limited education and significant linguistic barriers. And, about 28.3% of the children in Los Angeles live in extreme poverty where household income is less than $15,000 per year for a family of four. Research has shown that childhood experiences of extreme poverty sustains throughout the life course and affects transfers of poverty to the next generation.  Several overlapping factors, such as lack of education, wealth inequality, racial injustice, domestic violence, and lack of financial literacy, underpin the conditions of poverty and limit a family’s access to solutions that can help them break free from the vicious cycle of poverty. Government assistance programs may provide temporary assistance to those living in poverty but do not offer a culturally-competent framework on which participants and their families can work together on long-term sustainable solutions. Therefore, programs that address the needs of children and parents separately either leave the child or parent behind and minimize each family’s chance at success. Instead, programs that focus on the needs of children and their parents together can harness the family’s full potential and put the entire family on a path to permanent economic security.

Working directly with the local affiliates of Ascend at the Aspen Institute, Dr. Upadhyaya’s engaged scholarship will examine two-generation projects at different stages of implementation by: (1) working closely with Ascend to analyze the national-level data that captures institutional experiences related to the implementation of two-generation programs, (2) establishing long-term relationships with local partners and their clients to capture local-level experiences of the two-generation programs, and (3) providing feedback to help community partners develop holistic two-generation programs to empower, educate, and engage local low-income families.  This community-engaged scholarship will not only help local community partners understand and integrate two-generation poverty-assistance programs, but also help to expand existing research on public policy, social marketing, and transformative consumer research.