BCLA Awards Ceremony Honors Scholarship and Service

Pictured above: Dean Robbin D. Crabtree with Cheryl T. Grills, 2017-18 Daum Professor

Each year, the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts recognizes faculty and staff for their accomplishments in teaching and advising, research, scholarship, creative work and outstanding service. Congratulations to the 2017 awardees honored at the BCLA College Assembly and Awards Ceremony on April 7, 2017.

‌2017-18 Daum Professorship Award
Cheryl T. Grills, Professor of Psychology

Cheryl T. Grills has been a valued faculty member in the Psychology Department since 1987 and has an outstanding record of achievement in her scholarship, service, and teaching/advising. Her work represents a body of achievement that is richly resonant with the mission of the University. Dr. Grills is an outstanding teacher and has been a valued mentor to dozens of undergraduates as well as several postdoctoral scholars. She has been tireless in her on campus work with students, serving as a founding member of the LMU TLC (The Learning Community), a first-year retention program for African American undergraduates that has had a near 100% retention rate for participating students over its 15-year history. She established the Ghana Study Abroad program in 1996; last year she was honored by alums who have participated in the program over the past two decades. She has also mentored over 40 students in research through SURP, UROP, Rains, and general research assistantships.

Under her leadership as department chair, the psychology department began the Psychology Early Awareness Program (PEAP), one of the earliest living-learning communities associated with an academic department at LMU. A leader in the field of community psychology, African American psychology, and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR), Dr. Grills served as president of the Association for Black Psychologists (ABPsi) and began working collaboratively with the other ethnic-specific psychology associations to form working alliances. As the Black Lives Matter movement grew, and as police violence became more prominent in the nation’s consciousness, she responded to requests to facilitate Emotional Emancipation Circles in the aftermath of police shootings in Ferguson, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Los Angeles, New York, Cleveland, and other cities. Her proposed research supported by the Daum Professorship will enable her to train more individuals in leading the Emotional Emancipation Circles, as well as to collect qualitative and quantitative data to examine the impact of these Circles on participants.

Cheryl has been awarded millions of dollars for various projects, including a recent $4 million dollar, multi-year contract with the California Department of Public Health Office of Health Equity to examine community-defined evidence practices (CDEPs) in prevention and early intervention programs across five different priority communities, African American, Latino, Asian American, Native American, and LGBTQ. This is the largest single grant ever received at LMU. The work of Cheryl and her team will redefine the field, enabling communities to gather evidence for making culturally competent interventions using cutting edge methodologies to track a variety of outcomes within and across these communities.

Daum Mid-Career Faculty Research Award
Anna Muraco, Associate Professor of Sociology

Anna Muraco is the inaugural recipient of this award. Anna proposes to complete her second book Aging Under the Radar, which is part of a larger collaborative and longitudinal study of LGBT older adults. Aging Under the Radar explores the lives of 59 interviewees who came out late in life, with a consideration of challenges they have faced in heterocentric society. Anna held a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the University of Michigan before coming to LMU as Assistant Professor in 2006. A prolific scholar and co-PI on a federal multi-year grant, Anna also has contributed a great deal of leadership and model citizenship at LMU, as Chair of Sociology, member of the College Council and Council Executive Committee, and member of the Faculty Senate and Senate Executive Committee.

John R. Popiden Distinguished Service Award
Amy Woodson-Boulton, Associate Professor of History

Amy Woodson-Boulton has been active at all levels of service throughout her time at LMU. Notable examples include significant and complicated work on the new Core, shared leadership of the 4-unit curriculum and its implementation, development and implementation of shared governance in BCLA, and a consistent commitment to caring and holistic mentoring within and beyond her department. She also has been a Faculty Senator and a participant in the President’s Campus Conversations on Catholic Identity. Amy has taken up all these various works with a generosity of spirit and attention to the Common Good, while remaining a truly dedicated and innovative teacher as well as a productive scholar.

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts Outstanding Staff Award
Sheryle Bush and Katie Jones, Office of the Dean

‌Sheryle Bush has been a member of the LMU community for over twenty years. She worked in Financial Aid and Student Accounts prior to beginning in the BCLA Dean’s Office in fall 2004. With a humble yet indomitable ethic of service, Sheryle is always willing to help, always professional, and makes BCLA shine with her expert attention to detail and creative ideas for events. Sheryle has an excellent reputation with all the auxiliary service departments on campus (and off), which benefits all of BCLA.

Katie Jones’ creativity, willingness to help, timeliness, and intellectual engagement characterize her work as BCLA’s Communications Manager. Katie has significantly improved BCLA’s website, newsletter, and communication generally. Katie has supported initiatives to publicize the accomplishments of BCLA faculty, students, and staff; has supported international immersion publicity; and supports a variety of reporting and donor relations activities. In all things, Katie is prompt, courteous, professional, and efficient, and consistently devotes ingenuity and the highest level of care to her projects.

Learn more about the awards or see the honor roll of past BCLA awardees.