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Faculty showcase creative and academic work

Loren Dyck, associate professor of management, talks about the student-driven assignment “Bartering for Community Benefit,” in which his students barter with $1 products, at the annual Faculty CASE Day presentations Wednesday in the Campus Center Ballroom. The assignment is meant to teach students the role of emotions, learning styles and other course topics in decision-making environments. CASE Day included poster sessions and presentations showcasing various research and creative projects. / photo by Darcelle Jones-Wesley

Olivia Modarelli
Staff Writer 

The University of La Verne’s Campus Center Ballroom was teeming with creativity and knowledge Wednesday afternoon as it held the University’s annual faculty CASE Day. 

CASE stands for celebrating arts, scholarship and engagement. It is a day for faculty to showcase what they have been working on outside, and in some cases inside, the classroom. 

“If they had any research over the past year, this is an opportunity for them to share it with the campus community,” said Jennifer Cady, associate professor and coordinator of resource development services for Wilson Library.

There were several projects featured in the ballroom, all of which serve some purpose in bettering the community. The presenters stood by their projects, answering any questions visitors may have. 

One such presenter was Associate Professor of Management Loren Dyck. He featured two of his projects, one of which was conducted inside the classroom. For his seminar in organizational theory and behavior, he has his students participate in the “Bartering for Community Benefit” project. Students start out with a low-priced item and slowly bargain their way up to a more valuable item or opportunity throughout the semester, increasing the worth each time.

Dyck began having students complete this project years ago, but a particular group of students changed the project forever in 2014. They donated their final project to a charitable organization to give back to the community. 

“Since then, I completely refigured the assignment because of those students,” Dyck said.

Donating to an organization of the students’ choosing is now a pivotal part of the project. He said students gain emotional intelligence throughout the activity and learn to work in groups. 

Dyck will present his paper at the Management and Organizational Behavior Teaching Society Conference in Pomona in June. 

An independent project Dyck worked on, also featured at the event, involved the well-being and exercise patterns of students and how that correlates with their self-efficacy. He found that higher rates of self-efficacy led to higher rates of exercise and furthermore, changes in one’s health. 

This project was presented at the Western Academy of Management Conference in Hawaii in March. 

“The next step for us then would be to, with the feedback we’ve received at the conference,” Dyck said. “Write more and build a journal article.”

Ebony Williams, associate director for academic success, presented her group’s work, which focused on what makes an authentic leader and the coaching protocols most conducive to that. There was an emphasis on Latinx managers. 

“Every time we come together, the diversity conversation emerges,” Williams said. “Every person in the group is a different race.” 

She said diversity became a natural part of the conversation when researching for this project.

She said Professor of Management Louise Kelly was at the head of the project, which included a total of five people, including one University of La Verne student. 

Professor of Humanities Al Clark focused his project on diversity as well. His work was part of a greater project called “An Artful Reframing: ULV’s Heritage, Identity and Current Context.” He examined how the University of La Verne’s demographics shifted from a mostly Brethren, mostly white population to a much more diverse and mostly Hispanic population over the course of the University’s lifetime. 

One point of interest was that one of the values of the Brethren Church was diversity. That meant something much different at the University at the time, though. Diversity meant a wide range of professor’s educational backgrounds and where they went to school rather than ethnic diversity. Clark reported on when ethnic diversity began being measured at the University and when the first Minority Student Recruiter, Adeline Cardenas, was hired. Both were in the mid-to-late 1900s. 

One of the goals of the larger project was to deeply understand the University’s Brethren roots, which is what Clark focused on. It turns out that the answer is a bit murky. They can be interpreted in different ways. 

“This theme has come up again and again,” Clark said.

He included La Verne Magazine articles from 1994 and 2003 that discussed similar topics regarding the Brethren and how that population has dwindled over the years. 

The Student CASE Day, featuring students rather than faculty, will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 10 at the Abraham Campus Center Ballroom.

Olivia Modarelli can be reached at olivia.modarelli@laverne.edu.

Olivia Modarelli, a sophomore broadcast journalism major, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

Darcelle Jones-Wesley, a senior photography major, is photography editor of the Campus Times. Her work can also be found at photographybydarcelle.com.



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