Fostering Innovation with Seed Grants

Dear Friend of the Alliant Ed Foundation,

It’s a pleasure to share with you one of our most recent initiatives—the recent press release about our first-ever innovation/seed grants to the Alliant community.  Please see below.

Alliant Educational Foundation Fosters Innovation, Helps Launch New Ventures with $55,000 in Seed Funding Grants

SAN DIEGO (August 2019) – The Alliant Educational Foundation (AEF) has awarded $55,000 in grants to foster system-wide innovation and help launch seven new faculty led research and student advancement ventures at five of Alliant International University’s six California campus locations.

The new one-time seed-funding grants prioritize projects focused on student and community impact as well as augment Alliant’s four institutional pillars: education for professional practice; applied research and scholarship; multicultural and international competence; and community engagement.

“We look forward to following the progress and outcomes of these new ventures,” said AEF CEO Valin Brown. “We are excited about this new grant-making to help spur innovative programs, research, publications and other enhancements within the Alliant International University system that also benefit the larger community.”

From the 19 ideas submitted, the seven projects selected by the innovation/seed grant review committee demonstrated a high level of commitment to improving learning environments for students and making positive impacts on communities at large, particularly in mental health, diversity and inclusion. This is the first funding for each of these projects.

The 2019 AEF Innovation/Seed Grants were awarded to:

Emily Patton, assistant professor of psychology at the San Francisco campus, received a $21,000 grant for a Heart-to-Heart Research Lab that offers advanced equipment that can be used by graduate students to measure psychophysiological responses for one or two (dyad) participants during relevant tasks, such as discussing difficult experiences and simulated rejection.

Diana Concannon, associate provost for strategic initiatives and partnerships for Alliant International University and dean of the California School of Forensic Studies, received a $12,128 grant for a pilot program aimed at improving law enforcement and medical emergency responses to individuals with mental illness in rural communities surrounding the Fresno campus.

Kristin Conover, associate professor of psychology at the Los Angeles campus, received a $6,310 grant for a qualitative study that explores the experiences and treatments that people with physical disabilities receive when undergoing psychotherapy.

Quyen Tiet, professor of psychology at the San Francisco campus, received a $6,100 grant to examine the stress, coping strategies and resilience of doctoral psychology students. The study intends to help students and the general population combat serious mental health issues and provide opportunities to support education and training for all Alliant students.

Ronald Stolberg, associate professor of psychology at the San Diego campus, received a $4,000 grant to produce five, five-minute self-help videos on specific sports psychology topics geared to traveling athletes, which will be available for free on a dedicated YouTube channel.

Constance Dalenberg, distinguished professor of psychology at the San Diego campus, received a $2,883 grant to create an addendum for online research that identifies participants who are purposely malingering or carelessly completing target questionnaires. 

Raji Natrajan-Tyagi, assistant professor of psychology at the Irvine campus, received a $2,500 grant to study the perspective of second generation South Asian adolescents regarding their experiences within the parent-child relationship. The results will help create a parenting guide.

The innovation/seed grant initiative is just one of the many programs supported by AEF. Since its launch in 2015, donations to AEF have supplemented faculty and staff, and helped more than 2,400 students across California pursue advanced professional practice degrees in a wide range of professions.

For more information about supporting Alliant Educational Foundation for long-term estate or financial plans, visit


The Alliant Educational Foundation (AEF) was established in 2015 as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. AEF’s mandate is to partner with Alliant International University and other institutions of higher education to provide a steady stream of funding and resources dedicated to supporting student scholarships and faculty research that will enhance academic outcomes. AEF’s mission is to support post-secondary students from a diversity of backgrounds as they prepare for careers of service and leadership that improve lives in underserved communities.

Media Contacts: Sandy Young / Jasmine Wang, J. Walcher Communications /, 619-295-7140