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Brenda Pfaehler Professional Development Grant

Deadline: May 31, 2024

Membership to ICLCA is required prior to nominating or applying for an award or grant. An affiliate member must also become a member of ICLCA in order to be eligible for awards and grants.

2021 Winner

Jacqueline von Spiegel

The Experiences of First-Generation Graduate Students Deciding to Seek Help through Academic Coaching

Ohio State University 

2021 Winner

Jennifer Tillbury

CTC Director of Student Success & Instructional Support; Associate Prof. of Writing

Leveraging Adaptive Learning Technology in the UAF CTC Student Success Center

University of Alaska Fairbanks Community and Technical College


Brenda Pfaehler was a mother, teacher and civic activist who held numerous posts at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1988, she joined the School of Business and founded the Business Learning Center. She was also the director of UW-Madison's TRIO Program. Her bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees were awarded in education at UW-Madison. 

Brenda Pfaehler served as president of MCLCA (The Midwest College Learning Center Association) from 1981-1982, and she was active in the organization until her untimely death from cancer in 1996. The ICLCA Professional Development Grant was renamed to honor her memory.


The purpose of the ICLCA Brenda Pfaehler Professional Grant is to foster the professional growth of our members.  It will be awarded to members of ICLCA to assist in research, leadership, and/or curriculum innovation.

The grant can be used to fund research or leadership projects.


All members are welcome to apply for awards and grants. Preference will be given to those who have not won the award in the last 2 years.

Membership to ICLCA is required prior to nominating or applying for an award or grant. An affiliate member must also become a member of ICLCA in order to be eligible for awards and grants.


Each year, ICLCA sets aside $1,000 to fund one or more projects.  The exact number of awards depends on the quality of the proposals received.  The recipient will agree to presenting the research in person or virtually at conference or conduct a webinar in the first year following the 2nd year of research.  The recipient will also agree to submitting a formal report or a Journal article. Half of a recipient's grant will be paid at the fall conference in the year the grant is awarded, and the remainder will be paid at the conference at which the recipient presents project results. Beginning in 2018, in addition to the second ½ of the grant ($500), the Brenda Pfaehler award recipient will receive an ICLCA conference waiver, excluding membership dues, along with up to $500.00 as a travel scholarship to facilitate the presentation.  The award winner does not have to attend in order to receive the 1st ½ of the award ($500). 

Research Project

Provide a description of the general area of investigation and the particular focus of the study. Include your rationale for the study. Describe the methods you plan to use and how you will analyze your results. You should include a statement that explains what you think the significance of your research will be. Your project should also include a budget of how you will use this grant to fund project (e.g., supplies, assessments, services, travel).

leadership project

Provide a description of the purpose and general goals of the project. Describe or outline the project. Include materials, equipment, schedules, and major tasks you might be developing.  For example, your project may include the development of curriculum materials, designing instruction, designing workshops to deliver to faculty or students, or presenting at a national conference. You may also want to include any special training you may want to participate in as part of the project.  For example, your training may include the ICLCA Institute, Kellogg Institute, Winter Institute, or on-line courses related to learning assistance.

Note: The grant may be awarded partially or fully depending on the number of applicants and the quality of the proposals.


Submit the following application materials (formatted in MS Word) via the online submission form below.

  • A one-page cover sheet with your name, address, institution, e-mail, phone number, and title of your proposal.
  • A copy of your grant proposal, excluding any identifying information in the proposal as your proposal will undergo blind review.
  • A copy of your curriculum vitae or resume, which should include any previous research projects, conference presentations, and/or publications.
  • A letter of endorsement from your University or College Vice-President, Dean, or senior administrator.
Recipients will be required to submit a one page follow-up report that outlines how the grant was used and will be asked to present the results of their project at the ICLCA conference the year after receiving the award.

Submit all application materials by completing the Awards Form.

Note: Winners must accept the award at the ICLCA annual conference in person or virtually via phone, Skype, FaceTime, or similar technology.

For additional information, please contact: machcinskik@nclca.org


2019 MARY GALLAGER  | STEM Identity Narratives of Diverse Women Pursuing a STEM Degree Through Vertical Transfer

2017 JOHANNA DVORAK | Online Tutoring and Academic Support

2013 SHELBY SCHAEFER, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIVERSITY | "Online Tools for Student Transition, Retention and Developmental Advising"

2012 LEONARD GEDDES, LENOIR-RHYNE UNIVERSITY | "Thinking Well and Learning Well: A Metacognitive Tutoring Model"

2011 MARTIN GOLSON, AUSTIN PEAY STATE UNIVERSITY | "Blended Online/Face-to-Face Tutoring Sessions"

2010 MELINDA COLEMAN, COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON | "Peer Academic Coaching: Measuring the Effectiveness of Using Trainer Peer Coaches to Teach Time and Task"

2010 Dr. BEATRIZ BECERRA-BARCKHOLTZ, UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS at BROWNSVILLE and TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE | "Rethinking and Redefining the Value of Tutoring: Examining Student Perceptions of Factors Impacting Utilization of Tutorial Services for Developmental Education Coursework"

2009 JOSH REID, ILLINOIS STATE UNIVERSITY | "Developing a Tutor Training and Resource Wiki Space"

2009 JENNIFER PIPPEN, NORTH CENTRAL COLLEGE | "Transformational Learning: A New Model of Peer Education"

2008 MARION KANE, LAKE SUMTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE | "Preparing the Non-Traditional Student for College: A Workshop"

2007 MARK F. DADDONA and ELISE R. RHODES, CLAYTON STATE UNIVERSITY | "Learning Support Partnership Program (Clayton State University and Georgia Perimeter College"

2006 DAVID ARENDALE, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA | "Using Emerging Technology to Integrate Learning Strategies within an Introductory History Course"

2005 CRAIG CURTY, HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY | "English as a Second Language: Excursions into America"

2004 TRAVIS RAMAGE, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN BARRON COUNTY | "Identifying and Applying Strengths to Improve Academic Performance of First-Semester High Risk College Students Attending UW-Barron County Using the Strengths Finder Assessment Instrument"

2003 CAROLYN GRIFFITH, BRADLEY UNIVERSITY | "The Turning Point Retention Program (TPP) and Campus Area Retention Effort (C.A.R.E.) at Bradley University"

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