Becker is Adams State grant writer

(08-06-2010)

On her first day at Adams State College, Tawney Becker watched the scaffolding removed from Rex Activity Center revealing its new stucco fa├žade. As a freelance contractor, Becker was a key contributor in the grant writing for the Rex rehabilitation. "It is a beautiful building and serves a greater purpose."

Now, as the full-time grant writer for Adams State, Becker uses her skills to help secure additional funding for construction projects on campus. "I am thrilled to be a part of the ASC team and back in an institution of higher education -- assisting it achieve its goals of quality education and updated amenities for students."

Photo by Linda Relyea

Becker's professional experience in grant writing includes a vast array of successful funding. She has authored grants in renewable energy, including solar and feasibility studies for economic projects; woody biomass utilization; and heritage tourism. "A grant writer becomes an expert in a limited focus," Becker said.

The grant writing process involves interviewing the client, information gathering, and collecting statistical data. "My goal is to apply for grants that connect the dots between the mission of funder and the project objectives and goals." Becker includes budget development, the scope of work and supporting documentation when preparing for a grant

She started at Adams State on July 1, and is getting "up to speed" on the institutional background, history infrastructure, programming and projects. "My initial focus will be on the capital renewal projects including the ES Building, Music Building, and Leon Memorial Concert Hall renovations."

Becker is researching the details of projects, what the upgrades and renovations entail and how they benefit students and campus. She has created a spreadsheet of potential funders and deadlines. "I am currently focusing on grants that fund education, arts, and culture."

With many capital fee projects already underway, Becker works closely with Bill Mansheim, Adams State vice president for finance and governmental relations. She is developing side-by-side summaries for building projects. "The college is in an excellent position to obtain grant funding," Becker said. "The mission, focus, student demographics, and location all factor in favorably when applying for grants."

According to Mansheim, Adams State's state funding was cut by over one million dollars in the current year and will probably face similar budget challenges over the next couple of years. "It is imperative that we aggressively pursue other sources of funding." He said Becker's credentials and extensive experience as a grant writer will enable the college to pursue more federal and private foundation grants.

Becker's professional background includes being the director for the nonprofit organization, Alamosa Uptown & River Association (AURA), a part-time grant writer for SLV Resource Conservation and Development. Becker tutored English and writing at the Trinidad State Junior College Valley Campus Learning Center, and was a curatorial assistant for the Harvard Art Museums Busch-Reisinger Museum.

One of her latest projects was contract work for heritage tourism, including a regional pilot project for the San Luis Valley and a related project with southeastern Colorado. She created a heritage tourism database through research, writing, and photography, for 30 sites in the valley and 60 in southeastern Colorado.

"She has a great track record and has been a valuable asset to communities across the valley," Mansheim said. "We are excited that she has joined our team."

Becker received her bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and master's degree from the University of Kansas. "I enjoy research, writing, and editing," she said. "Those skills are all a professional passion. I am doing what I enjoy."

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By Linda Relyea