September 12, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Sociology Alum Manages Grant Portfolio

A smiling Linda Ong Styer

Linda (Ong) Styer

Since 1996, Linda (Ong) Styer ’84 ‘86M has served as the Senior Program Officer at the Community Foundation of Lorain County where she manages a portfolio of $2 million in competitive grant making.

After graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences at Ohio University with her BA and MA in Sociology, she worked for years in several non-profit organizations until finding her perfect fit.

She evaluates grant applications, recommends funding levels, identifies opportunities for initiatives and collaborations with other funders, and works with individual donors to fulfill their philanthropic goals.

“I work with the most wonderful people — dedicated staff of nonprofit charities who do so much with limited resources, and with generous donors who are deeply compassionate,” Styer says.

“Both the staff at the nonprofits and the donors give from the heart in different ways. My tenure has allowed me the privilege of time to see how a grant invested in someone today can transform lives over multiple generations.”

Her OHIO Experience

A sociology major was the perfect education in helping me understand the macro level needs of communities and how we need to address systems that connect, crossover and impact the lives of individuals, families, and institutions to have successful outcomes.

There were so many Sociology professors who encouraged her intellectual curiosity and their constant support enabled her to graduate with her Master’s degree on a Saturday and start a new job on Monday!

She owes a world of thanks to Dr. Robert Shelly, Dr. Robert Sheak, Dr. Martin Shwartz, and Dr. Eric Wagner, without whom she would still be working on her thesis!

They also taught her patience, persistence and to focus her energies.

Dr. Roy Flannigan’s intensive summer 8 a.m. technical writing class taught her to frame issues and present them coherently. In addition to writing skills, Flannigan gave the class a lecture on the importance of turning up before the 8 a.m. bell, that it demonstrates your recognition of the value of other people’s time and the investment in your own education.

“I still turn up for work before 8 a.m. and everyone notices,” she continues.

Advice to her college-self

Enjoy the luxury of being in an intellectually challenging environment where there’s a brain to pick on around every corner!

Listen where discourse is encouraged and valued, and appreciate how that leads to the development of discoveries and improvement of how we can change the world.

All voices matter.

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