Stefan Schulze, grants writer
Stefan Schulze, grants writer

Veteran Grants Developer Stefan Schulze Sails into New Fundraising Role at Brenau

Nov 17, 2017
Brenau Staff

Stefan Schulze, a specialist in soliciting and receiving university research and academic programming grants from federal and state agencies, joined the Brenau University development team this month to help expand the institution’s capabilities for attracting broader financial support from governmental agencies and nonprofit foundations.

Brenau recruited the New Orleans native from the University of Georgia in Athens where, for the past 10 years, he served as associate director of the UGA Innovation Gateway, a program that develops pathways to take university science, technology and agricultural research into the marketplace. During that time, he helped secure more than 90 state and federal grants supporting academic entrepreneurship. Earlier, he worked as a researcher in the UGA Center for Applied Genetic Technologies’ plant genome mapping laboratory.

“Stefan’s extensive experience and impressive academic credentials certainly enhance our capabilities to attract financial support from a broader range of prospective donors,” said Matt Thomas, vice president for external relations at Brenau. “His experience with the sciences at one of the nation’s top flagship state universities will add credibility to our effort to build Brenau as a nationally recognized professional health care program.”

Following his completion of an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, Schulze earned a master’s degree in zoology at University of South Florida in Tampa and worked as a marine biologist for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tampa and Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota. He also completed an MBA at the UGA Terry College of Business after he went to work on the Athens campus.

He has also served on review panels for the National Science Foundation in Washington, D.C., to review grant proposals submitted by colleges and universities from around the United States and make recommendations about their funding. Although he would recuse himself from handling any proposal from the institution he represents, he said that role provides some real-world insight into the kinds of proposals the NSF and other agencies are likely to fund.

Thomas said he is especially interested in applying Schulze’s experience with NIH and other agencies to engagements with Brenau faculty and graduate students – particularly those engaged in health sciences programs – to assist them in translating their research ideas and laboratory work into effective grant proposals.

Although most of Schulze’s experience has been through engagements with governmental entities, he said the Brenau position will enable him to grow professionally by working with private foundations, charitable organizations and, when appropriate, with for-profit corporations that offer grant opportunities.

“I think I can bring a fresh perspective to help Brenau build on its strong liberal arts tradition as it expands aggressively into health care and other science-based fields,” said Schulze. “Having worked in the large institutional environment, I also like the idea of the smaller environment that Brenau provides – the opportunity to wear many hats, to work across a wide variety of disciplines and to have a refreshing diversity of daily tasks and assignments. Brenau’s culture is very entrepreneurial and opportunistic, almost like working in an energetic start-up business, and I am enthusiastic about being part of a team that works collaboratively.”

He confessed that some personal considerations also drew him to Brenau. His wife, Jill, is a biology professor at the University of North Georgia. His parents, Al and Jutta Schulze, retired to the area about five years ago. And, Schulze is a sailor – with two racing boats– who helped advise the UGA Sailing Club and currently serves on the board of the Lake Lanier Sailing Club, where sailing teams from UGA, Georgia Tech and Riverside Academy train.

Brenau Women’s College, which represents about a fourth of the university’s total enrollment, places heavy emphasis on intercollegiate athletics. Although its Gainesville location makes it an ideal venue, the school currently has no sailing team – a fact that has not escaped Schulze’s attention. As he explained it, collegiate-level sailing competitions do have separate gender-specific teams, but most are coeducational.

“If Brenau decided to engage in sailing as a team sport,” Schulze said, “that’s definitely something that I would love to help with.”