Industry Partners Council Connects Chapman University to Leading Employers

Chapman University has a long track record of sending its graduates to work at top companies and organizations throughout Southern California, from Lionsgate and Netflix to Bank of America and Edward Jones.

Now Chapman has launched an Industry Partners Council to expand those classroom- to-career connections and create unique research collaborations between the University and regional industries.

Research Opportunities

“We are excited about the opportunities the Industry Partners Council will create for our students,” said Galen Grillo (EMBA ’13), council chairman and vice president of planning and enterprise integration for the Automobile Club of Southern California. Grillo is also a member of Chapman’s board of governors. “These alliances will help shape mutually beneficial outcomes for our corporate partners by helping them tap into groundbreaking research in a broad range of disciplines.”

The Industry Partners Council, part of the Think Chapman First initiative led by the Office of Career and Professional Development at the University, began meeting this winter. Shari Battle, senior vice president at Bank of America, serves as vice chair. A partial list of inaugural members includes representatives from Allergan, Amazon, Automobile Club of Southern California, Bank of America, Bay Alarm Company, Boeing, ECOS/Earth Friendly Products, Experian, IdeaHall, Ingram Micro, Johnson & Johnson, KCOMM, Park West Landscape, Inc. and SchoolsFirst Federal Credit Union.

Some of the council’s first efforts will focus on matching unique industry research needs with expert faculty resources. Potential research projects range from data analytics to food science studies.

“These research projects are great opportunities for students to be involved in innovative areas that give them experience with potential employers. New lines of research that are developed through these partnerships can enhance the economic development of the region and with specific industry partners,” said Tom Piechota, Ph.D., vice president for research at Chapman.

Connected to Hiring Pipelines

In addition, plans for students include tapping industry experts for informational interviews, internships, corporate site visits and hiring pipelines. The council will also help hiring managers throughout the region see Chapman as a go-to resource as they build their workforces.

“It’s going to be this great forum with industry and the University coming together and communicating better,” Grillo said.

To learn more, contact Tami Thompson, Chapman’s director of external relations, at

Dawn Bonker