The UNO Service Learning Academy (SLA) Faculty Fellows program is a critical component in the University’s efforts to accomplish its strategic plan and metropolitan mission. Our student-centered, academically-excellent and community-engaged institution is richened by the Faculty Fellows who teach in collaboration with the community and serve as a mentor for interested faculty members.
The SLA Faculty Fellows program has been designed to empower experienced and committed service learning faculty to cultivate and support interest in service learning in their fellow faculty members – a means by which to increase the number of undergraduate and graduate courses with service learning components. The program also supports the scholarship of engagement and engaged scholarship through its faculty development and conference presentation components. Full-time faculty members from all UNO colleges that have taught 3 semesters of service learning instruction are encouraged to apply. Priority will be given to applicants who have completed Service Learning 101, the Service Learning Seminar, and/or other service learning training. Applications can be accessed on the left tab; please refer any questions to Julie Dierberger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 402.554.6019.
Please meet our SLA Faculty Fellow alumni.
Mitzi J. Ritzman, Ph.D.
Dr. Ritzman is an associate professor in the Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at UNO. Her primary areas of interest are child language development/disorders with an emphasis on autism spectrum disorder, literacy, best practices in service delivery, and working in diverse communities. Each of her undergraduate and graduate courses include service-learning pedagogy. Her community partners include Omaha Public Schools’ Blackburn Alternative Program, the Autism Society of Nebraska, Omaha Public Library’s Charles B. Washington Branch, the Learning Community Center of South Omaha, and metro area high schools. She is the recipient of the 2017 UNO Faculty Service Learning Award.
Dr. Ritzman is the co-director of the Transitions Program, a social learning program for young adults on the autism spectrum. She earned her B.S. in speech-language pathology and audiology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UN-L) in 1996, her M.S. in communication disorders from UN-L in 1998, and her Ph.D. in Psychological and Cultural Studies from UN-L in 2006.
Lyn M. Holley, Ph.D.
Dr. Holley is a full Professor at UNO and currently serving as Vice President of the UNO Faculty Senate. She teaches courses in gerontology, which is the study of older adults and aging. Almost all of her classes give UNO students the opportunity to apply what they learn through service to the community. She is the past recipient of awards for teaching excellence which include the 2009 UNO Alumni Association Teacher of the Year Award, the 2010 UNO Faculty Service Learning Award and her college’s nomination for the 2014 OTICA.
Dr. Holley does research to help improve services for elders - in general and for minority elders, also to help improve intergenerational relationships. She has published articles in several journals, including “The Gerontologist,” “Educational Gerontology,” “Gerontology and Geriatrics Education”, and “Public Performance Management Review”. She earned her B.A. from American University in 1964, her M.P.A. from UNO in 1995 and her Ph.D. from UNO in 1999. After working in gerontology research at the University of Kansas and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she joined the UNO faculty in 2004.
Nancy Kelley-Gillespie, Ph.D.
Dr. Nancy Kelley-Gillespie joined the University of Nebraska at Omaha faculty in the fall of 2005 and is currently an Associate Professor with the Grace Abbott School of Social Work and serves as the MSW Coordinator. Dr. Kelley-Gillespie received her PhD in Social Work with a Graduate Certificate in Gerontology from the University of Utah, Master’s degree in Social Service Administration from The University of Chicago, Bachelor’s of Social Work degree with a minor in developmental psychology from Moorhead State University in Minnesota, and her Associate of Arts degree and Certificate in Developmental Disabilities from Minot State University in North Dakota. Her background has been primarily in the fields of aging and developmental disabilities, holding mostly direct care, case management, coordinating and supervisory, and administrative positions in community-based organizations. She also has extensive experience working with adjudicated adults under legal guardianship who have been victims of elder abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation.
Her research, practice, and policy interests include quality of life and quality of care of older adults and people with disabilities; behavioral healthcare across the lifespan; community long-term care initiatives for older and disabled adults; family and nonfamily caregiving issues across the lifespan; elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; end-of-life care; service-learning and civic engagement; community building; program evaluation; and nonprofit administration.