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.
Sandra Rodriguez-Arroyo, Ph.D.
Dr. Rodriguez-Arroyo is an Assistant Professor of ESL/Bilingual Teacher Education and a faculty member with the Office of Latino/Latin American Studies (OLLAS) at the University of Nebraska Omaha. After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Secondary English Education from the Universidad de Puerto Rico in Cayey, Dr. Rodriguez-Arroyo began her career as an educator teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) at the junior high school level in public and private schools in her island. She went on to receive her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Pennsylvania State University. Her research and teaching interests include: preparing teachers to work with the growing rate of ELLs in Nebraska, asset-based service-learning experiences with diverse learners and families, and Latina faculty testimonios. Dr. Rodriguez-Arroyo has presented her research at several national and international conferences such as the Engagement Scholarship Consortium Annual Conferences and the Annual Conference of the International Association for Research on Service Learning and Community (IARSLCE). She was also part of the planning committee for both of these conferences in the fall of 2016.
Dr. Rodriguez-Arroyo includes service-learning experiences (SLE) in many of the courses that she teaches. Through these SLE undergraduate and graduate students work with refugee and Latino students and families on unique opportunities that prepares them to work with diverse learners and families. Her passion for service-learning has been rewarded with the Nebraska Campus Compact 2015 Excellence in Community-Based Teaching and Scholarship Award, the University of Nebraska at Omaha Outstanding Service Learning Faculty Award, and the Service Learning Academy (SLA) 2016 Faculty Fellowship.
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