In 2020, the Service Learning Academy completed an Academic Program Review in an effort to provide space for reflection and assessment of strengths, weaknesses, and plans for the future. The Review Team, comprised of both internal and external reviewers, listened to stakeholders and compiled suggestions for the future. One suggestion that has been implemented in the 2020-2021 academic year is a redesign of the Faculty Fellows program, which has been broken into two groups. These two Fellows groups are made possible by Academic Affairs and the Service Learning Academy.
These two groups of Fellows expected to increase the community engagement capacity for your college and the Big Ideas. The SLA is currently looking for two groups of faculty members to serve as Faculty Fellows:
- Faculty Fellows connected to the Big Ideas
- Faculty Fellows that serve as a liaison to each of the academic colleges
Big Ideas Faculty Fellows have the following purposes:
- Provide support for Big Ideas community engagement initiatives
- Serve as a peer facilitator to increase experiential learning and community engagement opportunities within the Big Ideas
- Connect Big Ideas stakeholders to community engagement resources at UNO and in the community
College-specific Faculty Fellows purposes:
- Increase bidirectional connections between colleges, SLA, and community engagement efforts
- Serve as a peer facilitator to increase experiential learning and community engagement opportunities within each academic college
- Recruit diverse new faculty to SL teaching
Nominated and selected faculty members will:
- Receive a stipend for their participation ($5000 total)
- Work collaboratively with SLA staff to strengthen and to expand service learning/community engagement connections and partnerships with specific Big Ideas and colleges
- Serve as a liaison/resource for faculty/staff in the Big Ideas and colleges to initiate, strengthen, and/or expand service learning and community engagement instruction and scholarship
- Serve 10 months (October-July)
Please note: the Big Ideas project leads and Deans are taking nominations for these two Fellows groups.
Please check back for status and progress updates!
2019 Faculty Fellows
Ramazan Kilinc, Ph.D.
Ramazan Kilinc an Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Islamic Studies Program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He teaches courses on comparative politics and international relations of the Middle East. He received his Ph.D. (2008) from Arizona State University and M.A. (2001) and B.A. (1999) from Bilkent University, Turkey. He previously taught in James Madison College at Michigan State University. He is the author of Alien Citizens: Stateand Religious Minorities in Turkey and France (Cambridge University Press, 2019) and a co-author of Generating Generosity in Catholicism and Islam: Beliefs, Institutions and Public Goods Provision (Cambridge University Press, 2018). His most recent articles appeared in Comparative Politics, Political Science Quarterly, Politics and Religion, Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, and Turkish Studies.
Peter Szto, Ph.D.
Peter Szto is Professor of Social Work at UNO’s Grace Abbott School of Social Work. His research interests are social welfare development in China, mental health care, photography as a tool of social research, and international social work. He has been teaching at UNO for 15 years and has degrees from Calvin College, Michigan State University, Westminster Theological Seminary, and the University of Pennsylvania. He lives with his wife, daughter, and dog in Omaha.
2018 Faculty Fellows
Sachin Pawaskar, Ph.D.
Dr. Pawaskar is a Senior Research Technology Fellow in the Department of Information Systems and Quantitative Analysis at UNO. His primary area of interest is collaborative work. He believes in engaging in community outreach, especially with the promotion of high school students with an aptitude for STEM, MIS and IT. His community partners include Omaha Public Schools’ King Science Center, Nebraska Medical Center, Together a Greater Good, DOD – Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Junior Achievement, and Visiting Nurses Association.
Dr. Pawaskar earned his Bachelor of Engineering (Production) from Bombay University, his M.S. in Computer Science from UNO in 2001, an MBA from UNO in 2004 and his Ph.D. in Information Technology from UNO in 2013.
Rosemary Strasser, Ph.D.
Dr. Strasser is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at UNO. Her area of interest is applied animal behavior research involving companion animals in a shelter environment or animals housed in a zoological park. Her community partners include Nebraska Humane Society, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo, Blackburn Alternative High School, and Our Lady of Lourdes. She is the recipient of the 2014 UNO Faculty Service Learning Award.
Dr. Strasser earned her B.A. in Psychobiology and Psychology from Hiram College, and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Bowling Green State University in Psychology with an emphasis in Behavioral Neuroscience in 1992.
2017 Faculty Fellow
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.