2020-2021 Faculty Fellows

Adam Chupp

Adam Chupp, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Biology

“As a faculty fellow member I hope to gain a more formalized understanding of service-learning and the process of building relationships between faculty, students, and community partners. While I have experience organizing more informal activities that involve community stakeholders, I'd like to see the path for establishing mutually beneficial projects that become integrated into long term operations. Specifically, I'd like to start by engaging the Mobile Botanical Gardens. As a new board member at the Gardens, I have a unique perspective on the day-to-day operational needs of this amazing local organization. I am super excited about this opportunity and I look forward to collaborating with the OCE and all of our new fellows!”


Alison Rudd

Alison Rudd, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Nursing Simulation

“As a USA Faculty Fellow in Community Engagement, I hope to experience valuable networking with like-minded colleagues, expand my civic knowledge, and learn how to apply service-learning principles to develop meaningful educational experiences for health professions students. I hope my students, as future medical, nursing, and allied health professionals, will carry new knowledge developed through service-learning into their respective careers and create lasting, impactful change for creating healthier communities.”


Blair Saale

Blair Saale, DPT, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy

“Physical therapy involves partnering with patients to improve overall health and functional mobility.  Students will need to work with a wide variety of people from unique and diverse backgrounds.  Service-learning allows students to engage with community partners while developing their professional and clinical skills.  Engaging the community while meeting educational objectives can truly help students become compassionate patient-focused leaders in the healthcare field.”


Charlene Dadzie

Charlene Dadzie, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Marketing and Quantitative Methods

“My experience as a fellow will help me align my teaching and research, given that I have a few community engaged research projects planned lined up. The fellowship will provide synergy between my teaching and research, and helping them inform one another.  I hope to help my students understand the role of their various communities (e.g. Mobile, Alabama; the University; the Gulf Coast; the global community; the marketing profession, etc.) in their academic journey. In the course of helping my students achieve learning outcomes for my classes, I seek to provide them and the Mobile community with opportunities for mutually beneficial community interaction.”


Claire Cage

Claire Cage, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of History

“As an historian, I am deeply invested in helping students become better informed and engaged citizens through the study of history. The Faculty Fellows program will equip me with tools to advance these aims in new ways that will also serve the common good. I hope to translate what I learn about the best practices in service learning into well-designed experiences that will not only benefit my students but also advance community goals and address social problems. I am most looking forward to gaining support and resources for identifying which community needs and organizations could be best served by my courses and students.” 


Holly Peterson

Holly Peterson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Political Science and Criminal Justice

“I’m interested in adding a community engagement component to my environmental policy class. This has been an interest of mine for a few years but this Faculty Fellows program gives me a great reason to prioritize course redesign over some of my other engagements. I would like to support students making connections, provide helpful service in our community, and to work on applied and scholarly research regarding community issues.”


Jenny Manders

Jenny Manders, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies

“I have included some form of community engagement in my courses for many years, whether formal or informal.  I am particularly interested in methods of assessment of engagement and learning in both my students and the communities they serve.  I also have a strong interest in learning more about the role of reflection in the student experience of community engagement.  As an advocate for disability rights for many years, I plan to re-design my course, Introduction to Disability, to provide students an opportunity to engage with people with disabilities and disability-related service providers in a way that approaches disability from the perspectives of diversity, social justice, and full community inclusion rather than deficit.“


Jeremiah Henning

Jeremiah Henning, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Biology

“As a Faculty Fellow, I want to build up the skills and tools to connect the courses I am teaching and my research program within the broader needs of our surrounding community. I want to continue to build authentic research experiences for my students that serve a greater purpose and give students a sense of connection to our community. Finally, I am excited to network campus-wide with other faculty members that are chasing similar pursuits.”


Joyce Pittman

Joyce Pittman, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Mental Health Nursing

“Through participation in the Faculty Fellows program in USA Service-Learning & Community Engagement, we hope to effectively develop a process for key stakeholder engagement and involvement in research related to pressure injury development and prevention. This would include engaging individuals with or at risk for developing a pressure injury, students, clinicians and a variety of community entities such as long-term care, non-profit organizations, support groups, rehabilitation settings and professional organizations.”


Khandokar Istiak

Khandokar Istiak, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Economic, Finance and Real Estate

"I hope that the USA OCE Faculty Fellows program will help me developing service-learning outcomes for my economics courses and exploring more research ideas involving community engagement. I believe that the training from the OCE Faculty Fellows program will help me introducing more local community welfare based topics in my courses. Also, the modified course will make my students well-prepared to apply their knowledge to real-world problems and increase their capacity to make a significant contribution to the development of the local community. I am excited to be a part of the USA OCE Faculty Fellows program and prepared to take the challenge of being a community-engaged scholar working for the improvement of the local community."


Reid Cummings

Reid Cummings, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Economic, Finance and Real Estate

“In more than 30 years in the real estate business, primarily working on development projects regionally and throughout the United States, I have learned that for every proposed real estate development project, no matter the concept, everyone will have an opinion of where it should be, what type would be best, how it should be designed, who it should serve, and above all, that it should not be located in their own backyard. In essence, everyone's an expert and because no one really wants to be impacted in any negative way, most often they will first identify ways in which they will be. So real estate development often gets a bad rap. Still, no one would have the home in which they live or the store which they frequent had it not been for a developer coming up with an idea, deciding to take substantial risks, dealing with the criticism, and overcoming myriad hurdles to get it done.”


Shenghua Wu

Shenghua Wu, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering

“I am very honored to be selected as a USA Faculty Fellow Member. Throughout this exciting program that provides ample opportunities of learning and practices, I hope to solidify my understanding on service-learning and enhance my role in integrating service-learning into the engineering curriculum, teaching, and scholarship, creating a triple win circumstance for the university, students, and the community. I also hope it would be an interesting experience for me as a civil engineering faculty member on how to promote community engagement and service in a smart and efficient way.”


Victoria Henbest

Victoria Henbest, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Speech-Language Pathology

“I hope to develop a project in which speech-language pathology graduate students collaborate with graduate students in education along with members of the community to develop a program that supports young children’s early language and literacy skills. More specifically, I hope that this collaboration will lead to exceptional learning experiences for our students, meaningful relations with our community's stakeholders, and long-lasting positive impacts on the children in our community.”