Faculty Service Learning Awards

The Edward Zlotkowski Faculty Service Learning Award

The Edward Zlotkowski Faculty Award for Service-Learning annually recognizes a faculty member for innovations in engaged scholarship that integrate service into the curriculum and for efforts to institutionalize service-learning in his/her discipline, school, college and the university.

This award is announced with other Academic Awards by the Office of the Provost near the end of the spring semester. Nominations are usually due by the end of March. One may nominate others or oneself at any time.

Nomination Form

Read about previous recipients of the award below. A person may only receive the award once.

Edward Zlotkowski is a nationally recognized scholar and author in the field of engaged scholarship and service-learning. Read about Dr. Zlotkowski and his 21-volume Series on Service-Learning in the Disciplines. His work was a positive influence at the University of the Incarnate Word starting in the late 1990s and helped establish faculty practice here. UIW faculty realized that service had been a part of student learning since our beginnings with Incarnate Word Sisters teaching nursing and that more formal structures of service learning were needed.

Examples of engaged scholarship, community service, and service-learning embedded in our Incarnate Word history can be seen in this overview. Recent examples and stories can be seen in the booklets and postings for the annual Service Learning and Engaged Scholarship Showcase which began in 2017.

In 1996, Ernest Boyer wrote about “The Scholarship of Engagement” in the Journal of Public Service and Outreach: “…[T]he academy must become a more vigorous partner in the search for answers to our most pressing social, civic, economic, and moral problems, and must reaffirm its historic commitment to what I call the scholarship of engagement.”

As a way of encouraging service and scholarship about it, the Edward Zlotkowski Faculty Award for Service-Learning was established in 2002. The founding of the Ettling Center for Civic Engagement in 2013 gave firmer support for faculty to use service-learning and engage scholarship. Please see the Faculty Resources page for a broad overview and especially consider Service and Service Learning Guidelines and Faculty Resources for Assistance and Scholarship.

One may nominate any faculty member or one's self. The criteria: A faculty person who gives examples of “innovations in engaged scholarship that integrates service into the curriculum and for efforts to institutionalize service-learning in his/her discipline, school or college, and the university.” Please include about 500 words about this person's contributions.

Past Recipients of the Edward Zlotkowski Service Learning Award

The 2021 award recipient was Dr. David Armstrong, associate professor of English. In the difficult pandemic year in which the Nobel Peace Prize was given to the World Food Organization, Dr. Armstrong was recognized for his teaching in which students develop empathy for the hungry through the literature they read. Then they help collect food.

Headshot of Lopita Nath

The 2020 award recipient was Dr. Lopita Nath, professor of History. Her teaching and research interests include issues of migration, displacement, human rights and refugees. Her students learn to grapple with these complex issues through experiences of growing relationships with refugee families. Weekly her students are with “their refugee family” growing in understanding and solidarity while being guided in academic knowledge.

Headshot of Yvonne Davila

The 2019 award recipient was Dr. Yvonne Davila, assistant professor in the Ila Faye Miller School of Nursing and Health Professions. She has been instrumental in spearheading monthly interprofessional health screening events at Haven for Hope. She has helped to develop three service learning courses to promote transformational learning experiences in the BSN student. This integrates service with class to teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. These have helped students analyze health disparities and ways they can help vulnerable populations. All nursing students participate in at least six hours of clinical rotations at Haven for Hope Courtyard. Students reflect on how their clinical experiences relate to the tenets of social justice.

Headshot of Tracie Edmond

The 2018 award recipient was Dr. Tracie Edmond, associate professor of Accounting at the H-E-B School of Business and Administration. She is known for her innovations combining service and accounting education incorporating real-world experiences into the classroom. One of the most successful innovative tools developed by and used in Dr. Edmond’s classes is a tri-sector collaboration mode including the non-profit sector, the for-profit sector, and the education sector.

Headshot of Russell Coates

The 2017 award recipient was Dr. Russell Coates, clinical assistant professor at the Rosenberg School of Optometry. For five years, Dr. Coates has coordinated service-learning trips with faculty and students to disadvantaged areas. In the U.S., Guatemala, and Peru, hundreds of people have benefited from eye exams and care. Students have had careful preparation before and reflection about these experiences afterwards to integrate knowledge in optometry and to be caring and enlightened global citizens.

Headshot of Theresa Tiggeman

The award was revived in 2016 and the award winner is not only an example of givingservice, but also of continuing what seems to be the longest continuously going service project going back to the 1980’s. Theresa Tiggeman, CPA, MBA, teaches Accounting. She coordinates a service learning project the UIW Volunteers in Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Students process a few hundred tax returns for persons with low income and the elderly of the community annually at no charge.

Headshot of Margaret Mitchell

In 2004, the award went to Margaret Mitchell, professor of Theatre Arts, has not only designed costumes for the theatre and taught students to do so, but she has also led students sewing dolls for disadvantaged children. She teaches compassion with costuming!

In 2003, the award was first presented. See Dr. Sara Kolb (at the top), Nursing Professor Emerita, and other leaders at the Ministerio de Salud project, providing primary and secondary care health services to the underserved elderly using a Parish Nurse Model. She was involved in this center in southwest San Antonio which provided all nursing students opportunities for at least two service-learning projects before they graduated.

Dr. Sara Kolb (at the top) and other leaders at the Ministerio de Salud project.