The Faculty Fellows program has been temporarily suspended. Check back in spring 2017 for updates!

Application now open

The Faculty Fellows Program is an opportunity for new and experienced service-learning practitioners to participate in the collaborative design of intentional, learning-focused community engagement opportunities. The program includes support for instructional faculty who are developing or significantly revising courses or curricular programs utilizing a community-based service learning pedagogy.

During the two-year program, VT Engage will support the design of high quality service-learning and community engagement experiences. Faculty Fellows will collaborate with community organizations to create or enhance mutually beneficial partnerships, build assessment strategies for student learning and community outcomes, and serve as community engagement ambassadors to the Virginia Tech community. Fellows will present their work products to peers and engage with broader scholarly and practitioner audiences. The current VT Engage Faculty Fellows program period is May 2017 to May 2019.


  • The VT Engage Faculty Fellows Program is open to any full-time, qualified instructional faculty member at Virginia Tech. Proposed courses may be at the undergraduate or graduate level. 
  • Applications will be accepted from individual faculty members or faculty teams. Interdisciplinary teams and teams from single departments are encouraged to apply. Teams proposals should create community-based learning experiences across course sequences or curricula.
  • Graduate students may not apply to be part of the fellows program. Previous VT Engage Faculty Fellows are ineligible for this cycle of awards.


  • Focused Investment: Individual faculty or faculty teams may receive up to $12,500 per new course or $8,000 per existing course in support of the development process.
  • Partnership Development: Fellows will have designated time to invest in local, regional, or global partnerships to create mutually beneficial service-learning programs. Fellows will have access to VT Engage’s networks of community collaborators and can develop or enhance existing relationships with government and nonprofit partners.
  • Learning Community: Fellows will have opportunities to seek feedback and support from a growing body of faculty with expertise in all aspects of experiential learning, community engagement, and service programs. This diverse community can provide assistance as fellows strengthen courses, test innovative pedagogies, and collaborate on projects to advance the scholarship of engagement, teaching, and learning. 
  • Increased Visibility: VT Engage will showcase the community-based work of each fellow or team at key points during the project lifecycle.

Previous Faculty Fellows

Sarah Misyak

Sarah Misyak

Dr. Misyak is a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

She supported a summer internship program by creating two courses that  “prepared nutrition students for entering community settings and working with diverse populations”.

Dr. Misyak holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate degrees in human nutrition, foods, and exercise from Virginia Tech.

She is a management team member for the Appalachian Foodshed Project and a board member of Friends of the Farmers Market.


Takumi Sato

Takumi Sato

Dr. Sato is a clinical assistant professor in the School of Education.

He revamped his course “Dynamics of the 21st Century Classroom”, which prepared students for the challenges facing today’s teachers. Dr. Sato planned to increase the number of service hours to 20 per semester and incorporate more robust reflection activities.

He holds a doctorate in curriculum, instruction and teacher education with a focus in science education from Michigan State University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Washington University.

Dr. Sato previously served as a graduate assistant for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

Brett Shadle

Brett Shadle

Dr. Shadle is a associate professor in the Department of History in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences.

He offered a new course in fall 2014 called Development and Humanitarianism in Africa, which “ traced the history of western involvement in Africa”. The course offered an opportunity for students to work with resettled refugees in Roanoke via the student-led Coalition for Refugee Resettlement.

Dr. Shadle holds a doctorate in African history from Northwestern University and bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Northern Illinois University. He is the Director of Service-Learning Kakuma, an experiential learning program at the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya.