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Public Service Professorship Request for Proposals

Deadline: January 31st, 2022

This significant award is designed to help a faculty member strengthen community-engaged learning experiences and opportunities tied to civic engagement, and also foster stronger partnerships with the local community. It is open to all faculty members at the University of Utah. The prize of $7,500 is made possible due to the generous support of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs. The funds may be used in any way that enables the recipient to carry out the proposed project, e.g., to reimburse the recipient’s department for release time, pay a research assistant, travel to conferences, and purchase supplies or equipment.


The Bennion Center Public Service Professor for 2022-2023 must:

  • Meet with Bennion Center staff and her/his department chair during the first semester of the project implementation to provide a status report;
  • Present a brief report of the project to colleagues in their department or college prior to the end of the project;
  • Deliver a talk in Spring 2022, as part of the Bennion Center’s “Lunch and Learn” seminar series.
  • Be available for a photo for the gallery of Public Service Professors that is on display in the Union’s fourth-floor hallway.
  • Attend the Bennion Center's Spring Celebration and University Commencement ceremony.

Selection Process:

A committee will review all proposals and select the recipient based on the criteria below. She or he will be notified by February 28, 2021. The 2021-2022 Public Service Professor will be honored at the 2021 Bennion Center’s Spring Celebration and University Commencement ceremony. Attendance is required at both events.

Selection Criteria Include:

  1. Project is interdisciplinary, since solutions to social and environmental issues require an integrated approach;
  2. Project involves a combination of community-engaged learning classes, research, and community action;
  3. Project extends beyond the length of academic semesters and provides long-term community impact;
  4. Community partnerships are based on a strong foundation of mutual ownership and commitment and address complex and important community issues;
  5. Project articulates the expected learning outcomes for students and the community and a research/evaluation plan for assessment.


Proposals for the Bennion Center Public Service Professorship must include the following items:

  1. An abstract of the proposal;
  2. A two‑page explanation of how the activities will meet the criteria listed below;
  3. A budget summary;
  4. A one‑page biographical sketch and a short CV (one to three pages) that highlights only the community-engaged scholarship aspects of the candidate’s scholarly record;
  5. A letter of support from the candidate's department chair;
  6. Letter(s) of support from community partner representatives demonstrating project need and potential impact.

If you would like feedback on a draft of your proposal, email it to the Andi Witczak by January 15, 2022.

When you are ready to apply for the Bennion Center Public Service Professorship, assemble all materials into a single pdf file and email them to Andi Witczak by February 8th, 2021.


Recipients of the Public Service Professor Award include:

Milad Hosseini-Mozari2021: Milad Hosseini-Mozari, Professor in the Multi-Disciplinary Design (MDD) Program, College of Architecture and Planning 

This significant award is designed to help a faculty member strengthen community-engaged learning experiences and foster stronger partnerships with the local community. Professor Hosseini-Mozari will utilize this award to launch an innovation hub between the MDD Program and the International Rescue Committee (IRC). It will be a collaborative space where digital access and increased tech literacy will be supported for a community that has historically experienced inequity in technological access. Professor Hosseini-Mozari comes from the community of focus, as an immigrant himself, and will serve as a bridge between students and refugees to build technological know-how and amplify immigrant voices resulting in meaningful benefits to the immigrant community.

Christopher Mead2020: Christopher Mead, Assistant Professor in the Honors College

Dr. Christopher Mead was awarded this for his proposal to introduce for-credit University of Utah programming to the Utah State Prison, as well as his "dedication to issues of community engagement, equity, inclusion, and diversity".


Last Updated: 6/10/21