Professor Wins Prestigious AS-L Award

Kenneth Carter, Contributing Writer

As hundreds of faculty members gathered for the annual Faculty Convocation on Sept. 4, a few awards were given out to professors. Among those awarded was William D. Reisel, Ph.D, who received the prestigious Academic Service Learning (AS-L) faculty award.  

Back in 2016, Dr. Reisel started Difference Makers, one of the AS-L projects available to his students in the Tobin School of Business. The Difference Makers project started at Susan Wagner High School on Staten Island, and in the past two years it has spread to two other high schools, Tottenville and Curtis High Schools, both located on Staten Island as well.

The program gives students at these schools an opportunity to take a three credit course at St John’s.

“The inspiration for the Difference Makers program comes from the AS-L work we perform at Tobin addressing hunger and homelessness, childhood illness, cancer treatment, and many other social issues in the community,” Dr. Reisel said. “Bringing this model of experiential learning to high school students on Staten Island was pure coincidence…By chance, I asked high school students at Susan Wagner High School if they might be interested in performing service with me and virtually 95 percent of the students signed up on the spot.”

He went on to say that he plans to meet with about 90 students to discuss management, which he teaches at Tobin.

Dr. Reisel’s project has helped both St. John’s students and high school students research and tackle a multitude of issues, which include immigration, hunger, healthy food and cancer treatment for children.

During the three-year span of the project, the students have raised almost $3,000, which has been donated to different non-profit organizations across Staten Island.  

“The students come away viewing themselves as participants in doing good on Staten Island,” Dr. Reisel said. “Presumably a self-perception that will guide them as they enter college and also afterwards throughout their careers.”

This is not the first time Dr. Reisel has won an award for his teaching in the classroom. In 2016 he was given the Teaching Excellence award. Aside from winning awards, Dr. Reisel has had some of his work published in many business and psychology journals. He has also helped guide hundreds of minority-owned businesses by helping with business plans, growth plans and writing assessments.

The AS-L award is viewed as one of the most prestigious awards that St John’s has to offer. It is given to one faculty member who embodies the missions of both the University and the Academic Service Learning Program.

“It is truly humbling to be recognized as the sole faculty recipient of such an award,” Dr. Reisel said. “ I really am pleased to be acknowledged given how many talented faculty are delivering on the St. John’s mission.”