RANGER RECOVERY

Dr. Jacqueline M. Zalewski earned her Bachelor of Art’s degree in Sociology from UW-Parkside in 1995.  Dr. Zalewski’s academic experience at UW-Parkside was transformative in that Sociology faculty (Drs. Schutte, Schleiter, and Rosenberg) inspired her to complete four research-oriented projects while completing her bachelor’s degree in Sociology.  Through their passion for research, teaching, and learning, Sociology faculty at UW-Parkside helped Dr. Jacqueline Zalewski find a professional path that inspired her—teaching, learning, and research in higher education, yet was one she previously had not imagined.

After graduating from UW-Parkside, Dr. Jacqueline Zalewski then completed a Master of Arts (2000) and Doctor of Philosophy (2006) in Sociology at Loyola University Chicago (LUC).  While completing her Doctorate, she taught as an adjunct faculty member at Indiana University Northwest and received their Founder’s Day Teaching Award for Associate Faculty in 2004-2005.  For her doctorate research at LUC, Jacqueline focused on the growing contingencies workers experience in professional jobs.  She continues this research focus through the present day. 

Since 2007, Dr. Zalewski has been a faculty member in Sociology at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA).  She regularly teaches core courses in the Sociology program (Introduction to Sociology and Senior Seminar) and elective courses on the Sociology of Work, Sociology of Organizations, the Social Context of Substance Use, Urban Sociology, and—similar to her experience at UW-Parkside—she works with students on Independent Studies that explore their professional area of research interest.  She continues her research focus on contingencies in professional work and the growth of nonstandard employment. 

Dr. Zalewski has published one book—Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing: Chewed Up by Two Masters (2019)—and in collaboration in 2021 began a qualitative study of contractor socialization, or onboarding.  Dr. Zalewski also enjoys supporting and researching teaching in higher education.  In collaboration, she has researched teamwork pedagogy and has one article currently under review at Teaching Sociology.  Her teaching assignments have also been peer reviewed by the American Sociological Association and published in their teaching resources (2004 and 2020). Finally, Dr. Zalewski has published (2010, 2011, and 2017) and has been recognized for outstanding academic and career advisement both globally by NACADA (2018) and at WCUPA (2019).

Jacqueline Zalewski

Why did you decide to attend UW-Parkside?

I began taking classes at UW-Parkside in 1988 at age 24, and I graduated in 1995 at age 31. I attended UW-Parkside for several reasons. Foremost, it was conveniently located to my house and affordable. I lived in Kenosha and had a full-time job in human services in northern Illinois. I went to college part-time and attended evening classes mostly. I was able to pay my tuition and the cost of books each semester, so I accumulated no undergraduate student loan debt over my tenure as a student at UW-Parkside. A close friend I have had since primary school through today (Dr. Susan Brudvig) graduated from UW-Parkside with an undergraduate degree in Sociology and spoke very highly of the program and University.   

What activities were you involved in at UW-Parkside?

Due to my non-traditional student status and attending evening classes, I developed more casual social relationships with other non-traditional students at UW-Parkside. During our break in a class, we went to the student union and enjoyed getting to know each other over a quick beverage.   

Later in my degree progress, I participated in two “research seminar” courses. (I still describe them in teaching about research methods in my Introduction to Sociology course.) In a continuation of a Sociology of Medicine course (a second course proposed by the instructor Dr. Mary Kay Schleiter), a small group of students worked together in a research seminar to administer phone surveys to a random sample of UW-Parkside students about 1. their use of the health services center on campus and 2. their nutritional habits. In teams, we performed statistical analysis on the data and developed a formal report on research findings for the health services center. During a second research seminar course during a summer session, pairs of students went door-to-door and administered a survey under supervision of sociology faculty (Dr. Helen Rosenberg) to willing community residents in two lower-income Racine neighborhoods that had recently instituted community policing. Both courses gave me an opportunity to develop stronger relationships with other students and faculty while developing acumen for conducting sociological data collection and analysis.     

How did your UW-Parkside experience impact your professional or personal life?

My college experience at UW-Parkside was TRANSFORMATIVE! Teaching and research in higher education—my profession today—was not on my list of possible potential career paths when I began college. I knew, simply, that I needed a degree for any professional job. One of my closest high school friends, Dr. Susan Brudvig, graduated from UW-Parkside with a sociology major before I began there. She was attending Marquette University on scholarship for a master's degree in sociology and spoke positively about her experience at UW-Parkside. At the initial in-person student enrollment at UW-Parkside, I chose the sociology major because of Susan’s positive experience at UW-Parkside and because I knew I could change my major later. I just never did. 

What has been one of the top highlights of your career?

Researching, writing, and publishing a book with Routledge (Working Lives and in-House Outsourcing: Chewed Up by Two Masters). 

I have received recognition, both at national and institutional levels, for academic and career advising (NACADA and West Chester University of Pennsylvania). 

Who has had the biggest influence on your life or your career and why?

Drs. Schutte and Schleiter at UW-Parkside had a significant influence for fostering my love of learning as an undergraduate student and encouraging me to attend graduate school in sociology.   

At Loyola University Chicago (LUC) in graduate school, Drs. Peter Whalley, Lauren Langman, and Marilyn Krogh had the largest influence on building my confidence in my professional abilities and supporting my research focus on greater contingencies in professional work.  

While completing the PhD at LUC, I taught part-time as an adjunct faculty at Indiana University Northwest for 6 ½ years. I won a university-wide teaching award for associate faculty there. 

In my tenure position at West Chester University of Pennsylvania (WCUPA) during the first 3-4 years, Dr. Leigh Shaffer had the largest influence on me. He recognized my commitment to students, their academic and co-curricular experiences, and degree progress. Dr. Shaffer mentored me in developing scholarships in academic and career advising. In 14 years, I have been given two awards in recognition of this scholarship and my strong advisement of WCUPA students. Because of the excellent advisement and mentorship, I received from faculty as a student, from UW-Parkside onward, I have a strong passion for advisement and mentorship of undergraduate students today.  

What are your favorite hobbies?

Learning

What is the last book that you read?

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond (2016). The field research completed on two low-income Milwaukee neighborhoods was conducted by a sociologist from UW-Madison for their doctorate. I am using it for the first time this fall in my Urban Sociology course. It is a phenomenal research study and book. 

 

What advice do you have for current UW-Parkside Students?

ALWAYS MAKE AND ATTEND YOUR ADVISING APPOINTMENTS! IF POSSIBLE, participate in an independent study! It could inform and/or reinforce your future professional career direction.

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