Uwazie named Sac State’s Outstanding Scholar

uwazie:Professor of criminal justice Ernet Uwazie received the Outstanding Scholarly Award from Sacramento State on May 4. :Tina Horton - State Hornet


uwazie:Professor of criminal justice Ernet Uwazie received the Outstanding Scholarly Award from Sacramento State on May 4. :Tina Horton – State Hornet

Lauren Greenwood

Ernest E. Uwazie, criminal justice professor, received Sacramento State’s “Outstanding Scholarly Award” for the 2009-2010 school year on May 4.

The award was established in 1961 and is annually awarded to a faculty member at Sac State who makes a contribution to his or her discipline, said Charlotte Xanders, librarian and chair of the research and creative activity subcommittee that selected Uwazie.

The award recognized Uwazie’s work as a scholar over the last 20 years. Uwazie received his doctorate in justice studies from Arizona State University. He was a judicial and youth supervisor in courts and has edited three books dealing with conflict resolution in Africa.

Uwazie has also authored numerous articles in professional journals, edited volumes, and helped bring in more than $2 million in grants and from sponsors to develop materials and train citizens and national government officers in various African countries on alternative methods of dispute resolution, said Sac State provost Joseph Sheley.

“Here is a Sac State faculty member who is stepping up to the plate. We can find the balance between teaching and conducting research. He’s out there doing it all and doing it successfully. His work sends a message to Sac State faculty members that it is not only possible, but doable,” Sheley said.Sulonda Smith, who is Uwazie’s wife, said Uwazie has a unique gift to succinctly identify arguments, bring people together, and put together a resolution.

After receiving his award, Uwazie gave a lecture on African conflict and what he discovered through his work in different African communities through the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution. The Center aims to help governments, community agencies and professional groups come to agreements through mediation, negotiation and other conflict services, according to the Center’s website.

Uwazie talked about his experience about mediating and arbitrating in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia and Kenya. Uwazie works with law students in these countries to help them develop the skill to create alternative dispute resolutions, which are agreements between disagreeing parties.

“Alternative dispute resolution increases a country’s peace index and has the ability to prevent or manage conflicts. It provides the necessary skills to increase peace effects, and this agreement process is preferred to court litigation, the arbitration process and judgment,” Uwazie said.

Many students and faculty were impressed by Uwazie’s presentation and work. Sophomore criminal justice major, Andrew Crouse, is taking a criminal justice class from Uwazie, and came to learn more about his professor.

“Uwazie is a great professor and his class is my favorite one this semester. I am glad I came because I didn’t know the breadth of the work he’s done and his impact on countries across various continents,” Crouse said.

Lauren Greenwood can be reached at [email protected].