Romel W. Mackelprang began teaching in higher education in 1982 and, in 1987 embarked on a full-time academic career at Eastern Washington University until moving to emeritus status in 2018. His obtained a BS in Sociology as well as Masters and Doctorate degrees in Social Work from the University of Utah. His work and writings focus on social & health policy and practice, public health and disease, human diversity and social justice, and ethics. The fourth edition of his text, Disability: A Diversity Model in Human Service Practice will be published during the 2021 voyage.
In 2006, he founded the EWU interdisciplinary Disability Studies academic and student services program, focusing on d/Disability as diversity and d/Disabled people as contributing members of society. Utilizing grants and contracts, the program also worked with d/Disabled and other at-risk students from diverse backgrounds to transition from high school to higher education and from college to the workforce.
Dr. Mackelprang has been involved in human and disability rights for four decades. In the 2000’s he began working in sub–Saharan Africa, and, in 2010 he, along with his wife Susan, founded Access without Borders a 501(c)3 to promote humanitarian service and educational opportunities for people in Africa. He has developed and administered a five country African research project studying the efficacy of donated wheelchairs. He has organized and has led several college-based, service-learning study abroad programs to Ghana. He has partnered with Ghanaians to provide adequate water to rural villagers, sexuality education and reusable feminine hygiene products to keep girls in school, electronic hardware and consulting for a large health care provider transition to electronic communication and record keeping, and trained college faculty to use technology in education delivery.
Romel is an avid hobbyist apiarist (fancy name for beekeeper) —caring for up to half a million of his “girls” whose honey is divine. Romel and Susan are the proud parents of four brilliant children and five delightful grandchildren. Now that they are vaccinated for COVID-19, their primary goal in life is making up for a missed year of hugs and play with their grandkids.
Dr. Mackelprang is thrilled to participate on the Fall 2021 voyage, having served as a professor on the Spring 2016 voyage. Semester at Sea provides an unparalleled educational opportunity and life experience where staff and faculty (staculty) engage with students, lifelong learners, and other voyagers in a vibrant learning community and experience cultures, peoples, and countries around the globe.