Professor Pollack is Professor of Service Learning and the founding faculty director of the Service Learning Institute at California State University, Monterey Bay.
His interests focus on higher education in social change and community building, particularly as it relates to addressing issues of economic inequality and community disenfranchisement. He is a strong proponent of the power of service-based and research-based community-university partnerships to help universities become more connected to the needs and aspirations of their diverse communities.
Professor Pollack developed his interest in community-university partnership after a decade working in grassroots rural development in West Africa, South Asia and Central America. He ultimately returned to higher education and received his PhD in International Development Education and his MA in Organisational Sociology from Stanford University.
He was honoured with the Thomas Ehrlich Faculty Award for Service Learning, recognised as the USA’s outstanding faculty in the field of community service and civic engagement. His interests in higher education’s role in social change brought him to Cape Town, South Africa, as a Fulbright Scholar. He worked there to help post-apartheid South African higher education institutions create more community-connected academic programs.