A group of professionals poses outside.

Affiliate Duncan Elkins named 2022-23 Service Learning Fellow

The Office of Service-Learning has selected eight University of Georgia faculty members for participation in its yearlong Service-Learning Fellows program.

This program provides an opportunity for faculty members from a broad range of disciplines to integrate academic service-learning into their professional practice. Fellows meet regularly throughout the academic year and receive an award of up to $2,500 to develop or implement a proposed service-learning project.

Academic service-learning—one way for students to fulfill UGA’s experiential learning graduation requirement—integrates organized service activities that meet community-identified needs into academic courses as a way to enhance understanding of academic content, teach civic responsibility and provide benefit to the community.

More than 150 faculty from 16 of UGA’s schools and colleges, public service and outreach units and the medical partnership have participated in the program since it was established in 2006. Participants create diverse service-learning projects that pair students with community partner organizations locally, across the state or throughout the world to address community issues such as education, food insecurity, economic development, well-being, nonprofit capacity-building and the environment.

“Through service-learning, these faculty help UGA students make meaningful impacts on community-identified needs and better learn their course content and how it can be applied in real-world settings,” said Paul Matthews, associate director of the Office of Service-Learning.

The 2022-23 Service-Learning Fellows, their respective academic fields and proposed projects are:

Duncan Elkins, lecturer, and Jason Gordon, associate professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Elkins and Gordon are redesigning Warnell’s senior project capstone in forestry and natural resources management (FANR 4500S), in which students undertake applied projects with community partner agencies, into a two-semester sequence that will engage students more fully with service-learning best practices.

Thea Ellenberg, lecturer, department of textiles, merchandising and interiors, College of Family and Consumer Sciences

Ellenberg is designing a service-learning element in her course, “Creativity and the Design Process” (TXMI 2010), in which students develop creative problem-solving resources for K-12 teachers with UGA’s Torrance Center for Creativity and Talent Development.

Carlo Finlay, academic professional and assistant director, Carmical Sports Media Institute, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication

Finlay is enhancing the collaborative, high school-based sports media experiences and service-learning aspects of SPTM 5750, “Social & Digital Media Production for Sports,” in which students deeply engage with and develop social media content on behalf of Clarke Central High School’s spring sports teams.

Allison Injaian, lecturer, Odum School of Ecology

Injaian will partner students in her Urban Ecology (ECOL 3770S) course with Burney-Harris-Lyons Middle School students’ after-school “Green Team” to teach hands-on ecology lessons while maintaining the school’s herb and pollinator gardens.

Missy Jackson, director of nursing, University Health Center

Jackson plans to expand academic collaborations between the University Health Center and courses in the College of Public Health, including through service-learning research projects focused on identifying and addressing health disparities experience by UGA students.

Morgan Meyers, lecturer, department of genetics, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

Meyers is developing an Honors service-learning version of her biology for non-majors (BIOL 2104H) course that will allow students to develop science literacy through researching, creating and disseminating menstrual health outreach education materials for community partner agencies.

Debbie Mitchell, academic professional associate and curator, Founders Memorial Garden, College of Environment and Design

Mitchell plans to engage students in LAND 3410, “Plants of the South,” in service-learning projects with the Founders Memorial Garden, including developing learning products that reflect human-nature experiences in the garden.

The Office of Service-Learning is jointly supported by the Office of the Vice President for Instruction and the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. More information on the Service-Learning Fellows Program is available at the Office of Service-Learning’s website, www.servicelearning.uga.edu.

This story was originally posted to the UGA Today website.