Nine UGA faculty members named 2016-17 Service-Learning Fellows

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

This program provides an opportunity for faculty members from a 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 a proposed service-learning project.

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

More than 100 faculty have participated in the program since it was established in 2006, creating diverse service-learning projects that pair students with partners locally, across Georgia and throughout the world to address community issues such as youth development, food insecurity, sustainability and public health.

The 2016-17 Service-Learning Fellows are:

• Debra Alvis, a lecturer in the Division of Academic Enhancement. Alvis will develop a new UNIV course integrating mindfulness, leadership and service-learning. It will be open to all undergraduates.

• Jodi Barnes, a lecturer in the Institute for Leadership Advancement at the Terry College of Business. Barnes will review and enhance best practices for implementing community-based, service-learning opportunities for undergraduate and MBA students across multiple courses in ILA programs.

• Melinda Camus, an assistant professor of veterinary pathology in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Camus is investigating options for engaging veterinary medicine students with local schools’ ag tech and 4-H programming, particularly to enhance future veterinarians’ understanding of livestock animals and client communication skills.

• Krista Capps, an assistant professor in the Odum School of Ecology and the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory. Capps is developing the service-learning course ECOL 3770S, “Urban Ecology,” and plans to organize sessions for local public and private environmental organizations to further develop service-learning collaborations with the Odum School.

• Julie K. Gaines, an associate professor and librarian III in the campus library of the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership. As head of the Medical Partnership campus library, Gaines plans to pilot a new method of critical reflection in the community health curriculum for first-year medical students as well as develop an assessment tool for measuring the impact of partnerships on organizational change. She also plans to investigate the role of librarians in service-learning initiatives.

• Laura German, an associate professor of anthropology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. German is co-developing an interdisciplinary graduate seminar and program with a service-learning component in the social sciences focused on social justice.

• Dainess Maganda, a lecturer in the comparative literature department of Franklin College. Maganda plans to incorporate a service-learning component into her Swahili classes to enhance students’ language learning while also helping raise awareness of this African language in the broader community.

• Paula Mellom, an associate research scientist in the College of Education’s Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education. Mellom plans to develop a partially online graduate class that integrates service-learning best practices into an international teacher exchange program focused on culturally responsive pedagogy for linguistically and culturally diverse learners.

• Kristi Schaller, a senior lecturer in the communication studies department of Franklin College. Students in Schaller’s COMM 3600S “Introduction to Small-Group Communication” course will implement group communication and leadership strategies into their work with community partners, while at the same time learning more about the needs of individuals in the local community.

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.

The Office of Service-Learning is accepting nominations until Nov. 4 for the 2017 Service-Learning Teaching Excellence and Service-Learning Research Excellence awards.

All full-time, permanent UGA faculty members are eligible for nomination. The awards recognize faculty for innovative service-learning course design as well as scholarship that stems from academic service-learning work. Award recipients receive a $2,500 faculty development award and will be recognized at the annual faculty awards banquet.

Nominations by deans and department heads, faculty colleagues or self-nominations will be accepted. Nomination packets, award guidelines and lists of previous award winners are at


Shannon Wilder

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