Campus News

2019 Service-Learning Excellence Awards

Service-Learning Excellence Awards recognize faculty for innovative service-learning course design as well as scholarship that stems from academic service-learning work. Award recipients for 2019 in the Service-Learning Teaching Excellence category are Caree Cotwright, Elizabeth Davis and Cecilia Herles. They are being recognized for excellence in developing, implementing and sustaining academic service-learning opportunities for UGA students in domestic and/or international settings. Joseph Goetz, the award recipient in the Service-Learning Research Excellence category, is being recognized for advancing service-learning scholarship.

Caree Cotwright

Each semester, Caree Cotwright engages students in her “Nutrition Education Methods” service-learning course, where they learn about and apply nutrition knowledge through work with community partners such as the Athens Community Council on Aging, the Clarke County School District and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia.

Cotwright’s students develop and implement nutrition lessons for preschool children using costumes and entertainment, provide food demonstrations and healthy recipes for older adults, and support food distributions and programming with the food bank.

A 2014-2015 Service-Learning Fellow, Cotwright also has published and presented nationally on her model program and received grant support for her outreach and research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Elizabeth Davis

For more than 10 years, Elizabeth Davis has integrated community-based projects into her “Writing for the Web” and her “Writing and Community” courses, allowing students to learn more about communities across the state while developing their writing and rhetorical skills.

Her students have partnered with Archway Partnership communities to address real-world needs such as website redesign guidance for Candler, Pulaski and Clayton counties; documenting the history of the Hart County Training School; and creation of a “Traditions Highway” publication to enhance tourism for rural towns and communities along Georgia Highway 15.

A former Service-Learning Fellow and Special Collections Libraries Fellow, Davis also presents nationally on her work, mentors other Service-Learning Fellows and is part of the Service-Learning Research Faculty Learning Community.

Cecilia Herles

Since 2010, Cecilia Herles has engaged hundreds of students in service-learning through two courses she developed in women’s studies. 

Through her course on the “Gendered Politics of Food” as well as her “Environment, Gender, Race and Class” course, students work with community partners such as Campus Kitchen, Clarke Middle School, the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia and the Athens Land Trust to learn about environmental and social justice, better understanding the complexities of how food systems intersect with issues of access, justice and identity.

A frequent presenter on her community-based praxis, Herles was a Service-Learning Fellow in 2009-2010 and has been recognized with UGA’s Creative Teaching Award and the Sustainable UGA Outstanding Faculty Award.

Joseph Goetz

Joseph Goetz has co-authored numerous scholarly articles, chapters and books relating to innovative pedagogy for financial planning education, including service-learning.

A co-founder of UGA’s ASPIRE Clinic, Goetz annually teaches the “Clinical Practicum in Financial Planning” as well as a graduate course in “Advanced Financial Counseling and Client Communication,” engaging students in service-learning with low-income clients. Integrating his scholarship with this teaching, Goetz has developed a national reputation as a pioneer in teaching innovation through experiential learning in financial planning and was recognized as the 2013 Financial Counselor of the Year by the Association of Financial Counseling and Planning Education. A past Service-Learning Fellow and Lilly Fellow, Goetz also co-wrote a successful grant proposal to the Charles Schwab Foundation in support of expanding the capacity of the financial planning program’s public outreach and experiential learning opportunities.