Two University of Georgia faculty members have been recognized by the Office of Service-Learning with Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Awards for 2022. These awards recognize faculty for excellence in developing, implementing and sustaining academic service-learning opportunities for UGA students. Since 2011, more than 30 UGA faculty have received these awards.
Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award
College of Environment and Design
For more than 10 years, Katherine Melcher has developed and taught service-learning courses in Athens and Tifton in three interrelated areas: design-build projects, edible landscape design and community design projects in studio courses. Her service-learning classes have worked with community clients such as Brooklyn Cemetery, Tifton’s Future Farmstead model home, Pinewoods community, Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, Habitat for Humanity, the town of Bowman and more. Her students report benefits including better understanding “the complexity that comes with creating a design for real world clients” and attest to learning how to better listen to stakeholders, more deeply engage with the design process and apply creative thinking to meet community needs. Melcher is a past recipient of the College of Environment and Design’s Teaching Excellence Award and was a Service-Learning Fellow in 2011-12.
Service-Learning Research Excellence Award
Gary T. Green
Professor and assistant dean of academic affairs
Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources
Over the past two decades, Gary T. Green has engaged his service-learning students with local, state and national partner agencies. His students work with environmental education programs to determine how park and nature center facilities and services meet the needs of their visitors. For instance, Green and his students conducted research in conjunction with three Georgia state parks, investigating which demographic groups felt underserved, which resulted in new facilities, programs and services provided. He co-led the annual National Survey on Recreation and the Environment and the National Kids Survey, leading to better understanding of Americans’ participation, behaviors and benefits from outdoor recreation. Green and his students have authored dozens of technical reports, peer-reviewed journal articles and outreach research articles reporting on the development and findings of their scholarship. A 2018-19 Service-Learning Fellow, Green has also been recognized with numerous awards, including the 2021 Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award, the Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship and the Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.