Eight University of Georgia faculty and staff members are being honored for their commitment to public service and outreach.
Walter Barnard Hill Fellow
The Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award for Distinguished Achievement in Public Service and Outreach is named for Chancellor Walter B. Hill, who led the University of Georgia from 1899 to 1905. Hill was a pioneer who helped define the university’s modern public service and outreach mission. The Hill Fellow recognizes faculty for long-term achievements and special projects that have extraordinary impact, and collaborative efforts that improve quality of life in Georgia. Only past UGA Hill Award winners are eligible to become a Hill Fellow. Each Hill Fellow receives a medallion, a permanent salary increase and $2,000 in discretionary funds per fiscal year for three consecutive years to advance his or her public service work.
Dr. Doris Miller is a professor and associate director of state governmental relations for the College of Veterinary Medicine, where she has served for more than 40 years.
She is nationally recognized as a leader in veterinary diagnostic and forensic pathology, the human-animal bond and responsible citizenship in regard to companion animal stewardship. She has received the highest recognitions for service from the UGA veterinary medicine program, the Georgia Veterinary Medical Association and the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians. She was the first woman elected to serve as president of the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians, where she played a key role in the development of the National Animal Health Laboratory Network, the nation’s vital early warning system and guard against emerging and foreign animal diseases.
It was this program that proved critical to COVID-19 readiness in Georgia and the U.S., where veterinary diagnostic laboratories had to fill gaps in the country’s COVID-19 testing abilities. Not only did they provide essential animal disease diagnostics in Georgia throughout the pandemic, but they also provided crucial virus diagnostics, conducting more than 100,000 human COVID-19 PCR tests.
While her appointment is primarily service-related, with little or no teaching responsibility, Miller has taught forensic science and related subjects to veterinary students, post-DVM graduate students and residents, and undergraduates throughout her career. She has taught 196 courses in six colleges, schools and institutes at UGA and is currently teaching six courses. For the past eight years, she has taught a two-hour workshop for 50 to 60 high school students at UGA’s VETCAMP.
Since 2016, she has led 16 workshops on forensics and animal welfare for professionals throughout Georgia and in other states. As a result, she has trained generations of animal control officers, attorneys and shelter workers in the medical-legal aspects of forensic sciences.
The Engaged Scholar Award recognizes a tenured associate or full professor who has made significant career-spanning contributions to the University of Georgia’s public service mission through scholarship, service-learning opportunities for students and campus leadership. The awardee receives a $5,000 faculty development grant to sustain current engaged scholar endeavors or to develop new ones.
As Kroger Professor and director of the Pharmaceutical Health Services, Outcomes and Policy program in the College of Pharmacy, Henry Young has built mutually beneficial alliances with faculty, students and communities that address critical challenges in rural Georgia and fulfill the mission of the land-grant university.
Since arriving at the University of Georgia in 2013, Young has embraced community-engaged research and scholarship to the benefit of Georgia communities, particularly those communities that are historically underserved. Much of Young’s outreach has taken place in communities that are part of the Archway Partnership, a unit of UGA Public Service and Outreach. Young has led 10 major multi-year projects in Archway communities, providing opportunities for meaningful experiential learning for students, faculty research, scholarship and grant funding.
In 2019, Young partnered with faculty in the School of Social Work and at Morehouse College to launch a telehealth program in Pulaski County, an Archway Partnership community, that would address health needs and concerns of African American men. The Fishers of Men program operates through local churches, with area residents trained to be Community Health Advocates using training modules developed by Young, his colleagues and graduate students.
Staff Award for Excellence
The Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence acknowledges individuals for their exceptional job performance, workplace creativity and innovation and commitment to service. The honoree receives a certificate, a cash award and an engraved crystal memento.
Jack Auckland is the event services department head at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education & Hotel. He and his staff are responsible for all room sets, audio-visual needs and technology required for conferences and events. During Auckland’s 27 years at the Georgia Center, he has demonstrated his commitment to lifelong learning and his dedication to service. That service includes overseeing more than 10,000 events and setting and resetting close to 850,000 conference chairs in Mahler Hall.
Auckland was instrumental in helping the Georgia Center transition from in-person meetings to virtual ones and recover event revenue in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. He developed a plan to use owl cameras, industry-leading smart cameras that create an engaging virtual meeting experience using a 360-degree camera, microphone and speaker.
Auckland later played a pivotal role in helping the Georgia Center adapt its event services model to include more hybrid events. Auckland worked closely with web designers and event managers to give the Georgia Center the virtual paths it needed to meet clients’ needs.
James Byars is a scientific computing professional specialist for the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Since joining the institute in 2014, Byars has worked to create reliable, accessible data to support projections and plans for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, the University System of Georgia and other partners.
Over the past five years, Byars has been key to producing annual projections for Georgia’s population by age, sex and race for the state’s 159 counties for the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget. His role in refining and evaluating the computer algorithms for this data has produced more stable and accurate annual estimates. These projections are used to inform major infrastructure planning, from road and water systems to funding for schools and healthcare. Byars’ 2021 projections were only 0.11% off of the official census estimates for Georgia’s 2022 population.
One of the early products Byars helped develop was a data system and dataset that combined three families of USG data. Bringing the datasets together allowed the institute’s analytics team to develop innovative products and conduct research for the USG and its 26 institutions on student transfer patterns and changes in recruitment strategies.
Walter Barnard Hill Award
The Walter Barnard Hill Award also is named for Chancellor Walter B. Hill. The Hill Awards recognize distinguished achievements by public service faculty who have contributed to a better quality of life for the people of Georgia. Each award recipient receives a medallion, a permanent salary increase and a framed certificate in honor of his or her achievement.
• Charles Bargeron IV is a senior public service associate in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and director of the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health at UGA Tifton. In this role, Bargeron developed and maintains a critical program that collects and disseminates information focused on invasive species, forest health, natural resources and agricultural management.
• John Hulsey is a public service associate at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, whose training courses have helped Georgia’s state and local leaders operate more effectively and efficiently and helped newly-elected leaders quickly learn their roles as government decision-makers. By creating digestible content and providing relatable scenarios, class participants can immediately apply new knowledge and make an impact across state and local governments.
• Carole Knight is a Cooperative Extension specialist for animal science programs. Since joining UGA in 2006, Knight has focused on beef cattle and forage production, collaborating with the Georgia Cattlemen’s Association and the Georgia Beef Board to form the Georgia Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program. The BQA program focuses on animal handling, correct use of health products, sustainable environmental practices and good record keeping.
• As an assistant director with the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, Greg Wilson advances workforce and economic development initiatives that expand the reach and impact of UGA across Georgia. Wilson’s efforts in workforce development, economic analysis and applied demographic projects help state and local governments, regional organizations, school systems and economic development organizations throughout the state.