Campus News Georgia Impact

Archway Partnership wins regional award for outreach

Michelle Elliot, director and operations coordinator of UGA's Archway Partnership. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

The program now sets its sights on national award

The University of Georgia is the regional winner of the 2022 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award for its Archway Partnership outreach program. The program takes UGA faculty and students into Georgia communities to help address locally identified challenges.

UGA now will compete against three other regional winners for the national C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award, which will be announced by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) in November. The Magrath Award includes a $20,000 prize, while regional winners receive $5,000 each.

From left: Aaron Redman, Archway professional; Brittany Standifer, Archway professional; Conni Fennell-Burley, Archway professional; Michelle Elliott, director; Chip Blalock, chairman, Colquitt Archway Executive Committee; Angel Jackson, operations coordinator; Sarah Adams, Archway professional; Sam Perren, interim operations coordinator/Archway professional; and Rosanna Cruz-Bibb, Archway professional. (Photo by Dorothy Kozlowski/UGA)

“The Archway Partnership has put UGA at the forefront of innovative community-university collaborations that produce important scholarship; positive, sustainable relationships; and significant impact,” said UGA President Jere W. Morehead. “I am proud of the many faculty, staff, students and community partners involved in Archway for receiving this well-deserved recognition, and I look forward to their continued accomplishments.”

Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement scholarship and community partnerships of four-year public universities. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate ways in which colleges and universities have refocused their learning, discovery and engagement missions to deepen their partnerships and achieve broader impacts in their communities. The national award is named for C. Peter Magrath, who served as APLU’s president from 1992 to 2005.

The Archway Partnership is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that places a UGA faculty member in eight select communities to help them prioritize locally identified critical challenges. The faculty member, called an Archway Professional, then looks to the vast resources at the University of Georgia to find the expertise best suited to address those challenges. Often faculty members and their students are selected to assist the communities, providing real-world learning opportunities for students and research possibilities for faculty in addition to helping the communities.

“Since the program began in 2005, more than 200 faculty and 1,500 students have participated in Archway Partnership projects, helping Georgia communities become more attractive to economic development opportunities,” said Jennifer L. Frum, UGA vice president for public service and outreach. “As a result of this success, we are launching additional programs through PSO that will boost resiliency in rural Georgia and engage even more faculty and students.”

In support of these communities, UGA faculty members have secured more than $20 million in community-based research grants since 2009, including a USDA grant of nearly $1 million to improve management of chronic health conditions in rural Georgia through telemedicine. 

“Congratulations to this year’s regional winners of the Kellogg Community Engagement Scholarship Awards and our exemplary projects,” said APLU President Mark Becker. “Community engagement is a critical part of public universities’ mission, and we’re pleased to highlight the work of institutions that are engaging communities in need. From the underserved areas of their communities and states to overlooked regions of the world, public research universities are engaging communities to solve the most pressing problems they face.”

A team of community engagement professionals from public research universities judged the regional round of the award. A second team will pick the national winner following presentations at the Engagement Scholarship Consortium’s annual conference taking place Sept. 21-22, 2022, at the UGA campus in Athens. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities will announce the national winner at its annual meeting, which will be held Nov. 6-8, 2022, in Denver, Colorado.

APLU is a research, policy and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. With a membership of more than 250 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations, APLU’s agenda is built on the three pillars of increasing degree completion and academic success, advancing scientific research and expanding engagement.