Campus News Georgia Impact

COE faculty receive academic service-learning award

Katherine Thompson and Corey Johnson are the 2013 recipients of UGA's Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award.

Corey W. Johnson, an associate professor in the College of Education, and Katherine F. Thompson, a clinical associate professor in the education college, received UGA’s 2013 Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award.

Established in 2011 by the Office of Service-Learning, a public service and outreach unit, the award recognizes faculty for excellence in developing, implementing and sustaining academic service-learning opportunities for students in domestic or international settings.

Johnson developed a unified education curriculum focused on service-learning for students in the recreation and leisure studies program. The curriculum, which he and his colleagues have taught annually for the past seven years, joins four separate undergraduate and graduate courses in an integrated event design program. Throughout a semester, students develop, coordinate and reflect upon special events that benefit nonprofit organizations in the local community as well as enhance their professional skills.

Last spring, Johnson’s students worked with nine agencies, raising more than $12,000 and contributing more than 4,000 hours of service. He also has created a new service-learning course “The Slow Food Movement,” which officially launched last spring.

Over the past eight years, Thompson has incorporated service-learning into the middle-school education program through four courses at the graduate and undergraduate level, including her “Theory and Practice of Service-Learning in P-12 Settings” class. She also serves as the service-learning coordinator for COE’s Office of School Engagement and as professor-in-residence for Hilsman Middle School’s professional development school collaboration. She is the lead faculty member for the Office of Service-Learning’s P-12 initiatives, helping provide development to teachers interested in service-learning.