Campus News Georgia Impact

New award will recognize tenured faculty who address issues of public concern

Art Dunning
Art Dunning

A new campus-wide award will honor tenured faculty whose scholarship has made significant contributions toward identifying or addressing issues of public concern.

Art Dunning, vice president for public service and outreach, announced the creation of the Scholarship of Engagement Award, which will provide the honoree with a $5,000 faculty development grant to support outreach projects.

“Over the last seven years, we have worked to connect the outreach mission more closely with the teaching and research missions on campus,” Dunning said. “We’ve done this in several ways: providing seed grants, encouraging collaborations with other campus units and enhancing communication efforts. This new award is the next step in building a seamless interweaving of outreach, research and teaching on our campus.”

Research in the late ’90s showed that Americans had less interest and knowledge about participating in civic affairs than in the past. In response, the higher education community nationwide has been re-examining its responsibility to society and is reinvigorating the civic mission through what is called the “Scholarship of ­Engagement.”

Engaged scholarship addresses public problems, benefits communities and provides opportunities for students to be involved in public issues in academically rigorous ways. At “engaged institutions,” faculty and students are expected to be involved in teaching, research and service in an integrated way.

One example of this at UGA is the work done by Mary Ann Johnson, a family and consumer sciences professor, who studies the foods and nutrients that help delay or prevent age-related diseases.

Through her work with the Meals on Wheels program, Johnson found that vitamin D and calcium deficiencies are common in older Georgians. Her research led her team to develop nutrition education programs to address the vitamin D deficiency.

The new Scholarship of Engagement Award will recognize significant contributions by tenured associate or full professors who advance civic engagement through scholarship and service-learning opportunities for students. Nominations are invited from a nominee’s department head or dean. Guidelines for preparing a nominee’s dossier are available at­publications/soe-award-guidelines.

Nominations are due by Oct. 15. Up to one Scholarship of Engagement Award, funded by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, will be presented on Feb. 14 at the Annual Public Service and Outreach Meeting and Awards Luncheon. For more information, contact Trish ­Kalivoda at (706) 542-6125 or