Athens, Ga. – Two University of Georgia faculty members received 2014 Service-Learning Excellence Awards: Betina Kaplan and Peter Smagorinsky.
The awards, established in 2011 by the Office of Service-Learning, recognize distinction in teaching and research related to academic service-learning.
Kaplan, an associate professor of Spanish in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, received the Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award. The award recognizes UGA faculty members for excellence in developing, implementing and sustaining academic service-learning opportunities for UGA students in domestic and/or international settings.
Since 2002, Kaplan has taught the course “Spanish Practicum for Service-Learning,” which she designed to engage students in applying their Spanish knowledge to opportunities including parent-teacher conferences, tutoring and healthcare referrals. She also developed and taught a version of the course for five semesters in UGA’s Buenos Aires study-abroad program, as well as a First Year Odyssey course supporting Spanish adult literacy for immigrants in the Athens community. Kaplan was previously recognized as a 2012-13 Service-Learning Fellow.
Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of language and literacy education in the College of Education, received the 2014 Service-Learning Research Excellence Award. The research award recognizes UGA faculty members for excellence in research related to or resulting from academic service-learning.
Smagorinsky has used service-learning to weave together a program of research, teaching and service related to the preparation and support of future teachers of English. In addition to research presentations, book chapters and journal articles on these topics, Smagorinsky co-edited a recently released book, “Service-learning in Literacy Education: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning” (Information Age Publishing, 2014), the first compilation dedicated to service-learning in teaching and learning literacy across a range of perspectives. Smagorinsky was previously recognized as a 2007-08 Service-Learning Fellow, and has developed and taught the course “Service-Learning in Teacher Education” since 2008.
Award recipients will be honored at the Provost’s Faculty Recognition Banquet in April during Honors Week and receive a plaque and a $2,500 faculty development award from the Office of Service-Learning
UGA Office of Service-Learning
In service-learning courses, students participate in service activities that address community issues in order to enhance academic learning and teach civic responsibility. The UGA Office of Service-Learning supports the development of academic service-learning and community engagement initiatives designed to enhance students’ civic and academic learning, promote engaged research that is responsive to community needs, and contribute to the public good through mutually beneficial community-university partnerships. The office is jointly supported by the Offices of the Vice President for Instruction and the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach. For more information, see www.servicelearning.uga.edu.