Campus News Georgia Impact

Six receive awards at annual PSO luncheon

Mark Foster-3-1-10
Mark Foster: Carl Vinson Institute of Government. 

Six receive awards at annual PSO luncheon

The Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach held its ­annual luncheon and awards ceremony Feb. 11, presenting top public service and outreach honors to four faculty and two staff members.

Awards given included the Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award for Distinguished Achievement, the Walter Barnard Hill Award, the Scholarship of Engagement Award and the Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence. All awards are given annually and help recognize excellence in the field of public service and outreach.

Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award
This year’s Hill Fellow is Mark Foster, researcher and senior public service associate at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government. Foster is a world-renowned expert in employee testing services, especially for law enforcement agencies. He has developed programs to test job candidates for better placement and to test existing employees for promotions. His methods are used by more than 50 state and local agencies and have spurred a cooperative study program based on his research at Dublin City University in Ireland. Foster received the Walter Barnard Hill Award in 2005.

The Walter Barnard Hill Fellow Award for Distinguished Achievement is UGA’s highest award in public service and outreach. It recognizes sustained, distinguished and superb achievement in university public service and outreach as well as contributions to improving the quality of life in Georgia or elsewhere.

Only one Hill Fellow Award is presented each year, and the recipient must be a past Walter Barnard Hill Award winner to be eligible to win the award.

Walter Barnard Hill Award

This year’s Hill Award recipients are W. Don Shurley and Paul D. Wigley, both of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Cooperative Extension.

A UGA faculty member for 19 years, Shurley works as the extension coordinator for the department of agricultural and applied economics. His extension program encompasses all areas of economics dealing with cotton, including price outlook and marketing policy.

Shurley is active in collaborative educational programs and research, and also is a member of the UGA cotton team. He has excelled at his mission of improving the quality of life for cotton producers in Georgia, the Southern region and the country.

Wigley, who has been a UGA faculty member for 31 years, serves as the county extension coordinator in Calhoun County. His primary duties include working with local farmers to improve production and profitability. He also supervises the 4-H and youth swine programs. Throughout his career, Wigley has identified problems affecting the community he serves, conducted the necessary research to solve those problems and excelled at translating his research into practical solutions.

The Hill Award is named in honor of Chancellor Walter Barnard Hill, who led UGA from 1899 until his death in 1905. His desire for more university involvement in the state of Georgia helped pave the way for a modern public service-oriented university.

Scholarship of Engagement Award
The 2010 recipient of the Scholarship of Engagement Award is Nancy Williams of the School of Social Work. An associate professor and director of admissions office for the Master of Social Work Program, Williams has made many service-learning contributions since she came to UGA in 1998. She created a service-learning course, “Social Work with Burn Survivors,” to provide an intensive learning experience for students through helping burn-injured children from diverse socio-economic, racial and cultural backgrounds. Williams also has developed and led global service-learning study-abroad programs and has been an advocate for expanding service-learning pedagogy on campus.

The Scholarship of Engagement Award is a campus-wide award to honor a tenured associate professor or full professor whose scholarship has made significant contributions toward identifying or addressing issues of public concern and whose work advances civic engagement through scholarship and service-learning opportunities for students.

Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence
The 2010 recipients are Annie Burgess, an employee at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel, and Melanie Lee, who works at the Fanning Institute.

Burgess has worked with the Georgia Center as housekeeping supervisor since 1999, and in the housekeeping department for 27 years. Although Burgess works behind the scenes, her work is most appreciated by and highly visible to the customers and visitors of the Georgia Center. Burgess has had a leading role in contributing to the center’s Excellence in Service initiative and was part of the cross-functional team that designed and developed this program.

Lee is the administrative financial director of the Fanning Institute and has served UGA for 24 years and the Fanning Institute for 12 years. With her expert knowledge of financial policy and procedures, Lee excels at identifying options, solutions and innovative strategies to accomplish the Fanning Institute’s mission.

The Public Service and Outreach Staff Award for Excellence honors outstanding effort, encourages workplace creativity and innovation, and celebrates the achievements of public service and outreach staff.