Three UGA employees named to state’s first education policy fellowship class

Three UGA employees named to state’s first education policy fellowship class

Athens, Ga. – Three University of Georgia employees have been named to the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education’s inaugural class of Education Policy Fellowship Program.

Jerome Morris, Welch Suggs and Shannon Wilder are among 22 participants selected from education professionals from across the state, and they are three of the four participants representing higher education in the program.

Over the next nine months the Fellows will learn about the education policy process and attend expert-led colloquiums. The program aims to provide professional development to potential leaders to advance the core issues of education policy.

Morris is an associate professor in the College of Education and a research fellow at the Institute for Behavioral Research. He has a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt University in education and human development with a focus in educational policy. He said he was interested in better understanding critical issues in education policy.

“By participating in this policy fellowship program, I want to enhance my skills in communicating with groups and individuals beyond the academic community and continue to build interdisciplinary collaborations with colleagues in other fields,” said Morris.

Suggs is an assistant to UGA President Michael F. Adams. He is finishing a Ph.D. in higher education with a focus on policy. He said he hopes to learn about the linkages between K-12 and higher education in the fellowship program and also meet other education professionals from across the state who are working on these issues.

“UGA is really well represented in this program,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for the university to participate with stakeholders from across the state to help make policies to improve education at all levels.”

Wilder is director of the Office of Service-Learning. She has a Ph.D. in art with an emphasis in art education. Since she oversees service-learning projects, including some with local high schools, she’s interested in learning about education policy that promotes engaged teaching and learning and putting them into action.

“I am interested in learning more about ways that communities are coping with student engagement and retention issues and how higher education partnerships-such as service-learning-can strengthen our educational system,” she said.

Participants will attend monthly colloquiums that will be led by education experts. These sessions will cover a variety of subjects such as “Political and Demographic Landscape of Georgia: Strategic Leadership in a Dynamic Policy Environment,” and “Why Public Education: How Does the U.S. Educational System Compare to that of Other Countries?” Fellows also will attend a national policy seminar in Washington, D.C., and a national leadership forum in Phoenix, Ariz.The program is sponsored by UGA’s Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach and Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. It is part of a national program, now being conducted in 16 states.

“This program offers a unique opportunity for leaders from all sectors to come together to better understand the critical issues facing our state and our nation and to build effective networks to advance core issues of education policy,” said Art Dunning, vice president for public service and outreach at UGA.

Dunning said the program was appealing because of the opportunity it offers participants to benefit from professional development in public policy, leadership, and professional networking, “which will provide them the tools to have a positive impact on the future education policy of our state.”


Note to editors: The following images are available for download: Jerome Morris (http://www.ugaphoto.alumni.uga.edu/news/21561-048.jpg); Welch Suggs (http://www.ugaphoto.alumni.uga.edu/news/23352-020.jpg); and Shannon Wilder (http://www.ugaphoto.alumni.uga.edu/news/24333-043.jpg).