Athens, Ga. – Kathy Thompson, a clinical associate professor in the University of Georgia College of Education, has received the 2013 Gulf-South Summit Award for Outstanding Practitioner Contributions to Service-Learning in Higher Education.
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. Through service-learning, young people-from kindergarteners to college students-use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems.
During 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 is also the service-learning coordinator for the COE Office of School Engagement and a professor-in-residence for Hilsman Middle School’s professional development school collaboration with Clarke County Schools. In addition, she is the lead faculty member for the UGA Office of Service-Learning P-12 initiatives, which include providing professional development to teachers interested in service-learning.
Thompson has served on the Georgia Department of Education’s Learn and Serve Advisory Board, as a grant reviewer for Georgia Learn and Serve, and has led service-learning leadership institutes for Georgia Learn and Serve Title I schools.
She has received more than $70,000 in grant support over the past decade as co-principal investigator for research and outreach relating to service-learning. She also serves as the principal investigator and program officer for the state in the Improving Teacher Quality program, a multi-million dollar initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education promotes networking among practitioners. It also promotes research, ethical practices, reciprocal campus-community partnerships, sustainable programs, and a culture of engagement and public awareness through service-learning and other forms of civic engagement.
The award was presented at the summit’s annual meeting recently in Louisville, Ky.
Note to editors: An image of Thompson is available at http://multimedia.uga.edu/media/images/Thompson-Kathy.jpg.