UGA College of Education professors receive SPRE Innovation in Teaching Award

UGA College of Education professors receive SPRE Innovation in Teaching Award

Athens, Ga. – University of Georgia recreation and leisure studies professors Gwynn Powell and Corey Johnson have received the biennial Society for Park and Recreation Educators Innovation in Teaching Award for 2009.

The two, faculty members in the College of Education’s department of counseling and human development, were nominated for their development of the Unified Core Curriculum.

The Unified Core: A Learning Community Model for Undergraduate Professional Preparation is an approach to undergraduate education that focuses on students exploring, developing, sustaining, improving and contributing to leisure services and ultimately developing as leaders in the field of recreation and leisure services.

The model integrates course content, experience-based delivery and active learning strategies to provide students with the skills necessary to become emerging recreation and leisure service professionals, to engage with material in a more meaningful way and to provide services to populations that might not otherwise receive them.

Powell, an associate professor, is the only SPRE member to receive the Innovation in Teaching Award twice. She also received it in 2005 for collaborating with UGA’s instructional technology department through service learning to create a DVD and software program titled “Ins and Outs of Public Recreation.”

Powell is also credited with pioneering UGA’s first study-abroad program in Russia, directing UGA students as they worked as counselors for a month at two summer camps for children in the Mari El Republic for the past four years.

Currently, Powell serves on the National Board of the American Camp Association and is the past chair of ACA’s annual national conference and research symposium. She was the recipient of its 2006 National Honor Award. In addition, she received the College of Education’s Keith Osborn Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2008. Powell, who received her Ph.D. from Clemson University, joined the UGA faculty in 2001.

Johnson currently serves as the co-editor for Schole: A Journal for Park and Recreation Education and is on the editorial board of Leisure Sciences and the Qualitative Report. He also serves on the Board of Directors for SPRE. He has been honored with the SPRE Leadership for the Future Award, Volunteer Educator of the Year Citation for the State of California’s Recreation and Park Association, the UGA College of Education’s Early Faculty Career Award and, in 2008, the UGA College of Education Teaching Award.

Johnson received his Ph.D. from UGA in 2002 and joined the College of Education’s faculty in 2006 after teaching at California State University at Long Beach.