The University of Georgia won the national Association of Public and Land-grant Universities’ highest award for public service for the Archway Partnership, an outreach program through which select rural communities have access to the resources and expertise of the university.
The C. Peter Magrath Award for Community Engagement, which provides national recognition for the outstanding community university engagement work of public universities, was announced Nov. 6, 2022, at the association’s annual meeting in Denver.
“Archway has put the University of Georgia at the forefront of innovative community university collaborations, resulting in important scholarship, positive sustainable relationships and significant impact,” UGA President Jere Morehead said.
The Magrath Award includes a $20,000 prize, which will be used to continue and expand the work of the Archway Partnership connecting Georgia communities with UGA resources including faculty, students and research.
The Archway Partnership, a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit, connects community partners to the vast student and faculty resources available within UGA’s 18 schools and colleges. Since it began in 2005, more than 200 faculty and over 1,500 students have participated in projects that help Georgia communities become more attractive to economic development opportunities.
In addition to supporting communities, faculty and students are provided real-world research and learning opportunities through the projects.
UGA faculty members have secured more than $20 million in community-based research grants since 2009, including a USDA grant of nearly $1 million to improve management of chronic health conditions in rural Georgia through telemedicine.
“As a result of this success we are launching additional programs through PSO that will boost resiliency in rural Georgia and engage even more faculty and students,” said Jennifer L.Frum, UGA vice president for Public Service and Outreach.
A new initiative launched by UGA through the Archway Partnership in 2022, the Connected Resilient Community (CRC) program provides greater access to UGA resources, particularly to those Georgia communities that have been traditionally underserved, and an opportunity to differentiate themselves with the designation in a competitive economic development landscape.
UGA Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost S. Jack Hu said the CRC program would leverage the university’s expertise in creating resilient communities by making resources more visible and available.
“Through its land-grant mission, the University of Georgia has long partnered with communities across the state to take a proactive approach to improving quality of life while also addressing urgent challenges,” Hu said. “The Connected Resilient Communities program builds on this legacy for the benefit of our state.”
Chip Blalock, chairman of the executive committee for Colquitt County Archway, the pilot program for UGA Archway in 2005, has watched the community grow as faculty and students have come in and out of the community doing research and working on projects.
“Over the last 17 years, it’s been a multi-million dollar economic impact just on our community here in Moultrie in Colquitt County,” Blalock said. “The Archway Partnership just opened so many doors for us, for university resources to come in and enhance what we do as a community. Not only is it good for the community, but it’s also great for the students, the graduate students and the professors. They get real life experience working on these projects in rural Georgia, and it really broadens their horizons.”
The University of Georgia was the southern region’s winner of the 2022 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award for its Archway Partnership outreach program, and competed against three other regions for the Magrath Award.
Since 2007, APLU and the Engagement Scholarship Consortium, with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, have partnered to honor the engagement scholarship and community partnerships of four-year public universities. The award recognizes programs that demonstrate how colleges and universities have redesigned their learning, discovery, and engagement missions to deepen their partnerships and achieve broader impacts in their communities. The national award is named for C. Peter Magrath, APLU president from 1992 to 2005.