OSL Faculty & Staff

The Office of Service-Learning's general contact email is osl@uga.edu, and phone is 706-542-8924. Our mailing address is 1242 1/2 S. Lumpkin St., Athens, GA 30602.

See below for a detailed listing of OSL faculty and staff.

Dr. Shannon O'Brien Brooks (formerly Wilder) has served as the founding director of the Office of Service-Learning (OSL) at the University of Georgia since 2005 where she provides leadership, support and vision for enhancing UGA's service-learning initiatives and its community-campus engagement. She received her BFA from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She holds a M.Ed. in instructional technology (2001) and a Ph.D. in art education (2006), both from the University of Georgia. Prior to leading the OSL, Shannon worked in UGA’s Office of Instructional Support & Development (now the Center for Teaching and Learning) from 2000-2005, and in Cooperative Extension from 1995-2000.

Shannon serves as the editor for the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement (JHEOE). Her research has been published in journals such as the International Journal of Education and the Arts and the International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement. In addition to her administrative duties, Shannon holds a courtesy faculty appointment in the Department of Art Education in the Lamar Dodd School of Art where she has developed and taught the graduate course Art Education in the Community as well as a First Year Odyssey service-learning course, ‘Citizen Artists’ and the Role of the Arts in Public Life. In addition, she has co-taught GRSC 78070S: Service-Learning Course Design.

Shannon was selected as a 2008-2009 Education Policy Fellow by the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. She also served as the 2009-2010 chair of the executive committee of the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education and was the recipient of this organization’s 2011 Outstanding Service-Learning Practitioner Award. She has served on many university-wide committees such as the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) Steering Committee, the Quality Enhancement Plan Committee for UGA’s 2010 Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accreditation process, and co-chaired the working group for UGA’s application for the 2010 Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.

An active community member, she has served as chair of the board of the Athens Community Council on Aging, chair of the board of the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce, chair of the SPLOST 2020 Citizens Advisory Committee, and past president of the Classic City Rotary Club, and board member for the Athens Area Homeless Shelter. In 2011, she was selected as one of the Athens Banner-Herald’s 40 Under 40 community leaders. She previously served on the board of the Clarke County Mentor Program, the 2008-09 School Council for Classic City High School, and is a 2012 graduate of LEAD Athens.

Email: swilder@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-0535

Dr. Paul Matthews is the Associate Director of the University of Georgia Office of Service-Learning (OSL), where he helps support faculty members, students, and community partners in applying academic skills and knowledge to address community needs and enhance student learning. Paul holds two degrees from the University of Georgia—a Ph.D. in language education and an A.B. in Area Studies—as well as an M.A. in Latin American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. He was also a Fulbright Fellow to the University of Passau (Germany), and was a 2019 Canterbury Visiting Fellow at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand.

A Senior Academic Professional, Paul has been on the faculty at the University of Georgia since 1994, in departments including Romance Languages, Language Education, and as founding Co-Director of the Center for Latino Achievement & Success in Education (CLASE) in the College of Education. He was a Service-Learning Fellow in 2006 and the Office of Service-Learning’s Senior Scholar for Faculty Development from 2007-2010; in July 2010 he became Assistant Director of the OSL, and became Associate Director in 2016. In that role, he coordinates faculty development and awards programs, tracks institutional reporting of service-learning and community engagement, conducts research and evaluation, coordinates service-learning initiatives, directs UGA's AmeriCorps VISTA network, and teaches service-learning coursework. He was a 2011-12 graduate of the Public Service & Outreach Leadership Academy and a 2018 graduate of the PSO Facilitation Academy, and is part of the coordinating committee for the PSO Faculty Scholars Academy. He is also the founding coordinator of the Public Service & Outreach Student Scholars Program.

Paul regularly presents and publishes service-learning scholarship and convenes UGA's Faculty Learning Community on Service-Learning Research. He serves as the section co-editor for the Advances in Theory and Methodology section of the International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement and for the Dissertation Overviews section of the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. He holds the "Community Engagement Fundamentals" credential through Campus Compact's Community Engagement Professional credentialing program (2020), and was the Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement's Outstanding Practitioner of the Year for 2016. Paul was appointed a Commissioner on the Georgia Commission for Service and Volunteerism by Governor Brian Kemp in 2020.

Paul is also past president of the Classic City Rotary Club; International Service and Grants Chair and past Assistant District Governor for Rotary International District 6910; and a long-time Scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 149 in Oconee County, GA. Paul and his wife are restoring their hundred-year old historic bungalow, and he also plays Celtic music with other local musicians, with weekly sessions in downtown Athens. Paul has received numerous community and civic recognitions including the Rotary Foundation Citation for Meritorious Service; Scouting's District Award of Merit and Silver Beaver; Georgia TESOL's Professional Service Award; and was the Northeast Georgia Council's sole inductee for the Boy Scouts of America 100th Anniversary National Hall of Leadership (2010). Paul was presented the Key to the City of Athens from Mayor Nancy Denson in 2018.

Email: pmatthews@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-0892

Kay Vaughn is the Business Manager for the office. She handles the administrative functions of the office, including processing payroll, data entry, and other key functions.

Email: kyvaughn@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-8924

Joshua Podvin serves as the Assistant Director for the Office of Service-Learning, focusing on community partnerships and engagement. In this role, he supports the "Engage Georgia" platform, coordinates communication and support of community partners, special projects and days of service, and helps promote reciprocity and partnership with the local community. Josh also leads UGA's National Student Exchange program. He previously served as the Experience UGA Coordinator, facilitating educational field trips to the UGA campus for all 13,000+ students in the Clarke County School District. He is a graduate of the Public Service & Outreach Vivian H. Fisher Leadership Academy and the Public Service & Outreach Facilitation Academy. Prior to joining the Office of Service-Learning, Josh worked as the Senior Coordinator for the Center for Student Organizations and National Student Exchange Program at UGA for 9 years. Josh earned his M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from Arizona State University in 2006, and more recently he has been pursuing a Masters in Landscape Architecture part-time while working full-time for UGA. Recognized as 2013 Athens Exceptionals, Josh and his wife Erin are advocates of all things Athens. Currently they are enjoying a new adventure with the recent addition of their sons (Amos and Charlie), who keep them busy and mildly sleep deprived. Originally from the Cincinnati, OH area, Josh is a staunch supporter of the city’s ever-struggling sports teams and unique style of chili. In his free time he enjoys ceramics, playing soccer, and making pies and preserves for friends.

Email: jhpodvin@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-4511

Ashleigh Ellsworth-Keller began as the coordinator for Experience UGA in fall 2019. Prior to this role, she worked for two non-profits in Vermont for 11 years leading programming and development for youth from low-income housing neighborhoods and people with disabilities, and supervising college students and AmeriCorps members. After 16 years living outside of the Southeast in Vermont and Arizona, Ashleigh is glad to be closer ("but not too close") to family in the Carolinas, and is happy to call the great city of Athens (and the state of Georgia) her new home!

Ashleigh holds a BA in English from Wake Forest University, an MA in Religion from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, and an MA in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. Her interests include running, hiking, reading, and writing, and going on adventures with her husband and daughter.

Email: Ashleigh.EK@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-5008

Wick Prichard is the coordinator for the Grow It Know It program, which places AmeriCorps VISTAs in local schools to work on agriscience, food security, school gardening and sustainability initiatives. He previously served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Clarke Middle School as well as in naturalist and educator positions in Maine and California. He holds a Masters in Environmental Planning and Design and a Bachelor's in History.

Email: warwickp@uga.edu Phone Number: (707) 623-7459

Danielle Kerr is a doctoral student in the Institute of Higher Education. She holds a graduate assistantship with the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement where she serves as a managing editor. Her research interests include the influence of organizational policy and privilege on cultural diversity and inclusiveness efforts in Southern institutions of higher education. She directs specific attention towards the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality and their implications on the faculty promotion and tenure process. Danielle earned her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from the University of Hawaii - Manoa. Additionally, Danielle earned a Masters of Arts in Sociology and a Masters of Arts in Higher Education/Student Personnel from the University of Mississippi. Prior to starting doctoral work in the Institute of Higher Education, she served as Graduate Admissions Specialist in the Graduate School at the University of Mississippi.

Email: danielle.kerr25@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-1278

Phil Adams is a graduate assistant with the Office of Service-Learning, serving as managing editor for the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. He is a doctoral student in UGA's Institute of Higher Education. His research focuses organizational decision-making and the influence of institutional identity and mission on the decision-making process. His dissertation examines those issues specifically at public liberal arts colleges. Prior to beginning doctoral work at UGA, Phil was the associate director of the Center for Academic Achievement at Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. 

Email: p.adams@uga.edu

Kai Lawrence serves as one of the two VISTA Leaders for UGA's AmeriCorps VISTA Network, a role she began in August 2020. A graduate of the University of South Florida, she also served with NCCC, a related AmeriCorps program, prior to her VISTA Leader role.

Email: k.kailawrence@gmail.com Phone Number: (754) 242-3120

Peter Kreutzer is a Graduate Assistant with the Office of Service-Learning.

Email: pk95004@uga.edu

UGA's AmeriCorps Network VISTA members each serve full-time for a year in a campus or community placement. The current VISTAs and their placements are:

  1. Flannery McAleer, Athens Community Council on Aging.
  2. Ali Elyaman, Clarke Co. Mentor Program.
  3. Elizabeth Savin, Grow It Know It.
  4. LaDiamond Lett, College Factory.
  5. April McCoy, UGArden.
  6. Rachel Pless, Grow It Know It.
  7. Olivia Rothstein, Experience UGA.
  8. Brittany Siewe, Athens Regional Library.
  9. Miriam Wilch, Campus Kitchen-UGA
  10. Chelsey Willoughby, Grow It Know It..
Email: pmatthews@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-0892

Andie serves as the Campus Kitchen Coordinator, leading an amazing group of college students in rescuing food waste and turning it into nutritious meals and grocery bags for families experiencing food insecurity in Athens. She also works as the USDA grant coordinator for Grow It Know It program, coordinating their school garden teacher training program.

Prior to coming into the OSL family, Andie completed her MS in Crop and Soil Sciences from UGA in 2018, and worked as an environmental educator in Georgia, Maine and Connecticut. She also holds a BS in Environmental Studies from Bates College in Maine. 

Email: abiscegl@uga.edu Phone Number: (706) 542-0891