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" and the "Community Engaged Learning and Teaching" credentials through Campus Compact's Community Engagement Professional credentialing program, 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 and the Rotary Foundation Distinguished Service Award; 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

Aiyana Egins began as the coordinator for Experience UGA in fall 2021. Aiyana is from Columbus, GA and strives to serve her community in any way she can. Prior to this role, she has worked for two non-profits in Georgia focused on instilling confidence in youth. She has also served as a volunteer for Girls Inc, the American Cancer Society, National Diabetes Association, and St. Mary’s Road United Methodist church. Aiyana started her own organization, You Go Girl Enterprises, to cultivate confidence in young women through social media, events, and seminars.

Aiyana holds a B.A in Music from Wesleyan College and is a Master of Music Therapy candidate at UGA. Her interests include volunteering and spending time with her family.

Email: aiyana.egins@uga.edu

Marcus Merme serves as the VISTA Leader for UGA's AmeriCorps VISTA Network, a role he began in summer 2021. A former school teacher and administrator, Marcus also completed a VISTA year of service with Kennesaw State University prior to his current role.

Email: Marcus.Merme@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. (vacant), Athens Community Council on Aging.
  2. Elham Taghizadeh, Clarke Co. Mentor Program.
  3. Ameena Abdullah, College Factory.
  4. Rachel Dingley, UGArden.
  5. Daniel Robinson Player, Athens Regional Library.
  6. Kristyne Allen, Campus Kitchen-UGA.
  7. (vacant), Experience UGA.
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

Jamel Adams is Graduate Assistant for the Experience UGA program within the Office of Service-Learning and a graduate student in the College of Student Affairs Administration program at UGA. Originally from Zion Illinois, he graduated from Western Illinois University in Fall of 2020 with a Bachelors in Organizational Communication and a minor in Events Planning & Management. Throughout his undergraduate career, Jamel was highly involved with the University and Student Affairs overall, and worked within housing for two years, orientation, admission, student activities, etc. After graduating, he worked for the Boys & Girls Club as an associate manager, helping run a site, conducting program assessments, and working with administration on resource development. Jamel loves working with kids, being able to enrich their minds and create positive impact on their lives, especially those who are struggling.

Email: jamel.adams@uga.edu

Allison Adams is the Communications and Special Projects Graduate Assistant for the Office of Service-Learning. She is a graduate candidate in the Master of Science in Business Analytics program at UGA. She received her BBA in Management Information Systems from UGA. Allison's background is in IT project management, data analytics, communications, and social media management. Her previous volunteer experience includes work for Books for Keeps, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, and Children's Restoration Network. In her spare time, she enjoys soccer, musicals, and sketching. Allison is very excited to be working with the OSL this year to help give back to the Athens community.

Email: allison.adams@uga.edu

Julianne O’Connell is a doctoral student in the Institute of Higher Education and a graduate assistant in the Office of Service-Learning. Julianne holds a Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics and German from the University of Georgia. Prior to joining IHE, Julianne taught English in Austria and Indonesia. Her previous assistantship roles were as a graduate resident with University Housing and as a research assistant for Dr. Libby Morris. Julianne currently serves as the managing editor for the Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement. Julianne’s research interests pertain to student support services and basic needs security, and her dissertation will focus on how institutions address food insecurity on campus.

Email: jayy2@uga.edu

Amanda Gay is a graduate assistant for the Office of Service-Learnin and a master's student at the Institute of Higher Education. Prior to UGA, Amanda spent time in Washington, DC working for a nonprofit organization, and teaching English in Vietnam. Most recently, she worked in the Office of the Provost at the University of South Carolina, focusing on incoming international students, international programs, and faculty grants.  Her interests include cultural diversity, experiential learning, and educational opportunities abroad.

Email: amgay@uga.edu

Michael Lindquist is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy, where his primary interests are in ethical theory and environmental philosophy. He holds undegraduate degrees in philosophy and psychology from SUNY Oneonta, and a master's degree in philosophy from Western Michigan University. In Fall 2021 he is working with the Office of Service-Learning on food distribution projects in Athens, as well as other OSL initiatives. In the Spring 2022 semester he will again teach a philosophy service-learning course, PHIL 3900S: Philosophy for Children, which he helped develop.

Email: michael.lindquist@uga.edu

Olivia Rothstein is a graduate student in Landscape Architecture with the College of Environment and Design with an anticipated graduation date of May 2024. She is from Gainesville, Florida but got her undergraduate degree from the College of Charleston in South Carolina. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Historic Preservation and Community Planning in May of 2020. This past year she served as an AmeriCorps Service Member with Experience UGA here in Athens and is excited to have the opportunity to keep working with the Office of Service-Learning. Olivia is passionate about community engagement and service. In her free time, you can find her either at home reading, on the phone with her niece and nephews, or on long walks with her fiancé and their new dog, Mose. 

Email: Olivia.Rothstein@uga.edu