2022 Service-Learning Excellence Awards announced

Two Faculty Recognized with 2022 Service-Learning Excellence Awards

Two outstanding University of Georgia faculty members have been recognized by the Office of Service-Learning with Service-Learning Excellence Awards for 2022. These awards, presented in April during Honors Week, recognize faculty for impactful service-learning instruction, and for advancing service-learning scholarship. Since 2011, over 30 UGA faculty have received these awards.

2022 Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award Winner:

Katherine Melcher, Associate Professor, Landscape Architecture, College of Environment + Design

For over ten years, Katherine Melcher has developed and taught service-learning courses in Athens and Tifton, in three interrelated areas: design-build projects, edible landscape design, and community design projects in studio courses. Her service-learning classes have worked with community clients such as Brooklyn Cemetery, Tifton’s Future Farmstead model home, Pinewoods community, Athens-Clarke County Unified Government, Habitat for Humanity, the town of Bowman, and more. Her students report benefits including better understanding “the complexity that comes with creating a design for real world clients,” and attest to learning how to better listen to stakeholders, more deeply engage with the design process, and apply creative thinking to meet community needs. Melcher is a past recipient of the College of Environment and Design’s Teaching Excellence Award and was a Service-Learning Fellow in 2011-12.

2022 Service-Learning Research Excellence Award Winner:

Gary T. Green, Professor and Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Over the past two decades, Gary T. Green has engaged his service-learning students with local, state, and national partner agencies to assess the impact of environmental education programs on participants’ perception and behavior, and to determine how park and nature center facilities and services meet the needs of their visitors. For instance, Dr. Green and his students conducted research in conjunction with three Georgia State Parks, investigating which demographic groups felt underserved, which resulted in new facilities, programs and services provided. He co-led the annual National Survey on Recreation and the Environment and the National Kids Survey, leading to better understanding of Americans’ participation, behaviors, and benefits from outdoor recreation. Green and his students have authored dozens of technical reports, peer-reviewed journal articles and outreach research articles reporting on the development and findings of their scholarship. A 2018-19 Service-Learning Fellow, Dr. Green has also been recognized with numerous awards including the 2021 Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award, the Meigs Distinguished Teaching Professorship, and the Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.