PSO Student Scholars

Public Service and Outreach Student Scholars Program

Helping undergraduates experience UGA’s land- and sea-grant mission 



The 2020-21 PSO Student Scholars held a socially-distant session with then-USG Chancellor Dr. Steve Wrigley

The Public Service and Outreach Student Scholars program provides the opportunity for a select group of undergraduate students to explore and engage with the University of Georgia’s public service and outreach mission. This year-long program provides understanding of the purpose, breadth and depth of UGA’s reach across Georgia through hands-on experiences with the eight units of Public Service and Outreach (PSO). Students will be encouraged to link those experiences with their career and educational goals. The program was first established in Spring 2011 and is supported by the Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach and administered through the Office of Service-Learning, a unit of PSO.

Application and supplemental materials are due March 30, 2022 for the 2022-2023 program. (PDFs at bottom of the page)

Students who have completed at least one year of university study prior to the start of the program year are eligible to apply. Students in all majors are welcome to apply and to consider how their skills and knowledge could benefit from internships with particular PSO units. Learn more about the PSO units and activities at http://outreach.uga.edu/ or in the PDF available below.



See more about the 2021-22 cohort here!

Program Overview

Fall Semester

  • Hands-on leadership development
  • Visit the Public Service and Outreach units on Fridays
    • Learn about the units’ mission, work and opportunities for involvement 
    • Meet with PSO administrators, staff and faculty
  • Spend a weekend visiting Skidaway Island near Savannah, home to UGA’s Marine Education Center and Aquarium 
  • Take part in hands-on service opportunities 
    • Thanksgiving “Turkeypalooza” – food collection and meal distribution through the Office of Service-Learning’s Campus Kitchen at UGA 

Spring Semester

  • Participate in structured, 120-150 hour internships with one of the eight Public Service and Outreach units or the vice president’s office
  • Receive mentorship and supervision by a faculty or staff member
  • Meet with university administrators 
  • Receive recognition at the Public Service and Outreach Annual Meeting and participate in professional development
  • Serve as ambassadors for the program
  • Have the option for paid summer internships with a unit (does not have to be same one from spring internship) 

Contact us to speak with a current student to learn more about the program.

The internships and the program are approved for inclusion in UGA's experiential learning initiative. Check out the video of past students' "Instagram Takeovers" explaining more about what their internships entail!

Student Scholars meeting with UGA Provost Jack Hu        



Student Scholars learning about Georgia's growing oyster industry

To apply students should submit:

  • The completed application form (PDF, below)
  • A current résumé
  • A 250-500 word statement explaining: your motivations to participate in the PSO Student Scholars program; your preference and rationale for possible internship placement(s); and how participation relates to your career/academic goals
  • One faculty/staff reference form (PDF, below) (sent by them directly to Paul Matthews at the Office of Service-Learning, pmatthews@uga.edu)
  • A current UGA transcript (official transcript may be sent by the Registrar’s Office to Paul Matthews at pmatthews@uga.edu, or a student-generated [unofficial] transcript included with application materials) 

 All materials are due by Tuesday, March 30, 2022.

Program finalists will be interviewed in April, with final notification prior to the end of the semester.

 



“Our program assessment shows that participating students report a statistically significant increase in their self-efficacy for successfully serving their community, and in their knowledge about the public service mission of UGA,” said Paul Matthews, associate director for the Office of Service-Learning and administrator of the program. Past participants have gone on to receive Fulbright Fellowships, entered medical school, been named Schwarzman Scholars, gone to graduate school in a range of fields, taught for Teach for America, entered the foreign service, been Boren Scholars, served as AmeriCorps VISTAs and have gone on to pursue successful careers in a wide variety of fields. 

Here's what past PSO Student Scholars have to say about the program:

  • one of the best experiences I have had at the University of Georgia thus far”;
  • I feel like I have learned so much more about the university and about myself through participating in the program.”
  • by far the single most impactful thing I have done during college”;
  • Without having the experiences afforded me by this program, I would not be where I am today... PSO really did change my life.”