Faculty members from the College of Education and Cooperative Extension, in the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, have been named Public Service and Outreach Faculty Fellows for 2019-20.

Darris R. Means, in Counseling and Human Development Services at the College of Education, will work with the Archway Partnership to study the tools, skills and resources that rural high school students need to prepare for college. The research is designed to help underserved populations—such as African American, low-income and first-generation college students from rural Georgia—succeed in higher education. Means’ studies, which include data collected from Pulaski and Candler counties, will be replicated and expanded to include more Archway Partnership communities so that the Archway professionals there can make data-informed decisions to improve educational attainment across the state.

Svoboda “Bodie” Vladimirova Pennisi, a full professor and UGA Cooperative Extension Specialist at the UGA Griffin campus, will work with the Small Business Development Center to implement online learning opportunities. Pennisi’s online business training module will be designed to help entrepreneurs and managers run a successful landscape management business by covering critical topics such as financials, marketing, cost estimating, employee retention and customer service, all catered to the landscape management field. In the future, the module will be used across UGA Extension and adopted for a new online class for undergraduate students. An experienced online educator, Pennisi will apply her horticulture and landscape expertise to help small businesses across Georgia.

Launched in 2011, the Faculty Fellows program provides professors with an opportunity to apply their research and course curriculum to the needs of a specific PSO unit. As a result of the program, departments across the university have a sustained relationship between the designated unit and the Faculty Fellows’ departments.