Four UGA faculty members have been named Public Service and Outreach Fellows for the fall semester.

The Office of Vice President for Public Service and Outreach (PSO) began the PSO Fellowship Program in 2011 to help fulfill a strategic goal to create more outreach avenues for tenure-track and tenured professors. The fellowships allow professors to immerse themselves in the work of a PSO unit for a semester and use the knowledge in their academic courses, conduct research and apply their expertise to outreach initiatives.

Professor R.G. Brown III of the Lamar Dodd School of Art plans to beam sonar into salt marshes on and around Skidaway Island as a creative way to help teach people how to “see” the natural environment. Besides creating artistic, instructional images, Brown will work with the Marine Extension Service to develop sonar surveys as an educational tool for teachers in public schools. The images likely will detect patterns indicating undiscovered artifacts, deposits of upland soils and relict oyster beds, Brown said in his proposal.

JoBeth Allen, language and literary education professor in the UGA College of Education, will use her fellowship to lead workshops that continue building long-lasting family-school partnerships in communities served by PSO’s Archway Partnership.  Allen, an author whose work has focused on helping schools develop family partnerships to enhance learning, will help local educators build partnerships best suited to their community’s needs. Education students will work with teachers who are forming partnerships to create information and training resources that will be available to everyone in the partnership.

Assistant Professor Jennifer H. James of the College of Education’s department of elementary and social studies education will work with the Office of Service-Learning to expand service-learning opportunities in the Clarke County School District in Athens, with goals that include strengthening social responsibility and advocacy.

“Students who engage in critical service-learning are more likely to think deeply about social issues impacting their communities, develop a shared sense of responsibility for their community, and engage in collective political action to bring about change,” James said. She will use the fellowship to provide professional development programs for teachers; work with Clarke County School District personnel and colleagues in the Office of Service-Learning to measure the effectiveness of service-learning on students, and expand partnerships between the 12,500-student school system and other PSO units.

Stephen J. Ramos, an assistant professor in the College of Environment and Design, plans to work with the Fanning Institute to identify and develop projects on which the college and institute can work together to benefit Georgia communities.

PSO units include the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, the Georgia Center for Continuing Education Conference Center and Hotel, the Small Business Development Center, and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, in addition to the Archway Partnership, the Fanning Institute, the Marine Extension Service and the Office of Service-Learning.