Eight University of Georgia faculty teams were awarded grants for projects proposed during the second year of the Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty.

The goal of the program, launched by Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Jack Hu and the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach Jennifer Frum, is to encourage academic faculty to identify a challenging issue in rural Georgia and find UGA outreach faculty members to partner with on solutions to that challenge.

“As a land-grant and sea-grant institution, the University of Georgia has a responsibility to reach into communities across the state and to help them address their most pressing needs,” Hu said. “By connecting academic faculty and outreach faculty, we can accelerate high quality, community-focused research in rural Georgia and build upon our commitment to serving the state’s citizens.”

The workshop is designed to provide a strong introduction to rural engagement for academic faculty by providing the background, information, skills and knowledge needed to be successful. The overall goal of the workshop series is to help strengthen partnerships with communities across Georgia through increased, collaborative, and focused research and scholarship. This program addresses two of  UGA’s 2025 strategic directions: Growing research, innovation, and entrepreneurship; and strengthening partnerships with communities across Georgia and around the world.

In its second year, the workshop offered participants the opportunity to to receive between $5,000 and 10,000 in seed grant funding, provided by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

Recipients include:

  • Amy Baldwin, professor at the Augusta University/University of Georgia Medical Partnership and associate professor in the UGA School of Social Work, in collaboration with faculty from UGA Extension and Archway Partnership.
  • Michelle Ritchie, assistant professor at the College of Public Health, in collaboration with faculty from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
  • Brad Heins, a clinical assistant professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine, in collaboration with faculty from UGA Extension.
  • Heather Padilla, assistant professor at the College of Public Health, in collaboration with faculty from UGA Extension.
  • Puneet Dwivedi, associate professor at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, in collaboration with faculty from the Archway Partnership.
  • Kristina Jaskyte Bahr, professor at the School of Social Work, in collaboration with faculty from the Archway Partnership and the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development.
  • Lilong Chai, assistant professor at the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, in collaboration with faculty from UGA Extension.
  • Ping Ma, a distinguished research professor at the Franklin College of Art and Sciences, in collaboration with faculty from UGA Extension.

Learn more about the Rural Engagement Workshop for Academic Faculty at: https://outreach.uga.edu/programs/rural-engagement-faculty-workshop/


WRITER

Émilie Gille Digital Media Coordinator

emilie.gille@uga.edu • 706-543-0964