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Smagorinsky receives UGA Service-Learning Excellence award

  |   Michael Childs   |   Permalink   |   Spotlight

University of Georgia faculty members Peter Smagorinsky and Betina Kaplan have received 2014 UGA Service-Learning Excellence Awards.

The awards, established in 2011 by the Office of Service-Learning, recognize distinction in teaching and research related to academic service-learning.

Smagorinsky, Distinguished Research Professor of language and literacy education in the College of Education, received the 2014 Service-Learning Research Excellence Award. The research award recognizes UGA faculty members for excellence in research related to or resulting from academic service-learning.

Smagorinsky has used service-learning to weave together a program of research, teaching and service related to the preparation and support of future teachers of English. In addition to research presentations, book chapters and journal articles on these topics, Smagorinsky co-edited a recently released book, "Service-learning in Literacy Education: Possibilities for Teaching and Learning" (Information Age Publishing, 2014), the first compilation dedicated to service-learning in teaching and learning literacy across a range of perspectives. Smagorinsky was previously recognized as a 2007-08 Service-Learning Fellow, and has developed and taught the course "Service-Learning in Teacher Education" since 2008.

Betina Kaplan, an associate professor of Spanish in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, received the Service-Learning Teaching Excellence Award. The award recognizes UGA faculty members for excellence in developing, implementing and sustaining academic service-learning opportunities for UGA students in domestic and/or international settings.

Since 2002, Kaplan has taught the course "Spanish Practicum for Service-Learning," which she designed to engage students in applying their Spanish knowledge to opportunities including parent-teacher conferences, tutoring and healthcare referrals. She also developed and taught a version of the course for five semesters in UGA's Buenos Aires study-abroad program, as well as a First Year Odyssey course supporting Spanish adult literacy for immigrants in the Athens community. Kaplan was previously recognized as a 2012-13 Service-Learning Fellow.

Award recipients will be honored at the Provost's Faculty Recognition Banquet in April during Honors Week and receive a plaque and a $2,500 faculty development award from the Office of Service-Learning

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