A researcher in the College's Center for Latino Achievement and Success in Education joins an elite group on campus that is working to integrate academic service-learning with professional practice.
Paula Mellom, associate director for CLASE, is among nine faculty members named this year's Service-Learning Fellows program. The program offers faculty a chance to work with others from various disciplines across campus by meeting regularly and providing up to $2,500 to develop a proposed service-learning project.
For Mellom, the opportunity is another way to continue building off the work she is doing with CLASE, where she uses research-based methods to provide professional development to educators across the state and around the world.
"I am honored to be included as one of this year's cohort of Service Learning Fellows," she said, "This gives me the opportunity to extend the service-learning work that I have been developing for the last 10 years in Georgia and internationally to new spaces, to collaborate with phenomenal teachers and scholars who challenge my thinking, and to stretch and grow. I am really excited about applying what I am learning and developing a framework for integrating service-learning into coursework."
Mellom plans to develop a partially online graduate class that integrates service-learning best practices into an international teacher exchange program focused on culturally responsive pedagogy for linguistically and culturally diverse learners.
More than 100 faculty have participated in the program since it was established in 2006, and the service-learning projects they created pair students with partners locally, across Georgia and throughout the world to address community issues such as youth development, food insecurity, sustainability and public health.
Academic service-learning integrates organized service activities that meet community-identified needs into academic courses. As a result, the service enhances understanding of content, teaches civic responsibility and provides a benefit to the community. These types of courses are one way students can fulfill UGA's new experiential learning graduation requirement.