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Two student organizations in literacy education receive 2018 SOAR Awards

  |   Kathryn Kao   |   Permalink   |   Kudos,   Spotlight,   Students and Faculty

This year, two student organizations in the College of Education were recognized for their achievements during the 17th Annual H. Gordon and Francis S. Davis Student Organization Achievement and Recognition Awards at the Tate Student Center.

Administered by the Center for Student Activities and Involvement, the awards recognize student organizations that positively advance the UGA community through groundbreaking projects or programs.

Both the Journal of Language and Literacy Education (JoLLE) and the Language and Literacy Education Graduate Organization (LLEGO) in the College's department of language and literacy education won awards for their overall organizational creativity and innovation.

Specifically, JoLLE won two awards for organizational improvement and social justice commitment, while LLEGO won the Outstanding Small Campus Event Award for the visit of David Bloome, the EHE Distinguished Professor of Teaching and Learning in the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University.

"Even though we are a relatively small student organization, we have worked really hard this year to build on JoLLE's tradition of excellence," said Heidi Hadley, principal editor of JoLLE. "One of the things that I love about JoLLE is that it assumes that graduate students are capable, independent and motivated, and it provides us with an opportunity to produce a really interesting and smart journal in our field twice a year."

In addition to acquiring new funding to make the organization's annual conference more affordable for students, JoLLE also extended its national and international impact by recruiting manuscripts from historically black colleges and universities and increasing its social media presence. As a result, Hadley and her peers doubled attendance at the 2018 JoLLE Winter Conference, which prioritized inclusion and social justice.

"The biggest lesson for us as a group was that social justice and equity work doesn't just happen because you hope it will or because you want it to—you have to make a specific and deliberate plan about how you are going to get the word out to underrepresented populations and how you are going to make the conference equitable at all levels of planning," said Hadley. "The Commitment to Social Justice Award was a really special win, and we are enormously proud."

JoLLE also provided financial support for first-time conference presenters from underrepresented populations, and through their efforts, was able to invite Elizabeth Eckford, one of the original Little Rock Nine, to present at the conference with the co-authors of her new book, "The Worst First Day."

The 2018 SOAR Awards received 55 nominations with more than 800 student organizations registered with the university.

"I've learned a lot about professional writing and publishing, and I've also learned a lot about leadership," said Hadley. "I count myself lucky to have been part of a student organization that insists on both rigor and collegiality."

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