Two student organizations in the College of Education were recently recognized for their collaborative achievements during the 18th 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 SOAR Awards recognize student organizations that positively advance the UGA community through groundbreaking projects or programs. This year, the awards received more than 150 nominations with 765 student organizations registered on campus.
For the second year in a row, both the Journal of Language and Literacy Education (JoLLE) and the Language and Literacy Education Graduate Organization (LLEGO) received SOAR Awards, this year, winning in the category of organizational collaboration for increasing participation and resources for the College's Fall Speaker Series and Winter Pre-Conference Workshop.
"The team has worked tirelessly to bring new programming and opportunities to the department, and I only hope that the organization continues to grow and expand with each passing year," said Alex Lampp, a doctoral student in the department of language and literacy education and president of LLEGO. "I learned so much about collaboration from the leadership team members and the coordination it takes to host successful events—skills that I can carry with me throughout my career."
Despite working as independent entities, JoLLE and LLEGO decided to increase communication efforts between the two groups this year and co-host both annual events together.
During meetings, members contributed their ideas and discussed event details, including venue spaces, program schedules and communication pieces. As a result of their joint efforts, JoLLE and LLEGO successfully increased attendance at the 2019 Fall Speaker Series featuring Antero Garcia, an assistant professor at Stanford University.
"With the combined power of both leadership teams, I think we were truly able to create a collaborative event that encompassed the goals of graduate students, the department and, more widely, the College of Education," said Lampp. "Additionally, as graduate students who work with preservice teachers, the attendance of undergraduates was an amazing success, as they were able to learn from a rising scholar in the field of language and literacy education."
JoLLE—a peer-reviewed, open access journal that features local, national and international scholars—also hosts an annual conference during the winter for educators interested in language and literacy education. This year, the event drew in 60 attendees, including undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, staff and practicing educators.
"JoLLE is one of my favorite things about being a graduate student at UGA," said Stacia Long, a doctoral student and principal editor of JoLLE. "Taken together, these relationships become a unique network that mentors us into becoming critical, engaged, and productive scholars. I love being a leader in this organization, growing as a scholar and supporting other graduate students."