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Georgia College recognizes first C-bEL fellows

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June 05, 2014

From left to right: Renee Fontenot, Sandra Godwin, Barbara Funke, Kirk Armstrong, Ruth Eilers and Jan ClarkFrom left to right: Renee Fontenot, Sandra Godwin, Barbara Funke, Kirk Armstrong, Ruth Eilers and Jan ClarkGeorgia College has announced its first Community-based Engaged Learning (C-bEL) Fellows. As part of the new Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for the university, the fellows were recognized for their engaged learning initiatives already in place. They will also work to develop a cohort of C-bEL educators and community members who can provide expertise and guidance through the implementation of the QEP.

The 2014-2015 C-bEL Fellows are:

  • Kirk Armstrong, health and human performance
  • Jan Clark, rhetoric
  • Ruth Eilers, academic outreach
  • Renee Fontenot, marketing
  • Barbara Funke, community health
  • Sandra Godwin, sociology

C-bEL Fellows are faculty, staff and community members selected according to the impact of their work at Georgia College and in the community as well as their potential to mentor future C-bEL Fellows.

From helping Georgia College students mentor K-12 school children to HIV/AIDS awareness sessions in Belize and mural project in the Harrisburg community, these Fellows have an extensive record of developing and implementing community-based learning initiatives through their courses and work on and off campus.C-bEL Fellows Ruth Eilers (left) and Jan Clark discuss their engaged learning opportunities.C-bEL Fellows Ruth Eilers (left) and Jan Clark discuss their engaged learning opportunities.

“I worked with Academic Outreach as a graduate student and didn’t realize the impact it had until I later became the program coordinator and director,” said Ruth Eilers. “To get to see the Georgia College students come in as freshman and be transformed by the work they do with younger children is amazing. They develop skills for their future careers, but more importantly they learn leadership.”

The C-bEL Fellows were selected by an application review of an ad-hoc committee of faculty and staff from across the colleges.

“It’s wonderful that the university has formulized engaged learning as an institutional priority,” said Barbara Funke. “I believe this is the best way for students to learn. They gain confidence as they’re challenged while they learn about themselves, the population they’re working with and society overall.”

The QEP provides a blueprint for building a culture of engaged learning through the development of structured and assessable community-based engaged learning experiences that connect students with the liberal arts and the wider community.

This plan is the result of an inclusive and deliberative two-year process that sought input from university constituents.

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ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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For more information, contact University Communications at (478) 445-4477.