UGA Libraries Names Nine Faculty as 2024 Special Collections Fellows

Submitted by Camie on

Nine­ University of Georgia faculty members are preparing new classes this May as 2024 Special Collections Faculty Teaching Fellows, a program designed to help instructors incorporate UGA Libraries’ archival materials and active learning strategies into courses.

The new cohort reaches a broad spectrum of academic areas, from art, history, and agricultural leadership, education, and communication to social work, health promotions and behavior, and economics. The faculty members’ wide range of disciplines reflect the breadth of UGA’s special collections, ensuring interaction across the Athens campus as well as students at UGA’s Tifton campus.A group of faculty members smiling at the camera while in between large shelves in a vault

Through this program, co-sponsored by the University Libraries and the Center for Teaching and Learning, the new fellows will spend Maymester in workshops learning, researching, and developing courses that feature materials from special collections in ways that advance the learning objectives and interests of their respective disciplines. This archives-centered approach draws upon tools and resources of, a comprehensive teaching guide developed by the Brooklyn Historical Society. The program will conclude with a three-day institute where fellows will present their course designs and gather feedback from their cohort peers and the fellowship instructional team.

The 2024 Special Collections Faculty Teaching Fellows are:

  • Elizabeth Saari Browne, Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History, Lamar Dodd School of Art

  • Barry Croom, Professor in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communication, College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

  • Michael Ford, Instructor in the Department of English, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

  • Robert Kaminski, Lecturer in the John Munro Godfrey, Sr. Department of Economics, Terry College of Business

  • Joseph Peragine, Director and Professor of Painting and Drawing, Lamar Dodd School of Art

  • Marni Shindelman, Associate Professor of Photography, Lamar Dodd School of Art

  • Andrew Walgren, Lecturer in the Department of History, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences

  • Rebecca Wells, Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, and the College of Public Health

  • Caroline Young, Lecturer in the Department of English, Franklin College of Arts and Sciences.

Since 2015, UGA Special Collections Fellows have designed more than 75 courses across 40 disciplines, engaging thousands of students with the rich array of materials held in UGA’s three special collections libraries.

“Participation in this program is a testament to our Fellows’ dedication to the craft of teaching,” said Toby Graham, university librarian and associate provost. “We look forward to working with this group of outstanding faculty members to design archives-centered courses that ignite students’ curiosity and strengthen their research and critical thinking skills.”

The 2024 Special Collections Faculty Teaching Fellows will complete archives-based course training this Maymester, with a hands-on introduction to archives-centered learning and behind-the-scenes tour of the three special collections departments—the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection.

“The Special Collections Faculty Teaching Fellows program is an exemplary initiative in instructional innovation, highly esteemed and aspired to by other institutions around the country,” said Megan Mittelstadt, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. “The curriculum developed by the fellows, under the guidance of a talented instructional team, provide rich and engaging educational experiences for UGA students. Each year, participants attest that this program is among the most rewarding and enjoyable endeavors of their careers – a sentiment I can corroborate through my own observations of program sessions and student learning products and presentations from courses involved.”

The Special Collections Fellows instructional team includes Steve Armour, Mazie Bowen, Kathleen Carter, Anne DeVine, Mary Miller, and Jill Severn, who serves as program coordinator for the Libraries. Jennifer Eimers serves as the program’s liaison and advisor from the Center for Teaching in Learning.

In 2020, the program was recognized by the Georgia Historical Records Advisory Council with an award for excellence in the educational use of historical records.