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Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship

Our Mission:

The Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS) works with students, faculty, and staff to promote and support a culture of engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship.


Through the Center’s programs, faculty will utilize and foster teaching and learning practices that enhance students’ academic, civic, and leadership capacities through classroom and community-based experiences.


Dr. Steven Jones
Director of CELTS

202 N. Clark St.

Dr. Jones is the Director for the Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS).  Prior to his current position, Dr Jones served as Associate Provost for Civic Engagement and Academic Mission at the University of Scranton, where he was also responsible for international programming and supervision of the Office of International Programs and Services. Dr. Jones has authored and edited several publications related to domestic and international civic engagement. He is a co-editor, with Robert Bringle and Julie Hatcher, of "International Service Learning: Conceptual Frameworks and Research."  He edited the second edition of Campus Compact’s "Introduction to Service Learning Toolkit" and is a co-author of two other Campus Compact monographs, "The Community’s College: Indicators of Engagement at Two-Year Institutions" and "The Promise of Partnerships: Tapping into the Campus as a Community Asset."  He is also co-editor, with Jim Perry, of "Quick Hits for Educating Citizens." His most recent publication is a book chapter in the forthcoming, "International Volunteer Tourism: Critical Reflections on Good Works in Central America." Steven received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Utah in 1995 and was an associate professor of political science at the University of Charleston from 1995-2002 where he also served as the Director of the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Government Studies. Dr. Jones came to Georgia College in 2012.


Wesley Smith, Director of IDEAS
Wesley Smith
Director of IDEAS 
Library 3rd Floor, Room 375 

Wesley Smith is currently the Director of IDEAS. Wesley began his career 18 years ago. Wesley has taught in a traditional classroom setting along with hybrid settings. He has conducted many workshops training faculty on the proper use of educational technology in their daily lesson plans. During his career, he has created two instructional technology departments at two sister USG institutions while also serving as a faculty member in the Department of Education at Middle Georgia College. In his current position, Wesley works with faculty, staff and students to develop innovative ways to use technology in the teaching/learning process.


Barb Szyko picture
Barbara Szyjko
Instructional Technology Support, IDEAS  
Library 3rd floor, Room 375  

Barbara is the Instructional Technology Support Specialist - Senior in IDEAS. She comes to GC from Mercer University where she has more than 15 years experience training faculty/staff and students in the proper use of educational technology. Barbara works with individuals as well as conducting workshops and other training events for faculty/staff and students.


Laura Mender Photo


Laura Mender
Systems Analyst, IDEAS
Library 3rd floor, Room 375

Laura Mender is a systems analyst in IDEAS. She came to Georgia College in 2012. She has been in information technology for over 30 years as a systems analyst, computer auditor, and a project manager. Laura holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Data Processing and an MBA. She is a GeorgiaVIEW D2L Administrator. 


John Bowen Photo

John W. Bowen
Coordinator of Leadership Programs
202 N. Clark St.

Since 2005, John Bowen has served as the coordinator of leadership programs at Georgia College, where he directs the Emerging Leaders Program, the Leadership Certificate Program, the Georgia Education Mentorship Program, and the Inspire! Student Leadership Forum.  He also serves as advisor to the student editorial staff of "The Corinthian: the Journal of Student Research at Georgia College", faculty secretary for the GC Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa (the National Leadership Honor Society), a mentor in the SOAR student success program, and co-chair of the Student Research Conference Planning Committee.  From 2007-2011, John taught with the GC Department of Outdoor Education, instructing courses and workshops in wilderness living, backpacking, rock-climbing, and caving.  John earned an Associate’s in Language & Literature from Andrew College, a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Georgia, and a Master’s in Outdoor Education Administration from Georgia College.  While in graduate school, John completed a summer semester in Alaska with the National Outdoor Leadership School.



Sara Stephens
Administrative Assistant, CELTS
202 N. Clark St.
Tel: 478-445-1248
Fax: 478-445-0990

Sara Stephens is the administrative assistant for the Center of Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship.



Sara Faircloth
NLA Campus Executive Director and  Service Learning Coordinator
202 N. Clark St.
Sara Faircloth came to Georgia College to oversee the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (formerly American Humanics) Certification Program in 2002. Prior to coming into higher education, Sara worked for 35 years as a nonprofit executive in several different nonprofit agencies in Florida, Virginia, and California. She was given responsibility for the Service Learning Program in 2005. Sara holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology/Sociology from East Tennessee State University and an MPA from Georgia College.  


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