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Research

ALEC faculty are highly rated for teaching, research, and outreach programs in teacher education, extension education, leadership development, service learning, program development and evaluation, internationalization of the curriculum, distance education, information and technology transfer, and organizational and community change.

Faculty Researchers

Kay Kelsey

Dr. Kelsey has served as program evaluator, adult educator, and qualitative research methodologist. Her research interests include examining the variables, motives, and barriers that empower people to become more engaged in sustainable food, environmental, and social systems to reduce hunger and mal-nutrition via micro food systems.

Abigail Borron

Dr. Borron’s research focuses on culture-centered communication with emphases in marginalized audiences, university engagement, and food insecurity. Dr. Borron is primarily concerned with the contested intersections of the dominant structure and the existing agency of individuals and people groups. This allows for in-depth analysis of audiences often labeled as low-resource or underserved. In addition, it brings to the forefront the narratives and lived experiences of these audiences, addressing complex social structures and iniquities. This enables, not only an identification of the barriers and pitfalls of a target audience, but also a critical examination of the programs designed to serve them.

Nick Fuhrman

Dr. Fuhrman's research interests are in nonformal teaching methods, program evaluation, and the use of live animals as teaching tools. Specifically, Dr. Fuhrman is interested in the characteristics of animals (injured vs. non-injured, naming an animal vs. not naming them, exotic vs. native) that influence learning and behavior change among program participants. He also has an interest in statistics and multivariate data analysis techniques.

Milton Newberry

Dr. Newberry’s research agenda revolve around environmental education programs targeting youth, nonformal pedagogical methods using live animals as teaching tools, adult environmental conservation programs, program evaluation (including in the context of environmental education), climate change perceptions, and survey methodology. Specifically, Dr. Newberry studies the characteristics that draw individuals towards environmental conservation and education and what attributes they gain from their involvement. Furthermore, Dr. Newberry conducts research on the use of program evaluation in environmental education programs, including how to effectively evaluate programs where animals are used in teaching. Continuing with human dimensions of natural resources, he researches how individuals view the issue of climate change. Lastly, he also conducts research on the influence of survey methodology on data quality.

Lauren Griffeth

Dr. Griffeth is interested in incidental learning among agricultural leaders.

Jessica Holt

Dr. Holt’s research interests revolve around consumer engagement within the food, environmental and social systems. She is particularly passionate about connecting consumers with local farmers and producers to create a symbiotic relationship. Dr. Holt conducts research related technology and innovation useful in creating engaging environments and opportunities for the public to learn and engage with the food systems vital for everyday life.

Maria Navarro

Dr. Navarro is interested in issues in Higher Education: Transforming higher education for a more global, socially conscious, and effective curriculum: 1) Professional development of faculty; 2) Student learning; and 3) Curriculum change; in addition to international cooperation and agricultural development: Education, communication, and extension issues affecting agricultural and human development in different areas of the world.

Jason Peake

Dr. Peake is interested in empowering communities toward food, environmental, and social sustainability through leadership, education, and communication. Recent projects includes work with the Future Farmstead located on the Tifton Campus and developing a model for community empowerment through food systems.

Eric Rubenstein

Dr. Rubenstein's research interests are in school-based agricultural education, non-formal education, and experiential learning. Specifically, Dr. Rubenstein specializes in the development, implementation, and utilization of supervised agricultural experience programs in school-based agricultural education.



Impact Evaluation Unit at UGA

Several ALEC faculty members are also members of UGA's Impact Evaluation Unit Evaluation. Impact Evaluation Unit specialists support project leaders at University of Georgia to conduct evaluation and educational research for the purpose of documenting broader impacts across campus. We offer comprehensive evaluation services in partnership with project leaders to plan, design, monitor and evaluate project activities for learning and accountability and to meet donor expectations to document broader impacts.

For more information about services offered, visit the Impact Evaluation Unit website.