Service-Learning Projects Across Disciplines Helps Keep Golden Isles Beautiful

November 18, 2021
By: Tiffany King

The College of Coastal Georgia has become well-known in the Brunswick-Golden Isles community for engaging with community partner agencies through service-learning projects. Service-learning is a course-based experience in which student’s projects reinforce classroom instruction by having students apply what they are learning to real-world situations and address a need in the community. This semester, Keep Golden Isles Beautiful (KGIB) partnered with the College on four service-learning projects that helped different aspects of the organization’s goals.

The mission of KGIB is to preserve and enhance the beauty of Glynn County through community stewardship. By partnering with KGIB, students were able to contribute towards keeping the Golden Isles beautiful, promote the importance of conservation efforts, and see first-hand what they’ve learned in class in action.

In Environmental Communication, taught by Assistant Professor of Geology Dr. Robin McLachlan, a student developed a themed artwork for a boat trash collection effort. The student also photographed KGIB events and assisted with social media messaging and promotion. Two students from Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. Nicole Pankiewicz’s Honors American Government course focused on KGIB’s administrative duties. They provided assistance in collaborating on the development of projects, events, and initiatives. KGIB is a non-profit organization and a student in the Non-Profits and Social Enterprises course, taught by Associate Professor Management Dr. Jim Fullerton, focused their project on grants and management. This student wrote portions of grants to help with KGIB’s fiscal efforts and volunteered to help manage events. A student group from Assistant Professor of English Dr. Mary McGinnis’ English Composition I course developed an educational brochure to inform the community about KGIB and share their good work done in Glynn County.

“Coastal’s service-learning program enables students from different disciplines to apply their knowledge and assist KGIB in a wide array of projects and initiatives, greatly enhancing KGIB operations in the process,” said Lea King-Badyna, executive director of Keep Golden Isles Beautiful. “As a two-person staff, we appreciate their contributions, welcome their fresh perspectives, and value what they accomplish with us.”

Interim Director of Service-Learning and Undergraduate Research Dr. Cody Cocchi considers community partners like KGIB to have an enormous impact on the health and aesthetic beauty of the local environment.

“College of Coastal Georgia is lucky to partner with KGIB because they also provide a diverse array of experiences in which students can engage and build potentially life changing experiences,” Cocchi said.

By having students from different disciplines engage with KGIB, the organization was able to address various needs, and students learned how different skillsets are essential to the success of any organization.

To get involved or find out more on service-learning, please contact Cody M. Cocchi, Interim Director of Service-Learning and Undergraduate Research via e-mail at

To get involved or find out more on Keep Golden Isles Beautiful, please contact Lea King-Badyna, Executive Director, via phone at (912) 279-1490 or e-mail at