DeMaria Named National Society for Experiential Education Fellow
Friday, February 12, 2021
Don DeMaria, Director of the Washington Semester program, has been named a National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) Fellow, a new
community developing scholarship for those working in the experiential education field.
DeMaria’s appointment is key in supporting UGA’s goal to expand experiential learning
opportunities as listed in the 2025 Strategic Plan.
“Don’s deep and ongoing engagement with students shows his dedication to the student learning experience,” says Rahul Shrivastav, vice president for instruction. “From his early days in housing, through developing internship programs at the honors level, and onto establishing the Washington Semester Program, Don’s commitment in enriching the educational journey through experiential learning makes him an ideal representative for this fellowship.”
DeMaria is the founding director of the University of Georgia Washington Semester Program and has served in this role for more than 13 years. During this time, he played a crucial role in developing Delta Hall, UGA’s campus in Washington, and establishing a campus-wide experiential learning requirement for all undergraduate students. DeMaria also serves as a member of the steering committee of the Washington Programs Consortium, an organization dedicated to the professional development and enhancement of DC-based experiential learning programs.
“I have witnessed the transformative impact of internships and am eager to be part of this work as we collectively work towards establishing a guide to experiential learning in academia,” says DeMaria.
The inaugural cohort of NSEE Fellows will support the national internship survey, in collaboration with the Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions (CCWT) at UW-Madison. Fellows will be responsible for involving their institutions in the survey, serving as the liaison for their institution and CCWT, serving as the data “translator” upon survey report delivery, and exploring opportunities to strengthen internship experiential education at their respective college/university.
Additionally, fellows will work closely with NSEE Scholar, Dr. Patrick M. Green, of Loyola University Chicago, Executive Director of Loyola’s Center for Experiential Learning.
“I am honored to be part of the inaugural class of fellows of the National Society of Experiential Education,” states DeMaria. “This is an exceptional opportunity to collaborate with other scholar-practitioners to advance research in this important area. I know that this will allow me to advance my work and the experiential learning initiatives throughout our campus.”
Understanding the real value of experiential learning, UGA made it a requirement for undergraduate students beginning in 2016. The university believes that experiential learning can elevate a student’s trajectory, enhance competencies and enable opportunities, now and for years to come. To learn more about our program, visit https://el.uga.edu/.