Gregg Kaufman’s life has led him through two careers. They may not seem so similar at first glance, but at the root, they both highlight civic engagement and service to the community.
For 30 years, Kaufman worked as a Lutheran minister serving four congregations in Pennsylvania, Georgia and New Jersey.
“As a minister I felt like I had a sense of social purpose. My proudest achievement was starting a preschool for children of homeless families,” said Kaufman. “It has been active for 17 years and is still going strong. This church is now known for its community outreach.”
His second career began 10 years ago when he came to Georgia College, first as the Coverdell Institute Director, then as an instructor and coordinator of the American Democracy Project (ADP).
“Both careers allowed me to focus on citizen life and community problems,” said Kaufman. “It was an easy transition from ministry to higher education as they are both service orientated.”
Because of his work with ADP, Kaufman recently received a national award from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). He was given the first ever Barbara Burch Award for Faculty Leadership in Civic Engagement at the American Democracy Project and The Democracy Commitment National Meeting in Louisville, Ky. earlier this month.
“I had no idea this award had been created or that I would be the first recipient,” said Kaufman. “I’m still a little stunned and also honored to receive this recognition, but even more so that Georgia College is seen for its leadership and collaboration.”
Named in honor of Barbara Burch, provost emerita of Western Kentucky University, the award recognizes exemplary faculty leadership in advancing the civic learning and engagement of undergraduate students and advancing the work of AASCU’s American Democracy Project on campus and/or nationally.
Kaufman calls this the capstone to his second career, as he is set to retire in September.
“I see this as another new beginning for me to continue my civic work. My wife and I will relocate to the Jacksonville, Fla. area where I will continue my involvement with the Kettering Foundation, ADP and other community-based groups.”
Kaufman received his Master of Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary, his Master of Divinity from Pacific Theological Seminary and his undergraduate degree in political science and international relations from Wilfred Laurier University located in Waterloo, Ontario.