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College of Environment and Design

Jennifer Lewis

Job Title: Director, Center for Community Design and Preservation


Phone: (706) 542-6760
Street address: 285 S. Jackson St.
Athens GA 30602
Head shot of Jennifer Lewis

Personal Interests

Academic service-learning, community engagement, design charrettes, downtown revitalization, historic preservation, historic preservation commissions, historic schools as schools, neighborhood revitalization, urban design


  • Historic Athens (formerly Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation)
  • Citizens for Healthy Neighborhoods
  • CAPPA – Community Approach to Planning Prince Avenue Steering Committee

Honors and Awards

  • PSO Facilitation Academy (2019-20)
  • Vivian H. Fisher PSO Leadership Academy (2017-18)
  • Service-Learning Fellow, Office of Service Learning, The University of Georgia (2011-12)
  • President of the Board of Trustees, Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation (2010-11)
  • Trustee of the Year, Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation (2009)
  • “40 Under 40”, Athens Banner-Herald (2009)
  • Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation Preservation Award for Outstanding Achievement, to Community Approach to Planning Prince Avenue Steering Committee (2004)
  • Sigma Pi Kappa Preservation Honor Society, The University of Georgia (1997)



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Biographical Information

Jennifer Lewis is the Director of the Center for Community Design and Preservation – the Public Service and Outreach arm of the College of Environment and Design. She develops and promotes community engagement, service-learning, and collaborative partnerships for the benefit of students, faculty, staff, citizens, and UGA public service and outreach units. She also manages the college's design charrette program – a service-learning opportunity for students that provides a collaborative visioning workshop for Georgia communities. Her expertise lies in service-learning and community engagement, as well as historic preservation commission activities and design review programs in historic districts, downtown revitalization programs, and community design charrettes – all tools that assist communities in protecting what is significant from their past and managing future growth. 

Jennifer was a member of the 2019 Public Service and Outreach (PSO) Facilitation Academy, the 2018 Vivian H. Fisher PSO Leadership Academy, and a 2011 PSO Service-Learning Fellow. She has served on the Board of Trustees for Historic Athens for a total of ten years, including terms as its President and as Chair of the Preservation Awards and 50th Anniversary committees. Previously, Jennifer has served the state as Georgia’s Certified Local Government Coordinator and as Design Manager for the statewide Better Hometown Program.


1995 Bachelor of Arts, Art History and Studio Art, College of Charleston
2002 Master of Historic Preservation, The University of Georgia, Thesis: “We Become Like That Which We Constantly Admire: Justifying the Use of Historic School Buildings as Schools”
2012 Charrette System Certificate, National Charrette Institute


Hoschton thumbnail

Hoschton charrette
As a small town in Jackson County, GA, on the I-85 corridor, Hoschton's population of 3,000 is projected to balloon to 10,000 in just five years.  In-town traffic is already on the rise, clogging smaller roads not meant for the current influx of cars.  Many people are relocating to the area for the small-town lifestyle yet expect bigger-city amenities. This charrette will explore walkability, historic preservation, infill building design, a 7-acre civic parcel, and the creative reuse of the historic water tower. 

mcduffie trails   

Little River Trails charrette, McDuffie Co.
Conducted a design charrette for the McDuffie County Archway Program to develop a multi-user trail system and recreational enhancements along the Little River and within the Clarks Hill Wildlife Management Area.  Deliverables include concepts and an illustrative master plan for a land-based trail system to support an application for a Georgia Outdoor Stewardship Program grant.  This charrette included virtual public engagement methods for community feedback.  Final Deliverables 

UGAMI trailer   Interdisciplinary Research Team - Coastal Housing Resiliency
Member of an interdisciplinary UGA team of engineers, ecologists, planners, social scientists and others to explore how lessons learned from initiatives such as the Katrina Cottage, in combination with innovations such as 3D printed construction techniques, could produce affordable homes that are better suited to withstand storm events yet fit in among traditional residences.  The UGA Marine Institute on Sapelo Island will serve as a proving ground for this project.  Article
west broad school athens ga  

West Broad School redevelopment
Mitigation discussion with Historic Athens and Clarke County School District on the redevelopment of a historic school campus that showcases the evolution of Black education in Athens. Providing guidance for MUPD student Practicum on reuse explorations for the site.

cedar shoals sketch  

Cedar Shoals High School Peer Leaders
Spearheading a nascent partnership with a local Athens-Clarke County high school to introduce juniors and seniors to design and planning opportunities in higher education and citizen engagement.  Collaborating with CSHS Peer Leadership group, an MLA thesis project, and supporting faculty members with service-learning course opportunities.

springfield log cabin school  

Springfield Log Cabin School
Providing assistance to Taliaferro County group working to save a historic African-American structure.  Providing guidance that builds on the long-term assistance from the CED Historic Preservation program through additional student design work and independent study research.

brewery drawing

Brewpub Charrette, Hawkinsville GA
This charrette focused on brewpub tourism as economic development and downtown revitalization. Concepts for four potential brewpub locations were explored – a former gas station, a historic cotton mill warehouse, a vacant site Downtown, and a former laundromat – as well as a master plan for a neglected riverfront park. Collaborators included the Pulaski County Archway Partnership and the RSVP team at the UGA Carl Vinson Institute of Government, who included the charrette results in their final report. Final RSVP Report


Interim Findit Coordinator
Led the development of new digital communication tools by the Findit program in order to present survey results in a more engaging and accessible manner. This included updating the standard survey report template’s narrative content and graphic layout, as well as creating StoryMaps, which use GIS to support interactive and readily available map-based content – perfect for historic architectural surveys. 
Carr's Hill  and Newtown 

balloon tower exercise  

Experience UGA field trips
Lead annual field trips for local tenth-graders to showcase landscape architecture and environmental design through the “Experience UGA” program - a partnership between the Clarke County School District (CCSD) and the UGA Office of Service Learning which aims to bring every PreK-12 student to UGAʼs campus every year for a curricular-based field trip. In partnership with CED's Georgia Students in Landscape Architecture (GSLA) and 30+ CED student volunteers for two 200-student field trips. Read more

experience UGA charrette-sm  

Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning
Presented with colleagues from the UGA Office of Service Learning on the Experience UGA curricular field trip partnership on campus. Our interactive workshop demonstrated how a charrette format was used to develop the 10th grade trip to the CED to explore landscape architecture and environmental design, and how this design-thinking approach is applicable to other engagement opportunities.

Students walking down Dooly County road   Rural Health studio
Partner with Professor Longenecker’s LAND 4030-S service-learning studio to provide community engagement and historic preservation expertise through a partnership with the College of Public Health and the UGA-CAES/FACS Cooperative Extension service on a High Obesity Program (HOP) initiative. Each semester since Fall 2019 includes a sequence of studios that will work with Taliaferro, Stewart, Dooly, Clay and Calhoun counties to understand the connection between healthy lifestyles and rural communities as it relates to how places are designed. Article


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