Individuals, organizations recognized for service to state
In some way, the University touches all 100 counties in
Ned Brooks, left, poses with Pam Silberman, winner of the
Ned Brooks Award for Public Service. She received the award
during the April 11 Public Service Awards luncheon and ceremony
sponsored by the Carolina Center for Public Service.
Working with the local Burmese immigrant community,
developing a statewide consortium of future K–12 teachers who take
service-learning into public schools, addressing some of the state’s major
health and health-care issues, and lending a hand to the people of Appalachia
are a few of the public service efforts involving the University community this
“Engagement is really building relationships with the
communities and municipalities around our state. This commitment is in our
DNA,” Chancellor James Moeser said at the April 11
Public Service Awards luncheon and ceremony sponsored by the Carolina Center
for Public Service.
Honoring the nominees and award recipients recognizes “the
importance of these connections as an integral part of who we are as an
institution,” said Lynn Blanchard, the center’s director.
Blanchard and Mike Smith, vice chancellor for public service
and engagement, surprised the chancellor with an award
recognizing “his leadership in strengthening and expanding
Carolina’s tradition of public service and engagement, and ensuring
that we continue to change lives through educating scholars and leaders
dedicated to forging a brighter future for our state, nation and the world.”
Pam Silberman, a research associate professor in the School
of Public Health’s health policy and administration department,
received the sixth annual Ned Brooks Award for Public Service.
The award, named for Brooks, a Carolina faculty member and
administrator since 1972, recognizes a faculty or staff member who has built a
sustained record of community service through individual efforts and promoted
the involvement and guidance
Silberman, who is also president and chief executive officer
of the North Carolina Institute of Medicine, was recognized for her research,
which has led to beneficial legislation and policy making on topics including
the state’s child health insurance law, dental care access and insurance
coverage for low-income populations.
Her involvement of residents, fellows, graduate students and
other faculty in these endeavors has created a direct and effective link
between the University’s analytical capacity and health policy in North
Silberman said she was trying to follow in the footsteps of
her nominator and mentor Gordon DeFriese, a professor in the schools of
medicine, public health and dentistry, president of the North Carolina
Institute of Medicine, former director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health
Services Research and founding director of the UNC Institute on Aging.
The Carolina Center for Public Service also presented two
Office of the Provost Public
Service Awards honoring campus units for
service to North Carolina: the Student Coalition for Advocacy in Literacy
Education (SCALE) and the School of Law Center for Civil Rights.
SCALE was honored for Learning to Teach, Learning to Serve,
a statewide consortium of public and private universities designed to
develop a generation of K–12 teachers who have extensive experience with
service-learning. The program team works to identify community concerns that
can be addressed through placement of trained volunteer pre-service teacher
The School of Law Center for Civil Rights was recognized for
its work representing several communities in Moore County as an advocate
to address annexation issues. The success of their work was built on the trust
developed early on between residents and the center. One
resident said, “I am so thankful for the center …
We were struggling down here — when they first started working with us, I
didn’t know which way was up … I thought I was in a strange land. But, when I
think about all of things they’ve done with us, I just feel more invigorated.”
The Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award —
recognizing individual students and faculty for exemplary public service
efforts — went to graduate students Megan Ellenson and Thanh-Thu Tran,
faculty member Flora Lu and staff member Hannah Gill.
Ellenson, a second-year graduate student in the health
behavior and health education department, has devoted time to working with the
Burmese immigrant community in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. After working as part
of a team project to identify issues faced by these recent refugees, she wrote
a grant to support the children’s participation in a school-based art therapy
Tran, a second-year medical student, is
honored for her work in initiating and nurturing the involvement of the school
with Orange County’s Special Olympics program. She has
recruited medical students to serve as coaches and as medical staff for the
various Special Olympics events and competitions.
Lu, assistant professor of anthropology, was recognized for
her community-based research course on social justice. Students collaborate
with community partners around the state to develop research based on community
needs and to communicate their findings back to the community in relevant ways.
Undergraduates in Lu’s course have worked on issues from assessing hog waste
technologies to investigating the feasibility of the University purchasing
locally produced food.
Gill, assistant director of Institute for the Study of the
Americas in the Center for Global Initiatives, was honored for her work in
developing the Latin American Immigrant Perspectives course.
The course focuses on exploring the global
and local aspects of migration and gives
students the opportunity to work with
immigrants in North Carolina and spend their spring break in immigrants’ home
in Guanajuato, Mexico.