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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Public service awards honor mentorship, advocacy programs led by Tar Heels

Recipients of 2018 Public Service Awards included, from left, Project READY, represented by research associate Casey Rawson; Celeste Brown of the White Coats Black Doctors Foundation; and Brian Hogan, leader of three mentorship programs for North Carolina middle and high school students.

The Carolina Center for Public Service recognized several community-based programs led by Carolina faculty, staff and students at its 2018 Public Service Awards celebration on April 9.

“Service to others is at the heart of how a great public university engages with communities and addresses issues of shared concern,” said Lynn Blanchard, the center’s director. “Recipients of this year’s Public Service Awards exemplify the best of how Carolina serves the public good. I am honored to recognize their meaningful and profoundly important work.”

Dorothy Holland

Dorothy Holland, Boshamer Professor of Anthropology Emeritus, received the 2018 Ned Brooks Award for Public Service recognizing her long commitment to building collaborations between the University and the community that create new opportunities and generate academic excellence. Holland co-founded the Center for Integrating Research and Action and the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research. CIRA took its social change research to grassroots organizations in the state, spurring new conversations about the best ways to advocate for issues. The GCPR creates opportunities for graduate students to develop research skills in partnership with communities and provides them with substantive collaborative research experiences.

The Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award was established in 2000 by then-Provost Dick Richardson to recognize extraordinary public service and engaged scholarship at Carolina.

Alice Ammerman, professor of nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, was recognized for engaged research for the Heart Healthy Lenoir Project. This National Institutes of Health-funded project was a community-based partnership between HPDP, Lenoir County and East Carolina University to reduce heart disease. Ammerman and her team worked with primary care practices to help patients control their blood pressure, increase physical activity and improve diet with heart-healthy recipes.

Jean Davison, associate professor in the School of Nursing, was recognized for engaged teaching for developing a service-learning course focused on migrant Latino health in North Carolina. The course teaches fundamental concepts of global health and included clinical teaching in North Carolina, Honduras and Nicaragua. Davison received an APPLES Service-Learning grant in 2015 and has expanded her local and global outreach course activities as a result.

Project READY: Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth received the engaged partnership award. Project READY is a grant-funded initiative of the School of Information and Library Science partnering with the Wake County Public School System and North Carolina Central University. These partners implemented a yearlong professional development series for school librarians and educators working with them focused on racial equity. Librarians have since created innovative programs focused on educational racial equity in local classrooms.

The Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award recognizes undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty for exemplifying outstanding engagement and service to the state of North Carolina.

Joseph Nail, a senior political science and economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, was recognized for his work as co-creator of FairEd, a nonprofit that uses mentorship programs to provide high school students from low-income backgrounds resources and support during the college application process. Nearly three-quarters of those served are now attending a college or university.

Celeste Brown, a fourth-year medical student in the School of Medicine, is a founding member of the White Coats Black Doctors Foundation. Brown and four other medical students created the foundation in 2015 to address the significant deficit of African-American physicians in North Carolina and the rest of the country. WCBD hosts networking and speaking events, conducts a mentorship program and offers a scholarship that offsets the cost of medical school applications.

Brian Hogan, a teaching associate professor in the department of chemistry, is also the director of the Carolina Covenant. Hogan was recognized for his leadership of three mentorship programs for North Carolina middle and high school students. SOAR provides near-peer mentors to young Latino students and encourages involvement in science and mathematics. SUCCEED bolsters STEM education in North Carolina schools by donating science experiment kits to classrooms. GLOW works to increase access to higher education among young African-American girls through positive role modeling and academic help. Hogan was a member of the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Class IV.

Bryan Giemza, director of the Southern Historical Collection, was recognized for his work partnering with community members in western North Carolina to create Maya from the Margins, a program educating Latino and indigenous students about the history of their roots and culture. The program paired North Carolina students with families in Yucatan, Mexico, and implemented an exchange program that resulted in a showcase of student research displayed in both North Carolina and Yucatan. The program received recognition from the Rare Books and Manuscript Section of Carolina’s Wilson Library and the Society of American Archivists for its innovation and creativity.

Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, a student organization within the School of Law, was recognized for its work to protect victims from their abusers through the Ex Parte Project, including its partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. These students believe that the law has the power to bring about meaningful social change and that battling domestic violence is an important step toward ending violence against women. Each semester, Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence sponsors a series of panel discussions and research projects to educate the community about the domestic violence epidemic.