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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Thorp Scholars recognized for work with communities

Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars, class VI, were honored in August for their community engagement projects. Graduates are (back row, left to right) Anna Agbe-Davies, Enrique W. Neblett Jr., Alexandra Lightfoot, Kimon Divaris, (front row, left to right) Julia Haslett, Leisha DeHart-Davis, Rachel Willis and Antoine Bailliard, shown with Ron Strauss, executive vice provost and chief international officer.

Nine Carolina faculty members were honored in August for their community engagement through scholarly endeavors as graduates of class VI of the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars program.

The Carolina Center for Public Service created the Faculty Engaged Scholars program in 2007 to advance faculty involvement in engaged scholarship. In 2013, an endowment honoring former chancellor H. Holden Thorp was established to support faculty in the program. Selected through a competitive process, Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars learn about and pursue community engagement through scholarly endeavors during the two-year program. Since the program began, 63 faculty members have been selected from 12 professional schools and the College of Arts & Sciences, representing more than
28 departments.

Here are brief descriptions of the most recent graduates:

Anna Agbe-Davies, an associate professor in anthropology, has conducted archaeological fieldwork at the childhood home of civil rights activist Pauli Murray in Durham. 

Antoine Bailliard, an assistant professor in allied health sciences, collaborates with Assertive Community Treatment teams and their clients. 

Leisha DeHart-Davis, an associate professor, directs the School of Government’s Local Government Workplaces Initiative. 

Kimon Divaris, an associate professor in pediatric dentistry, is an oral and genetic epidemiologist and board-certified pediatric dentist. 

Julia Haslett, an assistant professor in communication and a documentary filmmaker, creates projects that respond to social issues that impact underserved communities. 

Coretta Jenerette, an associate professor in nursing, is committed to improving the health outcomes of people living with and managing sickle cell disease. 

Alexandra Lightfoot, a research assistant professor in public health, uses a community-based participatory research approach to address racial and ethnic health
disparities with communities across North Carolina. 

Enrique W. Neblett Jr., an associate professor in psychology and neuroscience, conducts research that examines the link between racism and health among African-American adolescents and young adults. 

Rachel Willis, a professor of American studies, is
a labor economist focused on access to work in the global economy.