2016 Award Recipients
Gayatri Rathod ’16, a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences from Charlotte, received the undergraduate student award for work with Tar Heel TABLE, an organization that provides healthy, emergency food aid to hungry preschool, elementary and middle-school children living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. In her two years as co-chair of Tar Heel TABLE, Rathod launched social media photo campaigns, food drives and news interviews to increase TABLE’s outreach and involvement. In all of her efforts, Rathod has emphasized involvement in TABLE with the hope of combatting hunger.
Catherine Schricker ’18 and Korry Tauber ‘18, both graduate students in the School of Dentistry, received the graduate student award for their work with North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) Patient Oral Health Education Program. Tauber and Schricker created and implemented an oral health educational program to supplement the North Carolina Dental Society’s portable free dental clinic. They collaborated with community partners and UNC faculty mentors to develop their oral health education program, which is now a permanent component of the NCMOM clinics. Student volunteers provide personalized dental health instruction using visual aids in combination with interactive demonstrations.
Christopher Wallace, program coordinator at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture & History, received the staff award for his work with the Communiversity Youth Program. Communiversity draws on existing UNC resources and coordinates them so they can serve local children more effectively. The program exposes kindergarten through fifth-grade students to a college environment and provides them with academic and cultural tools to improve their performance in the classroom, social outlook and likelihood of success in a college environment.
Josh Hinson, clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work, received the faculty award for his work on UNC Global Transmigration – Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. This project began by training graduate students to use an evidence-based refugee mental health screening instrument and collect data on the extent of refugees’ mental health needs and the effectiveness of mental health treatment. In 2015, Refugee Wellness began contracting with the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services’ Refugee Office to provide mental health services to refugees throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties.
Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) received the campus organization award for its work as a student-led organization whose mission is to provide free health services to local, underserved individuals and communities; partner with communities to develop and implement sustainable health programs; and create an interdisciplinary service-learning environment for students in the health science programs at UNC. Established in 1967, SHAC operates weekly interdisciplinary acute medical and dental clinics, as well as chronic care and referral services and home health services. SHAC serves more than 1,100 patients annually through these clinical services.
2015 Award Recipients
Hana Haidar, a senior English and sociology double major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received the undergraduate student award for her work with the UNC chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a national organization that provides decent and affordable housing for low-income families. Haidar served as chair of the community outreach committee, developing relationships between UNC student volunteers and the families of Chapel Hill’s Phoenix Place. Haidar hosted several community initiatives to promote financial literacy, healthy eating habits, physical activity and art education.
Kristin Black, a maternal and child health doctoral student from Sacramento, California, received the graduate student award for her work with Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism and Equity. This study is a systems-change intervention that optimizes transparency and accountability to achieve racial equity in the completion of cancer treatment among patients with early-stage breast and lung cancer. Black monitored the logistical components of the study and trained others in the Undoing Racism approach that ensures a common language for examining racial disparities in the healthcare system.
Mathilde Verdier, program coordinator at UNC’s Social Innovation Initiative, received the staff award for her work with CUBE, the university’s on-campus social innovation incubator. CUBE helps its participants build critical knowledge through mentorship, expert feedback sessions and skills-building workshops that deliver critical information to early-stage social ventures. At CUBE, Verdier built strategic partnerships to support students, faculty and staff with ideas surrounding some of society’s most pressing issues.
Bebe Smith, clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work, received the faculty award for her work as project director of Critical Time Intervention, a collaborative effort between the UNC School of Social Work and the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. The project helps those with mental illness who are experiencing a critical transition – from homelessness to being housed, from hospital or prison to community, or to foster engagement in mental health treatment after emergence of severe mental illness. The program meets basic needs, aids in recovery and connects participants with appropriate treatment and resources. Smith also engages with state policy makers to expand the program to fill gaps in North Carolina’s mental health and homelessness service systems.
Domestic Violence Advocacy Project Organization received the campus organization award for its work providing free legal services to survivors of domestic violence who seek protection orders. The Domestic Violence Action Project is a student-run program at the UNC School of Law where students work closely with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Durham Crisis Response Center to assist in filing motions for protection orders, accompanying clients to court and educating clients about court proceedings.
Zack Kaplan ’15, an American studies and political science double major from Philadelphia, received the undergraduate student award for his work at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, a community center in the historic Northside neighborhood of Chapel Hill. Kaplan works with the advocacy and outreach team to involve student-residents of the Northside community in appreciating, celebrating and continuing the deep history of service and kinship that has been sustained in the Northside community since the founding of the University. Kaplan’s goal is to create a more unified neighborhood and alleviate the growing disconnect and discord between students and permanent residents in the Northside community.
Sarah van der Horst, a physical therapy doctoral student from Chapel Hill, received the graduate student award for her work with Amigas en Salud, a program that aims to advance the health and independence of underserved Latinas in the greater Triangle area by providing health literacy and other tools that lead to productive, healthy and injury-free lives. van der Horst assists in weekly exercise classes, provides nutrition information and offers free childcare for participating Latina mothers.
Robert Pleasants, interpersonal violence prevention coordinator for Student Wellness and adjunct assistant professor of health behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, received the staff award for developing and teaching his service-learning course, Leadership and Violence Prevention. Pleasants also created One Act, a bystander education program for violence prevention that is connected to his service-learning course. Each semester, Pleasants places students with community and campus organizations to further interpersonal violence prevention. Sites include the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, the Compass Center for Women and Families, the Carolina Women’s Center, the Chapel Hill Police Department, the UNC Hospitals Beacon Program and the UNC LGBTQ Center.
Kelly Hogan, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biology, received the faculty award for her biology service-learning course aimed to increase blood platelet donation awareness. Through work with the UNC Blood Donation Center, Hogan’s students focus marketing and education efforts on diverse student groups and the local community with a variety of events and activities to promote blood platelet donation.
Enrich ESL, a Campus Y committee, received the campus organization award for its work to provide English tutoring to Chapel Hill’s Latino community. The goal of Enrich ESL is not only to offer valuable English tutoring services, but also to foster connections and understanding across lines of difference to address injustices and building stronger communities. Enrich ESL connects community members and UNC students, making campus more accessible to non-native community members, and connecting community members to other student organizations.
Barbara Renner, library services evaluation specialist with the Health Sciences Library, received the staff award for expanding the reach of the YOUR HEALTH radio program, produced by the department of family medicine, through a dynamic website.
Camille McGirt ’13, Gillings School of Global Public Health, received the undergraduate student award for her work with Healthy Girls Save the World which promotes healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy relationships for young girls in the Chapel Hill area.
Meriwether Evans, a student in the School of Law, received the graduate student award for her work with the Pro Bono Program which ensures that individuals who have neither economic nor political means have the opportunity to actually pursue legal claims and rights.
Charlotte Stewart, a student in the School of Law, received the graduate student award for her work to help found the Orange County Homeless Court, a statewide Veterans Legal Resource Network and the ACLU Voting Rights Education Project.
Judith Blau, professor emeritus of sociology, received the faculty award for founding the Human Rights Center (HRC) of Chapel Hill and Carrboro through her service-learning classes and connections with other campus organizations.
Helping Youth by Providing Enrichment (HYPE), a Campus Y committee, received the campus organization award for its work to promote higher learning and university exposure to under-served students in the local area.
Allison Norman, a senior psychology major, received the Robert E. Bryan undergraduate student award for her work with Students Working for Environmental Action and Transformation (SWEAT), a Campus Y group committed to defending social justice through environmental initiatives.
Jeanne Cross, a masters student in the School of Social Work, received the graduate student award for her efforts to fight human trafficking, providing anti-trafficking community education to North Carolinians and UNC classmates, and building partnerships among Carolina graduate students, North Carolina citizens and sex-trafficking survivors.
Nicole Hurd, executive director and founder of the National College Advising Corps, received the staff award for her work with the Corps, a program headquartered at UNC that works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education.
Dr. Laura Linnan, associate professor in Health Behavior and Health Education, received the award for her contributions to workplace intervention research.
Claire Lorch, community outreach coordinator at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, received the award for her outstanding dedication to the Carolina Campus Community Garden.
Dr. Jason Jolley, senior research director at the Kenan Institute received the award for his work for Chatham County economic development strategic planning.
Dr. Lynne Vernon-Feagans, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor in the School of Education, received the award for her Targeted Reading Intervention project.
Tucker LaPrade, an English graduate student instructor, received the award for his English 101 service-learning class with Eno River State Park.
Lisa Pelehach ’12, who studied psychology and sociology, received the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for her efforts to create the SMART Mentoring program.
Karen Erickson, a professor of Allied Health Sciences, was honored for her work with Orange County Schools in implementing a reading model that began in Efland-Checks School and has now been implemented system-wide.
Jordan Treakle ’10, who studied International Studies, was honored as a founding member of FLO (Free, Local Organic) Foods.
Maggie West ’10, who Public Policy and Latin American Studies, was honored for her work with the Hunger Outreach and Poverty Eradication Project (HOPE) committee of the Campus Y.
Megan Jones ’10, who studied Journalism and Mass Communication, was honored for the Build a Block program of UNC Habitat.