Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award

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The Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award honors the memory and accomplishments of alumnus Robert E. Bryan ’26 of Newton Grove, N.C., who worked his way through the University to become a successful businessman, entrepreneur and public servant.

Five Bryan Awards will be given for a specific effort (rather than an overall record) exemplifying outstanding engagement and service to the state of North Carolina that is characterized by:

  • working in partnership with community members,
  • inspiring and involving others, and/or helping others to serve,
  • responding to a practical problem, issue or concern of the state, and
  • working to assure the impact in the community is lasting.

Bryan awards will be given to each of the following to recognize an outstanding

  • undergraduate student,
  • graduate student,
  • faculty member,
  • staff member, and
  • officially recognized student organization.

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2015 Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award. Nominations require a very brief (two-paragraph) nomination submitted by 11:59 p.m., Feb. 2, 2015. Selected nominees will be invited to complete a more detailed submission about their work by Feb. 23, 2015. Final selection will be based on both the initial nomination and the nominee application. Nominations accepted at the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal. For details, visit For questions, email or call 919-843-7568. Save the date for the 2015 Public Service Awards – April 7, 2015.

The 2014 Bryan awards went to four individuals and one organization:

Zack Kaplan pub_serve_winners_14_006Zack Kaplan ’15, an American studies and political science double major from Philadelphia, 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, 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.

Bob Pleasants pub_serve_winners_14_007Robert Pleasants, interpersonal violence prevention coordinator for Student Wellness and adjunct assistant professor of health behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health 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, 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, 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.