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The Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award, now discontinued, was given annually between 2010 and 2018 in support of innovative public service projects that exemplified the motto of Rotary International, “Service above Self.” The award, which was sponsored by the Chapel Hill Rotary Club, was named for the late Dr. Ronald W. Hyatt, professor of Exercise and Sport Science at UNC-Chapel Hill and long-time member of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club, in recognition of his distinguished career at the University and his commitment to helping others. Each year that the award was offered, up to $3,000 was awarded for an international project and up to $2,000 was awarded for a local project.

2018 Award Recipients

Michaela Dubay, a graduate student studying speech and hearing sciences, and Emily O’Mara and Alex Miles, graduate students studying public health leadership, received the 2018 Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award. Dubay will use the $3,000 award to fund a project to improve autism care in Bolivia. She will partner with the UNC-Chapel Hill chapter of The Autism Project to educate local health professionals through lectures and presentations. O’Mara and Miles will use their award to aid development of Square One, a free, mobile tattoo removal service for those currently and formerly incarcerated. They will partner will multiple UNC departments and programs as well as medical students on this project.

2017 Award Recipients

Susanna Khachaturyan
Classroom to Community (C2C) is affiliated with the Maureen Joy Charter School in Durham, North Carolina. C2C provides health education at Maureen Joy, which lacks a health teacher, by teaching six health courses to the students through volunteers. The volunteers are UNC-Chapel Hill graduate students trained through seminars and coaching opportunities.

Asif Khan
Healthy Mind Initiative (HMI) is affiliated with Jaago in Bangladesh. Khan created a task force of volunteers to provide workshops to Jaago students on emotional and behavioral health topics. With the assistance of the task force, a peer mentorship initiative and creative expressions programming will be launched to train exemplary upper-class Jaago students to become peer-mentors for younger at-risk students.

Shivpriya Sridhar
Stage Play is affiliated with Campus Y and brings the art of acting and drama to children diagnosed with autism. In partnership with organizations at Carolina, volunteers will be recruited and trained during a five-week session to become a buddy to a child program participant. The buddy will participate in all activities with the child as they grow during the program.

Jacob Stocks
The Revamping Maternal, Neonatal and Child Health Services project in Lawra, Ghana will be affiliated with and aided by Project Heel. To support locally-led, sustainable health initiatives in rural Upper West Ghana, this project will contribute to local construction workers and clinic staff during renovation of Methodist Clinic of Lawra.

2016 Award Recipients

The grant paid for exercise equipment (some specialized) for women recovering from mastectomy surgeries. The student set up the equipment and did a pilot program over the summer. Christopher Brooks

Writing and Healing for Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence
This project consisted of three eight-week sessions where participants come together to reflect on their experiences through writing and sharing their work. A book was compiled in which their writing was anonymously shared and distributed through the Chapel Hill Public Library and the Women’s Health Information Center. Neha Verma ’15
This website is a sustainable, online cardiovascular disease resource that educates Southerners on how to preserve their culture while making healthy lifestyle decisions. The website includes recipes, physical fitness information and Mediterranean fast food sections as well as a community section for facilitating interpersonal connections with those having similar experiences. Marquis Peacock ’13

Kinesthetic Mathematics
This project trained volunteer teachers in South Africa in the KM method and targeted at-risk youth in Mamelodi to raise their fundamental math skills. Andrew Chi ’15


2015 Award Recipients

The United Solar Initiative
Founded by a Carolina undergraduate, this organization was created in partnership with Strata Solar. A student team from the Kenan-Flagler Business School received the award for their project, Bringing Electricity to Energy Desserts in Nicaragua. The funds were used to install a solar panel system on a school in Colocondo, Nicaragua, to generate electricity for the entire community.

Refugee Youth Leadership and Empowerment
This project focused on youth-led community development and provided support for local youth who are refugees to obtain training as professional interpreters in their native languages. This project met a demonstrated need for interpreters in the rare languages represented among local refugee populations.

Classroom to Community
Affiliated with UNC Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), this project recruited and trained volunteers from UNC Health Affairs graduate schools to provide health education for an underserved school in Durham, North Carolina. This program benefited the elementary school students and provided an important experience for UNC graduate students.

2014 Award Recipients

GlobeMed and Raising the Village: Goat Cooperative
This project established a goat cooperative in rural Uganda to promote positive economic growth, community collaboration, financial literacy, good health and sustainable farming practices. Gihani Dissanayake ’15, Helena Archer ’15, Julie Saracino ’14

Galapagos Science Center Water Survey
The project provided first-of-its-kind research to establish baseline measurements of fecal contaminants in drinking water on the island of San Cristobal. This research linked the levels of contamination to health outcomes, emphasized the importance of clean water to the local government and residential population and guided the local government’s efforts to upgrade their water infrastructure systems. The project also engaged with local scientists, creating a lab to assess the effectiveness of water treatment and distribution systems on the island. Billy Gerhard ’14

Firm Foundations/Fundamentos Firmes
Firm Foundations/Fundamentos Firmes is devoted to sustainably restoring health disparities among refugees and immigrants in the Oak Creek Apartments neighborhood through community and friendship. Firm Foundations/Fundamentos Firmes will initiate a wellness program providing support and education for improving nutrition and physical activity choices. These will include community potluck dinners, farmers markets and physical activity initiatives. The project leaders have committed to living in this community to build the relationships necessary to be successful. Kate Magee

Prevention through Education
The families at the Oak Creek Apartment are from all over the world — Burma, Sudan, Ethiopia, Vietnam– and may not know much about proper oral home care or have access to dental care. This project educated families, especially parents who will supervise their child’s oral habits, at the Oak Creek Apartments about behaviors that promote better oral health and taught the importance of practicing these behaviors to prevent caries and oral disease. Jaehee Yoo ’15

2013 Award Recipients

A Drink For Tomorrow A Drink For Tomorrow (ADFT), a student-run organization associated with the School of Public Health, worked closely with UNC’s pan-campus water theme and raised funds and awareness for the global water crisis through Las Cocas Sustainable Water Project in Peru.

2012 Award Recipients

GlobeMed at UNC

Ugandan HIV Positive Youth: Empowerment Through Technology
Elizabeth Cotton ‘12, Gabrielle Neri-Mynatt ‘13 and Alecia Westphalen ‘13

GlobeMed at UNC interns, Trini Thach and Susan Violet traveled to Gulu, Uganda in partnership with Health Alert Uganda to empower youth through technology. Interns lead a three-part technology based workshop series focusing on computer basics, Mircosoft office, Gmail, Google docs, basic typing and computing skills. They worked to further Health Alert Ugandan’s mission to provide opportunities and skills for HIV infected and affected youth to continue the fight against HIV and AIDS.

2011 Award Recipients

Engineers Without Borders

Gillings School of Global Public Health
Sustainable Sanitation in Cuidad de Dios

2010 Award Recipient

Mujeres en Solidaridad Apoyandose (MESA), Laura Ziemer