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The Ned Brooks Award for Public Service honors the contributions and values of Ned Brooks, who has served the University since 1972, making significant contributions to the mission of service and engagement, including a leadership role in the development of the Carolina Center for Public Service. The award recognizes a staff or faculty member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community who throughout his/her career has, in a collaborative and sustained manner, made a difference in the larger community by:

  • encouraging active involvement of others in service to and engagement with the community beyond the University, and/or
  • directly providing public service beyond the University and
  • mentoring, inspiring and providing opportunities for others to effectively make a difference in the larger community.

The award is based on a sustained record of service over a period of years carried out through the individual’s role(s) at the University rather than as a private citizen. All faculty and staff are eligible. One award is given annually. The recipient will receive a $1,200 award and recognition at the annual Public Service Awards ceremony. Self-nominations and previous recipients of this award are not eligible. To view a list of past recipients, click the “Previous Award Recipients” button at the bottom of this page.

Nominations for the 2022 Ned Brooks Award open in November 2021 and close in February 2022. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal.

2021 award recipient

Anita Brown-Graham’s history with UNC-Chapel Hill reveals a deep dedication to service through her varied roles as student, professor, alumnus and director. After graduating from the UNC School of Law in 1991, she spent three years working in private practice before making her return to the University at what was then the Institute of Government (now the School of Government). For 13 years, she worked tirelessly to serve the state’s public officials on a range of governmental liability and community and economic development issues, becoming a nationally recognized authority on developing strategies to lead communities out of economic distress. Notably, Brown-Graham became the first African American faculty member to be tenured at the School. She left Carolina in 2007 to serve as the director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University, but she rejoined the School of Government in 2016 to launch the ncIMPACT Initiative. As director of the Initiative, Brown-Graham has spent the last five years leading the effort to expand the School’s capacity to work with public officials on complex policy issues. She works with her colleagues to devise programs to support communities across the state tackling issues including economic mobility, homelessness, workforce preparedness, the opioid crisis, expansion of education and more. Most recently, Brown-Graham was named to head Carolina Across 100, the Chancellor’s five-year initiative to engage with communities throughout the state to make a meaningful impact in the wake of COVID-19.