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The Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award was established in 2000 by Provost Dick Richardson to recognize extraordinary public service and engaged scholarship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This award recognizes faculty members or university units for exemplary engaged scholarship in service to the state of North Carolina. The service should serve as an example of excellence, including responsiveness to community concerns and strong community partnerships.

Three Provost awards are given, one each for:

  • engaged teaching,
  • engaged research and
  • engaged partnership.

Recipients receive a $500 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 2021 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award open Dec. 1 and close Feb. 8. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal.

2020 award recipients


Maya Berry, assistant professor in the department of African, African American and diaspora studies, received an Office of the Provost Award for developing and leading the “Fugitive Anthropology” workshop series on race, gender violence and the politics of research. Her successful initial workshop brought together faculty and graduate students to discuss these complex topics. Berry later received a Wenner-Gren Foundation grant to design and host a more expansive workshop on gender violence and the politics of research.


Deborah Jones, professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience, received an Office of the Provost Award for her leadership of a program called Tantrum Tamers. This program grows out of Jones’s research and findings from clinical services. Through Tantrum Tamers, Jones trains graduate students in the UNC clinical psychology program to provide free, evidence-based mental health care to families of young children with behavior disorders. Tantrum Tamers includes an online therapist portal and a mobile application for clients. To date, Jones has provided ongoing clinical training to 20 graduate student therapists who have supported 169 racially and ethnically diverse North Carolina families.

MI-PHOTOS: Mothers Informing Pregnancy and Postpartum Health Outcomes Through StOry Sharing led by co-principal investigators Sarah (Betsy) Bledsoe, associate professor of social work, and Katherine LeMasters, doctoral student in epidemiology, received an Office of the Provost Award for partnership-driven research. Recognizing research gaps that exist despite known health barriers and infant fatality rates in Robeson County, North Carolina, MI-PHOTOS puts the research in the hands of the subjects. Through this project, mothers capture the realities of health care for themselves and their children through pictures, discussions and storytelling.


Helyne Frederick, clinical associate professor and program director of human development and family studies in the UNC School of Education, received the Office of the Provost award for partnership. Frederick works with community partners, schools and health care programs to conceptualize meaningful projects that enable student service-learning. Students learn, research and problem-solve while developing projects addressing topics like food insecurity, maternal care, socioemotional learning and substance abuse. Through the course, community partners receive intern support and final deliverables.

2020-2021 Public Service Award Committee

Lynn Blanchard

Carolina Center for Public Service

Patricia Harris

School of Education

Meg Landfried

Department of Health Behavior

Caroline Leland

Carolina Center for Public Service

Anneliese Long

Department of Anthropology

Dylan Russell

School of Government

Denise St. Jean

Department of Epidemiology

For more information, contact Ryan Nilsen.