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2021 award recipients

Teaching

Krome-Lukens headshotAnna Krome-Lukens, for direction of the senior public policy capstone course and collaboration with a wide range of nonprofit and governmental partners. As director of experiential education for public policy since 2015, Krome-Lukens coordinates the semester-long Public Policy Capstone class. Students in the course collaborate in small groups to tackle projects for community partners who seek policy research or analysis on a wide range of topics, such as education equity, environmental justice and affordable housing. Krome-Lukens works each semester to connect those students with regional and national organizations. The partner organizations receive actionable policy recommendations from the student groups while the students gain real-world experience. Krome-Lukens has overseen the capstone program’s doubling in size as the public policy major has grown. To ensure a positive experience for the program’s community partners, Krome-Lukens regularly meets with the community partners to learn about their organizations, the communities they represent and what they need, as well as how their needs overlap with students’ capabilities. The program’s benefit to the community partners is demonstrated by the partners’ continued commitment to the program: More than 40 partners have worked with the capstone program multiple times, and at least half of the partners involved in a typical semester are repeat participants. Students and community partners alike consistently express high levels of satisfaction with their experience in the program, thanks to the thoughtful leadership of Krome-Lukens.

Research

Courtney Woods portraitCourtney Woods, for collaborative environmental justice research projects with communities across North Carolina and establishment of the Environmental Justice Action Research Clinic. Leading by example for students who are learning to participate in community engaged work, Woods works to support community-initiated projects across North Carolina: including an investigation of potential water contamination from a landfill in Sampson County, NC, and data-gathering on anticipated public health impacts of an asphalt plant proposed to be constructed in Caswell County, NC. Woods oversees multiple student-led research projects, such a survey on the environmental and public health impacts of Hurricane Florence on residents of Robeson County, NC, which led to the distribution of cleaning tools to fight the growth of mold. Throughout projects like these, Woods helps guide her students to be more responsible researchers as they participate in community-driven work. For example, in her class for graduate students on environmental justice issues, Woods invites members of impacted communities to teach students directly. Woods recently received funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation for an Environmental Justice Action Research Clinic, which is intended to function like a legal clinic: providing free services to community clients and providing public health students with important opportunities for community engagement and public health practice. Woods’ commitment to community engaged research is further demonstrated by her participation in Class VII of Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars through the Carolina Center for Public Service.

Partnership

Slocum headshotMark Little headshotKarla Slocum and Mark Little, for innovative partnership work as co-chairs of Black Communities: A Conference for Collaboration (also known as BlackCom). This conference is an initiative jointly hosted by the Institute of African American Research and the UNC Create Center. Begun in 2018, BlackCom’s mission is to foster collaboration among Black communities and universities to support Black communities’ capacity to thrive and furthering the understanding of Black community life. In 2018 and 2019, more than 600 Black community leaders and academic researchers from across the world attended the in-person BlackCom gathering in Durham — made possible through community partnerships with the City of Durham and numerous other organizations in the city. Due to COVID-19, in 2020 BlackCom pivoted to virtual programming. Little and Slocum hosted an 11-week webinar series on Black Communities and COVID-19. The series paired academics and community leaders in dialogues about health disparities revealed and exacerbated by COVID-19, Black economic futures, the arts and more. In 2021, BlackCom again went virtual as a two-week event with themed roundtable discussions featuring activists, artists, non-university professionals and university scholars. Through workshops and collaboration sessions, BlackCom enables conference attendees to connect with one another and explore possible partnerships on projects or initiatives that support Black communities’ capacity to thrive.

Partnership

Lavalley headshotCooper headshotRyan Lavalley and Morgan Cooper, for innovative work in partnership with the Orange County Partnerships for Home Preservation, the Orange County Department on Aging and the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, in support of home preservation and repair and aging-in-community. As a post-doctoral research associate in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Lavalley coordinates community initiatives with UNC’s Partnerships in Aging Program (PiAP). As such, he is the project manager of the Department on Aging’s Handy Helper Program and the coordinator for the Orange County Home Preservation Coalition, both of which aim to improve housing quality in the community. Since August 2019, Lavalley has served as the “community mentor,” or supervisor, for Cooper’s UNC PiAP internship with the Department on Aging. Lavalley also served a preceptor for Cooper’s Gillings Public Health Practicum, in the form of a program evaluation for the Home Preservation Coalition. Cooper then became a steward for university-community partnership, leveraging her position as a UNC Gillings student to complete work in service of improved housing in Orange County. Through his position at UNC PiAP, Lavalley also supports robust community-university partnerships with the Marian Cheek Jackson Center. He provides leadership to signature programs including the Northside Living Learning Household, LINK: Linking Generations in Northside and the Elder Power Team, which create opportunities for students and neighbors to explore issues related to aging, housing and racial equity. Together, Lavalley and Cooper support community networks and cultivate age-friendly communities.

2020

Teaching

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.

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.

Partnership

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.

2019

Teaching

Meg Landfried, assistant professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, received an engaged teaching award for her work to develop the Health Behavior Capstone course for the Master of Public Health program. This community-led, group-based service-learning course allows students to apply their academic training to community-identified public health projects in partnership with local organizations. Each team of MPH students works with a partner organization and its stakeholders to address an overarching goal and enhance the partner organization’s mission.

Research

Meghan Shanahan, research assistant professor in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, received an engaged research award for her work addressing major public health issues in North Carolina in collaboration with stakeholders and partner agencies from across the state. Her projects have included evaluating the implementation of federal legislation in North Carolina, informing strategies to prevent child maltreatment deaths, opioid use among formerly incarcerated individuals and helping ensure healthy development among the state’s public school children.

Partnership

Stephanie Kiser, director of rural health and wellness in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, received an engaged partnership award for her disaster preparedness work with Buncombe County and the State of North Carolina. Over the past three years, this partnership has recruited students and faculty members to collaboratively design and implement annual disaster preparedness training for mass drug distribution and vaccine administration, focusing on areas of need identified by state and county partners. The partnership has helped local public health departments meet training requirements, identify critical gaps, establish relationships for maintaining a trained volunteer workforce and ensure the county can respond effectively to public health emergencies.

Partnership

Sonda Oppewal, associate professor in the School of Nursing, received an engaged partnership award for her work to promote community partnerships over the past 17 years. These partnerships range from certification of Adult Day Centers to providing disaster relief in Biloxi, Miss. after Hurricane Katrina to Project Homeless Connect. Since 2009, Oppewal has also led an interdisciplinary service-learning course in Tyrrell County, N.C. with community partners to help students better understand the social determinants of health.

Special Recognition

The Humanities for the Public Good initiative in the College of Arts and Sciences received a special recognition award from the Office of the Provost for its leadership in public service and engaged scholarship. Humanities for the Public Good is a four-year $1.5-million initiative intended to recognize and catalyze publicly engaged scholarly activity among humanists and humanistic social scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill. Initiated by Terry Rhodes, Interim Dean of the College, with support from the Institute for the Arts & Humanities and funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the initiative offers grants and programmatic opportunities primarily aimed at graduate students and faculty in partnership with cultural institutions within and beyond the academy.

2018

Research

Alice Ammerman, professor of nutrition in the Gillings School of Public Health and director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP), was recognized for engaged research for the Heart Healthy Lenoir Project. This NIH-funded project was a community-based partnership between HPDP, Lenoir County and East Carolina University to reduce heart disease in what is often called the stroke belt. Ammerman and her team worked with primary care practices to help patients control their blood pressure; understand genetic risk for heart disease. The project also focused on improving physical activity and diet, including innovative recipes for heart-healthy barbecue and hush puppies.

Teaching

Jean Davison, associate professor in the UNC School of Nursing, was recognized for engaged teaching for developing a service-learning course focused on migrant-Latino/a health in North Carolina. The course teaches fundamental concepts of global health and included clinical teaching in North Carolina, Honduras and Nicaragua. Davison received an APPLES Service-Learning grant in 2015 and has expanded her local and global outreach course activities as a result.

Partnership

Project READY: Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth received the engaged partnership award. Project READY is a grant-funded initiative of the UNC School of Information and Library Science partnering with the Wake County Public School System and North Carolina Central University. These partners implemented a yearlong professional development series for school librarians and educators working with them focused on racial equity. Librarians have since created innovative programs focused on educational racial equity in local classrooms.

2017

Research

Gary Cuddeback, distinguished term associate professor in the School of Social Work, was recognized for engaged research through the partnership between the Mental Health and Criminal Justice Evidence-Based Intervention Collaborative and the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Cuddeback leads a team that combines rigorous research methods and community engagement strategies to improve the lives of people with mental illnesses involved in the criminal justice system. The project developed a series of mental health training modules to educate probation officers across the state. The research program also developed treatment manuals focused on implementing an adaptation of an evidence-based practice for people with co-occurring illness and substance use disorders in mental health courts and probation settings.

Teaching

Hannah Gill, director of the Latino Migration Project, was recognized for engaged teaching for her work with the APPLES Service-Learning Global Course Guanajuato. The spring semester course trains bilingual students to understand the contemporary and historical complexities of immigration through research, service-learning with immigrants in North Carolina and travel to communities of migrant origin in Guanajuato, Mexico. The program fosters bi-national relationships with migrant families, secondary schools and foundations in Mexico. The Latino Migration Project is a public educational program on Latin American immigration and integration in North Carolina that includes undergraduate teaching. It is a collaborative initiative of the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives.

Partnership

Jenny Womack, clinical professor in allied health, received the partnership award for her work with the Orange County Department of Aging (OCDOA). Womack has worked with individuals, organizations and health-delivery systems to develop community-based services focused on three key issues affecting the quality of life for elders: driving, falls and dementia. She collaborated with the OCDOA on two successful grants – one funded a senior transportation coordinator, the other developed services and practices to build a dementia-capable community. Her efforts have impacted the aging community and empowered older adults and their families to utilize resources, programs and services in Orange County.

2016

Teaching

Rhonda Lanning, clinical assistant professor in the School of Nursing, received the 2016 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged teaching for her work on the Supporting the Childbearing Family course that paired students with professional doulas to develop their skills and provide care to women and families at North Carolina Women’s Hospital. This course collaborates with UNC Birth Partners to serve more families, expanding to vulnerable populations such as incarcerated mothers, as well as women experiencing substance-use disorders and significant perinatal mood illnesses.

Research

Molly De Marco, research assistant professor of nutrition and project director in the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, received the 2016 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged research. The U.S. Department of Agriculture funds SNAP-Ed UNC: Healthy Food for All in North Carolina project, which DeMarco directs, to provide nutrition education to people eligible for SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) in six predominately rural North Carolina counties. Intervention activities include implementing 18 community gardens, working with three farmers’ markets to remove barriers to use of SNAP benefits and increasing summer meals sites.

Partnership

The American Indian Center and North Carolina Tribal Nations, received the 2016 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for partnership. This award honors their partnership on successful efforts including the Healthy Native North Carolinians Network, NC Native Asset Coalition and NC Native Leadership Institute. These initiatives support sustainable community change to address the health and well-being of North Carolina tribal nations and foster unity across all tribes and American Indian communities in North Carolina.

2015

Teaching

Gail Corrado, a lecturer in public policy, received the 2015 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged teaching for her work developing and teaching a public policy senior capstone course. In this course, senior public policy majors complete analytical projects with professional standards for local government and nonprofit organizations.

Research

Claudio Battaglini, an associate professor in exercise and sport science, received the 2015 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged research that examines the effects of exercise training in cancer patients through the UNC Get REAL and HEEL Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program. The research provides evidence-based exercise training to breast cancer survivors with the goal of alleviating treatment-related side effects and empowering patients to live their lives with the highest possible functional capacity and quality of life.

Partnership

The Environmental Resource Program in the Institute for the Environment, which works to promote healthy communities across North Carolina by fostering broad support for clean water and improving science literacy among residents, received the 2015 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for partnership. This award highlights the program’s partnership with the Upper Neuse River Keeper, Lake Crabtree County Park and North Carolina Division of Public Health on successful efforts to protect vulnerable populations from consuming contaminated fish caught in polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB)-contaminated waterways.

2014

Teaching

Richard Goldberg, research associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, received the 2014 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged teaching for his work with students to develop custom assistive devices for people with disabilities.

Research

Kathryn Hunter-Williams, a lecturer in the Department of Dramatic Art, received the 2014 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for engaged research for her dramatic work on the school to prison pipeline.

Partnership

The Supporting Change and Reform in Preservice Teaching in North Carolina (SCRIPT-NC), an effort of the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center, received the 2014 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for community partnership with four community college early childhood programs to better prepare the early childhood workforce to meet the needs of all children in their communities. 

2013

Teaching

Patricia S. Parker, associate professor in Communication Studies, received the 2013 Office of the Provost Engaged Teaching Award for her work with her service-learning course to engage students in the community while also applying knowledge gained in the classroom.

Research

Rebecca J. Macy, associate professor in the School of Social Work, received the 2013 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for research on interpersonal and relationship violence, especially interventions that promote violence survivors’ safety and recovery from the trauma of violence.

Partnership

The Project GRACE Consortium received the 2013 Office of the Provost Engaged Partnership Award for its work over the last eight years to eliminate health disparities in African American communities through interventions to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

2012

Teaching

Carolina Navigators, a program of the Center for Global Initiatives received the 2012 Office of the Provost Engaged Teaching Award. This service-learning program allows students to travel internationally to learn about global and intercultural education, intercultural communication and teaching.

Research

Steve Knotek, associate professor of education, received the 2012 Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for his work with Madres para Niños, a research-based program for Latina mothers and their young children which addresses cultural gaps in the classroom.

Partnership

The inaugural Office of the Provost Engaged Partnership Award went to the Community-Based Participatory Research Core for the project Community Engagement Consulting Models: Taking Them to Scale. This project focuses on collaborative problem solving within university/community partnerships, education and training events that connect scholars and community practitioners.

2011

The Honors Program received the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for the Moral Challenge of Poverty and the Ethics of Service, an initiative between UNC and Duke where faculty, students and others collaborate to address poverty in North Carolina.

The School of Government received the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for Community-Campus Partnership (CCP).

2010

Carolina Community Media Project of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication was recognized for the launch of the VOICE, a neighborhood community newspaper and website staffed in part by local teens providing local news, information, features, photos and videos for residents of a 300-block area of Northeast Central Durham (NECD).

The UNC Law Pro Bono Program was honored for its Wills Project, an effort in partnership with the UNC Center for Civil Rights and Legal Aid of N.C. in which UNC law student assist in preparing wills and advanced directives for low wealth clients in rural counties in North Carolina during their fall and spring breaks.