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 recognize an outstanding

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

Nominations for the 2019 Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award open Dec. 1 and close Feb. 15. Apply online through the CCPS Application and Nomination Portal.

2018 Award Recipients

2018 Robert E. Bryan Award recipients: Joseph Nail, Undergraduate Student Celeste A. Brown, Graduate Student Bryan Giemza, Staff Brian Hogan, Faculty Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, Campus Organization Alice Ammerman, Engaged Research Jean Davison, Engaged Teaching Project READY: Reimagining Equity and Access for Diverse Youth, Partnership Dorothy Holland, Ned Brooks Award for Public Service. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)Joseph Nail, a senior political science and economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, is recognized for his work as co-creator of FairEd, a nonprofit that uses mentorship programs to provide high school students from low-income backgrounds resources and support during the college application process. Since its inception nearly four years ago, FairEd mentors have worked with more than 5,000 high school students. Nearly three-quarters of those served are now attending a college or university, including more than 100 who have attended UNC-Chapel Hill.

Celeste Brown, a fourth-year medical student in the UNC School of Medicine, is a founding member of The White Coats Black Doctors Foundation (WCBD). She received the award in the graduate student category. Brown and four other medical students created the foundation in 2015 to address the significant deficit of African-American physicians in North Carolina and the rest of the country. To encourage aspiring black medical students, WCBD hosts networking and speaking events, conducts a mentorship program and offers a scholarship that offsets the cost of medical school applications.

Brian Hogan, a teaching associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, is also the director of the Carolina Covenant. Hogan was recognized for his leadership of three mentorship programs for North Carolina middle and high school students. SOAR provides near-peer mentors to young Latino/a students and encourages involvement in science and mathematics. SUCCEED bolsters STEM education in North Carolina schools by donating science experiment kits to classrooms. GLOW works to increase access to higher education among young African-American girls through positive role modeling and academic help. Hogan was a member of the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Class IV.

Bryan Giemza, director of the Southern Historical Collection, University Libraries, was recognized for his work partnering with community members in western North Carolina to create Maya from the Margins, a program educating Latino/a and indigenous students about the history of their roots and culture. The program paired North Carolina students with families in Yucatan, Mexico, and implemented an exchange program to give students a first-hand experience with the land of their ancestors. Maya from the Margins culminated with a showcase of student research and work, which was displayed in both North Carolina and Yucatan. The program received recognition from the Rare Books and Manuscript Section of Carolina’s Wilson Library and the Society of American Archivists for its innovation and creativity.

Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, a student organization within the UNC School of Law, is recognized for its work to protect victims from their abusers through the Ex Parte Project, including its partnership with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department. These students believe that the law has the power to bring about meaningful social change and that battling domestic violence is an important step toward ending violence against women. Each semester, Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence sponsors a series of panel discussions and research projects to educate the community about the domestic violence epidemic.