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2022 Award Recipients


Will Douthit, senior business administration major at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, is recognized for his leadership of and work with Carolina Homelessness Prevention Initiative, an organization that works in close partnership with the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness.

The Carolina Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) stems from an organization called Focus on Franklin. Focus on Franklin began building partnerships with community organizations, particularly the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness, to directly assist residents struggling with homelessness. With this knowledge and charge, Douthit and his team began fundraising, and in Douthit’s first year with the group, they raised $18,000. Working with their professional partners, they allocated this funding directly to residents–from $50 grocery vouchers that keep food on the table for a week to a $1,000 check to pay the rent.

“CHPI transformed the homeless service system in Orange County by providing the flexible funding needed to find safe places for people facing homelessness. This is especially important here in Orange County where shelter is often not available on any given night – it’s the CHPI funding that keeps people sheltered and safe. It has been amazing to work with this capable and inspiring group of undergraduates under Will’s leadership who are contributing so meaningfully to our community,” says Corey Root, director, Orange County Housing.


Dane Emmerling, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Health Behavior at the Gillings School of Global Public Health, for his outstanding community engagement over four years of teaching in the M.P.H. capstone course in the Gilling’s School of Global Public Health and engaged research evaluating trainings with the Racial Equity Institute.

In Emmerling’s four years serving as a capstone teaching assistant, he has helped recruit, vet and match 39 North Carolina-based organizations to student teams. He has coached 18 teams–each comprised of four to five students, a community partner and a faculty adviser– on work plans that balance contributions to the capstone partner organizations and their constituents with learning opportunities for students. He has supported, advised and problem-solved with 176 students who collectively provided more than 31,680 hours of in-kind service to Capstone partner organizations, and provided technical assistance to the development of more than 70 deliverables created for Capstone partner organizations’ use and benefit, and has facilitated 16 reflection sessions to support students’ growth and learning.

In addition, Emmerling has exemplified engagement in his own community-based participatory research, working in close partnership with the Racial Equity Institute to evaluate their training programs, which address critical public health and societal issues. Earlier this year, he presented on this work with partner Deena Hayes-Greene of REI at the University’s fifth Race, Racism and Racial Equity (R3) Symposium.


Allison Constance, JD, director, Pro Bono Initiative, School of Law is recognized for her leadership and direction of the Pro Bono Initiative at UNC Law. Constance advises the student-led Pro Bono Board and coordinates and supervises students working on pro bono projects. Under her supervision, 93% of law students enrolled for the 2020-2021 academic year participated in pro bono work. All told, current law students have logged more than 22,000 of service during their time at Carolina.

Constance’s projects reach across North Carolina and focus on low-income and rural areas that historically lack access to legal representation. One example is the Expunction Project in collaboration with Legal Aid of North Carolina. This initiative assists clients from every county in the state. Additionally, Constance has coordinated trips for students to engage in pro bono projects across the state, including drafting wills and power of attorney documents in Morganton, Hickory, and Lenoir; working on housing and evictions issues in Charlotte; and helping veterans in Asheville with discharge upgrades get better medical benefits.

Constance also provides pro bono assistance with Driver’s License Restoration, where she writes monthly advice letters to people who have requested information about the status of their licenses. She also coordinates the Juvenile Justice Project, a collaboration with NC Prisoner Legal Services, where she acts as the supervising attorney to students while representing clients who have been convicted of serious offenses for their parole reviews.

One nominator wrote “Allison’s projects always focus on current community needs, and she instills in us a sense of consciousness for how we may best serve our communities based on their own material circumstances and the gaps that we as burgeoning lawyers may fill.”


Robyn Jordan, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry within the School of Medicine, is recognized for her partnership in creating a network of addiction clinics in North Carolina that will accept patients suffering from addiction.

Overdose deaths in North Carolina reached record levels in 2021. Jordan is leading multiple efforts to increase access to life-saving addiction care across the state. To better meet the addiction care needs of patients, Jordan created a hospital-based addiction consult service, the first of its kind at UNC, to provide specialized service these patients and connect them with clinics outside of the hospital.

Jordan also helped develop UNC ECHO, a telehealth education program that trains primary care providers in rural parts of North Carolina to deliver high-quality addiction care. She’s helped create addiction treatment where none existed before across the state. In part as recognition of her leadership, she was recently elected president of the North Carolina Addiction Medicine Society.

Jordan secured external funding to start the first-ever Addiction Medicine Fellowship program at UNC in order to train addiction medicine physicians to address the overdose crisis that is devastating the state. The program is training physicians who will continue to serve the state for decades to come.


William Sturkey, Ph.D., associate professor in History in the College of Arts and Sciences, is recognized for his outstanding scholarship on the history of race in the American South and his service to the state of North Carolina, where he shared state history through public lectures, insightful interviews and writings and in the training of K-12 public school teachers.

A nominator and colleague described his scholarship as “characterized by brilliant, nuanced, and powerful analysis of people whose stories have been marginalized within standard historical narratives.”

Sturkey created awareness about the life and accomplishments of the late Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray, a remarkable yet overlooked Black poet, lawyer, priest and more in the 20th century. William partnered with Carolina K-12 and the Orange County Human Rights Coalition to host a workshop for K-12 teachers on teaching the struggles and contributions of Murray. This one event, of the many he has done, served over 100 teachers from North Carolina, with several hundred accessing an on-demand module after. He also worked with a team to produce “On the Books,” an online digitization of North Carolina’s Jim Crow laws, that picks up Murray’s work on Jim Crow laws and extends it for today’s scholars and K-12 teachers.

One nominator referred to Sturkey as a “highly prolific and important scholar in modern U.S. and African American history,” writing a boos illuminating the lived experience of those who lived during segregation, co-editing a volume about Mississippi Freedom Schools, and so much more.


Hispanic Student Dental Association in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. Dental students who currently or previously served as co-presidents of HSDA Alret Montes Sanchez, Stephanie Wangerin, Gabriella Gallo and Virginia Montes-Aviles will accept the award on behalf of the organization.

The Hispanic Student Dental Association (HSDA) works alongside the non-profit, Vidas de Esperanza, in Siler City, North Carolina to provide dental services twice per month to a largely Hispanic/Latinx population in need of dental treatment. The dental treatment that HSDA provides at Vidas de Esperanza is filling a need in this community for culturally competent and Spanish-speaking dental providers. Over the past few years, HSDA students have expanded the clinic to meet growing demand and to attempt to become the dental home for many of these patients in need of care. From January 2021 to December 2021, HSDA provided over $47,500 of no-cost dental care to patients. Relieving peoples’ pain and helping patients to regain their smiles and confidence has a lasting impact in not only each individual patient’s life, but in the life of volunteers, and in the health and wellbeing of the community.

The dental clinic at Vidas de Esperanza has existed for five years, and each year a new group of HSDA student leaders ensure that the clinic continues to function and impact the community in positive ways. HSDA leaders dedicate numerous hours each week preparing for clinics, in addition to dedicating their entire
Saturday to operate the clinic.

A nominator said that by relieving people’s pain and helping them to regain their smiles, they have a lasting impact in not only each individual patient’s life, but in the life of volunteers, and in the health and wellbeing of the community.

2021 Award Recipients


Ricardo Crespo-Regalado, for work and leadership as the Director of Interpreting at the Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC), a student-run free health clinic in Carrboro, NC. When COVID-19 halted SHAC’s operations and forced in-person clinic visits to cease, Crespo-Regalado helped to spearhead SHAC’s efforts to initiate a multilingual telehealth program. He worked to ensure that the hundreds of wellness check-in calls that SHAC made to its patients were able to reach all patients, regardless of native tongue. Without his leadership and herculean efforts to recruit, train and organize a large team of interpreters, SHAC’s sizable population of patients for whom English is not their first language would not have been able to receive care this year. In addition to serving as director of interpreting, Crespo-Regalado is also a de facto cultural liaison. Having navigated the process of receiving DACA protection at a young age and worked alongside family members in tobacco fields, Crespo-Regalado lends valuable insights on cultural barriers to which SHAC organizers may have previously been blind. Additionally, in his free time, Crespo-Regalado regularly helps to call many of SHAC’s Spanish-speaking patients to follow up about medication access, appointment reminders and vital social work needs.


Barbara Sostaita, for leadership of UndocuCarolina and work to generate a well-informed public dialogue on the topic of immigration and build a more inclusive and just community for all. In fall 2018, Sostaita and her collaborators received support from UNC’s Humanities for the Public Good Initiative to found UndocuCarolina, an initiative that works to increase visibility, support and resources for undocumented members of the Carolina Community. With renewed funding in 2019 and 2020, UndocuCarolina has conducted ally trainings, community roundtables and scholarly lectures. UndocuCarolina has educated thousands of students, administrators, staff, faculty and community members about the unique challenges of living while undocumented. Sostaita also led the creation of a new website,, which is now integrated into UNC’s Student Services platform. In sum, Sostaita has catalyzed the creation of a robust community of support for undocumented students, faculty and staff as well as for U.S. citizen students from mixed-status families. UndocuCarolina has been adopted by the Carolina Latinx Center and LatinxEd and will continue beyond Barbara’s spring 2021 graduation, thanks to her selfless commitment to the community.


Dawna Jones, for leadership of the Carolina Black Caucus, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP and specifically the NAACP community transformation and civic engagement internship and work study program. In 2018, Jones was nominated by her peers to chair the Carolina Black Caucus, an affinity group created to engage, empower, celebrate and advocate for Black faculty, staff and students. Under her leadership, the CBC membership has grown by 87 percent. Furthermore, as chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro NAACP, Jones worked to form partnerships with EmPOWERment Inc. and UNC-Chapel Hill to create a leadership experience for UNC-Chapel Hill students. The result of those partnerships is known as the NAACP community transformation and civic engagement internship and work study program. This program enables six Carolina students to work with local community leaders, social justice activists and elected officials to help create and implement the strategic plan of the local NAACP in response to social justice issues and disparities in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. In its inaugural phase, student participants produced 20 policy briefings detailing current events, legislation and/or social justice advocacy issues, proposed actions for the NAACP and compiled research on what populations are most impacted. A sampling of projects tackled by students in the program: a social media campaign on the impacts of student loan debt on members of the Black community, an analysis of issues impacting mobile home park residents from an affordable housing and education standpoint, an analysis of the new presidential administration’s policy proposals and executive orders in relation to issues and concerns of people of color and a COVID-19 vaccination education panel. None of this would have been possible without Jones’ leadership.


Shannon Tufts, for direction of the Center for Public Technology (CPT) and specifically work on the Public Sector Cybersecurity Response Teams. Tufts has spent the last two decades addressing the needs of information technology professionals working in local and state government. The CPT was founded in 2000, and through that organization Tufts has worked closely with the North Carolina Local Government Information Systems Association to provide collaborative educational opportunities for government IT officials, with the goal of strengthening North Carolina communities through the appropriate use of information technology. Early on in her time at Carolina, Tufts also designed and implemented the first local government Certified Government Chief Information Officers (CGCIO™) program in the United States and continues to run CGCIO™ programs for local government, state agency, K-12 and community college IT professionals across the United States. The various CGCIO™ programs have graduated hundreds of IT professionals across the country. Tufts additionally teaches courses on public sector information systems, including IT investment strategies, embracing technology, project management and stakeholder engagement in technology-enabled government. She teaches as a core faculty member in the UNC Master of Public Administration program and serves on several federal, state and local government committees to promote the effective use of technology in the public sector.


Carolina COVID-19 Student Services Corps (CSSC), for serving as a centralized organizational structure at UNC-Chapel Hill that facilitates coordination across various academic and healthcare sectors to mitigate challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This award was accepted by student leaders Katelyn Nicholson, Manas Tiwari and Emily Draper. CCSC was founded as an officially recognized student organization in the fall of 2020. With oversight from the Office of Interprofessional Education and Practice, CSSC partnered with Carolina Center for Public Service (Buckley Public Service Scholars), Heel Life, UNC administration and the School of Medicine to identify volunteer and service-learning activities across the UNC-CH campus in order to provide support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through CCSC, more than 900 undergraduate and graduate student volunteers have led and served in roles at the asymptomatic testing centers, contact tracing, communication, data analysis, peer support and engagement. CSSC has ultimately built a network that increased the capability and capacity of UNC-Chapel Hill to connect students with volunteer opportunities that were especially challenging to find during the pandemic, and formed partnerships with existing networks to benefit the Carolina community. In the organization’s first month, students served more than 5,000 hours of their time. The student leaders of CSSC have built a sense of community during this unprecedented time.

2020 award recipients


Jonah Im, a sophomore biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences, received a Bryan Public Service Award for his work as co-founder of Cancer Med Society. Im recognized a disproportionate impact of cancer burdens for rural and low-income families in North Carolina. By calling on his peers’ enthusiasm for serving and supporting those North Carolina communities, Im co-founded Cancer Med Society in the fall of 2019. Im co-leads 120 undergraduates in cancer-related service by partnering with the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, fundraising for families and engaging the greater community in prevention and treatment education. Im has connected undergraduates with leaders in service from the UNC System and local and national nonprofits, developed members’ understanding and enthusiasm in cancer medicine and created a network of current and future change-makers.


Colin LaPrade, a graduate student in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry, received a Bryan Public Service award for his work in the Vidas de Esperanza Clinic in Siler City, North Carolina. LaPrade is passionate about addressing oral health disparities in Latinx communities through outreach programs. The Vidas de Esperanza Clinic offers free patient-centered care and prevention planning for underserved patients. Starting as a part-time volunteer, LaPrade grew into the role of organizational leader—eventually designing and implementing the clinic’s protocols for instrument sterilization and supply inventory.


Meg Zomorodi, assistant provost for interprofessional education and practice and professor in the UNC School of Nursing, received the Bryan Public Service Award for faculty for her work as the director of the Rural Interprofessional Health Initiative. Addressing workforce gaps and poorer health outcomes in rural counties, Zomorodi’s work benefits North Carolina’s rural health systems as well as the professional students across Carolina’s health professional schools. More than 150 interprofessional students have partnered with sites across five rural North Carolina counties and gained education and a clinical immersion experience with underserved populations. Zomorodi’s work aims to invest the University’s resources and students back into North Carolina. 


Dylan Russell received a staff Bryan Award for Public Service for his role as co-founder and executive director of Lead for North Carolina, which brings the knowledge and resources of the UNC School of Government into partnerships with local governments. Russell mentors a cohort of Lead For North Carolina Fellows who have been able to increase capacity in local governments across North Carolina, many of them in the state’s most economically distressed communities. Through their work, the fellows seek to understand local challenges and implement positive changes in those governments.

Christie Norris, director of Carolina K-12, a program of Carolina Public Humanities, received a staff Bryan Award for Public Service for her development and implementation of the “Teaching Hard History” initiative. As a former K-12 teacher, Norris noticed that training on how to understand and teach complicated topics of identity, race, racism and white advantage was lacking in North Carolina—a state with an education system intrinsically bound with these “hard” topics. Partnering with the University, as well as museums, equity and education organizations, historic sites, art institutions and libraries, Norris has developed and delivered free workshops and events that have trained more than 700 teachers from North Carolina’s 100 counties.

Student Organization

Veterans Advocacy Legal Organization (VALOR) received the Bryan Public Service Award for its spring break pro bono trip. Many homeless veterans with service-related health issues who seek medical care and treatment are not fully supported due to benefit restrictions and discharge characterizations. Members of VALOR spend time over their spring break completing the intake process for service members in Asheville, North Carolina. They gather legal information to help upgrade the veterans’ U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs benefits—working to form an active network of service members, advocates and resources.

2019 award recipients

Emma Ehrhardt, a junior chemistry and psychology major, received the undergraduate award for her work as founder and co-chair of Stage Play, an organization within the Campus Y. Stage Play provides acting classes for children with autism. The program uses research-based techniques to teach children the skills they need to feel more at ease in social situations now and later in life. Ehrhardt is in the process of disseminating a manual to help form Stage Play organizations across North Carolina.

Leah Chapman, a PhD student in the Gillings School of Global Public Health’s Department of Nutrition, received the graduate student award for her research project in partnership with Just$ave store management to encourage selection of healthy snacks. By increasing purchases of nutritious items, Chapman’s research project is helping to improve dietary patterns among rural North Carolinians and contributing to evidence-based efforts to reduce the prevalence of diet-related chronic diseases in rural North Carolina.

Patricia Harris, the Director of Recruitment in the School of Education, received the staff award for her work with the “EduConnections” program. This program engages with students from underrepresented groups to cultivate their interest in becoming educators, with a goal of creating a workforce reflecting the full diversity of the student population. The program created affirming spaces for students and helped strengthen relationships with historically black colleges and universities and other programs across the state that promote access to higher education and diversity on college campuses.

Katie Brady, a clinical instructor in the Department of Psychiatry’s TEACCH Autism Program, received the faculty award for her initiative in collaboration with the Museum of Life and Science to create more inclusive spaces, exhibits and events for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other sensory challenges. This project promotes everyday accessibility for all individuals with various abilities at the museum and includes providing training and consultation for staff on understanding guests and planning ongoing special museum events.

The Christian Legal Society, a student organization within the UNC School of Law, received the campus organization award for its work to provide legal assistance to refugees and immigrants in partnership with Apex Immigration Services. Since April 2018, the Christian Legal Society has done three projects under the supervision of practicing attorneys: drafting humanitarian parole applications for children and teenagers who came to the United States under the Central American Minors program, assisting Burmese and Karen refugees who suffered severe trauma from Burmese militia groups and organizing a clinic to assist clients with renewing their Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status, in partnership with El Refugio, a Latino resource center in Sanford, N.C.

2018 award recipients

Joseph Nail, a political science and economics major in the College of Arts and Sciences, received the undergraduate student award 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, received the graduate student award for her work as a founding member of The White Coats Black Doctors Foundation (WCBD). 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.

Bryan Giemza, director of the Southern Historical Collection, University Libraries, received the staff award 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.

Brian Hogan, a teaching associate professor in the Department of Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, is also the director of the Carolina Covenant. He received the faculty award 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.

Law Students Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, a student organization within the UNC School of Law, received the campus organization award 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.

2017 award recipients

Alexander Peeples, a history and political science major and Bonner Leader, received the undergraduate student award for his work with Heavenly Groceries, a local food bank that provides quality produce and grocery items to underserved communities. For the past three years, Peeples served as a link between St. Joseph C.M.E. Church, which houses the food bank, and the Jackson Center, which facilitates student involvement. One of Peeples’ contributions was securing grant money for a new van to make operations easier.

Brittany Brattain, a law student and member of the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program, received the graduate and professional student award for her work with the UNC Cancer Pro Bono Project. Students in this program, supervised by volunteer lawyers, talk at the cancer center with patients and their families about financial and health care powers of attorney and living wills. In her role as special projects coordinator, Brattain recruited student and attorney volunteers to serve at clinics; developed training protocol for student volunteers; created client files for clinics; and developed an institutionalized and automated system that will ensure the longevity of the project.

Matthew Mauzy, manager of Emergency Response Technology, received the staff award for his work with the North Carolina Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) response to Hurricane Matthew. As chief of the South Orange Rescue Squad, Mauzy ensures that his team is ready for hurricanes and for the resulting damage. In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, Mauzy contributed countless volunteer hours with the NCHART group to ensure North Carolina residents affected by the hurricane received the support they needed during the critical weeks following the storm.

Marsha Penner, a lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, received the faculty award for her commitment to the course PSYC 424 Neural Connections: Hands-on Neuroscience. The class is dedicated to teaching neuroscience through hands-on activities in the community. Students in the course develop neuroscience activities that include a detailed manual and tool kit and deliver them to educators for their use teaching in schools. Penner has been devoted to making science accessible to the public.

The Refugee Health Initiative (RHI) received the campus organization award for its outreach to refugee families who have settled in the local community. Founded in 2009, RHI has provided a sense of belonging in the community as well as access to needed services, including healthcare and social resources. This year, RHI matched 66 undergraduate and graduate students with 32 refugee families across Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham. As RHI pairs students with refugee families, students are able to regularly meet with and serve refugee families and ease the burden on local resettlement agencies.

2016 award recipients

Gayatri Rathod ’16, a biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences from Charlotte, received the  undergraduate student award for work with Tar Heel TABLE, an organization that provides healthy, emergency food aid to hungry preschool, elementary and middle-school children living in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. In her two years as co-chair of Tar Heel TABLE, Rathod launched social media photo campaigns, food drives and news interviews to increase TABLE’s outreach and involvement. In all of her efforts, Rathod has emphasized involvement in TABLE with the hope of combatting hunger.

Catherine Schricker ’18 and Korry Tauber ‘18, both graduate students in the School of Dentistry, received the graduate student award for their work with North Carolina Missions of Mercy (NCMOM) Patient Oral Health Education Program. Tauber and Schricker created and implemented an oral health educational program to supplement the North Carolina Dental Society’s portable free dental clinic. They collaborated with community partners and UNC faculty mentors to develop their oral health education program, which is now a permanent component of the NCMOM clinics. Student volunteers provide personalized dental health instruction using visual aids in combination with interactive demonstrations.

Christopher Wallace, program coordinator at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture & History, received the staff award for his work with the Communiversity Youth Program. Communiversity draws on existing UNC resources and coordinates them so they can serve local children more effectively. The program exposes kindergarten through fifth-grade students to a college environment and provides them with academic and cultural tools to improve their performance in the classroom, social outlook and likelihood of success in a college environment.

Josh Hinson, clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work, received the  faculty award for his work on UNC Global Transmigration – Refugee Mental Health and Wellness Initiative. This project began by training graduate students to use an evidence-based refugee mental health screening instrument and collect data on the extent of refugees’ mental health needs and the effectiveness of mental health treatment. In 2015, Refugee Wellness began contracting with the North Carolina Division of Health and Human Services’ Refugee Office to provide mental health services to refugees throughout Wake, Durham and Orange counties.

Student Health Action Coalition (SHAC) received the campus organization award for its work as a student-led organization whose mission is to provide free health services to local, underserved individuals and communities; partner with communities to develop and implement sustainable health programs; and create an interdisciplinary service-learning environment for students in the health science programs at UNC. Established in 1967, SHAC operates weekly interdisciplinary acute medical and dental clinics, as well as chronic care and referral services and home health services. SHAC serves more than 1,100 patients annually through these clinical services.

2015 award recipients

Hana Haidar, a senior English and sociology double major from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, received the  undergraduate student award for her work with the UNC chapter of Habitat for Humanity, a national organization that provides decent and affordable housing for low-income families. Haidar served as chair of the community outreach committee, developing relationships between UNC student volunteers and the families of Chapel Hill’s Phoenix Place. Haidar hosted several community initiatives to promote financial literacy, healthy eating habits, physical activity and art education. 

Kristin Black, a maternal and child health doctoral student from Sacramento, California, received the  graduate student award for her work with Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism and Equity. This study is a systems-change intervention that optimizes transparency and accountability to achieve racial equity in the completion of cancer treatment among patients with early-stage breast and lung cancer. Black monitored the logistical components of the study and trained others in the Undoing Racism approach that ensures a common language for examining racial disparities in the healthcare system.

Mathilde Verdier, program coordinator at UNC’s Social Innovation Initiative, received the staff award for her work with CUBE, the university’s on-campus social innovation incubator. CUBE helps its participants build critical knowledge through mentorship, expert feedback sessions and skills-building workshops that deliver critical information to early-stage social ventures. At CUBE, Verdier built strategic partnerships to support students, faculty and staff with ideas surrounding some of society’s most pressing issues.

Bebe Smith, clinical assistant professor in the School of Social Work, received the faculty award for her work as project director of Critical Time Intervention, a collaborative effort between the UNC School of Social Work and the UNC Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. The project helps those with mental illness who are experiencing a critical transition – from homelessness to being housed, from hospital or prison to community, or to foster engagement in mental health treatment after emergence of severe mental illness. The program meets basic needs, aids in recovery and connects participants with appropriate treatment and resources. Smith also engages with state policy makers to expand the program to fill gaps in North Carolina’s mental health and homelessness service systems.  

Domestic Violence Advocacy Project Organization received the campus organization award for its work providing free legal services to survivors of domestic violence who seek protection orders. The Domestic Violence Action Project is a student-run program at the UNC School of Law where students work closely with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office and the Durham Crisis Response Center to assist in filing motions for protection orders, accompanying clients to court and educating clients about court proceedings.

2014 award recipients

Zack Kaplan ’15, an American studies and political science double major from Philadelphia, received the undergraduate student award for his work at the Marian Cheek Jackson Center, a community center in the historic Northside neighborhood of Chapel Hill. Kaplan works with the advocacy and outreach team to involve student-residents of the Northside community in appreciating, celebrating and continuing the deep history of service and kinship that has been sustained in the Northside community since the founding of the University. Kaplan’s goal is to create a more unified neighborhood and alleviate the growing disconnect and discord between students and permanent residents in the Northside community.

Sarah van der Horst, a physical therapy doctoral student from Chapel Hill, received the graduate student award for her work with Amigas en Salud, a program that aims to advance the health and independence of underserved Latinas in the greater Triangle area by providing health literacy and other tools that lead to productive, healthy and injury-free lives. van der Horst assists in weekly exercise classes, provides nutrition information and offers free childcare for participating Latina mothers.

Robert Pleasants, interpersonal violence prevention coordinator for Student Wellness and adjunct assistant professor of health behavior in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, received the staff award for developing and teaching his service-learning course, Leadership and Violence Prevention. Pleasants also created One Act, a bystander education program for violence prevention that is connected to his service-learning course. Each semester, Pleasants places students with community and campus organizations to further interpersonal violence prevention. Sites include the Orange County Rape Crisis Center, the Compass Center for Women and Families, the Carolina Women’s Center, the Chapel Hill Police Department, the UNC Hospitals Beacon Program and the UNC LGBTQ Center.

Kelly Hogan, a senior lecturer in the Department of Biology, received the faculty award for her biology service-learning course aimed to increase blood platelet donation awareness. Through work with the UNC Blood Donation Center, Hogan’s students focus marketing and education efforts on diverse student groups and the local community with a variety of events and activities to promote blood platelet donation.

Enrich ESL, a Campus Y committee, received the campus organization award for its work to provide English tutoring to Chapel Hill’s Latino community. The goal of Enrich ESL is not only to offer valuable English tutoring services, but also to foster connections and understanding across lines of difference to address injustices and building stronger communities. Enrich ESL connects community members and UNC students, making campus more accessible to non-native community members, and connecting community members to other student organizations.

2013 award recipients

Barbara Renner, library services evaluation specialist with the Health Sciences Library, received the staff award for expanding the reach of the YOUR HEALTH radio program, produced by the department of family medicine, through a dynamic website.

Camille McGirt ’13, Gillings School of Global Public Health, received the undergraduate student award for her work with Healthy Girls Save the World which promotes healthy bodies, healthy minds and healthy relationships for young girls in the Chapel Hill area.

Meriwether Evans, a student in the School of Law, received the graduate student award for her work with the Pro Bono Program which ensures that individuals who have neither economic nor political means have the opportunity to actually pursue legal claims and rights.

Charlotte Stewart, a student in the School of Law, received the graduate student award for her work to help found the Orange County Homeless Court, a statewide Veterans Legal Resource Network and the ACLU Voting Rights Education Project.

Judith Blau, professor emeritus of sociology, received the faculty award for founding the Human Rights Center (HRC) of Chapel Hill and Carrboro through her service-learning classes and connections with other campus organizations.

Helping Youth by Providing Enrichment (HYPE), a Campus Y committee, received the campus organization award for its work to promote higher learning and university exposure to under-served students in the local area.

2012 award recipients

Allison Norman, a senior psychology major, received the Robert E. Bryan undergraduate student award for her work with Students Working for Environmental Action and Transformation (SWEAT), a Campus Y group committed to defending social justice through environmental initiatives.

Jeanne Cross, a masters student in the School of Social Work, received the graduate student award for her efforts to fight human trafficking, providing anti-trafficking community education to  North Carolinians and UNC classmates, and building partnerships among Carolina graduate students, North Carolina citizens and sex-trafficking survivors.

Nicole Hurd, executive director and founder of the National College Advising Corps, received the staff award for her work with the Corps, a program headquartered at UNC that works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education.

2011 award recipients

Dr. Laura Linnan, associate professor in Health Behavior and Health Education, received the award for her contributions to workplace intervention research.

Claire Lorch, community outreach coordinator at the North Carolina Botanical Garden, received the award for her outstanding dedication to the Carolina Campus Community Garden.

Dr. Jason Jolley, senior research director at the Kenan Institute received the award for his work for Chatham County economic development strategic planning.

Dr. Lynne Vernon-Feagans, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor in the School of Education, received the award for her Targeted Reading Intervention project.

Tucker LaPrade, an English graduate student instructor, received the award for his English 101 service-learning class with Eno River State Park.

Lisa Pelehach ’12, who studied psychology and sociology, received the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for her efforts to create the SMART Mentoring program.

2010 award recipients

Karen Erickson, a professor of Allied Health Sciences, was honored for her work with Orange County Schools in implementing a reading model that began in Efland-Checks School and has now been implemented system-wide.

Jordan Treakle ’10, who studied International Studies, was honored as a founding member of FLO (Free, Local Organic) Foods.

Maggie West ’10, who Public Policy and Latin American Studies, was honored for her work with the Hunger Outreach and Poverty Eradication Project (HOPE) committee of the Campus Y.

Megan Jones ’10, who studied Journalism and Mass Communication, was honored for the Build a Block program of UNC Habitat.