Impact through Upward Bound

Griffin Smith is a rising senior majoring in mathematics and history and is considering a career in education.

This summer, he has spent a lot of time teaching and mentoring with the Upward Bound Program at Central Carolina Community College. Upward Bound prepares recent graduates for college.

“The kids I work with are first-generation college students, so any way that I can give back and shrink the income gap is something that I think is important,” Smith said. “It’s really been amazing to see what a little bit of effort and my time can do in terms of impacting kids’ lives.”

The internship was part of the APPLES Service-Learning program based out of the Carolina Center for Public Service. The student-led program pairs Carolina students with community or governmental organizations for a variety of internships in either the spring semester or during the summer.

To learn about becoming or hosting an intern, visit APPLES Service-Learning.

Service through technology

Zareen Farooqui is a junior studying business administration and computer science at UNC-Chapel Hill. This summer, she’s using the knowledge she gained in her classes to revamp United Way of the Greater Triangle’s Teaming for Technology Program. That program refurbishes used computer equipment and makes it available to North Carolina schools, students and nonprofit organizations at greatly reduced prices.

“We work to provide refurbished computers to underserved communities,” said Farooqui. “In school, I’m doing a lot of coding but I’m not getting my hands dirty in the actual hardware which I was able to do here.”

Farooqui’s internship was part of the APPLES Service-Learning program based out of the Carolina Center for Public Service. The student-led program pairs Carolina students with community or governmental organizations for a variety of internships in either the spring semester or during the summer.

Learn more about the APPLES Service-Learning program by visiting APPLES online.

This week, we’ll profile three Carolina students participating in the program. Watch a video about Carolina student and APPLES Service-learning intern Jennifer Barber.

By Brandon Bieltz, University Communications
Published August 2, 2017,

Learning through summer service

Tar Heels do not stop learning when the academic year breaks for the summer.

For nearly 30 years, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students have found a way to continue learning throughout the summer with APPLES Service-Learning based out of the Carolina Center for Public Service. The student-led program pairs Carolina students with community or governmental organizations for internships in either the spring semester or during the summer.

Through this program, rising senior Jennifer Barber of Waxhaw, North Carolina, a public relations major, spent her summer as a paid intern at the North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center, working with children of all abilities during summer camp sessions.

“People usually say, ‘What does therapeutic horse summer camp have to do with a major in public relations?’ But I really get to use those skills here,” explained Barber. “I am working with campers of all abilities, but I’m also writing press releases, sending those out and doing professional communications. I can take these examples, a portfolio, to an employer.”

This week, we’ll profile three Carolina students participating in the program.

Learn more about the APPLES Service-Learning program by visiting the APPLES online.

By Carly Swain, University Communications
Published Aug. 1, 2017,

Ami Patel goes outward bound to build leadership skills

WAmi Patel Outward Bound 2017hen Ami Patel ’18, APPLES Service-Learning president, agreed to spend four days in the North Carolina wilderness with fellow Tar Heels during a North Carolina Outward Bound experience, she didn’t realize how much the outdoors would challenge her. After four days of dehydrated meals and no bath, three nights sleeping on the ground in a sleeping bag (one night sleeping in a cave) and 89 mosquito bites later, she says she would do it all again.

“When my friends and family asked me what I would be doing during this four-day Outward Bound program, I consistently ended with a shrug of the shoulders saying it won’t be that bad,” Patel said. “While I was not wrong, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I could not have imagined the challenges I would face within those few days; physical challenges, mental challenges and emotional challenges.”

Each year, the Carolina Center for Public Service sends UNC student leaders to the North Carolina Outward Bound School in the Blue Ridge Mountains where they work together on wilderness survival and grow as leaders. The 10 participants experienced backpacking, caving, mountaineering, rock climbing, rappelling and a ropes course.

Patel joined Stephen Buys, Student Government deputy chief of staff; Hope Gehle, SMART Mentoring co-chair; Laura Gerlach, Newman Center president; Simran Khadka, APPLES alternative fall break co-chair; Taylor Newsome, APPLES 2017 Outward Bound UNC student leadersexecutive committee member; Anna Silver, APPLES alternative fall break co-chair; Leah Simon, a Buckley Public Service Scholar and First-Year Service Corps participant; Courtney Staton, Campus Y co-president; and Zachary Walker, APO secretary and pledge master.

During the Outward Bound experience, these students were immersed in a wilderness environment while they learned more about their leadership roles on campus and about themselves. Outward Bound’s four pillars of physical fitness, self-reliance, craftsmanship and compassion were stressed through the different activities and tasks the students tackled each day.

“As I was struggling to complete the four-mile run on the last day of this experience, I recall a conversation with fellow participant Taylor Newsome during the last mile,” Patel explained. “In an effort to motivate her, as well as myself, I cheered that we could get through this last mile. Her response was simply, ‘well, we have to.’ This conversation summed up one of my takeaways from this experience: it is surprising what you can do when you don’t have a choice but to do it. The only way to join the rest of the group was to finish the run.”

During the course, Patel said one of the Outward Bound instructors suggested that four days doesn’t seem like enough time to make a change or allow students to feel different than the first day. At the end of the course, the instructor followed up on the comment saying she admired the students for proving her wrong. Patel agrees.

“I didn’t know many of my fellow participants before we travelled to the Pisgah National Forest together,” Patel said. “But it is clear that in just four days, this experience changed our outlook on life and service.”


Brian Murdock and Jesse White join Board of Visitors

Brian Murdock

J. Brian Murdock

Jesse White

Dr. Jesse White Jr.

The Carolina Center for Public Service congratulates long-time supporters J. Brian Murdock of Charlotte and Dr. Jesse White Jr. of Chapel Hill on being named to the UNC Board of Visitors.

In May the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees appointed a select group of alumni and friends to serve on the UNC Board of Visitors, one of the most active volunteer organizations at Carolina. They will begin their four-year terms on July 1, 2017. The 56 new members are part of an approximately 175-member board that actively assists the Board of Trustees and Chancellor in a range of activities advancing UNC-Chapel Hill. The members serve in career services, marketing, honor student recruitment, government relations and fundraising. Members also serve as ambassadors, informing their communities about issues important to Carolina, and, in turn, keep the UNC administration abreast of what they hear about Carolina in their communities.

New members chosen for UNC Board of Visitors

Murdock family supports students serving communities

When Brian Murdock ’99 and his wife Laura considered making a gift to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Carolina Center for Public Service was a natural choice. Murdock, who was recently appointed to the UNC Board of Visitors, has been connected to the Center since his first gift in 2005 and served on its outreach and development board beginning in 2008.

“Service has always been at the center of what my wife, Laura, and I are trying to accomplish in our day-to-day lives and to teach to our three young children,” Murdock said. “It’s so important to do everything we can to be actively involved in our communities and to contribute to improving the parts of society that may need some extra attention.”

Through multiple generations, the Murdock family has made a difference in the lives of others in myriad ways: family, faith, business and civic leadership, helping neighbors in need, volunteerism and philanthropy.

Brian, Laura and Grig Murdock“When the Carolina Center for Public Service approached us about making a gift and suggested that it support APPLES alternative break experiences, it made perfect sense to us,” Murdock said. “Helping a group of 10-12 students voluntarily spend their breaks investing time in the community is a great way to help address some of the pressing issues in our society while laying the groundwork for these students to make service a vital part of their identity for the rest of their lives.”

Murdock added that giving this gift in honor of his mother, Grig Kirk Murdock ’69, also seemed fitting. “My mother has lived her life in service of others through her family, her long career in healthcare and the volunteering she has done in schools, at church and for a variety of organizations,” Murdock explained. “She has been a great example to many of putting others first for the greater good.”

Launched in 1999, APPLES Service-Learning Alternative Breaks provide an avenue for students to engage in meaningful service experiences. Each year, approximately 200 students encounter and actively address a wide range of social concerns from health and the environment to poverty, homelessness, civil rights and disaster relief. Through partnerships created and sustained by ongoing projects, students gain an in-depth understanding of complex issues. They work alongside and in partnership with community stakeholders performing needed direct service and advocacy.

“Due to limited funding, we have to turn down more than half of the students who apply for alternative breaks,” said Becca Bender, program officer for student programs at the Carolina Center for Public Service. “For some experiences, we often accept less than a third of applicants. Interest and demand from communities in need are on the rise as well. With increased funding, new alternative break experiences could be implemented to address more need and serve in more communities.”

The Murdock Family Alternative Break Experience Fund will have an immediate impact and also create a legacy to provide life-changing experiences for students and for the people in the communities they serve. The Murdock family gift provides annual support for one alternative break for up to 12 students with a preference for experiences in areas or on issues related to health. Their gift also established an endowment which will sustain and grow opportunities for students to participate in alternative break experiences in perpetuity.

Murdock said, “Laura and I are excited about the impact this gift will have on our community and look forward to talking to students whose idea of service has been broadened and developed by this experience.”

For more information about alternative break experiences or providing financial support for these or other opportunities, contact Tricia Daisley at 919-843-2219.

Community Engagement Fellow advocates for sexual violence survivors

UNC graduate student develops trauma informed care training for medical providers in partnership with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center

By Veronica Ortega

Community Engagement Fellow Anole HalperAnole Halper, a graduate student in social work and public health, knows that sexual violence traumatizes survivors and negatively impacts their health. Halper learned that lesson through volunteer work with the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Halper also learned that often, survivors’ healthcare experiences can lead to re-traumatization.

For more than a year, Halper volunteered as a support group facilitator at the Orange County Rape Crisis Center (OCRCC), a 24-hour crisis helpline for survivors of sexual violence. It is through this work with sexual violence survivors that Halper saw the community’s need for a trauma-informed care (TIC) training program for healthcare providers. Trauma-informed care involves understanding the effects of trauma to better treat trauma survivors and results in improved healing outcomes.

“Survivors of sexual violence are more likely to have health problems down the line because of the trauma on the body and related stress,” said Halper. “Sometimes medical care can add to the survivor’s trauma and this can have long-lasting effects on survivors and their loved ones. OCRCC hears those stories and wants to help. Healthcare providers are interested, but they need someone to help understand the survivor’s point of view.”

In 2015, OCRCC helped more than 500 survivors through services such as advocacy and accompaniment, support groups, workshops and therapy referrals. The center also offers educational programs to raise awareness about sexual violence and teaches prevention skills to thousands of young adults in the community.

It was the community’s need for healthcare provider trauma care training that Halper identified while volunteering with OCRCC that led Halper to apply for a Community Engagement Fellowship with the Carolina Center for Public Service. The fellowship provides skill training in how to conduct research in partnership with a community organization as well as funding to support the partnership.

Halper also leveraged academic and research training and drew from survivor testimony and insights from experts, providers and literature offering evidence-based strategies to develop the trauma-informed care training program.

As part of this research, a survivor consultant board was formed. Board participants highlighted previous negative healthcare experiences and identified areas for improvement. One board member said, “I was grateful to be able to express my frustrations on how I was treated and provide input on how my particular experiences could have been more helpful to me and not make me feel victimized, hopeless or hurt again.”

Halper said that this survivor perspective enhanced the TIC training. “An important aspect of the survivor consultant board was consulting with survivors of marginalized identities such as sexual, gender and racial minorities. We recognized how these survivors face additional barriers to quality healthcare and added the health disparities lens to the training.”

The healthcare provider’s voice was another crucial element in developing the training. To capture that perspective, Halper conducted a local healthcare provider survey. This survey, combined with feedback from the consultant board, revealed the importance of screening patients for trauma and identified triggers that can potentially remind survivors of the traumatic event.

“The TIC training aims to facilitate the survivor’s healing and help them rebuild a sense of control and empowerment,” Halper said. “It does this by ensuring providers have the right tools and knowledge when delivering treatment. The training will strengthen OCRCC’s system of mutual referrals so the center can confidently recommend providers to survivors and providers can recommend survivors to the center.”

With the TIC training in place, Halper hopes that strengthening the center’s ties with healthcare providers will foster a more sensitive and responsive trauma-informed environment in the healthcare system, resulting in a more constructive experience for survivors in the local community.

Thirteenth class of UNC Buckley Public Service Scholars honored at graduation event

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Two hundred and fifty seniors, all who dedicated themselves to service during their time at UNC, will be honored as Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) May 12 at a pre-graduation ceremony in Memorial Hall. All graduates will receive a Carolina blue and white cord to wear at commencement on May 14 to represent their achievement.

The Buckley Public Service Scholars program, part of the Carolina Center for Public Service, supports and strengthens Carolina students’ commitment to service by providing a framework to make a positive impact through service. BPSS participants build portfolios reflecting their learning and unique experiences throughout North Carolina, the nation and the world; connect to others who care about similar issues; and are involved in training and course work that make their service more effective. Launched in 2003, more than 10 percent of Carolina undergraduates are currently enrolled as BPSS participants, representing 49 out of 65 majors on campus. The 2017 class of Buckley Public Service Scholars represent 33 North Carolina counties, 22 other states and five other countries. The students being honored join the 2,167 past Buckley Public Service Scholars who have graduated since 2004, bringing the total number of scholars to 2,418.

Madeline Pliska 2017 Buckley Public Service Scholar“The Buckley Public Service Scholars program gave me an outlet for my love and passion for service,” said Madeline Pliska, a member of the 2017 graduating class. “It gave me a community of like-minded individuals to share my journey through Carolina with, and helped me continue to chase my personal belief that we, as humans, exist to help others.”

The 250 students graduating in the 2017 class of Buckley Public Service Scholars reported more than 109,000 hours of service. To receive formal recognition, BPSS participants must have a minimum grade-point average, document at least 300 hours of service, take one service-learning course, attend four skills-training workshops and complete a final reflection activity. Many of this year’s graduates surpassed these requirements; three students completed more than 1,000 hours of service and one student completed more than 2,000 hours of service.

Since its inception, 8,902 students have participated in the BPSS program, contributing 1.8 million hours of service. This year, participating students reported service with more than 1,000 organizations like Community Empowerment Fund, Refugee Support Center, Farmer FoodShare, Global Health Connections International and Carolina For The Kids. Of the hours reported by this year’s graduates, 70 percent primarily benefited North Carolina, 19 percent other states and 11 percent other countries.

“The 2017 Buckley Public Service Scholars play an important role in strengthening the culture of service and engagement at Carolina,” said Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service. “These students uphold UNC’s commitment to campus-community partnership. I am certain they will carry these civic values with them after graduation and will continue to affect positive change in their communities.”

BPSS is supported through the Walter White Buckley Jr. Endowment. For more information about each Buckley Public Service Scholar, see the 2017 Buckley Public Service Scholars graduation bulletin.

2017 Buckley Public Service Scholar graduates by county, state and country:

Alamance County – Halie Ellinger, Grace Elizabeth Gunter, Elgin Yalin

Beaufort County – Hallie Jo French

Buncombe County – Marissa Brooke Cranford, Jeeun Noelle Lee, Abel Lomeli-Garcia, Oliana Luke, Nirja SutariaBurke County

Burke County – Sarah Katherine Long

Cabarrus County – Leah Baker, Priyenka Khatiwada, Leslie Moen, Gray Rodgers

Chatham County – Gloria Ashley Gaines, Kathryn Elisabeth Thomann

Cumberland County – Ashley Nicole Jenkins, Adrienne Lynn Than Maung, Ching Yi Ng, Rashiidah Richardson, Samantha Michelle G. Ty

Durham County – Vanessa Canuto, Jacqueline Ceron Hernandez, Elizabeth Ann Ferguson, Robin Lowe-Skillern, Esther Oluwatoni Madugu

Forsyth County – Leona Aisha Amosah, Hannah Angle, Akanksha Arora, Anna Davis Caudill, Achsah Renee Nicole Coleman, McKenzie Sean Folan, Hannah Kathryn Forbes, Kevin Davis Giff, Austin Dean Gragson, Lauren Grace Kent, Maleeha Mahmood Khan, Gustell A. Preston, Mishana Sturdivant*, Madison Elizabeth Watts, Mikala Ashlyn Whitaker

Granville County – Erin Nicole Welsh

Guilford County – Abena Adu-Nyako, Ronnie Armstrong Jr., Timber Grey Beeninga, Shira Pauline Chandler, Obinna Lucky Ejimofor, Amina Lawal Garba, Joshua Frazier Hanover, Matthew William Harris, Paige Hines, Sarah Carter Jessup, Kathleen Grace Kilmartin, Samantha Elise Link, Amy Katherine Lyon, Oscar August Menzer, Sydney Mitchell, Dhara Shah, Sarah Bethany Spiker*, Jason Urbano

Halifax County – Jaime Catherine DiLauro, Veronica Edmonds, Whitney Kay Edmonds

Haywood County – Kayla Joe Campbell

Henderson County – Luis Cristian Acosta, Kaitlyn Maddox

Hertford County – Casey D. Grant

Iredell County – Olivia Elizabeth Andretti*, Mary Kate Crawford, Lauren Rokavec Fotsch

Jackson County – Rose-Helen Xiuqing Graham

Johnston County – Nicholas James Gray Britt, Jonathan Taylor Wall

Lincoln County – Leslie Leung, Jade Loendorf

Mecklenburg County – Tia Andrade, Madison Ann Barnhart, Jacquelyn Beatty, Michael F. Caragher, Graham Collins, Elizabeth Anne Fleischer, Laura Wells Gill, Francesca Elena Maddy Gines, Kajal Rosy Grover, Phillip Montgomery Jester, HueyShan Lin, Elizabeth Matulis, Lucas Nielsen, Katherine Laine Nuccio, Jessica Rose O’Hara, Janki Rajendra Patel, Sarah Savannah Peters, Emily Reckard, Srilekhya Sure, Jayasri Vijay, Colleen J. Watson, Julia Elaine Whitfield, Morgan Zemaitis

Nash County – Carrie Lewis*

New Hanover County – Tirthna Savajibhai Badhiwala, Addie Humphrey, Audra Rose Killian, Emily Yvonne Milkes, Justine Orlovsky-Schnitzler, Alexis Worthington Shiro*, Katherine Marie Vaughn, Matthew Gray Wilson

Onslow County – Stephanie Nicole Wangerin

Orange County – Ranjitha Ananthan, Sarah Brooks, Carly Marie Collette, Hannah Stein Eichner, Anthony Kan, Amy Lee, Mary Eloise Pate, Kendell A. Silveira, Brooke Mackenzie Sobolewski, Enrique Toloza, Juliana Rae Wulforst, Maria Yao, Garrett Young-Wright, Lilly Alice Yuan

Pitt County – Kimberly Mewborn Keiter, Caitlin Mateer Seyfried, Jared Douglas Williams

Randolph County – Gemma Guadalupe Herrera, Abigail Martinez Jaimes, Jordan Caroline Jarrett

Robeson County – Sajan Y. Amin

Rowan County – Kaylyn Beatrice Pogson

Rutherford County – Lindsay Denise Barth

Stanly County – Lea Nicole Efird*

Union County – Jacqlyn Grilli, Vickie Erin Poulimenos

Vance County – Morgan Elizabeth Noel

Wake County – Kesha Acharya, Mahnoor Baloch, Morgan Lindsey Bush, Stephanie Ann-wei Chien, Kristen M. Chung, Youmna Elkamhawy*, Daniel Andrew Farrell,
Jessica Maria Ferrall, Taylor McKenly Fleming, Rachel Leigh Floyd, Dana Gentry, Nicole Gonzalez, Sara Heikal, Lauren Elizabeth Hitchings, Lindsey Holbrook, Taylor Rena Howard, Christopher Thomas Jadelis, Wendy Kally Ji, Hannah Louise Johnson, Benjamin Laird Hutton Jones, Sydney Grace Kalin, Colleen Kane, Isabella Hye Eun Kim, Maria Hye-Jin Kim*, Bryan Brinton Lester, Sian Li, Sydney Rowan Mark, Cherise Drusilla McManus, Caroline Nagy, Christine Keeyoon Nam, Meaghan Nazareth, Abigail Neal, Lauren Norris, Jordan Peterkin, Sarah Elizabeth Pupa, Pranavi Sanka, Aribah Masood Shah, Julia Shen, Rithi Sridhar, Elizabeth Stine, Christina Antonia Stone, Laurel Anne Sykes, Kiera Brigh Turner, Christopher Bin Wang, Caroline Aunspaugh Woronoff, June Grace Yang

Warren County – Selina Jaime Lopez

Wilson County – Christopher Tyler Sharp, Joseph Blake Wall

Alabama – Margaret Alice Williams

Arizona – Anjani Patel

California – Grace Busby, Giulia Raffaella Curcelli, Abigail Deborah Kinnaman, Kenneth Lee

Colorado – Madison Sarah Stark

Florida – Pamela Brody, Natalie Marie Cabo, Snigdha Das, Raina Danielle Enrique, Emily Isabel Shipley Granados, Virginia Keaton Green, Leah Francesca Jimenez, Samantha Kerker, Morgan Ashley McLaughlin, Jessica Caitlin Porter, Sofia A. Soto Sugar, Catherine Diana Wilsnack

Georgia – Sahar Alimohamadi, Sarah Ellyn Boland, Dory Julia Gellins MacMillan

Hawaii – Khin Oo

Illinois – April A. Hamer, Hannah Yayoi Saggau, John Charles Von Drasek

Kansas – Manuela Nivia

Louisiana – Katherine Anna Henning

Maryland – Morgan Focas, Martha Isaacs, Amara Gabrielle Jordan, Brooke Jacqueline Kilker, Jenn Morrison

Massachusetts – Jonathan C. S. Lynn

Minnesota – Madeline Jean Pliska

New Jersey – Sarah Belle Hart, Brianna Nichelle Moody, Ambika Paulson

New Mexico – Ana Cutts Dougherty

New York – Jessica Feeley, Amrithaa Mangala Gunabalan, Kelly Lynn Jasiura, Ryan Lupo, Hailey Amanda Orgass, Brian Christopher Riefler, Caitlin Schwagerl, Reyanne Nichole Strong, Exornam Angela Tettey

Ohio – Maggie Brownrigg, Claire Elizabeth Poindexter, Thomas E. Shockley III

Pennsylvania – Billie Rainley Patterson

South Carolina – Harrison Lancaster

Tennessee – Winston Arthur Bell, Townes Bouchard-Dean

Virginia – Brittany Anderson, Nicole Marie Brown, Sarah Henderson, Sheng-Shin Christina Lee, Veronica Sever

West Virginia – Austin Michael Mueller

Colombia – Daniela Lopez

Scotland – Alexander Clayton

Vietnam – Phuong Dinh Truc Nguyen

China – Ting Zhang

Peru – Maria Luisa Loo Deng*

*Indicates December 2016 graduates.

APPLES launches SLI: Engage

APPLES hosted its first Service-Learning Initiative (SLI): Engage event March 31-April 2. This is a unique student-lead introduction to service-learning and allowed APPLES SLI Engageparticipants to learn more about APPLES opportunities and local organizations in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. Traditionally, SLI takes place in the fall over three days before classes begin and allows incoming students to get to know each other and serve local community partners. This was the first offering of a spring SLI which was open to any UNC student and included local service as well as reflections on sustaining community engagement beyond college. Twenty-five students participated, including student leaders who previously served with SLI.

SLI: Engage participants served at local community partners including IFC Community House, Triangle Land Conservancy, North Carolina Botanical Garden, Wildwood Farms, the Caring and Sharing Center and Battle Park. Activities and reflections followed the program’s sustainability theme, including ethical food and environmental practices, as well as sustainable partnerships and maintaining strong community relationships, a primary value of the APPLES Service-Learning program. Students also heard from a panel of UNC young alumni who have pursued service careers. Panelists included:

  • George Barrett ’13, associate director of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center
  • Sarah Cohn ‘13 , advocate program coordinator for the Community Empowerment Fund
  • Sarah Smith ’10, global civic engagement coordinator at the Campus Y
  • Alexandra Zagbayou ’09, executive director at Student U

Taylor and Abby SLI Engage“We were excited that the program went so well for its first year and are looking forward to SLI: Launch in the fall and continuing to grow SLI: Engage in the future,” said student co-chair, Taylor Newsome, a junior biology and global studies major from Davidson, North Carolina.

Co-chair Abby Gostling, a sophomore economics and global studies major from Raleigh, North Carolina, said, “The participants were very engaged and we hope that they continue to serve the local community during the rest of their UNC careers.”

Carolina honors nine individuals and groups for public service

By Kealia Ryenolds

Chapel Hill, N.C. – Community-based services for the elderly, pro bono legal assistance and a refugee health program were some of the projects recognized at UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2017 Public Service Awards celebration on April 5. The annual event is held by the Carolina Center for Public Service.

“Service to others is at the heart of how a great public university engages with and serves its communities,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “The recipients of this year’s awards exemplify the best of blending public service and engaged scholarship to serve the public good. I am honored to recognize their meaningful and profoundly impactful work.”

Lucy Lewis, recently retired assistant director of the Campus Y and director of the Bonner Leaders Program, received the 2017 Ned Brooks Award for Public Service honoring her commitment as a mentor for students engaged in public service and advocate for both students and community partners. Lewis was the founding director of the Bonner Leaders Program, which accepts work-study students with demonstrated leadership potential and a commitment to public service and provides them with opportunities to engage in intensive community work supplemented by weekly capacity-building workshops and critical issues seminars.

Three others received Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Awards, which honor individuals and campus units for public service through engaged teaching, research and partnership. The recipients are:

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.

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.

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.

Winners of the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award, which recognizes students, staff and faculty for exemplary public service efforts, are:

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.

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.

Marsha Penner, 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.

About the Carolina Center for Public Service

The Center offers a variety of programs that support public service and engagement, providing students, faculty and staff many ways to explore service opportunities, learn new skills and link their academic endeavors to making a difference in the community.