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Cheryl Bolick headshot

Cheryl Bolick
Associate Professor, Education

Dr. Cheryl Mason Bolick, an educational researcher, is interested in social studies teacher education and experiential education. Her initial research focuses using experiential education at the graduate level. She also has engaged in experiential education with her students by participating in North Carolina Outward Bound courses and through service-learning work on the Durham Hub Farm. This work led her to study the experiences of teachers engaged in experiential education and to investigate how it transfers to their K-12 teaching practice. This work provides insight into the ways that experiential education disrupts traditional patterns in teacher education. It also offers insight to the experience of learners in experiential education environments and how their experiences transfer into other aspects of their personal and professional lives. Through her work as a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar, Bolick hopes to deepen the work she is doing in teacher education and to use it as a springboard toward investigating experiential education in K-12 settings.

For current information, visit Cheryl Bolick’s faculty page.

Jada Brooks headshot

Jada Brooks
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Dr. Brooks is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and an academic nurse scientist committed to advancing health equity among American Indians in North Carolina. She works closely with community partners and youth specialists to engage preadolescents in a culturally-tailored intertribal talking circle designed to reduce substance use. She also partners with interdisciplinary researchers and community stakeholders to address environmental health disparities and cardiovascular disease risk in American Indian women. As a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar, Brooks will partner with the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina and the Public Schools of Robeson County to design and test an implementation plan for delivery of the intertribal talking circle within active programs targeted at American Indian youth. The goal is to promote the intertribal talking circle as a culturally-appropriate, sustainable and viable solution to tribal community-identified priorities and needs.

For current information, visit Jada Brook’s faculty page.

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Shauna Cooper
Associate Professor, Psychology and Neuroscience

Trained as a developmental psychologist, Dr. Shauna M. Cooper examines the individual and collective impacts of family, school and community influences on the development of African-American children and adolescents. Her work also seeks to identify cultural and contextual factors that mitigate the impact of environmental risks and promote positive psychological functioning, academic adjustment and health behavior. Her work explores the social experiences of African-American fathers as well as how these experiences shape parenting and child/adolescent outcomes. Using a mixed-method design, Cooper will examine the daily parenting experiences of African-American fathers and identify their supports and challenges. She also will work collaboratively with community organizations and stakeholders in the Raleigh-Durham area to identify strategies for engaging fathers and promoting positive development among African-American adolescents. Ultimately, this project will inform the development of a strengths-based, culturally-relevant preventative intervention.

For current information, visit Shauna Cooper’s faculty page.

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Sarah Dempsey
Assistant Chair and Associate Professor, Communication

Dr. Sarah E. Dempsey is an organizational communication scholar whose current book project examines the values and practices animating recent efforts to create living wage certification programs and promote higher wages in North Carolina. Set in the context of independent restaurants, the project brings together multiple perspectives to stage a conversation around wages in the food service industry. Her project combines archival research and analysis of popular discourses, and corporate practices with qualitative interviews with restaurant owners, elected officials, community organizers and living-wage certification staff and volunteers. Developing an understanding of the multiple costs of low-wage work alongside the benefits of living wages for both workers and business owners has practical relevance for community organizers, policymakers and other groups working to create community economies that bring greater benefits to all. Dempsey’s Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars project involves developing forms of public scholarship in conversation with these community partners and research participants.

For current information on, visit Sarah Dempsey’s faculty page.

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Amelia Gibson
Assistant Professor, Information and Library Science

Dr. Amelia Gibson is an assistant professor at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS). Her primary research interests center on health information behavior and local communities and places as information systems. She is interested in the effects of place, space and community on the information worlds, information behavior, information needs and information access of traditionally marginalized populations, including people with disabilities and their families, and youth of color. Gibson is the principal investigator of several projects: Deconstructing Information Poverty: Identifying, Supporting, and Leveraging Local Expertise in Marginalized Communities, funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Laura Bush 21st Century Early Career Award; Examining Youths of Color’s Perceptions of Library Inclusiveness, funded by the American Library Association; and Healthy Girls Know, a project that examines personal geographies of health information-seeking among black and Latina girls, funded by a UNC Junior Faculty development grant and a UNC SILS Kilgour grant. She is also a Frank Porter Graham Fellow and part of the Carolina Health Informatics Program faculty.

For current information, visit Amelia Gibson’s faculty page.

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Byron Powell
Former Assistant Professor, Health Policy and Management
Current Assistant Professor at the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis

Dr. Byron Powell’s research focuses on efforts to improve the quality of behavioral health and social services. His scholarship has focused on identifying contextual barriers and facilitators to implementing evidence-based practices in routine care, identifying and assessing the effectiveness of implementation strategies, developing methods for tailoring implementation strategies to address determinants of effective implementation and advancing research methodology in implementation science. He is partnering with the North Carolina Child Treatment Program and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network to develop and pilot the Collaborative Organizational Approach to Selecting and Tailoring Implementation Strategies (COAST-IS), an innovative intervention intended to help organizations more effectively implement and sustain evidence-based practices such as Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

Danielle Spurlock headshot

Danielle Spurlock
Assistant Professor, City and Regional Planning

As a city and regional planning scholar, Dr. Spurlock’s research lies at the intersections of land use, social equity and environmental protection. Over the past three years, she has collaborated with Communities in Partnership, a nonprofit in Old East Durham, and researchers from Duke University and North Carolina State University to examine how information elicited from nontraditional engagement techniques can shape local agenda-setting and policymaking. As a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar, Spurlock will continue investigating engagement processes with the potential to change how planning elicits and incorporates information from community stakeholders into land use and environmental policies that address green gentrification, displacement and health disparities.

For current information, visit Danielle Spurlock’s faculty page.

Jessica WIlliams headshot

Jessica Williams
Assistant Professor, Nursing

Dr. Williams is a public health nurse and nurse scientist whose scholarship focuses on improving health outcomes among those affected by intimate partner violence (IPV) and improving the role of the health care system in responding to IPV with a particular focus on elucidating disparities that exist in this process. Her research demonstrates how trauma and culture can affect a survivor’s ability to engage with the health care system and access effective health services related to IPV. Advancing work in this area requires a strong network of researchers, policymakers and community members. Her project will focus on developing an infrastructure to support a coordinated academic-community response to conducting research aimed at improving health among survivors of IPV. Dr. Williams will work with community partners to conduct a series of forums to identify priority health needs among individuals affected by IPV in North Carolina and explore how we as a community can better address these health needs. These forums will also determine next steps for establishing and sustaining partnerships to address priority research areas.

For current information, visit Jessica Williams’ faculty page.

Amy Wilson headshot

Amy Blank Wilson
Assistant Professor, Social Work

As part of her research, Dr. Wilson is working with Cross Disability Services, Inc. (XDS, Inc.) to use tiny homes to develop a new type of affordable housing for individuals with serious mental illnesses. Her project will consist of a community of 15 tiny homes in Chatham County, North Carolina for individuals with serious mental illnesses and veterans with health problems who are living on fixed incomes. Given the critical shortage of safe and adequate housing locally, nationally and internationally, Tiny Homes Village will serve as a prototype that expands access to affordable housing options for two vulnerable populations. Each tiny home of approximately 400 square feet will be built on a permanent foundation, providing residents with the opportunity to live in their own home. The Tiny Home Village will be designed to foster healthy daily activities and social interactions by including a number of community amenities such as a clubhouse, walking trails and an outdoor pavilion. The location will provide residents with access to healthy food and meaningful work activities on a daily basis within a social space that offers many opportunities to interact with individuals of all different ability levels. Residents will also have easy access to services through the Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health for their physical and behavioral health care needs. Through the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars program, Wilson will examine how living in the Tiny Home Village impacts residents’ health, housing stability and community connections and participation.

For current information, visit Amy Wilson’s faculty page.

Courtney Woods headshot
Courtney Woods
Assistant Professor, Environmental Sciences and Engineering

Dr. Courtney Woods is an environmental health scientist with broad interests in understanding how social, economic and political factors intersect to influence exposure to environmental hazards. Her previous work has been in partnership with predominantly black communities in rural settings in the southeastern United States and northeastern Brazil. Woods has employed participatory environmental monitoring and photography to investigate the impacts of industrial activity on neighboring communities. As a Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholar, Woods will work closely with communities in eastern North Carolina to determine the impact of industrial animal agriculture and solid waste management practices on air and water quality. Woods will also study generational differences in perception of environmental health risks to develop effective methods for engaging residents across ages.

For current information, visit Courtney Woods’ faculty page.

Classes I – VI

Harriet Able – Professor, School of Education (Class III)
Anna Agbe-Davies – Associate Professor, Anthropology (Class VI)

Antoine Bailliard – Associate Professor, Allied Health Sciences (Class VI)
Maureen Berner – Professor, Government (Class V)
The late Diane Berry – former Jane Sox Monroe Distinguished Professor, School of Nursing (Class II)
Gary Bishop – Professor, Computer Science (Class I)

Juan Carrillo -Former Assistant Professor, Education (Class V)
Mimi Chapman – Professor, School of Social Work (Class I)
Giselle Corbie-Smith – Kenan Professor, Social Medicine (Class I)
Tamera Coyne-Beasley – Former Professor, Pediatrics (Class IV)
Elizabeth Crais – Professor, Allied Health Sciences (Class III)
Leisha DeHart-Davis – Professor, Government (Class VI)
Kimon Divaris – Associate Professor, Pediatric Dentistry (Class VI)
Karen Erickson – David E. & Dolores Yoder Distinguished Professor, Allied Health Sciences (Class II)
Barbara Fedders – Clinical Assistant Professor, School of Law (Class IV)
Barbara Friedman – Associate Professor, Hussman School of Media and Journalism (Class V)
Patricia Garrett-Peters – Research Scientist, Center for Development Science (Class III)
Cheryl Giscombe – Melissa and Harry LeVine Family Professor, School of Nursing (Class V)
Jocelyn Glazier – Associate Professor, School of Education (Class IV)
Richard Goldberg – Research Associate Professor, Applied Physical Sciences (Class III)
Suzanne Gulledge – Clinical Professor, School of Education (Class II)
Leigh A. Hall – Former Associate Professor, Education (Class IV)
Jill B. Hamilton – Former Assistant Professor, Nursing (Class IV)
Julia Haslett – Assistant Professor, Communication (Class VI)
Brian Hogan – Teaching Professor, Chemistry (Class IV)
The late Dorothy Holland – Former Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor, Anthropology (Class I)
Adam Jacks – Associate Professor, Allied Health Sciences (Class V)
Coretta Jenerette – Associate Professor, School of Nursing (Class VI)
Anne Johnston – Parker Distinguished Professor, Hussman School of Media and Journalism (Class V)
Shawn M. Kneipp – Associate Professor, School of Nursing (Class IV)
Jock Lauterer – Lecturer and Director of the Carolina Community Media Project, Media and Journalism (Class I)
Alexandra Lightfoot – Research Assistant Professor, Gillings School of Public Health (Class VI)
Ashley Lucas – Former Assistant Professor, Dramatic Art (Class III)
Rebecca Macy – Professor, School of Social Work (Class II)
Laurie Maffly-Kipp – Former Professor, Religious Studies (Class III)
Steven May – Associate Professor, Communication (Class V)
Malinda Maynor Lowery – Professor, History (Class III)
Vicki Mercer – Associate Professor, Allied Health Sciences (Class V)
W. Roger Mills-Koonce – Associate Professor, Center for Developmental Science Community Partner: Family Diversity Research and Service Initiative (Class IV)
Cherie Ndaliko – Associate Professor, Music (Class V)
Enrique W. Neblett Jr. – Adjunct Professor/Lecturer, Psychology and Neuroscience (Class VI)
Mai Nguyen – Associate Professor, City and Regional Planning (Class I)
Della Pollock – Professor, Communication (Class III)
Charles Price – Associate Professor, Anthropology (Class II)
Andrew Reynolds – Professor, Political Science (Class II)
Sohini Sengupta – Research Coordinator, Center for Faculty Excellence (Class II)
Paul Smokowski – Former Professor, Social Work (Class I)
Dana Thompson Dorsey – Former Assistant Professor, Education (Class VI)
Aimee Wall – Professor, Government (Class II)
Michael Waltman – Associate Professor, Communication (Class I)
Linda Watson – Professor, Allied Health Sciences (Class IV)
Rachel Willis – Professor, American Studies (Class VI)
Ted Douglas Zoller – T.W. Lewis Clinical Professor, Kenan-Flagler School of Business (Class IV)