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Pat Parker (center) is pictured with Deborah Stroman, chair of the Carolina Black Caucus and an exercise and sport science lecturer (left) and Dean Karen Gil. (photo by Mary Lide Parker)
Pat Parker (center) is pictured with Deborah Stroman, chair of the Carolina Black Caucus and an exercise and sport science lecturer (left) and Dean Karen Gil. (photo by Mary Lide Parker)

Engaging young girls in healthy lifestyles, promoting interventions against interpersonal and relationship violence, and addressing the critical need for clean water are just a few of the public service projects the University honored during the March 26 awards ceremony hosted by the Carolina Center for Public Service. Seventeen individuals and organizations received honors.

Two faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences received awards. Patricia S. Parker, associate professor of communication studies, was recognized for her work to provide students with an opportunity to apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting. Judith Blau, professor emeritus of sociology, was recognized for founding the Human Rights Center of Chapel Hill and Carrboro through her service-learning classes and connections with other campus organizations;

“The breadth and depth of the efforts of these students, faculty, staff and University units exemplify UNC’s commitment to public service and engagement,” said Lynn Blanchard, center director. “The work they have done upholds the tradition of connecting the University’s mission of teaching, research and service to addressing practical problems, and we are proud to honor them.”

Stephen Caiola, associate professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, received the Ned Brooks Award for Public Service in recognition of his more than four decades of service through UNC Hospitals and the pharmacy school. His role at Carolina “is one of fulfilled service to others, largely through extending health care to every city and town across the state and beyond,” a nominator said.

Named for Brooks, a Carolina faculty member and administrator since 1972, the award recognizes a faculty or staff member who has built a sustained record of community service through individual efforts and has promoted the involvement and guidance of others.

After establishing the clinical pharmacy program at UNC Hospitals, Caiola worked with Orange Chatham Comprehensive Health Service to improve health care for the underserved in the community. He also involved pharmacy students as charter members of the Student Health Action Coalition, the oldest health affairs student-run clinic in
the country.

The center presented three Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Awards honoring service through teaching, research and partnerships:

  • Patricia S. Parker;
  • Rebecca J. Macy, associate professor in the School of Social Work, was honored for her work on interpersonal and relationship violence, especially in promoting safety and recovery from the trauma of violence; and
  • The Project GRACE Consortium was recognized for its work to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections in African-American communities.

Five people and one organization received Robert E. Bryan Public Service Awards in recognition of their exemplary public service efforts:

  • Judith Blau;
  • Barbara Renner, library services evaluation specialist with the Health Sciences Library, was recognized for expanding the reach of the YOUR HEALTH radio program, produced by the Department of Family Medicine;
  • Camille McGirt, a senior majoring in health policy and management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, was recognized for her work with Healthy Girls Save the World, which promotes healthy bodies, minds and relationships for young girls in the area;
  • Meriwether Evans, a law student, was recognized for her work with the Pro Bono Program, ensuring that people without economic or political means can pursue legal claims and rights;
  • Charlotte Stewart, a law student, was recognized for her work to help found the Orange County Homeless Court, a statewide Veterans Legal Resource Network and the ACLU Voting Rights Education Project; and
  • The Campus Y committee Helping Youth by Providing Enrichment was recognized for its work to promote education to underserved students in the local area.

The Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award, named for the late professor of exercise and sport science and longtime member of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club, honors projects that represent the “service above self” motto of Rotary International.

A Drink For Tomorrow received the award for its work to raise funds and awareness for the global water crisis through Las Cocas Sustainable Water Project in Peru.

To learn more about the center and the awards, see

[ Story by Rhonda Beatty, Carolina Center for Public Service ]
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