Lights on the Hill is a monthly photo feature highlighting College of Arts & Sciences people who are putting service at the forefront as they help to keep the University going during the COVID-19 pandemic … and beyond.
Stay tuned for future spotlights on the last Friday of every month.
Photos by Donn Young
Christie Hinson Norris, Director, Carolina K-12, Carolina Public Humanities
What chief challenge or challenges have you had to overcome in doing your job in the middle of a pandemic?
Much of Carolina K-12’s service to teachers involves bringing educators from all over the state together to explore new scholarship and pedagogy in interactive workshops and retreats, as well as to build systems of support and encouragement. Figuring out how to quickly pivot and transition our events into virtual formats was certainly a challenge, but an imperative one to meet given the added demands and difficulties teachers have faced during this pandemic. Through creativity, collaboration and a willingness to try new things, however, we have found ways to continue engaging and supporting educators via virtual formats. We have actually been able to broaden participation and deepen relationships all around the state due to this forced “new normal.”
Why are you passionate about what you do — in other words, what keeps you committed to doing your job in the College?
I love my job! As a former middle school teacher myself, I am intimately familiar with the challenges faced in K-12 education and am continually inspired by the innovation, dedication and professionalism exhibited by the educators we serve. It is a privilege to be able to expose under-resourced teachers to the scholarship and resources available at Carolina and to witness the positive difference this in turn makes on thousands of K-12 students all around the state. Carolina K-12 is a true exemplar of the University’s mission of public service, and I’m proud to be part of this work.