UNC faculty recognized for projects that strengthen relationships with communities

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UNC faculty recognized for projects that strengthen relationships with communities


The fourth class of Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars graduated earlier this month

(Chapel Hill, N.C. — Aug. 28, 2014) – The nine members of Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Class IV spent the past two years working to strengthen partnerships between the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the surrounding community.


The program, an initiative of the Carolina Center for Public Service, brings together selected faculty from across campus to engage in a two-year experiential, competency-based curriculum designed to advance their scholarship. Scholars participate in sessions in community settings to learn from Carolina faculty and their community partners and build relationships through work such as training teachers to integrate experiential learning into their classrooms.


“Participating in the Faculty Engaged Scholars program has enabled me to better understand the concept of engaged scholarship, particularly its multiple and varied forms. There’s no one way into and through engaged scholarship,” said Jocelyn Glazier, associate professor at the School of Education. “Hearing about my colleagues’ work has really expanded my understanding of the extensive and limitless boundaries of engaged scholarship.”


While developing individual projects, each class of scholars forms a learning community along with the faculty and community course directors to support each other’s projects and community partners. The growing network of Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars reports outcomes including new interdisciplinary collaborations, successful grant applications and both traditional and innovative products of their scholarship. Since the inception of the Scholars program 43 faculty members from nine schools and 21 departments have been selected to participate in the program.


“The Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars program opened my eyes to the dramatic needs of the state of North Carolina and the importance of core economic insights to unlock its long-term economic prosperity,” said Ted Zoller, director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. “This experience served to raise the stakes and motivate my work at a higher level to make sure that it wasn’t just another unread analysis, but instead a call to action. I learned that sound research can result in important insights and be a tool of transformation. This project served to distill in me a passion to serve our citizens by promoting the economic prosperity of the state of North Carolina.”


The graduates and their work:  


Tamera Coyne-Beasley, professor of pediatrics, established the North Carolina Child Health Research Network as part of the North Carolina Translational and Clinical Science Institute to build partnerships among community organizations, community-based and ambulatory practices and research communities.


Barbara Fedders, clinical assistant professor at the School of Law, teaches and supervises law students who represent youth in North Carolina delinquency cases. Her scholarship focuses on improving policies, practices and legal representation for young people in the child welfare and delinquency systems.


Jocelyn Glazier,associate professor in the School of Education, focuses on exploring the impact of experiential pedagogy on teacher and student learning, particularly with regard to minority populations. Glazier worked with teachers from different schools in what she has called a Teacher Collaborative (TC), a space where teachers learn from one another through interactive sessions.


Leigh A. Hall, associate professor in the School of Education, addresses issues relevant to adolescents’ literacy development and particularly those who have been labeled as having reading difficulties


Jill B. Hamilton, former assistant professor in the School of Nursing (now at Johns Hopkins University), is published on topics related to social support, religion and quality of life among African-American cancer survivors.


Brian Hogan, a research assistant professor in the chemistry department, is the academic director for the Scholars’ Latino Initiative, a program dedicated to increasing college access for Latino high school students. He helped build “SLIence,” a collaboration between McDougle Middle School and the Scholars’ Latino Initiative.


Shawn M. Kneipp, associate professor in the School of Nursing, conducts research of health disparities and social determinants of health. Her work focused on health conditions and unmet needs of women in welfare-to-work programs in the United States.


Linda Watson, a professor in Allied Health Sciences, focuses her scholarship on autism research, addressing issues of early development, early identification and social-communication interventions.


Ted Douglas Zoller is director of the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and associate professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at the Kenan-Flagler Business School. Zoller is the founding instructor of Launching the Venture, a start-up creation program that increased the number of spin-offs from UNC-Chapel Hill.




Carolina Center for Public Service contact: Rhonda Beatty, (919) 843-6993, rbeatty@unc.edu

Communications and Public Affairs contact: Susan Hudson, (919) 962-8415, susan_hudson@unc.edu