2006 Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Senior
Reba Annette Nunley ’07, Senior
Reba Nunley has really blossomed as a student at Carolina. She epitomizes the academic excellence, innovative community service, active student involvement and dedicated leadership demonstrated and inspired by Harvey Beech during his lifetime. She knows this is a big accomplishment-she came from a small town, branched out from all her high school friends by coming to UNC, and is the only grandchild in her family to attend college.
Academic honors are synonymous with Reba’s name. She is repeatedly on the Dean’s List and has been awarded membership in the National Scholars Honor Society. She also has received an award for academic excellence at UNC three times. For six semesters, she has held the Oscar Rand Scholarship, based on both need and academic performance.
Professor Anne Hastings says, “She confirms for me why I went into teaching as a career. Reba is eager to learn, open to suggestions and advice, is wise beyond her years and is genuinely compassionate and kind-all qualities of a true scholar.”
Reba’s high academic achievements parallel her dedicated service to the community, demonstrated by her diligent work throughout her time as a UNC student.
Her easy rapport with diverse populations and age groups makes her a desirable contributor to community programs. She does not disappoint. To the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, a world-renowned center for studying young children and their families, she has been indispensable. As a preschool teacher assistant, Reba has expertly led small group activities for children up to the age of five. In the classroom she also has been invaluable in creating procedures for checking out Spanish library books. Her performance was so superior that the Institute reassigned her from one classroom and expanded her duties to support two other classrooms.
At the institute, Reba also has excelled as a Spanish translator. The reports she translated helped the parents of a special needs Latino student monitor their child’s progress, and she expanded the opportunities for more Hispanic/Latino families to apply to the Institute by creating a Spanish version of the application form.
Maggie Connolly, Director of the Frank Porter Graham Family and Child Care Program, says Reba is “a very special young woman who is committed to helping people of all ages. In her work at the FPG Child Development Institute, she is a gifted teacher of young children, a friendly, positive co-worker and a supportive partner with families who makes the world a better place through all of her efforts.”
Her on-campus work is extensive as well. She has been active in the Sociology Club, Gospel Choir and Black Student Movement. She is a student member of the General Alumni Association. For more than three years she has been an indispensable volunteer in the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs.
Reba has demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities as a student at UNC. Active in Students Helping in the Immigration and Naturalization of Elders (SHINE), she taught English to an elderly Taiwanese woman and a Chinese couple and guided them in using English as a second language by developing innovative weekly assignments. She was chosen to attend the Leadership Institute at UNC, an honor extended to only high-achieving students to sharpen their leadership skills.
Reba not only completed the program with honors, but through her character and exceptional work ethic, she was chosen as personal assistant to Terri Houston, the director of recruitment and support services. She also served the institute as social coordinator and planned social and networking activities for a group of 40 participants.
A contestant in the Miss North Carolina USA pageant in October, Reba will complete a bachelor of arts degree in sociology with a minor in African-American studies next May. Her plans are to enter the teaching profession or work on a master’s degree in education or sociology. It gives us great pleasure to bestow the 2006 Harvey E. Beech Outstanding Senior Award to this very deserving student.