Six Receive Massey Awards

In recognition of their “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions,” six UNC employees have earned the 2015 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards, one of the most coveted distinctions earned by faculty and staff.

The late C. Knox Massey ’25 created the awards in 1980. Four years later, he joined the families of his son, Knox Massey Jr. ’59, and daughter, Kay Massey Weatherspoon, in creating the Massey-Weatherspoon fund. Income from the fund supports the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars.

Chosen from campuswide nominations, the Massey Award recipients receive a $7,500 stipend and an award citation. This year’s recipients are:

Faydene Alston, a housekeeper assigned to UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Alston’s inspiring and extraordinary work ethic extends beyond her job as a housekeeper. Since joining the University in 2001 and as a single parent rearing a daughter, she earned her GED and began classes to pursue a degree in early childhood development.

Claudio Battaglini, associate professor, exercise and sports science. As director of the Integrative Exercise Oncology Laboratory and the Get REAL & HEEL Breast Cancer Rehabilitation Program, Battaglini researches the physiological, psychological and physical effects of exercise to restore mind and body. “Dr. B” as he is affectionately known, joined Carolina in 2004 and since then has earned numerous awards for his teaching, research and service, including a Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.

Ma Charina Brooks, a housekeeper assigned to Grimes residence hall. Inspired by her job performance and extraordinary warmth, compassion and friendliness, more than 100 members of the campus community nominated housekeeper Brooks for the award. In her five years with the University, Brooks held previous assignments in Cobb and the Lower Quad, working to improve quality of life for her co-workers, staff and residents and engendering goodwill among all.

DeVetta Holman-Nash ’79 (’85 MPH) assistant director, Student Wellness Services. Holman-Nash is heralded at every level of the academy as a caring leader, skilled counselor, outstanding role model and a driving force for change. In her 30 years of service, Nash has held leadership positions in counseling, wellness and diversity. A champion for students and colleagues, she founded Diversity and Inclusiveness in a College Environment, Sister Talk and Unique Heels, and is faculty advisor for the UNC chapter of the NAACP.

Christopher Payne, associate vice chancellor and senior operating officer, student affairs. Payne promotes the whole student — academic performance to wellbeing — encouraging students to engage in meaningful dialogue, participate in service and make a difference in the lives of others as they pursue their career paths and degrees.

James Spurling, director of Kenan Stadium and football facility, athletics. Spurling, who joined the University in 2000, currently serves as director of Kenan Stadium and Football Facility. For his exceptional work ethic, Spurling has been recognized with the Facilities Extra Effort award and as a Star Heel.


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