Six UNC Employees Receive Massey Awards

Chancellor Carol L. Folt has selected six Carolina employees to receive 2016 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards, which recognize “unusual, meritorious or superior contributions” by University employees.

The late C. Knox Massey ’25 of Durham created the awards in 1980. In 1984, he joined the families of his son, Knox Massey Jr. ’59, and his daughter, Kay Massey Weatherspoon, to create the Massey-Weatherspoon fund. Income from the fund supports the Massey Awards and Carolina Seminars.

Each of the six recipients will receive a $7,500 stipend. This year’s recipients are:

  • Randi Byrd, community engagement coordinator for the American Indian Center. As community engagement coordinator in the American Indian Center, Byrd extends the University’s outreach as an advocate and liaison to eight tribal nations and four urban Indian organizations in North Carolina and supports the Healthy Native North Carolinians Network to promote active living and healthy eating.
  • Angelette Cheek, housekeeping day porter at the Kenan Center for Private Enterprise. Inspired by her 24 years of outstanding job performance and extraordinary warmth and friendliness, nominators from Cheek’s job joined previous colleagues in New West and New East, Battle and Davie halls, Smith Building, Ackland Art Museum and the Hanes Art Center to praise her professionalism.
  • Renita Corbett, housekeeper in the School of Dentistry. More than 200 nominations endorsed Corbett by praising her hard work, faithful service and attitude. Colleagues commended her diligence with routine housekeeping duties and her responsiveness to unexpected mishaps.
  • Andy Johns ’98, senior associate vice chancellor for research in the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research. Johns leads Carolina in its mission to become the preeminent public research university in the nation, and he is the heart behind the technology making it happen. Johns joined Carolina 16 years ago as a computer consultant and now is responsible for strategic planning, research policy, infrastructure and regulatory compliance.
  • Michael McFarland ’82, director of university relations, Office of Communications and Public Affairs. For more than 30 years, McFarland has used his skills to influence and uphold Carolina’s reputation in the public domain. Through the written and spoken word, he gives voice to Carolina in times of calm and crisis. He also earned his master’s degree from UNC in 1990.
  • Joy Renner ’80, associate professor and director for radiologic science, Allied Health Sciences, in the School of Medicine. Already a distinguished faculty member, student adviser and division administrator, Renner advanced her service to the University as a leading voice on the Faculty Athletics Committee. A member of the committee since 2009 and chair since 2012, she spearheaded freedom of expression and open inquiry during unprecedented challenges to academics in 2010. She also earned her master’s degree from UNC in 1992.

The six recipients will be honored at a luncheon hosted by Folt on April 16.