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UNC Diversity Awards Honor People, Groups

Ten people or groups have received 2015 University Diversity Awards recognizing their significant contributions to the enhancement, support and furtherance of diversity on the Carolina campus and in the community.

The seventh annual diversity awards, sponsored by the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, were presented this week.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt observed that the people receiving these awards were the kind of selfless individuals who typically don’t expect to be recognized for what they do.

“These are not the things that people do to gather awards. These are the things that people do because it comes up from the heart,” Folt said. “Every one of these is a choice, a decision made from the heart in a way to reach out to other people.”

The following recipients are being recognized in these categories:

Faculty

  • Rumay Alexander, clinical professor and director of multicultural affairs in the School of Nursing. Alexander initiated the school’s “Courageous Dialogues” programs, where faculty and staff come together to discuss their responses to books, film and other media.
  • Brian Hogan ’03 (PhD), research assistant professor in the chemistry department. Hogan co-directs the Trans-Atlantic Science Student Exchange Program and is academic director of Scholars’ Latino Initiative, which works to increase access for Latina/o high school students.

Undergraduates

  • Frank Brady Gilliam of Charlotte, a freshman comparative literature major, who spent his gap year volunteering as an English tutor and interning in small medical clinics in Thailand, Madagascar, Bolivia and Peru. At Carolina, Gilliam, an LGBTQ activist, has been a Campus Y intern with global interests, including connecting Duke and UNC students involved in international projects.
  • Trey Mangum, a senior from Roxboro majoring in journalism and mass communication. As president of the Black Student Movement and diversity columnist for The Daily Tar Heel, Mangum has worked to bridge the gap between black faculty and students and to raise awareness of various issues faced by underrepresented students.

Graduate and Professional Students

  • Blessing Aghaulor, a second-year medical student from Nairobi, Kenya. As an undergraduate at Yale, Aghaulor found her passion for public health and Chinese culture. This interest led her to design and implement a pilot course called Medical Mandarin for the medical school last fall.

Staff

  • Amy Burtaine, director of Interactive Theatre Carolina in Student Wellness, which uses theater to address the intersections of health and social identity. Trained as a social justice educator, Burtaine has worked nationally and internationally in theater and education for more than 20 years.

Campus Organization

  • Carolina Indian Circle, which works to create cultural and learning opportunities across the campus and to provide insight into the native citizens of the state and of the nation. Founded in 1974, the Carolina Indian Circle is a registered student organization that aims to provide a positive atmosphere and a sense of community to Native American students.

Alumni

  • Barb Lee ’88, founder and president of Point Made Films. Lee has worked on several documentaries that aim to promote the varying aspects of American identity, including two feature-length documentaries — one exploring the grit, rather than glamour, of international adoption; and another about the sometimes-complicated issues that can arise when African-American students are given scholarships to attend elite prep schools.

Community

  • Kara Stewart, a member of the Sappony tribe and Tribal Council and literacy coach with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. As chair of the Culturally Responsive Instruction Committee with the State Advisory Council on Indian Education, Stewart has been instrumental in developing online resources for accurate teaching to and about American Indians.

Beech Scholarship

  • Kendall Atkins, a sophomore journalism and mass communication major; Nashara Moore, a junior management and society and sociology major; and Geovanni Parroquin, a junior political science major. The Harvey Beech Scholarship goes to students who exemplify a commitment to service and academics. The scholarship bears the name of one of the first four African-American students admitted to UNC who was the first to graduate, with a law degree, in 1952.
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