UNC Honors 10 People, Groups for Public Service

From sustainable sanitation systems in Peru to community gardens here at home, the University has honored staff, faculty, students and organizations for their public service projects. Ten individuals and organizations received awards in April at the Carolina Center for Public Service’s annual ceremony.

The Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award, given in memory of the UNC professor of exercise and sport science who earned two degrees from UNC — a master’s of education in 1959 and a doctorate in 1970 — recognizes a public service project that exemplifies the motto of Rotary International, “Service Above Self.” Hyatt was a member of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club. The Hyatt award went to Engineers Without Borders for its project on sustainable sanitation in Ciudad de Dios, which aims to establish a community-run, ecological sanitation system to reduce the incidence of diarrheal disease and disparity between urban and rural sanitation in Peru.

The Ned Brooks Award for Public Service, named for the faculty member and administrator at Carolina who received his doctorate from UNC in 1985, recognizes a faculty or staff member who has built a sustained record of community service through individual efforts and who has promoted the involvement and guidance of others. The award went to Alice Ammerman ’82 (MPH, ’90 DrPH), a professor in the department of nutrition and director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, for her engagement of young academics, undergraduates, graduate students and experts to create strategic partnerships to approach problems and ensure improved health for all North Carolinians.

The center also presented two Office of the Provost Public Service Awards honoring campus units for service to North Carolina. One went to the School of Government’s Community-Campus Partnership, a multidisciplinary approach that builds relationships and connections between campus and community partners to respond to their needs. The other went to the Honors Program for the Moral Challenge of Poverty and the Ethics of Service. This joint UNC-Duke University initiative enables faculty, students and others to collaborate to address poverty in the state.

The Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award — recognizing individual students and faculty for exemplary public service efforts — was awarded to:

  • Lisa Pelehach of Greensboro, a junior psychology and sociology major, for helping create the SMART Mentoring program, which in partnership with the nonprofit Volunteers for Youth has connected 15 UNC undergraduates as mentors to 15 children in low-income neighborhoods in Chapel Hill;
  • Tucker LaPrade, an English graduate student instructor, whose audio tours produced for Eno River State Park educate and inform park visitors;
  • Claire Lorch ’76, community outreach coordinator at the N.C. Botanical Garden, for her dedication to the Carolina Campus Community Garden, which provides free, fresh produce to University employees most affected by the current economic downturn and struggling to feed their families;
  • Laura Linnan, associate professor in health behavior and health education, whose contributions to workplace intervention research have translated into health and social benefits for the citizens of North Carolina;
  • Jason Jolley ’98, senior research director at the Kenan Institute, for his efforts in creating Chatham County’s economic development strategic plan, drafting the county’s economic development incentive policy and creating a marketing plan for Siler City; and
  • Lynne Vernon-Feagans ’67, William C. Friday Distinguished Professor in the School of Education, for her Targeted Reading Intervention project to help rural teachers work individually with students to improve reading skills.

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