Faculty and Staff Awards -2021


HHS/UNCG Teaching Excellence Award

Elizabeth Webb, SWK

“In practice-based courses, it is important for students to ‘receive constructive feedback on their assignments, so they think more deeply about social work practice,” one of her student nominators said. “She inspired me to teach at the college level. She has shown me the impact a great professor can make on a student.”


Jerry and Joan Morrison Tolley Gail M. Hennis Graduate Teaching Award

Dr. Jaclyn Maher, KIN

“She did everything in her power to maintain a relationship with the class despite the separation of online learning…. and even reached out when students did well on exams,” said a student nominator.

Dr. Maher describes teaching as “transformational.” At the graduate level, students integrate theory with practice to “critically engage in the material and experience how concepts can be applied in their professional careers.”

Proudly, she is often rated most highly on “holding high standards.”


Mary Frances Stone Teaching Excellence Award

Dr. DeAnne Brooks, KIN

Dr. Brooks describes her main teaching goal as helping students “succeed as engaged and concerned citizens, scholars, and professionals, willing and able to tackle major problems that can be minimized through physical activity.”

At least one of her nominators got that message and said, “there was a genuine connection to the lessons for the betterment of the future generations.”

Michael Scotto

Outstanding Staff Award

Michael Scotto, Dean’s Office

The HHS Staff award is for someone who goes above and beyond, as noted by one of the reviewers: “Michael has been here everyday since the return to campus (during the pandemic). He has arranged major moves into the new NIB building, as well as the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness and the HHS Advancement and Communications suite.

Michael’s nominator notes that he is the ‘go-to guy’ for COVID-19 policy and space. He’s placed himself at risk, in service to the School and his colleagues.


Contributions to Diversity and Inclusion Award

Dr. Yarneccia Dyson, SWK

Dr. Dyson’s nominator describes her as someone who is devoted to inclusive excellence in every element of her work — teaching, research, and service.

She has been honored by Fhi360, an organization committed to health equity, using science to improve health outcomes.

National organizations seek Dr. Dyson’s leadership because of her expertise in diversity and inclusion. Her work is impactful for our students, our School, and across the nation.


Community-Engaged Scholar Award

Dr. Paul Davis, KIN

Dr. Davis maintains an active partnership with Cone Health through his research project, Bariatric Exercise and Lifestyle Transformation (BELT).
Participants say:

“I feel like a brand new me. I have learned to love myself and my body,” said one participant. “I really enjoyed the goal-setting sessions. They have helped me plan out what I want to accomplish in the BELT program and beyond,” said another.


Junior Research Award

Dr. Jigna Dharod, NTR

Dr. Dharod’s work and research focuses on the resettlement of refugee adults, a group that often sees increased rates of heart disease/diabetes related to lifestyle changes,
food and housing insecurity early in life. Her work with undergraduates resulted in receiving the 2020 UNCG Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award.


Senior Research Award

Dr. Ang Chen, KIN

Dr. Chen is a leader in physical education curriculum intervention research. His research is funded through the National Institutes of Health and Department of Education and include “Science PE & Me!” elementary school curriculum, “Learn for Life” middle school curriculum, “Science of Healthful Living” middle school curriculum, and “Science of Essential Balance.”


Graduate Mentoring Award

Babbi Hawkins, NTR

Famed philosopher Oprah Winfrey said, “A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” That is at the heart of Hawkins’ work with dietetic interns at UNCG.
For the interns, she is their cheerleader, their confidant, the one with highest expectations, and the one who sees the hope in each one.

Hawkins is a key member of the HHS Interprofessional Education committee, developing programming to help students gain these important skills.

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