2023 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients and 2023 HHS Community Engaged Scholar Award Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Ben Dyson, recipient of the 2023 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Ben Dyson, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ben is an internationally recognized researcher in Health and Physical Education in the areas of research on innovative curriculum and pedagogy in Health and Physical Education, Cooperative Learning (CL) as a pedagogical practice, and scholarship in Social and Emotional Learning. Ben’s area of scholarship has always involved school-based qualitative research with teachers and with students, which has contributed to the evidence base on effective pedagogy for children’s PE, health, and well-being.
He has carried out research and taught at McGill University, Montreal, Canada, the University of New Hampshire, the University of Memphis, and the University of Auckland, New Zealand. Ben has presented at 90 national and international conferences and has published over 80 refereed research articles, editorials, book chapters, and books. Ben served as Program Chair for Research on Learning & Instruction in Physical Education Special Interest Group at the American Education Research Association (AERA) 1999-2002. From 2012-2016 he was the Co-Editor of the Journal of Teaching in Physical Education. In 2017-2020 Ben served as Chair for Research on Learning & Instruction in Physical Education Special Interest Group at AERA. Ben’s work was awarded the “Exemplary Paper Award” from the AERA, Research on Learning and Instruction in Physical Education, in 2011. In 2018 he was re-elected onto the board of the International Association Internationale des Écoles Supérieures d’Éducation Physique (AIESEP.org).
Congratulations to Dr. Maryanne Perrin, recipient of the 2023 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Globally, 15 million infants are born prematurely each year, greatly increasing their risk of morbidity and mortality. Growing evidence supports the use of donor human milk with preterm infants to improve health outcomes and lower health care costs when mother’s own milk is unavailable. Increasing access to safe donor milk is an important public health initiative supported by the US Surgeon General, the World Health Organization, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. Perrin’s early research evaluated human milk composition in the second year postpartum to help inform evidence-based guidelines regarding exclusion criteria for donating to a milk bank. In addition, she has used qualitative and mixed-methods research techniques to study the emergence of online peer-to-peer milk sharing communities and the experiences, knowledge, and attitudes of women who have shared their milk with a peer.
Dr. Perrin’s research interests are developing evidence-based guidance to support the effective screening, handling, processing, distribution and use of expressed human milk.
Congratulations to Dr. Jocelyn Smith Lee, recipient of the 2023 Health and Human Sciences Community Engaged Scholar Award!
Dr. Smith Lee is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Dr. Smith Lee’s community engaged program of research investigates issues of trauma, violence, loss, and healing among Black boys, men, and families. Rooted in Baltimore and growing in Greensboro, her research examines the health disparities of violent injury and violent death and works to understand how losing loved ones to homicide shapes the health, well-being, development, and family relationships of Black males and their social networks.
Dr. Smith Lee’s interdisciplinary research has been published in top- tier journals such as the American Journal of Public Health and the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, presented at national scientific meetings and invited talks, and featured in national news outlets. At UNC Greensboro, she is the founder and director of the Centering Black Voices research lab (Twitter: @CenterBLKVoices) whose mission is to affirm humanity, prevent violence, and promote healing in the lives of Black boys, men, and families through research and action.
Her new project “Disrupting Dehumanizing Narratives of Black Men in Poverty” is 1 of 28 winners of the 2020 Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenge Competition: Voices for Economic Opportunity. Prior to her appointment at UNC Greensboro, Dr. Smith Lee completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Center for Research on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health (CRECH) at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, served as an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, NY, and practiced individual, couple, and family therapy in Maryland. She completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology at Hampton University and her graduate work in Marriage and Family Therapy (MS) and Family Science (PhD) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Having personally lost loved ones to homicide, Jocelyn is deeply committed to this healing work.
2022 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients and 2022 HHS Community Engaged Scholar Award Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Sandra Shultz, recipient of the 2022 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Shultz is the Director of the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness and a Professor and Co-Director of the Applied Neuromechanics Research Laboratory in the Department of Kinesiology. Dr. Shultz is nationally recognized for her research on factors leading to lower extremity injury, especially of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Over 100,000 ACL injuries occur every year in the US and rehabilitation can take up to 12 months.
Dr. Shultz’s research interests stemmed from her clinical practice as a certified athletic trainer, and has focused on the underlying factors that increase a female’s susceptibility to ACL injury. She has received over $1.6M in external funding and published 100+ peer-reviewed publications. She teaches an undergraduate course in the recognition of injury and illness, and graduate level courses in neural control of human movement and in grant writing. She has chaired 15 PhD dissertations and 20 MS theses focused on ACL risk and prevention. Dr. Shultz is a Fellow of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, the National Academy of Kinesiology and the American College of Sports Medicine, and was inducted into the NATA Hall of Fame in 2015.
Congratulations to Dr. Jaclyn Maher, recipient of the 2022 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Jaclyn Maher is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology.
Dr. Maher’s research aims to understand (1) how motivational processes within and outside of our awareness regulate our physical activity and sedentary behavior, (2) how physical activity and sedentary behavior impact psychological health and well-being, and (3) how best to use technology to capture the dynamics of motivation, behavior, evaluations, and feelings as well as to intervene on behavior. The ultimate goal of her research is to develop low burden, just-in-time adaptive interventions that help people to create meaningful behavior change in the context of their everyday lives. Dr. Maher has conducted research in populations across the lifespan ranging from children to older adults. Dr. Maher was a post-doctoral scholar in the Real-Time Eating, Activity, and Children’s Health Lab in the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. She earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Kinesiology (concentration: Psychology of Physical Activity) from the Pennsylvania State University.
Congratulations to Dr. Emily Janke, recipient of the 2022 Health and Human Sciences Community Engaged Scholar Award!
Emily M. Janke, Ph.D. is the Director of the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement (ICEE) and an Associate Professor in the Peace and Conflict Studies Department.
As the Director of ICEE, Emily leads and supports initiatives that encourage, support, elevate, and amplify faculty, staff, student, and community colleague community-engaged teaching, learning, research, creative activity, and service in ways that promote the strategic goals of the university, address pressing issues in the Piedmont Triad and serve the public good of communities across the state, nation, and world. An important aspect of this role is connecting and convening community-engaged scholars within and beyond the university to focus on community-identified priorities through partnership.
Emily’s scholar-administrative work addresses multiple aspects of community engagement focused on community-university partnerships, and institutional culture and change strategies. In particular, she focuses on tracking and measuring community engagement and public service within and across institutions of higher education; the recognition of community-engaged scholarship in reappointment, promotion and tenure policies; the role of conflict management and transformation in community-university partnerships; institutional support for community engagement; innovations in scholarly communications; and reciprocity, collaborative communication, and restorative practices as aspects of high quality, ethical community engagement
Along with Barbara Holland and Kristin Medlin, Emily is an author of Collaboratory®, a publicly searchable, online database (licensed to TreeTop Commons, LLC) that shares an institutional story about who, what, where, with whom, and to what ends community-university partners are working towards community-identified priorities for shared learning and mutual benefits.
2021 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients and 2021 HHS Community Engaged Scholar Award Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Ang Chen, recipient of the 2021 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Ang Chen is professor of kinesiology at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. His research focuses on children’s and adolescents’ learning, motivation, physical activity behavior in K-12 school physical education and beyond. His expertise also includes physical literacy, physical skill assessment, program evaluation, and research methods. Dr. Chen has been a principal investigator and Co-PI/Co-Investigator in several federally funded, large-scale, multi-year physical education curriculum intervention studies involving dozens of public schools and thousands of students. Dr. Chen’s current study is The Science of Essential Balance, large-scale physical education curriculum intervention funded by the NIH for five years (2018-2023). Five doctoral students in the Curriculum/Pedagogy Studies area are working with Dr. Chen on the project supported by the NIH grant and Department of Kinesiology. The study involves 24 high schools in North Carolina and provides an opportunity for graduate students interested in K-12 physical education to study a large spectrum of issues.
Congratulations to Dr. Jigna Dharod, recipient of the 2021 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Dharod’s research is focused on identifying underlying mechanisms, associated risks, and effective strategies to address food insecurity at both national and international levels. Given the critical role nutrition plays in fetal and child development, Dr. Dharod is especially interested in understanding the impact of food insecurity in the first 1000 days of life. Internationally, Dr. Dharod’s efforts are focused on the assessment of water insecurity and its effect on three pillars of food security- Availability, Access, Utilization.
Congratulations to Dr. Paul Davis, recipient of the 2021 Health and Human Sciences Community Engaged Scholar Award!
Dr. Davis teaches in the area of exercise physiology. Since arriving at UNCG in 2000, he has developed three graduate courses covering various aspects of clinical exercise physiology. He has also developed a course that focuses on current health issues related to physical activity. Dr. Davis´ research centers mostly on the effects of exercise on cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors. He and his students are currently conducting a study (sponsored by the National Institutes of Health) to examine the effects of exercise dose (specifically, the daily duration of moderate–intensity exercise) on several traditional and nontraditional CVD and diabetes risk factors in overweight and obese young women.
2020 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients and 2020 HHS Community Engaged Scholar Award Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Etnier, recipient of the 2020 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Etnier is the Julia Taylor Morton Distinguished Professor in the Department of Kinesiology. She is currently leading a $3.4 million NIH funded clinical trial that explores the extent to which exercise can help stave off the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). Her work is focused on individuals who may have an increased genetic risk for AD — can exercise reduce the onset and progression of this debilitating disease. Using exercise as medicine may provide equal or better benefits when compared to use of pharmaceutical options in the treatment of cognitive decline.
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Coffman, recipient of the 2020 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Coffman’s scholarship blends basic and applied research, as she seeks to understand the development of children’s cognitive and social-emotional development, how home & school factors contribute to children’s development and steps that can be taken to facilitate conditions or interventions to optimize that development. She has sought & received funding for this work, including a $1.4 million grant from the Institute for Education Sciences. She actively involves both graduate and undergraduate students in her research. Two undergraduate students received Undergraduate Research and Creativity awards; students are frequent co-authors and co-presenters of her work.
Congratulations to Dr. Anne Brady, recipient of the 2020 Health and Human Sciences Community Engaged Scholar Award!
Dr. Brady has directed the HOPE program, Helping Others Participate in Exercise, since 2013. This program provides hands on experiences for students in the Department of Kinesiology, working with adult clients, aged 50+ from the Greensboro community. The program helps community clients learn about the benefits and proper techniques of aerobic, resistance, balance and flexibility training under the supervision of senior students.
2019 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients and 2019 HHS Community Engaged Scholar Award Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Laurie Wideman, recipient of the 2019 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Wideman, the Safrit-Ennis Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology, is an expert in the links among exercise, disease/injury, and endocrine function. Her work in the area of exercise-induced growth hormone release and specifically, the sex related differences in growth hormone release as a potential underlying mechanism for the phenotypic differences in body composition observed in men and women, has been particularly impactful. Dr. Wideman’s nominators noted her collaborative spirit, tremendous success securing external funding, and her efforts to elevate the research of other faculty.
Congratulations to Dr. Lenka Shriver, recipient of the 2019 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Shriver’s research focuses on child nutrition and obesity; in particular, she studies the behavioral, social and environmental factors that influence dietary intake. She has conducted both basic and applied research and her research has been published in journals from multiple disciplines including nutrition, public health, and child development. Dr. Shriver’s nominators noted her interdisciplinary and collaborative nature, her success securing external funding, and the clear implications of her work for child health.
Congratulations to Dr. Michael Hemphill, recipient of the 2019 Health and Human Sciences Community Engaged Scholar Award!
Michael’s community engaged scholarship involves teaching personal and social responsibility through sport, physical activity and physical education. He is also a fellow for the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement and works with the KIN EdD program to facilitate comunity engaged scholarship for the EdD students.
2018 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients
Congratulations to Dr. David Wyrick, recipient of the 2018 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. David Wyrick is the Founding Director of the Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness, Associate Professor of Public Health Education and Faculty Athletics Representative at UNC Greensboro. As a prevention scientist, Dr. Wyrick has extensive experience in innovative research methods, program evaluation, and behavioral intervention development. He has served as a Principal Investigator/Co-Investigator for more than 20 National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded projects and has published extensively in academic peer reviewed journals. Dr. Wyrick’s commitment to sustained public health impact led him to spin out a small business through UNC Greensboro’s Office of Innovation and Commercialization. Dr. Wyrick is Founder and President of Prevention Strategies, LLC which has allowed him to create a successful system, based on the Diffusion of Innovations, for commercializing the interventions he develops so they can have the maximum sustained public health impact. In practice, Dr. Wyrick’s research often results in intellectual property (e.g., behavioral interventions, trainings, and tools for disseminating health promotion messaging) that is of commercial interest to a variety of public and private organizations. The intellectual property is disclosed to UNC Greensboro and then licensed by the university to Prevention Strategies, LLC whose responsibility is to disseminate the intellectual property and provide support to the organizations that adopt it. Below is a brief summary of the impactful work he is currently engaged in.
Congratulations to Dr. Jennifer Erausquin, recipient of the 2018 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Jennifer Toller Erausquin is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Health Education. Her research focuses on social and contextual determinants of health disparities, and the design and evaluation of structural interventions to eliminate these disparities. A social epidemiologist with over a decade of experience in the field, her work encompasses HIV prevention and care, sexual health, and substance use among vulnerable and marginalized populations in the US and in diverse global settings. A major focus is HIV among racial/ethnic minority women. Black women make up 61% of newly diagnosed HIV cases among women, despite comprising only 12% of the US female population. Further, Black women living with HIV are less likely to be linked to care after a positive HIV screening, experience reduced care retention and lower medication adherence, and have increased morbidity and mortality compared with women of other racial/ethnic groups. In response to this context, Dr. Erausquin has three major lines of research: (1) sexual risk taking and substance use behaviors in adolescents and adults, (2) the role of structural stigma in the health of marginalized populations, and (3) rigorous evaluation of multicomponent structural interventions in public health.
This award recognizes Dr. Erausquin’s commitment to and accomplishment in scholarship during her early career. In her time at UNC Greensboro, she has mentored 10 doctoral students. To date, she has authored 28 peer-reviewed journal articles and 3 book chapters and had conducted more than 25 national and international presentations, many with student co-authors. She co-edited a book, Global Perspectives on Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Health Across the Life Course, which was published in 2018.
2017 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients
Congratulations to Dr. Jonathan Tudge, recipient of the 2017 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Jonathan Tudge is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies. His research deals with the development of gratitude in children and adolescents. Many people talk about gratitude as a warm emotional response to something (seeing a beautiful sunset), appreciating the fact that they live in a nice house and have plenty of money, or saying “thank you” for a gift or help. Dr. Tudge treats it as a moral virtue, a character trait that can develop over time.
As a virtue, it involves three components: (a) a benefactor who has intentionally provided a beneficiary with some benefit; (b) a positive feeling about that benefactor; and (c) the desire to do something for that benefactor, should an opportunity present itself. In other words, his research deals with gratitude TO another person (rather than FOR the things we have or the nice events that we experience). And, because that gratitude includes the desire to reciprocate in some way, it builds or strengthens connections among people.
His research team studies this by asking 7- to 14-year-olds what they would do if someone granted their greatest wish, and they also interview the parents of these children about whether, and how, they try to encourage gratitude in their children. The team is also interested in how gratitude develops in different countries and have data not only from North Carolina but also from Brazil, China, S. Korea, Russia, and Turkey. More information can be found at http://morethanthanks.wp.uncg.edu/.
Congratulations to Dr. Louisa Raisbeck, recipient of the 2017 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Louisa D. Raisbeck is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Kinesiology at UNC Greensboro. Dr. Raisbeck received her BSc in Sport Science and Coaching from Nottingham Trent University in England (2000), M.S. in Motor Learning and Control from Indiana University (2004) and Ph.D. in Human Performance, specializing in Motor Learning from Indiana University (2009). Dr. Raisbeck’s primary research interests are in Motor Imagery and Performance – specifically related to the role of feedback either in the form of knowledge of results or sensory consequences on learning motor skills. This approach compares learning through motor imagery and physical practice while investigating if sensory feedback and knowledge of results will be of greater importance for setting parameters necessary for successful performance.
Another area of interest is in Attentional focus, related to an individual’s subjective perception of motivation, effort, and stress with respect to performance as stressors within the environment change. In addition, Dr Raisbeck and her collaborators are interested in the effects of attentional focus instructions on functional balance in patients with peripheral neuropathy. Specific interest relates to the use of attentional focus strategies as an intervention for functional balance in patients with peripheral neuropathy.
2016 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients
Congratulations to Dr. Cheryl Buehler, recipient of the 2016 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Cheryl Buehler is a Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. Her scholarship in family process, parenting, and family member well-being has received national recognition, including being highlighted in a variety of national and international media outlets. Most of her research has focused on marital conflict, parenting, maternal employment, and child and adolescent outcomes. She recently has expanded into the study of physiological stress responses, as well as various health outcomes.
Dr. Buehler is a Fellow of the National Council on Family Relations and has served on its Board of Directors. She also has served in editorial roles for the Journal of Marriage and Family, Family Relations, and Journal of Family Theory and Review.
This award recognizes Dr. Buehler for the importance of her research and her productivity throughout her academic career of 35 years. She has published about 100 papers in journals and books, having written with 35 different graduate students. She has mentored 17 doctoral students, 12 master students, and over 30 undergraduate students in their research.
Dr. Buehler received multiple teaching and research awards during her 20 years at the University of Tennessee and alumni recognition from the University of Minnesota. She received awards for advising and research excellence while in the School of Human Environmental Sciences (UNC Greesnboro) and received the 2016 HHS Graduate Mentoring Award.
Congratulations to Dr. Amanda Tanner, recipient of the 2016 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Amanda Tanner is a newly tenured Associated Professor in the Department of Public Health Education. Her research focuses on the integration of sexual and reproductive health promotion and disease prevention through behavioral research and intervention science. Specifically, her work explores HIV and other STI prevention and care among vulnerable populations, including youth, a key population with disproportionately high STI and HIV rates. Despite advances in STI and HIV diagnostics, treatment, and behavioral interventions young people, particularly racial/ethnic and sexual minority youth, remain disproportionately affected. Young people (aged 13-24) account for over half of all new STI infections and one quarter of all new HIV infections. Less than half of youth infected with HIV in the US know their status, one quarter are engaged in care, and only 6% achieve viral suppression (compared to 24% among adults). In response to this context, she has three lines of interconnected research inquiry, including: (1) identifying specific behavioral and contextual correlates of sexual health; (2) understanding how individuals, particularly youth, progress through HIV/STI diagnostic and care systems; and (3) developing, implementing, and evaluating prevention interventions to promote sexual health.
This award recognizes Dr. Tanner’s commitment to and accomplishment in scholarship during her early career. To date, she has over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and conducted more than 50 national and international presentations, many with student co-authors. She has mentored 8 doctoral students and supervised 12 master student theses. Dr. Tanner has also received multiple federal grants totaling over $3 million as a Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator.
2015 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipients
Congratulations to Dr. Susan Calkins, recipient of the 2015 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Susan Calkins, Bank of America Excellence Professor in the Departments of Human Development and Family Studies and Psychology, is also the Director of the Child and Family Research Network at UNC Greensboro. She is a nationally recognized scholar of psychobiological factors that influence the development of emotion regulation and psychopathology across childhood and into young adulthood.
This research has received increasing attention over the last few decades because early individual differences in emotion regulation predict important outcomes such as peer relations, school performance, and mental health.
This award recognizes Dr. Calkins for the importance of her research and her productivity throughout the years. She has published over 100 research papers, 25 book chapters and two books on child development. She has mentored seven post-docs, 15 doctoral students, five master students and 16 undergraduate research assistants.
She is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association and has received numerous awards for her work, including the Research Excellence Awards for both junior and senior faculty of the UNC Greensboro, and the College of Arts and Sciences Dean’s Merit’s Awards for Research and Teaching.
Congratulations to Dr. Roger Mills-Koonce, recipient of the 2015 Health and Human Sciences Junior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Mills-Koonce is an Associate Professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. He is a nationally recognized scholar of the environmental and biological influences on parenting and parent-child relationships in early childhood, with an emphasis on emerging conduct problems in young children.
He has also received a Mentored Research Scientist Award from NIH to pursue his other line of research: examining contextual sources of stress and support for families headed by LGBT couples across the United States.
This award recognizes Dr. Mills-Koonce for the importance of his research and his productivity during his early research career. He has co-authored 43 research papers and seven book chapters in the area of child development and family studies.
He is also the Research Coordinator for the LGBTQI Education and Research Network at UNC Greensboro and a Faculty Mentor at the Center for Developmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill. He has received previous recognition for his research in 2012 with the award of Faculty Engaged Scholar at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
2014 HHS Research Excellence Award Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Sandy Shultz, recipient of the 2014 Health and Human Sciences Senior Research Excellence Award!
Dr. Shultz, Professor and Chair of the Kinesiology Department, is nationally recognized for her research on factors leading to lower extremity injury, especially of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Over 100,000 ACL injuries occur every year in the US and rehabilitation can take up to 12 months.
Females are 3-5x more likely to suffer these injuries than males. Research results from Dr. Shultz’s laboratory over the past 15 years has characterized sex differences in knee joint laxity, and shown how the greater laxity in females compared to males contribute to lower extremity movement patterns that increase their potential for knee injury during sport related activity.
She has also identified genetic, hormone and anatomical factors (e.g. muscle mass) that precipitate these high risk knee laxity profiles in females, and is currently working to develop effective intervention strategies to mitigate this risk.
This award recognizes Dr. Shultz for the importance of her research and her productivity throughout the years. She has published over 100 research papers and 27 book chapters and books. She has mentored 18 doctoral students and 27 master’s students.
She has been recognized as a leader in her profession by being named a Fellow of the National Academy of Kinesiology, the American College of Sports Medicine and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association. She has received many awards for her work, including the Medal for Distinguished Athletic Training Research, the UNCG Research Excellence Award, and the Gail A. Hennis Graduate Teaching Award.