Interim Director, Patricia Parker is Chair and Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she is Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Parker’s research, teaching, and engaged scholarship focus on social justice leadership and decolonizing organizational communication processes. Building on these themes, her work explores questions about difference, equity and participatory communication in a variety of contexts. As the inaugural Director of Faculty Diversity Initiatives for the College of Arts and Sciences (2012-2015) she developed the College’s diversity liaison program, a network of faculty leaders working for equity and inclusion in their respective departments. For this effort, she won the 2014 University Diversity Award, UNC-Chapel Hill’s highest award for achievement in advancing diversity and inclusion. She is founder and executive director of The Ella Baker Women’s Center for Leadership and Community Activism, a venture supported by a 2006 Kauffman Faculty Fellowship for social entrepreneurship. In 2013 she received the UNC Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for teaching. She is the inaugural recipient (2010) of the Engaged Scholars Service Award in the National Communication Association’s Organizational Communication Division.
Founding Director, Dorothy Holland (on leave) is Cary C. Boshamer Distinguished Professor of Anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her publications, including several books, edited volumes and articles, theorize a social practice approach to identity, and focus on social movements, activism and local democracy. She is co-founder of the Center for Integrating Research and Action (CIRA) at UNC, and co-founder and Director of the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research.
Community Expert and Co-Director, Melvin Jackson, MSPH, has over 30 years of experience in public health research and program coordination. He is the Director of Operations for Strengthening The Black Family, Incorporated, a community-based nonprofit organization in Raleigh, NC. Mr. Jackson serves as Community Expert Consultant with the UNC CTSA Supplement project entitled “Community Engagement Consulting Models: Taking Them to Scale.” He is the Community Course Director for the UNC Faculty Engaged Scholars Program and Co-Director of the Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research.
Alice Ammerman is the Director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and the principal investigator of the Center of Excellence for Training and Research Translation at UNC. Her recent research focuses on childhood obesity and school nutrition programs, sustainable agriculture as it relates to improved nutrition, and the potential of social entrepreneurship as a approach to addressing public health concerns, charged with identification, translation, and dissemination of evidence-based interventions for obesity and cardiovascular disease control and prevention. She is the author of more than 75 articles and book chapters.
Geni Eng directs the Community Health Scholars post-doctoral program. She teaches community organization, cross-cultural aspects of health education practices, community diagnosis and health issues relevant to women, ethnic minorities, and developing nations. Her current research projects apply community-based research principles to the design and evaluation of lay health advisor interventions and look at the influence of sociocultural factors on STD’s and early detection of breast cancer.
Hannah Gill is an anthropologist with a specialization in Latin American/Caribbean migration studies. She is the author and co-author of two books, “North Carolina and the Latino Migration Experience: New Roots in the Old North State” and “Going to Carolina de Norte, Narrating Mexican migrant experiences.” Dr. Gill’s APPLES service learning course INTS 390, “Latin American Immigrant Perspectives: Ethnography in Action” involves a spring break trip to Guanajuato, Mexico each year. She received a DPhil in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford, England in 2004. She is a native of North Carolina and an alumna of UNC Chapel Hill.
Sarah Kowitt is a doctoral student in the Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health. Her current research focuses on diabetes, social support and community health workers. She is particularly interested in how community level factors influence depression among those with diabetes and how strategies, such as social support and community health workers, can moderate these relationships.
Lauren G. Leve is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies. She studies the political and cultural dynamics of religion in South Asia using ethnographic studies of religion as a window into broader issues of local and global life. The majority of her research takes place in Nepal where she has worked on development, NGOs, and women’s empowerment in addition to, and as they intersect with, Buddhist modernism and the growth of Christianity. Her participatory work with Nepali women goes back to the nineteen-nineties and continues in new forms in the wake of the 2015 Nepal earthquakes.
Alex Lightfoot is the assistant director for the Community Engagement/Partnerships Core and CBPR Unit of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention at UNC. She is also the project director for the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars Program, and serves as the Executive Director of the Paul Green Foundation. Her research and work examine the intersections of educational inequities and health disparities.
Patricia A. McAnany, Kenan Eminent Professor of Anthropology, is a Maya archaeologist who has conducted field research and cultural heritage programs through the Maya region. She is the recipient of several research awards from the National Science Foundation and of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Institute for the Arts & Humanities (UNC, Chapel Hill), the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Center for Advanced Study at Harvard University. Her professional interests include the intersection of ritual and economy, ancestor veneration, the creation and abandonment of place, and the cross threading of cultural heritage with indigenous identities. She founded the Maya Area Cultural Heritage Initiative (www.machiproject.org) and co-founded InHerit: Indigenous Heritage Passed to Present (www.in-herit.org). Her current research project is a community-based archaeological investigation of life conditions for Yukatek Mayan peoples during the early Colonial period in Yucatán, Mexico.
Cherie Rivers Ndaliko
GCPR Research Assistant
Maggie Morgan-Smith is a doctoral student in the Department of Anthropology. She is an historical archaeologist interested in the socioeconomic relationships between Maya-speaking landowners and laborers in the 18th and 19th centuries, and the impact of those relationships on community abandonment. Her dissertation research focuses on the site of Rancho Kiuic, an agropastoral community in the Puuc Region of Yucatán, México occupied from the Late Colonial period through the 1950’s. She is currently working with descendants of Rancho Kiuic’s laborers to explore their connections with the community and its owners through archival documents, oral history, and household-level excavation.