Community & Friends

Community-Engaged Scholars

This listing serves as an introduction to community-engaged scholars at UNCG including new faculty who have strong records of or potential for cross-disciplinary community-engaged scholarship. To have your name and scholarship included or your description updated, please email communityengagement@uncg.edu. In addition, view our listing of network leaders who connect and/or convene scholars for inter/cross-disciplinary scholarship to provide university-wide support for community-engaged scholarship.

Janet Allard, Theatre

Janet and UNCG theatre students conducted a Young Playwrights workshop at Caldcleugh, as part of UNCG’s Community Arts Collaborative Arts After School program with the theatre students performing the children’s original plays. Janet’s partners included the Greensboro Boys and Girls Club, City Arts, and Greensboro Parks and Recreation.

Matthew Barr, Media Studies

I am a documentary filmmaker whose films center on the struggles of working people to survive in an increasingly complex world. Past documentaries include Crimes of Hate, which chronicles the issue of bias crime, Wild Caught, which chronicles the struggles of small-scale fishermen in North Carolina; With These Hands, a film about the closure of a Martinsville, VA, furniture factory and its impact on the workers; and Carnival Train, which tells the story of carnival workers who work for Strates Shows, the last train-borne carnival in the world. Completed in 2016 is Union Time: Fighting for Worker’s Rights which chronicles the successful fight to organize a union at the world’s largest pork slaughterhouse.

Allison Bramwell, Political Science

Allison’s current research focuses on collaborative urban governance and the political economy of restructuring with an emphasis on economic transformation in mid-sized cities. Other recent work includes local labour market planning and workforce development, the role of colleges and universities in regional economic development, and the social dynamics of economic performance in urban regions. As an expert on community economic development with a particular focus on inclusive innovation in mid-sized cities, she is helping Greensboro’s InnovateNC develop its strategic direction and policy ideas.

Jeremy Bray, Economics

Jeremy’s research focuses on two primary areas of interest: the economics of substance abuse and the economic evaluation of behavioral health interventions. In his work on the economics of substance abuse, he has examined the labor market effects of substance use, abuse, and dependence and has studied the role of prices and taxes in consumers’ choices regarding alcohol, tobacco, and drug use. He was the project director of the national, cross-site evaluation of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment’s (CSAT) Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) grant program. He was Principal Investigator of the Data and Methodological Coordinating Center for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development’s Work, Family, and Health Network.

Rachel Briley, Theatre

Rachel is drawn to work in the drama classroom that explores social inequities and inspires students to become more actively involved in their communities. Rachel was a member of the 2006 Leadership Greensboro class where she assisted in the development of the Guilford Education Alliance’s first Education Leadership Academy. She is the head of the M.F.A. program in Theatre for Youth and the Artistic Director of the North Carolina Theatre for Young People.

Erick Byrd, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism

Erick’s research interests include agritourism, wine tourism and tourism stakeholder understanding and participation. He has a special interest in rural tourism. His research and partnerships have included undergraduate and graduate students, the City of Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, and the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Heidi Carlone, Teacher Education and Higher Education

Heidi, in collaboration with a large number of colleagues, combines her interests in science and social justice to collaboratively create innovative in-school and out-of-school science learning settings aimed at making STEM-linked trajectories more believable and achievable for youth who are from under-represented groups. Her recent projects include: (1) The Engineering is Elementary Seed Leadership Project, where elementary teachers working in high-needs schools participate in professional development so that they can implement engineering with their students; (2) The STEM Teacher Leader Collaborative, in its formative stages, where teachers from the Seed Leadership Project will connect with and learn from one another; and (3) The HERP Project, where diverse high school youth engage in authentic field science research focused on reptiles and amphibians in one-four week residential summer experiences and follow-up weekend excursions during the school year.

Nadja Cech, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Nadja searches for new treatments for infection from natural sources. Her research is aimed at understanding how alternative therapies (primarily plant based medicines) can be used for combating conditions such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). She has partnered externally with farmers across the state of North Carolina and Appalachia, as well as small businesses and other universities to help increase understanding about alternative medicines. Her work has garnered significant external funding, and has brought small farmers into important conversations about the future of alternative medicine.

Jill Chouinard, Educational Research Methodology

Jill’s interests are in cross-cultural/culturally responsive approaches to research and evaluation, participatory research and evaluation, and evaluation and public policy. She has extensive experience working on evaluations at the community level in the areas of education and training, social services, health, and organizational learning and change. Much of her evaluation work has been conducted with First Nations and Inuit communities, as well as in other culturally diverse community settings.

Odell Cleveland, School of Health and Human Sciences

Odell is a Baptist minister and adjunct professor of community practice in the School of Health and Human Sciences. He, along with Bob Wineburg (SWK), worked to launch the Welfare Reform Liaison Project, a faith-based, nonprofit, employment training program that assists students in obtaining the skills necessary to compete in today’s job market through classroom instruction as well as internship trainings. He has, among many other projects, also helped to advanced efforts that promote houses of worship to be portals of entry for affordable health care and college access.

Jewell Cooper, School of Education

Jewell’s community-based engagement involves coordinating a professional development school partnership with Guilford County Schools’ Ben L. Smith High School (where over 40 languages are spoken and approximately 80 countries are represented) and the UNCG School of Education. She is also lead principal investigator on the Real-World English grant (CDLC project) where UNCG faculty, graduate students, preservice teachers, and Guilford County Schools’ teachers and administrators work with immigrant parents who desire to learn to read and write in English.

Ruth DeHoog, Political Science

I have worked on several projects over the past 20 years with government and nonprofit agencies in Guilford County, usually with grant funding, student involvement, and community engagement. These include a community development projects for a High Point neighborhood (Macedonia), then a survey of Greensboro human relations in a collaborative research project with UNCG and A & T faculty for the City, and more recently a series of research projects on refugee resettlement in Greensboro. Most of these have involved graduate/undergraduate students, qualitative/quantitative research methods, and a couple studies resulted in peer-reviewed publications.

Donna Duffy, Kinesiology

In addition to her faculty responsibilities, Donna is the Program Director for the Program for the Advancement of Girls and Women in Sport and Physical Activity, which is housed in the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness at UNCG. Her efforts are dedicated to conducting collaborative and interdisciplinary evidence-based scholarship to inform our educational programming, and community based service in issues related to girls and women in physical pursuits and to gender issues both historically and currently.

Joe Erba, Bryan School of Business

As a member of the Bryan School we constantly and consistently engage with communities (for & non-profit) through a vast array of experiential opportunities. Personally I manage our MBA Consulting Engagement Program that pairs teams of MBA students with regional businesses to work through opportunities and challenges these businesses encounter. The value we offer is one of heavy research and analysis of markets, operations and/or resources; then providing implementable solutions that drive positive change and results. As an example, over the past three semesters we have engaged 26 companies in these consulting events. Many of our faculty have similar engagements and I would recommend contacting those department Chairs for input, if interested.

Benjamin Filene, History

I’m a public historian, meaning I work to make the past usable and relevant to audiences beyond the university. For me, that often involves developing museum exhibitions. Usually, this work depends on partners, including collaborating with community institutions (the Greensboro Historical Museum, High Point Museum, International Civil Rights Center, etc.); community professionals (designers, media developers, fabricators); and, importantly, community voices: many of my projects have drawn on oral interviews. At UNCG, I have done a series of collaborative projects that deeply involve my graduate students, who are completing a Master’s in History with Museum Studies concentration, a program that I direct in our history department.

Matt Fisher, School of Education, Self-Design Studio

The SELF Design Studio is a teacher education STEM studio located in the School of Education. The SELF Design Studio offers opportunities for in-service and pre-service teachers to utilize a variety of emerging technologies and tools including 3D printers, robotics, art supplies, and circuitry kits.

Melissa Floyd-Pickard, Social Work

Melissa’s scholarship focuses on practice with people who have serious mental illness; issues in family substance abuse recovery, innovative alternatives to involuntary treatment, and professional dissonance in social work practice. She, along with other Social Work colleagues, has a deeply collaborative partnership with the Peacehaven Farm, a sustainable farm located on 89 beautiful acres of organic gardens, rolling pastures, and lush woodlands that connects people with special needs to their community.

Laurie Wideman Gold, Kinesiology

Laurie’s scholarship in community-based prevention programs has led her to partner with health providers. Recently, she collaborated with colleagues to develop the Heart of Hypertension Project in which they developed a community-based prevention program for young African-American men.

Laura Gonzalez, Counseling and Educational Development

My research focus is college access for Latino students from immigrant families. To that end, I have created community-based outreach programs in Spanish to help orient the parents to the US educational system and equip them with the resources they need to help guide their children toward their goals. I am also working with the Say Yes to Education Task Force on family engagement and hope to engage in research projects in Guilford County to help support access for all, regardless of status.

David Gwynn, University Libraries

The Libraries’ Digital Project Unit partnered with the Hayes-Taylor YMCA and at-risk teens in East and Southeast Greensboro to complete the process of identifying, cataloging, and digitally preserving historically valuable community materials. The students receive job training skills and learn about the history of Greensboro. Community members have contributed items that they thought were significant and documented a particular aspect of Greensboro’s history with specific attention given to African-American communities in the southeastern quadrant of the city.

Lauren Haldeman, Nutrition

Lauren works closely with UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians and community agencies to develop and offer theory-based interventions and resources to a wide array of communities to address dietary behaviors. Having assessed the effects of health beliefs, barriers, food insecurity, and psychosocial issues on nutrition, Lauren designs targeted nutrition education interventions and materials for Latinos and African Americans in the Piedmont Triad, and is working to assess the impact of programs such as the School Breakfast Program.

Justin Harmon, Community and Therapeutic Recreation

I am starting a community-engaged scholarship project that takes people with cancer, survivors and their support networks on day hikes and retreats. The program will provide nature-based therapy as a complement to medicalized treatment with the goal of attending to issues of coping and identity maintenance for people with serious (or terminal) diseases post-diagnosis. I am working with key community partners at the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department and the Cone Cancer Center to provide an essential support asset for members of the greater Greensboro community.

George Hancock, SouthEastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE)

George directs the National Center for Homeless Education and is interim Director of UNCG’s SERVE Center, at NCHE. In this capacity, he works in the areas of training, technical assistance, document development, webinars, inter-organizational collaboration, conference and meeting planning and hosting, staff coordination and supervision, and policy review. With funding by the US Department of Education, NCHE provides information to schools and universities all over the country on how to identify homeless students, increase enrollment, and keep students from falling behind in their classes. He has been a teacher, a principal, state coordinator for Neglected and Delinquent programs, brings knowledge of educational policy and implementation to help educational systems.

Ye He, Teacher Education and Higher Education

Using a strengths-based approach, my research bridges local engagement and internationalization in education through programs serving diverse language communities and involving participants from diverse linguistic and cultural (DLC) backgrounds. Specifically, my recent research efforts focus on the application of the appreciative education framework in exploring teacher development in and for DLC communities; community-based heritage language and English language programs; international students’ strengths and transition; and teacher intercultural competency development.

Michael Hemphill, Kinesiology

Michael is interested in positive youth development through sports. His research considers pedagogical approaches to youth development in sports settings and leadership development among youth. He collaborates with non-profit sport-based youth development programs to assist in program design, evaluation, and fundraising. He previously worked with several school and youth programs in Charleston, South Carolina and is seeking to establish new partnerships in the Greensboro community.

Daniel Herr, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN)

JSNN continues to create, evolve, and nurture a synergistic research and educational environment, with high value opportunities for Nanoscience graduate students, faculty, visiting researchers, research staff, undergraduate interns, and members of our UNCG, NCAT, and local community. JSNN’s faculty and staff have worked with Guilford County middle schools on their Student Spaceflight Experiment Project, have received grants to support the ten week SRC Education Alliance Undergraduate Research Opportunity summer internship program, and has hosted a NC Science Festival to introduce Guilford County students and their families to Nanotechnology.

Travis Hicks, Center for Community-Engaged Design, Interior Architecture

Travis is the director for the Center for Community-Engaged Design (CC-ED). CC-ED conducts community outreach to extend the teaching environment and encourage students to be civic-minded and committed to creating socially relevant and engaged design for the public good.

Jennifer Hill, Anthropology

Jennifer is the Co-Principal Investigator and Program Manager for the Recipe for Success program. She was part of the team that began the NCHHS/USDA SNAP – Ed program in the Triad, NC area in 2005. In the past ten years, Jennifer has expanded the program from Guilford county NC to Rockingham and Randolph counties. She also leads the adult education services focusing on eating for best health while on a tight budget, and accommodating different cultural and dietary needs.

David Holley, School of Music

David is the Director of Opera at UNCG and Artistic Director of Greensboro Opera. One of the primary missions of the UNCG Opera Theatre is outreach to the community, and in particular, educating children about opera. Activities include on-campus matinee performances and an annual tour to elementary schools; the latter has trained many singers who have gone on to year-round Young Artist Programs. The UNCG Opera Theatre annually introduces over 18,000 school children to the wonderful world of opera.

Channelle James, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism

Channelle has deep experience engaging students with communities through service-learning courses. Of special note, she has taught student teams working with guests of the Interactive Resource Center to create plans for personal empowerment through establishing their own businesses and applying for microloans. Currently she is working with vendors of the Grove Street Farmers Market in Glenwood.

Lawrence Jenkens, Art

In his position as chair of the Art Department, Lawrence has helped to establish a vision of and a pathway to engaging students and faculty with community through art. One of the most recent manifestations of this commitment is the launch of Greensboro Project Space.

Spoma Jovanovic, Communication Studies

Spoma has served numerous roles to support community-engaged scholarship among her students and colleagues. In the community, her community-engaged scholarship has served to change guidelines for bus bench design to allow for artistic installations that reflect the city’s identity and values (with Dudley High School & Action Greensboro’s synerG); change in policy for city bus shelter and bench guidelines that now allow for unrestricted placement on city-owned property (with Dudley High School); to launch city Participatory Budgeting process (with PB GSO and Fund for Democratic Communities); and to change policy at Center City Park to allow for political speech (with Reclaiming Democracy faculty team).

William B. Karper, Kinesiology
Since 1998, I have directed a research and service program for adults with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndromes.  The program provides individually tailored exercise, health education and resource support and meets three days per week year-around on campus and at Gateway University Research Park.  Participants are normally referred to the program by local physicians.  There is no cost to participants.

Judy Kinney, Community and Therapeutic Recreation

Judy’s research interests include pediatric pain management, the impact of disability and hospitalization on child development, program evaluation, and violence prevention in schools. She has engaged with the community in a variety of settings, including Behavioral Health inpatient and community based programs, inpatient Pediatric Rehabilitation, and a residential facility working with individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Carl Lashley, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations

Carl’s primary intellectual and advocacy interests are in equity, justice, and community come from his career long concerns about poverty, equitable opportunity for all children, and the power of schooling as a mode of social change. He has worked with a number of Guilford County and Rockingham County Schools, most recently.

Marianne LeGreco, Communication Studies

Marianne’s scholarship focuses on health and organizational communication, food policy, community engagement, and discourse analysis. She has partnered with a number of community organizations and schools to address healthy eating practices and food programs. She received special recognition from Warnersville Community Coalition for her community engagement.

Kristine Lundgren, Communication Sciences and Disorders

Kristine’s community-engaged scholarship is concerned with issues of  traumatic brain injury in survivors of intimate partner violence. In collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of faculty and students at UNCG, Kristine has focused on increasing awareness of this issue and is in the process of developing an at risk screening tool that can be used in the community.

Rebecca MacLeod, School of Music

Rebecca has established partnerships with the Greensboro Symphony and Peck Elementary School to provide music education to diverse populations that typically do not have access to music education. She helped to establish the Lillian Rauch Beginning Strings Program, which provides free violin and cello instruction to students attending Peck Elementary School, as well as the new Peck Alumni Leadership Program to help students continue their studies and practice through high school.

Anna Marshall-Baker, Interior Architecture

Through her role as chair of the Interior Architecture department, Anna has supported the department’s efforts towards increasing opportunities for students and faculty to engage with communities through teaching and research. IARc community-engaged research reaches audiences beyond academic peers, emerges from a process of creative collaboration, and culminates in products such as a built environment, neighborhood plan, website, or exhibition — an application of scholarship meeting contemporary community needs.

Tom Martinek, Kinesiology

Tom’s community engagement includes: 1. Community Youth Sport Development provides students in both undergraduate and graduate programs with service learning opportunities by working with children from local community programs and schools and international youth serving agencies. 2. Project Effort is centered around elementary and middle school sports clubs. Graduate and undergraduate students work one-on-one with club members on goal setting at the schools. Project Effort also includes teacher and parent involvement through in-services and Parent Nights. 3. Middle College at UNCG involves multiple faculty and staff from a variety of departments, focuses on health and medical careers as well as youth development, and students can earn up to two years’ college credit.

Sharon Morrison, Public Health Education

The focus of my community-engaged research and scholarship is refugee and immigrant integration and health problems using participatory action research frameworks to guide inquiry efforts. Current work includes the Montagnard Hypertension Project, a community-based participatory research (CBPR) project that investigates hypertension risk in this ethnically and linguistically diverse S.E. Asian population. The research project collaborators include Montgnard community members/stakeholders, as well as interdisciplinary faculty researchers, staff and students across 3 area campuses–UNCG, Guilford College and NC A & T State University.

Art Murphy, Anthropology

Recipe for Success in collaboration with public and private entities in North Carolina provides direct and indirect nutrition and obesity prevention education to individuals and households who are either SNAP recipients or SNAP eligible. There are three primary target audiences: 1) Individuals over the age of 18 from a variety of socio-economic groups who participate in programs hosted by mental health associations, veteran’s associations, faith-based organizations, etc., 2) Children under age 18 who attend Title 1 schools and their associated after school and summer recreational programs, and 3) households with children under the age of 18 through 8.

Christine Murray, Counseling and Educational Development

My community-engaged scholarship centers around the prevention and response to intimate partner violence and other forms of abuse and interpersonal violence.

Tracy Nichols, Public Health Education

My primary interests focus on understanding (a) health-promoting relationships within family and community settings and (b) the evaluation and refinement of gender-appropriate and transformative interventions. I pursue these interests through reproductive justice issues. For the past eight years I have been working with my community partner, the YWCA, to evaluate and revise their doula and childbirth education programs for adolescent mothers and for mothers in treatment for addictions. I am also concluding a 5-year study on perinatal substance use service provision in Guilford County.

Nicholas Oberlies, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Nick’s research group works on the discovery of bioactive compounds from nature, essentially using the chemistry skills of fungi to generate new drug leads. In this context, he works with local businesses, striving to stimulate the biotechnology sector while simultaneously translating scientific discoveries from the bench into the clinic. His team also takes great pride and pleasure in working with local school-aged children, helping them develop inquisitive skills through hands-on science experiments.

Christina O’Connor, Teachers Academy

Christina’s interests are in collaborative work with schools and school districts to simultaneously improve educator preparation and educational outcomes for P-12 students. Her recent work includes two Teacher Quality Partnership grants in partnership with Guilford County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. The current grant, Transforming Teaching through Technology, is developing a transformational model for teacher preparation in which candidates, alongside university and school-based faculty, integrate existing and emerging technologies into P-12 instruction to ensure that students have the knowledge and skills to become lifelong learners and productive workers in the 21st century. Academic coursework, field experiences, hands-on activities in “makerspaces,” and summer technology camps led by pre-service candidates, faculty and teachers support the integration of technology in teaching and learning in all subject areas.

Sheryl Oring, Art

Sheryl’s work examines critical social issues through projects that incorporate old and new media to tell stories, examine public opinion and foster open exchange. Using tools typically employed by journalists – the camera, the typewriter, the pen, the interview and the archive – she builds on experience in her former profession to create installations, performances, artist books and Internet-based works. Her work has been shown at the 01SJ Biennial; Bryant Park in Manhattan; the Jewish Museum Berlin; and the McCormick Freedom Museum in Chicago. She has also presented work at Art in Odd Places in New York; the Art Prospect festival in St. Petersburg, Russia; and Encuentro in Sao Paolo, Brazil. She is presently working on a public art commission at the San Diego airport.

Mila Parrish, Dance

Triad area students are invited to join UNCG’s exciting dance community. Young dance artists ages 3-16 take dance classes focusing on dance technique, improvisation, choreography, and performance. Dancers Connect unites interested students with expert dance educators to support collaboration and creativity, without cost constraints. Dancers Connect serves both the community and the pre-service dance education students as they grow as teachers and future leaders in dance. Volunteers include graduate and undergraduate students plus high school students. Parrish currently has Dancers Connect satellite programs running at The University of South Carolina and The College of Charleston.

Anne Parsons, History

As a public historian, I work to create community learning spaces and dialogues about the history of incarceration. I am working on a book manuscript From Asylum to Prison: Deinstitutionalization and the Rise of Prisons, which will come out in Spring 2018 and I will then curate a traveling exhibition with the National Library of Medicine on the themes of the book. I am currently working with students to bring the exhibition States of Incarceration to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. We are also organizing an Open Mic Night, a Mass Story Lab, and guided tours with formerly incarcerated individuals.

Chris Payne, Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships

Chris directs the Center for Youth and Family Community Partnerships. Center initiatives focus on school-based prevention and intervention programs; childhood mental health and positive youth development; family strengthening; juvenile justice, court interventions and community safety; community health; system of care and cultural competency; and workforce development to advance educational success, health and well-being.

Fran Pearson, Social Work

The Congregational Social Work Education Initiative (CSWEI) and the Partnership to Address Co-Occurring Disorders in Vulnerable Populations are two projects funded by the Cone Health Foundation that have engaged social work students with nurses in the Congregational Nurse Program (CNP) here in Greensboro. Graduate and undergraduate students engage with nurses in community based services that are free to recipients. Services include screening, assessment, brief clinical intervention, case coordination, referral, and health literacy education. Services are shaped according to the needs identified by the participants. The programs have been recognized nationally and internationally as unique, interdisciplinary approaches to community-based integrated care.

Maryanne Perrin, Nutrition

My research is focused on the safe and equitable provisioning of expressed human milk through donor milk banking and peer-to-peer milk sharing. This research supports action item #12 in the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Promote Breastfeeding which calls for addressing obstacles to the provisioning of safe donor milk. Current projects include a bacteriological and nutrient analysis of expressed human milk exchanged through a variety of non-compensated community models; an analysis of antimicrobial activity of fortified, pasteurized donor human milk during extended refrigerator storage; and a study of brain-related nutrients in the expressed milk of vegetarian and vegan women.

Lisa Phillips, SouthEastern Regional Vision for Education (SERVE)

Lisa works at UNCG’s SERVE Center, which among other things, runs the National Center for Homeless Education, the U.S. Department of Education’s technical assistance center for homeless education.

Stephanie Pickett, Adult Health Nursing

My overall program of research focuses on reduction of hypertension-related risk factors among African Americans women. My current research focuses on understanding psychosocial factors that influence weight management such as weight beliefs, perceived stress, emotions, and eating behaviors.

Jay Poole, Social Work

The Congregational Social Work Education Initiative (CSWEI) and the Partnership to Address Co-Occurring Disorders in Vulnerable Populations are two projects funded by the Cone Health Foundation that have engaged social work students with nurses in the Congregational Nurse Program (CNP) here in Greensboro. Graduate and undergraduate students engage with nurses in community based services that are free to recipients. Services include screening, assessment, brief clinical intervention, case coordination, referral, and health literacy education. Services are shaped according to the needs identified by the participants. The programs have been recognized nationally and internationally as unique, interdisciplinary approaches to community-based integrated care.

Erika Rauer, Community Arts Collaborative

Erika, the Director of the Community Arts Collaborative of the College of Visual and Performing Arts works to support faculty-engaged community service across the arts. Ms. Rauer has initiated numerous projects in Greensboro in which adults and children participate in high-quality arts programs with student instructors from UNCG. Her work includes building partnerships with local schools and community organizations including the Boys and Girls Club, Greensboro Day School, Weaver Academy, and the Cottage Grove Initiative.

Daniel Rhodes, Social Work

Daniel’s scholarship focuses on community mental health, immigrant and refugee populations, conflict resolution, restorative justice, peace and social justice issues, Engaged Buddhism, ecopsychology, international social work and social development.

Jeremy Rinker, Peace and Conflict Studies

Jeremy researches the intersections between narrative, violent conflict, and nonviolent conflict transformation. His community engaged focus has involved working with restorative justice and issues of reconciliation after lasting legacies of trauma. As a conflict transformation practitioner, Jeremy has mediated and facilitated discussion about marginalization and conflict in the United States and abroad. As a proponent of community-based participant action research, Jeremy has worked with refugee and immigrant communities, past offenders, and other disadvantaged groups to build resilience and transform their situation.

Pamela Johnson Rowsey, Adult Health Nursing

Pamela became Chair for the Department of Adult Health Nursing in August 2016. She is a basic scientist and her program of research has addressed the role of inflammatory cytokines and their link to fever and the capacity of exercise to induce an inflammatory response and/or change in thermoregulatory set-point (fever) that serves to protect the host. Her career as a basic scientist has provided opportunities to learn different aspects of the scientific process and reinforced her desire to use her knowledge and skills to translate into clinical practice and understanding factors that might contribute to Black Americans diagnosed with chronic illnesses disproportionately dying of the disease compared to White Americans. Compared to White Americans, Black Americans live sicker and die younger. Her desire is to engage community members, organization leaders and researchers in a community-based participatory research partnership to investigate the role of stress and inflammatory markers in chronic disease progression in Black Americans.

Diane Ryndak, Specialized Education Services

Diane’s work focuses on teacher and doctoral level preparation, with a focus on collaborative teams meeting the complex needs of students with significant intellectual and other disabilities through the use of evidence-based practices that result in access to general education curriculum and contexts. Additionally, she works with school districts to facilitate sustainable systemic reform and multi-tiered systems of support to improve outcomes for all students. She has completed Fulbright Research related to inclusive education in Poland, where she continues to work with colleagues at universities and in the schools.

Stuart Schleien, Community and Therapeutic Recreation

Stuart is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Community & Therapeutic Recreation and an Executive Director, along with Ms. Ginger Walton, of InFocus. InFocus is an organization that empowers marginalized individuals through skill development and engages the community through advocacy efforts to create more welcoming, accessible, and inclusive communities. He has developed best practices that have helped parents and professionals design inclusive recreation, physical activity, friendship, and volunteer programs for children and adults with diverse skills and abilities.

Mark Schulz, Public Health Education

My community-engaged scholarship is concerned with issues of bicycling and pedestrian safety and access. I have engaged in evaluation of programs aimed at extending access to safe bicycling. I work to link data on bicycling and pedestrian deaths to advocacy efforts to improve bike-ped safety and break down barriers to bicycling and walking.

Sudha Shreeniwas, Human Development and Family Studies

Sudha’s community engagement includes: 1. ARTmail for Alzheimer’s: Partnership with Creative Aging Network NC. In this project, CAN-NC designs and delivers a participatory creative visual art program for seniors with memory symptoms; seniors participate; and UNCG (ie myself, HHS methods expert Jeff Labban, and student team) evaluates the program, using survey and qualitative methods. 2. The Montagnard Hypertension Research Project: Partnership of HDFS, PHE, CNNC, Guilford College, NC A&T, and members of the Montagnard refugee community in Greensboro. This project was requested by community leaders, and examines hypertension in this group that has experienced disruption of life and chronic stress. We use multiple methods (survey and qualitative).

Lenka Shriver, Nutrition

My research expertise is in the area of childhood nutrition and obesity, with particular focus on associations between parenting characteristics (i.e., feeding practices, parenting and feeding styles) and children’s obesity-related outcomes (i.e., dietary intake, weight status, body esteem). Since joining the UNCG faculty, I have established close collaborations with Dr. Cheryl Buehler (Human Development and Family Science) to identify parenting feeding practices that are associated with greater fruit and vegetable intake and lower obesity risk among 2-5 year-old children. We have been closely collaborating with the Guilford County Child Development program and the Head Start program in Guilford county for the past 3 years.

Holly Sienkiewicz, Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC)

As the executive director of CNNC, Holly promotes access and integration for immigrants and refugees in North Carolina by bridging newcomer populations with existing communities through direct service provision, research, and training. She has conducted community-engaged scholarship in her doctoral program at UNCG in Public Health Education, and she continues to practice, as well as support community-engaged approaches to working with immigrant and refugee communities.

Stephen Sills, Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS), and Sociology

CHCS is a university-based research, evaluation, and technical assistance center. We are actively engaged in community-engaged research on fair housing, continuum of care for the homeless, housing market trends and market segmentations studies, county and regional community planning, and studies of the impact of housing on health. We have developed several innovative approaches to data-driven policy and planning including a GIS-based health-surveillance system to drive health education interventions for environmentally-linked asthma, a process for conducting city-wide parcel-level assessments of housing stock, and a model for housing market-segmentation that accounts for social, economic, and structural predictors of neighborhood stability.

Julia Mendez Smith, Psychology

My work involves partnerships with local schools to promote parent engagement and children’s early school success, particularly for low-income, ethnically diverse children. I am interested in early care and education access and school readiness for Hispanic families in particular.

Bob Strack, Public Health Education

Bob’s research has primarily focused on the health and social issues of youth and adolescents which specifically includes research interests in: Photovoice methodology, program planning and evaluation, adolescent programming and health promotion advocacy and policy. His aim is to build on the science around photovoice and to provide a tool that will help community’s address social issues from their own lens. With the eventual roll-out of our PhotovoiceKit tool, he hopes to be able to observe, hone and measures the utility of this applied research endeavor and witness positive changes in communities throughout society.

Sam Troy, Business School

Nearly 10 years ago, the former Dean of the Bryan School asked me to identify industry clusters that might be important to the UNCG service area in the years ahead. One of the clusters identified was the North Carolina wine industry as we are located in the very center of this growing cluster. The Bryan School and UNCG have received considerable positive press, engaged several faculty members in the process, conducted numerous research projects, actively involved students in the research, published multiple journal articles and even have UNCG graduates employed in the industry.

leila villaverde, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations

My current work is with area schools and arts organizations, working with educators/directors to build critically informed curriculum integration and redesign spaces towards an aesthetic/curricular ecology.

Debra Wallace, Community Practice School of Nursing

As a PI for TRIAD2, Debra partners with Guilford, Forsyth, and Rockingham County Schools, NC A &T, GTCC and others to conduct community education and outreach. TRIAD2 works with middle and high school students to increase a diversity of students in health science careers. They’ve held campus tours, panel and open Q&A sessions, and hands on demonstrations or health site visits. They also supported summer camps by providing staffing, information, meals, and transportation.

Lee Walton, Art

Lee is an artist with an expanded practice that includes drawing, performance, and social practice. His experiential art works employ system of rule, chance, and open collaboration. He works with museums, institutions, universities, and cities to develop participatory public events, lead workshops, exhibit, and educate. He co-developed the Greensboro Project Space. The courses he’s taught engage students in public and collaborative workshops throughout the community (on street corners, grocery stores, among other random locations), utilizing, for example, art, public intervention, marketing, radical pedagogy, and cultural exchange.

Tyreasa Washington, Social Work

Since joining UNCG in August 2011, I have been involved with the UNCG and NCA&TSU joint undergraduate field program as a faculty field liaison. Thus, I have supervised student interns and worked with human service personnel to facilitate efficient and effective field placements for students at the following agencies: Women’s Resource Center, Forsyth Communities in Schools, Tristian’s Quest, Guilford Child Development, and Guilford County Department of Social Services. Additionally, I have partnered on grant proposals with Guilford County Department of Social Services, Children’s Home Society, and Guilford Child Development to explore strengths and resources of African American kinship care families that contribute to children’s social, academic, and behavioral outcomes.

Amy Williamsen, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

I have been involved in community-engaged research and scholarship for over a decade, building on my interest in Border Studies and Performance, particularly along the US/Mexico border. I work with many others in my department and beyond on community-engaged initiatives involving our local/global communities, especially those representing diverse language backgrounds. My recent experience directing an immersion program integrating community-engaged service learning in Costa Rica has sparked a renewed commitment to putting theory into practice.

Bob Wineburg, Social Work

Bob has maintained a long-time partnership with Odell Cleveland and they’ve collaborated on numerous initiatives within the Welfare Reform Liaison Project. Bob is interested in the role of faith communities in providing social services, collaborating with Cone Behavioral Health, Cone Health Foundation, Greensboro College, Mount Zion Baptist Church, Temple Emanuel, and Wake Forest School to hold a Behavioral Health Faith Summit in 2015 that provided community education about a spectrum of mental health concerns.