School leads on oil spill issues, diversity

School and partners convened on oil spill

I’m proud of the way Bill Gentry (Director, Certificate Programs and Lecturer, Health Policy and Management) from our School, mobilized people across UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond to talk about potential consequences of the Gulf oil spill for N.C. The public health, veterinary and preparedness communities were well-represented along with experts from key fields. It’s really important that we not just sit back and wait for the future to happen, but that we anticipate what might happen and determine how we can intervene. Bill created an excellent agenda, with smart, informed speakers who gave us a good picture of the issues and what we might do. Joe Tullos, owner Gulf Rim Cafe in Hillsborough, N.C., formerly of the Gulf coast, gave us a glimpse of how the disaster is affected people he knows in Louisiana. Rick Luettich, ScD, Professor, Marine Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering and Director Institute of Marine Sciences, reviewed currents that flow from the Gulf to N.C. and what it would take for oil to be transported here from those currents. It was very interesting. His message was cautiously optimistic.

The oil spill makes me so sad for the people who live there, environment and all the animals that will be affected adversely.

We celebrated public health fellows


(Photo captions are below.)

Friday, Assistant Dean for Students, Felicia Mebane, PhD, Candice Powell, MEd, and their staff organized a spectacular celebration for our first class of SPH fellows. It was a beautifully organized event, with inspirational messages from Felicia, Candice, graduate assistants and fellows. As I listened and watched the pictures, it was clear that the summer had been transformative for many of the fellows and also for the graduate assistants who worked with them. This program is the result of a lot of thinking about diversity and how we can make the SPH more diverse. Felicia is the brain, heart and soul behind the program which brought 29 impressive, diverse college students (and some recent graduates) to the SPH to learn about public health, think about careers and what the fellows want to accomplish in life, and to have fun. It was a heartwarming experience, the kind of event that makes me really glad to be dean of this School. See pictures of the fellows and others from the celebration.

Students ride across U.S.

Charles LePrevost, an HPM student from our School, and 15 other students are riding their bikes across the country and documenting food access/food deserts/corner stores and bikability (later to compare to state policies).  There are some articles and blogs covering this fascinating group (see below).

Joan Baez at the North Carolina Museum of Art

Readers may recall that we visited the new North Carolina Museum of Art several weeks ago and were taken with the building design and Rodin exhibit. Last night, we went with a friend to see Joan Baez at an outdoor concert. I’d never been to one of these events. The venue was great, and Baez was wonderful. It is hard to believe I saw her when I was in college, many years ago, and she still appeals. She looks fabulous, still has a sense of mission about improving the world but also has a nice sense of humor that lightens her and makes her more approachable. It’s been a long time since I’d been to an outdoor concert. I was appalled at the way people got up, walked down in front of the stage and took pictures! Seems incredibly rude and distracting to the performer. If you haven’t been to one of the outdoor concerts, try one.

Here are some photos and background on Baez from the New York Times.

Happy Monday! Hard to believe it’s August 2nd already! Barbara

Photo captions

The Public Health in Living Color conference – as showcase of the Fellows’ externship experiences

  1. Elliot Haynes (African American male) created a scenario demonstrating how patient grievances are handled at UNC Healthcare, his externship sponsor. Fellows acting out the scenario are, L-R- Adina Stewart, Tiphany Jackson, Christina Vargas, Khristen Flennoy and Joe Rimando.
  2. An audience shot, the Fellows, some externship sponsors, a parent or two, me and Amy Hitlin
  3. At the poster session (2/3 of the Fellows) Adina Stewart discusses her externship experience with some of the externship sponsors
  4. Dr. Nadine Barrett, Director of Community Programs, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, NC Triangle Affiliate, sponsored three Fellows – Jeremy Powe, Sheila Pande and Ayanna Cash-Clements, gave inspirational remarks about careers in public health and the great experience she had with the Fellows

Summer Public Health Fellows Celebration Banquet 7/30/10

  1. Felicia Mebane, myself and Candice Powell
  2. General shot of the banquet, Fellows, faculty, staff, externship sponsors
Tagged  biking, fellows, oil spill

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  1. Felicia

    Dean Rimer, thank you so much for your kind words about the UNC Summer Public Health Fellowship Program, at our closing banquet and here!! UNC SPHF 2010 would not have been a success without your support in a variety of ways and your passion for supporting students and promoting diversity. Our fellows were very appreciative of the mentoring they received from the SPH community this summer, and you have been a great role model in that respect. Thanks, again!

  2. Barbara Rimer

    Felicia, you are the greatest, and what you created, with help from a great team and people across the SPH, is going to be remembered as an important part of our history. I mentioned the program at the Chancellor’s retreat, because I am so proud of it. Barbara

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