Ammerman, Linnan and Lorch receive public service awards

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The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention congratulates Alice Ammerman, Laura Linnan and Claire Lorch for their awards in community service to be presented on April 1st.

Dr. Ammerman, the director of HPDP and a professor of nutrition in the Gillings School of Global Public Health, will receive the Ned Brooks Award for Public Service. The award recognizes an individual faculty or staff member at UNC-Chapel Hill who has demonstrated a life-long commitment to public service and enabled such service by others. The award is named after Brooks, a clinical associate professor of health policy and management in the Gillings School of Public Health, and long-time mentor and advocate who inspired others to effectively make a difference in their community.

Ammerman will be recognized for creating lasting and collaborative relationships that have resulted in broad service to the community. Her community-based participatory research is developed in partnership with community members to meet their specific needs. Ammerman engages young academics, undergraduates, graduate students and experts to create strategic partnerships to approach problems.

“Dr. Ammerman is a statewide leader, an innovator, and a practical thinker who approaches nutrition-related problems from an entrepreneurial perspective,” said June Stevens, chair of the nutrition department, who nominated Ammerman for the award.

In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Ammerman leads 7 research projects, many with a community-based participatory research approach. She also leads a Gillings Innovation Laboratory project focused on study the benefits of eating local and sustainable foods and serves as an advisor to several campus efforts. She helped to found to Carolina Community Garden and mentors students at all levels from many schools and departments across campus.  Ammerman serves on several national committees, and her statewide service includes the Governor’s Task Force on Healthy Carolinians, the NC Sustainable Local Foods Advisory Council, and the NC Prevention Partners Healthy Hospital Initiative (HHI) Advisory Team.

“It is fascinating collaborating with Alice,” said Dr. Molly DeMarco, a co-investigator on several of Ammerman’s studies.  “She is a human alchemist, bringing people with diverse interests together to work on pressing issues, even when no money is involved.”

Dr. Laura Linnan and Claire Lorch will be awarded the The Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award which recognizes individuals (students, faculty or staff) who, as representatives of UNC-Chapel Hill, have demonstrated outstanding engagement and service to the state of North Carolina. This award is for a particular effort or one-time event (rather than an overall record of service) carried out through the individual’s role(s) in the University rather than that as a private citizen.

Dr. Laura Linnan, an HPDP Research Fellow and associate professor in Health Behavior and Health Education, will receive the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for her contributions to workplace intervention research.

In the words of her nominator, Dr. Jo Anne Earp, Dr. Linnan “is a genius with using community-based participatory research methods, and this genius threads through her work with community colleges.

“(Linnan’s) service is not something she does on the side or in addition to research. It is part of the seamless fabric of her research,” said Earp. “She integrates it into every research effort she undertakes, every class she teaches, every student or employee she mentors, and even in her recent comprehensive redesign of our nationally respected master’s program. This approach to research has translated to profound health and social benefits for the citizens of North Carolina.”

Linnan is the principal investigator for NC WAY to Health, a workplace wellness intervention based in community colleges across North Carolina. She has a long history of leading innovative and successful research, including BEAUTY  (Bringing Education and Understanding  To You), TRIM (trimming Risk in Men), and CUTS (Cancer Understanding Today), all of which used beauticians and barbers as community health educators.

Claire Lorch, community outreach coordinator at the NC Botanical Gardens, receives the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award for her endless dedication to the Carolina Campus Community Garden.

Over the years, Lorch has implemented creative programs representing the values of the University. With the Carolina Campus Community Garden, she has brought together the UNC campus and town of Chapel Hill with a common purpose: providing free, fresh produce to the University employees most affected by the current economic downturn and were struggling to feed their families. Lorch successfully brought the community together to create and sustain a program that directly meets the needs of those in crisis.

The awards are presented by the Carolina Center for Public Service. The ceremony will be held at 1:30pm at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on the UNC campus.

 

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