Serving since 1992

Opportunities for public service awards and fellowships

February 1, 2018

02/05 –  Community Engagement Fellowship

The Community Engagement Fellowship program awards a maximum of seven fellowships of up to $2,000 to develop and implement engagement or engaged scholarship projects that employ innovative, sustainable approaches to complex social needs and have an academic connection. Returning, full-time graduate students at UNC – Chapel Hill are eligible to apply. Previous fellows are eligible to apply for an additional year of funding. Fellows work in collaboration with community partners and faculty mentors who are familiar with their topics or geographic areas, while fellows are responsible for project planning and implementation. The fellowships run from March to October with project implementation occurring during the summer. Apply by Feb. 5, 2018 through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal.


2/7 – Robert E. Bryan Awards
Nominations are being accepted for the Robert E. Bryan Public Service Awards. Five Bryan Awards will be given for a specific effort (rather than an overall record) exemplifying outstanding engagement and service to the state of North Carolina. Bryan awards will be given to recognize an outstanding undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, staff member and officially recognized student organization. The award requires a brief (two-paragraph) nomination submitted by Feb. 7. Selected nominees will be invited to complete a more detailed submission about their work by Feb. 28. Final selection will be based on both the initial nomination and the nominee application. Nominations are accepted through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal. For questions, email


2/7 – Office of the Provost Awards
Nominations are being accepted for the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Awards. Three Provost awards are given, one each for engaged teaching, engaged research and engaged partnership. The award requires a brief two-paragraph nomination submitted by Feb. 7. Selected nominees will be invited to complete a more detailed submission about their work by Feb. 28. Final selection will be based on both the initial nomination and the nominee application. Nominations are accepted through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal. For questions, email


2/7 – Ned Brooks Award
The Ned Brooks Award for Public Service honors the contributions and values of Ned Brooks, who has served the University since 1972, making significant contributions to the mission of service and engagement. The award recognizes a staff or faculty member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community who throughout his/her career has, in a collaborative and sustained manner, made a difference in the larger community. Full nominations are due by 11:59 p.m. on Feb. 7. Online nominations will be accepted through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal. For questions, email


2/8 – Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award
Applications are being accepted for the Ronald W. Hyatt Rotary Public Service Award. Two awards will be given, one (up to $3,000) for an international project and one (up to $2,000) for a local project. If the local project involves members of the Chapel Hill Rotary Club in some way, there is a possibility of additional funds. Undergraduate or graduate students at the UNC-Chapel Hill are eligible to apply, individually or in teams. Applicants must be continuing their studies at UNC-Chapel Hill in the following fall semester. Applications can be submitted online through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal by Feb. 8. For questions, email


2/8 – Mingma Norbu Sherpa Fellowship
Applications are being accepted for the Mingma Norbu Sherpa Fellowship. Eligible applicants must be an undergraduate or graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continuing their studies at UNC-Chapel Hill in the semester following their fellowship. Applications are accepted through the Carolina Center for Public Service Application and Nomination Portal until Feb. 8. For questions, email

UNC-Chapel Hill earns top sustainability ratings

January 31, 2018

Chapel Hill, NC –  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been nationally and internationally recognized by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education’s (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS) and the University of Indonesia’s Green Metric for its work in promoting and maintaining sustainable practices.

AASHE STARS is a nationally recognized, comprehensive campus sustainability rating system that enables institutions to measure their progress and learn from others. UNC-Chapel Hill received a Gold rating from AASHE, maintaining the same level of recognition as the previous report, but earning more points on a more rigorous application.

Every three years UNC-Chapel Hill submits a report to AASHE that includes information about course offerings and learning outcomes, research, business practices, environmental performance and planning. This is the second time UNC-Chapel Hill has received a Gold STARS rating. Only three campuses in the country have attained the higher, Platinum STARS rating.

The University of Indonesia Green Metric is a ranking of international universities based on their performance combating global climate change, reducing energy and water use, recycling waste and adopting green transportation strategies. Of the participating universities, UNC-Chapel Hill ranked 13th internationally and third in North America, behind the University of California, Davis and the University of Connecticut.

“Reporting to these organizations requires months of hard work and a concerted, university-wide effort that engages hundreds of staff, faculty, and students,” said Cindy Shea, director of sustainability. “We are grateful to the campus community for their help in compiling information from academics, operations, purchasing and engagement.”

According to the AASHE STARS rating, UNC-Chapel Hill excelled in the areas of innovation, public engagement and research. Eighty-one percent of research-producing departments at UNC-Chapel Hill are engaged in sustainability research, and the University continuously develops new ways to promote sustainability, including purchasing athletic uniforms made from recycled plastic bottles.

“While we are pleased with our progress so far in sustainable efforts at UNC, we do not intend to stop here,” said Brad Ives, chief sustainability officer and associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises. “We are now analyzing our performance to-date and understanding where we can improve to move the campus forward.”

One of the most prominent ways UNC-Chapel Hill is improving is through the Three Zeros Environmental Initiative. The Three Zeros Initiative moves the campus toward water neutrality, zero waste, and greenhouse gas neutrality. Launched in 2016, and part of Chancellor Folt’s Blueprint for Next, Three Zeros aims to reduce coal use at the University’s cogeneration facility, reduce water use while improving the quality of water exiting campus, and reducing waste. These, along with the other projects within the initiative, will help UNC-Chapel Hill improve its score in all rating systems.

Last fall UNC-Chapel Hill was also recognized for its work in sustainable initiatives by the Sierra Club’s ‘Cool Schools’ ranking. In a year, the University moved 11 places from 39th to 28th in the ranking, primarily due to its innovative implementation of projects, co-curricular activities and the planning involved in the Three Zeros Initiative.

“Our commitment to improving sustainability across campus will require changes in individual behaviors, like biking around campus, as well as changes at the institutional level,” said Ives. “UNC is becoming known across the country as a leader in sustainability and we have so many exciting projects for 2018 that will propel us forward.”

Press release courtesy Olivia James, Campus Enterprises

Notary course sponsorship to end

October 31, 2017

Due to cuts to the Employee Forum’s budget, the Forum will no longer sponsor the Notary Public Certification courses (either in person or online), effective Spring 2018. The Employee Forum has sponsored this class for several years, enabling employees to secure a notary public certification at no cost.

If employees are still interested in pursuing certification as a notary public, there are a number of options:

  • Durham Tech offers a full-day session at least two times per month for $95. More information can be found on their website.
  • Wake Tech offers frequent sessions each month (throughout different campuses) for $85. More information can be found on their website.
  • UNC’s Educational Assistance Program allows supervisors “to support academic activities that directly relate to the organization’s identified knowledge, skills, and behaviors (organizational competencies), and which support the mission, vision, and values of the organization.” The supervisor would apply to this program if having a notary public in the unit was directly related to the unit’s successful function.
  • Employees can use the Professional Development Grant to pay tuition if certification would benefit themselves but is not essential to their unit. The Forum will continue to offer the Professional Development Grant, which opens to accept applications on December 1, 2017 and on April 1, 2018. Grants are awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

If you have any questions, please contact Clare Counihan (clarecounihan[at], the chair of the Education and Career Development Committee, or Shayna Hill (Shayna_Hill[at], the Chair of the Employee Forum.

Shannon’s story: The importance of blood donation

May 31, 2017
Shannon and Marsden (Photo courtesy Shannon Harvey).

Shannon Harvey, an employee with UNC Global and delegate on the Employee Forum, understands first-hand the importance of blood donation. She and her husband Matthew welcomed their son, Marsden, into the world on February 27, 2017, at N.C. Women’s Hospital, after seven years of marriage. The joyous occasion was accompanied by a frightening complication, necessitating emergency surgery.

Shannon received a total of seven units of blood during the birth and subsequent surgeries. Surgeons estimated that she lost nearly her body’s full volume of blood during labor, an emergency which would have resulted in her death had there not been enough donated blood on hand. Blood donation agencies, like the American Red Cross, made it possible for Shannon’s story to have a happy ending. Mother and son are home in Chapel Hill now and recuperating well.

The experience left Shannon with a renewed sense of focus on the importance of blood donation, and she plans to work closely with the Carolina Blood Drive Committee upon her return from leave. “Give blood if you can, as often as you can,” she advises. “It’s entirely possible that you’re not just helping a stranger, but someone you know, a coworker or friend.”

The Employee Forum is glad that Shannon is healing well and looks forward to her return to her work and the Forum. We hope her experience inspires other UNC employees to give blood at the 29th Annual Carolina Blood Drive, which will take place on June 6 in the Dean E. Smith Center from 7:00am – 6:00pm. Your donation helps save lives.

Greenhouse is open

February 24, 2017

By Arlene Medder, former UNC Employee Forum Delegate

For quite a few years, Claire Lorch, manager of the North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Carolina Campus Community Garden (CCCG), wished for a greenhouse. A greenhouse would provide an opportunity to propagate a greater number and variety of plants based on cultural preferences and disease resistance, and she could involve volunteers in that process.

Distributing mature tomato plants is a CCCG tradition greatly appreciated by the Garden’s primary recipients, UNC housekeepers.  With a greenhouse, they can expand beyond tomatoes to other easy-to-grow vegetables that can be grown in containers or in a garden.  It is another way the CCCG can assist in providing nutritional food and encouraging healthy eating habits.

Thanks to funds from the student organization Renewable Energy Special Projects Committee (RECPC), a partnership with NC State School of Design faculty and students, and the efforts of architects and builders from Szostak Design, two solar consultants and others, her wish is now granted.  Construction of the greenhouse began in the summer of 2016.

The greenhouse, recently completed, will be in production very soon. CCCG will host a ribbon-cutting/reception/tour on April 21st. All those who contributed to this effort will attend and the public is invited to join in the celebration.

Follow this website

Get every new post delivered right to your inbox.