Public health students graduate as Buckley Service Scholars

May 21, 2012
Nineteen of the 290 Buckley Public Service Scholars who graduated on May 13 from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill were public health students at UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.They are Alexander Christian (biostatistics); Mary Aaroe, Kelli Paice and Ann Suk (environmental sciences and engineering); Rachel Baum, Phylicia Bediako, Burcu Bozkurt, Laura Harker, Robert Jungerwirth, Meng Peng, Kevin Rosenburg, Katharine Rossitch, Mohammad Saad and Evgeniya Serdetchnaia (health policy and management); and Ignacio Cerdena, Carolina Jones, Hema Kondur, Jessica Lomas and Caroline Moffett (nutrition).
 
The Buckley Public Service Scholars program, part of the Carolina Center for Public Service, supports and strengthens Carolina students’ commitment to service, connects them to others who care about similar issues and guides them through training and course work that make their service more effective. Launched in 2003, the program continues to grow, with 9.7 percent of Carolina undergraduates currently enrolled as participants.
 
Program participants must have a minimum grade-point average, complete at least 300 hours of service, take one service-learning course and attend four skills-training workshops. Most of this year’s graduates exceeded those requirements, on average completing more than 491 hours of service. Twenty students reported more than 1,000 hours each, and two students recorded more than 2,000. These students join the 1,157 scholars who have graduated since 2003.
 
“The opportunities UNC offers students to make a difference in the community are limitless. From building houses to organizing blood drives, UNC provides the tools needed to begin making a difference in the world,” said Heather Hofmann, a scholar from Greensboro. “Thanks to the Buckley Public Service Scholars program, we were encouraged to pursue various [service] paths, not only to realize how a single individual can benefit an entire community, but to discover how passion to serve can transform our outlook on life.”
 
This year, more than 1,700 Carolina students have participated actively in the program, reporting service with more than 1,000 organizations. The 2012 graduating class of Buckley Public Service Scholars reported 135,944 hours of service as of April 2012. Of those hours, 71 percent were served in North Carolina, 11 percent in other states and 18 percent internationally.Since the program’s inception in 2003, more than 3,887students have participated, contributing 996,924 hours of service.
 
“These students have dedicated themselves to building their skills while making a difference for others during their time at Carolina, and we congratulate them,” said Lynn Blanchard, PhD, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service.
 
The center offers a variety of programs that support public service and engagement, providing students, faculty and staff many ways to explore service opportunities, learn new skills and link their academic endeavors to making a difference in the community.
 
For more information about each graduate’s service, major and post-graduation plans, please visit www.unc.edu/ccps.

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UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: Linda Kastleman, communications editor, (919) 966-8317 or linda_kastleman@unc.edu.