To our current students: a message from the dean

Dean Barbara K. Rimer. Photo by Caitlin Kleinboer.

SPH diversity

School’s diversity

You’re amazing! I am so impressed by what you have accomplished while here and by your dreams for the future. We’re local and global citizens, united in a common mission to make the world safer, cleaner, greener and healthier. You’ve already begun that journey.

Our School must be tolerant, diverse, inclusive and civil. If you ever have a problem in this regard, please talk with someone in your department first–student services manager, faculty member or chair. If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, please contact Charletta Sims-Evans, our assistant dean for student affairs. I’m also here for you.

Students are integral to our lives, not just in the classroom but as leaders of organizations like Student Government, Minority Student Caucus and Student Global Health Committee. Students also serve on the School’s Dean’s Council, many search committees and other important committees.

Prevent academic problems by taking charge of your education. Know what is expected of you and don’t hesitate to get help. Having trouble with Epi or Bios? We’ve now got tutors to help. Contact the Office of Student Affairs. Check out this summary of critical information about the SPH and UNC.

Students work in the Nutrition lab.

Students gather in the Armfield Atrium.

Your experiences here will prepare you to solve the world’s greatest public health problems. You will be the leaders who must get water to billions, turn the tide on the obesity epidemic, figure out how to get quality health care to all people, reduce the incidence of cancer and infectious diseases and so much more. Be a leader while you’re here. Check out some of the School’s student organizations. And that’s just the beginning!

I hope you’re getting what you came for here–and more. This is a great university. And there’s so much going on in Chapel Hill and the area. Study topics you might never have considered. Become a student leader. Attend to your own health and motivate those around you. Challenge the wisdom of others. Get involved! Travel across North Carolina and around the world. Build new dreams. Let’s face it though: higher education isn’t all basketball and pizza. It’s hard work, and sometimes, life intervenes and throws challenges in the way. If you need help, please don’t wait. See your student services manager or Charletta Sims-Evans. We’ll help.

Our students are doing amazing work and having fun. A few examples:

35th annual Minority Health Conference

Students perform at GillingsX

  • This year’s Minority Health Conference was a huge success! It still is the largest and longest-running student-led minority health conference anywhere.
  • Students created GillingsX to showcase innovation across the SPH.
  • Gillings’ students are entrepreneurs.
  • Our students received 4 of 20 Impact Awards from the Graduate School in 2014. We’re proud of the real-world impact of these students.



Impact award winners: Lindsey Haynes-Maslow, Jennifer Poti, Cynthia Lin, Paul Gilbert, Kari Debbink

Feel free to email me ideas or issues you want to share at I welcome your suggestions about topics or feedback for my blog. Stay on top of current news and events at the School through our website, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook pages. We are here for you and because of you! This is your time! Go Heels!

Best wishes,
Barbara K. Rimer