Welcome to. . . SPH2020

DO_SPH2020 Flipbook_2014-08-23

To browse through the SPH2020 flipbook, click anywhere on the image.

Imagining the Future of Our School

In September 2010, faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health shared their knowledge, ideas, dreams and visions for what the School should be like in the year 2020.

Dean Barbara K. Rimer wrote Wake Up: It’s 2020 (PDF) to get people thinking concretely about the future.

Via virtual and in-person communications, people gave us their expectations for the School in 2020. Participants wrote, commented and voted on comments in 10 thought categories, which were then grouped into eight.

SPH2020, Thought Categories, 2010

Following that effort, leaders at the School coalesced these thought categories even further and have taken significant strides in moving towards the aspirations expressed through the 2010 visioning process.

Diversity and Inclusion: Key Actions and Achievements, 2010-Present

Past winners of the Annual Fund gather in the Armfield Atrium. The Fund provides scholarship assistance to students in all of the School's eight academic departments and programs.

Past winners of the Annual Fund gather in the Armfield Atrium. The Fund provides scholarship assistance to students in all of the School’s eight academic departments and programs.



  • Rumay Alexander, EdD, RN, clinical professor and director of multicultural affairs at the UNC School of Nursing, was appointed Diversity Champion for the School (September 2012).
  • Awards processes for the School are updated (Spring 2012).
  • Diversity recruitment specialist, Trinnette Cooper, was hired to support our diversity outreach and recruitment programs (Spring 2012) and strengthened pipeline programs through the Summer Public Health Symposium for high school students (2012-present), Project IMHOTEP for juniors and seniors (2012-present) and regular outreach at pre-college, college and professional levels.
  • The School made modest gains in faculty, staff and student diversity in fall 2012 and again the following year


  • Admissions practices across departments were reviewed (Spring 2013), and each department adopted at least one new promising practice for the fall 2013 admissions season.
  • Coordination across units increased around student recruitment (Academic Year 2013-14).
  • The School’s Office of Student Affairs received support from the Jesse Ball DuPont Fund to extend pipeline programs (2013).
  • School piloted the Ambassadors’ Program (Fall 2013), a training program for faculty, staff and students aimed at strengthening their recruitment skills; full roll-out was planned for fall 2014.


  • Curriculum options expanded as the School…
    • Rolled out the course SPHG 690: Leading for Racial Equity (Fall 2014); graduate students from the UNC Schools of Public Health, Law, Business, Social Work, Information and Library Science, Nursing and the department of exercise and sports science enrolled as well as community members;
    • Continued to sponsor the course HBEH 705/HPM 707 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Health: A population perspective); and
    • Continued to support other courses focused on health disparities including PUBH 756 (Addressing Health Inequalities in the U.S.), HPM 522 (Aging, Family and Long-Term Care: Cultural, Ethnic and Racial Issues) and EPID 799 (Social Justice and Equality: In search of John Cassel’s epidemiology).
  • School increased transparency of diversity through…
    • A new suite of web pages;
    • The Gillings Program Search (GPS) tool, an online search mechanism featuring standardized information about all programs across the School with up-to-date diversity data on their profiles; and
    • Reporting and discussing faculty, staff and student diversity metrics thrice annually at each of the School’s senior leadership meetings (Dean’s Council).


  • School supported the Health Advocacy at UNC/Black Lives Matter series co-led by our students (Spring 2015).
  • An assessment was conducted of strengths within the School on health equity and health disparities including how we represent health disparities on our webpages (Fall 2015).
  • American Public Health Association (APHA) webinar series on Impact of Racism was hosted (Fall 2015).

Revenue Generation: Key Actions and Achievements, 2010-Present

Sobsey, Wang, 2012
  • Revenue Generation Task Force convened (Fall 2010) and offered key recommendations (Spring 2011).
  • The School’s Research and Innovation Solutions group developed an  intellectual property training program (Spring 2012).
  • Under the leadership of Bryan Weiner, PhD, professor of health policy and management, Gillings established the Consortium on Implementation Science with RTI International (May 2013). The Consortium aims to maximize the School’s research capacity in implementation science while building a key partnership. In 2015, 29 Gillings faculty members partnered with RTI International on 18 of RTI’s external grant/contract proposals (PDF) with $7.9 million in funding requests.

Global School: Key Actions and Achievements, 2010-Present


  • Global School Task Force convened (Spring 2011) and recommended the creation of the “Gillings Global Gateway” to integrate, organize and promote the School’s global activities (Executive Summary (PDF), September 2012).


  • Global School Implementation Committee conducted a focus group with faculty and students from across the School to identify key issues, concerns and priority areas and also developed a pragmatic, phased implementation plan (Executive Summary (PDF), June 2013; complete Final Report (PDF), May 2013).
  • Gillings Global Gateway™ opened its doors.
  • Barbara (Bobbi) Wallace, MPH, was named Interim Executive Director and Peggy Bentley, PhD, Chamblee Distinguished Professor of nutrition, continued as associate dean of global health (June 2013).
  • Task force on Global Strategic Partnerships developed recommendations on priorities and processes (PDF) for selecting and investing in global partners.


  • Gillings Global Gateway™ sponsored the Global Healthy Aging Summit (February 2014) with partners at Cambridge University, MIT AgeLab, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and Carol Woods Retirement Community. They formed the Global Aging and Technology Collaborative in summer 2015. This group is now developing courses and planning demonstration projects together.
  • Jim Herrington, PhD, was appointed executive director of the Gillings Global Gateway™ and professor of the practice in health behavior in December 2015.
  • The School partnered with French the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique (Spring 2015).


  • Global online Master of Public Health (Go MPH)  launched in summer 2015. This fully online, CEPH-accredited MPH offers concentrations in applied implementation science and water and population health.
  • Intercultural lunch (spring 2015) connects diverse, global populations in the School.
  • UNC-Gillings celebrates 10 years of partnership with FHI 360 on the FHI 360-UNC Public Health Fellowship program.
  • Public Health Behind the Scenes podcast launched to highlight stories about people making a difference in public health in NC and around the world.
  • WHO names UNC as lead partner in global effort to save millions of lives, with Dr. Herbert B. Peterson, MD, Kenan Distinguished Professor, Department of Maternal and Child Health leading the effort at Carolina.
  • The Gillings School formalizes its partnership with Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sante Publique (EHESP).

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Teaching and Learning: Key Actions and Achievements, 2010-Present


Students study in the downstairs atrium.


  • Call for proposal was released to fund creation or redesign of interdisciplinary public health courses and/or new approaches to teaching (2012). The six funded were:
    • Revamped core course in health behavior
    • New course on diet, physical activity, smoking and obesity
    • New course on public health entrepreneurship
    • Seed funds for interdisciplinary course in health policy
    • Seed funds for the Gillings Global Health Implementation Lab

Classrooms and Collaborative Spaces

  • Three different classrooms were newly redesigned to feature latest learning technologies including expanded capacity for collaborative learning (Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014). New classrooms are now the most popular teaching spaces in the School.
  • There are new collaborative learning spaces in McGavran-Greenberg Hall called the Chaney Collaborative Commons (2014) and in Rosenau Hall (2015).
  • With a generous gift from Joan Gillings, plans for a redesigned large lecture hall (Rosenau 131) are under consideration (Fall 2015) and will begin in 2016.

Teaching and Learning

  • Celebrate Teaching! month is held annually in February (2012-present). During this month, sessions on innovative teaching methods are held and teaching excellence awards are initiated one per department based on students’ votes (20122013, 2014, 2015)
  • New schoolwide course evaluation measures were implemented to track whether and how the School is meeting or exceeding SPH2020 teaching and learning objectives (2011-present).


  • Global Online MPH (Go MPH) was launched as an all-online program with brand new integrated courses developed according to new ASPPH domains (2014).
  • Gillings MPH Core initiated the effort to develop an all-new suite of integrated core courses for all students earning the MPH at the Gillings School (started 2015 and is ongoing). As part of the effort, the School…
    • Hosted deans from ASSPH Schools (Columbia, Boston University and University of Southern Florida) that had recently updated MPH programs (Spring 2015);
    • Hosted town hall meetings and visited all departments to solicit input from entire School (Spring 2015); and
    • Empaneled the MPH Core Planning committee (2015), which has:
      • Developed principles to guide their work and the work of later committees;
      • Developed draft competencies and a new model for teaching Gillings core courses; and
      • Been developing draft model(s) for delivering competencies.

Interested in finding out more about the origin and evolution of SPH2020?

Read on to discover more.