Jonathan Earnest

Jonathan Earnest, MA, CHC, CPT

Director of Admissions
Student Affairs
266 Rosenau Hall
CB #7400
Chapel Hill, NC 27599


Jonathan Earnest came to UNC in 2013 and served as assistant director for Upward Bound and then director of TRIO Programs before coming to the Gillings School in 2017. He first joined the Department of Nutrition as the school's first academic coordinator and was then promoted to lead academic coordinator as part of the schoolwide student affairs ecosystem in 2019. He was named director of admissions in 2022.

In this role, Jonathan provides leadership for enrollment management while promoting best practices in access, equity, inclusion, and success. He serves as co-lead on the Advocacy Subcommittee for the Gillings Inclusive Excellence Council and on the Advisory Board for UNC Health Professions. He is a member of the Council for Opportunity in Education (COE), the National Association for Graduate Admissions Professionals (NAGAP), the Southern Association for College Admissions Counseling (SACAC), and the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).

Jonathan has a master’s degree in Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling and is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education Leadership. He is also a Certified Personal Trainer, Health Coach and Group Fitness Instructor and has previously served as a Substance Abuse and Addictions Counselor.


  • MA, Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling, University of South Florida, 2012
  • BS, Business Administration (Concentration: Human Resources Management), University of Central Florida, 2007
  • Group Fitness Instructor Certification, (Group Leadership, Class Formatting and Design, Teaching), American Council on Exercise, 2024
  • Personal Trainer Certification, (Exercise Instruction, Program Design, Assessment and Training), American Council on Exercise, 2022
  • Health Coach Certification, (Physical Activity Guidance, Nutritional Education, Behavior Change), American Council on Exercise, 2017