This Week @ Gillings: The Abstract

October 18, 2021

Whether you’re local or global, student or alumni, the Abstract’s weekly news digest will help you stay in the loop with our amazing Gillings School community.

NC governor recognizes Gillings nutrition department in new proclamation on older adult malnutrition

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has recognized the Gillings School’s Department of Nutrition as part of a proclamation to declare October 4-8, 2021, as “Older Adult Malnutrition Awareness Week.”

Malnutrition is prevalent in vulnerable populations, including older adults, who are at risk of severe chronic illnesses that can be exacerbated by poor nutrition. The risk of malnutrition among older adults has increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has increased isolation and compounded problems like food insecurity and reduced access to health care and funding for nutrition programs.

Because N.C.’s population of older adults is rapidly increasing, the risk of malnutrition in this group is also projected to increase, and Governor Cooper has identified the need for a collaborative effort to reduce and prevent this serious health concern.

“The NC Division of Aging and Adult Services, North Carolina Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Department of Nutrition, and Meals on Wheels North Carolina recognize that an important step toward identifying malnutrition is raising awareness about it,” the governor acknowledged in his proclamation.

Read the full proclamation.

Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant to promote environmental justice and health equity in perinatal research

Jeliyah Clark

Jeliyah Clark

Rebecca Fry, PhD, Carol Remmer Angle Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sciences and Engineering (ESE), and Lauren Eaves (ESE doctoral candidate ‘22) were awarded by the Burroughs Wellcome Fund to launch the QUEST (eQUity and Environmental JuSTice) Undergraduate Scholar Training Program. This program will support undergraduates at UNC-Chapel Hill to conduct research in environmentally focused perinatal health. Partnering with the UNC McNair Scholars Program and UNC Chancellor’s Science Scholars, QUEST will recruit and support Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and/or historically underrepresented students in science and engineering fields. Fry’s research focuses on understanding how environmental exposures to toxic substances are associated with human disease.

“I’m looking forward to joining this exciting opportunity,” said Eaves, who will serve as project manager. The project will help to contribute to the next generation of perinatal environmental health researchers,”

The Burroughs Wellcome Fund also awarded three students at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health under its Graduate Diversity Enrichment Program: Jeliyah Clark and Carmen Marable, MS ’17, in ESE and Danielle Brathwaite in the Department of Health Policy and Management. The program is designed to provide doctoral students with opportunities for greater science and research enrichment experiences.

Gillings School community members receive outstanding honors

Congratulations to faculty, staff and students at the Gillings School who have been recently honored with awards of excellence.

  • Distinguished Professor Alice Ammerman, DrPH, has been selected as the recipient of the Obesity Society’s 2021 Atkinson Stern Award for Distinguished Public Service, which recognizes an individual or organization whose work has significantly improved the lives of those affected by obesity. Ammerman will be honored during the ObesityWeek Interactive conference on Nov. 1-5.
  • Natiaya Neal, student affairs events manager, received the Kay Wijnberg Hovious Outstanding Delegate Award during the October UNC Employee Forum Meeting. This award recognizes the work of outstanding UNC Employee Forum delegates who go above and beyond the call of duty when performing work on behalf of the Forum.
  • Julia Nevison, Master of Healthcare Administration student and co-president of the Gillings Student Government Association, has accepted an offer for an administrative fellowship from Michigan Medicine at the University of Michigan for 2022-2024.
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