A climate of inclusive excellence is crucial for the recruitment, retention, success, and satisfaction of the very best faculty, staff, and students. A permanent dean’s level committee, the Inclusive Excellence Council (IEC), was established in Fall 2019 to address these issues within the context of public health education. The Council is necessary to ensure our School will be well-equipped to address these needs in a strategic manner. It is comprised of faculty, staff, and students from across the School. Faculty and staff were nominated by their respective departments and serve 3-year terms. Students are selected through an online application process and serve 1-2-year terms.

The IEC is responsible for:

  • Monitoring and evaluating the progress of the strategic priorities listed in the inclusive excellence action plan.
  • Advising on and coordinating activities that support and strengthen a climate of inclusive excellence within our School.
  • Advising faculty, staff and students regarding issues of diversity and climate within the School.
  • Serving as chair(s) of action plan subcommittees that lead school-wide efforts to meet our stated goals.
  • Providing updates on Council activities to their units and serving as a liaison regarding inclusive excellence.
  • Periodically revising the inclusive excellence action plan as needed.

IEC Subcommittees

Efforts led by the IEC are organized around the inclusive excellence action plan. The current subcommittees are advocacy, curriculum, communications, diversity and training.


Purpose: Advocate on behalf of students for living wages, fairness in hiring practices, and greater transparency regarding employment opportunities.

2019-2020 Members:

  • Andrea Bankoski, Epidemiology
  • John Hussey, Maternal and Child Health
  • Kauline Cipriani, Inclusive Excellence
  • Mya Roberson, Student, Epidemiology
  • Rami Imam, Student, Nutrition
  • Valerie Hooker, Health Policy and Management

For more information, please contact Valerie Hooker (she, her, hers) at vhooker@email.unc.edu.


Purpose: Evaluate and improve anti-racist and equity components in student learning during orientation and across the curriculum.

2019-2020 Members:

  • Caitlin Williams, Student, Maternal and Child Health
  • Chidera Agwu, Student, Health Policy and Management
  • Cleo Samuel, Health Policy and Management
  • Derrick Matthews, Health Behavior
  • Elizabeth French, Dean’s Office
  • Johnathan Earnest, Student Affairs
  • Laura Linnan, Academic and Student Affairs
  • Nyla Ruiz, Student, EQUITY

  • For more information, please contact Elizabeth French (she, her, hers) at eafrench@email.unc.edu and/or Caitlin Williams (she, her, hers) at caitlin.williams@unc.edu .


Purpose: Develop and improve approaches to communicating about inclusion, equity, and anti-racism efforts at Gillings.

2019-2020 Members:

  • Branson Moore, Communications
  • Kim Truesdale, Nutrition
  • Meena Gopal, Student, Public Health Leadership Program
  • Naya Villarreal, Research, Innovation, and Global Solutions
  • OJ McGhee, Instructional Media Services
  • Wayne Rosemond, Epidemiology
  • Yesenia Merino, Inclusive Excellence

For more information, please contact Naya Villarreal (she, her, hers) at nayavill@email.unc.edu.


Purpose: Evaluate and improve efforts surrounding the recruitment and retention of Gillings faculty, staff, and students from diverse backgrounds

2019-2020 Members:

  • Christine Argueza-Prince, Student, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Monika Coruso, Biostatistics
  • Trinnette Cooper, Student Affairs
  • Hiba Fatima, Maternal and Child Health
  • Fatima Guerrab, Student, Health Behavior
  • Manal Kahn, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Kurt Ribisl, Health Behavior
  • Kelly Tackett, Student, Population Health for Clinicians

For more information, please contact Manal Khan at manalk@email.unc.edu.


Purpose: Develop, implement, and evaluate trainings, including strong anti-racist and equity-driven components, for faculty, staff, TAs, and other members of the Gillings community.

2019-2020 Members:

  • Annette Raines, Human Resources
  • Dana Rice, Public Health Leadership Program
  • Dane Emmerling, Student, Health Behavior
  • Joy Martin, Public Health Leadership Program
  • Mary Beth Knight, Advancement
  • Wanda Bodnar, Environmental Sciences and Engineering
  • Yuliana Lopez, Student, EQUITY

For more information, please contact Yuliana Lopez (she, her, hers) at yulianal@live.unc.edu.

Current Members

headshots for 2019-2020 Inclusive Excellence Council

How to Join

Interested in joining either the inclusive excellence council or one of its subcommittees? For more information or to ask questions, contact the Inclusive Excellence Team at sph_inclusive_excellence@unc.edu.