Gillings alumna leads new venture selected for UNC’s social innovation incubator

Jan. 23, 2014

Gillings alumna Camille McGirt

Gillings alumna Camille McGirt

Camille McGirt, 2013 alumna of the Gillings School’s Bachelor of Science in Public Health program in health policy and management, was selected as one of 10 winners of the 2014 Social Innovation Challenge at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She will receive a two-year residency in CUBE, Carolina’s social innovation incubator, housed at the Campus Y.

McGirt is founder of Healthy Girls Save the World, an organization committed to combating childhood obesity and related chronic diseases by providing preventive health education for girls in North Carolina.

Other innovators in the areas of the environment, public health, socio-economic development, education, sports and the arts aim to:

  • Develop a line of locally produced milk alternatives in the Southeast;
  • Provide a safe, environmentally friendly, late night transportation service, using electric vehicles;
  • Improve access to healthy foods by lower-income people by flash-freezing and selling “B-grade” produce;
  • Combat sexually transmitted infections at UNC and area universities through a technology-based awareness-raising campaign and mobile testing;
  • Develop microenterprises and provide self-employment support services to North Carolinians with severe mental illness;
  • Provide transitional employment to homeless individuals in Orange County through a bakery business;
  • Provide cost-effective, hands-on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education program in N.C. public schools by leveraging unused science materials and equipment held by local universities and biotechnology companies;
  • Combat personal violence and promote positive masculinity through a running program for middle school boys in Durham, N.C.; and
  • Improve the lives of women at risk for sex trafficking in Kolkata, India, by providing them with training and materials to weave scarves and earn a livelihood.

CUBE is part of Innovate@Carolina, a campus-wide initiative to position UNC-Chapel Hill as a world leader in commercial, social, scientific and artistic innovation and entrepreneurship in ways that reflect the University’s commitment to public service. In 2012, the Campus Y launched CUBE to support students, faculty and staff members, and alumni focused on social change, providing them with space, intensive mentoring, advising and more than $40,000 in seed capital.

Located in the heart of campus at the Campus Y, CUBE provides around-the-clock co-working space, financial support and expert mentoring as well as legal, tax and communications advice to aspiring social entrepreneurs seeking help to build, accelerate and scale innovative solutions to social and environmental problems.
More information about the Campus Y and CUBE is available online.

Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or