Pam Haines, former nutrition faculty member, dies at 70

April 13, 2018

Pamela Sue Haines, DrPH, nutrition professor at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health for 25 years, died at her home in Hillsborough, N.C., on April 10. She was 70 years old.

Dr. Pamela Haines

Dr. Pamela Haines

Born in Rochester, N.Y., to John and Marion Haines, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Cornell, a registered dietitian (RD) credential from Vanderbilt, a master’s in food and resource economics from the University of Florida, and a Doctor of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Much of her professional life, her obituary notes, was dedicated to making the world around her a better place. As a young woman, she was a Peace Corps volunteer in Columbia, and her later scholarly work centered around improving dietary outcomes for underserved populations and communities.

Haines was a strong advocate for women in the workplace, successfully balancing a demanding career with caring for her family. In her free time, she loved to garden, travel and continue to learn about the world.

She especially treasured her teaching responsibilities, and mentored many nutrition students over the years, including Alice Ammerman, DrPH, now Mildred Kaufman Distinguished Professor of nutrition and director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.

“Pam was my doctoral adviser and friend,” Ammerman said. “She was always patient and kind, and because she trusted and supported me to take on a dissertation that was a little ‘different’ from the norm and not directly related to her work, it allowed me to launch my own career more quickly. She was a valued faculty member in our department, who will be deeply missed.”

Haines was predeceased by her husband, William Nichols, and is survived by their son, Jacob Nichols (fiancée Lauren Senesac) and her sisters, Patricia Chapman and Sandra Borkhuis.

A visitation will take place at Clements Funeral Home in Hillsborough on Saturday, April 14, from noon to 1:30 p.m., followed by burial at 3 p.m. at Oak Ridge Cemetery in South Boston, Va.

For those wishing to make a memorial gift, the family suggests either spring flowers or a charitable donation, perhaps to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

Online condolences may be submitted here.


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

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