October 6, 2022
The Gillings School of Global Public Health will receive special recognition during the ceremonies on University Day, which will mark the 229th anniversary of the University of North Carolina’s founding and the beginning of public higher education in the United States.
Three people affiliated with the Gillings School — Dr. Nicole K. Bates, Dr. F. DuBois Bowman and Charletta Sims Evans — will be celebrated.
University Distinguished Alumni
Since 1971, the UNC-Chapel Hill faculty has presented Distinguished Alumna and Alumnus Awards on University Day to recognize graduates who have made outstanding contributions to humanity.
Nicole K. Bates, MPH (’00), DrPH (’08), is one of five University Distinguished Alumni in 2022. She is a public health leader and strategist with decades of experience working to improve health and development opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. She currently serves as director of strategic partnerships and initiatives for Pivotal Ventures, a company founded by Melinda French Gates to advance social progress.
Bates, who studied in both the Department of Health Policy and Management and the Department of Health Behavior, now serves on the UNC Gillings Advisory Council.
F. DuBois Bowman, PhD (’00), also will be recognized with a 2022 Distinguished Alumnus Award. A graduate of the Department of Biostatistics, he is renowned expert in the statistical analysis of large complex data sets and serves as dean of the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
His ongoing research program mines massive data sets and has important implications for mental and neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, schizophrenia and substance addiction.
Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage
Charletta Sims Evans, MEd, will receive the Rebecca Clark Staff Award for Moral Courage, which recognizes an individual who demonstrates a strong commitment to social justice. As the associate dean for student affairs at the Gillings School, Sims Evans has been on the leading edge of advocacy for staff and students, especially during the pandemic when mental health issues escalated.
She pioneered a system for reporting microaggressions and recently facilitated a conversation between students and staff following an incident of racial bias and harm. She addresses challenging situations head-on to promote a safe environment for all, especially those with marginalized identities.
About University Day
University Day is an occasion to remember the University’s past and celebrate its future. The date, Oct. 12, marks the laying in 1793 of the cornerstone of Old East — the institution’s first building and the oldest state university building in the U.S. The UNC community first celebrated University Day in 1877.
For 229 years, Carolina has symbolized the importance of education in a democratic nation. It remains a place defined by those values, as noted by Governor Terry Sanford in 1987, of “freedom and liberty and tolerance, the search for truth, the defense of dignity, courage to arrive freely at convictions, and the personal courage to stand for those hopes and truths.”
All members of the Carolina community are invited to join the traditional procession. Those wishing to participate should line up behind their school or unit banner beginning at 3 p.m. at the Old Well. Classes will be canceled from 3:20 to 4:40 p.m. to allow for attendance at the main event, which will begin at 3:30 p.m. in Memorial Hall.
Two UNC Gillings researchers will share their current work as part of the ceremony. Orlando Coronell, PhD, will present on a novel clean water technology that effectively removes toxic per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Margot Midkiff, a health policy and management student, will offer insight on findings around human and environmental relationships and how they can change in response to hurricanes, flooding, pollution and other factors.
Contact the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health communications team at firstname.lastname@example.org.