A Shaper of Young Minds

When Sherry Salyer got a job as a lecturer for UNC’s Department of Exercise and Sport Science in 1992, she only had her bachelor’s degree and worried her colleagues wouldn’t see her as qualified. Her previous job was as a middle school health and physical education teacher and a coach. She was also concerned how teaching middle school students differed from college students.

Those doubts faded when Salyer started working at Carolina. She worked her way up from the lecturer position to teaching professor in 2014. Salyer has been a seven-time finalist for the department’s Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching Award, which she won in 2001 and 2007. In 1997, she took on the role of academic advisor which gave her a perspective many faculty members didn’t have and helped her interactions with students.  

“She doesn’t just help these young people to be smarter, but also to be more thoughtful and prepared to shape the world — not just be in the world,” said Anthony Hackney, a professor in the department.

Read the complete Carolina Story from the University Gazette…

Sherry Salyer received the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award in 2017.

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    string(2664) "Portrait of Brad HendricksBrad Hendricks – assistant professor of accounting at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School – is an expert on corporate disclosure, initial public offerings (IPOs) as well as entrepreneurship. So it’s only fitting he’s teaching a new course, Profits, People, Planets and Purpose, designed to inspire undergraduates to pursue business education and opportunities.

The course also presents undergrads with a unique experiential learning opportunity to apply theory to practice. Students manage “companies” while competing against their classmates in a simulation.

Hendricks likes to see their competitive natures show: “This generation is so adept at self-learning, experiential learning, that putting them in a gaming scenario that mimics the workplace is a fun, intuitive and risk-free way for them to learn how to make smart business decisions.”

Profits, People, Planets and Purpose is just one example of Hendricks’ impactful teaching at UNC Kenan-Flagler.

“Brad is a top-tier researcher and an amazing teacher,” said Jana Raedy, associate professor and EY Scholar in accounting and senior associate dean of business and operations. “He has not only made a major impact on the academic community with his research, but also has had a significant impact on the business community more broadly. He teaches extremely difficult material in a way that, while challenging the students to think critically, is accessible to them.”

He won the Business School’s 2021-22 Bullard Faculty Research Impact Award, which recognizes a professor each year whose research has had a significant effect on the practice of business. He is the first assistant professor to win it. Additionally, Hendricks received the Glenn McLaughlin Prize for Research in Accounting and Ethics and the Morgan Stanley Prize for Best Paper in 2021.

UNC Kenan-Flagler students also recognized his work in the classroom: He won the prestigious Weatherspoon Teaching Excellence Award in the Master of Accounting (MAC) Program in 2016 and again in 2022.

“Teaching really matters here at UNC Kenan-Flagler. There’s a high value placed on it, and I do the best I can. I am glad that students find such value in my class, despite its reputation for also being the most difficult class in the MAC Program,” said Hendricks.

Read the complete Carolina Story…"
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    string(2448) "Portrait of Vincent BrownVincent Brown is on a mission to open minds to a much broader view of American history, one that incorporates Black history and Black perspectives into the canon.

“We need to have a much broader sense of what American history is, who counts within American history and how it develops over time,” said Brown, the Charles Warren Professor of American History and professor of African and African American studies at Harvard University. He teaches courses on the history of slavery in the Americas.

Although Brown grew up in Southern California, his visit to Carolina “is going to be a bit of a homecoming for me,” he said, pointing out that he did research in Wilson Library and completed his dissertation at neighboring Duke University.

Brown returned to North Carolina to give the first Dr. Genna Rae McNeil Endowed Black History Month Lecture, named for the first Black tenure-track faculty member in the history department. McNeil retired in 2021 after 36 years at Carolina, where she helped establish what was then known as the African American History Month Lecture.

The University’s establishment of an endowed lecture series on Black history and Brown’s talk come at a critical time.

“It has always been a struggle to establish the very idea that Black history is something worthy of study. It is something that people have had to fight for, from when Carter G. Woodson established Negro History Week way back in 1926. Even today, it’s something that is contentious,” Brown said.

Brown believes both Black history and Black perspectives are worthy of study, for understanding racism and much more. “Certainly the history of race and racism is fundamental to the way we have to understand the Black experience in the Americas and in the United States. But then the Black experience and Black struggles exceed the history of racism as well. And I think if we collapse the two too neatly, we can miss all of those things that Black people have done, all the consequences of their history that are not easily reducible to the study of racism.”

Read the complete Carolina Story…"
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    string(1957) "Ramona Densby-Bryson stands in front of the Old WellRamona Denby-Brinson is the dean and Kuralt Distinguished Professor of Public Welfare Policy and Administration in the School of Social Work. The incoming president of the multinational Society for Social Work and Research, she has been a licensed social worker since 1989.

The Well did a Q&A in order to get to know Denby-Brinson, who began at Carolina in August 2021, moving from her native Nevada.

When asked about the move to North Carolina, Denby-Brinson commented on the natural wonders of the Old North State.

“I have been struck by the natural beauty of the state, its lush landscapes, and even the wildlife that my family is delighted to see maneuvering about our own neighborhood,” said Denby-Brinson. “My mobile phone contains hundreds of random photos of nearby tree-lined streets, beautiful flowers, ponds and waterways, and the deer that frequent our patio early in the morning.”

As an educational innovator, Denby-Brinson is pushing to have the expertise and capabilities of the UNC School of Social Work more accessible outside of Chapel Hill.

“Through an online Master of Social Work program, we seek to harness technology to make our top-notch Carolina MSW education more accessible to North Carolina residents,” said Denby-Brinson. “Pending review and approval from The Graduate School and our accrediting body, our online MSW program will launch in January 2024. It’s an ambitious goal propelled by the growing workforce shortage in our nation, where it is estimated that we’ll need 13% more social workers over the next decade.”

Read the complete Q&A…"
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Bringing Business to Undergraduates

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