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Ten individuals and two groups have been named winners of the 2021 Diversity Awards, which recognize individuals and groups who have given their time and effort to further diversity, equity and inclusion at Carolina and in our surrounding community.

Provost Bob Blouin recognized the impact of the awards, especially during such difficult times, stating, “While we cannot gather in person to celebrate the University’s annual Diversity Awards, it’s extremely fitting and important that we honor and acknowledge these teams and individuals as we continue to endure the worst global health crisis in our lifetimes. The pandemic, as well as political tensions and calls for social and racial justice across our nation, continue to present significant challenges. Despite these hurdles, our award recipients have demonstrated in extraordinary ways that their tireless efforts and commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion are integrally connected to all aspects of the University’s strategic plan, Carolina Next: Innovations for Public Good.”

This year’s winners were chosen from a record number of nominations. Provost Blouin noted that these people and groups have demonstrated a pivotal part of the University’s strategic plan, saying, “The Diversity Awards recognize the critical contributions of teams and individuals whose work embodies the first initiative in the strategic plan, Build our Community Together. Carolina is committed to creating and sustaining a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community of students, faculty and staff. Our differences are our strength, and our diversity enhances our University’s three-part mission of research, teaching and service. Again, congratulations and thank you to this year’s recipients.”

Please join the Diversity Awards Committee and the University Office for Diversity and Inclusion in congratulating this year’s Diversity Award winners:

  • Alumni
    • Frank Tillman III (’15, BA; ’19 PharmD), PGY2 Psychiatric Pharmacy Resident, Department of Pharmacy, UNC Medical Center
    • Janet Edwards (’95, BS, Pharmacy), Senior Account Specialist for Respiratory Biologics, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Staff
    • Betsy Ayankoya, Director, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; Senior Technical Specialist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute
    • DeVetta Holman-Copeland, Coordinator for Resiliency and Student Support Programs, Student Wellness
  • Faculty
    • Priscilla Layne, Associate Professor, Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and Literatures
    • Kennita Johnson, Research Assistant Professor, Director of Diversity and Equity, UNC-NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Graduate/Professional Student/Post Doc
    • Nikea Pittman, Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, School of Medicine
    • Celeste Green, Resident Physician, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Undergraduate Student
    • Anna Manocha (junior, Cary, NC), a Business Administration major
    • Kira Griffith (senior, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands), a Neuroscience major
  • Intergroup Collaboration
    • The Jordan Institute for Families
    • CAPS Multicultural Health Program






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