I’m pleased to announce that Professor Andrea Hunter will join the UNCG leadership team as the next Chancellor’s Fellow for Campus Climate. During this summer and academic year, she will be working with current fellow, Professor Julie Mendez Smith.
In her role as Chancellor’s Fellow, Andrea will devote 50% of her time to this role while focusing the other 50% on her home department, research, and teaching. She will work with Julie, my senior team, and me to identify opportunities and develop new initiatives, and collaborate with the many campus partners whose work includes issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Andrea has long been recognized as an influential leader among our faculty, and an individual with tremendous vision for higher education broadly and UNCG specifically. She is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies; and has been chair of the Faculty Senate (recently completing her final year on the executive committee), chair of the Provost Search Committee, and director of the School of Health and Human Sciences’ Diversity and Inclusion Office. Andrea’s research focuses on African American families and tackles questions that are central to public debates about the functioning of these families. Underlying this work is an emphasis on the influences of race, gender, social class, and culture on family life, development, and individual well-being. She has presented her research nationally and internationally, and is published in the fields of human development and family studies, developmental psychology, race and gender studies, family history, and social work.
Andrea and Julie have a strong history of collaboration that I expect will not only facilitate a smooth transition in this role, but will also enable us to leverage their collective talents and areas of expertise in this coming year. Both have been active contributors to community engaged research projects and diversity and equity initiatives at the departmental, college, and university levels.
I want to thank Julie for her continuing service in this role as she completes her last year of this fellowship. Her scholarly work reflects her long-standing commitment to issues of equity. Julie continues to make an impact. She and a team of UNCG researchers, including lead principal investigator Susan Keane, were just awarded a $2.1 million dollar grant for their project “Recruiting, Retaining, and Supporting the Training of Clinical Psychologists from Disadvantaged Backgrounds to Enter Primary Care Settings and Medically Underserved Communities,” and is part of the National Science Foundation Spartans Advance Grant team. Additionally, she currently is a co-investigator for the federally funded National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families.
Two weeks ago I asked if we had the “public will” to make change and urged all of us to look within, to see what we can do better. Since then, I have been encouraging our team and our community to focus on real, tangible action. I have seen hopeful signs that we are collectively responding to this call. I believe Andrea is uniquely capable of helping me and our entire UNCG community take substantive and meaningful steps forward as we fight against racism. I know each of you are equally committed to advancing real and meaningful change.