1) Last week, I was able to participate in an extraordinary event at UNC Charlotte Center City that the College of Health and Human Services proudly co-sponsored. The talk on the issue of “Implicit Bias” attracted between 250 and 300 students, judicial decision makers, public educators, community members and faculty to engage in a robust discussion about how we unconsciously make snap decisions about groups of people and the short, and long term consequences—most often negative—of those decisions. The topic is perfectly aligned with the cultural principles of the College, with our curriculum founded on issues of social justice, and our mission, as a public institution, to work to reduce racism and inequities. Thanks and congratulations to folks on our faculty from the School of Social Work for organizing such a successful and meaningful workshop for the broader community in partnership with local non-profit Race Matters for Juvenile Justice.
2) Three years ago, the College of Health and Human Services set an aspirational goal to reach a goal of $5 million in competitive external funding. To help support the work of our talented faculty and their students, the College has made progressive and strategic investments in strengthening our internal pre and post award grants and contracts structure, including filling a grants project manager position this past fall.
Our systematic strengthening of our communications and relationship with the Office of Research and Economic Development has also been key. The College financially supports Project Mosaic, UNC Charlotte’s social science research initiative, and we continue to invest in our CHHS Research Academies as a way to provide communities of scholars the choice to interface and submit grants with faculty who share common interests and goals.
Well, I am so pleased to say that we have hit our target of $5 million!
The vision, dedication, persistence and talent of our faculty have brought us to our best year of external funding, and given what I have seen in the research pipeline over the past few weeks, there is more success to come. Most importantly, the research we do in CHHS not only trains the next generation of practitioners and researchers, but changes lives for the better in our communities – a central theme in the College mission.
I see leadership in our faculty each and every day, and this is yet another clear example of that leadership – my warmest congratulations and thanks.