Community service

UNCW faculty, staff honored for community service

Friday, October 14, 2022

UNCW employees and a community partner were honored for outstanding community engagement and service to the greater Wilmington area at the 2022 Community Engagement Awards held October 11.

The Office of Community Engagement and Impact recognized:

  • Dr. Kimberly CookProfessor of Criminology and Sociology – Emeritus Emeritus Commitment and Public Service
  • Dr. Jennifer Le Zotte, associate professor of history; and Dr Josalin Hunter Assistant Professor of Social Work – Rising Faculty Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service
  • Dr. Troy AlphinSenior Research Associate at the Benthic Ecology Laboratory – UNCW Staff Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
  • Dr. Kirsten KinzerAssociate Professor of Public and International Affairs – Junior Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
  • The town of Saint James – Community Partner Award for Excellence in University Engagement

The Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award recognizes faculty excellence in addressing critical local, regional, national, or global issues through scholarly activities that enhance cultural, economic, and social development.

The UNCW Staff Award for Excellence in Community Engagement is given to a staff member who has been an outstanding university leader in the areas of engaged learning, scholarship, and service.

The UNCW Community Partner Award for Excellence in University Engagement recognizes community organizations that have been outstanding partners with the university.

In addition to presenting the awards, the event also spotlighted UNCW Learn to Swim, Wings Up for Wilmington, and the Equity Initiative to exemplify the university’s commitment to serving the community.

UNCW’s Learn to Swim program offers free swimming lessons to young black people. The program is an outgrowth of research conducted by UNCW staff member and alumnus Ann Freeman ’08, ’17M for her Masters in Public Administration. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study found that black Americans and other racial minorities had the highest drowning rate in the nation. Black children and adolescents are 5.5 times more likely to drown than their white counterparts. Freeman, the program coordinator, translated her research into a pilot swim program in 2019. The program is a partnership involving UNCW Athletics, the Chancellor’s Office, the Office of Community Engagement and Impact and others campus and community partners.

Wings Up for Wilmington, a day of service, was first held in September 2019 to mark the anniversary of Hurricane Florence. The Category 1 storm made landfall on September 14, 2018, causing widespread flooding and millions of dollars in damage to communities in the Cape Fear area. To commemorate the anniversary, UNCW faculty, staff and students helped community organizations in Wilmington. This year, more than 400 UNCW staff and students assisted 24 organizations on various projects.

UNCW’s Equity Initiative cultivates positive social change by fostering an interdisciplinary network of scholars and community members focused on education, access, and opportunity based on the principles of equity and of righteousness.

Venita Jenkins

#OCEI

UNCW’s Office of Community Engagement and Impact honored employees for their outstanding community engagement and service. The recipients of the 2022 Community Engagement Awards (left to right) Dr. Kirsten Kinzer, Dr. Jennifer Le Zotte and Dr. Troy Alphin are pictured with Dr. Jeanine Mingé, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Community Engagement and Impact.