The UNC College of Arts and Sciences has hired six new faculty members to study health and wellness in communities of color and issues of U.S. slavery.
As part of the Health and Wellness in Communities of Color cluster hire, the initiative brings faculty together from different departments to ensure the topics they work on come from a collaborative, synergistic approach and interdisciplinary manner, Terry Rhodes, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said in an email statement.
“The idea for hiring faculty with expertise to work in the broad area of health and wellness in communities of color came about from feedback from within the College that these are areas of vital importance and ones in which Carolina could make a difference,” Rhodes said.
The cluster hire includes eight faculty members in total, with two who have yet to be hired. Four of the hired faculty members will begin their work this semester and the other two will begin the spring term.
The six faculty members hired are:
- Malia Blue, department of exercise and sport science, fall 2021
- Lisa Calvente, department of communication, fall 2021
- Shannon Gonzalez, department of sociology, fall 2021
- Brandi Brimmer, department of African, African American and diaspora studies, fall 2021
- Sophie McCoy, department of biology, spring 2022
- Desire Kedagni, department of economics, spring 2022
The University will continue their search for hiring a faculty member for the department of psychology and neuroscience and another in the department of history to study U.S. slavery into next year.
Gonzalez, who is researching health and wellness, said the Southeastern United States is basically home for her. Being from the South and having family in the Southeast, she was drawn by the chance to return to the region.
“I’ve specifically done projects on Black women and policing in the South," Gonzalez said. "And so, for me, it was really exciting to have an opportunity to come to UNC, to come back to the Southeast."