Continuing a long career of advancing diversity efforts in higher education, Kim Ramsey-White will become the new associate dean for inclusive excellence at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health.
Ramsey-White currently serves as assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion at the Georgia State University School of Public Health.
After graduating with a bachelor's degree from Hampton University in 1982, Ramsey-White worked as a health promotion disease prevention coordinator at a health center in Mount Vernon, New York — her hometown — for five years. Ramsey-White also worked in the Bronx at an adoption agency for around four months.
Ramsey-White later moved to Atlanta to work for the Division of Family and Children Services as a recertification worker, where she learned about systems of welfare, food stamps and generational poverty.
“I did that for about eight years, and then I had an opportunity to go to Grady Hospital and work in the Medicaid unit," Ramsey-White said. "And while I was there, I got an opportunity to learn more about the kind of medical implications of undocumented people coming into our country.”
In 1997, Ramsey-White received her master’s in Public Health at the University of Alabama Birmingham, where she concentrated in maternal and child health. She said being able to work alongside youth spurred her to pursue a Ph.D. at Georgia State’s college of education and human development.
Ramsey-White said her research focused on the social determinants and disparities of health, and how they had a greater impact on physical health than biology. While at Georgia State University, Ramsey-White started Project Healthy Grandparents to provide resources and support to grandparents raising grandchildren in parent-absent families.
In 2008, Ramsey-White served as the interim chief diversity officer at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she was first introduced to diversity and inclusion efforts in higher education through developing diversity scorecards.
In 2012, she returned to Georgia State, joining the faculty in the School of Public Health.
“I got a chance to teach and I think I’ve always known that my gift is teaching — that’s what I get passionate about, that’s what I enjoy doing — so I got a chance to teach the introductory public health course on health disparities, and then I also had the opportunity to start our undergraduate public health program,” Ramsey-White said.
After June 2020, when the killing of George Floyd sparked protests and conversations surrounding racial inequity across the country, Ramsey-White began serving on the task force on racial equity at the School of Public Health.
The task force was created by Rodney Lyn, dean at Georgia State School of Public Health. Lyn said he has worked with Ramsey-White for the past 15 years as faculty colleagues.
“I can’t say enough about Kim Ramsey-White’s work ethic, commitment, dedication and expertise. She has the biggest heart and is among the most caring people that you’ll ever meet,” Lyn said.
Ramsey-White was appointed as a special advisor to the dean for diversity, equity and inclusion in October of 2020. As of 2021, she currently serves as assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion.
Ramsey-White said she grew increasingly excited about the position at UNC throughout the interview process.
“I appreciated the honesty and that transparency, even knowing that there was good work that had already been done, knowing that there was still work to be done,” Ramsey-White said.
Trevor Hamlett, a graduate assistant on the inclusive excellence team at Gillings, said he's excited for Ramsey-White to join the faculty.
“I love that she's personable and seems to really want to be involved and make herself visible to the whole Gillings community, but particularly the students. I feel it won't be long before she's made an impact and is recognized by many,’’ Hamlett said.
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