Frank Porter Graham Graduate and Professional Student Honor Society Members

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Active Members

The following is a list of current active members of the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society, as well as the rationale for their acceptance into FPGHS at the time of their induction (where available).

Allison Mathews (inducted 2013)
Rationale: Allison Mathews is a student in the Department of Sociology, where she has worked to provide resources for both students of color and local community members in her capacity as a scholar, community organizer, and educator. In 2010, Allison founded the Race/Ethnicity Workshop in her department. She also received sponsorship and funding from various organizations and grants to host the Triangle Race Conference — a collaborative effort between graduate students from UNC–Chapel Hill, Duke, and North Carolina Central. She has worked as a community organizer to organize an HIV awareness fashion presentation at the Juneteenth Festival in Durham. Allison's experiences can also be seen in her undergraduate teaching, where she highlights the importance of collaborating with diverse groups of people, solving problems, and thinking critically. She has also received numerous honors, including her induction into Phi Beta Kappa, and receiving the prestigious Humphreys Fellowship at UNC–Chapel Hill.

Autumn McClellan (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Autumn is a student in the department of Sociology. For the past two years, Autumn has served the campus community as the Treasurer of GPSF. In this capacity, she has helped provide funding for numerous events on campus, and represented and advocated for all students on the Student Fees Advisory Subcommittee. In addition to her administrative service to the university, Autumn has also been recognized for her excellence in teaching, receiving the Everett K Wilson Teaching Award.

Ben Bolling (inducted 2013)
Rationale: Ben Bolling is a graduate student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He has been involved with the Comparative Literature and English Association of Graduate Students, since 2008, serving as the organization's social chair, and representing it in the Graduate and Professional Student Federation Senate. Ben also worked with Honors students in a residential learning community. One of the groups he worked with, led by a UNC undergraduate created the documentary "A Look Beyond the Plate," which won Best Documentary Short at the 2011 North Carolina Family Film Festival. Ben was named the LGBTIQ and Diversity Advocates within the GPSF executive cabinet. In addition, Ben serves on the Provost's Committee on LGBTQ Life, as well as the LGBTQ Center Advisory roundtable, working closely with the LGBTQ Center to promote and support programming aimed at graduate and professional students. He has also worked to increase graduate and professional student participation in University diversity training programs, such as offering Safe Zone trainings aimed at graduate teaching fellows, educators, and professional students. Underlying all of his service are impressive academic accomplishments. One description of his scholarship characterized his work as a "carefully reasoned and engaging analysis" and that it was of "exceptional caliber…not just doctoral work in the rough but a fully realized theoretical manifesto."

Beth Hopping (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Beth is a 5th year graduate student in Nutrition Intervention and Policy within the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She received a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and has co-authored numerous peer-reviewed publications. She is passionate about the ethical treatment of animals and the environment throughout the food system, and volunteers extensively on local farms and non-profits. She has also provided important mentorship for UNC students associated with the School of Public Health.

Brandon Linz (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Brandon is a student in the department of Mircrobiology and Immunology, and has been, and continues to be, exceptionally active on behalf of graduate and professional students. Brandon was Vice President of Internal Affairs for GPSF this past year, and next year will serve as President of the organization. In addition, Brandon is also a member of Student Congress, the Director of Communications for the national organization, Student Advocates for Graduate Education (SAGE), and one of UNC's liaisons for the prestigious and newly UNC associated Emerging Leaders in Science and Society Program.

Charity Watkins (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Charity Watkins is a 3rd year student in the School of Social Work. She has taken a leading role in the Black Student Caucus (BSC) which does fundraising for small non-profit organizations and supports neighborhoods and communities through various volunteer activities. She has served as a School of Social Work Student Ambassador and as a selection committee member for the Boka W. Hadzija Award. More recently, she has been an active spokesperson on campus for Health Activism in the BLACKLIVESMATTER movement.

Clare Fieseler (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Clare is a 5th year graduate student in the Department of Environment and Ecology. Besides being awarded numerous grants and fellowships to support her research, she is also a Graduate Innovation Fellow and co-founder of "Scientists with Stories", a grassroots, inter-institutional science communication program that equips science graduate students with multimedia skills training that has among other things created a partnership with Monitor National Marine Sanctuary for student-produced outreach products.

David Cranford (inducted 2014)
Rationale: David Cranford is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Anthropology. David has been involved in promoting and making accessible, archaeological research, and science education in general, to the public since his first year at UNC by participating in UNC's Science Expo, Archaeology Day, and giving Archaeology tours of Carolina's campus. In addition to this archaeological outreach work, David has made significant contributions to our UNC community by serving as Anthropology's GPSF senator, and serving as the graduate representative on many committees within his department. For these and other accomplishments, it is with great pleasure that we welcome David Cranford into the Frank Porter Graham Honor Society.

J. Elliott Robinson (inducted 2012)

JoEllen McBride (inducted 2013)
Rationale: JoEllen McBride is a student in the Department of Physics. She is described as an impactful advocate of graduate education at the University, state, and federal levels. As a senator and treasurer within the Graduate and Professional Student Federation, she has spent numerous hours collecting data in support topics near and dear to all of our hearts — increasing the minimum graduate student stipend, and carefully considering the current level of student fees. Rather than simply complain about rising debt, JoEllen took initiative in this arena. JoEllen has become well respected by the administration and her peers for these efforts, which eventually resulted in a minimum stipend increase for graduate students. JoEllen also has an impressive record of service outside of UNC — as evidenced by her work in exposing physics to elementary, middle, and high school students. JoEllen has also served as a pre-graduate advisor to seniors interested in applying to graduate school. She also works on behalf of UNC graduate students, advocating in both Raleigh and Washington D.C. She is going on her second year as a delegate to SAGE — Student Advocates for Graduate Education — informing legislators about issues of research funding, indebtedness, and immigration as it relates to graduate education. Her nominator says that: "Jo's service goes straight to the source to help preserve our ability to attain our higher degrees and protect the mission and excellence of our University."

Jami Powell (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Jami is a student in the Anthropology department. Jami has devoted an incredible about of time and energy to bringing awareness of American Indian issues to the campus community while at this same time creating supportive multicultural networks for all students. She severed as Treasurer and Native Leadership Symposium Coordinator for the First Nations Graduate Circle. Jami was also an integral member in the planning and execution of GPSF's Diversity Summit and Workshop held in September.

Justin McNabb (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Justin is a 2nd year graduate student in the Geological Sciences Department. He has served the UNC Community through his role as Special Projects Chair in the Graduate and Professional Student Federation (GPSF). As Special Projects Chair, Justin has been responsible for planning the Graduate School Orientation and Grad Games, Second Semester Check-in, and the UNC Academic Research Conference. He was also instrumental in revitalizing the University Research Day, now known as UNC Academic Research Conference (UNC ARC).

Kiran Bhardwaj (inducted 2013)
Rationale: A PhD. Candidate in the department of Philosophy, she is a Royster Society Fellow, has served as the Vice President of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation or GPSF, and recently began serving her first term as the GPSF President. During her work with the GPSF, she has been a persistent advocate for graduate and professional student interests, helped spearhead a campus-wide survey on RA/TA issues that garnered over 700 responses, and lobbied administrators for elimination of non-inclusive language on many university documents.

Kyle Reeves (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Kyle is a student in the Department of Chemistry. Kyle has diligently served the university as the Secretary of GPSF. In this capacity, he streamlined and increased visibility of GPSF's and other organizations campus events. Further, Kyle is committed to serving graduate students in financial need, as the inaugural chair of the GPSF Emergency Fund. Kyle seeks to increase diversity within his field as an active member of the Women in Science and Engineering organization. Kyle is so dedicated to university service that he flew back to UNC Monday night after running over 26 miles in the Boston marathon so as not to miss a GPSF Cabinet meeting.

Marissa Cann (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Marissa is a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology and is the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards. She has worked tirelessly, but always with a smile on her face as Outreach coordinator and Chief of Staff for the Cabinet of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. Through her work GPSF has codified 2 new annual programs, the Diversity Summit and Workshop and the International Mother Language Day in addition to a rebranding of University Research Day, now the UNC Academic Research Conference.

Nicole Corbin (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Nicole Corbin is a 2nd year graduate student in the Speech and Hearing Sciences Ph.D. program. She has successfully presented her research findings in several venues including at the American Auditory Society (AAS) meeting and was awarded the competitive National Institutes of Health/AAS Mentored Graduate Student Research award to fund her travel. As a Ph.D. student, Nicole serves as a mentor to clinical doctoral and undergraduate students who work in the laboratory and well as volunteers with numerous community projects that support deaf and hard of hearing students locally.

Nikhil Tomar (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Nikhil Tomar is a 2nd year graduate student in Occupational Science and a Royster Society Fellow. Like Todd Jensen, he is a co-founder of the Stigma Free Carolina initiative. He also serves as one of the Health Policy Co-Chairs in the Cabinet of the Graduate and Professional Student Federation. As Health Policy Co-Chair, Nikhil regularly attends the Campus Health Services Advisory Board meetings to ensure that the needs of graduate and professional students are known.

Shelby Dawkins-Law (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Shelby Dawkins-Law is a 2nd year graduate student in the Policy, Leadership, and School Improvement program within the School of Education. She has been an extremely active in the Graduate and Professional Student Federation serving as its president. Through this role, she has advocated for graduate and professional student's rights and concerns by lobbying UNC-Chapel Hill, the General Administration, and the Board of Governors for improvements in health care, the addition of dental insurance, increasing the GA/TA/RA stipend, and ensuring diversity among the graduate and professional student population.

Stephanie Davis (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Stephanie Davis is a 1st year graduate student in the School of Medicine working to complete a Masters in Occupational Therapy. She currently serves as the Public Relations Chair in the Cabinet of the (GPSF) where she has also been involved in the planning committees for several GPSF events, such as the UNC Academic Research Conference.

Taylor Livingston (inducted 2013)
Rationale: Taylor is a fifth year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. She has represented her department in the GPSF Senate, for 5 years and, during this time, she advocated for changes to the Continuing Enrollment Policy. Within the Department of Anthropology, she served on the Department Life Committee and the Curriculum Committee, and moreover has displayed a strong commitment to Women's Issues on campus. She has served on both the board of the Carolina Women's Center, is a certified lactation consultant, and has participated in numerous community service activities that benefit women and children throughout the Triangle.

Todd Jensen (inducted 2015)
Rationale: Todd Jensen is a 2nd year graduate student in the School of Social Work and a Royster Society Fellow. He serves as a Covenant Scholar mentor and has already amassed an impressive number of publications. He is one of the co-founders of the Stigma Free Carolina initiative which is a UNC community campaign aimed at reducing stigma toward mental health concerns and treatment.

For corrections or edits, please contact Kiran Bhardwaj (

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