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Three people will receive University Awards for the Advancement of Women on Thursday (March 21) at the Campus Y in honor of their dedication to the empowerment of women. One faculty member, one staff member and one student, graduate student or postdoctoral scholar are eligible for the awards, which were created in 2006.

This year’s honorees are Camille McGirt, a senior majoring in health policy and management in the Gillings School of Global Public Health; Kelli Raker, rape prevention coordinator at Campus Health Services; and Jenny Ting, William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, co-director of the Inflammatory Diseases Institute and program leader for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

McGirt, a Bryan Social Innovation Fellow with Carolina’s APPLES Service Learning Program, established Healthy Girls Save the World, a program designed to fight obesity and promote healthy lifestyles for girls ages 8 to 15 in the Chapel Hill area. The program organizes free events focusing on nutrition, physical activity and positive relationships, and it gives participants a chance to interact with college athletes.

“Camille’s efforts to help women on this campus and girls in this community are astounding,” a nominator said. “There are very few college students in this country who work as hard as she does to make a positive difference.”

Although Raker has not been at Carolina long, she already has made a significant impact through her work with One Act, a four-hour training program led by peer educators for students who want to help prevent interpersonal violence. One Act is a student-led collaboration with Campus Health Services’ Student Wellness that works toward a safer campus environment.

“Kelli’s passion, enthusiasm and leadership in developing and growing this program has been absolutely inspiring,” a nominator said. “Today, One Act boasts a steering committee, an enormous number of peer educators and thousands of ‘Trained Tar Heels.’ The curriculum is constantly being improved.”

Ting has trained more than 85 graduate students, postdoctoral scholars and clinician scientists, many of whom have become career scientists. An internationally recognized leader in her field, Ting has been called the medical school’s “go-to” person in providing career advice for women and is recognized as a quiet, but effective force in the school’s retention of talented women faculty.

“Women mentored by Jenny Ting find themselves lifted and supported to the place where they thrive as professors in colleges, researchers in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry, and staffers in scientific public policy,” a nominator said. Another praised Ting for mentoring trainees long after they leave her lab.

Published March 20, 2013.