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People briefs

For immediate use

April 3, 2007

UNC staffer receives Southern writers award

Pamela Duncan, a staff member of the North Carolina Institute for Public Health, has been awarded the James Still Award for Writing about the Appalachian South by the Fellowship of Southern Writers. The Institute for Public Health is a unit of the UNC School of Public Health.

The award was presented March 30 at the Arts and Education Conference on Southern Literature in Chattanooga, Tenn. Previous winners include Ron Rash, Silas House, George Scarborough, Charles Frazier and James Still.  Duncan is the first woman to receive it.

Duncan recently celebrated the release of her third book “The Big Beautiful,” a sequel to her first novel, “Moon Women.” The new novel tells the story of a middle-aged woman who flees her staid life in the mountains and escapes to the North Carolina coast to discover what she really wants out of life. Duncan’s second novel, “Plant Life,” won the 2003 Sir Walter Raleigh Award, North Carolina’s highest honor for a work of fiction. 

Duncan was born in Asheville and grew up in Black Mountain, Swannanoa and Shelby, N.C. She earned a bachelor’s in journalism from UNC and a master’s in english/creative writing from N.C. State University. She lives in Saxapahaw and has worked for the School of Public Health since 1985.

Social work professor elected national council president

Gary Bowen, Ph.D., Kenan distinguished professor in the UNC School of Social Work, has been elected president of the National Council on Family Relations (NCFR). He will serve as president-elect until 2009. His term as president will begin in November 2009.

Founded in 1938, NCFR provides an educational forum for family researchers, educators, and practitioners to share in the development and dissemination of knowledge about families and family relationships, establishes professional standards, and works to promote family well-being.

Bowen received the NCFR Student Award in 1981 in recognition of demonstrated excellence as a student with high potential as a future contributor to the field of family-related studies.

Sullivan appointed distinguished professor

Patrick Sullivan, M.D., a professor of psychiatry and genetics in the UNC School of Medicine, has been appointed as the first Ray M. Hayworth Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry. Sullivan studies the genetics of psychiatric disorders.

According to David Rubinow, M.D., chairman of UNC’s department of psychiatry, Sullivan is also “an unusually talented statistical geneticist.  His rigor, creativity, perspicacity, and perspicuity make him a frequently sought collaborator and teacher. Through his efforts and insights, the promise of identifying meaningful genetic contributions to the susceptibility to mood disorders is likely to be fulfilled,” Rubinow said.

The endowed chair in mood disorders, with an emphasis on women’s mood disorders, was established to honor Hayworth, a psychiatrist who graduated from Carolina and the UNC School of Medicine. Hayworth completed a psychiatric residency at the University of Tennessee after serving for three years as a naval flight surgeon. He remained in Tennessee where ultimately he entered private practice, which he continued until his retirement in l993. He has established several endowed funds in the UNC School of Medicine, including the Hayworth Residency Enhancement Fund in Psychiatry, the Rosengarten Loyalty Fund Scholarship, and the Hayworth Medical Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professorship.

NC Institute for Public Health contact: Bev Holt, (919) 966-6274,
School of Public Health contact: Ramona DuBose, (919) 966-7467,
School of Social Work contact: Krystie Grubb, (919) 962-6540,
School of Medicine contact: Stephanie Crayton, (919) 966-2860,