A message from University leadership: Carolina Women’s Center update

In a message to campus, Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz and Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer Leah Cox announced Dr. Shauna Harris as the new director of the Carolina Women's Center.

A portrait of a woman named Shauna Harris and white graphic text on top of Navy Blue background reading
Dr. Shauna Harris, assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Education, will become the Carolina Women's Center's new director on Jan. 2.

Dear Carolina Community,

We are writing to share some important updates about the Carolina Women’s Center, including new leadership and a move to 215 W. Cameron Ave. For more than 25 years, the center has served as a supportive hub to address gender-related issues for students, faculty and staff, and we are delighted to bring fresh energy to this space.

Leading the way is Dr. Shauna Harris, the center’s new director, beginning Jan. 2. Harris is currently assistant dean for student affairs in the School of Education and has worked in higher education and student affairs for more than 15 years. She has served in numerous areas, including housing and residence life, women’s leadership initiatives, student leadership and engagement, advising, and student recruitment and retention.

Harris’ scholarship focuses on identity development in biracial women, mid-management supervision and student engagement on campus. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Clemson University, a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs from the University of South Carolina and a doctorate in counseling and student personnel services from the University of Georgia.

Additionally, Shelley Kennedy, a violence prevention coordinator in Student Affairs and adjunct faculty member in the women’s and gender studies department in the College of Arts and Sciences, has been appointed the center’s assistant director.

Under these leaders, the center looks to enhance its engagement with the community, including fostering closer collaboration with students, faculty and staff and providing internship and work opportunities. This vision was largely informed by the findings of a pan-campus study led by School of Law Professor Beth Posner during the 2022-2023 academic year. We are grateful to Beth and her team for their thorough work and providing recommendations about the center’s future. We are also excited to see the center build upon the work of and report to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to better support their collaborative efforts.

Through a variety of programs and services, the Carolina Women’s Center strives to empower individuals, raise awareness about gender-related issues and contribute to the creation of an equitable campus culture that values individual’s lived experiences. Harris’ and Kennedy’s passion for this work makes them ideal leaders. Please join us in congratulating them on these roles, which will help to build our community together and ensure that Carolina remains a place that all Tar Heels are proud to call home.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz

Leah Cox
Vice Provost for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer