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Alumna Alecia Smith honored with statewide public health award

Alumna Alecia Smith (’19 Ph.D.) has been honored by the N.C. Association of Government Information Officers with its Ernie Seneca Award for Excellence in Public Service.

Smith, who works at the Durham County Public Health Department, was recognized for her work providing the public an effective communications program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith was credited with demonstrating strong leadership, work ethic and problem solving as the pandemic began to affect North Carolina. Using community outreach, cross-department coordination and creative problem solving, she led Durham County’s Public Health Department in engaging, informative communication about the pandemic that likely saved lives, NCAGIO said in a news release.

The Ernie Seneca Award was created by NCAGIO to honor Ernie Seneca, who spent many years working in North Carolina government public information and communications offices. Seneca also was an active member of the NCAGIO for many years and served as the organization’s president in 1997. He died in 2012 after a two-year battle with cancer.

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By Michael Hobbs