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Shauna Harris wins 2021 Overton Leadership Award

Shauna Harris

Shauna Harris, Ph.D., the School of Education’s assistant dean for student affairs, has been named the winner of the Employee Forum’s 2021 Overton Leadership Award.

The award is given annually by the Employee Forum, which represents non-faculty UNC-Chapel Hill employees, to recognize individuals who lead their units and the University through involvement in staff issues, committee work, teamwork and professional development of peers, doing so in ways that inspire and involve others, while working to ensure their impact is long-lasting.

The award was given during a ceremony on Wednesday (June 9).

Harris joined the School of Education as assistant dean in the fall of 2020. Since joining the School, she has worked to streamline internal processes and procedures, seeking to enhance the efficiency of the Office of Student Affairs.

Harris was nominated by Patricia Harris, the School of Education’s director of recruitment.

“Dr. Shauna Harris exhibits a level of commitment and dedication to developing the potential of faculty, staff, and students by practicing, modeling and teaching through methods that create a sense of belonging for all, and that demonstrate student-centered advocacy as values that are core to her role as a campus leader,” Patricia Harris said in her nomination.

“Shauna is exceptional in the care and support that she provides to faculty, staff, and students and the collaboration she fosters among campus partners, making her an integral and outstanding advocate on behalf of members of the Carolina community,” Patricia Harris said in the nomination. “Her work has been consistently characterized by compassion, calm pragmatism, creative problem solving, quiet leadership, patience, vision, devotion and a willingness to sacrifice for others.”

She continues to be active in the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and serves on the N.C. NASPA State Board as the chair of the Professional Development Committee.

The Overton Leadership Award honors the memory of School of Education alumna Jackie Overton, who earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1985 before earning a Master’s in Education in School Counseling in 1989. She was a longtime employee at UNC’s Department of Public Safety and served as chair of the Employee Forum from 2010 to 2013. She died in 2017.

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By Michael Hobbs