CHHS Leadership Team

Charles Jeffrey Hardy, Ph.D. M.S. Dean, CHHS
Kathy D. Browder, Ph.D., M.S. Associate Dean, CHHS
Justine J. Reel, Ph.D., LCMHC, CC-AASP, Associate Dean of Research and Innovation, CHHS

Christopher Lantz, Ed.D., M.A. Director, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences
Lori Messinger, Ph.D. M.A., M.S.W. Director, School of Social Work
Nathaniel Miner Director, Office of Resource Management, CHHS
Deborah Pollard Ph.D, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CNE, IBCLC, RLC Interim Director, School of Nursing
Stephanie D. Smith Ph.D., R.N., Director, Office of Community Engagement and Impact, CHHS
Mark Werbeach M.S. Director, Office of Student Success, CHHS

Charles HardyCharles Jeffrey Hardy, Ph.D. M.S.
Founding Dean,
College of Health and Human Services

Dr. Hardy is the Founding Dean of the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW). He also serves as a tenured Professor in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. Prior to coming to UNCW, Professor Hardy served as Professor and Founding Dean of the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health (JPHCOPH) at Georgia Southern University from 2006-2011. Under his leadership, the JPHCOPH developed into a sustainable college of public health that was accredited by the Council on Education for Public Health (CEPH) June 2011. During his tenure at Georgia Southern, he also served as the Dean of the Jack N. Averitt College of Graduate Studies from 2002-2005, Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Sciences during 2001-2002 and as the Chair of the Department of Health & Kinesiology from 1994-2001.

Professor Hardy began his academic career at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science from 1983-1994. In the Spring of 1992, Dr. Hardy was a Visiting Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia .He received his Ph.D. from Louisiana State University in Kinesiology/Psychology and was a post doctoral research fellow in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also holds a M.S. from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville in Exercise Science and a B.S. from East Carolina University in Health and Physical Education.

His doctoral dissertation was selected as the Most Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation by both Phi Delta Kappa, Louisiana State University, and the Sport Psychology Academy of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. His research focuses on the role of social influence processes in health and human performance. He has published and presented his research and work at regional, national, and international outlets. In the summer of 1988 he was a scientist at the Olympic Training Center at Colorado Springs, Colorado.

His professional affiliations have included Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Fraternity, American Psychological Association, the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, the Georgia Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance, the American Public Health Association, the Georgia Public Health Association, the North Carolina Public Health Association and the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology.

He is a Fellow in the Research Consortium of the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance and in the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. Dr. Hardy has served as the President, Publications/ Membership Director and Chair of the Continuing Education Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Applied Sport Psychology. He has served as a reviewer for the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, the Journal of Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and has been a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology, The Sport Psychologist, and The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology. He has served as the editor of the Sport Psychologist's Digest of The Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology and as the editor of the psychology section of Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport.

In 1989 he received the Edgar W. Hooks Jr. Young Professional Award from the North Carolina Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance and in 2009 he received the Distinguished Educator/Researcher of the year award from the Georgia Rural Health Association. In 2010 he was selected by Governor Perdue to serve as a member of the Advisory Council for Public Health in Georgia. Currently he serves on the Board of Directors for Cape Fear HealthNet, New Hanover County Community Health Center, Elderhaus, Inc., and the United Way of the Cape Fear Area.  In the Spring of 1992, Dr. Hardy was a Visiting Principal Fellow at the University of Wollongong, Australia. Charlie enjoys spending time with his family, participating in sports/exercise, listening to music, reading, kayaking and boating, travel and the coastal lifestyle.

Dr. Kathy BrowderKathy Browder, Ph.D., M.S.
Professor and Associate Dean, College of Health and Human Services


Dr. Kathy Browder is the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington effective July 1, 2012. She has been a faculty member in Kinesiology in higher education for more than 20 years. Prior to coming to UNCW, Dr. Browder served as Department Chair for the Department of Movement Sciences at the University of Idaho from 2005 to 2012. During her tenure at the University of Idaho, she also served as Acting Associate Dean of the College of Education from 2009 to 2011. In 2007, Dr. Browder was selected to attend the Management Development Program at Harvard University. Dr. Browder earned her Ph.D. in Kinesiology from Texas Woman’s University, specializing in Biomechanics. She also holds a Master’s of Science in Physical Education, with a specialization in Exercise Physiology, from the University of Tennessee, and a Bachelors of Arts in Adult Fitness from Furman University. Dr. Browder has actively published and presented in her research focus on neuromechanics of injury etiology and prevention and on understanding how mechanics impacts fitness and health gains from physical activity.

In her career Dr. Browder has facilitated a number of innovative curriculum proposals, including the development of an advanced clinical doctorate in athletic training, the first in the country. She has been active at the state level, coordinating efforts to increase awareness and funding related to health and physical activity for the state of Idaho and working closely with the Idaho Departments of Education and Health and Welfare. She served on the Steering Committee that developed Idaho Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) Statewide Plan. Her professional affiliations include the American Public Health Association, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance



Justine ReelJustine J. Reel, Ph.D., LCMHC, CC-AASP
Professor and Associate Dean of Research and Innovation
College of Health and Human Services


Dr. Reel is the Associate Dean of Research and Innovation of the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She also serves as a tenured professor in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences. Prior to coming to UNCW, Dr. Reel served as a faculty member at the University of Utah from 2001-2014. Her most recent position at the University of Utah was as an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies for the Department of Health Promotion and Education and the chair of the College of Health research committee. While at the University of Utah she received several prestigious honors including the Distinguished Mentor Award, the New Investigator Award, the University Teaching Award, and the Public Service Professorship. She founded the Students Promoting Eating Disorder Awareness and Knowledge (SPEAK) organization to promote positive body image and health among diverse populations. To this end, Dr. Reel was named a 2013 Beacon of Excellence by the University of Utah. She is a Fellow for the Research Consortium of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) association (formerly the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance). Moreover, she was selected to be a Fellow for the Physical Activity and Public Health course delivered by the University of South Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Dr. Reel received a Summer Professorship in the Department of Nutrition at Pepperdine University to conduct research and teach.

Dr. Reel has treated eating disorders clients as a mental health provider and exercise specialist across all levels of care including inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient settings. She developed an exercise education program to address dysfunctional exercise patterns within eating disorder patients. With the support of foundation funding she continues to investigate ways to assess intuitive exercise in clinical populations. Dr. Reel has published the following books: Hidden Faces of Eating Disorders and Body Image, Eating Disorders: An Encyclopedia of Causes, Treatment, and Prevention, and The Female Athlete Triad along with over 70 manuscripts and book chapters about eating disorders, obesity and other health-related topics. She currently serves on the editorial board for several scientific journals including Women in Physical Activity and Sport, Sport Psychology in Action, Eating Disorders: Treatment and Prevention, Journal of Clinical Sport Psychology, and Sport, Exercise, and Performance Psychology. She was the founding board member and Vice President for the Utah Chapter of International Association for Eating Disorders Professionals (IAEDP) as well as the Professional Standards Division Head for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP). She served on the executive board for the National Association for Women in Sport as the Vice President of Publications and was elected as President-Elect for the Health Education Association of Utah.

Prior to 2001 she served as a faculty member at West Chester University, Temple University, and Salem College (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). Dr. Reel completed her doctoral work at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Exercise and Sport Science. She also received M.S. degrees in Exercise and Sport Science and Counselor Education from UNCG. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from North Carolina State University.

Chris Lantz Christopher Lantz, Ed.D., M.A.
Professor and Director, School of Health and Applied Human Sciences

Dr. Chris Lantz is the Director for the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences at the University of North Carolina Wilmington starting July 1, 2012. Prior to coming to UNCW, Dr. Lantz was a tenured Professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Sciences at Truman State University (Kirksville, MO), where he served as the Department’s chair from 2002- 2012. In that capacity, he led a program in Exercise Science and accredited programs in Health Science and Athletic Training. He also led the department to successful completion of its first capital campaign and partnered with the Truman Institute to develop the Center for Health Initiatives and Programming. Prior to beginning a career in higher education, Lantz served as the founding director of a hospital-based community wellness center.  

Dr. Lantz earned his EdD in Sport Behavior from West Virginia University. He also holds a Masters of Arts in Sport Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College.  Dr. Lantz has received several teaching and leadership awards including the Robert M. Taylor Professional Service and the Scholar of the Year awards from the Missouri Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MOAHPERD). He also served as the Association’s President and chaired its Research Section for 9 years. Dr. Lantz has served on a variety of boards and committees with the Association of Applied Sport Psychology, Council for Undergraduate Research, Phi Lambda Phi National Fraternity, and the West Virginia University College of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences.

Lori MessingerLori Messinger, Ph.D., M.A., M.S.W.
Professor and Director, School of Social Work

Dr. Lori Messinger is the Director of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina Wilmington, arriving at UNCW on July 18, 2011. She came to Wilmington from the University of Kansas (KU) School of Social Welfare, where she was an Associate Professor and served as the BSW Program Director from 2004-2010. Prior to joining KU, she was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at the University of Alabama and North Carolina State University. Dr. Messinger received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Douglass College, a Master of Arts degree in Political Science from Rutgers University, and a Master of Social Work degree and a PhD in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  

Dr. Messinger's primary areas of research include social work practice with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) populations; comprehensive community planning processes; cultural competence in social work education and practice; and organizational change processes, especially in higher education institutions. She has published widely in social work, social psychology, and higher education journals. Among her many publications, she co-authored a textbook and a casebook with Dr. Deana Morrow on practice with LGBT populations with Columbia University Press, and she edited a collection of LGBT-focused teaching modules.  She has conducted funded research with the American Association of University Professors (AAUP), Lambda Legal, the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE), and the North American Case Research Association.  

Dr. Messinger was the recipient of the 2006 Distinguished Contemporary Contributions in Undergraduate Social Work Award from the Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD), along with several school and university teaching awards. She has served on boards, councils, and committees with the Council on Social Work Education, the Association of Baccalaureate Program Directors, and the North Carolina Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Nate MinerNathaniel Miner
Director, Office of Resource Management, CHHS

Nate Miner is the Director of the Office of Resource Management for the College of Health and Human Services.  Nate has 6 years of experience in fiscal and business management at UNCW.  He provides leadership for the Business Core Service Team within the College, and facilitates the resource allocation process to ensure alignment of resources to CHHS strategic priorities.  Before joining the College, he served as the Assistant Director for Business Operations within the Office of Housing and Residence Life at UNCW, and as a public school teacher prior to that.  He received a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from UNCW, and is currently working toward a Master of Science in Mathematics. 

Debbie PollardDeborah Pollard, Ph.D., RNC-OB, C-EFM, CNE, IBCLC, RLC
Interim Director, School of Nursing

Dr. Deborah Pollard is the Interim Director of the School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  Dr. Pollard has over 30 years of nurse educator experience, 6 years in diploma education and 24 years in baccalaureate and graduate education programs. Dr. Pollard has served on faculty at UNCW since 2004 and has held administrative positions as the PreLicensure Program Coordinator, Assistant Department Chair, and Associate Director. Before coming to UNCW, Dr. Pollard taught for 14 years at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, WV, where she served as an associate professor and chair of the university IRB committee.

Dr. Pollard received a diploma in nursing from the Ohio Valley General Hospital School of Nursing in West Virginia, a BSN from West Liberty University, an MSN from West Virginia University, and a PhD in nursing from the University of Pittsburgh.  She holds certifications in inpatient obstetrics, fetal monitoring, lactation, neonatal resuscitation, and nursing education. Dr. Pollard serves as Chair of the Nurses’ Day Celebration Committee, Treasurer of the Nu Omega Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International; Treasurer for the Tri-County Breastfeeding Coalition; and has been a program reviewer for national accreditation.  She serves as a grant reviewer for NC March of Dimes and serves as an item-writer for the international lactation consultant exam committee. Dr. Pollard completed the BRIDGES: Academic Leadership for Women professional development program in 2010.

Dr. Pollard’s program of research is an expansion of her dissertation work related to interventions promoting breastfeeding duration and exclusivity.  Additional research interests are focused on postpartum depression and the role of self-efficacy in breastfeeding duration in term and preterm infants.  In the past 10 years, she has mentored over 16 honors research and over 8 graduate research projects in nursing and psychology fields, resulting in numerous peer-reviewed publications.  Her primary teaching areas have been maternal-child nursing, nursing research and theory, evidence-based practice, pathophysiology, and nurse educator graduate courses.  She was named ‘Faculty of the Year’ for the School of Nursing in 2007 and 2009, and received the Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award in 2013.


Stephanie SmithStephanie D. Smith, Ph.D., R.N.,
Director, Office of Community Engagement & Impact, CHHS
Lecturer, School of Nursing

Dr. Smith is the Director of the Office of Community Engagement and Impact in the College of Health and Human Services at the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW).  She also serves as a lecturer in the School of Nursing and the Masters in Public Administration Program. 

Prior to coming to UNCW, Dr. Smith served twenty years in the United States Air Force.  She has extensive experience in healthcare settings (inpatient, outpatient, and community), project management, and leadership in a variety of intra- and inter-organizational environments.

Dr. Smith earned her Ph.D. from Auburn University in Public Administration and Policy.  Her research focused on collective leadership in public sector collaboratives.  Dr. Smith also holds a Masters in Public Administration, Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and Healthcare Administration and Policy; and Bachelor of Science degrees in Nursing and Social Work.  Her research interests include leadership, health and social service systems, indicators of community well-being, and organization and program evaluation, performance measurement, and accountability.


Mark WerbeachMark Werbeach M.S.

Director, Office of Student Success,
College of Health and Human Services

Mark Werbeach is the Director of the Office of Student Success for the College of Health and Human Services. Mark has over 10 years of experience in university student and academic affairs. He provides leadership and direction to the Office of Student Success. Previously, he served as a Career Counselor at UNCW. Mark has always had a strong interest in helping other people reach their goals. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Kent State University in Ohio. He then went on to obtain a Master of Science in Counselor Education from Radford University in Virginia. Outside of work, Mark enjoys playing competitive volleyball, cornhole, and kitesurfing on sunny days.

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