Social Work Assistant Professor Wins Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award

June 16, 2022 - Dr. Josalin Hunter, assistant professor in the School of Social Work, has won the UNCW Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Award, Junior Scholar.

Josalin HunterThe Distinguished Scholarly Engagement and Public Service Awards recognize excellence in addressing crucial local, regional, national or global issues through collaborative scholarly activity directed towards persons and groups outside UNCW. This activity engages aspects of the public and private sectors with faculty to improve the community in areas such as cultural arts, economic development, education, health, social services and sustainability.

The junior award highlights an individual with promising accomplishments in various aspects of scholarly engagement and public service at undergraduate and graduate levels across the university, including research, artistic, or humanistic efforts and activities related to engagement and publicly recognized as significantly improving the lives of people in the community; grants awarded and applied for related to engagement and collaborative efforts with the community resulting in recognized benefits for the public good.

School of Social Work Director Stacey Kolomer says of Dr. Hunter’s accomplishments, “Where Dr. Hunter has really shined is her commitment and passion for mentorship, particularly mentoring underrepresented students. She has successfully and efficiently integrated mentoring students into her research, teaching, and service. She led the development and implementation of the Interdisciplinary Minority Student Research Group. Dr. Hunter’s vision and leadership have helped keep this project moving forward and become a point of pride for the university.”

The Interdisciplinary Minority Student Research Group aims to provide research mentorship to undergraduate and graduate minority students, including those who identify as racial/ethnic minorities, ​first-generation college students, ​LGBTQIA+, ​students with disabilities and/or ​military veterans, as well as engaging these students in faculty-mentored research initiatives.

Hunter will be formally recognized at UNCW's annual Community Engagement awards ceremony in the fall.

Hunter joined the School of Social Work as an assistant professor in 2018. She has education and experience in social work and public health. Her primary research interests include mental/behavioral health and HIV/AIDS among racial/ethnic and sexual minority groups, and broadly, the intersection of social justice and health.