UNCW Education Professor Janna Robertson Wins YWCA Women of Achievement Award

Friday, May 05, 2017

Watson College of Education professor Janna Robertson received a YWCA Women of Achievement Award in a May 4 ceremony at the Wilmington Convention Center. Robertson earned the award in the Arts category for her community campaign to transform a bare concrete wall on the city’s Northside into a whimsical “Forest of Dreams.”

“Janna’s passion for engaging the community in ways that energize and inform her love of teaching is inspirational,” said WCE Dean Van Dempsey. “She has a talent for bringing together diverse groups of people to work on a shared goal, and UNCW is fortunate to have her on the faculty.”

Imaginative characters populate the colorful mural that fills a wall across from the after-school arts program Dreams of Wilmington.

Robertson involved UNCW undergraduate and graduate researchers to make the project a learning experience as well as a community event. She solicited 76 organizations, including schools, churches, nonprofits, businesses and individual volunteers to sponsor a creature of their own design. More than 600 volunteer painters helped bring the forest to life.

Other nominees from UNCW were Candace Ashton-Forrester, professor and coordinator of recreational therapy in the School of Health and Applied Human Sciences; diversity and inclusion specialist Kimberly McLaughlin-Smith of the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion; and senior communication studies major Rebecca Fernandez ’17.

-- Tricia Vance



Volunteers of all ages helped create the "Forest of Dreams" on a concrete wall
on Wilmington's Northside.