|Cecil G. Sheps visiting scholar fund to bring social justice experts to UNC|
|March 02, 2004|
CHAPEL HILL -- Four experts in health policy, city and regional planning, the law and human rights, and violence and reconciliation will visit the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill this month, as a part of the Cecil G. Sheps Visiting Scholar in Social Justice Fund.
Dr. Cecil G. Sheps, who died Feb. 8 at age 90, was founding director of UNC's Health Services Research Center, later renamed the Cecil G. Sheps Health Services Research Center in honor of Sheps' pioneering work within health policy advocacy.
"Dr. Sheps was a brilliant researcher in health-care policy, and he helped establish universities as important participants in the national conversation on health care," said Dr. Bernadette Gray-Little, executive associate provost at UNC.
"An important part of his legacy is his advocacy that equality in health-care opportunity is linked to social justice. The purpose of the Cecil G. Sheps Visiting Scholar in Social Justice Fund is to bring distinguished scholars to campus - representing education, health services, housing, employment and other areas - to illuminate the need for social justice. Our students, and the people they will help throughout their careers, will benefit from sharing in this experience."
Following are the scholars scheduled to visit campus, along with the academic units hosting their visits:
7 Dr. Jack P. Shonkoff, dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, is hosted by the UNC School of Medicine's Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning. He will visit campus today (March 2) through March 4.
7 Dr. John Forester, city and regional planning professor at Cornell University, is hosted by the UNC College of Arts and Sciences' department of city and regional planning. He will visit campus March 22 through 25.
7 Dr. Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, professor of law at Emory University and former director of Human Rights Watch for Africa, is hosted by the UNC College of Arts and Sciences' department of sociology. He will visit campus March 26 through 31.
7 Graeme Simpson, executive director of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in South Africa, is hosted by the UNC School of Medicine's department of social medicine, the UNC School of Law and the UNC School of Public Health's department of health behavior and health education. He will visit campus March 29 through 31.
While visiting UNC, the scholars will attend classes and forums and meet with faculty, staff and students in their fields of research and work.
Shonkoff is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician whose primary research interests focus on early childhood policy, particularly in relation to vulnerable children and families. He is the author or editor of nine books and more than 120 papers and abstracts. Shonkoff also is the Samuel F. and Rose B. Gingold professor of human development at Brandeis.
During his visit, Shonkoff will meet with pediatric residents and faculty, and faculty, staff and students from the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning, the schools of public health and education, the Institute of Government and the FPG Child Development Institute.
Forester has taught at Cornell since 1978, recently completing a three-year term as chair of the city and regional planning department. He has written several books on planning and has spent the last decade collecting practice-focused oral histories and profiles of practitioners nationwide and abroad.
During his visit, Forester will discuss micro-politics, ethics and mediating strategies of planning practice as a guest lecturer in several planning classes, a participant in a forum with local mediation professionals and at a brown bag lunch with students, faculty and staff. He also will give a public lecture at 5 p.m. March 24 titled "Planning in the Face of Conflict: Ethics, Mediation and Public Participation" in the Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence's Kresge Foundation Conference Room.
An-Na'im's research interests include constitutionalism in Islamic and African countries, and Islam and politics. An-Na'im is the author or editor of several books and numerous articles on human rights, constitutionalism, Islamic law and politics.
During his visit, An-Na'im will attend classes and meet with faculty and students in various academic areas including sociology, religious studies, social and economic justice, law, and African and Afro-American studies. He also will give a public lecture at noon March 31 titled "Mediating Competing Visions of Justice in Islamic Societies in the 21st Century: The Future of Shari'a Between State and Society" in 151 Hamilton Hall.
Simpson's work has focused on strategies for building sustainable peace, reconciliation, for post-conflict reconstruction in societies emerging from conflict. He has consulted widely with governments and non-governmental organizations in many countries on issues related to transitional justice. He is the co-author of "Commissioning the Past: Understanding South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission."
Simpson's visit will include meetings with faculty, staff and students at the schools of public health, law and medicine. He will give a public lecture at noon March 29 at the School of Public Health and another public lecture at noon March 30 at the School of Law.
The Cecil G. Sheps Visiting Scholar in Social Justice Fund is an endowment created with a gift from Sheps.
Sheps broke new ground in the fields of health planning and health services research during the 1940s and 1950s. Born in Winnipeg, Canada, Sheps received a medical degree from the University of Manitoba in 1936. After working as a general practitioner for four years, he joined the Department of Public Health of the Province of Saskatchewan and helped create a universal health-care system that would serve as a model for Canada's national system.
He earned a master's degree in public health from Yale University and taught at Harvard Medical School, the University of Pittsburgh School of Public Health and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Sheps published more than 140 articles in scientific journals and wrote or edited nine books in his career.
Sheps first came to UNC in 1947 as the director of program planning in the division of health affairs and a research professor in health planning. Six years later, he left Chapel Hill, only to return again in 1968 to become the founding director of UNC's Health Services Research Center. The center, renamed the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research in 1991, is one of the oldest and largest health services research centers nationwide.
Sheps was vice chancellor for health affairs for six years and then returned to teaching as a professor of social medicine and epidemiology. He was named Taylor Grandy distinguished professor in 1980.
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This news release was researched and written by Jena Wittkamp for University News Services. Wittkamp, of Raleigh, is a December 2003 UNC graduate, with degrees in women's studies and journalism and mass communication.
News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or email@example.com