Achievers & Accolades

Sabrina Cherry Earns 2020 Franklin H. Williams Award

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jan 12, 2021
Sabrina Cherry
Sabrina Cherry, University of North Carolina Wilmington assistant professor of public health, was honored with the 2020 Franklin H. Williams Award, according to a news release.

Cherry, who has nearly 20 years of experience in public health, is one of six recipients of the award, officials said in the release.

The Franklin H. Williams Award "recognizes ethnically diverse returned Peace Corps volunteers who demonstrate a lifelong commitment to civic engagement, service, diversity, inclusion and world peace to the Peace Corps' Third Goal of promoting a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans," stated the release.

Cherry started her service as a Peace Corps volunteer in Gambia, West Africa. 

"As a public health practitioner, Cherry collaborated on community health needs assessments for the Greater Atlanta affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and two rural Georgia hospitals; provided technical assistance to faith-based mini-grant recipients in Southwest Georgia; and worked on a food insecurity and medication-adherence pilot study for persons living with HIV/AIDS," stated the release.

Cherry joined the public health faculty at UNCW's College of Health and Human Services in 2017.

“Peace Corps remains the gift that keeps giving,” Cherry said in the release. “At UNCW, I use my experience as a volunteer to encourage students to travel—if even domestically, study abroad, pursue nontraditional routes of post graduate education and training and learn about other cultures. Receiving this award 20 years after I submitted my Peace Corps application is an honor and a reminder of the work we get to do in fulfilling the third goal of the U.S. Peace Corps: to help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans. What a timely reminder to recommit to the understanding of other people.”

Cherry earned a master's degree in public health from the University of South Carolina, a master's degree in theological studies from Emory University and a doctorate degree in public health, as well as a certificate in interdisciplinary qualitative research, from the University of Georgia.

Cherry is "... an inspiration and role model to our students who have seen how she is able to infuse her Peace Corp experiences into her teaching, scholarship and community engaged service work. She is very deserving of this award and we are extremely proud of her,” College of Health and Human Services Dean Charlie Hardy said in the release. “Dr. Cherry is truly a public service hero.”
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