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Michelle Song, Associate Director of Data Science & Analytics for Abacus Evaluation with CHER, is an excellent professional. That’s what the UNC Employee Forum says and we couldn’t agree more. 

Song was recently announced as a 2023 recipient of a UNC Employee Forum Peer Recognition Award for Professional Excellence. 

“We were very excited to hear the news,” says Marlena Kuhn, who nominated Song with a teammate, Valerie Lucas. Kuhn calls the award “well deserved” and says “the outpouring of respect and enthusiasm Michelle received after the Abacus announcement speaks to how much she is loved and appreciated.” 

Gaurav ‘G’ Dave is a CHER co-director and Director of Abacus Evaluation, where he supervises Song. He echoes Kuhn and “wholeheartedly congratulates” Song. 

“Michelle is a fantastic colleague. She is dedicated, hard-working and cares deeply about the welfare of her teammates. Michelle undoubtedly deserves this award and the recognition,” says Dave. 

There’s a lot to appreciate about working with Song.  

Throughout the award nomination, what comes through is the balance Song brings to her role. She has vision and welcomes feedback. She embraces change and ensures it has meaning. She mentors and supports colleagues, even if their next step takes them away from Abacus and CHER. 

These qualities make it clear why the Employee Forum chose Song for a professional excellence award. The award recognizes “exceptional execution above and beyond assigned duties, supportive interactions within [a] department and between campus departments, and exemplary interaction with the outside community.” 

Bringing a team together and keeping them together is part of what makes working with Song so rewarding. People enjoy working with her, so her team has little turnover. Kuhn and Lucas’s nomination attributes that to Song’s ability to make “people feel that their work is valued.” It’s also clear that the culture she nurtures isn’t just about valuing work – it’s about valuing people. 

Song shares her abilities beyond Abacus and CHER.  

In her evaluation work, Song works with teammates at the Duke Clinical Research Institute (DCRI). Together, they improve data policies, use and analysis for teams at both institutions. Song’s professional excellence makes a positive impact on a lot of people. 

In CHER, we know Michelle Song is going above and beyond. With this award, all of UNC has the chance to see how lucky we are to work with her.