Although recognizing and celebrating the work of African-American and other underrepresented minorities should be an ongoing process, African-American Cultural Heritage month provides us with a particular opportunity to do so. Therefore, the Department of Health Sciences is highlighting the contributions of diverse (defined broadly) faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Please take some time to become familiar with the contributions of those featured below, and check back to see new featured staff, faculty/instructors, students, and alumni!
Occupational Science PhD Student
Sharon W. Williams, PhD, CCC-A
Director of the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences
Williams is the first Black division director for the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences. Williams’ scholarship in the area of family caregivers of relatives with chronic disabling conditions has made an important contribution to the field, and she serves in the role of division director as a deep listener, while also challenging our faculty in a variety of ways.
Student Services Specialist
Kayla is recognized for her tremendous contribution to the Division of Clinical Laboratory Science as they implemented a new track in their master’s degree program. She worked with the division’s faculty members to develop a method of tracking students’ progress and has helped students with multiple admissions and registration issues.
Speech and Hearing Sciences PhD Student
Ranita is committed to research addressing equitable access to services (including in her ongoing dissertation research), and serves as an advocate in the community as well. For instance, she has completed training to become a certified marketplace navigator during her time in the PhD program, assisting people in finding health care coverage under the ACA, and completed training to advocate for children in the legal system as a guardian ad litem. She became an SLP consultant to the Color of Autism Foundation last year, and also serves as an Outdoor Afro Leader, receiving a scholarship from Environmental Educators of NC in 2020.
Alma Taylor ’03
Division of Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling Alumna
Alma graduated from the program in 2003 and is currently the Central Regional Director for the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Independent Living where she oversees all Program and Education/Training components in the Central Region. She was also president of the North Carolina Rehabilitation Association in 2018 and is diligently working to increase compensation rates for our state vocational rehabilitation counselors.
Assistant Director for Scholarships and Student Aid