Dean Steve Matson presents the 2018 Boka W. Hadzija Award for Distinguished University Service to Sallie Nowell.
Dean Steve Matson presents the 2018 Boka W. Hadzija Award for Distinguished University Service to Sallie Nowell.

Sallie Nowell, a doctoral student in the School of Medicine’s Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, has received the 2018 Boka W. Hadzija Award for Distinguished University Service by a Graduate or Professional Student.

The award recognizes a graduate or professional student with outstanding character, scholarship, leadership and service to UNC-Chapel Hill. The Graduate School presented the award to Nowell at the 20th Annual Graduate Student Recognition Celebration, held April 5. Nowell and other students were recognized for their outstanding leadership at the Chancellor’s Awards Ceremony on April 24.

Nowell has co-directed undergraduate courses and served as a teaching assistant for graduate courses. She organized an interdisciplinary group of doctoral students to write an APPLES Service-Learning grant proposal, through the Carolina Center for Public Service (CCPS), to develop an undergraduate course on autism spectrum disorder. The grant was approved, and Nowell reached out to local autism service-oriented programs, a nominator said, to ensure that students taking the course gained a valuable service-learning experience and that the organizations received support they needed.

“Not only was the experience highly rated by both students and sites, but the waiting list for the second offering of the course was almost 100 students beyond those admitted,” the nomination letter said.

The CCPS also named Nowell a 2017 Community Engagement Fellow for her study on the efficacy of a TEACCH Autism Program intervention focused on North Carolina children. A nomination letter noted that Nowell asked TEACCH staff to present with her at a national conference. She saw her study as a partnership, the letter said, adding that “This is just another example of Sallie’s many efforts to accomplish multiple goals that always include service to others.”

Nowell received both her master’s degree in speech and hearing sciences and her bachelor’s degrees in communication studies and psychology from UNC-Chapel Hill. Between her master’s degree and the start of her doctoral studies, she completed a Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities clinical fellowship and worked as an assistant professor of speech language pathology at the Oregon Health and Science University Institute on Development and Disability.

Nowell has presented at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association convention, the International Meeting for Autism Research and the UNC Women in Science Symposium, among other organizations.

In presenting the Boka W. Hadzija Award to Nowell, Steve Matson, dean of The Graduate School, said, “It has been noted that Sallie’s outstanding contributions to our campus and beyond – as a researcher, teacher, public servant, mentor and community member – demonstrate the full potential of what graduate students can be.”

Linda Watson, a professor in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, is Nowell’s doctoral adviser.

Boka W. Hadzija was an award-winning professor in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy; she established the award in 2000 in honor of her students. Hadzija, who died in 2013, is remembered by students and faculty for her strong mentorship, her generous support of students and her outstanding leadership.

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