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Faculty & Staff Honors

Faculty & Staff Honors

UNC Professor Named to RTI International’s Class of University Scholars

Dr. Ilene Speizer, research professor of maternal and child health at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and faculty fellow at UNC’s Carolina Population Center, is one of six scholars selected to spend up to one academic year at RTI International, working on strategic research projects.


[Photo: Dr. Ilene Speizer]

The RTI University Scholars Program supports highly talented academics who take scholarly leave from their home institutions to collaborate with RTI researchers.

Dr. Speizer will work with Dr. Wendee Wechsberg, director of the RTI Global Gender Center. Drs. Speizer and Wechsberg share research interests in violence prevention, substance use, couples research, sexual risk, and HIV prevention. They plan to pursue a National Institutes of Health grant for health interventions for young women who engage in transactional sex in Pretoria, South Africa.

“I feel honored to be part of this esteemed cohort of RTI University Scholars,” Dr. Speizer said. “This is a real opportunity for me to build new collaborations and expand into interesting and diverse areas with colleagues at RTI.”

RTI began hosting University Scholars in the 2014-2015 academic year. Two scholars participated the first year; last year, there were seven.

“The University Scholars Program is an asset to RTI,” said Dr. Don Bailey, an RTI Distinguished Fellow and early childhood development researcher. “By inviting talented researchers to work with us, we create new opportunities for both RTI and the many outstanding academic institutions in our area.”

Dr. Brian Southwell, director of the Science in the Public Sphere Program in RTI’s Center for Communication Science, will be engaged in one of the collaborative projects in the RTI Scholars program. Dr. Southwell is an adjunct associate professor of health behavior at the Gillings School.