CONGRATULATIONS to the Minority Student Caucus on the 50th anniversary of its founding!
Annual Minority Health Conference and William T. Small Jr. Keynote Lecture
About William T. Small, Jr.
MSC @ Student Affairs website
More history of the Caucus and Conference, in video
Minority Student Caucus Alumni Network
Vic sends ~monthly updates to MSC alumni; send me an email if you'd like to receive the updates.
The Minority Student Caucus was founded in 1971 by a group of African American students
who gathered at John Hatch's house. They were troubled by the lack of attention to
health disparities (then referred to as minority health), the lack of support for Black students,
the near total absence of Blacks on the faculty, and the low representation of ethnic minorities
among the students. The Caucus was intended as a vehicle for bringing their concerns to
the attention of the School's Administration and for working to attract more Black students to the School.
Initially called the Black Student Caucus, in the late 1970s the Caucus changed its name to the Minority Student Caucus and welcomed American Indian, Asian American, and Latino students.
Some of the history has been recounted in multiple interviews and presentations with some of the key participants, including MSC founders John Hatch and Anita Holmes (who presented the history of the founding of the Caucus at the 2021 Annual Minority Health Conference), past presidents Bill Jenkins and Victoria Motley Washington, and other prominent leaders, such as Geni Eng and David McCoy.
The Caucus founded its annual Minority Health Conference in 1977
and has conducted it nearly every year since then. The Caucus also works
with the School administration on initiatives to link to the
Historically Black Colleges and Universities, especially in North
Carolina, and to institutions serving other minority groups.
Minority Student Caucus is led by an Executive Board elected annually
by all Caucus members. Officers - Co-Presidents, Secretary,
and Treasurer - and other E-Board members serve one-year terms.
For its first quarter century, the Caucus received support and advice from William T. Small, Jr. (the Caucus actually played a role in Dean Small's coming to the School as a minority student recruiter in 1971). Following Dean Small's retirement in 1999, Aundra Shields became Assistant Dean for Students and worked with the Caucus. After Aundra's departure, her successors Felicia Mebane and then Charletta Sims-Evans became the Dean's Office advisers to the Caucus. Victor Schoenbach (Department of Epidemiology), who assisted the
Minority Health Conference planners beginning in 1991, was invited to serve as faculty adviser to the Caucus in 2005/2006 and served in that role until beginning phased retirement in 2015. Chandra Caldwell (Department of Epidemiology), who had informally counseled/advised Caucus members and officers since she joined the Epidemiology staff, was later named a staff adviser to the Caucus and served in that role until about 2019. Trinnette Cooper, coordinator for diversity programs and recruitment in the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health is the current Dean's Office adviser.
Executive Board Members for 2021-2022
- Vanessa Amankwaa (she/her), Master's student, studying Health Equity, Social Justice, and Human Rights
- Sophie To (any pronouns), Doctoral student, Department of Health Behavior
Co-chairs for the 43rd Annual Minority Health Conference:
- Takhona G. Hlatshwako (she/her), BSPH student, Department of Health Policy and Management
- Victoria Triana (she/her), MPH student, Department of Health Behavior
- Mohamed-Yahia Monawar, BSPH student, Department of Nutrition
- Juhi Chinthapatla, MS-BSPH student, Department of Nutrition
- Asia Carter (she/her/hers), MPH student, Department of Health Behavior
- Noah Ashenafi (he/him), BSPH student, Department of Nutrition
- Adriana Parker (they/she), MPH student, Department of Health Behavior
Education and Community Action Cochairs:
- Isabel Lu (she/they) is a second-year MPH-RD student in the Nutrition Department. She is currently serving as the Education and Community Action (ECA) co-chair and the MHC graphic designer
- Emmanuel Saint-Phard (he/him/his) is a second-year graduate student in the Health Behavior Concentration
- Khadijah Toumbou, MPH student, Health Equity concentration
- Michelle Carreño, Department of Health Policy and Management
(Biographies and photos)
Last updated 8/31/2016, 9/1/2016, 10/6,24/2016, 2/3/2018, 1/16/2020, 8/12,15/2020, 12/26/2020, 2/9/2022, 7/13/2022 by Vic Schoenbach