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Guo and Macy appointed as distinguished professors

By Susan White

Two faculty members with UNC’s School of Social Work have been recognized for their service to teaching and their commitment to the social work profession with appointments as distinguished professors.

Rebecca J. Macy, associate dean for academic affairs, has been named the L. Richardson and Emily Preyer Bicentennial Professorship to Strengthen Families. The $1 million endowed chair was created to expand the School’s capacity to serve North Carolina families and children in need. The chair was named in honor of the former U.S. representative who served six terms in Congress, and his wife, a long-time philanthropist. Both were staunch advocates for education, the environment, and the arts.

Shenyang Guo has been named the Wallace H. Kuralt Sr. Distinguished Professor for Public Welfare Policy and Administration. The $500,000 endowed chair was created to honor the work of the late Kuralt, a UNC alumnus who spent more than 25 years as director of public welfare for Mecklenburg County. Kuralt, father of legendary newsman Charles Kuralt, was considered a pioneer social worker during his years of public service.

Such distinguished professorships are “a high honor that confirms recognition for outstanding teaching, scholarship, service, and national and international recognition for excellence,” said Dean Jack M. Richman. Macy and Guo are highly recognized in their fields because of their leadership and expertise, Richman added.

“Both faculty members contribute greatly to the leadership of the School of Social Work and to the University at large,” he said.

Macy, who has been with the School of Social Work since 2002, is a leading scholar on interpersonal and relationship violence, especially interventions that promote violence survivors’ safety and recovery from the trauma of violence. Among her research projects, she has helped to develop an intervention aimed at reducing sexual assaults against women with intellectual disabilities and collaborated on a pilot study examining the connection between interpersonal violence and women with severe and persistent mental illness.

Most recently, she has been serving as a consultant for an evaluation project to address human trafficking in North Carolina.

In March, Macy was selected to receive a 2013 Office of the Provost Award for Engaged Research in recognition of her research on family violence.

Guo, who has also been with the School of Social Work since 2002, is an expert on research methodology and has written extensively on propensity score matching, structural equation modeling, and hierarchical linear modeling. Most recently, he co-authored two peer-reviewed publications on new methods to enhance the accuracy of longitudinal research and the importance of using effective and robust methods to correct for measurement error in longitudinal research.

His academic interests also include child welfare and welfare policies. Guo has worked on numerous intervention evaluations, including the “Making Choices” violence prevention program for elementary school children.

In 2012, he received the “Most Outstanding Professor Award,” which is given annually by doctoral students at UNC’s School of Social Work.