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Bledsoe awarded CWC Faculty Scholar Grant

Sarah “Betsy” Bledsoe, Ph.D., has been selected to receive a Carolina Women’s Center 2020 Faculty Scholar Grant. The grant for $10,000 will advance Bledsoe’s work with collaborators at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and in Robeson County, N.C., to document the health care experiences of mothers during pregnancy and postpartum through pictures, discussions and storytelling, which adds qualitative information to quantitative data on health barriers and infant mortality.

“Your work on maternal health and well-being was highly innovative and has the potential for great impact within Robeson County, North Carolina and beyond,” wrote Shauna Cooper, chairperson of the Carolina Women’s Center Faculty Scholar Grant Committee, in an email to Bledsoe.

Bledsoe is an associate professor at the UNC School of Social Work. She and her research colleague Katherine LeMasters, a doctoral student in epidemiology, were awarded the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for public service earlier this year.

“Dr. Bledsoe’s work on maternal health and well-being in Robeson County is a great example of the School’s commitment to impact in North Carolina,” noted Dean Gary L. Bowen.

“These awards from the Carolina Women’s Center are highly competitive and reflect very positively on Dr. Bledsoe and her innovative work in support of mothers facing challenges and hardships,” he added.

Bledsoe earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from the University of Tennessee, Master of Social Work from the University of Pittsburgh and Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from Columbia University. She joined the UNC School of Social Work faculty in 2007. In 2017, she was named a Fellow of the Society for Social Work and Research.

Carolina Women’s Center sponsors its Faculty Scholar Grant program to support scholarly work — including teaching, research, engaged scholarship or service) that addresses topics related to women, sex, gender equity and/or all intersections of gender.

Other UNC-Chapel Hill faculty members receiving the CWC 2020 Faculty Scholar Grant are Julia Gibson and Abbie Smith-Ryan, Ph.D.