UNC CSI Executive Director Honored With Women Of Distinction Award

Posted By on May 17, 2017

Dr. Nancy White, the Executive Director of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute, was recently recognized by the Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women at East Carolina University (ECU) with the Women of Distinction Award.  Dr. White, along with nine other women from ECU, was selected to represent the theme for 2017, “Real Women, Real Change”. 

The award is designed to recognize the outstanding contributions by women of East Carolina University.  Ten women are selected for this prestigious award every two years, and candidates are chosen by a jury based on their contributions to academics, education, research and service.

Dr. Nancy White is the founding Executive Director of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute (UNC CSI), a multi-university marine science research and education institute located on Roanoke Island in North Carolina’s Outer Banks.  Dr. White has played an instrumental role in the formation and development of UNC CSI since its creation.  In 2003, UNC General Administration President Molly Broad selected Dr. White to establish the first multi-campus coastal institute in the UNC System to serve the University and the citizens of northeast North Carolina.  Prior to this appointment, Dr. White served at the Director of Research, Extension and Sponsored Programs at North Carolina State University’s College of Design. 

After moving her family to the Outer Banks, Dr. White set up the first offices for the UNC Coastal Studies Institute in a downtown Manteo house loaned to UNC CSI by Dare County.  Laboratory facilities were then established in Nags Head as Dr. White began to recruit faculty and staff, including jointly appointed faculty from East Carolina University, North Carolina State University and UNC Chapel Hill, to carry out the multi-campus mission of the institute,. 

In addition to recruitment of faculty and staff, Dr. White shepherded the support required to build a new research academic facility that is sited on 207 acres in Skyco on Roanoke Island.  Designed with sustainability and resilience in mind, the campus was designated a LEED Gold certified facility by the U.S. Green Building Council.  Multi-functional lab space, well appointed classrooms, water access and marine operations facilities make UNC CSI well suited for a variety of marine science research and education endeavors for university faculty, graduate and undergraduate students, K-12 students, teachers and the general public.  Over 35 people now work at UNC CSI in the newly constructed Skyco Campus opened in late 2012.

Under Dr. Nancy’s Whites leadership, the UNC Coastal Studies Institute has become a front-runner in coastal and marine science research in North Carolina.  It is the mission of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute  “to undertake research, offer educational opportunities, provide community outreach programs, and enhance communication among those concerned with the unique history, culture and environment of the maritime counties of North Carolina.”  This mission is carried out through research programs in five main areas including Coastal Engineering & Renewable Ocean Energy, Coastal Processes, Estuarine Ecology & Human Health, Maritime Heritage, and Public Policy and Coastal Sustainability. 

After 14 years of service and committed leadership, Dr. White has decided to retire as UNC CSI Executive Director on June 30, 2017.  Dr. White’s contributions to the growth and development of the UNC Coastal Studies Institute are enormous, and her legacy will live on as the institute continues to mature into the future.

Dr. Nancy White

Dr. Nancy White

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Posted by Matt Artz

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