Provost Distinguished Faculty Leaders 2023-2025 Inaugural Cohort

We are pleased to announce the inaugural cohort of 2023-2025 Provost Distinguished Faculty Leaders!

Dr. Travis Albritton

Dr. Travis Albritton is Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and a Clinical Associate Professor in the School of Social Work. He is the Director of the Chapel Hill 3-Year MSW Program, the Faculty Liaison for the Dual Degree MSW/M.Div. program, and the Chairperson for the School of Social Work’s Diversity Committee. He also serves on the University’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Council.

Dr. Albritton is a co-investigator for the National Initiative for Trauma Education and Workforce Development (NITEWD), a five-year, $3 million demonstration project from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The initiative focuses on building capacity among mental health clinicians to serve traumatized youth and families. Dr. Albritton has also served as co-investigator for the Experiences of Preschool Discipline Among Black Families study, in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation and Wake County Partnership for Children. Dr. Albritton is a two-time recipient of the School of Social Work’s Excellence in MSW Advising Award. He has received the School of Social Work’s Excellence in Teaching Award and has been recognized on numerous occasions with the Dean’s recognition for excellence in teaching. Dr. Albritton has also been voted the Most Overall Outstanding faculty member and the Most Inspirational faculty member, which are awards voted on by graduating MSW students.

Dr. Albritton’s research interests include diversity in higher education, anti-racist pedagogy in higher education and critical race theory’s applications for social work practice. He has presented nationally on various topics, including the importance of critical conversations in the classroom, anti-racist pedagogy in social work education, and supporting Black males in K-12 education. Dr. Albritton served on the Council on Social Work Education’s Task Force for Anti-Racism, a task force created to offer recommendations to CSWE on Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards. Dr. Albritton is a 2022–2023 National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education Academic Diversity Officers Fellow. He earned his Ph.D. from UNC – Greensboro, his MSW from the UNC – Chapel Hill School of Social Work, his Master of Divinity degree from Duke University Divinity School, and his B.S. from Elizabeth City State University.

Dr. Spencer Barnes

Dr. Spencer Barnes is an Associate Professor in the Hussman School of Journalism and Media. He holds a Bachelor of Graphic Design, a Master of Industrial Design (i.e., Product Design), and a Doctorate of Education in Engineering Education. His research examines how journalists produce and utilize dynamic visual communication products to facilitate an audience’s comprehension of the complex concepts and events described within news stories. Dr. Barnes teaches coursework in graphic design, information visualization, and 3D animation and visual effects.

Dr. Barnes has received several teaching awards over the course of his career including the Chancellor’s Award for Student Undergraduate Teaching, the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and the Edward Vick Prize for Innovation in Teaching. From 2020-2022, he served as co-chair of the University Teaching Awards Committee and during that time the number and diversity of award nominations received by the committee increased substantially.

Dr. Barnes also served on the Task Force on Promotion and Tenure Policies and Practices, the Student-Athlete Academic Process Review Group, and the Fixed-Term Faculty Committee. As Director of the Residential Master’s Degree Program at the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, Dr. Barnes convened and chaired a task force of faculty that redesigned the program’s journalism degree plan into a seamless one-year experience for graduate students. He is a member of The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, and the National Communication Association.

Dr. Kim Boggess


Dr. Kim Boggess is a Professor of Ob/Gyn and Maternal Fetal Medicine and has a passion for faculty development. She completed her MD training at the State University of Stony Brook in Stony Brook, NY (1990), Ob/Gyn residency training at the University of Washington in Seattle (1994), and Maternal Fetal Medicine Fellowship training at Duke University (1997). She joined the UNC School of Medicine faculty in 1999 and leads an active clinical and translational research program focusing on infection and inflammation complicating pregnancy. Her prior accomplishments include preclinical and clinical studies defining the relationship between maternal infection, inflammation, and adverse pregnancy outcomes, and she has successfully managed and conducted multi-center trials funded by both the National Institutes of Health and by industry. She has completed research that has shaped clinical practice, including as co-I for an NHLBI-funded multicenter trial of hypertension treatment complicating pregnancy and as PI for an NICHD-funded multicenter trial of treatment of Type II diabetes in pregnancy. Her current NIH-funded research studies cardiovascular disease risk in patients with pregnancy complications.

Dr. Boggess has served as the Director of Fellowship Training in Maternal Fetal Medicine (2009-2014), Principal Investigator and Program Director for the UNC Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (2015-2020), and as the UNC School of Medicine Associate Dean for Faculty Development (2020-2022). She currently serves as a faculty leader on the NIH K12 “Women’s Reproductive Health Research” Career Development Program, and as the Lead Faculty for “Leadership and Management” for the UNC CTSA K12 Junior Faculty Career Development Program. During her time at UNC – Chapel Hill, Dr. Boggess has mentored over 25 faculty, most of whom have continued in academic careers. Dr. Boggess is married to John Boggess MD, a UNC School of Medicine Professor of Ob/Gyn, and they have two children.

Dr. Tanya Garcia

Dr. Tanya Garcia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biostatistics in the Gillings School of Global Public Health. She completed her B.S. in Mathematics at the University of California, Irvine, her M.S. in Industrial Engineering and Operations Research at the University of California, Berkeley, and her M.Sc in Statistics at the University of Western Ontario. She completed her Ph.D. in Statistics at Texas A&M University, where she discovered a genuine excitement for accurately modeling the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like Huntington’s and Alzheimer’s. As a faculty member, Dr. Garcia combined that excitement for modeling with her interest in career coaching to train the next generation of (bio)statisticians to confidently develop and test models for clinical use.

How she mentors this next generation is not only motivated by 500+ hours of leadership training, but also by her experiences as one of the few Hispanic, female biostatisticians. She teaches her lab members to embrace a growth mindset and tackle obstacles without judgment or fear. Her desire for every lab member to achieve success and fulfillment drives her every leadership decision. These decisions have led Dr. Garcia to earning multiple grants from the National Institutes of Health and receiving the 2022 Carolina Women’s Leadership Council Faculty Mentoring Award, just within two years of starting at UNC. Outside of UNC, she leads initiatives for national statistics organizations that foster the success of underrepresented and early career (bio)statisticians.

Dr. Johna Register-Mihalik

Dr. Johna Register-Mihalik is the incoming Associate Chair for Curricula and Faculty Affairs and an Associate Professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science. She is also a core faculty member in the Matthew Gfeller Center and the Injury Prevention Research Center. Dr. Register-Mihalik serves as the Co-Director of the STAR Heel Performance Laboratory as well as the Traumatic Division Director for the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research. She completed her B.S. in Athletic Training at the University of Alabama and her M.A., Ph.D., and Post-Doctoral training at UNC-Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the faculty in Exercise and Sport Science, she served as the Senior Research Associate in the Emergency Services Institute at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Register-Mihalik’s primary research work is based in her background as an Athletic Trainer and centers on novel behavioral and clinical interventions to improve concussion care across the lifespan. She has been the recipient of several research grants to pursue this line of work including funding from the Department of Defense, the Centers for Disease Control, and several foundations. Dr. Register-Mihalik is also an active member of many professional organizations, including the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the American College of Sports Medicine.​​​​​​​

At UNC-Chapel Hill, she has served on several department and University committees including the Administrative Board of the Library, the University Teaching Awards Committee, and the Vice Chancellor for Research Search Committee. She has a passion for inclusive faculty community and development as well as fostering and participating in a culture of innovation.