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UNCW Names CHHS Assistant Dean For Community Engagement

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Mar 6, 2018
Ashley Wells
Ashley Wells is serving in the role of assistant dean for community engagement in the College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) at University of North Carolina Wilmington, according to a news release.

In this role, Wells will serve on the leadership team within the CHHS and will lead efforts to foster and maintain community and industry partnerships, develop a professional development continuing education model and provide strategic direction for the Center for Healthy Communities and FuseCR, officials said in the release.

This position will collaborate with stakeholders within the college and across campus, as well as with community and industry partners external to CHHS.

“Being selected for this position is a tremendous honor,” Wells said in the release. “Interfacing with the community (including our faculty, staff and students) requires deep levels of trust, and I am honored to have been chosen to represent the College of Health and Human Services in this role.”

“It is extremely exciting to imagine all of the creative growth opportunities for partnering with the community to impact health and wellness,” she said, “as well as the opportunities to collaborate across the college units and the UNCW campus at large.”

She said she is excited to work with the Center for Health Communities and FuseCR to create pathways for the learning and development of health and wellness professionals.

Wells, a Georgia native, joins CHHS with 14 years of experience. Most recently, Wells served as project coordinator for the Protecting Strong African American Families Project, a preventive-intervention research trial funded by the National Institutes of Health and conducted through the Center for Family Research at University of Georgia. In this role, Wells worked with faculty, staff and families residing in rural Georgia to examine the impact of stress on couple and family relationships.
 
Wells is in the final stages of obtaining her doctoral degree in adult learning, leadership and organizational development at UGA.

She is interested in leadership development, adult learning and adult development, with special attention to best practices for providing effective and impactful continuing education and professional development programming, officials said.

Wells attended UGA where she earned her bachelor's degree in political science as well as a master's of public health degree with a focus in health promotion and behavior. 

Following graduation, Wells began her career in academic administration with UGA, where she oversaw the master's of public health program and a newly created doctor of public health program, according to officials.
 
Wells transitioned into the areas of public health training and leadership development when she became a center coordinator for the Georgia Public Health Training Center, a program funded by the U.S. Human Resources and Services Administration.
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