Associate Dean & Director
Troy Blackburn is a Professor and Assistant Chair in the Department of Exercise & Sport Science in the College of Arts & Sciences and adjunct faculty in the Departments of Orthopaedics and Allied Health Sciences in the School of Medicine. He received a B.A. in Exercise and Sport Science (Athletic Training Concentration) from UNC-Chapel Hill (1998), a M.S. in Sports Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh (2000), and a Ph.D. in Human Movement Science (Biomechanics Concentration) from UNC-Chapel Hill (2004). Prior to returning to UNC-Chapel Hill in 2006, he was a member of the faculty at Auburn University from 2004 to 2006. His current research focus is on neuromechanical factors that influence development of knee osteoarthritis.
Dr. Blackburn began his research career as an undergraduate at Carolina. This experience had a profound effect on his career interests and was a pivotal event in his academic development. In his role as Associate Dean & Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research, he seeks to provide opportunities for all Carolina students to kindle their curiosity, chart their research path, and take advantages of the numerous resources available to them.
Dr. Pleasants has been working closely with students at Carolina for more than 12 years through teaching, coaching, and various forms of outreach and engagement. He received his BA in English, Masters in Teaching English, and PhD in Education from UNC-Chapel Hill and counts himself lucky to work at his alma mater. His past work and research has been about men and masculinity, violence prevention, student success, and teaching and learning. He has an adjunct appointment in Health Behavior at the Gillings School for Global Public Health, where he teaches “Critical Approaches to Service Learning.” He is always happy to meet with one-on-one with undergraduates to talk about their research interests and especially enjoys answering questions from first-generation students.
Dr. Pleasants is serving as the fall 2022 Associate Dean and Director of the Office for Undergraduate Research while Dr. Troy Blackburn is on research leave.
Denise Carter is the Business Manager in the Office for Undergraduate Research. She has twenty years of expertise in Finance and Administration with Fortune 500 companies. Currently, she is accountable for the administrative, finance, and human resources with the Office for Undergraduate Research. Denise is a native of New York and has been in North Carolina for thirteen years.
In her spare time Denise can be found spending time with my family and friends. Denise also enjoys time at the beach, music, and sewing. These are the words that Denise lives by: “Speak with honesty, think with sincerity, and act with integrity.” “These words give you real freedom and you never have to look over your shoulder!”
With her “can do” attitude, Denise’s door is always open and she is available for a quick hello. Denise is happy to help wherever she can and will leave you with a smile on your face.
Evan Jones works as the graduate assistant at the Office for Undergraduate Research. When he’s not updating web pages, creating social media designs, or engaging with students online he studies abandoned buildings as communication spaces.
Evan holds a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in communication management. He has worked as an educational content developer, technologist, and media analyst for companies like Cisco and organizations like the Connected Learning Alliance, Common Sense Media, and the American Film Institute. If you speak Japanese or Arabic to him it will make his day.