White Harris Is School’s New Director of Recruitment, Diversity
Carla White Harris has been named the new director of recruitment and diversity initiatives at the UNC School of Pharmacy. She is also the new Chapel Hill–based director of the UNC/ECSU PharmD Partnership Program.
It will be her responsibility to develop and execute a student-recruitment plan for the doctor of pharmacy program with the long-term goal of enhancing the quality and the diversity of students applying to the School of Pharmacy. She will also chair the School’s Admission Committee and serve as the primary liaison with Elizabeth City State University.
White Harris says she is looking forward to the challenge and the opportunity to contribute to what is already one of the nation’s leading PharmD programs.
“We have one of the strongest applicant pools in the country,” White Harris says. "We want to ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest students.”
Recruitment and diversity is about more than numbers, she says. The School will look for candidates who have the qualities to be excellent health-care providers wherever they may be. For the School, it will mean making sure that more students in North Carolina see pharmacy as an option when they’re thinking about their futures.
Initially, the School will focus its efforts on students in their first year of college, White Harris says. As the program grows, the School will shift its focus to high school students.
“Research has shown us that by the tenth grade many children already have a good idea of the career path they want to follow. Images are very powerful in forming those ideas,” she says. “If a child doesn’t see people like themselves in pharmacy practice, they may believe that pharmacy is not a career that is open to them. I want to make sure that they know that pharmacy is a career open to anyone willing to put in the work.”
Dean Bob Blouin says the School cannot afford to overlook talent and will do more to cultivate future generations of pharmacists.
“North Carolina—and the nation as a whole—is grappling with a shortage of pharmacists, and the problem is particularly acute in certain areas,” Bob Blouin says. “We believe that by recruiting young people from underserved areas and populations to the practice of pharmacy, we will not only increase the overall number of pharmacy practitioners, but we will also increase the number of pharmacists who choose to practice in areas where they are most needed.”
White Harris has been a member of the School’s faculty since 1997 when she joined as a clinical assistant professor. In 2004 she became director of the School’s Pharmaceutical Care Labs. She received her BS in pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh.