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Diane Gill Linda Arnold Carlisle Distinguished Excellence Professor 2010-2014


Dr. Diane Gill has been named the Linda Arnold Carlisle Distinguished Excellence Professor in Women’s and Gender Studies for 2010 to 2014. Dr. Gill is a faculty member in the Department of Kinesiology and cross- appointed to the WGS faculty. Her research emphasizes social psychology and physical activity, with a focus on the eff ect of physical activity on psychological well-being. The Carlisle professorship was established by the UNCG Friends of Women’s and Gender Studies to enhance WGS academic and co-curricular programs.


Dr. Gill proposes to expand her current scholarly project on physical activity and quality of life, moving to a more community-engaged approach that promotes physical activity and healthy lifestyles for girls and women and emphasizes integration, social relevance, and real world impact. Gill believes that physical activity is the key to positive health and quality of life, and thus, lifetime physical activity is the base for healthy lives. She intends to address the widespread disparities in physical activity/inactivity levels. Her fi ndings show that activity levels are lower for women as well as underrepresented and cultural minority groups - those who most need physical activity and can benefi t the most. Her research advocates for all to have a secured right to physical activity, a public health and social justice issue.


Dr. Gill’s “dream” project is a community-based physical activity program focusing on wellness for women. The program would emphasize social and emotional wellness as well as physical. The focus is positive health, not weight, with physical activity set as the key target behavior. Emphasis is on fi tt ing the activity to the participants rather than the typical reverse approach. Participants would be actively involved in planning activities, and the program would include stress management and non-physical activities (e.g., music) that contribute to overall quality of life. Dr. Gill has found that this program may be possible to implement at the YWCA and Women’s Resource Center within 4-6 years. It is her hope that community and health foundations might provide support, and students from both Kinesiology and WGS could connect with the program through research, internships and volunteer activity.


Dr. Diane Gill Arda Aghazarian Visit


In September 2010, WGS faculty and students were pleased to meet Arda Aghazarian, a member of the World YWCA Board and the Media and Advocacy Coordinator at the YWCA of Palestine. Arda was invited to att end the YWCA south-east regional meeting in Miami, Florida for three days. At that meeting, she presented a report on young women and leadership, and also shared some of her experiences as a young woman from the Middle East on the World YWCA Board.


Carolyn Flowers, a Friend of WGS who is also on the World YWCA Board, encouraged Arda to stay in North Carolina for one week to visit three diff erent YWCAs in the region and learn more about the YWCAs in the United States. Arda said that she was excited to see how each YWCA fulfi lled the YW’s powerful goal of “Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women.”


At UNCG, Arda shared her experiences at an exciting luncheon with students and faculty from the Center for Women’s Health and Wellness and WGS and during Beth Walker’s seminar. Refl ecting on her time at UNCG, Arda remarked that “It was wonderful to meet the students and instructors at UNCG. Being in your class, I realized that having an open mind to diff erent cultures is very crucial when dealing with confl ict. It may seem that there is a ‘right way’ to deal with confl ict, but the more we observe the subtle diff erences in how we view our own identities and sense of being, the more it becomes crucial to maintain a sense of curiosity, understanding and an open mind.”


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