Since Dr. Terri L. Shelton became director of UNCG’s Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships in 2001, it has won more than $20 million in grants and contracts. Starting July 1, she will apply her talent for team building and knack for finding funding in a new post: vice chancellor for research and economic development.
“Terri is brilliant at seeing opportunities for collaboration and making the most of them,” says Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “As vice chancellor for research and economic development, she will continue to be a catalyst for improving quality of life throughout the Triad and the state. Her success as a researcher and an administrator, as well as her knowledge of the university and our community, make her the ideal person for the job.”
It’s not a brand new role for Shelton; she’s been interim vice chancellor for a year. After a nationwide search that attracted 85 candidates, the university decided the best person for the job was already on campus.
“Terri has done an exceptional job as interim vice chancellor for research and economic development over the past year,” says Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin. “I have full confidence in her ability to lead UNCG to the next level of excellence in research, creative activity and economic development.”
Shelton intends to serve as well as to lead.
“The vice chancellor doesn’t submit the grants, write the novel or opera, or discover and commercialize the invention. Faculty, students and staff do,” Shelton says. “A big part of my job will be to help remove barriers and provide support so individuals can do their work.
“I also plan to help raise the visibility of UNCG. Our research, creative activity and engaged scholarship often seem like a well-kept secret. We are poised to change that.”
In addition to two dozen employees involved in research administration, the Office of Research and Economic Development is home to four interdisciplinary research centers: the Center for Biotechnology, Genomics, and Health Research; the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships; the North Carolina Entrepreneurship Center; and the Center for Social, Community, and Health Research and Evaluation.
The center that Shelton led for almost a decade, the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships, brings together researchers, policymakers, service providers and community members to promote the health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. The center and its partners take on problems such as gang violence, childhood mental illness, health illiteracy and adolescent substance abuse.
More than 90 percent of the center’s budget comes from three dozen grants and contracts from foundations and local, state and federal agencies. Managing an enterprise so reliant on external funding has underscored the importance of having a strong and varied research portfolio, she says.
“Expanding UNCG’s research and creative enterprise is not a zero-sum game,” she says. “We do not have to advance nanoscience at the expense of our performing arts. We do not have to ignore our traditional strengths to grow in new areas.
“Similarly, we need to attract new talent, but we also need to support the people who have made UNCG such an amazing place. Retention is just as important as recruitment.”
The author or co-author of more than 50 journal articles, Shelton co-wrote the book “Assessing Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” and the monograph “Family-Centered Care for Children Needing Specialized Developmental Services.” The Carol Jenkins Mattocks Distinguished Professor, she has served as the primary mentor for five doctoral students in clinical psychology and has served on research committees for more than 80 graduate students.
She earned bachelor’s degrees in psychology and art history at the College of William and Mary, a master’s in psychology at Wake Forest University, and a doctorate in clinical psychology with a minor in child and family studies at Purdue University.