Nelson named among Latest Class of Friday Fellows

Monday, June 30, 2014

CHARLOTTE - June 30, 2014 - Amy Hawn Nelson, director of research at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and director of its Institute for Social Capital, recently was named to the 2014-16 class of William C. Friday Fellows for Human Relations.

The goal of the Friday Fellowship is to cultivate a network of “courageous leaders who connect across differences in identity and ideas to develop new solutions to the complex challenges facing the people and communities of North Carolina through a human relations lens.”

Jeff Michael, director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and a Friday Fellow from the 1997-99 class, said “We’re extremely proud of Amy. Not only is her selection as a Friday Fellow a recognition of her own accomplishments but of the growing reputation of the University as North Carolina’s urban research university.

‘As director of research at the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and as director of the University’s Institute for Social Capital, Amy will bring an important voice to the Friday Fellowship community around public policy issues like education, affordable housing and public health, especially from the perspective of a growing urban region,” added Michael.

The UNC Charlotte Institute for Social Capital is an innovative program created to foster University social and human capital research and to increase the community’s capacity for data-based planning and evaluation. Founded in 2004, it merged with the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in March 2012. Through collaboration with nonprofit organizations, government agencies and other relevant organizations in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, the Institute for Social Capital has combined key sources of data into one community database.

Nelson, a Charlotte native and graduate of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, is a career educator with experience as a teacher, mentor, coach and school leader. She joined the Institute for Social Capital as director in September 2012. Previously, she served as the principal and school leader for Kennedy Charter Public School in Charlotte. She holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction and master’s degrees in teaching and school administration. She is an active member of the community serving several youth and music-oriented organizations in Charlotte.

The William C. Friday Fellowship honors its namesake, a former president of the University of North Carolina system. Fellows seek to exemplify the leadership displayed by Friday with a goal to move issues forward to benefit the future of North Carolina.

Other Friday Fellows from Charlotte are Dan Murrey, a physician with OrthoCarolina, and Brandon Lofton, an attorney with Robinson, Bradshaw and Hinson P.A.



Media relations contact:  Buffie Stephens, 704-687-5830,


UNC Charlotte Urban Institute Research Director Amy Hawn Nelson