Shelvia Dancy and Peter Sherman join UNC Hussman faculty


The UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media is pleased to announce the appointment of two new faculty members — Shelvia Dancy and Peter Sherman — who deepen the school’s expertise in strategic priority areas. Both join the UNC Hussman faculty in the Spring 2023 semester.

Dancy adds to the school’s strengths in storytelling instruction as an assistant professor teaching broadcast and digital journalism in courses such as “TV News Reporting and Producing” and “Voice and Diction.”

Sherman joins the school as a professor of the practice leading a new certificate program, launching in January 2023, designed to drive progressive marketing principles across health communication. He will teach two courses in the program — “Health Communication and Marketing” and “Health Marketing Capstone.” He will also teach a course in the school’s online master’s in digital communication program.

Dancy comes to UNC Hussman from a professor of the practice position at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communication and previously taught at North Carolina Central University in Durham. She has also served as a journalist-in-residence at NC State University, where she served as an adviser to student reporters for campus newspapers. Dancy earned both a bachelor’s and a law degree at NCCU, and she completed her master’s degree at Syracuse.

Before entering academia, she worked as a print, radio, multimedia and broadcast journalist across the U.S. She has been a contributor to CNN, The Discovery Channel and the Oxygen Network, and her wire reports have been published in major news outlets including The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times.

In North Carolina, Dancy has worked at news organizations across the state including WJNC 1240 AM in Jacksonville; WITN-7 in Greenville; The Wilson Daily Times; The News & Observer in Raleigh; News 14 Carolina (now Spectrum News 1); and WCTI in New Bern.

Dancy has demonstrated both a professional and personal commitment to underserved communities. As a journalist, she has reported on pivotal topics including equity in North Carolina's public schools and human rights issues including religious persecution. In law school, she worked with the Wake County Public Defender's Office and was engaged with civil rights groups and volunteer projects helping underserved populations with issues ranging from will preparation to voting rights. Inspired by the years she lived in Japan while her father served in the U.S. military, Dancy has also served as volunteer teaching English to students from other countries.

“I see working at Hussman now as a natural extension of my work mentoring UNC students when I was a professional journalist in the Triangle,” Dancy said. “This is a wonderful opportunity to help guide some of the brightest aspiring journalists in my home state. I'm excited to help give students the tools to succeed in the industry — and help shape the industry's future.”

Sherman comes to UNC Hussman from his role as executive vice president at Omnicom Group, one of the world’s largest marketing service companies. At Omnicom, he drove marketing innovation and integration — creating marketing strategies across a portfolio of some of the world's leading companies and brands.

Prior to Omnicom, Sherman was CEO of the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency in North America and served in leadership positions at BBDO for nearly 17 years across the company’s New York, San Francisco and European offices. As executive vice president and managing director of BBDO Europe, he developed connected marketing platforms that helped unify 35 offices across 18 countries behind digital transformation and growth.

Sherman serves as a strategic adviser for HCP Cure Blindness, where he is part of a team deeply committed to curing cataract-related blindness in underserved communities around the world.

He has demonstrated a deep commitment to advancing higher education serving as an instructor for the University of Texas Moody College of Communication’s New York program; as a board member for Virginia Commonwealth University’s Brand Center; and as a foundation board member for the University of Wyoming — where he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism and advertising.

The new health communication certificate program — and Sherman’s hire to lead it — are an extension of the Legacy for Lisa campaign at the school honoring two-time alumna Lisa Stockman Mauriello ’91, ’13 (M.A.), who passed away at age 52 last year after a battle with a rare and fast-moving form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Mauriello was an executive at Syneos Health and a leader in the burgeoning health communication industry. Before she died, Mauriello worked with UNC Hussman to create the health communication certificate program to educate the next generation of health communication professionals. At Syneos, her responsibilities spanned PR, medical communications and branding services. During her career, she was honored by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association and was inducted to both PRWeek’s and MM+M's Halls of Femme — while also becoming one of CNN’s 50 Most Powerful People in Healthcare.

“As we welcome these exceptional new faculty members, the UNC Hussman school community grows stronger, and our students will reap tremendous rewards for years to come,” said Raul Reis, dean of the school. “Shelvia brings a stellar teaching record and rich experience in multi-platform storytelling with a deep understanding of our state and its communities. Peter brings keen insights from a career at the leading edge of the marketing and communication industry. I’m so pleased for our school and our students for the opportunity to work with and learn from them.”