Natasha Stracener '98, instructional media production manager for UNC Charlotte’s Center for Teaching and Learning, is the 2023 recipient of the Erskine B. Bowles Staff Service Award, given by the UNC Staff Assembly. She is the first UNC Charlotte employee to receive this prestigious recognition. Stracener was honored at the Staff Assembly meeting held at Winston-Salem State University on Tuesday, July 25.
Stracener has worked at Charlotte for 23 years. In her current role, she leads the filming, planning and production of media for academic courses. With an increasing number of online courses needing innovative and engaging materials for student success, she focuses on media opportunities for students that provide high engagement and opportunities for interaction. Additionally, she supports the School of Professional Studies' mission to ensure student success and increase enrollment, specifically in Charlotte's online programs.
Stracener was recognized for her work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Her role became crucial in continuing the University’s regular operations, moving University events into a total virtual environment. During a time of uncertainty, Stracener helped create a sense of normalcy, supporting major events including awards programs, research conferences and forums; keeping faculty, staff and students informed and connected. She continued this role as the campus moved back into a normal operating schedule by supporting the University's hybrid events.
“Natasha has exemplified excellence in her professional interactions and customer service during her 23 years of employment with UNC Charlotte,” said Garvey Pyke, executive director of the Center for Teaching and Learning. “She has provided extraordinary services to our campus and to the UNC System, going above and beyond her job description, and her exemplary service to our surrounding community is known to the community at-large.”
Stracener earned her bachelor’s degree in communications studies from UNC Charlotte in 1998. She worked as a production assistant for WSOC-TV, before returning to Charlotte in 2000 as the program coordinator for the University’s interactive television network.
Throughout her career as a Niner, she has produced numerous television programs for UNC Charlotte's cable channel, including: Spotlight on Research, Medicine and Society, Business and Society and Motorsports Engineering. Stracener has also been involved in several innovative projects that were the first of their kind for the University, including a pilot living history project, created in partnership with the Belk College of Business and the J. Murrey Atkins Library to archive and document the college’s history through video interviews.
In addition to her work on campus, Stracener volunteers throughout her community. She is a Girl Scout leader for a multi-level troop in North Mecklenburg County, helping her troop find ways to give back to the community on a monthly basis.
The Erskine B. Bowles Staff Service Award was established in 2010 by the UNC Staff Assembly to recognize staff employees whose accomplishments are consistent with the goals of the University and the University’s public service mission.