By Cinnamon Moore
During a field trip in elementary school to the Newark Watershed in New Jersey, Regina Hill was struck by the beauty and wonder of nature and instantly developed a love and appreciation for the environment. For Hill, the group’s zealous tour guide instilled in her an understanding that day—that every organism plays an important role in nature.
When the group came upon vultures scavenging a deer carcass, the tour guide explained that the vultures helped prevent contamination to the water system by eating the remains of dead animals. Without the vultures, animals infected with diseases could decompose and pollute the water system.
“It was just a great experience that I never forgot,” Hill said. “It gave me a newfound appreciation for the environment in terms of how everything flows together and our role in keeping this place in good shape for generations to come.”
Now as IE’s new director of development, she can combine her two passions: the environment and raising money for a cause she feels connected to.
Hill has big plans for the Institute. In addition to raising money, she plans to build cross campus collaborations with the Institute and other departments at UNC. She will work closely with central development to fundraise for the Institute and Carolina’s environment community as a whole.
“We’re stronger if we join together,” she said.
“We are thrilled to have Regina join the Institute to lead our fundraising efforts,” said IE’s Director Larry Band. “She brings a wealth of experience from the hospital and an extensive career in fundraising. She is a vital addition for both the Institute and University as we ramp up our fundraising efforts.”
Hill is not new to UNC. Before coming to IE, she worked with UNC Children’s as the director of annual giving for more than five years and later as the assistant director of development. While her positions centered on fundraising, Hill explained that she “fell” into this career direction.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in radio/television at Shaw University and a master’s degree in media studies at New School University, she landed her first fundraising job as the director of development and public relations at Shaw University.
Hill was only interested in the public relations aspect of the position, but she also was required to manage a fundraising program. As time went on, Hill excelled in the fundraising portion of her job.
“I actually fell in love with fundraising and I appreciated the industry,” she said.
Her next post was the director of the annual fund at Cheyney University and since then, she’s never looked back.
Outside of work, Hill enjoys spending time with her two children, Sage and Michael, and her husband, Cleo, as well as with their extended family in New Jersey. As a self-proclaimed “news junkie,” she also spends her time listening to WUNC and CNN on the radio. “I listen to pretty much anything involving news topics during my commute. Also, there’s this trade show that I listen to on Sundays on WPTF and it’s pretty old school. It’s just people calling in to sell things. I don’t know why, but I can’t stop listening to it,” she quipped.
When it comes to music, if she likes the song she’ll listen to it. Her tastes range from mellow rhythm and blues and Prince to Elton John. “I’m more of a song person—it doesn’t matter who sings it,” she said.
Hill’s position is co-funded by UNC’s central development office.