Carolina People

Carolina People: Kim Ring

In her mission improving public health, Kim Ring likes nothing better than coming up with solutions to problems and ultimately putting them into play.

Kim Ring poses outside the FedEx Global Center
Kim Ring (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)


Kim Ring




20 years working at Carolina




What’s a typical day like in your job?

My typical day consists of meetings with team members, conference calls with different committees and a lot of emails. I currently work on the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities study, which looks at risk factors for heart disease. We’ve been following this cohort of 16,000 people for over 30 years. I have a team of about 18 people who all work to meet the deliverables of our project, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

How does your WORK support Carolina’s mission?

I think that what we do goes hand in hand with the University’s mission of helping people. Our mission here is about improving the health of the public. Projects like these impact federal-level policy and help with understanding the risk factors of heart disease. I feel fortunate to work in this type of environment.

What do you like most about your work?

People that work with me will tell you I love matrices, to-do lists, pro and con lists and brainstorming in a group. I enjoy the process of coming up with potential solutions and then ultimately putting a solution into play. This job has taught me to delegate, and having trust in my team definitely makes my job easier. I also love the investigators on the ARIC project at the different field centers. Their dedication and passion for this project rubs off on me and our team, helping us provide a better service. 

How has your job changed since you’ve been working at Carolina? 

I started working in here in 1996 as a graduate research assistant. After receiving my master’s degree in public health, I applied to work as a statistician. I first worked on a school-based intervention project aiming to reduce obesity in Native American children. From there, I’ve worked on a variety of projects and clinical trials. The biggest way my role has changed has been from doing statistical work to doing managerial work. 

How do you see your job changing over the next 10 years?

My role as a project director will need to adapt with the changing times.  There are a few things that I can foresee on the horizon. One is that, as a center, we will likely enter the realm of cloud computing and providing a secure workspace on the cloud. I also see our studies shifting to a single Institutional Review Board, instead of having one at each field center. I think we will also see even more teleconferencing meetings rather than in-person meetings.  I might even adapt to using Trello in the office.  

Carolina People is a regular feature in each issue of the Gazette that asks one of your fascinating colleagues five questions about the work they do for the University. Do you know someone with an interesting or unique job at Carolina? Please email your suggestions to and put Carolina People in the subject line.