Photo by Vann Bennett

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Bernadette Pelissier

Bernadette Pelissier was born in Senegal, Africa, of French parents. She came to the U.S. as an infant and spent most of her childhood in New Jersey. In her early teen years she lived in Damascus, Syria, where her father worked for the United Nations.

She came to Chapel Hill, NC, in 1975 to study at the University of North Carolina and received her Ph.D. in Sociology in 1980. Dr. Pelissier’s research career focused on the evaluation of mental health programs in community and prison settings: Durham County Community Mental Health Center and the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

She served two terms on the Orange County Board of Commissioners and served on a variety of boards and commissions both before her election and after; she now continues to do so. Bernadette is transitioning to farming in Cedar Grove and plans to grow fruit to supply the micro-winery started by her son and daughter on the family farm.

Ten Things I Can’t Do Without

  1. Hiking in mountains
  2. Picking blueberries
  3. Yearly travel to France
  4. Taking care of grandchildren
  5. My intellectual book club dinners and discussions
  6. Feeding my friends and family
  7. Chestnut and sausage turkey stuffing at Thanksgiving
  8. Reading recipes
  9. Foreign movies
  10. Serving on a community board

Bernadette Pelissier's contributions: