UNCG Magazine

Fall 2022

has a story

Sometimes the most compelling ones
are their very own.


Whether it’s the eagerness of first-year students or the joy of returning students reconnecting with friends and faculty, the energy on campus as we kicked off the academic year was contagious. 

In my welcome message I presented three challenges to our students: 

• Live your purpose. Stay anchored to your “why” and lean into it every day. It will raise your spirits and steel your resolve as you strive to accomplish individual and collective goals. 

• Focus on wellness. Your health and well-being are our top priorities. Make healthy choices, and extend care and compassion to others, asking for and providing assistance when needed. 

• Be engaged. Take advantage of every opportunity and experience the year has to offer. Show up ready to learn and grow and always give your best.

We are greater together, especially when our alumni are involved. Make plans to come back to campus. Be part of the Light the Way campaign. Hire UNCG interns and graduates. Encourage prospective students to tour UNCG. 

Thanks for your continued support of UNCG, and I hope to see you soon.

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. Chancellor

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

Copy reads: One of us forever.
Fred Chappell’s poetry, essays, and novels are lauded nationally and beyond. Meanwhile, he’s inspired a legion of Spartan students, who make clear that what he taught was timeless.

In recent months, film festival audiences have seen Fred Chappell on the big screen. To decades of former students, he’s already larger than life. 

Ruth Dickey ’04 MFA introduced Chappell and the film at its screening at the Greensboro Bound festival. “I Am One of You Forever,” produced by UNCG Media Studies professor Michael Frierson and financed in part by Light the Way campaign gifts, will be shown in early November on PBS NC statewide.

Fred Chappell, ca. 1970

“I absolutely love this gorgeous film,” said Dickey, executive director of the National Book Foundation. “And what I loved most about this film, that traces Fred’s life from childhood through family and studying and writing and teaching and novels and poems, is that it is – just like Fred – absolutely full of heart and stories.”

Interviewing dozens of authors, critics, and Chappell family members, Frierson and his team filmed not only in Greensboro but in Chappell’s hometown of Canton in the North Carolina mountains. He even interviewed Fred and his wife, Susan Nicholls Chappell ’70, at the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church where they were married in 1959.

Days before the screening, the Chappells welcomed our magazine staff to their backyard garden. Susan showed the wonderful mossy area and the shed where Fred has often written. Asked about a nearby sculpture of a goat, Fred referred to the scene in “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” where a goat and a teacher have a debate. He noted that farm animals were ubiquitous where he grew up.

A Sunset Hills neighbor at the time, artist Jim Barnhill ’82 MFA, created that goat. The Chappells also asked him to create the centerpiece of their patio. It echoes Botticelli’s artwork of the solar system, an illustration in Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” circled by text. “I’m a big fan of Dante,” Fred says. “That’s the last line in each of the three parts of the ‘Divine Comedy’: ‘L’amor che muove il sole e l’altre stelle.’” 

He helpfully translates, returning to his western North Carolina accent: “The love that moves the sun and the other stars.”

Fred Chappell is like Whitman. He contains multitudes.

– Rodney Jones ’73 MFA

Nurses’ Stories

Every nurse has stories to tell. They’re tales of courageous patients and near-miraculous outcomes. Sometimes, their most compelling story happens to be their own.

In May 2016, Gabrielle Baldwin decided to attend what was supposed to be her graduation from the UNC Greensboro School of Nursing.

She shed a few tears as she entered the Coleman Building, thinking this was nothing like how she had envisioned her graduation. She was in a wheelchair, paralyzed from the chest down.

Baldwin showed up in the blue cap and gown she ordered for the occasion, even though she knew she wouldn’t be graduating that day. She posed for photographs and made her way onto the stage when her name was called.

She was honored to be included in the ceremony with the rest of the Class of 2016.

Four months earlier, Baldwin had sustained a spinal cord injury when her older brother attacked her while she was staying at her mother’s house in Burlington. She had been home for winter break, and she was set to begin her final semester at UNCG in five days.

Black & White Decisions

Dr. Meka Douthit EL ’96 was working the night shift as a new nurse at Wake Forest Baptist when a Ku Klux Klan member arrived at the hospital with chest pains. He insisted he didn’t want her – a Black woman – to treat him. He wanted a White nurse instead. Douthit EL, who had just started her first nursing job after graduating from UNCG in 1996, offered to make a deal with the man.

Tiktok Celebration

Victoria Glosson ’21 was lying in bed with nothing to do and no electricity after a winter storm had knocked out the power. Bored, she decided to share a funny video she’d recorded of her father two days earlier. Her phone died soon after her 80-second video was uploaded onto TikTok.

Salute to Military Veterans

Shianne Daniels ’22 wanted a bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) from a military-friendly university. When she did a search for military-friendly universities in the Triad, UNCG popped up on Google. She then came across UNCG’s innovative Veterans Access Program (VAP), which provides medically-trained veterans and service members with specialized support to earn their BSN.

Star in the Making

Irene Richardson ’22 was in South Florida to attend a pathology research symposium when she woke up and discovered she couldn’t move her arms or legs. She was diagnosed in 2015 with neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a rare condition in which a person’s immune system attacks a substance in the body that serves as insulation around the nerves.

War and Refuge
Throughout our history, UNCG has provided real-world support for those driven from their homes.

When war broke out in Bosnia, UNCG alumna Rada Petric ’08, ’10 MS, ’20 PhD was just a little girl living in Sarajevo.

Every day, her parents and two siblings packed their bags and headed to the airport, hoping their names would be called from “the list.” Being on the list meant you were chosen to leave the country that day, on the city’s one airplane.

But every day, their names were not called. 

As months passed, Petric’s older brother decided to sneak onto the plane. When a married couple’s names were called, he posed as their child and successfully flew to Serbia, where an aunt picked him up.

The rest of the family waited, bags packed. One day, the officer called two female names, but nobody responded.

Thinking quickly, Petric’s mother called back, “It’s my daughters.” Because the girls were too young to have identification, the officer let them through.

“My mom told my older sister, ‘Just take her and go,’” recalls Petric. “It didn’t dawn on me until we were riding up the escalator to get on the plane that my mom wasn’t coming with me, and the waterworks started.”

Petric was just 7 years old. She wouldn’t see her parents again for years. 


Just for kicks. Club sports are not only a fun way to make friends and keep physically fit, they build leadership skills. Each team is student-run, taking “teamwork” to a higher level as you compete against club teams from other universities. The Fall Kickoff event on the first day of August classes proved to be an ideal time to check out the various club sports, ranging from rugby to tennis to soccer. This year, more than 250 student groups and departments were represented at this event, offering something for students of every interest. Getting involved and enjoying friendships, as you pursue your studies? That’s a winning goal.

Photograph by David Row
“I never practice, I always play.”
– Wanda Landowska, musician


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