Dreamers and doers
At home

Dr.  Cynthia Howard '74 in 2004 and 2012
Dr. Cynthia Howard '74 in 2004 and 2012

Dr. Cynthia Howard '74 always had a heart for global health. As a doctor, she traveled overseas to tend the sick in areas where needs were great. One of those trips to Uganda literally changed her life; she met conjoined twins Loice and Christine. She arranged for them to be brought to her Baltimore hospital where they were successfully separated. Later, their mother asked Howard to bring them back to the United States for good. She searched for an African family to adopt them; after all, she was single and 50 years old, not prepared to become a mother to twins. But when a family couldn't be found it became clear — she was their new mother. We first wrote about this new family in 2004. Today Howard and the girls are living in St. Paul, Minnesota, and thriving. Howard is assistant professor of pediatrics and director of Pediatric Global Health Education and director of the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children's Hospital. The girls have just finished fourth grade and they're looking forward to theater camp, a possible new puppy and their first trip back to Uganda since they came to live with Howard. “They are kind, sweet kids,” she says. “I wouldn't trade being their mom for anything.”

 

Dr. Spoma Jovanovic believes strongly that service is an obligation, not a choice. This communication studies professor is leading students from UNCG and Dudley High School in a project called BUBBS, or Bringing Us Benches and Bus Shelters. Currently nine out of 10 of Greensboro's bus stops have no kind of shelter for riders. This is just one of many service-oriented projects she's spearheaded through the years.

 

Nadia Moffett '07
Nadia Moffett '07

Nadia Moffett '07 was working as a manager for American Express when she decided she wanted to do something more. In 2009, along with some friends, she started Make Me a Queen, a six-week after-school program with the Boys and Girls Club. The Queen's Foundation teaches girls to be queens in life and servant leaders to their community. The six characteristics of a queen, she said, are beauty, character, talent, confidence, accountability and vision. The program targets areas of North Carolina that demonstrate the greatest need and opportunity for making a difference. She decided to run for Miss North Carolina USA in 2009 with the program as her platform. Moffett didn't win the first time but decided to give it another try and won the title in 2010.

 

Adrian Boggs '09 MS understands that beauty can come from what others deem as waste. His favorite place to get materials for his work? The Dumpster. From lumber scraps he creates beautiful pieces of furniture. “I upcycle for one main reason: I absolutely hate to see good materials being thrown away,” he writes about his design philosophy. “The real beauty behind this enterprise is that everybody wins: the industry using the Dumpster produces less waste, the general public becomes more aware of a broader spectrum of responsibly produced interior furnishings, and I am able to use my creativity to contribute to the local economy and realize my passion. While I use a wide range of sustainably produced materials in my work, I thrive on the unique design challenge offered by the contents of a Dumpster. Win, win, win.”

 

Dr. Susan Andreatta likes to point out the word “culture” in “agriculture.” As an anthropology professor, she sees growing and enjoying food as a key part of humanity. And she not only teaches about it, she has done her part to draw attention to the need to eat locally — both with farmers and fishermen with Project Greenleaf and Community Supported Fisheries. She also helped start the UNCG Gardens, where students can learn the art of planting and harvest right on campus. Last fall, she and Dr. Marianne LeGreco, a professor in communication studies, launched a year-long Food Policy Think Tank for students. It's all about passing a love of local food on to the next generation.

 

Dr. Charlie Headington
Dr. Charlie Headington

Dr. Charlie Headington is another proponent for slow food. His classes on simple living in a complex age, as well as liberal studies courses on sustainable life on a Tuscan farm, have inspired countless students to think about the beauty of knowing where their food comes from. He has also been instrumental in teaching even younger students to enjoy fresh produce through edible garden projects at Greensboro Montessori School and the Greensboro Children's Museum.

 

 

 

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Altogether amazing
No matter where they go or what they do, Spartans know how to make a difference.

 

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