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UNCG on a global scale
Chancellor Linda P. Brady, left, and a member of the delegation from Shanghai University of Sport sign an agreement formalizing collaborative research efforts between the two universities in late 2010.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady, left, and a member of the delegation from Shanghai University of Sport sign an agreement formalizing collaborative research efforts between the two universities in late 2010.

The world is a lot smaller than it used to be.

This spring, English professor Dr. Ali Schultheis Moore taught a joint honors seminar class, “Human Rights for Whom?" While an important topic in its own right, the course had an added dimension. Thanks to the video teleconferencing equipment in the Global Teleconference Classroom in North Spencer, our students explored this topic alongside students at the American University of Beirut.

I visited the class in April along with UNC system president Tom Ross and the newest members of the UNC Board of Governors, during their visit to UNCG. As I watched our students interact with their peers in Lebanon, I couldn't help but think how much undergraduate education has changed since I was a student. As a political science major at Douglass College, I studied human rights from books. Today our students are exploring the world through human interaction and learning about the issues of our times in the moment.

Two months later, Moore shared how pleased she was with this type of class, her first. “It substantially changed what students learned and how they learned,” she said.

“Students on both sides had preconceived notions about one another,” she added. “By the end they learned my peers are my peers in all places.”

That kind of rich understanding is precisely what UNCG hopes to accomplish with courses and programs like this class. As a key element of the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-14, internationalization is infused across the curriculum. You'll find a global perspective in traditional areas, such as business or political science, but its influence is also felt in programs and departments you might not expect.

The Department of Interior Architecture, for example. One student, Anna Will, was struck by the needs of children in Ghana when she traveled to the African country with Habitat for Humanity. When she returned home, she worked with her professor, Hannah Rose Mendoza, and classmates to design a school. In January 2011, they traveled to Ghana to begin building the school they designed.

Many of our music students, too, are global citizens. Peter Salvucci, a graduating performance and jazz studies major, is in Istanbul engaged in a research project. When he returns, he will present the results of his work in the form of a lecture-recital. Trevor Bumgarner is at the highSCORE music festival in Pavia, Italy, where he attends lessons, master classes and performances of his compositions in historic venues and cathedrals. And Scott MacLeod, who is working on his doctorate in vocal performance, is one of five current and former UNCG students leading the National Youth Chorus in London.

UNCG School of Nursing students have put their talents and skills to work in many corners of the globe. For the past five years, nursing professor Robin Cunningham has taken RN-BSN and anesthesia students to the Dominican Republic for a week in March to assist with surgeries at a public hospital and to help clinicians in several villages. Other nursing students have traveled to Honduras to work in a primary care clinic.

Something special is going on here. Our students are actively engaged in understanding other peoples and cultures and in making a difference. They are doing something bigger altogether. In return, they are changed human beings. It's community engagement on a global level. I am proud of each and every student who earns a degree at UNCG. The world will be a better place because our graduates have already proven themselves to be citizens of the world.

We are not alone in our commitment to educating global citizens. I recently returned from the 13th Transatlantic Dialogue on Higher Education, held in Salzburg, Austria. This program brings together 10 presidents or chancellors of American universities with 10 European and 10 Canadian counterparts to explore new directions and opportunities for international partnerships. I learned, just as Dr. Moore's students learned in her course on human rights, that “my peers are my peers in all places.” We share the same goals: how to ensure students become globally aware, employable and engaged. The world is a lot smaller than it used to be.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady

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Nicholas A. Vacc Bell Tower
Nicholas A. Vacc Bell Tower
More bells mean more tunes — even the alma mater

Where there were four bells, there are now twenty-five.

The additional bells were installed and programmed in the Nicholas A. Vacc Bell Tower last fall. Now, melodies may be played. And each day, the university's alma mater rings out exactly at noon.

The bell tower, located between Spring Garden Street and the Alumni House, was a 2005 gift of Dr. Nancy Vacc, professor emerita of education, in honor of her husband, who was also a faculty member.

In December of 2010, she once again made a generous gift to enable the purchase of these 21 additional bells. These bells, like the original four, were cast in Holland under the supervision of The Verdin Company. Her gift also provides for enhanced landscaping.

In a small room in the Alumni House facing the bell tower, the Verdin “Singing Tower Supreme” console is programmed. It has been set to ring the well-known Westminster chimes — the same you'd hear from Big Ben in London — every hour. Additionally, an abbreviated Westminster chime (the first four notes) ring on the quarter, half and three-quarter hours.

Julie Landen, Alumni House manager, is the unofficial programmer for the bell tower.

The tunes it can play are diverse. But don't expect the bells to play quickly. “If you want a song, you can play the keyboard, and it plays a slow version of the song,” Landen explains.

Linda Carter, director of alumni relations, has been known to play a few songs on the keyboard. And yes, when the alma mater that plays hourly was recorded, she was at the keyboard.

Want to know more about the alma mater song? See this related piece.

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Communication studies student Hannah Harris, right, talks with a vendor at the Warnersville Farmers Market in September.
Communication studies student Hannah Harris, right, talks with a vendor at the Warnersville Farmers Market in September.
Bringing a small oasis to a ‘food desert’

If you can't bring the people to healthy food, says Marianne LeGreco, bring healthy food to the people.

When the Guilford County Department of Public Health identified no fewer than 15 food deserts — areas marked by poverty and distance from grocery stores — in the county, LeGreco stepped up to help. She is a communication studies professor who specializes in food policy and public health communication.

Working with the Department of Public Health and a citizen taskforce in one “desert,” the Warnersville community south of Lee Street, LeGreco organized a farmer's market to supply fresh foods to residents in their own backyard.

The Warnersville Farmer's Market, located at 400 West Whittington Street adjacent to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, opened in April and will run into the early fall. Hours are 3-7 p.m. on Thursdays, and all comers are welcome.

“f you don't have money for a car, it can be difficult to get to a grocery store or supermarket,” she says. “If you are depending on public transportation, the Greensboro Transit Authority has bag limits. There's a big disparity in where businesses want to build grocery stores and where food is most needed, so you find lots of convenience stores and fast food restaurants in these areas but no real grocery stores."

Food deserts are defined as low-income areas without easy access to groceries. “Easy access” translates to less than one mile away from grocery stores for urban areas and less than 10 miles for rural areas. There are nine identified food deserts in the City of Greensboro alone.

A test-run of the market last year brought out 120 people within two hours on the hottest day of summer, LeGreco says. “It demonstrated that people are willing to come out.”

LeGreco volunteers her time at the market and at the Prince of Peace Lutheran's community garden. She also recruits students from her classes that focus on communication related to public health.

Plans for the future of the market hinge on recruiting more vendors, cultivating about three more acres of land owned by Prince of Peace, and — most importantly — getting approval to accept EBT cards, once known as food stamps.

“That's one of the biggest pieces of feedback that we are getting,” LeGreco says. “People want the ability to use their EBT cards. That's been a challenge for us, because it has been very much an informal market.”

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Retiring faculty

Some familiar faces are saying good-bye to UNCG and hello to retirement. These faculty members have given more than 300 years of service to our university. They are:

John J. Gamble Jr., professor, Department of Dance, 26.5 years.

Dr. Loren L. Schweninger, Rosenthal Excellence Professor, Department of History, 40.5 years.

Dr. Francine R. Johnston, associate professor, Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, 17 years.

Dr. Sarah B. Berenson, Yopp Distinguished Professor, Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education, five years.

Dr. Terence A. Nile, professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 39 years.

Dr. Adalyn Vallecorsa, professor, Department of Specialized Education Services, 32 years.

Dr. Jaquelyn W. White, professor, Department of Psychology, 40 years.

Dr. K. Porter Aichele, professor, Department of Art, 21.5 years.

Dr. Laura S. Sims, professor, Department of Nutrition, 12 years.

Billie M. Durham, clinical assistant professor, Library and Information Studies, 3.5 years.

Dr. Marion O'Brien, professor, Human Development and Family Studies, 11.5 years.

Vicki McCready, academic professional professor, Communication Sciences and Disorders, 29 years.

Dr. Margaret R. Savoca, associate professor, Nutrition, seven years.

Dr. James Sellers, professor, Community and Therapeutic Recreation, 35 years.

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Dean departures

Some campus leadership is changing.

Dr. John Deal, dean of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance stepped down June 30. He had been dean for 11 years. Dr. Sue Stinson will serve as interim dean for 2012-13. Read more about how Deal served SMTD through the years.

Dr. Robert Brown is retiring at the end of July after 10 years as dean of the Division of Continual Learning. Dr. Jim Eddy will serve as interim dean for the next two years. Read about Brown's accomplishments during the last decade.

Those at the School of Nursing are preparing for Dr. Lynne Pearcey's retirement at the end of the academic year (July 1, 2013). Pearcey has been at UNCG since 1989. She was elected vice-president of the Southern Regional Education Board's Council on Collegiate Education for Nursing and served in that role from 2007-09. Under her leadership, the School of Nursing was designated a Center of Excellence by the National League of Nursing. The school was one of only two nursing schools in the nation to earn that honor for three consecutive terms.

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Academic Program Review recommendations

After 18 months of academic program review at UNCG, in a process involving more than a hundred individuals, recommendations were presented at the final UNCG Board of Trustees meeting of the academic year.

The recommendations now will go to the UNC Board of Governors.

In an announcement to the campus community, Chancellor Linda P. Brady said that the purpose of the review has been to position our university to be as strong academically as possible while maintaining a sound and balanced educational program that is consistent with our mission, strategic plan and functions and responsibilities as an institution of higher education in the State of North Carolina.

In her report, 47 UNCG programs are identified as exceptionally strong in quality and/or function/demand to be considered for future investment. Seventeen programs are identified as having challenges in quality and/or function/demand with recommendations for interventions to strengthen. Forty-one programs are recommended for discontinuation based largely on recommendations of academic units.

As Provost David H. Perrin spoke about the chancellor's report, he told the trustees there are several high-priority programs that were not reviewed as part of this process because there is not enough data yet. Some examples are the bachelor's in entrepreneurship and graduate programs in nanoscience. “Thanks to the many faculty, staff, students and administrators who invested their valuable time, effort and good judgment throughout this process, UNCG is well positioned to become a stronger, more selective and more focused university,” the chancellor said in a message to the campus community.

At the Academic Program Review web site you may find the chancellor's report and recommendations to the Board of Governors.

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Holocaust testimonies

The number of Holocaust survivors in North Carolina shrinks each year. But UNCG's AfterWords project will help keep their experiences alive.

“We're taking testimony and information on survivors who settled in North Carolina — from various archives and from newly gathered interviews — and making it accessible worldwide,” says Dr. Roy Schwartzman, professor of communication studies.

He is the principal investigator for the project, which includes NC HERO (North Carolina Holocaust Education, Research, and Outreach), a new online portal created in collaboration with the NC Council on the Holocaust and maintained by University Libraries. Also supporting this effort is the NC Center for the Advancement of Teaching.

“We're bringing Holocaust education into the 21st century,” Schwartzman explains, with web-based resources providing multimedia engagement with survivors and their testimonies.

This is the twilight of the era of Holocaust survivors speaking live to audiences, he notes. During the fall semester, UNCG Hillel invited Hank Brodt, a survivor, to speak to students.

Schwartzman has involved more than half a dozen undergraduate and graduate students in the research. Holocaust studies have been a focus of his since he was a doctoral student. The topic of his award-winning dissertation was Nazi propaganda and the corruption of science to serve racism and anti-Semitic theories.

“It remains a central part of what I do.”

Seeing video of a survivor's testimony provides a personal connection, he explains. It's a different experience than reading text.

“We want to provide the maximum number of ways to engage with the experiences of survivors.”

Visit NC HERO at

See related news.

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Better prepared to lead high-need schools

The Piedmont Triad Leadership Academy graduated its first class in June. It's designed to help its graduates be prepared to lead high-need schools. Twenty-one individuals undertook summer coursework at UNCG, followed by a school leadership internship over the past school year. A new class is beginning their leadership preparation this summer.

Four area school systems, the Piedmont Triad Education Consortium and UNCG have partnered for this initiative, which is funded by North Carolina's Race to the Top grant. More details here.

See a video of the inaugural class's creation.

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