UNCG Magazine

Spring 2020

RISE TO THE
CHALLENGE

Pandemic Report

Simply
Unprecedented

A new strain of coronavirus has jolted the world. It closed all in-person classes and prevented all public events at every UNC System school. But learning, research, and our university’s much-needed impact go on.

March was a cruel month. Without drastic public health measures, April would have been the cruelest.

The first case of the coronavirus in North Carolina was detected on March 3.

On March 11, UNCG officials, in accord with UNC System universities, canceled all in-person classes for the following week, giving faculty time to prepare online lessons. As of March 23, all classes were online. The spring sports seasons were ended. All performances, lectures, and games were canceled. Alumni Reunion weekend would be online-only, with big hugs replaced by heart emojis. And in a first for this campus, the May Commencement was postponed.

A global pandemic and UNCG’s mission

A Message from Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

Our world has been forever changed. The outbreak of the coronavirus that initially seemed so distant has touched all of our lives in profound and personal ways. The first cases were reported in North Carolina in early March, and the steady spread has reached our community and nearly every part of our state. And through it all, UNCG perseveres, and maintains its focus on our mission: educating our students and preparing them to contribute to our society in meaningful ways.

We are in uncertain times and, in many ways, uncharted territory with the realities and required responses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts at UNCG have been swift and significant, and we’ve had to make decisions based on fast-changing and unpredictable circumstances.

Nurses on the Front Line

Dr. Ernest Grant ’93 MSN, ’15 PhD, president of the American Nurses Association

Dr. Ernest Grant ’93 MSN, ’15 PhD, president of the American Nurses Association

Duty calls. During the current pandemic, nurses across the state and nation are serving long hours with limited supplies and protective wear. Dr. Ernest Grant ’93 MSN, ’15 PhD, president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), has a broad perspective, as he represents the nation’s 4.3 million registered nurses.

An expert in burn care, he oversaw the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center’s Outreach and Prevention Program for many years. After Sept. 11, 2001, he volunteered in New York, caring for patients injured in the attacks. And now there’s another cataclysm, one that we all are facing: the worldwide COVID-19 outbreak.

“It’s vitally important that we do everything we can to slow or stop the spread of COVID-19 and to reduce, not only the string of infections that are happening now, but also what might happen in the future,” he said in a March 30 interview. “Because, as more and more people contract it, it’s obviously going to prove quite a strain on the health care system as well.”

As ANA president, he is advocating for those on the front line to get the personal protective equipment they need. He is working with and encouraging government authorities to monitor supply chains to ensure that vital medical equipment goes where it is most needed. And through videos and social media, and through interviews with national news programs, he has spread the message: Follow your local and state directives about sheltering in place.

“I know it’s very difficult. I’m a bit frustrated, myself, with having to stay indoors most of the time, but we all must do our part,” he said.

Heart to Heart

Her dad’s taught her a lot. Now she’s teaching him a few things too.

Grit. Stamina. A great sense of humor. And the ability to check your emotions at the door. These are some of the characteristics that reveal themselves when getting to know Les and Sara Nichols, a father-daughter team currently making their way through the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at UNC Greensboro.

These also happen to be traits that define a successful health care professional able to withstand the trials of a hospital emergency ward. Les and Sara know this well. Outside of school, the father and daughter duo serve in the same emergency unit at High Point Medical Center, where they take what they learn in the classroom and apply it on the job, and vice-versa.

Les and Sara tackle job- and school-related problems by drawing upon their respective experience and skill sets. Les is able to bring his many years’ experience working in various fields and being a dad to the table, while Sara is able to bring her fresh perspective and right-brain sensibilities. “I know his strengths and weaknesses and he knows mine, so we can help each other out,” says Sara.

They are passionate about what they do, and they have each other’s backs – on the hospital floor as well as in classes, at clinicals, and during marathon study sessions for big exams.

I know his strengths and weaknesses and he knows mine, so we can help each other out.

Sara Nichols

Heart to Heart

Her dad’s taught her a lot. Now she’s teaching him a few things too.

Grit. Stamina. A great sense of humor. And the ability to check your emotions at the door. These are some of the characteristics that reveal themselves when getting to know Les and Sara Nichols, a father-daughter team currently making their way through the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program at UNC Greensboro.

These also happen to be traits that define a successful health care professional able to withstand the trials of a hospital emergency ward. Les and Sara know this well. Outside of school, the father and daughter duo serve in the same emergency unit at High Point Medical Center, where they take what they learn in the classroom and apply it on the job, and vice-versa.

Les and Sara tackle job- and school-related problems by drawing upon their respective experience and skill sets. Les is able to bring his many years’ experience working in various fields and being a dad to the table, while Sara is able to bring her fresh perspective and right-brain sensibilities. “I know his strengths and weaknesses and he knows mine, so we can help each other out,” says Sara.

They are passionate about what they do, and they have each other’s backs – on the hospital floor as well as in classes, at clinicals, and during marathon study sessions for big exams.

Nursing Perspectives

UNCG has a proud nursing heritage. Its undergraduate bachelor of science in nursing (BSN) program is rigorous, with an N.C. licensing “pass rate” to prove it: 93% of the Spartan students pass it on the first attempt. The program – with many first-generation or non-traditional students – is supportive, with a degree completion rate of 98%. And once they are done, they are in high demand, with an employment rate of 99%. They have the knowledge and skill needed in diverse health care settings.

These are unprecedented times, but this is what we signed up for when we became nurses. Our mission as nurses is to promote well-being and serve the health needs of our communities.

Dr. Robin Remsburg ‘82 MSN, dean of the School of Nursing

We asked Susan Safran ’77 and Jana Welch Wagenseller ’76, both former nurses who received their BSN from UNCG, about nursing and this pandemic. We also asked Dr. Robin Remsburg, dean of the School of Nursing, and Associate Dean Audrey Snyder, who has been point person for the nursing school’s coronavirus information outreach. Their insights are invaluable.

Grace Under Pressure

One UNCG alumna has become the image for all nurses during this wave of coronavirus.

Perhaps you’ve seen the meme on Reddit or Twitter? A nurse sporting sunglasses, mask, walkie-talkie, and an arm sleeve of animal tattoos, making her way with confidence as though in an epic movie battle scene.

It’s UNCG’s own Grace Cindric, 2016 graduate of the UNCG School of Nursing and one of many health care professionals on the front lines during this pandemic.

Rise to the Challenge:

Call to service frames our future

A new Nursing and Instructional Building. A new Campus Master Plan. And on the horizon: a much-needed renovation for Jackson Library, an innovative and impactful arts collaborative space at the corner of Tate and Gate, and a vision to spur the technology corridor along Gate City Boulevard. These latest developments in the transformation of UNC Greensboro’s campus will give the University the capability to better serve our students and the needs of the broader community.

newsfront

  • ‘WICKED’ ties for Dominick Amendum

    ‘WICKED’ ties for Dominick Amendum

    This time, Dominick Amendum plans to see “WICKED” from the audience. How did he come to be a part of thousands of performances of the immensely popular musical? He graduated from UNCG’s music school in 2001, as a classical piano performance major. Within four years, Amendum had joined “WICKED” on its first national tour. That […]

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  • What’s National Dance Day GSO Without UNCG?

    What’s National Dance Day GSO Without UNCG?

    JOYEMOVEMENT Dance Company member Milanda McGinnis This year’s National Dance Day GSO has UNC Greensboro written all over it.     Greensboro Downtown Parks, Inc. (GDPI) plans a fully in-person celebration this fall – and they will kick things off with the premier performance of “A Wicked Silence” from GDPI’s Artist-in-Residence, and UNCG alumna, Alexandra Joye Warren […]

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  • Social justice through song, with Laurelyn Dossett

    Social justice through song, with Laurelyn Dossett

    The North Carolina Folk Festival returns Sept. 10-12. And once again, “Songs of Hope and Justice,” led by Laurelyn Dossett ’99 MS, will help launch the weekend festival. Like The Weavers? The Almanac Singers? Odetta? The Seegers? Then bring your lawn chair and be ready to “sing out!” Laurelyn Dossett was the cover feature in […]

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  • Vigils and ‘United We Stand’: 9/11 and 9/12 at UNCG

    Vigils and ‘United We Stand’: 9/11 and 9/12 at UNCG

    On Sept. 12, 2001, more than 3,000* UNCG students, faculty, and staff gathered around the  Fountain for a vigil and remembrance service. The Pentagon and World Trade Center sites, as well as a deep depression in Pennsylvian soil, were still smoldering.  The campus community – like all of America – was reeling. The day before, […]

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  • At Minerva: apples, daisies … and peaches?

    At Minerva: apples, daisies … and peaches?

    Students leave offerings at Minerva as classes start every August. It’s for good luck. And even if you don’t believe in it, it’s a nice, uniquely-UNCG tradition. The first items left at Minerva that were documented here in Campus Weekly were coins. That was 2007. A few years later, the first apple at Minerva was […]

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  • Terry Kennedy on NC’s literary inspiration

    Terry Kennedy on NC’s literary inspiration

    Terry Kennedy ’99 MFA has written the poetry collection “New River Breakdown.” He directs the MFA Writing Program here at UNCG. He serves as editor of The Greensboro Review, as well as of StorySouth. His work has appeared in many literary journals and anthologies. When Carolina Public Press selected panelists for their series “Literary North […]

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  • Spartans help broadcast Olympic Games

    Spartans help broadcast Olympic Games

    The Tokyo Olympics, postponed for a year and with no fans in attendance, are proving to be one-of-a-kind. For Spartans Max Negin ’08 MFA and Cindy Hsieh ’13 MFA, they are another opportunity to help capture the rousing spirit, daring physical accomplishment, and drama of Olympic competition.  With no fans, it’s just the athletes and […]

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  • Oakley gift transforms Alumni House reception room

    Oakley gift transforms Alumni House reception room

    As the new academic year swings into gear, UNC Greensboro’s Alumni House will be more inviting than ever – with refinished oak floors, a brightened appearance in the main reception room, and a new name for this newly enhanced room. The Oakley Family Reception Room, on the main floor, received its official name at today’s […]

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  • UNCG Opera alumnus Sidney Outlaw in free concert July 17

    UNCG Opera alumnus Sidney Outlaw in free concert July 17

    This Saturday, Sidney Outlaw ’04 will perform a unique, social justice-themed concert for Greensboro Opera, accompanied by pianist Warren Jones. The concert is free-admission. Outlaw, a renowned baritone, performs internationally and has appeared on many of the most illustrious stages in the world. Among his many performances are Haydn’s The Creation and Handel’s Messiah at […]

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‘Together Again’

Alumna Emmylou Harris’ first performance on campus since the 60s was one for the ages.

The auditorium was packed. The Class of 1969 cheered their classmate from the front rows.

The upbeat “Here I Am” opened the show. She encored with the country standard “Together Again” and then the song she called the first great one she herself wrote, “Boulder to Birmingham.”

She had starred, along with Sandra Hopper (now Dr. Sandra Hopper Forman) ’66, ’71 MFA, in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” on that very stage 54 years earlier. Sandra was on hand for the concert.

thestudio

The show must go on

The show must go on

Soon after graduating from UNCG’s School of Music, Martha Bassett ’96 MM made a name for herself with her first band, Martha and the Moodswingers. Nine albums later, the jazz singer realized she was at a crossroads. She could either commit to developing a national audience or invest more at home – and North Carolina […]

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BB makes a banjo ring

BB makes a banjo ring

She received the Steve Martin Banjo Prize last fall. Her band, Mile Twelve, was named New Artist of the Year by the International Bluegrass Music Association. BB Bowness learned banjo in her native New Zealand – “It isn’t really a hotbed of bluegrass,” she says dryly. At age 12, a local carpenter agreed to teach […]

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Museum mural

Museum mural

A major new artwork by Sheena Rose ’16 MFA will grace the Weatherspoon Art Museum atrium this spring and summer. Her vibrant and energetic work is at once anchored in her Caribbean heritage and expansive in its explorations of culture and human experience. It has been featured internationally, including the A.I.R. Gallery in New York; […]

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New at UNCG: Robinson Family Fund in Jazz Studies

New at UNCG: Robinson Family Fund in Jazz Studies

When Ward Robinson, MD, retired, he turned to a different challenge: music.  As an infectious disease expert, Robinson served for two decades at Moses Cone Health System and five years as medical director for the Guilford County Department of Public Health. “I was trying to find ways for each individual within our community to have […]

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Outtake

Spring forth Native to North Carolina, flowering dogwoods have long graced our campus. The trees’ blossoms – the official state flower, in fact – announce spring’s warmth and longer days every year. This flowering dogwood was photographed recently near the Bryan Building. The trees on our campus provide welcome joy, and the dogwood berries are a delicacy for birds. We were the first UNC System school to be named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation – and the campus received this honor yet again this spring.

Photograph by Martin W. Kane
“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
– Claude Monet

Outtake

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.”
– Claude Monet

Spring forth Native to North Carolina, flowering dogwoods have long graced our campus. The trees’ blossoms – the official state flower, in fact – announce spring’s warmth and longer days every year. This flowering dogwood was photographed recently near the Bryan Building. The trees on our campus provide welcome joy, and the dogwood berries are a delicacy for birds. We were the first UNC System school to be named a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation – and the campus received this honor yet again this spring.

Photograph by Martin W. Kane
Spring 2020

UNCG Magazine is published by University Communications

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PO Box 26170 Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
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Vice Chancellor for University Advancement
Beth Fischer

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Jeff Shafer

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Mary G. Landers

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David Pesci

PUBLICATION’S STAFF AND CONTRIBUTORS

Editor
Mike Harris ’93 MA

Art Director
Lisa Summerell

Lead Photographer
Martin W. Kane

Writers / Copy Editors
Alyssa Bedrosian ’19 MA
Matthew Bryant
Brittany Cameron
Avery Campbell
Michelle Danner-Groves ’16 MA
Chris Garton
Susan Kirby-Smith ’06 MA
DePaul Straub
Tommye Morrison
Amy Snyder
Alexandra McQueen

Production Facilitator
Sherri MacCheyne ’10, ’14 MSITM

Web Manager
Matthew W. Johnston

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Mark Unrue

Videographer
Grant Evan Gilliard

Contributing photographer
Mike Micciche

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