UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Archives for May 2011

Five receive top service awards

060111Headline_ServiceAwardsAll are trailblazers in their own way. One forged a path in a male-dominated field. One led the charge for education for all. One has received national recognition for her research as well as the accolades of her students. Another has spent her life providing affordable housing to families. Another has sought to end poverty. Five women received UNCG’s top awards for service on May 19: Dr. Katherine A. Rawson, Susan Whittington, Patricia Gibson Garrett, Dot Kendall Kerns and Sue Woodall Cole (seen receiving the evening’s final award, the McIver Award.) See story at University News page.

Reaching out to minority contractors, suppliers

060111Feature_ContractorsHow do you learn how to bid on construction projects at universities? How to be considered as vendors? How to be considered for work or as a supplier by the contractors and the vendors who currently have contracts – whether in construction, dining services, etc?

UNCG, along with NC A&T State and Winston-Salem State University, created what they called a “UNCG System Triad Coaliition” to bring minority business owners and potential clients together. Their first annual Minority Construction and Supplier Outreach Program was May 20 in EUC’s Cone Ballroom. The theme: “Building Lasting Relationships.”

The meet-and-greet event reached out to historically underutilized businesses (known as HUB). Before the event began, UNCG’s HUB Coordinator, Tony Phillips (Business Affairs), explained these include businesses owned by women, by ethnic minority populations such as Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, by military veterans and by those with disabilities.

This event, he explained, helps “to open the door of opportunity” by presenting a chance for individuals to make connections and learn — all at one location. He said they had sent out about 250 invitations, and at least 150 were expected to attend.

Associate Vice Chancellors Jorge Quintal (UNCG), Owen J. Cooks (WSSU) and Andrew Perkins (NC A&T) welcomed everyone. The HUB coordinator on the three campuses, Brenda Fulmore (WSSU), Tony Phillips (UNCG) and James Griffin (NC A&T), spoke briefly as well.

Panelists included representatives from SRS, Balfour Beatty, Rodgers Builders, Bovis, Rentenbach Construction and the NC HUB Office.

Other HUB coordinators spoke as well. “Learn the processes,” Dorothy Vick (HUB coordinator at UNC Charlotte) told the attendees, explaining that each state university may do things a little differently.

Cynthia Barnes, assistant director of renovations at UNCG, concluded the programmed part of the event by encouraging all the attendees to speak with others and trade business cards. “Get out and do some networking. Network, network, network.”

Those with questions may contact Tony Phillips at 256-1069 or a_philli@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Visual: Individuals, including James Griffin (HUB coordinator at NC A&T, center foreground, in black jacket) network at the event.

Justice for war crimes fugitive

060111Feature_WagnerAfter 16 years, Ratko Mladic has been caught.

The headlines last Thursday (May 26) announced the news: “War Crimes Fugitive Mladic Arrested in Serbia” (AP), “Serbia Arrests ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Ratko Mladic for Alleged War Crimes” (Fox News).

The AP story that day described him as “the ruthless Bosnian Serb military leader charged with orchestrating Europe’s worst massacre of civilians since World War II.” It referred to the well-known 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim males at Srebrenica, in the former Yugoslavia.

Dr. Sarah Wagner, assistant professor of Anthropology, has researched the forensic processes used to identify the victims of that massacre at Srebrenica. Her book “To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica’s Missing” was published in 2008 by the University of California Press. It examined not only the identification of the human remains, but the impact on the families of those massacred, as well as the larger political dynamics.

(See news release about that book, by Michelle Hines.)

Her work in this area continues.

Wagner and Dr. Lara Nettelfield are co-authoring the book “Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide,” which is set to be published by Cambridge University Press next year. Cambridge University Press has published a three-part series of blog posts in anticipation of the book:

Fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Mars Mira Peace March

Fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Srebrenica Potocari Memorial Center

Fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Memorial visit to Srebrenica

The blog posts, with many pictures, detail a large, commemorative peace march last year, retracing the route of the massacre victims. They describe the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre, where the remains of nearly 800 victims were laid to rest. And afterward, a memorial visit by relatives to several of the sites of the killing. At one site, the authors tell of family members encountering gun shell casings and bones that remained visible in the rocky ground. At another, the Pilica Cultural Center, a large room is riddled with bullet holes in the walls.

Wagner’s eye is not only on the massacre victims, but on those who continue to live in Bosnia, and their future. She and Nettelfield note the military gains Mladic achieved continue to hinder Bosnia’s economic and political prospects. And news reports from the past days show those living in Bosina have little anticipation that justice will be served, even if he spends his remaining years in prison. The two authors cite a returned refugee comparing Mladic’s quality of life with hers. “It’ll be like a nursing home for him. … There’s no justice in that.”

See video on Sarah Wagner’s work.

By Mike Harris
Visual: Of graves at Srebrenica Potocari memorial center, from video by UNCG MFA students Adnan Dzumhur and Alice Dull.

Staff Stars surprised in May

060111NewsAndNotes_StaffStarsOn May 18, a bunch of staff members were singled out by co-workers as Staff Stars. [Read more…]

TLC is moving

The Teaching & Learning Center (TLC) is in the process of moving to Mossman 159. [Read more…]

Shred-a-Thon 2011 on June 10

In 2010, UNCG recycled 9.7 tons of paper at the Shred-a-Thon. That’s the equivalent of about 165 trees, says Ben Kunka (Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.) [Read more…]

Bryan Prelude’s flexible entry to graduate level classes

The Bryan School is offering prospective students an opportunity to try graduate level courses before committing to a full degree program. [Read more…]

Rackstraw Downes Exhibition and Talk

060111EyeOnArts_RackstrawThe Weatherspoon Art Museum presents the exhibition “Rackstraw Downes: Onsite Paintings, 1972-2008.” [Read more…]

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

060111EyeOnArts_MouseTheatre 232, a Triad Stage and UNCG Theatre summer theatre festival, will present “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” June 16 though July 2 in the Brown Building Theatre. [Read more…]

Campus People: June 1, 2011

011310CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Dr. Jim Weeks – Mike Gaski – Dean Karen Wixson – Kristeena Alexander – Gayle Coats – Lloyd Douglas – Jim Fisher [Read more…]

Looking ahead: June 1-17, 2011

Artist talk, Rackstraw Downes
June 2, 6:30 p.m. (reception beforehand), Weatherspoon.

Cram and Scram Sale
Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC

Opening preview performance, “Masquerade”
Sunday, June 5, 7:30 p.m., Triad Stage

Friday, June 10, 8 a.m., Walker Circle, near Jackson Library Tower

Noon @ the ‘Spoon art tour, “Encore! Japanese Actor Prints”
Tuesday, June 14, Weatherspoon.

Opening performance, “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie”
Thursday, June 16, 10 a.m., Brown Building Theatre.

Opening performance, “A Bomb-itty of Errors,”
Friday, June 17, 10:30 p.m., Upstage Cabaret, Triad Stage

more at calendar.uncg.edu

See/Hear: June 1, 2011

About 8,000 Bosnian Muslim males were killed in the Srebrenica Massacre. Dr. Sarah Wagner (Anthropology) worked with and interviewed forensic specialists and family members of those massacred. The results of her multi-year research in the former Yugoslavia resulted in the book ““To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica’s Missing.”

The massacre occurred 16 years ago. She was there last year at the 15th anniversary, when family members visited sites of the mass killing. They saw interior walls riddled with bullet holes. They reached down to touch gun shell casings and bones that remain in the dirt, even after 15 years. And last week, they heard the news: the alleged leader of the massacre had been arrested and would be indicted on war crimes charges. (See feature story.)

Two UNCG MFA graduate students, Adnan Dzumhur and Alice Dull, made a short film of Wagner’s work.

See the video here.

SOAR 2011: Spartan Bold, Blue & Gold

051811NewsAndNotes_SOARUNCG’s SOAR (Spartan Orientation, Advising and Registration) will welcome the university’s newest Spartans beginning June 9. [Read more…]

Two for a dollar, at Cram and Scram 2011

What do you do with everything left behind in the residence halls from the 2010-11 academic year? You sell it – everyone two for a dollar. [Read more…]

UNCG graduated 2,624

Tom Haggai warned UNCG’s new graduates not to lose sight of what is really important in life. [Read more…]

Cybercrime expert Ksherti has concerns about cloud security

051811NewsAndNotes_KshetriMore and more computer users are using cloud providers to help aggregate their information, but the security policies of those providers haven’t kept pace with their growing popularity. [Read more…]

Aiming to drive online enrollment growth

051811NewsAndNotes_OnlineAdIn early May, the Office of Online Learning launched an integrated “UNCG Online” marketing campaign to boost awareness of all UNCG online programs. [Read more…]

Meet candidates for ACD for Human Resource Services

Candidates for the position of Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resource Services are being invited to campus for interviews. [Read more…]

Campus legends, ghosts, history in tour

051811NewsAndNotes_TourJoin Interim University Archivist Hermann Trojanowski for a 60-minute walking tour of the campus. [Read more…]

May Day celebrations on campus

051811NewsAndNotes_MayQueen1938UNCG Libraries’ Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives presents an exhibit of artifacts, photographs and postcards commemorating these May Day festivals. [Read more…]

Want to start riding but you don’t own a bike?

051811NewsAndNotes_BicyclesUNCG Spartan Cycles has bikes that faculty and staff can check out for a day or the summer. [Read more…]

We’ll rethink 3-tier system, provost says

051811Feature_ProvostProgReviewWhen General Administration’s program review assesses UNCG, our program review process will help UNCG advocate for its strongest programs. But there are concerns to work through, as those who attended the Faculty Senate’s most recent forum heard.

“We have some issues to get right,” Provost David H. Perrin told the Board of Trustees at their May 5 meeting. He cited two examples: how to use data and how to break the programs into segments or tiers.

He told the trustees that he had met recently with all department chairs, deans and Faculty Senate members to discuss Program Review and to hear their concerns. Later that week, he would meet with seven current or past Faculty Senate chairs to hear their thoughts and concerns.

Earlier, at the Faculty Senate’s forum on April 27, a number of concerns and suggestions were raised by faculty members.

“I hope we can take this summer to get a better position for faculty to move this forward,” Perrin told the trustees.

Those two specific concerns – use of data and the proposed three-tier system – are being addressed. For example, he has invited a consultant to work with UNCG’s Office of Institutional Research regarding data.

And he acknowledged the concern expressed about the proposed three-tier system, by which the program review committees would essentially rank programs into three groupings. “We will rethink this,” he said.

After meeting with the current and past Faculty Senate chairs, as well as Program Review Unit Committee chairs, he updated the deans recently with a detailed message, with information he invited them to share with faculty and staff in their schools.

(See the memo here.)

He will announce a new timeline for Academic Program Review, he said, after Dean’s Council meets in late May. He added, “It is important that we position the university to begin the unit reviews in the fall.”

He anticipates a retreat in August, before classes begin, for members of the program review committees.

Faculty and staff may continue to provide suggestions at http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/. At that Program Review site, you may sign up for the listserv for updates when new information is added to the site. “We want the discussion of how to improve this process to be as inclusive as possible, which will be a challenge given that summer is now under way,” he said. “We are hoping faculty and staff will find this web site a convenient way to remain engaged because it is very important that we work together to address the challenges facing our university.”

By Mike Harris
Visual from UNCG Photography archives, Chris English photographer

Notes: May 18, 2011

NotesIconFaculty development workshops UNCG’s Communication Across the Curriculum (CAC) program will host two faculty development workshops on Monday, June 6. “Incorporating Informal Writing into Your Course” and “Speaking to Learn: Learning to Speak,” presented by the directors of the University Writing Center and University Speaking Center, will offer interested faculty meaningful ways to infuse their courses with writing and speaking. Each workshop will be held in 21 McIver Building (in the McIver Underground), with the writing workshop from 9:30 a.m.-noon, and the speaking workshop from 1-3:30 p.m. Seating is limited, and faculty members registered for either workshop will receive a $100 honorarium. To register, and for more information, visit the CAC Faculty Development workshop page at http://www.uncg.edu/cac/faculty_resources/workshops.html.

Enhanced Budget Central web site If you have visited the university’s Budget web page in the past days, you likely noticed some changes. A line of descriptive copy has been added for each post, to provide context for the reader, says Mike Tarrant. This site provides a great way for all members of the UNCG community to stay informed about budget matters, whether they are away from campus or on campus. Sign up for the listserv at that site to receive posts the moment they are published on the site.

2011 UNCG Research magazine hot off the presses If you have not read a printed copy, a pdf can be viewed at http://www.uncg.edu/rsh/pdfs/UNCGresearch_2011E.pdf. This pdf is posted on the Office of Reseach and Economic Development web site.

Golf lessons Jan Kiefer joins Campus Recreation again this year to share her golfing experience with us. She will be teaching beginner (Get Golf Ready) and intermediate classes over two sessions running from May 31-July 25. You will get personalized one-on-one attention due to the small class size and make new friends as well. Classes will be at the UNCG Golf Practice Facility, north of the Student Recreation Center. UNCG affiliated members (student, faculty, staff, retirees, alumni) and guests are permitted to register for golf classes. The schedule of classes, descriptions of the different levels of classes and the registration form are at http://campusrec.uncg.edu/golf_lessons2011/golflessons2011.html

Temporary road closure Portions of Spring Garden Street will be closed between Tate Street and Aycock Street from May 21 through May 31 to allow for the refurbishment of the crosswalks. The closure will begin at the Tate Street intersection and proceed west to Aycock Street. Detours will be in place. Please use caution when transiting this area. Please contact Dale Williams (Facilities Operations) at 334-3363, for additional information.

Persian, Indian, Japanese art at Weatherspoon this summer

051811EyeOnArts_IndianMiniaturesExplore wonderful artwork from Asia, as the Weatherspoon presents two exhibitions. [Read more…]

Campus People: May 18, 2011

012010CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Dr. Dianne Welsh – Stacey Peebles – Dr. Aaron S. Allen – Justin Maullin [Read more…]

See/Hear: May 18, 2011

At the Staff Excellence Awards breakfast, Chancellor Linda P. Brady noted that members of UNCG staff were at work during any time of the day or night. Whether public safety, housekeeping, grounds – the list goes on – important work goes on before most students arrive and well after most students have called it a night.

This visual montage by UNCG Magazine’s photographers includes Facilities Operations’ Josee Kougblenou and Patricia Dority as well as members of Grounds and Dining Services, as they make preparations for the day ahead.

Announcement: May 18, 2011

The following is critical information regarding the open enrollment for health insurance. The open enrollment will take place between May 9 and June 8. Enrollment packets will be mailed to the employee’s home and should be received by May 9 OR can be accessed via the web site http://www.shpnc.org/

  1. You MUST enroll if you wish to participate in the 80/20 plan.
  2. You MUST comply with the tobacco and BMI requirements to participate in the 80/20 plan. Please read this information carefully in your open enrollment packet.
  3. You MUST complete the open enrollment information by June 8.

As the legislature has not approved health plan changes for the next fiscal year, it is expected that there will be a second open enrollment in the coming months, says Deb Carley (HRS). The Benefits Office has no information on this anticipated second open enrollment, but they will communicate information as soon as legislative decisions are reached.

Looking ahead: May 18, 2011

First summer session classes begin
Monday, May 23

Walking tour of the campus
Wednesday, May 25, noon, begins at McIver Statue in front of Jackson Library

Artist talk, Rackstraw Downes, and reception
Thursday, June 2, 5:30 p.m., Weatherspoon

Cram and Scram Sale
Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC

more at calendar.uncg.edu

William Wiener named Graduate School dean

051811Headline_WilliamWienerDr. William Wiener, dean in residence at the Council of Graduate Schools in Washington, has been appointed dean of the Graduate School at UNCG and will begin work Aug. 1.

He comes to UNCG after five years as vice provost for research and dean of the Graduate School at Marquette University, where he also is a professor in the Department of Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology. He holds a PhD in counselor education and supervision, an MA in blind rehabilitation, and an MA in speech pathology and audiology.

He previously served as a faculty member and later as program director of blind rehabilitation at Cleveland State University, as chairperson of the Department of Blindness and Low Vision Studies at Western Michigan University, and as senior associate dean and then dean of the Graduate College at Western Michigan. His credentials include certification as an orientation and mobility specialist and as a rehabilitation counselor.

“Dr. Wiener’s experience leading the graduate schools at Western Michigan University and Marquette University combined with his recent experience as dean in residence at the Council of Graduate Schools will prove invaluable to the leadership he will provide to the Graduate School,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin. “His accomplishments with fundraising and advocacy will help us to continue to build our resources in support of our graduate students.”

Wiener, who also will hold an appointment as professor in the School of Education’s Department of Counseling and Educational Development, succeeds James Peterson, PhD, dean of the Graduate School since 2002. UNCG enrolls more than 3,000 graduate students and offers 26 doctoral programs and 61 master’s programs.

“I was attracted to UNCG because of its values and the quality of its programs,” Wiener said. “The university is student oriented and community engaged while at the same time placing a premium on the discovery of new knowledge and facilitating creativity.”

His disciplinary interests include counseling persons with disabilities, the use of audition by persons with vision loss and independent travel for persons with disabilities. The author of numerous publications in peer-reviewed journals, he is the primary editor of the leading textbook on independent travel for persons who are blind or who have low vision.

He has served as president of the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, chairperson of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness, board member of the National Council on Rehabilitation Education, board trustee of the American Foundation for the Blind and chair of the Midwest Association of Graduate Schools.

His work has been recognized with the two highest awards in the field of visual impairment and blindness: the Migel Medal for Service to the Field of Vision Rehabilitation (2011) and the Ambrose Shotwell Award for National and International Contributions in Blindness (2004). The Faculty Senate of Western Michigan University gave him its Distinguished Service Award (2005); and the National Association of Professional and Graduate Students gave him its Friend of Graduate Students Award (2002).

By Dan Nonte

Lucas receives BOG Teaching Excellence Award

051811Feature_LucusAs both a designer and a historian, Dr. Patrick Lee Lucas embraces creativity, intellectual rigor, cross-disciplinary collaboration, synthetic thinking and community outreach.

Guided by these values, his teaching inspires students to find innovative ways to understand and engage the visual world and has earned him a 2011 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lucas, an associate professor of interior architecture, received the award during commencement at the Greensboro Coliseum. Established by the Board of Governors in 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching, the Teaching Excellence Awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member at each campus in the UNC system.

Lucas’ signature project to date has been his work with the Lowenstein Legacy, an ongoing, collaborative learning experience centered on the work of Greensboro architectural modernist Edward Lowenstein. He has supervised students as they designed and installed exhibits about the architect and has engaged them in higher-level thinking about their work and its meaning for mid-century modernism in the United States.

“Stewardship and empowerment through design lie at the heart of each of Dr. Lucas’ courses,” student Mira Eng-Goetz said. “In his course ‘Community by Design,’ I was challenged to address the local public transportation system, taking into account elements such as Southern history, the Civil Rights Movement, community needs, poverty, disparity and segregation.

“This project led me out of the studio and into the community, where Dr. Lucas has taught me to seek insight and diverse perspectives. By the end of the course, I had acquired the skill to collaborate across social boundaries to design for social change.”

During his eight years at UNCG, Lucas’ teaching has reached learners at many stages of their studies, from undergraduate lectures in history and theory of design to graduate seminars in material culture or research methods, from first-year seminars in Lloyd International Honors College to an Emeritus Society course in the Division of Continual Learning.

Faculty colleagues, too, laud his teaching.

“The ultimate indicator of a teacher’s effectiveness is the quality of his or her students’ work. In Dr. Lucas’ case, the work is superlative,” said K. Porter Aichele, an art professor and herself an award-winning teacher. “Conceptually well developed, technically competent, and visually and verbally well communicated, his students’ work is a testament to his teaching excellence.”

Lucas earned his bachelor’s in architecture at the University of Cincinnati, a master’s in interior design at the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in American studies at Michigan State University. He is working on a book about Lowenstein’s work.

By Dan Nonte

‘Katie will stay with us forever’

051811NewsAndNotes_KatieBallKatie Ball ’06 was an organizer and a people person, leaving her mark on UNCG’s baseball program. [Read more…]

Commitment to Learning Communities

050411Headline_LearningCommHow many of our freshmen will be in learning communities on campus, by the middle of this decade?

The target is 100 percent.

A look at the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-14 shows this goal: “3.3: Implement first-year learning communities for all first-time UNCG undergraduate students to encourage integration of learning across courses.”

Laura Pipe, UNCG’s new director of learning communities in Undergraduate Studies, says an objective is to have at least 50 percent of the freshman population in a learning community in Fall 2012. “We will need eight or nine new ones that year” to meet the goal, Pipe says.

In learning communities, there’s a high level of contact with faculty, and the students do some activities together, which stem from the classroom and the faculty. In living-learning communities, the students also live together in a residence hall. The Residential Colleges take that a step further, with faculty involved with them even more. At one RC, Ashby, a faculty member lives in the college.

As the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village progresses, there will be faculty apartments allowing for a faculty-in-residence program. These programs have grown popular in recent years at other universities, such as UCLA and the University of Illinois at Chicago, according to Pipe.

Provost David H. Perrin says, “I am pleased that we have increased the size and scope of learning communities, particularly living-learning communities, so dramatically in just one year. Previously, UNCG boasted three residential colleges with a joint capacity for 215 freshmen. For fall 2011, we will will add spots in learning communities for an additional 430 students, allowing UNCG to provide these opportunities to nearly a quarter of all freshmen. Importantly, we have accomplished this with a relatively modest investment of resources.”

Perrin anticipates the effect LCs will have on learning measures. “Given the high probability that learning community involvements will support the academic mission through collaborative integration of courses, along with related academic connections through the co-curriculum, I expect that retention and graduation rates will improve significantly. Now that GA [General Administration] has changed the way it funds [UNC] System campuses, focusing for the first time on student performance indicators, UNCG literally cannot afford to fail to reach retention and graduation rates set for us.”

He added, “This strategic investment is as fiscally sound as it is academically beneficial.”

Currently, UNCG has three residential colleges (RCs), which are the most intensive form of learning community:

  • Warren Ashby
  • Grogan
  • Cornelia Strong

The latter, Cornelia Strong RC, has been non-curricular, though it will have one course in the fall that is a Directed Reading course led by Anne Barton, that RC’s director. The course is based on the Great Books concept similar to the first Residential College created in the 1920s by Alexander Meiklejohn at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

This fall, UNCG will have four new learning communities. All are living-learning communities (LLCs), aside from UNCG Teach.

  • Exploratory Studies: Pre-Health (living and taking classes with others interested in health and human services, in Ragsdale Residence Hall)
  • Sustainable Entrepreneurship (living and taking classes with others interested in building entrepreneurship knowledge and skills for business success, in Jefferson Suites)
  • Summer Launch (for students wanting a little introductory support, as they move in early for a successful head start. They will live and take classes together yearlong, as they reside in Grogan Residence Hall)
  • UNCG Teach (It takes the best of UNS 101 and links it to the classes’ content. This is non-residential, with students in housing throughout campus. It is for those interested in teaching and education.)

(See short clip of Pipe’s update on these four new learning communities.)

The LCs require students to become more active participants in the learning experience with the faculty member – essentially a continuous partnership, Pipe says. The benefits? “It’s higher GPAs,” she explains. “It gives us increased learning gains.”

Pipe, who grew up in Randleman before attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics – her first experience with essentially a living-learning community – speaks of her relationships with faculty members in each step of her education. They inspired her, and they showed interest in her abilities and ideas. Active engagement – and stronger relationships between classmates and particular faculty members – can make for greater success.

With UNCG’s push to raise its retention rates and see enhanced student success, those are good things.

In a recent interview, Chancellor Linda P. Brady said, “I’m convinced that the work that we’re doing around learning communities will have a dramatic impact on this university as early as next year.”

Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of Undergraduate Studies, cites the high retention rates at UNCG’s three residential colleges, as he explains how LLCs create the sense of small communities in a large university. “The retention rate is clearly enhanced and improved through this residential experience,” he says.

Teaching these classes do not require much additional work from faculty, Pipe says. But it does require collaboration and communication between faculty members.

“We need as many faculty on board as possible,” she says.

A two-day workshop for faculty and staff – Undergraduate Studies Institute – on May 9-10 will allow about a dozen or more faculty members to break into small teams to create models for future learning communities. “We’ll use that modeling to start recruiting faculty members” for the specific areas, she says. The learning communities will make for a mixture of disciplines and ways of thinking.

“Any faculty members who are interested, we’ll find a place for them,” Pipe says. Whether they are interested in the ground-floor planning in this workshop, helping to instruct a class, discussing their research during an LLC course, whatever, the level of involvement they are able to give is welcomed.

The new learning communities for 2011-12 will typically have 4-8 faculty members who are very involved, she notes.

Those wanting more information on the workshop or UNCG’s learning communities may contact Pipe at 6-8599 or LMPipe@uncg.edu.

See Dean Steve Roberson’s interview on the topic of learning communities and retention rates in the current issue of UNCG Magazine.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mark Wagoner


Thomas Haggai Will Speak at Commencement

050411Feature_CommencementThomas S. Haggai, business executive and motivational speaker, will give the address at spring commencement.

It begins at 10 a.m. Friday, May 6, in the Greensboro Coliseum. Approximately 2,600 students are expected to graduate.

Haggai, who will also receive an honorary degree at commencement, has been the chief executive officer and president of IGA, Inc. since 1986. He also serves as a director of Davids Limited, Australia, and has served as a director of Super Food Services, Inc. since 1971. He has been a lecturer, author and radio commentator since 1976.

In 1963, Haggai founded the THA (Thomas Haggai and Associates) Foundation with 250 national business and professional leaders. The Foundation awards college scholarships to non-traditional students returning to school to earn certification as elementary school teachers. The Foundation has awarded more than 800 scholarships amounting to more than $2 million. In 2001, he received the first Thomas S. Haggai Award established by IGA to honor individuals who exemplify character, leadership and community service.

THA has been providing annual scholarship support to UNCG’s School of Education since 2001, giving $60,000 annually since 2005. The Foundation has invested a total of $565,000 at UNCG to support older students studying to be elementary school teachers.

Zimuzor Ogochukwu will speak for the Class of 2011. Ogochukwu will visit Asia as a Luce Scholar after graduation.

Faculty Marshal and mace bearer is Dr. Daniel Winkler. Chief Student Marshal is Katie Skawski.

Tassel Turner is Michael Tuso.

Mary Katsikas, who majored in chemistry at Woman’s College and who has worked in the chemistry department since then, will represent the Class of 1961 as alumni bell ringer. Sabrina Epps will ring the bell for the Class of 2011.

Full details can be found at the Commencement Central web site, http://www.uncg.edu/reg/CommencementCentral.html

Live streaming will be available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/may-graduation.

By Michelle Hines
Photograph by Chris English

Shooting for the Moon

050411Feature_MoonRockOne unforgettable day in 1970, Debra Sea’s dad, a NASA science demonstrator, brought home a moon rock. The sense of wonder she felt as a 10-year-old remains with her today.

“It’s always been a source of inspiration,” says Sea, an MFA film student at UNCG. “I believe anything is possible, and I tie that belief back to my experience when I was 10.”

Sea wanted more children to have the same opportunity. The story of how she made that happen is told in her 12-minute thesis film, “Moon Rock,” created with support from one of only three 2011 Carole Fielding Student Grants awarded by the University Film & Video Association. Michael Frierson, associate professor of media studies, advised her throughout the project.

“Moon Rock” and three more thesis films by MFA students will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. A reception will start at 6 p.m.; a Q&A session with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

Assisted by first-year MFA student Adrienne Ostberg, Sea traveled to Hampton, Va., to borrow a moon rock from NASA; transported it to Minnesota; and brought her dad out of retirement to show the rock to schoolchildren.

NASA doesn’t lend its moon rocks lightly. Sea, who has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in geology, spent six months persuading the agency to lend her one of the priceless stones. Enclosed in a Lucite pyramid, the 115-gram rock has its own carrying case. A small brass plate on the case reads, “IF FOUND, RETURN TO – NASA, JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON, TEXAS 77058.”

There are rules for transporting and handling a moon rock. It must be kept in sight or in a safe. It can’t be kept in a motel room overnight. (This caused Sea and Ostberg to spend a night in an airport when their flight was cancelled.) Don’t touch the Lucite without gloves, because the oil from skin can damage and cloud the Lucite. The responsibility made sleep difficult for Sea and Ostberg.

“We took great care to follow the strict NASA rules because we really felt that we were safeguarding a treasure of the American people,” Sea says. “It was an honor and a privilege to show this moon rock to the kids.”

The rock was shown to three classes of fifth-graders, 75 students, at Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary in the northern Minnesota town of Wadena (pop. 3,952). Sea’s brother David teaches fifth grade at the school.

“I was concerned that the fifth graders might be cynical – but they were extremely engaged,” Sea says. “I hope that they will continue to be inspired by the magic and wonder of science and will remember the day a moon rock came to their classroom.”

One of Sea’s earlier works, the experimental film “balance,” was a finalist for a Student Academy Award in the alternative category last year.

By Dan Nonte
Visual: A family photo, from 1970.

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