UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for September 2013

UNCG SECC 2013 goal will be $235,000

Photo of Mary Paisley giving ePledge detailsThere’s something new with this year’s SECC, Dr. Rob Cannon (Biology) said. He is UNCG’s 2013 SECC chair.

If you prefer donating online, you may do that.

It’s called ePledge.

If you prefer to donate via the traditional methods, such as check or payroll deduction, those options are available as well. Just see the form in your SECC envelope.

The State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) is the official, annual giving campaign for state employees. It supports more than 1,000 charitable organizations in our community and state.

Last Wednesday, UNCG’s volunteer departmental solicitors gathered for their kickoff meeting and to learn more about ePledge. For many volunteers, it’s their first year in the role. A handful have done it for 15 years or more.

“I want to thank all of you for your willingness to serve,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady told the volunteer solicitors from across campus.

Lots of UNCG employees give to the campaign. UNCG historically has the highest or one of the highest per capita percentages of giving in the UNC System. Last year, 46 percent gave, a percentage second only to Elizabeth City State.

That rate of participation helps many in need.

Full information is at the new UNCG SECC web site, secc.uncg.edu – including details about ePledge. Questions? Email secc@uncg.edu or just ask your department SECC volunteer.

By Mike Harris
Photograph of Mary Paisley giving ePledge details by David Wilson

March on Washington, 50 years later

Archive photo of March on Washinton from the National Archives UNCG’s 2013 Conference on African American Culture and Experience (CACE) Oct. 3-4 will focus on the theme “The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom: Fifty Years Later.”

Hosted by UNCG’s African American Studies Program, the annual conference will explore the status of the goals laid out during the historic march, covering issues from education and jobs to LGBTQ and voting rights. The programs are free and open to the public.

Among the key presenters will be Rhonda Vonshay Sharpe, a visiting professor of African and African American studies and research director for the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke University. Sharpe also is director of the Global Inequality Research Initiative (GIRI), which researches inequality in the areas of wealth, employment, education, political participation, and health and well-being. She was previously a research fellow at the Institute of African American Research and the Department of Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill and an instructor at Columbia University.

The conference will kick off with “Literary Café: Poetic Expressions” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3, in the Maple Room of Elliott University Center.

Events will continue the next day with a panel discussions titled “Jobs and Education” and “Justice for All?” Both panels will take place in EUC’s Cone Ballroom.

Visit www.uncg.edu/afs/cace to register and see full details.

By Betsi Robinson
Visual: Public domain, National Archives, of the March on Washington

Full story at UNCG Now.

Enrollment a topic of Faculty Convocation

Photo of Provost Perrin speaking at faculty convocationProvost David H. Perrin shared enrollment figures and other data – much of it positive – at the 2013 General Faculty Meeting and Convocation.

Before his presentation, Chancellor Linda P. Brady spoke about the faculty’s work and how it is valued beyond the campus borders. “Not a day goes by I don’t hear about the incredible work our faculty do both inside and outside the classroom,” she said.

She made special note of Dr. David H. Perrin’s tenure as UNCG provost and his recent announcement to return to teaching at the end of the academic year. “We have made incredible strides since 2007 under Dave’s leadership,” she said, citing examples in interdisciplinary research, diversity and inclusiveness, efforts to promote and reward community-engaged scholarship and more.

“UNCG is a stronger institution – and Greensboro and the Triad a stronger community – because of his dedication and service,” she said, as the faculty applauded.

She addressed the upcoming search for a successor. She expects to finalize the search committee very soon. A national search firm will be selected within a month. The Oct. 16 faculty forum will present an opportunity for faculty to describe the characteristics envisioned for the next academic leader. There will be a web site related to the search process.

As an additional item, she noted the schedule of UNCG Board of Trustees meetings. “We welcome your attendance and engagement with the board,” she said. The schedule is at http://chancellor.uncg.edu/bot/meetings/index.htm

Provost’s presentation

“We have challenges with enrollment,” Provost Perrin told the faculty at the start of his presentation. An exception is distance learning.

Undergraduate enrollment is down 2.5 percent; graduate student enrollment is down 3.78 percent. Distance education student numbers have an increase this year, up 11.6 percent.

The total regular and distance enrollment is 17,676, down about 500 students compared to last fall.

(See article on rise in SAT scores and other entrance scores, related to UNCG’s commitment to raise entrance standards.)

Many institutions nationally are experiencing a dip in enrollment, he noted.

About 50 percent of UNCG’s undergraduates are Pell grant eligible. This speaks well to UNCG’s commitment to access, though it is a challenge in regard to student retention rates. One expert states that only about 7.5 percent of all Pell students can be expected to graduate where they first enroll.

Our university is in need of someone whose focus will enrollment management 24/7, he noted. UNCG hopes to have the new associate provost for enrollment management in place by January.

Looking at student success numbers, retention rates for first year students dropped, compared to the year before. The four-year and six-year graduation rates went up.

Some other figures of note:

  • 125 students are now enrolled in the UNCG Guarantee program
  • 128 students are in the UNCG in 3 program, where there are now 21 majors available
  • 1,000 students are in learning communities/LLCs/residential colleges
  • UNCG Career Services has had an increase of 56 percent in student contacts in the past year.
  • To date, UNCG has implemented 24 of the 29 points in the 2009-14 Strategic Plan, during a time in which UNCG has had $90 million in cuts.

He also noted a report showing UNCG contributed at least $598 million to the gross state product of the Burlington/Greensboro/Winston-Salem area.

See PowerPoint of the provost’s presentation here.

See accompanying article about UNCG’s increase in SAT rates.

By Mike Harris

UNCG’s SAT average rises 8 points

Photo of College Avenue with studentsFor the third straight year, SAT scores for new undergraduates at UNCG have risen.

The SAT average this year is 1041. Last year it was 1033. It also rose over the previous two years.

The average ACT score rose as well, from 22 to 23. The average high school GPA rose too.

The percentage of incoming UNCG undergraduates identified as an ethnic/racial minority rose one percent, to 45.3 percent.

Provost David H. Perrin presented the figures at UNCG Faculty Convocation Sept. 18.

“Our university’s efforts to attract and admit high academic quality students continues to show results with these scores for incoming students,” Perrin said. “UNCG’s academic programs are challenging. The better prepared the students are when they enter UNCG, the more likely they will be successful. Student success is an essential goal for our university.”

Updated 9 am Sept 25 to correct typo in ACT sentence.

You’ve got Health Benefits questions? HR has answers

You have questions about changes in health benefits? UNCG’s HR specialists will answer them as part of a presentation – at 25 info sessions in the coming weeks.

Angela Montgomery (HR) gave a brief update at the recent Staff Senate meeting. Some questions and answers drawn from that update:

What if I take no new action regarding health insurance?
If you make no election, you and any covered family members will be moved to the 70/30 plan option.

Where can I see rates for the different options?
2014 rates now are posted at the UNCG Benefits web site: http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/benefits/. That layout may be easier to understand than the rates posted on the State Health Plan site.

What are the different options?

  • 70/30 – where nothing is different as far as plan structure or out-of-pocket expenses
  • 80/20 – where out-of-pocket expenses stay the same for the most part, and there’s a $0 copay for preventive care services
  • A brand new one, 85/15 Consumer Directed Health Plan (CDHP) – There’s a high deductible that applies to both medical and pharmacy services. Instead of copays, members will have to meet the deductible, then pay a 15 percent coinsurance on all in-network medical and pharmacy benefits.

For each of these, come to a meeting to learn details. This is just a partial description.

Do I need to fill out a health assessment – regardless of which option I choose?
Only if you want an option other than the 70/30 plan. Even then, completion is optional, but if you don’t do this, you’ll have a higher monthly premium.

Will I need to pick a primary doctor – and say whether or not I smoke?
Again, only if you want an option other than the 70/30 plan. Even then, completion is optional, but each activity you complete reduces your monthly premium.

What about prescriptions?
For copay plans one tier is being added, for the new plan (85/15 CDHP) – you’ll pay the full cost of those drugs with some exceptions. Come to a session to find out more.

What about retirees?
For the first time, retirees over 65 will have different health insurance options than active employees.

My vision insurance?
NC Flex vision insurance is dropping Plan 2 (materials only) due to low participation. It is being replaced with a core vision plan, available to employees only, at no monthly cost. It will allow you to get one eye exam per year for a $20 copay, as long as the provider is in network. You must enroll in this plan to get this coverage.

The biggest change for NC Flex Term Life Insurance?
There are several changes, but the biggest may be that you can add coverage for spouses and children, starting Jan. 1.

What else?
The information above is a partial, incomplete description – but may help let you know what types of questions you’ll want to bring with you to the October sessions. Also, complete information is on the HR web site, where there are links for additional details.

Again, sign up for information sessions at http://workshops.uncg.edu/workshops-by-category.jsp?cat_id=77002227

New UNCG referral desk

As part of UNCG’s continued commitment to community engagement and mutually beneficial partnerships, the Institute for Community and Economic Engagement (ICEE) is launching the UNCG Referral Desk.

It’s a new service aimed at helping individuals and organizations within or outside of UNCG connect to the university.

The Referral Desk will serve as a portal and point source for community inquiries about services and resources provided by UNCG, as well as opportunities for mutually beneficial knowledge exchange partnerships. It will also serve as the point source for inquiries received through REACH NC (a UNC System-sponsored database of university expertise and scholarship that is currently in the final stages of development).

You can call or refer others to ICEE’s Referral Desk (336-505-8994, communityengagement@uncg.edu) or point them to the new web site Community & Friends, which includes references to various services and opportunities, as well as the Community Engagement Collaboratory, a database of hundreds of community-UNCG projects and partnerships.

For more information, contact Kristin Medlin, ICEE communications and partnerships manager, at kdbuchne@uncg.edu, or visit http://communityengagement.uncg.edu/referraldesk.aspx.

UNCG SECC pictures on web site gallery

Photo of SECC supporter Becky KatesThe 2013 SECC is under way. Historically, UNCG has one of the top participation rates in the system.

When you give to the SECC, consider snapping a picture – with you holding the “UNCG Gives” sign (download a small version or larger version here). Or when a group in your office has given, snap a group shot. If your department reaches 100 percent participation – and every year some departments do that – why not snap a departmental shot to mark the occasion? Or do it at the start to help spark high participation in your department.

And hold your “UNCG Gives” sign like you mean it. By being a proud participant in the SECC, obviously you do.

Then tweet it (preferably with the hashtag #uncgSECC).

Or email the picture to secc@uncg.edu.

The UNCG SECC site will display all the pictures at the new SECC gallery seen here – and these pictures from around campus will inspire others to be a part of the campaign as well.

Full details on the UNCG SECC are at secc.uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Photo of SECC supporter Becky Kates

‘Wagging the Dog’ Faculty Center Takeover

The next ‘Faculty Center Takeover’ will be Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 4-6 p.m. And dog lovers are in for a treat.

This special event will be co-hosted by very visible community oriented organizations: Office of Leadership and Service Learning and the Weatherspoon Art Museum. The theme is: “How can I incorporate visual learning and/or service learning into my scholarship?” Beverages and appetizers at the Faculty Center will be available – and at the same time beverages and desserts at Weatherspoon.

Dogs and dog-walkers provided by UNCG’s community partner JULIET’S HOUSE will accompany you between the two buildings. Dog station treats will be provided by community partner ARC BARKS.

And if you’re more of cat lover than a dog lover? Well, there will be golf cart transportation between Faculty Center and Weatherspoon.

Both events will have faculty roundtables where faculty will share very informally. Those times are 4:30-5 p.m. at the Weatherspoon, and 5-5:30 at the Faculty Center.

The FTLC-coordinated takeovers at Faculty Center are the first Thursday of every month. If you teach at UNCG, come be a part of the informal gathering.

Greensboro Municipal Candidates Forum at Alumni House

Photo of Alumni HouseA forum of Greensboro municipal candidates will be held Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, 6 – 8 p.m. at Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room.

This digitally interactive forum will be hosted by the Spartan Legislative Network of the UNCG Alumni Association.

The forum presents an opportunity to learn more about each candidate and ask the questions you want answered before you cast your vote.

Questions for the candidates may be submitted in advance or during the event by email (alumni@uncg.edu) or through the UNCG Alumni Association Facebook page or Twitter (please use the hashtag #uncgforum).

The event is free and open to the public but you are asked to register here.

Achievements by Mathematics & Statistics faculty members

Dr. Jan Rychtář’s book, “Game-Theoretical Models in Biology,” was published in March 2013 and recently received a very positive review from Martin A. Nowak, Professor of Mathematics and Biology at Harvard University. The review was published in the August 2013 volume of the prestigious journal, Science. Covering the major topics of evolutionary game theory, “Game-Theoretical Models in Biology” presents both abstract and practical mathematical models of real biological situations. It discusses the static aspects of game theory in a mathematically rigorous way that is appealing to mathematicians. In addition, the authors explore many applications of game theory to biology, making the text useful to biologists as well.

Dr. Talia Fernós was awarded a three year (2013–16) National Science Foundation (NSF) research grant by the Division of Mathematical Sciences (Topology and Geometric Analysis Program). Grant work will focus on rigidity of isometric Hilbert space actions using the tool of low dimensional cohomology.

Dr. Clifford Smyth was awarded a three year Department of Defense National Security Agency (NSA) award (2012–15). The funding will support his Correlation Inequalities project. These have to do with quantifying how certain random events influence each other. Although correlation inequalities belong to probability, they also have been of use in solving problems that, surprisingly, seem to have nothing to do with probability. They have had important impacts in a number of mathematical fields such as combinatorics, number theory and computer science.

Rychtář, Fernós and Smyth are also recipients of the Simons Foundation Grants. These are awarded only to individuals who currently have a record of active research and publication in high quality journals.

However, both Fernós and Smyth could not accept this award since they currently hold NSF and NSA awards.

A dose of Monty Python, with ‘Spamalot’

Photo of Emily Gardenhire as 'The Lady of the Lake'Ride your imaginary horse to the UNCG campus for a taste of Spamalot, a musical tribute to the comic movie classic “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”

UNCG Theatre‘s production of “Spamalot” runs Oct. 2-10 at Taylor Theatre as part of Greensboro’s 17 DAYS Festival. Jim Wren, the theatre professor directing the show, says it has universal appeal for the silly-at-heart.

“I think it’s evident throughout popular culture today,” Wren says of the iconic film that inspired the musical. “And, most likely, folks in my generation forced their kids to watch it with them… kind of like ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’ It’s still a part of our experiences.”

Wren says, “‘Spamalot’ can be equally enjoyed by those who either love the film or have never seen it. I think the film has endured because of the absolute commitment by the Python members to their own anarchic vision of comedy. It’s the iconoclastic nature of their work that paved the way for ‘The Simpsons’ to ‘Family Guy’ to ‘South Park’ and so on.”

See “Spamalot” Oct. 2, 3, 8-10 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 4 and 5 at 8 p.m.; and Oct. 5 and 6 at 2 p.m. All performances take place in Taylor Theatre.

Call the theatre box office at 336-334-4392 or buy tickets online at www.brownpapertickets.com.

By Michelle Hines

Full story at UNCG Now.

UNCG among nation’s best at supporting vets

For the third straight year, UNCG has been recognized as a Military Friendly School, putting it in the top 20 percent of schools nationwide that are doing the most to support veterans and their families.

The distinction is based on a data-driven survey of more than 10,000 schools approved for Veterans Administration tuition funding. The 2014 list highlights 1,868 colleges, universities and trade schools that stood out for recruitment and retention of students from military backgrounds. The list is released by Victory Media, a veteran-owned small business.

UNCG’s military population has doubled since the fall of 2007, despite the fact that the campus is not near any military bases. “Veterans are coming here and coming here for a reason,” says Dedrick Curtis, a veteran and the university’s veteran services coordinator.

In addition to the continued recognition from Victory Media, Military Times Edge Magazine put UNCG on its 2013 Best for Vets list, the only North Carolina public university to make the cut.

By Michelle Hines

Full story at UNCG Now.

Founders Day Oct. 7

Photo of McIver statueA procession – with bagpipes – to the McIver statue will be a highlight of 2013 Founders Day at UNCG Monday, Oct. 7. The procession will lead to the wreath-laying ceremony, which will take place at 1 p.m. The ceremony is open to all who would like to join in. The University Bell will sound and The Chariots – a student a cappella group – will lead everyone in the alma mater song.

Then refreshments will follow. As custom dictates, there will be cake.

Make nomination for UNCG’s most prestigious public service honors

UNCG holds public service in the highest regard. UNCG incorporates service-learning into our curriculum, encourages alumni to continue their community outreach after graduation and reveres our state’s most dedicated citizens.

To further our tradition of honoring North Carolinians with exemplary public service records, UNCG seeks your help in identifying the 2013-14 nominees for the Charles Duncan McIver Award and the Holderness/Weaver Award. The most prestigious public service honors given by the university, these awards demonstrate UNCG’s value of civic engagement.

Your careful consideration and nomination of a devoted, inspirational citizen will be extremely helpful to the nomination committee and the Board of Trustees.

You may submit your nomination form by Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

Details are at https://uc.uncg.edu/psawards/

Submit your nomination here.

HHS’ Bill Johnson, the ‘dream dean,’ at Gates Foundation’s Advising Challenge

Portrait of Bill JohnsonBill Johnson, student success coordinator for UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), is known as the Dream Dean. Now Johnson, a certified dream coach, has realized a dream of his own.

Johnson’s proposal for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Momentum Advising Challenge was one of only nine selected from 76 applications that came in from across the country. He traveled to Seattle Sept. 18-20 to represent UNCG at the Advising Challenge summit.

The Gates Foundation works with global partners to tackle several critical issues, including the betterment of education in the U.S. Proposals for the Advising Challenge were chosen based on three key areas – mentoring, incorporation of life skills and measures of success.

Johnson’s proposal summed up some of the ideas he uses with students in HHS. He calls his plan “Make College Matter.”

“Make College Matter” focuses on five key ingredients for success — Story, Art, Vision, Allies and Resilience (SAVAR). Johnson created a one-credit course for first-year HHS students that he runs as a group coaching session. The course is designed to help students explore what they want to achieve in their careers and their lives.

“We’re asking students to think about why they’re here and to plan for their future,” he says. “That’s the message I specialize in.”

Dr. Celia Hooper, HHS dean, says Johnson enables HHS students to “dream big.”

By Michelle Hines

Full story at UNCG Now.

Looking ahead: Sept. 25, 2013

NanoManufacturing 2013, conference
Wednesday, September 25, JSNN

New Music Festival, Red Clay Saxophone Quartet
Wednesday, Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Music Building

Women’s Soccer vs. Appalachian State (with Kids’ Corner)
Thursday, Sept. 26, 7 p.m. (Close the Caf Night)

Asian Autumn Festival
Saturday, Sept. 28, 11 a.m., Sullivan Science Building

Opera gala
Saturday, Sept. 28, 8 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

Music, Symphonic Band
Monday, Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

Volleyball vs. Elon
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7 p.m.

Music, Wind Ensemble
Wednesday, Oct. 2, 7:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

Free flu shots at UNCG

UNCG Human Resources offers free flu shots again this year.

The flu vaccine is the best protection against the debilitating effects of the virus, says HR.

Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, Claxton Room, EUC
Thursday, Oct. 10, 2013, Claxton Room, EUC
Monday, Oct. 21, 2013, Campus Supply

All times are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The clinic will supply free flu vaccinations to State Health Plan members. This includes employees and covered family members at least four years of age. Retirees with State Health Plan coverage are also welcome. Please bring your State Health Plan I.D. card and a photo I.D.

Questions? See the HR web site for answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

To honor Jan Van Dyke

Join UNCG Dance in honoring recently retired Jan Van Dyke Saturday, Oct.5, 2013, directly following the evening’s Jan Van Dyke/John Gamble dance concert. The reception will be in the Dance Theatre Lobby of HHP Building. RSVP to Jeff Aguiar at 334-5570 or jbaguiar@uncg.edu.

Dr. Susanne Rinner

Portrait of Dr. Susanne RinnerDr. Susanne Rinner (Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) is the recipient of the 2013 AATG (American Association of Teachers of German) Friend of German-German Educator Award. This prestigious award is given annually in recognition of exemplary leadership in the advocacy of German and German language education at the local, regional or national level. She will be honored at the AATG Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the ACTFL Annual Convention and World Languages Expo in November.

Dr. William Mills-Koonce

Portrait of Dr. William Mills-KoonceDr. William Mills-Koonce (Human Development and Family Studies) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project “Integrating Demography and Biosocial Stress Models of LGBTI Family Formation.” Although there is high interest in the demography and welfare of families headed by lesbian and gay (LG) parents, there is currently limited longitudinal research on LG families or the transition to LG parenthood, the abstract says. This training and pilot research will provide him with the skills, experience, and preliminary data necessary to establish an independent research program on the topic.

Dr. Jewell Cooper

Portrait of Dr. Jewell CooperDr. Jewell Cooper (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received new funding from NC Ready for Success for the project “Implementing CCSS and WIDA in Secondary Math Instruction”. Building upon the existing collaborative relationship between UNCG and Ben L. Smith Professional Development High School, this project aims to feature the team of mathematics teachers’ interpretation and successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment standards in secondary mathematics instruction through a series of web-enabled videos.

Dr. Perry Flynn

Portrait of Dr. Perry FlynnDr. Perry Flynn (Communication Sciences and Disorders) received a continuation in funding from Phoenix Academy for “Speech Language Pathology Service Contract with Phoenix Academy.” The purpose of this agreement is to provide speech and language therapy services to qualifying children in the Phoenix Academy.

David Holley

Portrait of David HolleyDavid Holley has been appointed artistic director of the Greensboro Opera. At the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Holley has been director of opera since 1992.

Dr. Chris Payne

Portrait of Dr. Chris PayneDr. Chris Payne (Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnership) received new funding from the University of Virginia for the project “Banking Time: Supporting the Social Emotional Development of Young Children through Positive Teacher-Child Relationships.” This project is being submitted by the University of Virginia to the US Department of Education in order to evaluate the effect of a preschool-based intervention, called Banking Time, for children who display significant behavior problems in classrooms, such as aggression, low frustration tolerance, non-compliance and impulsivity. The abstract explains that it is called Banking Time because teachers serve as a valuable resource to children and a teacher can invest in this relationship with a child that the child will later draw upon to help cope with common classroom challenges (e.g., work on a frustrating task, deal with peer conflicts). Funding will cover the implementation of the intervention in various day care, preschool, and Head Start sites in Guilford County along with the comprehensive evaluation of its efficacy.

See/Hear: Sept. 25, 2013

“We have elected to call our department ‘Interior Architecture’ as a statement of our belief that design education is a holistic and multidisciplinary activity. We believe that learning to be a designer is a complex and rigorous task, requiring devotion and passion,” says Interior Architecture department chair and professor Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker. This video exemplifies those beliefs.

Moran Commons dome is taking shape

Photo of dome constructionThe central area of Moran Commons – still hidden from diners’ view during the renovation – is really taking shape.

The metal catwalks high above the commons went in late August. The compression ring was hoisted into place earlier this month. The catwalk’s railings were put in last week.

Some echos of the past are obvious. Evidence remains of a large clock that years ago greeted diners entering from College Avenue. In the 1904 wing of Moran Commons, the old glue-laminated beams (probably from the 1940s-50s) are now exposed, high above, a nice counterpoint to the new glue-lam beams in the center of the commons. And the old cupula – too nice and historic for recycling – has been preserved and will likely go on display in the commons.

Skylights will be a part of the dome, bringing lots of natural light.

A 110-ton capacity crane has hoisted the dome’s 5,000 pound wooden beams into place. By last Wednesday, nine of the 10 large glue-lam wooden beams were placed on top of the commons. The tenth one was scheduled for Thursday.

On Wednesday (Sept. 11) afternoon, wooden intermediate struts were being placed at intervals between these large wooden beams.

Fred Patrick pointed to areas between the beams. Patrick is director of Facilities Design & Construction. “These are where the skylights will be installed,” he said. “The dome is being supported by temporary bracing today.”

Soon, the scaffolding will be taken away. Only the catwalks will remain, with the dome above. An exposed wood roof of arches will span the nearly 107-foot-diameter central space. Five identical curved wooden arch vaults will be constructed along the axis of each existing dining wing. The crown of these vaults will be 41 feet high.

He explained how the compression forces and the tension forces are handled with the dome structure. He pointed to the compression ring at the top center of the catwalks. The tension ring at the bottom of the dome structure will have 20 steel tension rods attached later this week.

Impressive engineering. And Moran Commons will appear open and airy, with plenty of natural light and fewer interior walls. You’ll be able to see the plaza and fountain area all the way from the College Avenue entry area.

There will be a variety of dining stations – the Mongolian Grill will be directly under the dome.

The commons will provide for a comfortable, user-friendly and modern dining space for Spartans for many years to come. Food prep areas will include Home Style, International, Breakfast, Salad/Soup and Desserts – plus a food theater for demonstration cooking.

The renovation to Moran Commons will be paid for over time by a portion of meal plan fees.

This Phase 3 Renovation of Moran Commons is on schedule and will be finished in December. It is scheduled to be open to students, faculty and staff when they return in January.

By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson, on Sept. 11. CW main pg: workers place intermediate struts at intervals between the large beams. This page: The area where the central, curved stairwell once was. 

Fall 2013 UNCG MFA readings

Photo of Faculty CenterYou may have read about Craig Nova’s latest novel in The Atlantic online or in the Paris Review online in the past months. In early October, you’ll have an opportunity to hear him read from “All the Dead Yale Men.”

That’s one of several MFA readings on tap. The full schedule:

Friday, Sept. 20 – Terry Kennedy alumni poetry reading, 7 p.m., The Green Bean (the reading will celebrate the release of his debut poetry collection “New River Breakdown”)

Thursday, Oct. 3 – Craig Nova, faculty fiction reading, 7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center (The reading will celebrate the release of Nova’s latest novel, “All the Dead Yale Men.”)

Thursday, Oct. 10 – Tom Kealey, alumni fiction reading, 7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center (The reading will celebrate the release of Kealey’s Flannery O’Conner-award-winning collection of short fiction “Thieves I’ve Known.”)

Friday, Oct. 25 – Kelly Cherry & Jillian Weise alumni poetry reading, 7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center

Thursday, Nov. 21 – “Will Read for Food” Benefit Reading for Greensboro Charities, 6 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

UNCG Women’s Cross-Country wins Elon Invitational

Photo of Sumney sisters during raceThe UNCG women’s cross country team took home the team title at the Elon Invitational Saturday morning as the Spartans placed three of the top four finishers in the race.

Senior Shaina Sumney, a speech pathology major, returned to competitive racing after redshirting last year and won the individual title with a time of 17:36 in the 5,000-meter race. Sophomore Lydia Saina, a public health major, placed second with a career-best time of 17:39.

Senior Chelsea Sumney, Shaina’s sister, was the Spartans’ third best finisher as she placed fourth with a time of 17:47. Chelsea Sumney, a speech pathology major, won last season’s Elon Invitational title.

By Matt McCollester. Photo of the race by Carlos Marales, of (l-r) twin sisters Shaina and Chelsea.
Full story at UNCG Athletics. Race photo gallery is here.

Nominations of candidates for UNCG honorary degrees

Chancellor Linda P. Brady provided this message inviting nomination for candidates for honorary degrees:

The Committee on Honorary Degrees invites you to identify people who would be good candidates for honorary degrees to be granted at the 2014 commencement or subsequent commencements. The purpose for awarding honorary degrees includes the following:

  • To recognize individuals who demonstrate extraordinary achievement over their entire scholarly or artistic careers or who have performed distinguished public service in their lifetime;
  • To recognize excellence in the scholarly fields of degrees awarded by the University as well as those that exemplify the history and mission of the University;
  • To honor those individuals whose lives and achievements are consistent with the qualities and values espoused by the University in order to provide examples of the University’s aspirations for its graduates;
  • To elevate the visibility and reputation of the University by honoring those individuals who are widely known and regarded in their field or in society as a whole.

The person selected may be distinguished in any number of areas: humanities, sciences, arts, public service, and education, to name a few. Those currently holding public office in the state and the permanent staff of our state universities are not eligible. The achievements may vary in scope from prominence on the international or professional scene to vital contributions to the University, North Carolina, and beyond. A previous connection to the University or state is not mandatory but is considered a strength. For more information, see http://provost.uncg.edu/publications/personnel/honorary.asp Guidelines and Procedures for Honorary Degrees approved by the UNCG Board of Trustees at its December 6, 2012 meeting.

In order for you to have an idea of the persons who have received Honorary Degrees, I invite you to examine the names of awardees from past years: Norman Anderson (2013); Bonnie McElveen-Hunter (2012); Thomas Haggai (2011); Margaret Maron (2010); Rebecca Lloyd, Nido Qubein (2009); Fred Chappell, Tom Ross, Kay Yow (2008); Irvin Belk, Betty Ray McCain, Edwin S. Melvin (2007); Molly Broad, Henry Frye, Shirley Frye (2006); Muriel Siebert (2005); Jim Hunt (2004); Jaylee Mead (2003); Michael B. Fleming, Stanley Frank (2002); Kenneth L. Adelman, Bonnie Angelo, Jean Brooks (2001); Erskine Bowles (2000); Maud Gatewood, Eloise R. Lewis (1999); Carolyn R. Ferree, Calvin Trillin (1998); Mary Ellen Rudin, LeRoy T. Walker (1995); T. James Crawford (1994); Maya Angelou (1993); Richard C. Atkinson, Robert E. Ward (1992); Doris W. Betts, John H. Franklin (1990).

The committee asks that initially you submit candidates on the form available at http://provost.uncg.edu along with biographical information. After the first screening, we may request additional information. Please keep in mind the need for confidentiality, as candidates should not be aware that they are being considered.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, Nov. 4, 2013. Please send the completed nomination form to the University Committee on Honorary Degrees, Office of the Provost, 201 Mossman Building, The Campus.

October topics: domestic violence, gun violence

“Domestic violence-related deaths on rise in Greensboro,” was the front-page headline in a recent News and Record. Coming ahead of Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, the article outlined the year’s domestic violence-related deaths in Guilford county.

Several UNCG events related to the timely topics of domestic violence and gun violence will be held in coming weeks.

“Disarmed: The Missing Movement for Gun Control” Wed., Sept. 25, 7:30 p.m., Curry Building Auditorium, Room 225. The Political Science Department presents: Dr. Kristin Goss, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Political Science at Duke University, to discuss the shifting politics of gun reform up to and after Newtown. Presented by UNCG’s Center for Legislative Studies Fall Lecture Series. Co-sponsored by the FTLC.

Domestic Violence Panel: “What should I do if I think a UNCG student or employee is being abused in an intimate relationship?” Wed., Oct. 9, noon to 1:30 p.m., Faculty Center. Lunch provided by UNCG Dean of Students. Register through FTLC to reserve lunch. FTLC@uncg.edu Seating limited.

Mental Health Speaker: Dr. Christine Murray, UNCG School of Education, Counseling Department. Tues., Oct 22. NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence meeting on UNCG campus. Register online through: http://www.nccadv.org/

NC Coalition Against Domestic Violence meeting on UNCG campus. Register online through http://www.nccadv.org/ Substance Abuse Speaker, Wed., Oct. 23.

“Violence in America” Wed., Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m., Curry Building Auditorium (Room 225). Dr. Philip J. Cook, Terry Sanford Professor of Public Policy, Professor of Economics & Sociology, Duke University, speaks about successful and unsuccessful ways to address gun violence via public policy. Presented by The Center for Legislative Studies Fall Lecture Series. Co-sponsored by the Division of Continual Learning.

Asian Autumn Festival Sept. 28

Photo of colorful origamiInternational and Global Studies at UNCG invites you to celebrate the rich diversity of East and Southeast Asian cultures.

UNCG’s 2013 Asian Autumn Festival will be Saturday, Sept. 28, from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. in the Sullivan Science Building.

This free event offers fun and entertaining demonstrations, exhibits, food samples, cultural performances and children’s activities. Everyone is welcome. Admission and parking (in the McIver Street parking deck) are free.

For more information, contact Yvonne Matlosz, ylmatlos@uncg.edu

See updates and details at https://www.facebook.com/events/191034041074407/

UNCG Quidditch, one of our newest club sports

Photo of UNCG Quidditch playersIt was not rugby. The players had sticks or what appeared to be brooms.

What it was, was Quidditch.

UNCG hosted eight teams from a three-state area on the recreation fields Saturday. The Quidditch tournament included UNC Chapel Hill, VCU, Western Carolina, Furman, USC, UNC Charlotte, Appalachian State and UNCG.

UNCG Captain Amanda Wilson, a senior English major, sat with teammates including sophomore biology major Tori Stiles, deputy captain, after the UNCG club team’s victory over University of South Carolina. Within minutes they’d play Appalachian State.

Wilson likes Quidditch, inspired by the game played in Harry Potter novels, because it’s a blending of different sports – it brings all the skills of those sports together, she explained. Plus women and men can readily play together.

Jackie Ross, also playing that day, and Wilson started the UNCG team, Wilson says.

Club sports at UNCG allow students to build their leadership skills, as they build their athletic ones. There are many sports to choose from.

Stiles likes that the Quidditch team consists of a variety of athletes who all enjoy taking part. “I love that.”

Plus the sport has been in existence only a few years. “We’re helping create a sport,” she explains. They are pioneers.

Senior history major Dustin Jones notes they’d won 120-70 earlier that morning against South Carolina – and they were minutes away from taking on Appalachian State.

They ran on the field, many with sticks in hand – and warmed up.

“UNCG, are you ready? App State, are you ready?” the referee yelled.

And another match began.

Learn more about UNCG Club Sports, part of UNCG Campus Recreation, at http://campusrec.uncg.edu/clubs/. Or email Erick Unger at edunger@uncg.edu.

By Mike HarrisVisual: the club team huddles before the match begins

Grant for Weatherspoon to renovate storage space

The Weatherspoon Art Museum was awarded $150,000 through The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) Museums for America program to renovate its principal 5,382 square foot storage vault.

The vault houses 40 percent of its collection.

This is the second time the Weatherspoon has received funding from IMLS for vault renovation. An earlier grant of $150,000 enabled the museum to undertake the first phase of the overall vault renovation.

In this second phase of a three-part plan, the renovation will allow the museum to increase storage for 1,250 framed two-dimensional artwork by 20 percent and for more than 200 small to mid-size sculptures by 150 percent. The renovation also will improve and enhance safe access to the collections, provide for state-of-the-art optimal storage conditions, allow for collection growth, and increase the museum staff’s overall efficiency. Preserving the museum’s collection — part of the documentary heritage of our society and culture — is one of the core missions of the Weatherspoon.

Since 2001, the collection has grown by more than 1,149 objects.

2013 UNCG Miles for Wellness

It’s time to take a walk.

The “Miles for Wellness Challenge 8: The Trail to Four Corners” is open and ready for participants.

If you register, you will be provided with an interactive map by WeSave to show all 44 of the exciting destinations available to you via your virtual tour. You will also receive a pedometer by HealthyUNCG.

Each team will be able to see their position along the trail as they are participating – from the Office of State Human Resources Wellness web page as well as the HealthyUNCG web page.

Exercise conversions will be allowed throughout this challenge.

Registration begins tomorrow and runs through Friday, Sept. 27, 2013. Each team can have up to 10 team members. You can register your team at http://www.oshr.nc.gov/Support/Wellness/events.htm

The eight-week challenge starts Sept. 30 and runs through Nov. 24, 2013. Let’s see which team can walk the farthest!

This is the third time that UNCG has participated in the statewide walking challenge through the Office of State Personnel.

For questions about how to form a team and the different competition categories or for any other information, email healthy_uncg@uncg.edu.

Schallock is interim director in University Relations

Portrait of Debbie SchallockDebbie Schallock has been appointed interim director of marketing and strategic communication in University Relations. Schallock has been director of marketing in the department for 12 years.

Last month, Helen Hebert Dennison retired as associate vice chancellor for university relations after serving UNCG for 15 years.

A committee chaired by Chancellor’s Chief of Staff Bonita Brown will conduct a search for a successor. The position title will be associate vice chancellor for marketing and strategic communication.