UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for February 2014

UNCG is ‘Tree Campus USA’ for fifth straight year

Photo of Aerial view of the Music BuildingUNCG’s natural beauty is again in the eye of the beholder.

UNCG has been certified once again as a Tree Campus USA university. The official presentation will occur on Earth Day at UNCG, April 22, 2014, said Jorge Quintal, associate vice chancellor for facilities.

The notification letter noted a commitment to healthy, sustainable urban forests from those receiving the designation.

The Tree Campus USA program, created by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota Motor North America, honors colleges and universities and their leaders for promoting healthy trees and engaging students and staff in the spirit of conservation.

When UNCG initially received this designation in 2009, it was a first for any UNC system university.

Hal Shelton, UNCG Grounds supervisor, explained that a lot of people at UNCG play a role in this effort. He particularly noted UNCG’s Peabody Park Preservation Committee.

Shelton said that the campus adds more trees each year. But open space is important to the campus community as well. So in addition to adding trees, a focus is promoting the health of the trees we already have.

Students on social media often cite the natural beauty of the UNCG campus. Kevin Siler in Grounds, the campus point person for Tree Campus USA, says he hears prospective students are drawn to the campus’ beauty and trees.

See related story about new trees in Peabody Park.

By Mike Harris

UNCG faculty, Chancellor Brady share budget information and ideas

Photo from Faculty Senate meeting with Chancellor BradyIt wasn’t your typical Faculty Senate meeting. There’d be one big topic: the budget cuts facing UNCG.

“We had 27 senators who said they felt the need for this special meeting,” Dr. Sue Dennison said. The meeting was held Feb. 20.

With a Virginia Dare Room full of faculty and interested listeners, Chancellor Linda P. Brady and the senators shared information and their viewpoints regarding the budget. A report at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting had showed that UNCG’s budget next year may have a cut of more than $12 million. An early proposal was that 84 percent of that cut could come from Academic Affairs, it was reported.

Some out-of-the-box ideas were presented, as questions were asked and information was shared.

Speakers, in addition to Sue Dennison, included Chair Patti Sink (who called the meeting to order and presided), Deb Bell, John Lepri, Wade Maki, Fabrice Lehoucq, David H. Perrin, Ian Beatty, Veronica Grossi, Rick Barton, Kathy Crowe, Bryan Toney, Gary Rosenkrantz, George Dimock, Spoma Jovanovic and Jim Carmichael. Near the conclusion, Trustees chair David Sprinkle and UNCG freshman Jennifer Nelson spoke as well.

Brady spoke about this “very difficult situation,” referring to next year’s budget. She referenced the cuts of the past years that the university had taken. She explained about the need for UNCG to look for vertical cuts, not across-the-board cuts. She encouraged creative thinking and dialogue and she welcomed input and engagement.

“Students must remain our top priority,” she said. Enrollment, recruitment, retention and support for students are of very high importance.

Faculty at UNCG understand the importance of teaching and research, she said. “They understand the undergraduate experience is enriched for students who have an opportunity to study at a research university.”

In reference to the early percentage figure for Academic Affairs, she explained that the initial allocation of cuts she distributed to executive staff was not intended as a sleight to the faculty or a sign about her regard for the university’s academic mission. “And I sincerely regret if that has been the impact and I apologize for that.”

She continued. “What I was trying to do – and I think judging by the number of people in this room it has been successful – is capture the attention of the campus, generate a sense of urgency and fuel the kinds of discussions that have been occurring on the campus and will continue to occur.”

She has met with deans to solicit their views and share hers about the budget. She has met with the Board of Trustees. She hopes there’ll be an upcoming SGA meeting focused on the budget, where students can share with her their concerns and thoughts.

“Our top priority must be to invest in the academic quality of this university,” she said. She listed examples. “I am equally convinced we need to invest in the quality of student life, to ensure that we remain a university of choice.”

She referenced the student protesters at the Trustees meeting hours earlier. “We heard from a number of students this morning who expressed frustration that they do not believe that their concerns are being heard.” She wants to know students’ concerns and ideas.

The chancellor shared that since 2007-08, UNCG has experienced about $39 million in permanent cuts. But during that time UNCG has gained money due to enrollment growth and a rise in tuition fees. While other divisions of the university have lost ground compared to Academic Affairs, the new money has been distributed to support the academic mission of the university, she explained.

Academic Affairs represents about three-fourths of the overall budget of the university, she added.

By the end of the meeting, with a lot of voices heard, several themes had emerged. The need for the state to fulfill its historic commitment to higher education. The rising cost of education. Importance of consultation and dialogue. Athletics and the planned Rec Center were brought up more than once. Looking short-term while looking long-term. The advisory role of Faculty Senate. Morale. Looking for efficiencies. Thinking outside the box. Raising enrollment figures. Vertical cuts versus across-the-board cuts.

Ian Beatty, in looking at potential things for the university to cut, said, “Something big and visible needs to go. I don’t want it to be our students.”

By Mike Harris

UNCG gets SECC Gold Chairman’s Award for 2013

Photo of College Avenue UNCG employees donated $198,096 to the 2013 SECC.

That generosity has received notice by the State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC).

UNCG won the Gold Chairman’s Award in the category of per capita giving in UNC schools of our size (1,500 – 4,999 employees).

UNCG and NC State shared the top spot in the UNC system for participation percentage among their employees – 36 percent.

Every system campus had a smaller donation total than the year before.

UNCG placed in the top six in dollars given – that’s among all state agencies and universities, regardless of size.

The largest campaigns were:

  1. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  2. North Carolina State University
  3. Department of Public Safety
  4. Department of Health & Human Services
  5. UNC Health Care
  6. UNCG
  7. East Carolina University
  8. Department of Transportation
  9. State Employees Credit Union
  10. Appalachian State University

To give that some context, ECU in the seventh spot has 5,434 employees and had 17 percent participation, according to the SECC, for a total of $178,672. UNCG has less than half that number of employees – 2,603 – and had 36 percent participation to raise $198,096.

More information is at http://www.ncsecc.org/campaign-progress-0#node-8319.

By Mike Harris

Tate Street landmark Addam’s Bookstore will close

Photo of entrance to Addam’s BookstoreThe signs on the door say it all: Everything is 50 percent or 75 percent off. “All sales are final. No returns. No exceptions.”

Addam’s Bookstore, a longtime fixture on Tate Street, is closing its doors. The final day is March 4.

Chris Landis, transition manager for the store, said Addam’s Bookstore had been at the location at least 25 years.

Students have always had the UNCG Bookstore in Elliott University Center. But students over the years have known Addam’s as a great additional source for used textbooks, art supplies, office supplies and Spartan wear. The Carolinian first reported the closing.

The building was originally a movie theatre. Its facade stills bears the marquee.

By Mike Harris

UNCG alumnus Chris Chalk featured in Oscar nominated film

The film “Twelve Years A Slave” won the Best Film award at the Golden Globes. It won the same award at the British equivalent of the Oscars. It is a leading contender for the same honor at the Academy Awards this Sunday.

Chris Chalk, a 2001 alumnus of UNCG Theatre, is featured in the film.

He plays the character Clemens Ray. He spoke of some of his gut-wrenching scenes in a recent LA Times article.

Chalk’s screen acting career so far has included such productions as Showtime’s “Homeland,” HBO’s “The Newsroom” and the film “Rent.” He won a Theatre World Award for his Broadway debut in “Fences.” He returns to UNCG on occasion to conduct master classes and speak with students.

The historical book “Twelve Years a Slave” has gotten newfound attention due to the lauded film. See related piece on some of Dr. Noelle Morrissette’s thoughts on the 1853 narrative by Solomon Northup.

By Mike Harris

Kavka will give Levinson Lecture in Jewish Studies

The 2014 Henry Samuel Levinson Lecture in Jewish Studies will be titled “Letting God In To The Public Sphere: On the Politics of Covenant.” Dr. Martin Kavka will speak Wednesday, March 5, 2014, at the Weatherspoon Auditorium. He is associate professor and Philip and Muriel Berman Chair of Jewish Studies at Lehigh University. This free public lecture will begin at 7:30 p.m.

The lecture is sponsored by The Department of Religious Studies (Jewish Studies Program) and UNCG’s College of Arts and Sciences.

Martin Kavka’s research interests lie primarily in philosophy of religion and modern Jewish philosophy; he has received fellowships and awards for his research and has presented it at conferences in North America, Europe and Israel. He is the author of “Jewish Messianism and the History of Philosophy” and the co-editor of four books, including “Judaism, Liberalism, and Political Theology.”

Chancellor Brady’s message regarding 2014-15 budget

The following email from Chancellor Brady was sent to the campus community on Feb. 19, 2014:

Dear faculty, staff and students,

While UNCG’s budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year will not be known until the conclusion of the General Assembly’s legislative session this summer, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what we now know and to seek your input.

We are currently preparing for a reduction of approximately $12.8 million to our state-appropriated budget in 2014-15. Nearly $8 million of that reduction is due to a drop in enrollment. Most of the remainder of the anticipated budget reduction is contingent on whether the following are included in the 2014-15 state budget that will be finalized this summer: a) the second year of cuts included in the 2013-15 state budget passed by the General Assembly and signed into law last summer ($1.5 million); b) a 2% cut request from the Office of State Budget and Management ($3.1 million). The last piece of the reduction will be used to provide funding for anticipated ongoing Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and compliance expenses ($300,000).

I have been working with the Executive Staff, Deans Council and Faculty Senate leadership since early January on strategies for addressing the budget cut and stabilizing our enrollment in order to avoid this situation in the future. I have charged our university’s leaders to develop strategic approaches to their budget cuts, avoid horizontal (across the board) reductions, identify vertical cuts, administrative efficiencies and collaborations across divisions, and place priority on protecting enrollment and instruction. The latter point is critical in order to avoid another significant reduction in 2015-16.

I met with the Deans Council on Monday and plan to meet with the Faculty Senate on Thursday. The purpose of these meetings is to share my thoughts on how to approach these reductions and the ongoing enrollment challenges and to solicit feedback from these important constituencies. The situation in which we find ourselves will require difficult decisions regarding academic priorities, faculty and staff responsibilities, and administrative structures/functions. Our top priorities must be enrollment and student success.

Despite recent economic challenges and a rapidly changing higher education landscape, UNCG continues to gain national recognition for the success of our students, faculty and staff. Just last month, The Education Trust highlighted UNCG as one of eight universities across the country for its efforts to improve student retention and success. And earlier this month UNCG was listed among only 19 universities that fare well on all three criteria of the Postsecondary Institutions Rating System (PIRS) measuring affordability, access and quality. In short, we remain committed to providing a high quality education at a competitive price.

It is when faced with adversity that your innovative ideas and our collective resolve are most critical to our continued success. I want to thank many of you—students, faculty and staff—who have already reached out to me to express your concerns about the potential impact of these cuts on our academic mission. Working together, we will emerge an even stronger university. I welcome any additional thoughts and suggestions for dealing with the difficult challenges we face. You can reach me at lpbrady@uncg.edu.

We will continue to refine our strategy for approaching these reductions, including the appropriate allocation of cuts across the divisions of the university, as I meet with the Board of Trustees, Executive Staff, Faculty Senate, Deans Council and Staff Senate leadership in the next few weeks.

Thank you for all you do for UNCG.


Linda P. Brady


New UNCG Staff Senate budget subcommittee

UNCG Staff Senate has created a special committee – Staff Senate Budget Subcommittee – to advise and provide input on the university budget and resource allocations.

This Staff Senate committee has met once and will meet again soon. It will then present recommendations to the chancellor, Senate Co-chair Lee Odom said. The Staff Senate leadership meets with Chancellor Brady at least once each month, she notes.

The committee consists of the members of the Staff Senate Executive Committee as well as several other members. The budget subcomittee members are Lee Odom, Betty Betts, Geoff Bailey, Maggie Chrismon, Kim Zinke, Elizabeth Leplattenier, Frankie Jones, Emily Finch, Emily Rector, Amanda Hughes, Sean Farrell, Hoyte Phifer, Jeannie Lasley, Jason Marshburn, Ray Carney, David Schaefer, Stacy Kosciak and John Gale. All divisions have at least one representative on the subcommittee.

If you are a UNCG staff member with input or recommendations for the committee, you may contact Betty Betts at bsbetts@uncg.edu or Lee Odom at lhodom@uncg.edu.

Robin Gee’s dance concert celebrates return from Burkina Faso

Portrait of Robin GeeRobin Gee (Dance) spent six months last year studying dance and music in Burkina Faso, a small country in French-speaking West Africa. Now Gee and her company, Sugarfoote Productions, are bringing home what she discovered there.

In celebration of Black History Month, Sugarfoote Productions presents “Finding Home” — an evening of music and dance celebrating the art of West Africa and beyond — on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 28 and March 1. The concert begins at 8 p.m. each night in the UNCG Dance Theater.

“Finding Home” is an eclectic program reflecting the diverse voices of the diaspora and featuring professional guest artists from around the country. The project celebrates Gee’s return from Burkina Faso and explores the notion of “home” and how we define our most intimate spaces emotionally, physically and intellectually.

Gee’s trip to Burkina Faso from January through July 2013 allowed her to continue her research into the changing economies of performing castes in Western Africa. The trip was funded through an international Fulbright Scholars Award.

The concert is an extension of Gee’s work on the continent and her investigations into her own identity. The evening of collaborative dance, music and spoken word will feature the work of guest choreographer Kwame Shaka Opare, former principal artist with Broadway’s “STOMP!!” and artistic director of DishiDem Traditional Contemporary Dance Company.

Full story and ticket information at UNCG NOW.

By Michelle Hines

Looking ahead: February 26, 2014

Baseball vs. High Point
Wednesday, Feb. 26, 4 p.m.

Seminar: Planning the 3 Season Vegetable Garden
Thursday, Feb. 27, 3 p.m., Room 132, Bryan Building

WAM Family Day
Saturday, March 1, 1 p.m., Weatherspoon

Baseball vs. Georgetown
Sunday, March 2, 1 p.m.

University Chorale and Chamber Singers
Sunday, March 2, 3:30 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

Phi Beta Kappa general membership meeting
Tuesday, March 4, 3:30 p.m., Birch Room, EUC

Faculty Center Takeover, Tracing Human Culture Through History of Beer
Thursday, March 6, 4 p.m., sponsored by FTLC / Anthropology

In memoriam: Arvid Johan Knutsen

Arvid Johan Knutsen died Feb. 7. Knutsen became Director of Opera at UNCG in 1978. He also served as a member of the voice faculty in the UNCG School of Music, and served as president of the National Opera Association 1998-2000. An obituary is at http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Arvid-Knutsen&lc=4855&pid=169609362&mid=5848570. Donald Hartmann, a faculty member who is one of his former students, tells of how Knutsen helped him. “Arvid directed me in my very first opera performance here at UNCG in Aycock Auditorium.” It was “Falstaff.” “That opportunity is what gave me the encouragement and impetus to become a singer” and forego piano performance.

“Prior to Arvid’s arrival to UNCG, opera productions only occurred on alternate years: one year there would be a musical, the next, an opera. Arvid was responsible for developing the foundation of our opera program as he went to one full production EACH academic year,” he added. “He was extremely productive and he helped establish careers for many UNCG students.”

Parent & Family Advisory Council Scholarship

UNCG’s Parent & Family Advisory Council Scholarship was established in 2007 by the PFAC and donors to the Spartan Families Fund. The mission of the Parent & Family Advisory Council is to strengthen the quality of the UNCG educational experience by promoting communication, inspiring good will and support for the university, and enhancing high quality programs and educational opportunities for students. The scholarship recognizes students who have made contributions while at UNCG to foster goodwill and support for the university. Two awards will be given in the amount of $750 and applied toward the 2014-15 academic year. This scholarship is administered by the Office of New Student & Spartan Family Programs, annually. Know an undergraduate who is interested? Information and an application form is at https://studentaffairs.uncg.edu/forms/index.php?id=520.

Free WAM Family Day on Saturday

Saturday, March 1, will be Family Day at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. It will last 1 – 4 p.m. Enjoy drop-in hands-on activities, live music and gallery games. Plus:

  • Sculpture, collage and drawing activities
  • English/Spanish storytime
  • Bilingual interpreters and gallery hunt
  • Refreshments and more

Rising readership for UNCG Campus Weekly

The Campus Weekly readership continues to rise. Comparing Fall 2013 to Fall 2012 and looking at the final 17 issues of each year (early August to mid December) allows us to compare apples-to-apples. In 2012, the numbers according to Google Analytics: 2,531 unique visitors and 5,413 page views per issue. In Fall 2013, that had risen to 2,787 unique visitors and 6,576 page views per issue, according to Google Analytics.

That’s 10 percent more “unique visitors” as Google determines that stat, and 21 percent more page views.

Thanks for checking out CW each week. As you likely have noticed, the Campus Weekly site on WordPress is still undergoing maintenance and updates. We anticipate that being completed soon. Additionally, everyone received their CW email about 30 hours later than normal this week. Email-related vendors helped UNCG with this sending issue. We thank you for your patience – and for reading CW.

Mike Harris, editor

Dr. Marianne LeGreco

Portrait of Dr. Marianne LeGrecoDr. Marianne LeGreco (Communication Studies) was recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal’s “Forty Leaders Under Forty.”

The journal notes, “As part of her research, LeGreco focuses on community food programs and food policy and has emerged as a leader on local and regional food issues. She serves as interim market manager for the Warnersville Farmers Market, played a key role in the downtown Greensboro food truck pilot project and is organizing an effort to organize a food council for Greensboro and Guilford County.”

She earned her doctorate and master’s at Arizona State University and her bachelor’s at Bradley University. She is associate professor of communication studies.

David T. Schaefer

Portrait of David T. SchaeferDavid T. Schaefer (UNCG Chancellor’s Office) was recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal’s “Forty Leaders Under Forty.” Schaefer is a co-leader of ALIANZA UNCG Latino Association, which advocates for Latino students, faculty and staff and supports those interested in learning more about Latino culture.

“A lawyer turned higher education administrator, Schaefer is an organizational leader and change agent at UNCG who is dedicated to equality and access that crosses boundaries,” the Business Journal said. “At Westover Church, he helped create the New Friends Refugee Ministry.” It provides compassionate, empowering outreach to Greensboro’s newcomers.

Schaefer, a North Carolina- and Georgia-licensed attorney and part-time college instructor, formerly practiced in the areas of criminal, bankruptcy, and immigration law for a primarily Spanish-speaking client base. He turned to higher education work to help expand access to learning and elevate entire vulnerable populations out of poverty. He holds a BA in International Relations, an MA in Political Science, and a JD, all from the University of Georgia.

Samuel “Chip” Cook IV

Portrait of Samuel "Chip" Cook IVSamuel “Chip” Cook IV was recognized as one of the Triad Business Journal’s “Forty Leaders Under Forty.” He is a double-alumnus, completing both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Communication Studies at UNCG. He has served as a lecturer at both UNCG (13 years) and NC A&T State (11 years), teaching communication studies, business communications, and computer information science courses for various university departments. In addition to teaching in higher education, he has worked as a systems administrator and business analyst for the United States Courts, Middle District of North Carolina, providing systems management to court appointed attorneys and legal staff. He was part of the Class of 2013 for Leadership Greensboro. In 2013, he helped to found a public charter school in Kernersville, The NC Leadership Academy, which has more than 400 students, and focuses on leadership development. As part of his affiliation with The NCLA, he is also a Senior Member of The NCLA Cadet Squadron, Civil Air Patrol, US Air Force Auxiliary.

Dr. Colleen Kriger

Portrait of Dr. Colleen KrigerDr. Colleen Kriger (History) received new funding from the National Humanities Center for the project “Life, Death, and Business on the Upper Guinea Coast”. This project portrays Atlantic commerce on Africa’s upper Guinea coast, focusing on the roles of individual Africans in early modern globalization.

Dr. Arthur Anastopoulos

Portrait of Dr. Arthur AnastopoulosDr. Arthur Anastopoulos (Psychology) received an increase in funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Longitudinal Outcome of College Students with ADHD.” “Although there recently has been an increase in research investigating ADHD among adults (Barkley, Murphy, & Fischer, 2008), relatively less research has specifically addressed the manner in which ADHD impacts young adults attending college (DuPaul & Weyandt, 2009),” the abstract says. This study will be the first to systematically assess the educational, cognitive, social, psychological and vocational functioning of college students with ADHD, relative to a sample of peers without ADHD, over time.

Peter Rowan and Chatham County Line at UNCG

Photo of Peter Rowan with Chatham County LineThis Saturday some of the best sounds in modern bluegrass will fill Aycock Auditorium.

A double bill of Peter Rowan and his bluegrass band – along with Chatham County Line – will play Feb. 22. Showtime is 8 p.m.

The show is part of UNCG’s Performing Arts Series.

Peter Rowan has been a fixture on the national bluegrass scene since he joined Bill Monroe’s band in 1964. As one of Monroe’s Bluegrass Boys, he played guitar and sang lead and harmony.

He has been a part of several collaborations, most notably joining with David Grisman, Jerry Garcia, Vassar Clements and John Kahn to form the progressive bluegrass band Old & In the Way.

He wrote the much-covered “Panama Red.” He co-wrote with Bill Monroe the bluegrass standard “Walls Of Time.” Last year, he helped mark the passing of Doc Watson by co-writing with Jerry Faire the popular “Doc Watson Morning.”

Rowan’s touring bluegrass band consists of Keith Little, banjo; Paul Knight, bass; and Mike Witcher, dobro. According to his website, the band features original songs written by Rowan along with Carter Family and Bill Monroe favorites.

Chatham County Line, a North Carolina foursome, will open the show. They formed in 1999 and have won fans for their obvious respect for bluegrass music as well as their inventiveness and unique sound. They’re influenced by rock, but steeped in traditional country.

For ticket information, call 272-0160 or visit upas.uncg.edu.

Snow and ice – and those who shoveled us out

Photo with members of HVAC shoveling snow Friday afternoon.The ice and snow storm closed the university from noon Wednesday through Friday. From the warmth of home, I saw tweets from students admiring the work done to battle the snow.

One student tweeted on Thursday morning, “Huge S/O to the UNCG workers that are working their — off shoveling snow and ice.”

@SpartanGuides included a Thursday morning picture of momentarily cleared major walkways, after about a half-foot of snow and ice the day and night before. (And with a prediction of more bad weather later that day.) “We appreciate the @UNCG Grounds Crew!” they said. “Not only do they keep campus beautiful, they’re clearing the snow today! pic.twitter.com/yET7ekKRZ1

A walk around campus Friday afternoon revealed lots of snow and ice. Staff members from throughout Facilities Operations were helping dig out.

Tony Rojas in Grounds used a small snow plow to clear the ice from the Spring Garden sidewalk in front of Curry. Grounds, led by Hal Shelton, had led the snow removal effort.

The entire Locksmith Shop had grabbed shovels as they had the day before and were shoveling at Graham Building.

Mike Bolton and Gary Denny – they are both in the HVAC unit of Facilities Operations – were shoveling snow as they had the day before. They took care of the Faculty Center and Annual Giving. “Everybody’s pulling in,” said Bolton.

UNCG had gotten roughly seven inches. It began as snow Wednesday afternoon and night. Thursday we had freezing rain turning to sleet before turning to a second round of heavy snow. The university had been closed since noon Wednesday.

The EUC was open Friday afternoon, a warm inviting space for students. Some had snacks and coffee in the UNCG Bookstore’s Starbucks. Bookstore manager Brad Light said they’d be open till late afternoon.

At the Sports Turf building, part of Facilities Operations, Peter Ashe explained his division of Grounds had used the full range of equipment they had – shovels to walk-behind plows to tractors with plows – to clear the major walkways and the roadways of the northwestern quarter of campus. That was their priority. He noted Housing & Residence Life and Sports Turf had collaborated on the area in and around the Quad.

I walked over to the Housing & Residence Life office and talked with five members of that department shoveling in front of Mendenhall Residence Hall, where the office is located. They said 10 members in total had been shoveling that day and the day before and Wednesday evening, at every residence hall on campus, including Spartan Village.

Housing & Residence Life did more than ensure the students had what they needed during the storm. With the bad weather and the important work many employees would need to do – and a lengthy commute for some – HRL offered overnight accommodations to members of various departments, including Facilities Operations, Campus Police, Dining Services and their own employees. More than a dozen staff members took them up on it.

The weather had shut down the university. But lots of students were on campus. For many staff members and departments, important work was done so that, for example, the students in the residence halls would have heated rooms and a way to get to the dining facilities for hot meals.

I saw some tired workers Friday afternoon. And I heard that some would be needed during the weekend as well. Those Twitter messages of appreciation from students were right on.

By Mike Harris
Visuals: Tony Rojas plows snow Friday afternoon. Members of HVAC shovel snow Friday afternoon.

UNCG’s Carolina Film & Video Festival begins Feb. 26

Photo of front entrance to Elliott Universty CenterThe Carolina Film and Video Festival (CFVF), in its 36th year, is the longest-running student-run film festival in North Carolina. This year’s festival widens its lens to explore the arts through the prism of cinema, including live arts performances to highlight film’s collaborative nature.

CFVF 2014 runs Wednesday, Feb. 26, through Saturday, March 1, in UNCG’s Elliott University Center. Visit the festival web site at http://cfvf.uncg.edu/ for a detailed schedule of film screenings and other events, and for information on purchasing tickets.

Organized by students in UNCG’s Department of Media Studies, CFVF showcases the works of emerging filmmakers in the Carolinas, provides networking opportunities for filmmakers and industry professionals and promotes film production in the Carolinas. CFVF 2014 will feature presentations by creative artists and industry professionals, as well as social networking opportunities and screenings of independent films by established and emerging directors.

For more information, contact Keith T. Barber, festival director, at 837-5539 or ktbarber@uncg.edu.

By Michelle Hines
Full story at UNCG NOW.

You’ve seen the Oscar-nominated movie? Now read Northup’s narrative.

Visual of title page from the UNC Chapel Hill site “Documenting the American South.”“Twelve Years A Slave” won the Best Film award from the Foreign Press Association at the Golden Globes. It is a leading contender for the same award at the Academy Awards.

Dr. Noelle Morrissette hopes the film will bring more attention to the historical book on which it is based

Morrissette taught Solomon Northup’s narrative earlier this semester in her UNCG English graduate seminar class on African American literature. She will teach it again in a UNCG Emeritus Society course, “Literature and Social Justice,” in the second half of this semester.

The film “Twelve Years a Slave” has brought “a new awareness of what was central in its day,” she explains. The horror of slavery.

In the book and movie, the reader sees a free black man from New York state taken hostage and sold into slavery, where he labors and survives under brutal conditions for 12 years in Louisiana. His freedom is finally restored.

Northup’s book was published in 1853, she notes, one year after the publication of the highly influential “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” His narrative helped prove as fact much of what was in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s work of fiction.

At the moment in history when it was published, a few years after the passage of the 1851 Fugitive Slave Law, it not only brought witness to the horrific existence slaves endured. It not only proved to Americans that free blacks were being sold into slavery – something that had appeared in some press accounts. But, Morrissette says, it showed how to legally take action. “It’s a how-to on how to retrieve someone who was once free.” And on how to defy the 1851 federal law mandating the return of fugitive/escaped slaves by invoking New York state’s personal liberty laws, she adds.

“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” confirmed the potential importance of literature to the Abolitionist cause of the mid-nineteenth century. Some may argue that film today has that importance for social causes, she says.

“I was struck by the faithfulness of the lines in the movie to many in the narrative,” she notes. Many are verbatim.

As you might expect with a movie, there are quite a few differences, she adds. For example, the narrative reveals a more complex and lengthy boat journey to the Deep South. And there’s a “visual rhetoric” in the movie you don’t have on the page. You’re confronted with sensory details.

Morrissette is an associate professor in UNCG’s Department of English and an affiliated faculty member in African American Studies and in Women & Gender Studies. She received her master’s and doctorate at Yale University.

Her research specialties include African American literature and culture, Black popular culture, American visual arts, and history and memory. She is the author of “James Weldon Johnson’s Modern Soundscapes, 1900-1938,” published in 2013. She is co-editor with Richard Juang of “Encyclopedia of Africa and the Americas: History, Culture and Politics.”

She pulls off her shelf two large volumes of slave narratives of North Carolinians, collected from former slaves as a WPA project from 1936 to 1938. She plans to use them in designing a new course that focuses on slave narratives and related literature of North Carolina.

“Twelve Years a Slave” is a rich, profound text for a literature class. In addition to historical and human rights topics to work through in class, there are the complex topics of authorship and the owning of one’s story, she explains. And what happens once your story becomes a commodity.

What does she think of the film? She admires it. But the film is not Northup’s work, she explains.

“It takes away some of Northup as author” – regardless of how great the film is.

“I will always prefer the narrative,” she says.

Northup’s narrative, which is in the public domain, may be read in this UNC Chapel Hill archives site: http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/northup/northup.html.

By Mike Harris
Visual of title page from the UNC Chapel Hill site “Documenting the American South.”

Special informational meeting of Faculty Senate with Chancellor Brady

UNCG Faculty Senate chair Dr. Patti Sink has announced there will be a special meeting on Feb. 20. Her message to senators stated:

A majority of Faculty Senators requested a special meeting of the Faculty Senate with Chancellor Brady to discuss the upcoming significant budget cuts facing UNCG. The Chancellor agreed to the meeting, and welcomes the opportunity to work with the Faculty Senate to preserve the quality of academic programs at UNCG and fulfill our commitment to the UNCG students, faculty and community amidst the projected budget cuts. The special informational meeting of the Faculty Senate is scheduled as follows:

Date: Thursday, February 20, 2014
Time: 4 to 6 p.m.
Place: Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House

The special meeting of the Faculty Senate is being convened to accomplish three purposes.

  1. To understand, in additional detail, where the budget cuts are going to be made at the university, including the rationale for cuts to the Academic Programs (AP) and Academic Affairs (AA).
  2. To acquire a delineation of how the various cuts to the Academic Programs will affect the university at large and the individual academic units.
  3. To provide an opportunity for the Faculty Senate to discuss the proposed budget plan, and to discuss amounts of the budget cuts that can be taken from the academic units and still preserve the integrity of our Academic Programs at UNCG.

Specific to the three purposes listed above, possible topics of the meeting include the following.

  • Strategic Planning and Budget Cuts – Fulfilling the Promise
  • Accurate Enrollment Projections – Funding Student Access and Success
  • Projected Percentages of Budget Cuts across Areas of the University
  • Vertical Budget Cuts
  • Applications of the Joint Working Group Employment Analysis Report within Budget-Cut Plans
  • Discussions among Faculty and Administrators: Collaboration & Transparency
  • Budget Cuts and Protecting Academic Integrity and Vitality
  • Enrolling, Retaining and Graduating Students: Academic Advising and Simplifying the Curriculum
  • Successfully Making and Managing the Budget Cuts: A Collaborative Vision of UNCG

The special Faculty Senate meeting is an informational meeting and provides an opportunity for us to offer opinions and ideas associated with solving the budget-cut problems facing the University. Information and clarifications acquired during the meeting may help to shape our future, and help to assure the integrity and vitality of the education and scholarly endeavors throughout our UNCG Community. I hope that you will be able to attend the special informational meeting of the Faculty Senate.

Global Engagement QEP – new website page

Have you been to UNCG’s QEP website lately? The main page looks different. The left side is geared to students. The right side is geared to faculty and staff. That right side shows things faculty and staff can do in the next years that are related to “global engagement.”

  • Be a part of First Year Common Global Read
  • Intercultural Training through First Year Living/Learning Communities & First Year Courses (FFLs, LLCs, ISLs, Honors Colloquia, etc.)
  • Global Engagement Summer Institutes

And many more.

Visit the site at http://uncgqep.uncg.edu/

And if you’re on Twitter, follow them https://twitter.com/globalqep

UNCG’s 2014 GSA Research talk

Five UNCG faculty members will speak with students on the topic “Qualitative Research.”

The research talk will be Thursday Feb. 27, 4:30 p.m., in EUC’s Kirkland. It is open to all. It is sponsored by UNCG’s Graduate Student Association.

Panelists will include:
Nancy Hodges (Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies)
Silvia Bettez (Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations)
Ana Hontanilla (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
Sarah Daynes (Sociology)
J.S. Kroll-Smith (Sociology)

Questions? Contact Minita Sanghvi at mjsanghv@uncg.edu.

Free ‘Walk-in Wednesdays’ at UNCG Psychology Clinic

Mental health screenings for children ages 3-17 will be offered with no charge on Wednesdays through March 5, 2014. Walk-in times are 3-7 p.m.

The clinic is located on the corner of Tate and Market St. at 1100 W. Market Street.

On Wednesday Feb. 19 and 26 and March 5, the UNCG Psychology Clinic will be open for walk-in mental health screenings. Caregivers who have concerns about a child’s behavioral or emotional well-being can complete screenings during these times on a first come, first served basis. All therapists conducting screenings are supervised by licensed clinical psychologists who are faculty in the UNCG Department of Psychology.

UNCG employees receive a 50 percent discount on any fees associated with treatment at our clinic after the screening appointment. They receive 50 percent discount for services for themselves or an immediate family member for any service the clinic offers.

About the screening:

  • Your child does not have to attend the screening.
  • Screenings last approximately 45 minutes
  • Caregivers complete paperwork and a brief questionnaire about their child’s behavior
  • Caregivers briefly discuss concerns and child’s history with a therapist
  • Therapists provide information about available services, if needed.

If you are unable to come in during Walk-In Wednesday, you may call the clinic secretary at 334-5662 to schedule a free screening on another day of the week. The clinic is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. (7 p.m. on Fridays).

More information is at www.uncg.edu/psy/clinics/psy/


Broadway’s Dom Amendum, an alumnus, will be UNCG’s commencement speaker

Portrait of Dom AmendumHe may not be directing the music but Dom Amendum, a 2001 graduate of the School of Music, will deliver the commencement address at UNCG’s May graduation ceremony.

Amendum, who majored in classical piano performance, has found success as music director for Broadway hits “Wicked” and “First Date” and produced solo recordings for such diverse artists as Marvin Hamlisch and Dolly Parton. He will share advice and life lessons with new graduates during the May 9 ceremony, which begins at 10 a.m. in the Greensboro Coliseum.

Amendum loves his job, which, simply put, means overseeing everything an audience hears in the theater. For him, the opening night of a new show is the “scariest three hours of your life” but also the most exhilarating.

“I understand maybe how people feel who skydive or bungee jump,” he says. “The thrill that you get, the adrenaline rush that you get from doing what I do is really exciting. As a conductor on Broadway there’s a great energy where I watch the show from. I get the energy from the stage and the energy from the pit and the energy from the audience behind me that all kind of meet right where I am. I have often said that very few people get to experience that specific place in a performance of a show and it can be just unreal and incredible.”

Amendum moved to New York City the fall after he graduated, just three days before 9/11. He took a job as music director for “The Student Prince,” a production staged by the Gallery Players of Brooklyn.

The Gallery Players have turned out several distinguished alumni, he says, but the theater is housed in the basement of an adult day care facility. A far cry from a Broadway gig.

“I like to say its as Off Broadway as you can get probably and still be in New York,” he says. “I did that for about a month and then sort of pounded the pavement, as you do, for what was next.”

It took him two years of establishing his reputation as a music director and making contacts before he got his game-changing break with “Wicked,” which he describes as “arguably the biggest Broadway hit of my generation.” He was hired just as the show was preparing for a national tour, and he stayed with it through productions in Los Angeles and back on Broadway.

Amendum’s latest project is mounting the musical version of the coming-of-age story “Secondhand Lions.” He is arranging and supervising the world premiere of “Lions” at Seattle’s Fifth Avenue Theatre.

Although he continues to move on to new projects, he still has a soft spot for “Wicked,” the story of two conflicted, witchy sisters in Oz.

“So much of what has followed has come from people seeing my work on ‘Wicked,’ ” he says. “It has opened a lot of doors.”

By Michelle Hines
Full story at UNCG Now.

Looking ahead: February 19, 2014

Entrepreneur talk, Ged King, CEO of Sales Factory + Woodbine
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m., Room 1215, MHRA

Men’s basketball vs. Elon
Wednesday, Feb. 19, 7 p.m., Coliseum

UNCG Board of Trustees meeting
Thursday, Feb. 20, 8:30 a.m., Alumni House

Special meeting of Faculty Senate
Thursday, Feb. 20, 4 p.m., Alumni House

Music, Peter Rowan and Chatham County Line
Saturday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m., Aycock Auditorium

UNCG Baseball vs. Wake Forest
Tuesday, Feb. 25, 4 p.m.

Alumni House Reservations

The Alumni House will begin accepting reservations for the 2014-15 academic year on Monday, March 3, 2014, starting at 9 a.m. All requests should be made online via the Alumni House Reservation/Inquiry Request web page at http://www.uncg.edu/ala/houseres. For additional information, contact John Comer at 6-1466.

Dr. Tsz-Ki Tsui

Portrait of Dr. Tsz-Ki TsuiDr. Tsz-Ki Tsui (Biology) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “Identifying Sources and Degradation Mechanisms of Methylmercury in Temperate Forest Ecosystems”.

Dr. Holly Downs

Portrait of Dr. Holly DownsDr. Holly Downs (Educational Research Methodology) received funding from US Lacrosse for a project. It will involve an assessment used to measure key outcomes associated with the Level-1 Coaching Certification Program for Women’s Lacrosse.

Corey Carlin

Portrait of Corey CarlinCorey Carlin has been named the head coach of the UNCG volleyball team. Carlin, who has 15 total years of collegiate volleyball coaching experience including two seasons as the head coach at Austin Peay, is the fifth head coach in program history. Carlin has spent the previous four years as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at his alma mater Ball State. During the 2013 season, Carlin helped lead Ball State to a 24-8 overall record. The Cardinals finished the season ranked 64th in the national RPI ranking. Full story at UNCG Athletics.

See/hear: February 19, 2014

Peter Rowan will perform with his band at Aycock Auditorium Feb. 22. Chatham County Line will open the show. Here, Peter Rowan performs the song “Doc Watson Morning,” which he co-wrote with Jerry Faires, in a video by Dan Schram.

2014 UNCG Leadership Institute members announced

Photo of poster displayed at the meetingThe 2014 UNCG Leadership Institute – composed of employees from throughout the university – gathered earlier this week. A large group of mentors and university leaders were on hand at the reception as well.

The program is designed to provide staff, faculty and administrators with a significant, year-long opportunity to increase their leadership skills and accelerate their own leadership performance and readiness at the unit, department or division level.

The members are:
Dr. Robert Anemone, Professor and Department Head, Anthropology;
Nikki Baker, Assistant for Strategic Initiatives, ORED;
Susie Baker, Instructional Technology Consultant, Division of Continual Learning;
Sandra Bates-Hart, Director of Instructional Technology, School of Education;
Ryan Collins, Coordinator for Residence Life, Housing and Residence Life;
Dr. Denise Côté-Arsenault, Professor and Chair, Parent & Child Nursing;
Tammy Downs, Risk Management Analyst, Enterprise Risk Management;
Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard, Professor and Department Chair, Social Work;
Lisa Goble, Licensing & Research Policy Officer, OIC/ORED;
Patrick Griffin, Assistant Director of Multimedia, Division of Continual Learning;
Cathy Griffith, Interim Head – Access Services Department, University Libraries;
Maggi Gurling, Director of Student Support, Comprehensive Transition and Post-Secondary Education;
Barbara Hemphill, Financial Manager, ORED;
Susan Hensley, Director of Enterprise Lifecycle Management, ITS;
Tammie Hill, HR Consultant – Employee Services Operations Manager, Human Resources;
Ivan Lyall, Computer Administrator/WIC Supervisor, Facilities Operations;
Wade Maki, Senior Lecturer/Co-Director, Philosophy/FTLC;
Dr. Ron Morrison, Associate Professor, Nutrition;
Dr. Tracy Nichols, Associate Professor/Associate Chair, Public Health Education;
Charles Lee Norris, Manager, Office of Data Management, ITS;
Amanda Pelon, Academic Advisor & Lecturer, Bryan School of Business & Economics, Undergraduate Student Services & Retention;
Dr. Garrett Saake, Director of UNCG Well-Spring Programs, HHS;
David Schaefer, Associate Chief of Staff, Chancellor’s Office;
Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz, Director of Research, Center for New North Carolinians;
Dr. Rahul Singh, Associate Professor, Information Systems and Supply Chain Management;
Matt Takacs, Assistant Director of Project Management, Facilities Design and Construction;
Kala Taylor, Career Counselor, Career Services Center;
Dr. Laura Taylor, Assistant Professor, Peace and Conflict Studies;
Erica Thornton, Head Athletic Trainer, Intercollegiate Athletics;
Dr. Amy Williamsen, Department Head, LLC; and
Jennifer Wivell, Associate Athletic Director for Academics and Student Development, Intercollegiate Athletics.

See details at http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/Training/Leadership_Institute/