UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for May 2014

Manning, Aiken honored with UNCG’s highest awards

Photo of Photo of Kathy E. Manning and Rev. Mike AikenShe has made a difference for the arts and a wide array of nonprofit organizations. He has worked diligently to serve those experiencing homelessness. Both are recipients of UNCG’s top university honors.

Kathy E. Manning received UNCG’s Charles Duncan McIver Award, which recognizes individuals who have rendered distinguished public service to the state or nation. The bronze medal bears the likeness of Charles Duncan McIver, the founding president of the institution that is now UNCG.

The Rev. Mike Aiken received the Adelaide F. Holderness / H. Michael Weaver Award, which honors North Carolinians who have rendered distinguished public service to their community or state. It is named in honor of Adelaide F. Holderness ’34 and H. Michael Weaver of Greensboro.

The honors were presented by UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady during a May 21 program that also recognized donors to the university.

About each recipient:

Kathy E. Manning has long been an advocate for the arts in Greensboro. She is the current chair of the Board of Triad Stage, where she was a founding member. She serves on the Board of the Greensboro Symphony, and was the founding chair of “ArtBeat,” now called “Seventeen Days.” She was on the original fundraising team for the Greensboro Children’s Museum and served on its founding board. She is the current chair of the Board of the Community Foundation, where she previously chaired the Grants Committee and its Development Committee.

She spearheaded the effort to secure private funding for a new downtown performing arts center in Greensboro. Under her leadership, the fundraising team has raised more than $35 million in private funds to build this facility, which will be called the Steven B. Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. Manning worked to gain approval of the Center by the Greensboro City Council, led the effort to create the governance structure for the Center and chaired the Architectural Selection Committee for the Tanger Center.

Manning’s passion for working with non-profit organizations extends beyond the arts. She recently completed a three-year term as the chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the national organization that oversees more than 155 Jewish federations around the United States. She is a past chair of the Board of the Greensboro Jewish Federation, where she served as chair of the Women’s Annual Operation Exodus Campaign, and chair of Women’s Cabinet. She has twice served as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the B’nai Shalom Synagogue Day School in Greensboro. Together with her husband, Randall Kaplan, Manning has led the United Way de Tocqueville Campaign and chaired the Annual Dinner for the Greensboro chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice.

The Rev. Mike Aiken is the executive director of Greensboro Urban Ministry, an inter-faith outreach ministry serving the poor, a post he has held since 1985. In this role, Aiken has helped Greensboro and the Triad community make tremendous strides in addressing the needs of individuals experiencing poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Greensboro Urban Ministry was founded in 1967 by representatives of several downtown congregations to provide emergency financial assistance and meet the growing needs of the poor in the inner city. By 1981, support for the ministry had grown to 90 congregations, allowing for the opening of Pathways Center to provide temporary shelter to the homeless families. The next year, both Weaver House Singles Shelter and Potter’s House Community Kitchen opened, followed by Project Independence in 1984. This would lead to the building of transitional housing complex Partnership Village in 1999. The board of Greensboro Urban Ministry approved the implementation of Beyond Pathways, now Beyond GUM, in 2008 for the purposes of diversion and rapid re-housing.

Prior to joining Greensboro Urban Ministry, Aiken served as executive director of Fayetteville Urban Ministry. He plans to retire in July 2015.

By Beth English
Photography of Manning and Aiken by Chris English
Full story at UNCG Now.

UNCG’s Teaching Excellence Award Recipients, 2013-14

Photo of Minerva statueFaculty recipients of the UNCG teaching awards in each of the UNCG schools and the UNCG College of Arts & Sciences have been announced:

Dr. Mitchell Croatt – Assistant Professor, Chemistry & Biochemistry, College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Colleen Laird – Lecturer, Languages, Literatures & Cultures, College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Omar Ali, Associate Professor, African American Studies, College of Arts & Sciences

Dr. Yolanda M. Hyde, Assistant Professor, Adult Health, School of Nursing

Julia A. Kordsmeier – Clinical Assistant Professor, Community Practice, School of Nursing

Karen M. DeNaples – Clinical Assistant Professor, Specialized Education Services, School of Education

Dr. Andrew J. Supple – Associate Professor, Human Development & Family Studies, School of Health and Human Sciences

Dr. Rebecca B. MacLeod, Associate Professor, Music Education, School of Music, Theatre and Dance

Dr. Michelle Sheran-Andrews – Lecturer, Economics, Bryan School of Business and Economics

Dr. Joseph Starobin – Associate Professor, Nanoscience, Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

ActiveU at UNCG this summer

Photo of faculty and staff participation in ActiveUThis summer, take advantage of the on-campus fitness program exclusively for UNCG faculty and staff. Bring your UNCG I.D. as well as a towel and water bottle. Wear comfortable exercise apparel. The program starts June 3 and continues weekly till the end of July. Sessions are Tuesdays, 12:30-1:30 p.m.

All sessions are in the Student Recreation Center Fitness Studio. An SRC membership is not required to participate.

June 3 – Walking
June 10 – Yoga
June 17 – Spin*
June 24 – Synrgy*
July 8 – Yogalates
July 15 – TRX*
July 22 – Zumba
July 29 – BOSU

*Reservations for these particular sessions are required at least one hour before class dates and classes are subject to change.

For information, visit campusrec.uncg.edu/fitness.

First students complete Future Leaders Graduate Program

Photo of some of the program’s students and leadersUNCG master’s recipient Lauren Mottle plans to become a professor at a liberal arts university, after she completes her doctoral program. A new program – the Future Leaders Graduate Program – has helped her on her way.

She was one of four graduate students at UNCG and NC A&T who recently completed the special program designed to prepare them for future careers in academia or in business, industry and the nonprofit sector. The Preparing Future Leaders (PFL) Program, jointly developed by the two universities, offers two distinct tracks: one for future faculty and one for students interested in business/industry or nonprofit careers.

Mottle took advantage of the Preparing Future Faculty track of the program. As a requirement, she submitted an abstract based on her thesis to a conference and presented that paper at the conference. “This was an incredibly useful experience because it gave me insight and exposure to the scholarly dimensions of being a university faculty member as well as forced me to take a step outside my comfort zone and do something most MA students in my field don’t get to do.”

Recently the program added a unique component through a grant provided by the Council of Graduate Schools to teach students how to develop student learning outcomes and assess student learning.

Completing the PFL program in May are Lauren Mottle, Kimberly Mozingo, and Jennifer T. Stephens from UNCG and Babatunde Adebiyi from NC A&T. The program takes about two years to complete and gives students a chance to experience a behind-the-scenes look at a range of academic and professional opportunities. While no academic credit is awarded, students completing the program receive a notation on their transcript.

Several students received monetary awards for their outstanding work in the program. Lauren Mottle from UNCG and Bonaventure Mills-Dadson from NC A&T each received $1,500 awards in the Preparing Future Faculty track. Judges noted that both winners articulated a thoughtful assessment plan to guide and fine-tune class instruction with clear, measurable student learning objectives.

Mottle praised how much you learn about the teaching process. “I was a GA in the history department but the PFF program let me go a step further and discuss/observe teaching practices and methods used by professors in my department. My mentor, Dr. Jeff Jones in the History Department, was also incredibly accessible and regularly explained his rationale behind certain classroom decisions and I learned a ton from these experiences. Also, the mentor experience is an essential and incredibly beneficial part of the program.”

In the Professional track, NC A&T student Myron White also received a $1,500 award for an outstanding proposal and business plan.

In addition, the following graduate students received $600 awards for their superior work in Preparing Future Faculty modules: NC A&T students Jones Ahoi, David Dodoo Amoo, Maquisha Mullins and Myron White. Student winners from UNCG are Brittany Chambers, Melissa Ridley Eames, Kamilah Legette, Sarah E. McCarthy, Heather Mitchell, Jennifer Stephens and Elizabeth Warren.

The program includes workshops, hands-on activities, and requires participants to identify a mentor in their chosen field who can provide guidance throughout. About 80 students are enrolled and plans call for numbers to increase by 25 students annually.

“Students completing the PFL program will have a head start in seeking a good position in any future work role,” said Dr. William Wiener, dean of the Graduate School at UNCG. Generally, about half of PhD candidates will seek positions in academia and half seek jobs in other sectors. As part of the program, students prepare a web-based portfolio to track their progress and to share professional documents such as video clips of presentations and major papers. An important part of PFL is teaching participants how to assess student learning in the classroom and effective performance in business and industry.

UNCG and NC A&T received one of six grants nationwide awarded by the Council of Graduate Schools to specifically incorporate assessment activities for students into their Preparing Future Leaders program. The other schools selected for grants included: Cornell University, Harvard University, Indiana University, Michigan State University and the University of California, Merced.

To learn more or to apply for the program, visit http://grs.uncg.edu/pfl.

Visual: some of the program’s students and leaders.

Steve Rhew will serve as interim VC

Photo of Steve RhewWith Reade Taylor’s retirement on June 30 and the planned arrival of Charlie Maimone as vice chancellor for Business Affairs on Aug. 1, Chancellor Linda P. Brady has asked Steve Rhew to serve as interim vice chancellor for the month of July.

Steve Rhew has held a variety of finance leadership roles since joining UNCG nearly 30 years ago. He has served as associate vice chancellor for finance since 1995.

UNCG Gen Ed this summer

UNCG has been selected to participate in the early-June Institute on General Education and Assessment, organized by The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

UNCG’s team includes Dr. Jonathan P. Zarecki, Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Chair of UNCG’s General Education Council; Dr. Jodi Pettazzoni, Director of Accreditation and Assessment; Dr. Bryan Terry, Associate Provost for Enrollment Management; Prof. Regina McCoy Pulliam, AP Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Department of Public Health Education; Dr. Susanne Rinner, Associate Professor of German Studies and Faculty Coordinator of The Global Village; and Nancy Bucknall, Director of the College of Arts & Sciences Advising.

AAC&U institutes offer campus teams a time and place for sustained collaborative work on a project of importance to their campus along with a curriculum focused on important trends, research and best practices, and a resident faculty of educational experts.

“We’re looking forward to engaging in conversations about how our General Education Program can best reflect and reinforce our university identity, and best serve our unique student population,” Zarecki noted. “We hope to make UNCG a leader in shaping the process of General Education revision at a time of great opportunity, with changes in institutional leadership and the State of North Carolina becoming more involved with General Education throughout the UNC system.”

UNCG Student Affairs staff awards

On May 7, 2014, staff from the UNCG Division of Student Affairs gathered for an annual year-end celebration. Several awards were announced:

Unsung Hero Award:
Emily Nanna, Housing & Residence Life
Awarded to an individual who works quietly behind the scenes for the good of Student Affairs and UNCG and who, though not publicly celebrated, demonstrates leadership through dedication and service.

Team Player Award:
Erik Unger, Campus Recreation
This award is given to a Student Affairs employee who treats other team members with respect. They consider the ideas and opinions of others, share information, willingly accept responsibility, and work beyond their office and/or department. Utilizing strong interpersonal skills, they work towards maintaining harmonious relationships and enhance both team productivity and broader university collaboration.

Partnership Award:
Auxiliary Services
This award is presented to either a person or a department for their collaborative efforts with Student Affairs. The department and/or person is presented this award because they have worked with Student Affairs to create and implement a program, assist with a crisis or community event that affected the campus, or provide Student Affairs with opportunities to learn about new trends in the field of higher education through research or teaching.

Student Affairs Employee of the Year:
Patrick Madsen, Career Services Center
This award recognizes a Student Affairs employee who has displayed exemplary performance both in the employee’s own responsibilities as well as service to the division, university and community beyond assigned duties for the division of Student Affairs and UNCG.

Legacy of Excellence Award:
Barbara Gainey, Housing & Residence Life
Barbara Gainey is the first recipient of this new award, which is presented to employees who have created a legacy of excellence, supported student success, and provided outstanding contributions to the division and the university for a minimum of seven years. The candidate should have answered the university’s call to Do something bigger altogether.

Full story and pictures at http://sa.uncg.edu/student-affairs-staff-awards-2/

Even with no kickball, UNCG still filled the truck

Photo of Fill the Truck bannerOn May 5, Staff Senate wrapped up the “Fill the truck” campaign for the Guilford County Animal Shelter. The Faculty vs. Staff kickball game, which was postponed till the fall semester, was expected to be a big contributor to the cause. Still, Staff Senate collected animal food, blankets, bowls, paper products, cleaning supplies and other miscellaneous items for the shelter, as well as cash donations in the amount of $783. Staff Senate grilled hotdogs and served soft drinks that day, as people dropped of their donations of items or money. Many had made donations in the boxes throughout campus.

“We would like to thank everyone for your generosity and compassion for the animals,” said Jeannie Lasley, UNCG Staff Senate Service Committee co-chair.

The committee contributed one more great service project before the semester ended. They held a clean up day at the Sullivan Garden located in the Greensboro Downtown Greenway near Lee Street. They pulled weeds, tidied the area and put down fresh mulch.

UNCG Weight Watchers @ Work open to Students, Faculty and Staff

The UNCG Weight Watchers @ Work is open to the entire UNCG community including students, faculty and staff.

Interested in joining the UNCG Weight Watchers at Work Program? Come to their Open House on Monday, June 2, 2014, in Bryan 113 at 12:15 p.m. Coming to a meeting provides you an opportunity to see how a meeting is conducted, meet current participants and have your questions answered by group leader Bobbie Gaski.

The Weight Watchers at Work program consists of a series of informative and motivational group meetings. Meeting time ranges from 45 minutes to one-hour weekly on Mondays in Bryan 113 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. with weigh-in starting at noon.

For more information, contact Elizabeth L’Eplattenier at 334-3410 or email ebleplat@uncg.edu.

See more at www.facebook.com/UNCGWWatWork

Grogan Hall renovation this year

Aerial photo of Grogan Residence HallGrogan Residence Hall will be closed down for a year starting early June 2014.

UNCG Facilities Design and Construction will coordinate the renovation of this residence hall similar to what they did for Reynolds Residence Hall this past year, says Fred Patrick, director of Facilities Design & Construction. Grogan Hall, which opened in the early 1960s, will receive a new electrical service and a new emergency electrical generator. The heating and air conditioning systems will be replaced, and new mechanical units will be installed in all of the student rooms. The bathrooms will be completely renovated with new showers, lavatories, and toilet facilities. Student room corridors will receive a new coat of paint and new carpet. Student rooms will be given a new coat of paint, new carpet, reworked individual closets, and new light fixtures. Grogan Hall’s first floor will be modified and expanded to enclose the existing exterior, covered patio on the east end of the building. This patio will be enclosed with aluminum and glass exterior walls to create a new lounge for the Living/Learning Communities and additional office space. On the lower level, the game room and kitchenette will be renovated as well.

Grogan Residential College will be housed temporarily in the newly renovated Reynolds Hall during this year.

Shred-a-Thon at UNCG June 13

Members of the UNCG community will have the opportunity to shred paper documents for free Friday June 13, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The event will be at the Walker Ave. traffic circle close to the EUC Bookstore and Jackson Library Connector Entrance.

The mobile shredding truck is designed to take large amounts of paper for shredding onsite, users can even choose to watch the secure destruction on a closed circuit TV on the truck. Confidential materials from your office or home are welcome. This event is limited to UNCG faculty, staff, students and alumni. Help will be available to unload your car at the traffic Walker Ave. traffic circle but no parking will be available. The traffic circle must remain free of parked cars. Staples, envelope windows and small paper clips are fine to be included with the material but no binders will be accepted. Be sure all paper is out of any binders before bringing your material.

At last year’s UNCG Shred-a-Thon, about 32,000 pounds of material was shredded and recycled, roughly equivalent to 272 trees’ worth of paper.

For any questions or assistance with getting records to the event, contact Ben Kunka, bakunka@uncg.edu.

University Archives can help you determine what records should be transferred to the archives and provide you with information about the transfer procedures (http://uncg.libguides.com/transferring_to_archives). If you have any questions about the historic value of your records (both paper and digital), contact University Archivist Erin Lawrimore, erlawrim@uncg.edu.

UNCG is required to comply with the North Carolina Public Records Law concerning the retention and disposition of records. Records are to be disposed of according to University and State approved schedules. The UNC General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule is available on the Records Management website. If you have questions about records management, contact 6-TECH at 256-8324.

UNCG’s ‘Your First Year’ photo challenge: what a year

Before UNCG begins to welcome next year’s first year students to campus, how about a look at the past year? What’s it like being a freshman at UNCG? See how two creative and expressive first year students – Victoria Budesa and Juliet Furst – experienced it. The YFY Photo Challenge blog was hosted throughout the year on the UNCG Student Affairs web site. Enjoy. http://yourfirstyear.uncg.edu/yfy-photo-challenge/

State math contest

Several dozen schoolkids were on the UNCG campus this month to test their math acumen.

On Thursday, May 1, 2014, the UNCG Department of Mathematics and Statistics hosted the Central Region State Mathematics Contest Finals. The State Mathematics Contest is a problem-solving competition through which students interested in mathematics can become familiar with more sophisticated and advanced mathematical concepts and ideas that are not covered in traditional school curricula. Every year, the culmination of the contest is a final test that determines statewide winners. The final test is administered simultaneously at three sites in the Eastern, Western, and Central regions of our state. Fifty-one students from 19 middle schools and high schools came to UNCG to compete in two divisions: Level I and Level 2. Fifteen students competed in Level 1 and 36 students competed in Level 2. All students received a Certificate of Participation and the top 10 competitors in each division received trophies.

Charles Maimone will be Vice Chancellor for Business Affairs

Photo of Charles A. MaimoneUNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady has announced the appointment of Charles A. Maimone as vice chancellor for business affairs, effective August 1. Maimone will serve as a member of the executive staff and lead the Business Affairs Division with overall responsibility for financial administration and university operations.

Maimone will join UNCG from UNC Wilmington, where he has served as vice chancellor for business affairs and chief financial officer for the past six years. While at UNCW, Maimone oversaw financial services, human resources, facilities operations, university police, auxiliary and business services, institutional risk management, and environmental health and safety. He also led a variety of campus-wide initiatives, including the development and implementation of shared services, analytics, unified budget process, alternative distance education business models, and UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

“We are pleased that Charlie Maimone will be joining UNCG in this strategically important role. He is an accomplished business affairs leader who brings extensive UNC system experience and a successful record of driving innovative funding and efficiency solutions in a dynamic environment,” Brady said.

Prior to joining UNCW, Maimone held several key leadership roles with The College of William and Mary, including associate vice president for administration and director of auxiliary services. He previously held a series of auxiliary services, housing and food services, and residence life positions at UNCW, as well as residence hall-related roles with Miami University and Kent State University, both in Ohio.

Maimone received his B.A. in sociology and M.A. in education from Kent State University, and an M.B.A. from The College of William and Mary.

“I am very excited to have the opportunity to join UNCG, which has a rich history as one of the three original members of the University of North Carolina and a strong reputation for helping students achieve academic success while contributing to the community,” Maimone said.

Looking ahead: May 28, 2014

Moral Movies series, ‘American Winter’
Thursday, May 29, 7 p.m., Weatherspoon

Focus on Piano Literature: The Brothers Bach
Thursday, June 5, 3-day event begins. Details.

Art tour, Noon at the ‘Spoon
Tuesday, June 10, noon, Weatherspoon

Staff Senate Meeting
Thursday, June 12, 10 a.m., Alumni House

Play, ‘Jack and the Jelly Beanstalk’
Saturday, June 14, 2 p.m., Brown Building Theatre

WAM Summer Solstice Party
Friday, June 20, 6:30 p.m., Weatherspoon

With the staff: May 28, 2014

Hello: (no additions for this report period)

Good-bye: Don Shore, Human Resources; Annie Martin, Nursing; Gloria Hayes, Communication Studies; Charles Shepherd, Chemistry & Biochemistry; Jessica Beamon, Music, Theatre and Dance; Jacqueline B. Oates, Undergraduate Studies; Michael Shepherd, Education; Michael Leonard, Education; Christopher Jones, Learning Technologies; Angel Biegert, Education; Jennifer Stanley, Theatre; Glenda Sparks, Continual Learning; Victoria Kurdyla, Sociology; Lettie Cobb, Gateway University Research Park; Anna Croom, Annual Fund; Steve Tuck, Facilities Services; Jeff Belton, Postal Services; Scott Winsted, Printing Services; Tracy Clemmons, Kinesiology; Charles Sanford, ITS; and Ashley Corbett, Human Resources.

Reception for Lennie Alexander

Lennie Alexander will retire at the end of June after 31 years of service in gift processing for University Advancement. A retirement reception will be held for her on Monday, June 23, at 3 to 5 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House. The campus community is invited to stop by and give her well wishes. Questions? Email rblaplan@uncg.edu.

Sumney sisters qualify for NCAA Regionals

UNCG senior runners and twin sisters Shaina Sumney and Chelsea Sumney have qualified for the 2014 NCAA Outdoor Track & Field Regionals, May 29-31 in Jacksonville, Fla. Shaina qualified in two events at the NCAA East Regional, the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the 5,000-meter race. Chelsea earned a spot in the 3,000-meter steeplechase to run with her sister. They are both speech pathology majors.

The 3,000-meter steeplechase is slated as the last race of the day May 30 at 9:30 p.m. while the 5,000-meter contest is scheduled for Saturday, May 31, at 8:45 p.m. The top 12 finishers in each race will advance to the NCAA National Championships June 11-14 in Eugene, Ore.

Dr. Gwendolyn O’Neal

Photo of Dr. Gwendolyn O’NealDr. Gwendolyn O’Neal (Bryan School) has received the 2014 Alumni Award of Distinction from the College of Education and Human Ecology at Ohio State University.

O’Neal is professor and chair of UNCG’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies (CARS). She received a PhD in textiles and clothing from Ohio State in 1977.

Their Award of Distinction is presented to alumni who made a difference in the lives of others through outstanding professional, personal or community contributions. A nominator wrote, “She has never been afraid to move the discipline forward, such as addressing the gap in our knowledge of dress and aesthetics among African-Americans, as well as being among the first to employ interpretive research methods.”

The award copy notes that at a time when women of color faced resistance, O’Neal built a brilliant academic career. She was the first African American to be tenured in human ecology at Ohio State. See full story at http://bae.uncg.edu/2014/05/15/uncg-professor-chair-gwendolyn-oneal-receives-alumni-honor/

Dr. Watson Jennison

Photo of Dr. Watson JennisonA lecture by Dr. Watson Jennison (History) aired on C-SPAN3’s American History TV (AHTV) May 24. His lecture focused on political unrest in the early American republic, with a look at local uprisings against the Federalist-led U.S. government in the 1790s. He spotlighted the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania and the formation of the Trans-Oconee Republic in western Georgia to illustrate the spread of discontent at the time. The lecture is available for online viewing in its entirety at www.c-span.org/history.

Dr. Perry Flynn

Photo of Dr. Perry FlynnDr. Perry Flynn (Communication Sciences and Disorders) received new funding from the Phoenix Academy for the project “Speech Language Pathology Service Contract with Phoenix Academy.” It provides for speech and language therapy services to children in the Phoenix Academy who qualify for these services.

Dr. Jay Poole

Photo of Dr. Jay PooleDr. Jay Poole (Social Work) received additional funding from the Annie Penn Community Trust for the project “Congregational Social Work Education Initiative (CSWEI) Expansion into Rockingham County (subcontract with Annie Penn/Cone Health).” This project will create a congregational nursing program in Rockingham County, provide two paid congregational nurses to work with Hispanic and homeless residents and connect these individuals to existing primary medical homes. In doing so, it will expand access to care by creating established pathways that members of vulnerable populations within a rural county can use to access affordable medical care. It will also strengthen the safety net by increasing collaboration between safety net organizations across the county as it will utilize and expand a shared eligibility and enrollment process. The abstract further notes that the Congregational Social Work Education Initiative will be a partner in this project and social work students from UNCG and NC A&T will be involved in this community-engaged effort.

Dr. Tsz-Ki M. Tsui

Photo of Dr. Tsz-Ki M. TsuiDr. Tsz-Ki M. Tsui (Biology) received additional funding from the NCSU Water Resources Research Institute for the project “Linkages of mercury and methane cycles in Piedmont streams and rivers in North Carolina, and implications for mercury bioaccumulation in food webs.” Methylmercury is a highly toxic compound and can extensively bioaccumulate and biomagnify in aquatic food webs. Methylmercury is produced mainly by anaerobic microbes in the environment, but its processes are poorly characterized. The proposed research will examine the inter-relationships in the production of methane and methylmercury in Piedmont streams in North Carolina. Methanogens have been recently suggested to be the principal methylators of mercury in freshwater environment. This research will be the first study examining the biogeochemical coupling of both processes in stream ecosystems, which represent important water resources in North Carolina and elsewhere.

Dr. Amanda Tanner

Photo of Dr. Amanda TannerDr. Amanda Tanner (Public Health Education) received additional funding from Wake Forest University Health Services for the project “Using CBPR to Reduce HIV Risk Among Immigrant Latino MSM.” The Southeast has the fastest-growing Latino population in the United States and at the same time carries a disproportionate HIV burden, the abstract notes. The intervention will be based on social cognitive theory and theory of empowerment education and was developed using community-based participatory research (CBPR). Her study is a result of a long-term community/university partnership.

Dr. Erick Byrd

Photo of Dr. Erick ByrdDr. Erick Byrd (Marketing) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the North Carolina Winery Categorization Model Research Project. It will conduct a comprehensive inventory and assessment of wineries in North Carolina, develop an NC Winery Categorization Model, classify all the wineries using the model and develop recommendations to ensure the growth, image, tradition and quality brand image as the industry continues to grow.

Holly Goddard Jones

Photo of Holly Goddard JonesHolly Goddard Jones (English) has been awarded the 2014 Kentucky Literary Award for her book “The Next Time You See Me.” The Kentucky Literary Award is given to an author from Kentucky or one whose book has a strong Kentucky theme. More information is at http://www.sokybookfest.org/KY-Literary-Award

Dr. William Mills-Koonce

Photo of Dr. William Mills-KoonceDr. William Mills-Koonce (Human Development and Family Studies) received continued funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Integrating Demography and Biosocial Stress Models of LGBTI Family Formation.” The current research will use both secondary data analyses of longitudinal national datasets such as the U.S. Census and American Community Survey to examine within-state changes in rates of LG family structures over the past 10 years and how these changes correlate with state-level sociopolitical climates and public policies pertinent to LG family formation. The abstract further states that this will be followed by a pilot study that will explicitly examine how sociopolitical and ecological factors are associated with decisions regarding family formation and LG family functioning as mediated by individual mental health, relationship stability, and stress load.

Dr. Rebecca MacLeod

Photo of Dr. Rebecca MacLeodDr. Rebecca MacLeod (Music Education) was awarded the 2014 String Researcher Award by the American String Teachers Association. The String Researcher Award is awarded to a researcher whose work has contributed significantly to scholarship in string education and/or performance. This year’s award honors an early-career researcher whose scholarly work shows much promise in making continued important contributions to research.

See/hear: May 28, 2014

Dr. Michael McIntosh, professor in UNCG’s Department of Nutrition, works on identifying dietary components that might help with the treatment of obesity and side effects associated with being overweight. His work, funded by the National Institute of Health, earned him UNCG’s nomination for the O. Max Gardner award. An essential part of his work is mentoring the students on his research team. “My contribution is really helping mentor these students who are asking very important questions related to how to solve the obesity epidemic – and I see my role is helping these students once they finish go out and make strides in helping combat the obesity epidemic.” As one student researcher says in this short clip. “He puts us together and we work as a team and he’s a leader.”

One last hooding: Kathleen Casey recalls a career well spent

Pictured: Casey hoods Otto Harris, May 9, 2014 In 25 years as a professor in the UNCG Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, Dr. Kathleen Casey has hooded countless PhD graduates. She stopped counting at 50.

“Everybody remembers me because my students walk across the stage so many times at commencement,” Casey says. “That’s where my work is manifest. In case anybody didn’t know what I was doing with my time, there it is.”

But the spring 2014 commencement was her last. Casey, who is retiring, hooded the Rev. Dr. Otto Harris and will now move on, leaving her legacy to her former students, many of whom are now professors.

“I have worked with so many wonderful students. They’ve had life experiences and they work hard. It’s really one of the ways they make sense of the world; they come out wanting to make that world a better place, ” she says, seated in her living room across from a framed print her co-workers gave her as a retirement gift. It’s a Japanese woodcut called “Tree of Dreams”.

Casey’s dreams are summed up in the doctoral students she has coached and mentored over the years. She remembers the blood, sweat and tears that went into each dissertation. A study of first-generation high school graduates in a cotton mill village. Studies of Liberian refugee women and rural women art educators. Even a study of teaching disenfranchised students through wrestling.

Casey brought an innovative style of research to UNCG’s School of Education when she was hired. Called narrative research, it draws on individual stories to examine educational issues.

“You are only allowed to ask one question: ‘Tell me the story of your life,’” she says. “I’ve had a good time. I’ve never heard a boring life story.”

Her own life story began in New York. It took her to England and Nigeria, then back to the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her PhD.

And Casey’s story is far from over. She remains a busy social activist, sits on the board of Beloved Community Center and attends Faith Community Church.

“I love UNCG, but I also love Greensboro,” she says. “I think my retirement project is going to be serving on the Interim Civilian Police Review Committee.”

By Michelle Hines.
Photo by David Wilson. Casey hoods Otto Harris, May 9, 2014
Story originally in UNCG Now.

Do what you love, without fear, Amendum tells graduates

Photo of Dom Amendum speakingFear can be a good thing — if you manage it right. Dom Amendum urged UNCG’s Class of 2014 to embrace their fear, and overcome it, as he addressed new graduates during the university’s spring commencement May 9 in the Greensboro Coliseum.

He was, Amendum told the audience, “not nervous, not jittery, but full of fear” when Chancellor Linda P. Brady asked him to speak at commencement. A 2001 graduate of UNCG’s School of Music (now the School of Music, Theatre and Dance), he has accomplished great things on Broadway, directing music for “First Date” and the smash-hit Oz musical “Wicked.” His ultra-competitive career path has required great courage, but he felt a bit like the Cowardly Lion when his alma mater invited him to speak.

“I said all of the things one says when given an opportunity like this: ‘I’d be honored.’ ‘Thank you so much.’ ‘Will there be free parking?’ And then I hung up the phone and broke into a full-body sweat.” Amendum described it as a “full-blown panic attack.” “The truth is none of us are strangers to fear. Coming here, I was afraid; afraid I wouldn’t be good enough, funny enough, inspiring enough. And graduates, when I sat where you sit today, I was afraid then. As you walk out the doors of this coliseum today you’re taking a big step. And what follows — work, money, family — these things can inspire fear in all of us. And now you’re all sitting here having a legitimate fear: The fear that I will ruin your graduation day by giving the most pessimistic commencement address ever.”

But Amendum’s speech was far from pessimistic, extolling the beauty of fear overcome. He recounted the story, in third-person, of how a dark-haired girl with deep brown eyes he met in the nacho line at an amusement park once coaxed him to try the roller coaster. It was called The Guillotine.

“He didn’t fall out. He didn’t lose a shoe. The girl held his hand and they laughed and screamed together. Thrill and accomplishment filled his heart.”

Overcoming fear can lead to calm and focus, Amendum said. It can spur action and fuel creativity. He told of how the 9/11 attacks happened just days after he moved to New York City. Of how he started out roughing it, bunking with friends and working on small shows. Of how he got his big break with “Wicked.” Of how he steeled himself to move on to new projects, musical versions of “Secondhand Lions” and “Heathers.”

“With the help of family, friends — and, in my case, that dark-haired girl in the nacho line — you can find balance and overcome your doubts. So today, as you leave UNCG and embark on the next step of your journey, I leave you with this: Do what you love and keep fear in its place. Surround yourself with those who encourage you. Enjoy the calm, flat pieces of the track. And when you do take those big drops and turns, throw your arms up in the air, laugh, and hold tight to the hands of the people who love you.”

Chancellor Brady conferred 2,561 degrees at commencement, including 1,938 bachelor’s degrees, 555 master’s degrees, nine Specialist in Education degrees, and 59 doctoral degrees. Of this total, 54 degrees went to international students.

By Michelle Hines
Photo by David Wilson.
Full story at UNCG Now.

Dom Amendum’s speech may be read here.

Everything two for a dollar, at UNCG Cram & Scram May 31

Photo of Elliott University CenterAs they left their residence halls last week, UNCG students filled the Cram and Scram donation bins with usable items they no longer needed – or just weren’t going to transport home.

Now these items will be for sale, in the annual Cram and Scram Rummage Sale.

It will be held in the UNCG Elliott University Center Cone Ballroom on Saturday, May 31, starting at 8 a.m. “Most of the really good items go first,” says Ben Kunka, director of UNCG Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling.

All items will be 50 cents each, cash only.

The 50-cent price is not designed to bring in large amounts of revenue, Kunka explains, but instead to encourage community members to reuse these items that still have lots of life left in them. The sale is open to the public. There will be free parking at the Walker Ave. Parking Deck.

The money generated at the sale funds environmental learning opportunities on campus. The leftover items are reused through Bee-Thrifty Thrift Store on Market St. Any non-perishable food collected as students leave is not sold at the sale but instead donated to Greensboro Urban Ministry.

In the weeks before the sale, a Boy Scout troop will volunteer time to help Kunka sort the items into basic categories. That will make an easier shopping experience for the customers lined up on May 31.

Happy shopping.

His wife and three kids safely out of Vietnam, Hre Rhalan counts his blessings

Photo of Hre Rhalan speaking about his life in Vietnam, in the UNCG Grounds building.April 5 was a special night for Hre Rhalan (UNCG Grounds).

At Piedmont Triad International Airport, he saw and embraced his wife and three of his children for the first time in more than a decade. Montagnards, they had all lived through many years of persecution in Vietnam.

He was flown to the U.S. in 2002. In 2003, he began work at UNCG Grounds. He started to learn English, at first a few nights a week with classes at GTCC. After a lot of studying, he became a U.S. citizen in 2009.

In addition to his full-time UNCG job, he took a full-time job at Koury Convention Center. As he says, he hasn’t been able to sleep much anyway, with his family in harm’s way halfway around the world. What he could do was work hard and save his money.

In April 2008, the Vietnamese tried to arrest his wife, saying she was hosting a religious service in her home. In 2009, she was arrested. “And I didn’t know where she was – alive or dead. 2010, 2011, 2012. I did not hear from her.”

She was in prison. She refused to sign a note denying her religious faith. “Her mother, who’s very old, looked after our children,” Rhalan says.

“In July 2012, she got out. I tried to get her to here,” he explains. He used the money he’d saved on lawyer fees, transportation for his family for a harrowing journey to the airport (some police smashed the bus’ windows, he says, to try to keep her from leaving), and the plane tickets.

There are now more Montagnards in Guilford County that anywhere aside from Vietnam, he explains. (He and two other Montagnards are part of UNCG Grounds.) Lutheran Family Services helped many – including Rhalan – resettle. “In 1977, so many died among the Montagnards.” The war had ended – the U.S. forces, which his father had aided, had left.

And many Montagnards have died or been imprisoned since.

“Our group left,” he explained, in the 1970s. They headed toward Cambodia. “”Everyone that stayed, they all died.” His stories of the following years are hard to fathom. Seeing women being forced to dig what they were told would be their own graves, before being released. His being put to hard labor by the Vietnamese. At one point, running from the Vietnamese for 12 nights in the jungle, with no food aside from one snake.

He is hopeful he will be reunited with his oldest son, his daughter-in-law and his grandson.

For now, he is counting his blessings.

Hal Shelton, interim director of UNCG Grounds, recalls when Rhalan first joined UNCG, translators helped with the communication. Soon, that wasn’t needed. At UNCG, he found a supportive environment.

Each December, UNCG employees have their Angel Tree, to help ensure every employee’s family has a good holiday. He learned he and his family were selected this past year to receive holiday gifts. The presents remained unopened – until last month. And they actually received a tree, he adds. It will go up next December, a reminder of his co-workers’ support.

The village Plei Bang was once his home. Greensboro is now home. His school-age kids are enjoying their new school, Newcomers School. They are learning English and a new culture. “Now they’re very happy. No more danger.”

And he can sleep better. “I’m very happy.”

By Mike Harris
Photo: Hre Rhalan speaks about his life in Vietnam, in the UNCG Grounds building.

MBA capstone shows nonprofit’s impact

Photo of MBA students Ashley Ferrell and Will Kapakos and Bryan School Professor of Practice Richard BrowneThe work of Family Service of the Piedmont — promoting financial stability, providing mental health services, stemming domestic violence and preventing child abuse — has an undeniable positive social impact.

The work of a pair of MBA students from the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics proves those missions have a significant economic impact as well.

For their MBA Capstone Project, students Ashley Ferrell and Will Kapakos conducted an economic impact analysis looking at the agency’s four main service areas. Their research found Family Service of the Piedmont has a significant impact in Guilford County.

“They gave us something we’ve been trying to quantify for a while,” said Tom Campbell, the organization’s president. “We know we do good work, but funders and donors want to know more than that. We’ve been struggling to show the true economic impact that we have. These students did a lot of research to find data and studies that we could apply to our services.”

Consider a housing foreclosure. The capstone research found that one repossession results in a $2,000 decrease in property values for homes within a 500-foot radius. The $603,000 the agency spent on programs to help 365 families keep their homes in 2012 had an overall value of more than $18 million. For every $1 spent on the program, the organization returned up to $31 dollars in property value savings.

The analysis proved other services also have a high economic return on investment. The agency’s Domestic Violence Intervention Program, which has a 92 percent success rate, cost $82,000 but had an economic impact of $1.7 million. Every dollar spent saved the county $20.50 in inmate, court, probation and law enforcement costs.

The MBA Capstone Program is designed to give students hands-on, real-world experience in strategic management. UNCG’s MBA program is ranked No. 13 by Bloomberg BusinessWeek for evening programs. Since 2006, the capstone program has matched MBA students with not-for-profit and for-profit businesses throughout the Triad, including multiple projects with multinational corporations such as Volvo Group, VF Corporation, Red Hat and TE Connectivity.

“It’s the opportunity to take what the students have learned about strategy and business in the classroom and apply it in a real-world business situation,” said Bryan School Professor of Practice Richard Browne, who teaches the capstone course. “All of the projects are based on real business needs and are completed with the objective of providing immediately implementable recommendations.”

By Lanita Withers Goins.
Visual: (L-R): MBA students Ashley Ferrell and Will Kapakos and Bryan School Professor of Practice Richard Browne
Full story at UNCG Now.

At Softball Championship Tournament, the rest of the story

Photo of UNCG players celebratingIn last year’s SoCon Softball Tournament, Spartan pitcher Raeanne Hanks faced Georgia Southern’s Sarah Purvis in the championship game in an epic pitcher’s duel. It was scoreless through several extra innings, till Georgia Southern finally scored.

That was last year.

This year in the double elimination tournament, UNCG lost their first game, to Samford. (UNCG had been on a seven-game win streak.) But in their second game, they defeated Elon, then scrapped their way to a win over Furman that ended at 1 a.m. Friday morning. (See clip of final play.) That kept them alive till 1 p.m., when they’d face the No. 1 seed, Georgia Southern. Raeanne Hanks, who’d already pitched most of UNCG’s innings in the tournament, would pitch opposite Sarah Purvis, SoCon Pitcher of the Year. It was another low-scoring pitcher’s duel – and UNCG won. Hanks gave up zero earned runs, as UNCG won 2-1.

That kept them alive, but they’d have to face the same team 30 minutes later. The winner would play in the championship game. Sarah Purvis pitched again, opposing UNCG sophomore Nicole Thomas, with Raeanne coming in as relief for three innings. UNCG pulled away 11-2. Nicole’s twin sister, catcher Lindsay Thomas, swatted two home runs. Infielder Tatiana Alcala instagrammed her excitement that evening. “Still can’t get over today. So proud to be a Spartan. Championship game tomorrow. Let’s go G!”

They faced No. 2 seed Chattanooga in the title game Saturday, on ESPN3. Raeanne Hanks pitched. Lindsay hit another home run, extending her new SoCon Tournament record for homers. The home fans were loud, as was the Spartan bench. But Chattanooga prevailed 4-3. For the second straight year UNCG made an improbable run to the title game, only to fall one run short.

Once again they have a lot to be proud of.

UNCG finished with back-to-back 30-win seasons for the first time since the 2003 and 2004 seasons.

By Mike Harris
Photo from tournament by Carlos Morales.