UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for December 2014

Dr. Daniel Herr

Photo of Dr. Daniel HerrDr. Daniel Herr (Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology) received funding from the Semiconductor Research Corporation for JSNN undergraduate research opportunities.

See/hear: Dec. 12, 2014

On the big scoreboard just before the Dec. 16 UNCG vs. Tar Heels basketball game …. you’ll see the 2014-15 UNCG Men’s Basketball intro video. Check it out at youtu.be/rn-ajifbDCM. For ticket information, click here. And for highlights from the latest game, visit http://t.co/ddTH7wJr7v.

Bruce Kirchoff: ‘Congratulations graduates!’

Photo of Dr. Bruce Kirchoff during Dec. 11, 2014 commencementDr. Bruce Kirchoff (Biology) had a simple message for UNCG’s 1,642 winter graduates: Don’t underestimate the power of ‘Yes.’

“When life is difficult, the only rational, the only possible answer is ‘Yes,'” Kirchoff told them. He smiled and threw his hands in the air throughout the speech, happy to acknowledge the screams and cheers of graduates’ families and friends.

Kirchoff, who received the UNC Board of Governors’ Teaching Excellence Award in May, gave the winter commencement address Thursday in the Greensboro Coliseum. His speech focused on obstacles and hardships – and graduates who persevered.

“I know that each of you has a story to tell about the adversity you have overcome in order to be here today. I wish we had time for you to tell your stories. In lieu of that, let me tell you a few of them that I know,” Kirchoff said.

He spoke of “Alexander,” who worked two jobs totaling almost 40 hours a week, but got all A’s or B’s in his classes. Then there is “Reem,” who worked on the night-to-dawn shift through the six-plus years of her undergraduate and graduate study at UNCG. “Alea” was homeless before she enrolled at UNCG. And lastly there is “Daniel,” whose family immigrated to the U.S. when he was in high school and was the first in his family to attend college.

Many in the graduating class are first-generation college students, Kirchoff said.

The university awarded 1,232 undergraduate degrees, 331 master’s degrees, 8 Specialist in Education degrees and 71 doctoral degrees during the ceremony. Of that total, 52 degrees went to international students.

Four of the first UNCG Spartans of Promise — Kevin Wu, Jessica Straehle, Dustin Gamradt and Melvin L. Clark Jr. – were among the graduates. The new Spartans of Promise award recognizes graduating seniors for excellence in both academics and service; it is given each year to no more than ten graduating seniors.

Also graduating were 11 merit scholars, five Phi Beta Kappas and four UNCG Guarantee Scholars. UNCG Guarantee enables deserving students with limited finances to graduate debt-free.

By Michelle Hines
Photo by Carlos Morales

Full story – and a link to the full text of the commencement address – is at UNCG Now.

UNCG accreditation reaffirmed unconditionally

Photo of Minerva statueUNCG’s accreditation has been reaffirmed unconditionally for 10 years by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools/Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), the primary organization that accredits schools and colleges in the Southern United States.

“UNCG’s reaccreditation is validation of our adherence to high standards for academic excellence,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “UNCG’s strengths have shown brightly through this process, and we have identified some welcome opportunities for enhancement. Most importantly, this reaccreditation reinforces the fact that the overall educational experience we offer our students is exceptional due to the outstanding efforts of our students, faculty and staff.”

UNCG is accredited to award bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees. The accreditation process helps UNCG maintain high academic standards, foster public confidence in academic value and support the critical function of peer review within higher education, and it makes UNCG eligible for certain grants and federal aid programs. It also helps ensure that UNCG fulfills its mission and gauges its performance, identifying areas for improvement. The university documented its compliance with the SACSCOC Principles of Accreditation, which consist of federal requirements, comprehensive standards and more than 80 core requirements.

As part of the process, UNCG prepared a Quality Enhancement Plan to advance student learning. UNCG’s theme is “global engagement,” which is already central to the university’s mission.

“With two decades of commitment to internationalization, global engagement marks an elevation of UNCG’s longstanding commitment to global learning, moving toward our goal of being a public institution that delivers the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes our students need to engage effectively in the world community in the 21st century,” Brady said.

Dr. Jodi Pettazzoni, UNCG’s director of assessment and accreditation, noted UNCG’s accreditation was reaffirmed with no required follow-ups or conditions.

“The reaccreditation, which required support from many people across our university, speaks to UNCG’s commitment to excellence and we are pleased to receive this distinction from SACSCOC,” Pettazzoni said.

New holiday memories at Vacc Bell Tower

Photo from the inaugural lighting of the Vacc Bell Tower and PlazaIf there’s one thing better than old campus traditions, perhaps it’s a brand new one.

On Reading Day 2014, the UNCG community enjoyed the inaugural lighting of the Vacc Bell Tower and Plaza.

People started assembling a half hour before it started (see visual). Dr. Nancy Vacc, who donated the funds for the bell tower in honor her husband, Dr. Nicholas Vacc, followed the proceedings via a stream of picture emails. And later she enjoyed a video.

“The email video of it all was the next-best thing to being there.” That video concluded with different groups holding up a big sign that read “Thank you, Nancy!” But Nancy Vacc wanted to make sure Dr. Jan Zink plus everyone else who played a role got a big Thank You from her.

Dr. Vacc recounts that there was money left in a tree-trimming fund she contributed last year, and Dr. Zink, vice chancellor for Advancement, shared the idea of a tree-lighting ceremony.

“She already has Phase II plans in place for next year’s ceremony which include more electrical installation and lights on other trees,” Vacc said, praising Zink’s inspiration and leadership. “If this year’s work is any indication, I cannot wait to see next year’s results.”

The former UNCG professor loved seeing the pictures as the festivities unfolded. “Each one gave me one of those adult verbal ‘awe’ moments reminiscent of similar childhood awesome memories during the holiday season. Also, I couldn’t help but notice from the photos that it was a cold evening and yet many braved the weather to share in the fun of the ceremony. I’m so glad we now have this annual event. It gives me great pleasure to give a little back to UNCG for all the cherished experiences Nicholas and I enjoyed as faculty members and previously by me as a graduate student.”

Her husband, Dr. Nicholas Vacc, taught at UNCG for 23 years and served as head of the Department of Counseling and Education Development from 1986-1996.

Dr. Nancy Vacc, after completing her doctorate in curriculum and teaching at UNCG, joined the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at UNCG in 1987. She received the UNCG School of Education Teaching Excellence Award in 1998.

In 2004 she gave, in memory of her late husband, the bell tower at Anniversary Plaza as well as funds for landscaping the area. Other funds at the university in the name of this generous couple are the Nancy Nesbitt Vacc Doctoral Fellowship in Elementary Education, the Nicholas A. and Nancy N. Vacc Distinguished Professorship, and the Nicholas A. Vacc Doctoral Fellowship in Counselor Education.

The Vacc Bell Tower and Plaza lighting becomes one more legacy of the Vacc couple.

And next year’s display does promise to be even more breath-taking.

Kim Record named to NCAA Division I Council

Photo of Kim RecordUNCG Director of Athletics Kim Record has been named one of the 40 representatives in the newly formed NCAA Division I Council. The NCAA Division I Council was announced by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors this week and replaces the current Legislative and Leadership councils. Sixty percent of the new Council members must be athletics directors. Any rules adopted by the Council will be subject to a review by the board.

“It is an honor to be selected to the newly formed NCAA Division I Council,” Record said. “I accept the responsibility of representing the Southern Conference and being a voice for our student-athletes and coaches.”

Record will serve on the Council as one of 32 designated conference representatives and the lone selection from the Southern Conference.

The Division I Council will have day-to-day oversight of divisional operations and issues and will report to the new Board of Directors, which will serve as the overall governing body for Division I. Under the newly designed Division I governance structure, the Council will consist of 40 members and is designed to include the voices of commissioners, athletic directors, senior woman administrators, faculty athletics representatives as well as other campus and conference administrators. It also includes, for the first time at the council level, student-athlete votes.

By Matt McCollester
Full story at UNCG Athletics site.

Yay! UNCG surpasses its SECC goal

Thermometer graphic of SECC goalDecember delivered more great news for UNCG.

Its employees finally hit their 2014 goal of $200,000 to the State Employees Combined Campaign.

The total stands at $202,062 (as of Dec. 11).

Campus SECC Chair Ruth DeHoog shared the great news. “Meeting this year’s goal is a testimony to the hard work of our SECC committee, the persistence of campaign solicitors across campus, and most importantly, the generosity of many employees who want to make a difference in their communities and this state. I am very pleased that UNCG’s employee participation level was over 37 percent – the highest in the UNC system once again. Our campus employees supported many different causes they believe in.  We know that our slogan, “UNCG GIVES,” symbolizes our campus traditions and our spirit of giving.”

UNCG Nursing sets new SCENE

Photo of students in Simulation CenterRed Yoder, an elderly man living on his own, has diabetes and a painful toe wound. Two UNCG Nursing students are at Red’s apartment to check on him.

Stephanie Faulk and Marianne Williams, both seniors, check Red’s blood sugar levels, take a look at his toe, and assess his living situation. But Red’s not real. He’s a hi-fidelity simulation mannequin. And his apartment is part of a new simulation space — the Simulation Center for Experiential Nursing Education (SCENE) — that takes up most of the fourth floor of the Moore Nursing Building.

The fourth floor was renovated to expand Nursing’s simulation space. SCENE — created with $300,000 of departmental funds and donations — officially debuted Nov. 19 with an open house.

Stephanie and Marianne’s visit with Red has been videotaped so they can review it later, self-evaluating and getting feedback from a faculty member. Both students would love to spend more time with patients like Red.

“We can really reflect on how we did and really identify areas we can improve on,” Marianne says. “It’s a good way to connect classroom to clinical. It’s a step between the classroom and working with a real patient.”

“Body language speaks better than our voices sometimes,” says Stephanie.

Just down the hall from Red’s apartment, is a control room. Today Susan Hensley-Hannah — clinical assistant professor and simulation coordinator — is at the helm. She can see, hear and record the students’ visit with Red. She can control Red’s body, manipulating his heart rate and blood pressure or inducing a cough or wheeze. And she can provide Red’s voice through a voice modulated microphone that makes her sound like an elderly man. Really.

Julie Kordsmeier — also a clinical assistant professor and simulation coordinator — says students will get to know Red over time, tracking him through hospitalizations and declining health. A faculty member will also portray Red’s daughter-in-law and caretaker, Judy.

“It’s an evolving care story,” Kordsmeier says.

Kordsmeier, a 25-year nursing veteran, says students will care for simulated patients across the lifespan — including newborn and child mannequins — and with a wide variety of afflictions. In addition to Red’s apartment, there is a pediatric room that simulates a hospital pediatric unit and a two-bay adult care room.

Next week, Kordsmeier says, the child will have a ruptured appendix. Meanwhile.The baby’s breathing issues may point toward pneumonia.

Simulations give nursing students an advantage, Kordsmeier says. They allow all students to experience identical situations, situations hand-picked by instructors, and to take the lead in critical scenarios where they might otherwise be pushed aside.

Around the corner from Red’s apartment is a smaller room containing the nursing school’s new Anatomage table. The 300-pound, $70,000 portable table, is one of only about 70 in the world and 50 in the U.S.

Anatomage is a person-length, touch screen digital device which allows students to dissect and explore body systems using high-resolution, life-size scans of real cadavers. For instance if students want to compare a healthy lung with a lung affected by cystic fibrosis, they can call up those images on Anatomage.

And then there are the less high-tech simulations.

One, an end-of-life situation with actors playing same-sex partners, had students in tears. “It was powerful to see,” Hensley-Hannah says.

Another simulation had Hensley-Hannah disguising herself as a 78-year-old woman who had fallen.The students who treated her, even checking her vital signs, were in for a surprise.

“They didn’t recognize her,” Kordsmeier says.

Story by Michelle Hines
Full story at UNCG Now.

Welcoming graduates to the ‘family’

Commencement Day, with 1,646 brand new alumni, was marked with a large UNCG advertisement in the News & Record. “Our family just got bigger!” it proclaimed.

Photo of Commencement Ad

Tresa Saxton gets Patriotic Employer Award

Photo of Cpt. SaQuang Lam, Dr. Tresa Saxton and Peter V. VanstoryDr. Tresa Saxton (Student Health Services) received a Patriotic Employer Award pin and certificate from the Department of Defense’s Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve Office. This award is in recognition of her commitment as a civilian employer to ensure that a service member has the cooperation and support he/she needs in order to perform their duties under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994.

Visual, l-r: Cpt. SaQuang Lam (Student Health Services), Dr. Tresa Saxton (Student Health Services), Peter V. Vanstory (ESGR)

See UNCG men’s and women’s basketball

Action photo from women's basketballThe holiday break is a great time to check out Spartan basketball.

The men host the UNC-CH Tar Heels Tuesday, Dec. 16, in the Greensboro Coliseum at 7 p.m. The game will air on ESPN2.

Elon, Mars Hill, Mercer and The Citadel will also come to town in the coming weeks.

The Spartan women’s team hosts Livingstone and Samford.

The men’s and women’s schedules may be seen here.

The first great English dictionary – Jackson Library’s got it covered

Taking you back to a time before spell-check and online dictionaries …

UNCG owns a copy of the most celebrated dictionary in the English language: “A Dictionary of the English Language.” Released by Samuel Johnson in 1755 in two volumes, it was a milestone achievement.

What do you do when the original cover undergoes two restorations – and the weight of the books and their heavy use leaves the treasured dictionary in need of some TLC? It’s UNCG Libraries’ Preservation Department to the rescue. Check out their blog post – with a bunch of before and after pictures.


In memoriam: alumna Claudia Emerson

Claudia Emerson, who received the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 2006, has died. The cause of death was cancer, said Virginia Commonwealth University, where she was professor of English.

Emerson was awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, and the Guggenheim Foundation. She was poet laureate of Virginia from 2008-2010.

She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing at UNCG in 1991, and she served as editor of the Greensboro Review.

For a 2012 UNCG Magazine article, she was asked what drew her to UNCG. “I was living in southside Virginia, my ex-husband not very moveable, so I looked for a program in commuting distance from there,” she said. “UNCG’s reputation was stellar, and I was drawn to its faculty – and to its history.”

More information is at this New York Times obituary: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/06/books/claudia-emerson-pulitzer-winning-poet-dies-at-57.html?_r=0

and at the VCU news site: http://www.news.vcu.edu/faculty-and-staff/Claudia_Emerson_Pulitzer_Prizewinning_poet_and_VCU_English_professor

In memoriam: Gladys Strawn Bullard

“Service” is UNCG’s motto. Distinguished alumna Gladys Strawn Bullard, who died last week at age 96 in Wake County, lived that motto for nearly a century.

She served two terms on the UNCG Board of Trustees, from Fall 1977 to 1985. During the second term, she was vice chair of the board.

She graduated in 1939 from Woman’s College (UNCG) with a bachelor’s in home economics. The Pine Needles yearbook notes she was a member of the Cornelian Literary Society. She was also a four-year member of the YWCA and the Home Economics Club, the latter of which she was president her senior year.

She received her master’s in public health nutrition from Simmons College.

Her obituary notes she was a leader and board member of many organizations over the years in Wake County, such as the YWCA, Wake County Red Cross, United Nation’s Association and N.C. Conference for Social Service. More than a dozen other groups and initiatives are cited as beneficiaries of her dedicated service.

Many at UNCG today know her as the namesake of the Gladys Strawn Bullard Award. It was created to recognize members of the UNCG faculty, staff and student body for outstanding leadership and service to the university. The award recipients are individuals who have not only demonstrated these qualities, but have shown commendable initiative and perseverance in the process. In addition, their leadership has not only enabled them to get the job done, but inspired others to serve and lead.

Sam Parker helps inform medical interpreters about infectious diseases

Photo of Sam ParkerSam Parker (Education) remembers it well. A clinical associate professor in UNCG’s deaf interpreter preparation program, he got a call that a deaf person was in the hospital and needed an interpreter. He rushed to the hospital with little or no information. When Parker entered the hospital room, everyone was wearing protective suits. Everyone but him. The patient had TB.

“Often interpreters are on the frontline,” he says. “We may see the patient before the doctors, before the nurses. We’re meeting them in the lobby of the ER.”

Misunderstandings, miscommunications and the current panic over Ebola prompted Parker to call Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center (WFBMC). His question: How can we work together to better disseminate information about Ebola and other more prevalent diseases to deaf interpreters and the deaf community?

Parker and Jeff Beaman, director of infection prevention at WFBMC, organized a three-hour workshop to inform medical interpreters about Ebola and other infectious diseases. The workshop, Medical Interpreting in the Time of Ebola, took place Saturday, Dec. 6, in the UNCG School of Education Building.

Parker worries that panic over Ebola will cause medical interpreters to stay clear of hospitals. More likely threats are TB, flu, measles and whooping cough. “How much fear and misinformation is out there that we can try to alleviate?” Parker asks.

By Michelle Hines
Full story at UNCG Now.

Looking ahead: Dec. 12, 2014

Men’s basketball vs. Tar Heels
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7 p.m., Coliseum

Women’s basketball vs. Livingstone
Saturday, Dec. 20, noon

Men’s basketball vs. Elon
Saturday, Dec. 20, 2 p.m., Coliseum

Holiday break begins; offices closed
Wednesday, Dec. 24

Men’s basketball vs. Mars Hill
Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2 p.m., Fleming Gym

Thank You, from Annual Giving

UNCG Annual Giving Telefund would like to thank the following sponsors for their generous support of the university’s fundraising efforts:
Brunswick Triad Lanes – 21 Oak Branch Drive – 292-0181
Gnam Gnam Gelato – 3712 Lawndale Drive – 288-8008

Dr. Kathryn Crowe

Photo of Dr. Kathryn CroweDr. Kathryn Crowe (University Libraries) presented an invited paper, “From Collections to Engagement: The Changing Role of Liaison Librarians,” at the Global Perspective Academic Library Directors’ Forum at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics in Shanghai, China, in November. The theme of the conference was Academic Libraries’ Strategic Transformation: Organizational Change and Librarians’ Career Development.

Dr. Robert L. Anemone

Photo of Dr. Robert L. AnemoneDr. Robert L. Anemone (Anthropology) is a 2014 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Fellows are chosen by their peers for lifetime appointments.

Anemone, who came to UNCG from Western Michigan University in 2013, has been an AAAS member since graduate school. He was honored for his work on human variation, his contribution to the fossil record, and his groundbreaking use of satellite imagery to predict where fossils might be found. Anemone, who specializes in human and primate evolution, authored “Race and Human Diversity: A Biocultural Approach,” a text he uses in his classroom. He wrote the book, he says, to “further our understanding of race and human diversity from both a biological and a cultural perspective.” Anemone’s field team is one of the first to harness satellite technology for use in digs, working closely with a geographer and remote-sensing specialist. On summer digs in Wyoming’s Great Divide Basin, the team utilizes high-tech predictive models of likely fossil hot-spots.

AAAS is the world’s largest general scientific society, founded in 1848. AAAS publishes the journal Science, with an estimated one million readers.

Dr. Terri Shelton

Photo of Dr. Terri SheltonDr. Terri Shelton (Office of Research and Economic Development) received new funding from the NC DHHS for the project “NC Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative.” Underage use of alcohol is prevalent in North Carolina. Based on the 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey, 34.3 percent of middle and high school students drank alcohol in the past 30 days and 17.6 percent of High School students binge drank in the past 30 days, the abstract notes. This funding will support the ongoing efforts of the North Carolina Preventing Underage Drinking (NCPUD) Initiative to reduce and prevent underage alcohol consumption and the resulting social, health, and economic consequences in the State of North Carolina.

Dr. Kimberly Hewitt

Dr. Kimberly Hewitt (Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations) received new funding from the Spencer Foundation for the project “Un/Anticipated and Un/Intended Consequences of the Use of Student Growth Measures for Educator Evaluation: A Multi-State, Mixed Methods Study.”