UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for January 2016

Blair Brown is director of International Recruitment and Retention

Photo of Blair BrownBlair Brown has been appointed director of International Recruitment and Retention. In this capacity, he is directly responsible for increasing international student enrollment and retention for the university.

Mr. Brown comes to UNCG’s International Programs Center, most recently from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), where he was appointed Director of Graduate and International Admissions and Recruitment in 2011.  In this position, he was responsible for admission and recruitment activity for all international students, as well as 136 graduate programs for domestic students.  He also was responsible for all initial immigration and scholar services.

Prior to this, he was the Director of International Admissions also at VCU. In addition to the duties outlined above, he supervised immigration and retention initiatives for international students, and revised the university plan for international student academic success and retention.

Mr. Brown holds his B.A. in International Relations with a concentration in Western European Politics from James Madison University and an M.Ed. in Higher Education Policy from the University of Virginia.  He is currently completing his Ph.D. in Higher Education at the University of Virginia.

Looking ahead: Jan. 6, 2016

Staff Open House, at Bryan House
Friday, Jan. 8, 1-4 p.m., shuttles begin 12:45 p.m.

Faculty Open House, at Bryan House
Thursday, Jan. 14, 2-4 p.m., shuttles begin 1:45 p.m.

Classes begin
Monday, Jan. 11

Staff Senate meeting
Thursday, Jan. 14, 10 a.m., Alumni House

UNCG Student Artist Competition, final round
Thursday, Jan. 14, 5:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Music Building

In memoriam: Elizabeth Booker

Elizabeth Booker died Dec. 9 at age 96.  She worked as administrative assistant to the Dean of Academic Advising and retired in 1986 with more than 43 years of service.  In 1985 she was awarded the Gladys Strawn Bullard Award She was also an Honorary Member of Golden Chain, the obituary notes.

She graduated from Women’s College (UNCG) in 1941 with a degree in Secretarial Administration.

She was a founding member of “Academic and Administrative Staff Associates (AASA)” – which is the forerunner organization of the now-Staff Senate, David Vaughan notes. He also recalls that she was the founder of the Mossman holiday party, held each December.

Her obituary is at http://www.greensboro.com/obituaries/booker-elizabeth/article_813ea2cb-ceda-57d8-925c-e5fc0aa996e4.html.

Her oral history in the UNCG Libraries is at http://libcdm1.uncg.edu/cdm/singleitem/collection/ui/id/59688

In memoriam: Dr. Andreas Lixl

Dr. Andreas Lixl died on December 24. He was professor emeritus of German Studies here at UNCG, where he had taught German language, literature, and European cultural history since 1987. He grew up in Salzburg, Austria. From the University of Vienna, he transferred to the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a Ph.D. in German Literature and Culture in 1984.

Lixl’s career as an inspiring educator spans decades marked by his cutting-edge contributions to the discipline of German Studies, to the profession, and to UNCG. During his long and successful term as Head of German & Russian, he demonstrated great foresight and strengthened the presence of languages on campus through many initiatives, including the establishment of our thriving Japanese and Chinese programs.  His book publications and edited volumes lay the groundwork to the now flourishing interdisciplinary fields of Memory Studies, Gender Studies, Jewish Studies, and the study of space in literature. His textbooks are used in German classrooms across the nation, praised by colleagues for their pedagogical innovation that makes literature and culture from the German-speaking world accessible to undergraduate students. Amy Williamsen and Susanne Rinner in LLC noted that Andreas’ remarkable pioneer spirit is most clearly manifest in his anticipation of teaching and learning beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar classroom. His work in this area led to the development of the North Carolina German Consortium, to the creation of various German Studies websites, and to revolutionary changes in course and curriculum construction that helped launch distance education in German Studies and language education in general.

RA applications

Resident advisor applications are still live. Visit HRL.UNCG.EDU for more information about this leadership position and the link to apply. Application deadline is Jan. 15, 2016. Email RAselect@uncg.edu with questions.

Dean Timothy Johnston

Photo of Dean Timothy Johnston.Dean Timothy Johnston completed his term as president of the Council of Colleges of Arts & Sciences (CCAS) at the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, November 4-7, handing over the gavel to incoming President Elizabeth Say, Dean of the College of Humanities at California State University at Northridge. David Manderscheid, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences at the Ohio State University, took office as President-Elect. Johnston’s presidential address, titled “Reimagining the Liberal Arts for our Second Half-Century,” was well received by an audience of approximately 650 and is available online on the CCAS web site.

CCAS’s 50th anniversary meeting included plenary address​es by Shirley Malcolm, head of Human Resources and Education Programs at AAAS, and David Skorton, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Skorton was also presented with CCAS’s Arts & Sciences Advocacy Award. A gala reception was held at the National Press Club, with 15 former CCAS presidents in attendance.

Dr. Brian L. McGowan

Photo of Dr. Brian L. McGowan .Dr. Brian L. McGowan (TEHE) co-edited the book “Black Men in the Academy: Narratives of Resiliency, Achievement and Success.” Anchored in an anti-deficit approach, this book delineates stories of achievement, resiliency, and success for Black men in various aspects of the academy, such as Ph.D. students, professors, and mid to senior level administrators. Critical to this book are stories of how the contributors have overcome personal and educational challenges in their lives as well as emphases on the factors that have helped them succeed.

Edited by McGowan, R. T. Palmer, J. L. Wood and  D. F. Hibbler, it is published by Palgrave Macmillan.

Dr. Qibin Zhang

Photo of Dr. Qibin Zhang.Dr. Qibin Zhang (Translational Biomedical Research) received funding from the Benaroya Research Institute for the project “Identification of Protein Markers for Diabetic Complication.”

Dr. Jeremy Bray

Photo of Dr. Jeremy Bray.Dr. Jeremy Bray (Economics) received a Year Two award from RTI International for the project “Screening, Briefing, Intervention, Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) Evaluation.” This project is supported by funds from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Dr. John Willse

Photo of Dr. John Willse.Dr. John Willse (Educational Research Methodology) received funding from US Lacrosse for “US Lacrosse Evaluation, OAERS Contract (2015).” OAERS will provide consultation to U.S. Lacrosse in developing an assessment used to measure key outcomes associated with the Level-1 Coaching Certification Program for Men’s Lacrosse.

Shawn O’Neil

Photo of Shawn O’Neil.Shawn O’Neil (Student Success Center) was recently appointed the College Reading and Learning Association’s Associate Coordinator for the International Tutor Training Program Certification (ITTPC) board, responsible for reviewing and certifying effective and data-driven tutor training programs in the US and abroad. O’Neil has been involved in the ITTPC for three years and was awarded the “master-level reviewer” classification in 2013. Prior to his appointment to this role, Shawn also co-authored the CRLA Tutor Training Program Reviewer’s Handbook. With over 1,200 certified programs, including UNCG’s Student Success Center, the CRLA’s Tutor Training certification process ensures consistent and effective use of ‘best practices’ with regard to hiring, training and evaluating peer and professional tutors, thus improving tutoring services for students.

O’Neil serves as the Assistant Director for Academic Skills with the Tutoring and Academic Skills Program (TASP).

Christine Fischer

Photo of Christine Fischer.Christine Fischer has been appointed the head of the Technical Services Department at University Libraries, effective January 1, 2016. She was previously head of Acquisitions. After the retirement of Mary Jane Conger as head of Cataloging, the two departments were merged, and Fischer has been appointed to head the new Technical Services Department.

See more at http://uncgfol.blogspot.com/2015/12/christine-fischer-appointed-head-of.html

Amy Harris Houk

Photo of Amy Harris Houk.Amy Harris Houk has been appointed assistant head of the Research, Outreach and Instruction Department at the University Libraries at UNCG, effective January 4, 2016. She replaces Nancy Ryckman, who is retiring. Before joining the Libraries full-time in 2006, she worked as a Reference Intern for two semesters. Amy received her B.A. in Elementary Education and American Studies from UNC Chapel Hill. She also worked as host of a radio show and as an elementary school teacher. She received her MLIS from UNCG.

See more at http://uncgfol.blogspot.com/2015/12/amy-harris-houk-appointed-assistant.html

Dr. Martin Andersen

Photo of Dr. Martin Andersen.Dr. Martin Andersen (Economics) received a continuation of funding from Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America Foundation (PhRMA) for the planning of a project. This project seeks to understand how the design of prescription drug benefits affects utilization of prescription drugs, health, and other health care utilization, Andersen says. “At first glance these questions seem like they should have an obvious answer – “If I have to pay more for drugs, I will use fewer drugs. However, that answer is silent about health benefits and so-called “offset” effects, in which other spending may fall because of higher prescription drug spending. It is also an incomplete answer because there are other factors that affect the design of drug benefits including prior authorization policies in which the insurer must approve a use of a drug before the prescription may be filled. It is really these prior authorization requirements that are the focus of the project since we do not understand how insurers use prior authorization. For example, prior authorization may be a substitute for cost-sharing so that the drug costs the patient less out-of-pocket, but they are less likely to be allowed to get the drug. An alternative explanation, though, is that prior authorization allows the insurer to make an assessment of the potential benefits of a drug and approve its use if the potential benefits are large enough. In that case, there will be differences in the outcomes from treatment for users of a drug depending on how the drug benefit is structured.”

A second aspect of this project is to examine how these policies affect choice of insurance plans.

Dr. Revell Carr

Photo of Dr. Revell Carr.Dr. Revell Carr (Music) was awarded the Alan P. Merriam Prize at the annual Society for Ethnomusicology Conference for his 2014 book “Hawaiian Music in Motion: Mariners, Missionaries, and Minstrels.”

The Merriam prize is the most prestigious prize in the society and is awarded for “the most distinguished, published, English-language monograph, in the field of ethnomusicology.” At the awards ceremony former society president Harris Berger said the following:

“The book is a sophisticated social history of Hawaiian music and globalization, as told through carefully researched, evocatively drawn, and richly interpreted discussions of Hawaiian performance, both at home and abroad. An extraordinarily diverse set of sources, topics, genres, and settings are discussed in the book. From the early colonial encounters of the late eighteenth century, to interactions between Hawaiian, American, European, and African sailors in the whaling industry, to the performances of Hawaiians in North American, and struggles among American missionaries, American sailors, and native Hawaiians that played out in theatre and song, Carr reveals the complex ways in which situated actors with contrasting identities struggle for meaning in a world shot through with power relations. … (T)he book presents a cast of characters that are remarkably three-dimensional. Hawaiian Music in Motion is a powerful and important contribution to the field of ethnomusicology and one richly deserving the Alan Merriam Prize. Congratulations.”

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies

Photo of Dr. Nicholas OberliesDr. Nicholas Oberlies (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is UNCG’s inaugural member of the All-Southern Conference Faculty Team. Representatives from all 10 member schools were recognized by the league. All the recipients shared some common characteristics – demonstrated service to the institution, proven record of high scholastic achievement among students, recognition for a research project or written academic piece; and contributions to campus life and the local community. Each member of the All-SoCon Faculty Team will be presented a plaque and honored at a home basketball game at his or her institution.

Formerly of the Research Triangle Institute, Oberlies was mentored by the co-discoverers of the cancer-fighting drugs taxol and camptothecin. After rising through the ranks of RTI and eventually directing the National Products Laboratory, Oberlies moved his group to UNCG, where he leads a multidisciplinary effort to characterize and develop new chemical entities from natural sources. His lab has worked to profile fungi for leads, particularly those that can be used to fight cancer.

See/hear: Jan. 6, 2016


As we entered the holidays, Chancellor Gilliam shared an update on the strategic planning process, the development of UNCG’s “metanarrative” story and more.

UNCG’s Teacher Supply Warehouse drive

Group photo of teachers with their shopping cart from last year's eventDid you know public school teachers spent, on average, $500 out of pocket on their students in 2014? And that 92 percent of teachers spend their own money on classroom supplies, while 85 percent buy instructional materials for their students, according to The Huffington Post. This at a time when teacher salaries in North Carolina are some of the lowest in the nation. Help support our local teachers by contributing to the Staff Senate’s Teacher Supply Warehouse Drive.

Staff Senate’s Teacher Warehouse Supply Drive will run Jan. 11, 2016 – Feb. 1, 2016. The Guilford Education Alliance’s Teacher Supply Warehouse directly supports classroom teachers with supplies. The Warehouse is stocked with donations from school supply drives and items purchased through donations. Guilford County Schools’ teachers are able to shop for items at no charge to them. Guilford County Schools (GCS) teachers then sign up to “shop” and take items back for their classrooms. Support from the warehouse ensures teachers and students have what they need to succeed!

Normally, only classroom teachers are allowed to shop the Warehouse. As part of the Staff Senate’s supply drive, special arrangements have been made to support UNCG’s student teachers in GCS classrooms, allowing them to shop the Warehouse, so our support is especially important! Last year there were 266 UNCG student teachers in GCS schools and we expect a similar number in 2016.

The following items are the current most needed items, although all school/office supplies are welcome and appreciated.

Facial Tissue
Wet wipes
Hand sanitizer
Post-it notes
Copy paper
Notebook paper
Construction paper
Colored markers (box of 10 Crayola)
Colored pencils (Box of 12 Crayola)
Dry erase markers & erasers
Paint (large size acrylic)

Items they cannot accept:
Any chemicals or hazardous materials
Adding machines
Computers or monitors
Opened or used paint
Toner or ink cartridges
Furniture and desks

Ten donation bins will be placed around campus – one is in the UNCG Bookstore, so it is easy to drop by and purchase a pack of paper.

  • MHRA Building, first floor, main lobby
  • Library, main floor across from Access Services desk
  • Mossman, first floor near door on Spring Garden Street side
  •  McIver, first floor
  • Becher-Weaver Building, first floor
  • Sink Building, second floor near the receptionist desk
  • Sullivan Science Building, first floor near door
  • School of Education Building, Room 141 (mailroom)
  • Housing and Residence Life, 001 Ragsdale Residence Hall
  • Bookstore near front registers, EUC

The Teacher Supply Warehouse Drive is being sponsored by the UNCG Staff Senate and the Teacher Education Student Association, the UNCG Teaching Fellows and Kappa Delta Pi.

Contact Debbie Freund, Staff Senate Service committee, at 256-0426 or freundd@uncg.edu or Ryan Collins, Warehouse Drive Coordinator for the School of Education, at 334-4403 or rmcolli3@uncg.edu if you need more information.

HRL’s Debra Toler, diploma in hand

Photo of Debra Toler with her diplomaDebra Toler arrived at UNCG in 2005, leaving after two years to take care of her new son. In 2008, she joined UNCG staff as a housekeeper in Housing & Residence Life.

She exemplifies tenacity in the face of adversity. Losing both parents by age 15, she had lived with a friend while completing her high school requirements. She had persevered.

And she has done that as a Spartan. With the full support of the HRL staff, she began taking classes again, two at a time, all while working full-time in HRL and supporting her young son. She increased that course load to full-time last semester.

She marched at Commencement last month, receiving her degree in English.

She is grateful to UNCG faculty and staff for giving her the flexibility and support needed to succeed. But more than that, she proud to be teaching her son a valuable lesson. Debra said that the most important thing for him to learn is, “No matter how impossible things may seem, just don’t give up.”

Courtesy Kory Burgess, HRL.