UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for April 2017

End of year concerts, in new locations

The end of the academic year brings one more chance to catch UNCG’s ensembles. Many of those that are normally held in UNCG Auditorium will be in a different location this year.


Wind Ensemble
Wednesday, April 19, 7:30 p.m., Taylor Theatre

Men’s and Women’s Glees
Saturday, April 22, 5:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church

Spring Dances
Friday, April 21, 8 p.m., Dance Theater
Saturday, April 22, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Dance Theate

Chamber Singers
Sunday, April 23, 3:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church

University Band
Thursday, April 27, 7:30 p.m., Taylor Theatre

B.F.A. Thesis Dance Concert
Friday, April 28, 8 p.m., Dance Theater
Saturday, April 29, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Association of Graduate Students in Dance
Sunday, April 30, 6 p.m., Dance Theater

Miles Davis Jazz Ensemble, with guest drummer Matt Wilson
Friday, April 28, 8 p.m., Taylor Theatre

University String Orchestra and Sinfonia
Monday, May 1, 7:30 p.m., First Presbyterian Church

Old Time Ensemble
Tuesday, May 2, Music Building Recital Hall

First Presbyterian Church is located at 617 N. Elm St in Greensboro.

Jazz royalty: Wynton Marsalis and orchestra at UNCG April 20

Wynton Marsalis, renowned trumpet player, composer, bandleader, educator and a leading figure in the promotion of jazz music throughout the world, will visit UNCG next week. He will perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, in one of the biggest University Performing Arts Series event of the year.

“You are going to hear the most artistically complete large jazz ensemble in the world, led by the 21st century equivalent of Duke Ellington,” said Chad Eby, interim director of UNCG’s Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program.

The concert will be at Lawndale Baptist Church on April 20 at 8 p.m. On the same day, at 3 p.m. Marsalis will appear in “Wynton Marsalis Speaks,” a public conversation with Eby, in Taylor Theatre.

Marsalis grew up in New Orleans, in one of the most recognizable families in recent American music history. His father, Ellis Marsalis, is a famed jazz piano player and piano teacher, who gave his sons excellent training in music and also passed on a deep appreciation for jazz and culture.

After playing in the New Orleans Philharmonic and other New Orleans ensembles, Wynton Marsalis attended Juilliard in New York City. In 1981, he began touring with his own band. In 1983, he became the first and only artist to win both classical and jazz Grammy awards in the same year. And he did it again the next year, in both categories, and also won Grammy awards in the three subsequent years, becoming the only five-year consecutive Grammy winner.

Wynton Marsalis is also the musical and artistic director of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, a distinguished American music institution. He founded the orchestra in 1987, and in 1995 it officially joined Lincoln Center, also home to the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera and New York City Ballet.
The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra produces a variety of events worldwide, including children’s and educational programming. “We believe Jazz is a metaphor for Democracy,” says the mission statement, which also emphasizes global community, advocacy and personal freedom through an understanding of music history. UNCG music faculty member and trumpet player Brandon Lee was a member of the celebrated orchestra, and Eby has conducted clinics through its Essentially Ellington program.

In 1997, Marsalis became the first jazz musician to win the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for “Blood On The Fields.” In 2005, he received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the U.S. government, and he was also named a U.N. Messenger of Peace in 2001 by U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan. He has produced over 80 records, which include three Gold Records. He also produced major broadcast events such as PBS’s “Marsalis on Music,” an educational series on both classical and jazz music. Among other North Carolina connections, Wynton Marsalis is both an alumnus and a past special guest of Greensboro’s Eastern Music Festival.

Lee, who considers Marsalis one of his biggest mentors, is looking forward to the visit—particularly for his UNCG jazz students. “I’m blown away every time I hear him,” he said. “He’s inspired so many young musicians throughout his entire career.”

To purchase tickets for the 8 p.m. performance, visit the online box office.

“Wynton Marsalis Speaks,” a conversation at 3 p.m., is free and open to the public, though seating is limited.

To read more about UNCG Jazz Studies professor Brandon Lee’s connection to Wynton Marsalis, see last week’s Spotlight.

By Susan Kirby-Smith


Winners announced for UNCG Graduate Research & Creativity Expo

More than 100 graduate students revealed the breadth and depth of research at UNCG at the 2017 UNCG Graduate Research and Creativity Expo: “Scholarship That Matters.”

“I truly enjoyed the questions and feedback I received at the expo,” said economics graduate student Justin Larson. “If the goal of my research is to educate and potentially influence decision makers, then those people have to understand what I’m saying. That value has helped me, both as a researcher and a teacher, and will continue to help me moving forward.”

Students from more than 30 departments made 89 presentations, and six were recognized as winners of their categories. Winners of these $1,000 awards were chosen for their clarity of communication to a non-specialized audience, effective presentation skills, content knowledge, creativity, organization, originality and their ability to explain why this research and work matters. Judges included members of the Board of Trustees, local officials, leading executives, alumni and other members of the regional community.

“The response that I was getting from everyone that came by my poster was amazing,” shared Luciana Lilley, a graduate student in English. “People were intrigued by my research, and wanted to know more about it.”

The six award winners included:

Marya Fancey, in the Arts category, for “Understanding Sacred Organ Music from a Sixteenth-Century Polish Source.” To continue her research, Fancey will travel to Poland in the coming year. Faculty Mentors: Dr. André Lash, Dr. Elizabeth Keathley, Dr. Andrew Willis, Dr. Kimberly Marshall, & Dr. Adam Ricci

Ho Young Lee, in the Health Sciences category, for the project, “Doxorubicin-Induced Cytotoxicity in Rat Myocardial H9c2 Cells: The Roles of Reactive Oxygen Species and Redox Balance.” Doxorubicin is an extremely effective anticancer drug, but can cause irreversible damage to the heart. Lee’s research investigated mechanisms behind the Doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity. Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Zhenquan Jia

Luciana Lilley, in the Humanities category, for “Cannibalism Does What?! in George Thompson’s ‘Venus in Boston’?” Lilley’s research contemplates “medicinal cannibalism,” represented through the early nineteenth-century American novel, and in Early Modern medical literature. Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Maria Sanchez

Taylor Mabe, in the Natural, Physical, and Mathematical Sciences category, for the project, “A Point-of-Care Biosensor for Disease Diagnostics,” which explores the possibility of creating palm-size sensors that detect biological molecules. The small sensor device could be used to screen for diseases, particularly in remote locations and in urgent situations. Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Jianjun Wei

Justin Larson, in the Professional Programs category, for his project “North Carolina’s Clean Smokestacks Act and Emissions, Untangling a Tangled Relationship.” Larson used Continuous Emissions Monitoring System data to find out if the Clean Smokestacks Act caused a reduction in emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from coal-fired power plants in North Carolina. Faculty Mentor: Dr. Stephen P. Holland

Tiffany Merritt, in the Social Sciences category, for “What Influences if a Death Row Exoneree Receives Financial Redress?” Merritt built her own database for information about extra-legal factors that may reveal discriminatory practices in the criminal justice system, with regard to the likelihood of exonerees receiving financial redress. Faculty Mentor:  Dr. Saundra Westervelt Dr. Cindy Dollar, Dr. Shelly Brown-Jeffy

Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Terri L. Shelton noted that, as UNCG students develop as active researchers, it is crucial for them to be able to communicate the quality of the research to those outside their discipline and to the public.

Jeff Shafer, associate vice chancellor and chief communications officer, echoed that remark. “These graduate students embraced the opportunity to not only do incredible work, but to share it with the world.”

The event was sponsored by the UNCG Graduate School in partnership with the Office of Research and Economic Development. See more at the UNCG Graduate School website.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Employee Field Day 2017 in Foust Park

There will be fitness events and competitions for individuals throughout the 2017 Employee Field Day on Friday, April 21, such as a hula hoop contest, egg-spoon races, musical chairs, “Plank,” “Junk in the Trunk,” “Cookie Face” and more. (See website for explanation of games.) Winners of the games will be awarded Employee Field Day medals and ribbons.

There will also be team events, such as relay races and tug-o-war at 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30, and winning teams will receive trophies. Wear blue and gold for a Spartan pride “dress your best” contest, judged by Spiro. Spectators are welcome to all events, and can enjoy leisure games such as cornhole.

The field day organizers will collect donations for the Humane Society of the Piedmont. For a list of items needed, please see the website.

For more information about Employee Field Day and to register your team, visit http://healthyuncg.wp.uncg.edu/calendar-events/employee-field-day/.

Performances moved due to fire incident at UNCG Auditorium

A fire incident occurred on Tuesday, April 4, in UNCG Auditorium during a dress rehearsal for the opera “The Consul,” directed by David Holley. No serious injuries were sustained.

The fire was contained to the backstage and curtain area of the auditorium. There was no serious structural damage to the property. 

With a timetable for repairs still to be determined, upcoming performances for the venue are being rescheduled. (Friday and Sunday performances of “The Consul” were moved to UNCG’s Taylor Theatre.)

The Wynton Marsalis evening concert on April 20 will be held at Lawndale Baptist Church (see related story). Other performances in coming weeks will be held at Taylor Theatre or other spaces on campus, while churches will be the location for some events.

See next week’s Campus Weekly for an update on locations.

Many will need to update settings for eduroam after April 13

To: All students, faculty, and staff who use eduroam, UNCG’s primary wireless network
From: Information Technology Services (ITS)

On April 13, ITS will perform required system updates on the eduroam wireless network. This may require you to update the wireless network settings on devices (e.g., laptops, tablets, smart phones) where you use the eduroam network. These settings should not be updated prior to 7 a.m. on April 13.

This change will not affect other campus wireless networks including GCN Wireless, UNCG-Wireless (which is the network for guest access and entertainment devices), or JSNN-Wireless.

NOTE: Faculty and staff who connect to eduroam using Windows laptops that are university-owned and on the GCN network should not have to update wireless settings.

Instructions for updating the wireless network settings on your wireless device

Important: If your device was previously set up to connect to the eduroam network, it may attempt to connect to eduroam as it normally does but you will get error messages or be unable to login successfully. You can cancel out of any window or error message and update your settings following these instructions. These settings should not be updated prior to 7 a.m. on April 13.
Follow the instructions that correspond to your device:

Windows: Connect to the Wireless Network with Windows
Mac: Connect with Apple Mac OS X
Android mobile device: Connect with Android
iOS mobile device: Connect with iOS

Additional information is here.

If you have questions or need assistance, please contact 6-TECH at 256-TECH (8324) or, for walk-in support, please visit the 6-TECH Service Center in the lobby of the McNutt Building or the SuperLab in the Jackson Library.

BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program for Women

Dr. Dana Dunn, provost and executive vice chancellor, has an announcement for faculty and staff:

Dear Colleagues:

The University of North Carolina Greensboro is strongly committed to the advancement of women in leadership roles in higher education. As a reflection of that commitment, I want to make sure you know about the BRIDGES Academic Leadership Program for Women, http://fridaycenter.unc.edu/noncreditprograms/bridges, a professional development opportunity for women faculty and senior administrative staff. It is sponsored by UNC Chapel Hill and many UNCG women are graduates since the program began twenty-five years ago.  Women from business affairs, student affairs, and academic affairs are all candidates and encouraged to participate.

My office will be funding one candidate from UNCG.  Please forward a printed and scanned copy of your nomination to my assistant, Jenny Johnson, at jennyjojohnson@uncg.edu by April 26 at noon.  The UNCG Campus Selection Committee, made up of past graduates of the Bridges Program, will make a decision on the UNCG-funded candidate byApril 27 and that candidate can submit her application online at the link from http://fridaycenter.unc.edu/noncreditprograms/bridges/ by the May 4th deadline. Selection by UNCG does not guarantee selection by the Bridges Admissions Committee.

Note:  Unit deans or supervisors willing to fund an applicant may have their own selection process and have those candidates submit to the Bridges Admissions Committee directly at www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/pdep/bridges.

Note:  If you have any questions about Bridges or the campus process, please email Celia R. Hooper, Dean, HHS, Bridges Advisory Board at crhooper@uncg.edu.

Background information: BRIDGES is organized into four weekend sessions that will take place from September 8 to November 18, 2017. Participants will learn about leadership from a variety of experts and will have ample opportunity to share ideas, network, and learn from each other. Faculty for BRIDGES is drawn from area institutions, with consultants brought in to strengthen certain areas of the curriculum. This year’s class will again consist of 36 women. The application deadline is May 4, 2017.  The fee for the program is $1950.00, which includes all instruction, educational materials, and meals as well as accommodations for two overnight weekend sessions. UNCG has a tradition of funding at least one candidate from my office and others from academic or other units on campus.

BRIDGES received national recognition and was awarded the 2013 American Council on Education’s (ACE) State Network Leadership Award.

New process to drive easier, more consistent Student Residency decisions

A new process initiated by the UNC General Administration will now provide easier, faster and more consistent decisions regarding student residency. The new North Carolina Residency Determination Service (RDS) is now online and available to help UNCG undergraduate students. By next year, the system is also expected to support graduate student determinations.

Residency classification for tuition purposes determines in-state or out-of-state status and may impact admission, tuition, scholarship, or financial aid eligibility. Residency determination from RDS is required for any individual applying for admission, readmission, or transfer to any N.C. college or university, public or private, who wishes to receive the benefits of in-state tuition and/or eligibility for state grants.

This new process is effective immediately. Undergraduate decisions will no longer be handled by the Registrar’s office or other units at UNCG. All system universities – and in fact all Universities across North Carolina – are now also using this system.

All undergraduate students applying for admission and claiming in-state residency for tuition purposes must complete the RDS interview. Decisions are typically provided within 24 hours. Students do not need to complete the online interview each year, if they are continuously enrolled.

Until RDS is available for graduate students, all graduate inquiries should go to the UNCG Graduate School. Information is available at https://grs.uncg.edu/forms. More details are available at https://admissions.uncg.edu/apply-residency.php.

NC Writers’ Network conference at UNCG April 22

The UNCG MFA Writing Program will co-sponsor the North Carolina Writers’ Network spring conference, to be held in the MHRA Building and in the Curry Auditorium Saturday, April 22.

The book exhibition will open at 8:30 a.m. in the MHRA lobby. At 9 a.m. UNCG Professor Emeritus and former N.C. Poet Laureate Fred Chappell will give the keynote address in Curry Auditorium.

Throughout the day, the conference will offer masterclasses and presentations on the writing of fiction, nonfiction and poetry, as well as on publishing. MFA faculty member and writer Lee Zacharias and MFA program alumni writers Julie Funderburk, James Tate Hill and Steve Cushman are among the presenters.

Some sessions will offer attendees the opportunity to receive workshop-style critiques of their work. Writing should be submitted with registration, due April 16. With advance registration, conference attendees may also participate in “Lunch with an Author” sessions which include lunch.

At 4 p.m. there will be an open mic reading and at 5 p.m. a “Slush Pile Live!” session, in which authors can hear directly from magazine editors about what does or does not get published and why.

Free parking is available for conference attendees in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck, courtesy of the MFA Writing Program at UNCG. See the conference website for registration instructions, the schedule and locations of sessions.

By Susan Kirby-Smith


UNCG Staff Senate elections; votes due by April 21

UNCG staff, you are invited to support the staff at UNCG by voting for colleagues who have been nominated from your division. Ballots will be accepted through Friday, April 21, 2017.

UNCG’s Staff Senate was founded in 1999, and has increasingly grown in repute and activity on campus.

All ballots – online and via paper – are due by Friday, April 21, 2017.

To vote, please click here.

Please visit http://staffsenate.uncg.edu to learn more about the Staff Senate, and contact Elizabeth L’Eplattenier (ebleplat@uncg.edu) or Kim Zinke (kpzinke@uncg.edu) if you have questions regarding this year’s election process.

‘Sharing the Story of the LGBTQ+ History of UNCG’ April 20

UNCG’s University Libraries and the UNCG Office of Intercultural Engagement will co-host a panel discussion, “Off the Record: Sharing the Story of the LGBTQ+ History of UNCG” on April 20, at 3 p.m. in honor of UNCG Pride Month.

It will be held in the first-floor Reading Room, Jackson Library.

The panel will consist of three current LGBTQ+ students and three LGBTQ+ faculty, two of which attended UNCG as students. The historical perspective of the LGBTQ+ history of UNCG based upon these panelists spans from the 1970s until present, elaborating upon the gap-filled evidence represented in the historical record.

Since homosexuality was classified as a mental disorder until 1973, and transgender identity was diagnosable as gender dysphoria until 2012, the LGBTQ+ communities remained hidden populations in the historical record for their own safety. An interview with a named, non-anonymous LGBTQ+ student does not exist in UNCG history until 1992, one hundred years after the opening of the university.

The panel discussion is inspired by the oral history project underway as part of the 125th anniversary of the opening of the State Normal and Industrial School (now UNCG). With Chancellor Gilliam’s sponsorship, Special Collections and University Archives is conducting a two-year project (2016-18) of oral history interviews. This project will capture oral histories from a wide variety of interviewees with connections to UNCG, such as faculty, administrators, alumni, staff and current students.

Four of this event’s panelists participated in the oral history project, making strides to fill in the gaps in UNCG’s historical record.

By Hollie Stevenson-Parrish, University Libraries



Spartans soar into spring

There’s something special about springtime at UNCG.

It’s a time when the campus is abuzz with activity, and this past weekend served as a kickoff for the campus’ springtime events.

School of Nursing alumni celebrated their 50th anniversary, Woman’s College and UNCG alumni returned to campus for the annual Reunion event, students and community members participated in the 35th annual UNCG International Festival, and students soared high on carnival rides at Spartapalooza.

And it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the month of April, UNCG is hosting numerous events that are open to the campus community and the public.

This weekend, the Spartans return to the UNCG Baseball Stadium for a three-game homestand against Southern-Conference foe Wofford. World-renowned trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis performs April 20, and the Science Everywhere festival returns on April 22.

See full story – and lots of social media photos and clips from last weekend – at UNCG Now.

UNCG and Triad Business Journal hosted ‘Mentoring Monday’ event

UNCG teamed up with the Triad Business Journal to host the fourth annual “Bizwomen Mentoring Monday” on April 3 at the Elliott University Center on campus.

The networking event brought together 32 Triad-area women business leaders and more than 100 UNCG students. Designed to maximize networking and learning opportunities, the event featured “speed mentoring” sessions that allowed students to meet with a variety of corporate and nonprofit presidents and CEOs, business owners, brand officers, television news personalities and leaders in higher education.

UNCG’s Dr. Terri L. Shelton, vice chancellor for research and economic development; Michelle Lamb Moone, vice chancellor for human resources; Donna Heath (visual, left), acting vice chancellor for information technology services and chief information officer; and Jacquie Gilliam (in visual at top of page), philanthropy consultant and wife of Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., served as mentors at the event.

To view a slideshow from the event, click here.

By Eden Bloss
Photography by Martin W. Kane
See full story at UNCG Now.

‘Hidden Figures’ author Margot Lee Shetterly will be Commencement speaker

Photo of Margot Lee Shetterly.Margot Lee Shetterly, best-selling author of the book “Hidden Figures,” will present the commencement address to the university’s 2017 graduating class on Friday, May 12, at the Greensboro Coliseum. “Hidden Figures” was made into a major motion picture nominated for multiple Oscars and Golden Globe awards.

“We are honored to welcome Ms. Shetterly to UNCG as our 2017 Commencement speaker,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “I can’t think of a better person to address our graduating class with a message of excellence and opportunity – that regardless of your background or socioeconomic status, incredible things are possible with hard work and commitment. ‘Hidden Figures’ brings to life UNCG’s values of inclusion, opportunity and excellence. As our 2017 graduating class looks to the future, we are confident that they too, like the real-life heroes portrayed in ‘Hidden Figures,’ will go out into the world and accomplish great things.”

The book and film tell the story of the pioneering female mathematicians, known as “human computers,” who worked at NASA during the space race. “Hidden Figures” has a direct connection to UNCG; alumna Virginia Tucker ’30 was one of five trailblazing women to join the first human computer pool at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (now Langley Research Center) in 1935. Langley was the main research center for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor to NASA.

When World War II broke out in 1939, more women were recruited as computers to conduct wind tunnel testing and other critical research for the military. Tucker recruited heavily at institutions across the East Coast, including UNCG (known then as the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina). In fact, UNCG graduated one of the largest cohorts of women who went on to work as human computers.

Commencement speakers at UNCG date back to 1893, with then-Governor Elias Carr addressing the students. Since that time, the university has welcomed ambassadors, governors, authors, university presidents, professors, bishops, ministers and other notable speakers throughout its history.


Dr. Elizabeth (“Jody”) Natalle

Photo of Dr. Elizabeth (“Jody”) Natalle . Dr. Elizabeth (“Jody”) Natalle (Communication Studies) visited Linnaeus University in Växjö, Sweden, on a Kohler Institutional Linkage Grant to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the bilateral exchange between UNCG and Linnaeus. While there she worked with graduate students writing theses in Informatics to develop claims and arguments. She also gave an invited lecture to gender and media communication majors entitled “First Ladies and Political Influence.”

In addition, Natalle has been appointed the UNCG Global Engagement Faculty Fellow for 2017-18. Among several projects, she will work with faculty and graduate teaching assistants to develop pedagogical techniques for the classroom that enhance global competencies.

Dr. Martin Tsui

Photo of Dr. Martin Tsui . Dr. Martin Tsui (Biology) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “RAPID: Flooding-mediated alteration of microbial mercury methylation in coastal wetlands.” The goal of this RAPID research is to study the consequences of extreme flooding occurred on Oct, 2016 on mercury (Hg) and carbon (C) cycles and associated biogeochemical processes in coastal blackwater rivers in South Carolina. Specifically, the work will integrate field investigations and controlled experiments to examine Hg and C exports, and their sources and temporal trends along the hydrograph of the extreme flooding event. This research is partly motivated by the fact that very intensive precipitation (>24 inches in 3 days) and a significant level of natural organic matter were exported from Waccamaw River into Winyah Bay, South Carolina. This field observation suggests extreme flooding could mobilize substantial amounts of natural organic matter from forested wetlands, altering the budget of natural organic matter and Hg in coastal ecosystems. However, very little is known of Hg and C cycles in coastal ecosystems under extreme weather events and their impacts on global Hg and C cycles, as coastal wetlands are considered to be important Hg and C sinks.

Holt Wilson

Photo of Holt Wilson. Holt Wilson (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received new funding from UNC General Administration NC Quest Program for the project “CMaPSS II:  Sustaining Core Mathematics Instructional Practices in Secondary Schools.” This project is also supported by funds from the U.S. Department of  Education.

CMaPSS II co-designs professional development with secondary mathematics teachers and instructional coaches to deepen understandings of the newly adopted North Carolina High School Mathematics Standards. In a partnership with Rockingham County Schools, UNCG faculty and coaches will co-develop and implement a two-week Summer Institute in 2017 to study the standards, investigate core practices and enact these practices with secondary mathematics students in a summer enrichment program. During the during the 2017-2018 school year, project leaders and coaches will provide individualized instructional support to teachers in their classrooms and develop structures to continue and extend the work of continuous instructional improvement.

Dr. Roy Schwartzman

Photo of Dr. Roy Schwartzman. Dr. Roy Schwartzman (Communication Studies) received a grant from the Alfred & Anita Schnog Family Foundation to support Holocaust education and outreach, including activities of the UNCG Holocaust & Genocide Studies Research & Teaching Network founded by Schwartzman.

Dr. Chris Rhea

Photo of Dr. Chris Rhea.Dr. Chris Rhea (Kinesiology) will be a featured speaker at TEDxGreensboro 2017 on April 20, at the Van Dyke Performance Space in the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center. His research program focuses on re-purposing virtual reality (VR) systems designed for the entertainment industry to address human health challenges. As the TEDx Greensboro materials note, VR provides a unique opportunity to overcome real-world constraints in order to individualize a rehabilitation program to a patient’s current ability.

Looking Ahead: April 12

Staff Senate Meeting
Thursday, April 13, 10 a.m., Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room

“Punishment in the United States: Mass Incarceration and its Alternatives”
Thursday, April 13, 2 p.m.  SOEB 224

Men’s Soccer 10-Team Tournament
Saturday, April 15, 7 p.m., Soccer Stadium & North Field

Baseball vs. Wofford
Saturday, April 15, 1 p.m., Baseball Stadium

Softball vs. Samford
Saturday, April 15, 1 p.m., Softball Stadium

Men’s Tennis vs. Elon
Monday, April 17, 5 p.m., Tennis Courts

Concert: Wind Ensemble, War and Peace Reimagined Series
Wednesday, April 19, 7:30 p.m. Taylor Theatre

UPAS: Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis
Thursday, April 20, 8 p.m., Lawndale Baptist Church

North Carolina Museum of Art Ed. Expo
Thursday, April 20, 5 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

In memoriam: Cathy Ennis

Dr. Catherine Ennis, professor of curriculum theory and development in the Department of Kinesiology, died April 8. She had been a member of the faculty since 2008 and was an alumna, having received her master’s degree in physical education here in 1977.

Her research, generously supported by the National Institutes of Health, focused on physical education in urban school settings and sought to determine what curriculum is most effective in enhancing student learning.

She received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the School of Health and Human Performance in 2009, and last month she received the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal from the Society of Health and Physical Educators for exemplifying the highest standards of accomplishment, innovation and leadership.
She had held faculty positions at the University of Wisconsin – Madison and the University of Maryland, College Park, before joining UNCG’s Department of Kinesiology.

Funeral arrangements in Richmond, Va., and a memorial service here at UNCG are pending. Memorial donations may be made to the UNCG Catherine D. Ennis Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. More information may be seen in her obituary.

From soldier to veteran: two stories, in their own words

As part of the War and Peace Imagined project, the UNCG History department has been working with the Greensboro Public Library and StoryCorps to collect local oral histories about people’s experiences with modern wars. (See earlier post.) On Thursday, April 13, Vietnam War POW Porter Halyburton and former Army Intelligence Officer (and UNCG alumnus) Jason Baum will share their experiences about the transition from soldier to veteran.

This event is from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Greensboro Central Library, at 219 N. Church St. It is free and open to the public.

LIHC Artists in Residence Showcase April 20

The campus community is invited to join the Lloyd International Honors College for the Artists in Residence Showcase, on Thursday, April 20, at 5 p.m. in Collins Lecture Hall, Music Building.

Four Honors College fellows, a diverse community of artist scholars, will present the work they have created this school year. This program is in partnership with Lloyd International Honors College, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, and the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office.

Reception to follow.

Panel discussion on the Middle East April 13

On Thursday, April 13, at 5 p.m., the International & Global Studies Program and the Department of Peace & Conflict Studies will host a panel discussion on the Middle East.

Panelists will include Dr. Thomas Matyok, Associate Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at UNCG, Dr. Lasha Tchantouridzé, Associate Professor and Director of graduate programs in Diplomacy and International Relations at Norwich University, and Dr. Ali Askerov, Assistant Professor in Peace and Conflict Studies at UNCG.

The event will be held in the School of Education Building, Room 118. All are invited.

Film: ‘Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom’ April 20

On Thursday, April 20, the Human Rights Research Network presents the last film in its year-long series. The film, “Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom,” chronicles the story of Nelson Mandela’s life from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first fully representative democratically elected president of South Africa. Dr. Robert Griffiths, Associate Professor of Political Science, will present the film.
The film begins at 6:30 p.m. in the School of Education Building, Room 120. Reception to follow. All are invited.

The HRRN Film Series is sponsored by the International Programs Center’s Kohler Fund, Ashby Dialogues, International & Global Studies Program, the Departments of Political Science, History, Anthropology, Geography, Sociology, & the University Libraries.

More information is at http://humanrightsresearchnetwork.weebly.com/

See/hear: April 12, 2017

 UNCG’s Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo drew a lot of interest, Monday. Nearly 400 came to see the students’ research and hear their presentations, said Dr. Lee Phillips, director of the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office. In this video, see why undergraduate research makes such an impact on UNCG students – and why many faculty embrace its value.

Spartans showcase talents in Big Apple

The impact of UNCG in the world’s biggest and most important performing arts market was on full display last week as UNCG Theatre students traveled to New York City for the 18th annual Industry Showcase.

The event is an opportunity for soon-to-be graduates to perform in front of top casting and talent agents – representing Broadway, touring theater companies, film and television – and network with alumni who have found great success.

“It’s a thrill to see so many UNCG alumni making a living in New York and following their dreams of building a rewarding, fulfilling life in the arts,” said Dr. Peter Alexander, dean of UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. “UNCG graduates come to New York with not only a passion for their art, but the right preparation to compete and find success here. It’s also inspiring to witness how talented, professional and focused our current students are in this environment.”

At an alumni roundtable, producer Hugh Hysell, actress Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut, stage manager Bonnie Becker and others shared stories of their adventures in the Big Apple, the development of their careers and the impact that their UNCG education has had on their success.

Universally they credited the faculty at UNCG, the talent of their fellow students and the intensive preparation they received for the competitive drive and capability that have helped them establish meaningful careers in the arts.

Later, nearly 100 alumni joined Chancellor Franklin Gilliam, Jr., and his guests at Feinstein’s/54 Below, in the basement of the legendary Studio 54, for a preview of the Industry Showcase. Students displayed a wide range of skills – including singing, dramatic acting and comedic performance – that demonstrated the depth and breadth of the talent coming out of UNCG’s School of Theatre.

What’s next for the Broadway hopefuls? More auditions, interviews and meetings with agencies.

And if history repeats itself for these young Spartans, the future is bright.

By Jeff Shafer

Visual: UNCG senior Victoria Pittman performs at the showcase preview event at Feinstein’s/54 Below in New York City. By Katie Loyd.

Seee full story at UNCG Now.

Making sense of children’s memories

Memories make up who we are as human beings. They create self-identity. They play a critical role in learning in the classroom. And they’re the basis of eyewitness testimony.

Yet there’s still so much we don’t know about memory, especially in children. It’s a critical research question that has led Dr. Thanujeni Pathman and a team of student researchers to study how brain development impacts memory in children at UNCG’s MDLab (Memory Development, Learning and Brain).

Pathman, an assistant professor in UNCG’s Department of Psychology, and her students use magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to examine the hippocampus, the part of the brain that controls memories. The researchers are interested in how age-related changes in the volume or size of subregions of the hippocampus may be related to different levels of memory accuracy.

“We know that there are age-related improvements in memory across childhood, and our lab is trying to find out about some of the factors that are driving that change,” Pathman said.

The project’s participants – children ages 7 to 11 – take part in different memory tasks and undergo an anatomical MRI scan, which allows Pathman and her team to examine brain structure.

Pathman’s research has real-world implications. For example, understanding how a child’s brain develops, and how this development relates to memory accuracy, helps investigators know what kind of information a child can accurately provide after witnessing a crime.

Not only is Pathman making important advances in the field, but she’s also developing future scientists.

“Most undergraduate students don’t realize research is a possibility,” she said. “Research experience helps develop so many skills. I’m really excited about passing that along.”

Learn more about UNCG’s MDLab in the See/Hear post.

By Jeanie McDowell and Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography and videography by Martin W. Kane

Kaplan Center recognized for ‘excellence in design’

Winston-Salem architecture firm Walter Robbs recently received the North Carolina State Building Commission Excellence in Design Award for its design of UNCG’s Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

The award is one of just three awards presented each year at the Annual State Construction Conference. Nominations are reviewed based on a variety of categories – including design innovations, energy efficiency, schedule and budget – and the winner is selected by the State Building Commission.

The Kaplan Center was also recognized by the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) as an “Outstanding Sports Facility” at the organization’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., earlier this year.

The Kaplan Center opened its doors last fall in conjunction with the merging of Campus Recreation and UNCG’s Wellness Center.

Named after local philanthropist Leonard J. Kaplan, whose wife, Tobee, made a generous $5 million gift in his honor, the Kaplan Center features 20,000 square feet of weight and cardio space, seven basketball courts and a 54-foot climbing wall, among other wellness spaces. Additionally, it offers seating areas and social spaces where students can take study breaks and play billiards, shuffleboard and table tennis.

To learn more about the Kaplan Center, visit recwell.uncg.edu/kaplan-center.

By Alyssa Bedrosian
Photograph by Martin W. Kane

The writer behind the words: Chris Abani

Recently, UNCG hosted an internationally acclaimed writer, Chris Abani, known for his fiction, poetry and essays on humanitarian issues, art and political responsibility. His novels include the recent “The Secret History of Las Vegas,” the bestselling “The Virgin of the Flames” and “GraceLand,” winner of the PEN Hemingway Award. Although Abani has lived in the United States since 2001, he is originally from Nigeria, and his work is considered an important part of the postcolonial literary canon. His visit was part of the War and Peace Imagined series.

In Cone Ballroom, to a crowd of more than 150 undergraduates, graduate students and community members, Abani read from both his fiction and poetry around the theme of unsentimental love. After reciting Jack Gilbert’s poem, “The Forgotten Dialect of the Heart,” Abani read several poems from a book in progress, “Smoking the Bible.” He then read a section of one of his novellas, “Becoming Abigail” and the “Fairytale” chapter of “The Secret History of Las Vegas,” which undergraduate students had read for their literature classes with Dr. Alexandra Schultheis Moore.

Second year MFA student Rafael Gamero, a fiction writer with a particular interest in postcolonial literature, introduced Abani, highlighting the way that he writes mixed-heritage characters navigating contemporary landscapes, and the way that element resonates with readers.

Following the readings, Abani took questions from the audience, providing lengthy and thoughtful answers.

While at UNCG, Abani also visited classes to work with students, spending time in two of Moore’s literature classes as well as Craig Nova’s graduate non-fiction workshop.

“It was a great, and my first experience with a well-known author,” said Deanna Staten, who is a student in Moore’s class.

Many students, such as Brianna Hausner, also from Moore’s class, enjoyed being able to hear from a writer about his process. “Chris Abani’s visit, for me, meant that I was able to see the ‘behind the scenes,’” she said. “That information and the background on his life allowed me to understand and appreciate the novel even more.”

Abani encouraged aspiring writers not to think of themselves as “amateur” but just to work on their writing, and to persist.

Another undergraduate student, Nicholas Smurthwaite, said, “What Chris Albani’s visit meant to me was that the impact of literature today is extremely relevant. “Being able to be in a room full of people who had found themselves influenced by his work encouraged me all the more to pursue writing.”
While Abani’s work in three genres is widely known, even by such figures as Harold Pinter, he is also known for his generosity in speaking and in interacting with students.

“To say that his visit was about diversity might be an oversimplification,” said Gamero. “From the advice for writers, to his talk about race in America, it was all fascinating to experience.”

Through Abani’s visit students not only received the chance to hear great work, but to connect with the writer behind the words.

This event was co-sponsored by the Class of 1952, Vacc Distinguished Professorships and University Libraries.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

JSNN’s Gateway to Science 2017 set for April 20

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN) will host the 7th “Gateway to Science” event within the statewide N.C. Science Festival. This year’s theme is “Have fun with science.”
The event is an open house that will take place on Thursday, April 20, 2017, at the JSNN facility, located at 2907 E. Gate City Blvd.

JSSN graduate students will demonstrate experiments such as 3D printing, computer modeling, Rocket Power and more. Visitors may also take a tour of the building and view videos about nanotechnology and the school. Admission is free, and all are welcome, including children.

For more information about the event, contact Mr. Elie Azzi by e-mail: e_azzi@uncg.edu or by phone: (336) 285-2802.

The festival is sponsored by JSNN, Gateway University Research Park and the N.C. Science Festival.

Brandon Lee, mentored by Wynton Marsalis, now teaches future generations

Photo of Brandon Lee.“There’s something powerful that’s tapped into when people are willing to listen,” said UNCG Jazz Studies professor and trumpet player Brandon Lee.

Lee has known he would be a musician since he was nine years old. He came from a musical family—his father was a band director and everyone played instruments. They tried him on the saxophone at first, and it wasn’t a match.

But as soon as he picked up the trumpet, “That was it,” he said. “They saw me focus like never before.”

Throughout his later childhood and high school years, Lee grew as a performer, and in 1999 he won “best soloist” in the Essential Ellington high school competition hosted by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. There he met the world famous Wynton Marsalis, director of the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

After that, Marsalis kept in touch with Lee. Something big was brewing up at The Juilliard School, one of the world’s leading music schools. A year later, Lee, who was 17, was asked to play a Louis Armstrong tribute with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, along with another classmate and a 14-year-old Trombone Shorty, for  PBS special. (The video is online.)

Right after the performance, Victor Goines, who would become the director of the jazz program at Julliard, said to Lee, “Okay, that was your audition.”

The following year, Lee became part of the inaugural jazz class at Juilliard. Among the many things he learned there: Be excellent immediately. As Lee says, sometimes jazz is “the underdog” in professional music and in music schools, and the first class had to prove themselves in the most competitive music school in the nation. Lee and his classmates worked hard, under Goines’s meticulous direction. They often subbed in for the performers of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, no small honor for musicians in their late teens and early twenties.

Wynton Marsalis continued to be a major mentor for Lee.

“He taught me what he always says, ‘There’s only one way to play.’ You’ve got to bring it, night after night.”
Even after he finished his studies at Juilliard, Lee was still learning from Marsalis. When he began touring with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as a regular player, he received what the group called “the initiation” from his mentor. Marsalis was the most specific and detailed-focused musician—and teacher—Lee had ever met. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was a sort of family for Lee, and he continued to grow as a performer through his work with them.

Currently, Lee plays in several touring jazz groups, making appearances at New York’s Village Vanguard and Birdland. He recently made a tour with pianist Aaron Diehl and his band, playing “Jelly and George,” a program based on an imaginary meeting of Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin, who were contemporaries but never actually met. Occasionally, you can catch Lee in Durham at The Shed or Sharp Nine Gallery, or very occasionally in town, at the O. Henry Hotel.

He also writes his own music and produces albums, working with his core group in New York, his UNCG colleagues or with a new group he co-founded, Uptown Jazz Tentet, which released a new album, “There It Is,” in March. The cd release party will be in New York City in July, at Smalls jazz club.

In the UNCG trumpet studio, where he has taught since 2013, Lee aspires to give the same tough training he received to his own students. He expects them to learn their jazz music history, to “listen with a purpose,” as he says, and be influenced by what they hear. From the cd covers posted in his studio, it’s clear Lee wants his students to take in the jazz greats—Miles Davis, Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins and many others, all of whom Lee cites as influences on his own work.

“They created the musical language we use in jazz today,” Lee explained.

In addition to committing to relentless practice, Lee asks his UNCG students to develop their ideas in music, to take the initiative in selecting their tunes and to do their absolute best every time they play.

Because, he says, echoing his mentor, there’s only one way to play.

Brandon Lee’s mentor, Wynton Marsalis, will speak and perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at UNCG April 20. See next week’s Campus Weekly for a feature on the upcoming performance and campus visit.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Beyond Limits Gala April 26: 10th anniversary celebration & scholarship launch

On April 26, 2017, Beyond Academics will host the Beyond Limits Gala at the UNCG Alumni House.

The gala celebrates the launch of a scholarship campaign for UNCG’s Beyond Academics program and also marks the tenth anniversary for this innovative, award-winning transition program for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Beyond Academics is North Carolina’s first and only four-year certificate program for individuals with intellectual disabilities and is one of only a few four-year programs in the entire country. The fully inclusive academic and residential experience makes it possible for young adults with intellectual disabilities to attend college, to expand their ability to live independently, to obtain a career of their choice, and to craft a meaningful life in the community of their choice.

The program has rapidly become a leader in the post-secondary education national movement, supporting others in creating similar opportunities in their own communities. At home at UNCG, the program of study has raised understanding of the benefits all kinds of diversity can bring to a campus community.

The event’s keynote speakers are Rud and Ann Turnbull. For over four decades, Rud and Ann have been professors, researchers, and advocates for individuals with disabilities, their families, and their service providers. The Turnbulls have authored over 40 books. In 1999, they were selected by the National Historic Preservation Trust on Developmental Disabilities as two of 36 individuals who have “changed the course of history for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the 20th century.”

The Turnbulls say their greatest education came from their son Jay Turnbull (1967-2009). They called Jay their “best professor” on the needs of individuals with significant disabilities over the lifespan.

Without financial aid, the Beyond Academics program would not be available to many students. The scholarship campaign launched by the Beyond Limits Gala seeks to raise $1.5 million and aims to make Beyond Academics’ transformative experience possible for more students.

The evening will also honor the founders of Beyond Academics and will include dinner and the sharing of perspectives from students, family members, UNCG staff, and board representatives.

To purchase tickets and learn about sponsorships, please go to https://beyondacademics.uncg.edu/gala or call Debbie Freund at 336.256.0426.

The gala takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House.

Please register by April 12.

Important Changes to the 2018 State Health Plan

The State Health Plan’s Board of Trustees has approved changes to the State Health Plan. The following benefit changes go into effect January 1, 2018:

  • Eliminating the Consumer-Directed Health Plan (CDHP)
    • Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRA) will not rollover for use in 2018. The HRA funds will only be available for claims incurred in 2017.
  • Freezing dependent health care premiums through 2021
    • Premiums for Employee + Family remain at the 2017 cost.
    • Premiums for Employee + Spouse increase 6.96%, and then freeze through 2021.
    • Premiums for Employee + Child(ren) increase 6.96%, and then freeze through 2021.
  • Reducing the wellness premium credit activities, and only keeping the Tobacco Attestation activity
    • Tobacco Attestation will result in a $60 reduction in monthly premiums.
  • Setting employee-only base premiums for the 70/30 Plan at $25 per month, and for the 80/20 Plan at $50 per month, after the Tobacco Attestation credit has applied.

For the 80/20 and 70/30 plans, no plan design changes have been proposed to date (co-pays, deductibles, etc.). To access State Health Plan Board of Trustee meeting materials, click here.

The HR Benefits Staff will conduct information sessions to explain these changes in detail and to address questions and concerns.  The sessions will be held as follows:

Wed 4/5/2017 School of Education – SOE Room 226 – 11 a.m. to noon
Thu 4/6/2017 School of Education – SOE Room 118 – 2  to 3 p.m.

​Finally, as a reminder, ​​health plan changes follow the calendar year, ​as opposed to the academic year.  ​

Please direct questions to Emily Foust, director of benefits and retirement services, at e_foust@uncg.edu or 336-256-0342.

Copy provided by Michelle Moone, associate vice chancellor for human resources.

10-year anniversary Peabody Park Ivy Pull Friday

Volunteers may join in in helping keep Peabody Park free of invasive weeds and vines Friday, April 7, 2017, 1-3 p.m.

The UNCG Peabody Park Preservation Committee and Office of Sustainability sponsor the Peabody Park Ivy Pulls to remove trash and continue restoring the woods, while enjoying a couple of hours outdoors.

There’s a new meeting Place: south side of McIver Parking Deck.

Wear old clothes, long pants, and closed shoes (no sandals). Organizers will provide water, but bring your own bottle if you have one. Also, we will provide work gloves, but if you have them, please bring them.