UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for May 2017

9 receive UNCG Teaching Excellence Awards for 2016-17

Nine faculty members across seven schools received UNCG Teaching Excellence Awards for the 2016-2017 year. The recipients are chosen by selection committees within the individual schools, and the awards are funded by the UNC General Administration.

Congratulations to UNCG’s Teaching Excellence Award recipients:

Dr. Trisha Kemerly, Lecturer in Consumer Apparel & Retail Studies at the Bryan School of Business and Economics

Dr. Jiyoung Hwang, Assistant Professor in Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism in the Bryan School of Business and Economics

Dr. Larry Taube, Associate Professor in Information Systems & Supply Chain Management in the Bryan School of Business and Economics

Dr. Malcom Shug, Associate Professor in Biology in the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Silvia Bettez, Associate Professor in Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations in the School of Education

Dr. Christopher Kepley, Associate Professor in Nanoscience in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Dr. Michael Perko, Professor in Public Health Education in the School of Health and Human Sciences

Lori Hubbard, Clinical Instructor in Family & Community Nursing in the School of Nursing

Dr. Robert Wells, Associate Professor in the School of Music in the College of Visual and Performing Arts

In memoriam: Robert Gutter

Robert Gutter, professor emeritus of music, died May 8 in Moldova.

Gutter was director of orchestral activities in UNCG Music and conductor of the UNCG Orchestra. He was a faculty member from 1988 to 2011. The News and Record reported that during his time as director of orchestral activities at UNCG, UNCG won first place three times from the National Opera Association’s Annual Opera Production Competition, when he was conductor. UNCG Opera Theatre is led by David Holley.

“Before coming to Greensboro, Gutter was a conductor and music director of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra (in Massachusetts)” the N&R further reports. He was given the title Conductor Emeritus in 1986. “He founded the International Institute for Conductors in Romania and had directed symphonies and opera companies in more than 40 countries.”

He was also a longtime conductor of the Philharmonia of Greensboro. And he was conductor and music director of the Fayetteville Symphony 1993-2003, the Fayetteville Observer notes.

A New York City native, he graduated from the city’s High School of Music and Art, and received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Yale University School of Music, the Springfield Republican reports. He studied in Siena, Italy, at the Chigiana Academy with Franco Ferrara.

He served as the Principal Guest Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Ukraine in Kiev from 1996 to 2000, and later as the Principal Guest Conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra “Mihail Jora” of Bacau, Romania, the Republican also notes.

For more information, see the News and Record report. And see the news report in the Springfield Republican.

Looking ahead: May 17, 2017

First day of classes for Summer Session I
Thursday, May 18

“Art on Paper” opening reception
Saturday, May 20, 6:30 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

Memorial Day: No classes, offices closed
Monday, May 29

See/hear: May 17, 2017

 UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam,  Jr., joins Randolph Community College President Robert S. Shackleford Jr. and Winston-Salem State University Chancellor Elwood Robinson on the local show “Triad Today” in a conversation about the future of higher education in the Triad.

Representing UNCG’s finest ideals, at Faculty & Staff Excellence Awards

The Faculty & Staff Excellence Awards honorees represent UNCG’s finest ideals, Chancellor Franklin Gilliam, Jr., said at the beginning of awards ceremony. “The ideals are only ideal when they are translated into action,” he added.

Through films highlighting the recipients, attendees would see some of the research and creative activity, mentoring and teaching excellence that distinguish this year’s honorees.
“We salute the recipients for all their accomplishments,” he said.

He recognized Staff Star recipients, in a special section of the audience near the front center.

He also recognized Service Pin recipients of 30, 35 and 40 years.

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Michelle Lamb Moone served as mistress of ceremonies, welcoming attendees. She spoke of appreciation as an important human need as well as a source of continued motivation.

She acknowledged the creative work of Media Studies students in creating the faculty/staff highlight videos seen during the ceremony.

The ceremony was held May 2 in EUC Auditorium.

The honorees were:

UNCG BOG of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence – Dr. Sharon Morrison (Public Health Education)

Mary Settle Sharpe Award for Teaching Excellence – Dr. James Fisher (Theatre)
James Y. Joyner Award for Teaching Excellence – Sheryl Oring (Art)
Anna Maria Gove Award for Teaching Excellence – Wade Maki (Philosophy)

O. Max Gardner Award nominee – Dr. David Wyrick (Public Health Education)

Gladys Strawn Bullard Awards –
Anna Poteat (student, Geography)
Dr. Brett Carter (staff, Dean of Students Office)
Dr. Samuel Miller (faculty, Education)

Staff Excellence Awards –
Angela Mahoney (Human Resources)
Kara Baldwin (Student Success Center)

Holshouser Award for Excellence in Public Service nominee – Dr. Christine Murrary (Counseling and Educational Development)

Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award – Dr. Cheryl A. Buehler (Human Development and Family Studies)

Senior Research Excellence Award – Dr. Sat Gupta (Mathematics and Statistics)
Junior Research Excellence Award – Dr. Amanda Tanner (Public Health Education)

Student Learning Enhancement Awards –
Kinesiology, EdD program
Kinesiology, MS program
Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award – Dr. Nadja Cech (Chemistry and Biochemistry)

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Martin W. Kane

See additional post on the Research award recipients at the UNCG Research web site.

Sharp shooters: UNCG students take work to Cannes

Most filmmakers don’t make it to the Cannes Film Festival through food fight stories, but that’s just one thing that makes UNCG student Brendan Malone unusual.

The sophomore media studies major has yet to do his first in-school filmmaking assignment, but this month he’ll screen his short, “Foodie,” at one of the world’s most noteworthy film venues.

In the fall semester he wrote and directed “Foodie” in the span of a week, as a part of the Campus MovieFest competition. It took three major awards at UNCG—the Audience Award, the Silver Tripod Award for Editing and the Jury Award given to four finalists.

But then came the big news.  It was selected to be a part of the Campus MovieFest roster for Cannes 2017, as a part of the Short Film Corner program.

Malone will travel to the festival in southern France with the film’s producer Alex Suggs, who is also a sophomore media studies major at UNCG.

A Greensboro native, Malone attended Bishop McGuinness High School When he started making films, his high school friends liked his ideas, but it was difficult to come up with a complete film crew. He had to hold a few scripts, like “Punchline,” until he got to college and found more people to work with.

At UNCG he met Suggs, who he says is a big motivating force for him, as well as a skilled videographer and a partner in creative decision-making. When Malone has an idea, Suggs starts planning the schedule.

So far, the two have made two short films together, and this summer they will work on a third, “The Red Rockets,” a sports comedy about competitive foosball teams. For their biggest project yet, they may have crew of up to 40 people, many of whom Malone has met through UNCG connections.

Greensboro locations figure prominently in Malone’s films. You can easily spot Nazareth Bread Company in “Foodie,” and several familiar locations in “Punchline”—the Bestway grocery store, the UNCG Pedestrian Underpass, a UNCG parking deck, and Guilford Courthouse National Military Park.

Before coming to UNCG, Malone was 90 percent self-taught, through directing and screenwriting books. He admires DIY-style filmmakers, such as Wes Anderson, Richard Linklater and Kevin Smith. An essential part of his training was also his involvement in Greensboro’s 48-Hour Film Festival. He was on the team of two festival projects where he learned, among other things, “how to sacrifice the idea of perfection in favor of handling the tasks and just getting the project done.”

“Foodie,” the film they will take to Cannes, is a character-based short about a man on a mission to get free food. He participates in a contest that promises a free plate of enormous food with a catch—it has to be eaten in one sitting. The protagonist collects a dedicated audience for his task, but isn’t so courteous to them when he begins to fail at his mission. (Picture food flying toward the onlookers, in the moment of defeat.)

Malone says that “Foodie” was a reflection of what his life felt like at the time—“free if you can finish it.” When his friends and family asked if they could help he said, “I think I’ve got a place for you.” Malone’s father can be seen being hit in the face with a hamburger. His mother, School of Nursing professor Dr. Laurie Kennedy-Malone, can be seen as well in the crowd of bystanders.

When the time comes for Malone to make films as part of his academic studies, he certainly won’t object to that—he’s already connected with UNCG Media Studies professors Matthew Barr and Kevin Wells, who have given him feedback on scripts and advice on shooting.

But initiating and executing his own projects alongside his college courses has given him a distinct motivation.

“There are really no limits,” he says.

Learn more about UNCG Department of Media Studies here.

Watch “Foodie” here.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photograph by Martin W. Kane. Brendan Malone (left) and Alex Suggs (right).

Bones and butchery in UNCG Anthropology

UNCG takes pride in its hands-on, experiential learning opportunities.

Whether it’s through innovative teaching in the classroom or undergraduate research in the lab, UNCG faculty want students to not only learn the material, but to get their hands dirty in the process.

For students Kevin Covell and Robert Sanderford, “getting their hands dirty” is an understatement.

Under the leadership of Dr. Charles Egeland, the two anthropology students participated in an undergraduate research project this spring that explored the evolution of skill acquisition through animal butchery.

The acquisition and butchery of large mammals with stone tools represents the earliest and most enduring manifestation of human interaction with technology. So how can we gauge butchery skill in a prehistoric context?

According to Egeland, the answer is in the “cutmarks,” or the incisions produced on the surface of the bones by stone tools.

“Researchers are just beginning to systematically test the relationship between experience and cutmarks,” Egeland said. “Our hypothesis was that experienced butchers would create cutmarks that are close to each other and make anatomical sense.”

Over the course of the semester, Egeland enlisted the help of Covell and Sanderford to test this relationship. Covell, an “expert” butcher who previously worked as a professional chef, and Sanderford, an “amateur” with experience hunting animals, met several times a month to butcher deer legs supplied by the North Carolina Department of Transportation. Other novice butchers participated as well.

The students used replicas of prehistoric stone tools to remove soft tissues from deer legs as if they were butchering for consumption. Egeland, Covell and Sanderford then identified the cutmarks, took high-resolution digital images of each cutmark cluster and used statistical analysis to analyze cutmark attributes.

The conclusion? Novice butchers left very different cutmark patterns on the bones relative to the more experienced butchers.

“If we can identify differences in cutmark orientation among skill levels in an experimental context, it gives us the opportunity to do so in archaeological contexts,” Egeland said. “This, in turn, may allow us to track the evolution of skill acquisition, at least as it pertains to animal butchery.”

Last month, Egeland presented the research findings at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Vancouver. Covell and Sanderford were co-authors of the paper.

For the two budding anthropologists, it was a unique opportunity to not only participate in ground-breaking research, but to develop the kinds of skills – such as digital photography, image manipulation, utilization of geographic information systems (GIS) programs and specialized analytical skills – that will be used in the field.

“I’m excited about the skills we’ve acquired with this research,” said Sanderford, who will graduate this week. “I’ve definitely learned what goes into the research process.”

Ultimately, Egeland hopes this study and further studies will allow us to learn more about human culture.

“While humans are not the only species that have culture or make and use technology, the degree to which humans rely on culture and technology as a fundamental component of our adaptation is unique,” he said. “Therefore, tracking the development of skill acquisition opens a window to the evolution of human culture.”

Check out the video below to learn more about the research project.

By Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Chinese visiting artists part of UNCG global community

For more than a decade, UNCG has been developing significant relationships with several Chinese universities, through faculty exchanges, delegation visits and artist-in-residence stays.

Those who attend concerts at the School of Music may remember Narisu, a throat-singing specialist who came for six weeks to teach UNCG students and to perform with them in late February. Two years before Narisu’s visit, the School of Music hosted another memorable and unusual performer, Aorigele, a master of Mongolian horse-head fiddle. Both artists came from the Inner Mongolia University of the Nationalities (IMUN), one university that has formed a close connection with UNCG.

“There’s such strong interactions between our guest artists from China and our students,” said Dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts Dr. Peter Alexander. “There’s a really solid impact on the state, since both Gavin Douglas and Dennis Askew have taken guests to perform at Wake Forest and NC State. There’s a high level benefit to these residencies—it’s important for students to understand musical traditions are quite varied, to understand that music has a different definition in different cultures.”

Several of the artists-in-residence or scholars from China are music professors, and those from UNCG who travel to China to teach are often from the Schools of Music and Dance. UNCG Professor of Voice Nancy Walker, who has taught at IMUN, says that may be because of the strength of the programs, but also because the disciplines themselves work well for exchanges.

“There’s so much show and tell,” she said, meaning that artists are able to communicate with their students about the artistic work they’re doing even when they don’t know the other language.

This past semester, Walker served as the faculty host for Qiaoyan Gao, a scholar from IMUN. Gao is sponsored by the Chinese government to study western pedagogy and write an analysis of UNCG’s teaching of voice compared to the style at IMUN. Gao is a voice teacher herself, as is her husband, Burgud, a specialist of long tune singing. He can be seen in the video of Narisu’s throat singing class.

While IMUN and Guangdong Ocean are two institutions with whom UNCG has a close relationship, there are Chinese visitors from other institutions as well, and in other disciplines aside from music and dance. Professor Jing Fu is visiting the UNCG School of Art from Chengdu University, where she is an associate professor of design in the Department of Environmental Art. Fu is studying art pedagogy and Associate Professor of Art Education Eun-Hee (Maria) Lim is her faculty liaison.

“Dr. Lim’s class made the biggest impression on me,” Fu said. “UNCG professors use a variety of hands-on activities that interest students.”

Upon her return to Chengdu University, Fu plans to use what she saw at UNCG in her own courses. However, it is not only the visiting scholars who benefit from the cultural exchange.

“Hosting visiting scholars and artists-in-residence is part of UNCG’s mission as a global university,” said Lawrence Jenkins, associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts. “Stronger connections with individuals and institutions abroad—in this case in China—allows us to participate in the global community of scholars and to forge relationships we can build on moving into the future. Visiting scholars also expand the horizons of our students, and this is particularly true of artists-in-residence who generally have sustained contact with students in workshops and master classes.”

Dean Alexander agreed, saying, “There’s a lot of back and forth and I think it’s great. The university should be about opening up new perspectives and new territory for students, and these connections are doing a great job of that.”

To read more about UNCG’s connections with Chinese institutions, see last week’s story on UNCG faculty visits to China.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Susan Kirby-Smith, visiting scholar Jing Fu (left) and Eun-Hee (Maria) Lim (right)

Summer schedule for UNCG Campus Weekly

After next week, UNCG’s Campus Weekly (CW) will begin its summer schedule of publishing every other week. It will resume weekly publication the latter part of July.  The publication dates for CW this summer are:

May 17

May 31

Jun 14

June 28

July 12

July 26

Aug. 2

Aug. 9

Aug. 16

Fall 2017 classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 15.

UNCG Police, student groups hosted community cookout

Approximately 350 UNCG students and employees joined with 34 UNCG police officers on April 28 to enjoy food and fun at the first annual Spring Community Cookout.

Sponsored by the UNCG Police Department, Campus Activities and Programs (CAP), Student Government Association (SGA) and the Residence Hall Association (RHA), the event provided a space for students and police to get to know each other and build community on campus.

“We enjoyed all of the food, fun and festivities, but more importantly we enjoyed the opportunity to interact with our campus community,” said UNCG Police Chief Paul Lester. “We’re looking forward to doing it again next year.”

Check out highlights from the event in the video below.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0kcgrl-wvc0

Gen Ed: May faculty development workshops

The General Education Council will offer four faculty development workshops to support campus wide Writing Intensive (WI) & Speaking Intensive (SI) efforts on May 22 and 23.

UNCG faculty can access workshop descriptions and reserve seats here.

Attending the WI & SI summer workshops does not involve any homework, Kim Cuny says. “Faculty simply need to register in advance & show up ready to learn!”

Light snacks and drinks will be provided by The University Writing and Speaking Centers. Faculty will receive a $100 stipend for participation.

UNCG Softball takes top seed

Senior Day couldn’t have gone much better for UNCG Softball Sunday. The Blue & Gold earned a 7-2 victory over the ETSU Bucs to win a share of the Southern Conference regular season championship and the No. 1 seed in the SoCon tournament.

The championship is the first for UNCG Softball since joining the SoCon in 1998 and the first conference regular season title for the Spartans since winning the Big South in 1996.

“We have been solid throughout conference play,” said Head Coach Janelle Breneman. “We set out for a SoCon championship and it takes sharpness every weekend. I felt like we did that winning every conference series but one. Coming in we obviously knew this series was going to be big but it was nice that we got to dictate our future and win the No. 1 seed in the tournament. That’s huge.”

The team now turns its attention to the SoCon Tournament later this week in Chattanooga, Tenn.

See full report at UNCG Athletics site.

Photograph of post-game celebration courtesy UNCG Athletics.

See Coach Breneman take a celebratory Gatorade bath, after Sunday’s big win.

More Than Meets the Eye workshops at Weatherspoon

Looking is just the first step to seeing.

Inspired by the book ​”​On Looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes”​ by Alexandra Horowitz and WAM’s Art of Seeing program, ​curator of ​education Ann Grimaldi leads visitors on an interactive tour about building visual awareness. Guided discussions in the galleries along with a simple sketching or writing activity are included.

The sessions at the ​Weatherspoon Art Museum will be on three Wednesdays:

May 17, June 21, and July 26, 11 am -12 noon.​

​Free for adults, but reservations are ​requested.  ​Sign up for one, two, or all three programs by emailing ann_grimaldi@uncg.edu or call​ing ​336-256-1448.

Alianza – UNCG Latino Faculty and Staff End of Year Social Lunch this Friday

Alianza is UNCG’s faculty and staff organization for Latin@ and Hispanic issues. Since 2013, UNCG’s Alianza has been a gathering point for university employees who are interested in collaborating around issues that impact Hispanic/Latin@ staff, as well as initiatives that enhance activity on campus related to the Hispanic/Latin@ cultures and communities.

Alianza invites the entire campus community to join them for the End of Year Social Lunch on Friday, May 12, at 12 noon at Pedro’s Taco Shop. 948 Walker Ave (near Tate Street).

Questions? Please contact Estela Ratliff, Alianza Board chair for 2016-2017, by phone at 336-334-3230 or email at eyratlif@uncg.edu.

UNCG Libraries’ Jackson Society select rare books for collection

The University Libraries’ Third Annual Members’ Choice Event was held on April 20. At the event, members of the Jackson Society voted on their preferred selection of books to be added to the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives. These additions, many of which are first editions, will commemorate the 125th anniversary of UNCG and help grow the collection as it strives to meet the research needs of faculty, students and the broader community. The items added to UNCG’s Special Collections and University Archives ranged from “Slavery Days in Old Kentucky” by Isaac Johnson to “Emma” by Jane Austen, from “Narrative of Sojourner Truth” by Sojourner Truth to Abraham Lincoln’s “Political Debates.” Full story and listing at the Friends of the UNCG Libraries blog.

Dr. Stuart Schleien

Dr. Stuart Schleien (Community and Therapeutic Recreation) received an award from the Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities. The Brant Taylor Barrier Free Success Award recognizes and honors an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to creating a barrier-free environment for persons with disabilities.

He was honored at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce  annual Small Business Awards ceremony last week.

At the ceremony, three other Spartans received awards. Tinker Clayton, a UNCG alumnus and one of the owners of Hudson’s Hill, received the Retailer of the Year award. Minority Small Business Persons of the Year were Randy Wadsworth and Damion Moore, owners of Dame’s Chicken and Waffles.

Those apples: trends and wishes and Minerva

I only noticed a few coins at Minerva in the past weeks. I noticed no flowers there.

No paper notes were seen this entire semester.

Students left dozens of red apples and green apples on the statue’s base. Several apples prominently bore the subject of the wish, in silver ink or black ink – such as a history class “final paper.” One showed a Political Science course number.

The evening before exams began, about 65 apples lay at the Minerva statue. The morning of exams, the number had dropped (apparently some enterprising squirrels had, uh, squirreled some away overnight). But by the end of the first day of exams, the statue sported a lot of apples.

I stopped by to check them out again last Thursday. A tall young man stopped, placed his apple on a corner of the pedestal, looked at me as he paused and then looked at all the apples. “Traditions,” he said. And continued on, presumably to his exam.

I’ve been asked what the notes have said, in past years. Fact is, I’ve never opened a folded note to Minerva. Some have been folded tight. Very tight. As if the wish might spill out otherwise. One tiny missive, in a past year, was addressed simply to M. I wouldn’t have opened it and read it in a million years. It wasn’t addressed to me.

I did learn a secret technique this week. A student sitting on the bench near the statue told me a strategy for getting an apple into the hand of Minerva. It involved spearing the apple with a very long stick. Last year she and some fellow Spartans did just that, and cheered when they were finally successful. She bet that cheer could be heard throughout campus.

I should have asked her how she did on her exam. Seeing that kind of tenacity, I bet she did well.

There are a lot of hopes and ambitions represented in the apples. Every one of them carries a story. Most will never be told. But the desire and hard work behind each one will yield something powerful. You can bet on it.

See news report on WFMY-News2.

Story and photos by Mike Harris

UNCG Grounds in high gear for Graduation

Photo of trees, foliage and benching in the Herring GardenRain and more rain. It keeps the campus green, but for a couple of weeks there, it was a bit much.

“It rained on Monday and Tuesday (March 27-28) and it was so wet Wednesday we couldn’t mow,” said Hal Shelton, director of Grounds in Facilities. “It washed mulch out of beds everywhere on campus so we spent Thursday and Friday cleaning up and mowing.”

It rained so much, the wisteria in Peabody Park hardly had any blooms this year.

Then a storm lashed campus last Thursday night, with strong winds. “There were a lot of limbs down.”
But Grounds has put things in order.

A common refrain among visitors to campus? It’s beautiful. Its natural beauty shines through.
Here at the middle of Commencement Week, just as exams are finishing up, the campus has never looked better. Just a little more tidying by Grounds.

“We’ll have the campus ready for graduation by Friday,” Shelton said.

Looking Ahead: May 10, 2017

Board of Trustees meeting
Thursday, May 11, 8:30 a.m., Alumni House

Staff Senate meeting
Thursday, May 11, 10 a.m., Moran Commons, Room 109

UNCG May Commencement
Friday, May 12, 10 a.m., Coliseum

Baseball vs. Citadel
Friday, May 12, 6 p.m., UNCG Baseball Stadium

See/hear: May 10, 2017

 A hungry con-man finds a new venture to sink his teeth into, in this film created by two UNCG undergraduates, as part of Campus MovieFest. See story about the UNCG students’ upcoming trip to Cannes.

Anne Wallace honored at Faculty Senate mtg

Dr. Anne Wallace is completing her second term as Faculty Senate chair. She was the first to serve under the  revised rules providing for two-year terms for each chair.
She will be succeeded by Dr. Andrea Hunter, who’ll serve two terms.

Wallace began her term about the same time Chancellor Gilliam began his term as UNCG’s 11th chancellor.

The chancellor surprised her with a special, informal presentation at the end of the academic year’s final meeting, speaking for 10 minutes about her:

Wallace receives a token gift from the chancellor

“She helped show me the ropes in my first year,” he said. “She has deep institutional knowledge, and has been generous in sharing that.”

“She is an advocate for the faculty – she tells me the concerns of faculty, such as during the strategic plan process.”

She also encouraged him in likewise building a strong relationship with Staff Senate,” he added.

Minerva McGonagall” is how Wade Maki described her in a video with lots of campus and senate voices – the chancellor had noted her appreciation for the Harry Potter series.

“If I’m Dumbledore, then she’s Minerva McGonagall,” the chancellor’s lighthearted post-event tweet noted.

The Great Call of China: UNCG faculty go global

In a display case in the atrium of the Music Building, there’s an unusual instrument: an authentic horse-head chi fiddle, inscribed “to School of Music of University of North Carolina at Greensboro,” in English and in Chinese characters.

The instrument was a gift from Inner Mongolia University for the Nationalities (IMUN), which presented it to Director of Opera David Holley in 2009, when he brought the Charles A. Lynam Vocal Competition winners to perform there. Former UNCG German professor Doryl Jensen helped arrange the tour, as he had done for several UNCG performers in previous years, but the connection with IMUN was still just forming.

“That horse-head fiddle that David Holley brought back—that’s what really started it all,” said Professor of Voice Nancy Walker, who became the first UNCG faculty member to teach in China through the connection with IMUN.

In May and June of 2012, she was in residence there for four weeks. She, like many UNCG professors who would follow her, brought a Western, student-centered teaching style and Western ideas about classical music to share with students and faculty at IMUN. But when she returned, she brought back knowledge of Chinese culture and music.

“I’m a strong believer in what connecting with another culture does for you,” Walker said. “It’s an eye-opening, life-changing experience. We should be doing it with as many cultures as we can.”

This month, Associate Professor of Voice and Coordinator of Vocal Pedagogy Robert Wells will teach and perform at IMUN, as well as at Guangdong Ocean University. Associate Professor of Music Education and conductor of UNCG Sinfonia Rebecca MacLeod will travel to Shoaguan University and Xi-an Conservatory, to work with music educators. This will be the second trip for both music professors; Wells also went to China in 2015, and MacLeod went last year, when she taught at Shoaguan for six weeks, including leading the wind ensemble there, and conducted a two-day clinic with approximately 50 public school music teachers from Guangdong Province.

“Navigating the cultural differences in communication style, classroom environment and methods of feedback was complicated, and stimulating,” MacLeod said of her past teaching experience in China. “I know that the experience made me grow as a teacher and has allowed me to meet the needs of more diverse students and learning styles. Sharing philosophies, values and strategies with my Chinese colleagues was an incredible experience.”

Associate Professor of Dance Duane Cyrus will also make a trip to China this month, to Shaoguan and Xi-an. This will also be his second trip. In 2014, he and Associate Professor of Ethnomusicology Gavin Douglas took a group of UNCG students to IMUN, where they had the opportunity to learn and perform alongside Chinese students. This year, supported by a Strategic Seed grant focused on vibrant communities, Cyrus will share his current research project “Comanche: Hero Complexities” with Chinese students and explore its themes through choreography.

“Visiting China and sharing dance with the students at Chinese universities allows us to communicate beyond language barriers,” he observed.

All three artists are looking forward to their trips, made possible by more than ten years of connections created by the UNCG International Programs Center and key figures in the College of Visual and Performing Arts as well as the Graduate School. Since 2006, Jensen and a Chinese friend to UNCG, Tang Cai, have been facilitating faculty visits to institutions in China, and they always made opportunities for faculty performances a priority.

The performers included Jazz Studies Professor and pianist John Salmon, his student Antonio Truyols, Professor of Music and pianist Joseph DiPiazza, Associate Professor of Music and violinist Fabian Lopez, and Head of the Department of Dance Janet Lilly, who created a performance piece with Chinese students. The East Wind Ensemble, which included current Vice Provost for Graduate Education Dr. Kelly Burke, also performed in several cities in 2008, including at the Shanghai International Arts Festival and the Shanghai Radio and TV Broadcast Conference.

The UNCG professors and performers who travel to China expand their cultural knowledge and share teaching techniques with Chinese institutions, but they also create a pathway for artist-in-residence exchanges. The visiting artists that come to UNCG have chosen to come here because of the performances and teaching that UNCG faculty brought to their institutions, and the relationships they created.

Salmon, along with many other UNCG faculty who have performed in China, spoke highly of his experiences there, and of working with several Chinese students who come to the UNCG School of Music from the IMUN. Chinese students make up the largest international group on campus, and each faculty member who has visited China or assisted in hosting Chinese visitors on campus has the prediction that the strong connection with IMUN and other Chinese universities will continue to expand, providing more global opportunities for UNCG students and faculty and for Chinese scholars and artists.

While it isn’t played often, the inscribed horsehead fiddle in the display case is clear evidence that the connections are appreciated.

“It’s gratifying to me to know that I was a part of the early part of this collaboration,” said Holley. “To see how it’s grown and flourished, to know the exchange of cultures and ideas through the mediums of music and dance.”

Next week read about Chinese artists and scholars who have been in residence at UNCG.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photograph by Martin W. Kane

Pictured: IMUN visiting scholar Qiaoyan Gao, David Holley, Nancy Walker

Commencement will be May 12

More than 2,600 students will become UNCG alumni at the university’s 2017 May Commencement on Friday, May 12, at 10 a.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum.

UNCG will award approximately 2,623 earned degrees: 1,989 bachelor’s degrees, 540 master’s degrees, 12 specialist in education degrees and 82 doctoral degrees. Seventy of these degrees will be awarded to international students.

Honorary degrees will be presented to Dr. Mansukh C. Wani and William “Bill” Mangum Jr. ’75, ’83 MFA. Wani, an internationally-recognized scientist and pioneer in the field of cancer research, will receive a Doctor of Science honorary degree. Mangum, an acclaimed visual artist, entrepreneur, author and philanthropist, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree.

UNCG will also award its first doctor of nursing practice degree, as well as the first bachelor of science degree in psychology. Previously, UNCG offered only a bachelor of arts degree in psychology.

Margot Lee Shetterly, best-selling author of the book “Hidden Figures,” will present the commencement address to the university’s 2017 graduating class.

“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.”

Maya Perry, a senior majoring in political science and sociology with a minor in Spanish, will serve as the student speaker.

The ceremony is free and open to the public, and parking at the Greensboro Coliseum is free for students and their guests. As a service to the campus community, Park & Ride buses will transport volunteers, students, staff and faculty between campus and the coliseum. Buses will depart campus every 30 minutes beginning at 7 a.m., with the final shuttle returning to campus at 1 p.m. Passengers may board the bus on Stirling Street in front of Elliott University Center.

Individuals who are unable to attend the ceremony may watch a live stream here.

For more information about May Commencement, visit the Commencement Central website.

By Alyssa Bedrsosian

Changes to performance management system for SHRA employees

Associate Vice Chancellor for Human Resources Michelle Lamb Moone announces changes – and a series of workshops:

SHRA PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR 2016-2017 AND NEW PROGRAM FOR 2017-2018

Completion and Submission of 2016-17 PMP Forms

All completed PMP forms for the cycle April 1, 2016-March 31, 2017 were due to the Office of Human Resources by April 30, 2017 (extended date). Please scan and email your completed documents to PMP2017@uncg.edu. PMPs will not be accepted by fax or via HR staff’s personal email address.  

Completion of the performance evaluation process is mandatory for all supervisors and managers with subordinate staff.

 

SHRA Performance Management Plans for 2017-2018

I am pleased to announce some exciting changes to our current SHRA Performance Management Program. SHRA employees and those who have responsibility for evaluating SHRA employees will receive information this week about their role in this process and training opportunities that will orient them to the new tools and processes.  Meanwhile, please review carefully the attached memorandum regarding the process, training times and locations, and who to contact for questions.

Registration for these sessions is not required.

Read about the FY18 PMP Cycle and Timeline and Schedule of PMP Training & Information Sessions: http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/performancemgt/pmpmemo.pdf.

 

49 Spartans inducted into Phi Beta Kappa

UNCG’s Phi Beta Kappa chapter, the Epsilon chapter, inducted 49 new members on April 17 in a ceremony at the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Assistant Professor of Economics Dora Gicheva and Associate Professor of Music Aaron Allen gave the welcome address and introduced the new members. Provost Dana Dunn and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences John Kiss also greeted the new inductees. Dr. Tom Mould, Elon University professor of anthropology and folklore, gave the address.

Established in 1776, Phi Beta Kappa is the oldest and most widely known of collegiate honorary societies, and includes members such as former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter; NFL quarterback Peyton Manning; historian John Hope Franklin; poet Rita Dove; and film director Francis Ford Coppola.

UNCG’s Epsilon chapter was formed during the Woman’s College era in 1934 as a branch of the UNC Chapel Hill chapter. In 1956 it became an independent chapter and in 2006, the national society named Epsilon the nation’s most outstanding chapter at a public university. UNCG is one of only seven institutions in North Carolina to have a chapter. Others are UNC Chapel Hill, N.C. State University, Wake Forest University, Davidson College, Duke University and Elon University.

PBK recognizes outstanding scholarship in the liberal arts and sciences. Inductees must have high grade point averages, at least six credit hours of a foreign language at the intermediate level and three-fourths of the total number of hours in courses of a genuinely liberal character, as determined by the chapter.

INITIATES OF 2017

Dahlia Alharoon, Psychology, Raleigh

Sydney Katherine Barker, Sociology (Spanish), Holly Springs

Karen Boger, Psychology (Sociology), Mocksville

Milton Yates Brannan, Geography (Classical Studies), Zebulon

Candace Marie Chilcoat, Humanities, Winterville

Itané Coleman, Political Science, African American/African Diaspora Studies, Charlotte

Caroline Grace Countryman, History, Spanish (English), Graham

Tyler Daye, Political Science, Sociology, Greensboro

Sarah Christine Duncan, Classical Studies, History, Lenoir

Carly Olivia Elkins, Biology (Chemistry), Winston-Salem

James Brian Etling, English, Greensboro

Rachel Moriah Garner, History, Lenexa, Kansas

Olivia Rae Gerald, History (Community & Therapeutic Recreation), Greensboro

Veronica Gonzalez Meza, Latin American Studies, Spanish, Yadkinville

Ethan Gordon, Economics, Charlotte

Taylor Edwin Grubbs, Physics (Chemistry, Mathematics)

Mehik Iqbal, Biochemistry (History), High Point

Hannah Kristina Johnson, Anthropology (Classical Studies), Hines, Vt.

Ashley Elizabeth Jones, Mathematics

McKenna Dawn Kormanik, Biology (Chemistry), Seattle, Wash.

Liat Lebovich, Anthropology, Archaeology, Raleigh

Lei Liu, Biology (Chemistry)

Will Joseph McGarty, Media Studies, Communication Studies, Winston-Salem

Jennifer Caroline McGuirk, International and Global Studies, Media Studies, Greensboro

Emmanuella Ofori Mensah, Biology, Charlotte

Eni Minerali, Biochemistry, Korce, Albania

Yasmeen Mjalli, Art History, Greensboro

Alexander Nelson, German, French (Russian)

Jordan Rhea Peitz, Archaeology, Anthropology (Classical Studies, History), Pinehurst

Courtney Renee Perry, Social Sciences, Winston-Salem

Christopher Neil Pritchard, Mathematics, Greensboro

Toni Michelle Quick, Psychology (Sociology)

Natalie Gray Rapp, Dance, Psychology (Spanish), Raleigh

Caitlin Victoria Reid, Biology, Winston-Salem

Seth Rumbley, Anthropology, Asheboro

Benjamin Walker Sanderford, Humanities, Selma

Alexis Antonnia Shaw, Russian Studies, Charlotte

Susanna Sheley, Music (French), Otterberg, Germany

Allison Smith, Environmental Studies, Political Science (History, Math), Union

Candace Merritt Strickland, Anthropology, Sociology (Spanish), Knightdale

Patricia Ann Tanzer, Music, Computer Science (Mathematics), McLeansville

Ashley Bodenheimer Underwood, Psychology (Business), Trinity

Anna Gabrielle Warner, Psychology (Anthropology), Winston-Salem

Corey James Wernette, Psychology (Sociology), Saline, Mich.

Faith Wilfong, Anthropology, Archaeology, St. Louis, Mo.

Amanda Michelle Wils, Classical Studies (English), Greensboro

Uyeong Yang, Economics (Mathematics), Gwangju, Korea

Matthew Yengle, Computer Science, Jamestown

AbaGayle Frances Younts, Mathematics, Economics, Taylorsville

Alice Joyner Irby ’54 and Epsilon Chapter members are thanked for their contributions to help
defray the cost of the initiation fee for new members.

Baseball, Softball going strong – Webster national leader in Batting Average

UNCG Softball is currently tied for first place in the Southern Conference, at 9 wins, 5 losses. Their overall record is 26-21. They will host East Tennessee State this Saturday and Sunday.

UNCG Baseball is currently in second place in the Southern Conference, at 10 wins, 5 losses. Last weekend, they won their series at league-leader Mercer, winning 2 of the 3 games. Their overall record is 26-16. UNCG freshman Caleb Webster, a kinesiology major from Randleman, went into last weekend’s series with the best batting average in the nation – and is currently one of the two national leaders. They will host The Citadel May 12-14.

As the season winds down and we head to the SoCon tournaments, see current standings and stats for both teams at http://www.soconsports.com/standings/Standings.

Editor’s note: As of early morning on Wednesday, UNCG’s Caleb Webster and CSU Bakersfield’s Ryan Grotjohn both held a .417 batting average, based on information available at that time.

Looking Ahead: May 3, 2017

Faculty Senate Meeting
Wednesday, May 3, 3 p.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House,

Exams begin
Thursday, May 4

Guest Artist: The New Baroque Chamber Players
Thursday, May 4, 7:30 p.m., Organ Hall, Music Building

Softball vs. ETSU (Doubleheader)
Saturday, May 6, 1 p.m., UNCG Softball Stadium

Concert, Dancers Connect
Sunday, May 7, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Dance Theater

Noon at the  ’Spoon
Tuesday, May 9, 12 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

May Commencement
Friday, May 12, 10 a.m., Greensboro Coliseum

Housing Hangout: rural housing

The Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) will host a Housing Hangout this Friday, May 5, at noon in MHRA 1607. The focus is on rural housing, and there will be three speakers: Trevor Nuttall, Community Development Division Director of Asheboro; Margrit Bergholz, Senior Supportive Housing Development Officer for the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency in Raleigh; and Phillip Sheldon, from the research staff of CHCS. All are welcome, and refreshments will be provided.

Starfish Updates: Summer 2017

A note from the Students First Office:

With the spring semester coming to a close, the Starfish Outreach Team in the Students First Office would like to wish students, staff, and faculty a productive and restorative summer. As the university transitions out of the spring term, we would like to remind the campus community of important information about the Starfish features available over the summer.

Starfish Features: Summer 2017

• The ability to raise Starfish flags and kudos will be turned off on May 3 and will be unavailable until Fall 2017 begins.

• Referral options will remain available for use over summer. The following referral options are available to instructors and student support staff: Academic Skills, Speaking Center, and Math Help Center.

• Online appointment scheduling will remain available over the summer to all instructors and staff who post availability in Starfish. Instructors and staff who will be away from campus during this time should remove all calendar availability prior to leaving.

Workshop Opportunities

If you are new to Starfish or would like to refresh your knowledge, please consider attending one of our faculty/staff Starfish workshops in the spring. View available workshop times and sign up via workshops.uncg.edu. If you would like to request a departmental Starfish training, please email starfish@uncg.edu.

Starfish Support

For assistance using Starfish, please email starfish@uncg.edu. Students, staff, and instructors are encouraged to explore UNCG’s Starfish webpages at studentsfirst.uncg.edu/starfish for additional information about Starfish and available training guides.

Enjoy UNCG Magazine: Nursing’s 50th, Natty Greene’s, Olympian Paul Chelimo

The spring 2017 UNCG Magazine is available online.

Enjoy lots of features and news items, including:

Traditions & Transformations UNCG Nursing has been defined by service, education, research, practice and leadership from the start. One school. Thousands of alumni. Millions of lives touched.

Revolution Revitalized A historic Cone mill in Greensboro is brought back to life. And Spartans are among those leading the way.

Pedal to the Medal Alumnus Paul Chelimo shatters his personal record to make the Olympics Finals. Then shatters that mark in the Finals to surprise the world, taking Olympic Silver at Rio.

Six film clips can be enjoyed at the site:

UNCG Nursing celebrates 50 years
UNCG alumni, faculty, current students, deans and former deans share their experiences in UNCG’s School of Nursing. It’s a look at the past half-century — and a vision for the future.

Crafting a book by hand
See Andrew Saulters make copies of Stuart Dischell’s new poetry volume by hand for Unicorn Press, a fifty-year-old poetry publisher.

Natty Greene’s Revolution
Did you know UNCG alumni Kayne Fisher and Chris Lester dreamed of opening a place like Natty Greene’s when they were undergraduates in the 1980’s at UNCG? That’s where it all started. Watch Kayne show you the process of creating a wonderfully crafted beer.

Verdi’s ‘Requiem’ at UNCG Auditorium
Experience a highlight from Verdi’s monumental work. The UNCG Symphony Orchestra was joined on Feb. 24 by the UNCG Chamber Singers, University Chorale, Women’s Choir and Glee Clubs. Featured performers include Jill Bowen Gardner, Stephanie Foley Davis, Daniel Stein and David Weigel.

Paul Chelimo, Olympic medalist, hangs a ride with the chancellor
You’re on the go with alumnus Paul Chelimo, as he rides with Chancellor Gilliam through the campus. Their discussion is wide-ranging, the ride is fun.

Paul Chelimo, from Kenya to UNCG to Rio
On his first return to campus after the Olympics, Paul Chelimo reflects on his journey. “UNCG has been my family,” he says, in an interview in Alumni House’s Parish Library.

You may download and view the pdf magazine here. See the full web site here.

Semester’s final Faculty Senate meeting today

Faculty Senate meets today (Wednesday, May 3), at 3 p.m., in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House. Refreshments are available at 2:30 p.m.

Anne Wallace, Faculty Senate chair, will give welcoming remarks.  Brad Johnson, Faculty Senate secretary, will give the minutes and Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Dana Dunn will deliver remarks and take questions.

Pamela Williamson, faculty fellow to the provost and associate professor in specialized education services, will give a presentation on behalf of the Retired Faculty Association.

Colleen Fairbanks, chair of the Academic Policies Committee, Donna Nash and Ken White, will present Resolutions from the Academic Policies, followed by David Carlone, who will present a resolution from the General Education Council.

Stoel Burrowes, Elections Committee chair, will share the Senate Elections Committee Report. That presentation will be followed by remarks by Andrea Hunter, Faculty Senate chair-elect, and announcements.

2017 Community Partner Appreciation Breakfast May 16

UNCG’s  Community Partner Appreciation Breakfast will be held Tuesday, May 16, in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Anyone on campus who has worked with community partners? Please invite your community partners to attend with you.

The event will be a celebration of UNCG’s many partners in the community – and the impact our collaborations have on the many lives and the overall well-being of our community and the Triad regions.

You may register, at no cost to participants, at
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf–nex9TASQnoRdKTUdeheaeRZK25NZQxxFCfkIXLEQb-K0g/viewform?usp=sf_link

Any questions? Contact UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning at lead@uncg.edu.

Anna Marshall-Baker honored by Interior Design Educators Council

How do the materials around you affect you, and how have they affected those who produced them and the environment?

Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker, professor and chair of the Department of Interior Architecture, can tell you. Her research concerns the interconnectedness between the environment, human health and well-being, economic conditions, and aesthetics.

In March, she received the Arnold P. Friedmann Educator of Distinction Award from the Interior Design Educators Council. IDEC’s most significant award recognized her contributions to interior design education, her leadership, her innovations in the profession and her excellence in teaching.

Marshall-Baker’s work on sustainability in interior design has not just influenced -operations and academics at UNCG, but that for every student who studies with an interior design educator. In previous years, as president of IDEC, Marshall-Baker guided the organization to adopt core values in sustainability, so that all educators incorporated it into their coursework and all interior design students gained a fundamental knowledge of sustainability. Through her research and leadership, Marshall-Baker has put the focus on interior design’s interaction with human health and environmental health.

“We need to understand the effect of informed design decisions, and the designer’s power and responsibility to influence quality of life,” she says. “Whether it’s in a home, in a medical facility or on an assembly line.”

Marshall-Baker’s work examines aspects of design such as indoor air quality and the use of nontoxic materials that support normal human development. She has given particular attention to environmental safety for young children, and a good part of her research and advocacy concerns newborn intensive care units (NICUs).
She is a member of the Consensus Committee on Recommended Standards for NICU Design, which combines the efforts of a variety of experts from all fields in analyzing healthcare environments and seeks to implement evidence-based requirements and best practices in design standards. The committee publishes their findings in the Journal of Perinatology.

Last year, Marshall-Baker co-authored “Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” published in Newborn & Infant Nursing Reviews.

She also works in biophilia, which is the study of our inherent connection to natural conditions. Marshall-Baker can point to statistics on health and productivity that relate to biophilia. For designers, the challenge is to understand features of the natural world that can be designed into space such as colors, shapes, proportional relationships, and textures that are found in nature. Windows in offices, for example, are desirable to fulfill a human need for natural light conditions.

At UNCG Marshall-Baker promoted sustainability on campus when she was Faculty Senate chair and when she was co-chair of the Sustainability Council. In those roles she facilitated connections across campus and interdisciplinary interaction centered around sustainability – and worked closely with Academic Affairs and Business Affairs to find sustainability-based economic savings.

In the UNCG Department of Interior Architecture, Marshall-Baker compiled a materials library, which is a valuable resource for interior design students. Each material in the library has a documented life history, from its creation to disposal, which students can analyze to discover how “green” a material may be. The emphasis is not only on where the material came from, but on the health of the humans who have worked to produce the material, those who live with it while it’s in use and how it affects the environment after it is discarded.
“Through the library, students develop a process for evaluating material, and for making informed decisions,” she explained. “When they join design firms they’ll be able to advocate for sustainable choices.”

For UNCG, Marshall-Baker sees a future interacting with renewables, and entrepreneurship in green energy. She celebrates UNCG’s efforts to recycle water from chillers, and students’ contributions to and guidance of the Green Fund. She also sees opportunity for even more green education on campus, through classes and initiatives, and through asking questions about our progress toward a healthier planet.

“Students learn about sustainability and then influence how it is taught and practiced at UNCG ,” she said.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

ORED will become Office of Research and Engagement

UNCG’s Office of Research and Economic Development will change its name to the Office of Research and Engagement.

This name change, effective July 1, reflects an internal restructuring that more directly focuses the university’s efforts on supporting and enhancing research, scholarship and creative activity while continuing its strong commitment to community engagement. The name reflects our Carnegie Foundation classifications as an R2 research and community engaged university.

More information about the new structure will be available in the coming months.

Research, advocacy at UNCG for homeless students

Twenty minutes north of UNCG’s main campus is the National Center for Homeless Education (NCHE), a technical assistance center that has been a part of the university for nearly 20 years.

The center, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is driven by data. And there’s one number that stands out above the rest.

It’s the number of children and youth across the country identified as homeless: 1.3 million.

Homelessness in the United States takes on different forms. Families might be staying in a shelter, spending nights in a car or couch hopping, relying on the kindness of friends and family and bouncing from home to home at a moment’s notice.

In schools, it’s not easy to identify young people in these situations. Homeless students often go unnoticed and, as a result, lack the educational resources they desperately need.

That’s where NCHE steps in. Housed in UNCG’s SERVE Center – whose mission is to work with educators and policymakers to improve education – NCHE is the technical assistance and information center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) program.

EHCY oversees the implementation of the McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act. The law grants specific rights to homeless children and youth, such as immediate enrollment in school, transportation, free meals, clothing, school supplies and tutorial services. However, accessing these resources can be difficult, and many families are unaware that they are available.

“Homeless children and youth and their families don’t have the time and resources to try to navigate systems across cities or states,” says George Hancock, NCHE director. “We work with coordinators and liaisons to provide a coordinated point where these families have access to the resources they need.”

NCHE publishes hundreds of different briefs, handbooks and toolkits, holds more than 40 webinars each year and fields approximately 200 emails and calls each month in order to support the state coordinators and local liaisons that work directly with homeless youth.

And it’s not just K-12 students who receive support from NCHE. Homelessness on college campuses continues to be an issue across the state and the country – approximately 58,000 college students nationally reported that they experienced homelessness during the 2014-15 academic year.

While research and evaluation are critical to the center’s mission, it’s the passion behind the percentages that define the work of NCHE staff.

“It’s never just a job,” says Diana Bowman, senior program specialist at NCHE and former director of the center. “People are so invested in the issue and are so passionate. This field attracts the most amazing people who work tirelessly on behalf of homeless children and youth.”

According to Hancock, finding solutions to these multi-layered problems can be a difficult task. Yet despite the complexities of the situation, one thing is certain: All children have extraordinary potential.

“Children are children. They want to learn and they want to be engaged,” Hancock says. “If you can find a way to light that spark, it doesn’t matter where they come from.”

This post was adapted from a UNCG Research Magazine story written by Alyssa Bedrosian. To read the full story and more, click here.

Photography by Mike Dickens