UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for July 2017

2017-18 Legislative increase guidelines for SHRA employees

Greetings Colleagues,

The Appropriations Act of 2017 (SB 257) became law (SL 2017-57) on June 28, 2017, and is effective July 1, 2017. The act provides a salary increase, effective July 1, 2017, for all eligible State employees subject to the North Carolina Human Resources Act.

Please use the following link to read the full text of the Legislative Increase Guidelines memorandum: http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/whatsnew/17-18_SHRA_LI_Guidelines.pdf

Michelle Lamb Moone
Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer

State of the Campus Address, luncheon Aug. 8

photo of uncg campusThe State of the Campus Address will be Tuesday, Aug. 8, in UNCG Auditorium.

Seating begins at 10 a.m. for the 125th Anniversary themed event.

The traditional luncheon in Moran Commons will follow. At the luncheon, be sure to see University Archives’ 125th Anniversary exhibition.

Cech, Oberlies named Sullivan professors

Provost Dunn and Dean Kiss have an announcement:

photo of SullivanWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Nadja Cech and Dr. Nicholas Oberlies have been selected as the inaugural Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professors. They are both outstanding professors and teacher-scholars in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.

The Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professorship in the Sciences was established to honor the late chancellor for her service to the university from January 1,1995, until August 31, 2008. Dr. Sullivan died in 2009. A native of Staten Island, NY, Dr. Sullivan was a graduate of St. John’s University, and earned her Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in biology from New York University. She came to UNCG from Texas Woman’s University, where she was Vice President for Academic Affairs for seven years. She was also Interim President there for a year. From 1981-1987, she was dean of the college at Salem College in Winston-Salem.

Dr. Nadja Cech started as an Assistant Professor at UNCG in 2001 and has moved up to the rank of Professor. These promotions were based on her excellence as an outstanding teacher-scholar.  As a teacher, she has received a Teaching Excellence Award and the Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award. With respect to research, Nadja has received UNCG’s Research Excellence Award and has been highly successful with the NIH, including a serving as Principal Investigator of a grant with over $1 million in funding and a department-wide training grant that funds many of our graduate students. Evidence of Nadja’s successful training of researchers is that her researchers have garnered positions in graduate schools, industrial positions, postdoctoral positions, facility directors, and faculty positions.  She also has a strong commitment to equal opportunity and diversity.

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies started his independent research position at Research Triangle Institute and moved to UNCG in 2009 as an Associate Professor and since been promoted to Professor. He not only is an impressive teacher but also increased his already impressive research portfolio.  In addition to the natural product courses that Nick teaches, he has taken on significant service duties and has mentored many researchers.  He has obtained multiple grants valued at several million dollars and has published more than 40 papers since 2015. His research productivity earned him the University’s Research Scholar award.  Nick is very enthusiastic and passionate about his work as a teacher-scholar.

We are pleased that Drs. Cech & Oberlies will be the first recipients of the Patricia A. Sullivan Distinguished Professorships in the Sciences.

Key dates in August and September

photo of uncg campusAs UNCG gears up for a new school year, here are some dates to keep in mind:

New Faculty Orientation
Monday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m.

State of Campus Address
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m., UNCG Auditorium

Graduate School’s New Student orientation (Either of two days)
Tuesday, Aug. 8, or Wednesday, Aug. 9
Details at grs.uncg.edu/orientation

Housing and Residence Life Move-In
Wednesday, Aug. 9 to Friday, Aug. 11

Staff Senate Full Body Meeting
Thursday, Aug. 10, 10 a.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House

Chancellor’s New Student Convocation at Nav1Gate
Monday, Aug. 14

Fall classes begin
Tuesday, Aug. 15, 8 a.m.

UNCG Night at Greensboro Grasshoppers game
Saturday, Aug. 19, 7 p.m., First National Bank Field

Spartan Service Day (volunteering in community)
Saturday, Aug. 19, 9 a.m., See olsl.uncg.edu

Women’s Soccer vs. Elon
Thursday, August 24, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

Volleyball vs. Wake Forest
Saturday, Aug. 26, 7:30 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium

Men’s Soccer vs. UNC Chapel Hill
Monday, Sept. 4, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

Faculty Biennial Exhibition Opening Reception
Thursday, Sept. 7, 5:30 p.m.

National Folk Festival
Friday, Sept 8 – Sunday, Sept 10, downtown Greensboro

UNCG Collage, Greensboro (tickets are on sale)
Saturday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m., UNCG Auditorium

Staff Senate Full Body Meeting
Thursday, Sept. 14, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room

UNCG Collage, Raleigh
Saturday, Sept. 16, 8 p.m., Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts

UC/LS: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific (UC/LS tickets are on sale)
Sunday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., Triad Stage (opening night)

General Faculty Meeting and Convocation
Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3 p.m., Alumni House

Family Weekend
Friday Sept. 22 – Sunday, Sept. 24

Updated to edit Summer Graduation item and the student move-in dates

Score some ‘Hoppers tickets for UNCG Fan Appreciation Night Aug. 19

photo of GrasshoppersWant to see Chancellor Gilliam lead the crowd in singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”? How about watching Coach Wes Miller throw out the first pitch? Here’s your chance to see this, and more, for free – or at least for a discount.

Saturday, Aug.19, at 7 p.m., UNCG is bringing its 125th anniversary celebration to First National Bank Field for UNCG Fan Appreciation Night with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. There will be giveaways every inning. The UNCG “Band of Sparta” pep band will entertain fans in the concourse. Spiro will make an appearance on the field. And the celebration will end with fireworks.

Join the fun.

Organizers have 50 tickets available for faculty, staff and their families for free. (This is for current faculty/staff. Current students will have a separate drawing.) Just fill out the form here to enter the drawing for up to 2 tickets. Winners will be selected on Wednesday, Aug. 16. If you don’t win, faculty and staff can still buy tickets for a $2.00 discount online or at the stadium with appropriate UNCG ID.

Let’s try to pack the stands with Spartans. Wear your UNCG gear and show Greensboro our blue and gold pride as we continue to bring our 125th anniversary to life across our community.

Many UNCG departments on the move at McIver

photo of McIver bulidingIn preparation for the demolition of the McIver Building and construction of the new Nursing and Instructional Building, several departments have already moved, many departments are beginning to move and others look toward their moves that will take place over the next six months.

New Mind Education and International Programs’ storage are now in Brown, the SES grant program has moved to the School of Education Building and Fixed Assets has moved to the 2900 Oakland Warehouse.

ITS Computer Lab Support is now in the McNutt Building.

This month, the University Teaching and Learning Commons’ Residential College Offices moves to Guilford Residence Hall and the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Office will make a temporary move to Shaw Residence Hall.

The UNCG Middle College moves to 1510 Walker Avenue, the old student recreation center.

The Annual Giving Call Center moves to the basement of North Spencer and the College Foundation of North Carolina moves to the basement of the Faculty Center.

In August, Peace and Conflict Studies will move to 1510 Walker Avenue.

In September, Advancement and Development and Assessment and Accreditation will move from 1100 Market St. to the old chapel building at 812 Aycock St.

In October, the Health and Human Sciences Associate Dean’s Office will move to Coleman and Kinesiology Research will move to 1510 Walker.

In December, the Kinesiology Physiology Lab will move to Coleman.

The Archaeology Lab will move to the former Art Loft space on Gate City Boulevard, at the corner of Tate St., and the Art Loft will have already moved to Spartan Village in August.

The School of Art Lighting Studio will move to 842A W Gate City Blvd.

The University Teaching and Learning Commons will move to 1100 West Market St.

The School of Nursing will temporarily relocate many research offices to 1605 Spring Garden St. while the new building is underway.

The ITS Learning Technologies and Classroom Support will move to Campus Supply. The remaining ITS offices, Institutional Research, Purchasing, and Systems and Procedures will move to the Boys and Girls Club gymnasium building, at 840 Neal St, which will have been renovated with a new floor added.

The UNCG Theatre scene shop and paint shop will move to a warehouse at 812 Lilly Ave., near Mendenhall and Spring Garden. That large space will increase capacity for UNCG’s set design activity.

HHS Advising and HDF graduate students will be relocated to the Stone Building.

In January, the final office moves from McIver will occur. Enrollment Management will go to Forney.

UNCG Theatre’s costume shop and storage and a design studio will move to 326 Tate St. Next door, 328, will hold an acting studio and lighting studio.

The UNCG Online studio will move into a new studio at 2900 Oakland.

New hires in UNCG Human Resources

A note from Michelle Lamb Moone, Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief Human Resources Officer, about two new hires:

Victoria Benson, has joined UNCG Human Resources (HR) as the Deputy Chief Human Resources Officer. Victoria brings over twenty-five (25) years of human resources experience in generalist, specialist, manager, and director roles. A Navy veteran, she recently arrived from the University of Central Florida, where she was the Director of Human Resources. In her new position with UNCG, Victoria is responsible for providing strategic leadership and direction for HR related business operations, processes and HRIS and related systems. Additionally, as Deputy CHRO she works closely with me to set strategies, design new initiatives, benchmark best practices, create policies, establish success metrics and monitor results to ensure HR operations are effectively aligned with the university’s needs. Victoria has a bachelor of arts degree in liberal studies, a master’s degree in human resources development, and is pursuing a doctorate in business administration with a focus on employee engagement.  Victoria can be reached at v_benson@uncg.edu or (336) 334-4510.

Patricia M. Lynch, PHR, SHRM-CP, has joined UNCG Human Resources as the Director for EEO and Affirmative Action. Patricia comes to UNCG with over fifteen (15) years of experience in the human resources field. She recently arrived from Guilford Child Development, where she was Director of Human Resources. In her new position with UNCG, Patricia is responsible for overseeing HR compliance, minimizing risk, analyzing policies and providing educational programming in the areas of equal employment opportunity, affirmative action, organizational cultural change, recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce. She will also review, monitor and audit searches for faculty and staff to ensure compliance with university, state and federal regulatory and policy requirements. Patricia earned a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies (Speech and Hearing Sciences).  Patricia can be reached at pmlynch2@uncg.edu or (336) 334-9725.

Please join me in welcoming these new employees to the UNCG community!


NAV1GATE New Student Convocation Aug. 14

Faculty and staff are encouraged to wear their blue and gold on Monday, Aug. 14, as the university welcomes its newest students during the newly conceived NAV1GATE New Student Convocation.

The university expanded its traditional convocation this year to highlight academic resources and connect students with faculty, staff and student leaders in their academic units. More than 3,500 freshmen and transfer students are expected to attend.

The day kicks off with Convocation Celebration hosted by Chancellor Gilliam and Provost Dunn, followed by welcome events with school deans and academic support sessions. NAV1GATE also includes lunch on College Avenue, a history walk through the tunnel, and afternoon activities at the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

The university encourages faculty and staff who are not directly involved in programming to wear school colors and welcome new Spartans, either in person or on social media. The event hashtag is #NAV1GATEUNCG. You can also be part of the day by watching events and wishing students well on Facebook Live on the Undergraduate Admissions page.

For a list of road closures that day, view information for faculty and staff on the NAV1GATE FAQ site – click the “Information for Faculty and Staff” tab.

By Morgan Glover

Cool treats for new students on move-in day

photo of students taking snacksRawkin’ Welcome Week is just around the corner and with it UNCG’s brand new freshman class of 2021. During move-in, Undergraduate Admissions, the UNCG Alumni Association, and the office of New Student Transitions and First Year Experience offer an opportunity for students to take a break with free treats on a hot day.

If you work with incoming freshmen who plan to live on campus, help spread the word. Students and their families are invited to enjoy free ice-cold water and popsicles, grab a UNCG giveaway, and meet other Spartans at the Chill Zone. Plus, students can register for a drawing to win a $100 gift card for the UNCG Bookstore.

The move-in team can look for the Chill Zone tent and banner on Moran Commons from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 9-11.

From Stuttgart to Shanghai, Spartans go global

photo of students Uncovering history at an archaeological field school in Greece. Learning Spanish through community engagement in Costa Rica. Exploring nature, art and the human experience in Wales.

This summer, more than 200 UNCG students studied abroad in 14 countries across the globe through UNCG’s International Programs Center (IPC). IPC offered 17 faculty-led programs, as well as international exchange opportunities with the center’s partner universities.

For Spartans, study abroad is an opportunity to not only gain academic credit, but to experience different cultures and new ways of thinking, become more independent and build new friendships.

“Our goal in the International Programs Center is to facilitate the creation of innovative study abroad programming options that are cost-effective and accessible to all students,” said Denise Bellamy, senior director of IPC and director of study abroad and exchange programs. “Not only have we continued to grow our summer options in non-traditional locations, we also continue to see the incredible diversity of UNCG reflected in our study abroad participants. Study abroad returnees have shared that in addition to learning about a new culture, they discover even more about themselves and their future goals.”

Senior Shameeka Wilson, a deaf education major who is also enrolled in the accelerated teaching English as a second language (TESOL) master’s program, participated in the “Experiencing China” program in Shanghai.

Led by Dr. Ye (Jane) He, Wilson and her peers observed bilingual-bicultural teaching practices implemented by Chinese math teachers.

Christina Santiago, an Elementary and Special Education major, also studied in this Shanghai summer program. “Studying abroad has allowed me to get to know myself a little better . … This experience has also allowed me to get to know and experience a culture that is completely different from my own. But the best part of it all, I have built meaningful and lifelong relationships with SHNU undergraduates and Shanghai educators. In fact, being emerged in this culture and their education system has challenged and impacted my perspective on education in ways that I never imagined.”

Both Wilson and Santiago are members of UNCG’s Lloyd International Honors College.

“My time spent in China was phenomenal,” Wilson said. “I made a lot of connections between the methods courses I’ve taken at UNCG and the educational practices I observed in China. I feel confident as I prepare for a classroom of my own in the future.”

Want to learn more about Study Abroad? Visit the fall Study Abroad Fair on Wednesday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the foyer of Elliott University Center Auditorium.

By Alyssa Bedrosian

Visual courtesy Wilson. UNCG students and teachers from the Shanghai Experimental School visit Old Shanghai. From left to right: Yun Wu, Nyomi Hemphill, Shameeka Wilson, Julie Greenwood, Christina Santiago, Aliyah Ruffin and Xuan Zhou.

Psychology department’s “Crafts and Conversation” in LeBauer Park

The UNCG Department of Psychology’s Development and Understanding of Children’s Knowledge (D.U.C.K.) lab has a developed a partnership with Greensboro Downtown Parks / LeBauer Park called “Crafts & Conversation,” which is an opportunity for families to engage with UNCG research.

Every other Saturday at 11 a.m., the research team makes craft activities available to kids and families at a table in the park. The D.U.C.K. lab’s team of graduate and undergraduate students help prepare the crafts and guide children as the directors of the lab, UNCG psychology professors Dr. Janet Boseovski and Dr. Stuart Marcovitch, are on-hand to discuss child development with parents. The next “Crafts and Conversation” will be this Saturday, August 5, and future dates appear on the Greensboro Downtown Parks calendar.

Cone Residence Hall renovation

photo of Cone_RenovationThe Cone Residence Hall Renovation Project is underway. It is a comprehensive renovation of the nine-story residence hall including all finishes, group-style bathroom updates, refurbishment of elevators, and various ADA upgrades.

The project also includes replacements of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and electrical service to the building, along with the installation of a new emergency generator.

It is scheduled to be completed in early July 2018.

Dr. Arthur Anastopoulos

photo of AnastopoulosDr. Arthur Anastopoulos received a continuation of funding from the DOED Institute of Education Sciences for his project “Improving the Educational and Social Emotional Functioning of College Students with ADHD.”

The number of young adults with ADHD pursuing college degrees has risen dramatically in the past 30 years, with current prevalence rates ranging between 5 and 8 percent. College students with ADHD are significantly more likely than their peers to have low and failing grades, to be placed on academic probation, and ultimately, to drop out of college.

Currently, colleges and universities primarily provide students with ADHD with accommodations, such as extended time on tests. Unfortunately, these services do not address the core difficulties shown to lead to impairment in college students with ADHD. A multi-site team set out to address this gap by working with stakeholders to develop an intervention for college students with ADHD – Accessing Campus Connections and Empowering Student Success (ACCESS) – that specifically targets the executive functioning and psychological functioning factors that impact educational functioning. To date, a detailed treatment manual has been developed and revised through an iterative process and a large open trial of ACCESS was recently completed.

The primary goal of this Goal 3 study is to conduct a multi-site randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of the ACCESS intervention as compared to a delayed treatment control group and to assess moderators and mediators of intervention response.

Anastopoulos completed a bachelor’s degree in Child Study from Tufts University, a master’s in general-experimental psychology from Wake Forest University and a PhD in clinical psychology from Purdue University. He is director of the AD/HD Clinic at UNCG.

Dr. Zhanxiang Zhou

photo of ZhouDr. Zhanxiang Zhou (Health & Human Sciences – Nutrition) received continuation of funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Lipotoxicity in Alcoholic Liver Disease.”

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Alcoholic steatosis is the earliest pathological change in the progression of ALD. Deposition of excessive lipids in the hepatocyte generates lipotoxicity, which mediates alcohol-induced liver injury. Zhou and his team found that hepatic free fatty acid (FFA) levels are increased along with triglyceride accumulation in a mouse model of ALD. Cell culture study further demonstrated that FFA-induced cell injury is significantly exaggerated by inhibition of triglyceride synthesis. Findings suggest that FFA rather than triglyceride generates lipotoxicity.

The NIH-funded project aims to gain experimental evidence to support an emerging concept that FFA lipotoxicity is a causal factor in the pathogenesis of ALD. The hypothesis will be tested by carrying out four specific aims: Aim 1 is to dissect the role of FFA from triglyceride in the pathogenesis of ALD; Aim 2 is to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol increases adipose FA release and hepatic FA influx; Aim 3 is to investigate the molecular mechanisms by which alcohol impairs hepatic FFA clearance; and Aim 4 is to determine if AhR activation mediates FFA lipotoxicity.

Zhou received a bachelor’s from Hebei Agricultural University in China and a master’s from Beijing Agricultural University before completing his PhD at the University of Ehime in Japan. He is co-director of the Center for Translational Biomedical Research.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

photo of SienkiewiczDr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received a continuation of funding from the United Way of Greater Greensboro for her project “Newcomers CLASS (Culture, Language and Adult Self Sufficiency).”   

For newly arrived refugees into Greensboro, language, transportation, isolation, lack of cultural brokers, and misunderstanding/lack of knowledge of American education and cultural activities present an ongoing concern. The objective of this project is to help newly arrived immigrants manage their transition and begin the process of cultural integration by learning English, providing job readiness skills for adults, and acting as a cultural broker.

Seinkiewicz is director of research at the Center for New North Carolinians and teaches adjunct courses in the Department of Public Health Education at UNCG.

Dr. Christina O’Connor

photo of OconnorDr. Christina O’Connor (School of Education, Teacher’s Academy) received $1,208,717 in continued funding from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement for the project “Transforming Teaching through Technology (TTtT).”  

Transforming Teaching through Technology, a Teacher Quality Partnership project of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in partnership with Guilford County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, will develop an innovative and replicable model for the integration of technology in the teacher education curriculum.

In order to better prepare current and future teachers to thoughtfully integrate existing and emerging technology for P-12 student learning, the project will:

  • Move beyond enhancement (substitution and augmenting) to promote transformational use of instructional technology in teaching and learning
  • Transform approaches to P-12 learning such that instructional technology is an integral part of learning
  • Alter the way we engage and motivate students in learning
  • Create space where teacher candidates can be engaged in instructional technology-enriched teacher education programming
  • Cultivate meaningful collaboration between university and schools to promote new mindsets to integrate instructional technology for learning

It is expected that this project will result in increased engagement of public school students in innovation, creativity, problem-solving and entrepreneurship through the development of collaborative project-based learning environments utilizing emerging technology and 21st Century skills.

O’Connor completed a master of education in literacy education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a master of school administration and PhD in Educational Studies with a concentration in Teacher Education at UNCG.

Dr. Joan Titus

photo of TitusDr. Joan Titus (Musicology) received new funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities for her project “Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema, 1936-1953.”

Despite Dmitry Shostakovich’s celebrated reputation as a concert and stage composer, his film music only recently has garnered attention from audiences and scholars, the abstract notes. A history of his scoring for Soviet cinema, and generally of Russian film music, has yet to be substantively written. This research project will fill this gap. This project will be used to write a book, titled “Dmitry Shostakovich and Music for Stalinist Cinema”, which traces his development as one of the Soviet Union’s preeminent film composers from 1936 until Josef Stalin’s death in 1953. This book provides an examination of his scoring practices, his unique relationship with directors and with the film industry, and his engagement with cultural politics and audiences. It is based on archival materials, provides detailed musical and cinematic analysis, and provides a review of contemporaneous reception. This NEH Fellowship will be used to complete this manuscript and to create a video companion website.

George Hancock

photo of HancockGeorge Hancock (SERVE Center) received funding of more than $570,000 from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) for the North Carolina Homeless Education Program/NC Foster Care Education Program.

Janet Hendley

photo of HendleyJanet Hendley is the new president of Greensboro Opera. She retired earlier this year from the position of C.A.M.A.R.E. (Communications, Advancement, Marketing, Alumni Relations, Events) Assistant in the UNCG School of Nursing. Greensboro Opera has had an official collaboration with the UNCG School of Music since 2012, with UNCG’s David Holley serving as artistic director of Greensboro Opera. Hendley joined the Board of Trustees of Greensboro Opera in 2008 and, apart from one year on the Advisory Board, she has served on the main board ever since. She has also held other roles with Greensboro Opera. A lifelong lover of opera, Hendley enjoys Greensboro Opera’s enrichment of the local community through outreach programs such as “Opera at the Carolina” at the Carolina Theatre, for Guilford County fifth graders.

Building peace with Dr. Tom Matyók, from soldier to professor

photo of Matyok“In my view, the purpose of the military is to build peace. Not war,” says Dr. Tom Matyók, associate professor of peace and conflict studies at UNCG.

Before joining academia, Matyók served 23 years. He was an enlisted soldier, a non-commissioned officer and a commissioned officer. He was with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

His career has been one long peace-making operation.

“Building peace is hard. After a war or military confrontation, moving to reconciliation and past the trauma can take generations.”

There’s one essential component the military has long ignored: religion. Overlooking local religious leaders ­– and local religion – does not make sense, Matyók explains. When armies have left, when nonprofit agencies have moved on, religious leaders remain.

“In many conflicts, the only positive force that remains during and after the fighting is a religious one,” he says.

photo of Matyok at army campAs an academic, Matyók served as senior fellow at the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, U.S. Army War College, from 2014 to 2016. There, he taught graduate courses on religion and violence and conflict studies. Many of his students had already seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A frequent student response: “I wish I had this knowledge before I was deployed.”

Matyók found that the curriculum of military education included almost nothing on religion.

“Very little was being done to prepare these soldiers,” he says. “It’s a gap.”

He has published widely on the topic, and in 2014, he co-edited the book “Peace on Earth: The Role of Religion in Peace and Conflict Studies.”

“We looked around the world for work demonstrating the peace efforts we’re talking about.”

One example was South Sudan and the multiple actors there working to reconcile in the face of violence – each guided by their individual religious beliefs. Another was in Nigeria, where an imam and a pastor set aside their differences to work toward a lasting peace.

“Conflict resolution is a virus,” Matyók explains. “You hope it’ll enter a nation’s body and spread.”

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

Visual: Matyók (left) and General Barry McCaffrey (right) during Operation Desert Storm. (Photo provided by Tom Matyók)

Looking Ahead: August 2, 2017

Spartan Cinema: The Lego Batman Movie
Friday, Aug. 4, 7 p.m., movie at sunset

State of Campus Address
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m., UNCG Auditorium

Student  Move-In begins
Wednesday, Aug. 8

Creatives on call with Barbara Campbell Thomas, Chris Thomas
Thursday, Aug. 10, 6 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

UNCG Nursing first in the world for more realistic birthing simulator

photo of birth simulatorActive labor can be one of the riskiest moments in a woman and her infant’s life. Thanks to a new, state-of-the-art full-body childbirth simulator, UNCG nursing students will be prepared for even the most critical live birth scenarios.

UNCG School of Nursing is the first school in the world to own the new version of “SimMom,” a high-tech female mannequin (accompanied by a simulated 6-pound newborn, placenta and umbilical cord) that allows students to simulate routine vaginal birthing scenarios and births with complications such as breech and vacuum-assisted deliveries, inverted uterus, and prolapsed cord.

Students engage in the entire labor and delivery process, monitoring vitals and administering fluids and medications. Instructors use a laptop to control the robot’s responses, creating an experience for students that is remarkably realistic. The event is recorded so students and faculty can debrief together.

Between 1990 and 2013, the maternal mortality ratio for the USA more than doubled from an estimated 12 to 28 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, according to the World Health Organization. With this new version of SimMom, UNCG is at the forefront of helping to reduce these numbers.

Nursing students have used an older version of the simulator for years, but the mannequin was limited in what it could do to provide real-life scenarios.

In the fall, 100 nursing students will be interacting with and learning from the SimMom upgrade, which the school purchased for $45,000 from Laerdal, the Norwegian vendor of medical simulation and clinical education equipment.

See Spectrum News report and WXII report on the new SimMom in UNCG Nursing.

By Elizabeth Harrison
Photography of the demonstration by Martin W. Kane

Welcome to new Spartans: Open call for UNCG House Calls volunteers

Photo of PeopleHere’s a call for UNCG faculty and staff volunteers:

Are you ready? It is that time of year once again to welcome our newest Spartans to the UNCG community. The Division of Student Affairs and Housing and Residence Life need your support for the 9th annual House Calls big event. The purpose of the House Calls program is to welcome new students to campus and to provide them with an opportunity to interact with faculty members, administrators and staff on a personal level. Research supports the significant impact these interactions have on student retention and success. Consequently, this program is a valuable asset to the UNCG campus as we strive to be a more engaged and learner-centered community.

Volunteers are essential to help reach the approximately 2,300 new first year residential students joining the UNCG community this academic year. This is your opportunity to see students in their personal living environment, hear about their first week of classes, and show your Spartan Pride!

House Calls will take place on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. If you volunteer for this program, you will be assigned to a team of UNCG colleagues to visit first-year students in one of the residence halls on campus. As a volunteer, you will have an opportunity to do the following:

  • Interact with students in a residence hall environment. You will greet students at their residence hall room; initiate a very brief conversation with them about transitioning to college and ask about their first week of college life. You may be asked a few general questions about the University and your role in the community.
  • Provide students with a “welcome bag of success” provided by Housing & Residence Life to support their transition to college and overall academic success.
    Have dinner with fellow volunteers in the Elliott University Center (EUC), Cone Ballroom. Volunteer check-in will be 5:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m. and volunteers will be dismissed to their assigned residence halls at 6:30 p.m. and should complete visitation no later than 7:30 p.m.
  • Participate in a brief orientation. During dinner, Housing and Residence Life staff will provide the necessary information and materials to prepare you for your House Calls experience.

REGISTER: To volunteer for this program, click the link below to complete the volunteer form:

Deadline for volunteer sign-up is Monday, Aug. 8, 2017. For more information, contact Erica E. Farrar, Senior Assistant Director for Residence Life and Academic Enhancement (erica.farrar@uncg.edu) or the main HRL office at 336-334-5636.

Dr. Dana Dunn,

Dr. Cherry Callahan
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

UNCG CHANCE opens path to education

Photo of Students WritingSixty-one Latino high school students from across the state traveled to Greensboro last week to take part in UNCG CHANCE (Campamento Hispano Abriendo Nuestro Camino a la Educación/Hispanic Camp Opening the Path to Education), a three-day, intensive college readiness experience.

Students attended classes taught by UNCG faculty, participated in cultural activities, learned about financial aid and enjoyed all that UNCG’s campus has to offer – including meals at the Caf and a game night at the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

“This program is so important because many Latino students don’t realize that going to college is feasible,” said Kattya Castellón, associate director of Latino education affairs in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. “Because of the lack of exposure to the higher education system, or other obstacles they may encounter, they may not see college as an option.”

In addition, students worked in groups – with help from UNCG faculty – to create videos about how their experience at CHANCE impacted their lives. On the final day of camp, students presented these videos to their parents.

For UNCG graduate student Marisa Gonzalez, one of 16 CHANCE mentors, the program was an opportunity to give back.

“I was once in their shoes, and I still remember how difficult it was,” she said. “This program inspired students – they saw firsthand that it is possible to go to college, and that there is a lot of financial help available.”

CHANCE was funded by the Frontier Set, a new model of partnership and sharing best practices to improve student outcomes in higher education. The Frontier Set is managed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) through funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

CHANCE also received support from the Office of Enrollment Management, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Office of Intercultural Engagement and other units across campus.

See more at UNCG Now web site.

Finishing touches, as Spartan Village II prepares to open

photo of bulidingThe current phase of construction along West Gate City Boulevard is coming to a close. And hundreds of Spartan students will soon enjoy a new home away from home, in Spartan Village II.

“We’ll open on time for the fall semester,” said Jorge Quintal, associate vice chancellor for facilities.

Last week, furniture began to be moved into the two new residence halls, Lexington and McCormick, which were designed and constructed to meet LEED Silver standards.

The residents of the Spartan Village II residence halls may move in beginning Aug. 9 at 8 a.m., said Guy Sanders, associate director of administrative operations for Housing & Residence Life (HRL). Student staff will move into the two residence halls starting this week, on Wednesday, July 26.

Spartan Village Student Housing Phase II is a $50.9 million mixed-use project featuring the two residence halls along with 26,000 square feet of retail space.

The various businesses’ occupancy permits should be received in the coming weeks, Quintal explained. Some businesses had already started moving in their larger equipment.

photo of construction siteThe final “to-do” list for the latter half of July included site work such as finishing the asphalt paving of parking lots and landscaping work.

The project complements Spartan Village, which opened in 2013 with four Student Housing Phase I residence halls, developed in response to the university’s need to provide more on-campus housing for the growing student population. With Phase II opening, approximately 1,200 students in total will live in Spartan Village, which is adjacent to the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness and across from the UNCG Pedestrian Underpass and Plaza and the UNCG Police Station.

The Spartan Village II students include sophomore, juniors, seniors and graduate students, said Sanders. In particular, HRL wanted to ensure seniors who wanted to live in UNCG’s newest housing had the opportunity.

Retail space will be located on the ground level of both buildings. Retailers for Phase II include:

  • Bestway Marketplace – a grocery concept operated by the owners of Bestway Grocery
  • Pita Delite
  • Taco Bao – An Asian/Mexican fusion street food concept
  • Homeslice Pizza and Subs
  • The Den by Denny’s
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Recycles Bike Shop
  • The Art Loft
  • Millennium Salon & Barber
  • And a credit union

photo of construction siteJorge Quintal notes that this is the long-awaited mixed-use component of Spartan Village. With stores and restaurants on site and the wellness center next door, Spartan Village II provides students a “town center” experience.

Phase II will provides a critical link between the Kaplan Center and the Phase I residence halls. Pedestrian walkways connect all residence halls to the Kaplan Center and the signalized crosswalk on West Gate City Boulevard, which leads students to the UNCG Pedestrian Underpass. The underpass connects Spartan Village, the Kaplan Center and the UNCG Police Station with the rest of campus.

Visit the Housing & Residence Life site to see a 360-degree image of the construction of the two new residence halls from earlier this year, rendering drawings of how the finished buildings will appear, plus:

By Mike Harris and Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Groundbreaking for ‘Research Facility Three’

photo of people A third building will rise on the Gateway University Research Park’s south campus. The campus is home of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held July 24 at the south campus on West Gate City Boulevard.

Among the speakers and dignitaries were Dr. Dana Dunn, UNCG provost and executive vice chancellor.

Afterward, attendees enjoyed a reception and tours.

See report in the News & Record.

Spartan sports fields: sustainably beautiful and bona fide green certified

photo of Turf management staffThere’s something appealing about a vast stretch of green, healthy grass on a ball field. You only have to go to the west side of UNCG’s campus to see 17 acres of it, all year round.

“The university community enjoys the green space,” said Pete Ashe, who is recently retired from the position of Sports Field Supervisor. “And the greenscapes are treasured on this campus.”

It’s common knowledge that nicely kept fields are a requirement for Division I athletic programs. What may go unseen is all the work that goes into keeping UNCG’s six fields in shape, with environmental responsibility as a priority.

UNCG Sports Turf Grounds Management Operations team work out of a building behind Weil Residence Hall and the UNCG tennis courts. During the 2017 spring season, their sports fields, facilities and the team’s stewardship underwent an extensive evaluation by the Sports Turf Management Association (STMA) to determine their consistent environmental effort.

In March, UNCG became the “Sweet 16th” institution to be recognized for environmentally responsible sports turf management, through the STMA’s newly created environmental certification program.

UNCG has been a member of the STMA, an international professional organization, for more than twenty years, and Ashe helped in the certification process for other universities. The practices evaluated to determine an environmentally sustainable sports facility have a broad range. Storm water management, fertilization and associated runoff consequences, integrated pest management, recycling, composting, mowing, energy conservation, turf shop building and storage management, irrigation, water quality and educational outreach are all taken into consideration. Techniques the UNCG sports turf team uses, such as calculated root system management, soil aeration and spot-treating for fertilization, pest management and irrigation, reduce unintended effects and create turf grass density, and level playing surfaces which means safe, playable fields, for the enjoyment of student athletes and campus recreation groups. They also look pretty nice.

Twice a year the UNCG Grounds team seasonally transitions acres of turf grass crop populations on campus sports fields.

“We fall overseed and grow ryegrass for green fields in winter-spring,” Ashe explained. “And then we work hard to transition back the dormant warm season Bermuda grass when weather heats up in late spring-summer.”

October and May, the transition months, are when they face the most strenuous work. They battle the weather and the natural wear and tear that happens on the field during practices and games. And they’re not only responsible for the soccer, baseball and softball fields, but also the golf greens, the student recreation field, the new wetlands, the pollinator garden, the Piedmont prairie and “no-mow” zones sanctioned for biology research.

Ashe credited the hard work of the grounds crew for UNCG’s success in keeping these areas in top condition, in an environmentally responsible manner. He also appreciated UNCG’s Office of Sustainability, the Biology Department and the involvement of student volunteers in campus grounds environmental improvement projects

“Earth day is every day for us,” he said. “We manage in a conscientious manner for everything we do to our fields.”

Ashe spent his career with a commitment to natural resource management, starting in the 1960s, during the peak popularity of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and when the words “conservation” and “ecology” were just coming into use.

He worked as a golf caddie and then a landscaper. Subsequently, he became a greenkeeper and a golf course superintendent for 18 seasons before switching to campus grounds and sports field management. He holds a degree in agronomy from Michigan State University and a degree in natural resources and ecology from Lake Superior State University. Ashe came to UNCG in 1999, when the baseball stadium had just been built. Before his retirement, he completed his 17th growing season with UNCG.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Fundraising at UNCG Athletics

The 2016-17 season celebrated 50 years of UNCG athletics and the UNCG Spartan Club took a giant step to promote that celebration by posting a tremendous fundraising year, breaking numerous records and exceeding its goal for the sixth-straight season.

“We are grateful to our generous supporters who continue to believe in our young people and the purpose of UNCG Athletics,” Director of Athletics Kim Record said. “We set an ambitious goal to celebrate our 50th anniversary (of intercollegiate athletics) and our UNCG family came through in a big way. I appreciate the hard work our Spartan Club staff provided this past year under the leadership of Craig Fink. This is a Giant Step for the Spartan Club and UNCG Athletics.”

The 2016-17 athletic scholarship fund goal was $500,000 and the Spartan Club eclipsed that mark by raising a total of $501,591, an all-time high. This year’s total was an 18 percent increase over last year and surpassed the previous all-time record by over $75,000.

The Spartan Club also set a record with 1,093 Athletic Scholarship Fund donors, a 37 percent increase over last year’s total. Additionally, the Spartan Club broke the 1,000-donor mark for the first time in program history, surpassing the previous record of 875 in 1993. Overall cash and gifts in kind for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled $760,219, a 40 percent increase over last year and the second-highest mark all-time behind 1993 ($818,116).

Full story at UNCG Athletics site.

NC Wine industry gathers for annual meeting

On July 18, approximately 100 representatives from North Carolina wineries and distributors gathered at UNCG’s Bryan School for the annual N.C. Wine and Grape Council meeting. This annual gathering is an opportunity for those in the industry to learn about the work of the N.C. Wine and Grape Council, share research findings, and discuss current topics in an open forum.

The Bryan School of Business and Economics hosted the event for the fourth year. Faculty were on hand to share research conducted for the NC Wine and Grape Council. Since 2008, the Bryan School has conducted 15 projects for both the Council and local wineries.

Dr. Liuyi Hao

photo of HaoDr. Liuyi Hao, a postdoctoral researcher at UNCG’s Center for Translational Biomedical Research, has received a 2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the American Liver Foundation. The fellowship is highly competitive, with no more than 10 awarded each year, and represents a significant achievement for Hao and UNCG.

The award will support Hao’s research on activating transcription factor 4, a gene transcription regulator hypothesized to play a central role in the development of alcoholic liver disease, or ALD. Approximately 20,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to ALD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hao, who completed his PhD at Harbin Medical University and joined the Center for Translational Biomedical Research in July 2016, hopes his research will improve understanding of the biological underpinnings of the disease, and, ultimately, lead to improved treatment options.

The UNCG Center for Translational Biomedical Research is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. The campus houses a number of corporations, healthcare organizations, and universities that work together in a public-private partnership to better understand human health, nutrition, and agriculture. The CTBR focuses on the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and progression, biomarkers for diagnosis, and discovering novel interventions for the prevention and treatment of disease.

Dr. James Boles

photo of BolesDr. James Boles (Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism) received new funding from the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center for the project “New SBA Federal Funding for the CY 2017 Program Year.” This project is supported by funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The grant will be used to support travel to conferences related to entrepreneurship.

Boles completed a master’s in Educational Administration and a master’s in Business Administration at the University of West Florida. He has a PhD in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. He is department head of the Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, and Tourism Department and director of the North Carolina Sales Institute in the Bryan School of Business and Economics.

Perry Flynn

photo of FlynnPerry Flynn (Communication Sciences and Disorders) received funding from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the project “Exceptional Children State Speech-Language Consultant (2017-2018).” Funding will allow for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to provide a range of professional services for the Exceptional Children Division of the State Department of Public Instruction July 1, 207 – June 30, 2018. Services include providing assistance in the areas of speech-language pathology to the State Department of Public Instruction, local education agencies and Charter schools.

Flynn completed a bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a master’s in Education in Speech-Language Pathology from UNCG. He is an AP Professor and the Consultant to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in the area of Speech Language Pathology.

Dr. Justin Harmon

photo of harmonDr. Justin Harmon (Health & Human Sciences – Community and Therapeutic Recreation) received new funding from Girls on the Run International for the project “Girls on the Run.” Girls on the Run was established in 1996 in Charlotte with 13 participants. In 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501(c)3 organization, was formed. GOTR certified coaches teach life skills to girls through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games.

The project is a partnership with GOTR Triad. Funding will be used to create an assistantship for a graduate student to help the organization with program management. The student will work with GOTR Triad to recruit, coordinate, and manage volunteer coaches, facilitate trainings, plan and implement special events (including the annual 5K and coaches’ meetings), and develop marketing campaigns that represent GOTR Triad in the broader community.

Harmon completed a bachelor’s degree in Leisure Studies from the University of Illinois, a master’s in Sport Management from Northern Illinois University and a PhD from Texas A&M University in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Sciences. Harmon has worked extensively in the parks, forestry and recreation fields, and has a diverse background in practice that includes land and wildlife management, environmental and primary education, event planning, and community relations and outreach.

Dr. Dianne Welsh

photo of welshDr. Dianne Welsh (Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism) received new funding from the Coleman Foundation for “Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows.” The Coleman Entrepreneurship Fellows program supports the ongoing Cross-Disciplinary Entrepreneurship Program at UNCG with 40-plus courses in 26 departments and programs across campus. The program includes the Coleman Entrepreneur in Residence that works with faculty, staff and students across campus in classes and with their business ideas to bring ideas to actions through course preparation.

Welsh is the Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and the director of the Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program. She is a globally known scholar in international franchising, family business, and entrepreneurship with over 150 publications.

Dr. Susan Letvak

photo of Letvak Dr. Susan Letvak (Adult Health Nursing) received a continuation of funding from the DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration for the project “Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention – Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.”

The purpose of UNCG School of Nursing’s proposed Veteran Access Program for Nurses is to provide medically trained veterans in Central North Carolina and South Central Virginia with access and specialized support in an innovative and accelerated educational program to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and find employment. The program will reduce barriers that prevent veterans from transitioning into nursing careers by offering academic mentoring through learning communities, specialized support services, cultural competence training, employment assistance and new educational models awarding academic credit for medical and life experience.

Letvak earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing from Russell Sage College and finished a PhD in Nursing at Adelphi University. Her areas of expertise include patient outcomes and nursing workforce, qualitative research methods, relational theory and gerontology.