UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for October 2017

Athletics approaches goal of 1,000 season tickets; see how to get faculty/staff discount

The goal is 1,000 men’s basketball season tickets. As of Oct. 23, UNCG Athletics has sold 799 season tickets – they are roughly 80 percent of the way there.

Faculty and staff can purchase tickets for $99 in the lower level (as many as they like). Normally, season tickets in the lower level are $129. All season tickets come with a parking pass for these games at the Coliseum, a $65 value. They also come with several Buddy Passes so you can bring others to a few games, and the opportunity to receive complimentary women’s basketball season tickets.

To order tickets with the faculty/staff discount, to take advantage of the special referral program giving season-ticket holders cash incentives for season-ticket referrals, or if you have any questions, contact the UNCG Athletics ticket office at 336-334-3250.

More information on the season-ticket referral program can be found at uncgspartans.com/referral.

CEOs to discuss diversity, entrepreneurship and direct selling

Connie Tang, president and CEO of Princess House, and Ursula Dudley Oglesby, president of Dudley Products, will take part in a panel discussion about creating opportunities that match the cultural diversity in the workplace on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 5 to 6:15 p.m. in Bryan Building Room 160. The discussion will be moderated by John T. Fleming, past board member of the Direct Selling Education Foundation. The foundation is sponsoring the event.

During the event, Ursula Dudley Oglesby will be presented with the Entrepreneurship Extraordinaire Award from the Bryan School of Business and Economics and the UNCG Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program.

The award recognizes local businesses that have made a major impact on jobs in the Piedmont area. Past recipients of this award include: Kayne Fisher and Christopher Lester, presidents of Natty Greene’s Brewing Company; John D. Bassett III, chairman of Vaughn-Bassett Furniture; Brandi Tysinger-Temple, CEO and founder of Lolly Wolly Doodle; and Steven A. Goveia, vice president of Tectura.

According to the Department of Labor, 94 percent of the senior managers of Fortune 500 companies are male, and 97 percent are white. In Fortune 2000 “industrial and service companies,” just 5 percent of senior managers are women. This panel is an opportunity to hear directly from CEOs who have included diversity within their strategic plans.

Looking Ahead: October 25, 2017

Casella Sinfonietta
Thursday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., Recital Hall

Concert: Blue Mountain Forecast
Thursday, Oct. 26, 7 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

UC/LS: The Juilliard String Quartet
Friday, Oct. 27, 8 p.m., Music Building, Recital Hall

Run 4 the Greenway (co-sponsored by UNCG)
Saturday, Oct. 28, 3 p.m., Morehead Park

Women’s Soccer SoCon Championships
Saturday, Oct. 28 – Sunday Oct. 29, UNCG Soccer Stadium

Mary Foust Haunted House
Saturday, Oct. 28, 7 p.m., Mary Foust

Organ “Spooktacular”
Monday, Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m., Organ Hall

Implicit Bias workshop, by Claire Morse
Thursday, Nov. 2, 7 p.m., Tillman-Smart Room, Shaw Residence Hall

See/hear: Oct. 25, 2017

Founders Day was quite the celebration. This new video shows UNC System President Spellings touring the campus with Chancellor Gilliam on the special day – and culminates with the big festival on the Quad.

Ches Kennedy

Ches Kennedy (Development for College of Arts and Sciences) has been named board chair of Partners Ending Homelessness for the 2017-2018 year. Partners Ending Homelessness (Partners) is the planning and coordinating agency responsible for securing and administering major funding, providing continuous support for homeless service delivery in Guilford County and serving as the lead agency for Guilford County’s federally designated Continuum of Care. Partners facilitates a strong and stable system of care and supports a collaborative network that includes over 40 community partners working together to effectively end homelessness in Guilford County.  Kennedy has served on the Partners Board since October 2014 and has held various positions.

Andrew Cagle

Andrew Cagle (Chancellor’s Office) has been selected to the 2017-18 class for Leadership North Carolina, the state’s premier leadership engagement program. Its mission is to inform, develop and engage committed leaders by broadening their understanding of and involvement in issues and opportunities facing North Carolina. Cagle is director of state and external affairs at UNCG.


Two UNCG faculty members are helping teach at Triad Tech Savvy day, geared to 9th grade girls, on November 4. It is the same day as the 13th annual Math/Statistics Conference at UNCG for college students and upper high school students – marking two opportunities for young students to get acquainted with UNCG’s campus. Dr. Prashanti Manda (Computer Science) will teach a block session on computer programming. A session on astronomy will be taught by Dr. Steve Danford (Astronomy, emeritus).

Book discussion: ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’

Jenny Dale, Information Literacy Coordinator in Research, Outreach and Instruction at University Libraries, will lead a book discussion of “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” on October 24, 4 p.m., in the Martha Blakeney Hodges Reading Room, located on the 2nd floor of Jackson Library.

The event, sponsored by the Friends of the UNCG Libraries, is free and open to the public.

Chilean visual theatre breaks barriers: “Nomadas” at UNCG

Is there theatre without language? Theatre that can be understood across cultures by anyone, regardless of their native tongue? You don’t need to travel to New York City or London to find out.

On the last Sunday afternoon of October, a unique visual theatre performance comes to UNCG’s campus – “Nomadas” (“The Nomads”) – by the Chilean theatre company, La Llave Maestra, for its first performance in the United States.

The afternoon performance is part of Greensboro’s seventh annual 17DAYS Arts & Culture Festival. Although “Nomadas” is on the stage for one day only, the company will remain in residency for three weeks to conduct workshops with UNCG students as well as students at the Doris Henderson Newcomers School.

The show combines dance, music, theatre and visual art, using handmade materials that create a dramatic theatrical texture. The storytelling occurs visually, and the performance, which includes puppets, clowning techniques and the animation of objects, is intended to be widely accessible across cultures.

“‘Nomadas’ addresses themes of immigration, travel and exile,” says Associate Professor of Theatre Rachel Briley, who is responsible for making the performance and residency possible. “It is a story of loss and gain,” says Briley. “What we lose when we leave people and places, and what we gain when we enter new communities.  It is a story of traveling into the unknown.”

Briley began working on bringing “Nomadas” to UNCG earlier this year, after she traveled to Chile as a Theatre Communications Group U.S. delegate at the Santiago a Mil festival, the largest international performing arts festival in the world. With the artistic directors of “Nomadas,” Edurne Rankin and Alvaro Morales, Briley planned the La Llave Maestra performance and residencies.

Several other UNCG professors will collaborate with Rankin, Morales and “Nomadas” music composer Gorka Pastor during their three-week residency following the performance. Associate Professor of music Alejandro Rutty, Associate Professor of art Lee Walton and Associate Professor of dance Robin Gee will join Briley in creating workshops where UNCG students will learn from the artists’ methods and innovations.

To engage the local community in the performance, Briley has also collaborated with Faith Action House and Casa Azul, a Greensboro organization that works to promote Latin-American arts and culture, to increase the understanding of Latinos in the area and encourage community involvement.

The performance and residencies are supported by the Children’s Theatre Foundation of America, the UNCG Office of the Provost, the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the School of Theatre, the College of Arts and Sciences and the local community.

The performance of “Nomadas” is at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 29, in UNCG Auditorium. Tickets, which are $8 for adults and $4 for children 12 and under, are available online through Triad Stage, or by calling (336) 334-4392 or (336) 272-0160.

See video previewing the performance.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photo of “Nomadas” performance by Michael A. Galvez

Graduate student receives prestigious research grant from Burroughs Wellcome Fund

UNCG is a leader in the research of medicinal biochemistry, and graduate research plays an important part in new discoveries and developments.

In September, PhD student Joseph Mwangi received a competitive research grant from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, which has the mission of advancing the biomedical sciences and supporting a diverse scientific workforce to advance research, innovation, academic discovery and public service.

Mwangi has been working on the development of a new method for measuring changes in ribonucleic acids (RNA). Mwangi’s research advisor, associate professor of chemistry Dr. Norman Chiu, said RNAs are “the messengers within our bodies that ultimately provide the essential structures and functions in life.”

“They do big jobs for us,” explained Chiu. “They’re associated with many diseases, including cancer. Therefore, they can provide new ways to diagnose and treat diseases.”

“Every scientist wants to play a role in finding a solution to a problem,” said Mwangi. “We want to develop a method that can be applied to accurately identify isomeric RNA – the biomarkers.”

Mwangi came to UNCG as a scholar in the National Science Foundation-funded GK-12 program, through which he helped teachers conduct scientific experiments and convey the concept of cutting-edge research in the public middle and high school in North Carolina. Before he was a doctoral student, he taught high school science in his native country of Kenya and in Japan.

He was drawn to UNCG’s Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry because of the unique focus on medical-related research work, and the notable collaboration within the department.

In 2016, Mwangi won the Grand Prize for his research project at the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers annual conference.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Photograph by Martin W. Kane

SECC launches with big Kick-off and Agency Fair Oct. 23


UNCG’s State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) will launch next week with the annual Kick-off and Agency Fair on Monday, Oct. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. in the Cone Ballroom in Elliott University Center.

The SECC – the official giving campaign for state employees – helps support more than 900 charitable organizations across our community, state and beyond. This year, in honor of the university’s 125th anniversary, UNCG’s giving goal is $200,125. Organizers hope to reach a participation level of 45 percent.

Monday’s event will include free food and performances by School of Music faculty members and the UNCG Cheerleading Squad. Provost Dana Dunn and other campus leaders will make remarks, and 25 SECC charities will be on site to discuss the causes they champion and how the UNCG community can make a difference.

The following Monday, Oct. 30, UNCG will host the first-ever SECC Breakfast and Silent Auction from 7 to 9 a.m. at Fountain View Dining Hall. Tickets to the SECC fundraiser are $6 for an all-you-can-eat breakfast. To purchase tickets, click here.

By Alyssa Bedrosian

UNCG Homecoming builds ties year after year

Networking is all about making meaningful connections that last and turn into something greater. While it can lead to different opportunities, it can also be a means of reflection. UNCG has created these opportunities and chances for reflection in the form of its many Homecoming celebrations, reunions, and receptions.

The highly anticipated week comes as a chance for students and alumni alike to revisit the programs and people that made up their college experience and accomplishments. Kicking off the festivities, the English Department will be hosting its PhD 50th Anniversary Celebration. The event, which will take place Thursday, Oct. 19, from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Music Building’s Organ Hall, is a time to reflect with alumni about the achievements over the decades as a school and as a program. Director of English Graduate Studies and celebration organizer, Dr. Jennifer Feather, has been working to make this celebration and panel happen since last year.

“I am most looking forward to hearing the perspectives of our graduate students on what their graduate education has meant to them,” says Feather. “I hope attendees will see how connected graduate work and social change can be.

This year’s panel full of alumni will focus on pedagogy, scholarship, and community impact.  

Other departments will have events to commemorate their own academic histories. The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry will be hosting a reunion on Friday, Oct. 20, from 6-9 p.m. in the Sullivan Science Building. This reunion will feature student research posters on display as well as special scholarship announcements for award recipients. This event will be great for joining past and present members of the programs to see the great things the department has been up to. “I love that we have an event to connect scholarship donors with the scholarship recipients.” says Department Head, Mitchell Croatt.

On Friday, Oct. 20, from 6-10 p.m. in the Curry Building (3rd floor), the Political Science Department will host its annual Networking Reception. “Our current juniors and seniors will have an opportunity to meet and learn from many UNCG Political Science alumni,” says political science professor, UNCG alumnus, and reception organizer Dr. Jeff Colbert. “Students will have the chance to listen to panels of alumni talk about their careers and their lives after UNCG.” He says that in past receptions, he has been able to speak with many of our own alumni who are now successful in their post-UNCG careers. In attending this event, students can be put in touch with accomplished individuals whose college experiences might mirror their own and get questions answered about possible career paths.

Homecoming week, which lasts through this Sunday, will be an exceptional time for today’s students to get to know not only peers but the people whose footsteps they may not have even know they were following in.

For any questions about the English PhD 50th Anniversary Celebration, contact Dr. Feather at j_feathe@uncg.edu

For any questions about the Chemistry and Biochemistry Reunion, contact Mitchell Croatt at mpcroatt@uncg.edu

For any questions about the Political Science Networking Reception, contact Jeff Colbert at

By Ishan Davis

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi (Office of Research and Engagement) received new funding from Howard University for the project “”GIRLS ROCK TECH: Integrating Computer Science Education into a National Girls Empowerment Program.” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation.  

In an era of declining women’s participation in computer science and acutely low participation of women of color, there is increasing awareness of stereotype threats and the barriers to gender and racial equity in computer science. Mitigating those threats and lowering those barriers are two of the primary challenges faced by the research, education and advocacy communities. Encouraging, building, and nurturing positive identities, growth mindset, and solid knowledge and skills are key aspects of combating stereotype threat and supporting a lasting interest in STEM. Studies have shown that providing girls with a unique educational environment that does not align with the stereotype fit, or feelings of exclusion, allows them to shift from a “fixed mindset” to a “growth mindset.”. GIRLS ROCK TECH program is an innovative experiential approach to learning computer science principles of programming and creativity in the context of music education and strong culturally resonant structures.

Through the proposed GIRLS ROCK TECH program, we will investigate how computer science principles through the lens of music production is an effective means of providing black girls with the computing and soft skills needed for success in STEM. They will also investigate the social and behavioral factors that support black girls’ empowerment and learning in CS. Specifically They seek answers to the following research questions:

  1.  How effective is music instruction as a means of teaching the computer science principles of abstraction, algorithmic thinking, and programming?

      2.  How effective is an intervention designed for black girls in improving self-efficacy and fostering a growth mindset in computer science?

Katherine Boo visits for Keker First Year Common Read Oct. 24

Many first-year students on campus have been reading “Behind the Beautiful Forevers” by Katherine Boo. Now, they will hear the author speak Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. (Note: The talk is not open to the public as this post originally indicated; it is exclusively for UNCG first-year students.) 

The book is the centerpiece of the 2017 UNCG Keker First Year Common Read program, an opportunity for new students to begin their academic experience, prior to starting college in the fall, by reading a book intentionally selected by members of the UNCG campus community. With the help of faculty and staff from across campus, the book is then integrated throughout the students’ curricular and co-curricular learning experiences.

The Office of New Student Transitions & First Year Experience brings the author to campus each year to engage with first-year students for an entire day. The visiting author joins students, faculty, and community members on campus for a luncheon, class visit, and an evening presentation about the Keker First Year Common Read book.

Katherine Boo, a staff writer at The New Yorker, has also published in the Washington Post, Washington City Paper, and The Washington Monthly. Over the years, her reporting on disadvantaged communities has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize, a MacArthur “Genius” grant, and a National Magazine Award for Feature Writing. For the last decade, she has divided her time between the United States and India, the birthplace of her husband, Sunil Khilnani.

Her New York Times bestseller and National Book Award-winning “Behind the Beautiful Forever” is her first book. The book is the winner of the National Book Award for nonfiction.

Questions? Contact Emily Wiersma at e_wiersm@uncg.edu.

See related story about a book discussion of “Behind the Beautiful Forevers.”

This post was updated Oct. 18.

Civic Commitments Across the Curriculum, part of ReFrame Learning Series

Dr. Spoma Jovanovic, professor of communication studies and a pioneer at UNCG in the area of community-engaged scholarship, will present the third workshop in the ReFrame Learning Series on Friday, Oct. 27, 12 to 1:15 p.m. in the Faculty Center. The mission of the series of events, organized by the Office of Leadership & Service-Learning, is to challenge the lens through which we view public scholarship in higher education. Bring a brown bag lunch and enjoy additional refreshments.

For more information on the ReFrame Learning Series, or to register, visit olsl.uncg.edu/reframe. Registration is not required but strongly encouraged.

On view now: UNCG Archives’ exhibition of UNCG history

As part of the university’s celebration of 125 years of opportunity and excellence, the Hodges Reading Room in Jackson Library will feature an exhibition of UNCG history through the end of the academic year. Exhibition materials will rotate throughout the year, with new content added on a bimonthly basis. It will conclude on May 31, 2018.

Currently, the exhibit features materials from the founding years of the State Normal and Industrial School, including an original copy of the 1891 Act of Establishment in which the North Carolina legislature founded the institution, the letter sent to Charles Duncan McIver in June 1891 informing him that he had been named the school’s first president, and photographs and other document reflecting the faculty and staff who were instrumental in the Normal’s early years. Of particular note, the exhibit also includes the always-popular death mask of founding president Charles Duncan McIver, who passed away in 1906.

A second UNCG-themed exhibit currently in Hodges Reading Room explores the early history of the Alumnae (now Alumni) House, which opened in 1937. It was designed by Penrose V. Stout of Bronxville, New York, and modeled after Homewood in Baltimore, Maryland. Photographs, serving dishes, a guest register, and other items important to the Alumnae House are on display.

In future months as the exhibit contents are rotated, themes including social and political protests on campus, student organizations, and faculty contributions will be explored.

More information on the University Archives and the University’s 125th anniversary celebration, can be seen on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or Instagram.

Additional note: The UNCG Archives hosts a Hops into History event on the theme of UNCG’s 125th anniversary tomorrow (Thursday) evening at Gibbs Hundred.

Flannery O’Connor, a visual response: great exhibition at GPS

An exhibition opens this Friday evening (Oct. 20) at the Greensboro Project Space on Lewis Street. The space is the UNCG School of Art’s contemporary art center.

“Intrusions of Grace: A Visual Response to the Works of Flannery O’Connor” is the combined photographic works of Southern artists Anne Berry (Newnan, Georgia) and Lori Vrba (Chapel Hill, North Carolina). Curated by Dennis Kiel, Director of the Dishman Art Museum of Lamar University, Beaumont, Texas.

Flannery O’Connor was aware of the connection between fiction and visual art; she argued that writers sometimes painted because it made them notice things. Both the writer and the visual artist should be concerned with showing the reader or viewer something important, what Joseph Conrad called “that glimpse of truth for which you had forgotten to ask.”

The works in this exhibit also hint at the mystery of the unknown and the existence of things beyond the surface. These works, like O’Connor’s stories, present something real and believable while hinting at what is invisible but nonetheless true.

Also, a “Southern Artist Panel” will be held on Oct. 27, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.

Learn more about GPS events at http://www.greensboroprojectspace.com/.

Visual: “Genesis,” Lori Vrba

Philosophy’s Dr. Michael Zimmerman, research leader in theoretical ethics, takes on big questions

Dr. Michael Zimmerman’s research in theoretical ethics is acclaimed for its incisive argumentation, nuanced insights, and major advances. He’s a leading writer on moral obligation, moral responsibility, value theory, and the theory of punishment. With nine books — the most recent with Oxford University Press — and a host of articles in prestigious academic journals, the professor of philosophy is prolific. Zimmerman also delivered the Hägerström Lectures in Sweden in 2011. The lecture series is internationally known for featuring some of the most eminent philosophers of our time.

The following was adapted from an interview for the most recent UNCG Research Magazine.


“Most research asks ‘What can we do to improve our knowledge?’ In philosophy, we tend to consider questions prior to this, such as ‘What is knowledge?’ and ‘How can we know anything?’

“Similar fundamental questions have preoccupied me throughout my career: ‘What is it to be morally obligated to do something?’ ‘What is it to be morally responsible for something?’ ‘How are moral obligation and responsibility even possible?’

“For example, our having freedom of will seems to be a precondition of our being morally responsible for anything. We believe we have such freedom, but do we? It’s reasonable to think that everything that happens, including everything we do, has a cause. If that’s true, then, in principle, we could trace the cause of our actions back to events that took place before our birth. If what we do now has its roots in a time before we came into existence, then how can we have the control necessary for being morally responsible for our behavior? People have been thumping their heads against this wall for millennia.”


“Much of what’s in the press and on people’s minds has to do with practical matters. Does the president have an obligation to divest in order to avoid conflicts of interest? Is a woman in the later stages of pregnancy obligated not to have an abortion? But my research focuses on underlying theoretical issues. I ask, ‘What conditions must be satisfied for someone to have any moral obligations at all?’ We have to consider these fundamental questions before we can be confident about our answers to more practical questions.”


“I’m interested in how ignorance of right and wrong can affect our responsibility for our actions. Suppose some terrorist secretly rewired a light switch so that, when you flipped it, you detonated a bomb. Most would say you’re not to blame for the destruction you caused. It looks like ignorance undercuts moral responsibility.

“But does ignorance always provide an excuse? We can be ignorant of a variety of things. Imagine you knew the switch had been rewired but thought you were doing the right thing in detonating the bomb. This is presumably the mindset of many terrorists. Does that ignorance provide an excuse? I’ve argued that we should be hesitant to blame terrorists for the terrible things they do. That’s an unsettling conclusion, but it’s where my argument has led me.”


“Ignorance can affect not only whether we are morally responsible for failing to meet an obligation, but it can also affect what obligations we have in the first place. If you’re pointing a gun at me, and the only way I can defend myself is to shoot you first, then many would say that I am under no obligation not to shoot you. But what if what you’re holding is a water pistol, only it looks like a real gun to me? We saw this play out in the Iraq War, with our faulty intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction.”


“I have argued that almost no state punishment is morally justified. Many find this thesis repugnant, but, again, that’s where my argument has led me.

“The first problem with punishment revolves around ignorance. Did the defendant know that he was doing something wrong?

“The second problem has to do with luck. Suppose Smith and Jones are assassins. Both fire at their targets, but only Smith manages to kill someone — Jones’s bullet was intercepted by a passing bird. Typically, Smith would receive a greater punishment. But what did Jones do to be less blameworthy? It was just luck that he didn’t kill his target.

“You can push this back further and further. Maybe what stopped Jones from killing someone wasn’t a bird but a good upbringing, whereas Smith was raised in terrible conditions. Such considerations are really corrosive; they cast doubt on the conventional justifications of punishment.”


“I wish more people took the time to question their basic convictions. It’s easy to make mistakes; by the same token, it’s hard to provide rational support for one’s views. It’s just as important to engage in critical reflection on one’s own views as on the views of others. This is something I try to impress upon my students. Everyone’s views are subject to criticism, including your own. Recognizing that fact can be very humbling, and it should help you give a full and fair hearing to those who disagree with you.”

“Are you sure?” interview originally appeared in the spring 2017 UNCG Research Magazine.

Interview by Mike Harris & Sangeetha Shivaji; this edited version originally appeared on the UNCG Research website.

Robin Gee

Associate Professor Robin Gee (School of Dance) hosts the 4th Annual Greensboro Dance Film Festival, in collaboration with the Greensboro Project Space on Saturday, October 21, 7 pm with rolling screenings at GPS (7 pm), HQ Greensboro (7:30 pm) and VCM Studio (8 pm). This years’ festival is also part of the Burning Bell Festival in Downtown Greensboro and is part of the 17DAYS fall programming.

The festival, the first of its kind to reside in Greensboro, features dance films from 17 countries in both student and professional categories. The event will also host an opening reception at HQ Greensboro featuring live dance and music performances. Performances are supported in part by the 2017 NC Arts Council Choreographers Grant. The programs will also feature works that specifically address issues of race, place and identity in a modern and ever-changing world. Each location will feature a program designed for and unique to the space. GDFF will also will culminate with a touring program that will travel to several locations around North Carolina as well as the Dance In/Out Festival in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and other partner organizations around the country. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Wendy McColskey

Dr. Wendy McColskey (SERVE Center) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the project “Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program – ELISS.” 

The purpose of the ELLIS Program is to fund high-quality, independently validated extended learning and integrated student support service programs for at-risk students that raise standards for student academic outcomes.  SERVE will provide NC DPI support and feedback in the development of the 2017-2018 application materials/processes, scoring rubric for the competitive grant process; conduct Level I peer-review of applications received by NC DPI and screened by NC DPI for completeness; provide supporting documentation, and/or presentations, as needed, for state-level reporting requirements related to the grant review process.  SERVE will conduct site visits to all grantees in the spring of 2018 and provide each grantee with individual assistance if needed.  SERVE will collaborate with NC DPI to plan and conduct a face-to-face meeting of grant recipients in 2018; and develop and administer an online progress reporting survey.

26 Promotion and Tenure honorees

Twenty-six faculty members were celebrated recently for attaining promotion and tenure.

Fȇted at a September 27 reception sponsored by the Office of the Provost and the University Libraries, honorees include tenured faculty and promoted academic professional and clinical faculty.

Dr. Dana Dunn, provost and executive vice chancellor, Dr. Martin Halbert, dean of the University Libraries, and Dr. Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., chancellor, spoke spoke during the event in the Virginia Dare Room.

In a tradition begun in 2006, honorees were given the opportunity to select a book, DVD, or music CD that has special meaning to them for the University Libraries collection. A book plate was applied to each new piece for the collection. For those who accepted the offer of a photograph with their selection, READ posters were created.

A display of photographs of the faculty and their selections are now on view near the Reference desk on the main floor of Jackson Library.

2017 honorees (click on each to see a photo and the book they chose)

Dr. Heng An, Accounting and Finance

Dr. Jill C. Bender, History

Mr. Stoel Burrowes, Interior Architecture

Dr. Claudia Cabello Hutt, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

Dr. Tanya M. Coakley, Social Work

Ms. Anna R. Craft, University Libraries

Dr. Leslie L. Davis, Adult Health Nursing

Dr. Xiaoli Gao, Mathematics and Statistics

Dr. Laurie W. Gold, Kinesiology

Dr. Kimberly Kappler Hewitt, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations

Mr. Travis L. Hicks, Interior Architecture

Dr. Arielle T. Kuperberg, Sociology

Dr. Karen M. La Paro, Human Development and Family Studies

Ms. Erin Lawrimore, University Libraries

Dr. Jennifer Mangrum, Teacher Education and Higher Education

Dr. Constance L. McKoy, Music Education

Dr. Esra Memili, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism

Dr. Anatoly Miroshnichenko, Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Loreen N. Olson, Communication Studies

Ms. Sheryl A. Oring, Art

Dr. Kimberly S. Petersen, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Kimberlianne Podlas, Media Studies

Dr. Julia M. Smith, Psychology

Dr. Tyreasa Washington, Social Work

Dr. Jianjun Wei, Nanoscience

Dr. Ethan Zell, Psychology

More information, as well as honorees from previous years, is at

Information courtesy University Libraries and Christine Fisher.
Photographs from the event by Laath Martin

Tim George the latest Spartan on “Triad Today”

If you’ve been watching “Triad Today,” you know UNCG has a lot of great news to share.

UNCG Athletics’ Tim George is the most recent Spartan to appear on the program. He was interviewed by host Jim Longworth.

George, senior associate athletics director for external operations and chief marketing officer, reviewed the athletic and academic successes of the 2016-17 seasons and UNCG Athletics’ plans for the coming year.

He noted that over the last year, the men’s basketball team won a program record 25 games. The team also won the Southern Conference Regular Season Championship, and went to New York to play in the NIT. In the coming season, the team will be traveling to play three ACC opponents: NC State, Wake Forest, and Virginia.

Many of UNCG’s 17 Division I sports teams have had great seasons. The UNCG women’s basketball team won 20 games for the first time in a decade, and their new coach, Trina Patterson, was named Southern Conference Coach of the Year. UNCG’s softball team won the Southern Conference Regular Championship. Meanwhile, the baseball team won the Southern Conference Tournament Championship, and went on to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Men’s basketball season tickets start at $129 for the general public. For faculty and staff, they’re discounted to $99 – and that includes extras. See full story.

Athletics’ goal this season is to break sales records with 1,000 season ticket sales. Tickets can be bought online at the UNCG Athletics website. 

Longworth is a UNCG alumnus, and he regularly celebrates Spartan Spirit on Triad Today. Recent UNCG visitors to the program include:


Chancellor Gilliam discussed his vision for the future of higher education.

Dr. Carol Ott and Dr. Kevin Geraldi previewed UNCG’s 10th annual Collage concert.

Shanna Eller, UNCG’s sustainability coordinator, discussed sustainability efforts at UNCG.

Dr. Charles Maimone discussed UNCG’s upcoming Millennial Campus.

Dr. John Kiss, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, talked about his work with NASA.

By Avery Campbell

Basic First Aid & Emergency First Response workshop Oct. 26

Join Donald Sweeney at the Faculty Center for a Basic First Aid & Emergency First Response (EFR) workshop. Sweeney is an emergency nurse from Moses Cone and certified practitioner of wilderness medicine. The workshop is intended for those with no first aid experience, and will teach immediate care skills to provide aid before the EMS arrive, or when you can’t get through to 911. You will learn how to use whatever you have on hand to provide first aid care, and will learn survival tips and techniques.

The workshop will be Oct. 26 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Faculty Center.

The workshop, sponsored by the Staff Senate’s Personal & Professional Development Committee, is free, and light refreshments will be provided. Register here. If you have questions, please contact Nor Othman-LeSaux at naothman@uncg.edu.

ReadytoTeach.uncg.edu: your guide to online courses

Interested in teaching online or learning more about online education?

Visit readytoteach.uncg.edu, a free resource developed by UNCG Online to help university level instructors and teaching assistants plan, develop, teach, and evaluate online courses. Ready to Teach reflects national best practices in instructional design, online teaching, and educational research.

Ready to Teach now includes a new technology orientation for instructors new to teaching online in Part 6 of the Plan section! Check it out for tips and strategies about what instructors need to know and be able to do technologically to teach online.

Each of the four modules takes about 30 minutes to complete and begins with a video of experienced UNCG instructors sharing their insights for teaching online. Modules include evidence-based strategies, brief exercises, and downloadable templates. A quiz concludes each module, and a certificate can be earned by passing the cumulative exam.

To learn more, contact readytoteach@uncg.edu.

Diversity and Inclusion: Lessons Learned from Clinical Psychology Program

Interested in learning more on improving diversity and inclusion? The Clinical Psychology Program will lead a discussion Tuesday, Oct. 24, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the EUC Kirkland Room.

The discussion, “Pathways to Increasing Diversity and Inclusion: Lessons Learned from the Clinical Psychology Program,” is sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences. The program last year received the Dean’s Award for the Promotion of Diversity & Inclusiveness.

At the event, open to the public, program faculty and students will talk about the best practices for diversity and inclusion. The panel will consist of faculty members Kari Eddington, Jason Herndon, Susan Keane, Gabriella Livas Stein, Julia Mendez Smith, Rosemery Nelson Gray, and Blair Wisco, with students Kelly Harper and Blake Herd.

SHRA Performance Management: interim reviews due Oct. 31

STEPS2EXCELLENCE, a performance program designed to guide supervisors and their employees in taking giant steps to high performance, was successfully launched this past summer. The first step, Performance Plans, were completed in May 2017.

As we progress through the SHRA Performance Cycle (April 1, 2017-March 30, 2018), action is required for all SHRA employees to complete Interim Reviews. Interim Reviews are due on October 31.

For more information on STEPS2EXCELLENCE, reach out to your Department Campus Champion or your HR Business Partner for assistance. For your reference, the SHRA Performance Appraisal Policy can be found HERE.

For your convenience below are the Key Dates and Actions required including links to the associated SHRA PMP documents:

SHRA Performance PlanMay 30, 2017 – Department File

SHRA Performance Plans for New EmployeesWithin 30 days of hire – Department File

Probationary Quarterly Review for New Employees (Off-Cycle)Each Quarter for the first 12 months of hire – UNCG Human Resources via email at PMP2018@uncg.edu

SHRA Off-Cycle Review Form  – October 31, 2017 – Department File

SHRA Performance Appraisal FormApril 30, 2018 – UNCG Human Resources via email at PMP2018@uncg.edu


EHRA Non-Faculty Performance Management:

The EHRA Non-faculty Annual Performance cycle runs from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. All EHRA non-faculty employees are required to receive an annual Performance Plan and Performance Appraisal using the new form. For your reference, the EHRA Non-Faculty Performance Management Policy can be found HERE.

For your convenience below are the Key Dates and Actions required including links to the associated EHRA PMP documents:

Performance PlanAugust 30, 2017 – Department File

Performance Plans for New EmployeesWithin 30 days of hire – Department File

EHRA Non-Faculty Performance Evaluation PlanWithin 30 days of hire – UNCG Human Resources via email at PMP2018@uncg.edu

Training Opportunities:

More than 700 employees have been trained on STEPS2EXCELLENCE. If you are an SHRA employee or supervise an SHRA employee and would like to participate in an SHRA PMP Workshop, both the In-classroom and WebEx classes are open for registration. Our HR Business Partners are also holding SHRA PMP Clinics to provide supervisors with hands-on assistance in writing performance plans and off-cycle reviews.

If you are interested in registering for a PMP Workshop or PMP Clinic, REGISTER NOW.

Have questions regarding policy interpretation and application, please contact Gwen Evans, Director of HR Business Partners and Employee Relations at 336-334-4512 or via email at gdevans2@uncg.edu. You may also visit our Performance Management website for more information.

Provide input to Gen Ed Task Force

UNCG’s General Education Self-Study Task Force is currently holding meetings and gathering information from faculty, staff, students, and recent alumni, as part of its review of UNCG’s General Education Program.

In addition to several focus groups with faculty, there are three upcoming chances for faculty to provide input to the Task Force: today’s Faculty Senate’s Faculty Forum (Wednesday, October 18) from 3-5 p m. in the Virginia Dare Room; a second Faculty Forum organized by the Task Force on Friday, October 27, from 9-11 a.m. in the Faculty Center; and a UTLC Coffeehouse event on Wednesday, November 15 (9-10 a.m. in the Faculty Center).

The Task Force and the General Education Council value all faculty input regarding our General Education Program; please take advantage of one or more of these opportunities to discuss with us and other faculty your opinions and ideas.

Several discussion groups are also underway this month with faculty advisers, advising center directors, professional advisers, staff from URO/admissions, and other staff on campus.  Members of the Task Force will also be talking to several student groups on campus in the coming weeks, and the Task Force is working on a student survey about General Education, to be given later this semester in targeted courses. Finally, the Task Force is working with the GOLD (Graduates Of the Last Decade) Alumni group to gather information about our recent graduates and their experiences with General Education.

For more information about the General Education Self-Study Task Force, see http://assessment.uncg.edu/curriculum/GEC/GEC_selfstudy.html

Blue Mountain: Forecast will perform free concert at Weatherspoon

The Weatherspoon Art Museum presents Blue Mountain: Forecast, a concert of colorful depictions and visual references through sound, on Thursday, October 26, 7-8pm

A pre-concert art tour will begin at 6:15 p.m.

Experience moods and environments that have inspired composers and visual artists for centuries: calm, playful, angry, passionate and political. A special pre-concert tour of Louise Fishman’s abstract expressionistic paintings from the 1970s to today sets the stage for a fun evening of art and music.

This free concert, in the Weatherspoon Atrium,  is made possible with generous support from Lincoln Financial Foundation.

For a complete, updated list of WAM programs, visit: http://weatherspoon.uncg.edu

Full information on this event is available here.

South African troupe helps teach at UNCG, will perform at Triad Stage

In 2015, UNCG and Triad Stage began an international performance series, galvanized by the school director of theatre, associate professor Denise Gabriel, and Triad Stage artistic director Preston Lane, to bring international artists to perform in the Triad UpStage Cabaret.

In 2015, the first international artist brought to the cabaret space was Robert Bowman, actor and artistic director of Living Pictures UK.

Gabriel, that same year, had been invited to attend the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival where she saw the production of “Lady Aoi” by Yukio Mishima, performed by South Africa’s Abrahamse and Meyer Productions. In 2016, Abrahamse and Meyer Productions were brought to Greensboro with support from the Kohler Foundation and various funding to perform “Desire Under the Elms” by Eugene O’Neill at the Triad UpStage Cabaret space.

Now, they are returning for their second residency in Greensboro, performing at the Triad UpStage Cabaret space “Two by Tenn”, featuring two Williams One Acts: “A Perfect Analysis Given by a Parrot” and “The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme. LeMonde”.

A critical component added to this year’s residency, for UNCG, is that Fred Abrahamse and Marcel Meyers are working alongside Gabriel in her THR 420 course titled: Devised Theatre and Social Awareness with 28 students, and offering workshops, faculty exchange, and Q&A sessions with the UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“Two by Tenn” will première at the UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage, 232 South Elm Street, on October 19  at 8 p.m. and have additional performances at 8 p.m. on Oct. 20 and 21 and at 2 p.m. on October 21. To purchase tickets call: 336-272-0160. Tickets cost $15 for adults and $10 for UNCG students. Note that “The Remarkable Rooming-House of Mme Le Monde” is for mature audiences: it contains strong language, violence and sexual content.

Greek Treats at UNCG Men’s Soccer next Tuesday

On Tuesday, Oct, 24 6 p.m., the Fraternity Sorority Association  will host Greek Treats before the UNCG Men’s Soccer match. This is an annual event for where the students set up tables on the south end of the soccer field before the game for local children to trick or treat and play games. The event will take place at UNCG Soccer Stadium, and will end at kickoff at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Come out and enjoy this fun event and stick around to cheer on your UNCG Men’s Soccer team as they take on VMI.

See/hear: Oct. 18, 2017

After an intensive selection process, the UNCG Alumni Association has announced the 2017 Spartans of Promise award recipients. This recognition honors 10 outstanding senior who have excelled in both academics and service.

  • Hitam Alsharif of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Biology
  • Ciara Gazaway of Apex, North Carolina, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Qua’-Shaun Henning of Raleigh, North Carolina, Elementary Education
  • Kailin Payton McGarry of Wilson, North Carolina, Economics
  • Robert Rose of Denver, North Carolina, Art Education
  • Ashley Sanchez of Kernersville, North Carolina, Kinesiology
  • Alexander Smith of High Point, North Carolina, Economics
  • Michaela Stovall of Albemarle, North Carolina, Elementary Education
  • Shameeka Wilson of Wilmington, North Carolina, K-12 Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Mackenzie Winslow of Mooresville, North Carolina, Business Administration

The Spartans of Promise are an exceptional group of students who represent the diversity of UNCG. Award recipients will be recognized at the Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner – a signature Homecoming event – on Thursday, Oct. 19, and will be invited to participate and network at UNCG Alumni Association events throughout the year.

Looking ahead: Oct. 18, 2017

Faculty Forum
Wednesday, Oct. 18, 3 p.m., Alumni House

Lecture: The Nursing Virgin: Mary in Egyptian Christian Art
Thursday, Oct. 19, 5:30 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

Alumni of Distinction Awards Dinner
Thursday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC  

Theatre: “Two by Tenn,” Abrahamse and Meyer Productions
Thursday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m., UpStage Cabaret, Triad Stage

Spartan Madness
Thursday, Oct. 19, 8 p.m. (Doors open at 7 p.m.), Fleming Gymnasium

Women’s Soccer vs. Mercer
Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

Bonfire and food trucks
Friday, Oct. 20, 7 p.m., Kaplan Commons

Homecoming block party
Saturday, Oct. 21, 3 p.m., Kaplan Commons

Volleyball vs. Chattanooga
Saturday, Oct. 21, 5 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium

Men’s Soccer vs. Mercer (Senior Night)
Saturday, Oct. 21, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

Gay Ivey, new Moran Distinguished Professor in Literacy, brings unique perspective

The key to getting kids to read? Find out what they’re thinking, said Dr. Gay Ivey, UNCG’s new William E. Moran Distinguished Professor in Literacy.

“Most of my research has centered on getting kids’ perspectives on things,” Ivey said. “Lots of people promote the idea of kids choosing what they can read, thinking that if they read more, they will get better. My research involves trying to understand what they’re getting out of it.”

Ivey is an elected member of the Reading Hall of Fame and has spent her career helping teachers help children learn to read and expand the thought process around reading instruction in schools.

In her native Virginia, Ivey began her career as a reading specialist and middle-school teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William and Mary, an M.Ed. in Reading Education from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Reading Education from the University of Georgia. Before joining the UNCG faculty this summer, she served as the Tashia F. Morgridge Chair in Reading at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she held positions at James Madison University, the University of Maryland at College Park and the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.

“What I didn’t know about myself is that I was really interested in research,” Ivey said. “And learning how we could expand and improve reading and writing practices in school for kids through studying kids and teachers in their classrooms.”

Classroom-based research, she added, allows her to learn from kids by spending time with them in the classroom.

What happens when children are given the opportunity to find reasons of their own to read in school? A question that has recently driven Ivey in her research.

“When kids are engaged in reading things that matter to them, they are at their most strategic,” Ivey said.

Too often the reading children do in school is in response to an assignment rather than for their own reasons. Reading instruction in school is focused on getting better at reading, comprehension and memorization. All good things, Ivey said, but it’s not the reason kids read.

“They read to make sense of their lives, to grow their social lives and get a better understanding of themselves and the world,” Ivey said. “We’re not situating it in ways that make sense to them or add value to their lives.”

Ivey’s research centers on what engagement in reading means for the literary, academic, emotional and relational lives of children and adolescents. One of the draws of UNCG, she said, is that it affords her the opportunity to combine research with public engagement and engagement with schools.

The renowned literacy faculty was another draw.

“It was a team I wanted to join. I saw a place I could be collaborative with colleagues who were like-minded and interested seeing how research can really impact schools and communities,” Ivey said.

And she was also attracted by the diversity of the student population: “I feel a connection with the students here.”

Ivey says she plans to make North Carolina her home for many years and hopes to see UNCG’s graduate programs in literacy flourish.

“I also hope to become heavily involved in engagements with school districts across the state of North Carolina,” she added.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison

Enjoy the fun: Homecoming 2017 next week

The bonfire and food trucks are back, and so is our campus’ most festive week.  

Homecoming 2017 will be in full swing Monday, Oct. 16, through Sunday, Oct. 22. Students, faculty, staff, alumni, family and friends are invited to come out and enjoy the many activities in store and celebrate the university’s 125-year history.

The weekdays will feature a Kick-off Party, a Homecoming Royal Court Contest, Glow Party and many departmental get-togethers and reunions. Friday will include a big bonfire and food trucks at Kaplan Commons at 7 p.m., as well as a women’s soccer match against Mercer also at 7 p.m. in the UNCG Soccer Stadium and the GOLD Alumni 3rd Annual Spartan Hop in Kaplan Commons.

Saturday, Oct. 21, will be packed with fun events starting at 8 a.m. Festivities include:

  • Cars and Coffee – Ferrari’s to Fiats, 8 a.m.
  • Homecoming 5k run, 9 a.m.
  • Children’s Festival, 3-6 p.m.
  • Performances by the Sleeping Booty Band, 4 and 5:30 p.m.
  • 13th Annual All Black Attire Party Masquerade, 10 p.m.
  • Homecoming Soccer Match vs. Mercer, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

Homecoming 2017 is a great opportunity to reconnect with fellow Spartans while also showing your school pride in this 35-year-old tradition.

The campus community is encouraged to wear Spartan blue and gold all week long.

Also one note: UNCG Nursing faculty and students will be offering free flu shots starting at 3 p.m. in Kaplan Commons – until they’re all gone.

Have questions or want to volunteer? Visit https://homecoming.uncg.edu/hmcmng/2017/ or contact Donegan Root ‘87 at d_root@uncg.edu.

Rhiannon Giddens performs at UNCG, jams with Old-Time Ensemble

Distinguished guest artists come to UNCG’s campus every semester, but for the 125th anniversary Founders Day concert, the music star was one of our own.

Last Thursday, just days before receiving the MacArthur Foundation “Genius Grant,” Greensboro native, former UNCG opera student and founding member of the Grammy award-winning Carolina Chocolate Drops Rhiannon Giddens paid a visit to her alma mater to give a powerful, dynamic Founders Day concert.

In one of the most widely anticipated events of the 2017-2018 University Concert and Lecture Series, Giddens and her band performed for a full house in UNCG Auditorium. Many of the songs were from her 2017 album, “Freedom Highway,” focused on civil rights and slave narratives.

During the first set, the spellbinding song, “At the Purchaser’s Option,” inspired by a 1792 newspaper slave advertisement, showed Giddens’ commitment to historical infusion in her songwriting.

“Well, it’s getting out,” Giddens told the audience. “I’m a bit of a history nut, and I read a lot.”

The stirring lyrics and Giddens’ tremendous vocal talent worked in tandem with riveting instrumental work that blended blues, old time, rock, Cajun, jazz and country, with band members Jason Sypher, Jamie Dick, Hubby Jenkins and Dirk Powell, the producer of “Freedom Highway.” Along with original songs, Giddens sang covers originally performed by Etta James and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

UNCG alumna Laurelyn Dossett and Giddens’ sister, Director of UNCG’s Beyond Academics program Dr. Lalenja Harrington, joined Giddens for “Freedom Highway,” and Dossett also sang on Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”

Earlier in the day, Giddens, who has shared the stage with Aretha Franklin and Emmylou Harris at the White House, held a masterclass open to the UNCG community and also played in a jam session with UNCG’s Old-Time Ensemble, directed by Dr. Christen Blanton Mack.

“Seeing the Old-Time Ensemble students jamming with a musician of that caliber was awesome,” said Mack. “Rhiannon gave the group some amazing feedback about drive, pulse and groove in fiddle tunes. Drawing on her own experiences, she brought the players to a whole new level.”

Giddens shared her comprehensive knowledge of music history throughout the masterclass and the jam session with the 22 students and several faculty and staff members.

“This music was for dances,” Giddens told the Old-Time Ensemble. “In that time, when this style of music began, if you had a band, it was for a dance. Experiment with why it existed, and you can pull that into a performance.”

At the masterclass, Giddens encouraged students to be fully involved in their education and to lead with their hearts while still developing skills that can benefit their careers in the long term.

Giddens detailed her own experience with Greensboro Youth Chorus and family singing as her only musical training until she arrived at Oberlin Conservatory, admitted on the strength of her ear, as she said.

Many students, both music students and those from other disciplines, said they felt inspired by both Giddens’ career and what she shared with them about her musical history.

“I had been struggling with participating in the Old-Time and Celtic culture in a way that speaks to me through music and dance,” said senior biology major and fiddle player Olivia Deitrich. “I didn’t know this until I got in the jam session, but Rhiannon’s words in the masterclass had freed me to just do what I love – play music.”

“Her level of musicianship and performance is so high that it seems unreal,” said senior English major and banjo player Jeremy Glasgow. “The opportunity to play with Rhiannon was an honor in itself, and to hear about her experience with the Old-Time music tradition was eye-opening.”

Concurrent to studying opera at UNCG as a master’s student in the early 2000s, Giddens picked up the banjo and fiddle, exploring both Gaelic and Old-Time music styles and playing at contra dances. She co-founded the Carolina Chocolate Drops in part to honor her mentor and friend, North Carolina fiddle master Joe Thompson – a detail she brought up in the masterclass to illustrate the value of crafting a career path that’s led by the heart.

“Whatever you’re doing,” she told UNCG students. “The core should be something that really speaks to you.”

Giddens played an old-time song during the evening concert’s first set and gave a shout-out to the UNCG Old-Time Ensemble.

“We had a lot of fun today,” she said.

Breaking news: Rhiannon Giddens will receive MacArthur Grant (known as the genius grant). 

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photo by Martin W. Kane