UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for April 2018

Commencement will be held Friday at coliseum

UNCG is set to award more than 2,700 degrees to the university’s largest-ever graduating class on Friday, May 4, at the May Commencement ceremony.

The university will confer approximately 2,014 bachelor’s degrees, 627 master’s degrees, 87 doctoral degrees and 17 specialist in education degrees. Of the degrees awarded, 100 will be conferred to international students.

Friday’s university-wide ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. A doctoral hooding ceremony will be held the day before, Thursday, May 3, at 3 p.m. in UNCG Auditorium.

Olympic speed skating gold medalist, NBC Winter Olympics commentator and humanitarian leader Joey Cheek will deliver the keynote address to the Class of 2018.

Senior political science major Prescillia Messa, who served as the secretary of academic affairs this year for the UNCG Student Government Association, is the student speaker.

Parking at the coliseum is free for all attendees, and parking permits are not required. For the doctoral hooding ceremony, parking is available in the lot behind the Graham Building and Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Park & Ride buses will be available to transport volunteers, students, staff and faculty between campus and the coliseum. Buses will depart campus every 30 minutes beginning at 7 a.m., with the final shuttle returning to campus at 1 p.m. Passengers may board the bus on Stirling Street in front of the Elliott University Center.

For those who cannot attend Friday’s ceremony in person, a livestream of the event can be accessed here.

For more information, visit UNCG Commencement Central.

UNCG Police Officer Taylor Trantham named UNC System Officer of the Year

The University of North Carolina System has named UNC Greensboro Police Department Officer Taylor Trantham as its 2018 Officer of the Year. Officer Trantham received the award during the UNC Chiefs of Police Conference held on April 25 at the Spangler Center.

During the past year, Officer Trantham responded to more than 500 calls for service as the primary officer. Among the more notable responses, he helped extinguish a fire that occurred in the UNCG Auditorium during a dress rehearsal on April 4, 2017. Thanks to the efforts of the stage crew and Officer Trantham, the fire was contained and no serious injuries occurred.

Officer Trantham has also demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the people in the community. He has led efforts to repair bikes for local children and regularly devotes his own time and money to ensure children in an adjacent neighborhood get to experience Halloween each year. Officer Trantham also collected donations in order to send a Hurricane Harvey Relief package for the officers and families of the Houston Police Department.

See full story at UNC Now site.

UNCG breaks ground on new Nursing and Instructional Building

UNCG brought out the hardhats and golden shovels last Friday at a ceremony to celebrate the official groundbreaking of the new Nursing and Instructional Building.

The 180,000-square-foot facility was made possible thanks to state funds from the Connect NC Bond, which was passed by North Carolina voters in the spring of 2016. The $105 million building is slated to open in the summer of 2020.

“The groundbreaking of the Nursing and Instructional Building is a Giant Step – it’s a long-awaited moment not just for the campus community, but for the state,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “What happens inside this building will impact the health and wellness of communities across the state.”

The School of Nursing, currently located in four buildings, will occupy approximately 50 percent of the building. In addition to providing more space for the School of Nursing, the facility will provide teaching and flexible laboratory research space for the School of Health and Human Sciences and the Departments of Biology and Chemistry, as well as classroom space.

The building will house 39 labs, 14 classrooms, nine research suites and a community engagement center.

“Because of this additional, state-of-the-art space, UNCG will be able to graduate more nurses, scientists, health care professionals and researchers,” Gilliam said. “These are the people who will provide care for our families and shape our communities.”

North Carolina Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger and several representatives from the North Carolina legislature were on hand for the event. Berger lauded the Connect NC Bond for providing a building that will better prepare students in the nursing and STEM fields. Speaking to students, he said:

“This building is about you.”

The Nursing and Instructional Building will be located on the former site of the McIver Building, which was demolished earlier this month.

“While we make way for the New Nursing and Instructional Building, we recognize that the learning, research and creative production that took place here will always remain an indelible part of our institution,” said Chancellor Gilliam.

Prior to the McIver Building’s demolition, a time capsule with UNCG commemorative items from 1908 and 1959 was removed from the building’s cornerstone. See a video of these items below and learn more at this link.

Visit thebigbuild.uncg.edu for more on the Nursing and Instructional Building and related construction projects.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison
Photograph by Martin W. Kane

Excellence in every way, on display

To begin the 2018 Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards Ceremony, UNCG Music students Detra Davis and Jacob Dishman presented Gershwin’s “Summertime.” And before the summertime begins, the university paused to recognize what Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. called the “extraordinary contributions” of this year’s honorees.

“Today we recognize those who have put forth a sustained and innovative contribution to campus success,” Chancellor Gilliam said.

The operative word is “sustained,” he explained. The honorees show excellence consistently, day in and day out.

Eleven awards were presented by Chancellor Gilliam and Provost Dana Dunn during the ceremony, which was hosted by Associate Vice Chancellor Michelle Lamb Moore and Senior Vice Provost Alan Boyette.

The honorees were:


UNCG Online Award for Excellence in Online Learning

Dr. Bonnie Canziani


Mary Settle Sharp Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Kimberly Petersen


James Y. Joyner Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Jiyoung Hwang


Anna Maria Gove Award for Teaching Excellence

Dr. Pam Kocher Brown


Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Michael Perko


O. Max Gardner Award nomination

Dr. Debra Wallace


Gladys Strawn Bullard Award

Dr. Jerry Walsh 

Deborah Tollefson 

Shameeka Wilson 


Staff Excellence Award

Murphie Chappell, J.D.

Jane LaMarre


Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award

Professor Rachel Briley


Research Excellence Award

Dr. Mitchell Croatt

Professor Stuart Dischell


Student Learning Enhancement Award

Professor Amanda Cromartie – Accounting

Drs. Gary Rosencrantz and Rick Gallimore – Philosophy


Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award

Dr. Joanne Murphy


The chancellor and provost also made note of Staff Stars throughout the year and recognized faculty and staff who’d reached 30, 35 and 40 years of service.

During the ceremony, the audience enjoyed films created by students in Dr. Michael Frierson’s advanced media practicum. The films highlighted the honorees’ areas of focus and their dedication to students.

See more information, including past years’ recipients and videos, here.

Medeiros and Aldridge receive inaugural Advising Excellence Awards

This year UNC Greensboro saw the establishment of a new set of awards: the Advising Excellence Awards, which were presented by Provost Dana Dunn in a ceremony on Reading Day. Elena Medeiros was honored for advising excellence in the category of professional advisors and Kathryn Aldridge in the category of faculty advisors.

“In the past, advisors were unsung heroes,” said Dunn at the ceremony. “Their critical role in promoting student success has not always been fully recognized. That is no longer the case at UNCG.”

Dunn shared how during the nomination process, more than 100 student and colleague nominations identified more than 60 advisors for recognition, in enthusiastic terms.

“Our student nominators reinforced that good advisors help students make connections between their own goals, the academic programs that are available to them, and to the faculty and staff that are here to support them,” Dunn said.

Also recognized were the finalists in the two categories: Amanda Everhart, Adam Landreth, Caitlin Saraphis, Nic Sprinkle, Sarah Dunning, Ashleigh Gallagher, Tracey Howell and Brook Kreitinger.

Vice Chancellor for Enrollment  Management Bryan Terry offered his congratulations and closing remarks for the ceremony.

Read more about Advising Excellence Award honorees Medeiros and Aldridge and their thoughts on advising below:

Elena Medeiros is coordinator of academic outreach in the Students First Office, where she may work with upwards of 150 students each semester. She has been an advisor at UNCG for four years, with a focus on Exploratory students – those who have not yet selected a major. For those students, she plays an essential role in helping them find direction in college.


“Advising helps students to understand their new environment and how they fit within that context I think it’s crucial to helping them approach their education with intention.

I’m the starting point where the seed gets planted. To stick with that metaphor, so much of my work is helping students do the messy work of digging around in the soil, figuring out what roots need to be adjusted, and planting the seed that will one day bloom. Often that seed takes root with the student outside the context of our meetings but occasionally, I get to be present when a student has their ‘a-ha’ moment in the room, when it clicks for them  it’s powerful to witness and it’s a gift to experience.

Many of my students make a point to check in with me prior to making significant academic decisions and they tell me it’s helpful to have validation in their choices. Sometimes, students just need to hear from a knowledgeable ‘other’ that they are on the right track, to feel confident in their own decision making.”


Kathryn Aldridge is assistant professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies and coordinator of the Birth through Kindergarten Undergraduate Online Program. She has been an advisor for six years in her current department, and previously she was an advisor for the School of Education for five years, advising students earning a dual teaching license and degree in birth through kindergarten and professions in deafness.


“Through advising, students gain a clear path to graduation, someone who knows course sequence, which courses go together and a sense that there’s somebody invested in them and pulling for them. Getting the right courses and getting to graduation is ultimately the responsibility of the students, because they’re adults, but I think that it’s a path best traveled with someone else who may know the nuances of course-planning and some things that you don’t know. So, I like that. And I think students benefit from that aspect of someone guiding them and making suggestions that they can take, or not, about what courses go together and how many hours to take – I think that supports success.

You have to meld the roles of coach and advisor, and the proportions are different for different students. Creating a balance gives the best student success.

Graduation is one of the most exciting parts. Advisors go through so many things with students – seeing them check things off on their long-range plan of study – and then it all pays off in the end, and it’s so exciting.”


Advising Excellence Award finalists


By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

LEAP Summit: Prioritizing Indicators & Planning Next Steps

A summit will be held Friday, May 11, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. (8:30- a.m. Check-in and networking) at the UNCG School of Education Building,

RSVP to LEAP@uncg.edu for directions, parking and accommodations.

Refreshments & lunch will be provided.

A grant leadership team received funding from the Provost’s Office a year ago with a goal for UNCG faculty, students and community stakeholders to collaboratively engage with a broad array of community-serving organizations to develop common goals and common measures, and to promote, evaluate, and implement best practices for improving Lifetime Eating and Physical Activity Practices in children (LEAP Forward). One of our culminating events is this summit for UNCG researchers, students and community agencies to come together for half of a day to discuss the data we have collected thus far as well as the next steps in our plan to improve the health of Guilford County residents. This event will highlight the academic-community partnerships established and maintained through this work.

What is the goal of LEAP? To improve the Lifetime Eating and physical Activity Practices of individuals and families in Guilford County. What is LEAP doing? Working with you and others to measure healthy eating and physical activity in Guilford County so that we can better understand opportunities for improvement. Why worry about indicators and measures? “You can’t change what you don’t know about.” Guilford County is program rich, yet challenged by data gaps related to timely, detailed, and accurate information about the health of our residents. Good data helps us set goals and track progress. Why is UNCG involved? UNCG seeks to transform health and wellness and involve university students and researchers in building more vibrant communities. Building on a series of community meetings co-hosted with Cone Health, a team of UNCG researchers received funds from UNCG to help advance these goals.

Full information is at https://communityengagement.uncg.edu/leap/

Faculty/Staff discount for SoCon Softball Championship

UNCG Softball is hosting the 2018 SoCon Softball Championship from May 9-12 at the UNCG Softball Field. UNCG faculty and staff can enjoy discounted tickets to the championship by clicking the link below, then selecting which day you’d like to attend, then selecting Special Offers. Type ‘UNCG’ in the Promo Code box to receive $5 tickets. All tickets can be picked up the day of the event at the ticket booth at the entrance to the softball field. Click here to view the championship web page with game times and brackets. Seeding will be finalized after the final game of the regular season on May 6. Call the UNCG Ticket Office at 336.334.3250 for questions or to order over the phone.

Click here.

Campus Weekly schedule for Summer 2018

After today’s UNCG’s Campus Weekly (CW), it will begin its summer schedule of publishing every other week. It will resume weekly publication in early August. The publication dates for CW this summer are:

  • May 2  
  • May 16  
  • May 30
  • June 13
  • June 27
  • July 11
  • July 25

On Aug. 8, Campus Weekly will have its first weekly posting of the new academic year.

UNCG’s LISSA is 2018 Student Chapter of the Year

The New Members Round Table (NRMT) of the American Library Association Student Chapter of the Year Award Committee (SCOTYA) congratulates the UNC Greensboro’s Library and Information Studies Student Association (LISSA) as the winner of the 2018 ALA Student Chapter of the Year Award.

This is the first time UNCG Greensboro’s LISSA has received the award.

See full story here.

Local Flavor: Wineries and Microbreweries

Interested in the local wine and craft brew industry? Meet local producers and hear Bryan School professor Dr. Erick Byrd share details on how this industry impacts North Carolina. The event, Tuesday, May 22, at 5:30 p.m., will conclude with light refreshments and craft beverage and wine tasting. Space is limited, please RSVP. Find details at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/local-flavor-wineries-and-microbreweries-tickets-44597051983.

This event is a UNCG Staff Senate and UNCG Bryan School co-sponsored event.


Life Design Catalyst Coach Training Program

From Tuesday, May 15 to Friday, May 18, 2018, the School of Health and Human Sciences will host the 9th Life Design Catalyst Coach Training Program at UNCG. See details at https://lifedesigncatalyst.wordpress.com/training/.  

Over the course of four days, attendees will be intensely engaged in activities and conversations that empower students (and others) to write their story, find their path, and create a vision for their future – all through their own personal journey.  

Attendees will leave with concrete tools and resources that can be immediately implemented in one-on-one meetings, with small groups, in a classroom setting, or as weekly workshops.  They will learn and understand the strategies – through their own exploration of purpose and meaning. They will create a vision for life that allows them to take the necessary steps to become the best version of themselves and make the world a better place. 

The UNCG Faculty/Staff rate is $99.  Want more information? Click this link: https://lifedesigncatalyst.wordpress.com/training/.

Faculty Senate meeting today (Wednesday, May 2)

The final faculty senate meeting of the academic year will be Wednesday, May 2, from 3-5 p.m., in Alumni House. On the agenda are two resolutions to be discussed and voted on: Resolution #FS05022018/1 – which supports the Faculty Assembly’s resolution on Diversity and Inclusion — and Resolution #FS05022018/2 – which approves elimination of the A+ grade option. This meeting will also feature the launch of the faculty senate website. Dr. Olav Rueppell will speak on the topic “Alignment of UNCG Endowment with Institutional Values.”

The senate meeting will close with faculty senate elections. The complete agenda packet can be found at http://facsen.uncg.edu/AgendaItems.asp.

Dr. Levi Baker

Dr. Levi Baker (Psychology) has been named associate editor of the academic journal Personal Relationships. An assistant professor, Baker studies social psychology, particularly the psychology of close relationships. In addition to teaching classes, he runs the Close Relationship Lab, which studies problem solving in close relationships. His work has been published in a number of journals, including Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Terrance Stewart named SoCon Men’s Golf Coach of the Year

The UNCG men’s golf team won its first-ever Southern Conference Championship last week. Spartan coach Terrance Stewart was named the SoCon Coach of the Year.

Stewart is the first coach in program history to win the award from the conference. He has been at the helm since August, 2001.

UNCG freshman Nick Lyerly won the SoCon Individual Championship, with the only sub-par score in the field. He also won the Freshman of the Year Award; a Spartan has won the freshman award five of the past six years.

A league-best three Spartan golfers – Bryce Hendrix, Nick Lyerly and Josh Stockwell – were named to the all-conference team. The three all-conference selections matches last year as the most in program history.

“There was a maturity level that was a little bit higher this year. It was very evident,” Stewart said. He has seen his players mature as students in the classroom, as golfers in practice, in the matches. He noted senior Josh Stockwell, who grew up in Pinehurst and returned to Pinehurst for his final SoCon Tournament. He was so focused.

“It was a storybook end to his regular season,” Stewart said – as the team now heads to the NCAA regionals.

And it’s the result of a continual building process many years in the making.

“Our guys have practiced hard,” he explained. They’ve put a lot of effort into their academics. They’ve made good choices off the golf course, he continued. It all allows them to compete at high levels.

“It’s a sign of doing the right things.”

Stewart noted that their winning the title is a university effort – from the players, the professors and staff, the chancellor and administration, alumni, donors. “It takes the entire university.”

The Spartans had posted three straight second-place finishes at the SoCon Championships before taking the title this season. They’ve had 9 top-3 finishes during Stewart’s coaching tenure.

In winning the team title, UNCG clinched the automatic bid for the NCAA Regionals May 14-16, in what will be the program’s second NCAA appearance after earning an at-large bid in 2013-14.

Where will the Spartans play? The selection show for the regionals is today (May 2) at 5:30 p.m. on the Golf Channel. A “watch party” for the NCAA Selection Show will be held 5-6 p.m. (Wednesday) at the Starmount Country Club (Main Clubhouse). The team and coaches will be there; the campus community is invited.

Dr. Janet Boseovski

Dr. Janet Boseovski (Psychology) has published a popular press article in “The Conversation.” The article summarizes over a decade of her research on children’s over-optimism and it has been republished in Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. See this link.


Sheryl Oring

Sheryl Oring (Art) will have a chapter in a book released this month that profiles the work done in her Fall 2015 “Introduction to Socially Engaged Art” class taught in the Lloyd International Honors College. The book, “Art as Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art,” is being published by Allworth Press.

Dr. Daniel Herr

Lead PI Dr. Daniel Herr (Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering) with PIs Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Ruppell (Biology) and Dr. Lee Phillips (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “UNC Greensboro MARC USTAR Engage, Sustain, and Prepare.” The UNCG MARC U-STAR will be a comprehensive undergraduate training program addressing the need to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate studies in biomedical research and careers in the NIH-funded research workforce. The long-term goal is to increase the number of UNCG students from underrepresented (UR) and/or disadvantaged backgrounds successfully completing graduate training in biomedical or behavioral health sciences.  To reach this goal the UNCG MARC U-STAR program will engage these fellows in a curriculum organized around enhancing comprehension of the scientific method, developing basic laboratory and evaluation skills, and the inclusion of modern genomic/evolutionary approaches and techniques in biomedical research. Students will also be required to conduct substantive independent research projects that include two summer research experiences, one at UNCG and one at an additional institution.

Dr. Blair Wisco

Dr. Blair Wisco (Psychology) received $436,500 in new funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Ambulatory Physiological Assessment of Postraumatic Stress Disorder.” The abstracts states: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 6.5 percent of the U.S. population, or about 21 million Americans, and tends to be chronic and impairing, representing a major public health problem. The Institute of Medicine identified exposure therapy as the front-line treatment, yet 40 percent of individuals still meet PTSD criteria following exposure therapy, indicating a need for more effective treatments. To date, PTSD treatment research has been constrained by the lack of objective measures of the theorized mechanism of action: extinction of conditioned fear to trauma cues. New assessment tools are necessary to measure this treatment target.  

Conditioned fear to trauma cues is typically measured by self-report, but the UNCG team has found that self-report and physiological markers of fear responding differentially predict treatment outcome. Skin conductance (SC) is a commonly used physiological marker of fear (sympathetic arousal), but SC is not a reliable marker for a substantial minority of individuals; there is a need for new markers.

Two cardiovascular measures are particularly promising: a specific marker of sympathetic arousal (pre-ejection period, PEP), and a marker of parasympathetic withdrawal (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA). The gold-standard assessment tool to measure conditioned fear in PTSD is script-driven imagery, but script-driven imagery only presents one trauma cue in one context, limiting its clinical relevance. Ambulatory physiological assessment, which measures physiological responses to events in participants’ daily lives, can measure fear responding to multiple trauma cues across different contexts, but it has yet to be tested in individuals with PTSD.  The specific aims of this R15 proposal are 1) to test PEP and RSA as markers of conditioned fear to trauma cues using gold-standard script-driven imagery, and 2) to validate ambulatory physiological assessment as an objective method of measuring fear responding to trauma cues in the daily lives of individuals with PTSD.

This project represents a significant advance over existing research, including 1) assessment of new physiological markers of fear responding, 2) assessment in real-world environments, and 3) examination of different trauma cues in different contexts. This project is innovative because it will examine two novel markers of fear responding to trauma cues (PEP and RSA), and because it will test ambulatory physiological assessment as a new technique to measure trauma reactivity in PTSD. 

See/hear: May 2, 2018

Watch what happens when UNCG staff recovered a time capsule from the cornerstone of the McIver Building in April 2018.

President Spellings visits, highlights system’s achievements

UNC System President Margaret Spellings visited Greensboro last Wednesday for a special State of the University Address that highlighted the system’s four Triad area universities: UNCG, N.C. A&T State University, Winston-Salem State University and UNC School of the Arts.

The event, which took place at the Union Square Campus in downtown Greensboro, was the fifth of eight stops as part of Spellings’ spring State of the University Tour.

The tour serves as a “progress report” for the system, which includes 17 public institutions across the state.

Spellings highlighted the achievements of the system as a whole, including improved graduation rates, a $300 million increase in annual research funding and tuition rates that have remained flat or have decreased for students.

“We are getting stronger every day. But it’s no cause for complacency,” she said. “I like to say we’re pleased, but not satisfied.”

Spellings discussed three key issues for the system: economic mobility, accountability and public good. The president praised UNCG for its contribution and commitment to these issues, including the new Moss Street Partnership School and the growing number of co-admission programs with regional community colleges.

The address concluded with a call to make a difference – to shape the region, the state and beyond.

“It’s up to us to show that public institutions are a great ally in the effort to make a better world,” Spellings said. “That public service is honorable and effective. That trust in our fellow citizens, and faith in the country that unites us, is vital to any real vision of progress.”

By Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Groundbreaking for new Nursing and Instructional Building set for Friday

UNCG will bring out the shovels and hardhats to celebrate the official groundbreaking of its new $105 million Nursing and Instructional Building at a ceremony Friday, April 27, at 9 a.m. The event will take place adjacent to the Foust Building.

The facility, located at the site of the recently deconstructed McIver Building, is made possible thanks to state funds from the Connect NC Bond, which was passed by North Carolina voters in the spring of 2016.

The School of Nursing, currently located in four buildings, will occupy approximately 50 percent of the building. In addition to more space for the School of Nursing, the facility will provide teaching and flexible laboratory research space for Biology, Chemistry and Health and Human Sciences, as well as classroom space.

The new building is slated to open in the summer of 2020.

Visit thebigbuild.uncg.edu for more information on the Nursing and Instructional Building and related construction projects.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison
Rendering courtesy of LS3P Associates Ltd.

Book drive for Greensboro schools affected by tornado

Many UNCG departments and groups have been involved in the Greensboro tornado relief effort (some are listed here). One relief drive (below) has a Friday deadline:

As you may be aware, last week’s tornado devastated three elementary schools in Guilford County. The structures of these schools were severely damaged and resources such as books left unusable. Working in partnership with the Guilford Education Alliance, the UNCG School of Education has organized a book drive for the UNCG community to provide these classrooms with much-needed books.

  • How to Donate Used Books?

Donate gently-used books that you currently have that are appropriate for children in grades K-5. You can bring any such books to one of our drop-off locations: Jackson Library, the School of Education building lobby and the Office of Student Leadership.

  • How to Donate Books from an Amazon Wish List?

There are particular books for which the classrooms will have high need, and we have established an Amazon wish list with these titles. LINK: http://a.co/aHjvinE

Books purchased here can be shipped to the gift registry address, which is the School of Education’s Teaching Resources Center.

UNCG Teaching Resources Center
1300 Spring Garden Street
310 School of Education Building
Greensboro, NC 27402

The schools need these books immediately so that students transitioning schools can enter classrooms having an inviting and engaging atmosphere for learning. Ordering and dropping off books in the coming days will have the greatest immediate impact. The book drive will conclude this Friday (April 27).

LEARN MORE: soe.uncg.edu/uncg-gcs-book-drive

See/hear: April 25, 2018

Learn about Healthy UNCG, the university’s health and wellness program for employees, and the university’s involvement in the Guilford County Heart and Stroke Walk on May 19. Healthy UNCG Director Stefanie Milroy was interviewed on Triad Today recently about both of these.

Food for thought: Lauren Shook receives departmental award for innovative pedagogy

Community-engaged teaching and learning is at the heart of the UNCG experience.

Recently, English instructor Lauren Shook ’15 PhD was honored by her department with the first Hephzibah Roskelly Pedagogical Innovation Award. The award was initiated this year in honor of the professor emerita and specifically to recognize innovation in first-year writing courses.

Shook has been incorporating projects related into food insecurity into her courses for several years, but this year she expanded the scope of the projects so that they shaped the academic material and the writing assignments of her two English 101 courses.

The students in her spring courses analyzed articles, interviews, and documentaries on food insecurity and how it affects college students. They also wrote argumentative essays proposing well-informed solutions to food insecurity, and as a final project, one class worked in small groups to create a cookbook that contains inexpensive, healthy, easily-prepared  meals.

“Service-learning and community-engaged writing courses help students see that their writing and communication skills can facilitate change in the world,” said Shook. “The most gratifying moment was witnessing my students’ developed investment in helping others. And with the collaborative cookbook, they’re seeing that writers must be intentional with creating, composing and delivering a written or multi-modal text to a specified audience.”

After a class visit to the Spartan Open Pantry with directors Andrew Mails and Emily Saine, the students not only continued their reading and writing projects, but also initiated a food-drive and bake sale to raise funds and awareness for the campus resource. Those projects, in turn, put the focus on writing and audience awareness, because the second class group designed flyers and social media posts to promote the projects. The classes raised more than $300 and several wagons of food donations.

“I really enjoyed that this was not the traditional English class, said Shyann Sigmon. “I learned about writing, but I also learned about real-world circumstances. I loved that I was able to help someone out and expand my writing skills at the same time.”

“Dr. Shook’s English 101 course was an amazing surprise,” said Dontae Burnett. “The topics and projects exposed me to aspects of college campuses that I had no idea about, and the final goal of creating the cookbook was my favorite part. This class was fun, energetic and new.  I was excited for this to be my eight o’clock class.”

Shook’s research in Renaissance literature combines her interests in food access, hospitality and civic democracy,  and advocates for a service-learning approach to Shakespeare’s culinary worlds. She has studied twice at the Folger Institute, which helped her to amplify the material of her course,“Dining with Shakespeare,” and the scope of her research project, “A Place at Shakespeare’s Table.”

Story and photography by Susan Kirby-Smith

Exhibition on Charles B. Aycock and commemoration, at auditorium

UNCG Auditorium was named “Aycock Auditorium” until being renamed in 2016. This week, an exhibition opens inside UNCG Auditorium that explores the topic of commemoration and the legacy of Charles Brantley Aycock, North Carolina’s governor from 1901 to 1905.

The permanent exhibition is “Etched in Stone? Governor Charles Aycock and the Power of Commemoration.” It is located on the second floor foyer of UNCG Auditorium.

The UNCG History Department’s Museum Studies graduate program created the work.

The exhibition sheds light on Governor Aycock’s advancement of public education in North Carolina — and his support of white supremacy and his role in the disenfranchisement of black voters in the early 1900s.

“Etched in Stone?” is presented in five sections — three that focus on Aycock’s actions and their effects and two that center on the process of historical commemoration and public memory. Each section portrays Aycock in his own words whenever possible, incorporating primary sources to do so.

In the summer of 2016, the Board of Trustees charged UNCG’s History/Museum Studies program with creating a plan to interpret the history and legacy of Governor Aycock in the auditorium that formerly bore his name.

The program’s Museum Studies graduate students, class of 2018, have worked on this topic since Fall 2016, when they began studying the power of commemoration on campus.

Last year, they presented their work-to-date to Provost Dana Dunn; College of Visual and Performing Arts Dean Peter Alexander; and the UNCG Board of Trustees. Now, as their project is concluded, their work is shared with the campus community and the wider public.

Want to see this free exhibition? The permanent exhibition in UNCG Auditorium will be open for public visitation on these dates:

  • April 25, 2-8 p.m.
  • May 8, 2-8 p.m.
  • May 10, 2-8 p.m.
  • May 15, 2-8 p.m.

Going forward, the exhibition will be open during public events in the auditorium.

Spartan Shop pops up at LeBauer Park

Now, you can buy UNCG gear at a brand new “pop up” shop in the heart of the city at LeBauer Park.  The “Spartan Shop @ The Park,” which opened on April 23, is located in a kiosk at the entrance to the park and is expected to be open for 1-2 months this spring. UNCG supporters will be able to buy T-shirts, sweatshirts and more as the university continues to boost its presence downtown. Hours are tentatively set at Monday-Saturday 11-2 p.m.

The shop will be open additional hours to coincide with special events or programs in the park — including UNCG’s run of Movies in the Park, Friday nights this spring and summer, as well as several concert events the university is also presenting there.  

Olympic champion Joey Cheek will speak at UNCG Commencement

Olympic Speed Skating Gold Medalist, NBC Winter Olympics commentator and humanitarian leader Joey Cheek will deliver the keynote address at the university’s May 4 Commencement at the Greensboro Coliseum.

A Greensboro native, Cheek won gold and silver medals at the Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, in 2006. He won his first ever international medal at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, a bronze in the 1000 meters, and has accumulated more than 25 World Cup and World Championship medals throughout the course of his career. Most recently, Cheek completed his first stint as a broadcaster covering speed skating for NBC at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Cheek was named to TIME’s 100 most influential people, the US Speedskating Hall of Fame, and the International Sports Humanitarians Hall of Fame. He even got to be on the Wheaties box.

“We are thrilled to have Joey address the class of 2018,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “He exemplifies the values we work to instill in our Spartans – a tenacious work ethic and commitment to excellence that leads to real, meaningful impact on our world. As our graduates look to the next chapter of their lives, to what is possible, his story is inspirational and aspirational. His Olympic dream came true, but he did not stop there. He used that success as a springboard to achieve even greater things as a humanitarian. I am confident he will inspire our graduates to forge their path and take giant steps in every area of their lives.”

After winning gold in Torino, Cheek turned his talents to worthy charitable causes. He announced he’d donate his Olympic winnings, totaling $40,000, to Right to Play helping refugees driven from their homes in the Darfur crisis, in western Sudan. He then challenged others to donate as well. In total, Cheek raised $1.5 million in charitable donations to aid Right to Play. In 2006, Cheek cofounded Team Darfur, an international coalition of more than 500 athletes around the globe, to continue to advocate and fundraise for the people from that region.

Since ending his athletic career, Cheek has worked as a corporate speaker with dozens of Fortune 500 Companies, started a digital sports content company, and currently serves on the board of the US Olympic Museum and Hall of Fame.

Spartan student heads to the Tribeca Film Festival this week

Tumaini Johnson, senior and media studies major, has been selected as a grand prize winner in the Campus Movie Fest’s Tribeca Campus Docs Category for his short film, “41 Shots.”

It is a restorative justice film retelling the 1999 brutal police shooting of 22-year-old Guinea immigrant Amadou Diallo. His film, along with others submitted from around the country, will screen at the prestigious Tribeca Film Festival in New York City on April 28 at 3 p.m. in the Battery Park Regal Theater.

Only eight students were honored, from universities throughout the nation.

Johnson’s film was shot in three hours in one day, he tells Campus Weekly, and the editing process took around two to three days. The actors were all UNCG students, and three have graduated since it was shown at the 2017 Campus Movie Fest on the UNCG campus.

The idea for the film originated in his Fall 2017 African American & African Diaspora Studies class “Blacks in Society,” led by professor Armondo Collins. There, he had an assignment to research a victim of police brutality and create a restorative justice plan. Seeing a need for a short film telling the story, he created one.

What’s next for Johnson? He has recently finished producing a new short film called “Lunch Counter,” a retelling of the Feb. 1, 1960, sit-in at Greensboro’s Woolworth.

See his “41 Shots” film at https://youtu.be/Ybt9YVQIkwQ.

By Ishan Davis

Dr. Tara T. Green

Dr. Tara T. Green (African American & African Diaspora Studies) was presented with the inaugural Langston Hughes Society President’s Award for being a “leader, scholar, and keeper of the Langston Hughes Tradition” at the their annual luncheon, April 5, 2018. Green served as president of the organization for three years and spearheaded the successful search for the current Langston Hughes Review.

Dr. Martin Halbert

Dr. Martin Halbert (University Libraries) received new funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the “Library Diversity Institutes Pilot Project.” The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG, project lead), in collaboration with the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance propose a two-year project to pilot a national Library Diversity Institute program that will address the needs of professionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and broadly advance diversity in U.S. academic libraries.  The Library Diversity Institutes (LDI) pilot project will conduct two institutes for incoming ACRL diversity residents, as well as an ACRL diversity pre-conference for all interested parties. With guidance from a national committee of residency coordinators and experts on diversity issues, the project will design a program and curriculum to orient diversity residents to maximize their experiences as residents in the diverse organizations that make up the ACRL Diversity Alliance, as well as enabling a national network of colleagues comprising the relevant cohort of librarian residents for the institute year in which they participate.  This pilot program will study and document the needs of new diversity residents who attend the institute, identify key elements that will accelerate success for these new librarians, and analyze options for long-term continuance and sustainability of this institute and workshop program. This project will take the form of a two-year continuing education project grant in the IMLS category of community anchors.

Halbert is dean of University Libraries.


Jazz students arrange for, play with a master

UNC Greensboro’s Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program isn’t just about playing swingin’ tunes. It’s also about learning composition skills that can define a jazz musician’s career.

On Friday, April 20, the UNCG Jazz Ensemble I, directed by Associate Professor of Music Chad Eby, will perform with visiting master guitarist Lage Lund for the Miles Davis Jazz Festival concert, and students have a hand, or an ear, in the compositions.

The selections from Lund’s music, originally written for three or four instruments, have been arranged for 15 instrumental parts by UNCG student composers. The writing opportunity, which is a capstone assignment, is highly unusual for a jazz education program.

During the 10 years that the festival has been taking place, UNCG jazz students have worked with musicians such as Dewey Redman, Lee Konitz and Peter Bernstein – big names in the contemporary jazz world. Often the visiting artists purchase the students’ musical arrangements to perform in the future, giving the Spartan composers their first professional writing credits.

“It was my first big band arrangement,” said sophomore pianist Julia Whalen, one of the students who arranged one of Lund’s pieces for the concert. “I went through four drafts, and I definitely learned a lot during that process about voicings, about rhythms, about what works together.”

“It’s really awesome to see a snapshot into his mind when you’re delving into his tunes,” said guitarist Logan Butler, who also arranged work for the concert. “And it’s a beautiful feeling when you hear it played by a live band for the first time.”

Lage Lund, who hails from Skien, Norway, has led bands at New York clubs such as Smalls and The Jazz Gallery, and at venues such as Jazz at Lincoln Center and the Kennedy Center. He attended Juilliard as the first electric guitarist in the school’s history. He has been awarded a grant from the Fulbright Foundation and took first place at the 2005 Thelonius Monk International Jazz Competition.

Before the concert, Lund will hold masterclasses with the Jazz Studies students, both those composing and those who will join him up on stage April 20.

The concert will be at UNCG Auditorium at 8 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $12 for general admission or $6 for students.


Story by Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Jiyoung Park


Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards on April 26

The 2018 Annual Faculty and Staff Excellence  Awards Ceremony will be held on Reading Day, Thursday, April 26.

The ceremony in the Elliott University Center Auditorium begins at 10 a.m. The campus community is invited.

At this ceremony, the university will honor the exemplary service of faculty and staff who have dedicated years to creating the inclusive, learner-centered community we value at UNCG.

Please RSVP by April 23 to rsvp@uncg.edu.

Race, home, history and preservation, at ‘Clybourne Park’

Home is where the heart is, but it’s more complex than that.

This week, UNCG Theatre mounts “Clybourne Park,” a play by Bruce Norris that transports us to the late 1950s, and then to 2009, in both settings taking on issues of race, identity and home. The story concerns the ownership and sale of a Chicago family property and the surrounding neighborhood’s tensions.

Norris’ play is known as a response piece to Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun,” which Triad Stage produced in February, with several UNCG students in the production and an alumna and faculty playing important roles on the creative team. Although the two stories are not in perfect alignment, several characters and location details carry over to illustrate the potential future of the house and the families that live there.

“It was a perfect opportunity to present it in cooperation with Triad Stage’s production, so that those plays could talk to each other,” said director and graduate student Jennifer Lee Jellicorse. “A lot of our design process and certainly the manner in which we have approached ‘Clybourne Park’ is very much in response to ‘A Raisin in the Sun,’ and in response to that specific production.”

“Clybourne Park” is a final Master’s of Fine Arts thesis production for Jellicorse as well as for Neila K. Ettienne, who plays a 1959 maid, Francine and for the section set in 2009, the matriarch and neighborhood association head, Lena.

“Lena is fearless 21st-century African American professional,” explained Ettienne. “She is not afraid to defend her history and the integrity of the neighborhood where she grew up.”

Since Ettienne has spent the majority of her life in the Caribbean, the play required her to research American history, particularly race issues.

“The play has raised many questions for me,” she revealed. “Such as, how does my character show her strength, how does she deal with deferred dreams and how much is she willing to sacrifice for family?”

“The play is about the preservation of community,” added Jellicorse. “And it forces us to examine why and how we engage in that preservation.”

“Clybourne Park” runs Wednesday, April 18 through Sunday, April 22, in Taylor Theatre. April 17 is a “pay what you can” preview. Tickets are available online through the Triad Stage Box Office or by calling (336) 272-0160.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Dr. Mike Perko will receive BOG Teaching Excellence Award

Photo of Dr. Mike Perko .The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has selected Dr. Mike Perko, professor of public health education, to receive a 2018 Award for Excellence in Teaching.

He will be recognized at the April 26 Excellence Awards ceremony at UNCG, and he will receive the award during the May 4 Commencement ceremony.

Perko is one of 17 award recipients, who represent all 16 of North Carolina’s public universities as well as the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

Perko describes his teaching philosophy using what he calls the “Seven C’s”: courage, community, conceptualization, creativity, collaboration, collegiality and compassion. He sees himself as a “hero for the underdog,” helping to support and encourage all students, no matter their background, throughout the learning process.

He says, “For me, teaching is the ultimate gift back to the professors and teachers who saw beyond my weaknesses to encourage my strengths. Every single class I teach is an opportunity to encourage personal and professional growth in my students.  The greatest gift back to me is the celebration of graduating seniors year after year who acknowledge knowing something about themselves that they didn’t know before. I feel I owe it to all the students who have ever stood at the board with their back to the class needing just a little help because they really wanted to answer the question. I wake up every day and say, ‘I hope I get that chance today.’”

Outside of the classroom, Perko’s research is focused on worksite health promotion, as well as young athletes and their use of sport performance products.

To learn more about Perko and his teaching philosophy, click here.

Dr. Kimberly Littlefield will be AVC for Research and Engagement

Dr. Terri Shelton announces the selection of Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement:

After a competitive national search, the Office of Research and Engagement is pleased to announce that Dr. Kimberly Littlefield will join the office as the first AVC for Research and Engagement. Dr. Littlefield has a Ph.D. in Physiology and Biophysics from the University of Illinois and currently holds the position of Assistant Vice President for Research Communication, Development and Learning at the University of South Alabama where they have an average of $60 million in funded research annually.  Prior to that she served in several leadership positions including Director of the Center for Cell Dynamics at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories. Dr. Littlefield will assist with the launch of a 5 year strategic planning process; will enhance support provided to faculty, particularly the mentoring of new faculty; and will work on identifying metrics that enhance the impact of our research, scholarship, and creative activity. Dr. Littlefield will join our team Fall 2018.