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

Dr. Bob Griffiths

A book by Dr. Bob Griffiths (Political Science), “U.S. Security Cooperation with Africa: Political and Policy Challenges,” has been re-released in paperback by Routledge through their Paperback Direct Program. The program makes selected hardback research publishing available to a wider audience.

Austin McKim

Austin McKim (New Student Transitions & First Year Experience) was selected as one of two coordinators for the state of North Carolina as part of NODA (National Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention) Region VI. In this role, he’s tasked with overseeing the professional development and connection of over 500 professionals and student leaders working in orientation, transition, and retention in the state of NC. McKim will work with the national association to host webinars and a drive-in conference at UNCG. Also a part of the role of state coordinator is serving as a member of the Region VI leadership team to to develop initiatives to best serve students and staff across the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

McKim is assistant director, New Student Transitions & First Year Experience.

Angela Boseman

Angela Boseman has joined the Office of Sponsored Programs as a Grants Specialist. Her first day was Monday, April 9, 2018.  She fills a position formerly held by Darneshia Blackmon. Boseman has both pre-award and post-award experience in research administration.  She comes to us from Mount St. Mary’s University where she was the University Grants Manager as well as an Adjunct Faculty. Prior to that, she worked in the Louisiana State University Health Science Center (School of Medicine) and the University of Maryland at both the College Park and Baltimore campuses. Angela has an MBA and an MS in Healthcare Administration. She also holds a Master’s Certificate in Intellectual Property.

New co-admission program with Randolph Community College

UNCG has a new co-admission agreement with Randolph Community College (RCC) to facilitate degree completion and student success by improving access to undergraduate educational resources, university facilities and support systems.

The UNCG-RCC “Spartan Passage” partnership expands opportunities for transfer students, regardless of location, to access and complete their baccalaureate degrees in a selection of nearly 60 popular majors including business administration, biology, psychology and computer science.

The first of its kind in Randolph County, the UNCG-RCC partnership is significant for the mostly rural community, with an average population density of 166 people or less per square mile. Randolph is not alone; approximately 2.2 million people – one in five North Carolinians – live in the state’s rural communities. Of the 100 counties in the state, 80 are considered rural.

“Our new partnership is designed to improve accessibility to resources and expand educational choices for RCC students,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “With a seamless transition to the UNC Greensboro campus, our collaboration with RCC will produce a greater number of qualified graduates in a shorter timeframe at a tremendous cost-savings. In addition to financial aid, co-admitted students are eligible for scholarships and other benefits.”

“We are delighted to be entering into this new partnership with UNCG,” said RCC President Dr. Robert S. Shackleford Jr. “Many of our students already transfer to UNCG after completing their work at RCC, and this provides a more seamless pathway for them. This will be a wonderful opportunity that will provide many benefits for UNCG, RCC and especially for our students.”

Application for the Spartan Passage program has been streamlined to benefit students. Prospective students complete one application, with a waived application fee for UNCG. Admitted students will have access to campus facilities, events, activities and services, including UNCG’s Jackson Library (in-house and online), the new Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness, academic advising and financial aid, among other benefits.

Earlier in the academic year, UNCG launched three new co-admission partnerships with Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), Alamance Community College (ACC) and Rockingham Community College (RCC) to improve student access to undergraduate and graduate education. All four co-admission programs begin enrollment in fall of 2018.

For more information, visit admissions.uncg.edu/apply-coadmissions-programs.php.

By Eden Bloss
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Graduate Research and Creativity Expo April 11

The UNCG Graduate School, in partnership with the Office of Research and Engagement, will host the 2018 Graduate Research and Creativity Expo: “Scholarship That Matters.” This showcase of talent will be held on Wednesday, April 11, 1 to 3:30 p.m., in the Elliott University Center. This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is provided in the Oakland Parking Deck for showcase attendees. Community partners and area employers are encouraged to come and engage with the students.

Opening remarks will be presented by Dr. Junius Gonzales, UNC System senior vice president for academic affairs. An awards ceremony will follow the competition at 3:30 p.m.

The purpose of the Expo is to showcase the accomplishments of UNCG’s graduate students to the Greater Greensboro community, and to provide a venue for students to communicate their research and creative activities to the public. More than 100 graduate students will explain and present their research and creative work to a variety of non-specialized audiences through poster presentations.

The Expo is organized into poster competitions in the following categories: Creative Arts; Health Sciences; Humanities; Natural, Physical and Mathematical Sciences; Professional Programs; and Social Sciences.

Topics in this year’s showcase range widely and include: the Union legacy in post-civil war North Carolina, rethinking integration through integrated learning practices; developing an online virtual voice instruction program; catering to Millennials’ needs through tiny houses and communities; how technology can help kids learn to write; expanding the molecular communication toolbox; the impact of a decline in honeybees; how seawater intrusion might affect mercury cycling in our coastal plain wetlands; the impact of equity, diversity and inclusion on workplace performance; how the library may be a resource to help get you fit; the power of imagery; a media content analysis of community and firearm violence; and much more.

For more information, visit The Graduate School website at http://grs.uncg.edu/grc-expo/.

Go global: International Festival April 14

The 36th annual UNCG International Festival, one of the largest and longest-running events on campus, celebrates diverse countries of the world and fosters multicultural awareness.

The 36th annual festival will be at Kaplan Commons (EUC Lawn) on Saturday, April 14, noon to 5 p.m. Parents, children, students and all community members are welcome to this free event.

The festival promotes cultural appreciation and understanding through music, food, exhibits, educational demonstrations, and live entertainment from all regions of the globe. Last year, 50+ different countries, organizations and vendors hosted booths for the over 3,000 people in attendance.

“Passports” will once again be distributed at the event and can be stamped as attendees visit  country booths and meet representative international students.

If you would like to volunteer at the festival, please complete this form by Wednesday April 4.

Check out the I-Fest video from 2017.

Questions? Visit this link or contact isssga2@uncg.edu.

Faculty Senate meets today (Wednesday)

The UNCG Faculty Senate will meet today (April 4, 2018) in Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, 3 – 5 p.m.

Senate Chair Andrea Hunter and Provost Dana Dunn will speak. Several resolutions and items will be discussed. The first topic on the agenda? To Approve the Elimination of the A+ Grade Option.

Note that a meeting of the General Faculty will be held Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 3-5 p.m. in the Alumni House’s Virginia Dare Room.

A first: UNCG student named 2018 Newman Civic Fellow


Fighting homelessness and hunger is no small task. But armed with a Newman Civic Fellowship, UNC Greensboro’s Terrell Saunders is up for the challenge.

Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. nominated Saunders, who has shown potential for public leadership. Saunders is the first Spartan student to ever receive this fellowship.

The Newman Civic Fellowship program recognizes students like Saunders who have demonstrated an investment in finding solutions for challenges communities face throughout the country. The fellowship provides resources and training to help nurture students’ passions in developing these solutions for social change.

Saunders, a junior double majoring in sociology and media studies, has developed his leadership and communication skills through the Bronze Leadership Challenge, UNCG Days of Service, as a Peer Leadership Educator, a Student Coordinator of Peer Education with the Office of Intercultural Engagement and attending LeaderShape institute.

His leadership journey began in high school and continued through college with the Make a Difference (MAD) House Living Learning Community (LLC) and working with UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning.

“While in the MAD House, I learned about social issues that were negatively impacting the overall quality of life for citizens in Greensboro,” Saunders said.

Greensboro/High Point have a food hardship rate of 22.2 percent, according to the 2016 National, State and Local Index of Food Hardship from the Food Research and Action Center.

Saunders’ goal is to continue his work in fighting homelessness and hunger in Greensboro by connecting with even more community partners in leveraging resources.

“This summer I hope to further my ‘citizen leadership’ development by identifying opportunities to learn more about local issues, and how communities can address those issues together.”

Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison and Ishan Davis, University Communications
Photo courtesy of Terrell Saunders

REAL ID Act of 2005

The NC Department of Motor Vehicles wants to make sure the UNCG System’s professors, students and staff are aware of the REAL ID Act that was passed by Congress in 2005. The REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission’s recommendation that the federal government establish minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. The deadline for new ID requirements in North Carolina is October 1, 2020. They want educators and students to know the importance of becoming REAL ID compliant. Learn more at the REAL ID homepage, www.NCREALID.gov.

State-wide colloquium for all NC McNair Scholars April 11

The UNCG McNair Scholars program will host a state-wide colloquium for all NC McNair Scholars on Wednesday, April 11, from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.

The colloquium will feature keynote speaker Dr. Joseph L. Graves, Professor and Associate Dean of Research in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. The presentation, open to the campus community, will be at 9:30 a.m. in the School of Education Building, Room 114.

The McNair Scholars Program prepares undergraduates from underrepresented communities for entrance to PhD programs in all fields of study. Their goal is to increase the number of students in these programs, and diversify the faculty in colleges and universities across the country.

Many McNair programs in universities across the state will be represented at the event, including UNC Greensboro, UNC Charlotte, North Carolina State University, North Carolina Central University, Johnson C. Smith University, and Fayetteville State University.





Learn more at https://studentsuccess.uncg.edu/the-nc-mcnair-colloquium-2018/



‘Sustainable and Socially Responsible Investing’

The fourth conversation in the Sustainable and Socially Responsible Investing series will be Tuesday, April 10, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the EUC Maple Room and will be an interactive discussion “Moving Forward: Consideration of What Has Been Learned.”

This series of Conversations on Sustainable and Socially Responsible Investing has been sponsored by the the UNCG Sustainability Council with support from the Green Fund and the Sustainability Faculty Fellows program.  Check here for more information on additional conversations:


Chinese fashion show

UNCG’s Chinese Culture and Language Association hosted their first fashion show on Saturday, March 24, in the Curry Auditorium.  

The event showcased Chinese culture by displaying costumes modeled after historical Chinese clothing from the Shang, Han and Tang dynasties. There were 49 outfits and styles brought in from members of the many Asian organizations on campus, representing not only China but also other East Asian countries and communities such as Japan, Korea, and people of Hmong descent.

The fashion show had nine performances, including dancing and singing, with food catered by Spartan Village II’s Taco Bao. The event served as an occasion for attendees who are interested in Chinese culture to witness and celebrate cultural diversity in the community.

The models in the pictures from left to right were Belle Haboon, as Yang GuiFei (costume provided by TECO) and Isabel Hopkins (outfit provided by New Mind).


Photography courtesy of UNCG Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures


Lectures on Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

The UNCG Psychology Department is hosting the Kendon Smith Lecture Series on April 12 and 13, 2018. This is an endowed lecture series that brings internationally renowned experts to campus to speak about a common theme of interest.

This year’s theme is “Post-traumatic Stress Disorder: From the Lab to the Clinic.” More information is available at: https://psy.uncg.edu/save-date-kendon-smith-lecture-series-spring-2018/.

Dr. Thomas Jackson

Photo of Dr. Thomas JacksonDr. Thomas Jackson (History) appeared on BackStory Radio on March 30. In the episode, Jackson reflected on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s plans for the Poor People’s Campaign, the fierce reaction, and the ideological contest over his legacy. On the program, Jackson, along with guest historians Jeanne Theoharis, Clayborne Carson, Michael Honey and Jason Sokol, considered if Americans have lost sight of the real MLK.

Dr. Jackson has appeared in many television and radio shows related to MLK and civil rights, and has a book titled “From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice.” The book received the 2007 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award of the Organization of American Historians.

The episode can be found here.

Adaptive Learning expert Karen Vignare visits campus April 11

Personalized. Efficient. Customized. This is adaptive learning – a technique Dr. Karen Vignare, PhD, MBA, will discuss during her campus visit Wednesday, April 11. Vignare, executive director of the Personalized Learning Consortium at the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities, will give a talk on the foundations of adaptive learning from 1:30 – 3 p.m. in the School of Education Building Room 204. To RSVP, visit this link.   

Vignare will meet with departments and faculty regarding the foundations of and the opportunities for adaptive learning throughout the UNCG experience. Adaptive Learning practices and software have the ability to assess and adjust content and assessments to an individual student’s learning process. The software offers faculty a diagnostic tool for learning comprehension in a variety of subjects and disciplines.

Adaptive learning systems use a data-driven approach to adjust the path and pace of learning, enabling the delivery of personalized learning at scale. Adaptive systems can support changes in the role of faculty, enable innovative teaching practices, and incorporate a variety of content formats to support students according to their learning needs, according to the higher education technology association, EDUCAUSE.

Vignare is a strategic innovator leveraging emerging technologies to improve access, success and flexibility within higher education. She manages a network of universities committed to student success through personalization. She also oversees the adaptive courseware grant providing leadership and support to eight pioneering universities which are scaling adaptive courseware in introductory level courses.

Vignare previously served as a vice provost at University of Maryland University College, the largest online public open access institution, where she led innovations in adaptive learning, student success and analytics. Previous to that work, she served as director of project planning and implementation for MSUGlobal at Michigan State University, where she helped multiple units leverage emerging technologies in extension, non-credit programs, corporate settings and research projects. She has published extensively on online learning, analytics and open educational resources. Vignare has a PhD from Nova Southeastern University and an MBA from University of Rochester, William Simon Business School.

The Office of the Provost is sponsoring Vignare’s UNCG visit. Those with questions may contact Laura Pipe at lmpipe@uncg.edu.

Dr. Harriette Bailey

Dr. Harriette Bailey (Human Development and Family Studies) received new funding from the Partnership for Children for the project “UNCG Partnership.”

The Education, Quality Improvement, and Professional Development (EQuIPD) project addresses a critical need in Guilford County – the improvement of quality in community childcare settings. EQuIPD includes five interconnected activities. The proposal addresses activities for family childcare homes and centers including professional development, program enhancement through individual consultation, community learning sessions and workforce retention strategies including compensation. UNCG, through the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (where the Birth through Kindergarten Teaching Licensure program is housed) will provide project leadership through advising and consultation. The project will be conducted in Guilford County early care and education programs.

Dr. Nadja Cech

Dr. Nadja Cech (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received continuation of funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Inhibition of spreading factors with natural products: A new anti-virulence approach against pathogenic bacteria.”

Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections, and the use of antibiotics to treat these infections has led to drug resistance. According to the CDC, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) caused an estimated 80,000 infections and over 11,000 deaths in the US in 2011. Additionally, treating MRSA infections costs twice as much as infections that are susceptible to antibiotics. Since 2009, the FDA has approved only two new antibiotics, which is due in part to the drug pipeline being depleted of potential treatments as pharmaceutical companies shift their focus to more profitable research areas.  New therapeutic strategies against MRSA and other resistant bacteria are greatly needed. In developing of these strategies, it is critically important to consider ways to break the cycle of resistance development.

One promising therapeutic approach against drug-resistant pathogens is to target bacterial virulence. The concept behind anti-virulence approaches is to inhibit non-essential pathways that contribute to pathogenicity, thereby facilitating clearance of the infection without pressuring the pathogen to become resistant. With this project, they plan to develop an anti-virulence strategy against MRSA that targets hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme secreted by numerous bacterial pathogens, and is referred to as a “spreading factor” because of its critical role in the bacterial growth and penetration. Currently, there are no known inhibitors of the Staphylococcus aureus hyaluronidase enzyme. Her laboratory has recently identified several natural product extracts with promising anti-hyaluronidase activity.  The goals of this project are (1) to identify compounds from these extracts that singularly or synergistically inhibit hyaluronidase secreted by S. aureus, and (2) to use hyaluronidase inhibition as a model system to develop new strategies to identify bioactive natural products.

Michael Parker

Photo of Michael ParkerMichael Parker (English) had two stories from his recent collection, “Everything, Then and Since” selected by Aimee Bender for the anthology “Best Small Fictions 2018,” to be released by Braddock Avenue Books this fall. The 53 stories in the anthology were selected from over 1,000 nominations internationally.

Parker is the author of six novels and three collections of short stories. He has received fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His work has been anthologized in the Pushcart, New Stories from the South and O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies.

Dr. Olav Rueppell

Dr. Olav Rueppell (Biology) received additional funding from the Department of Defense DA Army Research Office for the project “Studies of the Plasticity of Stress Defense Induction in the Social Honeybee Model.”  

The western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) represents one of the most important invertebrate research models in the post-genomic era. In addition to their importance in basic research, honey bees have received scientific attention because they are economically and ecologically important pollinators. The number of managed honey bee hives shows a long-term decline over the past 60 years. The main factors that are considered for their negative effects on honey bee health are pathogens, pesticides, nutrition and general management stress. Many abiotic and biotic factors may stress individuals at lower levels, creating sublethal adverse effects. However, many stressors can have beneficial effects in a variety of organisms and contexts when the organisms are exposed to low levels.

The central hypothesis of the proposed research project is that the induction of defense mechanisms varies among essential and non-essential components of biological systems. They will address this hypothesis by testing the prediction that honey bee colony members show different degrees of inducible stress defenses according to their importance to their colony. The project will consist of the following five specific aims: 1) Inducing stress defense mechanisms in honey bees; 2) Investigation of caste differences in stress defense induction; 3) Investigation of within-caste differences in stress defense induction; 4) Characterization of the systemic response of stress defense induction; and 5) Measuring the cost of stress defense induction as physiological effects. Together, these aims will lead to a comprehensive understanding of stress induction in its relation to social evolution in honey bees with general implications for understanding the evolution of stress responses and for maintaining pollinator health.

Dr. Sherri McFarland

Dr. Sherri McFarland (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute for the project “Immunomodulating Ruthenium Metal Complexes for Melanoma Photodynamic Therapy.”

This proposal seeks to develop a novel class of ruthenium compounds that can be activated with therapeutic wavelengths of light to eliminate primary tumors, inhibit disseminated disease and prevent recurrence. It is hypothesized that light-responsive prodrugs with these capabilities will be of use in the development of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for treating melanoma. PDT is an underutilized, niche cancer treatment modality that combines light and a photosensitizer (PS) to create cytotoxic singlet oxygen for destroying tumors and tumor vasculature. Although commonly thought of as a local treatment, PDT has been known to stimulate anti-tumor immunity, which is crucial for controlling metastatic disease and subsequent tumor regrowth. PDT relies heavily on the presence of oxygen to exert its antitumor effects, and the PSs approved for PDT are generally organic compounds that are activated with red light. In order for PDT to be maximally effective toward melanoma, it would be advantageous to develop PSs that can function well in hypoxic tissue with wavelengths of light that are least attenuated by the melanin in pigmented melanomas (650-850 nm). If such agents could be incorporated into regimens that stimulate antitumor immunity, PDT might offer new treatment options for highly recurrent cancers such as melanoma, where chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not work. We previously developed very potent metal-based PSs that combine ruthenium (Ru) and p-expansive ligands to yield systems that create cytotoxic reactive oxygen species even at low oxygen tension due to their long excited state lifetimes and large bimolecular quenching rates.

Separately, they developed osmium (Os)-based PSs that absorb light at wavelengths longer than 800 nm and can generate a modest PDT effect with this low-energy light even in hypoxic tissue. This proposal will combine the best features of the Ru (potency) and Os (activation >800 nm) PSs to yield new Ru metal complexes that are designed to elicit a strong PDT effect with near-infrared light in hypoxic tissue using increasingly more sophisticated melanoma models. Coordination chemistry will be used to generate a library of modular 3D compounds that can be subsequently modified to produce structurally diverse families. The photophysical and photochemical properties of these new compounds will be fully explored, and they will be assessed for their diagnostic potential and PDT effects using 2D cell and 3D tumor spheroid melanoma models. Promising candidates will be selected for MTD determination and PDT studies in a mouse melanoma model. PSs that are PDT-active and nontoxic to mice will be probed for their abilities to induce antitumor immunity through tumor rechallenge experiments. Finally, the immunological aspects of favorable PDT responses in mice will be investigated using both in vitro and in vivo techniques, and the PDT regimen will be explored and optimized for maximizing both local tumor control and stimulating antitumor immunity. Completion of this project will introduce novel PSs for melanoma PDT and will expand fundamental knowledge of metal complex chemistry, photophysics, and therapeutic properties.