UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Popular Collage concert at UNCG Sept. 7, in Charlotte Sept. 15

Photo of a performance during CollageCollage is one of the School of Music’s biggest and most exciting events. This year there will be an additional date – in Charlotte.

During the concert, more than 300 students, along with many faculty-members, perform at various places in the venue, in a fluid and wonderfully diverse tableau of music. The performance is a highlight every year, and every year sells out quickly, so make sure to buy tickets now.

The first performance of Collage was in September 2008, to celebrate the reopening of UNCG Auditorium following two years of renovations. It was an opportunity for the entire School of Music to come together to showcase the excellence of our faculty and students through a unique concert experience.

Twelve years later, Collage is one of the premier performances annually on UNCG’s campus, raising money for scholarships and giving hundreds of students an opportunity to perform for sell out crowds alongside their faculty mentors. The fast-paced concert features a wide variety of music delivered from all around the auditorium. Incredible lighting effects highlight each performance in seamless flow.

Since 2008, Collage performances in Greensboro have raised over $160,000 for student scholarships in the UNCG School of Music.

Collage expanded its audience base with a performance in Raleigh in 2017. This year’s Charlotte performance will expand its outreach even further, with the School of Music’s excellence on full display.

The Charlotte performance will be at the Knight Theater at Levine Center for the Arts, September 15, at 7 p.m.

The Greensboro performance will be at UNCG Auditorium, September 7, at 7:30 p.m.

See more information and buy tickets here: https://vpa.uncg.edu/music/degrees-and-programs/special-programs/collage/



MFA Readings launch with new faculty Xhenet Aliu

Photo of Xhenet AliuNew faculty member Xhenet Aliu will give a reading Thursday, August 29, at 7 p.m. in the UNCG Faculty Center. The event will be the first of many readings presented by the MFA in Creative Writing program this year.
Alui joined the MFA in Creative Writing program this month. Her novel, “Brass,” was a Barnes & Noble “Discover Great New Writers” selection, was long-listed for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Book Prize, and was awarded the Georgia Author of the Year First Novel Prize. Her debut fiction collection, “Domesticated Wild Things,” won the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in Fiction. Aliu’s writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, Glimmer Train, Hobart, American Short Fiction, Lenny, LitHub, Buzzfeed, and elsewhere.
A few particular readings in the coming weeks to mark on your calendar:
Michael Parker (professor emeritus) reading – Friday, September 6, 4-6 p.m., with reception. Hodges Reading Room, Jackson Library
Fred Chappell (professor emeritus and former NC poet laureate) reading from his new book, “As If It Were: – Thursday, September 12, 7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center
Alumna Nicole Stockburger, reading from her award-winning debut collection, “Beulah Land” – Friday, October 18, 7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center. This is a UNCG Homecoming event.

UNCG campus construction updates as Fall 2019 begins

As we enter into the fall semester, here’s a breakdown of the current construction projects going on around the UNC Greensboro campus.

Nursing and Instructional Building
Pedestrian detours around the site and to Tate Street will continue through summer 2020. The building facade and interior drywall should be complete by winter break.

Progress is made on the new Nursing and Instructional Building.

South Chiller Plant
The impact of site work on Forest Street and Oakland Avenue will end by early September.

The new chiller plant near the Pedestrian Underpass.

Ragsdale Mendenhall Residence Hall
The elevator tower is under construction on the North Drive side of the building. A construction fence is in place, but no road closures are expected.

The Ragsdale-Mendenhall building.

Steam Line Replacement
An underground steam line replacement on the Mossman side of Elliott University Center is fully underway and will last through October. Construction fencing is in place. Pedestrian detours around the south side of Kaplan Commons will be in place through construction completion.

Foust Building
An electrical transformer replacement on the east side of the building will take place from October through December.

The main entrance to Foust Building.

Tennis Court Resurfacing
This project is scheduled to take place in phases starting this fall.

Stone Building Entrance Repair
This is now scheduled to begin in May 2020.

McIver Street Building Demolition
This project is near completion.

Taylor Theatre Monument Sign
This project is complete.

New signage installed for Taylor Theatre reflects the updated UNCG logo and branding.

Mossman Building
Furniture is installed and occupants have returned for the Chancellor’s area, Registrar’s Office, and Enrollment Management Office.

Bryan Building
The former Au Bon Pain area renovation will continue through fall semester. An elevator modernization project will be complete by the end of this month.

The Joseph Bryan Building.

Coleman Building
The Academic Success Center for athletes renovation will continue through fall semester.

The UNCG Dance Theatre entrance of the Coleman Building.

Campus renovations are managed by UNCG Facilities Design and Construction. For the latest construction alerts, maps, Spartan Chariot changes, and general FAQs visit their website at https://facdc.uncg.edu/alerts/

Compiled by Matthew Bryant


Reduced speed limit on the inner campus

Photo of entrance to UNCG Police BuildingThe UNCG police will continue efforts to improve safety on campus in the new academic year.

Recently, the speed limit on the inner campus was reduced to 15 mph, with new signs going up on Gray Drive and North Drive. Other improvements to traffic safety include installing radar speed limit signs, repainting crosswalks, and increasing traffic enforcement around campus.

This month, the police department have presented at a variety of events: Aug. 5 HR Liaison Meeting, Aug. 12 Governor’s Safety Summit, Aug. 13 Faculty/Staff Kick-Off Luncheon, Aug.14-16 Operation Move-In and Aug.19 NAV1GATE. They will also take part in the Aug. 26 House Calls, in which several departments across campus will welcome newly moved-in freshman students in their residence halls.

Newsmakers: ‘State of Things,’ Yang, Holroyd, library legislature tour, Kane, Woodstock

Whether researchers with timely insights or students with outstanding stories, members of the UNCG community appear in print, web and broadcast media every day. Here is a sampling of UNCG-related stories in the news and media over the week:

  • Dr. Stephanie Pickett (Nursing) was interviewed on WUNC Radio’s “The State of Things” Tuesday about her research examining cardiovascular risk factors, with a particular interest in obesity and obesity-related chronic illnesses among young African American women. The interview.
  • Dr. Zhiyong Yang was quoted in a WalletHub article on children with credit cards. The article.
  • Amy Holroyd, costume supervisor for UNCG Theatre, spoke to Triad City Beat for a cover story on UNCG’s costume archives. The piece.
  • The News & Record featured NC lawmakers’ tour of the Jackson Library. The piece.
  • Dr. Michael Kane was featured in a BrainWorld Magazine piece on daydreaming and creativity. The article.
  • The News & Record featured UNCG’s exhibition of Woodstock photos taken by the late Arnold Doren, and referenced Dr. Allan Goldfarb’s Woodstock memories.  The feature.

New Deans’ Reception Sept. 5

Photo of the alumni house exteriorYou are cordially invited to attend the New Deans’ Reception Thursday, September 5, 2019.

It will be held in the Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, 3 – 5 p.m.

Stop by to meet the new deans who have joined UNC Greensboro:

Dr. Karen Bull, UNCG Online

Dr. Andrew Hamilton, Associate Vice Provost of Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. Carl Mattacola, School of Health and Human Sciences

Dr. bruce mcclung, College of Visual and Performing Arts

Dr. Sherine Obare,  Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

University Libraries hosts Fall 2019 Webinar Series for Faculty and Staff

UNCG faculty and staff can sign up to attend one of the many sessions available through the University Libraries’ Online Learning and Innovation or Research and Application webinar series.

The webinars are thirty minutes in length and are recorded through Webex Meetings. Instructors, faculty, graduate students and staff are welcome to attend.

This semester, the webinars will cover several topics, including research identity, library databases and data, predatory journals, Google, creating accessible courses, Canvas analytics, and web capture. On Aug. 28 at 11:30 a.m., the series will launch its first webinar of the semester, “Researcher Identity Management” with Associate Professor and Coordinator of Metadata Services Anna Craft.

Visit http://uncg.libguides.com/webinars to view the complete schedule, for more information or to register.


Sam Seyedin

Sam Seyedin (LaunchUNCG) will participate in this year’s Leadership Greensboro, a program of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce.

Leadership Greensboro is a three-part, nine-month leadership development program featuring a customized, innovative curriculum from the Center for Creative Leadership. Its mission is to provide Greensboro with an ongoing source of diverse leaders who are committed to serving as catalysts and sustainers of positive change for the quality of life in the Greater Greensboro area.

The Leadership Greensboro class of 2020 is made up of 46 participants who represent a cross-section of Greensboro’s businesses and non-profits. They will graduate in May 2020.

Seyedin is the program manager for LaunchUNCG, located in the MHRA building on the UNCG campus, which guides entrepreneurial Spartans who want to start a business, find collaborators, find funding for their research, or join the startup ecosystem.



Dr. Beth Koelsch

Dr. Beth Koelsch (University Libraries) received new funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources for the project “Women Who Answered the Call: Digitizing the Oral Histories of Women Who Served in the U.S. Military and the American Red Cross.” Dr. James Gwynn is a co-principal investigator on the project.

The project will digitize and preserve at-risk audiovisual materials (303 audio cassettes, six open-reel audio tapes, and one VHS video tape) that are part of the Women Veterans Historical Project. These at-risk magnetic media items consist primarily of 225 oral histories with women veterans of World War II and subsequent conflicts, recorded between 1999 and 2008. Also included are six audio “letters” sent by a Vietnam War veteran. The recordings present an invaluable portrait of the lives of women veterans and issues they faced during and after service. This project will allow the audio recordings to be presented alongside existing text transcripts for the first time, permitting researchers to hear these important stories in the actual voices of those who lived them.

Dr. John Kiss

Dr. John Kiss (College of Arts and Sciences) received a continuation of funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the project “Novel Explorations into the Interactions between Light and Gravity.”

The Seedling Growth (SG) series of plant biology experiments is part of a barter agreement between NASA and ESA. The major goals are: to determine how gravity and light responses influence each other in plants, to better understand the cellular signaling and response mechanisms of phototropism and of light stimulation, and to study the factors affecting the proliferation and growth of meristematic cells in order to analyze in how auxin (i.e., a plant hormone) transport and perception act in the regulation of these cellular functions.

In SG, researchers have been using the European Modular Cultivation System (EMCS), which arguably has been one of the most successful life science research facilities on the International Space Station. Three types of data are to be obtained from the SG experiments: image downlinks of plant seedlings, seedlings frozen on-orbit, and seedlings fixed in aldehydes. Downlinked images provide data on germination, growth, development, and tropistic curvature.  Frozen seedlings will be used for gene profiling studies, and seedlings fixed in aldehydes will be used for high-resolution electron microscopic analyses.

Dr. Evan Goldstein

Dr. Evan Goldstein (Geography, Environment, & Sustainability) received new funding from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for the project “Flow of Water, Carbon, and Sediment within the Land Sea Continuum.”

Goldstein will lead the development of a new delta classification targeting the 48 ‘representative’ deltas from around the world used in other studies (Tessler et al., 2015). Classification will be based on temporal synchrony between:

1) Time series of suspended sediment in delta waterways.

2) Time series of NDVI in waterway-adjacent wetland environments (a measure of standing biomass).

Synchrony between these two time series is hypothesized to control delta growth. Sediment delivery should occur at mean values of NDVI to result in maximum sediment deposition (e.g., Nardin and Edmonds, 2014). Sediment delivery at low biomass conditions results in sub-optimal trapping of sediment by plants. Sediment delivery at high biomass conditions can block sediment-laden flow from spilling onto wetland surfaces. Classification of this synchrony is key first step in addressing this hypothesis. Is there a ‘typical’ synchrony between vegetation growth and sediment delivery across deltas of the world?

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received new funding from Boston University for the project “Tumor Specific Delivery of Verticillin A Overcomes Epigenetic Silencing Responsible for Drug Resistance.”

This proposal pursues the systematic development of a novel small molecule epigenetic agent, from the verticillin A family (epipolythiodioxopiperizine alkaloids), and chemotherapeutic along with a unique drug delivery systems that localizes and concentrates the agents to peritoneal tumors for the treatment of mesothelioma. Alteration of the epigenetic profile to overcome drug resistance is a key strategy for improving cancer patient care. Specifically, this class of epigenetic agents restores the activity of well-established and commonly used chemotherapeutics (e.g., paclitaxel, cisplatin and 5-fluorouracil) through up-regulation of BNIP3 via histone methyltransferase inhibition rendering it a compelling agent in combination therapies.

Dr. Hemali Rathnayake

Dr. Hemali Rathnayake (Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “Nano Mosaic: A Novel Nano-Framework for Lithium.”

The global demand for lithium is expected to witness substantial growth owing to its increased demand for energy storage, electronic bikes, electrification of tools, and other battery-intense applications. For example, the lithium ion battery market itself is projected to reach US$ 92 billion by 2024. It is unlikely that traditional lithium extraction operations from hard rock and brine deposits will be able to respond to future lithium markets to meet current demands.

Mining lithium from hard rock deposits requires high operating cost regardless of its low technology requirements and short processing time. Generally, lithium brine deposits economically advantage in terms of operating costs, as lithium is already isolated and is in solution within the deposit, negating the requirement for drilling, blasting, crushing and physical separation. However, the current brine operations are more capital intensive, incur significant lead times to generate high grade lithium production. Therefore, efficient, rapid, and cost-effective lithium extraction technologies are needed to ensure that supply matches the growing demand.

The goal of the proposed project is to develop a fibrous mat derived from a novel coordination polymer framework that possesses molecular sieving and selective chemical affinity to lithium, providing fast and efficient lithium extraction and recovery from salt lake and oil well brines. The current stage of the technology focuses on developing the fibrous mat with tailored porosity and high-density chemical affinity to demonstrate its utility and versatility for selective extraction of lithium ions from salt solutions and seawater. The results will lead to the development of liners, membranes, and filters for extracting high grade lithium from brine beds and ponds. The embodiment of the technology will provide efficient and cost-effective service to lithium extraction companies and energy storage sectors to extract, recover, and store lithium as either lithium carbonates or lithium hydroxide with high purity.

Dr. Lori Sands

Dr. Lori Sands (School of Education) received new funding from the United Way of Greater Greensboro for the project “Thriving at Three.”

The Teaching Resources Center (TRC) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) proposes a partnership with the Moss Street Partnership School (MSPS) in Reidsville, N.C., to provide a series of literacy-based and STEM-focused programs at the partnership school. The project will use the MSPS library and makerspace to engage the Moss Street community with children’s education through programs addressing reading at home, building home libraries and creative making with siblings and parents. The MSPS community will benefit from greater access to local library resources, books for the home and a greater connection to a child’s education in the crucial early years. The TRC, a model school library media center housed in UNCG’s School of Education, will benefit from pre-service teachers and future librarians gaining first-hand experience with program planning, implementation and book selection for elementary students. The proposed project expands a partnership between UNCG and MSPS, which opened in August as a laboratory school under the University’s leadership.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from the North Carolina State Library for the project “Moss Street Outreach – Library Driven Community Engagement.”

Method: A direct service intervention strategy will continue to work with 40 at-risk Hispanic children by giving them a chance to develop their full potential at the earliest possible age (0-3 years). This will be done by working with at-risk children and their parents in their homes, ensuring early detection for mental health risks, assisting families in parenting strategies, and providing appropriate referrals in supporting their children.

Dr. Ratnasingham Shivaji

Dr. Ratnasingham Shivaji (Mathematics and Statistic) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “Collaborative Research: Mathematical and Experimental Analysis of Competitive Ecological Models: Patches, Landscapes, Stage Structure and Conditional Dispersal on the Boundary.”

The purpose of this collaborative project between two mathematicians, an ecologist, and undergraduate/PhD students will be an integration of reaction diffusion models, mathematical analysis, and experimental analysis to explore the effects of habitat fragmentation, conditional dispersal, and interspecific competition on the population dynamics and coexistence of species from the patch to the landscape level. The project has two objectives: (1) investigate the effects of conspecific and interspecific density, patch size and matrix hostility on species dispersal behavior, patch-level population dynamics and coexistence; and (2) extend this work to the landscape-scale by exploring the effects of competition and conditional dispersal on population dynamics and coexistence in multi-patch systems. The researchers will use Tribolium flour beetles as a model experimental system and diffusive Lotka-Volterra competition systems with nonlinear boundary conditions modeling density dependent emigration (DDE) both at the patch and landscape levels. This study will help answer important biological questions such as: 1) What effects do competitors have on a species’ boundary behavior and emigration?;  2) Do different forms of DDE (positive, negative, and U-shaped) affect regional population dynamics and coexistence of competitors?; and 3) How does conditional dispersal affect the occurrence and strength of competition-dispersal tradeoff that are thought to be a key to coexistence of competitors?

Dr. Christopher Kepley

Dr. Christopher Kepley (Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering) received new funding from the UNC-CH Thurston Arthritis Research Center for the project “Glycolipid-Mediated Allergy Effector Cell Activation in Alpha-Gal Allergy.”

Alpha-gal mammalian meat allergy is a novel food allergy associated with tick bites and specific IgE antibody to the oligosaccharide galactose-a-1,3-galactose (alpha-gal). Alpha-gal food allergy challenges the current paradigm for food allergy because reactions are usually delayed 3-6 hours following red meat ingestion; IgE antibodies form against a carbohydrate moiety rather than a protein; and the allergy can develop in adulthood after many years of safely tolerating red meat.

The lipid content of ingested meat appears to impact reaction consistency and severity. Immunogenic lipids complexed with the lipid antigen presenting molecule CD1d influence cytokine production by professional antigen presenting cells (APCs) and unconventional T cells like natural killer T (NKT) cells. Our preliminary results suggest that alpha-gal-specific (s)IgE binds mammalian glycosphingolipids complexed with CD1d and that alpha-gal-containing glycolipids can activate basophils sensitized with alpha-gal-sIgE. 

Thus, we hypothesize that glycolipids are involved in the effector phases of alpha-gal

mammalian meat allergy. This proposal seeks to demonstrate glycolipid-mediated allergic effector cell activation in alpha-gal allergy. Proposed studies will provide mechanistic insight into the effector phase of alpha-gal allergy; generate novel reagents with potential use as diagnostic tools in patients with alpha-gal syndrome; and optimize in vitro models of alpha-gal allergy that can eventually be used to flesh out mechanisms of pathogenesis and test potential therapies.

Dr. Eric A. Josephs

Dr. Eric A. Josephs (Joint School of Nanoscience & Nanoengineering) received new funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the project “Mechanism and Architecture of EndoMS/NucS Mutation Avoidance in Mycobacteria.”

In 2017, there were 10 million incident cases of tuberculosis (TB) worldwide, over 500,000 of which were resistant to first-line antibiotics and over 400,000 of which resistant to multiple drugs. While Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacteria that causes TB, acquires drug resistance exclusively through chromosomal mutations events, the molecular processes which govern the mechanisms of mutation and mutation avoidance in M. tuberculosis remain poorly understood. We will use next-generation biotechnologies to understand how a newly-discovered but cryptic mutational avoidance mechanism works in M. smegmatis (a model organism for M. tuberculosis) in order to gain new insights into how drug resistance emerges and how we can combat it.

Dr. Daniel Herr

Dr. Daniel Herr (Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “2019 NSF Grantees Conference.”

The proposed NSF Nanoscale Science and Engineering (NSE) Grantees Conference is a program review and research networking workshop that will highlight the ongoing research and educational activities of the NSF NSE grant programs. The NSE Grantees Conference has been held annually in December in the Washington DC area for over a decade, funded by NSF, and organized by NSE Centers or Networks. The primary goals for this proposed 2-day conference are to promote dissemination of innovative research progress, to facilitate research partnerships, and to identify future research directions. Keynote speakers, panel discussions, and a poster session will promote inter-university and academic, industry, government, and national laboratory interactions, a vital step toward the advancement of the goals of the U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative (www.nano.gov). The initiative goals are::

*Conduct research and development to realize the full potential of nanoscale science and engineering;

*Develop the skilled workforce and supporting infrastructure needed to advance research and development;

*Better understand the social, ethical, health, and environmental implications of the technology; and facilitate the transfer of new technologies into commercial products.

Dr. Samantha Raynor

Dr. Samantha Raynor (Office of the Provost) received new funding from the University of North Carolina System Office (UNC GA) for the project “Disrupting the Churn: The Effect of Targeted Supports on Late College Outcomes.”

The project will explore the effects of a financial aid incentive inspiring students not on track to graduate in five years to explore and select efficient degree plans.  For the purposes of this study, the sample population will be first-time, full-time students with 46-90 credit hours (of which no more than 15 have been earned while in high school), have a cumulative GPA between 2.0-2.99, and are enrolled in a degree program housed in the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Health and Human Sciences, or the Bryan School of Business and Economics. Seventy-three percent of our student body receives some sort of financial aid.  Based on this statistic, the researchers hypothesize that the majority of students in this study will demonstrate some level of financial need.  

Students will be randomly assigned to control and treatment groups. Those receiving the treatment will be awarded a grant of $300-$500 to participate in “transitional advising.”  Transitional advising will consist of financial and academic counseling illustrating “the math and the path,” to either facilitate a more efficient degree path or more informed curricular planning and navigation. More about the specific design of the transitional advising approach is available in the section below. During summer 2019, the study population will be identified, and transitional advisors will receive training. The intervention will launch in fall 2019.

Raynor also received new funding from The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) d/b/a VentureWell for the project “Transfer Partnership.”

This project provides co-orientation to support entering GTCC students who indicate a desire to complete a four year degree by transferring to UNCG. This orientation would provide early connection and advising to these individuals to hopefully ease their transition to UNCG.

Raynor also received new funding from The National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) d/b/a VentureWell for the project “Faculty Development & Culturally Responsive Pedagogy.”

This is a professional development program for faculty focused on culturally responsive pedagogy, promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion in teaching and learning.

Dr. Jacqueline Debrew

Dr. Jacqueline Debrew (School of Nursing) received new funding from North Carolina AHEC for the project “RN BSN Educational Mobility 2019 – 2020.”

The Educational Mobility Grant ($99.000), funded by NW AHEC, provides continued support of five cohort programs for RNs seeking BSN degrees. The five established cohorts are located on the campuses of Davidson County Community College in Thomasville, Gaston College in Dallas, Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, Forsyth Technical Community College in Kernersville, and Piedmont Community College in Roxboro. 

Dr. Wendy McColskey

Dr. Wendy McColskey (SERVE Center) received new funding from Forsyth Technical Community College for the project “Forsyth Technical Community College Improving Student Achievement through Faculty Development (Title III) Evaluation.”

Forsyth Tech (FT) is working to redesign course evaluations to solicit formative information about students’ experiences earlier during the courses in which they are enrolled. A team of FT faculty is working to determine the specific information to solicit through the course evaluation and SERVE will design the course evaluation items.

Dr. Melissa R. Floyd-Pickard

Dr. Melissa R. Floyd-Pickard (Social Work) received a continuation of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services – Health Resources and Services Administration for the project “FY 2017 BHWET Competition.”

Newsmakers: Police, Baker, CHANCE, Costume Shop, and Skudra

Whether researchers with timely insights or students with outstanding stories, members of the UNCG community appear in print, web and broadcast media every day. Here is a sampling of UNCG-related stories in the news and media over the week:

  • MyFox8 highlighted UNCG Police’s efforts to improve pedestrian safety. The feature.
  • Dr. Levi R. Baker was quoted in a Business Insider article on how memory contributes to relationship quality. The piece.
  • The CHANCE program’s recent recognition by Exelencia in Education was spotlighted in a Spectrum News feature. The article.
  • UNCG’s Costume Shop and costume supervisor Amy Holroyd were featured in Triad City Beat. Learn about maintaining twenty-thousand theatrical outfits here.
  • President of UNCG’s Spectrum organization, Nils Skudra, wrote an article for The Art of Autism on work and disability empowerment. The piece.

New UNCG Mobile App takes off

Be in the know at your finger tips with the UNCG Mobile App. If you haven’t downloaded the UNC Greensboro Mobile App or have an older version of it, you’ll want to head over to the Apple App or Google Play store and install the new version right away. The new app has been revamped and is ready to rock.

UNCG rolled out the new mobile app during fall 2019 Spartan Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR). Students have easy access to all of the key campus resources they need on their phones, which has been helpful for them as they navigate their first days on campus.

The app has personalized home screens based on the user’s choice of a persona, which they choose when they first open the app. Presently there are seven personas: Faculty/Staff, Student, New Student, Graduate Student, Prospective Student, Alumni, and a community persona called Families, Friends, and Fans. All personas are available now, but the Student and New Student personas have been developed with targeted content. Look for the Faculty/Staff and Alumni personas to be further developed with targeted content in the coming months.

Both the Academic Calendar and the Human Resources Calendar are available from the Faculty/Staff persona. Additionally, users can view news feeds from Campus Weekly and UNCG Now, UNCG social media accounts, and Spartan Athletics.

With the UNCG Mobile App faculty and staff can link to Canvas, see a listing of workshops, and access the UNCG Spartan Talent job board.

UNCG Mobile App includes a combination of original content, web content, links to other resources, and connections to third-party apps such as Dining on Campus and LiveSafe. Third-party apps will initially need to be downloaded, but once the third-party app is loaded onto a device the UNCG Mobile App will connect to it directly. This will allow the UNCG Mobile App to consolidate all third-party applications that a student or staff member may need in one convenient location on their phone.

“While we don’t see the app replacing all traditional communication, we know that the incoming students are accustomed to managing their day with their phone in hand,” says Craig Biles, UNCG Mobile App Developer. “Putting key UNCG information into their phone is going to help us assist them to become successful with their classes and life here at UNCG.”

Some of the key features on the app include real-time tracking of Spartan Chariots, a comprehensive faculty/staff directory, and an interactive map which uses the device’s native navigation (Apple maps or Google maps). Other highlights include emergency numbers with click-to-call features and webcams to view the lines at both Chick-Fil-A and the Barnes & Noble Cafe in Elliott University Center.

“We’re just scratching the surface right now with the potential of this technology,” says Biles. “As we begin to work with faculty, staff, and students to tailor the app with even more information and functionality, I think you’ll see UNCG Mobile take off.”

Users can freely switch between any of the personas. For example, a staff member who is also an alum can switch between the two personas on their phone.

UNCG Mobile App users can report problems or suggest changes to the app directly from their phones via the Feedback tile, or email Craig Biles at mcbiles@uncg.edu.

Note: An impressive 1,223 UNCG Mobile App downloads have taken place during the seven days leading up to student move-in. (More Spartans downloaded the app in the previous months, of course.) UNCG will donate a can of food for each of those 1,223 downloads to Spartan Pantry.

By Matthew Bryant
Photograph by Jiyoung Park

Welcome back reception at WAM for Faculty Biennial

detail of painting

If you haven’t had a chance to catch the “2019 UNCG School of Art Faculty Biennial” exhibition in the Weatherspoon Art Museum, there’s still time. Better yet, drop by the public reception for the exhibition on Thursday, August 22, from 5 to 7 p.m.

The exhibition features recent work by studio art faculty in UNCG’s School of Art. The faculty, as both professors and practicing artists, stimulate students to engage in their own aesthetic and intellectual pursuits. To do so, they must nourish their own creativity in addition to deepening their experiences and knowledge of the field. This exhibition is the result of the faculty’s continuous activity to create, experiment, learn, and communicate.

In addition to the public reception, the Weatherspoon will host a series of artist Gallery Talks, in which faculty will discuss their work currently on view in the show.

Wednesday, August 28, 12 to 12:45 p.m.
Christopher Thomas, Director of Foundations, Printmaking; and Leah Sobsey, Assistant Professor, Photography

Wednesday, September 4, 4 to 4:45 p.m.
Mariam Stephan, Associate Professor, Painting; Barbara Campbell Thomas, Associate Professor, Painting; and Dane Winkler, Assistant Professor, Sculpture

The exhibition is organized by Elaine D. Gustafson, Curator of Collections, and will be on display through September 15.

More information and  examples of work may be found on the WAM website.

Visual: Detail view of Jennifer Meanley’s “Migratory Inflection,” 2018, oil on canvas. Image courtesy of the artist.

Now hear this! UNCG’s Speaking Center offers resources for faculty and staff

UNCG student Donielle Graves practices oral presentation techniques in the classroom.

The UNC Greensboro Speaking Center, located in MHRA 3211, provides consultation and instructional workshop services for students, faculty, staff, and members of the Greensboro community. It provides feedback and guidance in the areas of public speaking preparation and delivery, interpersonal communication, and group or team communication. The following services are available for faculty and staff throughout the school year.

For staff and non-faculty: Administrators, staff, student leaders, and members of Greensboro’s non-profit community may make requests for oral communication workshops for their department or organization.

Visit the center’s workshop web page for more information and to request a session.

For faculty: The Speaking Center now offers new in-classroom support. Faculty who would like to request center consultants for their classroom to support group work may email director Dr. Kim Cuny at kmcuny@uncg.edu.

Cuny and her team also work with groups who wish to practice their presentation in the Speaking Center. Call 336-256-1346 to schedule an appointment.

Other Speaking Center available services include:

Face-to-face consultations
Online consultations
Orientation tours
Support for non-native speakers
Support for advanced speakers
Donation for services for corporate and private clients
Master Communicator Program
Guidance for other speaking center directors
Training for student employees across campus

Cuny says the UNCG Speaking Center has produced more scholarship, earned more communication awards, and placed more former students in leadership roles than other oral communication centers, and has provided many of consecutive years of leadership for the National Communication Association’s Communication Centers section. Researchers frequently reference UNCG Speaking Center publications.

For an overview of the Speaking Center visit their Fact Sheet.

By Matthew Bryant
Photography courtesy of UNCG Speaking Center

University Libraries will provide online orientation for instructors this month

UNCG University Libraries can help you with your research and instruction. Librarians can come to your class to teach on research, source evaluations, citations; offer training on Zotero, a free citation management software program; as well as offer scholarly communications assistance, an institutional repository, liaison librarian, data management and more! Register today for this quick 30-minute online orientation to learn more about UNCG library resources and services. Visit http://go.uncg.edu/liborieninstr to sign up. 

Orientation Dates:
Wednesday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m.
Wednesday, Aug. 14, 3 p.m.

Thursday, Aug. 15, 4 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 16, 8:30 a.m.
Friday, Aug. 16, 11 a.m.

Monday, Aug. 19, 12 p.m.
Monday, Aug. 19, 5 p.m.


If you attend the orientation and fill out a quick evaluation, you will be entered into a drawing to win a $25 Barnes and Nobles gift card. 

Questions? Email Samantha Harlow at slharlow@uncg.edu.


Shawn O’Neil

Shawn O’Neil, assistant director for academic excellence (Academic Achievement Center), served as co-faculty at the College Reading and Learning Association Summer Trainer Institute in St. Louis, Missouri. Shawn designed and led training on best practices in the field of learning assistance and training development using an experiential learning model. Participants had the opportunity to build mission statements, develop lesson plans, create hiring protocols, and learn how to conduct needs assessments and evaluations. The three-day event hosted representatives from institutions of higher education from around the country, as well as delegations from Kuwait and China.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from United Way of Greater Greensboro for the project Immigrant Health ACCESS Project Support.

Purpose/Problem:  Immigrants are uninsured and face multiple barriers  to access appropriate and available health care and often end up at the Hospital Emergency Departments for non-emergency health issues, and many who have real emergencies go without care.

Objective:  To assist immigrants in gaining access to health care services and navigate the health systems by providing interpreters and community Health Workers.

Method:  Working in conjunction with the Guilford  Community Care Network , provide screening, assessment, and referral and identify the uninsured and seek solutions to connect them to a local integrated health clinic.

Sienkiewicz also received a continuation of funding from United Way of Greater Greensboro for the project Refugee and Immigrant Social Work Education (RISE) Program.

The RISE Program serves the most vulnerable immigrants and refugees, described below, in Greensboro by helping them access services and resources that contribute to breaking the cycle of poverty. The program utilizes social work student interns and AmeriCorps members (supervised by CNNC staff) to work with clients experiencing significant difficulties accessing and utilizing services. Interns and AmeriCorps members are trained to provide culturally appropriate case management and interpretation services to ensure that program participants are connected to the right supports and services and take steps to ensure that information and resources provided are utilized. Newly arrived immigrant and refugee families experience significant barriers navigating the seemingly ever-changing landscape of health, human, and social services in Greensboro (i.e. limited knowledge of English, challenges with public transportation).

Through RISE, participants will increase their self-sufficiency through information referral, training, and support. Specifically, clients learn and practice the following skills: communicating in a new language, making telephone calls, scheduling appointments, requesting language interpretation, utilizing public transportation, completing program registration paperwork, and identifying and accessing safety net and support services. RISE operates primarily out of the CNNC’s three community center sites in addition to accepting referrals from external agencies and other CNNC programs.  Currently, the program runs throughout the academic year only. Pending additional funding, this program would operate year-round eliminating the gap in services currently experienced during summer months.

Sienkiewicz also received a continuation of funding from United Way of Greater Greensboro for the project Greensboro Refugee Employment Advancement Team (GREAT).

The Greensboro Refugee Employment Advancement Team (GREAT) has existed informally since 2012 and as a formal group since early 2015.  UWGG previously funded a portion of the CNNC’s employment program, CLASS, that was and remains a component of GREAT. GREAT assists unemployed and underemployed immigrants and refugees attain and retain family-sustaining employment.  Upon enrollment, all participants provide past employment history and complete an Employment Accessibility Plan (EAP). Through this plan participants identify employment goals and are then referred to an appropriate track based on those goals.

Participants also complete an English Language Assessment to ensure that the track matches their English Language level. Tracks include: Job Preparation, Career Advancement, and Vocational Training. The Job Preparation track helps individuals with basic skills such as preparing a resume, learning job search techniques, and practicing interviews.  The Career Advancement track helps individuals with jobs improve their employment situation and includes obtaining the NC Career Readiness Certificate. The Vocational Training Track is for individuals looking to start a new career where training is required such as a Certified Nursing Assistant program, Forklift Training, Apartment Maintenance Technician, Phlebotomy or Pharmacy Technician.

Dr. Justin Harmon

Dr. Justin Harmon (Community and Therapeutic Recreation) received a continuation of funding from the City of Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department for the project “Greensboro Parks and Recreation Graduate Student Assistantship.”

The UNC Greensboro Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation which will serve and support the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. The graduate assistantship shall be offered following the schedule of the University’s fall and spring academic calendar of the respective academic year. The UNCG graduate assistant (GA) assigned to the City program will accomplish the following during his assignment: Assist in the development of measurement tools to be used in evaluating existing and future recreation programs and facilities used for those programs; assist in implementing those measurement tools in pre-program and post-program evaluations; assist in the cataloging, data entry, and analysis of those measurement outcomes in order to develop insights into best practices and future needs; assist in the development of the healthy parks initiative which will include promotions and marketing of Greensboro parks and facilities to community members; and Establish partnerships with other health and wellness providers in the city to promote the healthy parks initiative to combat health concerns including obesity, diabetes, depression, etc.

Dr. Leandra Bedini

Dr. Leandra Bedini (Community and Therapeutic Recreation) received a continuation of funding from the Town of Kernersville for the project “Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation Programs Support – Kernersville Park and Recreation Dept.”

Data sources show that in Guilford County specifically, 13.4% of children and 8.5% of adults have a disability. This is of significant concern since The CDC (2014) reports that children with physical disabilities are at a 38% higher risk of obesity and its associated health consequences than children without disabilities. Adapted community sports and physical activity programs and events have been proven to be effective in addressing the health and fitness needs of this population. However, research also shows that adapted sports are difficult for people with physical disabilities to engage in because of lack of availability and accessibility of programs and services. In addition, the Census Bureau reports that NC has the 3rd largest population of veterans in the US, with the Triad being one of the top three greatest concentration areas in the state behind Charlotte and Raleigh. Of significance for this proposal, research shows that over 19% of working-age civilian veterans in NC have a military service-connected disability. This population is underserved in terms of healthy physical recreation outlets which have been proven to improve mental as well as physical health in these individuals.

Bedini also received a continuation of funding from the City of Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department for the project “The Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) Program.”

This proposal requests Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department (GPRD) to hire a graduate assistant (GA) through the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s (UNCG) Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation (CTR). This GA will provide greatly needed assistance to staff working in the Adapted and Inclusive Recreation (AIR) Program (formerly Mainstream Resources Unit) in areas of program development, grant writing, evidence-based research, and new partnership opportunities to address the needs of youth and adults with physical disabilities which is an underrepresented segment in the city of Greensboro. The establishment of this GA position benefits AIR and the citizens of the City of Greensboro because it will help AIR/GPRD move forward in meeting the recreation needs of all citizens with and without disabilities in the local community.

Dr. David L. Wyrick

Dr. David L. Wyrick (Public Health Education) received a continuation of funding from Prevention Strategies, LLC for the project “NCAA Subaward.”

The Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness (IPAHW) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is being subcontracted by Prevention Strategies to support the translation of theoretical constructs and research evidence to practice in the form of online behavioral intervention components and other technology supplemented educational materials, and will assist with all research related to the implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of behavioral interventions and educational materials.

Dr. Zhanxiang Zhou

Dr. Zhanxiang Zhou (Center for Translational Biomedical Research) received a continuation of funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Lipotoxicity in Alcoholic Liver Disease.” Dr. Qibin Zhang is co-principal investigator on the project.

Beautiful! UNCG Grounds prepares campus for the new year

Photo of the grounds crew workingUNCG has a beauty that cannot be missed, but what may be missed is the hard work that goes into keeping the grounds looking their best.

Andrew Currin, the assistant director for Grounds at UNCG, Chris Cardwell, the grounds supervisor, and their team are hard at work preparing the campus for students to arrive.

Photo of grounds crew

Their work includes managing turf for summer heat, completing projects around dorms and other buildings, weed control, mulch touch up, tree trimming, parking lot cleanup, flower bed maintenance, and many other important tasks.

The grounds staff also has a direct role in helping students as they move on campus. The entire staff pauses all other operations during the University’s move in week due to the increased traffic around campus. That week, staff volunteers help students and families unload and move belongings into their residence halls.

“This work is something the department plans each year and it shows our dedication to the students and campus,” Currin said.

Photo of grounds crew Photo of move-in

A lot of planning happens during the summer to prepare for the coming fall and winter months and their inherent challenges. Planning includes preparations for flower rotations, tree and shrub planting, fall seeding, and response to any inclement weather.

Currin encourages UNCG students to take ownership of their campus. “The grounds crew and staff take great pride in making the campus look amazing for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Consider what you can do to help to keep it looking that way.” Photo of grounds crew

Interested in getting involved? There are several volunteer opportunities to keep an eye out for this school year. Opportunities include an ivy pull in Peabody Park and tree planting around campus in the fall. Students, faculty, and staff also have the opportunity to participate in an educational tree walk on Arbor Day.

Follow the Office of Sustainability to stay updated on these events and more.

And the next time you walk around campus, take a moment to appreciate the men and women whose hard work we can thank for the beauty of the campus that we call home.

By Mackenzie Winslow
Photos from the past year by Martin W. Kane