UNCG Campus Weekly

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

$1 Million for Graduate Student Diversity

020911Feature_GradStudentDiversityUNCG will invest a million dollars in a new program to promote inclusiveness and diversity among its graduate students. One million dollars of a $6 million anonymous gift to UNCG will endow the UNCG Graduate School Inclusiveness Awards.

Fellowships and smaller assistantships will go to outstanding master’s or doctoral students whose presence contributes to inclusiveness at the university. Each graduate program can nominate one student per year. Final selections will be made by the dean of the graduate school upon the recommendation of a faculty review committee. Recipients must be fully admitted to a graduate degree program and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

“UNCG greatly appreciates the generosity of the anonymous donor that has permitted us to initiate these inclusiveness awards,” said Dr. James Petersen, dean of the Graduate School. “They will help to continue broad access to our graduate programs as public universities are being forced to raise tuition levels. The Graduate School will pursue additional gifts to continue to grow the endowment to support inclusiveness in our graduate programs.”

Inclusiveness is one of five central values in the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-14. This document calls for a commitment to inclusiveness.

UNCG has built on a tradition of commitment to access and diversity. Its origins in 1891 can be traced to a crusade for the education of women by the university’s founder and first president, Charles Duncan McIver.

By fall semester 2008, nearly one-quarter (23.7 percent) of UNCG graduate students were from underrepresented ethnic groups (African-Americans, American Indians, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics). In 2008, the majority of graduate students (56.9 percent) were between the ages of 25 and 39, but nearly 10 percent were 50 and older.

The university has defined “inclusiveness” broadly to include a variety of life experiences that would increase the diversity of experiences of students in graduate programs. These factors might include low-income background, a history of overcoming disadvantage or discrimination, nontraditional age for a student, membership in underrepresented group in a field or discipline, status as a first-generation graduate student, cultural differences such as may arise from being foreign-born or raised within a distinct culture, and unique work or service experience.

The Council of Graduate Schools, a national organization that promotes the advancement of graduate education and research, has called for strengthening diversity and inclusiveness efforts in graduate study as a central element in a national talent development policy. Members of underrepresented groups are much less likely than others in the population to complete graduate degrees.

The CGS reported that in 2005 nearly 40 percent of elementary and secondary students in the United States were from underrepresented groups. However, only 12 percent of research doctorates and 10 percent of doctorates in STEM fields awarded in 2006 went to members of underrepresented groups.

The $6 million anonymous gift, the largest in UNCG’s history, came in early 2009. The donor designated $5 million for student aid.

By Michelle Hines
Photograph by Chris English.

Culture of Care

020911Feature_StudentsOfficeDr. Brett Carter, dean of students, got this comment from a staff member recently: “I appreciate the support you all provide for students. It seems so many are struggling with difficult issues!”

The Dean of Students Office helps students navigate through issues – and helps staff and faculty throughout the campus learn how to better support students. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of listening and pointing the student in the right direction. Often, more is involved. Many around campus want to know how they can help.

To that end, the office will offer a spring workshop series designed for faculty and staff, to foster this culture of care on campus.

“Our outreach focuses on giving faculty and staff the tools necessary not only for them to support students but so they feel supported and well equipped to deal with difficult situations inside and outside of the classroom,” says Mary Anderson, an assistant dean of students.

Visit http://deanofstudents.uncg.edu/ to register to attend any or all of these workshops. For additional information, contact the Dean of Students Office at 4-5514.

UNCG Cares
Feb. 18
2–4 p.m.
Bryan Building, Room 111
During this two-hour training for UNCG faculty and staff, participants learn about types of distress for students, recognizing signs of distress, strategies for reaching out to students, active listening skills, effective referral, and the resources available on campus to assist students. By creating an environment of support, students in distress may seek help before issues rise to the crisis level. After completing the training, each participant is given a decal/sticker with the “UNCG Cares” logo to display in his or her office.

Disruptive Behavior in the Classroom
Feb. 24
3–4 p.m.
EUC, Dogwood Room
Students are expected to assist in maintaining a classroom environment that is conducive to learning. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for students to be uncivil and verbally aggressive in the classroom toward faculty and their peers. This behavior is not only disruptive, but if not addressed, could have irreversible consequences on student learning. The Dean of Students Office may have some solutions. Come learn some useful techniques on how to address disruptive behavior in the classroom and share with your peers best practices for dealing with disruptive students.

Academic Integrity: What Faculty Need to Know
March 3
1:30–2:30 p.m.
EUC, Claxton Room
Students often balance many challenging personal issues and academic demands. These issues and demands often facilitate academic misconduct among students. To cheat or not to cheat….to plagiarize or not to plagiarize… those are questions many college students ask themselves quite often. The purpose of this workshop is to engage faculty in education discourse concerning academic misconduct among college students; UNCG’s effort to promote academic integrity in the classroom; and best practices for reducing academic misconduct.

UNCG Cares about VETS
March 15
10–11:30 a.m.
EUC, Joyner Room
The Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008 allows more veterans to enter colleges and universities to pursue their education. With concerns of veterans returning home with serious psychological and emotions issues, colleges are trying to ensure their campuses have services that are adequate to meet the needs of these students. UNCG Cares about VETS will provide a discussion about today’s veteran, barriers preventing student veterans from staying in college, and on-campus support for UNCG student veterans.

Not only caring – but showing that caring in productive ways – can make a big difference in students’ lives and their ultimate achievement. Students see the UNCG Cares sticker near the door of many staff and faculty offices around campus.

Anderson particularly noted this program and workshop, the first in the series. “UNCG Cares resonates most with me because in creating a community of care, the Dean of Students Office tries to be proactive by reaching out to students in distress before they rise to a level of crisis. If students have the support and resources necessary to get through difficult times in their lives, they are more likely to be retained at the university and persist toward graduation.”

Carter adds, “We believe the workshops will inform as well as equip faculty and staff with the tools in terms of best practices for helping students with personal and academic difficulties be successes.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English.

Next Fall: Early/Middle College of Health Sciences

020211Feature_GCSGuilford County high school students interested in health careers will soon have the option of going to school on the UNCG campus. Guilford County Schools (GCS) and UNCG are creating an early/middle college focused on health sciences that will open in the fall.

The early/middle college at UNCG will allow high school students to graduate with up to two years of transferable college credit and to explore a variety of health careers, including human services as well as medical fields, through a work-study program. Tuition-free early/middle colleges provide extra support for students who may be disengaged or who may struggle to adapt to the traditional high school setting.

“This partnership will benefit both the school district and UNCG, providing our faculty and students opportunities for community-engaged scholarship and mentoring,” said UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “School districts, like universities, are becoming more flexible to meet the needs of the 21st century. We’re proud to expand our longstanding collaboration with Guilford County Schools and to expand the choices available to high school students and their families.”

The school will enroll up to 50 ninth-graders in fall 2011 and will add as many as 50 more ninth-graders in each of the three following years for a total enrollment of 200. Staffing will grow from three full-time equivalent (FTE) teaching positions in the first year to 12 FTE teaching positions in the fourth year.

Funding for the school is expected to include federal dollars from the district’s Race to the Top grant and GCS Title I dropout prevention funds in addition to a donation from Businesses for Excellence in Education.

“Our experience shows that these schools work, and work well, for many students who may not have been successful in other settings,” said GCS Superintendent Maurice “Mo” Green. “During tough budget times, it’s even more important to use proven ideas to expand educational opportunities for our students. We appreciate UNCG’s willingness to partner with us to create this new school.”

The UNCG representatives on the committee that prepared the plan for the school were Tom Martinek, professor of kinesiology; Celia Hooper, dean of the School of Health and Human Performance; and Bonita Brown, chief of staff. Martinek will serve as the school’s UNCG liaison.

The proposal has received enthusiastic support from local health care providers, including Moses Cone and High Point Regional health systems. Moses Cone, for instance, has 300 job openings, many requiring the knowledge and skills students will learn at the new school, according to Noel Burt, the health system’s executive vice president of administrative services.

The program at UNCG will be the eighth early/middle college in Guilford County. The others are located at Bennett College, Greensboro College, Guilford College, Guilford Technical Community College – where there are three – and N.C. A&T State University.

The district’s fair for magnet and choice schools, including early/middle colleges, will be 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at the Greensboro Coliseum Pavilion. GCS will accept early/middle college applications Feb. 19-March 18 for the 2011-12 academic year. For more information, parents should contact the GCS Magnet Office at 378-8832.

By Dan Nonte
Visual of Superintendent Maurice Brown at a recent event is courtesy Guilford County Schools

The Black Power Movement That Few Know

020211Feature_MLKCollageThe collapse of Reconstruction was not the end of African-American political activism in the South during the late 19th century as it is often portrayed – far from it, argues Dr. Omar Ali (African American Studies) in his new book, “In the Lion’s Mouth: Black Populism in the New South, 1886-1900.”

Black populism, an independent political movement of African-American farmers, sharecroppers and agrarian workers distinct from the white populist movement of the same period, was the largest black movement in the South until the rise of the modern civil rights movement, says the historian and associate professor in the African American Studies Program.

“After Reconstruction ended in 1877, African Americans in the South regrouped,” says Ali. “Black populists formed alliances with white populists and challenged the Democratic Party, a party of wealthy interests and white supremacy. They failed, but many of their demands would be enacted within a generation by the New Deal – so in some ways they were laying the groundwork for changes that came to pass.”

Published by University Press of Mississippi, “In the Lion’s Mouth” describes how the independent movement grew out of established networks of black churches and fraternal organizations in the region. From 1886 to 1900 African-Americans established farming cooperatives, raised money for schools, published newspapers, lobbied for legislation, protested the convict lease system and helped to launch the People’s Party.

“Ali correctly resists the common tendency to either see black populists as an offshoot of the white populist movement, or a failed effort at interracial organizing,” writes Dr. Robin D. G. Kelley in the book’s foreword. “Rather, he paints a compelling portrait of an independent movement. … Ali flips the script, if you will, and compels us to rethink the entire history of late 19th century Southern politics.”

In North Carolina, black and white populists formed an alliance that won control of the state legislature in 1894 and the governor’s office in 1896. The bloody Wilmington Riot of 1898 was a response by the Democratic Party to retake state control. The incident would signal the demise of black populism in North Carolina, and soon across the region.

A frequent commentator in the national media, with political analysis offered on CNN and NPR, among other networks, Ali sees similarities between the Democratic Party’s virtual monopoly in the South during the late 19th century and the dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties in the nation today. In both cases, entrenched parties have blocked important reforms, he says.

“It’s been the outsiders, the independents, who have been at the forefront of critical changes in American history, from the abolition of slavery to labor rights, from women’s right to vote to civil rights. All of these things came from outside forces, independents and third parties, until they were co-opted by the parties in power.

“What independents, black and white, are doing now is challenging the political control of the two major parties on the electoral process. In that way, they share a history with the populists of a century ago.”

Ali, a former Fulbright scholar with research awards from Harvard University and the University of South Carolina, previously taught in the History Department at Towson University in Maryland and has served as a visiting professor at Vanderbilt University. A graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, he received his PhD in history from Columbia University, where he wrote his dissertation on black populism under the supervision of Dr. Eric Foner.

Ali is also the author of “In the Balance of Power: Independent Black Politics and Third Party Movements in the United States” (Ohio University Press, 2008), which was described as a “landmark work” by The National Political Science Review.

By Dan Nonte
Collage: African-American populist leaders of the period: (top row, l-r) Rev. G. W. Lowe, President of the Colored Agricultural Wheel, AK; Rev. Walter A. Pattillo, Colored Farmers Alliance State Lecturer, NC; John B. Rayner, Executive Committee of the People’s Party, TX; Rev. Henry S. Doyle, People’s Party organizer, GA; (bottom, l-r) Lutie A. Lytle, Assistant Enrolling Clerk of the People’s Party, KS; Richard M. Humphrey, Gen. Superintendent of the Colored Farmers Alliance, TX; Hon. George Washington Murray, State Lecturer of the Colored Farmers Alliance, SC; Rev. John Simpson Jackson, Colored Farmers Alliance President, AL.

Achievement Means Student Excellence

012611Feature_GuaranteeThey were formerly known as the Office of Student Achievement. Now the Office of Undergraduate Student Excellence has an expanded role with student success initiatives and retention programming here on campus.

The UNC system General Administration has said that UNCG must raise its retention percentages for undergraduates by several percentage points by 2013. This office’s efforts are part of the strategy for boosting student success.

Among the office’s new initiatives:

Summer Launch triples its number of students It is being reformatted and expanded for 2011. For the last several years, Summer Launch has been a successful six-week academic and residential program provided to a cohort of 30 new freshmen. This year, Summer Launch 2011 will welcome 100 new students arriving on-campus for an intensive two-week session prior to the start of the fall semester. Students will be given additional time and support to”bridge” from summer to fall as they live together in a residence hall throughout the academic year, while also taking at least one course and attending a variety of co-curricular events with each other.

Exploratory Studies will premier this fall It is the newest program initiative within USE, and will premiere this upcoming fall 2011. This living-learning community (LLC) targets new UNCG freshmen who may have initially planned on pursuing the pre-Nursing major, but do not currently qualify based on the School of Nursing’s pre-admission criteria. Alternatively, Exploratory Studies provides an opportunity for students to learn more about the academic majors and career paths within other health and human services areas at UNCG. As LLC members, students will live together in Reynolds Residence Hall, while also taking courses throughout the year in University Studies, Public Health Education, Human Development and Family Studies, and Counseling & Educational Development. Through both in-class and out-of-class experiences, Exploratory Studies helps students discover the connections between different majors, courses, and co-curricular activities at the university, as they also connect with UNCG peers, faculty, and staff to explore their own academic strengths and career interests.

UNCG Guarantee continues the support provided to the inaugural fall 2009 scholar cohort of 34 students as they progress through the spring semester and further toward graduation. We are also anticipating on-going expansion of the scholarship program with the selection and arrival of the fall 2011 scholars. Applications are now being accepted, so share the UNCG Gaurantee web site guarantee.uncg.edu and contact information with any prospective students who may qualify for the scholarship. More than just a financial aid package, UNCG Guarantee provides a range of support services and opportunities to enhance scholars’ academic achievement, including a fall Leadership Retreat with OLSL and guidance from UNCG alumni mentors through the university’s Alumni Association. Several of the UNCG Guarantee scholars were featured in the cover story of the fall 2010 UNCG Magazine.

More information about the office and these initiatives is at USE’s newly designed web site, excellence.uncg.edu.

Learn more at open house All of the campus community is invited to stop by the USE Open House Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. to noon in McIver 126. Meet the staff and learn about these and other campus initiatives such as the Retention SWOT Team and First-Year Task Force, and other ongoing special projects.

Each of the faculty and staff play a role in the helping students be successful, director Kristen Christman said. “We are looking forward to continued collaborations [with faculty and staff] in the coming months.”

Photograph of UNCG Guarantee scholars by David Wilson.

Adventures in the Great Outdoors

012611Feature_GrandCanyonYou might expect that students enjoy the trips offered by UNCG’s Outdoor Adventures each semester. International students are among the many who take advantage of the high-value trips, where transportation is included.

But faculty regularly sign up for the trips as well.

“I have taken three trips with OA – a whitewater kayaking trip on the Green River, a whitewater rafting trip on the French Broad River and a canoe camping trip near Goose Creek State Park,” says Dr. Charles Egeland (Anthropology). He is signed up for a spring Everglades trip, “which should be fantastic.” (That trip filled up quickly.)

Egeland grew up in Colorado, and always loved the outdoors. “Once I moved to North Carolina to join the faculty at UNCG, one of the first things I wanted to do was explore different parts of the state. Thanks largely to OA, I’ve discovered that North Carolina has a lot to offer.”

The trips are great, he says. “The staff at OA is also fantastic. They’re fun to be around and it’s clear that they really enjoy being out there.”

His favorite time on a trip? “It would be on the canoe camping trip: one night after dinner we took the canoes out and it was just you, your canoe and the light of a full moon reflecting off the calm water of the river. Unbelievably beautiful.”

Talking about “unbelievably beautiful,” there’s the big Grand Canyon / Lake Powell trip offered later this semester, one of many trips, big and small, offered:

Southwest U.S. Canyon Expedition

  • May 8-17
  • Looking for a multi-day adventure to kick-start your summer? Join Outdoor Adventures and explore the most spectacular canyons in the United States. Filled with history, culture, and great geological significance, the Grand Canyon & Lake Powell are a great attraction.
  • OA will trek into the Grand Canyon and spend several days exploring the unique desert wilderness by foot. The area you would travel provides spectacular views of the Colorado River, as well as the spring foliage of the desert, including prickly pear and yellow yucca. Evenings will be spent under the stars atop a mesa and other geological features.
  • Then OA will swap packs for paddles and explore Lake Powell, the second-largest reservoir in the United States. Lake Powell offers a surreal landscape of crystal-clear lake surrounded by colorful canyons, peaks and buttes. Days will be spent exploring, by kayak, the far reaches and slot canyons of this expansive lake. Nights will be spent camping on the sandy shores surrounded by the steep canyon walls.
  • Experience the area through backpacking, camping, and kayaking.
  • Student Cost: $1,175 Faculty/Staff/Guests: $1,275
  • Cost includes round-trip group airfare, meals (except on travel days), permit fees, camping/lodging fees, ground transportation, activity equipment and instruction.

Contact UNCG Outdoor Adventures for more information.

  1. Phone: 334-4033
  2. Email: uncg_oa@uncg.edu
  3. Web: campusrec.uncg.edu/programs/outdoor
  4. Schedule showing upcoming trips, from Lake Brandt canoeing to an Appalachian Trail jaunt: http://campusrec.uncg.edu/programs/outdoor/trips/
  5. Facebook: UNCG Outdoor Adventures (includes pictures from all the trips)
  6. Stop by OA in the Student Recreation Center, noon-6 p.m.

By Mike Harris
Visual: An earlier OA trip to Grand Canyon

At MLK Celebration, Tales of Little Rock Nine

011911Feature_RobertsDr. Terrence Roberts, Tuesday night’s MLK Celebration speaker, was one of the Little Rock Nine. They were African-American students who, unsuccessful in their first attempt to enter the formerly segregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, approached it on Sept. 25, 1957, and found themselves again confronted by a hostile crowd. But on that day, they were escorted by the 101st Airborne, which had been ordered to Little Rock by President Dwight Eisenhower.

The Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision three years earlier struck down segregation in public schools and these nine students put the decision to the test. Roberts was a 15 year old junior at the time.

Hours before the celebration in Aycock Auditorium, he spoke with CW in the Alumni House.

What did he hope would be the main take-away message from his talk later that evening?

He acknowledged that everyone would take away something a little different. “It would be to have an awareness of and a respect for the historical march through time and space. Nothing happens unless there’s some precedent. You don’t exist in a vacuum. So who we are in the year 2011 is a consequence of who others were years ago.

“If students had more of a grasp of that connection I think they would be better able to make decisions today.”

What are the big issues that today’s students can take on and stand up for? “Wow. Two things come to mind.” The first was the he would not presume to tell someone else they should take on something. “But there are issues: There are kids in America who go to bed hungry every night. That seems to be something that’s overlooked a lot. If young people are interested in doing something, they might want to find out why that is. Why in this country, with an abundance of food, we have people who go hungry.

“The Civil Rights movement started in 1619,” he said, referring to the fact that as Europeans settled, they brought slavery, “and it continues apace today.” There was an obvious difference in who had rights and who didn’t, he said, from the beginnings of our nation. “When you think of this country’s history, we’ve been in a civil rights battle forever. We’re not finished. We’re not finished.”

The MLK Celebration was presented by The Division of Student Affairs, The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

This year’s UNCG MLK Service award was presented to Kent Singletary, a recent graduate of the Communication Studies Department and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He is a founding corps member of City Year Miami, a non-profit partnership with Americorps that unites diverse groups of young people for a full year of over 1600 hours of service. During his time with City Year Miami he worked in an impoverished immigrant section of North Miami Beach, where he built alliances between the Miami school system, the community and major businesses. In addition, he co-created the “Gentleman’s Quest” as part of City Year, which served as a motivational club for men where they could share their talents and skills with other males in the organization. The initiative was so successful that it spread to other City Year sites across the nation and influenced the creation of “Pink Ladies”, a similar initiative for female group members.

Singletary also was part of the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which served to bring forth the facts surrounding the shootings at Greensboro’s Morningside Homes in 1979, between white supremacists and Communist Workers Party activists. Singletary is in the process of creating a non-profit organization called “Stepping UP!” to provide financial and emotional assistance to adults as they pursue their educations.

After a performance by the Neo Black Society Gospel Choir, Roberts concluded the evening by sharing memories of that pivotal year, 1957. “We got beaten up … on a daily basis,” he said. The soldiers were no help once they were inside the school. But he weathered it. “My choice was to learn.”

Learning was a theme throughout his extemporaneous talk. He learned a lot of important life lessons in his all-Black schools as he grew up. He learned a lesson when he, as a young teenager, once placed a to-go order and then sat down – the hamburger joint fell silent and he quickly left. “I learned the rules of segregation,” he said.

He has since learned that race is a fantasy, “a mythological construct.” We’re all unique, he said.

As he spoke, he never ventured too far from lessons taken from Little Rock.

Fear does not have to be a barrier, he explained. “So whatever you fear at UNCG,” he told the students,” put it in your pocket, and keep on going.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Alan Bridge Will Retire

011911Feature_AlanBridgeAlan Bridge, associate vice chancellor for human resources, will retire effective Feb. 1.

He has held the position since Oct. 1, 1994. Prior to coming to UNCG, he had been director of human resources at California State Polytechnic University Pomona for six years. Earlier, he had been director of human resources for the City of Salt Lake City, Utah, for eight years. As he noted last week, “I have been in the HR profession for a total of 33.5 years.”

Reade Taylor, vice chancellor for business affairs, said, “Just since I have been vice chancellor, Alan has endorsed the use of technology – including BannerHR and PeopleAdmin – and simultaneously took on projects he referred to as the 4 “B’s”: Banner, Banding, Bird Flu, and Background Checks. More recently, even as his staff was reduced, he volunteered HRS to assume the I-9 and Banner entry process for student employees. He has represented UNCG and the UNC system on several UNC system-wide as well as OSP state wide committees. My executive staff colleagues and I will miss his counsel especially given the significant budget challenges that lie ahead.”

Bridge holds a bachelor’s degree in personnel management with an emphasis in labor relations from the University of Utah and a masters’ of arts degree from Brigham Young University in organizational behavior with emphasis in personnel management.

Key initiatives and accomplishments during his tenure include:

  • Implementing the Career Banding Classification System for SPA employees, a project from 2003 to 2008
  • Chairing the committee to create the UNCG Staff Council, later becoming UNCG Staff Senate
  • Successfully completing two major OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) audits in 2002 and 2007 with no negative findings
  • Creating the HR Liaison group, one of the major communication pathways to provide information to all campus constituencies
  • Developing the UNCG Service Pin program including the design of the service pin.
  • For the past 16 years UNCG has had the lowest number of grievances of any state agency or university in the State of North Carolina, averaging less than three grievances per year.

CW asked him what he was most proud of at Human Resource Services during his tenure.

“Probably the accomplishment I am most proud of is the creation of the UNCG Employee Loan Fund, acronym ‘Elf’ Loan. This program was begun with a loan from Chancellor Sullivan from her discretionary account in the amount of $3,000. This was to be paid back once enough funds were raised from donations from UNCG employees. Not only did we pay back Chancellor Sullivan the first year, but the loan fund has grown to over $50,000 from the continuing generous donations of UNCG staff and faculty. What started out as a small fund to help a few employees who might fall on hard times by making up to $500 interest free loans has grown considerably. Unfortunately, due to the state of the economy, all loan funds are continuously loaned out these days, but what a wonderful feeling to know that UNCG employees can help their fellow workers in times of financial distress with a ‘hand up’ instead of a ‘hand out’.”

He has served on various committees, including the UNCG SACS Re-accreditation Committee, UNCG NCAA Accreditation Committee, UNC Tomorrow Committee, UNCG 1998-2003, 2003-2008 and 2009-2014 Strategic Planning Committees, UNC HR Policy Committee (chair), Office of State Personnel HR Policy Committee (chair), Office of State Personnel Compensation Committee (co-chair) and UNC Police Compensation Study Commission (chair).

As for his plans in retirement, he told CW he had lived in Japan 2 1/2 years as a missionary, before attending college. “My wife and I will be leaving for Japan for a two year mission within a couple of months following my retirement.”

Bridge’s last day on campus will be Jan. 31, he said.

By Mike Harris

Transformation Time for Gen Ed

011211Feature_GenEdConferenceIn the past, some representatives from the university would attend a conference at the American Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U). This year, AAC&U was invited to UNCG for a two-day mini-institute starting on Reading Day. The AAC&U normally does not do this for a particular university, but ultimately agreed to come give a mini-instutute for a broad group of UNCG stakeholders, regarding UNCG’s core general education program and goals.

About 110 individuals attended, largely faculty. Tables were marked: Deans Council, Departmental Heads, Associate Deans, General Ed Council, Advising Council, Learning Communities, the Student Learning Enhancement Committee and Student Affairs. Some members of the NC A&T faculty were in attendance as well.

Provost David H. Perrin, in welcoming everyone, noted this was the first-ever institute of this type presented by AAC&U outside their acclaimed summer Gen Ed institute.

“Moreover, they have tailored the UNCG Mini-Institute to match our specific learning goals and reform process.” They would focus on:

  • Innovation in general education course design
  • Advising strategies to encourage students to approach comprehensive liberal learning with an enhanced appreciation for its value in their lives
  • High-impact pedagogy most appropriate for general education
  • Best ways to assess and improve the process.

He noted that our campus had earlier hosted Dr. Ron Crutcher, co-chair of the National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise, whose visit was very helpful for UNCG. And he spoke about UNCG’s gen ed program and its assessment:

“Our reform process is in improving and ensuring the intentionality and coherence of our general education curriculum. General Education at UNCG must do a better job of preparing students to grapple with complexity, contingency and new learning in contexts of rapid change.”

The opening plenary of the mini-institute was about “Promoting Better Teaching and Learning Across the Whole Campus.” It was delivered by Dr. Dee Fink.

He asked how many had won a teaching award. About half the attendees raised their hands.

“Can you get better?” he asked all those who raised their hands.

Fink stressed that faculty must be knowledgeable about current ideas and literature in college teaching. “We should know it. We should use it.”

“We’ll get you more than a degree,” UNCG should tell its students. “We’ll make you a meta-learner.”

It’s about learning how to learn, not just taking courses, he said. “Helping students take charge of their own learning.”

Professional development for faculty is very important, Fink added. “We want faculty to get better over time.”

After the mini-institute ended, Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of undergraduate studies, spoke of general education’s importance to every student, regardless of their major, and he stressed that the campus’ work will continue. Teams of UNCG individuals will create white papers around four themes:

  • Integration of learning goals across the curriculum
  • Promoting Gen Ed
  • Assessing Gen Ed
  • High-impact pedagogy

The papers will be brought to the UNCG Gen Ed Council and the campus community, Roberson said, as some standards of best practice which UNCG may embrace.

“So the work of the mini-institute didn’t stop,” he said. “It will proceed for many weeks and months to come.”

Visual: plenary speaker Dr. Dee Fink speaks to the UNCG group in Cone Ballroom.
By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Woody, Truly a Work of Art?

011211Feature_PixarShe didn’t rub shoulders with Woody and Buzz Lightyear, the Incredibles or Wall-E.

But she did one better: she led a discussion with some of our favorite animated figures’ creators and artists.

Dr. Heather Holian (Art), helped the Oakland Museum of California mark the close of their art exhition “PIXAR: 25 Years of Animation” last weekend. PIXAR has made some of the most popular and admired animated films of the last decades and is located a few miles from that museum.

Holian’s talk, “To Infinity and Beyond: Placing PIXAR within the History of Art, Present and Future,” was centered around the questions “Does animation deserve a place within the history of fine art? Does PIXAR?”

“En route to an answer, I’ll discuss the cultural and institutional prejudices and biases that make a resounding affirmative response, regarding either PIXAR’s films or the pre-production or production art created to make these films, challenging at present,” she explained before traveling last week.

In addition to the public lecture, she moderated a panel discussion with highly regarded artists from PIXAR including Bill Cone, Ricky Nierva, Tia Kratter and Kevin O’Brien.

Does Holian have a favorite character? “Choosing a favorite PIXAR character is like choosing my favorite chocolate dessert – they’re all good!”

But what if she had to choose one? “Right now I would say Edna Mode – or E, as she is also known – is my current favorite. Edna appears in ‘The Incredibles’ as the temperamental, no nonsense fashion designer who has no patience for idle chatter, weakness or bad fashion. She is voiced by director Brad Bird and in part it’s his inflection and voice acting that make this character so hilarious … [she] steals every single scene she’s in.”

After returning this week, she described walking through the art exhibition Friday night. “I heard several people say that they had no idea so much art was created for each film. The energy was incredible.”

But for her, the highlight of her weekend was the forum, where she discussed the topic of fine art and PIXAR with some of the artists who’d created these films. She’d interviewed each of them before.

Actually, she’d arrived in California a few days early, so she could spend some time at the Pixar Studio doing research and interviewing artists. It was her fourth research trip to the studio.

Holian’s essay “An Animated Debate: Studio Animation as Fine Art?” will be in the forthcoming Blackwell Anthology of Animation. Another essay on art and animation has been completed. She is currently gathering research for what she hopes will be a book length publication on PIXAR.

Her training is in the Renaissance. In addition to teaching ancient and medieval art courses, she routinely teaches the Art of Disney and PIXAR (Art 210). In coordination with that popular course, PIXAR animator Adam Burke has visited our campus twice. The Art Department will bring PIXAR artist and director Teddy Newton to campus sometime this spring, she says.

Holian’s very favorite film? “My three favorite PIXAR films are ‘Wall-E,’ ‘The Incredibles’ and ‘Toy Story 3.’ If I was pushed to choose one, I would say ‘Wall-E.'”

Why that one? “First, I think the first part of the film – Act 1- is visually stunning, particularly on a big screen. I also think it was incredibly brave for PIXAR, under Andrew Stanton’s direction, to make a contemporary animated film that is silent through its first act except for ambient noise and Wall-E’s beloved “Hello Dolly” tape. The word that always comes to my mind when I watch that part of Wall-E is ‘sublime.’ It succeeds on every level.

“I also enjoy the new short ‘Day and Night’ for the same reason – it was a brave and innovative film to make. And, it also directly reflects the artistic style of Teddy Newton, who is one of my favorite PIXAR artists, and who directed this short, which appeared before ‘Toy Story 3.'”

By Mike Harris with additional reporting by Dan Nonte
Visual: Bud Luckey, “Woody, Toy Story,” 1995. Mixed Media. ©Disney/Pixar

Laundry, Service

120810Feature_WashersThe immigrants living in Avalon Trace community had no good access to laundry facilities. They’d wash clothes in bathtubs, which would sometimes overflow, and hang or lay the clothes throughout the property – on trees, bushes and mostly flat on the ground.

The apartment manager asked for assistance. The Center for New North Carolinian volunteers and community center director Stephanie Baldwin, a UNCG staff member, saw an opportunity.

They could help meet the basic needs of the immigrants – clean clothes and clear living spaces – while the residents learned how to operate American-style washers and dryers.

But the results could go much further.

They installed three washers and two dryers, donated by the apartments’ management company.

African immigrants first began using the machines, after they were installed. Baldwin and CNNC Americorps volunteers showed them how to operate the switches, how much detergent to use, how full to load the washer. Then more began using them. They’d not go directly back to their homes – they’d sit and talk with each other – and with volunteers. They’d learn about English classes offered at the center. About a women’s support group there. Clothes for new arrivals. Computer-education and tutoring opportunities there. Health education – such as sickle cell outreach. Or if you just want someone to help you read mail …

The residents began taking greater advantage of what was offered – and became more empowered – simply because of some laundry.

Immigrants who’d learned the ins and outs of washing and drying with the machines would gives tips to other immigrants.

There’s now a greater sense of community, Baldwin explains. All because of a few machines – and basic needs being met.

The community center at Avalon Trace, located in eastern Greensboro, was created two years ago in partnership with the African Services Coalition and CNNC.

“We approached the complex. The apartment managers said, “OK, we’ll do this.” The groups were given use of three units and utilities.

Avalon Trace residents are primarily from Africa, Vietnam and Burma, Baldwin says.

Baldwin received her master’s in social work in the joint master’s program run by UNCG and NC A&T. She did much of her graduate work with former CNNC director Raleigh Bailey.

“I moved here [from West Virginia] just to do this,” she said.

She explained all this at the CNNC open house in Stone Building, this fall. Others running the table included Lizzie Biddle and Krycya Flores Rojas, UNCG staff members who are both involved with the Glen Haven and Avalon Trace centers.

Other CNNC programs such as Immigrant Health Access Project and UNCG’s AmeriCorps ACCESS Project were at nearby tables at the open house.

HES Dean Laura Sims noted that HES has helped with putting recycled computers in the center.

CNNC director Dan Beerman noted that UNCG students are regular volunteers at the two centers.

The international knitting group at Avalon Trace, which gathers once a week to converse and to knit and crochet, offers a selection of scarves, hats, pins and more for sale for the holidays. For more information about the knitting and this women’s group, contact Stephanie Baldwin.

By Mike Harris
Photography by Chris English

At MLK Celebration, One of Little Rock Nine

120810Feature_TerrenceRobertsDr. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, will be the keynote speaker for UNCG’s 2011 Martin Luther King Day celebration on Tuesday, Jan.18.

The program will run from 7-9 p.m. in Aycock Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Little Rock Nine were the nine African-American students who entered Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 25, 1957, confronted by a hostile crowd and escorted by the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne. The Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision three years earlier struck down segregation in public schools and these nine children put the decision to the test.

Roberts was a 15-year-old junior when he entered Little Rock Central High school. Despite daily harassment, he completed his junior year but moved with his family to Los Angeles the following year and graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1959.

He went on to earn a BA in sociology from California State University at Los Angeles in 1967. This was followed by an MS in social welfare in 1970 from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1970 and a PhD in psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1976.

Roberts is CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultant firm devoted to fair and equitable practices. A much sought after speaker and presenter, Roberts also maintains a private psychology practice.

Roberts is the recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Spingarn Medal, an award created by NAACP president Joel Elias Spingarn in 1914 and awarded to African Americans who perform acts of distinguished merit and achievement. He serves on the boards of the Economic Resources Center in Southern California, the Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and the Little Rock Nine Foundation.

His visit is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

For more information, contact Mark Villacorta at mark_villacorta@uncg.edu.

Also in honor of the King holiday, United Campus Ministries, Multicultural Affairs and Dining Services are sponsoring a 2011 Interfaith Celebration Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 20.

The dinner is free and open to UNCG faculty, staff and students. It begins at 6 p.m. in the Associated Campus Ministries Building.

Seating is limited. RSVP to mark_villacorta@uncg.edu by Jan. 12.

There When Emergency “Rain” Falls

120110Feature_ELFWhen the poet Longfellow wrote, “Into each life a little rain must fall,” he probably wasn’t envisioning the kind of precipitation that comes in the form of, say, a burst water heater, car repairs, medical or dental expenses, or just plain bills – all of which need to be paid.

UNCG has a remedy for those financial bombshells in its Emergency Loan Fund (ELF), which was created over a decade ago with funds donated by UNCG employees. The fund is there to assist our colleagues with help when they face a short-term financial crisis.

“It is a way of giving a ‘hand up,’ not a ‘hand out’ to those in the UNCG family who have unforeseen financial emergencies,” said Betty Betts of Human Resource Services, who administers the fund and processes the loan applications.

About 100 loans are made each year from the ELF’s $55,850 principal. All loans are interest-free (that’s right, no interest) and are paid back monthly through payroll deduction. The maximum amount that can be borrowed is $500, and Betts says most of the loans are for that amount. Recent stats show the number of loans has grown steadily, more than doubling from 48 in 2003-04 to 118 in 2008-09 and 116 in 2009-10. Loans are available to both staff and faculty.

Employees’ needs are spelled out in these statements, drawn from their applications: “I need help to purchase a bus ticket so I can go see my (relative) who is not expected to live much longer’; “My washing machine just ‘konked’ out and I don’t have money to purchase a new one”; and “Unexpected car repairs and I need my car to get to work.”

ELF seldom gets requests for year-end, seasonal things like presents or festivities. Initiatives like Staff Senate’s new Angel Tree Project help UNCG families provide for more than just the necessities at holiday time. ELF guidelines, instead, are specific about what the fund can be used for and what constitutes an emergency.

Loans of $250 or less are turned around in two days; applications from $250 to $500 are reviewed by a committee of UNCG employees. Betts processes all of them.

While an employee occasionally leaves UNCG before a loan is repaid, that’s not a problem – the loan balance is taken from the person’s final payout. Full details about ELF are available and you can download the application form.

If you’d like to make a donation to the ELF, gifts are accepted through the Office of Advancement Services, 4-5920.

By Steve Gilliam
Photography from photography archives.

Every Building Has a Story, on Elm Street

120110Feature_Then&NowIf these walls could talk… Elm Street’s buildings have witnessed nearly a century of life – businesses and families, hustle-bustle and hard times, struggle and rebirth. Can the stories these buildings contain be recovered?

The exhibition “Look. Again. Elm Street,” created by Museum Studies graduate students working under Dr. Benjamin Filene (History), takes up the challenge. It will be on view at the Elm Street Center, 203 South Elm, as part of downtown Greensboro’s special holiday version of First Friday, Dec. 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. This Festival of Lights event, featuring musical groups (including some with UNCG connections) and entertainers at various points along Elm Street, is a popular holiday event for Greensboro. This year, those strolling along Elm Street can appreciate the history of some of the buldings they are passing.

The “Look. Again. Elm Street” project began in August when nine Museum Studies graduate students each chose a historical photograph of a single downtown building. The goal was to breathe life into each space by piecing together the stories of the people who made their lives and livelihoods in these spaces. Featured sites include the Kress Building, Meyer’s Department Store, Schiffman’s, the Green Bean, the Ellis Stone Building, the Deal Printing Building, and others.

“There is great architecture on Elm Street, but sometimes we forget that these buildings were settings where people’s lives played out,” says Filene, director of Public History, who oversaw the project. “The idea was to dig back for tidbits that could humanize the past and show the richness of local history.”

The students’ detective work forms the basis for the exhibition. It shows each of the buildings from multiple vantage points as revealed through historical clues—“then and now” photographs, census records, fire insurance maps, classified ads, oral interviews, and fragments of the architecture itself.

“We always think of buildings as cold,” says student Alaina McKee but a little bit of research can bring them back to life through the people who lived and worked there.” McKee discovered William Meyer, the original proprietor of Meyer’s Department Store. “Even though this man lived one hundred years ago, I was able to relate to him by reading his wedding announcement and other information I found in newspaper articles and public records.”

Each student conducted an oral interview with someone connected to their building. Those interviews often revealed what the building meant to the people who lived and worked there. The interviews will be archived at the Greensboro Historical Museum, as well as by UNCG’s University Archives.

Most of the students are new to Greensboro and experienced Elm Street for the first time during a class outing to look at potential building choices. After working on these buildings for the past four months, many students have formed a connection to their new town. Amelia Gallo, a native of Wilmington, says of the project, “It has been an opportunity to not only learn about the history of Greensboro but the people of Greensboro. The project gave us the chance to become active participants in our new community.”

Now they want to share that information with Greensboro residents as well as visitors to the monthly First Friday event.

In the end, the nine buildings offer nine portals onto the past—not a complete picture of Elm Street’s history but new vantage points that invite one to see downtown with fresh eyes and to imagine what it would have been like to stroll down Elm in an earlier age.

The Web Becomes Alice’s Wonderland

111710Feature_AliceYou can bet Lewis Carroll never imagined this. The Mad Hatter is a DJ, Tweedledee and Tweedledum are two dance crews and the White Knight is on a razor scooter. Oh, and the Looking Glass is a computer screen that pulls Alice into the internet.

Adapted and directed by Jim Wren, associate professor of theatre, this new “Alice” production is being described as an urban techno original that draws on Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

“Internet safety is a theme because in this version Alice falls asleep at her computer and awakes to find herself in a strange, exciting and dangerous new world,” Wren said. “We decided to connect ‘Alice’ to this issue because the rabbit hole in our production is the internet.”

Staging a classic in contemporary terms is a challenge that Wren enjoys. In “Alice,” the play is internet-inspired. This becomes a jumping off point for talking about internet safety, which has been publicized widely for problems like cyber bullying and cyber stalking.

“The internet is a valuable tool for children,” Wren said. “Many schools now are emphasizing the importance of internet safety – with specific lessons about how the internet may seem strange and exciting with fascinating information – but that some of that information is dangerous and not appropriate for children.”

The stage for Wonderland/Internet and its special effects promises to be a unique experience for audiences.

The play, which opened last week, has plenty of fun for audiences, and the major characters will be there, although some with a more contemporary twist.

“The title character, Alice, uses Skype to talk with her big sister at college, she plays Wii on stage, she has her iPod and iPhone and is completely connected technologically speaking. But on her journey through the internet she meets fascinating and sometimes dangerous characters,” Wren says.

There is an educational component, with a study guide that has been developed for school groups, and an online internet safety quiz that children can take.

The play is a joint production of UNCG Theatre and NC Theatre for Young People. Performances in Taylor Theatre are at 2 p.m. Nov. 20 and 21; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 19; 9:30 a.m. Nov. 17-19; and noon on Nov. 18. Tickets cost $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, students and children; $9 for groups of 10 or more and UNCG alumni; and $7 for UNCG students. Tickets may be purchased at boxoffice.uncg.edu, 4-4849 or campus box office locations.

By Steve Gilliam
Photography by Jody Cauthen

Litter Patrol Before Dawn

111710Feature_GroundsStaffIf you see a piece of trash at 3 a.m. on campus, it’ll be disposed of by 6.

Overnight, trash may blow on campus from busy streets. Fast food bags and cups from late night runs may pepper the parking lots. Wrappers and papers from the day before may be seen here and there.

No problem. By the time dawn arrives, the Grounds staff, part of Facilities Operations, has covered campus, picking it all up.

About 24 members of Grounds check in at 5:30 a.m. They meet for a few minutes when there are particular areas of emphasis – such as the site of an event at the plaza, College Avenue or Foust Park. And then the first hour is devoted to litter patrol. The crew has a map of campus, colorcoded for each small team of individuals. Some sectors, such as the Quad, have one person. Some very public areas have three or four.

Then by 6:30 a.m.or so, they’re ready for their other jobs, says Bill Hardin, a Grounds supervisor.

Those first hours are valuable. On the one hand, they can’t use any noisy equipment near any residence halls until about 9 a.m., so some potential work like mowing and sawing has to be scheduled after that, says Hal Shelton, a Grounds supervisor. But those very early hours mean little car traffic and almost no foot traffic – so getting around and doing jobs quickly is a snap.

“It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s got to do it,” says Shelton.

Grounds does a lot to make the campus attractive, from the planting and mulching to the weeding and leaf pickup. And they don’t like litter messing up the beauty.

“If there’s litter, it takes away from all the other great work the Grounds staff has done,” says Chris Fay, assistant director for Grounds.

He notes that after litter pickup, early each morning, their attention turns to getting up leaves, this time of year – but they have to do it without disturbing sleep.

“We stay away from the dorms.”

Know of any other staff members doing interesting jobs in the overnight hours on campus? University Relations photographers want to hear about it. Email them at cwenglis@uncg.edu or dswilson@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson

UNCG a Campus Sustainability Leader

111010Feature_SustainabilityThe grades are in. And UNCG rose nearly two letter grades, in the College Sustainability Report Card 2011.

It rated 322 institutions in the United States and Canada, and named UNCG a Campus Sustainability Leader. Overall, the university received a grade of B, up from a D+ last year.

The leadership designation is based on performance in six of the report card’s nine categories – administration, climate change and energy, food and recycling, green building, student involvement, and transportation. The Report Card identifies 120 Campus Sustainability Leaders, including only two others in North Carolina – Duke and UNC Chapel Hill.

“Our progress in sustainability is a tribute to the hard work of students, faculty and staff across campus,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “We’re proud of the strides we’ve made, and we are committed to further improvement.”

The Report Card highlights many of UNCG’s recent sustainability initiatives and achievements:

  • Sustainability is one of UNCG’s five core values.
  • UNCG has created an Office of Sustainability and has hired a sustainability coordinator, Richard “Trey” McDonald, and a sustainability education and outreach coordinator, Jessica Trotman.
  • The university is creating an organic campus garden at 123 McIver St. UNCGreensboro Gardens, a group affiliated with the campus Sustainability Committee, has built dozens of raised beds, each 4’x8’ and framed with boards salvaged from an old barn. WFMY News 2 reported on the project.
  • Even while adding new buildings, the university has reduced annual energy consumption from 623 million to 577 million MBTUs (thousand British thermal units) since 2005. In 2007, UNCG became the first university in the UNC system to sign an energy performance contract, an agreement that paid for energy-efficiency upgrades to five buildings with future savings. Individual building electricity metering was installed during summer 2010, and an online dashboard will soon allow constant monitoring of energy and water use.
  • Students are volunteering as vampire energy “slayers,” working their way through academic buildings and bringing attention to electronic equipment that consumes energy even when off or in standby mode. Seventeen students have participated, and more than a dozen have signed up for future events.
  • The number of people on campus has grown, but water usage has dropped from 176 million to 172 million gallons since 2005. Trayless dining reduces water usage and food waste. Low-flow faucets, showerheads and toilets have been installed in some residence halls. Where possible, landscaping is designed to minimize the need for watering.
  • Construction is under way on two buildings, a School of Education building and a residence hall, designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards. The university plans to renovate the seven Quad residence halls and the Dining Hall to meet LEED Silver criteria during the next three years. In the past year, 92 percent of non-hazardous construction and demolition waste was diverted from landfills.
  • Each year, the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling collects and sells the clothes, books, decorations and other items students leave behind when they leave their dorm rooms. The latest edition of the Cram & Scram Yard Sale in June raised more than $1,100 to support environmental learning opportunities for students and, best of all, kept more than six tons of material out of the landfill.
  • Since 2005, the amount of waste generated annually on campus (garbage, recycling and compost) has dropped from about 10,800 tons to 10,300 tons. Roughly 38 percent of that waste is recycled rather than sent to a landfill.
  • Zipcar, Zimride, Spartan Cycles and several bus services provide transportation alternatives. Two of the four Zipcars available on campus for short-term rental are hybrids. Zimride is a free rideshare matching network that helps connect drivers and riders interested in carpooling. Spartan Cycles allows students and employees to check out six bicycles provided by the non-profit bike advocacy group Bicycling in Greensboro with support from UNCG Police. Spartan Chariot buses operate on a campus loop seven days a week. Greensboro Transit Authority and HEAT buses provide free transportation to off-campus locations.
  • The university’s 159-vehicle motor pool includes 17 electric vehicles, 16 that use biofuel and 15 that use ethanol.
  • The Report Card is produced by the Sustainable Endowments Institute, a nonprofit organization engaged in research and education to advance sustainability in campus operations and endowment practices. Founded in 2005, the institute is based in Cambridge, Mass.

Visual: A campus Earth Day information fair.

By Dan Nonte
Photograph by Becky Kates

Tailgate Before the Tip-off Nov. 14

111010Feature_TailgateMen’s and women’s basketball moves into action this weekend, with Friday away games before the teams return for their big home openers.

The men host Florida State Sunday, Nov. 14, at 3:30 p.m at the Coliseum, their home court. Come early to enjoy tailgating festivities.

Some things to keep in mind:

  • The Tailgate party at the Coliseum’s Pavilion will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. There will be inflatables for the children and giveaways as well. Cheerleaders, the UNCG Athletics Band of Sparta, the Spartans G’s and Spartan Force will also be on hand. Admission is free.
  • To enjoy a catered lunch at the Tailgate party in the Pavilion, you may purchase a lower level ticket for $20, which will include the lunch free of charge. This offer is available through Saturday. (For those faculty/staff who have season tickets, it is free, but you must RSVP [smlaurit@uncg.edu]. To purchase season tickets or to purchase tickets to this game and tailgate – or if you have any questions – contact Shona Lauritano (Ticket Office) at 4-3250 or email smlaurit@uncg.edu.
  • Free shuttles from the campus will run starting at 12:30 p.m. Shuttles will stop in front of the EUC.
  • Halftime entertainment at the Florida State game will be Acrodunk, doing high-flying dunk routines. All games will offer halftime entertainment, by local groups or by nationally known performers.
  • The first 1,000 fans will receive “fan banners” as they enter the seating area.
  • Various ticket options are available. Faculty/staff discounts for season ticket packages are still available, for $20 off the regular price. And “Gimme 5” packs are still on sale – you choose the games, which include Duke. Contact the UNCG Athletics Ticket Office for details or to purchase these special packages.
  • Moses Cone Health System is the game day sponsor of the first men’s game – as well as the season sponsor.
  • The women’s team starts their home schedule on Monday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. They will host UNC Wilmington. Senior Monique Floyd led the Spartan scoring in their recent exhibition game win against Winston-Salem State.
  • Faculty and staff will enjoy free admission to all women’s games this year. Just show your university I.D.

By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson.

Faculty and Staff Vie to Become Spartan Chefs

110310Feature_SpartanChefsEver asked co-workers what economical, healthy things they cooked for themselves? Wondered what were some of the best on your hall? Or in your building? You’ll soon find out – with recipes from across the whole campus.

Visit www.dineoncampus.com/uncg/?cmd=showRecipes at the Dining Services web site to see recipes your fellow faculty and staff members are posting. And if you have an economical, healthy recipe to share – perhaps it’s your specialty – post one yourself, at http://www.dineoncampus.com/uncg/?cmd=recipes.

Your recipe – and all the submitted recipes – will be published at the Dining Services site.

The recipes will be accepted through Nov. 30.

Winners will be selected and announced by Dining Services over the holiday break.

If you are one of the winners, your dish will be prepared by Dining Services chefs and served during a meal in the next semester. Your colleagues can enjoy it before deciding if they want to prepare it at home.

Spartan Chefs is co-sponsored by Human Resource Services and Dining Services.

The Spartan Chefs ‘healthy, economical eating’ challenge complements Spartan Steps, another HRS-sponsored challenge.

Submit your economical, healthy recipe here.

By Mike Harris

Photograph by David Wilson

Making the Grammy Entry List

110310Feature_WindEnsembleThe UNCG Wind Ensemble, long recognized as a premiere performance group, has gotten the attention of someone at the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Yes, the people who ultimately give out Grammy Awards.

The ensemble has been entered into consideration for music’s highest honor by a member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for its most recent recording, “fireworks!” The Wind Ensemble is on the Grammy Entry List in the Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance categories.

“There were 61 UNCG student performers on this recording and they represented the very finest wind and percussion students in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance,” said Dr. John Locke, UNCG’s director of bands. “This year, there are some 300 entries for Best Classical Album, so we’re realistic about our chances. Nonetheless, to be placed on a worldwide ballot with the greatest classical ensembles is very rewarding.”

At least one of those competitors will be very familiar. Also making the list are Dr. Michael Burns, an associate professor of bassoon, and Dr. Inara Zandmane, staff accompanist for the music departments, for their CD “Primavera: Music for Bassoon and Piano by Bassoonists.” The recording is listed in Best Classical Album and Best Chamber Music Performance categories.

Members of the recording academy will whittle down the entry list in the coming weeks as they select their top five choices in a variety of musical categories in a round of voting. Those five projects will be considered Grammy nominees. Another ballot will determine the Grammy winner in each category.

“fireworks!” is the ensemble’s 16th studio recording and the first to be distributed through a commercial recording label. The album was released in March 2010 and is available at Amazon.com, through many online distributors, directly from Equilibrium Records and for download through the Apple iTunes Store.

Though the recording process is arduous for both faculty and students, the experience is well worth it, said Dr. Kevin Geraldi, UNCG’s associate director of bands. “For the students in the group, the experience of recording gets them to refine their playing to the highest level of detail,” he said.

The ensemble will often rehearse pieces for six to seven weeks in preparation for a recording. A recording session can take 90 minutes to three hours per song and include 40 to 100 takes of various measures of music. Then add in six to eight hours of editing per piece, plus time for touchups and sound engineering.

“We do it until we do it right,” Geraldi said.

Several students who participated in the recording of “fireworks!” are still on campus, including graduate Brad McMillian, who now works in the UNCG Bands Office. He was thrilled when he learned of the project’s Grammy attention.

“It’s a huge honor to be in a category with some of the world’s most famous ensembles,” he said.

Zandmane had a similar response. “I am very happy that the CD is selected to be on the level suited for a Grammy,” she said. “It is a very big achievement.”

By Lanita Withers Goins

Preparing for Big Budget Cuts

102710Feature_BudgetTalkThe state’s budget deficit is expected to be much greater next year. Each of the system’s schools is planning accordingly.

“I think it will be difficult for the next two years,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady told the Staff Senate at its Oct. 14 meeting.

“Planning for 2011-13 Budget” was the topic of the chancellor’s talk. She had spoken at the most recent Faculty Senate meeting about the budget cycle as well.

Officials foresee a 3.2 billion dollar budget gap for 2011-12, brought on not only by a weakened economy but also expiring temporary taxes and loss of federal stimulus funding.

UNCG as well as other UNC campuses have been directed to plan for five or ten percent cuts, for next year.

Anticipating that the budget gap could ultimately be larger than projected, Brady believes universities, including UNCG, must be prepared for an even higher cut.

Provost David H. Perrin and the vice chancellors have been working on plans, for cuts at five and ten percent. The draft plan is due to UNC General Administration Oct. 29.

“We have operated for the last two years – and we will continue to operate – on a set of budget principles,” she said. They were last updated in May 2009. “We do not expect to change those principles.” The budget principles can be viewed here.

She noted that this year, UNCG has a single Tuition and Fee Committee co-chaired by Dr. Alan Boyette and Dr. Cherry Callahan, with two sub-committees, which will look at potential increases in tuition and fees and their impacts.

She anticipates receiving their recommendations by the end of October.

“We need to move our recommendations on tuition and fee increases to our Board of Trustees by the December meeting,” she said.

The Expansion Budget requests include three items for 2011-12:

  • Additional $1 million operating funds for Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering
  • Approximately $750,000 for staff/programs designed to improve retention and graduation rates
  • About $1.1 million for enterprise systems infrastructure and support (such as Banner and Blackboard), which the chancellor currently must fund from other sources.

Priorities that UNCG will submit for the Six-Year Capital Plan include:

  • A replacement for McIver Building, which would house classrooms, offices and labs and provide a single home for Nursing. This new building and other buildings currently under construction will necessitate an additional chiller plant.
  • Jackson Library addition and renovation, including a UNCG Data Center in the lowest floor.
  • Renovations to Eberhart Buidling and Moore (Nursing) Building.

One of the non-appropriated projects that are on UNCG’s list includes a new Student Recreation Center, to be built in University/Glenwood mixed-use neighborhood. The bonds would be funded by students’ facilities fee.

There are many uncertainties, she said. For example, in the spring, there’s the possibility they could be told a different budget-cut figure. Also, “We don’t know if furloughs will be available for 2011-12.”

She indicated she would like the option of furloughs next year.

“If we end up taking a $17 million dollar cut [10 percent], that could translate into as many as 250 faculty and staff. If a cut of that magnitude is required, then we need to seriously look at furloughs, which would reduce the number of employees we would have to lay off, understanding that all of us would essentially take a pay cut. But at least we would be employed, we would have benefits, we would be paying taxes – which actually helps the state get out of this.”

Another unknown is what, if any, state-mandated tuition increases there may be – and whether those funds would remain with each respective university or be used elsewhere.

The hour-long talk ended with a question and answer session. She fielded about a dozen questions, including one about the expansion beyond Lee Street – where she said the increase in residential housing and learning communities will enhance retention and graduation rates.

Visit the university’s budget web page for updates and information related to the budget.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Evening News from Colbert? That’s the Way It Is.

102710Feature_ColbertYears ago, Geoffrey Baym paused his late night channel surfing to listen to an in-depth conversation with Sen. John McCain about campaign finance reform. CNN? CSPAN? Nope, Comedy Central.

It turns out that Baym, an associate professor of media studies, was watching “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” A former television journalist, Baym was fascinated by the forum as much as by the reasonable discussion itself.

He explores this “serious comedy” and more in his recent book “From Cronkite to Colbert: The Evolution of Broadcast News,” winner of the 2010 Book Award from the National Communication Association’s Political Communication Division. The award will be presented next month at the association’s national conference in San Francisco.

Along with laughs for the audience, the hosts of faux news programs deliver tough questions for politicians, questions frequently missing from mainstream news coverage, Baym says. “Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are doing the heavy lifting of the Fourth Estate. They’re doing what Cronkite was trying to do all those years ago, although using radically different methods.”

Stewart and Colbert, hosts of “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report,” clearly are thinking outside the cable box. Colbert testified before Congress about immigration on Sept. 24. On Oct. 30, he and Stewart will host dueling rallies on D.C.’s National Mall, spoofing Glenn Beck’s Aug. 28 Restoring Honor Rally.

Baym suggests that Stewart’s Rally to Restore Sanity emphasizes a point “The Daily Show” and “The Colbert Report” have long been making.

“Stewart asks us to be serious by being silly,” Baym says. “Colbert calls for reason by being unreasonable. The tools of comedy – satire, irony, and parody – have become necessary ways to talk about a political culture that itself is growing increasingly bizarre.”

By Dan Nonte
Photography courtesy Comedy Central

‘Dream House’ Arises

102010Feature_HabitatWhen Beshir Ibnaouf came to North Carolina from Sudan in 1997, it was the first step in a long journey of building a new life for his family. His wife, Maarif Abbas, and infant daughter, Romesa, joined him two years later. The family has grown with the birth of four more children.

The family will have a new home in April thanks to their own hard work and a helping hand from Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro, Well•Spring and the UNCG community. A team of UNCG volunteers kicked off construction on Thursday.

Habitat houses are partnerships between families and the community. A sponsor, in this case Well•Spring, a not-for-profit LifeCare retirement community located in Greensboro, has donated the cost of initial construction and materials. About 360 UNCG students, faculty, staff and alumni will work on the house before it is dedicated in early April.

Habitat acts as a “bank” to give the family an interest-free mortgage on the house, which the family is required to repay. In addition, recipient families are required to put in 300 hours of “sweat equity” labor – 200 hours on someone else’s house and 100 hours on their own. Habitat homes must be owner occupied.

Beshir worked as a taxi driver during his first years in N.C., but he has worked as a printer operator at Banner Pharmacaps for the past six years. Romesa is now 14 and excelling at Guilford Middle School. She tutors younger students in math and is part of the school’s yearbook staff, school newspaper staff and photography club.

Mohamed, a 10-year-old son, and Rowah, a 7-year-old daughter, are enrolled at Jefferson Elementary School, where Mohamed is part of the school’s Safety Patrol. Hassan, a 3-year-old boy, and Noon, a 2-year-old girl, keep the family home lively. Beshir and Maarif beam with pride when discussing their children, whom they refer to as their “treasure.”

“The Ibnaouf family is a very good fit for Habitat’s goals,” said Lillie Brown-Doggett, director of family services for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Greensboro. “They are hardworking, financially responsible and dedicated to building a better life for their children.”

The family has just completed its required work hours on other homes. Both Beshir and Maarif worked on their own house Thursday. The lot in northeast Greensboro had only a bare concrete slab In the morning, but by the end of the day almost all of the first-floor framing, the wooden skeleton of exterior and interior walls, had been nailed in place.

Owning a home will not be the end of the family’s journey. “Romesa plans to become a dermatologist,” Beshir says, “so now we’re starting to investigate medical schools in N.C.”

Construction on the Ibnaouf home will continue on Thursdays and Saturdays, October-April. Habitat professionals train and supervise all volunteers, so no construction skills are needed. In addition to helping with construction, there will be opportunities to volunteer by providing lunch for the construction volunteers, doing morning set-up and other tasks.

Everyone in the UNCG community is encouraged to participate. Contact Beth Hens at brhens@uncg.edu for more information.

By Anita Tesh and Dan Nonte
Photograph by David Wilson

With Dig Pink, It’s Spartans vs. Breast Cancer

102010Feature_DigPinkAs volleyball practice ended last Tuesday, senior Billi Baker stopped to tell what this weekend’s Dig Pink games in Fleming Gym mean for her.

“My mother is a five-year survivor,” said the senior, who said her mother was cured of breast cancer in 2005. “She will be here for the event.” In the past decade, an aunt had been diagnosed with breast cancer. “We lost her.”

Baker says this weekend’s volleyball Dig Pink games will raise breast cancer awareness and also raise money for breast cancer research.

On Friday at 7 p.m, the team hosts College of Charleston. On Saturday, they host The Citadel at 7 p.m. Admission is free.

Patrick Nicholas, in his second year as Spartan coach, spoke of his mother, after the practice. In the early 1980s, she had detected a lump, but waited before telling her doctor. “A few months, six months, a year …”

She had surgery. He began college at George Mason. “A year later, they found a spot in her hip.” She had a year or two of heavy chemotherapy, he says, but cancer appeared in other parts of her body as well.

This was decades ago when less could be done.

As an upperclassman, he learned from relatives that it had been much more serious than his mom had told him. “She’d told the doctors to get her to my graduation.”

He found college to be very hard. He was the first in his family to attend. But his mother’s courage and determination motivated him. “She was fighting to get to my graduation,” he thought.” If she can do that, I could finish college.”

He did. A month before commencement, he went home to visit her. She was on morphine, and he held her hand all night. She woke up that morning and told him the doctors thought she’d be at the ceremony. But she died before commencement.

“It’s a nasty disease. If you live long enough, you’ll know somebody with it.”

He added, “We all have an investment in finding a cure for the disease.”

Senior Alissa Beaudway told of grandparents dying of cancer. “It’s something our team is passionate about.”

Sophomore Olivia Humphries said, “I had a cousin die in 2006 of a brain tumor.” He was 13 years old. “You think it’s not going to happen to you. You never know … So many families are affected by [cancer].”

The players said they’ll likely wear as much pink as possible – pink shoelaces perhaps, and pink hair ribbons. They will also wear commemorative pink jerseys.

Nicholas notes you’ll also see slams at over a hundred miles an hour and diving saves in the back line. “You see the power and the grace and the gymnastics” of high level volleyball, while supporting an important cause.

“Come support our team and the fight for a cure for cancer.”

The women’s basketball team has a similar event each winter, called the Pink Zone game. And all Athletics teams are involved in the Relay for Life on campus in the spring.

Everyone who comes to the games to show support, who competes, who perhaps makes a donation are part of something important.

“It’s all Spartans against cancer,” said Nicholas.

More notes about the weekend’s events:

  • On Friday against College of Charleston, the first 200 fans will receive pink pom poms. A postgame autograph session with the volleyball team will be held after both of the weekend’s games.
  • Two-time Olympic gold medalist Misty May-Treanor will speak before Saturday’s Citadel match. Hours before the game, she will help lead a sand volleyball clinic on campus through the Greensboro Sportsplex.
  • The first 200 fans on Saturday will receive free pink T-shirts. A silent auction will be held before the match, including items autographed by May-Treanor.
  • All proceeds raised during the two matches will go toward the Mammography Scholarship Fund at The Women’s Hospital, which provides screening mammograms for women unable to afford them.
  • Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the games.

Visual: An autograph session at last year’s Dig Pink event in Fleming Gym.

By Mike Harris
Photograph courtesy Spartan Athletics

Business Summit Set for Nov. 9

101310Feature_SummitEach year, UNCG presents the fifth annual UNCG Business Summit in order to bring the corporate leadership of Greensboro and the Triad together to hear from a major executive. The summit highlights the relationship between business and higher education. The Triad’s colleges and universities are among the region’s key drivers of economic growth.

Attendees can hear what UNCG is doing to advance the economic vitality and quality of life in our city and region.

This year’s summit will be 8 a.m.-noon onTuesday, Nov. 9, in EUC’s Cone Ballroom.

The keynote speaker will be James L. Turner, a group executive of Duke Energy and president and COO of its U.S. Franchised Energy & Gas business.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady and NC A&T Chancellor Harold L. Martin will join in a discussion moderated by Douglas Copeland of The Business Journal regarding collaboration between the two universities.

Also, Dr. James G. Ryan, founding dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, will provide updates on the joint school and John Merrill, executive director of Gateway University Research Park, will provide updates about the research park.

The registration deadline is Nov. 2. The cost is $25. Register at http://www.uncg.edu/dur/business/BusinessSummit2010/BusSummitReg.htm or by calling 6-1284.

Photography of attendees at last year’s event by Chris English.

Talking with the Dying

101310Feature_BarbaTalkHow many of you have had an experience with someone’s who’s dying?

Dr. Beth Barba posed that question to the 40 or so attendees of the first LIHC Food for Thought talk in October. Each Wednesday, all students, faculty and staff are invited to come learn about an interesting topic while enjoying a light lunch in the Faculty Center.

Barba (Nursing) noted her area is largely gerontology. UNCG’s interdisciplinary Gerontology Program is particularly strong. In the School of Nursing, she and Dr. Laurie Kennedy-Malone, who leads the Geriatric Nurse Practitioners Program, are among the 18 or so of its faculty members who have expertise in geriatrics, according to Barba.

Surveys of nurses in the workforce tend to show the nurses wish they’d been taught more about how to interact with and talk to those who are dying and their families.

“I do teach a 500 level course on end-of-life care. I’ll teach it this summer – all online. An elective,” she told the Nursing upperclassmen in attendance.

What do the dying and their family members want, when nurses – or any others – speak with them?

Information. A way to maintain a sense of control. To disclose feelings. A need for meaning. Hope.

What do they hope for? Perhaps an afterlife. Perhaps assurance that their life has held meaning. Perhaps a comfortable death.

She noted older adults often have no time for frivolous talking. They’ll cut right to the chase.

On the other hand, an exercise Barba led halfway through her talk was enlightening. The audience broke up in pairs, each role playing. One listened for two minutes while the other described a loss of some sort. And vice versa.

Opening up took a while, some discovered.

Barba noted that’s often how it is, when you speak with a person approaching death. Just be an active listener, she said, showing that you care. “Put yourself in the moment. And being silent is good. Provide serenity.” That could mean anything of a spiritual nature, whether overtly religious if that’s requested or perhaps turning the bed so the person can face out the window. Singing with them or for them can be serene as well.

“Be there, on their journey. You go where they are.”

And Barba gave a tip to ensure the individual goes ahead and says what they want to say – and doesn’t hold back. Say “I have [whatever] minutes. I’d love to come in and sit.” The person will open up to you more quickly.

She made an analogy. “It’s like therapy. You know you have 50 minutes.” The person won’t wait until the 49th to start talking.

“I would just sit. Sit quietly,” she said.

“The person will eventually say what they want to say.”

You might encourage them to tell their stories, if they wish, by asking an open-ended question. And keep in mind that the person dying could be feeling guilt – if for example, they thought their smoking led to the lung cancer. Or they might feel fear. Non-acceptance. Anger.

Physicians are focused on cures, Barba said. “We want them to be.” Dealing with the needs related to dying is often left to the nurses.

People in America don’t die at home much, she noted – they die primarily at nursing homes and also at hospitals and Hospices.

“People want to die at home,” she said.

They have a need to be surrounded as they die by people who care for them.

A writer for Hospice once said the dying and family members have five things that should be expressed to each other:

  1. I love you. “You can never say that too much,” Barba said.
  2. I forgive you.
  3. Please forgive me.
  4. Thank you.
  5. Good-bye.

By Mike Harris
Photography by Mike Harris

Ergonomics 101

100610Feature_ErgonomicsIs your chair adjusted so that your feet are flat on the ground? Is there a 2 inch space between the front of the seat and the back of your knee when sitting? Is the computer monitor directly in front of you when in use? Is the monitor located 28-36 inches away from your face?

When Todd Beck (in visual) visits an office for an ergonomics check-up, these will be among the things he usually looks for. They are part of a computer workstation self-inspection checklist his department distributes.

Beck is industrial hygiene coordinator at the Department of Environmental Health and Safety. Commonly he will visit an office for one individual, and a person in the next office or work station will also want an assessement. Soon a half-dozen in the office want the same. But often he can get to them all.

“You get a lot of enjoyment. You get immediate feedback. [You hear things such as] ‘That does feel better’ or ‘That’s a better set-up.’

“We want to be proactive,” he said. He encourages the campus community to consider ergonomics when they get set up with a new office. “We’re a service to the university – we want to make sure you’re set up correctly.”

He stresses that his department helps employees doing all sorts of work and tasks – whether in front of a computer, cleaning, using motor equipment or other types of work.

Beck has a BS degree in occupational safety and is a Board Certified Safety Professional (CSP).

Think about ergonomics, he says, in regards to how you interact with your work. Be considerate of body positions. And if you need some help from others or some mechanical help, get it.

Chairs are often a point of discussion. His department even has a few in their front office that can be used to demonstrate good ways to make adjustments and achieve proper fit.

“The chair set-up is often an issue,” he says, explaining that it often comes down to some simple adjustments that need to be made using the existing chair features.

One person he sees may be 5 feet, 2 inches. Another may be 6 feet, 1 inch. “We’re very different in dimensions.” The chair is only one aspect of the equation, he explains. “It’s all about the adjustability of the workstation.”

Generally, when a person is sitting at a computer, he likes to see “nice, 90 degree angles” on their body, he says. And he likes to see the mouse on the same plane as the keyboard.

“People can be more efficient if they’re in a good position when they do their work,” he says.

For information on ergonomics at work, OSHA offers a great web site, he says. It is www.osha.gov. There’s an A-Z index, including a web page on Computer Workstations.

Those with questions may contact Todd Beck at todd_beck@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Photography by Mike Harris

Free Flu Shots

100610Feature_FlueShotSeasonal flu shot clinics will be offered again this year.

These clinics, sponsored by Human Resource Services, will provide free flu shots to State Health Plan members. The clinics will provide flu shots for UNCG employees and their covered family members, at least 9 years of age. Retirees with State Health Plan coverage are also welcome. Please bring your State Health Plan ID card and a photo ID.

There is no separate vaccine required for H1N1. H1N1 is now included as part of the standard flu vaccination, according to Melissa Barnes (HRS).

The dates and locations are:

Monday, Oct. 25
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Campus Supply Store Training Room – Physical Plant

Tuesday, Oct. 26
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Elliott University Center – Kirkland Room

Wednesday, Oct. 27
9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Elliott University Center – Ferguson Room

Questions? Contact Melissa Barnes (HRS) at mkbarnes@uncg.edu.

Photography courtesy The White House.

Check Out That Car – No, Really

092910Feature_ZipCarPersonal vehicles are increasingly optional on campus, as the university makes strides to be more sustainable and offer students, faculty and staff greater transportation options.

That work is gaining attention. The university was recently named one of the Best Workplaces for Commuters by the National Center for Transit Research. UNCG is the first employer in the Triad to earn the national recognition.

“We have been working on changing a culture at UNCG so people no longer feel they have to come to school with a car,” said Scott Milman, director of auxiliary services.

UNCG also introduced two new services this fall – Zipcar and Zimride – designed to reduce the need for individually-owned cars on campus.

  • Zipcar is a car-sharing service that allows members to reserve cars by the hour or the day, easing congestion on campus and reducing the need for additional parking. Gas, 180 miles per day, insurance, reserved parking spots and roadside assistance are included in the hourly and daily Zipcar rates. Cars can be reserved for as short as an hour or for up to four days. Rates on all UNCG vehicles start as low as $8 per hour and $66 per day (24 hours). UNCG students, staff and faculty can become Zipsters by visiting www.zipcar.com/uncg. The annual membership fee is $35 and UNCG applicants receive $35 worth of free driving credit that applies toward their first month of driving. Free annual memberships are offered to departments. Four Zipcars are located on campus – two on Gray Drive and two on College Avenue. It’s estimated that every Zipcar takes 15-20 personal cars off the road.
  • Zimride is a free rideshare matching network that helps connect drivers and riders interested in carpooling. Open to the UNCG community through a private network, Zimride helps registered users offer or request rides for occasional road trips as well as daily commutes. More information can be found at http://zimride.uncg.edu.

Spartan Cycles is another initiative launching this fall. In fact, it is launching today (Sept. 29). The program will allow students and employees to check out bicycles from the Housing & Residence Life FIXT office. Bikes in the program were provided by the non-profit bike advocacy group Bicycling in Greensboro with support from UNCG campus police.

“UNCG has been working hard to expand Campus Access Management programs like our partnerships with HEAT, GTA, PART, UNCG bi-ped programs and Zimride ridesharing,” Milman said. “Zipcar provides the missing link for our faculty, staff and students – access to a car on campus.”

UNCG participants made up half of the more than 4,000 pledges collected during the Piedmont Authority for Regional Transportation (PART) annual Commuter Challenge. Those making pledges promised to try a sustainable form of transportation: a bus system, carpooling, walking, biking or telecommuting.

UNCG’s ridership numbers on Greensboro Transit Authority (GTA) buses, especially the Higher Education Area Transit (HEAT) service, continue to grow. For the 2009-10 academic year, Spartans took 197,061 rides on HEAT buses, a 44 percent increase over the previous year. UNCG has the second highest participation in the HEAT network, slightly behind N.C. A&T, which had 202,169 riders.

Provisions have been made for commuters who may need a ride in case of an emergency. PART now offers an Emergency Ride Home Program, giving a free ride to UNCG students and employees in the PART coverage area who commuted to work using a sustainable form of transportation and have an emergency. Covered emergencies include an illness or severe crisis for the commuter or an immediate family member, or abandonment caused if a ridesharing driver has to stay late or leave early, leaving their passenger without a way home. For more information, visit http://www.partnc.org/uncgemergency.html.

UNCG’s focus on alternative transportation expands the university’s sustainability efforts and allows students and employees to save more of their hard earned money, Milman said.

More details are at http://parking.uncg.edu/sustain.html.

Visual: Zipcars ready to be checked out, on Gray Drive.

By Lanita Withers Goins
Photography by Mark Unrue

Musical ‘Oklahoma!’ Debuts Sept. 29

092910Feature_Oklahoma“Oklahoma!,” the iconic musical created by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein, changed the face of American musical theatre with its bold combination of music, theatre and dance.

That makes it a fitting choice for the inaugural season of the newly formed School of Music, Theatre and Dance, said Bryan Conger, the show’s director and a third-year MFA directing student in the school.

“I went to Rodgers and Hammerstein because they are really where it all began, where the modern day musical came from,” Conger said. “‘Oklahoma!’ was the first to integrate story, music and dance together to create one cohesive project. The new school is joining together. What better way to celebrate?’”

“Oklahoma!” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 29-30, 8 p.m. Oct. 1-2 and 2 p.m. Oct. 2-3 in historic Aycock Auditorium. The 8 p.m. show Oct. 2 doubles as the first event of the 2010-11 University Concert/Lecture Series, which is now sponsored by the school.

Tickets for the shows are $20 adult; $15 for children, seniors and non-UNCG students; $12 for UNCG alumni and groups of 10 or more; and $10 for UNCG students. Tickets may be purchased at boxoffice.uncg.edu, 4-4849 or campus box office locations.

Set in the American West at the turn of the 20th century, “Oklahoma!” uses the spirited rivalry between cowboys and farmers as the backdrop for the romantic relationship between Curly, a handsome cowboy, and Laurey, a winsome farm girl. Dr. William Carroll, associate dean for the School of Music, Theatre and Dance, will direct the show’s memorable tunes as the production’s musical director.

“The play’s main message is that of community,” Conger said. “In a modern time of division and social controversy, ‘Oklahoma!’ explores our states’ first moments of pride as we expanded our nation and brought opportunity to people of all origins.”

Information about the full UCLS series will be in an upcoming issue. Details about performers and about purchasing tickets for the series can be found at http://www.uncg.edu/mus/ucls/.

Visual: Cast members Leah Turley, Matt Delaney, Diana Yodzis (l-r)

By Lanita Withers Goins.
Photography by Bert VanderVeen

Obama and the Terrible Twos?

092210Feature1_PresidentObamaCNN? FOX News? Drudge Report? Democracy Now?

As news media become more seemingly partisan, where can you turn to find accurate information and reasonable reflection? It’s as important as ever to be fully informed politically.

“Political science can provide perspective and context for both the campaign and election results that are often difficult to find in the current media environment, dominated as it is by cable talk, talk radio, and partisan/ideological blogs that often miss the forest for the trees,” says Dr. David Holian (Political Science). He is director of UNCG’s Center for Legislative Studies

As the Obama presidency nears its two-year mark, the Center for Legislative Studies in the Department of Political Science will present the fall lecture series “Obama at Midterm: Polarization and Backlash.”

“We feel it’s important to take a step back and discuss how the current midterm elections are not only unique in certain ways – for example, the effect of the Tea Party in Republican primaries and the competition between increasingly polarized parties – but also perfectly predictable given our understanding of past midterms – for example, the expectation of large losses by the president’s party, especially given the poor economy.”

Two talks are before the midterm elections. One is afterward. “The first talk will be about Republican prospects for taking over the House, Senate or both,” said Holian (Political Science). “The second talk will discuss the Obama presidency in the context of the highly politically polarized era we live in. Finally, the third talk will place the election results in context and discuss Obama’s leadership challenge as we turn our attention to the 2012 presidential election.”

The talks begin this week:

“How Large a Wave? The Outlook for the 2010 Midterm Elections”
Dr. Alan I. Abramowitz (Emory University)
Wednesday, Sept. 29, 7:30 p.m.

“Barack Obama and the Partisan Presidency”
Dr. Richard M. Skinner (Rollins College)
Wednesday, Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m.

“The 2010 Midterms and Their Consequences”
Dr. David W. Rohde (Duke University)
Wednesday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m.

All events will be held in the Weatherspoon Auditorium.
Free parking will be behind the Museum.
A reception will follow each lecture in the Atrium.

Dr. Alan I. Abramowitz, the first speaker, is the Alben W. Barkley Professor of Political Science at Emory University in Atlanta. He has authored or coauthored five books, has made dozens of contributions to edited volumes, and has published more than 40 articles in political science journals dealing with political parties, elections and voting behavior in the United States. His book “The Disappearing Center: Engaged Citizens, Polarization and American Democracy” was published this year by Yale University Press.

Questions? Contact Carrie Klamut at ceklamut@uncg.edu

By Mike Harris
Photography courtesy The White House

SECC Goal: $235,000

092210Feature2_SECCThe poverty rate is at a 15-year high. Unemployment, particularly in our state, is exceptionally high. The Great Recession has caused lots of hurt, making this year’s State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) particularly important.

“We know the impact that the economic situation has had on our community and indeed on our friends and neighbors,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady.

We each have particular causes we may want to give to. The SECC allows you to pinpoint your donations, if you choose. The chancellor personally prefers United Way of Greater Greensboro, which supports the community in which she lives, she explained. Whether the organizations you choose are local, regional or even national, it’s important to note that they do make a difference, she said.

The official workplace giving campaign for employees throughout state government and the university system, the SECC assists more than 900 agencies and groups.

The campus’ many volunteer solicitors from throughout campus gathered last Friday in the Virginia Dare Room (in visual) to pick up packets for their departments and learn about this year’s drive.

SECC chair Benita Peace (HRS) announced the year’s goal: $235,000.

Peace spoke of her home county, Rockingham County, having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. Many of those in her community have been hit hard. She also said last year she directed her donation to breast cancer awareness, in honor of her mother.

Many UNCG employees give through payroll deduction. That spreads the donation over 12 months, starting in January.

To make a donation, simply fill out the form, include payment and returned the sealed envelope to your department’s solicitor so it can be forwarded for processing.

The campus SECC web page is uncg.edu/secc.

“I know we can do it,” Brady said, about reaching the goal. “We had an ambitious goal last year and we exceeded our goal. I’m hoping we can do that again this year.”

By Mike Harris
Photography by Mike Harris

Founders Day Events Launch Homecoming Week

091510Feature2_FoundersDayFounders Day will be observed Monday, Sept. 20, which is near founder Charles Duncan McIver’s 150th birthday. (See details about the new library exhibition about McIver’s life.)

“We’re hoping that by kicking off Homecoming with the Founders Day party we can create more awareness of UNCG’s history and traditions among our UNCG campus family,” said Linda Carter, executive director of the UNCG Alumni Association and director of the Office of Alumni Relations.

At 11 a.m. on Monday, a poetry reading presented by the N.C. Writer’s Network will be held in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House. The Randall Jarrell poetry contest winner, Rebecca Warren ’81 MFA, ’86 MA, will read her award-winning poem, “Grass Bridge.”

The festivities will kick into high gear with a noon party in Taylor Garden near the EUC, complete with steel drummers and a cake decorating contest. The birthday cake cutting will be around 1 p.m.

The big Homecoming Week will extend from Sept. 20-26.

Mid-week activities include a comedy show and the men’s soccer match versus Campbell.

The biggest day of activities will be Saturday, Sept. 25, with the Children’s Festival and all the Spartan Village offerings in front of the EUC, capped off by the men’s soccer match vs. Wake Forest. All home soccer matches this year are free.

A full schedule of the entire week’s activities is at www.uncg.edu/ure/homecoming/map_biglist.html.

Details about Homecoming Family Weekend – including the Children’s Festival – can be found at orientation.uncg.edu/families/weekend.

Visual: Statue of McIver. The noon party will not be held at the statue. It will be held at Taylor Garden.

By Beth English and Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson

Snowden Testifies on Covered Bonds

091510Feature1_CapitolSenateDr. Ken Snowden, an associate professor of economics and director of graduate studies in the Bryan School, testifies before the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs today (Sept. 15).

He will address the committee during a panel discussion on “Covered Bonds: Potential Uses and Regulatory Issues.”

An economic historian, Snowden has studied the historical development of the mortgage market in the U.S. for more than 20 years. His research has become particularly relevant in light of the mortgage crisis that contributed to the nation’s economic recession.

In recent years, lenders have utilized a securitization process where mortgage loans were sold and repackaged, Snowden said. With covered bonds, “instead of selling the mortgage, the intermediary holds on to it and uses it as collateral for bonds they issue,” he said.

“The key advantage that people talk about with covered bonds is that issuers keep ‘skin in the game.’ What that means is they’re retained some of the risk. That’s their skin. Hopefully, that’ll make them more careful in what mortgages they make.”

The covered bond model has been widely used in European markets, where it has performed better than securitization, he said. “What Congress is trying to do right now is see if there needs to be legislation or regulatory action to encourage the development of the covered bond market.”

If legislators encourage movement in that direction, it’ll be a return to a model used decades ago. “We actually had covered bonds systems before 1940 in the United States,” Snowden said. He’s one of only a few scholars who have studied those markets extensively “so I can provide some historical perspective on how well they worked and the regulations that were implemented at the time.

“I’m the only historian on the panel. Everyone else is either a regulator or folks in current financial markets. My job is to provide a little historical context.”

Snowden spent the weekend preparing a paper for the Senate Banking Committee that he planned to submit prior to his testimony. Today, he’ll give five to seven minutes of verbal testimony and be available to answer questions from committee members.

After the testimony, he’ll hop a plane back to Greensboro to teach class. For an academic who has dedicated countless hours to his research, it’s a sacrifice he’s happy to make.

“I was happy to be asked and I’m happy to contribute,” Snowden said. “That’s why we do this work, hoping it can matter in some way.”

By Lanita Withers Goins.

Want Others to See Your Program’s Calendar?

090810Feature2_GoogleCalYou want to be in-the-know? The UNCG Public Calendar provides lots of events.

You want to get your events on people’s calendars? There’s something new: a UNCG calendar directory that will help people know about your events.

But first, your department or program needs to have a Google calendar. You need to make it public, if it’s not already. You need to make sure it has plenty of events (an empty calendar is not helpful). And you need to submit it to the UNCG calendar directory.

A Campus Weekly story earlier in the summer described the campus’ calendar initiative, and encouraged more departments to create Google calendars. Since that time, more Google calendars have been created around campus and many have been added to one centralized directory. That directory, which “went live” very recently, can be found at http://calendar.uncg.edu/directory/index.php. You may want to bookmark it.

There, you will see many calendars. Some you may be very interested in. Some less so. You may want to know about upcoming lectures in one department, but not in another.

If for example you are interested in the Student Affairs calendar, click “S” to get to it. Or use the “categories” groupings to find the ones you want.

You can create your own personal, customizable “mash-up” calendar, so each time you come back to view it, the calendar will show just the types of events you want to see.

Your personal mash-up calendar would be a combined view of several calendars offered in this directory.

For example, you may be interested in having on your mash-up calendar home volleyball games, theatre events, Staff Senate events and archaeology events.

Click those ones – and any others you’re interested in – to provide the one calendar you want. And you can add or delete calendars at any time.

This customizable app is available to all faculty, staff and students.

Have questions? There is an FAQ section for the Public Calendar, which is a broad calendar for the general public. And there is an FAQ section for the calendar directory, as well as training materials.

Those with questions about placing particular events on the Public Calendar may email dan_nonte@uncg.edu.

The campus calendar effort is a joint venture of Students Affairs Technology, University Relations and Information Technology Services.

The use of these Google calendars is part of the Google Apps for Education initiative. See the related video.

By Mike Harris