UNCG Campus Weekly

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

A Milestone, as JSNN Welcomes First Students

090810Feature1_BradMillerCongressman Brad Miller has a keen interest in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, says Mike Tarrant, special assistant to the chancellor. The school opened last month, welcoming its first students.

Miller serves on the House of Representatives’ Science and Technology Committee, where he is chair of that committee’s subcommittee on investigations and oversight.

“He has a special interest in nanoscience,” Tarrant says, noting that Miller is currently co-sponsoring legislation that will provide more education and research in the area of nanotechnology.

The JSNN has welcomed its first group of students – and just before classes began, Miller met with N.C. A&T Chancellor Harold Martin, UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady, Dr. James Ryan, the JSNN founding dean, and John Merrill, executive director of Gateway University Research Park, at the joint school. Other NC A&T and UNCG officials as well as John Hardin, executive director of the NC Board of Science and Technology, participated.

Miller spoke with students and faculty, toured the current classroom and labs and saw the construction site at the Gateway University Research Park’s south campus. The school’s $65 million building is under construction, with completion scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. Construction so far is on time and on budget, Ryan said. For now, classes are being held next door in the conference room of Gateway’s USDA research building.

“The enrollment of the first cohort of students into the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering marks the fruition of a vision that was cast years ago,” said UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “The cutting-edge disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering combine the strengths of the two universities, and the training these students will receive at the Joint School will be in demand and spur economic development for years to come.”

Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr., chancellor of NC A&T, also cited the singular opportunities the school represents for both students and the community. “This unique school will provide our students with remarkable education and research experiences in the rapidly developing field of nanotechnology,” Martin said. “The Joint School enables our universities to enhance the competitiveness of our community and region, and we look forward to continuing to work with our local business and government leaders to realize the school’s potential for a very real impact on our economy.”

In the most recent state budget, the two universities received $1 million in recurring funds for JSNN to hire additional faculty and staff.

Information released by the JSNN explains that it is one of fewer than 10 schools nationally to offer degree programs in nanotechnology, according to the National Nanotechnology Initiative. And JSNN, which was created by NC A&T and UNCG, is the only one created and operated collaboratively by two universities.

The school opened last month with 18 students in two degree programs – 17 are in the doctoral program in nanoscience, and one is in the professional master’s degree program in nanoscience.

That enrollment is considered remarkably strong, considering that the first degree programs were approved by the UNC Board of Governors only last January. “The original projection was 10, due to the lack of time we had to market the program to prospective students,” said Ryan.

First semester courses include Mathematical Methods in Nanoscience and Nanoengineering as well as Nanochemistry.

The students also will take two lab rotations and a professional development course. The students will have a choice of labs, including two JSNN labs temporarily located in the USDA building and nano-oriented labs at both of Gateway’s campuses.

Second-semester courses include Nanobiology and Nanophysics, two more lab rotations and another professional development course. With those first-year courses as a foundation, Ryan said, students will be prepared to focus on the specific fields of their choice in the subsequent three years of the Ph.D. program.

The doctoral program is designed to produce researchers for industry and academia. The professional master’s program is for students who want to work on the business side of the nano field. It will include management courses taught at the two universities’ schools of business as well as the first-year science courses.

In addition to the two nanoscience degrees, which are offered by UNCG, N.C. A&T will submit proposals to the UNC General Administration this fall to offer master’s and doctoral programs in nanoengineering at the JSNN.

The 100,000-plus-square-foot research facility that will house JSNN is scheduled to open in the spring of 2012.

Visual: Jim Coleman, who has begun work on his doctorate in nanoscience, speaks with Congressman Brad Miller in a lab.

By Mike Harris and staff
Photography by Chris English

Music, Theatre and Dance Share Stage

090110Feature2_CollageFaculty and students from the newly formed School of Music, Theatre and Dance will showcase their talents on a shared stage for the third annual Collage Concert.

The popular performance, which has enjoyed near sell-out crowds for the past two years, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 11, in Aycock Auditorium. Tickets for the event are $10-20 and can be purchased online at boxoffice.uncg.edu, by calling 4-4849 or at campus box office locations. Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. All proceeds will benefit the School of Music, Theatre and Dance Scholarship Fund.

This year’s event will highlight the strength of the performing arts at UNCG and within the new unit dedicated to the three artistic disciplines. The theatre department will present an excerpt from the iconic musical “Oklahoma!” (A full performance of the musical will have a several-day run later this semester.) Students from the dance department will perform two pieces choreographed by faculty members. And the music departments will be well represented, with performances by 350 vocalists and instrumentalists as well as contributions from faculty members with specialties in jazz, voice, keyboard, string, and wind instruments.

The Collage Concert is a great opportunity for patrons to experience a wide range of artistic expressions, said Dr. Kevin Geraldi, an assistant professor of conducting in the school. “People who normally might only be interested in hearing a certain type of music, or who tend to attend performances by certain areas of the school, will have the opportunity to explore the breadth of what our excellent faculty and students have to offer.

“Collage is not a normal concert experience,” he added. “It is much more interactive, with performances that surround the audience presented seamlessly with special lighting.”

The 2010 Collage Concert is the first in a series of special performances planned to celebrate the inaugural year of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. The school was officially established July 1.

For more information about the Collage Concert, visit http://www.uncg.edu/mus/collage.

By Lanita Withers Goins
Photography by David Wilson

eMarketplace for One-Stop Shopping

090110Feature_MarketplaceUNCG has implemented a new e-procurement system called the UNC Greensboro eMarketplace.

eMarketplace is an automated, streamlined procurement application that will provide cost savings to departments making purchases.

  • What It Is: eMarketplace is an online marketplace for UNC Greensboro. It is a shopper’s one-stop shopping and requisitioning portal. It will feel very much like shopping at Amazon.com. The eMarketplace allows for browsing by category and adding items to a shopping cart. Shopping becomes as easy as point and click.
  • Where it is: eMarketplace is located online, which makes it an efficient paperless purchasing system, designed to be user friendly. Once trained, shoppers can access it at: http://purchasing.uncg.edu/eMarketplace/
  • Who It Affects: All Shoppers and Requisitioners. Banner continues to be our Finance system of record, but eMarketplace overlays Banner, making your shopping experience easier, faster and more financially relevant. Once a shopper/requester is trained, they will do all their shopping in eMarketplace. All current Banner requesters must be trained by the end of 2010.
  • When Does it Go Into Effect: Training will be held through the end of the year in preparation to go live at the first of January 2011.
  • How You Get Trained: Campus training sessions are scheduled beginning Sept.13. You can sign up online at: http://purchasing.uncg.edu/eMarketplace/training.html. If you have questions regarding training, contact Sandy Rogerson at slroger2@uncg.edu

Shannon Clegg, senior director of Campus Enterprises, said, “This new e-procurement system will provide the ability to bring UNCG’s spending under management, cut processing costs, and negotiate more competitive contracts with major suppliers, hence saving the university departments money.”
Clegg also provided some benefits of an e-procurement system:

  • Establishes a one‐stop shopping and request portal for all request types
  • Easier access for departments to the system
  • Increase overall operational efficiencies across campus
  • Drive purchases to contract suppliers
  • Increase purchase volume to HUB suppliers
  • Enhance strategic sourcing capabilities – new and better contracts
  • Improve efficiency of back‐office staff from procure‐to‐pay

Additional information on the eMarketplace can be found on the Purchasing page at: http://purchasing.uncg.edu/eMarketplace/

By Angie Schrock
Photography of a training session last week by Mark Unrue

Blue & Gold Day This Friday


Chancellor Linda P. Brady signed a university proclamation Tuesday that declares each Friday during the 2010-11 academic year a “Blue and Gold Day”. [Read more…]

Veterans & Military Expo

082510Feature2_MilitaryJosh Green feels lucky. Although he spent five years as a military policeman, he was never deployed.

When he left the military, he earned an undergraduate degree here at UNCG. Since 2006, he has worked in the Dean of Students’ Office.

“I’m very fortunate to be where I’m at,” says Green, whose mother served in the first Gulf War and whose brother was deployed to Afghanistan.

With the idea of helping other veterans get their bearings after completing their military service, Green is working with U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and others at UNCG to organize the first annual Veterans and Military Expo. It is the first such event to take place on a UNC System campus, Green says.

The Expo, which includes a panel discussion on veterans’ benefits and a resource fair, takes place Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 1-4 p.m. in Elliott University Center. It is free and open to all veterans, their families and friends. Free parking is available at the Greensboro Coliseum with shuttle service to the university.

The panel discussion runs from 1-2 p.m. in the EUC Auditorium on the main floor. Hagan will introduce a four-person panel to talk about education, job readiness and other issues affecting veterans.

The resource fair runs from 2-4 p.m. in the Claxton, Alexander and Kirkland rooms on the lower floor of the EUC. Representatives will speak with veterans about health benefits, education benefits and other services.

Green worked with Dedrick Curtis from the UNCG Registrar’s Office; Mike Tarrant, special assistant to Chancellor Linda P. Brady for government relations; and Dr. Kristine Lundgren, a professor in Communication Sciences and Disorders, to plan the event.

“I hope the EUC is packed,” says Green, who wants to make the Expo a yearly happening and wants to see the idea spread to other campuses. “It’s just a really good thing to let our community, and our campus, know we really care.”

For details, contact Josh Green at 4-5514 or jagreen@uncg.edu. Green suggests that veterans bring along their discharge papers so they can immediately apply for veterans’ benefits.

By Michelle Hines
Photography courtesy of the Department of Defense photographer Cherie A. Thurlby

Awards for Excellence

081810Feature3_AwardsOne of the real strengths of our university? Chancellor Brady said that it is the commitment so many show. It’s revealed in classes, in laboratories, in studios and in offices, on all parts of campus.

At a special awards ceremony Wednesday morning at Aycock Auditorium, awards were presented to faculty and staff for teaching, research and service. Provost David H. Perrin, Vice Chancellor Terri Shelton and Alumni Association President Keith Ayscue assisted the chancellor in presenting the awards.

The award winners are:

Gladys Strawn Bullard Award for service:

  • Faculty, Dr. Jan Van Dyke, Professor and Department Head, Department of Dance
  • Staff, Dr. Kim Sousa Peoples, Director, Office of Orientation and Family Programs
  • Student, Michael Tuso, who is currently studying abroad

University Staff Excellence Award:

  • Libby Sexton, Classroom scheduling officer, Registrar’s Office
  • Steve Sparks, Equipment operations manager, Parking Operations & Campus Management

Alumni Teaching Excellence Award:

  • Tenured Faculty, Dr. Llewelyn G. Brown, Associate professor, Department of Business Administration
  • Untenured Faculty, Dr. Tracy R. Nichols, Associate professor, Department of Public Health Education

University Research Excellence Award:

  • Dr. Cheryl A. Lovelady, Professor, Department of Nutrition
  • Dr. Michelle Dowd, Associate professor, Department of English

UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award, which was originally announced at May’s Commencement, was presented to Dr. Nancy J. Hodges.

University Service Awards, for those who have served at UNCG for 30 years, were presented to:
Cheryl (Cherry) Callahan, Student Affairs; Jim Clark, English; Bill Hardin, Facilities Operations; Rebecca Saunders, Graduate School; Svi Shapiro, Department of Educational Leadership & Cultural Foundations; Patricia Turner, Registrar’s Office

University Service Awards, for those who have served at UNCG for 35 years, were presented to:
Sheldon Balbirer, Accounting and Finance; Hazel Brown, Nursing; Joseph DiPiazza, Music; John King, Philosophy; Cheryl Logan, Psychology; John Neufeld, Economics

Visual: Dr. Cheryl A. Lovelady receives University Research Excellence Award from Dr. Terri Shelton.
By Mike Harris
Photography by Chris English

New Programs and Initiatives

081810Feature2_SpencerThe academic year is springing to life, as residential students begin moving in today (Aug. 18). Classes begin Monday, Aug. 23.

But those students won’t be the only new elements at UNCG. The 2010-11 academic year also marks the start of several programs and initiatives at the university.

Among the new offerings are the following:

  • The first UNCG Guarantee students start their collegiate careers this fall. Funded with a portion of a $6 million anonymous gift to the university, the need-based financial aid program allows students to complete their higher education with little to no debt. There were 123 applicants, and UNCG expects to welcome more than 30 UNCG Guarantee students to campus. Ten will be a part of the Lloyd International Honors College. The accepted students’ average high school grade point average was 3.87.
  • The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering is welcoming its first students this fall. The school, a collaboration between UNCG and NC A&T, has been in the works for several years. Seventeen students pursuing master’s and doctoral degrees in nanoscience are expected to enroll this fall with UNCG designated as their “home” campus. A&T will be the “home” campus for future students pursuing advanced degrees in nanoengineering. Construction is underway on the 100,000-plus-square-foot research facility that will house the school on the South Campus of Gateway University Research Park.
  • UNCG in 3, an accelerated degree program that allows undergraduates to complete their studies in three years, also starts this fall. The five participating students, all psychology or communication studies majors, are entering UNCG with at least 12 earned credit hours and will attend winter and/or summer sessions to complete their degrees on a faster timetable.
  • Several new majors and fields of study are launching this fall at UNCG, including the start of a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship, a master’s and doctoral degree in nanoscience and a doctoral degree in environmental health science. A post-master’s certification in urban school leadership and administration and a post-master’s certificate in ethnomusicology are also being offered for the first time this fall, as well as a concentration in pedagogical kinesiology at the master’s and doctoral levels.
  • UNCG’s School of Music and departments of dance and theatre merged July 1 to form a combined School of Music, Theatre and Dance. The school is kicking off its inaugural year with the Collage Concert. Now in its third year, the popular concert series will feature performances from students and faculty members from each area of the performing arts. The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 11, at 7:30 p.m. in Aycock Auditorium. Tickets for the event are $10-20 and may be purchased at http://boxoffice.uncg.edu or by calling 4-4849 after Aug. 23.
  • A renovated North Spencer Residence Hall will reopen as a space for students from the Lloyd International Honors College. The $60,000 renovation, funded primarily through tuition fees, took a year and a half to complete. Changes include refurbished bathroom and laundry facilities, office space for faculty, a refurbished parlor and north end porch, a touch-screen computer portal linking students to University Libraries, a computer lab, and a new classroom for use as a global teleconferencing center. Only a portion of UNCG’s 1,000 honors college students will live in North Spencer, said Dr. Jerry Pubantz, dean of the honors college.
  • Students in another program with UNCG ties will face a rite of passage this year. The Beyond Academics program is a post-secondary experiential program for adults with intellectual disabilities. Beyond Academics students, many of whom live in apartments near campus, are part of the UNCG community and work toward living as independently as possible. The program is beginning its fourth year and plans to hold its first graduation in May. For more information, visit http://beyondacademics.blogspot.com.

By Lanita Withers Goins
Photography from University Relations Photography Archives

‘Oklahoma!’ to Tennessee (Williams, that is)

080410Feature2_BrownTheatreUNCG Theatre has announced its 2010-11 season lineup. Enjoy Rodgers and Hammerstein, Tennessee Williams and everything in between. [Read more…]

Big Dates for August

080410Feature1_ConvocationWednesday, Aug. 18, opens a new year for UNCG. The Chancellor’s State of the Campus Address and the Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards Ceremony will be in Aycock Auditorium, beginning at 10 a.m. The address and the ceremony will be followed by the traditional university community luncheon in the University Dining Hall.

A big day for students will be Sunday, Aug. 22, when they’ll enjoy the Chancellor’s New Student Convocation followed by Charlie’s Block Party.

The first day of classes is the following day, Monday, Aug. 23.

A listing of key opening activities and dates:

Dates/Time/School or Department/Event

  • Friday, August 13, 8 a.m.– 5 p.m., Graduate School, Graduate Teaching Assistant Training Workshop – Bryan Auditorium, Room 160
  • Monday, August 16 – Wednesday, August 18, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Office of Orientation, SOAR for Transfer/Adult Students
  • Tuesday, August 17, 6 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Graduate School, New Graduate Student Orientation- EUC Auditorium
  • Wednesday, August 18, 10 a.m., Chancellor’s Office, Chancellor’s State of the Campus Address/Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards Ceremony, Aycock Auditorium
  • Wednesday, August 18, 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., All UNCG Faculty and Staff, Community Luncheon – University Dining Hall
  • Wednesday, August 18, 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., All New Faculty, New Faculty Orientation and Reception – Weatherspoon Art Museum
  • Thursday, August 19, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., All New Faculty, New Faculty Orientation – Weatherspoon Art Museum
  • Thursday, August 19, 8 a.m.– 10 p.m., Office of Orientation, SOAR for Freshman – EUC, various locations
  • Thursday, August 19, 9 a.m.– Noon, Graduate School, New Graduate Student Orientation – EUC Auditorium,
  • Friday, August 20, 8 a.m.– 5 p.m., Office of Orientation, SOAR for Freshman – EUC, various locations
  • Sunday, August 22, 4 p.m., College, Schools, Departments, Chancellor’s New Student Convocation – Aycock Auditorium
  • Sunday, August 22, 5 p.m., Charlie’s Block Party – The Fountain/Caf
  • Monday, August 23, 8 a.m., Classes begin.

Visual: At the 2009 Chancellor’s New Student Convocation in Aycock Auditorium

Face Time on Facebook

072110Feature2_FacebookWhere are you? For 8,723 “fans” of UNCG’s official Facebook page, that’s the question every Wednesday. It’s called “Where Am I Wednesdays.” And the pictures, from mysterious spots on campus, are getting a little harder every week, as Facebook fans try to guess the right answer.

What about campus history and little-known facts? “Trivia Tuesdays” are another regular feature.

Debbie Schallock (University Relations), who oversees this Facebook page, says Betty Carter has agreed to provide trivia questions, when the new semester begins. Carter recently retired as universty archivist. “She wants to make it fun and informative,” Schallock says.

Schallock says Facebook fans have told her they want the fun items to be more challenging – and they will be.

This university Facebook page launched last fall. The current rate of growth is 100-125 new “fans” each week. Some events, such as inclement weather which spurs more postings from fans, have led to spikes in additional fans.

“Social media tools such as Facebook present new ways to tell UNCG’s stories,” says Helen Dennison Hebert, associate vice chancellor for university relations. She explains that people are relying on social media more and more to be informed.

The page is a true forum, a community. Everyone can see, even those who are not signed up on Facebook.

Those who are members of Facebook can become a fan – which lets them make their own postings on the “wall.” Or comment on a post. Or ask a question, so other fans can respond.

It’s a neat dynamic, Schallock says. “Prospective students ask questions,” she says as an example. “Students and alumni answer them.”

Sometimes she provides an answer or leads a questioner to the right place to find the answer. But she often waits, knowing that others in the page’s community will do the same. She encourages participation by all.

For example, a high school student may ask about best residence halls or apartments. Others will respond with their opinions.

A student may complain about a service. Schallock or a staff member in the particular department will respond with help or information.

It’s very immediate. Which makes it a way that a department or program may choose to let others know about an event happening very soon. In other words, if you’re a fan, your UNCG program can occasionally make its own post.

On the page are links to a select number of other UNCG-related Facebook pages, such as:

Members of the campus community may choose to “like” (in other words, become fans of) some of these pages as well.

This fall, a UNCG social-media guide with recommendations and guidelines for best practices will be published, says Hebert, for use by UNCG-affiliated social media sites.

In the coming month, the university’s Facebook page will add a new landing page, Schallock adds. New tabs will invite readers to check out the university’s central Twitter feed and use an RSS feed. And G-Cast video podcasts, featuring faculty, staff and students, will be added. There was one two-part G-Cast podcast, featuring Joe Erba (Bryan School), last semester.

And Schallock anticipates the number of “fans” will grow – which will result in more information and experiences being shared among the participants.

“We monitor and moderate,” she says. And post items along with the nearly 9,000 others. “Every day but weekends – and sometimes on weekends – there’s something being posted.”

The university’s official Facebook page can be viewed at facebook.uncg.edu. There, you’ll find links to more UNCG-related Facebook sites.

Reading Your Way Through Summer

072110Feature1_SummerReadFrom the Human Resource Services office to the Bryan Building, faculty and staff share some of the books they’re enjoying during these warm months.

Betty Betts in HRS is reading a book on Islam – “It’s not light reading.” Who in HRS is doing some light, summer reading? Deb Carley says she likes romance novels, especially when traveling. Melissa Barnes is reading the mystery “Fever Dream,” part of a series by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child. She likes “‘chick lit,’ mysteries and sci-fi,” she says. And horror, such as Stephen King books. She now has a Kindle and can download what she wants in seconds, she adds. She can download classics for free.

At the Bryan School’s Dean’s Office, Merry Zahn also is a fan of Stephen King novels. “I recently finished ‘From a Buick 8,’ and I’m looking forward to the release of ‘Under the Dome’ [this month]. I will probably also re-read ‘The Stand’ again this summer,” she says – “I enjoy it every time I read it.

Pam Cash, assistant dean at the Bryan School, has a bunch of books on her reading list. One is “Absolutely American: Four Years at West Point” by David Lipsky, “because it’s one of the freshman reads this summer.” She notes that she’d previously read this year’s other freshman read book, “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini. Other books she plans to read are “Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Could Cure the World” by Tracy Kidder, “Bound Feet, Western Dress: A Memoir” by Pang-Mei Natasha Chang and “The Speed of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything” by Steven M. R. Covey. “I won this book as a door prize at a Leadership Greensboro Forum on the same topic,” she says.

But that’s not all. There’s “Bitter Blood” by Jerry Bledsoe. “This is a re-read. After 25 years, it is still a chilling and shocking Greensboro true crime story.”

She says that the latter is one of many great books she has come across at used book sales – and enjoyed.

In EUC, Andrew Sharpe, who is manager of technical services there, is continuing to make his way through Colleen McCullough’s “Masters of Rome” series, with “Fortune’s Favorites” and “Caesar’s Women” on tap this summer. He also plans to continue Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series with “Sharpe’s Regiment.” “When I get though all that, I am planning on reading Brian Herbert and Kevin Anderson’s continuation of the Dune saga with ‘Winds of Dune,'” he adds.

On the second floor of EUC, Jeffrey Coleman, assistant director of Multicultural Affairs, says his summer read is “The Color of Water” by James McBride.

Baseball coach Mike Gaski, in addition to Spartan recruiting and serving as president of USA Baseball – which organizes America’s national team – likes to write fiction when he can spare time. He is a 1973 UNCG MFA graduate in creative writing. He’s reading two books currently, he says.

“Salmon Rushdie’s ‘The Enchantress of Florence’ is my current travel book and Thomas Pynchon’s ‘Against the Day’ is my bedside read.” He explains that the latter is too heavy for plane travel.

“It seems like I am always trying to catch up with the great writers of fiction,” Gaski says. “So many of our modern day artists are brilliant, and I love the language these two use as they wrestle with questions of belief and magic and science.”

Summer of Sports

070710Feature2_SoccerCamp“Slow for pedestrians,” say the signs leading to the athletic fields and gym this summer. Summer athletics camps are in full swing, with boys and girls elementary age through high-school age on campus Monday through Friday. Most are dropped off at a central spot near the Baseball Stadium, and camp counselors every few minutes escort a group to their camp. On one late June morning, whistles blew right at 9 for three camps in session that week: men’s basketball, baseball and women’s soccer.

In the central court in Fleming Gym, Kevin Oleksiak, director of basketball operations, greets all the campers who’ve sat themselves along a baseline. “How does everyone feel this morning?” They’d run a good bit the day before, in games, drills and competitions. With a large cage of Spartan basketballs ready for use, Oleksiak talks a little about the day – which will include swimming in Rosenthal Pool later, for those who’d like. And then it’s time for stretching, the boys forming four lines as Assistant Coach Brian Judski leads. Next, the boys break into six groups by age, most led by a current Spartan player or coach. For example, sophomore Kyle Randall, a point guard who was the team’s second leading scorer as a freshman, leads his “team” in layups, then gathers them to give some pointers.

Coach Mike Dement talks with some of the boys, on one court. Thoughout the week, they’ll work on rebounding, defense, shooting, ball handling, moves on offense and the transition game (quickly moving the ball upcourt after a rebound). They’ll learn new fundamentals and tips each day, for each of these.

Kyle Randall gives each of his group a big high five.

“Good fun” is how Dement refers to the day. “Go to the pool, go to the cafeteria, learn some basketball…” Plus he says it provides an excellent activity for parents and kids looking for a great summer resource. And it builds fan support, a bond between the program’s players and the boys and by extension, the greater community.

And “it’s great for our players,” Dement adds. They’re learning by coaching.

In addition to the basketball, the boys will swim, have a big lunch in the campus dining hall – the lowfat cotton-candy flavored ice cream is a big hit – and new assistant coach Wes Miller, who played a few years ago at UNC Chapel Hill, will give a talk to all the boys in the afternoon about some of his experiences. The day before, Associate Head Coach Corey Gipson spoke on the topic of “potential.”

Meanwhile, on a patch of outfield turf, the baseball boys are finishing up some running exercises. They’ve moved from “high-knees” to a sideways style of running that the student coaches call “Karaoke.” Trevor Edwards, the gregarious Spartan catcher that Assistant Coach Dustin Ijames says has emerged as the campers’ “crowd favorite,” likens it to surfing. He illustrates for them, twisting his body to and fro. “Surf it!” he says. “Where are my surfer dudes?” One boy shows off for him, running toward pitcher Greg Smith. “There’s our surfer!”

Coach Mike Gaski says the baseball camp is about instruction in fundamentals and creating a fun atmosphere. There are learning stations for defensive and offensive skills, and in the afternoons they play games. The day before, in teaching fielding fundamentals, Ijames notes, they concentrated on a wide base, “pocket to pocket” use of both hands when fielding a grounder, and bringing the ball to the chest as you secure the grounder.

Christy Avent, associate athletic director / senior woman administrator, oversees the athletics camps program, which averages about 3,000 kids each summer. The campus’ girls’ and boys’ soccer camps and the boys’ lacrosse camp typically have the most demand, she says. The biggest growth in recent years has been for those two sports and also in the wrestling “Takedown” camp.

“The economy is really affecting the camps,” Avent says, adding that “parents have told me that they have had to choose between camps this summer rather than have their child attend several due to some families are now down to one-salary households.” In addition, there’s competition from lots of other camps throughout the area.

On the soccer field, Coach Eddie Radwanski [seen in visual] had started the day with all the girls gathered in a loose semicircle, talking about some key World Cup shots they’d all seen on TV and relating it to fundamentals. “OK, enough of Eddie talking,” he tells them. They break up into lines, as he demonstrated a drill to fake out your opponent. “Pivot! Good!…All right!”

He uses lots of praise and encouragement, as do the women’s team players who act as coaches. Some girls he’ll call by name. “Good job! Give her a hand!”

A while later, when asked about his philosophy toward the camps, he notes that the style of Vince Lombardi has gone the way of the dinosaurs. “If it’s not fun, they won’t come back,” he says. There are other camps and summer options the kids’ families could choose.

He grew up in a relatively poor, blue-collar family where getting to go to a camp was rare. At the same time, he had a lot of “very positive” teachers and mentors. He wants the girls to have fun and become better players. “I want them to say ‘ I had a blast – and I learned something.'”

Girls’ basketball and boys’ soccer are in session this week. Some more athletic camps will be offered in coming weeks. There is a 10 percent discount for faculty and staff. That discount can’t be taken when using online registration. For the discount, use a printed copy of the brochure that is located on the main camp web page, where you can find details about each of the camps. Those with questions may email Christy Avent.

Walking Away with the Prizes

070710Feature1_CabralOnce you lap the world twice, you might as well do it again, it seems.

By June 25, the day the spring Spartan Steps winners were announced, 279 UNCG Steppers had walked a total of 140,805,385 steps or about 70,000 miles.

That’s nearly three times the circumference of the earth.

The winner was Allyn Cabral (in picture), who netted a hundred-dollar gift card as a result. Cabral, a 10-month employee who drives a Spartan Chariot bus, walked 4,558,592 steps. In a spring Campus Weekly 5 Spot feature, he had revealed his secret: taking two or three minutes between each shuttle run to get out and walk a little. Plus he walks in the early mornings and on the weekends.

Second was Wanda Torain. Jill Hillyer, Robert Snyder and Anthony Taylor [who was also featured in an earlier 5 Spot] rounded out the top five finishers.

In total, 43 participants reached the million step mark, Deb Carley (HRS) said, in announcing the winners at the reception June 25.

The departmental leaderboard showed Parking Services in first place. University Advancement was second, followed by Foundation Finance, MBA Office and Specialized Education Services.

After the top finishers were recognized, there was time for Steppers to get their certificates, pick up small prizes like shades and water bottles, and compare notes.

Brian Fuller (Aycock Auditorium) told Chancellor Linda P. Brady some of things he has done to increase his walking, like parking a little further away from his workplace and walking at lunch, as well as enjoying outdoor activities with his family.

She shared as well.

“I walk the stairs of Mossman now,” instead of taking the elevator, Chancellor Linda P. Brady said. “It makes a difference.” And she refrains from driving when on campus. She walks.

She held up her certificate, showing 829,477 steps. As she had tweeted on her Twitter account, that equates to 412 miles over the 100 days.

When does she walk? In addition to the normal walking throughout they day, she goes to a gym in the early morning about five days a week, where she spends an hour on the treadmill. Plus, she walks her dog Scarlet in the evening.

If she is in a lot of meetings in a day, she may reach only 6,000 steps. But on a weekend day where she can be out and about a lot more, she can reach 18,000 steps, she said.

She cited the positives of walking: it helps people manage weight and stress. “It gives you more energy,” she said. She chooses the treadmill about 6 a.m. as part of her regimen “instead of that extra cup of coffee.”

Brady noted HealthyUNCG and also Spartan Steps were emphasized in her end-of-year Chancellor’s Report.

Health and wellness among students, faculty and staff are a part of the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-2014.

Another Spartan Steps challenge is being planned.

Move Those Maples

062310Feature1_TreeUSAJune is not the optimal month to transplant mature trees. It’s hot and dry. But the four Japanese maples moved to make way for the new residence hall are doing well.

The largest and most impressive one now adorns the Walker/Aycock entranceway to campus.

The Grounds workers trenched down four feet deep and used a forklift to get it out of the ground.

Before that they’d, over the course of two weeks, made preparations for the transplanting job, with proper irrigation, preparing the new sites, etc.

The one at the Walker entranceway looks like it’s always been there. “An instant tree,” says Hal Shelton (Grounds). He was one of more than a dozen grounds workers who participated in the moves. Grounds manager Chris Fay headed the project.

Two large oak trees at the construction site were cut down. One was diseased and hollow, Shelton says.

New trees and plants will be part of the new residence hall’s landscaping, once construction is nearing an end at the site

A quick check on a transplanted tree beside the south edge of Jackson Library tower shows it’s doing well. No signs of stress.

One in Foust Park near McIver looks a little stressed in one branch, Shelton notes, but he says it looked a little stressed there before they moved it.

Another tree is now on the west side of the Armfield-Preyer Admissions and Visitor Center.

Grounds is using drip irrigation to water the trees.

Each of the maples is a Bloodgood variety, says Shelton. The thin, finely branching leaves are very red.

The trees are 17-18 years old, he said.

The same age as most of the incoming freshmen.

Visual: Grounds staff install the largest of the transplanted Japanese maples at the corner of Walker and Aycock.

Behind Closed Doors

062310Feature2_ThomasDayThe furniture of Thomas Day has long been celebrated for its craftsmanship and artistry. His mantels, newel posts and other interior woodwork, however, have generally been regarded as a minor sideline.

With the recent release of “Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color,” a book co-written by Dr. Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll (Interior Architecture), his interior woodwork will start to receive its due. Leimenstoll has made the most extensive study to date of Day’s architectural woodwork.

Her co-author, an expert on Day’s furniture, is Patricia Phillips Marshall, curator of decorative arts for the N.C. Executive Mansion and the N.C. Museum of History. Published by The University of North Carolina Press, the book was released in conjunction with the opening of “Behind the Veneer,” a Day exhibit on view this summer at the Museum of History.

The roots of the book project go back to 1991, when Leimenstoll worked as the architect on the restoration of the Thomas Day House in Milton. She heard from locals that other houses in the area had woodwork by Day, who owned the largest furniture shop in the state in the mid-19th century.

She knocked on doors and did much of her research by word of mouth. She explored the Greek Revival homes that Caswell County planters built more than 150 years ago with riches made from bright leaf tobacco. In many cases, these formal exteriors hid the undulating shapes and fluid lines that are Day’s hallmark.

“In a staid kind of setting, you walk in the door and it just knocks your socks off,” Leimenstoll says.

The houses with Day woodwork continued to add up.

“I was very excited to find six newels that appeared to have been cut from the same template,” she says.

“That’s when I realized he was really turning out the woodwork as well as furniture. Prior to this, people thought of him as a furniture maker who happened to occasionally dabble in woodwork.”

She eventually documented 80 homes with the same motifs and distinctive energy found in Day’s furniture. For instance, as a furniture maker, Day used S-shaped brackets. In his architectural woodwork, those same serpentine shapes are writ large, including as three-foot-tall newel posts.

“I believe his woodwork is even more evocative than his furniture, because it’s on a bigger scale,” Leimenstoll says. “It’s like he’s sculpting the whole stair hall and the living room. It’s just bolder.”

You Work Here? Here’s Your Discount

060910Feature2_BennifitsThe economy hurts. Discounts can help. And there are a lot of them, around campus, if you know to say that you’re a faculty or staff member and show your Spartan ID.

The campus’ Benefits Committee is working to help secure discounts to stores and services off-campus. And they are looking for volunteers in that effort. Meanwhile, that committee and Human Resource Services want faculty and staff to know there are lots of benefits and discounts throughout campus.

It’s called Spartan Savings.

Some examples:

  • A 20 percent discount on most merchandise sold at the UNCG Bookstore, excluding textbooks, magazines/newspapers and food/drink items.
  • Faculty/staff on-campus athletics pass.
  • Men’s basketball season pass – offering 45 percent off what single games would cost.
  • Full tuition and fees waiver for two courses per academic year – Details are here.
  • Spartan Express Flex Plan provides a $1/meal discount on all meals in The Spartan Restaurant in the Dining Center, as well as no sales tax.
  • A 20 percent discount this summer to the All-Arts, Sciences and Technology summer camp for youths ages 7 to 15. (In past years, it was 10 percent.)
  • Opportunities for discounts for music, dance and theatre performances. See site for details and links.
  • A 50 percent discount to counseling sessions at UNCG Psycholology Clinic and the UNCG Vacc Counseling and Consulting Clinic.
  • Free blood pressure checks at Student Health Services.
  • Free rides on Greensboro city buses and on HEAT buses around campus.

Details about the Spartan Savings program and on-campus discounts are at http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/Benefits/Spartan_Savings/.

If your program offers additional discounts – or you would be interesting in volunteering to enlist stores off-campus to participate in offering savings to faculty and staff – email cemurray@uncg.edu.

Additional information is at http://www.uncg.edu/staff.groups/senate/resources/ and http://www.uncg.edu/staff.groups/senate/resources/perks_brochure.pdf.

Visual: Alan Bridge (HRS) checks out UNCG items in the bookstore.

Top Service Awards

060910Featue1_AwardsSeven people have received the campus’ top awards for service. The recipients are:

  • Stanley and Doris Tanger, of Greensboro, Charles Duncan McIver Award, which recognizes individuals who have rendered distinguished public service to the state or nation. The bronze medal bears the likeness of Charles Duncan McIver, the founding president of the institution that is now UNCG.
  • T. Clyde and Dorothy B. Collins ’54, of Greensboro, Adelaide F. Holderness / H. Michael Weaver Award, which honors North Carolinians who have rendered distinguished public service to their community or state. It is named in honor of Adelaide F. Holderness ’34 and H. Michael Weaver of Greensboro.
  • Louise “Coffee” Maxwell Worth ’40, of Comer, Ga., and Ann Phillips McCracken ’60, of Sanford, Alumni Distinguished Service Award, presented to alumni who have rendered distinctive service on national, state or local levels, and made significant contributions to the liberal arts ideal.
  • Dr. Brian J. Clarida ’02 MSA, of Greensboro, Young Alumni Award, which is presented to alumni who are 40 years of age and younger, and recognizes exceptional achievement and significant contribution to the recipient’s profession or community, society or the university.

The honors were presented by Chancellor Linda P. Brady during a program that also recognized donors to the university.

“These are the highest honors that the university awards each year to community, state or national leaders for their service, and this year we celebrate the accomplishments of seven outstanding individuals,” Brady said. “This year’s recipients have helped change the state of North Carolina and the Triad for the better and they have inspired all who know them and have worked with them.”

Achievements of each recipient include:

Stanley Tanger, former chairman and CEO of Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, and his wife, Doris, are passionate supporters of two key causes – health care and education. In 1970, Doris Tanger was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was successfully treated at Duke University and the Tangers have embraced the university and the cause of breast cancer ever since. They serve on the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Advisory Board and have made a significant gift to name a cancer research laboratory and established a cancer research graduate fellowship. Recently, the company created the “Tanger Cure Card,” a specially designed gift card where 10 percent of proceeds from sales go to support the fight against the most prominent types of cancer in the U.S. – lung cancer, colorectal cancer and prostate cancer.

The Tangers have also played a role in supporting women’s health in the Triad by creating a fund in Doris’ name for UNCG’s Women’s Health and Wellness Center, which facilitates collaborative research within the School of Health and Human Performance. On the business side, Stanley has always made sure profits from his corporation and fundraising efforts are used to support local businesses, community programs and schools in communities where a Tanger Outlet Center is located. They recently made a gift to name the Tanger Family Bicentennial Gardens on Hobbs Road in Greensboro.

Clyde Collins retired as the executive vice president, CFO and secretary of Southern Life Insurance Company in 1987. He retired young and has devoted his time to help develop and maintain community spirit. Clyde has served on many boards in Greensboro, including the UNCG Excellence Foundation of which he is the only emeritus member.

Dorothy Collins is a Class of 1954 graduate who served on the planning committee for her class’ 50th reunion in 2004. She has served as a volunteer in number of community organizations including the Greensboro Opera Company, the Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art, Mobile Meals and the UNCG Excellence Foundation.

Both Clyde and Dorothy are artists. Clyde is a potter and Dorothy a painter. As a result, both support the arts. They established the Dorothy Buchanan Collins Graduate Fellowship in Music at UNCG. Several years ago, the School of Music’s Dorothy and Clyde Collins Lecture Hall was named in their honor.

Louise “Coffee” Maxwell Worth, former director of UNCG’s Presbyterian Campus Ministry, has led an extraordinary life that has spanned two continents. After graduating from Woman’s College (WC), she put her degree to work as a teacher in North Carolina and at Korean mission schools, setting up Korea’s first Montessori preschool. She and her husband, George, lived in Korea as educational missionaries for more than 20 years. She still teaches English as a Second Language to immigrants at Jubilee Partners in Atlanta, walking the half a mile to school at the age of 90. Worth has also been active in peace and justice issues. She has been an advocate for racial equality all her life as well as an advocate for good housing for low income people.

Ann Phillips McCracken has given a great deal of her life to education. After graduation for WC, she spent several years teaching in Durham County Schools before earning her master’s degree and becoming an English instructor at Central Community College.

In her community, McCracken is a member of the League of Women Voters of Moore County, a member of the Delta Rho Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma, a member of a local race relations group called One for One, a volunteer with Bread Basket in Sanford and an elder in the First Presbyterian Church.

Additionally, McCracken has served UNCG as a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors from 1990-94 and as president in 1991. In 1992, she was a member of the Centennial Planning Executive Board and she served on the Excellence Foundation Board of Directors from 1992-94. In addition, she was a member of the Alumni House Steering Committee from 2004-07 and has supported the Spartan Club, UNCG Libraries and Women’s and Gender Studies. She is currently a member of the Excellence Foundation Board of Visitors.

As principal of Sumner Elementary School, Dr. Brian Clarida believes all students can and will reach their full potential. He holds monthly student meetings and round table discussions so that students can have an open forum to voice concerns about school as well as their lives outside of school. To show students they matter, he has started a Community Day in which more than 50 business and political leaders come to the school to volunteer in classrooms.

Clarida makes sure he too volunteers time in the community so students will have a good role model. He is active in Action Greensboro and SynerG Young Professionals. He serves on several advisory boards such as the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization, Greensboro Historic Preservation Commission, UNCG Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, Tapestry (Weaver Foundation) and the YWCA.

He has partnered with UNCG to have 50 student interns placed at the school. He has also served on several UNCG committees such as the Board of Visitors.

Visual (l-r): Dr. Brian J. Clarida, Alumni Association President Jana Welch Wagenseller and Chancellor Linda P. Brady

Google Calendar’s in Your Future

052610Feature1_GoogleCalYou have a personal Google calendar? If you don’t already, you soon will, with the campus’ move to iSpartan (Google).

Over the past year, the number of departments and programs with a Google calendar has grown. And it will grow even more, as these iSpartan Google calendars will be added to a central directory later this summer.

But first, they need to have a Google calendar. If a unit, department, program or student group wants to be on the iSpartan Calendar Directory, they need to create and manage a Google Calendar through iSpartan.

Several training sessions in the coming weeks will cover navigating and updating Google calendars.

ITS Google Calendar training – which will offer a preview of the directory web page – will be on May 26 (10-11:30 a.m.) and June 9 (10-11:30 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m.) in Forney 112. Sign up for training at https://freyr.uncg.edu/workshops/list_by_category.jsp?cat_id=77001912. Additional classes will be offered this summer.

The campus’ Web3 Project Team was charged by the Web Oversight Committee to research web calendaring at UNCG. This charge included an analysis regarding the needs of the university and recommendations regarding solutions. The Web3 Team reported that Google Calendar was the best option for several reasons:

  • UNCG is migrating to Google Apps for Education (GAFE), which includes Google Calendar. Therefore additional resources would not be required.
  • Google Calendar does not require management by one central group, but is designed to allow departments, units and groups the ability to create and manage their own calendars.
  • Google Calendar provides multiple options for publishing and distributing event information, such as giving users the ability to subscribe to official UNCG calendars within their own personal Google Calendar.

More information about how staff and faculty may best use the central directory will be published later, once a large number of calendars from thoughout campus have been added.

Those with questions regarding UNCG’s iSpartan Google Calendar system may contact Helen Hebert at Helen_Hebert@uncg.edu.

Placing the Hood Just So

052610Feature2_CommencementCraig Eilbacher recalls being an undergraduate and seeing the doctoral students hooded during the robing ceremony. Their advisors would drape the hood over the scholar, welcoming him into the ranks of doctoral scholars.

He remembers thinking how special that must be.

“Now I know.”

Eilbacher was one of 53 doctoral candidates hooded during May Commencement. His dissertation committee chairs Dr. Jolene Henning and Dr. Kathleen Williams (Kinesiology) did the honors.

“Hooding a doctoral student is a wonderful occasion that symbolizes the culmination of years of hard work, research, and mentoring,” Henning says. She notes that she had already begun work and was unable to attend her own graduation at Ball State in 2002, which she regrets. “Every time I participate in a hooding ceremony it fills the void of not being able to experience my own graduation.”

Williams says UNCG’s robing ceremony is typical of most campus’. “It really is the culminating experience for candidates – it is so public. Defending the dissertation is really the academic culminating experience – and is probably more important for the faculty members. But this public ceremony really is the pinnacle for the candidate.”

She recalls her ceremony at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1982. “I mostly determined that the mortarboard was for protection – from champagne corks.”

She has seen and been a part of many robings. And it doesn’t always go right. “I can’t count the number of mortarboards I’ve seen knocked off or at least askew. The other thing is a ‘backward hooding’ – the candidate might hand the hood to the adviser backwards – or, we just turn it around. … It gets put on back to front – or sideways! Of course, you can imagine what might happen with a very short adviser and a very tall candidate!”

But at May Commencement, all went perfectly.

Eilbacher is now Dr. Eilbacher. While pursuing his doctorate, he has been a visiting instructor and coordinator of sports medicine education in the Sport Studies Department at Guilford College. “The focus of my research was and continues to be improving the health care given to high school athletes,” he says.

Approximately 2,300 students participated in May Commencement.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady presided over the exercises in the Greensboro Coliseum. Highlights of the ceremony included the first graduates from UNCG’s Doctor of Public Health and Doctor of Philosophy in Economics programs.

Life often holds mysteries more wonderful than our best-laid plans, novelist Margaret Maron told those graduating. Be ready for the unexpected and do what you love.

“Life does not come with a GPS,” Maron told the crowd, “so pack your bags, Class of 2010, and enjoy the trip!”

Maron, author of 26 mystery novels, quoted Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” as she spoke about the choices she made and the twists her life has taken. Frost’s poem ends with the classic lines: “Two roads diverged in a wood and I –/ I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.”

Maron attended UNCG (Woman’s College) but left after her sophomore year to take a summer job at the Pentagon. In Washington, she met her husband, who was, she said, “absolutely the right road for me to take.” He, by chance, wound up at the Pentagon because he was drafted by the Navy instead of the Army.

“Leave yourself open to serendipity,” Maron advised, “and always remember that money and things can be serious roadblocks. Things especially.”

She spoke about her choice to live frugally and stay at home to follow her passion, writing.

“If you think you have to have a big house, a new car, the latest electronic gizmo with all the apps, you may well find yourself stuck in a job you hate, unable to walk down a more interesting road because you can’t afford to leave the one you’re on,” she said. “If I could, I would make you all raise your right hands and solemnly swear to pay off your credit card every single month or make yourself do without all the toys. Debt is a road trap – a lot easier to get into than to get out of. It ties you down, limits your choices, and keeps you from exploring the roads up ahead.”

Applause erupted as Maron warned graduates against debt. “Those are your parents clapping!” she quipped.

David Klein, Class of 2010 student speaker, also spoke about the importance of loving what you do and doing what you love.

“No matter what field of study you decided to pursue UNCG has given you a head start towards your dreams,” he said. “My first-grade teacher said, ‘David, no matter what you decide to be in this world, be the best. If you want to be a teacher, be the best teacher to ever step foot in a classroom. If you want to be a singer, make your voice heard in every corner of the earth. Don’t ever give up on your dreams.’”

Visual: Dr. Craig Eilbacher is robed by Dr. Jolene Henning and Dr. Kathleen Williams (l-r).

Iraq Education Initiative

051210Feature1_IraqMany highly qualified Iraqi students have been unable to continue or complete their education, due to the years of conflict in Iraq. UNCG will be one of the 25 universities nationwide who’ll pilot a program to provide a solution.

UNCG officials first learned of the pilot program for this initiative last summer. On July 25, the Academy for Educational Development (AED) and the Higher Committee for Educational Development in Iraq (HCED) hosted Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki in Washington, D.C., to announce the launch of the Iraq Education Initiative.

This scholarship program thoroughly screens the applicants and selects the “creme de la creme” – out of 6543 applicants, only 800 have been chosen to apply to the universities. The scholarships fully fund the students’ education. According to a report in Inside Higher Education, the Iraqi Parliament allocated $54 million for the first stage of the program.

Many universities were contacted in the U.S. last year to see if they may be eligible to receive students, explained Pam Harrod, director of international admissions at UNCG’s International Programs Center.

One of the criteria was to have an English language center on campus and to offer conditional admission. Since this university has the INTERLINK Language Center on campus, that helped to meet the requirements. For several months, universities completed a variety of forms and questionnaires to be considered as one of the pilot institutions. The plan was to send approximately 250 students to the U.S. (undergraduate, master’s and PhD candidates) in the first placement.

In November 2009, the university received confirmation from Dr. Zuhair Humadi, executive director, Higher Committee for Education Development, that UNCG had been selected as one of the first 25 institutions in the U.S. to be part of the scholarship program.

To date, two individuals have been admitted as part of this initiative program. Both are being admitted to the Graduate School in Computer Science. A third application, for the MBA program, was recently received as well.

Visual: Some Iraqi students in Baghdad, 2003. Their school had been looted during the war. Photo courtesy USAID. Photographer: Thomas Hartwell.

Raise Those Banners High

051210Feature2_BannersThe assortment of banners seen at commencement and other major events have undergone a makeover. They’ll be on display during May Commencement.

Last year, Provost David H. Perrin asked that University Relations create a banner for the Joint School of Nanocience and Nanoengineering. This banner would be added to the other banners used at major events such as convocation. A banner for Lloyd International Honors College would be created as well.

This proved an opportune time to update all the banners. The existing ones had included the old university wordmark and school logos, which were retired in 2004 when the Minerva Identity Program was launched.

The new banners were designed to be taller than the old ones. They take their colors from the disciplines in each school. For example, the College of Arts and Sciences banner includes brown (the color for the arts), gold (sciences) and white (humanities including English, history and languages).

Graphic artist Mark Unrue (University Relations) consulted with the University Bookstore to make sure the colors matched the hoods worn at commencement.

One new banner represents The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This banner will be used at events where there is no university logo present.

The banners’ design was selected by Chancellor Linda P. Brady and the provost from a series of options that were created. Deans of the various schools and college were consulted as well.

“We believe the banners will create an impressive backdrop for our most important ceremonies and celebrations,” said Lyda Carpen, director of creative services in UR.

Taking the Falls

050510Feature2_BoatRaceThe idea for a fundraiser? On a warm day, invite departments and student groups to create a lunchtime regatta for the Fountain. And the first boat over the falls wins prizes.

The judges would be Dr. Tresa Saxton, Dr. Cherry Callahan and Reade Taylor. The Homecoming Queen and King would assist. “I’m not sure what to judge. The one who comes in first wins, right?” Saxton jokingly asked.

As the boats were being readied for the competition last Friday, Jamie Herring, chief of police, noted that “it was Drew’s idea,” referring to Officer Drew Whitaker. The campus’ police have supported Special Olympics since 1991, Herring said, and they were looking to do something different.

As Whitaker got ready to take off his shoes and place the boats in the water for the first race, he explained he’d been thinking of something – and someplace – that would unite the whole campus community. His squad was looking at the Fountain one day – and it clicked for them. Sgt. Larry Armburger suggested that the contest could be the first boat to go over the falls wins.

Whitaker expected about $1,500 would be raised as a result of the day’s event.

Lots of area businesses donated refreshments and prizes. Ten boats were entered, with a registration fee for each. Also during the lunch hour, raffle tickets for prizes were sold – numbers were called out during lulls in the wind (and hence, in the competition).

Nearly 200 watched, including a few classes of preschoolers from the university’s child care facility.

Teams had to build their boat to these specs: No more than 8 inches wide x 18 inches long; and not less than 6 inches wide x 10 inches long. And they could not test out their boat at the Fountain.

In the first heat, one of the two Student Health Services boats took a commanding lead.

Roy Hamilton (SHS) was observed blowing on the sail, as SHS staff cheered it on. For a moment, the wind blew it backwards, perhaps a bit of poetic justice.

It reversed course and led the way. “We’re going to win!” said Sharony Green (SHS). But it got stuck at the cusp of the falls. “Oh no! Oh, shoot,” Green said. Eventually, Parking Operations’ boat breezed past and over the falls, to a round of cheers.

Hamilton noted that a little toy man from their boat went over the falls before either boat – but Parking Operations was declared the winner. Hamilton said next year, they’ll probably have a stiffer hull, maybe made of styrofoam, so it’s less likely to get stuck.

In the second heat, Student Health Medical Clinic won. That boat featured a sail with the stitched words “SS Anna Gove Medical,” a little flag, and two tiny alligators on the deck. As cute as it was fast.

The final race-off featured the top four finishers: from Dean of Students Office, Student Health Medical Clinic, the Police’s “UNCG Herring,” and Parking Operations’ “The Enforcer.”

The UNCG Herring was an aircraft carrier, with toy airplanes including a stealth bomber, and a small command tower. But, it too slowed and then teetered at the edge, as other boats approached from behind. But before any could catch it, it toppled over the falls.

“The UNCG Herring has won it all!” the DJ shouted.

But Special Olympics was the real winner.

Visual: The UNCG Herring wins, as it topples over the falls first in the final race. The fundraiser made quite a splash.

Dean Weeks to Step Down in 2011

050510Feature1_WeeksDr. James K. Weeks, who has served since 1990 as the dean of the Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG, will step down from that position at the end of the next academic year.

Under Weeks’ leadership as dean, the Bryan School has expanded international activity, added six new degree programs, established research centers and increased its endowment sixfold to more than $24 million. Of the more than 19,000 alumni of the school, roughly half received their degrees during his tenure as dean.

“Many of you have heard me introduce myself over the past 20 years by saying that I have the privilege and pleasure of serving as dean of the Joseph M. Bryan School of Business and Economics,” Weeks told an April 30 meeting of faculty and staff. “It has been a great honor to be dean of the school named after Mr. Bryan and to lead a dedicated team of faculty and staff taking this school to higher levels of excellence.”

He has not decided what he will do after he steps down. “I’m in the very early stages of exploring what the next chapter of my professional life will be. I’m not closing the door on any opportunity to make a difference,” he said.

During his tenure as dean, the school began offering bachelor’s degrees in entrepreneurship, international business and marketing; a master’s degree in information management and technology; and doctorates in economics and information systems.

In addition, two Bryan School research centers – the Center for Business and Economic Research and the McDowell Center for Global Information Technology Management – and the university-wide North Carolina Center for Entrepreneurship were established.

“Jim Weeks is an institution. He is part of the fabric of UNCG and of the Greensboro community,” said UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady. “Jim served on the search committee that recommended me for the chancellor’s position – in that capacity he represented the academic deans and conveyed in very persuasive terms the mutually supportive relationship between this university and the community.”

“Jim will be missed. We will search for someone to succeed him, but no one will be able to replace him.”

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin will appoint a search committee of faculty, students, alumni, university administrators and local businesspeople early in the fall semester to find the Bryan School’s next dean.

Weeks joined UNCG as an assistant professor of operations management in 1976 and was promoted through the faculty ranks to professor in 1988. Prior to becoming the dean, he served as associate dean and director of the MBA Program.

He led the effort to earn international accreditation by the premier accrediting agency for business schools, the Association for the Advancement of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International). Initial accreditation was earned in 1982 and has been maintained ever since. The most recent accreditation review, completed in April, recognized the continuous improvement and excellence of programs throughout the business school.

“Jim Weeks has been the face of the Bryan School for two decades, and his leadership has been transformational,” Perrin said. “The highly successful re-accreditation this year by the AACSB is testimony to the quality of the academic programs and student experiences developed under Jim’s leadership.”

The average tenure for a business school dean is five years, according to AACSB International. The length of Weeks’ tenure as dean is a tribute to his success, said Jim Melvin, president of the Joseph M. Bryan Foundation.

“Jim has done a great job as dean,” Melvin said. “Not only has he done a great job with the school, he’s been a significant player in the region’s economic development. You couldn’t ask for more. I think Mr. Bryan would be extremely pleased with his service.”

The globalization of the school includes an undergraduate degree in international business studies and bi-lateral agreements for student and faculty exchanges and articulations with degree programs with business schools across the globe.

That expansion of international programs reflects Weeks’ shrewd leadership, said Sue Cole, an MBA alumna and Bryan School Distinguished Alumni Award winner. His easygoing demeanor can sometimes mask his fierce devotion, she said.

“He has a true passion for his students, for his faculty and for his school. He’s engaging. He’s got a twinkle in his eye, so you can’t help but smile when you talk to him,” said Cole, a principal with Granville Capital Inc.

To better connect with alumni, Weeks initiated the Bryan School Alumni Association and the Distinguished Alumni Award, and led fundraising efforts in two capital campaigns for the school.

Jim Morgan, a High Point attorney and chair of the Bryan School’s Business Advisory Board, praised Weeks’ contribution to the local economy, citing research the school has conducted for economic development organizations related to the region’s industry clusters.

“We’ve been so blessed to have him here because of his accessibility,” Morgan said. “He’s well-connected, listens very carefully and helps the business community. I hope whoever follows him is in that same mold. He’s been a vital supporter of our economic development in the Piedmont Triad.”

Weeks, 64, has published numerous articles and a book and has been recognized nationally for his research in operations management. He has consulted with major corporations and has conducted numerous seminars and management development programs throughout the nation for a variety of universities and business organizations.

Weeks has served his profession at the international level as an advisor, mentor and peer reviewer for numerous U.S. and non-U.S. business schools. He serves on the AACSB International Maintenance of Accreditation Committee. He is also a member of the board of governors for Beta Gamma Sigma International Honor Society.

Throughout his career, Weeks has been an active member of local business, economic, educational, civic and religious organizations. He serves as a member of the Moses Cone Health Systems Board of Trustees, and on advisory councils and boards of several closely held regional business firms including Biscuitville Inc., Brady Trane and Samet Corporation.

A native of Fayetteville, he earned a bachelor’s degree from Methodist University, an MBA from East Carolina University and a PhD in Business Administration from the University of South Carolina.

Teachers Inspire Fellow Teachers

042810Feature2_TeachersWhen she started teaching a yearlong, graduate-level Teacher as Researcher course in the School of Education, Dr. Amy Vetter had no idea how the class would inspire her and her students.

The class ended in Spring 2008, but Vetter and several students went on to establish Triad Teacher Researchers (TTR). TTR, now six members strong, meets monthly to share research findings and ideas. Their goal is to pass their research skills and the findings of their research on to other teachers in their own schools and across the Triad.

“It’s sort of a homegrown, bottom-up approach to professional development – teachers collaborating with other teachers,” says Vetter.

TTR’s first annual conference takes place May 5 in Curry Building. Keynote speaker is Dr. Elizabeth Chiseri-Strater, professor of English and director of composition at UNCG. Chiseri-Strater is also a teacher researcher and author of “What Works?: A Practical Guide to Teacher Research.”

More than 50 presenters will conduct workshops. All area students, educators and administrators are welcome.

Group members have used their classrooms as research labs to apply and study various techniques. One member, a 10th-grade teacher, started a Writing Elite program for students who want to become authors.

Holly Wroblewski, a UNCG graduate, an eight-year classroom veteran and a TTR member, now teaches special needs students at E.M. Holt Elementary in Burlington. Wroblewski, Teacher of the Year at Holt, says Vetter’s class helped her to realize “how transformative it can be to look at my teaching in a critical way.”

“I’ve worked on several different research questions ranging from student metacognition while reading, to engagement, to my current topic, reflective journaling,” Wroblewski says. “I believe I’ve always been a teacher researcher at heart. I’m always thinking about struggles I face with my teaching and how I can make things better. Currently, I am looking at how reflective practice, through journaling, can change my relationship with my students and how that impacts my teaching.”

Vetter and Wroblewski want to see the group expand, reaching more and more teachers across the Triad.

“TTR is a great way for teachers to surround themselves with others who want an individualized form of professional development that they may not get elsewhere,” Wroblewski says.

For more details including a complete conference schedule, visit www.triadteacherresearchers.com. Or contact Amy Vetter at amvetter@gmail.com.

Visual:  Holly Wroblewski works with students at E.M. Holt Elementary in Burlington.

Campaign Against Texting & Driving

042810Feature1_TextingDr. Mark Schulz (Public Health Education) knows the danger of texting while driving all too well.

A longtime advocate for the safety of cyclists, Schulz was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Aycock Street near the campus on March 26, 2008. The vehicle’s driver had been texting.

“If she had been going 10 miles an hour faster I wouldn’t be talking to you,” Schulz told CBS affiliate WFMY during a news conference Friday, April 16.

“I had five compressed discs, a broken sternum, a broken left kneecap. I was out for about 20 minutes with the concussion.”

Schulz and Chancellor Linda P. Brady joined state legislators and AT&T officials at the news conference in Elliott University Center to help promote AT&T’s nationwide “Txting & Drvng – It Can Wait” awareness campaign. AT&T has put information about the campaign online.http://www.att.com/txtngcanwait

The event at UNCG was covered by News 14 Carolina and WFMY.

The campaign, aimed largely at young adults, includes public service announcements featuring texts drivers were reading or typing when they were in catastrophic crashes.

North Carolina’s ban on texting while driving, which was spurred in part by Schulz’s experience, took effect in December.

“The message is simple: If you’re driving, don’t text,” Brady said. “Momentary and avoidable lapses in attention change lives forever. We’re asking students and everyone at the university to pledge not to text while driving. It’s a small decision, but one that saves lives.”

The news conference also included remarks from Rep. Pricey Harrison of Greensboro, who co-sponsored the legislation to ban texting while driving in North Carolina; Rep. Maggie Jeffus of Greensboro; and Rep. Earl Jones of Greensboro. Melissa Midgett, state director for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan and a UNCG aluma, also attended.

A number of students pursuing master’s degrees in public health education attended the news conference, too.

Visual: The chancellor and Schulz join others in signing a pledge to never text while driving.

Civil Rights, Up Close and Personal

042110Feature2_CivilRightsOn the EUC stage last Friday were some campus pioneers in the civil rights movement.

JoAnne Smart Drane was one of the first two African-American students to enroll, in 1956. She and another African-American classmate, the late Bettye Ann Davis Tillman, were honored this year with the naming of the Smart-Tillman professorship.

Beside Drane was one of the first Woman’s College (UNCG) students who sat-in at the Woolworth Sit-ins, Ann Dearsley-Vernon. They both were members of the Class of 1960, which was reuniting as part of Reunion.

“Ann [Dearsley-Vernon] and I are from Raleigh,” Drane explained. “This is the first day we’ve ever met.”

Being one of the first two African-American students on campus entailed being “invisible, but in plain view,” Drane said. A small group of students were outwardly friendly, and many kindnesses were shown, but ultimately it was a lonely experience.

Drane, after graduating, would not set foot on campus again for 30 years. She would later serve on the UNCG Board of Trustees and as Alumni Association vice president.

Dearsley-Vernon spoke next. “I didn’t know there were two young black woman students on campus … I don’t know how I could have been so ignorant of that.” Dearsley-Vernon and two other white students heard of the sit-in at Woolworth in February 1960, and quickly decided – as they munched on muffins in the campus cafeteria reading a newspaper– that they’d walk down there. “Let’s go support them,” the student said. They put on their class jackets and went. “I remember it was just that spontaneous and naïve.”

The result was five tense hours at the sit-in, widespread news coverage and expulsion from the university (which was reconsidered).

There were some regrets. Drane did not participate in the Woolworth Sit-in. “I wish that I could change that.” Her heart was with the protestors, she said. Ann Phillips McCracken, who was interested in civil rights, did not either. “I’m sorry I didn’t.” She and Drane became friends, but decades after graduating. “I don’t ever remember meeting you on campus,” McCracken said, “and I’m so sorry.”

Other panelists included Betsy Toth, who spoke of sitting at Woolworth later in the protests, with women from Bennett College.

Marylin Lott, who participated in the sit-ins with Dearsley-Vernon and Eugenia Seaman Marks, said, “At the end of the day [at the Woolworth Sit-in], it was a given we were not going to be safe. We all had a prayer,” she recalled. Once safely back to campus, she called her parents to let them know what she’d done. The Washington Post called her parents within 30 minutes of that phone call.

Former city council member Claudette Graves Burroughs-White, who died in 2007, participated in the sit-ins as well, it was noted.

The Reunion event, called “Marking a Movement,” included a talk by Dr. Tara Green about some unsung female heroes – in addition to Rosa Parks – who were arrested in Montgomery for refusing to give up their bus seats. Linda Carter welcomed everyone; Dr. Robert Mayo moderated the forum. Duane Cyrus and Cyrus Art Production presented the dance “Greensboro, Then and Now.”

The highlight was the opportunity to hear from the students of the late 1950s and early 1960s. One current student, as she asked a question during the Q & A period, remarked that she’d done quite a bit of research on them, and it was remarkable to actually be able to ask them a question. Mayo called them aptly “the primary sources.”

More on the experiences of Drane and Tillman, as well as some 1950s correspondence in Archives and the Smart-Tillman professorship, is in the Spring 2010 issue of UNCG Magazine. A story on students’ later efforts to desegregate the Tate Street restaurants and cinema are in the Spring 2010 issue as well.

Visual: From left to right, JoAnne Smart Drane, Ann Dearsley-Vernon, Betsy Toth and Marylin Lott. Ann Phillips McCracken is out of view.

‘Hope for Haiti’ on Campus

042110Featue1_HaitiUNCG’s “Hope for Haiti” week will be April 24-29.

For five consecutive days, students from UNCG will be holding an awareness campaign/philanthropy event for Haiti, as they sleep out each night near the Fountain.

During the camp out, members of the university community are invited to raise awareness and funds for Haiti relief.

  • The first night, April 24 at 10 p.m., students will set up cardboard boxes in front of the fountain and camp out overnight.
  • On April 25, the Interior Architecture Department and students in the department will provide “make-shift shelters” for the remainder of the week.
  • On April 26, several student organizations have been invited to participate.
  • On April 27, an educational event will be held in the Multicultural Resource Center in the EUC from 5-7 p.m. Students will be “Skyping” the assistant director of St. Joseph Orphanage in Haiti and meeting with Red Cross Disaster Relief workers.
  • The culmination of the program is a final push for fundraising and a raffle on April 28, follow by the final camp out.
  • The event and shelters will be broken down April 29 at 8 a.m.

Throughout the week students will be raising funds as well as promoting two campus concerts on May 4 and 5, which are also raising funds for Haitian relief.

UNCG’s Hope for Haiti idea was conceived as a result of a desire by the current Homecoming (FallFest) King and Queen to create a campus-wide service initiative as a precedent for future Homecoming contenders.

“After the devastation in Haiti in January, we realized the tremendous impact the earthquake had on Haiti and even members of our own student body,” Homecoming King Michael Tuso said. “As a result we initially partnered with OLSL, Greek Life, and IMPACT (a leadership development class taught by Preston Yarborough [OLSL]) to develop a program to have continued awareness concerning Haiti. Over the course of the planning process we have established many more partners in the university community and are looking forward to the continued support for Haitian relief and awareness.”

As they began their planning, they’d predicted that media coverage would significantly decline as the semester wore on and less attention would be paid to Haiti, making their efforts all the more important.

“Moreover, we also discovered that a student in our community was deeply affected by the tragedies the earthquake brought to Haiti. This particular student’s family owned a company in Haiti and has been significantly strained as a result of the destruction. Knowing the supportive environment that UNCG encompasses, we are attempting to establish a framework for the community to be able to help one of our own students.”

Much of the fundraising from this event will be donated to help with that student’s tuition. In addition, a portion of the funds will be donated to UNICEF, which assists in Haiti, Tuso says.

The campus group can be found on Facebook.  The group is titled “UNCG’s Hope for Haiti.”

Michael Tuso can be reached at mjtuso@uncg.edu.

Photo:  U.S. Air Force.

Fun Around the World

041410Feature1_IFestVisit the nations of the world during the International Festival Saturday, April 17. The free event will run from noon to 5 p.m. at the fountain area, west of the Dining Hall. [Read more…]

The Bus Stops Here

041410Feature2_HEATThe campus’ Earth Day celebration is Thursday, April 22. In the days leading up to it, we’ll have a Campus Commute Challenge. [Read more…]

Breakfast Casseroles for Thirty

040710Feature_SimsSeveral UNCG individuals contributed unique gifts to the State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) auction last fall. Skip Capone contributed a plane ride. Chancellor Brady contributed a “lunch with the chancellor.”

Dr. Laura Sims, dean of Human Environmental Sciences, contributed a special auction item: a homemade breakfast, with all the trimmings. What did she have in mind? “Maybe a family of four?” she said recently.

It didn’t quite turn out that way.

Dr. Bob Wineburg (Social Work) saw the gift offered at the SECC Auction table. “It said ‘a group,'” he recalled, not a specific number. 2009 SECC chair Dr. John Rife (HES) saw him eyeing it. Wineburg told him, “I’m going for this.”

Rife said, “I’ll match you.”

Their large, combined bid far surpassed the other bids on the list.

And they knew who they wanted to present the breakfast to: the housekeeping staff of their building. Sims suggested an even bigger group, with administrative and secretarial staff in their building, as well.

Which is why if you passed by the Edwards Lounge in Stone Building early on March 24, you’d have seen a table decked out with fresh flowers, place settings and a big message on the board which said: “Thanks for all you do for HES!!”

And you’d have seen Sims, in apron, rolling a cart down from the Cooking Lab, where she’d put the final touches on five casseroles she’d made for the honored recipients.

“I did do them all myself,” she said. She’d used three recipes. There was the “Sims Breakfast Casserole,” the recipe she traditionally uses on Thanksgiving morning. A vegetarian recipe. And a “French toast with praline topping” one. Plus there was fruit and granola, with yogurt, and various homemade muffins. Juices and coffee rounded out the breakfast.

Sims spoke of her pediatrician daughter in Thailand, a son in Texas, another son in the Virgin Islands. She doesn’t cook large meals so often – but on this day, she pulled out all the stops.

Denise Sherron, whom Sims called “my sous chef,” helped Sims with some final touches. Emily Caudle helped as well.

Rife was away, but Wineburg was able to join in the meal. Sims addressed all the staff assembled, who gave her a round of applause. Wineburg spoke as well, noting that this was one way to show thanks.

Then everyone enjoyed.

Moscow Festival Ballet in Aycock

040710Feature_BalletThe UCLS season takes a bow with the Moscow Festival Ballet presenting the ballet “Coppelia” at Aycock Auditorium Wednesday, April 14, at 8 p.m.

The performance is the fifth and final presentation of the 2009-10 University Concert & Lecture Series. Tickets for the event are $28-35 and can be purchased at the UNCG Box Office at 4-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu.

A three-act ballet, “Coppelia” was written by Les Delibes in 1870. The opera tells the story of a doctor who created a doll so lifelike he passed it off as his daughter. But the doctor wasn’t the only person to fall for the lifelike doll, leading to interesting consequences for other town citizens.

The Moscow Festival Ballet was founded more than two decades ago when Sergei Radchenko, the legendary principal dancer of the Bolshoi Ballet, pursued his vision for a dance company that would meld the highest classical elements of the great Bolshoi and Kirov Ballet companies in an independent new company within the framework of Russian classic ballet.

The ballet company performs original, commissioned works from Russia and beyond and specializes in 20th century, full-length ballets such as “Cinderella,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Legend of Love,” “Stone Flower” and “The Golden Age.” The ballet has toured throughout the world, including tours of Europe, multiple visits to the United States and a recently completed two-month tour of Japan, Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong.

For more information on the University Concert & Lecture Series, visit ucls.uncg.edu.

Movers, Shakers and Research Makers

033110Feature2_ResearchExpoThe Great Recession has had a great impact on Greensboro – making a comparative analysis of the city’s strengths and weaknesses all the more essential.

The 2010 Greensboro ‘State of the City’ Report was commissioned by the Greensboro Partnership to see opportunities for economic growth and see where resources might be better allocated. The Business Journal and News & Record have reported on its findings.

The Partnership is an alliance of Action Greensboro, Greensboro Economic Development Alliance and the Chamber of Commerce. They are the “movers and shakers,” says geography major Carla Hughes, who are looking at “how to grow Greensboro.”

Before Dr. Keith Debbage, along with doctoral student Suzanne Gallaway, could synthesize the data and write the report, the data had to be collected.

Two outstanding undergraduates were tapped to do it: Carla Hughes and John Rainey, another senior geography major.

“It was challenging. We knew it was hard to get data – and make sure it was correct data.” She noted that Debbage checked it.

The two seniors discussed the report’s findings at last Thursday’s Undergraduate Research Expo in Cone Ballroom. Debbage stood nearby; the students did the talking at the expo.

“Overall, it doesn’t seem to be growing as fast as peer cities [in the state],” Rainey explained, pointing to facts on their posterboard. There is job growth in Greensboro in some sectors – such as retail – but not in high-wage sectors.

A bright spot is education, he noted. “The high school dropout rate is the lowest among peer cities.”

Hughes had been a surgical technologist in Asheboro. It was a good paying job, but “I wanted to do more.” She followed her passion – urban planning.

Debbage says he has had undergraduates working on projects with him, off and on, for 15 years. He is impressed by Hughes and Rainey. When he presented the report to the Greensboro Partnership, they were with him, listening. When he sat down with the editors of the News & Record, likewise. It’s all been valuable experience for them. “A good opportunity to grow and learn,” Hughes said.

The two undergraduates received Undergraduate Research Assistantship scholarships to do the work. The work of Debbage and doctoral student Suzanne Gallaway was funded by the Greensboro Partnership.

At a nearby booth, senior Tania Moon spoke of her research with Dr. Jacqueline White, on victimization experiences and alcohol use. Did she think she’d be doing research when she became an undergraduate? “I didn’t know I’d be doing research at all,” she said. She added, “As a mentee, I’ve grown a lot under her.” Moon also is a recipient of an undergraduate research assistantship scholarship.

Provost Perrin stopped by nearby booths, asking students about their research. One was Senior Samuel Tyler (in visual, right), who explained his research on GIS data representation. Dr. Eric Jones (Anthropology) is his advisor.

Several professors went from booth to booth, speaking with the students about the research.

Dr. Mary Crowe, Office of Undergraduate Research director, explained that one great benefit of the Expo is that undergraduates not only are doing research and practicing their communication skills – but they get to see what lots of other undergraduates, in other departments, are working on.

Crowe said there’d be a new date next year for the Expo – the Friday of Reunion. Also new next year: some freshmen will present their research. “We’ve never had freshmen present work.”

The Wrong Man Behind Bars

033110Feature1_ThompsonCollege student Jennifer Thompson was raped at knifepoint in 1984 by a man who broke into her Burlington apartment while she slept. Her identification of Ronald Cotton as her attacker led to his conviction.

Cotton maintained his innocence and after more than a decade in Raleigh’s Central Prison was exonerated by a DNA test. When Cotton met Thompson-Cannino two years later they began an unlikely friendship. With Erin Torneo, they tell their story in the New York Times Bestseller “Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption.”

Thompson-Cannino (in visual) will give a free, public talk and sign copies of the book 4-6 p.m. Thursday, April 8, in Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room. The event is sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Friends of the UNCG Libraries.

The DNA test that exonerated Cotton implicated someone else in the DNA databank, Bobby Poole. Poole actually had been in Central Prison at the same time as Cotton and had told people that he raped Thompson. Poole was convicted of the crime.

In addition to demonstrating the value of DNA testing, the case raises questions about the reliability of eyewitness testimony. Thompson-Cannino says she studied her attacker during the crime in hopes of identifying him later, but she mistakenly chose Cotton out of a photo array and a lineup.

The story has been covered by a number of programs, including:

· 60 Minutes

· The Today Show

· The Diane Rehm Show

· All Things Considered

Originally published in 2009, “Picking Cotton” is now available in paperback and has been chosen as the freshman read at UNC Chapel Hill.

Taking the Reins

032410Feature2_Horsepower“This is a leadership class,” Tim Clifford told a group of students from UNCG and Beyond Academics gathered for the first day of a class at a horse farm in Colfax. “Out here we’re going to learn how we can lead ourselves better, and we’re going to learn ways we can lead others.”

The students are studying to be special education teachers. A partnership with UNCG, Beyond Academics is a college experiential program for adults with intellectual disabilities. Students in Beyond Academics are part of the university community and work toward living as independently as possible.

Clifford, a former teacher and principal with close-cropped grey hair, led the 12-week class at Horsepower, a nationally certified therapeutic riding program. Meeting once a week during the fall semester, the morning-long class paired UNCG students with Beyond Academics students.

During the second class, Bradley (in blue shirt) from Beyond Academics and his UNCG partner, Ai Kamei, worked with a brown and white horse named Tailor.

Bradley, shifting his weight anxiously from foot to foot, held the placid horse’s lead rope. “Walk on,” he said softly to the horse. Neither Bradley nor the horse took a step.

“You’re in charge,” Clifford coached Bradley. “You’re a leader. Walk where you want him to go and he’ll follow. Trust yourself and trust the horse. What are you going to do if you get nervous?”

“Deep breath,” Bradley replied. “Walk on,” he urged the horse, his voice a little louder. Ai encouraged Bradley.

“Walk on!” Bradley told the horse and together they walked forward.

“I like how you said that, Brad,” Clifford said. “Better and better. You’re going to be a cowboy.”

The Horsepower program wasn’t just about leadership and riding the horses. It was also about learning to care for them. Students mucked stalls and groomed the horses.

“They’re in there getting their hands dirty,” said Dr. Stephanie Kurtts, an associate professor in the Department of Specialized Education Services. “That’s very therapeutic. Caring for an animal teaches responsibility. It teaches accountability.”

The UNCG students are in Project RESTART, an effort Kurtts leads to recruit and support nontraditional adult students who are studying to become special education teachers. The U.S. Department of Education has backed Project RESTART with a four-year, $800,000 grant.

“Everyone is learning from one another,” Kurtts said of the Horsepower class. “The UNCG students and the Beyond Academics students are peers.”

The last day of the class was Dec. 9. Clifford congratulated the students on the courage they showed to go beyond their comfort zones. “Sometimes we need to go out and do a thing we’re not entirely comfortable with if it’s going to make our lives fuller.”

Bradley climbed atop the saddle. “Walk on!” he told his horse, Fantasia.

“So, you’re pretty relaxed up there?” asked Clifford.

“Yup,” Brad said with a contagious grin.

Taking a couple of slow laps around the arena, Bradley did look comfortable in the saddle. In fact, he looked a little bit like a cowboy.

Excellence Day’s Big Changes

032410Feature1_ExcellenceHow do you improve Excellence Day? How do you provide for the high level of recognition that award recipients deserve?

A work group of nine individuals led by Dr. Steve Roberson and Dr. Jerry Pubantz took a hard look last fall and presented their recommendations to Provost David H. Perrin. Chancellor Linda P. Brady and Perrin are implementing them.

The results: changes intended to make for a “grander celebration,” says Roberson.

Among the changes:

  • In the past, several events have been held on Excellence Day, which was held on Reading Day. This May, there will be only one on Reading Day: the Student Honors Convocation, for both undergraduate and graduate students.
  • Starting next academic year, the “excellence day” on Reading Day will no longer exist.
  • In August, the awards to faculty and staff that have typically been presented on Reading Day – such as the teaching and research excellence awards – will be presented at a ceremony after the Chancellor’s State of the Campus Address on Convocation Day.
  • In Spring 2011, the Friday of Reunion Weekend (April 8, 2011) will be a campuswide Student Excellence Day. Alumni, parents and members of the community will be able to enjoy showcase events around campus, as different departments, schools and groups each display students’ excellence. The Student Honors Convocation will be on Friday evening of Reunion Weekend.
  • Next spring, the Undergraduate Research Expo will be on that Friday, as well.

Visual: At last year’s Excellence Awards Convocation, Chancellor Brady presented Rose Smith-Marsh a Staff Excellence Award.