UNCG Campus Weekly

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

UNCG CHANCE nearly doubles its size this summer

CHANCE, a college-immersion experience designed to help make college a reality for first-generation Latino and Hispanic students, will host 120 students, nearly doubling the program’s 2017 attendance. In addition to increasing attendance, CHANCE will also be extending its duration from three days to six and adding more programming and leisure time for attendees.

“This year, every academic school in the university is involved in some capacity,” said Rod Wyatt, senior director of College Completion Initiatives. “While growing, we tried to maintain our focus on a hands-on experience.”

That hands-on experience includes classroom activities, leadership development, course registration, introduction to campus organizations, workshops, panel discussions and more. Some notable classroom activities include an introduction to the School of Nursing’s anatomage table and collaboration in a video editing workshop.

Expansions in programming and attendance are in response to the success of the 2017 CHANCE. Every one of the 36 eligible high-school seniors in the 2017 program applied for college, 17 of which were admitted to UNC Greensboro.

The program is funded in large part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the Frontier Set initiative. As one of 31 Frontier Set schools, UNC Greensboro was selected to further a number of initiatives with the aim of identifying successful strategies to improve graduation rates, especially for low-income and first-generation students and students of color.

Interested in supporting future CHANCE events? Contact Kattya Castellon at kjcastel@uncg.edu.

By Victor Ayala
Photography from last year’s inaugural CHANCE program.

Sun and sweat: UNCG preserves history on Outer Banks

Restoring gravestones in an old fishing village on the Outer Banks of North Carolina – it’s not your typical classroom experience. But for 10 students in UNC Greensboro’s IAR 555 (Field Methods in Preservation Technology), the three-week field school was transformative.

“The skills gained from field school are immediately applicable to my life, and I have already put some of them to use only four days after leaving,” said Morgan Duhan, who is working on a post-baccalaureate certificate in historic preservation. “This experience has created a solid toolkit of skills that have boosted my confidence in being able to enter the historic preservation field.”

Duhan was one of six graduate and four undergraduate students who traveled with interior architecture (IARc) professor Jo Leimenstoll to the remote Portsmouth Island – part of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, just south of Ocracoke Island – to work with restoration craftspeople on restoring historic properties. The project was in partnership with the National Park Service, which covered the cost of building materials, supplies and honorariums.

The course was first offered in 2001 and continues to build on the partnerships it has cultivated with Old Salem Museums and Gardens and Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office in Raleigh and various local preservation groups.

While each year reflects changes in the specifics of the field school, the core experience remains one of immersion in the craft of preservation as students engage in hewing logs, splitting shingles, planing moldings, repointing brick, plastering walls, cutting slate, installing wood shingle roofs, consolidating deteriorated wood, reglazing windows, forging iron and analyzing paint finishes.

Students spent the first week at Old Salem and Historic Bethabara working with skilled tradesmen to gain a hands-on understanding of traditional technologies for woodworking, blacksmithing, and masonry and plastering techniques. The second and third week built on the first as students moved from traditional technologies to current best practices for restoration work on actual projects in need of stabilization and repair.

“After a week in Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem and two weeks in Ocracoke working on Portsmouth Island, I have experienced the spark of passion and overall excitement for my future that originally led me to the interior architecture program at UNCG two years ago,” said IARc BFA student Melissa Sokol.

Past projects include the restoration of the Barker House, a modest 1770s farmhouse in rural Vance County in 2014; the historic Ward-Hancock House, in Beaufort in 2015; and the Pauli Murray House in Durham in 2016.

“The intent is one of looking back but thinking forward when dealing with the historic-built environment,” Leimenstoll said. “Students find the hands-on projects particularly rewarding because the results of their labor are so tangible, and they know they have made a dramatic difference in the ongoing life of the historic property.”

Immersive experience with historic buildings is an essential part of preparing IARc students interested in the fields of historic preservation and community revitalization, Leimenstoll believes.

“Participating in field school was rewarding in so many ways,” said Chelsea Ferguson, also completing a BFA in IARc. “It was history, memory, community and power tools. And now that it’s done, I feel like a boss.”

By Elizabeth L. Harrison
Photography courtesy UNCG Interior Architecture; UNCG students preparing to replace wood shingles on a 1926 house in historic Portsmouth Village

Alumnus Dr. Ernest J. Grant named American Nurses Association president

UNC Greensboro’s School of Nursing graduates take giant steps ‒ from the impact of daily patient care and outreach to becoming leaders in the nation’s top nursing organizations. One of those is Dr. Ernest J. Grant ’93 MSN, ’15 PhD.

Grant grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, as the youngest son of seven children. After high school, he enrolled in Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College for the Licensed Practical Nursing program, and the rest is history. Big history.

Grant received his master’s degree in nursing from UNCG in 1993 and later returned to earn his doctorate. In 2015, he became the first African American male to graduate from the university with a doctorate degree in nursing.

This summer, he was elected president of the American Nurses Association (ANA), the premier organization of the nation’s four million registered nurses. He is the first male to hold the position at a time when, on average, fewer than ten percent of practicing nurses are male.

“I am extremely delighted and humbled to have the opportunity to advocate for the nation’s four million registered nurses, the nursing profession and those whom we care for,” said Grant. “I could not have gotten this far in my career without the education I received at UNCG – an education I use every day to advance health and health care.”

Grant, who was previously ANA vice president, is an internationally recognized burn care and fire safety expert. He oversees the nationally acclaimed North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center at the University of North Carolina (UNC) Hospitals in Chapel Hill, where he has coordinated prevention outreach programs for more than 35 years.

After Sept. 11, 2001, he volunteered at the Burn Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital / Weill Cornell Medical Center, and cared for patients injured during the attacks on the World Trade Center. For his service he received the Nurse of the Year Award from then president George W. Bush. Grant has also served as a consultant to the government in South Africa preparing fire safety curricula and advising the Congress on burn prevention law and policies.

“His activism and political advocacy locally, statewide and nationally has advanced the nursing profession and inspired many students and colleagues to follow in his footsteps,” said Dean of the School of Nursing Dr. Robin Remsburg. “His expertise in burns has taken him across the country and the world.”

Grant teaches as an adjunct faculty member for the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing, where he works with undergraduate and graduate nursing students in the classroom and clinical settings.

He also gives back to UNCG, remaining active on the School of Nursing Advisory Board. The year that he earned his doctorate, Grant established the Ernest J. Grant Endowed Scholarship in Nursing to provide support for multicultural male students with financial need seeking degrees in nursing.

He has been named UNC Greensboro Alumnus of the Year and in 2010 became the first African American male president of the North Carolina Nurses Association.

“We know that our students, our alums, can do whatever they set their minds to,” said Remsburg. “Ernie is a stellar example.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Dr. Jim Eddy will step down as UNCG Online dean at end of 2018/19

After six years as dean of UNCG Online, Dr. James M. Eddy will step down as dean in July 2019. He will return as a professor. As Provost Dunn said in announcing the news, “Eddy will return to teaching some of the online courses he has helped to create.”

The provost noted several key milestones during his tenure:

  • the design, implementation, and marketing of the highly successful Ed.D program in Kinesiology,
  • the recent launch of the interdisciplinary, online Bachelor of Science in Integrated Professional Studies program,
  • the transformation of Summer Session to offer more online courses to meet student demand and reduce time to degree
  • and the creation of the UNCG Online Academy of Online Professors.

In his six-year tenure as dean, she noted:

  • UNC Greensboro has experienced a steady growth in the number of fully online students and in overall online student credit hours generation.
  • Under Jim’s leadership UNCG has become an “academic entrepreneur” combining traditional academic values with new technologies, innovative curricular design, faculty engagement, and student support services.

“Please join me in thanking him for his important contributions to UNCG,” the provost said.

A national search for the next dean will be conducted this fall. Details will be announced soon.

Lynch, Sills receive Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Fundamentals (EEODF) Adjunct Trainer Certification

Patricia M. Lynch, director of EEO and affirmative action, and Veronica L. Sills, EEO consultant and investigator, both of UNCG Human Resources, received their Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Fundamentals (EEODF) Adjunct Trainer Certification in June. This course was previously referred to as the Equal Employment Opportunity Institute (EEOI), which is a state-mandated diversity initiative.

EEODF is required for all state government employees who were hired, promoted or appointed to the position of manager or supervisor on or after July 1, 1991. The newly revised EEODF course is designed with the latest information needed to help managers and supervisors understand federal and state equal employment opportunity/affirmative action laws in the context of daily work situations. The course also provides managers and supervisors with applicable information to help them work more effectively with a diverse workforce. Designed with a blended learning format, the EEODF course includes two components: online training with a final assessment and one full day of instructor-led classroom training.   

Their training lasted over six months with intense learning objectives, required homework and many hours of studying to become certified.

As certified trainers, Lynch and Sills will be able to instruct UNCG managers and supervisors in the instructor-led classroom training. Sessions at UNCG will begin in fall 2018. Managers and supervisors who have received their EEODF training in past years are welcomed to retake the training; however initial classes will be offered to managers and supervisors who have not completed the training.

To begin the first component of the EEODF course, register online with UNCG Human Resources Training Catalogue at this address for the Prerequisite Online part of the training: ONLINE .

For the required Classroom training, you can register here: CLASSROOM.

Both parts are necessary for completion of the training, and the Online part must be passed before being admitted to the Classroom section.

Volunteer for Out of the Garden or Moss Street Partnership School

Staff Senate will sponsor two volunteer opportunities next week.

Tuesday, July 17, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., all UNCG staff are invited to engage with the community through the Out of the Garden Project’s Fresh Mobile Market food drop at the Mustard Seed Health Clinic at 238 S. English Street. The Fresh Mobile Market (in visual) will distribute 50-17 pounds of food per family. Closed toe shoes are a requirement for this volunteer opportunity. Heavy lifting is involved but can be avoided for those who are not able. Sign up here. For more information, contact Britt Flanagan at  336.334.4686 or bsflanag@uncg.edu.

Thursday, July 19, there is an opportunity to volunteer at the Moss Street Partnership School. Volunteers will participate in cleaning, moving things, setting up classrooms, creating bulletin boards, and any other tasks to help the school get up and running.

For information, contact Amber Wall at 336.334.3102 or aswall@uncg.edu.


Serene and shaded: UNCG’s Elizabeth Herring Garden

On the north side of campus, across the Peabody Park Bridge, is one of UNCG’s most beloved gardens. Located outside the School of Music Building, the Elizabeth Herring Garden stands as a living memorial from one dedicated UNCG patron to his wife, celebrating her love of music and nature.

Dr. William B. Herring, MD, Professor of Medicine Emeritus at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, shared a deep love of music with his wife, Elizabeth. A Wake Forest University graduate, Elizabeth “Betty” Hawks Herring was active in the music world in North Carolina. In addition to singing in choirs, she supported the Greensboro Symphony, the Eastern Music Festival and the Greensboro Opera Company. She and Dr. Herring were early members of UNCG’s Musical Arts Guild and devotedly supported the School of Music, now part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Betty, however, also enjoyed gardening; her home was surrounded by blooming plants. At UNCG, Dr. Herring saw an opportunity to combine his wife’s two great loves into an everlasting gift: In 1996, while exploring other opportunities for supporting the School of Music, he embarked on the idea of creating a garden to complement the recently-completed Music Building. Dedicated on October 2, 1999, and completed in 2000, the Elizabeth Herring Garden quickly became a cherished hidden wonder on campus.

By Michelle Danner-Groves

See full story at UNCG University Advancement site.

Tours & Treats at the Weatherspoon

The Weatherspoon Art Museum will host two more Tours & Treats events this summer, on Thursday, July 12, and Thursday, Aug. 9. Each evening is an opportunity for visitors of all ages to view the galleries and tour an exhibition with a guide before participating in hands-on activities and receiving a cool summer treat.

This Thursday’s event includes hands-on activities related to nanoscience and the “Extreme Measures” exhibition, with special visitors from the Greensboro Science Center.

For the August Tours & Treats event, UNCG’s Michel Family Teaching Resources Center will visit with their new Icicle Tricycle, a vehicle for taking books and stories on the road.

Events are free, and no reservations necessary. If your group is larger than 10, please let the museum know by calling 336 334-5770 or emailing weatherspoon@uncg.edu.

Ramsey Cardwell receives U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

Ramsey Cardwell, a doctoral student in Educational Research Methodology at UNC Greensboro, was recently awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) to study Chinese this summer in Dalian, China.

The CLS program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program designed by the U.S. government to increase the number of Americans studying critical foreign languages. The eight-week program will allow Cardwell to gain critical language and cultural skills for use in his future career and scholarship. Cardwell is one of approximately 550 college and university students in the U.S to be chosen for the highly-selective program.

Originally from Greensboro, Cardwell began studying Chinese more than ten years ago as an undergraduate at UNC Chapel Hill. During that time, he studied abroad in both China and Taiwan to improve his Chinese. Now, going into the third year of his PhD in Educational Research, Cardwell is particularly interested in researching the assessment of second language proficiency.

“I started my master’s program in 2014 and came to UNCG for a PhD in 2016, so in the past four years I have not had much opportunity to use or study Chinese,” said Cardwell.  “So I applied to CLS in order to revive and further improve my Chinese language skills, particularly more academic/written Chinese.”

More than four weeks into the program, living with a host family in Dalian, Cardwell is already seeing an improvement in his language proficiency.

“This is definitely the most intensive language learning experience I’ve ever had,” said Cardwell. “My communicative ability has already increased noticeably, so I’m very excited to see how much more I can improve by the end of the program.”  

UNCG Newsmakers: June 2018

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

  • Dr. Kim Sousa-Peoples was interviewed by the Chronicle of Higher Education for a story on freshman retention. The article. (Note: subscriber-exclusive content)
  • Dr. Olav Rueppel’s study of insect self-sacrifice was featured in Popular Science.
  • Dr. Denise Cote-Arsenault spoke to NationSwell for a piece about modern ways of coping with pregnancy loss.
  • The News & Record talked to Dr. John Nowlin about using geology to find the best wine planting spots. The N&R article.
  • Dr. Thom Little talked to WFMY about a new House Bill to put voter ID issues on the ballot. The News2 piece.
  • Dr. Arielle Kuperberg spoke on marriage success for a piece in New York Magazine.
  • Dr. Shawn Ricks spoke to the WS Chronicle about suicide prevention and mental health. The article in the Chronicle.

You’re invited! Learn more about Business Affairs at conference & expo August 1

The 2018 UNCG Conference & Expo presented by Business Affairs is scheduled for Wednesday, August 1, at the Elliott University Center. All UNCG employees are invited to attend. To register for the conference, visit https://bafexpo.uncg.edu/register/.

The Expo will be free and open to all UNCG employees and will:

  • Provide an opportunity to preview the new UNC Greensboro brand refresh, courtesy of University Communications
  • Showcase departments within Business Affairs and how they support the University
  • Allow attendees to put a face with a name
  • Explore the Banner 9 migration at the IFT Engage table

The Conference:

  •  Will give attendees the opportunity to expand their knowledge on several topics that possibly affect them daily.
  •  There will be multiple workshops with presentations from several departments within Business Affairs giving the attendees a better understanding of how the division better supports the success of the University.
  • Attendees will also be able to hear our keynote speakers, Chancellor Gilliam and Jeff Shafer, discuss the university’s brand refresh. Attendees will be among the first to see the brand campaign, which will be shown during the keynote address.
  • Registration* for the conference is required. Registration is now open and includes:
  • Access to all events (Keynote Address, Expo, Conference Workshops)
  • Lunch

* $35 will be charged back to the department of each Conference attendee via a BANFIN-33 Interdepartmental Invoice.

By Richard Fleming

Eleven Bryan School Spartans head to Italy for X-Culture

Dr. Vas Taras (Management) will accompany eleven students in the Bryan School of Business and Economics in representing UNC Greensboro at the 2018 X-Culture Global Symposium in Macerata, Italy, from July 29 to August 4. The annual symposium brings together 150 of X-Culture’s top-performing business students from around the world for a week of lectures, competitions, networking events and more. 

This year’s symposium in Macerata, Italy, will be hosted by four partner corporations that will present teams of X-Culture students with real international business challenges. The four partner corporations for the symposium are:

  • Nuova Simonelli S.p.A.: Manufactures espresso coffee machines for the professional market. They operate in 109 countries around the world, exporting 82% of all production. They have a subsidiary in the U.S.
  • Eurosuole S.p.A.: One of the largest shoe sole producers in Italy. They are located in Civitanova Marche, a region referred to as the “Silicon Valley for shoe sales.”
  • Cocci Griffoni Srl: An Italian family-owned vineyard and winery which for the past 100 years has produced authentic Wines of Terroir. The company slogan is “Stewards of the Land,” reflecting its passion for sustainability.
  • Macerata Opera Festival: Promoted and organized by the Arena Sferisterio Association, the Macerata Opera Festival is held annually in the Arena Sferisterio open-air theatre. Student teams will create marketing plans to increase attendance at future Macerata Opera Festivals.

The 150 students and 50 faculty attending were chosen through a highly-competitive selection process, drawing from the top ten percent of the 45,000 business students who have participated in the X-Culture program worldwide.

X-Culture is an international business competition designed by Taras that connects MBA and undergraduate business students and working professionals worldwide to work on real business challenges presented by international companies.

Taras first conceived X-Culture in 2010 while teaching an international business course at UNC Greensboro’s Bryan School of Business and Economics. Wanting his students to better understand the magnitude of international business concepts, Taras had the idea of connecting with an instructor in another country teaching a similar course. He reached out to fellow business scholars in the Academy of International Business, and, to his surprise, received dozens of responses in just a few hours. The program began with 500 students from seven universities in seven countries, and has since grown to include more than 3,000 students semi-annually from 150 universities in 40 countries.

By Victor Ayala

Three major gifts for Spartan Athletics

It’s been an exciting year for Spartan Athletics, with multiple teams going to NCAA tournaments and earning SoCon titles. An important part of UNCG athletic success – in the present and future – are the gifts that support student athletes and athletic facilities.

UNCG Athletics recently received three unique major gifts across three sports – Women’s Basketball, Men’s Golf and Baseball. Two of those gifts come from UNCG or Woman’s College alumni.

Women’s Basketball has received a historic gift from 1957 Woman’s College graduate and long-time Spartan Club member Jo Safrit. Safrit committed a $100,000 lead gift toward the renovation of the Women’s Basketball locker room. This is the first-ever gift to name a significant renovation or construction project for Athletics. The updated facility will be named the Jo Safrit Women’s Basketball Locker Room and is located in the Coleman Building.

“Basketball is a game changer for women as well as men, and it changed my life,” Safrit said.

Read more about Safrit, the new locker room and locker naming opportunities here.

Robert M. Saunders ’86, ’88 MBA and Nanette L. Saunders have given the largest gift in UNCG Athletics history: a $1.5 million planned gift that will create two endowed scholarships for men’s golf, the Robert M. Saunders Men’s Golf Endowed Scholarship and the Nanette L. Saunders Men’s Golf Endowed Scholarship.

“This transformational gift provides for our golf program’s future and is a significant moment during an already historic year for the Spartans,” said Director of Athletics Kim Record.

Read more about the history of Men’s Golf and the Saunders’ history with UNCG here.

UNCG Athletics has also received a $150,000 gift from the estate of Edwin C. Jennings, 3rd to create the Edwin C. Jennings, 3rd Baseball Scholarship Endowment. The endowment will support student-athletes who play the position of shortstop for the baseball team. It is the first named endowment in UNCG Athletics history that supports a specific position on a team. The gift comes at an exciting time for UNCG Baseball. The team won the Southern Conference regular season championship, had six players selected in the Major League Baseball draft, and saw players Andrew Moritz and Matt Frisbee named SoCon Player and Pitcher of the Year, respectively, and Link Jarrett named SoCon Coach of the Year. Read more about Edwin C. Jennings, 3rd and UNCG Baseball here.  

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Facilities Award Ceremony and Barbecue June 21

June 21 marked the official start of summer, and a wonderful day for Facilities, who celebrated their employees with recognition of exceptional staff members, an address from Dr. Mike Perko of UNCG’s department of Public Health Education, and a lively barbecue on the lawn followed by a delightful multi-prize raffle. The presentation by Dr. Perko humorously and enjoyably underscored the importance of physical and mental wellness; prompting Facilities staff members to engage with a number of mini exercises that inspired lots of commentary and laughs throughout the audience. The presentation wrapped up with three key takeaway points for audience members: move every day, pay attention to what you eat, and take sleep seriously.

Coordinated with assistance from the office of Sustainability, cookout fare was accompanied by environmentally friendly compostable plates, forks, napkins, and cups. Also coordinated by the Office of Sustainability was the charming multi-prize raffle that featured pickings from among four lovely succulent plants donated by the Tiny Greenhouse, a stack of the iconic UNCG “Bucket List” t-shirts, a host of self-wellness literature, and sporty LimeBike “swag.” In total, more than twenty lucky winners got to bring home the prize of their choice.

Many employees were nominated for their exceptional performance in three categories: customer service, safety, and collaboration and teamwork, with three staff members ultimately being awarded.

The awardees were
Melanie Sawyer – Customer Service
Mike Jumpe – Safety
Richard Ratcliffe – Collaboration/Teamwork 

The informal yet meaningful ceremony was a wonderful display of recognition and gratitude for our Facilities workforce.

By Chanel Stewart, Sustainability Communications

AAC&U Civic Engagement Grant

UNCG’s Department of Communication Studies is one of 24 in a competitive field of 134 applicants around the country to receive a 2018 grant from the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) to integrate civic learning and social responsibility as expected learning outcomes for students in the major.

The Department of Communication Studies will build upon its long-standing commitment to ethics, free speech and democratic engagement to further enhance its civic profile nationally and to deepen its civic-based curricular offerings within the university.

In the award letter, AAC&U Senior Scholar Caryn McTighe Musil wrote, “The health of our diverse democracy depends on higher education assuming the mantle of doing our full part in preparing students for being thoughtful, open-minded, responsible and engaged citizens and workers in their home communities, nation and the world. Thank you for being part of a pioneering effort.”

This fall, the Department of Communication Studies will launch a series of conversations on teaching for democratic thinking and civic action, involving faculty as well as undergraduate and graduate students to consider ways to build upon the reputation and recognition of the department’s community engaged scholarship. For more information, contact Dr. Spoma Jovanovic, s_jovano@uncg.edu.

PRIDE! of the Community project holds first scanning event

The first scanning event for UNCG’s PRIDE! of the Community project was held May 19. In partnership with the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Guilford Green Foundation, the PRIDE! project hopes to record the often invisible history of the LGBTQ+ community as it relates to North Carolina, especially in the Triad area and Greensboro.

Digital Projects Coordinator David Gwynn, Special Collections Technician Stacey Krim and Manuscripts Archivist Jennifer Motszko were present at the first scanning event to ensure the transition from physical to digital went smoothly. Most of the items they scanned were from the Guilford Green Foundation. They hope that as time goes on, more LGBTQ+ people and organizations will take advantage of the PRIDE! scanning days.

These events serve as a way to create digital copies of physical items such as photographs, t-shirts, organizational newsletters and records, bar or club fliers, protest signs, activism materials, letters and postcards, that will stand the test of time. “Our intention is to get the LGBTQ+ community excited about their own history,” said Motszko.

The team hopes to digitize material from the LGBTQ+ community as a whole and historically underrepresented groups within the community, such as people of color, women, older people and transgender individuals. “Anybody who’s got a story to tell, we want to hear from, or anyone who has items that might be of interest,” said Gwynn.

“I really love this project because Greensboro has had such a large population of people in the LGBTQ+ community,” said Motszko. “I think the importance of this project is having them also see the significance in their history.”

PRIDE! of the Community also held a scanning event this month at the Guilford Green Foundation’s offices located in Greensboro.

By Jules Miller

Campus beauty in every corner

UNCG’s gardens are often the favorite campus spots of students, staff and faculty. Hidden between buildings or along main thoroughfares, many have been created and maintained through gifts from UNCG friends and alumni.

This summer, CW will highlight a few of them.

This week, we’ll focus on the Alumnae Secretaries’ Garden (left), .

Between Alumni House and the Vacc Bell Tower lies this garden, created in 1964. In 2006, Susan Seeker Jones ’78 revitalized it through a gift to the Alumni House Furnishings Fund. Teaming up with UNCG Grounds, Jones introduced new plants and design features, including irises and flowering shrubs, memorials to Jones’s parents, Iris and “Bud.”

“My parents were so proud and they appreciated everything a great education like UNCG’s gave me,” she said. “They nurtured and helped me grow… so it seemed appropriate to remember them with something that will nurture and inspire new students.”

Read the full story here.

2018 Faculty First awardees

Photo of Minerva StatueThe 2018 Faculty First awardees have been announced. The awards, which typically fund summer scholarship, are offered to tenure-track and tenured faculty.

April Dawkins – Library & Information Studies – Bridging the Gap: Community College Library Service to Early College Students

Yarneccia Dyson – Social Work – An Examination of Psychosocial and Environmental Factors As Predictors of Risk for HIV in African American College Students enrolled at HBCU’s and MSI’s

Yvonne Ford – Adult Health Nursing – Assessing cardiovascular health of African-American breast cancer survivors: a feasibility study

Dora Gicheva – Economics – Impacts of Expanding Access to Health Insurance for College Students

Arielle Kuperberg – Sociology – Student Loans, Strong and Weak Ties, and the Transition out of College

Karen La Paro – Human Development and Family Studies – Early Childhood education Teacher Preparation: Moving Forward: Focus on Outcomes

Stephen Sills, Jeremy Bray, and Ken Gruber – Center for Housing & Community Studies; Economics; and the Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships – UNCG Eviction Diversion Research Project (EDRP): A Demonstration Project for Guilford County MetroLab Partnership

Tad Skotnicki – Sociology – Anonymous Goods and the Rise of Consumer Activism

Selima Sultana – Geography – Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) and African American Underrepresentation

Melody Zoch and Colleen Fairbanks – Teaching Education and Higher Education – Immigrant and Refugee Youth and Adults’ Literacy Learning through Digital Storytelling

Clifford Smyth – Mathematics & Statistics – Addressing the Extreme Fragility of Machine Learning Algorithms that Can Perform Medical Image Recognition at Superhuman Levels

Keith Erickson – Nutrition – Sex and genetic factors involved in the alterations of brain iron biology due to obesity

Kimberly Petersen – Chemistry & Biochemistry – Development of Novel Reactions with Nitrile Electrophiles

Shanmugathasan Suthaharan – Computer Science – Big Data Analytics and Machine Learning Methods for the Classification of Mixed Fruits and Vegetables

Fabian Lopez and Inara Zandmane – Music – CD Recording and promotional videos, Title CD: A Few Pieces We Like

Hannah Grannemann – Arts Administration – Audience Engagement and Organizational Sustainability: Research Agenda Exploration

Stuart Dischell – English – Walking the Walls of the Farmers General

Alyssa Gabbay – Religious Studies – Gender and Succession in Medieval Islam: Bilateral Descent and the Legacy of Fatima

Erin Lawrimore – University Libraries – Well Crafted NC: Documenting Women in North Carolina’s Craft Beer Industry

Gregory Grieve – Religious Studies – Evil and Video Games

Jennifer Park – English – Pretergenerations: The Science and Drama of Immortality

Matthew Barr – Media Studies – Re-Edit of Documentary, Union Time: Fighting for Workers’ Rights, for Education & Training Contexts

Risa Applegarth – English – Children Speaking: Rhetorical Agency in Children’s Activism

Copy provided by Research Office.

Weatherspoon Art Museum acquires significant artworks

UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum  announces its recent acquisition of several important objects by artists working both today and earlier in the twentieth century. These new acquisitions expand the museum’s holdings of examples by female artists and artists of color, as well as satisfy its strategy of acquiring artworks featured in its exhibitions.

Acquisitions include: Sanford Biggers, “Paket,” 2016; Xaviera Simmons, “If We Believe in Theory #2,” 2009; Donald Lipski, “Untitled,” from the series Ah! Roma!, 2000; Louise Fishman, “Untitled,” 2001; El Anatsui, “Paper and Gold,” 2017; George Segal, “Fireside Chat,” 1991; Beverly McIver, “Oh, Happy Day,” 2001; and David Humphrey, “Hercules,” 2009-2010.

“The Weatherspoon Art Museum enjoys a nationally known permanent collection of more than 6,200 works of art,” states Director Nancy Doll. “We are always pleased to share it through special exhibitions at the museum and through loans to museums of all sizes and scopes across the country and abroad. Its continued growth through gifts and purchases reinforces its depth and breadth.”

These acquisitions were made possible by gifts from private individuals and an artist foundation and through purchases with funds from museum endowments and the Benefactors Choice fund.

Cathy Hamilton will retire after 14 years’ leadership of OLSL

Dr. Hamilton at retirement reception, joined by OLSL staff

Dr. Cathy Hamilton, director of UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service Learning for the past 14 years, will retire at the end of this month. A retirement celebration was held on June 25 in the Alumni House’s Virginia Dare Room.

Dr. Hamilton has worked in educational human resource development at the national and international level for the past 20 years, including leadership development, education, and publishing in Latin America. Through UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Service-Learning, she has provided support for both academic and co-curricular service-learning, student leadership and civic engagement. She taught courses in leadership studies through a courtesy faculty appointment with the School of Education and School of Business and Economics. She served as a Coleman Foundation Fellow with the UNCG Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program.

“When Cathy Hamilton came to UNCG, she brought with her the heart, skills and dispositions needed to root leadership and service-learning into the university,” said her longtime colleague, Dr. Spoma Jovanovic, professor in the Department of Communication Studies. “She was able to bring faculty and staff together with community partners to transform what had been a growing, but still fledgling interest in community engagement, into a well-supported, well designed university-wide commitment. Cathy’s global connections and humanitarian experiences provided the depth and reasons for her staff, the faculty, and our students to join with her in developing programs to boost civic responsibility and action here in Greensboro, around the U.S. and across the world.”

Hamilton has worked with faculty in university-community partnerships locally and also with education initiatives in Latin America. She is known for fostering collaborative alliances between universities and partners that together transform communities.

She received her Ph.D. from the School of Human Resource Education and Workforce Development at Louisiana State University. She also holds the M.S. degree in Adult Education from Texas A&M University and a B.A. from the honors college (Plan II) of the University of Texas at Austin. Prior to coming to UNCG, Dr. Hamilton was the director of the Hartman Center for Civic Education and Leadership and part-time assistant professor at DePauw University in Indiana and as visiting assistant professor for Louisiana State University.

In her retirement, Dr. Hamilton will continue to be a leader in service. She hopes to focus on alleviating food insecurity through community garden initiatives, in collaboration with refugee resettlement agencies.

She says about her time at UNCG, “I have an equal mix of pride and gratitude having had this opportunity to work with talented and committed staff, enjoying the support of colleagues and administration, to craft a unique office structure and programming that leverages leadership development with curricular and co-curricular community engagement. When student demand exploded for leadership development and service opportunities, we might have been surprised, but we also realized the value of an office like ours to the central mission of higher education.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photo by Drew Greenstein

Summer Stipend applications deadlines

The National Endowment for the Humanities has established a deadline of September 26, 2018, at 5 p.m. for Summer Stipend applications, for projects to take place in the Summer of 2019. UNCG may may nominate up to two faculty members. Additional details are available from the NEH at: https://www.neh.gov/grants/research/summer-stipends

The internal deadline for UNCG applications will be the first Friday of August (August 3, 2018), at 5 p.m. By this internal deadline, interested PI’s must email the following materials to Aubrey Turner at aubrey.turner@uncg.edu:


  • Narrative not to exceed three single-spaced pages
  • Bibliography in one single spaced page
  • Vita not to exceed two single spaced pages.
  • You may also submit a one page appendix for Editions, Translations, or Database Projects, or for Proposals that Include Visual Materials.


This internal deadline provides time for a panel of five UNCG faculty to review the proposals and select up to two proposals that will represent UNCG in this prestigious competition.

Flights of fancy and Summer Solstice at the Weatherspoon Art Museum

It’s the longest day of the year, and the best evening for artistic fun at UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Friday, June 22, 6 to 9 p.m., the museum hosts its 14th annual Summer Solstice celebration in the Sculpture Garden and during the celebration, galleries are open for viewing. Between food, musical entertainment, kids’ activities and conversation, Solstice revelers can also experience nearly every medium across three lively exhibitions curated by Elaine D. Gustafson.

“Extreme Measures” puts bold pieces, from WAM’s permanent collection into conversation with each other. A wild array of melted plastic chairs, buckets and coat hangers stands in contrast to a somber statue of a 1930’s era man listening to a radio “fireside chat” broadcasts by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Among the small-size works in  “Extreme Measures” is a box that allows the viewer to peer into a minuscule scene of the interior of a Manhattan studio. Many of the other pieces are large and in charge. Energetic colors and lively patterns surround, and the juxtapositions “give people something to talk about,” says Gustafson. It’s art that beckons audiences of all types – from kids attending the UNCG Summer Arts and Design camp to seasoned connoisseurs seeking a glimpse of unusual collection items. “Extreme Measures” is open through July 15.

Can’t travel this summer or wish to revisit cities you know? Across the hall, “City, Village, Exurbia: Prints and Drawings from the Collection” shows off a variety of European and American landscapes. The fine details of bridges and smokestacks, castles and skyscrapers emerge through diverse illustration styles. From Verona to New York City, go on a summer tour through the artists’ eyes. There’s even a 1942 sketch of  Tate Street, for those who like to stay close to home. “City, Village, Exurbia” is open through August 26.

Lastly, in the first-floor gallery, a video installation, “migration (empire)” by Doug Aitken, gets a little wild. For the video, the artist hosted a variety of indigenous wild animals in a roadside hotel and documented their experience. You may see some ruffled feathers here and there.

In the adjacent gallery, Weatherspoon collection items provide repeat Aitken’s motifs and provide reflection on his concept of displacement. Together, the two displays are “Single Channel-Catalyst III,” open through September 30.

In addition to the Summer Solstice Party, the Weatherspoon will host an evening event series, Tours & Treats, three times throughout the summer – June 14, July 12 and August 9. The free events include 30-minute guided tours, hands-on activities and cool treats in the Sculpture Garden. Find more information about Tours & Treats here.

The Solstice Party is free and open to the public, and WAM members receive two complimentary drink tickets. Visit the WAM website for regular visiting hours.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Photography courtesy of Weatherspoon Art Museum; Visual: Peacocks on a hotel bed; still from Doug Aitken’s video “migration (empire)”

UNCG partners with community to improve health in Guilford County

More than 60 faculty, staff and community stakeholders gathered on campus at the Lifetime Eating and Physical Activity Practices (LEAP) summit May 11. The summit, made possible by a collaboration between UNCG, Cone Health and the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services, was held to discuss common indicators that existing program providers and residents can use to inform their health and wellness efforts.  

“The LEAP summit is an excellent example of community-academic partnerships working together to improve the health and well-being of Guilford County residents,” said Dr. Lauren A. Haldeman, associate chair and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Nutrition.

Multiple nonprofits, city and county departments, and health organizations contribute to LEAP initiatives, including Guilford County Schools, Greensboro Parks and Rec and Ready for School Ready for Life.

Read the full story at UNCG Now.

By Elizabeth Harrison.
Visual: UNCG faculty, including Dr. Emily Janke (pictured), were part of the summit. Photography by Martin Kane.




National Healthy Homes Month kick-off  

On Friday, June 1, UNCG received national attention as the official kick-off site for The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Healthy Homes Month.

Dr. Stephen Sills (in visual), director of the UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies, organized the Innovations in Planning for Better Community Housing and Health Symposium in conjunction with the Richmond Memorial Health Foundation to share lessons learned, best practices and insights from a variety of thought leaders across the region.

The event drew the attention of HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson, who delivered keynote remarks, as well as local dignitaries, business leaders, including Cone Health CEO Terry Akin, along with city planners, community officials, nonprofit leaders, researchers, students, advocates and other professionals whose work relates to health and housing.

See the full story in UNCG Now.

Interested in housing topics? The next Housing Hangout will be held Friday, July 13, noon to 2:00 PM in MHRA Building, Room 1607. The topic will be THE STATE’S ROLE IN HOUSING POLICY. At this Housing Hangout, learn about financial tools that are available for municipalities from state agencies and discuss past and upcoming legislation related to housing.

Snacks and refreshments are provided to all attendees. Presentations will begin at 12:15pm, following 15 minutes of networking for attendees.


UNC System’s new student success innovation lab and UNCG’s Spartan StartUp

The UNC System will launch a Student Success Innovation Lab, a newly created initiative that will help fund and evaluate cost-effective innovations that drive improvements in student success.

“We know it’s not enough to get students into school. This initiative will leverage our System platform for research and development on student success,” said President Margaret Spellings. “By supporting promising initiatives at our campuses, and funding researchers across UNC System institutions to rigorously evaluate those projects, the Student Success Innovation Lab will help us identify what works to raise completion rates and take those ideas to scale.”

The Lab will link two key assets: student success initiatives developed and implemented by institutions and faculty with expertise in program evaluation. As a result of the Student Success Innovation Lab, the UNC System will be able to develop rigorous evidence on the effectiveness of student success interventions, increase collaboration and communication across institutions, and assemble the data necessary to maximize the return on taxpayer dollars.

The Lab will be launched with funds provided by just over $3 million from the ECMC Foundation and the John M. Belk Endowment.

At UNCG, the new Spartan StartUp program is funded in part by the System Student Success Innovation Lab Grant as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Spartan StartUp is a five-week, residential program limited to a select group of incoming first-time freshmen during the summer term. The students in this Frontier Set program will receive individualized academic support and advising as well as the personal attention of faculty in an intensive, yet nurturing environment. Participation in Spartan StartUp, which begins later this week, is by invitation only, and UNCG anticipates 40 students will participate this summer. They will have the opportunity to earn seven credits in a five-week period and will experience a variety of out-of-classroom activities designed to familiarize them with campus and campus services.

And it doesn’t end with the summer program. Spartan StartUp is actually a year-long transition program that begins with the five-week component in June/July, and continues throughout the academic year. The students will live with other students in the Spartan StartUp cohort, take selected General Education classes together, and participate in various co-curricular activities as a group.

Call for nominations: Holshouser Award for Public Service

The James E. Holshouser Award for Public Service, formerly known as the Public Service Award, was created in 2007 to encourage, identify, recognize, and reward public service by faculty of the University of North Carolina system.  Each year, UNCG puts forth a campus nominee to the Board of Governors for consideration for the award. The selection criteria include sustained, distinguished, and superb achievement in university public service and outreach and contributions to improving the quality of life for citizens of North Carolina.  The creativity and impact of such achievements should be beyond the normal accomplishments of productive faculty.

The Gardner/Holshouser  award committee is currently seeking nominations for this distinguished award.  In honor of their achievements, the campus nominee will receive a $1000 honorarium and be recognized at the 2019 Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards ceremony.  The system winner, chosen by the Board of Governors, receives a $7,500 cash prize. To submit a nomination, or learn more about the award, please visit https://provost.uncg.edu/Holshouser/nominations.htm.  

Nominations are due by June 30, 2018.

Spartans in Raleigh for Graduate Education Day

Three winners of UNCG’s 2018 Graduate Research and Creativity Expo represented UNCG during Graduate Education Day in Raleigh May 30. Graduate students Elizabeth Ellis, Alla Letfullina and Yener Ulus spoke with state legislators about their research and how it benefits North Carolina.

They were accompanied by UNCG’s Greg Bell, associate dean of the Graduate School, and met with Representatives Amos Quick, Jon Hardister, John Faircloth and Pat Hurley.

Ellis, an M.A. student in history, shared her research on North Carolina’s complicated Civil War past and how that past informs the state’s policies and memory of the Civil War.

Letfullina, a Ph.D. candidate in nanoscience, discussed her research on creating an improved, cost-efficient and recyclable solid-state lithium ion battery. Her work contributes to North Carolina’s clean air and recycling initiatives.

Ulus, a Ph.D. student in environmental health science, shared his research on how rising sea levels affect mercury in the coastal plain wetlands of North Carolina. His work is important for both fisheries and the environment in North Carolina, the U.S. and the world.

Joint PhD program in Social Work will launch Fall 2019

The UNC Board of Governors has approved the establishment of a Joint PhD in Social Work between UNCG and North Carolina A&T State University.

The Social Work PhD program, which has been in development for the past seven years, meets an unmet need in North Carolina. Until today, the only PhD in the NC system (or the state) was at UNC Chapel Hill.

The program is unique in the United States; it’s the only joint Social Work PhD between a historically black college or university (HBCU), and a historically white institution. It is one of only six PhD programs in Social Work at HBCUs.

“UNC Greensboro has long been recognized for our commitment to public service to providing access to the best resources to educate future leaders,” said Provost Dr. Dana Dunn. “We are grateful to the Board of Governors and proud to partner with our colleagues at NC A&T on this new PhD program. Social workers play a critical role in our society; they are a repository of wisdom and compassion, bridging the complex relationship between public and private issues, and between case and cause. Today, more than ever, our community needs a cadre of committed professionals to guide them to successful life outcomes. We can’t wait to get started.”

The program builds on the 20-year successful partnership of the Joint Master’s in Social Work Program as well as the 44-year-old historic partnership between the two institutions’ Joint Bachelor of Social Work Field Programs.

Capturing a unique market niche, the program will offer both a part-time and a full-time cohort and focus on educating community-engaged, teacher scholars.

Interested applicants can contact Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard, Department Chair for Social Work. Additional information will be forthcoming in anticipation of a Fall 2019 launch.

Joint PhD program in Social Work will launch Fall 2019

The UNC Board of Governors has approved the establishment of a Joint PhD in Social Work between UNCG and North Carolina A&T State University.

The Social Work PhD program, which has been in development for the past seven years, meets an unmet need in North Carolina. Until today, the only PhD in the NC system (or the state) was at UNC Chapel Hill.

The program is unique in the United States; it’s the only joint Social Work PhD between a historically black college or university (HBCU), and a historically white institution. It is one of only six PhD programs in Social Work at HBCUs.

“UNC Greensboro has long been recognized for our commitment to public service to providing access to the best resources to educate future leaders,” said Provost Dr. Dana Dunn. “We are grateful to the Board of Governors and proud to partner with our colleagues at NC A&T on this new PhD program. Social workers play a critical role in our society; they are a repository of wisdom and compassion, bridging the complex relationship between public and private issues, and between case and cause. Today, more than ever, our community needs a cadre of committed professionals to guide them to successful life outcomes. We can’t wait to get started.”

The program builds on the 20-year successful partnership of the Joint Master’s in Social Work Program as well as the 44-year-old historic partnership between the two institutions’ Joint Bachelor of Social Work Field Programs.

Capturing a unique market niche, the program will offer both a part-time and a full-time cohort and focus on educating community-engaged, teacher scholars.

Interested applicants can contact Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard, Department Chair for Social Work. Additional information will be forthcoming in anticipation of a Fall 2019 launch.

New students SOAR, starting June 1

SOAR, UNCG’s new student orientation for freshman and transfer & adult students, kicks off on June 1. It will run the entire month of June. Students and families will be welcomed to the university, learn campus resources, meet with an advisor, register for classes, experience the UNCG environment, and more.

The university anticipates nearly 4,000 students and nearly 3,500 family members attending SOAR.

SOAR  – Spartan Orientation, Advising & Registration – is required for all incoming undergraduate students. Faculty members, administrators, academic advisors, and current students will present to the new students a wide spectrum of information including academics, class selection, campus resources, meal plan options and co-curricular opportunities.

When you see new students or family members on campus, please say Hello – and be ready to offer directions.


UCLS features Herbie Hancock, Alan Alda, Audra McDonald, more

Herbie Hancock

A star of stage and screen, an iconic television and film actor, a Bernstein Birthday Tribute, a dynamic dance company, a Jazz luminary, and two prominent visual artist lectures are featured in UNCG’s 2018-2019 University Concert and Lecture Series. It continues a longstanding tradition of bringing world-class artists to Greensboro for a series of performances, lectures and exhibits as well as invaluable student master-class opportunities.

The season is bookended with star power. It opens with actor Alan Alda, best known for his portrayal of Hawkeye Pierce on television’s M*A*S*H, and concludes with Broadway’s Audra McDonald, the winner of six Tony Awards, and the only person to win all four acting categories.

Financial support for the series is provided by Presenting Sponsors Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., and The Cemala Foundation; Hospitality Sponsor Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels; and Underwriting Sponsor Well-Spring.


The 2018-2019 UCLS Lineup:

September 21: Alan Alda

Throughout his 40-year career, Alan Alda has won seven Emmys, six Golden Globes, and three DGA awards for directing. One of TV Guide’s 50 Greatest Television Stars of All Time, Alda is best known for portraying Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, which earned him five Emmys for acting, writing, and directing, the only actor in history to win in each category for a single series.  A recipient of the National Science Board’s Public Service Award, Alda is a visiting professor at and founding member of Stony Brook University’s Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science. Alda published his New York Times bestselling memoir, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed—And Other Things I’ve Learned, in 2005. His second bestseller, Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself, came out in 2007. Alda’s latest book, If I Understood You, Would I Have This Look on My Face? My Adventures in the Art and Science of Relating and Communicating, was released in June 2017.

October 11:  Ann Hamilton, Falk Visiting Artist

Ann Hamilton is a visual artist known for her site responsive large scale installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Her ephemeral projects are based in her career-long interest in felt experience as the basis for recognition and knowledge and in the relationships between written language and tactile experience, cloth and body, motion and stillness.

October 12:  Alexander Bernstein and Lara Downes

Alexander Bernstein is Leonard Bernstein’s second child. He is president of Artful Learning, Inc., and founding chairman of The Leonard Bernstein Center For Learning. Prior to his full-time participation in the center, Bernstein taught for five years at the Packer-Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, first as a second grade teacher, then as a teacher of drama for the middle school. He has studied acting, performed professionally, and worked as a production associate at the ABC News Documentary Unit. Bernstein holds a Master’s degree in English education from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University.

Lara Downes is among the foremost American pianists of her generation, an iconoclast dedicated to expanding the resonance and relevance of American music for diverse audiences.  Downes’ newest release and Sony Music debut album FOR LENNY is an intimate centennial tribute to Leonard Bernstein and his American legacy, and was awarded the 2017 Classical Recording Foundation Award and debuted in the Billboard Top 20.

February 7:  Carrie Mae Weems, Falk Visiting Artist

Artist Carrie Mae Weems investigates family relationships, cultural identity, sexism, class, political systems, and the consequences of power. The recipient of both the MacArthur “Genius” grant as well as the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Weems has developed a complex body of art employing photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video. As part of her UCLS lecture, the artist will discuss her 2008 project Constructing History, in which she worked with students to explore the legacies of the 1960s.

February 12:  Herbie Hancock

Now in the sixth decade of his professional life, Herbie Hancock remains where he has always been: at the forefront of world culture, technology, business and music. In addition to being recognized as a legendary pianist and composer, Herbie Hancock has been an integral part of every popular music movement since the 1960’s. As a member of the Miles Davis Quintet that pioneered a groundbreaking sound in jazz, he also developed new approaches on his own recordings, followed by his work in the 70s – with record-breaking albums such as “Headhunters” – that combined electric jazz with funk and rock in an innovative style that continues to influence contemporary music. “Rockit” and “Future Shock” marked Hancock’s foray into electronic dance sounds; during the same period he also continued to work in an acoustic setting with V.S.O.P., which included ex-Miles Davis bandmates Wayne Shorter, Ron Carter, and Tony Williams. Hancock was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2016.

February 27:  Mark Morris Dance Company

Internationally renowned as one of the world’s leading dance companies, the Mark Morris Dance Group (MMDG) has inspired critics and audiences alike throughout its 30-year history. Founded in New York in 1980 by artistic director/choreographer Mark Morris, MMDG has been called “the preeminent modern dance organization of our time” (Yo-Yo Ma), receiving “highest praise for their technical aplomb, their musicality, and their sheer human authenticity.” (Bloomberg News).

April 13: Audra McDonald

A record-breaking six-time Tony Award winner (Carousel, Master Class, Ragtime, A Raisin in the Sun, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Audra McDonald has also appeared on Broadway in The Secret Garden, Marie Christine (Tony nomination), Henry IV, and 110 in the Shade (Tony nomination).

The Juilliard-trained soprano’s opera credits include “La voix humaine” and “Send” at Houston Grand Opera and “Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagony” at Los Angeles Opera. On television, she was most recently seen as the Mother Abbess in NBC’s “The Sound of Music Live!” and played Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s “Private Practice” for four seasons.

She has received Emmy nominations for “Wit,” “A Raisin in the Sun,” and for her role as official host of PBS’s “Live From Lincoln Center.” A two-time Grammy Award winner and recording artist, she released her fifth solo album, Go Back Home, in 2013.

Renewals and new season subscriptions are on sale now at ucls.uncg.edu or by calling box office partner, Triad Stage, at 336.272.0160. Single-event tickets will be available later in the summer.

Ticket information is at https://vpa.uncg.edu/home/ucls.

World travelers: UNCG choral students in Europe

UNCG Music students have returned from Europe, where they performed in Prague, Vienna, Salzburg, and Strobl, a small town outside of Salzburg.

Dr. Welborn E. Young was the main organizer of the tour.


  • Welborn E. Young, Director of Choral Activities
  • Carole Ott Coelho, Associate Director of Choral Activities
  • Brett Nolker, Director of Choral Music Education
  • Jonathan Emmons, DMA Choral Conducting, candidate
  • Christian Albee, MM Choral Conducting, graduated May 2018

(Christian and Jonathan also served as accompanists.)

Tadeu Coelho, Flute
Adam Ward, Organ

Young said that he had two major goals when putting the tour and subsequently the concert repertoire together. 

“The first goal was to provide an opportunity for UNCG singers to experience the breadth, beauty, and diversity of areas steeped in an amazing musical history.

“The second goal addresses my own personal beliefs. First, the belief that quality music, particularly vocal/choral music, performed beautifully has a transformative power that speaks beyond the brain to a more personal and heart/spirit-centered place where healing and understanding resides. Second, the belief that participation in the arts, particularly choral singing, should be a lifelong endeavor. So, I set out to build the ensemble not only with UNCG singers but with community singers who also celebrate the joy of singing.”

Thirty UNCG singers were joined by 12 community singers, the latter from First Presbyterian Church Chancel Choir, Bel Canto Company, retired choral music educators, and the Winston-Salem Chorale.

The repertoire was a slice of choral music from America and the British Isles. Examples of primitive nasal community singing, shape-note singing, folk-songs, gospel, hymn-tune arrangements and spirituals were woven together with motets influenced by the European masters of the Renaissance.

Their full concerts::

May 7, St. Nicholas Church on the Square, Prague, Czech Republic
May 10, St. Peter’s Church, Vienna, Austria
May 12, St. Sigismund Church, Stroble, Austria (lake country outside of Salzburg)

Informal Half Concerts:

May 10, Melk Abbey outside of Vienna
May 12, The Dom Cathedral in Old Town Salzburg

“Every concert was standing room only,” Young said. “The audiences were enthusiastic. Each concert ended with either a standing ovation or rhythmic applause – asking for an encore piece.”

Teaching Excellence recipients throughout university

Photo of Minerva statue.Each year, schools and colleges across UNCG award faculty members for outstanding performance in the classroom. This year, ten faculty members have been recognized:

Dr. James Harden, Accounting and Finance (Bryan School)

Dr. Aaron Ratcliffe, Information Systems & Supply Chain Management (Bryan School)

Ms. Tiffany Reynolds, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism (Bryan School)

Dr. Sat Gupta, Mathematics & Statistics (College of Arts and Sciences)

Ms. Carrie Rosario, Public Health Education (School of Health and Human Sciences)

Dr. Jacqueline DeBrew (School of Nursing)

Dr. Karen Amirehsani (School of Nursing)

Mr. James Wren, School of Theatre (College of Visual and Performing Arts)

Dr. Claudia Pagliaro, Specialized Education Services (School of Education)

Dr. Helali Rathnayake, Nanoscience (JSNN)

Big balloon launch at Kiser Middle School

May 1 was a clear, sunny day. Perfect conditions for Kiser Middle School’s Meteorology Club and UNC Greensboro collaborators to send a high-altitude weather balloon into the stratosphere, more than 85,000 feet above the earth’s surface.

The seventh-graders had worked for several months on the project, with science teachers Temple Cantrell and Aimee Perry; UNCG’s Matt Fisher, assistant director of the School of Education SELF Design Studio Makerspace; UNCG instructional technology consultant Mike Renne and recent Maker in Residence and UNCG sophomore Tim Krauss. This was the second year that Kiser students undertook the experiment, first initiated by UNCG alumnus and Kiser student teacher Erik Winkelman.

Each week of the spring semester, the Meteorology Club met with their UNCG mentors after school to design the payload and onboard computer, test parachutes, create a website and select items for the payload, including test tubes of seawater and tap water.

On the football field, as the 9 a.m. launch time drew closer, Fisher and NC Near Space Research consultant Paul Lowell filled the 6-foot balloon with helium. Meanwhile, the Meteorology Club students performed last-minute checks on their handmade spacecraft, its onboard camera and the “Tigernaut,” Kiser’s tiger mascot along for the ride. The entire seventh grade filled the rows of the Grimsley High School football stadium, with the Greensboro Fire Department and Fox 8 news team standing by.

“3…2….1,” chanted the crowd, and the launch team released the balloon and spacecraft. Up, up, up they sailed amid cheers, the balloon growing smaller and smaller as it ascended.

A few minutes later, the chase team, made up of several students and parent volunteers, took off toward Jordan Lake, where the balloon was predicted to land after it reached a peak altitude, popped and floated back to earth. They retrieved it from a wooded area near Apex, recovering the camera that then held breathtaking photos from the stratosphere and documentation of what happened to the two water test tubes throughout the flight.

Back in the classroom, teachers shared updates and in-flight photos with the entire seventh grade. Excitement was palpable, not only at the launch but throughout the entire day at Kiser.

“This was a perfect example of why I chose to teach,” said Perry. “To have the opportunity for this type of hands-on learning was an awesome experience.”

“I enjoyed seeing the whole seventh grade attend the launch, and giving the Meteorology Club students a chance to be seen as leaders,” said Fisher. “I’ve been amazed that a task that seems really daunting can be attempted and executed by a group of middle school students.”

Fisher says the students will be able to analyze the data they gathered to make predictions and guide their learning for next year’s launch.

To learn more about the experiment, view a video that shows the students’ preparation here, the launch and views from the spacecraft.  To see how UNCG brings hands-on learning to schools across Guilford County, visit the UNCG School of Education and SELF Design Studio Makerspace.


By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane and courtesy of UNCG SELF Design Studio

Top photo: Assistant director of UNCG’s SELF Design Studio holds a helium-filled high altitude weather balloon and graduate assistant Andrea Barbour helps, with a Kiser student.

In memoriam: Pearl Berlin

Dr. Pearl Berlin, retired UNCG professor and former head of the Department of Kinesiology, died on May 17, 2018.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native came to North Carolina to lead UNCG’s Kinesiology department in 1971. She was the first professor in Kinesiology hired specifically to develop research across the (then) School of Health and Human Services, the obituary notes.

The UNCG Pearl Berlin Writing Award, given to graduate students for excellent thesis and dissertation writing, is named in her honor.

A public memorial will be held in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House June 14 at 3 p.m.

Her obituary may be viewed here.