UNCG Campus Weekly

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

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.

In memoriam: Kathleen Casey

Dr. Kathleen Casey, retired professor from the UNCG School of Education, died on May 22, 2018. 

Casey brought an innovative research style to UNCG called narrative research, which draws on life stories to examine social and educational issues, her obituary notes.

Casey served the university for 25 years as a professor and dissertation advisor in the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations. In her time at UNCG, she hooded more than 50 PhD graduates, many of whom are now professors. She retired in 2014.

A memorial service will be held at Faith Community Church on Sunday, June 3, at 2 p.m.

Her obituary may be viewed here

Chik-fil-A and nOma coming to UNCG   

Spartan Dining is adding new, on-campus dining options, including five new retail locations at the EUC and a new station at the Fountain View.

The new restaurants coming to the EUC include BUILD Pizza by Design, Burger 336, Create, nOma, and a full-service Chik-fil-A.

The new Fountain View station is designed to offer meal options free of gluten and other top allergens including milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy.

More information on these new dining options can be found here.

Registration for a Banner 9 General Navigation Workshop

The Banner 9 implementation is well underway, and all UNCG employees who will use Banner 9 for student, financial aid and accounts receivable processes must attend a workshop. There are 10 upcoming hour-long Banner 9 training workshops scheduled, June 4 through July 5.

This workshop is intended for any faculty or staff who are current users of Banner 8 INB (Internet Native Banner). This workshop will introduce users to the basic functionality of Banner 9 Application Navigator and demonstrate how to navigate through the modules. It is not meant to teach any specific task, but is designed to make users comfortable with new basic Banner 9 navigation skills such as accessing and navigating pages and finding records via searches.

Sign up here.

Shred-a-Thon June 8

The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling (OWRR) will host a paper shredding event at UNCG on June 8, 2018 (8 a.m. – 1 p.m.). The location will be at the baseball field service drive area at the corner Kenilworth Street and Theta Street. The UNCG Shred-a-Thon will provide faculty and staff an opportunity to dispose of paper records that have met retention requirements. Remember to maintain proper security of records containing sensitive information. For more information about the UNCG Shred-a-Thon, contact OWRR at 336-334-5192.

UNCG Newsmakers: April-May 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 over the past two months:

  • The News & Record talked to Dr. Nancy Hodges about the history of the CARS program on its 100th anniversary, an article picked up by the Associated Press and US News & World Report online for exponential reach. The article
  • Dr. Charles Egeland’s work on determining the nature of Homo naledi burials was featured with an article on Ars Technica
  • WFMY talked to  Dr. Tanya Coakley about her Barber Shop Talk program, promoting sexual health among young black men through conversation with their fathers.  The News2 piece.
  • UNCG researchers were cited in an April 9 USA Today piece on domestic abuse.
  • In mid-April, Stephanie Milroy was interviewed on Triad Today about Healthy UNCG, which promotes health and wellness among UNCG employees. 
  • An Champion Magazine article featured Assistant Professor of Kinesiology Erin Reifsteck’s work in an article on adjusting to life after college sports.  
  • Dr. Janet J. Boseovski spoke about the optimism and positivity bias of young children in an Associate Press piece, which was seen in multiple media outlets. The AP article
  • May Commencement got lots of coverage in the Triad. Commencement speaker and Olympian Joey Cheek even was featured in a cover story in Triad City Beat, which gave Cheek their No. 1 ranking among commencement speakers this year. Ranked: The 2018 Triad College Commencement Speaker Face-Off
  • Dr. Dayna Touron was interviewed about aging and memory / memory confidence on NPR (Minnesota Pubic Radio) May 23. She is professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. The NPR interview
  • Dr. Nir Kshetri, professor in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, wrote an article published in the Wall Street Journal: “Blockchain Could Be the Answer to Cybersecurity. Maybe.


UNCG on Forbes’ Best Employers list

A lot of people know UNC Greensboro is a great place to work. Now, we’re getting national recognition.

UNCG is ranked 114th nationally among the Best Midsize Employers of 2018 in a Forbes Magazine listing.

Forbes listed the top 500 midsize companies and organizations, employing 1,000 to 5,000 people – and the top 500 large companies and organizations, with more than 5,000.

Joining UNCG on the midsize organizations list are two other UNCG System universities: UNC Charlotte, ranked 106th, and Appalachian State University at 180th.

Forbes partnered with market research company Statista to identify the companies liked best by employees, for the annual listing.

“To determine the list, Statista surveyed 30,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. The respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. Statista then asked respondents to nominate organizations in industries outside their own,” Forbes explained in its article.

See the listing here.

‘Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility’ through sports: conference June 6-9

Dr. Tom Martinek, professor of kinesiology, has been at the forefront of a growing movement of scholars and practitioners who see sports as an underused method to build stronger societies and help individuals be more resilient. The Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility (TPSR) Alliance, a community of practice for practitioners and academics interested in teaching personal and social responsibility through physical activity, normally holds their annual conference in New York City, Chicago, Boston – and this year it’s in Greensboro. Why? Dr. Michael Hemphill explains that UNCG Kinesiology has been one of the universities instrumental in the TPSR youth development model, largely through Martinek’s work. “This conference will be, in part, a celebration of the 25th year of Tom’s Project Effort program,” he explains.

TPSR, Project Effort and Dr. Martinek’s work are featured prominently in this spring’s UNCG Research magazine:


The Long Game

As a young education professor in the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Tom Martinek was interested in the impact of teacher expectations on students — the Pygmalion effect. He was preparing future PE teachers and working to understand how things like “learned helplessness” might affect students.

“That research was a stepping stone for me to begin to try things out, to take that research and try to apply it to programs in the community,” says Martinek, now a professor of kinesiology.

His early work helped at-risk kids through after-school programs that involved physical activity. They were mostly short-term efforts that ran for a year or two and provided Martinek with fodder for journal articles.

But Martinek wanted to do more. And he thought a framework called Teaching Personal and Social Responsibility through Physical Activity, or TPSR, was the key.

TPSR was developed by Don Hellison, a now-retired professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The framework sees sports and physical activity as a way to teach children important skills and values — self-control, respect for each other, trying your best, setting personal goals, and helping others.

Martinek’s opportunity came when the principal of Greensboro’s Hampton Elementary School approached him in 1991 for help.

“She thought the students were really vulnerable to dropout and different kinds of risk behaviors later on,” Martinek says. “She also knew that a lot of these kids didn’t have much to do after school.”

Most of the kids who attended Hampton lived in the nearby Morningside Heights public housing community. With a little funding from an NC State University grant program, Martinek began bussing 24 third, fourth, and fifth graders to UNC Greensboro twice a week after school.

It was the birth of Project Effort, a program that still operates more than 25 years later and has become a national model for using sports to help kids who are at risk develop critical life skills.

A typical after-school session includes reviewing goals, physical activities in small groups, and then discussion and reflection on their activities.

For the students in Project Effort, grades improved, but more important were the changes in in-school behavior. Martinek and two graduate students reviewed four years of data to measure changes in how often students were reprimanded by their teachers or were referred to the principal’s office.

Over the course of a year, the average number of referrals to the principal’s office dropped from 11 to 9 per student. More striking was the reduction in teacher reprimands over the same period — from an average of 41 during the first quarter to 28 during the last, a 31 percent decrease.

Students stayed in the program through elementary school and middle school. When they reached high school, they started directing some of the activities themselves, learning valuable leadership skills.


Read the full feature, “The Long Game,” in the just-posted UNCG Research magazine.

Story written by Mark Tosczak. Photo of Tom Martinek by Mike Dickens.

UNCG Student Affairs’ annual Staff Excellence and Service Awards

Student Affairs announced its annual award winners in its End of Year Celebration on May 16. The event included recognition of the staff excellence and service award recipients while celebrating the end of a successful 2017-18 academic year.

The 2018 staff excellence award recipients:

Partnership Award: Dr. Julie Mendez Smith (Psychology Department)

Unsung Hero Award: Dr. Will Dodson (Housing & Residence Life)

Team Player Awards: Charles Clency (Housing & Residence Life) and Elliott Kimball (Office of
Intercultural Engagement)

Graduate Assistant of the Year: Candice Johnson (Campus Activities & Programs)

Rookie of the Year: Lindsey Vega (Dean of Students Office)

Culture of Care Award: Terri Spears (Student Health Services)

Legacy of Excellence Award: Dr. Mary Anderson (Dean of Students Office)

Changes to UNCG Key Request process

Facilities Operations put their Key Request process online earlier this year..

Starting July 1, the gray keycards some of campus are accustomed to will no longer be used.

Key requests are being accepted from an Interactive PDF form available here.

Completed key request forms should be delivered to the Customer Service Center via email to fowork@uncg.edu; or faxed to (336) 334-4026; or sent through campus mail to Facilities Operations in the Sink Building; or hand delivered to the Customer Service Center on the 2nd floor of the Sink building.

In order to pick up assigned keys, the keyholder must present a Photo ID as well as sign the Keyholder’s Acknowledgement agreement at time of pick-up.

Full information is available at this Facilities Operations web page.

Spartans get ready for Giant Steps at Heart Walk

Heart WalkUNCG is stepping out for heart health at the 2018 Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk Saturday, May 19, on campus.

The free, 5K (3.1 miles) noncompetitive walk begins in Kaplan Commons at 9 a.m. Tents and check-in open at 8 a.m. followed by a “Puppy Parade” at 8:45 a.m. There will be an after-party with music and light refreshments beginning at 9:30 a.m. Strollers and leashed dogs are allowed, and the route is accessible to people with disabilities.

Parking is free at the Oakland and Walker Parking Decks.

It’s not too late for employees – as well as families and friends – to join UNCG teams. As of Monday, there are 17 UNCG walking teams with 60 faculty and staff registered. (Update: UNCG as of Thursday afternoon has 139 walkers registered.) The university’s goal is 125 walkers from UNCG. All UNCG employees will receive a UNCG Giant Steps Heart Walk t-shirt and frisbee. A UNCG group photo will be taken at 8:30 a.m. with the chancellor at Kaplan Commons.

Visit the UNCG Team Page to register for free. The first 400 children who attend and bring in a Healthy Coloring Page with a drawing of a healthy activity or healthy food will receive a free pass to WET’N WILD at Emerald Pointe – while supplies last.

Kids can also visit UNCG’s D.U.C.K. lab in the Kid Zone.

Cone Health will offer free blood pressure screenings and the American Heart Association will be on hand for CPR training and healthy cooking demonstrations.

In January, the American Heart Association announced that UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. would serve as chairman for the walk, which strives to reach 5,000 walkers and raise $500,000 to fund heart disease and stroke research and prevention education this year.

“It takes strong, dedicated community leaders to truly create a culture of health,” said Garet Beane, development director for the American Heart Association’s Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk.

Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death for both men and women in the United States, and stroke is a leading cause of permanent disability. In Guilford County, diseases of the heart are the second leading causes of death and stroke is the third cause of death.

“When we invest our time and efforts into the health and wellness of our community, it becomes a place that draws students to our campus and encourages our graduates to stay in Guilford County to work and raise their families,” Gilliam said. “This results in a more energetic, vibrant, prosperous and thriving community.”

For more information on the 2018 Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk, visit the event website.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison
Photography courtesy of the American Heart Association

A new chapter with Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival

Hold onto your reading glasses. Greensboro Bound, Greensboro’s first large-scale literary festival, is underway, with an opening event on Thursday, May 17, at UNC Greensboro.

Throughout the weekend, more than 80 authors of a wide variety of genres will take part in panels and readings in downtown locations. Around two dozen UNCG faculty and alumni are presenting, and many others have played a large role, from selecting authors for the program to securing funding to coordinating volunteers.

UNCG creative writing instructor Julia Ridley Smith, a member of the festival steering committee, has helped curate the festival’s panels and readings, with inclusivity and diversity as a priority.

“It’s an opportunity to support new and different voices,” she said, “as well as a way to connect readers with writers. And it’s truly been a community-driven effort.”

Greensboro Bound kicks off at UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum, with an introduction from former North Carolina Poet Laureate and Professor Emeritus Fred Chappell and a reading by author, filmmaker and UNCG alumnus Brett Ingram.

From May 18 through 20, Greensboro Bound events will take place at the Cultural Arts Center, Triad Stage, the Greensboro Central Public Library, the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, Scuppernong Books, Greensboro Project Space, the Greensboro History Museum, First Christian Church and N.C. A&T State’s Harrison Auditorium.

Events range from fiction and poetry readings to an original opera, to a blues panel to live llamas to a puppet show – there’s something for everyone, including many events for children.

As part of the festival, UNCG Libraries will host a table sharing information about the North Carolina Literary Map, a UNCG-created online resource that highlights the literary heritage of the state. Through the searchable online map, bookworms and educators alike can familiarize themselves with the geographic locations that played roles in the lives and books of North Carolina authors. The North Carolina Literary Map table will be on the South Lawn of the Cultural Arts Center on Saturday and Sunday.

See the complete Greensboro Bound Festival schedule here and some UNCG-related highlights posted in Campus Weekly.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Composite visual by Martin W. Kane

New, enhanced online UNCG Magazine

UNCG Magazine has launched a newly enhanced, interactive website.

Readers can now access all of the content in the spring 2018 issue – as well as additional video extras – on the site.

The latest issue includes an in-depth look at the Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies as it celebrates its 100th anniversary; a profile on alumnus Jim Barnhill, the sculptor behind the beloved Minerva statue on campus, and a look at a special day at the School of Art’s foundry; the Reynolds Scholars program; and a farewell to the McIver Building, as we look ahead to construction of the new Nursing and Instructional Building.

Videos created for this issue include:

The website also includes PDF versions of this issue and previous issues.

Photography by Martin W. Kane

Greensboro Bound: Lots of events with strong UNCG ties

When Greensboro’s first large-scale literary festival is held this weekend, UNCG will be well represented:


Thursday, May 17

Introduction by Fred Chappell (Creative Writing) with a talk by Brett Ingram ’95
6 p.m. reception, Weatherspoon Art Museum

Friday, May 18

Lorena Guillén (Music) and Alejandro Rutty (Music) with the Difficulties with Mark Engebretson (Music)
8:30 p.m., Scuppernong Books

Saturday, May 19

A Conversation with Lee Smith and Michael Parker (Creative Writing)
9:30 a.m., Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, Van Dyke Performance Space

Unicorn Press Panel including Mark Smith-Soto (Languages, Literatures and Cultures)
9:30 a.m., Greensboro Central Library, Nussbaum Room

Bull City Press Panel including Emilia Phillips (Creative Writing)
11:15 a.m., Greensboro Central Library, Nussbaum Room

Greensboro Opera: 15-minute opera for middle schoolers, directed by David Holley (Music) with music by Mark Engebretson (Music)
1 p.m., Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, Van Dyke Performance Space

Jabberbox Puppets with Marianne Ginger ’74 MFA and Deborah Seabrook ’75 MFA
2 p.m., Greensboro Cultural Arts Center: Hyers Theater
*For mature audiences

Contemporary Muslim Writing Beyond Politics: A conversation including Omar H. Ali (Honors College, African American & African Diaspora Studies) and Deonna Kelli Sayed
3:15, Cultural Arts Center, Hyers Theater

A Conversation about “The Bright Hour,” by the late author Nina Riggs 04’ MFA; introduction by Provost Dana Dunn
4:30 p.m., Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, Van Dyke Performance Space

Short Story Panel including Steve Cushman ’02 MFA
4:30 p.m., Greensboro History Museum, Mary Norris Preyer Hall

The Music of John Prine and the Blues, with Dr. Emily Edwards (Media Studies) and Eddie Huffman
9:30 p.m. Greensboro Project Space

Sunday, May 20

Novel Panel moderated by Holly Goddard-Jones (Creative Writing) including Jim Minick ’15 MFA
2:15 p.m., Greensboro Central Library, Nussbaum Room

UNCG M.F.A. Panel moderated by Terry Kennedy ’99 MFA (Creative Writing) with Heidi Czerwiec’95 MFA, Kerry French ’06 MFA, Sarah Rose Nordgren ’07 MFA
2:15 p.m., Triad Stage Upstage Cabaret

Feminist Panel moderated by Dr. Jennifer Feather (English), including Ashley Lumpkin
2:15 p.m., Greensboro Cultural Arts Center, Van Dyke Performance Space

Poetry Panel including Lauren Moseley ’08 MFA
3:30 p.m., Triad Stage Upstage Cabaret


Cheers for the grads: May 2018 Commencement, hooding ceremonies

It was quite a week of celebrations for the UNC Greensboro Class of 2018, from departmental graduations to the doctoral hooding ceremony to the Red Carpet Reception for new alumni.

The festivities culminated with the May Commencement ceremony in the Greensboro Coliseum, with more than 2,700 Spartans – the largest graduating class in university history – turning their tassels.

For some, the next step is graduate school. For others, an internship, job or travel.

No matter the path, UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. urged the students to live out UNCG’s motto of “Service.”

“This is about the greater good,” Gilliam said. “So while we celebrate your achievement today, know that you are part of something larger … a higher calling.”

It was a message echoed by commencement speaker Joey Cheek, Olympic speed skating gold medalist and internationally-recognized humanitarian leader.

Cheek talked about the fortune and good luck he’s had along the way that, coupled with hard work, passion and a desire to be the best, helped propel him to an Olympic gold medal and success after retirement from the sport.

He told the graduates that because of these “lucky elements”– his supportive family, being born in the United States and the teachers and mentors who came into his life – he now has an obligation to give back.

“My success and your success doesn’t take away from anyone else in the world,” Cheek said. “It is worth helping others find their way.”

Spartan Cinema has begun at LeBauer Park

This spring and summer, UNC Greensboro will partner once again with LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro to present “Spartan Cinema,” a series of Friday night movie screenings that are free and open to the public.

The series presents Pixar’s “Brave” this Friday.

In addition to movies, attendees will enjoy a variety of pre-movie activities for families, including UNCG musical performances, games, giveaways and more. Participants are encouraged to wear blue and gold and tag their event photos #SpartanCinema on social media.

The full schedule can be found below and at greensborodowntownparks.org/movie-nights.

  • May 18: Brave
  • May 25: Leap
  • June 1: Queen of Katwe
  • June 8: Mulan
  • June 15: The Princess and the Frog
  • June 22: Sing
  • July 6: Captain America: Civil War
  • July 13: Despicable Me 3
  • July 20: Lion King
  • July 27: The Sandlot
  • August 3: Moana
  • August 10: Toy Story
  • August 17: Black Panther
  • August 24: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

In addition to the Friday night movie screenings, park visitors can buy UNCG gear at the new “Spartan Shop @ The Park,” located in a kiosk at the LeBauer Park entrance. The shop will be open during Spartan Cinema and other special events, as well as Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

By Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Alycee Byrd

Spring issue of UNCG Research Magazine now online

The spring of edition of UNCG Research Magazine – the university’s semiannual publication that explores some of the most impactful scholarship across campus – is now available online.

The magazine’s feature stories cover plant growth experiments on the International Space Station, the local impact of the Center for Community-Engaged Design and a 25-year effort at UNCG to equip kids for success through sports.

As noted by Vice Chancellor Terri L. Shelton in the magazine introduction, many of the articles in the publication share a common thread:

“The rings of ancient alpine larch trace the rise of global warming. Our responses to a 1906 earthquake and 2005 hurricane offer insight into how we will face coming natural disasters. A previous generation’s exposure to BPA dictates a medaka fish’s reproductive health. … In each story, the same lesson: to build a better future, we must understand our past.”

The magazine’s interactive website includes feature-length and shorter articles, faculty and student profiles, image galleries and more. Readers can also download PDF versions of the current and previous issues or request print copies.

To learn more, go to researchmagazine.uncg.edu.

25th wedding anniversary? The Rawk announces it.

J Debrew and RawkNow that’s a sign on the Rawk you don’t typically see. “Happy 25th, Mom + Dad.” On the other side: “Our story began here” and “Jackie ♡ Clint.”

Campus Weekly asked Dr. Jacqueline Kayler DeBrew about it.

“Our 25th wedding anniversary is today,” she replied, the morning of May 8. She and her husband, Clint, met at UNCG – actually at a Tate Street bookstore.

“We met our sophomore year at UNCG at Addam’s Bookstore.” She was buying books and politely declined his offer to drive her back to her residence hall with the stack of books, she tells us. “But we met again by accident in the lobby of a friend’s dorm. We’ve been together ever since!”

DeBrew family

They have two children, ages 20 and 16, who joined their parents for photos at the Rawk that evening in celebration of 25 years of marriage.

Dr. DeBrew, clinical professor and director of the RN to BSN Program in the School of Nursing, is a “triple alumna” – ‘91 (BSN), ‘96 (MSN), and ‘08 (PhD, Higher Ed). She joined the UNCG Nursing faculty in 1997. Her husband graduated in ‘91 with a BS in Business Management (Marketing). He works in sales in the building supply industry for BMC (formerly Carolina Builders).

Happy Anniversary, Jacqueline and Clint! 

By Mike Harris

UNCG, Guilford County join MetroLab Network

UNCG and Guilford County have announced a joint agreement as the newest members of the innovative MetroLab Network, a network of 37 regional city/county-university partnerships focused on bringing data, analytics and innovation to local government.

UNCG and Guilford County are one of only five county-university MetroLab partnerships in the nation. Network members research, develop and deploy technologies and policy approaches to address challenges facing cities and communities across the country. MetroLab was launched by 21 founding city-university pairings in September 2015 as part of the White House’s Smart Cities Initiative.

See full story at UNCG Now.


June 1: Innovations in Planning for Better Community Housing and Health

How can cities and towns use data to foster innovative, cross-sector collaborations? What kind of effect can these collaborations have on the development of healthy and equitable neighborhoods? Are there replicable models of these sorts of collaborations that other municipalities can develop? These are the kinds of questions will fuel the discussion at our Innovations in Planning Symposium. Anyone who is interested in these topics is welcome to attend this symposium.

Ira Goldstein (Policy Solutions Reinvestment Fund) will be keynote speaker.

The UNCG Center for Housing and Community Studies is a sponsor.

Register or find more information here.

Softball, Baseball, Men’s Golf still swinging

UNCG Softball won the SoCon Tournament

By this time of year, you’d expect the spring sports to have wound down. Not this year at UNCG.

No. 1 seed UNCG Softball claimed its first-ever Southern Conference Tournament Championship with a 5-2 victory over the ETSU Buccaneers on Saturday at UNCG Softball Stadium. The win earned the team a spot in the NCAA tournament as they head to the Columbia, South Carolina Regional this weekend.

The host school is South Carolina, who will square off with UNCG at 7:30 p.m. on Friday. Joining the Spartans and Gamecocks in the regional is Liberty and Hofstra. The regional will run Friday, May 18, through Sunday, May 20. UNCG Softball’s NCAA Regional appearance is the second in program history.

UNCG Baseball earned the Southern Conference’s Regular Season Championship after defeating The Citadel Bulldogs Sunday afternoon. This is the second SoCon Regular Season Title in program history after earning the title in the first season in the SoCon in 1998. They will be the top seed in the SoCon Tournament.

The UNCG men’s golf team clinched an automatic bid to the NCAA Regionals by winning its first-ever Southern Conference Championship last Tuesday. The team began play in the NCAA Stockton, California, Regional earlier this week. This marks the Spartans’ second-ever NCAA Regional play in program history.

For more athletics updates, click here.

Photography by Carlos Morales, UNCG Athletics



Making the UNCG ceremonies even more beautiful

Hope Warren

Hope Warren

At UNCG Auditorium May 3 at 3:15 p.m., the ceremony had begun.

The new class of graduating doctoral students was ready to line up for the age-old hooding ceremony. They listened as Chancellor Gilliam noted their accomplishments. In a moment they’d cross the stage, and their professor would drape a doctoral hood over their shoulders. It was one of the biggest moments of their lives.

Hope Warren was outside. She was making sure the building was spotless for this big day. There are several doorways, with lots of glass to tend to. It’s not really about a building though. “I love making people happy.”

“I love to clean anyway,” she added.

Warren has been on the UNCG Facilities Operations staff four years, she said. To receive the compliment that your building looks great, that’s wonderful, she added.

It did look great. All the front windows and doorways – and that’s a lot – were clean in the hour before the ceremony. She made sure of that. But once the doctoral students, faculty and all the audience had entered, she went back to give it another polish. She wanted to be sure the building was spotless as the honorees and their guests gathered in the grand lobby afterward.

She also explained that she in particular wants to keep the floors shiny in the beautiful old building. “I take pride in that.”

And she takes pride in moments like these for the students, friends and families, for these buildings, for the university.

“This is my building,” she said. “This is my home.”

By Mike Harris