UNCG Campus Weekly

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

June brings lots of new Spartans to campus

Photo of two students in front of the rawk at SOAR

June is the month for new Spartans to SOAR.

Thousands of incoming students will visit campus over the next few weeks for Spartan Orientation, Advising, & Registration (SOAR), a two-day orientation program for students and their families.

Students will meet with advisors, register for classes, get connected with different organizations across campus, learn about resources for student success, and stock up on all things blue and gold.

Throughout the summer, transfer and adult students will attend one-day SOAR sessions designed specifically for them. Remaining dates for those sessions are June 7, Aug. 12, and Aug. 14.

See more at newstudents.uncg.edu/soar.

Spartans shine at Tony Awards ceremony

Photo of the Radio City sign

Last weekend was a big one for UNC Greensboro alumni and Broadway veterans Joseph Forbes ’75 and Beth Leavel ’80 MFA.

Forbes was one of four recipients to receive this year’s Tony Honors for Excellence in the Theatre, an annual award for individuals and organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary achievement in theatre. Forbes is the founder of Scenic Art Studios, a premier scene painting studio for Broadway.

Leavel, already a Tony Award winner for her work on “The Drowsy Chaperone,” was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for her role as “Dee Dee Allen” in “The Prom.”

“The Prom,” which was named “Best Musical” in the Drama Desk Awards earlier in the week, also received a Tony nomination for Best Musical.

Leavel made two star appearances during the Tony’s telecast – in the big opening number featuring each of the nominated musicals, and in a musical number from the production.


Moss Street celebrates first class of graduates

Photos of students and administrators at the ceremony

Hundreds of family members, friends, siblings, and community members were on hand for the inaugural “Moving Up” ceremony at the Moss Street Partnership School in Reidsville on Friday, March 31, celebrating the promotion of 59 fifth-grade students to middle school.

The innovative new partnership school, a collaboration between UNC Greensboro and Rockingham County Schools, opened its doors in the fall of 2018.

Over the course of the past school year, teachers and staff at Moss Street – also UNCG employees – used experiential learning and cutting-edge techniques to teach approximately 400 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Specifically, they sought to develop student skills and interest in the highly-desired “STEAM” subjects – science, technology, engineering, arts, and math – as well as provide other services including counseling, nutrition, and additional support for students and families.

See full story at UNCG Now.

By Eden Bloss
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Enjoy Eastern Music Festival concerts at UNCG

Photo of the CVPA building exteriorAs part of 2019’s Eastern Music Festival, of which UNCG’s CVPA is a sponsor, the Eastern Chamber Players will perform every Monday at the Tew Recital Hall, starting June 24 and running through July 22.

The Eastern Chamber Players is an ensemble of EMF faculty musicians who perform a variety of pieces by composers including Mozart, Westlake, Stravinsky, and Puccini.

Performances are every Monday, June 24-July 22, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 for adults and $25 for seniors. To purchase tickets, see the festival calendar here.

Staff celebrated at 2019 Staff Awards event

Photo of the award winnersStaff members and administrators gathered at the Alumni House May 20 for the inaugural Staff Awards Ceremony, with awards presented by Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

“Many of you know that I believe that staff are the backbone of the University,” he said. “You provide critical structural support. … You do all the day-to-day things in the life of the University that make it work. And what I particularly like about our staff is our commitment to excellence. … It’s your commitment and your pride in the work that you do that I so admire. You all take pride in the work you do here, in large part, because you believe in the mission.”

The Gladys Strawn Bullard Award was awarded to UNCG Police Chief Paul Lester.

The three Staff Excellence Awards were presented to Lloyd International Honors College Budget and Operations Manager Linda Dunston-Stacey, Special Events Coordinator Julie Landen, and College of Arts and Sciences Assistant to the Dean Lori Wright.

Staff Senate Co-Chair Stephen Hale also announced the creation of a new award, the Ezekiel Robinson Staff Emeritus Award, given posthumously this year to Ezekiel Robinson, who joined the campus in 1892 and served in a prominent staff role for 52 years under three different presidents.

Staff Stars were honored as well. This year’s Staff Stars are:

  • Aldenia Batts
  • Amy Coble
  • Becky Rymer
  • Beth Todd
  • Bruce Cabiness
  • Dena Kowal
  • Elizabeth Jordan
  • George Jones
  • Glenda Lloyd
  • Heather Mitchell
  • Jarrett Rice
  • Jay White
  • Jeffrey Dezearn
  • Kim Sawyer
  • Kristina Wright
  • Kristin Rusbolt
  • Lakeisha Richardson
  • Shanelle Smith
  • Leah Congrove
  • Maddie Benefield
  • Margaret Patton
  • Mark Unrue
  • Mecole Davis
  • Michelle Courtney
  • Morgan Glover
  • Nancy Brown
  • Richard West
  • Ruby Harrell
  • Ryan Thompson
  • Sara Benefield
  • Sherri MacCheyne
  • Sean Moon
  • Daniel Russell
  • David McFayden
  • Dicky Hawks
  • Mike Elberson
  • Tim Hall
  • Tami Rich
  • Tim Crews
  • William Johnson, Jr.

See full story in UNCG Now.

Sensory Friendly Movie Night at Spartan Cinema June 14

photo of LeBauer ParkFriday, June 14, Spartan Cinema will host a Sensory Friendly Movie Night.

The goal of the event is to create a comfortable and inclusive experience that is accessible to community members whose sensory needs may make going to a movie challenging.

The movie will be “Ferdinand,” and it starts at sundown in LeBauer Park in downtown Greensboro.

The UNCG and Greensboro Downtown Parks sponsored event will be held in coordination with Dr. Stuart Schleien, professor and chair, UNCG Dept of Community & Therapeutic Recreation, and InFocus.

“We have helped universally design the park for the showing of this film in ways that will accommodate all people, including those who use wheelchairs, individuals on the autism spectrum, people with hearing or visual impairments, families with young children, and older adults,” Schleien says. “Some of the accommodations we have in place for this film include having trained ambassadors on-site to provide assistance to those who may need it, roped off paths across the lawn for easy access by people with mobility issues, accessible bathrooms including a unisex/family bathroom, a “Ferdinand resting space” that will serve as a “chill zone” for people who wish to view the film behind the crowd, and volunteers in place who will raise a lighted rod before each sensory-sensitive moment during the film to warn viewers who may wish to look away or cover their ears.”

The InFocus team, a non-profit organization in which Schleien serves as co-director with Ginger Walton, has partnered with Greensboro Downtown Parks and UNCG to help produce the sensory-friendly movie night as part of Spartan Cinema.

InFocus, including highly trained self-advocates with disabilities, partners with agencies and organizations such as Greensboro Downtown Parks to create more welcoming, accessible, and accommodating communities.

Summer 2019 offerings for employee health and wellness

This summer, the UNCG Employee Wellness Program will host a number of events to continue to promote health and wellness all year-round.

  • June 7, July 5, August 2: Artful Meditation: Drop by the Weatherspoon Art Museum for a variety of mindfulness practices, including guided meditation, walking meditation, and mindful looking. Beginners welcome! 12:30-1:15 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum. Click here for more information.
  • ActiveU Group Fitness Classes: All group fitness classes are free and open to UNCG employees. They are held at either the EUC Dail Room or the Kaplan Center for Wellness. See here for the ActiveU Group Fitness schedule.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Sponsored by the Department of Recreation and Wellness, Outdoor Adventures includes day and overnight trips, rock climbing, activities at Piney Lake, and camping equipment rental. See more information here.
  • Fitness Lending Library: Don’t have time to exercise? Rent equipment from the Fitness Lending Library to work out in your office. Browse current items and make check-out requests here.
  • Dietitian Consultations: Whether struggling with weight, managing a chronic disease, or just looking to make healthier diet choices, meet one-on-one with registered dietitian Cari Culp for assessment and assistance in developing practical health goals. Register for a session here.

Additionally, the Staff Senate will offer this workshop:

“Healthy Living for your Brain and Body” – For centuries, we’ve known that the health of the brain and the body are connected.  But now, science is able to provide insights into how to make lifestyle choices that may help you keep your brain and body healthy as you age.  Learn about research in the areas of diet and nutrition, exercise, cognitive activity and social engagement, and use hands on tools to help you incorporate these recommendations into a plan for healthy aging. June 4, 2019, 3-4 p.m., Bryan 113, Register at workshops.uncg.edu

Open House at Alumni House June 5

The Alumni House is turning 82. Join in for an open house birthday party to help celebrate!

When: Wednesday, June 5, 2-4 p.m.

Where: Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room

Enjoy light refreshments.

Questions? Contact Dorian Thompson at drthomp2@uncg.edu.

UNCG graduate student researchers meet with legislators

A photo of the grad students at the assemblyGovernor Roy Cooper proclaimed May 12–18, 2019, to be “Graduate Education Week.”

In celebration of this event, graduate schools from across the UNC System brought graduate students to the NC General Assembly on Wednesday May 15, to meet with legislators. The students discussed their graduate work and its impact and relevancy to the state of North Carolina.A photo of the grad students talking at the assembly

The three students representing UNCG this year were chosen from among the 15 winners of the UNCG Graduate Research and Creativity Expo, held on April 3. They were

  • Alma Chanelo, who completed her M.S. degree in Biology this May
  • Oliver Thomas, who is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations
  • Ryan Yarbrough, who is a Ph.D. student in Nanoscience.

OvA photo of the grad students with assembly memberser the course of the day, the students along with Gregory C. Bell, Associate Dean of the Graduate School, and Andrew Cagle, UNCG Director of State and External Affairs, met with a dozen legislators. They included Sen. Dan Blue, Sen. Gladys Robinson, Rep. Cecil Brockman, Rep. Ashton Clemmons, Rep. Jon  Hardister, Rep. Pricey Harrison, Rep. Amos Quick, and Rep. Mitchell Setzer, among others.

In these meetings the students explained their research briefly and discussed the importance of graduate education to our state.A photo of the grad students standing with NC lawmakers



Three dates for ‘Tours and Treats’ at Weatherspoon

Enjoy a family-friendly exploration of WAM’s newest exhibitions and top it off with a cool treat in the Sculpture Garden. Drop-in gallery activities, like storytelling and word games, are appropriate for all ages, including children accompanied by an adult. No reservations are needed, but if your group is larger than 10, let the Weatherspoon staff know by emailing weatherspoon@uncg.edu.

Thursdays this summer: June 6, July 18, and August 15 at 6 p.m.

Basketball discount tickets for faculty/staff (order now, get a scarf)

Photo of Spiro and a crowd at a basketball gameDid you know that as an employee of UNCG, you receive a special rate of $109 per Men’s Basketball season ticket? That’s a 20 percent discount off the general public price of $139. Plus, order prior to June 1 and receive an exclusive UNCG scarf.

Benefits to being a faculty & staff season ticket holder include:

  • Can pay for season tickets with payroll deduction
  • Parking
    • One (1) parking pass included with your season ticket purchase
    • 5 or more season tickets gain access to second parking pass
      • (savings of $75 for a 15-game season)
  • Buddy Passes
    • This number is subject to final number of home games on the schedule.
  • Exclusive Opportunities to Purchase Official Team Gear NEW!
  • Season Ticket Holder Pick Up Party at Homecoming
  • Season Ticket Holder Open Practice (Date TBD)

To purchase NEW employee discounted tickets – or if you have any questions – call the box office at (336) 334-3250 or email Tyler Weedon at t_weedon@uncg.edu.

Newsmakers: Jeong, play in education, Vrshek-Schallhorn, Triad’s Best, and Cech

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

  • Ken Jeong’s keynote address was included in Time’s list of best commencement speeches of 2019. The list.
  • Dr. Nadja Cech and Dr. Omar Ali were spotlighted by The Chronicle of Higher Education for their work on the role of play in education. The feature.
  • Dr. Suzanne Vrshek-Schallhorn was quoted in an Atlantic piece on the invalidity of older depression research. The article.
  • UNCG was named The Triad’s best University/College of 2019 by Yes! Weekly. See their “2019 Triad’s Best” issue here.
  • WUNC interviewed Dr. Nadja Cech on her work and how her upbringing has influenced her. The interview.

Make nomination: 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 UNC 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 2020 Faculty 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, visit https://provost.uncg.edu/Holshouser/nominations.htm. Nominations are due by June 28, 2019.

New leaders of UNCG’s HNAC

Dr. Elizabeth Perrill (Art History) will direct the Humanities Network and Consortium and Dr. Asa Eger (History) will serve as Associate Director and Programming Specialist, in the coming academic year. Both Perill and Eger have served on the HNAC steering committee and are passionate advocates for the humanities.

This year, HNAC has been led by Dr. Lisa Levenstein and Dr. Jen Feather.

The UNCG Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC) connects the university’s humanities scholars to one another and to the public. HNAC supports faculty research and fosters interdisciplinary collaborations. HNAC helps students identify how humanities coursework translates into successful personal careers and public leadership. And its members share their work in wider contexts to support and improve our communities.

Ken Jeong tells graduates: Find your passion, be persistent

Photo of Ken Jeong speaking at Commencement

It was a day of celebration at UNC Greensboro, with nearly 2,500 Spartans turning their tassels at May Commencement and embarking on a new journey as future business executives, health professionals, artists, teachers, and community leaders.

It was also a day full of laughter, thanks to comedian, actor, writer, producer, and physician Ken Jeong, who imparted words of wisdom and shared his personal story – often irreverent and unfiltered – to the Class of 2019.

A Greensboro native, Dr. Jeong began his remarks by talking about his connections to the city and to UNCG. His sister graduated from UNCG’s Master of Library and Information Studies Program, and Dr. Jeong himself took organic chemistry at UNCG – and spent many hours studying in Jackson Library – between his freshman and sophomore years at Duke University.

Throughout his speech, Dr. Jeong had the audience in stitches. But his key message to the graduates was serious: Find your passion.

Dr. Jeong talked about how he found his passion later in life – at age 38 – after working for years as a physician in California. At first, he was apprehensive to take the plunge into the entertainment industry. But with the encouragement and support of his family, he decided to quit his day job and pursue his passions of comedy and acting full time.

“The only thing I have to offer in life is my passion. I think that’s the only thing that keeps me going,” he said. “I’m just looking at every single student here: Find your passion, and if you’ve found your passion, as you graduate, let that evolve.”

He also recognized and celebrated the first-generation students who graduated today, and applauded the University’s efforts to support these students. Approximately 38 percent of UNCG students are the first in their family to attend college.

Dr. Jeong finished by telling the graduates that his biggest talent is persistence.

“After my show got cancelled, I stuck it out. After good things happen, I stick it out. I keep moving no matter what. And I encourage you, good times and bad, keep moving, keep finding your passion. I honestly say to every single soul in this coliseum: If I can do this, and if I can do what I want, so can you. You have the light and the future and the universe ahead of you.”

See full story and social media hightlights and photos at UNCG Now.

See a highlight video of Dr. Jeong’s speech at www.youtube.com/watch?v=jFqbXD1m8Ds.



Teaching Excellence Award Recipients from each part of UNCG

Photo of MinervaEach year, UNCG’s many schools award faculty members for outstanding performance in the classroom. This year, seven professors have been named recipients of the respective schools’  Teaching Excellence Awards:

  • Dr. Hamid Nemati (Information Systems & Supply Chain Management – Bryan School)
  • Dr. Haimeng Zhang (Mathematics & Statistics, College of Arts and Sciences)
  • Dr. Ali Askerov (Peace & Conflict Studies – School of Health and Human Sciences)
  • Dr. Cynthia “Cindy” Bacon (School of Nursing)
  • Ms. Janet Allard (School of Theatre, College of Visual and Performing Arts)
  • Dr. Eric Josephs (Nanoscience, JSNN)
  • Dr. Melody Patterson-Zoch (Teacher Education – Higher Education – School of Education)

Greensboro Bound literary festival this weekend

Dr. Martin Halbert in front of a banner for Greensboro Bound

Greensboro Bound: A Literary Festival strikes up, with the opening reception at UNC Greensboro’s Weatherspoon Art Museum the evening of May 16, and an event with bestselling author Zadie Smith at the Elliot University Center on May 18.

The festival is a free, weekend-long series of readings, discussions, and events focused on books, writing, diverse voices from around the world, North Carolina’s literary traditions, and an inclusive community of readers from Greensboro and far beyond.

UNCG is one of the Greensboro Bound’s most prominent partners, with leading sponsorship from University Libraries, as well as support from the Office of the Provost, the Humanities Network and Consortium, the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and the faculty and alumni authors and musicians who are participating in the festival.

“Literary festivals are great moments to celebrate what we most admire in our culture and what issues are getting attention in terms of literary treatments,” said Dean of University Libraries Martin Halbert. “It’s an opportunity for the city to come together and explore different parts of our shared culture. The festival puts Greensboro on the map in a new way, and University Libraries is a very happy partner.”

Award-winning writer Zadie Smith will read from her work and join Halbert in a conversation at EUC’s Cone Ballroom at 7:30 p.m. on May 18.

Smith is the author of the bestselling novel “White Teeth,” which won numerous awards and was included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to 2005. Her 2005 novel “On Beauty” earned the Orange Prize for Fiction, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the United Kingdom. Her most recent published works are “Swing Time,” a novel, and “Feel Free,” a collection of essays that received the 2018 National Critics Circle Award.

Tickets for the event’s main space are sold out, but free overflow tickets for seating in the EUC Auditorium are available on the event site, and attendees are invited to submit questions for the conversation.

From the preceding Thursday through the following Sunday, Greensboro Bound also offers many opportunities to hear and experience the work of UNCG faculty and alumni writers, and to celebrate literary culture through campus connections.

The kick-off party begins Thursday, May 16, at 5:30 at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, and will feature the work of School of Art faculty member Sheryl Oring with her “I Wish To Say” project.

See full story at UNCG Now.


Newsmakers: Journell, “Instrument Petting Zoo,” DeJesus, and Debbage

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

  • Dr. Wayne Journell spoke on the Visions of Education Podcast about his new book, “Unpacking Fake News: An Educator’s Guide to Navigating the Media with Students”. The episode.
  • The News & Record highlighted photos from the “Instrument Petting Zoo” at LeBauer Park, which is hosted by School of Music students and held the first Monday of every month from May through August. The pictures.
  • Dr. Jasmine DeJesus was featured in a WFMZ piece on helping parents deal with picky children. The article.
  • The Winston-Salem Journal spoke to Dr. Keith Debbage for a piece on the Smith-Reynolds Airport’s potential legacy status. The piece.

‘Reach the unreachable star’ with Triad Stage/UNCG Theatre’s ‘Man of Mancha’

Photo of actors during a performance of The Man of La ManchaThe 60s were a time of social upheaval driven by hope and idealism. Now, to bring the year-long “The 60s: Exploring the Limits” series to a close, UNCG Theatre has partnered with Triad Stage for a production of Dale Wasserman’s classic musical about pursuing dreams in the face of harsh reality, “Man of La Mancha.” The musical was a great hit during its 1965 debut, winning five Tony Awards, and has been performed worldwide and revived on Broadway four times since.

In prison, the poet Cervantes tells the story of the knight Don Quixote and his squire, Sancho Panza, as they embark on a quest to fight a giant and win the heart of Quixote’s beloved Dulcinea. Featuring favorite songs such as “The Impossible Dream,” “Dulcinea, and “I, Don Quixote,” the play reimagines the original novel as a story about courage and striving to “reach the unreachable star.”

Photo of actors in Man of La Mancha

The cast and staff include a number of UNCG students, faculty, and alumni in the production:

  • Students: Kemari Bryant (José), Christina Duchesne (Antonia), Yansi Fatama (Fermina), Kezia Moore (Captain of the Inquisition), J. Andrew Speas (Anselmo), Forrest Wilson as Juan
  • Alumni: Bradley Carter (Paco), Michael Tourek (The Governor/The Innkeeper), Dr. Justin P. Cowan (Musical Director), Virginia Hirsch (Dramaturg)
  • Faculty: Christine Morris (Maria, The Innkeeper’s Wife/Housekeeper), Denise Gabriel (Choreographer), Jim Wren (Resident Fight Choreographer)

Photo of actors in Man of La Mancha“Man of La Mancha” will run for two more weeks, and tickets are still available. To see the schedule and purchase tickets, see the web entry on Triad Stage here.

Compiled by Avery Campbell.
Photography by Vanderveen Photography.



Spartans in top photo: J. Andrea Speas, Kemari Bryant, Bradley Carter, Forrest Wilson
Spartans in middle photo: Christine Morris, Christina Duchesne
Spartans in bottom photo: Yansa Fatima, Christina Duchesne


UNCG staff awards celebration May 20

Photo of Minerva

UNCG’s staff will be recognized and applauded Monday, May 20. Please come and enjoy the special event.

From 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. that afternoon, the University will host its inaugural all-staff celebration and appreciation event at Alumni House and the adjoining Taylor Garden (weather permitting).

At 3:30 p.m., the Staff Senate chairs will provide a welcome, and Chancellor Gilliam will provide remarks on the critical role staff play at our university, before presenting the Excellence Awards and Gladys Strawn Bullard Award.

Staff award recipients – including those who have received unit awards – will have special nametags marked with ribbons so they can easily be recognized throughout the afternoon.

Earlier in the day, the three Staff Excellence Award honorees and the Staff Gladys Strawn Bullard Award winner will have a special lunch with Chancellor Gilliam and members of the Bullard family.

Questions? Contact Sarah Alston at s_alston@uncg.edu.


Hooding ceremony is Thursday, Commencement is Friday

Photo of a student at commencementUNCG expects to award more than 2,500 degrees at the University’s May Commencement Ceremony and Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

UNCG will confer approximately 1,867 bachelor’s degrees, 578 master’s degrees, 111 doctoral degrees, and 20 specialist in education degrees. Ninety-three of those degrees will be awarded to international students.

The Commencement Ceremony will be held Friday, May 10, at 10 a.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum. The University’s Doctoral Hooding Ceremony will take place Thursday, May 9, at 3 p.m. at UNCG Auditorium.

Actor, writer, producer, and Greensboro native Ken Jeong will deliver the keynote address at Friday’s ceremony. Also a physician, Dr. Jeong earned his undergraduate degree at Duke University and went on to get his medical degree at UNC Chapel Hill. He attended Page High School here in Greensboro, where his parents still live.

Dr. Jeong is perhaps best known for his scene-stealing abilities and has established himself as one of today’s top comedic stars. He gained international fame for his role in the sleeper-hit film “The Hangover,” one of the biggest comedy franchises of all time, and starred in the No. 1 box office hit, “Crazy Rich Asians.”

Tierra Thompson, a senior majoring in political science and sociology, will deliver the student speech.

Dr. Gaëtane Jean-Marie, dean of the College of Education and Richard O. Jacobson Endowed Chair of Leadership in Education at the University of Northern Iowa, will serve as the speaker for the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony.

General seating at the Greensboro Coliseum is unlimited and is not reserved. Parking at the coliseum is free for all graduates and their guests, and parking permits are not required. For the Doctoral Hooding Ceremony, parking is available in the lot behind the Graham Building and Weatherspoon Art Museum.

Park & Ride buses will be available to transport volunteers, students, staff, and faculty between campus and the coliseum. Buses will depart campus every 30 minutes beginning at 7 a.m., with the final shuttle returning to campus at 1 p.m. Passengers may board the bus on Stirling Street in front of Elliott University Center.

For those who cannot attend Friday’s ceremony in person, a livestream of the event can be accessed here.

For more information, visit UNCG Commencement Central.

May 18 at UNCG: Guilford County Heart & Stroke Walk

Photo of people at the heart walk

Last year’s event at UNCG

Updated with new totals and info May 14 

Life is why we walk. On Saturday, May 18, walkers, donors, and volunteers will walk UNC Greensboro’s campus to raise awareness and funds to save lives of the country’s number 1 and number 5 killers – heart disease and stroke.

The free, 5K (3.1 miles) noncompetitive Guilford County Heart and Stroke Walk is the American Heart Association’s premier event. Hundreds of people will step out in the name of heart health and stroke prevention from Stirling St., at 9 a.m.

Join a UNCG team by completing the online sign up on the UNCG Walk Page. Children who attend (5th grade and under) will receive free passes to Wet’n Wild at Emerald Pointe.

Last year, UNCG raised $7,911 and had 144 walkers. As of this week, UNCG has 52 walkers registered with donations at $3,106.

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, kids’ activities, and light refreshments beginning at 9:30 a.m. Strollers and leashed dogs are allowed, and the route is accessible to people with disabilities.

The UNCG School of Health and Human Sciences and the UNCG School of Nursing will be on hand with various activities and fun swag for walkers.

Parking is free at the Oakland and Walker Parking Decks.

For more information on the 2019 Greater Guilford Heart & Stroke Walk, visit the event website.

By Elizabeth Harrison

Make nominations for Biotechnology Excellence Awards 

Triad BioNight, a premier event for our region’s biotechnology community, takes place June 20, 2019.

The Biotechnology Excellence Awards are the cornerstone of the Triad BioNight celebration. Nominated leaders from the Piedmont Triad will take home awards in five categories: Academic Development; Biotechnology Community Leadership; Biotechnology Service/Support; Entrepreneurial and Research & Development.

Award submissions are due by May 23.

UNC Greensboro is closely engaged with the event. Dr. Kim Littlefield, Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, serves on the awards committee. Dr. Terri Shelton, Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement, serves on the board.

Learn more at www.ncbiotech.org/events/triad-bionight-2019

See Research & Engagement Office post.

Four INNOVATE grants awarded

Four faculty members have received grants for Intentional, Notable, and Valued Teaching Experiences (INNOVATE) Research Projects, awarded by the Office of the Provost.

The awards are one-time mini-grants to conduct research that investigates the development, evaluation, and promotion of student success through innovative teaching practices at the University.

Mariche Bayonas (LLC) received the INNOVATE grant in Spanish to support the assessment of “Boomalang” software to facilitate speaking practice in both online and face-to-face introductory Spanish courses. The software was studied across four courses using both self-report data from student questionnaires and comparative data from summative assessments in the form of exams and compositions. The research has been presented widely, including an international conference (AESLA in Cadiz, Spain), two national conferences (AAAL in Chicago and ACTFL in New Orleans), and two regional conferences (SLINKI at Wake Forest and MIFLC in Knoxville). Those presentations have now become manuscripts submitted to the Hispanic Studies Review journal, in addition to several Conference Proceedings.

Diane Gill (Kinesiology) received an INNOVATE grant for evaluation of the online EdD program with a focus on how the program facilitates student progress through the dissertation and professional development. The Doctor of Education in Kinesiology Online program provides a distinct case for evaluation of the factors that promote student success in this environment. The study, with assistance from an independent consultant, looked at a variety of metrics across each of the four existing cohorts, including course evaluations, student self-efficacy, and sense of community. Internally, the Kinesiology department has used the evaluation findings to help better meet the needs of students, especially the students starting their dissertations, through a task force and EdD faculty committee. Externally, the project leads have presented the evaluation work in two sessions at the AIESEP World Congress in Edinburgh, UK. The findings are also being prepared in two related manuscripts to be submitted for publication.

Hemali Rathnayake (Nanoscience) The interdisciplinary graduate program in Nanoscience used the INNOVATE grant to pilot a new model for scientific communication education to practice written, visual, and oral communication skills through professional skills in synthesis of literature reviews, oral presentations, and research proposals. Measurable targets included the ability to interpret and synthesize scientific literature and effectively communicate scientific material in written and oral formats, which were assessed using the National Communication Association’s evaluation rubric. The grant helped to fund seven group sessions in collaboration with the Speaking Center, modeled on their sessions for non-native English speakers, that were open to all JSNN students. The project culminated in several workshops and an open forum, which included practice “TED-like” talks. The project has produced two manuscripts which are currently under revised submissions. It has also served as the foundation for a grant proposal to the NSF-IGE program, which is under review.

Iglika Pavlova (Biology) The INNOVATE grant helped the Biology department to expand research capacity for evaluation of the effect of course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) on improving equitable access and preparation toward STEM careers. Initial data from implementation of CUREs in BIO 112 showed promising improvement in research skills, but the INNOVATE grant facilitated research into whether effects persist across semesters and different instructors, expanded the markers of improvement to be observed, and helped to work towards an expansion of available CURE labs. This work was done in collaboration with Mark Davenport in Institutional Research, John Wilse’s team in ERM, and Sara Heredia in TEHE. Preliminary findings from the research have already been shared with the UNC System, as well as at two national conferences (ASM and SABER). Since the research continues following the INNOVATE grant, submission to peer-reviewed journals is planned for 2020, upon completion of data analysis across four semesters.

Fun in the great indoors, at UNCG’s Employee Field Day

People with mascotWhen clouds threaten, you just move the fun inside! More than 225 competitors and spectators enjoyed the annual Employee Field Day, held in the Kaplan Center for Wellness.

Highlights from the day:

  • 7 teams competed in the team competitions
  • Over 50 individual game winners in the events of hula hooping, egg and spoon race, ball toss, three legged race, musical “chairs,” cookie face, and junk in the trunk!
  • Lots of food donations for the Moss Street Partnership School – about ten full boxes. (see photo)packaged foodpeople wearing medalspeople on yoga balls

The UNCG Employee Field Day Champions:

Push Up Competition Champion: David Fuller- Facilities Operations, Housekeeping

Burpee Competition Champion: Jeff Milroy- Public Health Education

Plank Competition Champion: Kyle McCoil- New Student Transitions & First Year Experience

Obstacle Course Relay Champions

SOARing to the finish line

– Ally DeLucia

– Kyle McCoil

– Rachel Dodd Blackley

– Austin McKim

Chicken in the Hen House Champions

SOARing to the finish line

– Ally DeLucia

– Kyle McCoil

– Rachel Dodd Blackley

– Austin McKim

Tic Tac Toe Champions

UNCG Human Resources

– Sarah Dreier-Kasik

– Linh-An Doan

– Cati Munoz

– Marge Webb

Join in next year: April 24, 2020.

Photos on this post by Jiyoung Park. More pictures from the event are here.

Community-Engaged Pathways and Partnerships (P2) info session Tuesday

A Collective Scholarship Fellows Program will be hosted by the UNCG Institute for Community & Economic Engagement and the UNCG Office of Research and Engagement. Applications are due October 11, 2019. Questions or want to learn more? Contact Lori Kniffin, lekniffi@uncg.edu.

And continue reading:


This grant-funded fellows program aims to strengthen collective approaches to community-engaged scholarship through the development of sustainable pathways and partnerships that build deep, reciprocal processes to achieve mutually beneficial, community-identified priorities. Scholarship is broadly defined to include research, creative activity, inquiry, and teaching. This scholarship fellows program is unique in that spans three years, focuses on community-engaged practices and outcomes, supports team-based scholarship, and provides professional development to P2 Fellows.


Community-university partnerships are often limited in their capacity, reach, effectiveness, and sustainability, because the relationships and activities are focused on the aims of individual scholars and partners. By connecting to larger, more collectively-designed, teams in which the relationships, vision, plans, efforts, and outcomes are shared, the partnership can reach its full potential.

This program supports the visioning and planning needed to develop sustainable and reciprocal community-university partnerships. Highly collaborative, reciprocal, community-university partnerships are foundational to transforming regions, students, and scholarship (key areas in the UNCG Strategic Plan) and are increasingly required to secure external funding. Therefore, this three-year grant provides the time and support needed to develop sustainable pathways and partnerships.

An information session will be held Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 9-10 a.m. in 3603 MHRA Building.

*Please register here

Learn more at https://communityengagement.uncg.edu/uncg-engagement/community-engaged-pathways-and-partnerships-grant/.

UNCG Nursing collaborates with Swiss university for nurse practitioner program

Photo of Dr. Ursula Klopfstein-Bichsel and Dr. KellyAs a former forensic pathologist, Dr. Ursula Klopfstein-Bichsel smiled like a kid playing with a new toy as she performed a virtual autopsy on a digital cadaver.

To examine the male cadaver’s large intestine, all she had to do was make a few incisions by running her right hand across an Anatomage Table, which resembles a massive iPad.

Klopfstein-Bichsel, a lecturer in the Department of Health at Switzerland’s Bern University of Applied Sciences, observed a variety of new things while visiting the UNC Greensboro School of Nursing for two weeks in April. She watched nursing students attend classes, perform simulations, and take their objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). She also attended a Greensboro Grasshoppers baseball game.

Klopfstein-Bichsel’s visit was part of an international collaboration in which UNCG faculty members are helping Bern start a nurse practitioner program this fall. The partnership could eventually expand to include a global exchange program that would give UNCG nursing students the opportunity to study in Switzerland.

“I guess both sides are very excited about this collaboration,” Klopfstein-Bichsel said, “and we at Bern are very very happy for all those things we learn from UNCG because you have much more experience in nurse practitioner courses than we have.”

More than 20 students have already enrolled in Bern’s nurse practitioner program. With the first day of class quickly approaching, Klopfstein-Bichsel traveled to the United States to work with UNCG faculty members on creating the program’s curriculum. They also developed content for courses that Swiss professors will teach, including in pathophysiology and pharmacology.

Nurse practitioner is a new profession in Switzerland, and it has become a problem that there are some regions of the country where nurse practitioners aren’t available. At the same time, Klopfstein-Bichsel said some Swiss physicians have raised concerns about Bern starting a program that trains nurses to perform certain procedures that doctors have traditionally done.

“My medical colleagues, some are very excited, and the others are very critical. They say, ‘But nurses can’t do this,’” Klopfstein-Bichsel said. “They fear nurses will pick work from them, and they’re very skeptical. We have to work on that to make them confident about this new role.” As a result, there is pressure for Bern’s program to have a successful launch in a few months to avoid further criticism. UNCG’s nursing faculty have provided guidance along the way. Photo of Dr. Ursula Klopfstein-Bichsel

“Since they’re just starting the nurse practitioner role, it will not be equivalent to what is in the United States,” said Dr. Kelly Stamp, who has been instrumental in UNCG’s collaboration with Bern as an associate professor and department chair of Family and Community Nursing. “But I think giving Ursula the opportunity to see where the role will go over the years and where it will end up is important. It’s helpful for her to see how independent we teach our students to be and the level of nursing that we’re teaching.”

UNCG’s partnership with Bern is actually several years in the making. In 2013, Stamp started traveling to Switzerland to teach as a part of a global exchange program that Boston College has with the University of Lausanne. At the time, she was a faculty member at Boston College. In addition to teaching, Swiss officials asked Stamp to give talks about her research on heart failure to doctors around the country. They later asked if she would continue to collaborate with them on new projects after she joined UNCG’s faculty in August 2017. In the spring of 2018, when Bern administrators needed help starting its nurse practitioner program, they reached out to Stamp.

“We’ll be there on the side to make sure they’re sustainable,” Stamp said. “If we need to go over to Switzerland, we’ll go over. If we need to talk via Skype more often, we’ll do that to help mitigate any barriers that Ursula is having along the way.”

By Alex Abrams
Dr. Ursula Klopfstein-Bichsel in both photos, with Dr. Kelly Stamp in red jacket in the top photo. Photos by Alex Abrams.

Goodbye, Michael Parker. And thanks for all the books.

Photo of Michael ParkerIt’s his tenth book. He likes going out with a round number.

Author Michael Parker, whose novel “Prairie Fever” will be released May 21 by Algonquin Press, will retire from UNC Greensboro at the end of this semester. Tuesday, he led his final class.

“I actually published my first book the first year I was at UNCG, so my career coincides with my career here. So it’s really wonderful to be publishing my tenth book right before I leave, because I’ve written all ten of those books here,” he said, in an interview at Alumni House.

The first to hold the UNCG Nicholas and Nancy Vacc Distinguished Professorship, he has taught in the MFA Program in Creative Writing since 1992.

”I’ve always loved teaching the undergraduates here. They’re really an interesting bunch. It’s a very diverse population. They’re very open-minded. They’re fun to teach, because they don’t get offended. A lot of them have full-time jobs, and they have other lives, and when they’re writing fiction, they have stuff to write about.”

The nationally prominent MFA in Writing program attracts high-caliber graduate student writers, he notes. “Top-notch students who publish really tremendous work,” as he says. “The excellence of our alumni is the result of the legacy of program directors Jim Clark, and now Terry Kennedy, both of whom are geniuses when it comes to bringing us talented students, and the teaching of former faculty Bob Watson, Fred Chappell, Lee Zacharias and Tom Kirby-Smith, as well as my current colleagues – Stuart Dischell, who has been here as long as I have, Craig Nova, Holly Goddard Jones and Emilia Phillips. We’ve had some wonderful visitors over the years as well who have helped shaped the program.”

He explains the program offers a unique approach to teaching creative writing. “When I arrived they had a tutorial system in place, where you work with the students one-on-one, weekly or bi-weekly, in their last year of the program. You get to ask questions in tutorials that you can’t in a workshop: ‘What were you thinking?  What are your models for this work? How can we make this more clear?’”

Students are drawn to plenty of one-on-one opportunities with the faculty, he says – and you get to know most everyone in the department. “There’s just a great deal of community here that doesn’t exist in other places.”

As he speaks, he turns to the distant Vacc Bell Tower, named for Nancy Vacc and the late Nicholas Vacc. “I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of their generosity for the past five years, because they established the Vacc Distinguished Professorship. It was tremendously helpful to me, not only in my research, but also in just what I was able to do to use the money to help out with the MFA program. … I was able to use some of their money to fund the graduate students doing summer research trips.”

In 2009, he was awarded the UNCG Senior Research Excellence Award for his body of creative work. During his tenure at UNCG, he has received three career-achievement awards: the Mary Hobson Award in Arts and Letters, the North Carolina Award for Literature, and the R. Hunt Parker Award for significant contribution to the literature and culture of North Carolina.

In the coming months, he’ll move from his current Saxapahaw home to Texas. And he’ll give readings for his new book.

What can readers expect? “Like a lot of my books, it’s based on an anecdote, or actually an image, really, just an image.”

“It comes from my Grandmother, who I did not know. She died a few months before I was born. She grew up in Oklahoma, and the one thing I knew about her at an early age – I always knew the story and I have come to know a lot more about it, but this is one thing that was sort of the most salient thing I knew about it – was that in the winters in Oklahoma, in the really cold weather, she and her sister would get on a horse and their mother would pin blankets around them, all the way around them because it was so cold …

“The horse knew the way to school and would take them to school. It was four or five miles because they lived out in the country. And then the teacher would be waiting to unpin them and then they would do the same thing on the way home. So I had this image of these two girls, a year apart, in school. What was it like under that blanket in the freezing cold? What did they say to each other? Were they fighting? Did they have a secret language, you know?

“Really all you need to write a novel is just one image. I mean, Faulkner said about ‘The Sound and the Fury’ that someone asked him where he got the idea and he said, ‘I saw a girl climbing a tree and she had muddy pants.’ And if you’ve read ‘The Sound and the Fury,’ you know that’s not what it’s about. It’s about a lot more than that, but you just need – at least I just need – one little, simple image or line of dialogue.”

I asked if he thinks readers will be surprised with this novel. “This whole thing is set in Oklahoma, Wyoming, and then a little bit in West Texas, which is high prairie. And so really it’s landscape and I feel like I accessed a different kind of language because I believe that language comes out of landscape. That these two things are really deeply connected. That people, the way they talk, the way they communicate, comes out of where they’re from and their relationship to land …

“I hope that they’re surprised by it. Because you want readers to be surprised. If they’re not, they’ll close the cover and you’ve failed.”

On Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. in the UNCG Alumni House, Michael Parker will read from his latest novel, “Prairie Fever.” The event will be followed by a reception and champagne toast honoring Parker, who is retiring from UNCG after 27 years. The event is free and open to the public.

See the related story where Parker reveals two of his favorite books, which authors and bands he’s enjoying right now – and the most memorable writing tip he ever got.

Interviewed by Mike Harris.
Photograph by Martin W. Kane.

Favorite books? Writing tips? Best bands? Michael Parker unpacks (before he packs for Texas).

A photo of Michael ParkerWhen one of the nation’s most noteworthy authors tells you in an interview “Actually, my nightstand collapsed the other night because there’s so many books on it,” you know what your next question has got to be:

What are you reading these days?

I have been reading Patrick Modiano, who is a Frenchman who won the Nobel Prize a few years ago. I’ve been sort of plowing through his novels. And then over the summer, Herta Müller, Romanian. She’s living in Germany. I read all of her novels. I tend to kind of get into one writer and then if I love them I’ll read their entire corpus. Peter Orner, who was just here, he’s a short story writer and novelist. He’s maybe one of the most talented contemporary writers around. Actually, my nightstand collapsed the other night because there’s so many books on it. It’s just crazy. … Also, I’m reading Liza Wieland’s new book, which is about Elizabeth Bishop. It’s called “Paris 7 a.m.”

What was your favorite book, as a young person? “I wasn’t a very literary type when I was in high school. I was more into music. But I did read, and I read mostly Kerouac, Ginsberg, the Beats – and that was sort of the influence of my older brother who was reading that kind of stuff at the time. I also remember one summer I went to a summer program at St. Andrew’s College over in Laurinburg, and I had a guy who taught a Faulkner seminar, and I read Faulkner – I read “As I Lay Dying.” I think I already knew I wanted to be a writer, but I think reading “As I Lay Dying” at maybe age 15 or 16 and trying to figure out what the hell was going on, but also being really seduced by the rhythm of the prose and by the mastery of the structure of the novel, and understanding without being able to articulate that something really masterful and powerful was going on. Something very moving. And having a desire to want to do that, but also to be able to figure out what it was that he was doing. I mean, I was really, really, extremely taken by that, even though, I have to say, I don’t sit around and read Faulkner all the time now and I haven’t really read him in years. I still teach “As I Lay Dying” every chance I get.”

(The conversation went from Hemingway to Ann Beattie, Mary Robinson, Elizabeth Tallent, Raymond Carver.) “I decided, for every contemporary book I read, I would read a book published before 1900 or, say, 1920 or something, from another culture or from another country. And that way I read all of Flaubert; the Russians, who I still love; Chekhov; Turgenev; and, you know, magical realism and the Latin American writers.”

What stands out in your mind as the most influential book that you read during all of that period?

“‘Madame Bovary,’ that’s the book for me. That’s the book that tells you what you need to do to be a fiction writer. Because Flaubert sort of invented all the stuff like free and direct discourse, and close third-person. All the stuff that we just take for granted now, he was the first one to do it. So if you read that book and you sort of forget that it’s about a woman who commits adultery, and you look at all the technical things that he’s doing, you can learn so much from a technical standpoint from reading that novel. Also it’s really funny.”

It’s obvious from your fiction that you love music. What bands are you listening to right now?

“I’ve been listening to Eric Bachmann’s solo work. He used to be in Archers of Loaf, and also Crooked Fingers. Particularly the last two solo albums. And I’ve actually had this album since 1972, but I just saw the Aretha Franklin documentary ‘Amazing Grace,’ where she was filmed two nights in a church in LA in the early 70s, and my (album) copy is so scratched because I’ve listened to it so many times. I never knew they filmed it – it’s tremendous. So I’ve been listening to that. I’ve also been listening to this Swedish band called The Amazing, and a lot of Swedish music in general. A lot of it is very sort of 70s. Very country rock-ish, which is interesting.”

Final question: What’s the most memorable piece of writing advice you ever received?

“I was really lucky to study with the novelist Lee Smith, and she was really the first creative writing teacher I ever had. … One time, I said, ‘I’m serious, I really want to do this! Is there any advice that you can offer.’

And she said, ‘Yeah, write every day for ten years.’

“I said, ‘Ten years? Every day for ten years?’ She said, ‘Yeah,’ and she said it like, “Oh, that’s just what one does.’ And so I did. I wrote every day for ten years. I wrote on the day that my daughter was born, I wrote on the morning that I got married. I wrote when I was deathly ill. I wrote when I had terrible hangovers. …

“Years later I ran into her and I said, ‘You know, I can’t thank you enough for giving me that advice. I feel like it made such a difference in my discipline.’

And she said, “Oh, you didn’t. I was just kidding. You didn’t believe me, did you?”

On Friday, May 3, at 7 p.m. in the UNCG Alumni House, Michael Parker will read from his latest novel, “Prairie Fever.” The event will be followed be a reception and champagne toast honoring Parker, who is retiring from UNCG after 27 years. The event is free and open to the public.

See related story about Michael Parker’s UNCG career and his perspective on UNCG’s students and the MFA Writing Program – and his new book, “Prairie Fever.”

Interviewed by Mike Harris.
Photograph by Martin W. Kane

UNC System Interim President Roper visits UNCG

man and woman in front of library

Dr. Roper talking with SGA President Samaya Roary outside Jackson Library

Monday morning, Dr. William L. Roper paid a visit to our campus.

He met with Chancellor Gilliam and then with the chair and chair-elect of Faculty Senate and co-chairs and chairs-elect of Staff Senate. He also met with the leadership of the Student Government Association and the Graduate Student Association, in addition to Board of Trustees leaders. A reception was held in Alumni House with university leaders, including Board of Trustees members and leadership of the Alumni Association, Excellence Foundation and Board of Visitors.

people talking at a table

Dr. Roper speaking with leaders of Faculty Senate and Staff Senate in the Hodges Reading Room.

Roper has served as interim president of the UNC System since Jan. 1.

He was most recently the dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UNC Chapel Hill and CEO of the UNC Health Care System. He also was professor of health policy and management in the School of Public Health and professor of pediatrics and of social medicine in the School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill.

By Mike Harris
Photographs by Jiyoung Park

Fun farewell to ‘The Sixties’ at UNCG

Singers at the Dead concertIt’s been quite a tied-dye, revolutionary year. But UNCG’s “The ‘60s: Exploring the Limits” series is coming to a close.

An encore performance by UNCG Spartans Play Dead, a cover band of faculty, alumni and staff, closed the year with festive cheer Saturday night downtown. (In visual at left, Dr. Rebecca Adams welcomes everyone before enjoying the band.)

That performance came on the heels of the daylong academic conference “UNCG Dead Scholars Unite!,” examining the Grateful Dead and Deadheads from various perspectives. It included a reunion of those who participated in UNCG classes that did field study on Deadheads in the summer of 1989.

The year’s “The Sixties” events on campus have included Weatherspoon art exhibitions, UNCG Dance concerts, jazz legend Herbie Hancock, a photography exhibit about the Freedom Riders and Freedom Schools, films and discussions dedicated to protest and music, and much more.

Musicians at the Dead concertOne more big “The Sixties” event remains:

UNCG Theatre and Triad Stage present the musical “Man of La Mancha” at Triad Stage. Tickets are still available, and can be purchased at the Triad Stage box office.

Photos from Saturday’s performance by Martin W. Kane. At top, symposium co-organizer Dr. Rebecca Adams speaks before the cover band plays their opening number, as alumnus David Bryan and vocalist Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard look on. Right, a song early in the performance Saturday night, with Dr. Jamie Anderson taking a harmonica solo, alumnus Bob Worrells on guitar, and drummer Jeremy Fountain, an alumnus.

By Mike Harris





Provide names of your school’s staff awards, for big ceremony

UNCG’s staff award winners will be recognized at the Staff Appreciation Day hosted by the Chancellor’s Office on May 20, 2019.

If your department, school, program or college has staff awards that you would like to be recognized at this event, please send the award name, name of the recipient, and a brief description of the award to s_alston@uncg.edu by May 6, 2019. If information is not received by this date, the award will not be recognized at the event.

We don’t want any staff awards winners to be “left out.”

Here are some samples: We’ve already received award information from the School of Health and Human Services about a national academic advising award recipient in their school. Award recognitions submitted by the UNCG Police Department include an officer who saved a life. Several departments have notified us about awards that staff members have received from entities other than UNCG – from state or national organizations or from publications such as the Business Journal.

Have any questions? Email s_alston@uncg.edu.

Starfish updates: Summer 2019

With the spring semester coming to a close, the Students First Office would like to wish students, staff, and faculty a productive and restorative summer. As the University transitions out of the spring term, we would like to remind the campus community of important information about the Starfish features available over the summer.

Starfish Features and Availability: Summer 2019

May 9: Last day to issue feedback items (flags, kudos, referrals) for Spring 2019 classes

May 10: Commencement; all Spring 2019 flags, kudos, and referrals will be cleared (Note: Cleared tracking items will remain available for historical viewing until the start of fall term)

May 15-June 19: Summer Session I; Starfish flags, kudos, & referrals available for issue to
undergraduate students enrolled in summer courses

June 20-July 25: Summer Session II; Starfish flags, kudos, & referrals available for issue to undergraduate students enrolled in summer courses

Appointment Scheduling: Online appointment scheduling will remain available over the summer to all instructors and staff who post availability in Starfish. Instructors and staff who will be away from campus during this time should remove all calendar availability prior to leaving. Note: Incoming students (new freshman, transfers, and readmitted students) admitted for Fall 2019 will not be able to use Starfish for appointment scheduling until the Fall 2019 term starts.

Starfish Support & Training

For Starfish assistance, and for individual/group/departmental training sessions, please email starfish@uncg.edu.

Students, staff, and instructors are encouraged to explore UNCG’s Starfish website for additional information about Starfish and available training guides.

Newsmakers: Haines, Buehler/Zhou, Dread & Delight, Blackledge, Kalcounis-Rueppel, and Grant

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

  • A Wall Street Journal article featured research by former HDFS graduate student Dr. Nan Zhou and HDFS faculty member Dr. Cheryl Buehler. The article.
  • Professor Steve Haines spoke to the News & Record about music, his career, helming the Miles Davis Jazz Studies Program, and his upcoming album. The interview.
  • The Weatherspoon Art Museum’s “Dread & Delight” exhibition, hosted last fall, was reviewed in the Journal of Folklore Research, one of the most prominent journals in its field.
  • Yes! Weekly featured graduate student Erin Blackledge’s work to make museums accessible by hosting a speakeasy night at the Greensboro History Museum. The article.
  • The research of Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rueppel and her graduate students on bat calls was highlighted with a UNC TV documentary. The video.
  • UNCG Nursing alumnus Ernest Grant was featured on the WUNC Radio’s “The State of Things.” He was also recently the recipient of the International Fire Service Training Association’s 2019 Dr. Anne W. Phillips Award for Leadership in Fire Safety Education.

Leerkes will receive Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professorship

Photo of Dr. Esther LeerkesThe new recipient of the Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professorship will be Dr. Esther Leerkes, professor of Human Development and Family Studies.

Leerkes has been a faculty member at UNCG since 2002. She was promoted to Professor in 2013 and appointed Associate Dean for Research in the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) in 2017. In the latter role, she has worked diligently, strategically, and collaboratively to nurture and strengthen research activities throughout HHS and across campus.

She is a nationally and internationally recognized authority on parent-child relationships during infancy and early childhood. She has published more than one hundred peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and she has been instrumental in securing a dozen external grants. As investigator or principal investigator, she has received more than $12 million in NIH funding alone. She currently serves on four editorial boards, has served as a member of an NIH study section since 2014, and presented more than 125 papers or posters at national and international conferences.

Leerkes is also an award-winning teacher and mentor. Recognition of her teaching excellence includes the Mary Frances Stone Outstanding Teacher Award (in the former School of HES) and the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award in HHS. She has directed a dozen masters theses and doctoral dissertations and served as a member on numerous other student committees.

Interim Dean Dave Demo said, “I am thrilled that we are able to recognize Dr. Leerkes with a distinguished professorship that she so richly deserves. She has had a prolific scholarly record, along with sustained success in securing external funding, teaching and mentoring. Dr. Leerkes is also an energetic and enthusiastic ambassador for research in HHS and across campus.”

The Jefferson-Pilot Excellence Professorship was established in 1983 when Excellence Fund contributions from the Pilot Life Insurance Company and Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Company were combined to form one endowment fund.