UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Dr. Levi Baker

Dr. Levi Baker (Psychology) has been named associate editor of the academic journal Personal Relationships. An assistant professor, Baker studies social psychology, particularly the psychology of close relationships. In addition to teaching classes, he runs the Close Relationship Lab, which studies problem solving in close relationships. His work has been published in a number of journals, including Journal of Family Psychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology and Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Dr. Janet Boseovski

Dr. Janet Boseovski (Psychology) has published a popular press article in “The Conversation.” The article summarizes over a decade of her research on children’s over-optimism and it has been republished in Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, and The Los Angeles Times. See this link.

 

Sheryl Oring

Sheryl Oring (Art) will have a chapter in a book released this month that profiles the work done in her Fall 2015 “Introduction to Socially Engaged Art” class taught in the Lloyd International Honors College. The book, “Art as Social Action: An Introduction to the Principles and Practices of Teaching Social Practice Art,” is being published by Allworth Press.

Dr. Daniel Herr

Lead PI Dr. Daniel Herr (Joint School for Nanoscience and Nanoengineering) with PIs Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Ruppell (Biology) and Dr. Lee Phillips (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “UNC Greensboro MARC USTAR Engage, Sustain, and Prepare.” The UNCG MARC U-STAR will be a comprehensive undergraduate training program addressing the need to increase the diversity of students pursuing graduate studies in biomedical research and careers in the NIH-funded research workforce. The long-term goal is to increase the number of UNCG students from underrepresented (UR) and/or disadvantaged backgrounds successfully completing graduate training in biomedical or behavioral health sciences.  To reach this goal the UNCG MARC U-STAR program will engage these fellows in a curriculum organized around enhancing comprehension of the scientific method, developing basic laboratory and evaluation skills, and the inclusion of modern genomic/evolutionary approaches and techniques in biomedical research. Students will also be required to conduct substantive independent research projects that include two summer research experiences, one at UNCG and one at an additional institution.

Dr. Blair Wisco

Dr. Blair Wisco (Psychology) received $436,500 in new funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Ambulatory Physiological Assessment of Postraumatic Stress Disorder.” The abstracts states: Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) affects 6.5 percent of the U.S. population, or about 21 million Americans, and tends to be chronic and impairing, representing a major public health problem. The Institute of Medicine identified exposure therapy as the front-line treatment, yet 40 percent of individuals still meet PTSD criteria following exposure therapy, indicating a need for more effective treatments. To date, PTSD treatment research has been constrained by the lack of objective measures of the theorized mechanism of action: extinction of conditioned fear to trauma cues. New assessment tools are necessary to measure this treatment target.  

Conditioned fear to trauma cues is typically measured by self-report, but the UNCG team has found that self-report and physiological markers of fear responding differentially predict treatment outcome. Skin conductance (SC) is a commonly used physiological marker of fear (sympathetic arousal), but SC is not a reliable marker for a substantial minority of individuals; there is a need for new markers.

Two cardiovascular measures are particularly promising: a specific marker of sympathetic arousal (pre-ejection period, PEP), and a marker of parasympathetic withdrawal (respiratory sinus arrhythmia, RSA). The gold-standard assessment tool to measure conditioned fear in PTSD is script-driven imagery, but script-driven imagery only presents one trauma cue in one context, limiting its clinical relevance. Ambulatory physiological assessment, which measures physiological responses to events in participants’ daily lives, can measure fear responding to multiple trauma cues across different contexts, but it has yet to be tested in individuals with PTSD.  The specific aims of this R15 proposal are 1) to test PEP and RSA as markers of conditioned fear to trauma cues using gold-standard script-driven imagery, and 2) to validate ambulatory physiological assessment as an objective method of measuring fear responding to trauma cues in the daily lives of individuals with PTSD.

This project represents a significant advance over existing research, including 1) assessment of new physiological markers of fear responding, 2) assessment in real-world environments, and 3) examination of different trauma cues in different contexts. This project is innovative because it will examine two novel markers of fear responding to trauma cues (PEP and RSA), and because it will test ambulatory physiological assessment as a new technique to measure trauma reactivity in PTSD. 

Dr. Tara T. Green

Dr. Tara T. Green (African American & African Diaspora Studies) was presented with the inaugural Langston Hughes Society President’s Award for being a “leader, scholar, and keeper of the Langston Hughes Tradition” at the their annual luncheon, April 5, 2018. Green served as president of the organization for three years and spearheaded the successful search for the current Langston Hughes Review.

Dr. Martin Halbert

Dr. Martin Halbert (University Libraries) received new funding from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) for the “Library Diversity Institutes Pilot Project.” The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG, project lead), in collaboration with the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Diversity Alliance propose a two-year project to pilot a national Library Diversity Institute program that will address the needs of professionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups and broadly advance diversity in U.S. academic libraries.  The Library Diversity Institutes (LDI) pilot project will conduct two institutes for incoming ACRL diversity residents, as well as an ACRL diversity pre-conference for all interested parties. With guidance from a national committee of residency coordinators and experts on diversity issues, the project will design a program and curriculum to orient diversity residents to maximize their experiences as residents in the diverse organizations that make up the ACRL Diversity Alliance, as well as enabling a national network of colleagues comprising the relevant cohort of librarian residents for the institute year in which they participate.  This pilot program will study and document the needs of new diversity residents who attend the institute, identify key elements that will accelerate success for these new librarians, and analyze options for long-term continuance and sustainability of this institute and workshop program. This project will take the form of a two-year continuing education project grant in the IMLS category of community anchors.

Halbert is dean of University Libraries.

 

Dr. Jay Poole

Dr. Jay Poole (Social Work) received new funding from Cone Health Foundation for the project “College Park Clinic.” The College Park Clinic will provide harm reduction services to those who are using opiates and will include screening, assessment, brief intervention, referral, syringe exchange, and education. These services represent a community-based collaborative effort between GCSTOP, The Congregational Nursing Program, and The Congregational Social Work Education Initiative, along with a network of providers in the community.  The UNCG Department of Social Work, Cone Health Systems, and The Center for Housing and Community Studies at UNCG are administrative partners in this project.

Michael Frierson

Michael Frierson (Media Studies) recently published “Film and Video Editing Theory: How Editing Creates Meaning.” The book distills and illustrates the thinking of a diverse group of filmmakers and theorists who have written about how editing constructs filmic time/space, and how editing signifies in other ways.

See more at https://www.routledge.com/Film-and-Video-Editing-Theory-How-Editing-Creates-Meaning/Frierson/p/book/9781138202078

Dr. Sarah Koerner

Dr. Sarah Koerner (Biology) received new funding of $1,186,000 from the US Department of Agriculture for the project “Identifying Mechanisms of Rangeland Drought Resilience: Management Strategies for Sustainable Ecosystem Health.”

Dr. Erick Byrd

Dr. Erick Byrd (Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality and Tourism) received new funding from the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau for the project “High Point Furniture Attendance Shopping Tracker.”

High Point, NC, is home to more than 50 furniture stores and outlets that are open to the public, the abstract notes. With High Point’s reputation as a home furnishings mecca (with stores, manufactures, designers and High Point Market) visitors from around the world visit the area to shop. Therefore, furniture shoppers are an important market for retail as well as the areas tourism and hospitality industries.

As an important market segment to High Point, there is a need to accurately track the volume of shoppers that visit the High Point area for planning and marketing purposes. While individual stores may track shoppers for their store, there needs to be a measure of the total traffic for planning, development, and marketing purposes.  The proposed research study and tool will help in capturing these numbers, as well as, develop a profile of the visitors that come to the High Point area.

Dr. Shan Suthaharan

Photo of Dr. Shan Suthaharan.Dr. Shan Suthaharan (Computer Science) has been named a Distinguished Speaker of the ACM (Association for Computer Machinery). ACM stated in its award letter that “ACM’s Distinguished Speaker Program (DSP) is a highly visible way that ACM, through the appointment of leading researchers, engages with emerging professionals, students and, in some cases, the public on a range of topics in computing.”

Suthaharan’s research in data science, big data, and machine learning, and his recent book entitled “Machine Learning Models and Algorithms for Big Data Classification: Thinking with Examples for Effective Learning” – published by Springer – made significant contributions to the emerging interdisciplinary field of data science. His course – CSC 510 – Big Data and Machine Learning – at UNCG has been listed as a full semester course with the courses from Stanford, Purdue, MIT, and UC-Berkeley at http:/www.soihub.org/resources/learning-hub-main/. He is currently writing another book on data science – a highly suitable textbook for emerging data analysts and data scientists. Dr. Suthaharan’s ACM’s Distinguished Speaker profile can be found at: https://speakers.acm.org/speakers/suthaharan_9163.

Dr. Alwin Wagener

Dr. Alwin Wagener (Counseling and Educational Development) received new funding from the DreamScience Foundation for the project “A New Lens on Dreams and Nightmares: Differences in Dreams and Nightmares in Relation to Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Insomnia among Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence.”

The objective of this study is to understand whether the occurrence of repeating nightmares, non-repeating nightmares, and dreams among survivors of intimate partner violence is consistent with a view that these types of dream experiences are differentially related to PTSD and Insomnia as suggested by the AMPHAC/AND Neurocognitive Model and the Contemporary Theory of Dreaming.

Dr. Tara T. Green

Dr. Tara T. Green (African American and African Diaspora Studies) has been appointed to serve as co-editor of Mercer University Press’ Voices of the African Diaspora Studies Book Series.

The Voices of the African Diaspora Studies series encompasses work by scholars of all disciplines who are publishing in the areas of Africa and the diaspora. Established nearly two decades ago by Chester Fontenot Jr., a pioneering figure in the field of Africana Studies and Chair of Mercer University’s Africana Studies Program, the series has published studies on Black experiences and their intersection with race, class, citizenship rights, religion, and/or the U.S. South. . The series directors especially encourage submission of manuscripts that have an interdisciplinary approach. Green is excited to work with new and emerging scholars as well as advanced scholars.

Dr. Bob Griffiths

A book by Dr. Bob Griffiths (Political Science), “U.S. Security Cooperation with Africa: Political and Policy Challenges,” has been re-released in paperback by Routledge through their Paperback Direct Program. The program makes selected hardback research publishing available to a wider audience.

Austin McKim

Austin McKim (New Student Transitions & First Year Experience) was selected as one of two coordinators for the state of North Carolina as part of NODA (National Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention) Region VI. In this role, he’s tasked with overseeing the professional development and connection of over 500 professionals and student leaders working in orientation, transition, and retention in the state of NC. McKim will work with the national association to host webinars and a drive-in conference at UNCG. Also a part of the role of state coordinator is serving as a member of the Region VI leadership team to to develop initiatives to best serve students and staff across the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.

McKim is assistant director, New Student Transitions & First Year Experience.

Angela Boseman

Angela Boseman has joined the Office of Sponsored Programs as a Grants Specialist. Her first day was Monday, April 9, 2018.  She fills a position formerly held by Darneshia Blackmon. Boseman has both pre-award and post-award experience in research administration.  She comes to us from Mount St. Mary’s University where she was the University Grants Manager as well as an Adjunct Faculty. Prior to that, she worked in the Louisiana State University Health Science Center (School of Medicine) and the University of Maryland at both the College Park and Baltimore campuses. Angela has an MBA and an MS in Healthcare Administration. She also holds a Master’s Certificate in Intellectual Property.

Dr. Thomas Jackson

Photo of Dr. Thomas JacksonDr. Thomas Jackson (History) appeared on BackStory Radio on March 30. In the episode, Jackson reflected on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s plans for the Poor People’s Campaign, the fierce reaction, and the ideological contest over his legacy. On the program, Jackson, along with guest historians Jeanne Theoharis, Clayborne Carson, Michael Honey and Jason Sokol, considered if Americans have lost sight of the real MLK.

Dr. Jackson has appeared in many television and radio shows related to MLK and civil rights, and has a book titled “From Civil Rights to Human Rights: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Struggle for Economic Justice.” The book received the 2007 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award of the Organization of American Historians.

The episode can be found here.

Dr. Harriette Bailey

Dr. Harriette Bailey (Human Development and Family Studies) received new funding from the Partnership for Children for the project “UNCG Partnership.”

The Education, Quality Improvement, and Professional Development (EQuIPD) project addresses a critical need in Guilford County – the improvement of quality in community childcare settings. EQuIPD includes five interconnected activities. The proposal addresses activities for family childcare homes and centers including professional development, program enhancement through individual consultation, community learning sessions and workforce retention strategies including compensation. UNCG, through the Department of Human Development and Family Studies (where the Birth through Kindergarten Teaching Licensure program is housed) will provide project leadership through advising and consultation. The project will be conducted in Guilford County early care and education programs.

Dr. Nadja Cech

Dr. Nadja Cech (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received continuation of funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Inhibition of spreading factors with natural products: A new anti-virulence approach against pathogenic bacteria.”

Staphylococcus aureus is the most common cause of skin and soft tissue infections, and the use of antibiotics to treat these infections has led to drug resistance. According to the CDC, methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) caused an estimated 80,000 infections and over 11,000 deaths in the US in 2011. Additionally, treating MRSA infections costs twice as much as infections that are susceptible to antibiotics. Since 2009, the FDA has approved only two new antibiotics, which is due in part to the drug pipeline being depleted of potential treatments as pharmaceutical companies shift their focus to more profitable research areas.  New therapeutic strategies against MRSA and other resistant bacteria are greatly needed. In developing of these strategies, it is critically important to consider ways to break the cycle of resistance development.

One promising therapeutic approach against drug-resistant pathogens is to target bacterial virulence. The concept behind anti-virulence approaches is to inhibit non-essential pathways that contribute to pathogenicity, thereby facilitating clearance of the infection without pressuring the pathogen to become resistant. With this project, they plan to develop an anti-virulence strategy against MRSA that targets hyaluronidase. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme secreted by numerous bacterial pathogens, and is referred to as a “spreading factor” because of its critical role in the bacterial growth and penetration. Currently, there are no known inhibitors of the Staphylococcus aureus hyaluronidase enzyme. Her laboratory has recently identified several natural product extracts with promising anti-hyaluronidase activity.  The goals of this project are (1) to identify compounds from these extracts that singularly or synergistically inhibit hyaluronidase secreted by S. aureus, and (2) to use hyaluronidase inhibition as a model system to develop new strategies to identify bioactive natural products.

Michael Parker

Photo of Michael ParkerMichael Parker (English) had two stories from his recent collection, “Everything, Then and Since” selected by Aimee Bender for the anthology “Best Small Fictions 2018,” to be released by Braddock Avenue Books this fall. The 53 stories in the anthology were selected from over 1,000 nominations internationally.

Parker is the author of six novels and three collections of short stories. He has received fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as the Hobson Award for Arts and Letters and the North Carolina Award for Literature. His work has been anthologized in the Pushcart, New Stories from the South and O. Henry Prize Stories anthologies.

Dr. Olav Rueppell

Dr. Olav Rueppell (Biology) received additional funding from the Department of Defense DA Army Research Office for the project “Studies of the Plasticity of Stress Defense Induction in the Social Honeybee Model.”  

The western honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) represents one of the most important invertebrate research models in the post-genomic era. In addition to their importance in basic research, honey bees have received scientific attention because they are economically and ecologically important pollinators. The number of managed honey bee hives shows a long-term decline over the past 60 years. The main factors that are considered for their negative effects on honey bee health are pathogens, pesticides, nutrition and general management stress. Many abiotic and biotic factors may stress individuals at lower levels, creating sublethal adverse effects. However, many stressors can have beneficial effects in a variety of organisms and contexts when the organisms are exposed to low levels.

The central hypothesis of the proposed research project is that the induction of defense mechanisms varies among essential and non-essential components of biological systems. They will address this hypothesis by testing the prediction that honey bee colony members show different degrees of inducible stress defenses according to their importance to their colony. The project will consist of the following five specific aims: 1) Inducing stress defense mechanisms in honey bees; 2) Investigation of caste differences in stress defense induction; 3) Investigation of within-caste differences in stress defense induction; 4) Characterization of the systemic response of stress defense induction; and 5) Measuring the cost of stress defense induction as physiological effects. Together, these aims will lead to a comprehensive understanding of stress induction in its relation to social evolution in honey bees with general implications for understanding the evolution of stress responses and for maintaining pollinator health.

Dr. Sherri McFarland

Dr. Sherri McFarland (Chemistry and Biochemistry) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute for the project “Immunomodulating Ruthenium Metal Complexes for Melanoma Photodynamic Therapy.”

This proposal seeks to develop a novel class of ruthenium compounds that can be activated with therapeutic wavelengths of light to eliminate primary tumors, inhibit disseminated disease and prevent recurrence. It is hypothesized that light-responsive prodrugs with these capabilities will be of use in the development of photodynamic therapy (PDT) for treating melanoma. PDT is an underutilized, niche cancer treatment modality that combines light and a photosensitizer (PS) to create cytotoxic singlet oxygen for destroying tumors and tumor vasculature. Although commonly thought of as a local treatment, PDT has been known to stimulate anti-tumor immunity, which is crucial for controlling metastatic disease and subsequent tumor regrowth. PDT relies heavily on the presence of oxygen to exert its antitumor effects, and the PSs approved for PDT are generally organic compounds that are activated with red light. In order for PDT to be maximally effective toward melanoma, it would be advantageous to develop PSs that can function well in hypoxic tissue with wavelengths of light that are least attenuated by the melanin in pigmented melanomas (650-850 nm). If such agents could be incorporated into regimens that stimulate antitumor immunity, PDT might offer new treatment options for highly recurrent cancers such as melanoma, where chemotherapy and radiotherapy do not work. We previously developed very potent metal-based PSs that combine ruthenium (Ru) and p-expansive ligands to yield systems that create cytotoxic reactive oxygen species even at low oxygen tension due to their long excited state lifetimes and large bimolecular quenching rates.

Separately, they developed osmium (Os)-based PSs that absorb light at wavelengths longer than 800 nm and can generate a modest PDT effect with this low-energy light even in hypoxic tissue. This proposal will combine the best features of the Ru (potency) and Os (activation >800 nm) PSs to yield new Ru metal complexes that are designed to elicit a strong PDT effect with near-infrared light in hypoxic tissue using increasingly more sophisticated melanoma models. Coordination chemistry will be used to generate a library of modular 3D compounds that can be subsequently modified to produce structurally diverse families. The photophysical and photochemical properties of these new compounds will be fully explored, and they will be assessed for their diagnostic potential and PDT effects using 2D cell and 3D tumor spheroid melanoma models. Promising candidates will be selected for MTD determination and PDT studies in a mouse melanoma model. PSs that are PDT-active and nontoxic to mice will be probed for their abilities to induce antitumor immunity through tumor rechallenge experiments. Finally, the immunological aspects of favorable PDT responses in mice will be investigated using both in vitro and in vivo techniques, and the PDT regimen will be explored and optimized for maximizing both local tumor control and stimulating antitumor immunity. Completion of this project will introduce novel PSs for melanoma PDT and will expand fundamental knowledge of metal complex chemistry, photophysics, and therapeutic properties.

Dr. Jodi Bilinkoff

Dr. Jodi Bilinkoff (History) received new funding from the City of Chicago Newberry Library for the project “John of the Cross (1542-1591): The History, Mystery and Memory of a Spanish Saint.”  

John of the Cross (1542-1591) is one of the most famous and revered figures in the history of Christian spirituality. For generations he has been esteemed as a mystic, spiritual guide and one of the finest poets in the Spanish language. Yet relatively little is known about him as a person, and few historians have examined his life or cult as a Catholic saint.

Dr. Bilinkoff proposes a new approach to the life, afterlife and reception of John of the Cross. The goal is not to write a conventional biography, but rather, undertake a critical study of the manifold, at times, conflicting meanings that John has held for individuals and communities, both during and after his lifetime. The case of John of the Cross offers a remarkable opportunity to investigate popular religious beliefs and practices, interpersonal relationships, identity formation, urban and ecclesiastical politics, and the meanings of memory, from the Age of Reformations to our own times.

Dr. Bilinkoff hopes the study will interest scholars of history, literature and religion in early modern Spain and Catholic Europe, as well anyone who has ever experienced the beauty and mystery of John’s poetry.

Dr. Paul Silvia, Dr. Peter Delaney and Dr. Stuart Marcovitch

Dr. Paul Silvia, Dr. Peter Delaney and Dr. Stuart Marcovitch (Psychology) received an honor for their book, published in November, “What Psychology Majors Could (and Should) Be Doing, Second Edition: A Guide to Research Experience, Professional Skills, and Your Options After College.” The book was named an Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association (ALA).

The award denotes that the book is within the top ten percent of the 6,000 books reviewed in 2017 by ALA’s Association of College and Research Libraries’ “Choice Reviews.” Outstanding Academic Titles must demonstrate: overall excellence in presentation and scholarship, importance relative to other literature in the field, distinction as a first treatment of a given subject in book or electronic form, originality or uniqueness of treatment and value to undergraduate students,
importance in building undergraduate library collections.

The book is a complementary text to the required UNCG course “Careers in Psychology,” and helps students learn ways of developing professional skills that make them competitive in job searches and graduate school applications. The authors emphasize involvement in research and building skills in writing, public speaking and statistical reasoning.

Dr. Peter Villella

Dr. Peter Villella (History) received new funding from the National Humanities Center for the project “Of Ruin and Rebirth: The Construction of Aztec History, 1531-1625.”  

This project charts the genesis and evolution of the idea of a shared “Aztec past” among indigenous intellectuals in early colonial Mexico. New diseases devastated the Nahua (Aztec) population in the 16th century, severing the survivors culturally and spiritually from their ancestral heritage. However, a distinct antiquarianism arose among some Nahua leaders who sought to recover and study old artifacts to regain an understanding of their pre-Columbian legacy. Their sources were fragmented and contradictory, yet by reinterpreting and reassembling them to make them cohere, the Nahua historians “constructed” the Aztec epic, a proud new way of understanding Mexican antiquity.

Dr. Jianjun Wei

Dr. Jianjun Wei (Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering) received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “3i Nano – A Point-of-Care Biosensor for Disease Diagnostics and Analysis.”

For many years, cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been diagnosed and tested in central laboratories, which may take several hours to days. This is one of major factors resulting in low survival rates and high treatment cost. Early detection is the key, not only for CVD patient survival, but also saving cost.

This is particularly true for the rupture of atherosclerotic plaque, such as endothelial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative stress, proteolysis, and thrombosis. Biomarkers of CVD have been found to be very important tools for early diagnosis, because they serve as hallmarks for the physiological status of a cell at a given time and change during the disease process.

This proposal describes an investigation to determine the readiness to transition a point-of-care (POC) biosensor technology developed by a current NSF fund to a commercially viable product. The POC technology aims to achieve rapid detection of protein biomarkers of CVD at an early stage or acute attack. This project will map out a strategy for taking such technology to the next technical readiness level (TRL) by incorporating the recent advances into currently available portable commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) components.

The results of this project will provide first-hand evidence and data in both technology and market, that we can use to transform the current technology into a device, which will be lucrative in the medical industry.

Alejandro Rutty

Alejandro Rutty (Music) will release the album “Exhaling Space,” (Navona Records)

a collection of new chamber works  combining Latin and world music styles with the classical tradition. The album features performances by Pittsburg-based Beo String Quartet, and a group of prominent North Carolina artists. Rutty’s previous release on Navona “The Conscious Sleepwalker” was reviewed favorably in The Boston Globe and the New York Times. His music makes use of oral histories; some of his work is based on interviews with Latina Immigrants, and some on audio recordings of the Jewish Heritage Foundation of North Carolina.

Rutty’s compositions and arrangements have been played by the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra of Argentina, National Symphony Orchestra of Brazil, Porto Alegre Symphony Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, American Modern Ensemble, the New York New Music Ensemble, the Red Clay Saxophone Quartet, and the Cassatt, Beo and Carlos Chávez String Quartets, among other groups. Recordings of his music have been released by Navona Records, Capstone Records, Albany Records, Arizona University Recordings, and ERM Media.

A concert featuring music from the album will take place at the UNCG Organ Hall on March 23, 7:30 p.m. The performers include faculty members Fabián López, Inara Zandmane, Marjorie Bagley, Steve Stusek, Adam Ricci, Guy Capuzzo, Alejandro Rutty; guest artist Vincent Van Gelder and students Carmen Granger, Suzanne Polak and Erik Schmidt.

Jerry Blakemore

Jerry Blakemore (General Counsel) has been invited to speak on the topic of “Academic Freedom & Free Speech in North Carolina: A Legal Perspective” at an upcoming conference. The North Carolina American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Conference and joint meeting of UNCG AAUP chapter will be held Saturday, March 24, in UNCG’s Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room (as noted in a recent Campus Weekly). More information on the conference is here.

Michael Flannery

Michael Flannery (Theatre) has a role in the movie “Shifting Gears,” which was filmed in North Carolina. It will open in 11 cities across the country Friday, March 23 – including at the Red Cinemas in Greensboro. Alumnus Keith Harris (MFA) wrote and stars in it. Another alumnus, Sterling Hurst (BFA), also has a role in it. 

Donald Hartmann

Donald Hartmann (Music) will star as the British Major in Piedmont Opera’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s “The Pirates of Penzance.” The show will run March 23, 25 and 27 at the Stevens Center of the UNCSA, in Winston-Salem. No stranger to Piedmont Opera audiences, bass-baritone Donald Hartmann first sang in a production of “Pirates of Penzance” in 1977, in a joint production produced by the Winston Salem Symphony and the Winston Salem Little Theater, as Major-General Stanley. He has performed in over 150 operatic productions, in over 60 operas singing over 70 different roles.  Engagements have included appearances with Opéra de Montreal, Madison Opera, Toledo Opera, Opera Carolina, Michigan Opera Theater, Nashville Opera, Piedmont Opera, Opera Delaware, North Carolina Opera, Opera Roanoke, Greensboro Opera, Arizona Opera, Florentine Opera, and Virginia Opera Association.

Dr. Gideon Wasserberg

Dr. Gideon Wasserberg (Biology) received a third-year continuation of his RO1 award from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for his project “Oviposition attractants for surveillance and control of sand flies, vectors of Leishmania.”

By applying an ecologically based approach, Dr. Wasserberg seeks to identify weak links in the life-cycle of the pathogen and target these with precision and efficacy in order to break the transmission cycle between phlebotomine sand flies and humans.

Dr. Julie Edmunds

Dr. Julie Edmunds (School of Education, SERVE Center) received new funding from the American Institutes for Research for the project “Follow-up Study of the Impact of Early College High Schools.”

She also received new funding from the University of North Carolina System Office/myFutureNC, a statewide educational commission focused on developing goals and strategic goals around educational attainment, for the project “Policy Brief – Transition from K-12 to College/College Access in North Carolina,” which focuses on the transition from high school to college.

Dr. Chris Payne

Dr. Chris Payne (Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships) received funds from the US Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families and an award from Guilford Child Development (GCD) for his project “Partnerships to Enhance Early Care and Education.”

Through the project and the efforts of GCD, they will increase access to high-quality early childhood care by direct provision of high-quality early childhood services and comprehensive training to increase the knowledge and skills of child care staff and heighten the quality of care in homes and classrooms.

Dr. Heather Holian

Dr. Heather Holian (School of Art) had an essay, “New and Inherited Aesthetics: Designing for the Toy Story Trilogy One Film at a Time,” published in January 2018 as part of the edited volume “Toy Story: How Pixar Reinvented the Animated Feature,” released by Bloomsbury Press. Edited by animation scholars Noel Brown, Susan Smith and Sam Summers, the text is the inaugural volume of Bloomsbury’s series, ‘Animation–Key Films.’ Dr. Holian has also recently signed a book contract with Disney Editions for her manuscript on Pixar, tentatively titled, “Art and Filmmaking at Pixar: Collaboration, Inspiration and Collective Imagination,” with an anticipated publication of 2021.

The publication came about as a result of the international conference, Toy Story at 20, hosted by Sunderland University, Sunderland, Great Britain in November 2015. Holian presented on this topic there and then was invited to expand the piece for publication. She received funds for international conference travel from the School of Art and the Kohler Fund of International Programs for that trip. The volume is available on Amazon.