UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Dr. Jennifer Coffman

Dr. Jennifer Coffman (Human Development and Family Studies) received new funding from the DOED Institute of Education Sciences for the project “Student Learning as a Function of Exposure to Teachers’ Use of Cognitive Processing Language During Instruction.”

“Given the importance of basic memory skills for success in school, it is essential that we understand the development of a range of component skills that (1) affect the acquisition of knowledge and strategy use and (2) emerge in the context of the classroom, (3) are transformed over time into the study skills that are needed for progress in school, and (4) are related to measures of academic achievement,” the abstract states. “To examine the developmental course of these skills and the factors that affect their development, we have carried out both longitudinal and experimental research on the key role of teachers’ Cognitive Processing Language (CPL). This language is rich in references to metacognition, cognitive processes, and requests for remembering, and is important for the development of memory strategies and later study skills. In this study, we will establish two cohorts of 100 children in North Carolina and track them longitudinally from Kindergarten through the beginning of Grade 2.”

Dr. Olav Rueppell

Dr. Olav Rueppell (Biology) received a continuation of funding from the Dept. of Defense DA Army Research Office for the project “Studies of the Plasticity of Stress Defense Induction in the Social Honey Bee Model.”

Shawn O’Neil

Shawn O’Neil (Tutoring and Academic Skills Program) has been recently appointed the Coordinator for the College Reading and Learning Association’s International Tutor Training Certification Review Board.

In this three-year term, O’Neil will maintain certification standards for the College Reading and Learning Association’s ITTPC program, and manage a team of reviewers responsible for approving certification applications for 1,300+ tutoring programs across the United States and 6 other countries. As part of his responsibilities, he will also instruct a Summer Institute in St. Louis on developing effective and pedagogically sound tutor training programs.

O’Neil is assistant director for academic skills for the Tutoring and Academic Skills Program.

George Hancock

George Hancock (SERVE Center) received new funding from Moore County Schools for the project “Moore County Schools Strategic Plan Development and Stakeholder Input Initiative.”

Dr. Diane Ryndak

Dr. Diane Ryndak (Specialized Education Services) received funding from University of Minnesota (Prime: U.S. Department of Education) for the project “The TIES Center: Increasing Time, Instructional Effectiveness, Engagement, and State Support for Inclusive Practices for Students with Significant Cognitive Disabilities.”  This project is supported with funds from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). “Federal requirements (e.g., ESSA, IDEA) clearly indicate all students, including students with significant cognitive disabilities (SWSCD), should have the opportunity to learn in the least restrictive environment to the maximum extent appropriate, and to learn the same standards-based content as their same-age peers. Yet, there is strong evidence that this often does not occur,” the abstract states. “The improvement in the quality of instruction in inclusive environments is a critical driver to successfully increase the quantity of time and the amount of educational engagement of SWSCD experience in inclusive classrooms. Successful inclusion in content as well as space creates a shared bond of common experiences and learning that results in natural peer acceptance in activities outside the classroom, in extracurricular activities and daily playground, lunchroom, and other common spaces. For this to occur, special education and general education teachers – and the school leaders and policymakers who support them -need to have the capacity to successfully instruct this population; they also need high-quality curriculum and instructional resources that can be used in inclusive settings.   

The primary outcomes of Project TIES are to: 1)To improve the quality of instruction for SWSCD in inclusive environments through the use of existing curriculum and instructional materials (content; context; instruction; communicative competence); 2) To provide models and coaching to both general education and special education teachers to create more inclusive opportunities (professional development; technical assistance); 3) To support changes to inclusive practices and policies within partner state and local education agencies (sustainable systemic change).

Dr. Sarah Koerner

Dr. Sarah Koerner (Biology) received new funding from the US Department of Agriculture for the project “Global patterns of grazer effects on plant biodiversity: the role of functional traits and evolutionary history of dominant plant species.”

Dr. Ayesha Boyce

Dr. Ayesha Boyce (Educational Research Methodology) received new funding from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the project “Network for Computational Nanotechnology – Hierarchical nanoMFG Node.” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The evaluation team, led by external program evaluator Assistant Professor Boyce and associates from the School of Education, will work closely with nanoMFG Node leadership to integrate formative and summative evaluation into the general operation of the program. The evaluation will use a value-engaged, educative (VEE) approach (Greene, DeStefano, Burgon, Hall, 2006; Greene, Boyce, Ahn, 2011). The VEE approach, developed with NSF-EHR support, defines high-quality STEM educational programming as that which effectively incorporates cutting-edge scientific content, strong instructional pedagogy and sensitivity to diversity and equity issues. A key role of the evaluator is to work closely with program implementers to promote understanding of program theory, implementation and impact.

Dr. John Willse

Dr. John Willse (Educational Research Methodology) received continuation of funding from Wake Forest University for the project “Using projective unidimensional models for measuring multidimensional educational data.” This project is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences.

This sub-award from Wake Forest University is part of an IES grant that is establishing the foundation of a measurement paradigm that leverages the power of unidimensional item response theory (IRT) for handling tests that are multidimensional, even when the tests are intended to measure a single construct. This new paradigm, known as projective IRT, allows accurate ability estimates for one or more specific dimensions of interest, even when other dimensions are also measured. Such an approach will be useful in educational measurement, given the inherently, even if unintentionally, multidimensional nature of most educational assessments. This grant supports the research efforts of two doctoral students and one faculty member.

Dr. Robert Owens

Dr. Robert Owens (Bryan School of Business and Economics) has been appointed the chair of the Diversity Committee for the Association for Applied Sport Psychology. As the chair, he will lead efforts to ensure the association honors its commitments to diversity and creates an inclusive community for all of its members.

Dr. Gay Ivey

Dr. Gay Ivey (Teacher Education and Higher Education), the William E. Moran Distinguished Professor in Literacy, became President of the Literacy Research Association at its annual conference held recently in Tampa, Florida. Her term runs through December 2018. The Literacy Research Association is an organization aimed at advancing literacy research, theory, and practice. LRA supports the development of emerging and established scholars and the dissemination of high-quality research intended to improve literacy and literacy education. UNCG was well represented at the LRA annual conference, with faculty and graduate students presenting a range of original research to peer colleagues from around the world.

Dr. Sonja Frison

Dr. Sonja Frison (The Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships) received new funding from Sandhills Center, Local Management Entity, for the project “Juvenile Justice Substance Abuse Mental Health Partnerships.” This project is supported by funds from the NC Department of Health and Human Services Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services.  

The Juvenile Justice Substance Abuse and Mental Health Partnerships (JJSAMHP) is a statewide initiative designed to provide a continuum of care for juvenile justice involved youth with behavioral health issues. The North Carolina Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services works collaboratively with the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Juvenile Justice Section to provide resources and support for 18 local teams within the JJSAMHP network to increase service utilization, enhance services, and infuse evidence-based and best practices.

The UNCG Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships provides technical assistance and training for this initiative. UNCG’s role in the initiative is to: 1) provide technical assistance activities to the sites and communication about site visits to state level partners; 2) increase avenues and methods of training and information sharing re: state and local partners; and 3) increase awareness and usage of evidence based practices/treatments and best practices for juvenile justice involved youth.

Dr. Brett Carter

Dr. Brett Carter (Student Affairs) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for the project “Collegiate Recovery Community.” Recovery is “a process of change through which individuals improve their health and wellness, live a self-directed life, and strive to reach their full potential” (SAMHSA 2012). UNCG’s Spartan Recovery Program (SRP) believes that there are multiple pathways to recovery and encourages students to develop and maintain an active recovery and wellness plan. The vision of the SRP is to be a model recovery-minded community that engages and encourages students in their pursuit of an enriched college experience and sustained recovery. The SRP creates a recovery-minded community of empowerment, purpose and inclusion in which UNCG students in all phases of recovery can pursue their personal goals for the purpose of enhancing personal wellness and contributions to the global community.

Dr. Kelly Poole

Dr. Kelly Poole (Social Work) received renewal funding from the Cone Health Foundation for the project “Congregational Social Work Education Initiative (CSWEI 2017-18).”

Consistent access to primary medical and behavioral health care reduces cost, increases capacity within the tertiary health care system and enhances the wellbeing of communities overall. Studies demonstrate that individuals without permanent housing, and other health disparate population groups, such as immigrants and refugees, access primary health care and other health wellness services at far less frequency than that of the general population. Affordability, accessibility (transportation) and availability (long wait list, inconvenient hours) are commonly cited causes for vulnerable individuals’ inability to secure necessary, ongoing coordinated health and behavioral care. In addition to the foregoing, obstacles to care may include difficulty navigating a fragmented human service delivery system, untreated mental illness or substance abuse, fear of stigmatization, language or other cultural barriers.

An integrated care approach, within an interdisciplinary model of care, and augmented by other ancillary community-based, co-located service agencies, especially those offering supported housing, have proven to be highly effective program models. With its creative, collaborative, community-based model, CSWEI has successfully developed and implemented programming that addresses the needs of each of these vulnerable population groups and has been effective in linking health desperate individuals to care.

Dr. Christopher Rhea

Dr. Christopher Rhea (Kinesiology) received new funding from the University of North Carolina General Administration for the project “UNC System Collaboration to use Virtual Reality to address Human Health Challenges.”

This project focuses on connecting researchers across the UNC system who are using (or interested in using) virtual reality (VR) to address human health challenges. VR is a tool that can be adapted for practically any setting, allowing researchers and clinicians the flexibility to develop tailored interventions for their populations of interest. Recent advancements have made VR more portable and user-friendly, as well as significantly more affordable. Connecting VR researchers across the UNC system will help synergize collaborations across institutions and disciplines, positioning the UNC system as a leader in the use of VR to address human health challenges.

Jenny Dale

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Student Learning and Information Literacy Committee has announced the selection of Jenny Dale as one of its newest presenters for the one-day workshop, Engaging with the ACRL Framework: A Catalyst for Exploring and Expanding Our Teaching Practices. She will join the current presenter team as a partner in shaping the curriculum and presenting the workshop.

Dale is the Information Literacy Coordinator in the Department of Research, Outreach and Instruction at University Libraries, where she oversees the first-year instruction program, coordinates information literacy assessment and provides professional development training for librarian and teaching faculty colleagues. Dale also collaborates with students and faculty in the departments of Communication Studies, English, Media Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies in her role as a liaison librarian. She holds a Master of Science in Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

ACRL’s presenter team brings an abundance of expertise on teaching the ACRL Framework for information literacy for higher education at a time when academic librarians need it most, but their fresh voices and enthusiasm for their new roles will ensure these workshops support librarians in enriching their teaching practices for a long time to come.

The Engaging with the ACRL Framework workshop is currently offered as a “roadshow” as part of ACRL’s slate of day-long licensed workshops that can be brought to your campus, chapter or consortia at any time year-round. Contact ACRL Program Officer Chase Ollis at collis@ala.org for more information.

Dr. Jacqueline DeBrew

Dr. Jacqueline DeBrew (School of Nursing) received new funding from the North Carolina Area Health Education Center Program for the project “Proposal for RN to BSN Outreach Programs: 2017-2018.”   

The project seeks continued support of five cohort programs for registered nurses seeking Bachelor of Science degrees. The five established cohorts are located on the campuses of Davidson County Community College in Thomasville, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis, Gaston College in Dallas, North Carolina, Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem and Piedmont Community College, Roxboro.

Dr. Stuart Marcovitch

Dr. Stuart Marcovitch (Psychology) has been appointed editor-in-chief of the academic journal Cognitive Development. Cognitive Development is the flagship journal of the Jean Piaget Society, which is an international organization that studies human knowledge and development. Starting in November, Dr. Marcovitch will begin a three-year term as editor-in-chief of the journal. The head of UNCG’s Psychology Department, Marcovitch is a specialist in developmental psychology and cognitive development in children. In addition, Markovitch is co-director of and researcher at D.U.C.K. (Development and Understand of Children’s Knowledge) Lab, which is based on the UNCG campus and studies child development.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from Cone Health Foundation for the project “Immigrant Health ACCESS Project.”

Immigrants are uninsured and face multiple barriers to access appropriate and available health care, the abstract notes. Immigrants often end up at the Hospital Emergency Departments for non-emergency health issues, and many who have real emergencies go without care.

This project will assist immigrants in gaining access to health care services and navigate the health systems by providing interpreters and community Health Workers.

Working in conjunction with the Guilford Community Care Network, the project will provide screening, assessment, and referral and identify to the uninsured and seek solutions to connect them to a local integrated health clinic.

Dr. Edna Tan

Dr. Edna Tan (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received new funding from Michigan State University for the project “Equitably Consequential Making among Youth from Historically Marginalized Communities.” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation.

Equitably Consequential Making, a Research in Service to Practice (RPP) four-year project, focuses on understanding and designing for equity in STEM-oriented making for youth from historically underrepresented backgrounds. Given the proliferation of makerspaces in education settings, the project seeks to contribute new knowledge and practice for transforming the Maker culture in ways that are equitably consequential – processes and outcomes of Making, which: a) Deepen STEM and making knowledges and practices; b) Connect STEM-making with one’s community and with broader social issues; and c) Support transformative outcomes at the individual and community level focused on learning, becoming and doing in STEM through sustained engagement in Making.

Emilia Phillips

Emilia Phillips (Creative Writing) will give a poetry reading this Thursday, Nov. 30, at 7 p.m. at Scuppernong Books in downtown Greensboro, to accompany visiting poet Natalie Shapero. Phillips is the author of two poetry collections from the University of Akron Press, “Signaletics” (2013) and “Groundspeed” (2016) and three chapbooks, most recently “Beneath the Ice Fish Like Souls Look Alike” (Bull City Press, 2015). Her poems and lyric essays appear in Agni, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Poetry and elsewhere. Her third book, “Empty Clip,” will be published by the University of Akron Press Spring 2018. The reading is sponsored and hosted by UNCG’s MFA Program in Creative Writing.

Portrait photograph by Tracy Tanner.

Billy Lee

Billy Lee (Art) will give a talk about his work called “The Next Chapter” this Thursday, Nov. 30, at 6 p.m. at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, followed by a reception in honor of his retirement. Lee frequently shows his sculptures in exhibitions throughout the world. Most recently, he has shown work at the Lee Hansley Gallery in Raleigh; the Marunouchi Street Gallery in Tokyo; the “Blue Symphony NanDaihe International Sculpture Exhibition in Hebie Province, China; at “Art In Space” Salwa Zeidan Gallery in Abu Dhabi, UAE and at the Beijing International Art Biennale, at the Cairo Biennale. His exhibition history also includes the Yuzi Paradise Sculpture Park in Guilin, China; Goodwood Sculpture in the United Kingdom; the Memorial Rose Garden in Chin Pao San, Taipei, Taiwan; Dunaujvaros Sculpture Park in Hungary; Cementerio Carretas, Putaendo Sculpture Park in Chile and many other galleries in the United States.

He has received the Giacomo Manzu Special Prize at the 7th Henry Moore International Sculpture Exhibition and at the Fujisankei Biennale, he was awarded the Rodin Prize for his work exhibited in the Hakone/Utsukushi-ga-hara Open Air Museum in Japan. He has received UNCG’s Excellence Award and the Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award from the Southeastern College Art Conference, and he is a fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

Chad Eby

Chad Eby (Jazz Studies) will perform with the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra next Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 9 and 10. Eby is the artistic director of the ensemble, which also includes UNCG faculty members Ariel Pocock, Brandon Lee and Steve Haines; UNCG alumni Wally West, Aaron Matson and Daniel Faust and current students Jacob Bruner and Andrew Sanchez. The Dec. 9 performance “Jazz for Geeks,” will consist of jazz interpretations of retro and cult films and television shows, comics and video games. It will be at Geeksboro Coffee and Beverage Company as part of the business’ five-year anniversary celebration, starting at 6 p.m. The Dec. 10 performance will be the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra’s fourth annual holiday concert, with two shows, at 2:30 and 7 p.m., at The Crown at the Carolina Theatre.

Dr. Stuart Schleien

Dr. Stuart Schleien (Community and Therapeutic Recreation) received new funding from Arc of Greensboro for a graduate assistant. That person’s role at the Arc of Greensboro will assist the executive director in providing quality programs and services to the individuals served. The graduate assistant will assist the executive director and program directors in researching grant opportunities, possible fundraising events as well as help with pursuing sponsorships for programs and events and helping in social media and other types of communications.

Dr. Colleen E. Kriger

Dr. Colleen E. Kriger (History) has published a new book, “Making Money: Life, Death, and Early Modern Trade on Africa’s Guinea Coast,” through Ohio University Press. Kriger’s research reveals the global trade patterns that emerged during the era of Atlantic maritime trade, early  connections between Asian, African and European markets and the individual people who engaged in Anglo-African commerce on the west coast of Africa in the seventeenth century. Kriger has received numerous grants and fellowships in support of her research. Her scholarship and teaching focus on precolonial West and West Central Africa and topics such as social history, comparative slavery, oral history and material culture.

Dr. David Wyrick

Dr. David Wyrick (Public Health Education) received continuation of funding from Pennsylvania State University for the project “The Intersection of Alcohol and Sex: Engineering an Online STI Prevention Program.”  

The rate of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) on college campuses is alarming. One in four college students is diagnosed with an STI at least once during their college experience. Sexual activity when drinking alcohol is highly prevalent among college students. Alcohol use is known to contribute to the sexual risk behaviors that are most responsible for the transmission of STIs, namely unprotected sex, contact with numerous partners, and “hook-ups” (casual sexual encounters). Few interventions have been developed that explicitly target the intersection of alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors, and none have been optimized.

In order to reduce the incidence of STI transmission among this and other higher-risk groups, a new approach is needed. The Multiphase Optimization Strategy (MOST) is an innovative and comprehensive methodological framework that brings the power of engineering principles to bear on optimization of behavioral interventions. The overall objective of the proposed research is to use MOST to develop a highly effective, appealing, economical and readily scalable behavioral intervention targeting the intersection of alcohol use and sexual risk behavior, with the objective of reducing the incidence of STIs among college students.

Given the high rates of alcohol use and sex among college students, the college setting provides an ideal opportunity for intervening on alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors. The proposed study will include a diverse population of college students (50 percent African American) on four campuses – two Historically Black Colleges and Universities, one large public university, and one junior college. This will increase the generalizability of findings. Specific aims are to: (1) develop an initial set of online intervention components targeting the link between alcohol use and sexual risk behaviors; (2) use the MOST approach to build an optimized preventive intervention; and (3) conduct exploratory moderation analyses to determine for whom each component of the intervention works best.

This work will result in a new, more potent behavioral intervention that will reduce the incidence of STIs among college students in the US, and will lay the groundwork for a new generation of highly effective STI prevention interventions aimed at other subpopulations at risk.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) from the North Carolina Council for Women & Youth Involvement received new funding from North Carolina Council for Women & Youth Involvement for the project “Safe Transitions after Resettlement Program (STAR).”   

Domestic violence is a growing concern in Guilford County among relocated immigrant and refugee populations. The Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) will utilize a three-pronged approach to address domestic violence with refugees in Guilford County that includes: 1) continued collaboration between domestic violence and refugee service providers; 2) awareness and education pertaining to the various manifestations of family violence in relocated refugee populations; and 3) increased capacity and infrastructure to better meet the needs of refugee victims of family violence.  First, refugee service providers and domestic violence agencies will continue to meet quarterly to share current needs and concerns. These meetings will be a place for continued training and provide opportunities to brainstorm future collaboration. Second, the CNNC will increase awareness among Guilford County residents to depict the complex and multi-faceted dimensions of domestic violence in refugee communities. Through research and continuous dialogue with bi-cultural refugees, the CNNC will examine the lesser explored topics of forced and/or arranged marriages, human trafficking, and basic cultural understandings of gender and marriage within relocated refugee populations. Third the CNNC will engage (mostly) female interpreters in specialized domestic violence trainings to serve as interpreters and cultural brokers during domestic violence encounters.

Currently, the majority of trained interpreters speaking Nepali, Swahili, French, Burmese, and other languages native to Burma are male and many ethnic communities are relatively small. This can be problematic for women seeking to report domestic violence. There is a strong need for female interpreters that are trained in domestic violence, speak key languages, and know the contextual cultural background. Trained interpreters will help to create the infrastructure within the broader community to respond to domestic violence encounters in culturally appropriate ways.

Dr. Ann Grimaldi

Dr. Ann Grimaldi (Weatherspoon Art Museum) received new funding from the North Carolina Arts Council for the project “Sanford Biggers, Exhibition.”

The Weatherspoon Art Museum will present an exhibition (Dec. 3, 2017 – April 8, 2018) of dynamic, multimedia paintings by Sanford Biggers – an artist internationally recognized for merging the history of slavery, hip-hop culture, Buddhism and cultural identity. Using antique southern quilts as his base, Biggers densely layers these found canvases with imagery culled from such seemingly disparate sources: lotus flowers, slave ships and graffiti. The themes of Biggers’ works are linked by navigation, allowing the motifs to become meditations on past, present and future wayfinding. They simultaneously recall stories of quilts being used as markers on the Underground Railroad and star charts employed by astronomers.

Biggers has held an internationally prominent position in the arts since the early 2000s. His work has been consistently shown worldwide at institutions such as the Tate Britain and Tate Modern in London, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, and the Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland. Biggers speaks to contemporary issues by placing them within a layered historical context. Most recently he gave a Ted Talk reminding his audience that the history he continually comments on has been more than 500 years in the making and that it is more important than ever to continue to create art that brings issues of race and identity to the surface.

The Sanford Biggers exhibition will be accompanied by four public programs including a TED Talk-like presentation by Sanford Biggers, a curatorial talk by Dr. Emily Stamey,  a book discussion on Colson Whitehead’s novel “The Underground Railroad”, and a hip-hop performance by UNCG students. WAM will organize guided tours for K-12, college, and adult visitors and create a visitor learning guide. In addition, Biggers will participate in a studio critique with UNCG MFA graduate students.

Dr. Paul Davis

Dr. Paul Davis (Kinesiology) received new funding from Cone Health System for the project “BELT Program.” Funding will go to continue operation of an ongoing sustainable exercise component of the Bariatric Surgery Program known as the Bariatric Exercise Lifestyle Transformation Program.

Davis received his PhD and MS degrees in Exercise Science from the University of South Carolina after receiving his BSEd degree in Physical Education from Western Carolina University. Before completing his doctoral degree, he worked several years in cardiac rehabilitation.

Dr. John Z. Kiss

photo of kissDr. John Z. Kiss (Dean, College of Arts and Sciences & Professor of Biology) received the Founder’s Award from the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research (ASGSR). This is the highest award presented by the society, given for lifelong contributions to gravitational and space biology. He received the award last Saturday at the association’s 33rd annual meeting, in Seattle.

Kiss has worked closely with NASA for three decades, serving as the principal investigator on eight spaceflight experiments which will help scientists understand how to effectively and efficiently grow plants in outer space and on other planets. In 2014, he received the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal “for exceptional contributions in spaceflight research in the fundamental biology of plants in support of NASA’s exploration mission.”

Chancellor Franklin Gilliam, Jr.

Photo of Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. has been named one of the Triad Business Journal’s 2017 Power Players. The journal notes that in the past year, the chancellor has announced plans for a two-part Millennial Campus, one focused on health and wellness, and one focused on the visual and performing arts. View the Triad Business Journal page here.

Ches Kennedy

Ches Kennedy (Development for College of Arts and Sciences) has been named board chair of Partners Ending Homelessness for the 2017-2018 year. Partners Ending Homelessness (Partners) is the planning and coordinating agency responsible for securing and administering major funding, providing continuous support for homeless service delivery in Guilford County and serving as the lead agency for Guilford County’s federally designated Continuum of Care. Partners facilitates a strong and stable system of care and supports a collaborative network that includes over 40 community partners working together to effectively end homelessness in Guilford County.  Kennedy has served on the Partners Board since October 2014 and has held various positions.

Andrew Cagle

Andrew Cagle (Chancellor’s Office) has been selected to the 2017-18 class for Leadership North Carolina, the state’s premier leadership engagement program. Its mission is to inform, develop and engage committed leaders by broadening their understanding of and involvement in issues and opportunities facing North Carolina. Cagle is director of state and external affairs at UNCG.


Two UNCG faculty members are helping teach at Triad Tech Savvy day, geared to 9th grade girls, on November 4. It is the same day as the 13th annual Math/Statistics Conference at UNCG for college students and upper high school students – marking two opportunities for young students to get acquainted with UNCG’s campus. Dr. Prashanti Manda (Computer Science) will teach a block session on computer programming. A session on astronomy will be taught by Dr. Steve Danford (Astronomy, emeritus).

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi (Office of Research and Engagement) received new funding from Howard University for the project “”GIRLS ROCK TECH: Integrating Computer Science Education into a National Girls Empowerment Program.” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation.  

In an era of declining women’s participation in computer science and acutely low participation of women of color, there is increasing awareness of stereotype threats and the barriers to gender and racial equity in computer science. Mitigating those threats and lowering those barriers are two of the primary challenges faced by the research, education and advocacy communities. Encouraging, building, and nurturing positive identities, growth mindset, and solid knowledge and skills are key aspects of combating stereotype threat and supporting a lasting interest in STEM. Studies have shown that providing girls with a unique educational environment that does not align with the stereotype fit, or feelings of exclusion, allows them to shift from a “fixed mindset” to a “growth mindset.”. GIRLS ROCK TECH program is an innovative experiential approach to learning computer science principles of programming and creativity in the context of music education and strong culturally resonant structures.

Through the proposed GIRLS ROCK TECH program, we will investigate how computer science principles through the lens of music production is an effective means of providing black girls with the computing and soft skills needed for success in STEM. They will also investigate the social and behavioral factors that support black girls’ empowerment and learning in CS. Specifically They seek answers to the following research questions:

  1.  How effective is music instruction as a means of teaching the computer science principles of abstraction, algorithmic thinking, and programming?

      2.  How effective is an intervention designed for black girls in improving self-efficacy and fostering a growth mindset in computer science?

Robin Gee

Associate Professor Robin Gee (School of Dance) hosts the 4th Annual Greensboro Dance Film Festival, in collaboration with the Greensboro Project Space on Saturday, October 21, 7 pm with rolling screenings at GPS (7 pm), HQ Greensboro (7:30 pm) and VCM Studio (8 pm). This years’ festival is also part of the Burning Bell Festival in Downtown Greensboro and is part of the 17DAYS fall programming.

The festival, the first of its kind to reside in Greensboro, features dance films from 17 countries in both student and professional categories. The event will also host an opening reception at HQ Greensboro featuring live dance and music performances. Performances are supported in part by the 2017 NC Arts Council Choreographers Grant. The programs will also feature works that specifically address issues of race, place and identity in a modern and ever-changing world. Each location will feature a program designed for and unique to the space. GDFF will also will culminate with a touring program that will travel to several locations around North Carolina as well as the Dance In/Out Festival in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and other partner organizations around the country. This event is free and open to the public.