UNCG Campus Weekly

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

At MLK Celebration, Tales of Little Rock Nine

011911Feature_RobertsDr. Terrence Roberts, Tuesday night’s MLK Celebration speaker, was one of the Little Rock Nine. They were African-American students who, unsuccessful in their first attempt to enter the formerly segregated Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, approached it on Sept. 25, 1957, and found themselves again confronted by a hostile crowd. But on that day, they were escorted by the 101st Airborne, which had been ordered to Little Rock by President Dwight Eisenhower.

The Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision three years earlier struck down segregation in public schools and these nine students put the decision to the test. Roberts was a 15 year old junior at the time.

Hours before the celebration in Aycock Auditorium, he spoke with CW in the Alumni House.

What did he hope would be the main take-away message from his talk later that evening?

He acknowledged that everyone would take away something a little different. “It would be to have an awareness of and a respect for the historical march through time and space. Nothing happens unless there’s some precedent. You don’t exist in a vacuum. So who we are in the year 2011 is a consequence of who others were years ago.

“If students had more of a grasp of that connection I think they would be better able to make decisions today.”

What are the big issues that today’s students can take on and stand up for? “Wow. Two things come to mind.” The first was the he would not presume to tell someone else they should take on something. “But there are issues: There are kids in America who go to bed hungry every night. That seems to be something that’s overlooked a lot. If young people are interested in doing something, they might want to find out why that is. Why in this country, with an abundance of food, we have people who go hungry.

“The Civil Rights movement started in 1619,” he said, referring to the fact that as Europeans settled, they brought slavery, “and it continues apace today.” There was an obvious difference in who had rights and who didn’t, he said, from the beginnings of our nation. “When you think of this country’s history, we’ve been in a civil rights battle forever. We’re not finished. We’re not finished.”

The MLK Celebration was presented by The Division of Student Affairs, The Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

This year’s UNCG MLK Service award was presented to Kent Singletary, a recent graduate of the Communication Studies Department and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity. He is a founding corps member of City Year Miami, a non-profit partnership with Americorps that unites diverse groups of young people for a full year of over 1600 hours of service. During his time with City Year Miami he worked in an impoverished immigrant section of North Miami Beach, where he built alliances between the Miami school system, the community and major businesses. In addition, he co-created the “Gentleman’s Quest” as part of City Year, which served as a motivational club for men where they could share their talents and skills with other males in the organization. The initiative was so successful that it spread to other City Year sites across the nation and influenced the creation of “Pink Ladies”, a similar initiative for female group members.

Singletary also was part of the Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which served to bring forth the facts surrounding the shootings at Greensboro’s Morningside Homes in 1979, between white supremacists and Communist Workers Party activists. Singletary is in the process of creating a non-profit organization called “Stepping UP!” to provide financial and emotional assistance to adults as they pursue their educations.

After a performance by the Neo Black Society Gospel Choir, Roberts concluded the evening by sharing memories of that pivotal year, 1957. “We got beaten up … on a daily basis,” he said. The soldiers were no help once they were inside the school. But he weathered it. “My choice was to learn.”

Learning was a theme throughout his extemporaneous talk. He learned a lot of important life lessons in his all-Black schools as he grew up. He learned a lesson when he, as a young teenager, once placed a to-go order and then sat down – the hamburger joint fell silent and he quickly left. “I learned the rules of segregation,” he said.

He has since learned that race is a fantasy, “a mythological construct.” We’re all unique, he said.

As he spoke, he never ventured too far from lessons taken from Little Rock.

Fear does not have to be a barrier, he explained. “So whatever you fear at UNCG,” he told the students,” put it in your pocket, and keep on going.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Pracademics, a Plan for Practical Caring

011911Headline_WineburgA Jewish professor from New York state meets an African-American trucking manager from Charleston, S.C., on a basketball court. The men become friends, launch a nonprofit that puts people to work and reduces welfare dependency to the tune of $8 million over the past 13 years.

Sound like a screenwriter’s pitch for the feel-good film of the year? Maybe. Only this story isn’t too good to be true.

Dr. Bob Wineburg, Jefferson Pilot Excellence Professor in the Department of Social Work, and the Rev. Odell Cleveland, who made the shift from the trucking industry to the ministry, tell the story of their partnership and the economic engine they created in a new book, “Pracademics & Community Change.” It is the story of an unlikely friendship but, more importantly, the success story of a grassroots nonprofit, the Welfare Reform Liaison Project, founded and grounded in Greensboro.

“The lesson of our story is, to paraphrase, John Donne, that no institution is an island,” Wineburg says. “No community organization can thrive if it stays isolated from the rest of the organizations in a community’s sisterhood of care.”

To hear Wineburg and Cleveland talk, they were fated to meet. Cleveland, a big guy with a big smile, sits at the head of the conference table in Welfare Reform’s offices in Revolution Mills downtown. Welfare Reform is run like a business, with polished professionalism, and Cleveland is clearly a businessman.

“I knew a lot about welfare but not a lot about business,” says Wineburg. “Odell knew a lot about business but not a lot about welfare.”

“I thought, who am I to question why God put this bald-headed Jewish professor in my life?” Cleveland chimes in. He calls Wineburg “Wine.”

The story begins with Cleveland’s thesis, “Some Black Churches’ Response to the 1996 Welfare Reform Act,” written for a master’s in theology from Hood Theological Seminary. In it, he outlined a prescriptive program to help women move from welfare to work.

Then Cleveland was challenged by the senior pastor at his church, Mount Zion Baptist Church in Greensboro, to put his ideas to practice. But how to go about it? Would the primarily white business community he needed take him seriously in the board room?

Enter Wineburg. Wineburg mentored Cleveland, helping him write grant proposals. Cleveland gave Wineburg and his students access to the people who most needed help – poor, unskilled, living on the fringes, sometimes in trouble with the law.

Cleveland serves as president and CEO of Welfare Reform.

From his years in the trucking industry, he knew that manufacturers and stores needed a way to shed slightly damaged goods, and he knew tax breaks were available to those businesses. His operation steps up, brings those items – diapers, electronics, personal hygiene supplies – to a warehouse, and repackages them. The people who repackage and sell them are Welfare Reform trainees; the people who buy them at new, low prices are financially needy.

And Cleveland’s operation has formed other partnerships and programs as well. Welfare Reform trains people in writing skills, interviewing skills, digital photography and video production (as seen in visual); provides free classroom goods to Guilford County school teachers; relabels out-of-fashion suits from Men’s Wearhouse and distributes them to markets across the country and around the world.

The list goes on. In 2010, Welfare Reform enrolled 198 low-income clients, up from 147 in 2009. Nearly all live below the poverty level, and most are African-American. More than a third were recently homeless.

Clients go through an assessment and evaluation when they come to Welfare Reform. The goal is to prepare them for entry-level jobs or help them to start small businesses – a route to self-sufficiency.

The $8 million figure reflects wages earned, fewer financial demands on social services and less stress on the prison and court systems.

Cleveland is adamant that hard work and job training opportunities are the remedies for poverty.

“We were so poor, we didn’t have the ‘o’ and the ‘r’; we were just ‘po,’” he says of his childhood.

“Growing up in Charleston in the 1960s, you had to do the work of two white folks to keep the job. You had a real sense of proving one’s self. I tell people, you can win but you have to work. It takes a spirit of being driven to take out your demons – your doubts and fears – and other people’s demons.”

Wineburg, who grew up in Utica, N.Y., in a financially secure family, didn’t experience the prejudice and racial division that Cleveland saw in the South. He worked at his dad’s store, which sold to both blacks and whites. “I knew everybody who came through that door as a person,” he recalls.

But Wineburg says he and Cleveland share a common passion – eliminating poverty. “We both care about poor people, we have this deep spiritual care. Some of these folks are in such minefields they never get out of it. “

The title of their book, “Pracademics & Community Change,” reflects the need for academics to put their knowledge to work in the greater community and for social service practitioners to educate themselves.

“Pracademics. That’s the perfect word for it,” Cleveland says. “Practitioners and academics, how often do the two work together? It’s a community.”

By Michelle Hines

Notes: January 19, 2011

NotesIcon“UNCG Cares” Training for Faculty and Staff The training session will be Friday, Feb. 18, 2-4 p.m., in Bryan 111. Reserve a spot at http://deanofstudents.uncg.edu/uncgcares/ “UNCG Cares” is a national award winning university-wide program that aims to positively affect retention, increase graduation rates, and continue to promote a sense of community and support at UNCG. During the training, participants will learn active listening skills, how to recognize signs of distress, how to proactively reach out to students and offer help, the variety of issues that students face, effective referrals, and the resources available on campus to assist students. Once a participant has completed the training, he or she will be given a decal/sticker with the “UNCG Cares” logo to display in his or her office. By creating an environment of support, students in distress may get the help they need before issues rise to the crisis level. In addition, faculty and staff will feel more able to assist students with the types of issues with which they are dealing. Questions? Call Amy Jones at 4-5514.

New web site Housing and Residence Life has unveiled its new web site: http://hrl.uncg.edu/. Among the features is a section devoted to parents, to help make them aware of important housing deadlines and to show them what has been distributed to students.

Campus Entrepreneurs Dr. Joseph Erba (Bryan School) notes that this course/program, created three years ago, has three newly licensed student entrepreneurs starting their businesses on campus. The on-campus, for-profit business program, Campus Entrepreneurs, is unique because UNCG allows the students to retain the profits earned, Erba says. Oak Ridge Bank donated monies to fund a micro-loan program to help fund the start-ups. “To date we’ve had five companies started – all these students have since graduated – and these three new ones,” Erba says.

  • Child Like Faith, is owned by C. Daniel Taylor, who is an art major. His business is the design, manufacturing and sales of special occasion, customized figurines. He hopes to be able to expand his business locally and online.
  • Ja’el Mosley’s S.P.E.D. is a specialty screen-printing & embroidery business. Mosely is a Bryan School student who’s very active in a number of organizations. She’s been acting as a marketing rep for her dad’s similar business, but now is striking out on her own more.
  • Compu-Logic is owned by Adrian Martinca and will provide all sorts of software & hardware repair to computers on campus. Martinca has been an entrepreneur in his own right for the past couple of years. He has a store in Kernersville doing this type work. He’s also a member of the Bryan School.

UNCG’s Child and Family Research Network hold a one-day conference addressing the needs of families during times of economic challenge. The Jan. 28 conference is “Promoting Child and Family Well-being in the Context of Economic Challenge: Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” Dr. Cybele Raver, Director of NYU’s Institute of Human Development and Social Change and Dr. Linda Burton, Professor of Sociology at Duke University, will be the keynote speakers. U.S. Sen. Kay R. Hagan will make introductory remarks during the morning session; Chancellor Linda P. Brady will speak before the afternoon session. This conference will bring together researchers who study the effects of economic stress on children and families, across a broad spectrum of indicators. Participating scholars from UNCG include Dr. Susan D. Calkins, Dr. Danielle Crosby, Dr. Chris Payne, Dr. Lauren Haldeman and Dr. Christopher Swann. Also participating in the conference will be several members of the community who are working “on the ground” with families and children and can offer a first-hand perspective on the problems families face during times of economic challenge. An open discussion will focus on integrating these different perspectives to develop new paradigms for promoting well-being. This event is being held at Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Details are at http://cfrn.uncg.edu/PCFWInformation.aspx

Biotech Startups: What You Need to Know This talk by Dr. Kathleen Allen, USC Biotechnology Director, will be held Feb. 10 in EUC Auditorium. Registration is at 5 p.m. – 5:30 p.m; Presentation and Q&A 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. A reception immediately follows. Registration for the public is $10, but faculty, staff and students are free with valid I.D. Registration is required. Call 6-8649 or email ncec@uncg.edu with questions. Details at http://entrepreneur.uncg.edu/biotechstart.html.

Women’s basketball The team, at 6-2, is in first place in the conference. Phil Perry notes that Coach Lynn Agee is currently at 598 wins for her career. The team’s next three games are at home – today (Wed.), Saturday and Tuesday. The schedule is here. These games are free for faculty and staff with I.D.

Men’s basketball After a run of losses, the men’s team has picked up two straight conference wins. The second half against Davidson Monday night was particularly impressive – freshman Trevis Simpson scored 33 points. The schedule is here.

Your lying mind A “Great Conversation with John King” will be on Tuesday, Jan. 25, at 5 p.m. in the Faculty Center. It will feature a presentation and discussion on “Your Lying Mind: A Sample of Cognitive Illusions,”. This event is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy.

Honors String Festival Set for Jan. 20-22

More than 50 of the state’s top high school string musicians and dozens of their teachers will attend the first Southeast Honors String Festival, to be held Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 20-22, at the School of Music, Theatre and Dance. [Read more…]

CW’s ‘Print This Issue’ Better Than Before

One striking response, in looking at comments received in the December CW survey, is that many readers use the Print This Issue function. [Read more…]

Men’s Athletics Exhibition

011911NewsAndNotes_MensBBallAthletics has been an important part of this university’s curriculum since the institution opened as the State Normal and Industrial School in 1892. From the beginning, the school was known for its physical education and intramural sports programs for women. [Read more…]

‘Spelling Bee’ on Stage

011911EyeOnArts_SpellingBee“The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” the Tony Award-winning musical comedy that follows six young people as they compete for the championship of a lifetime, will be presented by UNCG Theatre Jan. 28-Feb. 6. [Read more…]

At WAM in Late January, Early February

On tap at the Weatherspoon in the next weeks: [Read more…]

Campus People: January 19, 2011

011310CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Dr. Steve Yarbrough – Dr. C.P. Gause [Read more…]

See/Hear: January 19, 2011

The Welfare Reform Liason Project, created by Dr. Bob Wineburg and Odell Cleveland, is helping a lot of people in our community. Among those receiving training are individuals learning techniques in video making. These particular students have created several videos about the project.

They can be viewed at http://vimeo.com/wrlp

The most recently completed video is at http://vimeo.com/18735776.

Announcements: January 19, 2011

Dr. Daniel T Winkler, chair of the search committee, provides the following message:

January 13, 2011

Hello Faculty and Staff,

I’m pleased to announce that the Bryan School Dean Search Committee, working in cooperation with Provost Perrin, has identified four potential candidates for the position of Dean of the Bryan School of Business and Economics. These candidates have been extended campus visits.

The four candidates are as follows:

N. Raju Balakrishnan, Senior Associate Dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science, Clemson University.
(http://www.clemson.edu/cbbs/faculty-staff/profiles/profile.html?userid=NBALAK)

McRae (Mac) C. Banks, II, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Strategy, Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
(http://www.mgt.wpi.edu/People/mcb.html)

Bruce T. Lamont, Associate Dean of Graduate Programs, College of Business, Florida State University.
(http://www.business.fsu.edu/dean/blamont.cfm)

Shawnee K. Vickery, Co-Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship, Eli Broad College of Business, Michigan State University.
(http://broad.msu.edu/facultystaff/member?id=201)

The preliminary campus visitation schedule for these candidates is as follows:

  • January 24-25 (arrive on January 23) – Raju Balakrishnan
  • January 31-February 1 (arrive on January 30) – Bruce Lamont
  • February 2-3 (arrive on February 1) – Shawnee Vickery
  • February 7-8 (arrive on the February 6) – Mac Banks

I have attached the CVs of the candidates. The visitation itineraries and updated information will be posted at http://www.uncg.edu/bae/dean_search/ as they become available. The link to the CVs will also be posted on the webpage.

The Bryan School Dean Search Committee members examined nearly 50 CVs during the search, and met twice in the later part of the fall semester to discuss the candidate qualifications and narrow the pool to a group for airport interviews. Within the past week, the Committee interviewed eight candidates at the Marriott Airport hotel; these interviews took place over a period of two full days. Of these eight candidates, the four finalists (above) were selected for further consideration.

Sincerely,
Daniel T. Winkler, Chair
Bryan School Dean Search Committee

Looking ahead: January 19-26, 2011

Women’s basketball vs. Elon
Wednesday, Jan. 19, 7 p.m. (Fac/staff free with ID)

Budget talk, “How UNCG’s Budget Works,” by Reade Taylor
Thursday, Jan. 20, 10 a.m., Jarrell Lecture Hall, Jackson Library’s lower level.

Men’s basketball vs. Georgia Southern
Thursday, Jan. 20, 7 p.m., Greensboro Coliseum.

Southeast Honors String Festival, special performance
Saturday, Jan. 22, 2 p.m., Recital Hall, Music Building.

Women’s basketball vs. Appalachian St.
Saturday, Jan. 22, 2 p.m. (Fac/staff free with ID).

Exhibition opens, “Stacy Lynn Waddell: The Evidence of Things Unseen”
Sunday, Jan. 23, Weatherspoon.

Book discussion, “The Ghost Ship,” Rob and Janne Cannon
Monday, Jan. 24, 7 p.m., Jackson Library.

Fireside chat with Chancellor Brady, for staff [posted later on Staff Senate web site]
Tuesday, Jan. 25, 9 a.m., Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House

Book talk, “Strangers in the Land: Pedagogy, Modernity and Jewish Identity”
Tuesday, Jan. 25, 4 p.m., Multicultural Resource Center, EUC.

Lecture, Dr. Geoffrey Dunbar, “Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Drug Delivery Efforts”
Wednesday, Jan. 26, noon, Dogwood Room, EUC.

more at calendar.uncg.edu

Alan Bridge Will Retire

011911Feature_AlanBridgeAlan Bridge, associate vice chancellor for human resources, will retire effective Feb. 1.

He has held the position since Oct. 1, 1994. Prior to coming to UNCG, he had been director of human resources at California State Polytechnic University Pomona for six years. Earlier, he had been director of human resources for the City of Salt Lake City, Utah, for eight years. As he noted last week, “I have been in the HR profession for a total of 33.5 years.”

Reade Taylor, vice chancellor for business affairs, said, “Just since I have been vice chancellor, Alan has endorsed the use of technology – including BannerHR and PeopleAdmin – and simultaneously took on projects he referred to as the 4 “B’s”: Banner, Banding, Bird Flu, and Background Checks. More recently, even as his staff was reduced, he volunteered HRS to assume the I-9 and Banner entry process for student employees. He has represented UNCG and the UNC system on several UNC system-wide as well as OSP state wide committees. My executive staff colleagues and I will miss his counsel especially given the significant budget challenges that lie ahead.”

Bridge holds a bachelor’s degree in personnel management with an emphasis in labor relations from the University of Utah and a masters’ of arts degree from Brigham Young University in organizational behavior with emphasis in personnel management.

Key initiatives and accomplishments during his tenure include:

  • Implementing the Career Banding Classification System for SPA employees, a project from 2003 to 2008
  • Chairing the committee to create the UNCG Staff Council, later becoming UNCG Staff Senate
  • Successfully completing two major OFCCP (Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs) audits in 2002 and 2007 with no negative findings
  • Creating the HR Liaison group, one of the major communication pathways to provide information to all campus constituencies
  • Developing the UNCG Service Pin program including the design of the service pin.
  • For the past 16 years UNCG has had the lowest number of grievances of any state agency or university in the State of North Carolina, averaging less than three grievances per year.

CW asked him what he was most proud of at Human Resource Services during his tenure.

“Probably the accomplishment I am most proud of is the creation of the UNCG Employee Loan Fund, acronym ‘Elf’ Loan. This program was begun with a loan from Chancellor Sullivan from her discretionary account in the amount of $3,000. This was to be paid back once enough funds were raised from donations from UNCG employees. Not only did we pay back Chancellor Sullivan the first year, but the loan fund has grown to over $50,000 from the continuing generous donations of UNCG staff and faculty. What started out as a small fund to help a few employees who might fall on hard times by making up to $500 interest free loans has grown considerably. Unfortunately, due to the state of the economy, all loan funds are continuously loaned out these days, but what a wonderful feeling to know that UNCG employees can help their fellow workers in times of financial distress with a ‘hand up’ instead of a ‘hand out’.”

He has served on various committees, including the UNCG SACS Re-accreditation Committee, UNCG NCAA Accreditation Committee, UNC Tomorrow Committee, UNCG 1998-2003, 2003-2008 and 2009-2014 Strategic Planning Committees, UNC HR Policy Committee (chair), Office of State Personnel HR Policy Committee (chair), Office of State Personnel Compensation Committee (co-chair) and UNC Police Compensation Study Commission (chair).

As for his plans in retirement, he told CW he had lived in Japan 2 1/2 years as a missionary, before attending college. “My wife and I will be leaving for Japan for a two year mission within a couple of months following my retirement.”

Bridge’s last day on campus will be Jan. 31, he said.

By Mike Harris