UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for December 2010

Sailing with the Pilot, Using Starfish

120810Headline_StarfishYou’re a freshman. A few of your classes are pretty large. Your initial grades – or perhaps your spotty attendance in class – show you need some help. But will you seek it out? A new pilot program helps prompt you to get it, in time to achieve success in the class.

The program is Starfish. And it is part of UNCG’s efforts to boost retention rates and graduation rates, as UNCG endeavors to significantly raise them by 2013. “I think it’ll make a real impact,” Dr. Steve Roberson, dean of undergraduate studies, said last week.

The pilot began on campus a year ago, and data on their effect on retention are not available yet. But Dean Roberson ran down preliminary numbers for the Faculty Senate on Dec. 2.

So far this semester, through Starfish:

  • 1,567 instructor-initiated flags were raised for 452 students.
  • The most raised flag was “Low Grade Concern,” which generated an automatic email.
  • Out of nearly 7,000 Student Success Center tutoring appointments that resulted from Starfish notifications, the most were scheduled for BIO 111: Principles of Biology, BIO 277: Human Physiology, and CHEM 111: General Chemistry.
  • More than 3,900 advising appointments campus-wide were made through Starfish.

“It’s Big Brother at its best,” said Roberson, as faculty-determined “tripwires” are used to automatically help students.

UNCG’s idea actually originated at Purdue University, where Dr. Ray Purdom, UNCG’s director of the Teaching & Learning Center, received his doctorate. Purdom saw a reference in an Purdue alumni publication to Purdue Signals, a software system Purdue had built to improve retention.

“I got on the phone with the folks mentioned in the article,” said Purdom, “and I got on the phone with our Blackboard representative,” who found a newer, very promising system, Starfish. And a year ago, UNCG moved ahead with a pilot using Starfish.

What does it do for UNCG students and faculty?

“You can ID students who need assistance. And [they can] get the assistance in timely fashion,” Purdom explained last week.

There are two components at UNCG: Early Alert and Connect.

Early Alert “raises flags,” to call attention to students who need help. It can read grade and attendance information on Blackboard to raise the flags. And the faculty member can set the criteria for flagging. Low exam score? Low overall grades? Student hasn’t logged into their Blackboard account in five days? Some combination of these?

Once the criteria is set, there is not much extra work for faculty, if any, Purdom says. The student, as well as perhaps the advisor and academic support services, will receive an email. Its general thrust – “We’re concerned about you.” Faculty can compose that mass email as they see fit. And that simple email can make a huge difference.

Faculty members can also use manual flagging, to reach particular students, if they choose.

The response from faculty members so far? Purdom says they like the idea, particularly those with large classes. It saves them time. “Three hundred students? It’s hard to monitor them all. And we have more and more large classes.”

He notes that “flag management” can be a challenge. It’s something the university is working through, as the pilot program continues.

UNCG was the first in the UNC system to use Starfish, which has been in existence about three years. ECU has also begun using it, and NC A&T State is thinking about it, Purdom says.

Starfish now serves about 50 universities, including University of Pittsburgh, University of Chicago and Seton Hall.

Its chief software engineer has recently moved to Greensboro, Purdom says. “It’s kind of reassuring that he’s here in town.”

Early Alert can make a huge difference for a freshman. “A lot of them have never had an email come from a faculty member. And they really like the ability to schedule appointments.”

Scheduling appointments with advisors and tutors is a second component of Starfish. That component is called Connect. UNCG is pilot testing this with the Starfish company; it is not fully implemented. The Lloyd International Honors College, School of Nursing and Bryan School have been involved. The College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center is now using it with all of its students, Purdom says.

Connect simply makes it very easy for students to make appointments, instantly. They don’t have to make a call or find an email address or walk to an office to sign up for a time slot.

“It does get students in to see advisors,” Purdom explains.

The Student Success Center tutoring center in McIver pilot tested it with an introductory biology course in Spring 2010, moved to 24 courses in the summer, and this semester have used it with all the courses for which it offers tutoring.

Starfish integrates with Blackboard seamlessly. “Students think they’re at Blackboard,” but part of what they’re seeing is actually Starfish.

For a student? They can see their courses on Blackboard and a note under each course, such as “Introductory appointment overdue by 5 days” or “Make appointment” – with a link to set the appointment.

“We’re truly a pioneer in this,” Purdom says. “We were maybe the tenth or twelfth university in the country to use Starfish.”

Purdom reflects on how this would have been helpful when he was a freshman or sophomore in college. “Easy access to offices and people that will help me? I’d find that beneficial. And it would’ve gotten me over that barrier to see a faculty member, too.”

He explains that office hours can be the loneliest hours of the week for faculty members. “If [students] come once, they’ll come again.” Easy scheduling and prompts gets students over that barrier.

Early Alert may be used for all freshman gateway courses in Fall 2011, but there is one technical hurdle. Banner does not yet “talk to” Starfish, so currently a lot of manual inputting and updating of advisor information is required. Once the appropriate software is created on campus, the Connect pilot will be able to fully expand, and many more students can be helped.

Those with questions may contact Dean Steve Roberson or Dr. Ray Purdom. Additional information may be found at the Starfish web site.

Visual:  Sean Simpson, a tutor of economics at the Student Success Center, assists an undergraduate on Dec. 7.

By Mike Harris
Photography by David Wilson

Laundry, Service

120810Feature_WashersThe immigrants living in Avalon Trace community had no good access to laundry facilities. They’d wash clothes in bathtubs, which would sometimes overflow, and hang or lay the clothes throughout the property – on trees, bushes and mostly flat on the ground.

The apartment manager asked for assistance. The Center for New North Carolinian volunteers and community center director Stephanie Baldwin, a UNCG staff member, saw an opportunity.

They could help meet the basic needs of the immigrants – clean clothes and clear living spaces – while the residents learned how to operate American-style washers and dryers.

But the results could go much further.

They installed three washers and two dryers, donated by the apartments’ management company.

African immigrants first began using the machines, after they were installed. Baldwin and CNNC Americorps volunteers showed them how to operate the switches, how much detergent to use, how full to load the washer. Then more began using them. They’d not go directly back to their homes – they’d sit and talk with each other – and with volunteers. They’d learn about English classes offered at the center. About a women’s support group there. Clothes for new arrivals. Computer-education and tutoring opportunities there. Health education – such as sickle cell outreach. Or if you just want someone to help you read mail …

The residents began taking greater advantage of what was offered – and became more empowered – simply because of some laundry.

Immigrants who’d learned the ins and outs of washing and drying with the machines would gives tips to other immigrants.

There’s now a greater sense of community, Baldwin explains. All because of a few machines – and basic needs being met.

The community center at Avalon Trace, located in eastern Greensboro, was created two years ago in partnership with the African Services Coalition and CNNC.

“We approached the complex. The apartment managers said, “OK, we’ll do this.” The groups were given use of three units and utilities.

Avalon Trace residents are primarily from Africa, Vietnam and Burma, Baldwin says.

Baldwin received her master’s in social work in the joint master’s program run by UNCG and NC A&T. She did much of her graduate work with former CNNC director Raleigh Bailey.

“I moved here [from West Virginia] just to do this,” she said.

She explained all this at the CNNC open house in Stone Building, this fall. Others running the table included Lizzie Biddle and Krycya Flores Rojas, UNCG staff members who are both involved with the Glen Haven and Avalon Trace centers.

Other CNNC programs such as Immigrant Health Access Project and UNCG’s AmeriCorps ACCESS Project were at nearby tables at the open house.

HES Dean Laura Sims noted that HES has helped with putting recycled computers in the center.

CNNC director Dan Beerman noted that UNCG students are regular volunteers at the two centers.

The international knitting group at Avalon Trace, which gathers once a week to converse and to knit and crochet, offers a selection of scarves, hats, pins and more for sale for the holidays. For more information about the knitting and this women’s group, contact Stephanie Baldwin.

By Mike Harris
Photography by Chris English

Notes: December 8, 2010

NotesIconHealthyUNCG is offering mini-grants to students and faculty mentors HealthyUNCG is a university initiative to support the health and well being of employees. In support of the university’s mission of teaching, research, and service and the strategic plan items to promote health, HealthyUNCG is offering mini-grants to encourage faculty-student collaboration to develop and implement activities aimed at understanding or improving the health of UNCG employees. This competitive mini-grant program offers resources to assist in the development and implementation of planned activities. For more information or to apply, see the attached application. Those with questions may contact Michelle Cathorall at healthy_uncg@uncg.edu. More information – and a downloadable application form – can be found at http://healthy.uncg.edu. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 14.

Gifts for older members of our community UNCG’s Delta Gamma Chapter of the Sigma Phi Omega national honor society invites faculty, students, alumni and friends) to giving to Seniors in our Community this holiday season. The chapter asks for your help in bringing a some joy during this busy time by making a contribution to “Santa for Seniors” sponsored cy Senior Resources of Guilford. This is a great opportunity for re-gifting unused items, they say. Gifts don’t have to be expensive or grand to have a big effect, the add. Some gift ideas: gift Certificates to drug stores or grocery stores; personal care items such as shampoo and tooth paste; clothing like socks, robes and sweater, slippers; Grocery items like canned food items, tea, coffee and cereal; Other items like flashlights, batteries, towels and large print books and magazines, stationery and stamps; and other donations. Bring your item(s) to the “Santa for Seniors” box in the Gerontology Department (219 McIver Building) by Friday, Dec. 10.

No. 1 Duke comes to town Dec. 29 Santa is not the only one coming to town. So are the defending champions Duke Blue Devils, ranked no. 1 in the country. Getting a ticket to a game on Duke’s home court is next to impossible, they’re in such demand. But tickets are on sale for UNCG-Duke game at the Greensboro Coliseum on Wednesday, Dec. 29, at 7 p.m. The best ticket deal is the 4 for $44 Family Pack, where you’ll receive four tickets, four sodas and one large popcorn. Seats are limited. Reserve yours by visiting the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office (where you’ll pay no service charge), visiting ticketmaster.com or calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000. Additionally, the men’s team will offer a Winter Holiday Special, Buy One, Get One Free ticket offer on Wednesday, Dec. 22, when the Spartans host the Richmond Spiders. Tip-off is set for noon. This offer is available through the UNCG Ticket Office at 4-3250, the Greensboro Coliseum Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com.

Women’s basketball and men’s wrestling Come celebrate the holiday and support our women’s basketball team as it takes on the Wofford Terriers on Saturday, Dec. 18, at 2 p.m. This “Family Day,” features pregame cookie decorating, games, hot chocolate, crafts and visits with Santa Claus. Faculty and staff receive free admission to all women’s basketball home events. And UNCG Wrestling will host the Southern Scuffle Dec. 29-30 in the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center. Thirty-one teams from across the nation will attend the Southern Scuffle, including Cornell, who currently holds the No. 1 ranking. In all, six of the top 25 programs will be in attendance this year; Michigan (No. 13), Edinboro (No. 15), Virginia (No. 20), NC State (No. 21), and Kent State (No. 25). Purchase your tickets for the Southern Scuffle by visiting the Coliseum Box Office or online at ticketmaster.com.

Honor for UNCG Opera UNCG’s “L’Enfant et les Sortlieges” production won second place in its division in the 2010 National Opera Association Opera Production Competition. David Holley (Music) notes that this is the 11th award for UNCG Opera in the competition – seven in first place and four in second place – in the 16 years UNCG has entered. The award will be presented at the NOA Convention in San Antonio on Jan. 9.

Graduate-level counseling students teamed up with the Triad Health Project to create an online resource for women living with HIV and AIDS. The online booklet “Project Thrive: Women Living Longer, Living Better with HIV/AIDS” is available at http://www.uncg.edu/ced/thrive. It includes information on such issues as disclosure of HIV-positive status, job-related questions, maintaining supportive relationships and self care. “Project Thrive” was a semester-long project undertaken by students in Dr. Christine Murray’s sexuality counseling class. Murray and the students promoted the resource at the Triad Health Project’s annual Winter Walk on Sunday, Dec. 5. “Project Thrive” was a response to the relative lack of services and resources for women with HIV/AIDS compared with men, Murray said. “It was really important to the students that they send a positive message of empowerment and hope to these women through this project. This was especially true after they learned how the health behaviors that HIV-positive women use really can lead to positive physical and mental health outcomes.” The Triad Health Project, based in Greensboro, is dedicated to HIV prevention, education and services. For more information, contact Murray at cemurray@uncg.edu. To learn more about the Triad Health Project, visit http://www.triadhealthproject.com/.

HealthyUNCG offers big discount It offers the 15-week Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less program to UNCG employees for only $5 if you attend 10 sessions. The cost is $30, payable at the first session, but if you attend 10 of the 15 sessions you will get a $25.00 refund. Eat Smart, Move More, Weigh Less is a weight-management program that uses strategies proven to work. Each lesson informs, empowers and motivates participants to live mindfully as they make choices about eating and physical activity. For more information or to register for any of the sessions. visit HealthyUNCG.

This issue is final CW of semester Happy holidays! After the holiday break, Campus Weekly will publish on Jan. 12, when it resumes its weekly schedule.

SERVE Center’s Regional Educational Laboratory-Southeast study regarding kindergarten literacy program A rigorous study conducted in the Mississippi Delta by the UNCG SERVE Center’s Regional Educational Laboratory-Southeast found that K-PAVE, an intervention designed to promote kindergarteners’ vocabulary development, had a significant positive impact on students. It was found that those students who received the K-PAVE intervention were one month further ahead in vocabulary development and academic knowledge at the end of kindergarten compared to their peers who did not receive K-PAVE. The study also found that K-PAVE training had a positive impact on teachers’ instructional practices. Kindergarten teachers trained in the intervention were significantly more likely than their peers who did not receive K-PAVE training to engage in activities intended to support students’ vocabulary and comprehension development. This study was the first independent test of the effectiveness of the K-PAVE vocabulary intervention, using a rigorous randomized design, and testing the intervention as implemented in multiple school districts. The SERVE Center has managed the U. S. Department of Education-funded Southeast Regional Educational Laboratory for nearly two decades. See more details about the SERVE Center and about the study.

Graduate School dean search committee is in place Applications for the position of dean of the Graduate School are being accepted. Screening of applications will begin on Feb. 1, 2011, and will continue until the position is filled. Candidates are asked to submit applications electronically to L. DiAnne Borders, Chair of the Search Committee, at borders@uncg.edu. Additional members of the search committee are Dr. Kenneth A. Snowden, Bryan School; Dr. Sandra J. Shultz, HHP; Dr. Laura A. Chesak, Graduate School; Dr. W. Richard Cowling, School of Nursing; Dr. William P. Carroll, School of Music, Theatre and Dance; Dr. David H. Demo, HES; Dr. Marinella Sandro, JSNN; Dr. Karen Katula, CA&S; Dr. Charels C. Bolton, CA&S; Tuisha Fernandes, Brayn School; Joshua P. Herron, Graduate Student, English; Dr. Terri L. Shelton, Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development; Ms. Mitzi Burchinal, Graduate School

Spartan Steps continues apace As of early December, Paul Siders from the Weatherspoon Gallery is the top stepper, while Aycock Auditorium is the leading department. There are 165 active participants in the Fall 2010 Spartan Steps, walking a total of 50,723,012 steps or approximately 25,210 miles. The average stepper has walked 5,041 steps per day or 2.51 miles. The challenge period ends in early January. “We walk every friday at noon, meeting at the clocktower on College Ave.,” says Sean Farrell (HRS). “All are invited!”

UNCG Budget Central web page Visit fsv.uncg.edu/budgetcentral to get updates related to the university’s budget. This web page is designed to keep the university community apprised of UNCG’s response to the unprecedented economic challenges facing North Carolina and the country. The web site provides relevant information from the system president, Chancellor Brady, the Office of State Budget and Management, and other important campus and North Carolina links related to the budget process and ongoing budget reduction plans. This web site will be updated as additional relevant information becomes available. At the web site, you can join a listserv to receive notification of web site updates.

“Hood To Coast” documentary by UNCG alum Christoph Baaden A former exchange student and UNCG alum, Christoph Baaden, has directed an independent film called “Hood To Coast, which is being released at select theaters nationwide. In Greensboro, the film will be played at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 11, at the Regal Grande. The film follows four teams with various levels of athletic ability on their epic journey to conquer the world’s largest relay race. This is a film about ordinary people on an extraordinary journey. It played very successfully at South by Southwest (SXSW) this year to sold-out non-runner crowds. Baaden received a master’s in Broadcasting & Cinema in 2001, winning a Student Emmy for his master’s thesis. After graduating, Baaden moved to Los Angeles. Read more about Baaden and “Hood To Coast,” in this Oregon Live article and this Huffington Post piece.

Campus People: December 8, 2010

011310CampusPeopleGraphicFeatured this week: Dr. Julie Mendez – Dr. Rosemery Nelson-Gray – Dr. Janet Boseovski – Dr. Stuart Marcovitch – Dr. Tom Matyok – Dr. Cathryne Schmitz – Dr. Hannah Mendoza – Dr. Dayna Touron – Andrew L. Wooten – Dr. Thomas Kwapil – David Kinsey – Steve Siler – Staff Stars – With the Staff [Read more…]

‘Art on Paper’ on View

120810EyeOnArts_ArtOnPaperThe 2010 Art on Paper biennial exhibition remains on view through Feb. 6. Xandra Eden, the Weatherspoon’s Curator of Exhibitions, invited seventy-five artists of regional and international significance to present unique works made on, or of, paper. [Read more…]

Announcements: December 8, 2010

Dr. Lew Brown, associate professor in the Bryan School of Business and Economics and recipient of a 2010 Alumni Teaching Excellence Award, will deliver the commencement address, “What Did You Learn Today?” For full details about the ceremony visit the Commencement Central Web site.

Chancellor Linda P. Brady will preside at the ceremony, where more than 1,000 students are expected to received degrees completed during the fall semester. August graduates can also participate.

Cory Joe Stewart, Theresa Campbell and Angela Robbins will receive the university’s first doctorates in history. The history PhD program admitted its first students in 2004 and now numbers more than a dozen students.

In addition to Brady and Brown, participants will include Dr. David H. Perrin, provost and executive vice chancellor; John Gamble, chair of the Faculty Senate; Randall Kaplan, chair of the UNCG Board of Trustees; Ann Goodnight, member of the UNC Board of Governors; Keith Ayscue, president of the Alumni Association; and Radmila Petric, speaker representing the December graduating class.

Also taking part in the ceremony will be academic deans; Dr. Daniel Winkler, faculty marshal and mace bearer; Stephen Pritchard, chief marshal; and Malik Barrows undergraduate tassel turner. At the conclusion, the University Bell will be rung by Angela Fate of the December class and Ann Phillips McCracken, an alumna of the Class of 1960. The Commencement Brass will provide music.

Newsmakers: December 8, 2010

Jerry Pubantz, Charles Prysby, Thom Little, Reade Taylor, Omar Ali, Geoffrey Baym, speech pathologists in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Jim Wren, Minita Sanghvi, Channelle James and Mike Byers are among UNCG individuals recently in the news.

Visit the Newsmakers web page.

Looking ahead: December 8-January 12, 2010

Exams start.
Wednesday, Dec. 8, 8 a.m.

Gallery talk for “Inquiring Eyes: Greensboro Collects Art” exhibition
Wednesday, Dec. 8, noon, Weatherspoon.

Women’s basketball vs. Radford.
Saturday, December 11, 2 p.m., Fleming Gym.

Noon @ the ‘Spoon, art tour, for “Art on Paper 2010”
Tuesday, Dec. 14, noon, Weatherspoon.

December commencement.
Thursday, Dec. 16, 10 a.m., Coliseum.

Men’s basketball vs. Duke.
Wednesday, Dec. 29, Coliseum.

Wrestling, Southern Scuffle.
Thursday, Dec. 30, Coliseum Complex.

more at calendar.uncg.edu

At MLK Celebration, One of Little Rock Nine

120810Feature_TerrenceRobertsDr. Terrence Roberts, one of the Little Rock Nine, will be the keynote speaker for UNCG’s 2011 Martin Luther King Day celebration on Tuesday, Jan.18.

The program will run from 7-9 p.m. in Aycock Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

The Little Rock Nine were the nine African-American students who entered Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, on Sept. 25, 1957, confronted by a hostile crowd and escorted by the Screaming Eagles of the 101st Airborne. The Supreme Court’s landmark Brown vs. Board of Education decision three years earlier struck down segregation in public schools and these nine children put the decision to the test.

Roberts was a 15-year-old junior when he entered Little Rock Central High school. Despite daily harassment, he completed his junior year but moved with his family to Los Angeles the following year and graduated from Los Angeles High School in 1959.

He went on to earn a BA in sociology from California State University at Los Angeles in 1967. This was followed by an MS in social welfare in 1970 from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1970 and a PhD in psychology from Southern Illinois University in 1976.

Roberts is CEO of Terrence J. Roberts & Associates, a management consultant firm devoted to fair and equitable practices. A much sought after speaker and presenter, Roberts also maintains a private psychology practice.

Roberts is the recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and the Spingarn Medal, an award created by NAACP president Joel Elias Spingarn in 1914 and awarded to African Americans who perform acts of distinguished merit and achievement. He serves on the boards of the Economic Resources Center in Southern California, the Pacific Oaks College in Pasadena and the Little Rock Nine Foundation.

His visit is sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

For more information, contact Mark Villacorta at mark_villacorta@uncg.edu.

Also in honor of the King holiday, United Campus Ministries, Multicultural Affairs and Dining Services are sponsoring a 2011 Interfaith Celebration Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 20.

The dinner is free and open to UNCG faculty, staff and students. It begins at 6 p.m. in the Associated Campus Ministries Building.

Seating is limited. RSVP to mark_villacorta@uncg.edu by Jan. 12.