UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Archives for July 2014

UNCG Music Camp retains title: America’s most popular

Photo of students rehearsingThe 32nd Annual Summer Music Camp program at UNCG is again hosting a capacity crowd of young musicians, retaining the title of largest university music camp in the nation.

Enrollment for 2014 is the largest in the history of the UNCG Summer Music Camp, with approximately 1,830 students in attendance. Since it began in 1983, some 54,000 student musicians have attended the camp.

“We’ve had a record demand for enrollment this year and it seems to grow every year,” said Dr. John R. Locke, founder and director of the music camp. In addition to the 1,830 students in the music camp, hundreds of others had to be turned away because all of the spaces had been filled.

The 2014 camp has drawn students from 15 states, from as far away as California, Vermont and Iowa, and three foreign countries. “Actually, nearly 200 students attended this summer from beyond the North Carolina border,” said Dr. Kevin Geraldi, associate camp director.

The Music Camp at UNCG is a large employer of both UNCG faculty and students as the total paid staff numbers approximately 150 persons, all of whom are musicians and music educators. “Many staff members merit regional, national and international acclaim,” said Dr. Randy Kohlenberg, associate camp director. “The quality and dedication of our entire staff is the single greatest strength of the UNCG Summer Music Camp.”

The Summer Music Camp, a program of the UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance, features two one-week camps with offerings for Senior Band, Junior Band, Beginner Band, Senior Orchestra, Junior Orchestra, Piano Camp and Senior Mixed Chorus. This year, the Music Camp expanded by offering an additional week of Senior Orchestra, and for the first time establishing a Junior Mixed Chorus.

In total, the camp this years has included 15 concert bands, four orchestras, four mixed choruses, and 160 pianists. Week No. 1 was July 13 – 18 and Week No. 2 is July 20 – 25, 2014, on the UNCG campus.

The concluding concerts this week will be held Friday evening, July 25, in four separate locations on campus. The concerts are free-admission:

Cone Ballroom – Elliott University Center
6:15 p.m.
Junior Orchestra
Red Junior Band

Auditorium – Elliott University Center
6:15 p.m.
Green Beginner Band
Gold Beginner Band

Aycock Auditorium
6:15 p.m.
Senior Orchestra
Taylor Senior Band
Aycock Senior Band

Taylor Theatre
6:15 p.m.
White Junior Band
Blue Junior Band

Music Building Recital Hall
6:15 p.m.
Piano Soloists & Piano Camp Chorus
Senior Mixed Chorus

Editor’s note: Updated July 24, 8 a.m. to revise locations for two bands.

UNCG Economics faculty research earns high national ranking

Photo of Bryan BuildingUNCG’s Department of Economics, housed in the Bryan School of Business and Economics, has been ranked as one of the nation’s best for faculty-published economic research.

The department is ranked No. 7 in the nation for research on innovation, securing the top spot among economics departments at public universities. The department ranked No. 6 in the research field of program evaluation (third among public universities) and No. 7 in the nation for research on entrepreneurship.

The rankings are based on citation counts from the Research Papers in Economics (RePEc) ranking database, which is hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

“I’m proud of the research conducted by economists in the Bryan School. These rankings are a testament to the commitment of our faculty,” said Dr. Jeremy Bray, chair of the department. “I’m particularly proud that we rank so highly in applied research fields that have tangible benefits for our students, businesses and organizations. The knowledge our faculty imparts helps create exceptional problem solvers who can tackle issues innovatively, ethically, globally and sustainably.”

UNCG’s Department of Economics uses an integrated curriculum of theory and application to prepare students to model and analyze large complex data sets. The department offers a bachelor’s and doctoral degree in economics, and a master’s degree in applied economics.

“Innovation is a critical part of our mission in the Bryan School, and this demonstrates how the economics department is aiding us in achieving that aspect of our mission,” said Bryan School Dean McRae C. Banks. “Additionally, because UNCG’s master’s and doctoral programs in economics have an applied, rather than theoretical, focus, program evaluation research is essential to be able to demonstrate that we deliver on what we say we do.”

By Lanita Withers Goins
Full story at UNCG Now.

Nurses, employers benefit from UNCG partnerships

Dr. Algie Gatewood and Chancellor Linda P. Brady signing agreementUNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady and Dr. Algie Gatewood, president of Alamance Community College, have cemented an agreement that will bring UNCG’s bachelor’s degree in nursing (BSN) to the community college’s Graham campus.

For associate degree nursing graduates and RNs in the area, the new partnership means a convenient path to employment and career advancement. For health care providers, it means an increasingly qualified workforce of nurses. For patients, the bottom line is better care.

Outreach programs like this one are crucial for nurses, says Dr. Robin Remsburg, dean of UNCG’s School of Nursing. “Having the BSN really facilitates their mobility within the health care system. The BSN is looked on as a gateway to graduate education for nurses.”

The Alamance program, which starts in Spring 2015, will primarily serve the community college’s recent associate degree nursing graduates beginning with an initial cohort of 25-50 students. Other RNs in the area may join the cohort as availability permits. A hybrid of in-person and online classes will be taught by UNCG nursing faculty, with in-person classes located in Graham.

Health care providers increasingly prefer or require nurses to have the BSN as research shows having BSN-credentialed nurses at the bedside improves patient outcomes, Remsburg says. The Institute of Medicine’s 2010 report on The Future of Nursing, recommends that at least 80 percent of bedside nurses have the BSN degree by 2020.

“The collaboration with Alamance Community College is an important component of the School of Nursing’s plan to meet the changing needs of nurses and employers,” says Dr. Anita Tesh, associate dean for undergraduate study in the school. “Similar programs are being launched at Davidson County Community College and Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, and others sites are under consideration.”

The BSN cohorts at Davidson and Rowan-Cabarrus start in Fall 2014. Those two programs are supported by a $100,000 grant from Northwest AHEC (Area Health Education Center), Tesh says. “We are targeting new associate degree graduates, to support the Institute of Medicine report’s call for a ‘seamless transition’ from ADN to BSN.”

By Michelle Hines
Photography by Chris English
Full story at UNCG Now.

Bonita Brown named vice chancellor

Photo of Bonita BrownChancellor Linda P. Brady shares this message with the campus community:

We are all pleased that UNCG completed a successful SACS accreditation process this year. Although the review was successful, the process revealed the university has become much more complex over the past decade and highlighted the need to centralize strategic compliance under a unified accountability structure. To address these specific needs, I have asked Chief of Staff Bonita Brown to assume responsibility for strategic leadership and management of university-wide compliance functions.

In this expanded role, Bonita will oversee several direct reports, including a director of compliance with oversight of Title IX; the associate chief of staff, who manages the university policy process; a Board liaison, who assists with the logistics and strategies of Board of Trustee meetings; and the chair of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Together, these functions will create an organization structure that encourages, supports and promotes a strong model for governance and compliance across the entire campus.

Bonita will maintain her responsibilities as chief of staff and assistant secretary to the Board of Trustees. To reflect the expanded scope of her role, she has been given the additional title of vice chancellor, with her annual compensation remaining at its current level.

Bonita, who holds a bachelor’s degree and J.D. from Wake Forest University, is exceptionally qualified for this expanded role. Since joining UNCG in 2010, she has led the successful development and implementation of university policies and handled a wide range of matters for the Chancellor’s Office. Please join me in congratulating Bonita on her expanded role.

State of the Campus Address Aug. 13

Chancellor Linda P. Brady will deliver the State of the Campus Address 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014, in Aycock Auditorium. Afterward, faculty and staff are invited to the traditional luncheon at Moran Commons and Plaza. The luncheon will begin at 11:15 a.m.

Welcome students at August 18 ‘House Calls’

Photo of volunteers walking to residence hallsUNCG is known for its supportive environment. UNCG’s House Calls program is one more way UNCG provides a warm welcome to its students.

UNCG’s House Calls program welcomes first-year residence hall students to the UNCG campus community and provides them with an opportunity to interact with faculty, staff and administrators on a personal level. This type of interaction can have a significant impact on students’ success and increase retention.

House Calls will take place Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, from 5:15 -7 p.m., including a dinner and brief volunteer orientation.

If you volunteer for this program, you will work with a UNCG colleague(s) visiting first-year students in one of the residence halls on campus. As a volunteer you will have an opportunity to do the following:

  • Interact with 10-20 students in a residence hall setting. You will visit students in their residence hall room and have a brief conversation with them about transitioning to college and their first day of school – and answer general questions about the university.
  • Provide students with “a bag of success” to assist with their transition to the university.
  • Have dinner with other volunteers. A salad and baked potato bar with dessert will be served from 5:15 – 6 p.m. in the EUC’s Alexander Room. Volunteer check-in will begin at 5 p.m
  • Hear a welcome from UNCG’s new provost, Dr. Dana Dunn.
  • Participate in a brief orientation. During dinner, you will receive the necessary information and materials to prepare you for the House Calls experience.

Deadline for volunteer sign-up is Monday, Aug. 11, 2014.

The registration form may be found at http://hrl.uncg.edu/home/news/news_items/house_calls/house_calls_volunteer.php

For more information, contact UNCG Housing and Residence Life at 336-334-5636 or hrl@uncg.edu.

Visual: One group of “House Calls” staff and faculty at last year’s event

‘Web Design and Usability’ is new UNCG MOOC

This summer, take an online course on web design and usability. It’s one of a pair of Massive, Open, Online Courses (MOOCs) UNCG is offering as it pilot tests the concept.

“It’s a guided experience. It’s self-paced,” says Dr. Anthony Chow, who along with UNCG’s Division of Continual Learning created the course. “There are hands-on projects and opportunities for discussion.” You will even learn a little about HTML coding and also the popular WordPress platform – and use them both. The course is not-for-credit.

The course takes on the question: How do I design, develop and evaluate usable digital environments? The emphasis is on usability and being user-friendly.

A UNCG Leadership Institute team last fall found that of UNCG’s 18 nationwide peer universities, six offer MOOCs. UNCG is testing the waters with two offerings. The first UNCG MOOC – “The Soul and the Search for Meaning” – launched in the spring.

The “Web Design and Usability” course opened June 30 – and learners may register at any time.

In general, MOOCs hold potential for online learning for a lot of people who may not have access to university courses. They can serve as a way for people who left college years ago to take an online course to see if completing a degree might be feasible for them.

You could finish in a few weeks. But most will take it at a slower pace. People may take advantage of particular units, or take the entire course in sequence.

A great benefit for those taking this MOOC is the opportunity to build relationships with other people across the world with similar interests, Chow explains. It will be a nexus of people, throughout the world, who can connect with each other. And UNCG will be a part of that connection.

Through the MOOC he can share his expertise and help make a positive impact. The experience will be helpful with his ongoing research. A professor of Library and Information Studies and director of online learning in UNCG’s School of Education, he notes it provides a learning experience for his Education students who take part in the online discussions. And it helps promote UNCG – the Spartan mascot and UNCG’s beautiful Taylor Garden are featured in the first video clip.

Even online, people like that sense of place, he explains. People prefer to be a part of universities’ MOOCs, he says, because “they like the brick and mortar of the university.”

Students can take the self-paced course online when they choose, from anywhere they want to learn. A certificate is available to those who complete the course in its entirety.
More information on the course may be found at moocs.uncg.edu. To register, visit moocs.uncg.edu/sign-up.

By Mike Harris

Associate vice chancellor Paul Mason speaks with Staff Senate

Photo of Paul MasonPaul Mason, who joined UNCG in the spring as associate vice chancellor of marketing and strategic communication, shared some of his priorities and vision at the July 10 Staff Senate meeting.

The goals of University Relations, as the department aligns marketing and strategic communications to build UNCG’s reputation, are twofold: help increase student enrollment, retention and graduation rates, and help increase financial support for the university.

He shared information from a recent, informal University Advancement study of approximately 100 Greensboro-area residents who responded to questions about their perception of UNCG. When asked “What could UNCG do better?” one-third of the respondents indicated that UNCG could do a better job of marketing and self promotion. University Relations, he said, is focused on two cost-effective ways of promoting the university in the current financial environment: traditional PR and social media.

In responding to a question about the “Do something bigger altogether” marketing initiative, Mason indicated that University Relations will be seeking feedback from students and prospective students, in particular, on the impact of the effectiveness of the campaign. He said UNCG’s marketing messages will continue to evolve over time, as will the home page of the university’s website. In addition, UNCG Magazine will be tabled for the foreseeable future as publication and mailing costs have become prohibitive. The university and Alumni Association plan to share the same types of information, including class notes and success stories, with alumni through more cost-effective and sustainable communication channels, including e-mail and digital communications.

Finally, Mason encouraged the senators to contact University Relations as compelling success stories arise in their departments.

“Since joining UNCG several months ago, I have been impressed with all of the great work being done by our students, faculty, staff and alumni. We have many wonderful stories to tell about their achievements. In University Relations, our mission is to raise the university’s visibility and enhance our reputation by telling these stories in a bigger, more impactful way,” Mason said.

Maggie Chrismon and Sean Farrell will lead 2014-15 Staff Senate

Photo of Maggie Chismon and Sean FarrellThe new co-chairs of UNCG Staff Senate led their first full meeting July 10. Maggie Chrismon and Sean Farrell gave a warm welcome to the senators gathered in the Virginia Dare Room.

Maggie Chrismon serves the university in the Office of Space Management, where she is space coordinator for the university. In that role, she has visited many departments and gotten to know lots of employees. She joined the staff in 2006, but she was a Spartan before that. “I am an alumna of UNCG, having received a Bachelor of Science from the Department of Interior Architecture in 2003,” she notes.

“I am entering my third year with Staff Senate and am excited about the opportunities and challenges Sean and I will face as co-chairs this year,” she adds.

Sean Farrell has been a part of the UNCG staff for 15 years, 13 of which have been with Human Resources. He is information technology analyst in HR. “Being a part of Human Resources has afforded me the opportunity to meet a very large number of extraordinary people at UNCG, many of whom I’m happy to count as colleagues and friends,” he says.

“This will be my fourth year on the Senate and I feel fortunate to be counted among a group of excellent senators, both returning and new.”

They discussed with the senators three primary goals for the coming year:

  • Strengthen Staff Senate’s working relationship with the Faculty Senate, working to ensure that faculty and staff have a voice in the strategic direction of the university.
  • Foster staff engagement and morale through the senate’s committee work, particularly Employee Recognition and Morale, Professional and Personal Development, and Service committees
  • Work to promote employee engagement outside of the senate within the university at-large.

 

Looking ahead: July 23, 2014

Film, ‘How to Cook Your Life’
Thursday, July 24, 7 p.m., Weatherspoon

‘Matisse and His Muses’ exhibition opens
Saturday, Aug. 2, Weatherspoon

UNCG New Faculty Orientation begins
Monday, Aug. 11, noon, Weatherspoon (Registration and Schedule)

Noon @ the ‘Spoon art tour
Tuesday, Aug. 12, Weatherspoon

Chancellor’s State of the Campus address
Wednesday, Aug. 13, 10:30 a.m., Aycock Auditorium

Staff Senate meeting
Thursday, Aug. 14, 10 a.m., Alumni House

With the Staff: Mid-July, 2014

Hello: Taylor Trantham, Public Safety & Police; John Joseph, Housing & Residence Life; New Yi, Housing & Residence Life; Morgan Lanier, Housing & Residence Life; James Hemingway, Housing & Residence Life

Good-bye: Tyrone Bennett, Housing & Residence Life; Franklin Jones, HHS; Paul Spoon, Parking Operations

Orientation for new faculty Aug. 11-12

UNCG’s 2014 New Faculty Orientation will begin at noon Monday, Aug. 11, in the Weatherspoon Art Museum. It will continue on Aug. 12. A link for registration, as well as a full schedule, is at http://commons.uncg.edu/communities/index.php/New-Faculty.

Spartan Club exceeds goal for third straight year

The UNCG Spartan Club, the official fundraising organization for UNCG Athletics, exceeded its annual scholarship fund goal for the third consecutive year and had a double-digit percentage increase for the third straight year.

The 2013-14 athletic scholarship fund goal was $375,000 and the Spartan Club eclipsed that mark by raising $375,978, an all-time high and a 10 percent increase over last year’s total. Additionally, the Spartan Club set a record for the number of donors to the athletic scholarship fund with a total of 887 donors.

The highlight of the year was the launch of the True Spartan Challenge, a student-athlete giving campaign that saw 100 percent of UNCG student-athletes make a gift back to their team enrichment funds.

By Matt McCollester
Full story at UNCG Athletics website.

Reaccreditation for UNCG’s MPA program

UNCG’s Master’s of Public Affairs (MPA) program in Political Science has been fully reaccredited by NASPAA for seven years. The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs, and Administration (NASPAA) is the global standard in public service education. UNCG’s MPA program serves as preparation for professional positions in public service. The program began in 1976 and has been continuously accredited by NASPAA since 1993. Dr. Ruth DeHoog is the program’s director.

Physical Fitness and Memory

Researchers at UNCG are interested in understanding the relationship between physical fitness and memory. If you qualify to participate, you will be invited to attend a single session on the UNCG campus which takes approximately 90 minutes.

Inclusion criteria: Age of 18-25 years old or 50-65 years old, and no medical issues that preclude participation in a submaximal fitness test. Exclusion criteria (determined through questionnaires): Clinical cognitive impairment or uncorrected visual or hearing impairment. Procedures: Fill out questionnaires to ensure your eligibility to be in the study (about 15 minutes); perform three computerized cognitive tasks (about 60 minutes); complete a submaximal test to measure your physical fitness (about 15 minutes). For more information, contact Chia-Hao Shih at c_shih2@uncg.edu or 334-3275.

In memoriam: Robert A. Darnell

Robert A. Darnell died July 6. He was a professor of piano at UNCG from 1948 to 1988. His obituary notes that he was a consummate teacher and loved hearing of his students’ later achievements in their music careers. His obituary may be found at http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Robert-Darnell&lc=7294&pid=171641490&mid=6037403.

In memoriam: Jenny Raabe

Jenny Raabe died July 12. As a University Libraries technician for 13 years, she worked first in Jackson Library, then in the Harold Schiffman Music Library. She served from May 2000, until retirement in April 2013. Her obituary is at http://www.news-record.com/obituaries/article_77a06ba4-0e79-5222-84e3-6e98e4a7b269.html. She spoke about her work as a lifelong learner, as a Libraries employee – and her background in Germany – in this University Libraries video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgPeUfeRGRI.

How university community is informed when an employee has died

What’s the procedure for informing the campus when a UNCG employee – or retired employee – has passed away?

If the faculty or staff member is currently employed by UNCG, an email communication will be sent to the campus on behalf of the Office of the Chancellor. Please fill out the form located at http://ure.uncg.edu/prod/cweekly/uncg-employee-death-notices to provide the needed information for this email communication. In addition to the email communication, an announcement will be shared in Campus Weekly.

If the faculty or staff member is retired or is a former employee, each unit is asked to share the news as deemed appropriate. Also, please fill out the form at http://ure.uncg.edu/prod/cweekly/uncg-employee-death-notices so the news can be shared in Campus Weekly.

If you have any questions, contact the Campus Weekly editor at mdharri3@uncg.edu or 256-0230.

Dr. Laura K. Taylor

Photo of Dr. Laura K. TaylorDr. Laura K. Taylor (Peace and Conflict Studies) received a 2014 APA Division 52 Student International Research Award for her dissertation, “Does violence beget violence? Factors moderating trajectories of youth aggression in a context of political violence.” She joined UNCG in Fall 2013 as an assistant professor in the Department of Peace and Conflict Studies. Her research applies a risk and resilience framework to examine the impact of political violence on children, families and communities in Colombia, Croatia and Northern Ireland. She is expanding this international research to work with immigrant and refugee youth in the United States.

Dr. Wendy McColskey

Dr. Wendy McColskey (SERVE) received new funding from the the South Carolina Department of Education for the project “South Carolina School Improvement Grant Evaluation.”

Dr. Susan Letvak

Photo of Dr. Susan LetvakDr. Susan Letvak (Adult Health / Nursing) received new funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration for the project “UNCG’s Veteran Access Program (VAP) To Prepare BSN Nurses.” The purpose of UNCG School of Nursing’s (SON) proposed Veteran Access Program for Nurses (UNCG-VAP) is to provide medically trained veterans in central North Carolina and South Central Virginia with access and specialized support in an innovative educational program to obtain a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing.

Dr. Joseph Lee Beverly

Photo of Dr. Joseph Lee BeverlyDr. Joseph Lee Beverly (Nutrition) received funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Hypoglycemia-induced changes in the VMH glucose metabolome and HAAF.”

Dr. Mitch Croatt

Photo of Dr. Mitch CroattDr. Mitch Croatt (Chemistry and Biochemistry) has received new funding from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center for the project “Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Potent Neuroprotective Agents.”

Dr. Eileen Kohlenberg

Photo of Dr. Eileen KohlenbergDr. Eileen Kohlenberg (Adult Health / Nursing) received a renewal of funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration for the project “Nurse Anesthetist Program (NAT).”

Dr. Maya Elobeid

Photo of Dr. Maya ElobeidDr. Maya Elobeid (Center for New North Carolinians) will receive new funding from the United Way of Greater Greensboro for the project “Newcomers CLASS (Culture, Language and Adult Self Sufficiency).” For newly arrived refugees into Greensboro, language, transportation, isolation, lack of cultural brokers, and misunderstanding/lack of knowledge of American education and cultural activities present an on-going concern as refugees seek to orient to the United States. The project’s objectives are to help newly arrived immigrants manage their transition and begin the process of cultural integration by learning English, providing job readiness skills for adults, and acting as a cultural broker.

Dr. Emily Janke

Photo of Emily JankeThe Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the New England Resource Center for Higher Education have announced Dr. Emily Janke, director of UNCG’s Institute for Community & Economic Engagement and associate professor in Peace and Conflict Studies, will be a member of the National Advisory Panel for the 2015 Elective Community Engagement Classification process. Established in 2006, the National Advisory Panel plays an integral role in reviewing applications and offering assessments as to which institutions qualify to receive the Community Engagement Classification. In addition, the Panel provides guidance and insight around issues that help shape the content and administration of the Classification in future years. Members of the National Advisory Panel are recognized nationally and internationally as leading scholars in community engagement.

Dr. Jeffrey Sarbaum

Photo of Dr. Jeffrey SarbaumDr. Jeffrey Sarbaum (Economics) received funding from North Carolina A&T State University for the project “The Math You Need, When You Need It: Modular Student Resources to Promote Successful Integration of Quantitative Concepts in Introductory Economics Courses.” This project addresses previously identified math/quantitative skill barriers for student success in introductory economics courses by adapting the successful geosciences web-based student quantitative skills tutorial and assessment framework developed by Wenner, Baer, and Burn for economics. The project goal is to improve student learning in introductory economics courses by overcoming student inability to apply math concepts necessary for understanding core economic concepts. After initial testing at 12 varied institutions , 10 learning modules will be available through Starting Point: Teaching and Learning Economics, where 16 pedagogical modules already have significant use by economics instructors. Adoption at community colleges (an important focus of this project), where an estimated 40 percent of U.S. students taking introductory economics courses are taught, will be promoted through resources developed by Adapting Effective Outreach and Workshop Practices to Improve Community College Economics Instruction.

Dr. Thomas R. Kwapil

Photo of Thomas R. KwapilIn early February 2012, the University Libraries and the Office of Research & Economic Development created an Open Access Publishing Support Fund in order to support faculty, EPA employees, and graduate students who are becoming increasingly involved in open access publishing. A grant of $1,000 was recently awarded to Dr. Thomas R. Kwapil, associate dean for research, Department of Psychology, for the article “Worries about Being Judged versus Being Harmed: Disentangling the Association of Social Anxiety and Paranoia with Schizotypy.”

Information about the guidelines and the application process for this support fund, as well as a link to an online application form, can be found at: http://uncg.libguides.com/scholarlycomm.

Dr. Stephanie Daniel

Dr. Stephanie Daniel (Center for Youth, Family & Community Partnerships) received a continuation of funding from Duke University for the project “Cognitive and Affective Mechanisms of Risk for Suicidal Thoughts and Behaviors.” Over the last 15 years, the researchers have had great success in following a sample of formerly psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents through adulthood to help us better understand the risk and course suicidal thoughts and behavior, the abstract states. “Using longitudinal data from this study, we have recently examined sensitization as a process that may contribute to recurrent suicidal behavior, the predictive validity of clinical characteristics of suicidal behavior, and differing developmental trajectories in suicide ideation and attempts from adolescence through adulthood. With this revised renewal application, we propose to study cognitive and affective mechanisms that we hypothesize are associated with suicidal thoughts and behavior. This study is consistent with the Research Domain Criteria (RDoC) initiative of NIH and a cognitive and affective neuroscience approach for assessing mechanisms associated with risk. This study also has clear translational implications for prediction of suicidal thoughts and behavior, and for intervention development for individuals with differing histories of suicidal thoughts and behavior.”

Dr. Susan Keane

Dr. Susan KeaneDr. Susan Keane (Psychology) received a continuation of funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services for the project “Reducing Barriers and Promoting Access to Culturally Competent Care for Underserved Populations: An Integrated, Interdisciplinary Model for Graduate Training.” The project seeks to address several of the unmet needs identified in a recent evaluation regarding the State of Mental Health in Guilford County, NC (Graves et al., 2010). Recommendations from this report are consistent with the goals and objectives at state, regional and national levels [(Healthy People 2020; Healthy North Carolinians 2020; National Standards for Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services in Health Care (CLAS)] and form the basis for the training objectives she proposes.

See/hear: July 23, 2014

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The Gladys Strawn Bullard awards were created to recognize members of the UNCG faculty, staff, and student body for outstanding leadership and service. At the 2014 UNCG Faculty & Staff Excellence Awards celebration, Dr. Kelly Rowett-James, Jim Clark, and Yuliana Rodriguez each received the award. This video, screened at the celebration, shows why each received this honor.

UNCG Consumer, Apparel & Retail Studies earns high national ranking

Photo from past Threads fashion showUNCG’s Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies (CARS) has been ranked as the 13th best fashion program in the nation by the website Fashion-Schools.org, a jump of 10 spots from the 2013 placement.

The CARS program ranked as the third best program in the South, up two spots from last year, and received the website’s best ranking among programs in the state of North Carolina.

“This jump in the rankings is a direct reflection of the tremendous dedication and hard work of the faculty, staff and students in CARS,” said Dr. Nancy J. Hodges, professor and incoming chair of the department. “We are extremely pleased to know that our continued efforts to ensure that CARS students develop the requisite skills and real-world experiences necessary for professional success are leading to such positive and widespread recognition for the CARS department and its degree programs.”

Fashion programs were judged on their academic reputation, admission selectivity, value, location, depth and breadth of the program and faculty.

By Lanita Withers Goins

Digging smarter, with satellite imagery

Photo of Paleontologist Robert AnemonePaleontologist Robert Anemone’s wrong turn turned out to be a happy accident that led him to a rich cache of 50 million-year-old fossil mammals. That was back in 2009 as he and his team from Western Michigan University explored a remote, 10,000-square-kilometer region of badlands in southwestern Wyoming known as the Great Divide Basin.

“Every paleontologist has a story like that,” he says. “They’re like urban folktales except they’re true. We’re out there walking and searching for 8-10 hours a day, and sometimes when we find our best things, serendipity plays a large role. And its always been that way, as far as I can tell, in the history of paleontology.”

Rather than leave future discoveries to chance, Dr. Anemone, who now heads UNCG’s Department of Anthropology, is pioneering a high-tech method of fossil hunting. Teaming up with a geographer and remote-sensing specialist, Anemone is harnessing satellite imagery and artificial intelligence to train computers to help find fossils.

Finding a fossil in the Great Divide Basin is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. Paleontologists like Anemone typically spend a month in the field every summer, often with a crew of 8-10 undergraduate and graduate students and colleagues. But with the enormous size of the basin, deciding where to search for fossils has traditionally been a matter of following dusty two-track roads in search of deposits that may or may not contain fossils.

In 2009, after taking a wrong turn down an unfamiliar road that disappeared in some tall sagebrush, Anemone’s team was lucky to find a fossil-laden sandstone deposit, which they dubbed “Tim’s Confession” after Tim Held, the graduate student who found the first fossils there. Within an hour or two of collecting fossils, Anemone knew his team had literally stumbled upon one of the richest fossil mammal sites of this antiquity in the American West.

Late one night in camp shortly after they found Tim’s Confession, Anemone and his crew found themselves gazing at the spectacular night sky high above the Wyoming wilderness. Among the millions of stars, dozens of constellations, and magnificent horizon-to-horizon display of the Milky Way, they noticed a satellite crossing the sky. And an idea crossed Anemone’s mind.

Might the satellite imagery of the basin, coupled with state-of-the-art approaches from the geographic sciences, improve their odds of finding other fossil deposits? He contacted Jay Emerson, a geographer at Western Michigan, and together they developed a computer model to analyze Landsat imagery of the basin in order to predict other areas that most closely matched the “spectral signature” of their known fossil-bearing locations.

Anemone returned to the Great Divide Basin in 2012 and 2013 to test their model. His team found fossils at 25 of 31 areas identified by the computer model, a much higher success rate than they were used to based on their earlier work in the area. This month, they’ll return to the site for more work.

For paleontologists, the first question is where to search. “Traditionally paleontologists have just said, ‘Well let’s go down this road and take a look.’ But our work suggests there is a better way,” Anemone says. “It took us 15 years to find this incredible locality that is Tim’s Confession, and I can’t afford to wait 15 more years to find another one. I want to improve my odds.”

Anemone has been digging in the Great Divide Basin since 1994, turning up a wide variety of Eocene mammals. His lab and his office on the fourth floor of the Graham building, are a repository for the jaws and teeth of Eocene mammals (including some of the first rodents, horses, primates and carnivores), reptiles (like crocodiles, turtles, lizards and snakes) and fish. The fossils date to 50-55 million years ago, at the boundary of the Paleocene and Eocene eras.

Anemone’s work at the Basin this summer is supported by a $180,000, two-year National Science Foundation grant.

“We’re at the leading edge of applying this stuff to paleontology,” he says. “We’re pushing the field in a new direction.”

By Michelle Hines
Full story at UNCG Now.

GEAR UP Camp at UNCG spurs college access

Photo of camp activityMore than two dozen eighth-graders from across the state descended on the UNCG campus in June for a three-day, two-night immersion in college life.

The new GEAR UP leadership camp at UNCG is a partnership between the university’s Department of Counseling and Educational Development and GEAR UP NC, a federally funded program to help kids from disadvantaged school districts envision themselves as college students. For Dr. DiAnne Borders, one of the counselor education professors overseeing the camp, the message she wants campers to take away is simple: College is for everyone.

“I want them to see that they have a lot of potential that in the eighth grade they may not realize yet,” she said. “It’s about whether you can see yourself on a college campus. If no one in your family has been to college, it’s hard to see that for yourself. Of course, we hope some of them will choose UNCG.”

GEAR UP is an acronym for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Borders and her colleagues Dr. Laura Gonzalez and Dr. Erik Hines have worked closely with the College Foundation of North Carolina researching ways to overcome roadblocks, like limited finances, that get in the way of college. Their work led to the relationship with GEAR UP NC, and the camp.

By Michelle Hines
Full story – and a photo gallery – are at UNCG Now.

UNCG Board of Trustees elects new officers for 2014-15

Photo of Susan SafranThe UNCG Board of Trustees recently elected new officers for the 2014-15 academic year and welcomed two new board members.

Susan Safran, who previously served as vice chair, was elected board chair. Safran, who received a bachelor’s of science degree in nursing from UNCG, also serves on the Athletics Committee. She is the founder and former owner of CPR Consultants Inc., an American Heart Association training center in Raleigh.

Other board members elected as officers are: Linda Carlisle, vice chair; Ward Russell, secretary; Charles Blackmon, executive committee member; and Frances Bullock, executive committee member.

In addition to electing new officers, the board welcomed Brad Hayes and Simone Stephens as new members.

Hayes, who recently retired as executive vice president and chief financial officer for LabCorp in Burlington, joined the board and assumed the unexpired term of Martin Weissburg through June 30, 2015. A UNCG graduate, Hayes was honored in 2013 with the Bryan School of Business & Economics Distinguished Alumni Award.

Stephens, a senior from Spotsylvania, Va., was elected by the student body as UNCG’s Student Government Association president. She will serve a one-year term as a voting board member.

“On behalf of the Board of Trustees and our faculty, staff and students at UNCG, we are pleased to welcome Brad Hayes and Simone Stephens to the board. We look forward to working with them and the entire board to advance UNCG’s success as a leading public university in North Carolina,” said Board Chair Susan Safran.

By Michelle Hines