UNCG Campus Weekly

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

UNCG Nursing first in the world for more realistic birthing simulator

photo of birth simulatorActive labor can be one of the riskiest moments in a woman and her infant’s life. Thanks to a new, state-of-the-art full-body childbirth simulator, UNCG nursing students will be prepared for even the most critical live birth scenarios.

UNCG School of Nursing is the first school in the world to own the new version of “SimMom,” a high-tech female mannequin (accompanied by a simulated 6-pound newborn, placenta and umbilical cord) that allows students to simulate routine vaginal birthing scenarios and births with complications such as breech and vacuum-assisted deliveries, inverted uterus, and prolapsed cord.

Students engage in the entire labor and delivery process, monitoring vitals and administering fluids and medications. Instructors use a laptop to control the robot’s responses, creating an experience for students that is remarkably realistic. The event is recorded so students and faculty can debrief together.

Between 1990 and 2013, the maternal mortality ratio for the USA more than doubled from an estimated 12 to 28 maternal deaths per 100,000 births, according to the World Health Organization. With this new version of SimMom, UNCG is at the forefront of helping to reduce these numbers.

Nursing students have used an older version of the simulator for years, but the mannequin was limited in what it could do to provide real-life scenarios.

In the fall, 100 nursing students will be interacting with and learning from the SimMom upgrade, which the school purchased for $45,000 from Laerdal, the Norwegian vendor of medical simulation and clinical education equipment.

See Spectrum News report and WXII report on the new SimMom in UNCG Nursing.

By Elizabeth Harrison
Photography of the demonstration by Martin W. Kane

Welcome to new Spartans: Open call for UNCG House Calls volunteers

Photo of PeopleHere’s a call for UNCG faculty and staff volunteers:

Are you ready? It is that time of year once again to welcome our newest Spartans to the UNCG community. The Division of Student Affairs and Housing and Residence Life need your support for the 9th annual House Calls big event. The purpose of the House Calls program is to welcome new students to campus and to provide them with an opportunity to interact with faculty members, administrators and staff on a personal level. Research supports the significant impact these interactions have on student retention and success. Consequently, this program is a valuable asset to the UNCG campus as we strive to be a more engaged and learner-centered community.

Volunteers are essential to help reach the approximately 2,300 new first year residential students joining the UNCG community this academic year. This is your opportunity to see students in their personal living environment, hear about their first week of classes, and show your Spartan Pride!

House Calls will take place on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. If you volunteer for this program, you will be assigned to a team of UNCG colleagues to visit 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 students in a residence hall environment. You will greet students at their residence hall room; initiate a very brief conversation with them about transitioning to college and ask about their first week of college life. You may be asked a few general questions about the University and your role in the community.
  • Provide students with a “welcome bag of success” provided by Housing & Residence Life to support their transition to college and overall academic success.
    Have dinner with fellow volunteers in the Elliott University Center (EUC), Cone Ballroom. Volunteer check-in will be 5:15 p.m.-5:45 p.m. and volunteers will be dismissed to their assigned residence halls at 6:30 p.m. and should complete visitation no later than 7:30 p.m.
  • Participate in a brief orientation. During dinner, Housing and Residence Life staff will provide the necessary information and materials to prepare you for your House Calls experience.

REGISTER: To volunteer for this program, click the link below to complete the volunteer form:

Deadline for volunteer sign-up is Monday, Aug. 8, 2017. For more information, contact Erica E. Farrar, Senior Assistant Director for Residence Life and Academic Enhancement (erica.farrar@uncg.edu) or the main HRL office at 336-334-5636.

Dr. Dana Dunn,

Dr. Cherry Callahan
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

UNCG CHANCE opens path to education

Photo of Students WritingSixty-one Latino high school students from across the state traveled to Greensboro last week to take part in UNCG CHANCE (Campamento Hispano Abriendo Nuestro Camino a la Educación/Hispanic Camp Opening the Path to Education), a three-day, intensive college readiness experience.

Students attended classes taught by UNCG faculty, participated in cultural activities, learned about financial aid and enjoyed all that UNCG’s campus has to offer – including meals at the Caf and a game night at the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

“This program is so important because many Latino students don’t realize that going to college is feasible,” said Kattya Castellón, associate director of Latino education affairs in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. “Because of the lack of exposure to the higher education system, or other obstacles they may encounter, they may not see college as an option.”

In addition, students worked in groups – with help from UNCG faculty – to create videos about how their experience at CHANCE impacted their lives. On the final day of camp, students presented these videos to their parents.

For UNCG graduate student Marisa Gonzalez, one of 16 CHANCE mentors, the program was an opportunity to give back.

“I was once in their shoes, and I still remember how difficult it was,” she said. “This program inspired students – they saw firsthand that it is possible to go to college, and that there is a lot of financial help available.”

CHANCE was funded by the Frontier Set, a new model of partnership and sharing best practices to improve student outcomes in higher education. The Frontier Set is managed by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) through funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

CHANCE also received support from the Office of Enrollment Management, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, the Office of Intercultural Engagement and other units across campus.

See more at UNCG Now web site.

Finishing touches, as Spartan Village II prepares to open

photo of bulidingThe current phase of construction along West Gate City Boulevard is coming to a close. And hundreds of Spartan students will soon enjoy a new home away from home, in Spartan Village II.

“We’ll open on time for the fall semester,” said Jorge Quintal, associate vice chancellor for facilities.

Last week, furniture began to be moved into the two new residence halls, Lexington and McCormick, which were designed and constructed to meet LEED Silver standards.

The residents of the Spartan Village II residence halls may move in beginning Aug. 9 at 8 a.m., said Guy Sanders, associate director of administrative operations for Housing & Residence Life (HRL). Student staff will move into the two residence halls starting this week, on Wednesday, July 26.

Spartan Village Student Housing Phase II is a $50.9 million mixed-use project featuring the two residence halls along with 26,000 square feet of retail space.

The various businesses’ occupancy permits should be received in the coming weeks, Quintal explained. Some businesses had already started moving in their larger equipment.

photo of construction siteThe final “to-do” list for the latter half of July included site work such as finishing the asphalt paving of parking lots and landscaping work.

The project complements Spartan Village, which opened in 2013 with four Student Housing Phase I residence halls, developed in response to the university’s need to provide more on-campus housing for the growing student population. With Phase II opening, approximately 1,200 students in total will live in Spartan Village, which is adjacent to the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness and across from the UNCG Pedestrian Underpass and Plaza and the UNCG Police Station.

The Spartan Village II students include sophomore, juniors, seniors and graduate students, said Sanders. In particular, HRL wanted to ensure seniors who wanted to live in UNCG’s newest housing had the opportunity.

Retail space will be located on the ground level of both buildings. Retailers for Phase II include:

  • Bestway Marketplace – a grocery concept operated by the owners of Bestway Grocery
  • Pita Delite
  • Taco Bao – An Asian/Mexican fusion street food concept
  • Homeslice Pizza and Subs
  • The Den by Denny’s
  • Tropical Smoothie Cafe
  • Recycles Bike Shop
  • The Art Loft
  • Millennium Salon & Barber
  • And a credit union

photo of construction siteJorge Quintal notes that this is the long-awaited mixed-use component of Spartan Village. With stores and restaurants on site and the wellness center next door, Spartan Village II provides students a “town center” experience.

Phase II will provides a critical link between the Kaplan Center and the Phase I residence halls. Pedestrian walkways connect all residence halls to the Kaplan Center and the signalized crosswalk on West Gate City Boulevard, which leads students to the UNCG Pedestrian Underpass. The underpass connects Spartan Village, the Kaplan Center and the UNCG Police Station with the rest of campus.

Visit the Housing & Residence Life site to see a 360-degree image of the construction of the two new residence halls from earlier this year, rendering drawings of how the finished buildings will appear, plus:

By Mike Harris and Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Groundbreaking for ‘Research Facility Three’

photo of people A third building will rise on the Gateway University Research Park’s south campus. The campus is home of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

The groundbreaking ceremony was held July 24 at the south campus on West Gate City Boulevard.

Among the speakers and dignitaries were Dr. Dana Dunn, UNCG provost and executive vice chancellor.

Afterward, attendees enjoyed a reception and tours.

See report in the News & Record.

Spartan sports fields: sustainably beautiful and bona fide green certified

photo of Turf management staffThere’s something appealing about a vast stretch of green, healthy grass on a ball field. You only have to go to the west side of UNCG’s campus to see 17 acres of it, all year round.

“The university community enjoys the green space,” said Pete Ashe, who is recently retired from the position of Sports Field Supervisor. “And the greenscapes are treasured on this campus.”

It’s common knowledge that nicely kept fields are a requirement for Division I athletic programs. What may go unseen is all the work that goes into keeping UNCG’s six fields in shape, with environmental responsibility as a priority.

UNCG Sports Turf Grounds Management Operations team work out of a building behind Weil Residence Hall and the UNCG tennis courts. During the 2017 spring season, their sports fields, facilities and the team’s stewardship underwent an extensive evaluation by the Sports Turf Management Association (STMA) to determine their consistent environmental effort.

In March, UNCG became the “Sweet 16th” institution to be recognized for environmentally responsible sports turf management, through the STMA’s newly created environmental certification program.

UNCG has been a member of the STMA, an international professional organization, for more than twenty years, and Ashe helped in the certification process for other universities. The practices evaluated to determine an environmentally sustainable sports facility have a broad range. Storm water management, fertilization and associated runoff consequences, integrated pest management, recycling, composting, mowing, energy conservation, turf shop building and storage management, irrigation, water quality and educational outreach are all taken into consideration. Techniques the UNCG sports turf team uses, such as calculated root system management, soil aeration and spot-treating for fertilization, pest management and irrigation, reduce unintended effects and create turf grass density, and level playing surfaces which means safe, playable fields, for the enjoyment of student athletes and campus recreation groups. They also look pretty nice.

Twice a year the UNCG Grounds team seasonally transitions acres of turf grass crop populations on campus sports fields.

“We fall overseed and grow ryegrass for green fields in winter-spring,” Ashe explained. “And then we work hard to transition back the dormant warm season Bermuda grass when weather heats up in late spring-summer.”

October and May, the transition months, are when they face the most strenuous work. They battle the weather and the natural wear and tear that happens on the field during practices and games. And they’re not only responsible for the soccer, baseball and softball fields, but also the golf greens, the student recreation field, the new wetlands, the pollinator garden, the Piedmont prairie and “no-mow” zones sanctioned for biology research.

Ashe credited the hard work of the grounds crew for UNCG’s success in keeping these areas in top condition, in an environmentally responsible manner. He also appreciated UNCG’s Office of Sustainability, the Biology Department and the involvement of student volunteers in campus grounds environmental improvement projects

“Earth day is every day for us,” he said. “We manage in a conscientious manner for everything we do to our fields.”

Ashe spent his career with a commitment to natural resource management, starting in the 1960s, during the peak popularity of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring,” and when the words “conservation” and “ecology” were just coming into use.

He worked as a golf caddie and then a landscaper. Subsequently, he became a greenkeeper and a golf course superintendent for 18 seasons before switching to campus grounds and sports field management. He holds a degree in agronomy from Michigan State University and a degree in natural resources and ecology from Lake Superior State University. Ashe came to UNCG in 1999, when the baseball stadium had just been built. Before his retirement, he completed his 17th growing season with UNCG.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Fundraising at UNCG Athletics

The 2016-17 season celebrated 50 years of UNCG athletics and the UNCG Spartan Club took a giant step to promote that celebration by posting a tremendous fundraising year, breaking numerous records and exceeding its goal for the sixth-straight season.

“We are grateful to our generous supporters who continue to believe in our young people and the purpose of UNCG Athletics,” Director of Athletics Kim Record said. “We set an ambitious goal to celebrate our 50th anniversary (of intercollegiate athletics) and our UNCG family came through in a big way. I appreciate the hard work our Spartan Club staff provided this past year under the leadership of Craig Fink. This is a Giant Step for the Spartan Club and UNCG Athletics.”

The 2016-17 athletic scholarship fund goal was $500,000 and the Spartan Club eclipsed that mark by raising a total of $501,591, an all-time high. This year’s total was an 18 percent increase over last year and surpassed the previous all-time record by over $75,000.

The Spartan Club also set a record with 1,093 Athletic Scholarship Fund donors, a 37 percent increase over last year’s total. Additionally, the Spartan Club broke the 1,000-donor mark for the first time in program history, surpassing the previous record of 875 in 1993. Overall cash and gifts in kind for the 2016-17 fiscal year totaled $760,219, a 40 percent increase over last year and the second-highest mark all-time behind 1993 ($818,116).

Full story at UNCG Athletics site.

NC Wine industry gathers for annual meeting

On July 18, approximately 100 representatives from North Carolina wineries and distributors gathered at UNCG’s Bryan School for the annual N.C. Wine and Grape Council meeting. This annual gathering is an opportunity for those in the industry to learn about the work of the N.C. Wine and Grape Council, share research findings, and discuss current topics in an open forum.

The Bryan School of Business and Economics hosted the event for the fourth year. Faculty were on hand to share research conducted for the NC Wine and Grape Council. Since 2008, the Bryan School has conducted 15 projects for both the Council and local wineries.

Dr. Liuyi Hao

photo of HaoDr. Liuyi Hao, a postdoctoral researcher at UNCG’s Center for Translational Biomedical Research, has received a 2017 Postdoctoral Fellowship Award from the American Liver Foundation. The fellowship is highly competitive, with no more than 10 awarded each year, and represents a significant achievement for Hao and UNCG.

The award will support Hao’s research on activating transcription factor 4, a gene transcription regulator hypothesized to play a central role in the development of alcoholic liver disease, or ALD. Approximately 20,000 people in the U.S. die each year due to ALD, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Hao, who completed his PhD at Harbin Medical University and joined the Center for Translational Biomedical Research in July 2016, hopes his research will improve understanding of the biological underpinnings of the disease, and, ultimately, lead to improved treatment options.

The UNCG Center for Translational Biomedical Research is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. The campus houses a number of corporations, healthcare organizations, and universities that work together in a public-private partnership to better understand human health, nutrition, and agriculture. The CTBR focuses on the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and progression, biomarkers for diagnosis, and discovering novel interventions for the prevention and treatment of disease.

Dr. James Boles

photo of BolesDr. James Boles (Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism) received new funding from the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center for the project “New SBA Federal Funding for the CY 2017 Program Year.” This project is supported by funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration. The grant will be used to support travel to conferences related to entrepreneurship.

Boles completed a master’s in Educational Administration and a master’s in Business Administration at the University of West Florida. He has a PhD in Business Administration from Louisiana State University. He is department head of the Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality, and Tourism Department and director of the North Carolina Sales Institute in the Bryan School of Business and Economics.

Perry Flynn

photo of FlynnPerry Flynn (Communication Sciences and Disorders) received funding from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the project “Exceptional Children State Speech-Language Consultant (2017-2018).” Funding will allow for the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders to provide a range of professional services for the Exceptional Children Division of the State Department of Public Instruction July 1, 207 – June 30, 2018. Services include providing assistance in the areas of speech-language pathology to the State Department of Public Instruction, local education agencies and Charter schools.

Flynn completed a bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a master’s in Education in Speech-Language Pathology from UNCG. He is an AP Professor and the Consultant to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction in the area of Speech Language Pathology.

Dr. Justin Harmon

photo of harmonDr. Justin Harmon (Health & Human Sciences – Community and Therapeutic Recreation) received new funding from Girls on the Run International for the project “Girls on the Run.” Girls on the Run was established in 1996 in Charlotte with 13 participants. In 2000, Girls on the Run International, a 501(c)3 organization, was formed. GOTR certified coaches teach life skills to girls through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games.

The project is a partnership with GOTR Triad. Funding will be used to create an assistantship for a graduate student to help the organization with program management. The student will work with GOTR Triad to recruit, coordinate, and manage volunteer coaches, facilitate trainings, plan and implement special events (including the annual 5K and coaches’ meetings), and develop marketing campaigns that represent GOTR Triad in the broader community.

Harmon completed a bachelor’s degree in Leisure Studies from the University of Illinois, a master’s in Sport Management from Northern Illinois University and a PhD from Texas A&M University in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Sciences. Harmon has worked extensively in the parks, forestry and recreation fields, and has a diverse background in practice that includes land and wildlife management, environmental and primary education, event planning, and community relations and outreach.

Dr. Dianne Welsh

photo of welshDr. Dianne Welsh (Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Hospitality & Tourism) received new funding from the Coleman Foundation for “Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows.” The Coleman Entrepreneurship Fellows program supports the ongoing Cross-Disciplinary Entrepreneurship Program at UNCG with 40-plus courses in 26 departments and programs across campus. The program includes the Coleman Entrepreneur in Residence that works with faculty, staff and students across campus in classes and with their business ideas to bring ideas to actions through course preparation.

Welsh is the Hayes Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurship and the director of the Entrepreneurship Cross-Disciplinary Program. She is a globally known scholar in international franchising, family business, and entrepreneurship with over 150 publications.

Dr. Susan Letvak

photo of Letvak Dr. Susan Letvak (Adult Health Nursing) received a continuation of funding from the DHHS Health Resources and Services Administration for the project “Nurse Education, Practice, Quality and Retention – Veterans’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing Program.”

The purpose of UNCG School of Nursing’s proposed Veteran Access Program for Nurses is to provide medically trained veterans in Central North Carolina and South Central Virginia with access and specialized support in an innovative and accelerated educational program to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and find employment. The program will reduce barriers that prevent veterans from transitioning into nursing careers by offering academic mentoring through learning communities, specialized support services, cultural competence training, employment assistance and new educational models awarding academic credit for medical and life experience.

Letvak earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Nursing from Russell Sage College and finished a PhD in Nursing at Adelphi University. Her areas of expertise include patient outcomes and nursing workforce, qualitative research methods, relational theory and gerontology.

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies

photo of oberlies Dr. Nicholas Oberlies (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received a continuation of funding from Ohio State University for the project “Anticancer agents from Diverse Natural products sources.” The project is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute. Funding will allow screening for anticancer activity in filamentous fungi.

Oberlies completed a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Miami University and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from Purdue University. The Oberlies research group focuses on the isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive compounds from natural sources, including those from both fungal cultures and plants.

Diana Kao

photo of KaoDiana Kao (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received a continuation of funding from the National Institutes of Health. It is a training grant for the pre-doctoral student, as she examinines the mass spec properties of fungi.

Kao received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Gettysburg College and is pursuing her PhD in Medicinal Biochemistry at UNCG. Kao’s faculty advisor is Dr. Nicholas Oberlies.

Dr. Heidi Carlone awarded Hooks Professorship

photo of carloneDr. Heidi Carlone will be the first recipient of the Jennifer Smith Hooks ’76 and Jacob T. Hooks Distinguished Professorship in STEM Education.

The professorship, announced in the fall of 2016, is a pivotal component of the School of Education’s vision to provide transformative educational experiences, advance research and innovation, and bridge research and practice.

Carlone is a professor of science education in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. She is a teacher educator and educational researcher who works to make science and engineering pathways more accessible and equitable for historically underserved and underrepresented populations. She studies the potential of innovative science and engineering (STEM) learning settings in promoting STEM identities for K-12 youth who have wide-ranging life experiences, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and interests.

She publishes and presents her work in national and international venues and has earned nearly $3.8 million dollars in funding from local and national foundations. This summer, she was awarded a National Science Foundation grant of more than $1 million for the project “BRIDGES for socio-environmental good: BRoadening Identities for Diverse Groups Engaging with STEM.” BRIDGES engages diverse middle school youth and their teachers with out-of-school, problem-based learning that demands science, engineering, and computing as tools to address environmental problems.

She has received a number of awards in her academic career including: The UNCG Alumni Teaching Excellence Award, the UNCG School of Education Teaching Award, the Early Career Research Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation, Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year in Wake County Schools, and North Carolina Teaching Fellow.

“I am honored,” Carlone said. “The Hookses’ generous investment in the UNCG School of Education will allow us to extend and enrich our efforts in STEM research and practice.”

The professorship was established by Jennifer and Jake Hooks. Jennifer Smith Hooks ’76 is a third generation alumna of the School of Education.

Jennifer and Jake Hooks have supported the UNCG School of Education for many years, establishing the Carrie Perkins Davis/Katherine Davis Smith Scholarship in Education in honor of Jennifer’s grandmother and mother. In addition, Jennifer Hooks is a member of the School of Education Advisory Board and the UNCG Alumni Board of Directors.

This copy courtesy School of Education.

Looking ahead: July 26, 2017

Spartan Cinema: The Peanuts Movie
Friday, July 28, 7 p.m., LeBauer Park, movie at sunset

Business Affairs Conference and Expo
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 8 a.m., Elliott University Center

Surplus Sale at UNCG Surplus Warehouse
Friday, Aug. 4, 8 a.m., 2900 Oakland Ave.

State of the Campus Address, followed by luncheon
Tuesday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m., UNCG Auditorium

Housing and Residence Life Student Move-In
Wednesday, Aug. 9, to Friday, Aug. 11

Workshop for 6th, 7th and 8th graders

On August 3, 2017. from 1 – 5 p.m. in Jackson Library, a free workshop will immerse rising 6th, 7th and 8th grade students in an environment that encourages critical thinking, civil discourse, information literacy and a lifelong love of learning. Middle schoolers will learn how to find quality information, evaluate sources, communicate ideas effectively and develop informed opinions. Registration is required and the deadline to reserve your space is July 28. Snacks will also be provided. The event is cosponsored with Onward! and the UNCG Department of Communication Studies. For more information, to download the flyer or to register, visit https://tinyurl.com/realtalkuncg.

See/hear: July 26, 2017

YouTube Preview Image

The 2017 UNCG Business Affairs Conference & Expo, which are two separate events, will be held August 2 in the Elliott University Center. The Conference includes training workshops from Human Resources, Facilities, Campus Enterprises and Financial Services. Online registration is now open. As with last year, there will also be an Expo, a separate event that will highlight departments within the division that you might have heard about but didn’t know exactly what their function was. The Expo will open at 11:30 a.m. and is free to attend.
See video highlights clip from last year’s inaugural Business Affairs Expo.

Donna Heath is named Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services

In a memo Tuesday afternoon, Chancellor Gilliam made the following announcement:

I am pleased to announce that Donna Heath has been named
Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services (ITS). Donna has shown extraordinary leadership in the year she has been Interim Vice Chancellor.

During this time, Donna has championed and helped guide the extremely complicated launch of the Banner XE project. She has provided critical leadership to the ITS management team in developing a new five-year Strategic Technology Plan. In addition, she and her team have had numerous noteworthy achievements this year – everything from collaborating with campus partners to create a virtual lab solution, to delivering high-speed networking to the research park’s North Campus.

Donna has cultivated important relationships with internal and external stakeholders on key strategic initiatives that offer opportunities for both UNCG and our community to grow, including the Tri-Gig Broadband initiative, the Connected Communities initiative, and the Smart City Smart Corridor initiative.

Donna has been a leader in Information Technology for more than 25 years. She has been with UNCG for the last 13 years, serving as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Services, Systems and Networks.

Her staff, as well as the broader campus community, have been impressed by her leadership. I can’t think of a better fit for ITS and the university as we continue to take “giant steps.”


Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

More than 2,000 enjoy UNCG Summer Music Camp

photo of music campIt’s a record year for UNCG’s 35th annual Summer Music Camp.

More than 2,000 student musicians from 21 states and Bermuda will attend the two sessions this month, making this year’s music camp the largest in UNCG history. The first session began earlier this week.

During the weeklong sessions, campers receive individual and group instruction from top musicians, including many UNCG students and alumni. Each week culminates with camper performances at venues across campus – an opportunity for students to show off what they’ve learned to their families and the general public.

Since the camp’s founding in 1983, more than 60,000 musicians have attended UNCG Summer Music Camp, widely known as the largest university summer music camp in the nation.

This year’s camp features 15 concert bands, five orchestras, four choirs and 160 pianists. According to Camp Director Dr. John Locke, a professor of music in UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, the demand this year was even greater than in previous years. Approximately 1,400 campers applied on the first day of registration, Feb. 1.

What’s the secret to the camp’s success? A combination of quality and affordability.

“We offer a really outstanding experience at a very reasonable price,” Locke said. “We have tremendous word-of-mouth reputation and a loyal following.”

For Locke, the ultimate goal is to “light a spark” in these young musicians.

“When they return home, we want them to be fired up about practicing their instrument,” he said. “I hope we can provide instruction that they’ve never had before – we want to open their eyes to new techniques.”

Performances will take place on Friday, July 14, and Friday, July 21, at 6:15 p.m. in Elliott University Center (Cone Ballroom and Auditorium), Taylor Theatre, UNCG Auditorium and the Recital Hall in the Music Building. All performances are free and open to the public.

To learn more about UNCG Summer Music Camp, visit www.smcamp.org.

By Alyssa Bedrosian.
Photo from last year’s camp by Martin W. Kane.

Looking Natty: Alumni revitalize Revolution Mill

Chris Lester and Kayne Fisher are pioneers.

And they don’t just wade into uncharted waters. They dive right in.

The UNCG alumni took a risk in 2004 when they opened Natty Greene’s in the heart of what was then a sleepy downtown Greensboro. They’re taking another leap this summer, when they open a new restaurant concept at the city’s historic – but longtime vacant – Revolution Mill.

Without a doubt, the risks have been worth it. Natty Greene’s has evolved from a beer into a brand that is recognized statewide and beyond.

Yet in the midst of their growing success, Lester and Fisher are the first to tell you that the beer and the brand have been built by the community – which is exactly how they envisioned it.

The beginnings of the brew can be traced back to UNCG’s campus in 1988, when Lester and Fisher met through their fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon. The two became good friends and roommates, and soon started working together part-time at a local beverage distributor.

It was those late nights in the warehouse that spurred their entrepreneurial dreams.

“Back then, it was probably for all of the wrong reasons,” Fisher says with a laugh. “We didn’t have a concept for it yet, but we knew we wanted to open a bar.”

It seems fitting that they opened their first bar and grill right where it all began. In 1996, Old Town Draught House opened right across from campus on Spring Garden Street.

The success of Old Town led to the opening of First Street Draught House in Winston-Salem in 1998, and then Tap Room in Greensboro in 2000.

“We started thinking, ‘We’re serving all of these great beers, we ought to brew our own,’” Fisher says. “That’s where the Natty Greene’s idea began.”

And that’s when the stars started to align for the young entrepreneurs. Downtown Greensboro was looking to revitalize, and the building on the corner of South Elm Street and East McGee Street became available.

In 2002, Lester and Fisher secured the building, the brewing equipment and a head brewer from the West Coast.

“It was awesome. Kayne and I were really dumbfounded by the community’s response,” says Lester as he reflects on the first year.

In 2006, Lester and Fisher sold Old Town, First Street and Tap Room to employees and expanded Natty Greene’s production with a new brewery on West Gate City Boulevard.

But just seven years later, Natty Greene’s faced a capacity problem. Lester and Fisher knew they needed a bigger space for production, but they also knew they needed a different space.

The two decided to partner with the nonprofit community-development organization Self-Help in order to relocate production and open a new restaurant concept, Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market, at the historic Revolution Mill campus just minutes from downtown.

The restaurant – with the tagline “The Butcher, The Baker & the Beer Maker” – will include a full-working butchery and a neighborhood market. It’s set to open soon in what used to be the old carpenter’s shop. The Natty Greene’s brew pub on Elm Street will continue to be a downtown staple.

For Lester and Fisher, the goals are simple. They want to bring new life to an area rich with history. They want to provide a space for family and friends to enjoy time together. And they want to see Greensboro thrive.

They also continue to invest in their alma mater. From speaking to classes to serving as a sponsor at Homecoming, Lester and Fisher have remained loyal alumni.

“UNCG is the community that spawned us and our ideas,” Lester says. “When I first came to school, I was a country boy from Virginia. UNCG provided me a canvas to grow.”

By Alyssa Bedrosian. See full feature in the Spring 2017 UNCG Magazine.
Visual: Chris Lester (left) and Kayne Fisher (right) reviewed plans in the spring for their new restaurant concept, Natty Greene’s Kitchen + Market.

UNCG, a Gold Star chapter of ‘Collegiate Scholars’

photo of UNCG LibaryUNCG has been named a Gold Star chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) for the 2016-17 academic year.

The NSCS is a national honor society that recognizes the excellence of undergraduate students in their first or second year of college. Gold Star distinction is designed to formally recognize the hard work and dedication of highly active NSCS chapters.

The recent honor puts UNCG among 330 Gold Star chapters nationally. UNCG is one of two Gold Star chapters in North Carolina.

The UNCG NSCS chapter formed six years ago when a student expressed interest to Spanish faculty member Elisabeth D’Empaire-Wilbert. Now, UNCG’s NSCS chapter is one of the biggest student groups on campus, with 677 active members. D’Empaire-Wilbert serves as the group’s adviser.

In order to join, students must attain at least a 3.4 grade point average and be in the top 20 percent of their class. Additionally, the chapter members engage in service projects – recent projects include participating in the Human Race Walk, donating goods to Greensboro’s Backpack Beginnings program and speaking to students at Pearce Elementary School through the NSCS Planning to Achieve College Excellence (PACE) program.

Current officers in the UNCG NSCS chapter include undergraduate students Jessica Avalos, Jessica Kelley and Meagan Bess.

“They’re very motivated and hardworking,” said D’Empaire-Wilbert about the chapter’s members and officers. “They come up with the ideas and take the initiative.”

The next UNCG NSCS induction ceremony will be Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. in the Elliott University Center Auditorium.

To learn more about the honors organization, visit nscs.org.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Hooper will step down as HHS dean at end of 2017-18

After 11 years of dedicated service as dean, Dr. Celia Hooper will step down from the deanship of the School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) at the conclusion of the 2017-18 academic year. Following a yearlong transition leave during 2018-19, she will return to UNCG as Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders (CSD).

A UNCG alumna, Dr. Hooper received her first permanent appointment at UNCG in Fall 2003, accepting the role of Professor and Head of the Department of CSD. In July 2007 she was appointed Interim Dean of the School of Health and Human Performance (HHP), and was awarded the position on a permanent basis the following year. During Dr. Hooper’s service as Dean of HHP, and later as Dean of HHS, the academic disciplines under her leadership witnessed significant growth in student enrollment, faculty research, and community engagement. Among her many other contributions to the University, Dean Hooper played a major role in the realignment of the School of HHP, School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES), and other academic programs, which led to the formation of today’s School of HHS. She was appointed as the new School’s first dean in July 2011.

Prior to her arrival at UNCG, Dr. Hooper served as Assistant Professor and Clinical Director at Case Western Reserve University, Director of Center for Chronic Communication Disorders at the Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center, Visiting Assistant Professor and Clinic Director at the University of Kansas, and Professor and Clinic Director in the School of Medicine at UNC Chapel Hill.

Provost Dana Dunn noted that Dr. Hooper’s expertise and scholarly record in adult neurogenic speech and language disorders will further enrich UNCG’s already nationally prominent CSD Department.

She thanked Dean Hooper for her many important contributions as dean – and for the important work she will do as dean in the coming year.

A national search for the next dean will be conducted during academic year 2017-18. Details will be announced in early Fall 2017.

Sparking creativity at the UNCG foundry

This year will be Jon Smith’s 20th year managing the UNCG sculpture foundry. Every week, he guides undergraduate and graduate students as they cut and weld steel, pour molten bronze and aluminum and build 25-foot creations by hand.

Sixty to 70 students use the sculpture area each semester, working with equipment like a 10,000 pound capacity bridge crane, a scissor lift, plasma cutters, a robotic track cutter, a magnetic drill, industrial sanders, grinders and polishers, a hydraulic sheet metal shear, a forklift, stone carving equipment, gas forges, anvils, bandsaws and a gas furnace that casts up to 660 pounds of bronze in one pour. And those are just some highlights.

Smith came to UNCG as an art student in 1992. As an undergraduate, he participated in regional sculpture shows and won the Student Excellence Award. He earned his BFA degree in 1995, and in 1998, returned to UNCG as a sculpture tech assistant at the foundry. He soon enrolled in the MFA program, to work on his own sculptures and to increase his knowledge of casting in order to help sculpture students. He continued managing the foundry throughout his graduate program and up to the present day, and also teaches metal sculpture and metal casting.

Experimentation is key at the foundry, and it’s a place where students gain hands-on experience in a creative and noncompetitive environment.

“The energy’s contagious,” Smith said. “If we get a few people who are producing something, it provides an example for all the other students. They know about all the equipment and materials, but actually seeing someone build something ignites an energy.”

Smith supports that energy by helping students gain the skills they need—whether it’s operating an intimidating machine like a 155 pound air hammer or chainsaw, or using simple tools like hammers and drills. He sees a resurgence in making, with more makerspaces popping up in cities and in the popularity of handmade goods websites like Etsy.

At the same time, university sculpture foundries have been decreasing, because of the care required to maintain and operate them. As Smith points out, and as the Chronicle of Higher Education has found, hands-on experience in welding and casting at a university foundry is becoming rare. The skills students develop in foundries like UNCG’s can help them become sculptors, but can also help them establishing lucrative careers in metalworking, and various types of fabrication or art production.

“Some students come into the class afraid of fire or sparks, but some of those are the ones who get really into it,” said Smith. “They make something out of metal that’s solid and strong, and they never thought they could do something like that.”

One foundry alumna, Taylor Browning, operates Smart Department Fabrication in Brooklyn, N.Y., creating large-scale custom furniture, lighting and decor for restaurants, museums, retail spaces and outdoor spaces. Browning also produces sculptures and has mounted one in Franconia Park in Shafer, Minn.

Two others, Casey and Emily Lewis, established Beechwood Metalworks in Burlington, N.C. They provide sculptures for hospitals, museums, parks and other public places throughout the United States and internationally.

Another foundry alumna, Ivana Beck, produced an award-winning sculpture which was featured in the October 2016 issue of Sculpture Magazine and included in the fall/winter exhibition at the Grounds for Sculpture Park in Hamilton, N.J.

Professor of Sculpture Billy Lee reflected on Smith’s generosity and expertise in guiding students who develop their skills in the UNCG foundry.

“He’s one of those individuals who can fix most things,” he said. “And if he doesn’t know how, he has the initiative and ability to find out and get the job done. The sculpture area would not be able to function the way it does without Jon. He’s not only a dependable, responsible and reliable technician, but also an excellent artist. ”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Susan Kirby-Smith

Films at LeBauer Park, fun throughout Downtown

photo of LeBauer ParkDowntown Greensboro becomes more vibrant all the time, with more restaurants and night spots, more stores, more hotels – more people enjoying the activity.

UNCG is helping make it more festive, as it partners with the City of Greensboro and civic organizations for some big events.

Starting this Friday, July 21, the magic of the movies comes to downtown’s LeBauer Park. The films are free-admission and begin at sunset. UNCG sponsors the following series of screenings in the park:

  • July 21: Beauty and The Beast
  • July 28: The Peanuts Movie
  • Aug. 4: Lego Batman Movie
  • Aug. 11: Zootopia
  • Aug. 18: La La Land
  • Aug. 25: Jurassic World
  • Sept. 1: Captain America: Civil War
  • Sept. 15: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  • Sept. 22: Hidden Figures

A few additional highlights in the coming weeks:

  • UNCG will help sponsor the 2017 National Folk Festival Sept. 8-10. Plans are for UNCG to have a large presence on Davie Street, which will be called “Spartan Way” during the folk fest.
  • Play ball! Aug. 19 will be “UNCG Night” at the Grasshoppers game. (There’ll be more details in a future Campus Weekly.)
  • Run 4 the Greenway will be Oct. 28. It will be a 4 mile run, serving as a fundraiser for the Downtown Greenway. There will also be a 1.25 mile “fun run” – or “fun walk” if that’s preferred. UNCG will be among the sponsors for both the main 4-mile run and the walk – which will be a 1.25 mile track including UNCG’s campus, in celebration of the university’s 125th anniversary year.

More ways to stay active this summer

photo of excericeLast week, Campus Weekly highlighted a few ways to help the campus community stay in shape during the hot summer months. But there are more. Here are a few additional ways to stay active and beat the heat:

– ActiveU (all group fitness classes are free to employees over the summer – no membership required)

– Open lap swim (employees may swim free on Wednesday mornings 6-8:30 a.m. and Fridays 12-1:30 p.m.

– Fitness Lending Library – HealthyUNCG has more than 70 items that allow employees to be active at their desk, including many new items such as a desk elliptical (see FB link for video).

– Group Walks – every Tuesday at noon (“like” the FB page or check the website for updates. These walks are occasionally morning walks – or they are cancelled – if it will be very hot or if it is raining). Walkers meet in front of the EUC.

– UNCG also offers group or departmental classes such as chair yoga or resistance bands.

-Wellness coaching (UNCG employees get up to six sessions for free). A wellness coach can help with structure, accountability and support. Register online.

-Lime Bike – UNCG’s brand-new dockless bike-share program is simple to use and rides are discounted for employees. Click here to learn more.

See the HealthyUNCG site for more details and contact information.

Alumna works to improve food access in Greensboro

photo of a lady in grocery storeCommunity health is community wealth.

That idea led Casey Thomas ’16 MPH to become a key player in the establishment of the Renaissance Community Cooperative (RCC), a full-service grocery store cooperative that is a beacon for Northeast Greensboro. After 18 years as a “food desert,” the surrounding neighborhoods now have access to affordable, fresh, quality food.

Thomas has always been interested in social justice and in addressing inequality. Now, she is one of many from the UNCG community working to improve food access in Guilford County.

“Oppression can take root in people’s bodies,” she says, pointing out that low food access leads to shorter lives, more chronic pain and greater risk of getting sick.

In the winter of 2013, Thomas joined the RCC Committee, a group developing by-laws for the community-owned grocery store and a plan for its establishment. She worked alongside other board members and community partners to raise the $2.48 million needed to open the store.

Her work with the RCC became the internship part of her program in UNCG’s Department of Public Health Education. She felt very supported by the professors, such as Dr. Kelly Rulison, who showed her how to write effective grant proposals for the co-op.

Thomas continues to play a big role in the RCC by serving on the board, providing co-op education and recruiting owners. In 2016, she was appointed chair of the Owner Recruitment and Outreach Committee. The RCC now has over 1,000 owners, and Thomas hears good things said in the aisles when she visits the store.

But it’s not just about food shopping.

In addition to permanently ending the area’s “food desert” status, the RCC’s mission includes providing sustainable jobs for residents and investing profit back into the community.

“A big part of the co-op to me is that we can build wealth together,” says Thomas. “With a focus on everyone.”

This post was adapted from a UNCG Magazine story written by Susan Kirby-Smith. To read more, click here.
Photography of Casey Thomas by Martin W. Kane

Marick Lewis, Callie Moss Coward receive Staff Senate scholarships

The Staff Senate Personal and Professional Development Committee (co-chaired by Nor Othman-LeSaux and Keilan Rickard) is pleased to announce the 2017-2018 Staff Senate Scholarship recipients. Marick Lewis works in the School of Health and Human Sciences as a Coordinator of Alumni Affairs and Donor Communications. She is pursuing her MA in History/Museum Studies. Callie Moss Coward works in the University Libraries as a Special Collections Cataloging and Digital Projects Library Technician. She is pursuing her Master’s in Library and Information Studies. Congratulations to these two, who have a combined 15 years of North Carolina state service.

Updated July 12, 11 a.m. 

Dr. Greg O’Brien

photo of Dr. Greg O'BrienDr. Greg O’Brien (History) has co-edited “The Native South: New Histories and Enduring Legacies,” published by University of Nebraska Press. The book contains essays from leading ethnohistorians of the American South and chronicles Native American history from the 16th through the 21st century. It includes subjects such as Seminole–African American kinship systems, Cherokee notions of guilt and innocence in evolving tribal jurisprudence, Indian captives and American empire, and second-wave feminist activism among Cherokee women in the 1970s. Also featured are interviews with pioneering scholars in Native South studies, Michael D. Green and Theda Perdue.

Dr. Qibin Zhang

photo of Dr. Qibin ZhangDr. Qibin Zhang (Translational Biomedical Research) received an NIH R01 grant, titled “Protein Markers to Islet Autoimmunity and T1D Progression,” from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Currently, Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) affects approximately 1.4 million people in the U.S. The proposed research will identify novel protein markers that can predict T1D and gain further insight into the pathogenesis of this disease.

Zhang has also received a Collaborative Sciences Award from the American Heart Association through collaboration with scientists from the University of Colorado, School of Medicine. The goal of the award is to identify novel glycated protein and metabolite markers to better predict progression of coronary artery calcium before onset of cardiovascular diseases in the Type 1 Diabetes population.

Zhang earned his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Shandong Normal University, China, and PhD in analytical chemistry from the University of California at Riverside. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Zhang is co-director of the Center for Translational Biomedical Research in Kannapolis. The Zhang research group focuses on the development of new bioanalytical capabilities.

Dr. Maryanne Perrin

photo of Dr. Maryanne Perrin Dr. Maryanne Perrin (Health and Human Sciences, Nutrition) received new funding from the Allen Foundation for the project “Optimizing the Fat and Calorie Content of Pasteurized Donor Human Milk.” Perrin’s research will conduct an environmental scan of current processes within the 27-member Human Milk Banking Association of North America and evaluate how these processes impact fat retention and distribution in pasteurized donor human milk. The goal is to improve the nutrition delivered to preterm infants through pasteurized human donor milk and inform evidence-based guidelines within donor milk banks.

Perrin received her bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Purdue University and a master’s of business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – and completed her PhD in nutrition science from North Carolina State University.

Dr. Susan Keane

Photo of Dr. Susan KeaneDr. Susan Keane (Psychology) received continuation of funding from the Department of Health and Human Services for her project “Behavioral Health/Primary Care Integration: Reducing Barriers to Care in Underserved Populations.” The project prepares doctoral students for careers as behavioral health specialists in primary care settings. In this grant cycle, 24 doctoral trainees will participate in experiential and didactic opportunities designed to impact their career trajectories in the field. Students will be placed within six primary care locations, each of which targets a vulnerable population. These populations include: children, geriatric patients, socioeconomically deprived and homeless individuals, the chronically ill, culturally and linguistically diverse individuals, and veterans. The goal is to equip trainees to provide culturally competent, interprofessional, collaborative care.

Keane is director of clinical training for the UNCG Psychology Clinic. She received her doctoral degree in clinical psychology from Purdue University, and since 1983, she has graduated over 30 PhD students who hold positions at universities, medical centers and mental health agencies across the nation. She is licensed as a Practicing Psychologist/Health-Services Provider in the State of North Carolina.

Dr. Laurie Gold

Photo of Ms. Gold. Dr. Laurie Gold (Health and Human Sciences, Kinesiology) received additional funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Pathways from Childhood Self-Regulation to Cardiovascular Risk in Adolescence.” Gold’s research will test whether trajectories of self-regulation from ages 2 to 10 predict trajectories of cardiovascular risk factors (CVR) during adolescence, as well as whether childhood self-regulation adolescent CVR pathways are mediated by health behaviors such as substance use, exercise, nutrition and sleep.

Gold has a bachelor’s in biology from the University of Waterloo, a master’s in physiology from Ball State University and a PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Virginia.