UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Gen Ed Program assessment forums in September

UNCG’s General Education Council invites faculty, staff and students to participate in the General Education Program assessment forums scheduled to be held in Room 140 in the McIver Building on Wednesday, Sept. 20, from 10 a.m. to noon and Thursday, Sept. 21, noon – 2 p.m.

Council members will present and lead discussion of results from the fall 2017 assessment of the Fine Arts (GFA), Literature (GLT) and Philosophical, Religious, & Ethical Principles (GPR) categories.

The General Education Program provides the foundation for the more specialized knowledge gained in a major. Because the program belongs to the entire university, everyone’s input is vital to its improvement.

‘Chasing Coral’ at Sustainability Series

photo of studentOn Sept. 21, the 12th-annual Sustainability Film & Discussion Series kicks off with a screening of “Chasing Coral,” directed by Jeff Orlowski. The film follows a team of divers and scientists studying a massive coral reef decline. At the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, the film won an Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary category.

The UNCG Sustainability Film & Discussion Series is the longest-running program of its kind in the region and continues to give a voice to environmental, sustainability and climate issues affecting our community and the world. The Series hosts a documentary film and discussion each month. For more information on events and sponsorship opportunities, visit facsustainability.uncg.edu/sustainability-film-series/ or email Sarah Dorsey at sbdorsey@uncg.edu.

Director Jeff Orlowski filming on the Great Barrier Reef; photo by Richard Vevers at Chasing Coral

Service-Learning workshops for faculty Sept. 22

photo of gardenThis semester, the UNCG Office of Leadership and Service-Learning is offering a workshop series called “Reframe,” led by Assistant Director for Academic Service-Learning Lauren D. Cunningham. The sessions are professional development opportunities for faculty, staff and graduate students who are interested in using academic service-learning in class activities.

Academic service-learning is a high-impact practice, determined by the Association for American Colleges and Universities. There are nearly 40 classes offered each semester that include service-learning, and the workshops aim to make service-learning available in more classes across disciplines at UNCG.

The next workshop, “Critical Reflection: A Vehicle for Learning,” will take place on Sept. 22. All workshops are at noon in the Faculty Center.

  • “Civic Commitments Across the Curriculum,” with Dr. Spoma Jovanovic will be Oct. 27
  • “Faculty-led Community-Based Research with Students and Local Partners” will be Nov. 17

For more information and to register for workshops, visit  olsl.uncg.edu/reframe. Registration is not required, but strongly encouraged.

First annual Diversity in Language & Culture Conference

The School of Education’s Coalition for Diverse Language Communities will host the first-annual Diversity in Language & Culture Conference Saturday, Sept. 23 in the Education Building. The conference will explore what it means to teach today’s evolving youth in ways that foster their diverse languages, literacies and cultural practices, working toward inclusion and equity.

The keynote presenters are:

  • Dr. Django Paris, a professor of language and literacy at Michigan State University, who will present on culturally sustaining pedagogy as a framework for fostering equitable teaching practices.
  • Dr. Jennifer Leeman, a professor of modern and classical languages at George Mason University, who will talk about critical pedagogy and the sociopolitics of heritage/minority language education.
  • Dr. Imani Goffney, a professor of mathematics education at the University of Maryland, who will discuss her research focused on identifying, measuring, and defining equitable mathematics instruction for students often poorly served by schools, particularly African American and Latino children, low-income students, and those for whom English is a second language.

Registration for the one-day conference will begin at 8:15 a.m., with opening remarks at 8:45 a.m. by Dean of the School of Education Dr. Randy Pinfield. Morning and afternoon breakout sessions will explore additional topics of interest in the community.

Registration, lunch and parking are complimentary. Register here and see the program schedule here.

The Coalition for Diverse Language Communities (CDLC) was founded more than five years ago by professors Micheline Chalhoub-Deville, Colleen Fairbanks and Barbara Levin.  Its goal is to promote innovative, relevant, and collaborative work in the areas of community-engaged research, outreach and advocacy, policy work and professional development. The CDLC aims to be a catalyst for innovative, relevant, collaborative and policy-related research, leveraging the synergy and knowledge of faculty, staff, students, and communities locally, nationally and globally.


Discussion on “Activating Democracy: The ‘I Wish to Say’ Project”

Sheryl Oring, associate professor of art in the College of Visual and Performing Arts, will lead the discussion of her book, “Activating Democracy: The ‘I Wish to Say’ Project,” on Sept. 25, at 6 p.m., in the Hodges Reading Room of the Jackson Library. The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Friends of the UNCG Libraries.

Motivated by her belief in the value of free expression that is guaranteed under the Constitution of the United States, Oring’s “I Wish to Say” project has been helping citizens voice their concerns about the state of affairs in the U.S. for more than a decade now. Oring examines critical social issues through projects that incorporate old and new media to tell stories, examine public opinion and foster open exchange.

Using tools typically employed by journalists (the camera, the typewriter, the pen, the interview and the archive) she builds on experience in her former profession to create installations, performances, artist books and internet-based works. Oring holds a B.S. in journalism from the University of Colorado, Boulder and an M.F.A. in visual art from the University of California, San Diego.

By Hollie Stevenson-Parrish

Diversity in Leadership series begins Sept. 26

The UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics is hosting a three-part Diversity in Leadership series. The first installment of the series will be on Tuesday, Sept. 26 and will focus on women in leadership. The event is free, but registration is required.

Attendees will hear a powerful keynote address and choose from two of the three breakout sessions facilitated by phenomenal professional women. Breakout sessions will cover achieving a work/life balance, wage equity and the new age for women. Speakers include Jacquie Gilliam, Nicole Hall, Sue Cole and Me’Chelle McKenney.

Upcoming sessions in January and March 2018 will focus on minorities in leadership and an executive look on the importance of equity diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

For details and to register, visit go.uncg.edu/diversityinleadership.

“Contemporary Feminisms: Disability” first in WGS series

Women’s & Gender Studies recently announced two upcoming events in September and October:

Thursday, Sept. 28, two scholars will address feminist understandings and engagements with the question of disability, including what counts as disability and for whom, in a panel discussion. “Contemporary Feminisms: Disability” is the first in a series WGS is presenting this year focused on contemporary feminisms.

Wednesday, Oct. 18, independent scholar and feminist writer Sara Ahmed will give the inaugural presentation of the Dylan Rose Kadis and Eloise Hall Kadis Women’s Lecture Series, which is endowed by UNCG alumna Claudia Kadis.

“The Institutional as Usual: Sexism, Racism and the Politics of Complaint” lecture will be held in the EUC’s Maple Room from 4 to 5 p.m. with a reception following. The lecture explores how institutions are built from small acts of use. Once we are attuned to an environment, we know what usually happens. Ahmed explores how sexism and racism become usual, with specific reference to uses of banter, ways of using words that point to how spaces become occupied. What happens with you challenge the use of banter as an abuse of power? What follows such challenges teaches us about power; the more you try to transform institutions the more you come up against them.

Ahmed has held academic posts at Lancaster University and Goldsmiths, University of London. Her books include, “Living a Feminist Life,” “Willful Subjects,” “On Being Included,” “The Promise of Happiness,” “Queer Phenomenology,” “The Cultural Politics of Emotion,” “Strange Encounters” and “Differences that Matter.”

Dr. Nina Arshavsky

Dr. Nina Arshavsky (SERVE Center) received new funding from Alamance Community College for the project “Mech Tech Project for National Science Foundation’s (NSF) ATE Program.” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation.

The Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program with NSF focuses on the education of technicians for high-technology fields. The program involves partnerships between academic institutions and industry to promote improvement in the education of science and engineering technicians at the undergraduate and secondary school levels. The role of SERVE will be to develop an evaluation plan, conduct interviews and develop and conduct surveys for the ATE program.

Stuart Dischell

Stuart Dischell (Creative Writing) will give a poetry reading  Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the UNCG Faculty Center. The event will celebrate the release of Dischell’s latest collection, “Children with Enemies.” It is free and open to the public and will be followed by a book-signing. Dischell is the author of four other collections of poems: “Evenings & Avenues,” “Dig Safe,” “Backwards Days,” and “Good Hope Road,” which was the winner of the 1991 National Poetry Series and was reissued in 2016 by the Contemporary American Classics Series of Carnegie Mellon Press. His poems have appeared in The Atlantic, Agni, The New Republic, Slate, Kenyon Review, Ploughshares and anthologies including Essential Poems, Hammer and Blaze, Pushcart Prize and Garrison Keillor’s “Good Poems.”

Looking Ahead: Sept. 13, 2017

Public Talk: Becky Wai-Ling Packard
Thursday, Sept. 14, 4 p.m., School of Education Room 120

Poetry Reading: Stuart Dischell
Thursday, Sept. 14, 7 p.m., UNCG Faculty Center

UNCG Trustees meeting
Friday, Sept. 15, Alumni House, 8:30 a.m.

Volleyball vs. High Point
Friday, Sept. 15, 7 p.m., Fleming Gymnasium

Men’s Soccer vs. UNC Asheville
Saturday, Sept. 16, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

‘South Pacific’ presented by UC/LS and Triad Stage
Sunday, Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m., Triad Stage, 232 S. Elm St.

Sustainability Series Film: ‘Chasing Coral’
Thursday, Sept. 21, 6:30 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

Dance performance: ‘Comanche: Hero Complexities’
Friday, Sept. 22, 7 p.m., UNCG Auditorium

Dr. Ye (Jane) He

Dr. Ye (Jane) He (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received new funding in the amount of $429,319 from the U.S. Department of Education for the project “Engaging and Advancing Community-centered Teacher Development (EnACTeD).”  

This project showcases a community-centered teacher development model through which teacher educators, teacher candidates, families and community partners are actively engaged in the communities of practice. Through this model, families’ cultural and linguistic assets are leveraged through their engagement in teacher professional development module development, participation in family literacy and technology activities and support for teacher candidates’ bilingual language competency development. Inservice teachers are prepared to take on leadership roles in community-engagement activities and teacher mentoring through their participation in the PD and add-on licensure program. Preservice teachers are intentionally recruited from elementary majors and paraprofessionals with bilingual backgrounds. They are offered opportunities to practice dual language instructional strategies and seek English-as-a-Second-Language/dual language licensure.

Dr. David Wyrick

Dr. David Wyrick (Public Health Education) received funding from Prevention Strategies for an NCAA Subaward. The Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness at UNCG  is being subcontracted by Prevention Strategies to support the translation of theoretical constructs and research evidence to practice in the form of online behavioral intervention components and other technology-supplemented educational materials and assist with all research related to the implementation, dissemination, and evaluation of the behavioral interventions and educational materials. See related story.

Gaylor Callahan memorial service Sept. 21

A memorial service for Gaylor Callahan (University Libraries) will be held on September 21 at 3 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room. A reception in the Mary Foust parlor will follow. Donations in Gaylor’s memory may be made to the Warren Ashby Residential College. The obituary may be seen here.

Mental health and recovery: two events on campus

“Check Up from the Neck Up” will be held Thursday, September 14, from noon to 2 p.m. at both the Student Health Center and the Office of Intercultural Engagement (EUC 062). Drop by for a quick and easy mental health check-up.

The talk “Celebrating Recovery with Dr. Rita Linger” will be offered Wednesday, September 27, in the EUC Maple Room at 6 p.m. A community leader and organizer, recovery advocate and a mother, Linger brings over three decades of leadership and advocacy experience, a deep connection to the recovery community, and a commitment to a life of service. Dr. Linger is an Integrative Health Practitioner with a background and practice in Contemporary Neuroscience, Psycho-Physiology, Mind-Body Medicine, Psychology, Holistic Therapy and Business. She is also a mother who has lost two children to addiction as well as two nephews and her younger sister. She commits her life to service and is internationally renowned.

Volunteers sought for two research studies

Two research studies at UNCG need volunteers:



Research participants needed for a study examining gait patterns before, at and after an expected trip while walking.

Principal investigator: Brian L. Cone, MA CSCS (UNCG)

Faculty Advisor: Christopher K. Rhea, PhD (UNCG)


    • Healthy adults 70 years or older
    • No neuromuscular conditions (e.g. joint injuries, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, Huntington’s disease) that affect balance or walking ability


  • You will walk on a treadmill for 40 minutes while your gait is recorded with a series of different methods (3D motion capture).  You will be asked to complete several questionnaires and balance tasks.  Total time commitment is approximately 120-150 minutes.


  • Testing takes place in the Virtual Environment for Assessment and Rehabilitation Laboratory (VEAR Lab) in Coleman Building Room 247 at UNCG.


  • There is no compensation for this study.

For more information and to participate, contact Brian L. Cone, blcone@uncg.edu



The study includes African American women, 18 to 40 years of age, not pregnant or breast feeding, and in generally good health. The participants will be asked to complete several questionnaires about their stress, emotions, eating behaviors, and have weight, height, waist circumference measured. Participants also will be asked to provide a sample of scalp hair for stress hormone (cortisol) measurement. The entire session may take up to 45- 90 minutes to complete. Participants will receive $20.00 for their time and effort.

Interested persons should contact Dr. Stephanie Pickett at s_picke2@uncg.edu.

See/Hear: Sept. 13, 2017

YouTube Preview Image

Why Greensboro? There a lot of reasons Greensboro is the place to be. This video, with short interviews taken at the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce’s State of Our Community luncheon on August 30, 2017, shows you just a few reasons Greensboro is a special, vibrant community. All those interviewed are Spartans. Enjoy.

Roy Schwartzman works to share Holocaust survivor testimonies

Portrait of Roy SchwartzmanUNCG Professor of Communication Studies Roy Schwartzman is focused on the power of the word and its consequences. A major portion of his research career has been devoted to Holocaust communication, beginning with Fraktur-font Nazi documents but going far beyond the propaganda of the perpetrators.

“If we’re looking for answers, one of the best ways we can learn is through listening to survivors,” said Dr. Schwartzman. “Not just their words, but by looking to their deeds, and not just through a chronological timeline, but by getting a sense of how they emotionally experience inhumanity. They have unique things to say that we have to heed very carefully.”

Through grants from the Alfred and Anita Schnog Family Foundation, Schwartzman and his colleagues have facilitated several UNCG-based education and outreach projects related to Holocaust testimonies.

One of those projects is a campus performance of the world-touring play “Etty,” with Susan Stein. The one-person play brings to life the diaries and  letters of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jewish woman who witnessed the Nazi occupation of Holland and was killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp at age 29. The Nov. 8 performance is sponsored by the Communication Studies Department, the Religious Studies Department’s Jewish Studies Program, and the UNCG Holocaust & Genocide Studies Research & Teaching Network.

The AfterWords Project is another UNCG project supported by the Schnog Family Foundation as well as several other grants.

It is a collection of resources focusing on Holocaust survivor testimonies, focusing on life after the Holocaust. This work deals especially with cultural adjustment, reshaping personal identity and re-crafting group identity in the United States. Another resource supported by the Schnog Family Foundation and the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust is the North Carolina Holocaust Education and Outreach (NC HERO) project, which addresses Holocaust and genocide prevention through the sharing of educational resources and research. NC HERO resources are connected to Holocaust education that involves survivors who relocated to North Carolina.

Schwartzman is teaching the “Voices of the Holocaust” course this fall at UNCG, as he has done in the past, but his investment in Holocaust education extends beyond the campus. He has worked with the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching to offer continuing education workshops for K-12 teachers. North Carolina was the first state in United States to require that Holocaust education occur in K-12 schools, and the historic commitment is taken seriously by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, and by teachers.

For his UNCG courses Schwartzman often works with the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive (VHA), the world’s largest video testimony of Holocaust survivors, which was founded by Steven Spielberg. The 52,000 video testimonies can reveal different narrations of the same events, showing how events affected people differently. Although it is chiefly focused on the Holocaust, the collection has expanded to include testimonies from survivors of the Cambodian, Rwandan, Nanjing, Guatemalan and Armenian genocides.

“Each testimony is a new angle,” said Schwartzman, explaining that the diversity of recorded experiences allows a researcher to move beyond iconic representations of genocide survivors often seen in popular movies. “It’s the everyday lived experience in all of its facets, how people deal with major life traumas and how they creatively respond.”

Schwartzman negotiated an agreement for UNCG to become one of approximately 50 sites in the world with full access to the Shoah Foundation Institute’s VHA.

At UNCG, Schwartzman creates opportunities not just to experience events, but for students to get involved in projects, engaging in research and creative activity that builds a connection to survivor stories. Several years ago he founded the UNCG Holocaust & Genocide Studies Research & Teaching Network, an interdisciplinary support network for curricular offerings, co-curricular activities and public events at UNCG that deal with the study of genocides

“There are great opportunities here for various groups that have specific concerns with survivors of collective traumas,” he said. “Given the nature of the UNCG community at large, we take our commitment to each other very seriously, as well as our principles, and we can practice vigorous, active listening to voices of people who have faced dangerous powers. If you’re doing that type of work, this is a great place to be.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

UNCG approaches 20,000 students as enrollment grows for fourth straight year

UNCG announced record overall enrollment of 19,922 students for this year, the fourth straight year enrollment has grown at the Triad’s largest state university.

Enrollment climbed almost 1.4 percent from last year (19,653) with a strong 3.3 percent increase in graduate students (from 3,372 to 3,483). This year, UNCG welcomed its second-largest new student (freshmen and transfer student) class ever at 4,657 students. Even as the university grew, the average high school GPA for freshmen increased by 0.3 percent to 3.83. UNCG also reports a 23 percent increase in distance education credit hours, from 18,700 during the 2016-17 academic year to 23,000 this year. Total student credit hours are up by 1.3 percent to more than 247,600.

“Our record enrollment and steady growth demonstrate that UNCG is living up to its promise as an institution that provides opportunity and academic excellence for both undergraduate and graduate students,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “With a significant new student population, as well as growth in both the graduate school and online programs, we think UNCG has real momentum. Of course for us, growth is important, but the true focus and priority of our institution is ensuring that we produce capable, qualified, well-trained graduates ready for productive careers and prepared to serve our state, our region and our world.”

UNCG continues to expand its capabilities, services and infrastructure to support its growing student population. This year, the university opened up a new phase of mixed-use residential and commercial development called Spartan Village II, with added space for more than 300 new residential students. UNCG now has almost 5,400 students living on campus.

The university has also focused on innovative programs to improve retention and foster student success. For example, UNCG has been chosen to join 30 other institutions nationwide in a new effort to help close achievement gaps, better prepare students for college and help improve educational outcomes. Called the “Frontier Set,” and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this project will identify successful strategies for improving graduation rates, especially for low-income, first generation and students of color.

Additionally, UNCG is actively creating new programs to help drive continued growth. In August, UNCG announced two new co-admission agreements with Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC) and Alamance Community College (ACC) to facilitate degree completion and bolster student success by improving access to undergraduate and graduate educational resources, university facilities and support systems. Programs like these will help meet the increasing demand of incoming community college students as they work toward a 4-year degree.

Join the parade on ‘Spartan Way’ at National Folk Festival

photo of Folk_FestivalGet ready to paint the town blue and gold when Davie Street in downtown Greensboro is transformed by Spartan pride for this weekend’s National Folk Festival Sept 8-10.

On Sept. 1, Greensboro Mayor Pro Tem Yvonne Johnson officially proclaimed the city street “Spartan Way” in honor of UNCG’s 125th anniversary.

The street will be one of the main thoroughfares of the free outdoor festival featuring seven stages and 300 traditional performers and craftspeople and expected to draw crowds of over 100,000 to the Gate City’s vibrant Elm Street district.

The traveling festival will end its three-year run in Greensboro this year before heading to Maryland in 2018. The festival, produced by the National Council for the Traditional Arts and this year in partnership with Arts Greensboro, was first presented in St. Louis in 1934 and is the oldest multicultural festival of traditional arts in the nation. It is always free of charge and spans three days celebrating the roots, richness and variety of American culture. The three-year stay in each host city is intended to lay the groundwork for a sustainable, locally produced festival that continues after it moves on.

Dr. Gavin Douglas, associate professor of music (ethnomusicology) at UNCG, initially lobbied for the festival’s visit in Greensboro five years ago.

“This place was a community already that to some degree celebrated diversity – I think there’s a resonance there with UNCG’s mission that piggybacks on that,” he said. “UNCG is also pushing globalization and highlighting global awareness in the campus community.”

Douglas said performers like the eclectic jazz ensemble Sun Ra Arkestra, the Brooklyn-based Moroccan sextet Innov Gnawa, the classic Ethiojazz creation Feedel Band from Washington, DC, Staten Island’s Sri Lankan Dance Academy of NY and the Bulgarian Wedding Music of saxophonist Yuri Yunakov are some of the acts not to be missed.

Douglas, who served on the planning committee for the festival, said the group had a fairly loose definition of what counts as folk, which typically tends to be defined as acoustic, mountain or rural. The committee’s definition was more inclusive and focused on grassroots and community-maintained traditions.

And then there’s the argument of whether or not these acts are American, Douglas added.

“It’s absolutely global, but it’s absolutely American,” he said.

Performances on Center City Park, City Stage and LeBauer Park stages will be visible along Spartan Way, which will host food and drink vendors and LimeBike parking.

UNCG’s pep band, the Bands of Sparta, will entertain crowds as student ambassadors greet visitors. The NanoBus will be parked on site, as well as an art truck and SELF Design Studio with hands-on activities including 3D printers and robotics. The Bryan School of Business will gather data to assess the festival’s economic impact on the region.

Friday evening, UNCG athletes, cheerleaders, the dance team, Spiro and Chancellor Gilliam help kick off the festival by joining the New Orleans-style opening paradeled by the Tremé Brass Band at 6:30 p.m.

UNCG is still in need of volunteers to set up, hand out giveaways and collect data during the festival. Visit https://tinyurl.com/UNCG-NFF to sign up.

“It’s quite an amazing operation to have 3,000 volunteers from the community that make this work,” Douglas said.

For a full schedule of performances and information about the National Folk Festival, visit nationalfolkfestival.com.

Story by Elizabeth L. Harrison
Photography courtesy of the National Folk Festival

Sierra Club ranks UNCG No. 3 in UNC system for sustainability

photo of SustainabilityFor the seventh straight year, UNCG ranks among the most sustainable colleges and universities in the United States and Canada according to the Sierra Club’s annual “Cool School” rankings.

UNCG is No. 3 among all UNC system schools, with noted strengths in the following categories: innovation, planning, water, co-curricular and waste. Nationally, UNCG ranks in the top 80 out of 227 institutions.

“We’re excited to be recognized as one of the most sustainable institutions not only in our state, but across the United States and Canada,” said Dr. Shanna Eller, sustainability coordinator for operations. “The ranking criteria change each year, which requires institutions to expand and evolve sustainability efforts based on emerging issues in the field. We’re proud to continue to be a leader year after year.”

To participate, institutions must complete an extensive questionnaire and submit data that is then scored and ranked by the Sierra Club, a national environmental organization with more than 3 million members and supporters. Each year, the scoring methodology is updated to reflect trends in campus sustainability as well as the broader priorities of the Sierra Club.

For example, this year, a question about socially responsible investment was included in the questionnaire. In keeping with this emerging issue in sustainability, UNCG will be hosting a series of four community conversations on sustainable and socially responsible investing over the course of the year.

To learn more about sustainability efforts on campus, visit sustainability.uncg.edu. For the complete rankings, visit sierraclub.org/sierra/coolschools-2017.

Story by Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Katie Loyd

Students visit UNCG for hands-on experience in Math-Bio program

photo of Math_BioThe highly selective Bio Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program, funded by the National Science Foundation, provides students with hands-on research experience and the opportunity to make a real impact in solving scientific problems at the intersection between biology and mathematics.

This year, over 120 students across the country applied to be one of the UNCG Math-Bio REU summer participants. After a brief training period, the chosen undergraduates were divided into groups of two to three students to conduct their own research projects with guidance from faculty mentors.

“The students’ projects focused on diseases in humans and honey bees, both highly social species where interactions in complex organizations can lead to disease transmission,” explains biology professor Olav Rueppell, one of the program directors. “Game theoretical and epidemiological modeling was supplemented by practical experiments to study diseases, ranging from Ebola to Israeli Acute Paralysis Virus.”

In addition to conducting research, participants also strengthen their science communication skills by presenting and writing about their findings. The program has been taking place at UNCG for about a decade, and students involved have won numerous awards and co-authored many peer-reviewed papers.

The Math-Bio REU aims to enrich undergraduates’ experience by encouraging them to look beyond their individual disciplines. “It’s a challenging and rewarding program,” says Rueppell. “We immerse students in a stimulating, interdisciplinary environment.”

In addition to Rueppell, this year’s program mentors included Associate Professors Igor Erovenko, Xiaoli Gao and Filip Saidak of the UNCG Department of Mathematics and Statistics and Associate Professor Hyunju Oh of Bennett College. UNCG Mathematics Professor Jan Rychtář serves as lead principal investigator on the project.

Faculty involved with the REU hope that students will go on to act as ambassadors for both the program and for undergraduate research in general.

Article by Hope Voorhees
See the full post at UNCG Research & Engagement


Faculty Senate Meeting Sept. 6

The Faculty Senate will meet today (Sept. 6, 2017) at 3 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room of the Alumni House.

Chair Andrea Hunter and Provost Dana Dunn will provide remarks.

Andrew Cagle and Nikki Baker with the Office of the Chancellor will provide a Legislative Update.

At 3:45 p.m., Kristine Sunda, executive director of Banner 9 Implementation, and Michael Gaines, University Registrar, will give a presentation on Banner 9, the new release of the Banner ERP System.

Faculty Senate Secretary Brad Johnson and Immediate Past Chair Anne Wallace will provide updates on the Faculty Senate website and Chancellor Chats.

At 4:30, there will be a round table on communication strategies and connecting with faculty.

Upcoming dates:

General Faculty Meeting & Convocation

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 3 – 5 p.m.

Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room

(Followed by a New Faculty Reception in the Faculty Center)

Faculty Senate Meeting

Wednesday, Oct. 6, 3 – 5 p.m.

Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room

Faculty Forum: General Education Program Review

Wednesday, Oct. 18, 3 – 5 p.m.

Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room

Expert offers advice for mentoring underrepresented students in STEM

Whether in class, office hours or the research lab, Becky Wai-Ling Packard believes faculty and staff can have a major impact on students through their comments, actions and interactions. Packard, professor of psychology and education and director of the Weissman Center for Leadership at Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts, visits UNCG Thursday, Sept. 14, to discuss bringing intentionality to the mentoring and advising of first-generation and underrepresented students in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The public talk is from 4 to 5 p.m. in the School of Education Room 120.

Packard will offer practical recommendations to be more intentional about the time and energy being invested, and in doing so, how mentors and advisors can improve the power of their impact on students.

Over the past 20 years, Packard’s research has focused on the mentoring and persistence of students from diverse backgrounds, with a focus on first-generation college students, students of color, community-college transfer students, nontraditional-aged students, low-income students and women in technical fields. Her piece in the New York Times’ online education blog was awarded a Fame Award for the best portrayal of community colleges in the public media. Packard’s book, “Successful STEM Mentoring Initiatives for Underrepresented Students: A Research-Based Guide for Faculty and Administrators,” has been used as a resource by multiple institutions. She has worked with over 45 institutions on mentoring, advising and inclusion initiatives.

NCAA sport science institute, UNCG launch online health and wellness resource for freshmen student-athletes

photo of WyrickThe NCAA Sport Science Institute has partnered with UNCG to develop a new online program for freshmen student-athletes at NCAA-member schools that encourages healthy decision-making.

The Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness (IPAHW) at UNCG developed myPlaybook, an online educational tool that targets health promotion strategies such as social norms, behavioral expectancies, behavioral intentions, bystander decision-making and harm prevention skills.  

“myPlaybook is a manifestation of our mission, translating the latest evidence from behavioral sciences into practical tools and resources to make significant impacts on athletes’ lives,” said Dr. David Wyrick, director of the IPAHW.

In previous years, the Sport Science Institute has sponsored pilot funding for NCAA schools to use myPlaybook. The Sport Science Institute built on these efforts and in 2017, commissioned The Institute to Promote Athlete Health & Wellness to develop The Freshman Experience, an evidence-based curriculum that specifically targets a student-athlete’s freshman year as a critical opportunity for intervention and behavior change. To date, more than 170 schools from NCAA Divisions I, II and III have registered for the program.

The Freshman Experience curriculum includes a core module for alcohol, banned and recreational drugs as well as supplemental modules for mental health, sexual violence prevention and time management. Additional modules on sleep wellness, hazing prevention and sport nutrition are expected to be released in the spring of 2018. The Freshman Experience is available at no cost to freshman student-athletes at NCAA member schools.

Tara Green named the Linda Carlisle Excellence Professor

photo of GreenDr. Tara T. Green was recently named the Linda Carlisle Excellence Professor at UNCG. The professorship, which rewards the most promising faculty research agendas, was effective Aug. 1.

The Linda Arnold Carlisle Distinguished Excellence Professorship was established in 2002 by the UNCG Friends of Women’s and Gender Studies for the purpose of enhancing the academic and co-curricular programs of Women and Gender Studies, with the hope that the work will build energy throughout the campus. The four-year professorship comes with an annual research budget to support her research.

Green, who joined the UNCG faculty in 2008, has appointments in African American and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of English, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Excellence Professors are expected to engage with the academic and the surrounding community and Green, whose research focuses on the lives of black women, says her work appeals to multiple audiences.

“I seek to give voice to women who are too often overlooked in historical studies despite their contributions to society,” she said. “Exploring what they experienced both in their intimate lives and their public lives provides a template many can use in formatting their own agendas or in understanding what fuels their success.”

Green received her bachelor’s degree in English from Dillard University in New Orleans and her master’s and a doctorate in English, with an emphasis in African American literature from Louisiana State University. Before coming to UNCG, she taught at universities in Louisiana and Arizona.

Her research interests include African American autobiographies, twentieth-century novels, gender studies, Black southern studies, African literature, and the U.S. Black diaspora. She has published numerous articles and made presentations in these areas of research. Her books From the Plantation to the Prison: African American Confinement Literature, A Fatherless Child: Autobiographical Perspectives of African American Men, which was the winner of the 2011 National Council for Black Studies for Outstanding Publication in Africana Studies, and Presenting Oprah Winfrey, Her Films, and African American Literature, reflect her interests in African American literary and interdisciplinary studies. Her forthcoming book, a comparative study on the relationship between water and death in African diasporic literature, titled Reimagining the Middle Passage: Black Resistance in Literature, Television, and Song is due out in Spring 2018 from Ohio State University Press.

Inspired by her fondness for New Orleans, she is completing a manuscript on Alice Dunbar-Nelson, a writer and activist from New Orleans. In addition to presenting locally and nationally, she has presented her research in England, the Caribbean and Africa.

She has served as past president of the Langston Hughes Society and managing editor of the CLAJ, the journal of the College Language Association. Green enjoys mentoring students and working with community organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. She also served on the inaugural community editorial board of the News & Record.

‘Germany: Making Choices’ events begin Sept. 8

The UNCG German Program, in partnership with the German Embassy in Washington, DC, will host a series of events for this year’s “Germany: Making Choices” Campus Weeks to explore the impact of the German federal election on transatlantic relations.

Events will kick off on Friday, Sept. 8, at 10 a.m. in Bryan 160 with a talk by Dr. Peter Pfeiffer, Professor of German at Georgetown University, on “The Most ‘Boring’ Election in Europe: Germany’s Federal Election 2017.”

A panel discussion with Dr. Pfeiffer and UNCG faculty members Dr. Corey Johnson, Dr. Jerry Pubantz and Dr. Susanne Rinner will take place later in the day at 12:30 p.m. in the Pecky Cypress Room of the Alumni House. The panel discussion will be followed by a reception. More information about upcoming events can be found at https://llc.uncg.edu/german/.

Please note the location update in bold. 

See/hear: Sept. 6, 2017

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Taylor Mabe, PhD student at JSNN, and UNCG undergraduate Jenna Schad, were declared popular vote winners of JoVE’s International Film Your Research Contest on Sept. 1. The organization received entrants from over 30 countries.

This international Film Your Research Contest for early-career scientists asked for two minute self-produced videos articulating for a general audience a specific lab/or field experiment – its importance to their overall research focus, as well as the potential societal benefits of their research. More than 100 entries filmed in labs and field settings entered.

Dr. Albert Link

photo of LinkDr. Albert Link (Economics), the Virginia Batte Phillips Distinguished Professor, received new funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology for the project “NETS Database.”

Funding will be used to purchase data on U.S. firms to use with graduate students. The data, assembled by private organizations, relates to job creation and destruction, sales growth, survivability of business startups and the mobility patterns of a sizeable segment of the private sector economy. In-class and dissertation projects will focus on these characterizations of firm behavior that have been affected specifically by the development and use of technologies developed in U.S. Federal laboratories.

Link completed a bachelor of science in mathematics from the University of Richmond and PhD in economics from Tulane University. His research focuses on entrepreneurship, technology and innovation policy, the economics of R&D and policy/program evaluation.

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies

photo of OberliesDr. Nicholas Oberlies (Chemistry & Biochemistry) received additional funding from The Ohio State University for the project “Anticancer agents from Diverse Natural products sources.” This project is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services National Institutes of Health National Cancer Institute.

Funding for the project will be used to screen filamentous fungi for anticancer activity. Promising extracts will be grown on a larger scale. Hits will be pursued via bioactivity-directed fractionation until pure compounds are isolated/characterized.

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.

Humanities Network and Consortium welcome back event

Recognizing that the humanities are at the core of the university’s mission, the Humanities Network and Consortium (HNAC) brings together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines to promote faculty research and to engage the broader public. Join in to connect with colleagues, hear about this year’s programming and enjoy food from Jerusalem Market and cake from Delicious Bakery.

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 4 p.m.

Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House

Looking ahead: Sept. 6, 2017

Reception: UNCG Faculty Biennial Exhibition
Thursday, Sept. 7, 5:30 p.m, Weatherspoon Art Museum

Music: Fiona Ritchie, Doug Orr, Mary Jane Lamond and Wendy MacIsaac
Thursday, Sept. 7, 7 p.m., EUC Auditorium

Colloquium: “Historical erosion, sediment budgeting and legacy sediment in southeastern U.S. steeplands”
Friday, Sept. 8, 3:30 p.m., Graham 106

Women’s Soccer vs. Longwood
Friday, Sept. 8, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

National Folk Festival
Friday, Sept. 8-Sunday, Sept. 10, downtown Greensboro

UNCG Collage: Atlantic Crossings
Saturday, Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m., UNCG Auditorium

Men’s Soccer vs. Presbyterian
Saturday, Sept. 9, 7 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

Women’s Soccer vs. VCU
Sunday, Sept. 10, 2 p.m., UNCG Soccer Stadium

EUC Red Cross Blood Drive
Tuesday, Sept. 12, 8:30 a.m., Cone Ballroom, EUC

Faculty Talk: George Dimock, Family Photographs
Wednesday, Sept. 13, 12:00 p.m., Weatherspoon Art Museum

This post has been updated to show correct date for UNCG Collage concert. It will be Saturday, Sept. 9, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale; visit https://vpa.uncg.edu/collage/collage-gso.


Weight Watchers open house

UNCG Weight Watchers @ Work’s next open house is Wednesday, September 6, 2017, at noon in MHRA 3501.

Interested in joining the UNCG Weight Watchers at Work Program? Come to the Open House. Attending provides you an opportunity to see how a meeting is conducted, meet current participants and have your questions answered by group leader Donna Sexton.

The Weight Watchers at Work program consists of a 12 week series of informative and motivational group meetings. Meeting time ranges from 45 minutes to one-hour weekly on Wednesdays in MHRA 3501 from 12:15-1 p.m. These meetings are open to the entire UNCG community including faculty, staff and students.

For more information, contact Elizabeth L’Eplattenier at 256-1091 or email ebleplat@uncg.edu.

CARS turns 100!

photo of studentUNCG’s Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies (CARS) program is small, but mighty, according to Dr. Nancy Hodges, CARS Burlington Industries Professor and department head – and it’s been going strong for 100 years.

CARS kicked off its centennial year on Aug. 28 with a 100th birthday party for students and a panel discussion featuring alumni who landed careers at one of the biggest jeans makers in the world: VF Corporation. The Alumni Industry Speaker Series will take place monthly and highlight alumni who are working in a variety of apparel and textile-related positions across the country and abroad. The series is free and open to the public.

“The point of the speaker series is role modeling,” Hodges said. “To show students, this is what you can do with your career.”

The celebration continues Friday, Sept. 29, with a two-day research symposium at 10 a.m. in the Alumni House and a Gala Alumni Celebration at Revolution Mill Events Center in the evening.

At the symposium, a panel of invited CARS PhD alumni will discuss the future of higher education in apparel and textiles, alongside 30 peer-reviewed research presentations given by current students and alumni of the CARS PhD program. As part of the centennial, the CARS doctoral program is celebrating a 50-year history as one of the earliest PhD programs established at UNCG.

The gala includes dinner, silent auction and a fashion show featuring designs by current students, faculty, and alumni.

The fashion show features designs inspired by 10 decades of history of the program and will be salon-style, Hodges said, with professional models walking around the tables of guests rather than a runway. The 25 styles were chosen by faculty out of 45 submissions.

CARS is one of the oldest academic programs on campus and consistently ranks among the nation’s top fashion programs. In 2017, CARS was No. 4 in Fashion-Schools.org’s Top 10 Fashion Design Schools and Colleges in the South.

Hodges said many of the program’s students seek out UNCG for CARS.

“Most of our students have been interested in a career in fashion since junior high,” Hodges said.

The clothing and textiles program at UNCG was officially named the Department of Clothing and Textiles and Housing in 1917. Later the department changed to a simpler designation, Clothing and Textiles, until the early 1990s, when it became the Department of Textile Products Design and Marketing. The department name was changed to Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies in 2005 and has been a part of the Bryan School of Business & Economics since 2011.

Now, with just eight faculty, CARS offers bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees. This fall, the program enrolled 300 students across the three program levels. The BS and MS programs produce graduates who understand designing, manufacturing, marketing, and retailing fashion and apparel-related products. PhD graduates go on to hold faculty positions in similar programs at universities all over the country.

All undergraduate students complete an internship to gain hands-on professional experience in the industry. Close partnerships with industry leaders through the CARS Industry Advisory Board allow students to snag internships from North Carolina to New York with brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Saks, Inc., Belk Stores, JC Penney and VF Corporation (The North Face, Wrangler, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica). CARS majors also have a chance to interact with industry professionals through the Internship Poster Competition and the annual CARS Industry Summit.

The student-run THREADS gives CARS students an opportunity for leadership through organizing guest speakers and field trips. The organization also produces an annual fashion show showcasing student design work and a retailing case study competition.

“This year, we are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the CARS department’s legacy as an integral part of UNCG’s history,” said Hodges. “We are proud of the accomplishments of our department and alumni over the past 100 years, and we look forward to an even more impactful future.”

To learn more about the CARS Centennial, upcoming events and how you can participate, visit bryan.uncg.edu/cars/centennial.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison

UNCG chosen for NSF-supported undergraduate research project

photo of ResearchHands-on research is a powerful experience for undergraduates, with a huge impact on student success.

UNCG has been selected, among only 12 institutions nationally, to participate in the National Science Foundation-supported Council of Undergraduate Research (CUR) Transformations Project.

CUR Transformations is a four-year project that will support the development of undergraduate research in courses across the biology and chemistry curricula. As a result of the project, students in introductory through advanced courses will gain authentic scientific experience, and many of them will use the UNCG Wetlands as a living laboratory.

“UNCG is really leading a lot of efforts in student success, and this is another one of those efforts,” said Professor and Head of Biology Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell. “We’re adjusting our curriculum, using biology and chemistry and biochemistry as partner departments, so that more of our students have that experiential learning that we know makes a big difference in how successful they’re going to be.”

“It’s not just about creating a course,” explained lead investigator for the project, Dr. Iglika Pavlova, “but the way we see the curriculum.”

The UNCG Wetlands were installed in March of this year, restoring two areas on campus to a more natural and ecosystem-friendly state. As the habitats gain traction and attract wildlife and other forms of biodiversity, they are also becoming a nexus of biology and chemistry research.

Biology courses that will benefit from the CUR Transformations Project include introductory- to advanced-level courses that examine biodiversity in the wetlands, and courses in biogeochemistry. Among other projects, students will perform field measurements of mercury and devise approaches of lowering mercury levels in restored wetlands. Assistant Professors of Biology Dr. Martin Tsz-Ki Tsui and Dr. Zhenquan Jia also received a mini-grant from UNC GA to create an ecotoxicology research course for undergraduates.

Chemistry courses in the CUR Transformations Project include those in quantitative analysis, which will allow students to perform regular analysis of products of the natural environment.

“In the department’s chemical research, harvesting materials is common, but a research experiment in the living system is unique,” said Professor and Associate Department Head of Chemistry and Biochemistry Dr. Jerry Walsh. “Undergraduate research is something that’s very important for both of our departments. This project will open up the research experience to a wider range of students.”

Joint biology and chemistry projects will collect and analyze fungi that produce medicinal compounds from the wetlands and Peabody Park.

“Ultimately we’re using the strength of our research faculty,” said Pavlova. “At UNCG, we have highly successful researchers who are very involved in undergraduate education and research. And our graduates will represent the scientifically educated population of the future. With authentic scientific experiences, we’re exposing them to the kind of challenge and process it takes to do science and to discover how our world works.”

For information about the UNCG wetlands, contact Dr. Malcolm Schug at mdschug@uncg.edu.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photograph by Martin W. Kane
Visual: Dr. Jerry Walsh and Dr. Iglika Pavlova, l-r

Faculty Biennial exhibition opens at Weatherspoon

photo of Biennial_ArtSixteen of UNCG’s studio art faculty members will show their work in the 2017 Faculty Biennial exhibition, opening Sept. 2 in the Weatherspoon Art Museum. The exhibition is a chance for UNCG students and the community to become acquainted with faculty art work, and a chance for faculty to display new pieces or those that have not been exhibited widely or ever before.

Organized by Curator of Exhibitions Dr. Emily Stamey, the collection includes painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, ceramics, video installations and more.

Patricia Wasserboehr, who has shown work in the biennial exhibition since she came to UNCG in 1982, will give her sculpture “Plumb” its Greensboro debut. Leah Sobsey’s recent “Collections” photographs display specimens from national parks and Sheryl Oring’s “Travel Desk Drawings” feature travel stories from participants in performances at the San Diego International Airport. Michael Ananian’s self portrait “Communitas” shows the artist playing an antebellum-era gourd banjo that he built himself.

Mariam Aziza Stephan, Jennifer Meanley, Barbara Campbell Thomas and Christopher Thomas will show work that Stamey says displays connections to their pieces in the recent “Art on Paper” exhibition.

“There are distinct similarities, but you’ll get to see interesting shifts in how they approach their style and subject matter,” Stamey said.

Along with the work of many returning faculty, the exhibition features pieces by new studio art faculty Rachele Riley and Dane Winkler.

The opening reception for the Faculty Biennial is Sept. 7 at 5:30 p.m. Stamey has also organized a series of talks by the art history faculty throughout the semester (listed below; includes new faculty member Andrew Wasserman).

George Dimock • Sept. 13, 12 p.m.
Elizabeth Perrill • Sept. 27, 12 p.m.
Andrew Wasserman • Oct. 4, 12 p.m.
Heather Holian • Nov. 3, 12 p.m.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Visual: Patricia Wasserboehr, “Plumb”, 2016.