UNCG Campus Weekly

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

An HRS focus: RIF and placement efforts

Dr. Edna Chun, associate vice chancellor for Human Resource Services, has been at UNCG for a few weeks. These weeks have been a particularly busy time for the department. She spoke with Campus Weekly about HRS’ work related to the summer’s cuts in positions, as well as what she foresees for Human Resource Services in the months ahead.

1) Proactive efforts to place people
HRS has been working diligently to match individuals whose positions are being cut with the small number of potentially compatible positions that are currently open, Chun said, in a manner consistent with university policies.

“It won’t work all the time,” she explained.

She knows that the cuts and RIF process are a great concern to employees. HRS is working with deans, vice chancellors and department heads “to have it impact as few people as possible, recognizing there are budget goals to meet,” she said.

“We’re working very hard,” she said. “It’s succeeding to a significant degree,” she said of the placement efforts.

She spoke of the pain of a person losing their job. She hopes that the number of permanent employees who lose their jobs ultimately won’t be as high as some have predicted. “Last year, UNCG and the entire UNC system had made tentative plans to endure a significant cut and therefore many positions that became vacant in 2010-11 were left unfilled or filled by temporary workers,” she explained. “Although the resources to fund these workers are no longer available, this action reduced the number of permanent employees we had to RIF as a result of the cuts that were effective July 1.”

Additionally, Angela Mahoney in HRS has been spearheading outplacement resource efforts, for individuals leaving UNCG employment due to the budget cuts.

2) Affirmative action process
“We’ll be streamlining the affirmative action process,” she said. The goal will be that at the beginning of EPA and SPA job searches, through better use of technologies, those conducting the search will be more readily able to bring affirmative action goals into the process, she explained.

3) Cost-effective electronic HRS training
HRS has lost its one training point person, Jason Morris, she said. HRS will develop more online training components, which employees can take part in at their convenience. These online courses will be cost-efficient for the university.

4) HRS efficiency and effectiveness study
Early in the fall semester, HRS will conduct a study asking stakeholders “What do you think of all of our processes?” The responses, along with knowledge of best practices and data, will help HRS set its goals, Chun said.

The views and responses received will help drive HRS from the outside in, she told CW, and help them be a more strategic office.

“A lot of our processes feed Payroll, but we need to optimize our people power,” she said.

The office will work on its strategic plan in alignment with the Business Affairs and UNCG strategic plans.

She foresees HRS having more of a partnership role with other departments throughout the university.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Bridging the digital divide

Dr. Seung-Hyun Lee (Media Studies) and graduate student Ben Riesser provided basic computer skill classes to clients of the community at the Interactive Resource Center dowtown. The nonprofit IRC, where dozens of faculty and students volunteer, provides services to meet the basic needs of Guilford County residents, particularly people who are homeless. Full story at UNCG News.

Photograph of Greensboro resident Frances Gallman and Dr. Seung-Hyun Lee by Dan Nonte

From Doc Watson to the Bard

071311Feature_TheChangelingThe 2011-2012 Performing Arts Series line-up has been announced.

Tracing its roots to a “lecture concert course” in 1917, the series was known as the University Concert and Lecture Series from 1973 through last year. The renamed series is directed by the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Doc Watson & David Holt
“Hills of Home: Exploring the Music of North Carolina”
Saturday, Sept. 17
Aycock Auditorium

A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, National Heritage Fellowship, and eight Grammy Awards, Doc Watson has been called a “mountain-music patriarch… [and an] Appalachian music master.” He is a powerful singer and a tremendously influential guitarist. David Holt is a musician, storyteller and television host.

Chinese Opera Orchestra of Shanghai
Wednesday, Sept. 28
Elliott University Center

Founded in 2010, the Chinese Opera Orchestra of Shanghai strives to preserve and renew traditional Chinese music by making it accessible to people of all ages and nationalities around the world. Under the directorship of Maestro Wang Yongji, the Orchestra specializes in performing richly crafted arrangements of Chinese folk music and traditional Chinese opera repertoire.

Bill Charlap Trio
Friday, Oct. 14
Aycock Auditorium

One of the world’s premier jazz pianists, Bill Charlap has performed and recorded with many of the leading artists of our time, including jazz masters Phil Woods and Wynton Marsalis, to singers Tony Bennett and Barbra Streisand. Since 1997, he has led the Bill Charlap Trio with bassist and drummer Peter & Kenny Washington—now recognized as one of the leading groups in jazz. Charlap is the artistic director of New York City’s Jazz in July festival at the 92nd Street Y, and he has produced concerts for Jazz at Lincoln Center, the JVC Jazz Festival and the Hollywood Bowl.

Performance will be preceded by a Q&A session at 6:15 p.m. (Open to ticket holders only.)

North Carolina Symphony
Lindberg Chorale, Berg Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, Mahler Symphony No. 4 in G Major
Thursday, Dec. 1
Aycock Auditorium

Founded in 1932 and subsequently the first state-supported symphony in the country, the North Carolina Symphony is led by Music Director Grant Llewellyn. Enjoy Mahler at his most lyrical, a haunting violin concerto by one of Mahler’s finest musical descendants, and a Bach-inspired chorale. Brian Reagin, violin; Christina Pier, soprano.

American Shakespeare Center
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream”
Monday, Jan. 23, 2012
Aycock Auditorium

The American Shakespeare Center re-creates traditional Renaissance performance conditions by performing with the lights on as well as with bending gender roles (women playing men playing women), sparse scenery, lavish costumes, and live music. This comedy of errors is one of Shakespeare’s most popular.

EVIDENCE, A Dance Company
“On Earth Together”
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Aycock Auditorium

Evidence, A Dance Company seamlessly weaves traditional African dance with contemporary choreography and spoken word. It uses movement as a way to reinforce the importance of community in African-American culture and to acquaint audiences with the beauty of traditional African forms and rhythms. Inspired by the music of Stevie Wonder, “On Earth Together” intimately explores relationships between individuals and society at large.

There will be a post-performance “talk-back” led by Ron K. Brown and the company.

Season passes will go on sale Aug. 1, via phone only: 334-5372.

Single tickets will go on sale Aug. 22, online and by phone: 334-4849 or boxoffice.uncg.edu

For more information, visit http://paseries.uncg.edu

By Jessica Beamon with Mike Harris

HRS forums give answers

071311Feature_HRSQuestions about Reduction in Force (RIF) were among many addressed at the July 7 HRS Forum. Deb Carley, director of personnel services, talked at length about the RIF process, adding, “I know it’s weighing on everybody’s mind.”

Dr. Alan Boyette, vice provost, noted that these forums are for EPA and SPA employees. Sitting on the front row, he helpfully provided additional information related to EPA employees.

Steve Honeycutt (Financial Services) spoke as well, explaining that UNCG’s institutional budget cut this year will be 15.3 percent. Boyette added that this year’s lower projected enrollment will result in a loss of funds as well.

Some items noted during the questions and answers:

  • The summer’s second open enrollment for state health insurance will run through July 29. Full details are here. “Participate if you want to make a change,” Carley said. You must do it online. Due to the fact that some may be away for an extended time over the summer, a third open enrollment period will be announced for a brief period after the semester begins.
  • If a person is RIF’ed, they will receive a sheet with lots of information regarding what they are due, Carley said.
  • Those being RIF’ed will be given 30 days notice, she also said.
  • The HRS web site is a source for information.

The value of forums like this, according to Honeycutt? “Relieving anxiety,” he replied.

“We’re giving people the truth,” Carley added, saying that if they don’t know the answer they let the attendees know that.

About 60 people attended the July 7 forum. About 50 people attended the July 6 forum as well, she said, a mix of EPA and SPA. At that one, new HRS associate vice chancellor Edna Chun had been able to attend and speak.

Visual: Deb Carley speaks at the July 7 forum
By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

A midsummer’s update on Program Review

062911Feature_ProgramReviewThe CW editor interviewed Provost David H. Perrin on June 24, asking him several questions about updates to the Academic Program Review process over the past few weeks.

Campus Weekly readers saw the listing of updates in the last issue. What have been the 2-3 most significant revisions or updates in the process, since the semester ended, in your judgment?

Well, we brought a consultant to campus, to help us with the data – the centrally provided data – and to review and provide recommendations for the use of that centrally provided data. And that was a very helpful process, in terms of validating and identifying some of the challenges of producing that data, The consultant provided four recommendations based on his review of our work. We had already begun to respond to several of these recommendations.

One recommendation related to providing more detailed definitions of the data and the data formulations used to produce academic review profiles. We have asked the consultant to continue to work with us and our director of institutional research and a group of faculty on how to refine the definitions moving forward, from this point, which I think will be very helpful to the work of the academic unit committees. That’s one important one.

Another recommendation was to provide more guidance for data relevance and the use of profile data. And at the Deans’ Council retreat we talked about this at length. And the deans will begin to work closely with their unit committees to develop a process for reviewing programs, including guidelines for how to weigh the relevance of each of the criteria that they are reviewing.

Another important recommendation was that departments be allowed to provide a list of data for verification. And we will be inviting departments to do just that – to provide data for verification as part of their responses to the program and department surveys.

So, those were among some of the more important, I think, observations and recommendations of the consultant. The fourth was simply related to a workshop or a meeting to bring together the academic program review committees in August – to touch base on where we are – and we will do that as well.

You say some work had begun on some of these already. How did the revisions come to be? Were they the result of feedback that you’ve heard?

Yes, I think a fundamental tenet of this process is that we be responsive to what we learn and to the feedback that we receive as we move through the process. And this is consistent with conversations I’ve had with provosts all over the country that have engaged in academic program review. So we conducted a series of meetings and forums with Faculty Senate. I met with the department chairs. I attended a couple of meetings with past and present Faculty Senate chairs, to listen to their ideas and suggestions. These revisions to the process have been a result of our interacting with a whole host of groups across the campus. And I think it’s very important that we do that. It is very helpful, I think, in generating a stronger process.

What are some good ways to stay informed, as the process continues?

We have a web site that one can link to from the university web page, from the provost web page, or the Office of Planning and Assessment web page. People can also register for automatic notification when material is posted on the web pages. I think that the deans will be working very closely with their academic unit committees, and those individuals can help to keep their colleagues informed of what is happening. The chancellor will be providing an update on the process in her State of the Campus address. And I will be addressing this during my Faculty Convocation presentation in September. We will provide periodic and regular updates to the Faculty Senate and Faculty Senate meetings. And we will also be working very closely to keep the Board of Trustees informed of what is happening with the process.

The timeline is posted online. I saw four updates to the Program Review web site this week (of June 19). (New items have the word “New!!” with the date beside them.) Looking at the big picture, is there anything you’d like to emphasize to the campus community at this point about the ongoing process?

I know that there is a great deal of apprehension about the process of academic program review. I think we need to view this as an opportunity to identify our strengths, just as much as we do our programs that may be candidates for curtailment. We will take time, in this process. We will review carefully the recommendations of the University Program Review Committee. The campus community will have an opportunity to review those recommendations and to respond to them and to provide feedback to me and the chancellor. We will follow very carefully the guidelines of the system and the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) as related to protection to the greatest extent we can with tenure and tenure-track positions. But I do think it is a process, as difficult as it will be, it is a process that will help shape the future of the university moving forward, in a more focused manner, around our strengths – and help us to maintain a sound and balanced program consistent with our mission and our Strategic Plan.

I see the rosters of all the committees are online. Have there been any changes, or anything the campus should be aware of, in that regard?

There have been some changes to the composition of the University Program Review committee. At the Deans’ Council retreat, we reviewed the backgrounds of the current committee members, and it became apparent that we would benefit from additional strengths in the sciences and in the humanities. So we have added two faculty members who will bring expertise in the sciences and the humanities.

We’ve had to replace the Staff Senate representative. Jason Morris has left the university, so we have replaced Jason on the University Program Review Committee as a Staff Senate representative.

We’ve had just a few changes within some of the Academic Unit Committees, due in large part to the extension of the deadline. For example, we’ve had a couple of the faculty take on some new assignments in their academic units that would make it very difficult for them to continue. But for the most part, the Academic Unit Committees have stayed pretty much intact, as they were originally created.

Editor’s note: The Program Review web page’s address is http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/. The committee rosters may be viewed at http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/committees.aspx.

Provost Perrin interviewed and photographed by Mike Harris

It even chimes like the real one

062911Feature_BellTowerModelAfter four years, Bo Bodenhamer has completed a project that is causing visitors to the Provost’s Office to stare at his creation – especially when it chimes.

People see UNCG’s Bell Tower every day, standing alongside Spring Garden Street next to the Alumni House. Bodenhamer’s work is a seven-foot-tall, one-sixth replica, complete with bells, chimes, four functioning clock faces, meticulously simulated bricks and mortar, a metal roof, handmade corbels and fluted posts. It was done over four years in his spare time and an occasional vacation stretch.

“The detail is amazing,” said Pat O’Rork. “You can check the details on the real Bell Tower and then look at the model – it’s all there.”

It’s there, all right, right down to the replica of the dedication plaque on the big Bell Tower, which was funded with a gift from Drs. Nancy Vacc and Nicholas Vacc, who were faculty in the School of Education. It’s the most expensive item, size-wise, on Bodenhamer’s clock, and cost about $100. Bodenhamer says he stopped keeping records on the cost of the project, but admits “It was more than I thought it would be.”

When you see the replica – you can’t really call it a “miniature” – the question that comes to mind is “What got you started on this, Bo?”

“I can’t say that I’ve been able to come up with a reasonable answer to that question,” he said. “It was something I wanted to do; I worked on it over almost four years, and it’s finished now. People seem to enjoy looking at it.”

The detail is meticulous, and Bodenhamer, who is the associate vice provost for academic technology systems, comes by that attention-to-detail naturally. His job requires it, and he grew up with it. His father did clock repairs, and when Bo was around eight or 10 years of age, his father began teaching him the trade, something that requires patience and attention to very fine detail.

Bodenhamer took many photos of the bell tower and its clock faces and produced pages of diagrams and plans. He had to search the Internet to find the correct clock face and also the correct font for the lettering. The texture base for his bricks came from “stone touch” spray paint, but then he spent days cutting out the individual bricks in a template that he could spray paint – red for the bricks and white for the mortar. He says there should be as many bricks on the model as there are in the real Bell Tower.

He duplicated the stone molding with wood and then chiseled it out to look like a rough stone finish. The model’s roof is aluminum, in a color that resembles the Bell Tower’s. When he couldn’t find clock hands that were a scale replica, he made them out of stainless steel.

When its stay is over at the Provost’s Office, the replica will go back to Bodenhamer’s house. He still does clock repair in the workshop he converted from a barn, and plans to do it as a business when he retires.

By Steve Gilliam
Photograph by David Wilson

Lighting the way, at Triad Stage

061511Feature_WolfIn a junior high school speech class, all his classmates voted to do a play. Not John Wolf. He was the lone dissenter – he voted to do a debate. He found himself in his first play: “Griselda the Governess.”

It’s ironic, he notes. “Out of those 28 kids, I’m the only one in theatre,” he reflects. “I did that play. I just kept doing it.”

Along the way, Wolf had a professional internship at Juilliard. And a number of New York City credits, including at Lincoln Center, in association with the Equity Library Theatre. He did scenery and lighting for their original play “Winterville.”

A professor of theatre at UNCG, a lot of students know him for managing the production program – “everything in day-to-day operations,” he explains.

At Triad Stage, the professional regional theatre in downtown Greensboro, he’s known for lighting. He’s the resident lighting designer.

He has been lighting the productions since the first year, 2000. “I did two shows the first season.”

Each summer, the UNCG Theatre Department and Triad Stage collaborate. It’s called Theatre 232. And it gives more than two dozen UNCG theatre students experience in a professional environment. Eight are actors in the mainstage production, “Masquerade.” Nine theatre faculty and staff are involved as well.

“A Bomb-itty of Errors,” a comedy in the upstairs cabaret space, will feature three second-year designing graduate students: Derrick Vanmeter (scenery), Bruce Young (costumes) and Matt Sale (lighting/sound). The other of the four second-year students is assistant lighting director for “Masquarade,” a farce on the main stage.

Wolf is the “Masquerade” lighting director. Alex Ginder is the assistant lighting director. During tech rehearsal two days before previews began in front of audiences, they sat side by side in front of a laptop and two monitors. On the table were headphones, microphones, cables, various papers and plenty of notes.

The stage manager calls a five minute break. The assistant stage manager, rising senior Samantha Honeycutt, steps over to speaks with Alex.

Alex explains he has been coming to plays since he was three – his parents were involved in theatre. By high school, he was running sound boards and light boards. He wanted to be a computer games designer – and he notes the similarity. After he graduates, he aspires to ultimately teach.

A few days before the first preview, and he said the comedy “continues to develop.”

“It’s been a lot of fun,” he said, adding that it’s meant long nights too. That’s theatre. “It’s great in the heat of summer to be in a theatre laughing.”

Maximizing laughs entails “serious discussion,” he explains. “Someone may say ‘Oh, that would be funny…” That may mean adding props, changing lighting or cues, what have you. “But would it be funnier if….”

In the scene for this hour, characters and topiary make a comical entrance, as a hip-hop French Baroque beat sets the mood. Wolf shakes his head with the rhythm.

Director Preston Lane, an adjunct UNCG faculty member, hops down the aisle with an idea. “What happens if you get caught up in the topiary?” he suggests to an actress. She tries that out – and draws laughs. “It’s funny that you get a little confused,” Lane says.

Wolf and Alex confer from time to time. Alex checks the Cabaret space for a piece of equipment they may need. When he returns, Wolf points to different areas above the seats and stage, noting where they can add or adjust lighting.

Rehearsals are tightly managed; but at the same time there’s a collegial atmosphere. In the low light, about a dozen monitors glow, from various parts of the audience section. The props master, scenic designer, sound designer, lighting designer, stage manager, director, master electrician, production designer, actors – everyone is working toward one goal.

For the students, networking is a huge plus. They work with people who are not classmates, Wolf explains. You want to get to know a wide number of people. “It’s as much who you know as what you know,” Wolf says, to gain success in the theatre world.

He explains that the academic environment is quite safe to be creative in. A professional one, not so much. Their experience this summer at Triad Stage will let them “see how it works, at the professional level.”

Triad Stage is a big part of their UNCG education. “Everyone is there as a professional – or a student learning to be a professional.”

The three Theatre 232 productions are:

“Masquerade” at Triad Stage’s main stage – Through June 26. Call 272-0160 or triadstage.org to purchase tickets.

“If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” at Brown Building Theatre – June 14-July 1. Call 272-0160 or 334-4392.

“Bomb-itty of Erors” at Triad Stage’s Upstage Cabaret – June 17-July 2. Call 272-0160.

See details, set design, schedules and more at http://www.triadstage.org/mainstage/masquerade/index.php and http://triadstage.org/upstage/theatre232-11/.

By Mike Harris.
Photograph of John Wolf by David Wilson.

Improv at Moore Nursing

061511Feature_NursingBeing a nurse means having hard, clinical skills – and also the soft skills of calming patients and reading their emotional state.

That’s why Mona Shattell and Lillie Granger (Nursing) decided to involve theatre students in their Nursing Care of Individuals with Psychosocial Problems curriculum, a required course for undergraduate nursing students. The theatre students perform original skits and scenes from plays, and use improvisational role-playing and sensory exercises, to help the student nurses connect with patients who have mental illness or are stressed by a frightening diagnosis.

Granger got the idea after speaking with Denise Gabriel in Theatre. It has turned into quite a collaboration.

Full story at University News.

Reaching out to minority contractors, suppliers

060111Feature_ContractorsHow do you learn how to bid on construction projects at universities? How to be considered as vendors? How to be considered for work or as a supplier by the contractors and the vendors who currently have contracts – whether in construction, dining services, etc?

UNCG, along with NC A&T State and Winston-Salem State University, created what they called a “UNCG System Triad Coaliition” to bring minority business owners and potential clients together. Their first annual Minority Construction and Supplier Outreach Program was May 20 in EUC’s Cone Ballroom. The theme: “Building Lasting Relationships.”

The meet-and-greet event reached out to historically underutilized businesses (known as HUB). Before the event began, UNCG’s HUB Coordinator, Tony Phillips (Business Affairs), explained these include businesses owned by women, by ethnic minority populations such as Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, by military veterans and by those with disabilities.

This event, he explained, helps “to open the door of opportunity” by presenting a chance for individuals to make connections and learn — all at one location. He said they had sent out about 250 invitations, and at least 150 were expected to attend.

Associate Vice Chancellors Jorge Quintal (UNCG), Owen J. Cooks (WSSU) and Andrew Perkins (NC A&T) welcomed everyone. The HUB coordinator on the three campuses, Brenda Fulmore (WSSU), Tony Phillips (UNCG) and James Griffin (NC A&T), spoke briefly as well.

Panelists included representatives from SRS, Balfour Beatty, Rodgers Builders, Bovis, Rentenbach Construction and the NC HUB Office.

Other HUB coordinators spoke as well. “Learn the processes,” Dorothy Vick (HUB coordinator at UNC Charlotte) told the attendees, explaining that each state university may do things a little differently.

Cynthia Barnes, assistant director of renovations at UNCG, concluded the programmed part of the event by encouraging all the attendees to speak with others and trade business cards. “Get out and do some networking. Network, network, network.”

Those with questions may contact Tony Phillips at 256-1069 or a_philli@uncg.edu.

By Mike Harris
Visual: Individuals, including James Griffin (HUB coordinator at NC A&T, center foreground, in black jacket) network at the event.

Justice for war crimes fugitive

060111Feature_WagnerAfter 16 years, Ratko Mladic has been caught.

The headlines last Thursday (May 26) announced the news: “War Crimes Fugitive Mladic Arrested in Serbia” (AP), “Serbia Arrests ‘Butcher of Bosnia’ Ratko Mladic for Alleged War Crimes” (Fox News).

The AP story that day described him as “the ruthless Bosnian Serb military leader charged with orchestrating Europe’s worst massacre of civilians since World War II.” It referred to the well-known 1995 massacre of about 8,000 Bosnian Muslim males at Srebrenica, in the former Yugoslavia.

Dr. Sarah Wagner, assistant professor of Anthropology, has researched the forensic processes used to identify the victims of that massacre at Srebrenica. Her book “To Know Where He Lies: DNA Technology and the Search for Srebrenica’s Missing” was published in 2008 by the University of California Press. It examined not only the identification of the human remains, but the impact on the families of those massacred, as well as the larger political dynamics.

(See news release about that book, by Michelle Hines.)

Her work in this area continues.

Wagner and Dr. Lara Nettelfield are co-authoring the book “Srebrenica in the Aftermath of Genocide,” which is set to be published by Cambridge University Press next year. Cambridge University Press has published a three-part series of blog posts in anticipation of the book:

Fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Mars Mira Peace March

Fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Srebrenica Potocari Memorial Center

Fifteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide: Memorial visit to Srebrenica

The blog posts, with many pictures, detail a large, commemorative peace march last year, retracing the route of the massacre victims. They describe the fifteenth anniversary of the massacre, where the remains of nearly 800 victims were laid to rest. And afterward, a memorial visit by relatives to several of the sites of the killing. At one site, the authors tell of family members encountering gun shell casings and bones that remained visible in the rocky ground. At another, the Pilica Cultural Center, a large room is riddled with bullet holes in the walls.

Wagner’s eye is not only on the massacre victims, but on those who continue to live in Bosnia, and their future. She and Nettelfield note the military gains Mladic achieved continue to hinder Bosnia’s economic and political prospects. And news reports from the past days show those living in Bosina have little anticipation that justice will be served, even if he spends his remaining years in prison. The two authors cite a returned refugee comparing Mladic’s quality of life with hers. “It’ll be like a nursing home for him. … There’s no justice in that.”

See video on Sarah Wagner’s work.

By Mike Harris
Visual: Of graves at Srebrenica Potocari memorial center, from video by UNCG MFA students Adnan Dzumhur and Alice Dull.

We’ll rethink 3-tier system, provost says

051811Feature_ProvostProgReviewWhen General Administration’s program review assesses UNCG, our program review process will help UNCG advocate for its strongest programs. But there are concerns to work through, as those who attended the Faculty Senate’s most recent forum heard.

“We have some issues to get right,” Provost David H. Perrin told the Board of Trustees at their May 5 meeting. He cited two examples: how to use data and how to break the programs into segments or tiers.

He told the trustees that he had met recently with all department chairs, deans and Faculty Senate members to discuss Program Review and to hear their concerns. Later that week, he would meet with seven current or past Faculty Senate chairs to hear their thoughts and concerns.

Earlier, at the Faculty Senate’s forum on April 27, a number of concerns and suggestions were raised by faculty members.

“I hope we can take this summer to get a better position for faculty to move this forward,” Perrin told the trustees.

Those two specific concerns – use of data and the proposed three-tier system – are being addressed. For example, he has invited a consultant to work with UNCG’s Office of Institutional Research regarding data.

And he acknowledged the concern expressed about the proposed three-tier system, by which the program review committees would essentially rank programs into three groupings. “We will rethink this,” he said.

After meeting with the current and past Faculty Senate chairs, as well as Program Review Unit Committee chairs, he updated the deans recently with a detailed message, with information he invited them to share with faculty and staff in their schools.

(See the memo here.)

He will announce a new timeline for Academic Program Review, he said, after Dean’s Council meets in late May. He added, “It is important that we position the university to begin the unit reviews in the fall.”

He anticipates a retreat in August, before classes begin, for members of the program review committees.

Faculty and staff may continue to provide suggestions at http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/. At that Program Review site, you may sign up for the listserv for updates when new information is added to the site. “We want the discussion of how to improve this process to be as inclusive as possible, which will be a challenge given that summer is now under way,” he said. “We are hoping faculty and staff will find this web site a convenient way to remain engaged because it is very important that we work together to address the challenges facing our university.”

By Mike Harris
Visual from UNCG Photography archives, Chris English photographer

Lucas receives BOG Teaching Excellence Award

051811Feature_LucusAs both a designer and a historian, Dr. Patrick Lee Lucas embraces creativity, intellectual rigor, cross-disciplinary collaboration, synthetic thinking and community outreach.

Guided by these values, his teaching inspires students to find innovative ways to understand and engage the visual world and has earned him a 2011 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Lucas, an associate professor of interior architecture, received the award during commencement at the Greensboro Coliseum. Established by the Board of Governors in 1994 to underscore the importance of teaching, the Teaching Excellence Awards are given annually to a tenured faculty member at each campus in the UNC system.

Lucas’ signature project to date has been his work with the Lowenstein Legacy, an ongoing, collaborative learning experience centered on the work of Greensboro architectural modernist Edward Lowenstein. He has supervised students as they designed and installed exhibits about the architect and has engaged them in higher-level thinking about their work and its meaning for mid-century modernism in the United States.

“Stewardship and empowerment through design lie at the heart of each of Dr. Lucas’ courses,” student Mira Eng-Goetz said. “In his course ‘Community by Design,’ I was challenged to address the local public transportation system, taking into account elements such as Southern history, the Civil Rights Movement, community needs, poverty, disparity and segregation.

“This project led me out of the studio and into the community, where Dr. Lucas has taught me to seek insight and diverse perspectives. By the end of the course, I had acquired the skill to collaborate across social boundaries to design for social change.”

During his eight years at UNCG, Lucas’ teaching has reached learners at many stages of their studies, from undergraduate lectures in history and theory of design to graduate seminars in material culture or research methods, from first-year seminars in Lloyd International Honors College to an Emeritus Society course in the Division of Continual Learning.

Faculty colleagues, too, laud his teaching.

“The ultimate indicator of a teacher’s effectiveness is the quality of his or her students’ work. In Dr. Lucas’ case, the work is superlative,” said K. Porter Aichele, an art professor and herself an award-winning teacher. “Conceptually well developed, technically competent, and visually and verbally well communicated, his students’ work is a testament to his teaching excellence.”

Lucas earned his bachelor’s in architecture at the University of Cincinnati, a master’s in interior design at the University of Kentucky and a doctorate in American studies at Michigan State University. He is working on a book about Lowenstein’s work.

By Dan Nonte

Thomas Haggai Will Speak at Commencement

050411Feature_CommencementThomas S. Haggai, business executive and motivational speaker, will give the address at spring commencement.

It begins at 10 a.m. Friday, May 6, in the Greensboro Coliseum. Approximately 2,600 students are expected to graduate.

Haggai, who will also receive an honorary degree at commencement, has been the chief executive officer and president of IGA, Inc. since 1986. He also serves as a director of Davids Limited, Australia, and has served as a director of Super Food Services, Inc. since 1971. He has been a lecturer, author and radio commentator since 1976.

In 1963, Haggai founded the THA (Thomas Haggai and Associates) Foundation with 250 national business and professional leaders. The Foundation awards college scholarships to non-traditional students returning to school to earn certification as elementary school teachers. The Foundation has awarded more than 800 scholarships amounting to more than $2 million. In 2001, he received the first Thomas S. Haggai Award established by IGA to honor individuals who exemplify character, leadership and community service.

THA has been providing annual scholarship support to UNCG’s School of Education since 2001, giving $60,000 annually since 2005. The Foundation has invested a total of $565,000 at UNCG to support older students studying to be elementary school teachers.

Zimuzor Ogochukwu will speak for the Class of 2011. Ogochukwu will visit Asia as a Luce Scholar after graduation.

Faculty Marshal and mace bearer is Dr. Daniel Winkler. Chief Student Marshal is Katie Skawski.

Tassel Turner is Michael Tuso.

Mary Katsikas, who majored in chemistry at Woman’s College and who has worked in the chemistry department since then, will represent the Class of 1961 as alumni bell ringer. Sabrina Epps will ring the bell for the Class of 2011.

Full details can be found at the Commencement Central web site, http://www.uncg.edu/reg/CommencementCentral.html

Live streaming will be available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/may-graduation.

By Michelle Hines
Photograph by Chris English

Shooting for the Moon

050411Feature_MoonRockOne unforgettable day in 1970, Debra Sea’s dad, a NASA science demonstrator, brought home a moon rock. The sense of wonder she felt as a 10-year-old remains with her today.

“It’s always been a source of inspiration,” says Sea, an MFA film student at UNCG. “I believe anything is possible, and I tie that belief back to my experience when I was 10.”

Sea wanted more children to have the same opportunity. The story of how she made that happen is told in her 12-minute thesis film, “Moon Rock,” created with support from one of only three 2011 Carole Fielding Student Grants awarded by the University Film & Video Association. Michael Frierson, associate professor of media studies, advised her throughout the project.

“Moon Rock” and three more thesis films by MFA students will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 5, at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. A reception will start at 6 p.m.; a Q&A session with the filmmakers will follow the screening.

Assisted by first-year MFA student Adrienne Ostberg, Sea traveled to Hampton, Va., to borrow a moon rock from NASA; transported it to Minnesota; and brought her dad out of retirement to show the rock to schoolchildren.

NASA doesn’t lend its moon rocks lightly. Sea, who has a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in geology, spent six months persuading the agency to lend her one of the priceless stones. Enclosed in a Lucite pyramid, the 115-gram rock has its own carrying case. A small brass plate on the case reads, “IF FOUND, RETURN TO – NASA, JOHNSON SPACE CENTER, HOUSTON, TEXAS 77058.”

There are rules for transporting and handling a moon rock. It must be kept in sight or in a safe. It can’t be kept in a motel room overnight. (This caused Sea and Ostberg to spend a night in an airport when their flight was cancelled.) Don’t touch the Lucite without gloves, because the oil from skin can damage and cloud the Lucite. The responsibility made sleep difficult for Sea and Ostberg.

“We took great care to follow the strict NASA rules because we really felt that we were safeguarding a treasure of the American people,” Sea says. “It was an honor and a privilege to show this moon rock to the kids.”

The rock was shown to three classes of fifth-graders, 75 students, at Wadena-Deer Creek Elementary in the northern Minnesota town of Wadena (pop. 3,952). Sea’s brother David teaches fifth grade at the school.

“I was concerned that the fifth graders might be cynical – but they were extremely engaged,” Sea says. “I hope that they will continue to be inspired by the magic and wonder of science and will remember the day a moon rock came to their classroom.”

One of Sea’s earlier works, the experimental film “balance,” was a finalist for a Student Academy Award in the alternative category last year.

By Dan Nonte
Visual: A family photo, from 1970.

Ten Honored at Staff Excellence Event

042711Feature_StaffAwardsKaren Stacherksi (ELCF) and Lisa Walker (Nutrition) received the 2011 Staff Excellence Awards. They will be recognized at the Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards ceremony after the State of the Campus address on August 17.

But at last Wednesday’s Staff Excellence Award Breakfast, the focus was on recognizing all the staff excellence nominees. Ten were honored at the event in Virginia Dare Room.

“I want to congratulate all the nominees here. You all do incredible work,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady told the 10 nominees.

“You and your comrades are always there,” she said. Many work late into the evenings or in the early mornings – and some literally overnight, she noted.

“This year we had 10 amazing nominations,” said Julie Landen, chair of the Staff Senate’s Staff Recognition Committee. She and four other members of the committee – Cynthia Louis, Connie Uselman, Julee Johnson and Kristen Hudy – read the remarks of those who’d nominated the 10 being honored.

“A true master of multi-tasking”… “The glue that holds everything together in these trying times”… “An incredibly caring, thoughtful disposition” were some of the nominees’ comments that were read aloud.

Jason Morris, chair of Staff Senate, made remarks. Kevin Bullard, the former chair of Staff Senate, was on hand as well.

The 10 honored nominees:
Donna Doby (Nursing)
Mary Crowe (Undergraduate Research)
David Kinsey (Nursing)
Karen Haywood (Registar’s Office)
Kim Clark (Campus Recreation)
Michael James (Facilities Operations)
Robette Edwards (Accounting Services)
Amanda Hughes (Music, Theatre and Dance)
Karen Stacherski (Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations)
Lisa Walker (Nutrition)

By Mike Harris
Photograph by David Wilson

Renovations to Quad Will Begin May 7

042711Feature_ResidenceHallAfter housing generations of families and thousands of students, the residence halls that make up UNCG’s beloved Quad are getting an upgrade.

Renovations to the historic Quad will begin May 7. The renovations, estimated to cost $52.5 million and paid for over time by user fees, will keep the residence halls offline for a little more than year. Construction is scheduled to wrap up in the late summer of 2012 for fall occupancy.

The project will include complete interior renovations of Cotton, Bailey, Hinshaw, Coit, Shaw, Jamison and Gray residence halls, totaling approximately 225,000 gross square feet. The renovations will also include exterior building envelope repairs; the replacement of existing windows with energy efficient ones; and ADA accessibility improvements, including ramps and elevators. Improvements will be made to the existing site and underground utilities.

Two living-learning community classrooms will be included on the north side of Shaw Residence Hall as well as new office space. The halls’ parlors will be expanded to two stories and the primary entrances to the buildings will be created on the Quad side of the structures. The mature trees within the Quad will be protected during the renovations, and the grass within the area will be kept with enhanced walkways on either side.

UNCG’s Facilities Design and Construction department is managing the Quad Residence Halls renovations.

After a series of discussions about the fate of the Quad, UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady recommended the renovation of the historic structures to the university’s Board of Trustees in September 2009. “UNCG has demonstrated its commitment to historically sensitive renovation – illustrated by Aycock Auditorium, the Alumni House, Forney and other projects – and I pledge we will approach renovation of the Quad residence halls in the same spirit,” Brady told the board.

The other option considered during planning for the campus’ long-term housing needs was to raze and rebuild the residence halls.

By Lanita Withers Goins
Rendering courtesy Facilities Design and Constuction

Faculty Authors Were Feted

042011Feature_BooksFaculty who had books published over the past year – between January 2010 and March 31, 2011 – were recently honored at a reception held by the University Libraries and the Office of the Provost. Dean Rosann Bazirjian noted, “At the beginning of this academic year, the libraries undertook a new initiative to identify, collect and promote the books written and edited by UNCG’s faculty. Through our faculty authors, our acquisitions staff, department chairs and University Relations, we learned of 43 books in all that were published in 2010 and 2011. The books we’ve now received come from 23 departments — from the schools of Business and Economics; Education; Human Environmental Sciences, Music, Theatre and Dance; Nursing; the Division of Continual Learning, and the College of Arts & Sciences.”

The authors recognized by University Libraries, their department and book title:
Omar Ali – African American Studies “In the Lion’s Mouth”
Ann Millett-Gallant – Art and Liberal Studies “The Disabled Body in Contemporary Art”
Nir Kshetri – Business Administration “The Global Cybercrime Industry: Economic, Institutional and Strategic Perspectives”
Jennifer Yurchisin – Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies “Fashion and the Consumer”
Albert N. Link – Economics “Public Goods, Public Gains”
Svi Shapiro – Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations “Educating Youth for a World Beyond Violence
Dale Brubaker and Misti Williams – Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations “Why the Principalship?: Making the Leap from the Classroom”
Christian Moraru – English “Postcommunism, Postmodernism, and the Global Imagination”
Christian Moraru – English “Cosmoderism”
Christopher Hodgkins – English “George Herbert’s Pastoral: New Essays on the Poet and Priest of Bemerton”
Kelly Ritter – English Who Owns School? Authority, Students, and Online Discourse
Mark Rifkin – English When Did Indians Become Straight?: Kinship, the History of Sexuality, and Native Sovereignty
Mark Elliott – History “Undaunted Radical: The Selected Writings and Speeches of Albion W. Tourgee”
Robert M. Calhoon – History “Tory Insurgents”
David H. Demo – Human Development and Family Studies “Beyond the Average Divorce”
Hamid Nemati – Information Systems and Operations Management “Pervasive Information Security and Privacy Development: Trends and Advancements”
Hamid Nemati – Information Systems and Operations Management “Security and Privacy Assurance in Advancing Technologies”
Hamid Nemati – Information Systems and Operations Management “Applied Cryptography for Cyber Security and Defense”
Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll – Interior Architecture “Thomas Day: Master Craftsman and Free Man of Color”
Donald A. Hodges – Music Education “Music in the Human Experience: An Introduction to Music Psychology”
Laura J. Fero, Charlotte A. Herrick and Jie Hu – Nursing “Introduction to Care Coordination and Nursing Management”
Joshua Hoffman and Gary Rosenkrantz – Philosophy “An Historical Dictionary of Metaphysics”
Susan Buck – Political Science “Public Administration in Theory and Practice”
Heidi Gazelle – Psychology “Social Anxiety in Childhood: Bridging Developmental and Clinical Perspectives”
Jacquelyn White – Psychology “Violence Against Women and Children: Mapping the Terrain”
Jacquelyn White – Psychology “Violence Against Women and Children: Navigating Solutions”
Paul Silvia – Psychology “Public Speaking for Psychologists”
Charles Orzech – Religious Studies “Esoteric Buddhism and the Tantras of East Asia”
Mark Smith-Soto – Romance Languages “Fever Season And Other Poems: A Bilingual Edition Selected and Translated by Mark Smith-Soto”
Ana Hontanilla – Romance Languages “El Gusto De La Razon”
Martica Bacallao – Social Work “Becoming Bicultural: Risk, Resilience, and Latino Youth”
Robert Wineburg – Social Work “Pracademics and Community Change”
Sarah Daynes – Sociology “Time and Memory in Reggae Music”
Ken Allan – Sociology “A Primer in Social & Sociological Theory: An Invitation to Democracy”
Ken Allan – Sociology “Contemporary Social and Sociological Theory,” 2nd edition.
Ken Allan – Sociology “Explorations in Classical Sociological Theory: Seeing the Social World,” 2nd edition.
Francine Johnston – Teacher Education and Higher Education “Words Their Way with Struggling Readers: Word Study for Reading, Vocabulary, and Spelling Instruction, Grades 4 – 12”
Dale Schunk – Teacher Education and Higher Education “Handbook of Self-Regulation of Learning and Performance”
CP Gause – Teacher Education and Higher Education “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Education: A Voice from the Margins”
Deborah Bell – Theatre “Mask Makers and Their Craft: An Illustrated Worldwide Study”
James Fisher – Theatre “Miller in an Hour”
James Fisher – Theatre “Wilder in an Hour”

When a faculty member publishes a book, please notify Kimberly Lutz, University Libraries.

By Kimberly Lutz

$1.9 Million for Study of Early Colleges

042011Feature_SERVEA groundbreaking study of North Carolina’s early college high schools by SERVE Center at UNCG will continue thanks to a new three-year, $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences.

The additional funding will allow researchers, led by principal investigator Julie Edmunds, Ph.D., to continue tracking early college students and a control group of students in traditional high schools.

“We’re going to follow these students through high school graduation and beyond,” Edmunds said. “We’ll be making site visits and looking at how early colleges prepare students for postsecondary education. We’ll collect information about the number of college credits students earn during high school and where they enroll afterwards.”

The study already has found that ninth-graders in early college are more likely to be on track for college and much less likely to be suspended than their peers in traditional high schools, according to a 2010 report by SERVE Center. Early colleges also appear to shrink the performance gap between minority and non-minority students.

Early colleges are located on college campuses, serve fewer than 400 students, and allow students to graduate in four or five years with a high school diploma and an associate’s degree or two years of college credit. They serve students in groups traditionally underrepresented in college: students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, students who would be the first in their families to attend college, and students who are members of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups.

The SERVE Center study used a lottery to assign students to early colleges or traditional high schools. The research team tracked and compared the groups using a range of measures.

“The beauty of a study like this is that we can say that the results were caused by whether the students attended early college or not,” said Ludy van Broekhuizen, PhD, executive director of SERVE Center. “A rigorous, experimental study like this one allows us to take student selection bias out of the equation.”

The project’s research team is led by SERVE Center and includes the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the North Carolina New Schools Project, Duke University Center for Child and Family Policy, Abt Associates, RTI International and faculty from UNCG.

UNCG’s SERVE Center is an education research and development center. It houses the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Southeast; the National Center for Homeless Education; and numerous other technical assistance, research and evaluation projects.

By Dan Nonte
Photography from University Relations archives.

Home at Last

041311Feature_HabitatThe bright, sunny day felt like a good omen.

After months of working through all kinds of weather, the people who had swung hammers, wielded paint brushes and landscaped the yard came to dedicate the Habitat for Humanity house at 1505 Village Crest Drive on April 8.

The Beshir Ibnaouf and Maarif Abbas family proudly watched as well-wishers kicked off their shoes and walked into the house to explore the completed home. Some women bustled in the kitchen, warming trays of food that would be presented at the end of the dedication.

Outside, members of the UNCG community, Well∙Spring Retirement Community, Habitat and other family and friends mingled and shook hands. Well∙Spring funded the project, while UNCG and the family provided the labor.

“It’s amazing what a team can do when a team comes together,” said Chancellor Linda P. Brady, a short time later during the ceremony. Turning to Beshir and Maarif, she said, “I hope you have many years of happiness here.”

Dr. Anita Tesh, associate dean of the School of Nursing who served as the liaison between the university and the family, noted the family has been working toward the goal of having their own home since 1997, when Beshir first emigrated from the Sudan.

“I can think of no more perfect family for this,” she said. “These are folks we are going to be very happy to have as neighbors.”

Steve Fleming, CEO of Well∙Spring, noted that this was truly an inter-generational undertaking, with supporters ranging from ages 100 to 18.

“Times are tough and partnerships like these are going to be more important than ever,” he said.

Amanda Albert, the Habitat construction staff member who led volunteers step-by-step through the home-building process, presented the family with a Bible and Qran. Later, when Beshir made his remarks, he singled her out. “Amanda, you did a great job.”

The two-story, four bedroom house spans 1,550 square feet. It’s green certified, Energy Star certified and has non-toxic/sustainable wood cabinets.

And now the family of seven can finally call it home.

By Beth English
Photograph by Chris English

Visual: The April 8 Habitat for Humanity dedication for the home.

Voice Through Photos

041311Feature_PhotoVoiceThose attending the April 6 Faculty Senate meeting expected to hear about the budget, resolutions and a number of items on the agenda. As they entered Alumni House, they experienced more, as they saw and heard some perspectives of African-American male students on campus.

PhotoVoice provides a way for everyone to express themselves – through pictures and captions – and in doing so, to make a difference.

Dr. Robert Strack (Public Health Education) first began using PhotoVoice projects as a research approach about 12 years ago in Baltimore to engage groups and communities to be advocates for positive change. Dr. Robert Aronson (PHE) has been the faculty leader for this “UNCG Through the Eyes of Black Male Students” PhotoVoice exhibition. It is conducted by the Brothers Leading Healthy Lives Project, funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control. The project helps in HIV prevention among young African-American males. Aronson is co-PI. Regina Pulliam (PHE) is project manager.

Strack, Aronson and Pulliam greeted early arrivers to the senate meeting, speaking about the students’ exhbition.

“It pulls people in,” noted Pulliam.

Strack said that taking picture, creating captions and exhibiting them is only part of what the students’ PhotoVoice projects hope to achieve. “It needs to inform our campus community and lead not only to changes in campus social norms but also to new policies and procedures that might improve campus life for our students.”

Aronson said, “The students feel they have a voice.”

The captions, written by the students, present perspectives and impressions many faculty, staff and students may not have considered.

“About 20 percent of Psychology professors are black – but most are women,” read part of one caption under a photo.

Warner McGee, a PHE doctoral student, was instrumental in gathering the students involved. The 10 black male students took a total of 600 pictures, which McGee and the participants culled to a small number for the exhibition, which is currently on view in McIver 161.

Senior Stephen Rountree, an art major concentrating in graphic design, opted for pen and ink representations of some of his experiences. He will likely start a design bureau with others, for local businesses when he graduates next month. He has been freelancing since his sophomore year. One of his works show what appears to be a chained man near the center, representations from news stories around him – including from the Japanese earthquake/tsunami. “All of this is coming from inside him,” Rountree explains. “A lot of my inspiration comes from Japan,” he said, as anime and Pokeman were early influences on his drawing.

In a different PHE PhotoVoice project, Dr. Kay Lovelace (PHE) has led a group documenting the experience of homeless women. But in the photos in Alumni House, most were scenes from around campus, with thought-provoking captions.

Such was the case two weeks earlier, at Public Health Education class HEA 331’s PhotoVoice exhibition documenting tobacco use on UNCG’s campus.

They showed some of their work in EUC’s Kirkland Room.

Graduate student and class instructor Chris Seitz said that most students in Public Health Education do not smoke. “[They’re] all about health, so largely against smoking,” he explained

The rule at UNCG is that smoking is permitted 25 feet or more away from a building. He explains there is no enforcement policy for this rule. Guilford County Department of Health’s Rebecca Rice, the regional College Campus Tobacco Prevention Coordinator, noted that within the UNC system, four campuses have a 100 foot restriction.

One photo showed the Bryan building interior courtyard, with a “No smoking on patio” sign. Nearby is someone smoking.

Seitz’s grandfather died of lung cancer, he explains. “Smoked unfiltered Camels his whole life.” He has had a passion against smoking ever since.

The day’s event was part of a course project – and an IRB approved research study.

His students like that “it won’t just die in class.” He said that members of Staff Senate, Faculty Senate and UNCG Administration had visited the exhibition that day.

He picks up a sealed bucket of cigarette butts. Last year’s class, as a project, had cleared away all the cigarette butts within 25 feet of seven particular buildings on campus. It was hard, meticulous work. The Guilford County Department of Public Health had provided them gloves, goggles and lunch for the endeavor – which continued when they came back 30 days later to see if there were any new butts that needed to be picked up. There were. 7,861 new butts, on the ground, he says. Those are kept sealed in the bucket, as a display. “They don’t degrade,” he says. “The filters are made of plastic, not cotton.

Nearby, two students in the class, Alyce Rice and Emily Moore, spoke with those looking at pictures. A senior, Moore plans to become a nurse, hoping to work work in pediatrics or oncology. A junior, Rice would like to work to stanch the rise in PTSDs. Reginald Summers, a senior interning with Guilford County Public Health, spoke with attendees as well. He’d like to manage a hospital someday.

Dr. David Wyrick is the associate professor for the class. Seitz is helping him teach it. Seitz notes Strack’s help with this project.

The class project is experiential. And it’s a big learning lesson.

One thing the students learn is that you can make a difference. You can teach and help others learn.

“They can have their voice heard,” Sietz says. “Here’s a method to have it heard.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

Visual:  Reginald Summers, Alyce Rice and Emily Moore (l-r)

New Approach to Gang Intervention

040611Feature_NursingLots of researchers have studied gang members. Dr. Sarah Kelly, assistant professor of nursing, is working toward an intervention program for kids not in gangs but who are psychologically scarred by gang violence.

Kelly’s research grew out of her PhD dissertation at The University of Kentucky. Kelly, who earned her MSN at UNCG in 2004, worked with gang members in a trauma step-down unit at Duke University Medical Center. She built on that experience, opting to study the effects of gang violence on non-gang members for her dissertation at Kentucky.

At Duke, she says, “we had a large population in the trauma unit who were gang members, most of whom had been shot or stabbed. Occasionally we would get people who were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wanted to know more about how gang violence affects the community.”

Her advisors at Kentucky “weren’t keen on me interviewing gang members,” she says, “so they said why not change your focus? Why not look at adolescents and youth outside the gangs and how this affects them?”

So Kelly launched a pilot study in the Louisville, Ky. area. She quickly found out after speaking with teens and pre-teens that kids were indeed fearful, and that fear was impacting their mental health. One boy, about 16 years old, told her he wouldn’t be surprised if he got shot when he walked out his door.

Kelly expanded her study when she came to UNCG in 2008 thanks to grants from UNCG’s Sigma Theta Tau nursing honor society chapter and a faculty research grant. In Greensboro, she interviewed 20 teens, ages 12-16, at three separate community centers. She wanted to know how they viewed gangs and gang members, and how gang activity affected them.

What did she learn from her studies?

  • Exposure to violence affects kids differently. Not every child will have the same reaction. Some respond with anxiety disorders, others suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, some become depressed.
  • Having two stable parents, financial security and support from peers are major factors in mediating the effects of gang violence.
  • Kids join gangs for several reasons. Many are seeking respect, some want protection, others want a sense of connectedness they don’t get at home, some enjoy the excitement gangs offer.

Talking to kids openly about their experiences is essential to keeping them safe, Kelly says. “Kids don’t have a voice unless someone speaks up for them. They’re our future. If they don’t feel safe, secure and able to socialize, it’s problematic. It’s wrong.”

By Michelle Hines

Ancient Times at Foust Park

040611Feature_ClassicalStudiesA Roman army took possession of Foust Park Saturday afternoon, leaving the grounds littered with “barbarian” casualties.

It was a tactics demonstration at Classical Studies’ Classical Day 2011: Clash of the Spartans.

Before the attack, assistant professor of Classical Studies Dr. Jonathan Zarecki had explained to the crowd about the techniques and the armaments. He wore a helmet, armored breastplate and tunic. The students had made their costuming, the demonstration spears and shields.

Next, much of the crowd moved to see an excerpt from Euripides’ “Bacchae.” As the Classical Society’s advisor Dr. Robert Simmons set the scene, 10 actors in masks assembled behind him. A flautist and drummer prepared for the Chorus’ opening chant.

Meanwhile, Tyrone Johnson, a sophomore Classical Studies major, manned the Sink the Sirens booth. The game was a fundraiser for the charity Groceries on Wheels.

In other parts of Foust Park, several students worked the Archaeology and Stratigraphy tables. While some made pottery, junior Alexandra Creola, a Classical Studies and Archaeology double major, used colored sand art to show some of the principles of archeaological excavation.

In a while, the Classical Society president, Sara Warsing, determined it was time for the Olympic games demonstration. (As opposed to the ancient games, the participants would be fully clothed.) “Where’s our bard?” she asked other students. Soon the bard called all those interested to the games – with a discus demonstration using a frisbee and a foot race with participants carrying shields.

Simmons looked on, his small sons underfoot. Asked about the day, he remarked on the great weather, the crowd and the fruition of perhaps thousands of hours of students’ work. Fifty or 60 students contributed and volunteered for the day, 25 or so comprising a particularly committed core, he noted. He thought something would have had a hitch; nothing had.

Zarecki, who is teaching a course this semester on ancient warfare, continued to talk with students and onlookers about the ancient armies and techniques. Among some of his answers:

  • Yes, the swords needed to be light.
  • The Roman soldiers were allowed to modify their weapons – by the end of campaign, everyone’s weapons would look a bit different, through wear and tear and through customization.
  • The discus was heavy – it was the size of a hubcap. “You’d dislocate your shoulder.”
  • And the Romans throwing it were relatively short – perhaps 5’5″ or 5’6″, not nearly as tall as the Gauls.

Zarecki and Dr. Maura Heyn will lead the UNCG in Rome program in the summer of 2012.

Zarecki was impressed with the students’ initiative. Lots of hours of work, simply for the love of all things classical.

And how was that reading of Homer’s “Odyssey” going? Readers took turns in the Homer-A-Thon under the watchful eye of Minerva. At 3 p.m., Kristen Welch was reciting it in Latin. On a nearby bench, the society’s secretary, Samantha Bardarik explained that she herself had chosen to recite it in the ancient Greek. The majority had read it in English. A look at the book showed that the reading was about half over.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris
Visual of Dr. Jonathan Zarecki in military attire

Putting Yourself in Another’s Shoes

033011Feature_PovertySocial Work graduate student Brandon Williams explained that that was what the March 18 Poverty Simulation 2011 was illustrating. He was one of the volunteers, role playing. The sign at his table read “Community Center.”

Fellow grad student Megan Englebretson explained that some of the nearly 100 students, mostly undergraduates, who came to their table throughout the afternoon found frustration. As they all played their roles, they wanted more than what those at each of the booths could provide, or perhaps they’d been misinformed. Many participants found it eye-opening. Frustrations and barriers were a theme of the day, as revealed when students formed groups at the end of the day to talk through their role-playing experiences.

“I just want the people to have the right information,” one student said.

The day was the brainchild of instructor Jack Register (Social Work), who led a committee organizing it. “We in HES [Human Environmental Sciences] train students to become more aware of the issues and impact of poverty on vulnerable populations,” he explained. Including the frustrations.

The event, titled “Poverty Simulation 2011: Making Cents of Being Poor,” took place on a warm, sunny Friday. The students, many from Social Work but others from throughout the School of HES and beyond, gathered in Fleming Gym in the morning to be briefed on the purpose and logistics of the afternoon simulation. One topic was “What poverty looks like in our world today in 2011.”

Poverty simulations, Register explains, are a way of ‘walking,’ at least for a few minutes, in the shoes of another person or group. Each participant would be given an identity. They would attempt to get their family’s needs met, and in the course of the afternoon would visit several “agencies” to help do that.

“You may have to gain access to transportation, recertify for Medicare/Medicaid, gain some intervention for medical reasons, or a host of other issues,” he instructed the students, about the role-playing. “If you choose to break the law during the simulation, you will be arrested.”

While the day was eye-opening for some — many participants had had experience working with volunteering or working with populations at risk for poverty, such as immigrants or the mentally ill.

“A family member may get out of poverty, but what about the family?” one student observed during the debriefing at the end of the day.

By 2012, about sixty percent of the population will be elderly, Williams said, as he moderated one of the debriefing sessions. Social Work chair Dr. Elizabeth Lindsey offered an occasional question or thought to further the conversation. But the students offered their own experiences with populations in need.

“Let’s talk about kids,” Williams said. And the participants had plenty to add.

“We talked about immigrants,” he said. “What about the mentally ill?” The views flew back and forth, some students drawing on their volunteer experiences.

“Did there seem to be good communication between agencies?” Williams asked.

One student observed that transportation – not understanding how to use the public transportation or no access to it or a car — can be a barrier.

Lindsey noted that during the simulation, she observed a “45-year-old veteran” walking around rather aimlessly, not knowing where to turn. One student observed seeing a homeless veteran recently along a roadway, and speculated on what barriers that individual had faced, and what could be done.

Students piped up with frustrations they faced, in playing their roles. “The frustration in hearing you’re denied a service, but not told why,” one said.

“Seeing [a place] closed for the day or for lunch,” another said.

Language barriers for immigrants, Alexia Mesa offered. An intern with Guilford Child Development, she has experience working with Congolese immigrants. She notes that UNCG is the most diverse ethnically of the historically white UNC schools, and she has learned from students of a wide variety of ethnicities at UNCG.

This warm, spring day was another day of broadening students’ perspectives.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mKsjrnDQFvI

Weatherspoon Celebrates 70

033011Feature_WeatherspoonThe Weatherspoon Art Museum turns 70 this year. That’s seven decades of presenting thoughtful exhibitions, providing educational opportunities for visitors, and building a collection with a national reputation.

The museum will have special offerings throughout the year.

One that is always fun and very family-friendly is the annual Spring Community Day, which will be Saturday, April 9, 1-4 p.m. Join Paperhand Puppet Intervention (in visual) from the Triangle area in celebrating WAM’s 70th Anniversary. Art activities, performances, tours and more will be offered.

Additional highlights for the year include the anniversary exhibition, Weatherspoon Art Museum: 70 Years of Collecting, and the launch of a full-color publication that complements it.

Some events in the coming weeks:
Noon @ ‘the Spoon gallery tour – Tour the Vogel Collection
April 12, noon

A Conversation with artist Tom Otterness – Thursday, April 14, 5:30 p.m.
From the city parks to museums, from subway stations to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Tom Otterness’ public sculptures have been enjoyed by millions. Join WAM for this special evening.

John Ahearn: Artist Talk – Wednesday, April 20, 5:30 p.m.
A Greensboro storefront in 1995 became a studio for John Ahearn where he created life-like plaster portraits of the city’s residents. Learn about John’s work and those who inspire it. More information.

The special 70th anniversary web site can be viewed here. The WAM site, with a full calendar, can be viewed here.

BOT Endorses School of Health & Human Sciences

032311Feature_SchoolOfHHSThe Board of Trustees voted March 17 to create a School of Health and Human Sciences. If approved by the UNC system’s Board of Governors, the new school would replace the School of Human Environmental Sciences (HES) and the School of Health and Human Performance (HHP) on July 1.

The new school would have seven departments – communication sciences and disorders, human development and family studies, kinesiology, nutrition, recreation and gerontology, social work, and public health education – and the Genetic Counseling Program.

“This restructuring reflects UNCG’s focus on health, wellness and quality of life across the lifespan,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady said. “In the years ahead it will create new opportunities in what is already one of our areas of strength.”

Two departments in HES are slated to become parts of other campus units. The Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies would move to the Bryan School of Business and Economics; the Department of Interior Architecture will join the College of Arts and Sciences in a previously announced move.

The Recreation Program in the Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management in HHP would merge with the Gerontology Program to form a Department of Recreation and Gerontology in the new school, while its Hospitality and Tourism Management Program would move to the Bryan School.

At the Trustees meeting, five faculty members – Dr. Jonathon Tudge, Dr. Bill Dudley, Dr. David Demo, Dr. Bob Strack and Dr. Susan Dennison – spoke from the floor after the provost gave a presentation about the proposal. The trustees’ vote affirming the plan was unanimous.

The trustees also voted to appoint Dr. Celia Routh Hooper dean of the new school during the upcoming transition. She has been dean of HHP since 2008 and was interim dean 2007-08. The university plans to launch a nationwide search for a permanent dean no later than July 2012 and to make an appointment no later than July 2013.

“Hooper has helped strengthen the School of HHP’s offices of research, academic programs and academic outreach and has supported development of the telepractice program at Gateway University Research Park and the UNCG Early/Middle College,” said Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor David H. Perrin. “She will provide positive leadership in organizing the new school.”

By Dan Nonte
Photograph by Mike Harris
Visual: Provost Perrin speaks to the trustees about the proposal.

‘Art of Public Memory’ Conference

032311Feature_ArtConference“The Art of Public Memory,” an international conference that will explore interactions between the arts, memory and history, will be held at UNCG Thursday through Sunday, April 7-10.

“The conference will focus on the ways that the arts participate in the creation and rethinking of public, or collective, memory,” said Dr. Ann Dils, director of the UNCG Women and Gender Studies Program. “Dance, theatre, music, film, and the visual arts all contribute to our understanding of people, events, places, institutions and histories.

“It is also part of a year-long series of events marking the opening of the new School of Music, Theatre and Dance, a celebration of interdisciplinary scholarship at UNCG, and a way to bring UNCG faculty, students and the public together with scholars, artists, educators and activists from around the world.”

An opening reception at the Greensboro Historical Museum from 7-9 p.m. Thursday will feature an opening address by Randy Martin, professor of art and public policy at New York University and director of the graduate program in arts politics. Martin is the author of “Performance as Political Act: The Embodied Self,” and “Critical Moves: Dance Studies in Theory and Politics,” and he is co-editor of “Artistic Citizenship: A Public Voice for the Arts.”

The conference will feature a variety of topics to be covered by more than 100 speakers in 50-plus programs and performance sessions running through Sunday. Events will be held across the facilities of the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.

Major presentations include:

  • “Serenade/ The Proposition,” performance by the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company (http://www.billtjones.org/ ), at 8 p.m. Friday, April 8, in Aycock Auditorium. A work about Abraham Lincoln and the nature of history, it was one of three works that Jones created for the bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth. Among Jones’s other award-winning productions are “Chapel/Chapter,” “The Table Project,” “Still/ Here,” “D-Man in the Waters” and “Last Supper at Uncle Tom’s Cabin/The Promised Land.” Company co-founder Bill T Jones received the Kennedy Center Honor in December 2010.
  • Eileen M. Hayes, music historian and ethnomusicologist at the University of North Texas, 3-4:15 p.m., Friday, April 8, Collins Lecture Hall, Music Building. She is the author of “Songs in Black and Lavender: Race, Sexual Politics, and Women’s Music” and is the co-editor of “Black Women and Music: More than the Blues.” Her essays have been published in “African American Music: An Introduction,” “Ethnomusicology” and “Women and Music: the Journal of Gender and Culture.”
  • Suzan-Lori Parks, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and MacArthur Foundation “genius award” winner, 2-4 p.m. Saturday, April 9, Taylor Building. She is the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in drama for the Broadway hit “Topdog/Underdog.” Her work, “The America Play,” will be presented locally by Triad Stage in May. Her musical, “Unchain My Heart, the Ray Charles Musical” is scheduled to premiere on Broadway this spring.

Conference attendees can also see the premiere of a documentary, “Honest, Abe,” by Mary Lopez, a UNCG media studies graduate student, which includes interviews with people living in Rutherford County, where local tradition suggests that Lincoln was born. NC A&T State University faculty member Donna Bradby will present sections of Suzan-Lori Parks’ “The America Play” performed by A&T students. UNCG theatre professor Janet Allard will lead a writing workshop titled “Whose/Who’s Lincoln?”

Other presenters will discuss how the arts shape our response to wars and natural disasters; the importance of popular media and television series such as “Mad Men” and “Big Love,” to shaping opinion of particular groups of people; and how music, literature, and visual art participate in the histories of Mexico and Myanmar. Conference sessions range across music, theatre and dance performances, film showings, workshops and panels of academic papers.

Registration will cost $150 for general attendance; $30 for student registration, $60 for UNCG faculty and $15 for UNCG students. A one-day registration will run $60 general, $25 public educator or UNCG faculty member, and $7 UNCG students.

Visit the web site to register and for more information, including the complete program.

By Steve Gilliam
Visual: Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks

MS: Sally Bekoe’s journey

031611Feature_SallyBekoeWhen Sally Bekoe (Contracts & Grants) awoke on July 9, she stood to rise. And fell to the floor. A terrifying moment, she said, suddenly paralyzed from the waist down.

The diagnosis was Multiple Sclerosis, an auto-immune disease of the central nervous system. “It was pretty devastating,” she recalls. But rehab over the next few months brought success. “I started wiggling my toes, in rehab.”

“Here I am, back at work,” she said in an interview. “It’s real. I can walk again.” She returned to work in September.

HealthyUNCG, Spartan STEPS and the Campus Rec Center have been great campus resources, she says. She has made use of the employee health programs they offer.

For her, diet and exercise are key.

“The HealthyUNCG assessment was great for having real-life examples about what serving sizes are and portions for healthy eating.” She got these examples during the free employee health assessment HealthyUNCG provides to any employee. She explains it is “pretty detailed.”

“An assessment like this, if it were done by a licensed nutritionist off-campus, would cost big bucks. I am grateful for access to that.”

She logs her steps into the Spartan STEPS web site to keep track of progress for her nutritionist followups – “I print out the whole log” – and the Campus Rec Center serves as her rehab facility during the week. Rosenthal Pool is especially great.

She has reports from Spartan STEPS and from HealthyUNCG in hand. “I show the progress reports to my physician, and he and I set up a plan to make changes in the areas indicated.”

Bekoe is in pain often, though she may not show it. MS is “a disease no one else can see,” she explains. She has a walker and a wheelchair, for when she needs them.

She has been working at UNCG for the last six years and is currently in Contracts & Grants, where she sees health grants and proposals coming through. The health-related research throughout campus takes on personal significance.

The Greensboro chapter of the MS Society met last semester at UNCG. She is organizing a group to participate in or support the March 26 “Walk MS” at the N.C. Zoo in Asheboro. She says about 30 have joined so far.

Regina McCoy Pulliam (Public Health Education) is looking to the April 16 MS Triad Walk in Kernersville. “I am a participant in the walk and it is because I have MS. I was diagnosed July 2007 and have been ‘making strides’ ever since,” the assistant professor said. She notes that it took some time until she started sharing her story with others – she didn’t want the extra concern or comments. But, like Bekoe, she wants to help bring awareness to the campus.

“I’m finding out a lot of students and faculty have MS,” Bekoe adds. “I’m not the only one.” It affects every age, every sex, every demographic, she says.

Those interested in learning more about the local MS Society or the Walk MS can email s_bekoe@uncg.edu.

More information about Bekoe’s walk team is at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/NCCWalkEvents?team_id=223759&pg=team&fr_id=15491

More information about Pulliam’s walk team is at http://main.nationalmssociety.org/site/TR/Walk/NCCWalkEvents?fr_id=16202&pg=personal&fr_id=16202&px=3879615

Each of them welcomes others to join in the walk and learn more about diseases like MS.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

Cherry Callahan Will Lead Student Affairs

031611Feature_CallahanAfter a nationwide search, UNCG has appointed a familiar face, Dr. Cheryl M. “Cherry” Callahan, vice chancellor for student affairs.

The UNCG Board of Trustees is expected to approve Callahan’s appointment Thursday, March 17.

Callahan, who came to UNCG as assistant to the vice chancellor for student affairs in 1979, has served as interim vice chancellor for student affairs since May 2010. She follows Dr. Carol S. Disque, who retired from the position.

“Cherry has served this institution with distinction and loyalty for over 30 years,” said Provost David H. Perrin. “She has a national reputation as an innovator in student affairs, and is known on our campus for her exemplary teamwork and collaboration. She is the right person to lead the Division of Student Affairs to new levels of excellence in partnership with our students, faculty and staff.”

“I am thrilled to continue my service to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in this important role,” Callahan said. “Student Affairs and the work that I do is a personal passion and to be able to do it with the terrific team assembled here is an honor.”

Callahan was promoted to assistant vice chancellor for student affairs in 1984; she became associate vice chancellor for student affairs in 1987. Her responsibilities as vice chancellor, effective immediately, will include oversight of Campus Activities and Programs, Campus Recreation, Housing and Residence Life, Career Services and Student Health Services along with numerous other student program and service departments.

Callahan earned a BA in sociology at UNCG. She also holds an MEd in guidance and counseling from UNC-Chapel Hill and a PhD in child development and family relations from UNCG.

She also has extensive experience as an adjunct faculty member, teaching courses on community leadership, human development, communication, counseling and psychology. At UNCG, she continues to hold an adjunct appointment in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education.

Callahan served as the 1998-99 President of NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators), which has a membership of over 10,000 student affairs professionals from over 25 countries and is currently president-elect of the NASPA Foundation.

Her recent publications include a chapter on student death protocols in the textbook “Assisting Bereaved College Students.” She also wrote “Assessment – Our Next Call to Action” for the NASPA E-Zine.

Her recent honors include the Fred Turner Award for Distinguished Service from NASPA, the 2006 Denise E. Maleska Leadership Service Award from the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce and the 2006 DAT Award for Greensboro Chapter Disaster Action Team Member of the Year from the American Red Cross.

By Michelle Hines

Restructuring Committee Completes Report

030211Feature_AcademicThe Restructuring Committee (RC), a group of faculty, staff and students that has been meeting since the summer, has completed its report on options for creating a new academic unit at UNCG focused on health and human development.

The report states: “The RC is recommending two options for structuring the new Unit at UNCG. These options reflect the charge and drivers used by the committee which are detailed in the full report, as well as the constraints placed on the committee by university administration during the committee’s deliberations. One option includes all HHP and all HES departments except Interior Architecture, as well as the programs in Gerontology and Genetic Counseling under a single dean and administrative staff. The other option is identical to the first but adds the School of Nursing under the same Dean’s administration. These models are consistent with the charge and goal of the restructuring committee to recommend a single academic unit that enhances collaboration through interdisciplinary approaches to curricula, community engagement and research.”

The university is seeking feedback by March 9 on the report, which is posted on the Academic Restructuring web site. Comments may be emailed to chancellor@uncg.edu; mailed to Office of the Chancellor, P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, N.C. 27402-6170; or submitted through the restructuring web site.

“This new academic unit will support student success and faculty achievement by promoting greater collaboration in teaching, research and community engagement,” Chancellor Linda P. Brady wrote in an email. “We firmly believe this reorganization will enhance our ability to meet the needs of our students, our community, our state and our world in the years ahead.”

The first step in the reorganization will be taken July 1, when the Department of Interior Architecture from the School of Human Environmental Sciences will join the College of Arts & Sciences. The university proceeded with this move, because it is a consistent element of all plans under consideration.

The UNCG Board of Trustees and the UNC system’s Board of Governors must approve the creation of a new school or college.

The Academic Affairs/Student Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees will review feedback and discuss recommendations for restructuring on Monday, March 14. The Board of Trustees will hear a presentation on the issue and could approve a specific proposal at its next meeting, 8:30 a.m. Thursday, March 17, at Gateway University Research Park, 2901 E. Lee St., Greensboro.

By Dan Nonte
Photograph by Chris English

Summer Camp Sign-ups

030211Feature_SoccerCampFor three UNCG summer camps, the busy season is getting started. For those with children, the time to think about summer plans may be now – before slots fill up.

UNCG Summer Music camp

This camp provide music offerings for students in grades 6 through 12 in band, orchestra, chorus and piano. It will be offered two weeks: the weeks of July 10 and July 17.

It is “far and away the largest and most popular summer music camp in America on a college campus with 1,725 camp students and a staff of 150 professionals,” says Dr. John Locke, director of bands and also director of this camp.

He notes the camp has far more applicants each year than they can accept. “Waiting lists form as early as mid-February for some popular instruments. While we can accept 1,725 camp students, we typically have several hundred more on various waiting lists.” Those interested may want to act soon.

Full details, pictures, videos and downloadable brochure and registration form are at www.smcamp.org.

All-Arts, Sciences & Technology Camp

Specializing in hands-on classes in arts, sciences and technology, the All-Arts, Sciences & Technology Camp also includes recreation and citizenship components. Its instructors are experienced professionals, artists, scientists, and public and private school instructors.

It offers one week sessions for ages 7-15 at UNCG, NC State, Virginia Tech and George Mason University, and is operated by UNCG’s Division of Continual Learning. There are overnight and all-day options. Its week at UNCG begins July 24.

A sampling of courses range from elementary age “Creepy Crawlies,” “Hogwarts Elementary,” “Yuck Science,” “Daring Class for Girls” and “Movie Madness” to older ages’ “Forensics,” “Hogwarts High,” “Rockets!” “Web Media” “Project Fashion,” and “LEGO Robotics.”

It offers a 10 percent discount for UNCG faculty and staff.

Visit allarts.uncg.edu to see camp videos, photos, updates – or to register. Those with further questions may call 315-7742 or 4-2255.

UNCG Athletics camps

Ten sports are offered as part of the UNCG Athletics camps. Various ones are offered on select weeks – full information about each of the camps is at www.uncgspartans.com/camps/Index.

A discount of 10 percent for faculty and staff is offered on all athletic camps. Also, there is a sibling discount of $20 off each child per camp (must attend same camp). There is also a group discount for those youth teams that want to attend the same camp together ($20 off each child – 10 or more to qualify as a group).

Some new things this year:

  • Tennis camp will be emphasizing the USTA’s Quickstart Tennis format
  • New women’s soccer coach Steve Nugent will continue day camps and also conduct two residential camps
  • Volleyball will do a one-week day camp this year along with their residential camp

Christy Avent, who oversees the Athletics camps, notes one advantage over some other area sports camps: great facilities, including the cafeteria and availability of Rosenthal Pool. “Kids love these two things,” she adds.

Their facilities and space allow them to bring the camps indoors on days it’s rainy or very hot.

Most of the camp staff is composed of our student-athletes and coaching staff. For example, the basketball players they normally see from the stands in the winter are the ones guiding and teaching them throughout the week in summer.

Summer Camps Fair A Triad area summer camp fair will be held in the EUC Saturday, March 5, starting at 10 a.m. A couple of these UNCG camps will have tables there. More information is at www.1075kzl.com/pages/6171323.php.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

Academic Program Review Drafts Under Review

022311Feature_ProgramReviewEvery academic program on campus will be subject to review in the coming months.

“The purpose of this review is to position UNCG to be as strong academically as possible while maintaining a sound and balanced educational program that is consistent with its mission, strategic plan and its functions and responsibilities as an institution of higher education – and to help us prepare for anticipated further budget reductions,” Provost David H. Perrin said. He provided introductory remarks at last week’s Faculty Forum on program review.

The forum offered an opportunity for the campus community to learn more, ask questions and provide feedback and suggestions. (Feedback was also solicited through the Academic Review web site, through Feb. 21.) In the first hour of the forum, nearly all seats were filled and the back of the Virginia Dare Room was two-deep and in some places three deep with people standing.

Perrin referred to an excerpt from Robert Dickeson’s “Prioritizing Academic Programs and Services: Reallocating Resources to Achieve Strategic Balance.” “The inescapable truth is that not all programs are equal. Some are more efficient. Some are more effective. Some are more central to the mission of the institution. And yet insufficient effort has gone into forthrightly addressing and acting on the efficiency, effectiveness and essentiality of academic programs.”

Perrin appointed a committee late last year, chaired by Dr. Rebecca Adams, to develop a process and the criteria for reviewing the academic programs. The drafts of their work, to that point, were on the web site and were referenced throughout the forum.

The university, as far as he was aware, had never done a university-wide program-by-program review, he noted in his introductory remarks, after Faculty Senate Chair John Gamble started the forum.

The timeline is ambitious, he said. The work should be finalized in October, and a timeline was created working back from that date. The review process will officially begin March 1. The first step is reviews on the academic unit level, which will occur during April and May. The goal of these unit reviews will be to sort programs within three groups: highest-performing programs, medium-performing programs and lowest-performing programs. (The provost noted at the forum that the terminology for these three headings had evolved.)

Next, a university-wide committee will make recommendations to the provost for what programs to:

  • Discontinue
  • Curtail
  • Combine with other UNCG programs
  • Recommend for combination with other UNC system programs
  • Continue with budget-neutral interventions to address program quality, functions and demand, or efficiency
  • Continue as is
  • Continue with additional resources to be allocated as available

Voting members of this committee will be appointed by the provost. A faculty member will be chair. The provost’s charge to this committee will include that they act as responsible university citizens, not as representatives of any unit or constituency.

The committee he had assembled to draft this process and criteria, chaired by Rebecca Adams, sat in the first row. Perrin acknowledged their “fantastic work” under a tight schedule and said, “They know what they’ve produced can be improved.”

Dr. Josh Hoffman moderated. A member of the current committee, he is chair-elect of Faculty Senate. More than two dozen faculty members asked questions and made suggestions from the floor.

Hoffman and Adams addressed some of these questions. Perrin did as well.

Adams, in response to a question, noted that the draft calls for a majority of the university-wide committee to be full-time faculty. All members of the committee would be university citizens. The draft calls for no two faculty members being from the same academic unit.

The chancellor rose from her seat alongside faculty more than once to speak about some of the realities our university faces and the importance of this process. “We stand still at the peril of our institution.”

She also spoke of shared governance, and said she thinks it’s critically important for faculty to be a majority of the university-wide committee. Referring to challenges the university faces, “We’re all in the same boat,” she said. “We’re all rowing and bailing furiously.”

There were about two dozen questions or suggestions. Some examples:

Has President Ross’ given a charge – and how will UNCG efforts coordinate with system’s approach? Will there be cross-university mergers of some sort? How much will cost-cutting be a consideration? When would this take effect – specifically, would this prevent current students from graduating? Do criteria in the draft reflect all of the UNCG Strategic Plan, particularly those of a liberal education? There was a concern regarding AOS (area of study) coding within departments. A concern that SAT scores should be considered inputs, not outputs. Is student learning not a factor in rating program quality? Is it fair to compare programs that have entrance requirements to those that take all comers? Will College of Arts & Sciences have fair representation, since it’s larger than other units? What exactly is the definition of the labels – one-third of each unit will be shown as being “low-performing”? The university will create a document that will say one-third of what we offer is “low-performing?”

One faculty member noted the large number of attendees and asked for one or more forums in the coming months.

The provost noted to CW on Friday the excellent suggestions for improving the process that were provided both at the forum and also in email messages afterward.

“The committee will consider each and every suggestion very carefully,” he said. “And I am confident the final process will be much improved as a result of this input from the faculty.”

To receive a message each time new material is posted on the Academic Program Review web page, sign up for the listserv.

To see the materials and information posted on the web page, visit http://opa.uncg.edu/programreview/.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Mike Harris
Visual: Moments before forum began, John Gamble at the lectern

Student Success Center Lives up to Name

022311Feature_ForemanStudy skills and time management are two things that often plague students who are new to the demands of college and UNCG’s Student Success Center offers a variety of services to between 1,400 and 1,500 undergraduates each year.

Through a trio of programs, the center’s goal is to make sure that the students – and many are first-generation college students – receive the assistance they need to perform academically. The center is part of campus efforts to boost student success and retention rates. UNC General Administration has mandated that all system institutions must raise retention percentages for undergraduates by 2013.

“Typically what we find is that many new students need their high school study skills and time management skills tuned up to college-level,” said John Foreman, the center’s director. “What we do on a one-to-one basis is help them refine those skills in order to get control of their studies.”

And several topics are available, including time management, listening and taking notes, reading and comprehending college textbooks, test taking and anxiety management.

Students come in during the first week of the semester to sign up voluntarily for one of the center’s three programs:

  • Learning Assistance Center, which is open to all undergraduates, LAC signed up almost 900 students this year – and has waiting lists for services;
  • Special Support Services, which is available only to 200 first-generation students from modest-income families and provides an array of support services that includes individual tutoring, academic skills instruction, writing instruction, counseling, graduate and professional school guidance and financial literacy counseling. It has been funded through the U.S. Department of Education since 1970.
  • Supplemental Instruction Program, which provides three weekly discussion and review sessions outside of class times for high-risk courses, which are defined as classes having an enrollment of 100 or more with a D-F-W grade rate of 30 percent or higher over four or more semesters.

“I think our programs and the services we offer the students are having a positive effect on student persistence and graduation,” Foreman said. “I think we play a role in some students’ retention, even though there are other components available on campus which can help students. We’re part of a larger campus-wide effort and an attitude that UNCG will provide help to any students who want assistance.”

The stats from Institutional Research show that participants in SSC programs outperformed non-participants in persistence, GPA, good academic standing and graduation each year.

Foreman, seen in the visual discussing time management skills with a freshman, was himself a first-generation college student. He says he would’ve been a candidate for the program he runs. ”I’m working my values; I believe students should receive the help they need to stay in school and graduate,” Foreman said. “I tell my students that if I can graduate, they can do it, too.”

By Steve Gilliam
Photograph by Chris English

Lee Smith, Hal Crowther Will Speak

021611Feature_FOLIt’s a two-authors-for-one deal at this year’s Friends of the March 16 UNCG Libraries dinner.

Lee Smith, novelist and short story writer, and Hal Crowther, essayist and cultural critic, will headline the dinner Wednesday, March 16. Crowther and Smith, husband and wife, have titled their remarks “Prose and Cons.”

The reception begins at 6:30 p.m. in Cone Ballroom, Elliott University Center. The seated dinner begins at 7:15 p.m., and the program begins at 8:30 p.m.

Smith, author of “Oral History” and “Fair and Tender Ladies,” grew up in the coal mining town of Grundy, Va. The spiritual and imaginative Smith gave a tea party for God as a child, and describes her childhood as being filled with “God and wonders.”

“I grew up in a family of world-class talkers,” she says. “They were wonderful talkers and storytellers, both the women and the men. I was an only child, and so I heard all this adult conversation all the time. I was always taken where these wonderful stories were being told. So I really did grow up on stories. … And I read all the time. I was a compulsive reader. I think I went naturally from reading to writing little stories …”

Crowther, who once wrote for Time and Newsweek, was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and describes himself as “a middle class hillbilly raised by Unitarians.” He has published such collections as “Cathedrals of Kudzu: A Personal Landscape of the South” and “Unarmed but Dangerous: A Withering Attack on All Things Phony, Foolish, and Fundamentally Wrong with America Today.”

“I come from a verbal, rhetorical clan, where each of us was perpetually presenting his case and establishing his defense,” he recalls. “In one sense I guess everything I’ve ever written is a part of my brief — my authorized version, to minimize misunderstanding and misinterpretation when I can no longer speak for myself.”

Smith and Crowther live in Hillsborough, in a house once owned by the town’s undertaker. They have been married for 25 years, despite advice he once offered his readers: “The best mating advice for any young person, male or female, is ‘Never sleep with a writer’ – though of course I’ve being doing it for 24 years.”

Proceeds benefit the Friends of the UNCG Libraries. Call the University Box Office at 4-4849 or visit http://www.uncg.edu/euc/boxoffice/ for tickets or sponsorships.

Dinner tickets are $48 for Friends members, and $58 for non-members, and must be ordered by March 4. Program-only tickets are $15, and may be purchased in advance or at the door on a space-available basis.

Table sponsorships are $500 for a table of eight, and individual sponsorships are $67.50 each. Both table and individual sponsorships bring preferential seating recognition in the event program if received by March 1.

By Michelle Hines and Barry Miller

Break out the Bats and Gloves

021611Feature_BaseballSoftball and baseball are cranking up, just as warmer weather hits Greensboro. You can hear the sound of bats and the popping of leather if you venture near the stadiums on campus.

Baseball has a home series this Friday-Sunday (Feb. 18-20) against Delaware. Home games this season include NC State, Duke, Wake Forest. The full schedule is here.

Coach Mike Gaski and the UNCG baseball program currently have a mark of 598 wins. Gaski, who received his MFA in 1976 at UNCG, is the sole head coach in UNCG’s baseball program, which was created in 1991. The preseason coaches’ poll tabbed them at 9th out of 11 teams.

Softball started their season on the road this past weekend. In their first game of the season, they defeated No. 23 Florida State in a no-hitter – Coach Jennifer Herzig’s first win over a ranked opponent, and the program’s first since 2003. They ended the weekend with a 2-3 record.

They will begin home play by hosting the UNCG Spartan Classic Friday-Sunday Feb. 25-27. Their full schedule is here.

Three softball players – Alex Emeterio, Kaitlin Merkt and Eileen Horsmon – were selected to the Preseason All-Southern Conference First Team. UNCG’s three first-team selections were second in the league only to Elon.

UNCG was picked fourth in the preseason poll in a vote of the nine SoCon head coaches.

The team was a runner-up in last season’s SoCon Championship.

All baseball and softball games are free this year.

Some promotions include:

Softball:
UNCG vs. Furman – March 26 – T-Shirt Giveaway
UNCG vs. App Saturday, April 16 – Strike Out for Cancer – event to raise money for breast cancer research. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game.
UNCG vs. Samford – April 30 – Sunglasses Giveaway

Baseball:
Saturday, March 12 – Western Carolina – Gate Giveaway: UNCG lawn seats
Friday, April 1 – vs Elon – Fan Appreciation Day – every fan that wears UNCG apparel to the game will receive a free t-shirt.
Friday April 15 – Saturday, April 17 – James Madison – Katie Ball Memorial Weekend – event to raise money for cancer. All money donated benefits Relay for Life.
Saturday, April 16 – A building dedication for the new baseball indoor facility.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Chris English

$1 Million for Graduate Student Diversity

020911Feature_GradStudentDiversityUNCG will invest a million dollars in a new program to promote inclusiveness and diversity among its graduate students. One million dollars of a $6 million anonymous gift to UNCG will endow the UNCG Graduate School Inclusiveness Awards.

Fellowships and smaller assistantships will go to outstanding master’s or doctoral students whose presence contributes to inclusiveness at the university. Each graduate program can nominate one student per year. Final selections will be made by the dean of the graduate school upon the recommendation of a faculty review committee. Recipients must be fully admitted to a graduate degree program and maintain a 3.0 grade point average.

“UNCG greatly appreciates the generosity of the anonymous donor that has permitted us to initiate these inclusiveness awards,” said Dr. James Petersen, dean of the Graduate School. “They will help to continue broad access to our graduate programs as public universities are being forced to raise tuition levels. The Graduate School will pursue additional gifts to continue to grow the endowment to support inclusiveness in our graduate programs.”

Inclusiveness is one of five central values in the UNCG Strategic Plan 2009-14. This document calls for a commitment to inclusiveness.

UNCG has built on a tradition of commitment to access and diversity. Its origins in 1891 can be traced to a crusade for the education of women by the university’s founder and first president, Charles Duncan McIver.

By fall semester 2008, nearly one-quarter (23.7 percent) of UNCG graduate students were from underrepresented ethnic groups (African-Americans, American Indians, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Hispanics). In 2008, the majority of graduate students (56.9 percent) were between the ages of 25 and 39, but nearly 10 percent were 50 and older.

The university has defined “inclusiveness” broadly to include a variety of life experiences that would increase the diversity of experiences of students in graduate programs. These factors might include low-income background, a history of overcoming disadvantage or discrimination, nontraditional age for a student, membership in underrepresented group in a field or discipline, status as a first-generation graduate student, cultural differences such as may arise from being foreign-born or raised within a distinct culture, and unique work or service experience.

The Council of Graduate Schools, a national organization that promotes the advancement of graduate education and research, has called for strengthening diversity and inclusiveness efforts in graduate study as a central element in a national talent development policy. Members of underrepresented groups are much less likely than others in the population to complete graduate degrees.

The CGS reported that in 2005 nearly 40 percent of elementary and secondary students in the United States were from underrepresented groups. However, only 12 percent of research doctorates and 10 percent of doctorates in STEM fields awarded in 2006 went to members of underrepresented groups.

The $6 million anonymous gift, the largest in UNCG’s history, came in early 2009. The donor designated $5 million for student aid.

By Michelle Hines
Photograph by Chris English.