UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Dr. Franklin Gilliam will be UNCG chancellor

Photo of Dr. Franklin Gilliam Jr. being welcomed into the Alumni House for the receptionDr. Franklin Gilliam Jr. stepped out of his car. And into a large,  welcoming crowd of Spartan faculty, staff, supporters and students.

The UNCG Spartan Orientation Staff students have been preparing to welcome a big incoming freshman class.

On May 22, they were first in line on the steps of Alumni House to welcome UNCG’s new chancellor.

Gilliam was introduced by Trustees chair and Search Committee chair Susan Safran. He had been elected to be UNCG’s 11th chancellor earlier in the day at the UNC system Board of Governors meeting.

Gilliam has been dean of the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA since 2008. Gilliam has focused on establishing UCLA Luskin as a leader in finding solutions to society’s most pressing problems – from juvenile justice to drug policy, from child welfare and health care reform to transportation and the environment.  He also secured a $50-million naming gift for the school and has launched new campaigns to elevate its mission of public service. Under his leadership, it has launched major administrative and educational initiatives ranging from an ambitious centennial fundraising campaign and strategic planning initiative to programs in global public affairs, leadership, digital governance, and inequality. The school’s active research centers include the Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies, the Institute for Transportation Studies, the Center for Policy Research on Aging, the Luskin Center for Innovation and, coming August 1, the new Institute on Inequality and Democracy.

A native of Bloomington, MN, Gilliam earned a bachelor’s degree in political science (1977) from Drake University and holds master’s (1978) and doctoral (1983) degrees in the field from the University of Iowa. Early in his academic career, he taught at Grinnell College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison before joining the UCLA faculty in 1986 as an assistant professor of political science. Twice nominated for UCLA’s Luckman Distinguished Teaching Award, Gilliam also has taught at the University of Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, and was a Visiting Scholar at Brandeis University. In addition, he taught at Fisk University, Middle Tennessee State University, and with former Vice President Al Gore at Columbia University.

Gilliam will assume his new duties Sept. 8. Dr. Dunn, provost and executive vice chancellor since summer 2014, will continue to serve as acting chancellor until that time.

See more at special web page.

See excerpts of Gilliam’s remarks at the welcome reception.

‘Proud to be the newest Spartan’

Photo of Dr. Franklin Gilliam speaking during reception“It is a great honor to be elected the 11th chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro,” Dr. Franklin Gilliam said in addressing the roomful of well-wishers in Alumni House May 22. He was accompanied by his wife Jacquelean Gilliam, executive director of Scholarships & Student Support Initiatives and Campus-wide Initiatives at UCLA. He acknowledged Susan Safran and the hard work of the search committee; the ongoing work of Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn; and the work and initiatives of former chancellor Linda Brady.

Some excerpts from his remarks:

  • Greensboro is a wonderful city. The region’s vibrant, and we are thrilled about that. We intend to become fully active active members of the community. It’s a community you can throw your arms around.
  • There’s no doubt in my mind that UNCG is well-positioned for continued success …. Enrollment is on the rise, academic excellence is fostered by a very accomplished faculty; the university is consistently recognized for being among the top universities at the intersection of excellence and value ….
  • This is a critical time for American higher education and, in particular, for public higher education. How will we continue to deliver a high-quality education experience for our students while the business model is changing beneath our feet? As you know, across the country, states are dis-investing, if you will, in public higher education. This troubles me of course because, as probably most of you in this room know, the prosperity of states like North Carolina or California or Wisconsin are directly attributable to the institutions of higher learning in those states and the human capital that is producing the highest quality and the skills which (drowned out by applause).
  • We have to continue to find even more innovative ways to prepare students of all ages and backgrounds for meaningful lives. This is a really interesting tension between how do we prepare the students to enter the workforce and have the right kinds of skills, on the one hand – and how do we also prepare them with a true liberal arts education?
  • Being able to draw on a pool of a skilled labor force is critical to the future success of the companies, and we have to meet that challenge – but we also have to create thinking, intellectual beings. We have to produce young people who are engaged in a discussion of the critical issues of the time – who understand what it means to be a citizen, both here in Greensboro but also in the world.
  • As many of you know, UNCG contributes over a billion dollars annually to the region – and as such it must be a robust and engaged civic stakeholder.
  • (He spoke about the Woman’s College history and the campus’ longstanding values.) I think we always have to honor that legacy. On the other hand, I think also have to look forward. We have to look to the future and see how we can collectively – all of us – work towards a better tomorrow.
  • I am proud to be the newest Spartan …. Together, only together – none of us can do this alone. It’s the students, it’s the faculty, it’s the staff, it’s the alumni, it’s the donors, it’s the volunteers, it’s the other stakeholders in the community – this is the only way this thing works …
  • We’re thrilled to be joining this community. We’re excited – we’ve been sneaking around Greensboro the last couple of months. We had to change into civilian clothes for a chance to meet prospective parents and ask students how they enjoyed it here. So now I can actually walk around … (drowned out by laughter and applause). It’s together, and only together, that we will redefine and forge UNCG as a leader in 21st century public higher education.


UNCG ready for SOAR 2015

Photo of parents and students from a past SOAR eventSpartans are preparing to welcome a new class of first year students.

Spartan Orientation, Advising and Registration (SOAR) starts June 4, with eight freshman sessions and two Transfer and Adult sessions during the month.

SOAR will pick up again in August with two more Transfer Adult sessions and one more Freshman session before Rawkin’ Welcome Week begins.

All new freshmen will receive a copy of ““Where Am I Wearing?: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes” by Kelsey Timmerman.  That is the Keker First Year Common Read book this year.

“We currently have at least 237 more freshmen and at least 222 more transfers confirmed than this time last year,” said Dr. Kim Sousa-Peoples. “We have seen the greatest growth in our in-state applications, but we are still up slightly for out-of-state students.”

As you see students and their family on campus in the coming weeks, don’t hesitate to say Hello and make our new Spartans feel welcome.

Abstracts from undergraduates due for International Conference of Undergraduate Research

Photo of College Avenue with students walkingStudents have several more days to submit proposals to a global conference to be held here at UNCG.

UNCG will be one of the host sites for the 3rd Annual International Conference of Undergraduate Research (ICUR) on September 28-29, 2015.

Abstracts from undergraduates are due May 31, 2015. Register here.

In September, students and attendees will gather in one of UNCG’s classrooms equipped with virtual technology to participate in the conference.

This endeavor is an informal collaboration with the University of Monash in Australia and bolsters UNCG’s Global Engagement emphasis.

This will be the first online undergraduate research conference for UNCG and any other campus in the state.

The conference provides an international experience via an interactive virtual experience.

Questions? Contact the Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and Creativity Office at ursco@uncg.edu.

UNCG’s 2015 Cram and Scram sale

Photo of front of the Elliott University CenterEverything will be two for a dollar, at the 2015 UNCG Cram & Scram sale Saturday, May 30, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the EUC’s Cone Ballroom.

The sale is open to the public.

Expect to see lots of items commonly found in dorm rooms – clothing, shoes, desk furniture, miscellaneous decor, electronics, lamps and books.

Each item is sold at a flat rate of 50 cents. The price is not designed to bring in large amounts of revenue but instead to encourage community members to reuse these items that still have lots of life left in them.  The sale is cash only (correct change appreciated).  There will be free parking at Walker Ave. Parking Deck but no assistance will be available to haul purchased items to people’s cars.  The money generated at the sale funds environmental learning opportunities on campus.  The leftover items are donated to Goodwill.

Questions? Call Ben Kunka at 334-5192.

The sale is hosted by the UNCG Office of Waste Reduction & Recycling.

The 11th chancellor in UNCG’s history

I got a note Friday questioning whether “11th chancellor” is accurate. This provides a great opportunity to explore our history – and to verify that the statement is in fact accurate.

The first two campus leaders, McIver and Foust, were not called “chancellor” – the title was adopted in 1945, apparently. And two leaders were relatively short-term, interim chancellors: Debra Stewart and W.W. Pierson. Dr. Dunn has served as acting chancellor (while also serving as provost and executive vice chancellor).

When Dr Linda Brady was installed, she was installed as our university’s 10th chancellor (and of course, we were not known as a “university” till the mid-1960s, when Woman’s College became UNCG.) So there is a lot of cloudiness and opportunity for confusion, as titles have changed, the campus’ name has changed several times, etc. Aside from short-term interim chancellors, here are the ten full chancellors (even if known by another title) that our campus has known as of May 2015:

Mr. Charles D. McIver (received honorary doctorates)
Mr. Julius I. Foust (earned Ph.B degree)
Mr. Walter C. Jackson (received honorary doctorates; first to be called “chancellor,” in final years of his tenure)
Dr. Edward K. Graham (first UNCG head administrator to earn doctorate)
Dr. Gordon Blackwell (first to have any type of investiture ceremony)
Dr. Otis Singletary (declined a ceremony)
Dr. James Ferguson (first large investiture ceremony, a tradition that continues: Fred Chappell spoke, a Class of 1894 alumna was on hand)
Dr. William Moran
Dr. Patricia Sullivan
Dr. Linda Brady

Our campus will welcome Dr. Franklin Gilliam Jr. on Sept. 8 as its 11th chancellor.

By Mike Harris
Note: If you’re interested in campus history, please click the links. The links will provide you further information and show CW’s sources.

At UNCG, beauty and history are all around

Photo of detail from one of many signed architectural drawings by Harry Barton, in Sink BuildingThere’s great art and invaluable history in lots of unanticipated places at UNCG.

This summer, CW will show you some. First, let’s stop by Sink Building – and consider perhaps the most important architect to call Greensboro home: Harry Barton.

I toured his 1927-built home in Hamilton Lakes/Old Starmount
recently, part of a Preservation Greensboro event. He built his home the same year his Aycock Auditorium was built. More than a dozen defining buildings on the UNCG campus were designed by Barton – and, aside from one (a temporary gym seen here in a Spartan Stories post), all have been preserved.

During the tour of Barton’s Greensboro home, I noticed the drawings for the home are displayed by the current owners. Are there any drawings for Barton’s building’s on view at UNCG?


Step up to the reception desk and lobby on the second floor of the Sink Building – and look around. Feast your eyes. History and art come together with each of the antique works – designs for the Chancellor’s House (now the Armfield-Preyer Visitors Center), Curry Building, Brown Building and several others. The details are astounding. Each appears to be initialed by Barton in the bottom right corner.

An architectural guide hosted by NCSU Libraries indicates few of Barton’s drawings still exist. Well, some excellent ones can be enjoyed in Sink Building. Another of the perks of being a part of such a historic campus.

Next week in CW, another spot on campus where you’re surrounded by great art and history.

By Mike Harris
Visual: detail from one of many signed architectural drawings by Harry Barton, in Sink Building

UNCG inspires Candace Robinson’s international ecological studies

Photo of Candace with a non-poisonous black racer snake at the local wetlands site, subject of her undergraduate researchCandace Robinson volunteered with a bunch of fellow UNCG students at the Topsail Island sea turtle hospital, camping through a storm.

But it’s hardly the most unusual biology field experience she’s had. That came during a UNCG student exchange experience to Australia a year ago.

“I attended James Cook University during my junior year,” she recently said. That experience in Australia changed her career path to one focused on conservation. “James Cook has a leading tropical biology program, and I took nearly all of my upper level biology courses there. The field excursions were incredible. I never thought I would be trapping and surveying animals in the outback in the outback for three days, or trekking through mangrove forests full of spiders and mosquitos.”

“I then applied for the (UNCG Biology) sea turtle conservation course, and was accepted!” she said. “Since then, my life has been forever changed. I have been given the opportunity to join in sea turtle conservation efforts in our state and in August I will be able to say I have contributed in Costa Rica.” A class of UNCG Biology students will study several species of turtles there.

A requirement in the sea turtle course has been to take on a special project with a conservation or environmental theme to be completed in 20-30 hours. “I wanted to do something worthwhile because I knew the experience could be a great opportunity to reference in my quest for grad school.

It became her signature undergraduate research project – helping restore a local wetlands pool.

“I am now part of the restoration team, which includes US Fish and Wildlife officials and a renowned forester. Upwards of 90 hours spent constructing the management plan, attending meetings, and doing hard manual labor on the property, make up the greatest work I’ve completed in my life.”

“With this grand success under my belt, I recently found out I was accepted into graduate school. In September, I will begin my Master’s of Science in the International Environmental Management and Sustainability program offered as a joint degree by James Madison University and the University of Malta.”

Last month, she told lots of kids about conservation, sea turtles and more at the first UNCG Science Everywhere festival. Her experiences in the last two years have changed her life – and she’s ready to make an impact on the world.

“I hope to one day serve on the United Nations Environment Programme board,” she said. “I’m actively working towards my goal of impacting conservation efforts internationally.”

By Mike Harris
Visual: Candace with a non-poisonous black racer snake at the local wetlands site, subject of her undergraduate research

Shred-a-thon 2015 at UNCG

UNCG campus community members have a convenient opportunity for shredding.  On Friday, June 12, at 9 a.m.-1 p.m. you’ll be able to shred paper documents with sensitive/confidential information for free in front of Foust Building on Administration Drive. The mobile shredding truck that will be stationed there is designed to process large amounts of paper on-site; users can even choose to watch the secure destruction on a closed circuit TV on the truck. Confidential materials from your office or home are welcome. This event is limited to UNCG faculty, staff, students and alumni. Help will be available to unload your car. Staples, envelope windows and small paper clips are fine to be included with the material, but no binders will be accepted. Be sure all paper is out of any binders before bringing your material. Use proper lifting technique and teamwork to move paper to the event; paper is deceptively heavy.  Last year about 25,600 lbs. of material was shredded and recycled at this annual event.

For any questions or assistance with getting records to the event please contact Ben Kunka, bakunka@uncg.edu.

Records that have permanent or historical value, based on the approved records schedule, are to be transferred to University Archives. Instructions for transferring records to University Archives are available at http://uncg.libguides.com/university_archives/transferring_to_archives. If you have questions about transferring records to University Archives or the historic value of your records (both paper and digital) contact Erin Lawrimore at erlawrim@uncg.edu.

UNCG is required to comply with the North Carolina Public Records Law concerning the retention and disposition of records. Records are to be disposed of according to University and State approved schedules. The UNC General Records Retention and Disposition Schedule is available at http://its.uncg.edu/records_management/.  If you have questions about records management, contact 6-TECH at 256-8324.

Fresh flags will grace campus

Photo of two banners that will be installed on posts on campus this summerFourteen banner options were floated. Two will fly.

Look for new UNCG banners to grace the campus’ lamp posts soon.

The current banners, which have withstood the elements for several years, were in need of replacement. Staff in Undergraduate Admissions and the Division of Continual Learning created a new set of banners. The two divisions developed an online polling process. Additionally, the options were shown informally to dozens of new graduates at May’s commencement, to get their perspective.

Two options emerged in a very tight race. A design featuring a large Spartan was the overall winner, with 310 votes. Several Minerva designs were popular as well, with the large Minerva design receiving 245 votes. The two designs will be placed strategically across the campus.

Visual: two banners that will be installed on posts on campus this summer

2,400 Spartans turn tassels

Photo of graduates with one graduate holding up a I bleed blue and gold sign during May 2015 commencementApproximately 2,400 students were awarded degrees Friday at UNCG’s Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony. The event has held at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Of those new graduates, 1,814 received baccalaureate degrees, 474 received master’s degrees, 22 received Specialist in Education degrees and 66 were hooded with doctoral degrees.

Tim Rice, the former CEO of Cone Health, delivered a Dr. Seuss themed commencement address. He was introduced by Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn. Rice was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters as part of commencement ceremonies.

Former chancellor Linda P. Brady and the achievements of UNCG during her tenure were recognized during the ceremony.

Dr. Joseph Starobin (JSNN / UNCG Nanoscience) received the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence.

Student speaker Dickson Ibeh-Kingsley said, “Fellow graduates… today we will leave here separated but forever connected. We will miss all the amazing friendships we have built during our time at UNCG, but wherever life may take us know that despite the distance our roots will remain forever intertwined … because ONCE A SPARTAN… ALWAYS A SPARTAN.”

See the full text of Tim Rice’s commencement address.

See a Filed Under: Features

Reception for our new chancellor will be May 22

Photo of aerial view of the Alumni House and Bell TowerThe University of North Carolina at Greensboro Board of Trustees cordially invites you to a reception honoring UNCG’s 11th Chancellor Friday, May 22, 2015, in the Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House.

A floating reception will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m, with remarks at 5:15 p.m.

Update: New start time is 4:30 p.m. Remarks still are scheduled for 5:15 p.m.

Trustees hear Aycock Auditorium report

Photo of the front entrance to Aycock AuditoriumThe survey results are in. A report has been compiled.

There’s no clear consensus currently on the topic of the name of Aycock Auditorium. But one thing is clear: People want an educational component.

The UNCG Board of Trustees on May 6 heard a presentation by Acting Chancellor Dana Dunn May 6.

Aycock Auditorium, built in 1927, was named for former Governor C.B. Aycock, who served 1901-05. He was known as the “Education Governor.” He had ties to UNCG (when it was known as the State Normal School). While governor, he and President Charles McIver (who had been friends since they were students at UNC Chapel Hill) worked with the Southern Education Board, a group of Southern reformers who advocated for increased support and funding for public education. He visited the State Normal College (UNCG) several times during his years as governor. He spoke at the 1902 commencement ceremony. In January 1904, after a fire destroyed Brick Dormitory (at the site of today’s McIver Building), Aycock came to the college and, along with McIver, spoke at the student assembly the next day. Aycock later worked with McIver to secure funds to construct a new facility.1

Aycock’s white supremacist political leadership and views have received increased attention in recent years and two other universities have removed his name from buildings.

The Aycock Ad Hoc Committee prepared the report, after a semester of research and fact-finding. Dr. Chuck Bolton and Rod Wyatt co-chaired the committee. Two forums were held, and the online survey yield more than 1,000 responses

Dunn presented results from the committee’s survey. As for the question of whether or not the name should be changed, there’s no clear answer from the survey. 52 percent would vote to change the name and 48 percent would vote the retain the name.

Knowing that the university will have a new chancellor this summer – and several new trustees will join the board – Dunn recommended and the trustees decided to move forward with examining the educational aspect of this issue. However, a decision about the name will not be made now; it’s anticipated that the chancellor and trustees will take that issue up later this year.

See the committee’s report at http://aycock.wp.uncg.edu/report.

See the committee’s website at aycock.uncg.edu.

1 Information from Ad Hoc Committee’s website.

By Mike Harris

Betsy Buford, Fred Chappell will receive UNCG’s highest honors

Photos of Betsy Buford and Fred ChappellBetsy Buford has worked to preserve and promote North Carolina’s history and arts. Fred Chappell has spread literary wealth to an international audience.

They will receive UNCG’s top honors.

Betsy Buford will receive the the Adelaide F. Holderness / H. Michael Weaver Award, which honors North Carolinians who have rendered distinguished public service to their community or state. It is named in honor of Adelaide F. Holderness ’34 and H. Michael Weaver of Greensboro.

Fred Chappell will receive the Charles Duncan McIver Award, which recognizes individuals who have rendered distinguished public service to the state or nation. The bronze medal bears the likeness of Charles Duncan McIver, the founding president of the institution that is now UNCG.

The honors will be presented during a ceremony on May 14 at the university.

About each recipient:

Betsy Farrior Buford ‘68 has worked with individuals, legislators and grassroots organizations from Murphy to Manteo with the goal of preserving North Carolina’s history and arts – and promoting social equity. She served as deputy secretary of the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources for nine years, 1993 to 2002. She served as director of the North Carolina Museum of History and director of the Division of State History Museums from 2002 to 2007. A history major at UNCG, she had begun her career as a legislative intern on the staff of Congressman L. Richardson Preyer and joined the state’s Division of Archives and History in 1975.

Her many awards include N.C. Federation of Women’s Clubs’ Woman of the Century, the Ruth Coltrane Cannon Award from Preservation North Carolina, Special Recognition for Speaking Out from N.C. Equity/Carpathian Awards, Indies Arts Award from Independent Weekly and the Alumni Distinguished Service Award from UNCG. She was the second recipient of the Bowers Medal of Arts from Friends of the Arts N.C. State University. (Henry Bowers, the award’s namesake, was the first recipient.)

She has served on nearly 50 boards. She has chaired the Advancement Council of The University of North Carolina Press and has served as president of the NC Literary and Historical Association and as president of the Women’s Forum of North Carolina. She has served UNCG in many ways and is currently serving as a director of the UNCG Excellence Foundation for the second time.

A career highlight was her 1996 participation in North Carolina’s first trade mission to Israel. Since 1977, she has been a supporter and volunteer for the American Dance Festival.

Fred Chappell has established a body of acclaimed literary work that few in North Carolina have ever matched. He is the author of a nineteen volumes of verse, four story collections and eight novels.

He has received, among other awards, the Bollingen Prize in Poetry, Aiken Taylor Award in Poetry, T. S. Eliot Prize, Prix de Meilleur des Livres Etrangers from the Academie Francaise, Thomas Wolfe Prize, John Tyler Caldwell Award and Roanoke-Chowan Poetry Prize eight times. He was the Poet Laureate of North Carolina from 1997 to 2002.

His impact on the world of letters is seen not only in his books but in the many students who have gone on to successful writing and teaching careers.

A native of Canton in the mountains of North Carolina, he taught at UNCG for more than 40 years and helped create the MFA in Writing program. A recipient of the UNC system’s highest faculty honor, the O. Max Gardner Award, Chappell held the Burlington Industries Professorship from 1987 to his retirement in 2004.

By Mike Harris

Love sea turtles, will travel

Photo of students rinsing off sea turtleNeither rain nor storms nor darkened skies could keep a group of UNCG Biology students from the coast the last several days.

They left on Mother’s Day to volunteer at a sea turtle hospital. They camped. They will return today (Wednesday).

UNCG has a longstanding connection with the hospital, officially called the Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center. Students and employees volunteer regularly.

UNCG Biology senior lecture Ann Berry Somers leads the groups. She taught a course on sea turtles this spring – and will teach a summer course in which UNCG students will travel to Central America to study a rich variety of sea turtles and conservation techniques. “We leave for Costa Rica on Aug. 1 and return on Aug. 9 and will be working with the researchers at the Phipps Biological Station,” Somers said.

UNCG has many students involved in conservation work – locally and around the world – whether with polar bears, birds, plants, sea lions and of course sea turtles. UNCG Campus Weekly and UNCG Now news site will profile a few of the many students in coming weeks.

By Mike Harrid
Archive visual from an earlier year at the sea turtle hospital

UNCG undergraduate researcher goes to Capitol Hill

Photo of Merritt and Westervelt are joined by an exoneree wrongfully convicted of killing a prison guard, as Merritt makes poster presentationUNCG honors student Tiffany Merritt and her mentor, Dr. Saundra Westervelt of the UNCG Department of Sociology, took their research to Capitol Hill last month. Merritt’s honors project, titled “Addressing the Aftermath of a Wrongful Conviction in North Carolina: Policy vs. Practice,” examines the implementation of the North Carolina compensation policy for NC exonerees. Her research reveals that only 44 percent of NC exonerees actually receive compensation.

The project was one of 60 from across the country selected from over 500 applications for the annual “Posters on the Hill” event sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research. Merritt and Westervelt traveled to Washington, D.C. April 22-23, where they discussed their work with two U.S. senators and the staffers for a third senator and two U.S. congressmen. They also met with White House staffers from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

The Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) is dedicated to supporting and promoting high-quality undergraduate student-faculty collaborative research and scholarship. CUR’s Posters on the Hill is a national showcase that emphasizes the positive impacts of undergraduate research experiences for the U.S. Congress.

Merritt found the experience remarkable, as she presented to governmental officials in the nation’s capital. “Especially when I think about my roots. I come from a small island called Wrangell in Alaska. When I say small I mean 1,800 people and no street lights.”

She enrolled at UNCG in 2011. She took up Chinese as a minor and pursued her criminology concentration, graduating in the fall of 2014.

“As I learned more about criminology, I realized the criminal justice system was not what I had expected – that a lot of injustice existed within the system itself that needs addressing. I began doing research on exonerees because I needed extra coursework to turn into the (UNCG Lloyd International) Honors College to receive disciplinary honors in Sociology. Luckily I had Dr. Westervelt who is a champion in this area and got me really fired up about the aftermath of exonerees.”

She is currently working for a private company helping International students become successful college students. “I hope to start graduate school at UNCG in January 2016, and eventually I hope to be working at the forefront of exonerees reentry services and compensation, whether that be working for a non-profit or from the political angle.”

Visual: Merritt and Westervelt are joined by an exoneree wrongfully convicted of killing a prison guard, as Merritt makes poster presentation

Starfish updates: Summer 2015

With the spring semester coming to a close, the Starfish Outreach Team in the Students First Office would like to wish students, staff, and faculty a productive and restorative summer break. As the university transitions into the summer term, we would like to remind the campus community that the ability to raise Starfish flags and kudos will be turned off during the summer. Flags and kudos will be disabled beginning May 9, 2015 and will become available again for Fall 2015 on August 17, 2015.

The following features will remain available during the summer:

  • Starfish CONNECT online scheduling tools
  • Tutoring Referrals (available for both Summer Sessions I and II)
  • Academic Skills Referrals (available all summer)

Starfish referrals are a new feature that became available during Spring 2015 and are available for staff and faculty to use if they know of a student who can benefit from the referred service. Please visit studentsfirst.uncg.edu/starfish/how-to.php to learn more about each of the referrals that are currently available.

For assistance using Starfish features over the summer, please email Elena Medeiros, the Coordinator of Academic Outreach, at starfish@uncg.edu. Students, staff, and faculty are also encouraged to explore UNCG’s Starfish webpages at studentsfirst.uncg.edu/starfish for additional information about Starfish, its features and available training guides.

Volunteer with Habitat for Humanity build for June 3

Photo of volunteers working around the roof of house from a past Habitat BuildUNCG Staff Senate is forming a team to volunteer for a Habitat Build on Wednesday, June 3. Volunteers must be able to commit to the entire day (7:45 a.m.-3:30 p.m.) and must pre-register. The team of employees will be working on foundation prepping and finishing, as well as final building and waterproofing of a retaining wall. No experience is necessary to participate. UNCG organizers note that this qualifies for any unused community service leave. The team is limited to 12 members, so to ensure a spot, sign up soon.

For more details and to register, contact Debbie Freund at freundd@uncg.edu or 256-0426.

Staff, vote for your representatives

Staff Senate elections for the 2015-2017 term are upon us. The major purpose of the UNCG Staff Senate is to provide awareness of and involvement in the university community by SPA and EPA non-faculty employees; to encourage professional and personal development of the staff; to improve communication between all staff and faculty within the university; and to serve on special committees appointed by the chancellor as recommended by the Staff Senate Executive Committee.

Please take a few moments to select the ballot for your division below, and vote for your 2015-2017 Staff Senate representatives. Note, there are no open seats for the division of the Office of Research and Economic Development and for University Advancement.

Elections have begun the they will end at the close of business on Friday, May 15, 2015.

Academic Affairs
Business Affairs
Information Technology Services
Office of the Chancellor*
Student Affairs

Thank you.

Co-Chairs of the Staff Senate Elections Committee

* For the 2015-2017 term, the Division of the Office of the Chancellor will include Intercollegiate Athletics, University Relations, and Gateway University Research Park

Feasts, catastrophe and the Folger Seminar

Photo of Melissa ElmesUNCG’s Melissa Elmes, a doctoral student in medieval literature, was accepted into the Folger Institute’s spring 2015 seminar. Elmes joins a growing list of UNCG doctoral students and faculty accepted into these highly selective and prestigious Folger programs. The Scale of Catastrophe: Ecology and Transition, Medieval to Early Modern seminar brought Elmes to the Folger Shakespeare Library on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, nearly every Thursday through April 23.

Every year, the Folger Institute attracts hundreds of applications from the top minds around the world to participate in its seminars. The seminars work much like a graduate level course – participants have weekly assigned readings, discussion prompts, and presentations. There is one important difference, though: instead of reviewing existing knowledge, participants create and disseminate new knowledge by discussing it with each other and bringing it back to their respective institutions. In the case of The Scale of Catastrophe seminar, the scholars considered the effects of natural and man-made disasters on individual and community identity.

The experience has been both humbling and inspiring for Elmes. “You’re actually in a room with all of these brains from literally across the world, and you’re producing knowledge,” she says. “Until I took this seminar, I didn’t realize the scale and deep responsibility that is involved with the kind of work that we do.”

Elmes’ doctoral dissertation focuses on feasts and feasting in medieval literature and their role in changing and recreating human and community identity.

By Emma Troxler
Full story at UNCG Research site.

Commencement 2015, in pictures

Enjoy a slideshow of May 2015 UNCG Commencement Day – many of the photos are behind-the-scenes shots, taken by Martin Kane.

Three candidates determined for UNCG chancellor position

Photo of Minerva statueUNCG Chancellor Search Committee Chair Susan Safran recently updated the campus community on the committee’s work and the search status. A brief summary:

On April 27, the Chancellor Search Committee met in closed session to discuss five candidates for the UNCG chancellor position. On that day, the committee determined three finalists.

The Board of Trustees met on April 28 to receive the recommendation of the Chancellor Search Committee and consider the three finalists. The board elected to advance the slate of finalists, as recommended by the committee, to UNC System President Tom Ross.

Over the next few weeks, President Ross, along with members of his executive staff and select members of the Board of Governors, will schedule interviews with each of the finalists. At the conclusion of those interviews, President Ross will make a recommendation to the Board of Governors (BOG). The Board of Governors will consider President Ross’ recommendation and make a final decision at the BOG meeting on May 22.

The next chancellor of our university is expected to take office on July 1.

Final 2014-15 Faculty Senate meeting today, 3 p.m.

Photo of Alumni HouseHighlights on the agenda for the Wednesday, May 6, 2015, Faculty Senate meeting in the Alumni House include:

  • Remarks by Spoma Jovanovic, current chair, and remarks by Anne Wallace, chair-elect.
  • Presentations by Bob Hansen (Curriculum Reform Task Force), Murphie Chappell (Title IX basics) and Lawrence Jenkens & Julia Jackson-Newsom (Task Force, Conflict of Interests & External Activities for Pay)
  • Discussions on resolutions led by Susan Shelmerdine and by Patti Sink.
  • Committee reports by Carla LeFevre, Lynda Kellam, Stoel Borrowes, Wayne Journell, John Lepri and Kenneth Klase.

UNCG Commencement Friday, 10 a.m. at Coliseum

Photo of graduates celebrating and a graduate holding up a foam fingerGet ready to turn those tassels!

Approximately 2,400 students will be awarded degrees at UNCG’s Spring 2015 Commencement Ceremony. The event will begin at 10 a.m., Friday, May 8, at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Among the graduates will be the first recipients of the UNCG bachelor’s degree in peace and conflict studies.

Tim Rice, the former CEO of Cone Health, will deliver the commencement address. Rice will also be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters as part of commencement ceremonies.

Commencement ceremonies will be live-streamed at http://reg.uncg.edu/commencement-central/video. Follow along on social media using the hashtag #uncggrad.

26 inducted into UNCG Golden Chain

Group photo of inductiesIn April, UNCG’s Golden Chain Honor Society welcomed 26 new members.

This organization, unique to UNCG, recognizes outstanding juniors and seniors who embody the seven golden chain links: leadership, scholarship, service, tolerance, magnanimity, judgment, and character. Members must have at least a 3.25 GPA.

The guest speaker at the induction ceremony was UNCG alumna Kiya Ward, who spoke on how the seven golden chain traits have served her in her life after graduation.

Honorees include:
Dylan Belles
Karen Boger
Stephanie Brabec
Kamisha Carpenter
Alison Castillo
Nicholas Chapman
Catherine Choi
Corey Croegaert
Ashley Eddleman
Richard Guile
Micaela Harper
Isiah Harris
Kelly Hook
Shannon Jones
Bryahna Mason
Macy McFatter
Erin Neely
Lasse Palomaki
Jennifer Plouffé
Shawn Ratcliff
Christopher Reingen
Lindsay Thomas
Nicole Thomas
Miranda Weavil
Chesney White
Shelton Young

Dr. Karen Kilcup named Elizabeth Rosenthal Excellence Professor

Photo of Dr. Karen KilcupActing Chancellor and Provost Dana Dunn and Dean Tim Johnston make an announcement:

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Karen Kilcup as the Elizabeth Rosenthal Excellence Professor of English, Environmental & Sustainability Studies, and Women’s & Gender Studies. Since joining the UNCG faculty in 1996, Dr. Kilcup has offered a wide range of courses in environmental writing, nineteenth-century women’s literature, American poetry, and Native American writing. She is author or editor of eleven books, most recently Fallen Forests: Redeeming American Women’s Nature Writing (U of Georgia P, 2013), and Over the River and Through the Woods: An Anthology of Nineteenth-Century American Children’s Poetry (Johns Hopkins UP, 2013). In addition, she has published over forty articles on a wide range of subjects.

As an eminent figure in the field of American literary criticism, Dr. Kilcup has served as President of the Society for the Study of American Women Writers and as editorial board member for numerous journals and presses. She is the recipient of many research awards and fellowships, including an NEH Fellowship for 2010-2011.

During her time at UNCG, Dr. Kilcup has enhanced the intellectual culture of UNCG through extensive service to the English Department, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the University. In addition, she has made important contributions to both the Environmental & Sustainability Studies Program and the Women’s & Gender Studies Program.

Please join us in congratulating Dr. Karen Kilcup as the Elizabeth Rosenthal Excellence Professor.

UNCG Field Day yields fun and donations

Photo of staff members hoola-hoopingUNCG employees donated 500 pounds of needed materials for the Guilford County Animal Shelter, as well as $246 in cash.

The Faculty/Staff Kickball game was rained out this year, but the Staff Senate Events committee united with HealthyUNCG for a fun, healthful lunchtime outing in Foust Park.

See pictures on the facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.460883990737064.1073741836.145129408979192&type=1 and the staff senate webpage here:  http://staffsenate.uncg.edu/photo-album/

UNCG gets STARS Gold rating for sustainability

Aerial campus photo of College AvenueUNCG has attained its first STARS Gold rating in recognition of its sustainability achievements.

The rating is given by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE).

UNCG becomes only the third UNC system university to achieve this rating, joining Appalachian State and UNC Chapel Hill.

STARS (Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System) is the most comprehensive instrument to evaluate and encourage sustainability in all aspects of higher education. Trey McDonald, UNCG sustainability coordinator, said, “We became involved with STARS as a charter participant in 2011, and have used it as our primary metric for sustainability since then. We are extremely proud of our Gold rating this year, as we’ve achieved Silver in our past three ratings. This assessment displays how infusing sustainability into all we do at UNCG can pay off. ”

UNCG also improved its position in the GreenMetric World University Sustainability Ranking, organized  by the Universitas Indonesia (UI).  UNCG moved up in the rankings from 55th out of 301 schools to 27th out of 360 institutions across the globe. The UI GreenMetric ranks universities by comparing their efforts towards campus sustainability and environmental management. McDonald said, “We are very pleased to be ranked in the top 10 percent of schools worldwide for our sustainability accomplishments. Sustainability is one of the five core values of UNCG and we are committed to leading the effort to create a more sustainable future.”

See related story on Recyclemania 2015.

Information courtesy April’s UNCG Sustainability newsletter.

UNCG among ‘The 100 Most Affordable Universities in America in 2015’

Photo of entrance to the Elliott University CenterThe Best Value Schools website has released its listing of the 100 Most Affordable Universities in America in 2015.

UNCG is No. 72 nationally, according to this site.

An excerpt from their synopsis:
“(UNCG) has received an impressive amount of recognition for its online classes, but these accolades haven’t shifted the school’s focus away from traditional coursework. The challenging academic programs cover Anthropology, Archaeology, Nutrition, Peace and Conflict Studies, Biology, Interior Architecture, Classical Studies, Professions in Deafness, Retail Studies, Sustainable Tourism, and a plethora of other options you might not find elsewhere ….”

See the list here.

Bryan School maintains prestigious AACSB accreditation

Photo of entrance to Bryan BuildingThe UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics has maintained its business and accounting accreditation by AACSB International — The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

Maintaining accreditation in both fields puts the Bryan School among the top three percent of business schools in the world.

“It’s gratifying to have objective, outside experts examine our mission and methods and determine that we meet the highest standards in business and accounting education,” said Dean McRae C. Banks.

Several of the Bryan School’s strategic initiatives were praised by the AACSB visiting review team including X-Culture, an international experience developed and coordinated by Bryan School Assistant Professor Vas Taras where students at universities around the globe collaborate on a group project. X-Culture now has 4,000 participants per semester at 100 universities around the world and the  resulting relationships between faculty have led to research collaborations.

The team also highlighted the growth in the Bryan School’s online class offerings, significant community engagement projects between Bryan School students and faculty and the surrounding region, and the growth in diversity of faculty and the student body. The Bryan School graduates more undergraduate students of color than any other campus in the UNC system, including the business schools at historically black universities.

One of the largest business schools in North Carolina, the Bryan School has been accredited since 1982. The school’s programs in business and accounting will be up for accreditation review again in 2020.

By Lanita Withers Goins

Steam distribution piping replacement

A UNCG piping replacement project this summer will involve the replacement of existing steam pipes that provide heating and hot water to the campus.

As the existing steam pipes age, they start to develop leaks, and they need to be systematically replaced. This summer, the existing pipes from the south side of Spring Garden Street to Mossman Building are being removed and replaced with new pipes. The work is just getting started, and should complete in early August. Due to the fact that the steam pipes cross Forest Street, Facilities will be closing Forest Street from the intersection of Spring Garden Street to EUC during construction. All parking on this section of Forest Street will be taken out of service, with only delivery trucks to EUC and contractor vehicles and equipment allowed into the area.

A temporary hot water heater is being installed in two metered parking spaces on the west side of Mossman Building so that the building will continue to have hot water during construction.

At least 1,000 enjoy 1st UNCG Science Everywhere festival

Photo of kids at a science activity during eventKids don’t mind a little drizzle.

Kids are fascinated by (non-venomous) snakes … by making their own creations … by science experiments of all types, especially if they fizz onto the sidewalk, launch up into the sky or parachute down a story or two.

At Saturday’s inaugural UNCG Science Everywhere festival held at several locations on the UNCG campus, Triad families had a fun-filled day of all types of science.

“Wow.” “Oh!” “Neat.”Those were among of the most-heard reactions of the day.

Most of the festival moved indoors, due to a light rain, for a cozy, dry and fun inaugural UNCG Science Festival Everywhere.

Steve Ollison, one of our GK-12 teachers in High Point, brought 20 students, Sametz said. “He was having a blast, as were his students.”

“We counted over 800 community members  – we were using counters when folks checked in,” Dr. Lynn Sametz said. She is GK-12 Project Director, HERP Project Director and RISE Network Facilitator at UNCG. Due to the rain and knowing that many did not take time to stop by a welcome tent, obviously the attendance was greater than that. “Maybe 1,000 – great for a first time event.”

The organizers had about 235 volunteers and activity leaders from across campus taking part. Many faculty and deans were leading the activities, as were UNCG and high school students. (See some photos of event.)

Everyone involved had favorite memories:

“I loved seeing parents and children playing with science together on the floors (and tables) of the classrooms in the School of Education Building – and I loved the enthusiasm of the Herpetology Club members talking about their snakes,” said Dr. Carol Seaman (Mathematics & Statistics).

At the School of Education Building, Matt Fisher was in the SELF Design Studio.

He liked that the festival gave the school’s pre-service teachers an opportunity to teach children in an untraditional setting. “I also thought it was really interesting and intriguing to hear how children described the junk / scrap sculptures they were building in the makerspace. Their imaginations were quite amazing!”

The festival was a blending of campus resources, Sametz notes. “Just look at all the departments that contributed time and effort,” she said. And “three different National Science Foundation funded projects participated – GK-12, STAMPS and HERPS – as well as the Project Enrich/SELF Design studio. And of course the Provost and the NC Science festival provided funding.”

Dr. Heidi Carlone was struck by the kids’ focus and persistence during the activities. “Some stayed at a given activity for up to 45 minutes! … Youths’ engagement with science and engineering activities at the Science Everywhere festival clearly demonstrates that youth, even those who are very young, can and do focus and problem solve.”

At each welcome table were simple flyers for all the UNCG-related summer camps, as well – a continuing community resource for area families.

One parent told a graduate assistant volunteer, “You kept my three-year-old busy all afternoon. How do you do that?” Her response was: “It’s science.”

“The most common phrase I heard from the community attendees was, “When are you doing this again?!” said Dr. Heidi Carlone. “One of our three-year-old participants said, “I’ll be back tomorrow.”

Sametz heard the inquiries about future science festivals. “It is all a matter of money … and time,” Sametz said, “but I hope so!”

“And, just think of how many people might come if the weather is wonderful.”

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Martin Kane

Alumnus Chris Chalk visits UNCG before debut on “Gotham”

Photo of Chris Chalk speaking with studentsMany Spartans saw him at Thursday’s UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance Distinguished alumni awards ceremony.

UNCG theater students heard him speak Thursday and Friday at classes – including one on acting for film (see photo).

Audience members at Friday’s UNCG Theatre performance of “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” engaged with him in a pre-show Q&A (with Jim Wren) about playwright August Wilson.

But this week, millions saw alumnus Chris Chalk makes his first appearance as Lucius Fox in the FOX network’s popular series “Gotham.” He will appear again next week.

Fans of DC Comics and Batman have been awaiting the introduction of this character into the series.

Chalk graduated from UNCG in 2001 with a major in theater. He then headed to New York City. His credits have included August Wilson’s “Fences” on Broadway with Denzel Washington and Viola Davis; acclaimed television series such as “Homeland” and “Network;” and the Oscar Best Picture film “12 Years a Slave.”

One UNCG Theatre student asked him what he’d learned as an undergraduate? “I learned beginning steps,” he told the students and audience members.

His work at UNCG was the beginning of a continuing journey to becoming an artist, he explained. That included such things as love, humility, service and discipline.

He encouraged the students. The theme of being disciplined and giving it all you have permeated his talk.

“In New York, there’s a huge UNCG community there now,” he told the theatre students looking to make it in the City. Reach out to other Spartans there, he said, himself included. They can point their fellow Spartans new to the City in the right direction.

He has not forgotten his time as a student – and has enjoyed returning to UNCG over the years

“They kept allowing me to come back and talk with students,” he said.

By Mike Harris
Photograph by Martin Kane

UNCG, Forward Impact launch ThinkHouseU initiative

Aerial view down College AvenueStarting this fall, UNCG will serve as a national pilot site for ThinkHouseU, an innovative residential program for budding entrepreneurs.

Raleigh-based Forward Impact and UNCG are partnering to renovate a house near UNCG’s campus that will be home to eight students who are exploring entrepreneurial ventures.

Residents of the house, or ThinkHouseU Fellows, will have access to mentors and UNCG-organized learning and networking events that will help them cultivate their ideas and accelerate their own leadership development.

Admission to the house is competitive. Rising junior and seniors and graduate students at all universities and colleges in Greensboro are eligible to apply.

“We are currently recruiting college students from throughout Greensboro who are deeply interested in being entrepreneurial leaders and change makers in our community,” said Bryan Toney, associate vice chancellor for economic development and corporate engagement at UNCG. “They will benefit from the many resources at UNCG’s N.C. Entrepreneurship Center and through our partnership with Forward Impact. We are eager to work with them.”

Fellows will move into the house in August and live there through the 2015-16 school year.

They will pay rent based on market rates. They do not receive academic credit for the experience but will take part in a fall retreat with other entrepreneurial leaders who are part of the Forward Impact community. They will also participate in a “Demo Day” at the end of the academic year when they share the progress on their projects with the larger community.

ThinkHouseU Fellows will also receive complimentary memberships to HQ Greensboro, a co-work space for startups that will open this summer in downtown Greensboro less than a mile from ThinkHouseU. At HQ Greensboro, Fellows can take part in programs for entrepreneurs and build connections with the larger startup and innovation ecosystem in Greensboro and across North Carolina.

The ThinkHouseU concept is modeled on Forward Impact’s existing ThinkHouse in Raleigh, where recent college graduates receive extensive support in building scalable companies.

Forward Impact, which developed HQ Raleigh (a partner organization of HQ Greensboro), is also opening a TeachHouse in Durham for public school teachers who are recent graduates of Duke University’s Program for Education.

“Our goal is to open dozens of entrepreneurial living-learning communities across the United States over the next few years, and we are excited to partner with UNCG in pioneering the ThinkHouseU concept,” said Christopher Gergen, CEO of Forward Impact and Innovator in Residence at Greensboro’s Center for Creative Leadership. “We believe it offers a powerful forum for unleashing the full potential of our next generation of entrepreneurial leaders and a way for communities like Greensboro to attract and retain high potential talent.”

Interested students can apply online at www.thinkhouseu.com or contact Justin Streuli at jtstreul@uncg.edu or 336-256-8647.

See full story at UNCG Now.

Thornton will be interim vice chancellor for university relations

Photo of James ThorntonActing Chancellor Dana Dunn has announced an interim leader of University Relations:

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am pleased to introduce James (Jim) Thornton, who will fill the position of Interim Vice Chancellor for University Relations effective May 1.

Jim will serve a six-month term, relieving Jan Zink, Vice Chancellor for University Advancement, who has served in this role in an acting capacity since February.

Jim has extensive experience in public and private higher education, including serving as Interim Vice President for College Advancement at Hartwick College (New York) and as Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Communications at Urbana University. He also has held senior leadership positions at the University of Cincinnati, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens and the Dayton Art Institute.

Please join me in welcoming Jim to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro and in thanking Jan for temporarily adding University Relations to her position as Vice Chancellor for University Advancement.

Dr. Dana Dunn
Acting Chancellor


Additional biographical information:

  • Thornton managed and directed more than twenty successful capital fund campaigns in a variety of nonprofit settings, including Ashland University, the University of Georgia System, the University of Rio Grande, Kent State University, the Ohio State University and West Virginia University Medical System.
  • He has conducted numerous campaign planning studies, institutional development assessments, board development and strategic planning assignments.
  • He has won multiple national and regional awards and citations for excellence in public relations, educational service, and fund raising, and served as a founding board member of The Development Exchange and the American Public Radio Network.
  • He has served on boards and professional committees for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, National Public Radio, the Ohio Educational Broadcasting Network Commission, the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges, the Southwestern Ohio Council for Higher Education and the Ohio Arts Council.
  • He earned his bachelor’s degree, majoring in English, from Doane College, and served as adjunct professor of broadcasting at the University of Cincinnati – College Conservatory of Music.