UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Honey bee research abuzz

The UNCG Bee Station is located a few blocks to the east of campus and is, at this moment, buzzing with research.

UNCG Professor of Biology Dr. Olav Rueppell and his research team have just received a nearly $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to investigate honey bees’ natural defenses against their main pest, the Varroa mite, and how to activate them.

Varroa mites are tiny, amber-colored circular creatures that live on the bodies of the honey bees. They feed on the bees’ blood and amplify a colony’s level of infection from illnesses such as Deformed Wing Virus or Israeli Acute Paralysis.

“Bee health started to decline significantly about a decade ago in the U.S. for unknown reasons,” Rueppell said. “So that caused a lot of awareness and research. Now we understand that there’s not one single factor, but it’s a perfect storm where multiple factors interact to decrease honey bee health, and in some cases lead to the collapse of entire colonies.”

The presence of the virus-vectoring Varroa mite is now widely regarded as the most significant problem threatening honey bee health. It’s not only a problem for beekeepers and honey enthusiasts, but for human populations. Honey bees are the most important commercial pollinator both nationally and globally, and in 2000, their impact on food crops in the U.S. was estimated at $14.6 billion.

“One third of all our food depends on honey bees,” Rueppell explained.

The UNCG research team, which includes postdoctoral fellows Kaira Wagoner and Esmaeil Amiri, has been studying how mites play a role in transmitting and increasing viruses in bee populations. With the new grant, they will explore how to help bees help themselves and protect their colonies from the Varroa mites.

Worker bees sometimes demonstrate “hygienic behavior,” which means they identify comb cells that are infected by mites and uncap them to remove mite-infected honey bee larvae. Rueppell’s lab is zeroing in on the chemical signals that trigger this behavior. With expanded knowledge about the chemicals, the researchers can selectively breed honeybees for improved hygienic behavior, and they may be able to apply this natural chemical directly in the hives to encourage hygienic behavior.

The research team will also develop educational material for beekeepers and queen breeders, and train extension specialists in the use of new hive management strategies. Beekeepers in North Carolina and Minnesota will assist in testing at hives, and the research will involve collaboration with scientists at the University of California-Riverside, North Carolina State University, and the University of Minnesota.

While a major part of Rueppell’s drive comes from his innate curiosity about insects and the natural world, he also seeks to solve applied problems.

“I’m particularly satisfied when practical relevance meets exciting scientific discovery and we gain some fundamental insights while helping with practical problems,” he said. “That’s the best kind of research.”

YouTube Preview Image

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photograph of Dr. Rueppell by Martin W. Kane
Videography by Katie Loyd

Weatherspoon Summer Solstice Party June 23

It’s the artful way to welcome summer.

UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum will host its annual Solstice Party Friday, June 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Admission is free, and food and drinks will be available for purchase. The 44th “Art on Paper” exhibition will be featured, and Gipsy Danger will perform. The event will include art activities, face painting and more. A free yoga sun salutation will precede the party, at 6 p.m., on the east side of the museum parking lot.

Crunching data and mending neighborhoods

Verna Torain has lived in east Greensboro’s Cottage Grove neighborhood for more than 25 years.

When she first moved to the community, many residents worked in nearby factories. “Now everything’s closed down,” says the volunteer and community activist. “There’s no jobs.”

The economic toll has left its mark on Cottage Grove. Houses and apartments have fallen into disrepair. And it’s not just buildings suffering.

Job loss and substandard housing are two factors contributing to a host of other issues, including health problems.

The connections among housing, sickness and related problems are the primary focus of Dr. Stephen Sills’ Center for Housing and Community Studies (CHCS) at UNCG.

Sills, an associate professor of sociology, is using statistical analysis and software to better understand these issues. He works closely with residents, plus nonprofit organizations, government agencies, foundations and health care providers, to design, test and implement solutions.

“I’m working on health one day; I’m working on educational outcomes on another,” he says. “I’m working on mortgage markets and fair housing. It looks like I’m all over the place, but what I’m doing is taking problems that come to me and applying the best research tool I have.”

Sills taps other faculty – such as Dr. Keith Debbage, who holds a joint appointment in the Department of Geography and the Bryan School of Business and Economics, and Dr. Ken Gruber at the UNCG Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships – to bring additional expertise to center projects.

With the support of a highly competitive Invest Health grant, Sills and his partners – both on campus and in the community – are currently examining the relationship between substandard housing and pediatric asthma in Greensboro.

Last summer, a dozen student researchers used software that pulls photographs from Google Maps’ streetview. The students spent hours viewing images of tens of thousands of Greensboro properties.

For each one, they completed a 53-question survey based on the images – is the property residential or commercial? What’s the condition of the roof or siding? Are there potential code violations, such as grass being too high or junk cars in the yard?

With all that data, software could be used to map out substandard housing “hotspots.”

Those hotspots were cross-referenced with Census data and data from Cone Health’s Emergency Department on pediatric asthma visits.

That brought Sills and his team to the Cottage Grove neighborhood.

Sills found the substandard housing hotspots correlated with communities with high levels of poverty, low levels of home ownership and poor health outcomes.

Many of the properties are poorly maintained – either because their owners can’t afford to repair them or because they have little incentive to invest more capital in rental housing.

The result? A leaking roof creates high levels of moisture inside a home, spurring mold growth, which then exacerbates the asthma of children living there. Holes in a foundation allow insects and pests into a house; roach droppings, rodent waste, dust mites and the like also worsen symptoms and trigger asthma attacks.

Between the data analysis that identifies “hotspots” and proven interventions, such as small repairs and health education, the group hopes to improve Cottage Grove and develop a model for other neighborhoods.

Eventually, Sills says, the work could create a model that could be applied across an entire city here or anywhere in the country.

Sills has also studied discrimination in housing and mortgage applications, sending testers of different racial, gender and sexual identities to apartment communities and analyzing banking data to see if they’re treated differently.

“It’s a fair housing issue at the same time that it’s a substandard housing issue; it’s a health issue; and it’s an economic opportunity issue. They’re really all intricately connected.”

Sills’ research pinpoints and measures how those issues cluster together, and how tackling one can affect the rest of them. That’s what Sills cares about most.

With any report that comes out of the center, he’s looking for policies changed, community funding generated and numbers of lives impacted.

Ultimately, Sills says, “It’s ‘What’s the impact on the community?’”

This post was adapted from a UNCG Research Magazine story written by Mark Tosczak. To read the full story and more, click here.

Photography by Mike Dickens
University and community partners gather at the team’s house-turned-community-center at Cottage Grove. Clockwise from left: Dr. Stephen Sills, Greensboro Housing Coalition’s Josie Williams, undergraduate researcher Francheska Elliott, former undergraduate researcher and current CHCS staff Phillip Sheldon, and community activists Sandra Williams and Verna Torain.

Steve Honeycutt receives Betty Hardin Award

Steve Honeycutt, director of Financial Planning and Budgets, was honored with the 2017 Betty Hardin Award for Excellence in Business Affairs at the Business Affairs Service Awards Luncheon on May 25. The award, named for former director of Advancement Services Betty Brower Hardin, is for a Business Affairs employee who demonstrates superior leadership, a positive and constructive attitude, a sense of humor, an appreciation for people and a rendering of service above and beyond the call of duty to the university community.

Honeycutt has been with UNCG for 11 years. He has worked with many departments, providing them with historical financial information and ensuring that money is spent wisely. He was heavily involved in the implementation of Banner Human Resources at UNCG and his work has extended to the launching of Spartan Village and the Kaplan Center for Wellness. He has represented UNCG and the UNC system on statewide committees, and he is one of the senior officers in the state.

Before coming to UNCG, Honeycutt worked for the University of North Carolina at Asheville for 20 years, serving as the assistant director of Accounting, as well as a budget officer and in contracts and grants accounting. He helped form the first staff senate at UNCA and was its first president. He began the student move-in effort there, which grew to 100 volunteers assisting over 1,000 new and returning students. He also assisted in the design and development of UNCA’s Banner Finance and received the Thomas D. Reynolds Alumni Award in 2005 for exemplary service to the university.

Honeycutt is known for his foresight and his concern for the needs and goals of all departments and divisions of UNCG, and for making sure the Budget Office can serve them. He negotiates challenges and provides his staff with opportunities for growth. UNCG budget analyst Sheilah M. Moyle notes that Honeycutt’s many years of experience within the UNC system and his frequent interaction with UNC system university budget office staff have allowed him to mentor not only UNCG employees but other UNC system staff.

“Steve has a strong sense of commitment to UNCG and to the UNC system as a whole,” said Moyle. “He keeps abreast of legislation that pertains to the university system and makes sure it is applied properly to our university.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Dr. Jan Zink announces retirement at end of the year

Chancellor Gilliam shared news yesterday afternoon in the following email announcement:

It is with mixed emotions that I share the news of Dr. Janis Zink’s retirement at the end of this year (December 31, 2017). After working in higher education for over 43 years (29 of them in fundraising), she has decided to retire in order to spend more time with her family. Jan has served UNCG as Vice Chancellor for University Advancement with tremendous passion, skill, and expertise.

Jan joined UNCG in 2013 after leading highly successful fundraising campaigns at the University of Texas at El Paso and the University of Tulsa. At UNCG, many of her achievements have laid the foundation for our future fundraising success. In just four years, Jan has led efforts to:

  • Build our data capabilities so that we are now able to develop metrics and benchmarks, allowing for more strategic decision making;
  • Reestablish relationships with our alumni – especially our WC alumnae and the Alumni Association; and
  • Create a central advancement events team, which has enhanced our signature events and reputation with donors.

The last two years, Jan and I have worked closely together building for the future, and the results have been particularly fruitful: alumni and outright giving are both up; and Jan was indispensable in helping to shepherd the Kaplan Center naming gift – only the third gift of its size in UNCG history. Indeed, a Giant Step for UNCG!

I am also personally grateful to Jan – she was one of the very first people who welcomed me and Jacquie to UNCG. She has always been gracious, dedicated, and hardworking.

We will be launching a national search later this summer. In the meantime, I am deeply appreciative that Jan has decided to stay on through the 125th and alumni festivities this fall. We will have a proper send off in December.

Please join me in congratulating Jan, and thanking her for her contributions to UNCG!

Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

New hires in UNCG Human Resources

Allen Unger has joined Human Resources as an HR Business Partner and Employee Relations Consultant. He has over 15 years of HR experience from retailing, corporate and manufacturing; over 15 years of corporate training experience; coupled with military experience in the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard as an Education and Training Craftsman. Unger received his Master of Science in Education (M.S.Ed) degree in Counselor Education from Long Island University School of Education. He is assigned to partner with Business Affairs, Student Affairs, University Advancement, and Athletics.

Rowena Cassim-Sims has joined Human Resources as an HR Business Partner and Employee Relations Consultant with over 10 years of human resource experience that include employee relations, operations management, recruitment, and talent acquisition. Her career has included operations management with large, mid-sized, and small for profit and non-profit organizations in healthcare. Cassim-Sims received her Master of Science in Health Care Administration from Pfeiffer University. She is assigned to partner with Academic Affairs, Office of Research and Economic Development, Information Technology Services, and University Communications.

Creative Cloud now has wider availability

A note from ITS to UNCG Faculty, staff, and computer lab users:

Creative Cloud is available on UNCG-owned machines for all, and on personal machines for faculty and staff. This took effect Tuesday, June 6, 2017.

UNCG students, faculty, and staff have access to the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of applications on UNCG-owned computers (Mac and PC). This includes, beginning in Fall 2017, computers in classrooms and Information Technology Services (ITS) open-access lab computers.

More information about activate individual Creative Cloud subscriptions is available at the ITS web site.

Learn more at Adobe @ UNCG and Adobe Creative Cloud.

If you have questions, or need more information, please contact 6-TECH at (336) 256-TECH (8324) or 6-TECH@uncg.edu.

Public Speaking Training offered

Did you know UNCG’s University Speaking Center offers training specifically to help with speaking at a public meeting – for example during an open speaker session?

Participants learn tips for effectively communicating precisely what they want to express within the given time limit.

UNCG’s speaking center has offered this training to the public for many years, says Director Kim Cuny.

The two summer workshops will be offered:

June 20, noon – 2 p.m.

July 19, noon – 2.p.m.

See details and registration information at the University Speaking Center web site.

In Memoriam: Kathryn Stripling Byer

Kathryn Stripling Byer, first woman poet laureate of North Carolina, died June 5. Byer first came to UNCG in 1966 as a student in the MFA Program in Creative Writing. She studied with Fred Chappell and Robert Watson, among others, and formed a strong connection with the writing community.

After her graduation from UNCG, Byer worked at Western Carolina University, becoming poet-in-residence in 1990. She joined UNCG’s faculty for a period in the mid-1990s as a visiting professor. She published six books of poetry, including “Descent,” which won the 2013 Southern Independent Booksellers Association Award for Poetry. Her poetry has been widely anthologized and her poetry and prose have appeared in Hudson Review, Poetry, The Atlantic, Georgia Review, Shenandoah, and Southern Poetry Review. She was also known for her blogs, “My Laureate’s Lasso,” “Here, Where I Am” and “The Mountain Woman.”

Byer earned many honors as a writer. She was a recipient of fellowships from the North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. She was named North Carolina Poet Laureate in 2005 by former governor Mike Easley and held the post through 2009.

Byer is remembered as a supportive and generous mentor for young writers. She gave much of her time to literary events and enhanced public awareness of poetry in North Carolina and beyond.

Launch of new iSpartan web portal

To help ensure more audiences see UNCG’s news, understand our story and participate in the Spartan community, a new iSpartan web portal is now in place.

This is an important channel for the university’s communications, especially in reaching students during the year. The site more effectively tells our story, shares big pictures and videos, and makes sure people using the site see the important UNCG news of the day. The navigation is simple and clear. The experience is simply better.

Check it out at https://ispartan.uncg.edu. (Note: If the new iSpartan web portal is not viewable, you may want to clear your cache and browser history.)

UNCG Architectural Walking Tour

Enjoy an architectural tour of the UNCG campus June 17, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

UNCG opened its doors in 1892, after the city of Greensboro was selected in a competitive bidding process with other cities including Durham, Graham, Thomasville and Marion. The city won the bid after its citizens approved $30,000 in bonds for its first buildings and R.S. Pullen and R.T. Gray gave land for the 10-acre campus. The Normal School (UNCG) opened in 1892 with 198 students, 15 faculty, and three departments: commercial, domestic science, and pedagogy (teaching). Over the past 125 years, the campus has developed into the largest in the city, including examples from nearly every phase of American academic architecture, including Richardsonian Romanesque, Neoclassical Revival, Colonial Revival, Mid-Century Modern, Brutalism, and Post Modern designs.

UNCG student and tour guide Nils Skudra will lead participants in a walking tour that will review key historical themes and architectural styles found on the campus, including early twentieth century dormitories, mid-twentieth century expansion, and even the Weatherspoon Art Museum. The tour will be cancelled in case of rain. Wear comfortable shoes! This tour is free. Meet at the 47-foot brick Vacc Bell Tower at Spring Garden Street and College Avenue.

See more information here.

Did Chaplin really do his funny walk, at UNCG?

He talked the talk. And at UNCG he walked the walk.

Charlie Chaplin was becoming world-famous as a funny man. His “Tramp” character was hugely popular. But in his April 13, 1918, visit to UNCG – at the end of a big Greensboro parade – he wanted to be all-business in drumming up sales for war bonds to finance WW I.

By all accounts, Charlie Chaplin was very earnest in impressing upon the crowds at State Normal College (UNCG) the need to buy Liberty War Bonds in 1918. The State Normal Magazine said he tried hard to be serious and to “get down to brass tacks.” The crowd of more than 5,000 appreciated his patriotism.

How long did he talk? The Daily News says Charles Lapworth talked a minute before introducing Chaplin. (A prominent local citizen, A.M. Scales, spoke as well, according to the State Normal Magazine.) Chaplin talked for “not more than 10 minutes altogether,” according to the Daily Record, impressing on the audience that “the country is now passing through the most critical period in its history.”

Did anyone request to see his funny walk, the classic “Tramp” shuffle? Apparently a boy from behind the stage wanted him to do just that. “‘No, I can’t ‘walk,’ I tell you. This is too serious,” Chaplin explained to the crowd, according to the Daily News.

However, the Daily Record reports that he did do his classic, funny walk, at the end.

Why a comedian? The Raleigh News & Observer had covered Secretary of Treasury William G. McAdoos’ appearance in Raleigh days before Chaplin arrived in that city. Both men promoted the bonds. But as the Raleigh paper’s April 12 edition said, “There are thousands who would go further to see Charlie Chaplin than they would to see Secretary of the Treasury McAdoo….” The piece noted that it was nice to have an orator representing the “lighter side of life.”

Was Chaplin serious throughout his entire Greensboro appearance? No. Chaplin made the audience at the campus’ Curry court laugh with a hat trick and “other peculiar mannerisms,” the Daily News reported. The Daily Record goes into more detail: As he ended his remarks, he couldn’t resist blowing a kiss from the tips of his fingers to a large group of college women forming a “bank of bright color” in front of him. He “pulled his hat down over his ears…flapped his hands at his sides and executed a few steps” of the well-known Chaplin walk.

Do pictures exist? UNCG Campus Weekly has not located any from his time in Greensboro. The Daily News and The Greensboro Patriot indicate the chamber of commerce had motion picture film shot that day, and that it would be shown in theaters in Greensboro and in other parts of North Carolina. If it exists, its location is unknown.

After his talk? Normal College (UNCG) faculty member Wade Brown, one of four individuals on the stage, led the audience in the singing of “America” after their remarks had concluded, says the Daily Record. (UNCG’s Brown Building would be named after Wade Brown.)

Where did Chaplin go after this event in Greensboro? After an afternoon appearance in Winston (Winston-Salem), he was scheduled for another in Salisbury that evening, according to reports in the weekend’s Greensboro newspapers. (The April 4 Greensboro Patriot had indicated Lexington would be on his schedule, as well.) Chaplin arrived that night in Charlotte, where the next day he spoke at Camp Green, the city auditorium and the “old Presbyterian College yard,” says the April 15 Daily News. The report described him as “good-looking, smart and magnetic.”

Did he buy bonds, himself? He told the crowd, “They got $100,000 out of me, and I’m some little business man, I tell you,” according to the Daily News.

Where did Charlie Chaplin join the Greensboro parade? He and his party were near the end of the parade, along with the Rotary Club and boy scouts. The latter assembled on Church between N. Elm and Davie. The former formed in front of the Presbyterian Church. It’s assumed Chaplin joined the parade near those groups. The Normal College (UNCG) students were near the middle of the parade and formed at East Washington east of Davis.

The parade route? The parade began near the junction of Church, Lindsay and Summit Avenue. According to the April 13 Greensboro Daily News, the route was: south down Davie, west along Depot Street and onto Elm Street, heading north. The parade proceeded down Market, south onto Mendenhall, east onto Spring Garden and onto College Avenue at what is now UNCG.

Was the parade long? Yes. It was led by many automobiles carrying the mothers of soldiers. Chaplin, as he rode the “long, slow route,” performed for the thousands who lined the route, says a newspaper.

How many Normal College (UNCG) women were in the parade? Perhaps 500 or 600 marched through Greensboro, says the April 14, 1918, Daily News. The total college enrollment was less than 800. One apparently was on horseback. They were attired in “white middy blouses and colored ties,” says the April 13 Daily Record.

Did Chaplin have his famous moustache? And the huge shoes? No moustache. He was described by the Daily News as “small and neat in his tweeds.” As for the oversized shoes that helped make his Tramp character famous? The newspaper says “the ladies who crowded up front at Curry court to see his feet were disappointed.” His shoes were normal size that day.

He was one of the most famous figures in the world. Did the comic on the silent screen match the man in real life? According to the Daily News, one woman said, after looking at the handsome young man on the stage very carefully, “I just can’t believe that is the queer man you see in the pictures.”

By Mike Harris

Sources: Greensboro Daily News, April 12-15, 1918; Greensboro Daily Record, April 12-15, 1918; Raleigh News and Observer, April 13-14, 1918; The Greensboro Patriot, April 4 and 15, 1918; State Normal Magazine, May 1918.

Visual: circa 1918, Chaplin holding a Chaplin doll. From Wikipedia Commons.

This story drawn from a UNCG Campus Weekly 2012 post. See other stories in this Chaplin series:

Charlie Chaplin roused the crowds at UNCG
Buy WWI Liberty Bonds, Chaplin told 5,000 on campus
Sacrifice and service during WWI at UNCG
Fame, fortune and that funny Chaplin waddle

Super Saturday – High School Recruitment Day in September

UNCG Theatre will have its 15th annual SUPER SATURDAY event on Sept. 30, 2017, on the UNCG campus. High School theater students and teachers are invited to attend workshops in a variety of areas of theater artistry.

Super Saturday guests will attend two workshops and a special matinee performance of “As You Like It” in Taylor Theatre. The day is a wonderful way UNCG presents the excellence of UNCG Theatre.

Registration is required. The cost of attending is $12 per student. Students may download forms and see more information at https://vpa.uncg.edu/events/super-saturday.

Make nominations for public service /civic engagement awards

UNCG’s “University Honors”  recognize exemplary public service and civic engagement. The Charles Duncan McIver Award was established to recognize North Carolinians who have rendered unusually distinguished service to our state or nation. The Adelaide F. Holderness/H. Michael Weaver Award is designed to recognize North Carolinians who have served our local community, state or nation, but who may have done so without garnering national attention.

UNCG seeks your help to nominate inspiring individuals who deserve recognition for all they have done for our communities and our society. While the recipients of the University Honors are often UNCG alumni, the awards are intended to honor any remarkable North Carolinian, regardless of his or her alma mater.

Nomination materials are available at http://publicserviceawards.wp.uncg.edu.

Please submit your completed nomination form no later than Monday, October 2, 2017. The awards will be presented at the 2018 University Honors event, which will take place next spring.

State Health Plan Dependent Eligibility Verification Audit

The State Health Plan is conducting a dependent eligibility verification audit. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that all dependents currently enrolled in the State Health Plan are eligible to receive coverage under the Plan. This verification for dependents ONLY applies to medical coverage and does not include dental or other benefits.  The audit is currently in progress, and will conclude on July 31, 2017.

Instructions: How to Provide Documentation:

You can submit your documentation online, by fax or email.

Submit online
1.     Visit the State Health Plan’s website at www.shpnc.org and click ENROLL NOW (on the green menu bar).

2.     Select the first yellow box listed (Login to eEnroll) to log into eEnroll.

3.     Once you are logged into eEnroll, click Enroll Now!

4.   Click My Documents (on the left-hand side of your screen)

5.     You will then be prompted to upload the required documentation within the Document Center. You may provide a scanned copy of the document or take a photo with your smart phone and upload it directly to the Document Center.

6.     If the documentation you provided cannot be verified, you will receive notification or you can log back into eEnroll where you can check the status of your verification.

Submit with fax or email
If you do not have access to eEnroll, you can fax the documents to 866-742-6444 or email the documents to SHPDependentAudit@benefitfocus.com. You are required to include your Full Name, Dependent’s Full Name, State Health Plan ID number located on your Plan ID card and the name of your employing unit on both the email and fax in order for the document to be accepted. Mailed, hard copy documents will not be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are submitting any documentation that contains SSN, you should black out the number. SSN is not required for you or your dependent(s) as part of the dependent verification process. You may also black out any account information, financial transactions, account balances and any other information that is not pertinent to the process.


If you have any questions about this process, please contact the Eligibility and Enrollment Support Center at 855-859-0966, Monday through Friday, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST or at SHPDependentAudit@benefitfocus.com. For more information, you can also visit the plan’s website at www.shpnc.org.

The HR Benefits Staff is glad to assist with questions and can be reached at (336) 334-5009 or askbenefits@uncg.edu.

Obregon-Cuebas receives U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship

Omar Obregon-Cuebas, a UNCG undergraduate, has been awarded a U.S. Department of State Critical Language Scholarship to study Arabic in Meknes, Morocco, this summer.

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) program is part of a U.S. government effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages. CLS scholars gain critical language and cultural skills that enable them to contribute to U.S. economic competitiveness and national security. Obregon-Cuebas is one of approximately 550 competitively selected American students at U.S. colleges and universities who received a CLS award in 2017.

CLS provides scholarships to U.S. undergraduate and graduate students to spend eight to ten weeks overseas studying one of 14 critical languages: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, or Urdu. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. CLS scholars are expected to continue their language study beyond the scholarship and apply their critical language skills in their future careers.

“Critical” languages are those that are less commonly taught in U.S. schools, but are essential for America’s engagement with the world.

More information and a list of past UNCG recipients is here.

Of 14 national 2017 Nursing Education Fellows, two are Spartans

Fourteen distinguished nurse educators have been selected for this year’s National League of Nursing class of fellows to be inducted into the prestigious Academy of Nursing Education.

Impressively, two are in the UNCG School of Nursing:

  • Kay Cowen, MSN, RN-BC, CNE
  • Yolanda Hyde, PhD, RN-BC, OCN, CNE.

Following tradition, the induction ceremony will take place at the NLN Honors Convocation September 16, during the 2017 Education Summit in San Diego.

Evaluations take into account applicants’ contributions to innovative teaching and/or learning strategies; nursing education research; faculty development activities; academic leadership; promotion of public policy that advances nursing education; and/or collaborative educational, practice, or community partnerships.

The NLN established the Academy of Nursing Education to foster excellence in nursing education by recognizing and capitalizing on the wisdom of outstanding nurse educators.

Millennial Campus for UNCG

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has approved a proposal from UNCG for the establishment of a Millennial Campus designation, creating opportunities for growth, development of innovative academic experiences, and the creation of unique public-private partnerships for the university.

The approval designates two areas of the campus as new districts for future development: one primarily along Gate City Boulevard, which will focus on Health and Wellness, and the other along Tate Street, which will focus on Visual and Performing Arts. These areas of focus are directly tied to UNCG’s strategic plan and enable the university to leverage existing assets and resources as it explores future opportunities. Collectively, the Millennial districts will encompass approximately 73 acres of existing campus property, as previously outlined in the Campus Master Plan.

With the Millennial Campus designation, UNCG can enter into arrangements with private-sector entities to develop university property or facilities for new ventures.

“The Millennial Campus designation will allow The University of North Carolina at Greensboro to develop innovative partnerships that fuel economic growth, innovation and job creation while also creating unique, meaningful academic experiences for its students,” said UNC system President Margaret Spellings. “This approach will not only help transform UNCG and its region, but also create tremendous long-term value for our university system and for our state.”

“We thank the Board of Governors for their support and confidence,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “We are ready and eager to work with our community to bring these bold, exciting plans to fruition. At UNCG, we are not only planning for the future; we are taking Giant Steps to get there. Millennial districts are game-changers; they are catalysts that will help transform the university and our city. Ultimately our goal will be to create innovative partnerships that not only help us create a vibrant academic environment, but also bring economic development, jobs and valuable resources to our region.”

The Health and Wellness District is uniquely positioned to encourage and stimulate applied research and education through the university’s numerous community-based partnerships with organizations like Cone Health, High Point Regional Health System and Well∙Spring Services, Inc. Further, the ability to leverage university assets, including new Spartan Village student residences (open August 2017), the Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness (built in 2016) and the future Nursing and Instructional Building, provide considerable opportunities to advance health promotion, quality of life, human development and economic well-being in the Piedmont Triad and beyond. Several existing or planned UNCG buildings dedicated to nursing, science education and research, not directly on Gate City Boulevard, are also included in the Health and Wellness District.

The Visual and Performing Arts District along Tate Street will encompass approximately 20 acres. The newly combined UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts is already a vibrant community of artists with approximately 1,500 students, 100 internationally recognized faculty and excellent facilities. It produces more than 350 performances, exhibits, lectures and other community events annually. In addition, by maximizing arts-related facilities, like the campus’ Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG Auditorium and Taylor Theatre, the university can build on its strengths and cultivate public-private partnerships to further develop opportunities for learning, teaching and service to the Greater Greensboro community.


Dean Kiss’ experiment blasts off June 1

A UNCG-led spaceflight experiment – that may ultimately help humans grow plants on Mars and the Moon – will launch from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center on Thursday, June 1, at 5:55 p.m. on SpaceX CRS-11.

Spearheaded by Dr. John Z. Kiss, dean of UNCG’s College of Arts and Sciences, the joint NASA-European Space Agency (ESA) experiment is the third in a series of studies that examine how light and gravity control plant growth and development. The knowledge gained from the experiment, Seedling Growth-3, will help scientists understand how to effectively and efficiently grow plants in space.

“Plants are integral as we plan for long-term manned space missions and the development of colonies on the Moon and Mars – bringing all food and supplies necessary for a long-term mission or for colonization is not tenable,” said Kiss, who also serves as a professor of biology. “To make human habitation of other worlds a possibility, we need to be able to grow crops in greenhouses in space. If astronauts can grow their own food, then we have created a new paradigm for space travel and habitation.

Additionally, the results may help improve crop production on Earth, particularly in harsh environments.

Kiss serves as the principal investigator for NASA, and Dr. Javier Medina serves as the principal investigator for ESA. Kiss and Medina will send 16 experimental containers – with approximately 1,700 mouse-eared cress (Arabidopsis thaliana) seeds  – to the International Space Station, where they will grow into seedlings under varying light and gravity conditions.

Video of the movement and growth of the seedlings will be downlinked to Earth in real time and analyzed at Kiss’ lab on UNCG’s campus. Later this summer, NASA will return the seedlings to the lab for molecular analyses, and starting in the fall, UNCG students will participate in data collection and analysis.

The project, funded by a grant from NASA, will continue until 2019 in order to allow for analysis of the extensive amount of data generated from the spaceflight experiment.

Kiss has worked closely with NASA for three decades, serving as the principal investigator on seven spaceflight experiments prior to Seedling Growth-3. In 2014, he received the NASA Outstanding Public Leadership Medal “for exceptional contributions in spaceflight research in the fundamental biology of plants in support of NASA’s exploration mission.”

To view a live stream of the launch on Thursday, visit spaceflightnow.com. For timely updates on the experiment, follow Kiss on Twitter (@JZK60).

By Alyssa Bedrosian

Visual: SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the Dragon cargo spacecraft from Launch Complex 39A at Kennedy Space Center, courtesy NASA





UNCG’s Summer of Sondheim begins this week

The UNCG College of Visual and Performing Arts is bringing the sounds of renowned composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim to the Triad in June with the 2017 Summer Sondheim Concert Series.

The series is being offered to the community for the first time as part of UNCG’s North Carolina Summer Repertory, an opportunity for students, alumni and industry professionals to participate in a “summer stock” theatrical experience.

Performances begin on Thursday, June 1, with a preview concert performance of Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George,” conducted by UNCG alumnus and doctoral student Justin P. Cowan. Opening night for the show is Friday, June 2, at Triad Stage’s Pyrle Theatre, with additional performances on June 3 and 4.

In addition, UNCG will present “Sweeney Todd” in concert – conducted by alumnus and musical director for Broadway’s “Wicked” Dom Amendum – June 21-24 at Triad Stage. While both works will be performed “in concert,” they will be presented fully-staged and in their entirety.

Not only does the non-curricular program provide a professional stepping stone for current students, alumni and community members, but it brings outstanding musical theater to Triad residents and visitors during the summer months.

“This is an opportunity to see Broadway performers right here in Greensboro, working alongside our students and members of the community,” Cowan said. “Audiences will get to hear and see full orchestras on stage with the actors, creating a fully-immersed musical experience to complement these classic stage works.”

Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Triad Stage Box Office. A limited number of student tickets are available, and student tickets must be purchased in person or by calling 336-272-0160.

To learn more, visit ncsr.uncg.edu.

By Alyssa Bedrosian
Photography by Martin W. Kane, of a 2016 Sondheim production

UNCG’s 125th Anniversary web site launches June 2

June 2 marks the beginning of UNCG’s 125th anniversary celebration, a yearlong commemoration of UNCG’s distinct history of opportunity and excellence as the university looks forward to the future.

The celebration kicks off exactly 125 days before Founders Day, Oct. 5, with the unveiling of a new anniversary website, commemorative video and visual mark.

The interactive site includes downloadable “digital swag” for social media, smart phones, tablets and computers, a drone tour of campus, digital yearbooks and other unique ways for the UNCG community to explore the university’s history and participate in the celebration.

The university was chartered in 1891 and welcomed its first class of students – approximately 200 women – nearly 125 years ago on Oct. 5, 1892. Now, UNCG is the largest university in the Piedmont Triad with nearly 20,000 students and more than 2,500 faculty and staff.

A special 125th anniversary event will be held on Aug. 8 in conjunction with Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.’s State of the Campus Address. On Founders Day, the university will host a campus-wide celebration with a free concert. Additional details will be announced later this summer.

Throughout the year, students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends are encouraged to share their UNCG story on social media using the hashtag #UNCG125. Anniversary-related posts may be featured on the anniversary website.

This anniversary is more than a milestone. For the university, it provides a context for sharing our story consistently. We want to be sure all our stakeholders know about our 125th and join us in celebrating our history and our future.  You can help by actively participating in this yearlong celebration. It’s easy.

·  Use the materials we have provided on our 125th anniversary toolkit site. This includes assets like logos for your communications and marketing materials, PowerPoint templates for your presentations. Consistency is very important.

·  Add the 125th Anniversary logo to your email signature – and use it on UNCG materials. The signature and instructions are available at the toolkit site too.

·  Use the excellent 125th anniversary video at your events and in your presentations. It is a great way to introduce UNCG to almost any audience.

·  Make sure your department’s web site has the special 125th Anniversary headers and footers across all web properties. Much of this will be handled automatically. But if you need help, just contact IT.

The yearlong celebration will continue through May 2018, and there will be more materials, assets, events and opportunities to come throughout the year, so stay tuned.

The 125th Anniversary Celebration web site, launching Friday, will be 125.uncg.edu.

Bonus Leave Payout Program

TO: All UNCG Benefits Eligible Employees
FROM: Michelle Lamb Moone, Associate Vice Chancellor & Chief Human Resources Officer

At various times over the past 15 years, the North Carolina General Assembly has awarded bonus leave in lieu of salary increases to the UNCG’s leave-earning employees. UNCG is now offering eligible employees the opportunity to cash in bonus leave benefits by participating in a voluntary Bonus Leave Payout Program.

Program Details: Eligible employees may request to be paid out a minimum of five hours and a maximum of 20 hours of accrued bonus leave.

Requests for a payout must be made using the electronic form embedded in the 2017 Bonus Leave Payout FAQs or via the following link: http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/Benefits/Bonus_Leave_Payout/.

All requests must be submitted by no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, June 9, 2017. Once a Payout Request Form has been submitted, a request may be later reversed by submitting a formal email to Emily Foust at e_foust@uncg.edu. Reversal emails must be submitted by no later than noon on Friday, June 9, 2017.

Additional provisions include:

  • Participation in the program is strictly voluntary. Those who are eligible, but do not wish to cash in any eligible bonus leave are under no obligation to do so. Your bonus leave will remain in place.
  • Bonus leave payments will be subject to retirement contributions and supplemental tax rates totaling 44.25% of the gross payment.
  • Bonus leave payment amounts will be calculated based on the employee’s current annual salary.
  • Bonus leave payments will be included in the June 2017 payroll.

How to Request a Payout: Employees who are interested in participating in the program will follow these instructions:
1) Review the Bonus Leave Payout FAQs (http://web.uncg.edu/hrs/Benefits/Bonus_Leave_Payout/) to ensure understanding of all aspects of the program and to acknowledge reading the FAQs.
2) Click the “Request Bonus Leave Payout” box to be automatically directed to a second FAQs page. (This registers your review of the FAQs.)
3) Click the “Next” box to submit details of your payout request and to complete the request form.

If you are uncertain as to whether or not you have a bonus leave balance, are having difficulties completing the online form, or have questions regarding specific aspects of the program, please contact Emily Foust, Benefits Manager at e_foust@uncg.edu or (336) 256-0342.

Shred-a-Thon 2017 will be June 23

UNCG Campus Community members, Friday, June 23, at 8 a.m.-1 p.m. will provide an opportunity to shred paper documents with sensitive/confidential information for free. The event will be 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. Please 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.

This is a one day event so please prepare your material early; the next opportunity will be June 2018. Last year about 16,920 lbs. of material was shredded and recycled, which is roughly equivalent to 143 trees worth of paper.

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.


Copy provided by Ben Kunka, UNCG Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling

Local healthcare leader recognized as Distinguished Alumni

Joan H. Evans, Executive Vice President of Innovation and Transformation for Cone Health, has received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics.

“Joan has been a force for transformation and innovation at Cone Health, and nationally within the healthcare industry,” said Bryan School Dean McRae Banks. “She has had a profound and positive impact on the organization in every role she has held, obviously of increasing importance as she progressed through the organization. As a member of our Board of Advisors she has been a strong supporter of, and advocate for, the Bryan School. Most importantly, she embodies three of the four pillars of our educational approach: innovation, organizational sustainability, and ethics. Joan is a great example of the type of person we want all our alumni to become.”

Evans spent the first three years of her undergraduate education at UNCG, where she was a merit scholar. After deciding to pursue certification in physical therapy she transferred to the Medical College of Virginia (Virginia Commonwealth University), where she earned a B.S. in Physical Therapy. Within five years of beginning her career as a staff physical therapist, she was promoted to chief of physical therapy at The Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital in Greensboro. With more career growth came her decision to pursue her MBA at UNCG, which she completed with highest honors while working full-time. A former professor said, “Joan stands out as one of the best students I ever taught. None of her classmates were able to match her ability to juggle the coursework, career, and family demands at her level of success and with such grace.”

Her career assignments grew as she continued to learn and excel as a leader. Since 2014, she has served as Executive Vice President of Innovation and Transformation, and is a member of the Cone Health executive leadership team. With her leadership, Cone Health has risen to the top 2% of U.S. News & World Report’s Common Care ranking. Joan was recognized with the Best Organization for Leadership Development Award from the National Center for Healthcare Leadership and the National Success Story Award from Press Ganey for measurable improvements in quality, service, and cost.

“I am certain that there are many accomplished and impressive alumni who were nominated for this award. However, all of us at Cone Health agree with the selection committee that there is no one more accomplished in her chosen field, more respected in her home organization and more deserving of this honor,” says Cone Health CEO Terry Akin.

In addition to her work with Cone Health, Evans is principal of South Rim Consulting, where she mentors aspiring leaders through executive coaching, strategic planning, conflict resolution, and organizational change. She is a graduate of Leadership Greensboro, serves on the Bryan School’s Dean’s Advisory Board, the Elon University Board of Advisors, and the board of the Greensboro Science Center.

June 5 “Barbershop Talk Conference” an extension of Coakley’s research

UNCG will host the first annual Barbershop Talk Conference addressing issues of youth education and health on Monday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at UNCG’s Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness.

The event features a variety of engaging speakers – including Wake Forest professor and former television host Dr. Melissa Harris-Perry and world boxing champion Riddick Bowe – as well as workshops, sports clinics, health screenings and a barbers’ panel.

Offered free to elementary, middle and high school students and their families, the conference is an opportunity for the university and community to come together in order to help local families support their children’s success in education and health.

“We want to provide a format that is welcoming and fun and can serve the purpose of helping youth start their summer off on the right track,” said Dr. Tanya M. Coakley, professor of social work at UNCG and organizer of the event along with UNCG’s Dr. Rod Wyatt, Dr. Joe Green, Dr. Bryan Terry and Dr. Jeffrey Shears. “Our goal is to provide resources that empower parents to play a strong role in their children’s lives.”

The conference serves as an extension of Coakley’s current research project, which investigates how barbershops can help foster better communication between fathers and sons in the African-American community. The project is funded by a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant.

Coakley’s vision is to create the same kind of comfortable “barbershop environment” at the conference so that families can talk openly about important issues. While her current research focuses on men and sexual health, the conference is designed for boys, girls and their families and covers a broad range of topics related to education and health.

The event is sponsored by the UNCG Office of Enrollment Management, the Department of Social Work, the School of Health and Human Sciences and the Ethel Martus Lawther Fund Lecture Series. A free lunch will be provided to participants.

To register for the event, click here. For more information, click here.

By Alyssa Bedrosian

Photography by Mike Dickens: Dr. Coakley (right) at Prestige Barber College

Greg Bell will be AVP of Graduate Education

Dr. Greg Bell, currently serving as director of graduate studies of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics, will be UNCG’s new associate vice provost of Graduate Education, effective August 1.

Bell joined the faculty of UNCG in 2005, when the Mathematics and Statistics department was finalizing the PhD program in Computational Mathematics. Previous to coming to UNCG, Bell earned his PhD from University of Florida and was a visiting assistant professor at the University of Louisville and a postdoctoral researcher at Penn State University. His most recent work has appeared in North Carolina Journal of Mathematics and Statistics and Topology and its Applications.

In his department at UNCG, Bell has seen the enrollment in graduate programs grow from 14 to 40 students. He says the most enjoyable thing about being director of graduate studies is working with the students, and developing the program for them.

“I’ve enjoyed watching them transform from students to colleagues. And I’ve learned that graduate curricula need to be adaptable.”

While Bell has been director of graduate studies, the department has initiated new concentrations within the master’s program to meet the needs of career-focused students in data analytics or actuarial mathematics. In recent years, Bell has led incoming graduate students in a seminar on teaching mathematics, incorporating the students’ ideas and innovations as well as new technology.

“Working with these students has taught me that there’s always room to innovate and improve,” he said.

As the associate vice provost of graduate education, Bell looks forward to meeting with directors of graduate study from various departments, and helping to address their needs. He also plans to focus on graduate student professional development and on strengthening relationships with local industries.

“We are very excited to have Dr. Bell join the Graduate School as associate vice provost for Graduate Education,” said Vice Provost of Graduate Education Dr. Kelly Burke. “He brings years of experience working with graduate students and is highly interested in developing programs that attend to their professional development and enrich their graduate experiences.”

By Susan Kirby Smith

Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., and Bobby Long receive University Honors

Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., and Robert E. (Bobby) Long, Jr., are the 2017 Charles Duncan McIver Award and the Holderness/Weaver Award recipients, respectively.

Known as ‘University Honors’, the McIver and Holderness/Weaver Awards recognize North Carolinians with exemplary public service records, and represent the most prestigious public service honors given by the university. The awards were conferred in a formal ceremony at the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering.

“UNCG holds the commitment to public service and civic engagement in the highest regard,” said UNCG Provost Dr. Dana Dunn. “Both of our honorees exemplify these qualities and set the standard for selfless service in our community, our state and far beyond our borders. UNCG was founded on the principle of service; these gentlemen are the living embodiment of that legacy.”

The Charles Duncan McIver Award is the highest honor for non-UNCG alums. Named for the founder of UNCG, the award recognizes extraordinary service at the national or international level. This year’s winner, Joseph M. Bryan, Jr., has enriched communities across our state and nation for more than five decades through his generosity to the arts, higher education and a better quality of life for all citizens.

Bryan has served on the boards of Arts Greensboro, Greenhill Center for North Carolina Art, North Carolina Public Television Foundation and is Honorary Director of the Eastern Music Festival. He has received numerous awards for arts patronage and is also a benefactor of the Key West Art and Historical Association and major contributor to the Santa Fe Opera House. Bryan’s service to higher education includes membership on the Board of Trustees of Guilford College for more than 40 years and at UNCG he has served on the Excellence Foundation and Board of Governors for over a decade. In 2005, he received the North Carolina Award in Public Service, the highest civilian honor given by the state.

Named for the first woman on the UNCG Board of Trustees, Adelaide Holderness, and Greensboro businessman and entrepreneur H. Michael Weaver, the Holderness/Weaver Award recognizes extraordinary service at the state and local level. This year’s honoree, Bobby Long, promotes prosperity and growth in the city of Greensboro and surrounding communities through his leadership and generous support of business and industry, athletic programs and facilities, institutions of higher learning and the arts. He is the founding chair of the Piedmont Triad Charitable Foundation Board of Directors, the governing body which runs the Wyndham Golf Tournament, and has long been involved in countless Triad-area public service and economic initiatives that are essential to the region’s enrichment.

Previous recipients of the Holderness/Weaver Award include Shirley Frye, educator and community volunteer; Rev. Mike Aiken, executive director of Greensboro Urban Ministry; Richard Whittington and Preston Lane, co-founders of Triad Stage; Alan W. Cone ’72 MEd; Sally Schindel Cone ’72 MEd; Dot Kendall Kearns, public education advocate, among others.

By Eden Bloss

UNCG Baseball takes SoCon Championship, heads to NCAA Tournament

With some key home runs, some smart “small ball” and strong pitching and fielding, UNCG Baseball defeated Furman in the winner-take-all final game Sunday in the SoCon Tournament.

The Spartans, with the SoCon’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, will face the ACC’s Clemson in the first round.

The tournament championship is its first in the SoCon. It is their first trip to the NCAA Tournament since 1997.

UNCG will play Clemson on Friday, June 2, at 7 p.m. All session tickets are available now through the Clemson website here or you can purchase individual game tickets starting at 5 p.m Wednesday. You can also watch all the games on ESPN3 or the ESPN App.

UNCG has first dockless bikeshare on East Coast

The first dockless on-demand bike share program on the East Coast is coming to UNCG. The technology is integrated into smart bikes and a smart phone app (no kiosk needed), and can be returned to designated bike racks throughout campus and the City of Greensboro. And rides will be economical.

This LimeBike, UNCG & City of GSO Partnership will have an official campus launch Thursday, June 1, at 10 a.m. at the Walker Circle behind the library tower. LimeBike CEO Toby Sun will be on site to share his vision for the program, along with comments from UNCG and City of Greensboro DOT officials, followed by demonstrations, free rides, Q&A and complimentary snacks.

Parking in Walker Deck will be complimentary. For directions: https://parking.uncg.edu/access/

The initiative will help bolster our university’s health, wellness, and sustainability goals. UNCG was the first Bicycle Friendly University in North Carolina, recognized by the League of American Cyclists in 2011.

UNCG is launching with 125 bikes in celebration of UNCG’s 125th anniversary.

The LimeBikes will be located at bike racks throughout campus with hubs at Kaplan Center, Oakland Deck near the pedestrian underpass, Elliott University Center and College Ave.

By Eden Bloss



Safe Zone Summit at UNCG

The UNCG Office of Intercultural Engagement invites you to register for its Safe Zone Summit, on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Elliott University Center.

What is the Safe Zone Summit?

The Safe Zone Summit is a brand new initiative born from conversations within our LGBTQ+ Education Task Force, and is intended to provide an opportunity, outside of our standard Safe Zone Training, for faculty and staff to explore aspects of LGBTQ+ identity more deeply and meaningfully. Consider this an information-packed, build-your-own-adventure rest area on your journey of continuing education around gender, sexuality, and creating a more inclusive campus.

Who can attend?

The Safe Zone Summit is tailored to faculty and staff however, feel free to also invite graduate students that work in your department.

What will the day look like?

The Safe Zone Summit is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 11, from 9am-1:30pm. The majority of the Summit will consist of three 45-minute time slots where attendees will be able to choose from two breakout topics that best fit their interest. We will close out our day with brief, guided group discussions. These groups are meant to provide space for processing what you’ve learned, and for considering how to best apply new strategies, skills, and knowledge in your daily work.

How do I register?

That part is easy! Fill our our Safe Zone Summit Registration Form before Friday, June 23, 2017.

What else do I need to know?

Nothing. Simply mark your calendar for Tuesday, July 11, 2017, from 9 am-1:30 pm, and expect an email at the beginning of July with more details.

We appreciate your commitment to inclusion at UNC Greensboro, and look forward to engaging and learning alongside you during this important opportunity.

By Elliott R. Kimball, Office of Intercultural Engagement

‘Dream big, have courage’ Margot Lee Shetterly tells graduates

More than 2,600 Spartans joined the ranks of UNCG alumni at the 2017 May Commencement ceremony at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The celebration was full of smiles, selfies and inspiring speeches, including the highly-anticipated address from Margot Lee Shetterly, author of the book “Hidden Figures,” which was made into a major motion picture.

Her message to the Class of 2017? Dream big. Have courage. And don’t forget to use your talents to support others.

Shetterly shared the story of Mary Jackson, NASA’s first black female engineer, to inspire the graduates to fight for their dreams.

“The world may often be blind, indifferent or even hostile to your talents, your ambitions, your feelings and your dreams,” she said. “If you want something – if you are audacious enough to dream something – there’s a good chance that somewhere along the line, you’re going to have to fight for it. Nobody knew this better than Mary Jackson.”

Not only did Shetterly share the inspiring story of Jackson, but she reminded the graduates of their special connection to NASA’s female mathematicians – known as “human computers” – whose stories are told in “Hidden Figures.” UNCG alumna Virginia Tucker ’30 was one of five women to join the first human computer pool at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (now Langley Research Center) in 1935. By the early 1940s, Tucker was the head computer, tasked with managing hundreds of women in computing sections across the laboratory.

“Many women from UNCG followed in Virginia Tucker’s footsteps,” said Shetterly, noting that UNCG and Hampton University (known then as Hampton Institute) had the largest number of alumni in the human computer program during the early days of NASA. “So graduates, you are connected to the rich legacy of individuals who made lasting contributions to aeronautical research and the American space program.”

As the more than 2,600 Spartans prepare to leave UNCG and embark on a new adventure, Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. encouraged them to savor the moment of their accomplishment.

“Know this,” he told the graduates. “You are ready.”

Gilliam praised the quality of UNCG’s faculty and programs, and reflected on the shared goal of taking giant steps forward.

“Today’s the day that marks the start of your giant steps. Think big, think bold.”

By Alyssa Bedrosian


Chiller Plant approved for construction by Trustees

The UNCG Board of Trustees last week approved the exterior design plans and authorized construction for the new chiller plant on the southern part of campus.

The new South Chiller Plant is scheduled to be constructed Spring 2018 – Spring 2019, to complement the one already on the north side of campus (part of the McIver Deck.)

The new chiller plant will be located at the corner of Forest Street and Oakland Avenue.

The south Chiller Plant will provide capacity for the Nursing and Instructional Building and enhance reliability of the entire campus’ chilled water system. The new plant will help feed chilled water to mechanical units on campus through underground lines, increasing capacity as the amount of campus space that need to be cooled has increased in recent years.

This chiller plant will need to be in place before the new Nursing and Instructional Building opens. See an update on the current McIver Building and future Nursing and Instructional Building in the next Campus Weekly.  

By Mike Harris

Rendering of South Chiller Plant courtesy UNCG Facilities

2017 honorary degrees to Dr. Mansukh C. Wani and Bill Mangum

UNCG conferred honorary degrees to Dr. Mansukh C. Wani and William (Bill) Mangum, Jr.

Presented during the spring commencement ceremony to the university’s 2017 graduating class on Friday, May 12, the awards recognize pioneers in their respective fields of study and represent the breadth of scholarship at UNCG – from breakthrough scientific research to innovation and entrepreneurship through the visual arts.

Recognized internationally for his groundbreaking work in both synthetic and natural products chemistries, Wani is perhaps best known as a pioneer in the field of cancer research. Among his seminal contributions to the field, he is most recognized for the co-discovery of taxol and camptothecin, compounds that inhibit cancer cell growth via novel mechanisms of action. Prior to their discovery, neither were known to be effective ways to circumvent the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells. Today, at least one-third of the global market of anti-cancer agents could be ascribed to the discoveries of taxol and camptothecin. His work has saved millions of lives.

According to UNCG Chemistry Professor Nicholas H. Oberlies, Ph.D., who nominated Wani for the honorary degree, Wani “is nothing short of a hero.” Oberlies has worked with Wani since 1998, and describes him as a spectacular scientist and consummate gentleman.

“He is a mentor to me and a role model for the next generation of scientists – discovering not one, but two, life-saving pharmaceuticals. A truly historic achievement. Perhaps just as important, he is a shining example of how hard work and passion always pay off.”

Mangum is an artist, entrepreneur, author, a philanthropist and two-time UNCG graduate. He earned his bachelor of fine arts in art education and master of fine arts in studio arts from UNCG. A North Carolina native, over 50,000 of Mangum’s works have been purchased for private and corporate collections. In 2005, Mangum was selected as the official artist for the U.S. Open Golf Tournament. As a philanthropist, Mangum has raised millions of dollars for non-profit agencies throughout the United States. One hundred percent of the proceeds from his annual holiday honor card – $4.5 million to date – go directly to help people across North Carolina who are experiencing homelessness.

“We are proud to have Bill as an alumnus, as a dedicated supporter of UNCG and as a friend,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Jan Zink, who nominated Mangum for the honorary degree. “Bill has chosen to use his profession as a gateway to affecting positive change in the community; and his philanthropic efforts have directly aided countless social causes throughout the Triad and the state of North Carolina. Service is a cornerstone of UNCG’s mission. We could not be more thrilled to honor him for all he has accomplished.”

By Eden Bloss
Visual: l-r, Bill Mangum, Chancellor Gilliam, Dr. Mansukh C. Wani

2017 Heart Walk at UNCG this Saturday

The Guilford County Heart Walk will be held this Saturday, May 20, on our campus. There’ll be thousands of walkers. Some people run, some stroll., some people bring dogs, strollers, etc. It’s low pressure – and lots of fun for an excellence cause.

You can join the UNCG team and walk to build healthier lives, free of heart disease and stroke.

If you are interested in joining the UNCG team (or creating additional UNCG teams), now is the time. A
team can be of any size and can have non-UNCG members (so family and friends are welcome).

The UNCG team captain is HealthyUNCG Director Stephanie Milroy (healthy_uncg@uncg.edu).

Join  at http://www2.heart.org/goto/UNCGFacultyAndStaff.

Learn more here.

SOAR starts June 1 at UNCG

SOAR, UNCG’s student orientation for incoming freshman and transfer & adult students, kicks off on June 1, 2017.

SOAR runs the entire month of June. Students and families will be on campus to be welcomed to the university, learn about campus resources, meet with an advisor, register for classes, experience the UNCG environment and more.

Students and families will learn tips to aid in the college transition process. Faculty members, administrators, advisors and current students will present a wide spectrum of information including academics, class selection, resources, meal plan options and co-curricular opportunities.

Many faculty and staff volunteer each year to help welcome our newest Spartans.

See details here.