UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Dr. Shan Suthaharan

Photo of Dr. Shan Suthaharan. Dr. Shan Suthaharan (Computer Science) has published a textbook, “Machine Learning Models and Algorithms for Big Data Classification,” which has been downloaded more than 22,000 and received a STAR rating by ACM, the major computing professional society. The book presents machine learning models and algorithms to address big data classification problems. It teaches readers about the field of big data and machine learning, and the book is well suited for both undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to new researchers and developers. The book can be accessed at: http://www.springer.com/us/book/9781489976406. Suthaharan serves as the Director of Undergraduate Studies in UNCG’s Department of Computer Science, and he has authored or co-authored more than 75 computer science research essays published in international journals. He also invented a key management and encryption technology, patented in Australia, Japan and Singapore.

Dr. Terri Shelton

Photo of Dr. Terri Shelton. Dr. Terri Shelton (Office of Research and Economic Development) received funding from NC DHHS Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse for the project “NC Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative.”  The abstract states that, despite reductions, underage use of alcohol is still prevalent in North Carolina. Based on the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System Survey (2015), 29.2 percent of middle and high school students drank alcohol in the past 30 days and 13.9 percent of high school students binge drank in the past 30 days. This contract will support the North Carolina Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative (NC-PUDI) in developing innovative strategies to prevent underage alcohol consumption and the resulting social, health and economic consequences. This continuing effort is designed to further support and develop environmental management strategies that prevent underage drinking, and to create a sustainable movement to stop practices that make underage drinking both easy and acceptable. Long-term outcomes include reductions in youth alcohol consumption, which will be tracked using the North Carolina YRBS and local data.

Shelton serves as UNCG’s vice chancellor of Research and Economic Development.

Dr. Yashomati Patel

Photo of Dr. Yashomati Patel.Dr. Yashomati Patel (Biology) received funding from the National Institute of Health (NIH) for the project “Mechanism of Myosin Action in Glucose Uptake.” Patel is associate professor and director of Undergraduate Studies of Biology. Her research concerns mechanisms regulating glucose homeostasis in relation to type 2 diabetes and breast cancer progression.

Dr. Wendy McColskey

Photo of Dr. Wendy McColskey.Dr. Wendy McColskey (SERVE Center) received funding from Forsyth Technical Community College for the project “Improving Student Achievement through Faculty Development (Title III) Evaluation.” McColskey’s career with the SERVE Center has spanned more than twenty years, and during that time she has been responsible for many publications on classroom assessment and student-motivation and has directed the Regional Educational Laboratory-Southeast, operated by the SERVE Center. Her work informs critical educational decisions made throughout the Southeast.

Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard

Photo of Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard.Dr. Melissa Floyd-Pickard (Social Work) received continued funding from the Center for Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) for the project “JMSW Behavioral Health Workforce Education Training Grant.” The Joint Master of Social Work Program (JMSW), offered by UNCG and NC A&T, educates future social work clinicians who are committed to social justice, diversity and inclusion. The program will provide stipend support to MSW students for experiential training, and will recruit incoming students intending to serve at-risk children, adolescents, and transitional-age youth. The program evaluation findings will be disseminated to appropriate audience through traditional methods, such as reports, articles, and presentations and non-traditional methods, such as a creative drama production.

Dr. William Gerace

Photo of Dr. William Gerace.Dr. William Gerace and his colleagues in the Physics Education Research Group in the Department of Physics and Astronomy received new funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “Self-efficacy Intervention to Improve STEM Performance.” This award funds a research project to design, develop, test, and document a practical self-efficacy intervention to improve students’ self-efficacy and academic performance in STEM courses. Research shows that student self-efficacy, or a student’s belief about their ability to be successful in a specific domain, is strongly related to academic success. The SIISP project, Self-efficacy Intervention to Improve STEM Performance, will seek to improve students’ sense of STEM self-efficacy by creating an intervention which focuses on internal attributions and growth mindset.  With research locations at UNCG and NC A&T State University, this three-year research project will design and test an intervention with the goal of providing a practical tool for STEM faculty to use to positively effect student self-efficacy and academic performance.

The principal investigators are:

  • Dr. William Gerace (PI), Helena Gabriel Houston Distinguished Professor for Science Education, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Dr. Ian Beatty(Co-PI), associate professor, Physics Education Research, Department of Physics and Astronomy
  • Dr. Michael Kane (Co-PI), professor, Department of Psychology
  • Dr. Stephanie Carrino (Co-PI), research associate, Physics Education Research Group, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Dr. Asa Eger

Photo of Dr. Asa Eger. Dr. Asa Eger (History) received new funding from the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) for a book project. He will be co-writer of a book on the history of Antioch. He will write the second half of the book, covering the 5th century to the 15th century.

Dr. Tanya Coakley

Photo of Dr. Tanya Coakley. Dr. Tanya Coakley (Social Work) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project “Father intervention to prevent at-risk sexual behaviors in African-American boys.” African-American males between the ages of 13 and 29 are disproportionately affected by unintended pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases (STD). Little research has been conducted specifically on African-American fathers and their sons. Moreover, the abstract states, there is a lack of research to examine whether and how African-American fathers overcome barriers, such as their lack of knowledge and attitudes regarding talking with their sons about sexual health. The contribution of this research project is expected to be the development and testing of an innovative father-son intervention to prevent at-risk sexual behaviors in African-American males.

Dr. James Fisher

Photo of Dr. James Fisher .Dr. James Fisher (Theatre) received an accolade. His “The Historical Dictionary of American Theater: Beginnings” (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) has been selected by the Library Journal as a Best Reference Book of 2015.

Dr. Zhenquan Jia

Photo of Dr. Zhenquan Jia.Dr. Zhenquan Jia (Biology) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project “Novel Carbon Nanodots against Vascular Inflammation.”

Dr. William Mills-Koonce

Photo of Dr. William Mills-Koonce.Dr. William Mills-Koonce (Human Development and Family Studies) received a continuation of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for the project “Integrating Demography and Biosocial Stress Models of LGBTI Family Formation.” Although there  is very high interest in the demography and welfare of families headed by lesbian and gay (LG) parents, there is currently very limited longitudinal research on LG families or the transition to LG parenthood, the abstract notes. “The current research will use both secondary data  analyses of longitudinal national datasets such as the U.S. Census and American Community Survey to examine within-state changes in rates of LG family structures over the past 10 years and how these changes correlate with state-level sociopolitical climates and public policies pertinent to LG family formation. This will be followed by a pilot study that will explicitly examine how sociopolitical and  ecological factors are associated with decisions regarding family formation and  LG family functioning as mediated by individual mental health, relationship stability and stress load.”

Dr. Allan Goldfarb

Photo of Dr. Allan Goldfarb.Dr. Allan Goldfarb (Kinesiology) received new funding from mediUSA for the project “Influence of cycling insert on power, efficiency, oxygen consumption, and performance.” Cycling efficiency is important aspect for performance. A key factor that can improve biomechanical efficiency and possibly prevent injury is the position of the foot within the cycling shoe and the transfer of forces to the pedals, the abstract states.  This study will evaluate energetic and biomechanical measures as they relate to cycling performance and the effect of custom cycling orthotics (CCO’s) on the outcome variables.

Dr. Terri Shelton

Photo of Dr. Terri Shelton. Dr. Terri Shelton (Office of Research and Economic Development) received additional funding from the U.S. Department of Education for the project “Intentional Futures – Learning to Learn.”

Dr. Thomas Matyók

Photo of Dr. Thomas Matyók. Dr. Thomas Matyók (Peace and Conflict Studies) recently presented on “Religious Issues in Civil-Military Interaction” at the U.S. Army Chaplain School’s Train-the-Trainer Religious Advisement Course at Fort Jackson, SC. The focus of the course was on religious advisement at the strategic level. Participants focused on development of programmatic and innovative methodologies of interpretive religious analysis by religious professionals to enhance military staff competencies and advice to commanders.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

Photo of Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz.Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service for AmeriCorps ACCESS Project. The purpose of this project is to help immigrants gain access to human services, build bridges with mainstream society, and assist immigrants with acculturation leading to self-sufficiency.

Dr. Jacqueline Debrew

Photo of Dr. Jacqueline Debrew . Dr. Jacqueline Debrew (School of Nursing) received new funding from the North Carolina Area Health Education Center for expansion of RN to BSN outreach programs to rural areas of North Carolina in 2016-2017.

Dr. Cherry Callahan

Photo of Dr. Cherry Callahan. Dr. Cherry Callahan (Student Affairs) received new funding from the UNC General Administration for ythe project “Collegiate Recovery Community.” This project is supported by funds from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS). The abstract notes that the Spartan Recovery Program is a program of Student Health Services located in the Counseling Center that is available, free of charge, to UNCG students in all phases of recovery from addictions to alcohol and/or other drugs.

Dr. Tracy Bartlett

Photo of Dr. Tracy Bartlett.Dr. Tracy Bartlett (School of Nursing) received new funding from the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare for the “The Jonas Scholar Program.” Funds will be awarded by AACN on behalf of the Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare to universities over a two-year grant period. The Jonas Center has chosen the UNCG to participate in the Jonas Scholar Program with grants to support one PhD Jonas Nurse Leader Scholar and one PhD Jonas Veterans Healthcare Scholar with scholarships.

Dr. Colleen Fairbanks

Photo of Dr. Colleen Fairbanks. Dr. Colleen Fairbanks (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received new funding from UNC School of the Arts for the project “Student Personnel Program in Higher Education (SPAHE) at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (2016-2017).” She received funding from Greensboro College for the project “Student Personnel Program in Higher Education (SPAHE) at Greensboro College (2016-2017).” She received funding from Guilford College for the project “Student Personnel Program in Higher Education (SPAHE) at Guilford College (2016-2017).”

Dr. Thomas Matyók

Photo of Dr. Thomas Matyók.Dr. Thomas Matyók (Peace and Conflict Studies) recently presented “The Meaning of Reconciliation for Stability Operations: Religious Actors in a Stability Environment Before, During, and After Conflict” at the Operational Art & Thinking Series, Civil-Military Interaction/ United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations sponsored by Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm, Germany.

Dr. Tara T. Green

Photo of Dr. Tara T. GreenDr. Tara T. Green (African American and African Diaspora Studies) was invited to serve as a mentor to one of the 16 junior faculty fellows chosen to participate in Duke University’s Summer Institute on Tenure and Professional Advancement Program. She was also asked by the program’s director to make a presentation, “Developing a Research Agenda and Building a Teaching Portfolio,” as one of this year’s six professional development seminars.

Dr. Christina O’Connor

Dr. Christina O’Connor (School of Education, Teacher’s Academy) received a continuation of funding from U.S. Department of Education for the project “Transforming Teaching through Technology (TTtT).” Transforming Teaching through Technology, a Teacher Quality Partnership project of UNCG in partnership with Guilford County Schools and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, will address Absolute Priority 1 and Competitive Preference Priority 1 by developing an innovative and replicable model for the integration of technology in the teacher education curriculum.

In order to better prepare current and future teachers to thoughtfully integrate existing and emerging technology for P-12 student learning, Transforming Teaching through Technology will:

  • move beyond enhancement (substitution & augmenting) to promote transformational use of instructional technology in teaching and learning
  • transform approaches to P-12 learning such that instructional technology is an integral part of learning
  • alter the way we engage and motivate students in learning
  • create space where teacher candidates can be engaged in instructional technology –enriched teacher education programming
  • cultivate meaningful collaboration between university and schools to promote new mindsets to integrate instructional technology for learning.

The abstract further states that this project will result in increased engagement of public school students in innovation, creativity, problem-solving and entrepreneurship through the development of collaborative project-based learning environments utilizing emerging technology and 21st century skills.

Dr. Brett Carter

080316CampusPeople_CarterDr. Brett Carter has been named Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students. In his previous role as dean of students, Carter was responsible for the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services, the Veterans Resource Center, parent and family advocacy and support, student conduct, and student advocacy. He maintains responsibility for these functions and, in addition, he now supervises programs in Student Health Services, which include the Medical Clinic and the Counseling Center. Carter has been at UNCG for more than twenty years and also served in the Department of Housing and Residence Life prior to his service as associate dean of students and then dean of students.

Dr. Robert Mayo

080316CampusPeople_MayoThe Communication Sciences and Disorders Advisory Committee at Longwood University recently recognized Dr. Robert Mayo (UNCG Communication Sciences and Disorders) with the Friends of the Communication Sciences and Disorders Award. Mayo has taught the Cranio-Facial Anomalies course for Longwood since the program’s inception in 2006. His vast experience and expertise, in combination with his high quality instruction, ensure the students have a solid foundation of knowledge to enter the field. Dr. Lissa Power-deFur, Longwood’s CSD Program Director, commented that the faculty and advisory committee greatly appreciate Dr. Mayo’s contributions to the establishment and success of a new CSD graduate program, sharing his content expertise and the wisdom he has gained as a program administrator and faculty member over the years.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

080316CampusPeople_SienkiewiczDr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from the United Way of Greater Greensboro for the project “Newcomers CLASS (Culture, Language and Adult Self Sufficiency).”  For newly arrived refugees into Greensboro, language, transportation, isolation, lack of cultural brokers, and misunderstanding/lack of knowledge of American education and cultural activities present an ongoing concern as refugees seek to orient to the United States, the abstract states. The objective of this project is to help newly arrived immigrants manage their transition and begin the process of cultural integration by learning English, providing job readiness skills for adults and acting as a cultural broker.

Dr. Terri Shelton

Photo of Dr. Terri Shelton. Dr. Terri Shelton (Office of Research and Economic Development) received new funding from the NCDHHS Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services (MHDDSAS) for the project “North Carolina Intensive Prevention Technical Assistance System.” The purpose of this contract is to continue the work begun by the North Carolina Prevention Technical Assistance system for the development and technical assistance associated with best practices to prevent underage alcohol, tobacco and other drug use (ATOD) and to expand the system to include training and ATOD prevention resources. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is responsible for program management, improvement, expansion and further development in the areas of: a) Technical assistance; b) Logistical support, content development and training in ATOD best practices; c) Data collection management, analysis and reporting; and d) Collection of training and technical assistance resources.

Dr. Margaret Gillis

Photo of Dr. Margaret Gillis. Dr. Margaret Gillis (Specialized Education Services) received additional funding from the NCDHHS Division of Child Development for the project “Online Master’s Degree Emphasis in Early Childhood Leadership and Program Administration.”

Additionally, she received a continuation of funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the project “Preparing Post-Baccalaureate Early Interventionists/Early Childhood Educators for Working with ALL Children.” A critical concern in early childhood special education (ECSE) is the shortage of highly qualified professionals with the knowledge and skills to deliver services to high-need children aged birth to five with disabilities. The abstract explains that, specifically, there is a need for professionals who can collaborate with others to meet the needs of all young children, including those with disabilities, who experience poverty, who are from minority racial or ethnic groups, who are English learners, or who may be immigrants. UNCG offers a synchronous online post-baccalaureate (post-bac) certificate program specializing in ECSE through an interdisciplinary approach.  Building on prior success, this project focuses on preparing future early interventionists and early childhood educators to implement high quality programming for young children with disabilities. The primary goal of the project is to increase the number of highly-qualified personnel to work with other professionals and families to implement responsive, evidence-based practices in their work with young children in high need community-based programs and schools, including children from traditionally underrepresented groups.

Dr. P. Holt Wilson

Photo of Dr. P. Holt Wilson. Dr. P. Holt Wilson (Teacher Education and Higher Education) received additional funding from North Carolina State University for the project “Building a Conceptual Model of Learning Trajectories Based Instruction (LTBI).” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation. “The overarching goal of the LTBI project was to develop a model of teaching using Learning Trajectories (LTs) as an organizing framework for instructional decisions,” the abstract states. “Through our research in the past five years, our team has empirically examined the ways in which teachers learn about LTs and use their knowledge of LTs in their practice. We have also designed a professional development program to teach K-5 teachers about LTs and examined the ways that teachers’ participation changes in the professional development learning community. The goal of the supplemental work is to build on the outcomes of the LTBI project and promote knowledge sharing between the LTBI research team and other NSF-funded researchers who, in the last five years, have also investigated teacher learning of LTs and the ways in which this learning influences classroom instruction and student learning.”

Dr. Kathleen Mooney

Photo of Dr. Kathleen Mooney.Dr. Kathleen Mooney (SERVE Center) received funding from Prairie View A&M University for the project “Learning By Practice Undergraduate Curriculum Evaluation.”

Dr. John Willse

Photo of Dr. John Willse.Dr.  John Willse (Educational Research Methodology) received new funding from Castle Worldwide for an OAERS contract with Castle Worldwide Inc. 2016-2017.”  Castle Worldwide Inc. will support an ERM student who will be assigned to relevant activities pertaining to data management, data analysis, data documentation, report writing and general assessment activities.

Also, Guilford County Schools is funding a contract with OAERS for 2016-2017. Services provided by the UNCG Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS) will be related to data analysis, data management, and report writing.

Dr. Emily J. Levine

Photo of Dr. Emily J. Levine.Dr. Emily J. Levine’s article “Baltimore Teaches, Göttingen Learns: Cooperation, Competition, and the Research University” was published in the June issue of The American Historical Review. In the article, she argues that the modern research university was co-created through mutual transatlantic exchange and reveals the historical roots of pressing issues facing the university today. Here is a link to the digital offprint: http://bit.ly/1ZuLkGi

Levine is an associate professor in the Department of History.

Mark Wagner

Photo of Mark Wagner.Mark Wagner (UNCG Athletics) received the Emerging Leader Award last week from the College Athletic Business Management Association. He received it for his contributions for the last two years as a member of the membership committee and launching the first CABMA Mentorship program, CABMA Mentor Me. He has been Business Services Coordinator in UNCG Athletics since 2014.

Dr. Maura Heyn

Photo of Dr. Maura Heyn. Dr. Maura Heyn spoke in a symposium at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City on May 23. Her talk was “Embodied Identities in the Funerary Portraiture of Palmyra.” Details are at www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-speaks/symposia/palmyra. The Palmyrene funerary sculpture that is accessible to the public today is for the most part displayed in museums, divorced from its original context in the tombs surrounding the ancient city of Palmyra, she explained in her talk.  Even in antiquity the portraits were separated from the everyday hustle and bustle of the city, in their places sealing off the burial niches inside the tombs on the periphery of the city.

She is an associate professor in Classical Studies, and director of the UNCG Archaeology Program.

Dr. Barbara Levin

Photo of Dr. Barbara LevinDr. Barbara Levin (Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education) just published a new book about teacher leadership with her co-author Dr Lynne Schrum, dean of the School of Education at Nova Southeastern University. Titled “Every Teacher a Leader: Developing the Needed Dispositions, Knowledge and Skills for Teacher Leadership,” this is Dr. Levin’s sixth book published by Corwin Press and her ninth published book since coming to UNCG in 1993. Dr. Levin is currently on phased retirement.


Kathelene McCarty Smith

Photo of Kathelene McCarty Smith.Kathelene McCarty Smith (UNCG Special Collections and University Archives) has been named the winner of the University Libraries Staff Service Award for 2016.  Created by long-time Circulation Department Head Martha Ransley upon her retirement, the award was first given in 1998. The award recognizes and rewards members of the SPA Library Staff who provide outstanding leadership and service in furthering the accomplishment of the mission of the Library to provide service to students, faculty, staff and members of the community which the University serves.”

She was recognized for her subject and technical expertise, deep subject knowledge, initiative, grace and enthusiasm, and her professional and university service.  She started out as a student worker and was hired in 2010 as a full-time staff member. At present, she is responsible for the physical and intellectual control of the photographs, artifacts and textiles in University Archives. She is also the coordinator of the Volunteer, Internship, and Practicum program in SCUA, and is tasked with course outreach to UNCG instructors.