UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi (Office of Research and Engagement) received new funding from Howard University for the project “”GIRLS ROCK TECH: Integrating Computer Science Education into a National Girls Empowerment Program.” This project is supported by funds from the National Science Foundation.  

In an era of declining women’s participation in computer science and acutely low participation of women of color, there is increasing awareness of stereotype threats and the barriers to gender and racial equity in computer science. Mitigating those threats and lowering those barriers are two of the primary challenges faced by the research, education and advocacy communities. Encouraging, building, and nurturing positive identities, growth mindset, and solid knowledge and skills are key aspects of combating stereotype threat and supporting a lasting interest in STEM. Studies have shown that providing girls with a unique educational environment that does not align with the stereotype fit, or feelings of exclusion, allows them to shift from a “fixed mindset” to a “growth mindset.”. GIRLS ROCK TECH program is an innovative experiential approach to learning computer science principles of programming and creativity in the context of music education and strong culturally resonant structures.

Through the proposed GIRLS ROCK TECH program, we will investigate how computer science principles through the lens of music production is an effective means of providing black girls with the computing and soft skills needed for success in STEM. They will also investigate the social and behavioral factors that support black girls’ empowerment and learning in CS. Specifically They seek answers to the following research questions:

  1.  How effective is music instruction as a means of teaching the computer science principles of abstraction, algorithmic thinking, and programming?

      2.  How effective is an intervention designed for black girls in improving self-efficacy and fostering a growth mindset in computer science?

Robin Gee

Associate Professor Robin Gee (School of Dance) hosts the 4th Annual Greensboro Dance Film Festival, in collaboration with the Greensboro Project Space on Saturday, October 21, 7 pm with rolling screenings at GPS (7 pm), HQ Greensboro (7:30 pm) and VCM Studio (8 pm). This years’ festival is also part of the Burning Bell Festival in Downtown Greensboro and is part of the 17DAYS fall programming.

The festival, the first of its kind to reside in Greensboro, features dance films from 17 countries in both student and professional categories. The event will also host an opening reception at HQ Greensboro featuring live dance and music performances. Performances are supported in part by the 2017 NC Arts Council Choreographers Grant. The programs will also feature works that specifically address issues of race, place and identity in a modern and ever-changing world. Each location will feature a program designed for and unique to the space. GDFF will also will culminate with a touring program that will travel to several locations around North Carolina as well as the Dance In/Out Festival in Bobo Dioulasso, Burkina Faso and other partner organizations around the country. This event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Wendy McColskey

Dr. Wendy McColskey (SERVE Center) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the project “Extended Learning and Integrated Student Supports Competitive Grant Program – ELISS.” 

The purpose of the ELLIS Program is to fund high-quality, independently validated extended learning and integrated student support service programs for at-risk students that raise standards for student academic outcomes.  SERVE will provide NC DPI support and feedback in the development of the 2017-2018 application materials/processes, scoring rubric for the competitive grant process; conduct Level I peer-review of applications received by NC DPI and screened by NC DPI for completeness; provide supporting documentation, and/or presentations, as needed, for state-level reporting requirements related to the grant review process.  SERVE will conduct site visits to all grantees in the spring of 2018 and provide each grantee with individual assistance if needed.  SERVE will collaborate with NC DPI to plan and conduct a face-to-face meeting of grant recipients in 2018; and develop and administer an online progress reporting survey.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from the North Carolina Council for Women & Youth Involvement for the project “Safe Transitions after Resettlement Program (STAR).”

Domestic violence is a growing concern in Guilford County among relocated immigrant and refugee populations. The Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) will utilize a three-pronged approach to address domestic violence with refugees in Guilford County that includes: 1) continued collaboration between domestic violence and refugee service providers; 2) awareness and education pertaining to the various manifestations of family violence in relocated refugee populations; and 3) increased capacity and infrastructure to better meet the needs of refugee victims of family violence.

First, refugee service providers and domestic violence agencies will continue to meet quarterly to share current needs and concerns. These meetings will be a place for continued training and provide opportunities to brainstorm future collaboration. Second, the CNNC will increase awareness among Guilford County residents to depict the complex and multi-faceted dimensions of domestic violence in refugee communities.  Through research and continuous dialogue with bi-cultural refugees, the CNNC will examine the lesser- explored topics of forced and/or arranged marriages, human trafficking and basic cultural understandings of gender and marriage within relocated refugee populations. Third, the CNNC will engage (mostly) female interpreters in specialized domestic violence trainings to serve as interpreters and cultural brokers during domestic violence encounters.

Currently, the majority of trained interpreters speaking Nepali, Swahili, French, Burmese and other languages native to Burma are male and many ethnic communities are relatively small.  This can be problematic for women seeking to report domestic violence. There is a strong need for female interpreters that are trained in domestic violence, speak key languages, and know the contextual cultural background.  Trained interpreters will help to create the infrastructure within the broader community to respond to domestic violence encounters in culturally appropriate ways.

Dr. Chris Payne

Dr. Chris Payne (The Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships) received new funding from the Guilford County Partnership for children for the project Bringing Out the Best: Supporting Young Children’s Social and Emotional Development.”

Social-emotional development and school readiness/success in young children is clearly linked with children who have behavioral or emotional challenges being at risk not only for later mental health challenges but also for school failure. Estimates are that 10-14 percent of children ages birth to five years old are likely to have a serious enough challenge in social/emotional or behavioral development to warrant intervention. This equates to approximately 4,000 children in Guilford County.

Dr. Payne’s project will increase school readiness/success by improving the quality of the early education and care experiences for these infants and young children. More specifically, Bringing Out the Best (BOB) builds the capacity of early education and care providers, Pre-K teachers, directors/administrators and families to reduce behavioral challenges and support social/emotional development through evidence-based prevention and intervention services.

Project activities will result in infants and preschoolers with behavioral challenges maintaining their child care/preschool placement; families and child care providers/teachers/directors developing new skills to support children’s social-emotional development; and earlier screening and intervention reducing behavioral challenges and increasing social emotional competencies. The impact of this project will be to intervene early to support children who will be ready for school and ready for life. Bringing Out the Best continues to play an important role in advancing the mission of the Guilford County Partnership for Children to support, educate, connect, and advocate through the services it provides for children, early educators and families. BOB fulfills a critical need to provide services where no comparable services exist.

Dr. Kenneth Gruber

Dr. Kenneth Gruber (Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships) received new funding from NC A&T State University for the project “Research and Technical Assistance for the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences – NC A&T State University.” This project is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA NIFA).

Dr. Paul Knapp

photo of KnappDr. Paul Knapp (Geography) received continuation of funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “A multi-century reconstruction of tropical cyclone rainfall magnitude and variability derived from longleaf pine in the U.S. southeast Atlantic coastal region.”

This project is designed to provide a multi-century perspective regarding the variability of rainfall derived from landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs; tropical depressions, tropical storms, and hurricanes) in the Atlantic southeast coastal region (ASCR) of the southeastern US by examining the instrumental climate record and the development and application of multiple proxy tree-ring records. Latewood growth of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) within the ASCR principally occurs from mid-June through mid-October (tropical-cyclone season) and has strong statistical power when used to reconstruct TC precipitation (TCP). TCP is a critical component of the ASCR hydroclimate, as it influences summer/autumn recharge to groundwater supplies, can abruptly end severe drought conditions, and serves an important ecological role. Conversely, TCs and their associated flooding impose substantial societal costs including human mortality and economic losses. To place the effects of TCP in a historical context, this study will: 1) extend the TCP record to the 17th century to document spatio-temporal variability prior to historic records; 2) determine if actual and reconstructed TCP values significantly correspond with changes in tree-ring oxygen-18 isotopes; and, 3) examine variability of TCP and determine the sensitivity of TCP to the North Atlantic, Atlantic Multidecadal, and El Niño Southern Oscillations.

Dr. Chris Payne

photo of PayneDr. Chris Payne (Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnerships) received new funding from Guilford County Partnership for Children for the project “Juvenile Court Infant Toddler Initiative.”  You may view your project and award documents in Ramses under the proposal number listed above.

Infants and toddlers are the most frequent victims of abuse and neglect in families. Moreover, they are the largest group of children to enter, remain in and re-enter foster care, and they are the least likely to reunify with their biological families. A growing body of research clearly demonstrates that early relationships play a critical role in a child’s brain development and future academic and social success; when these relationships are neglectful or abusive, the course of an infant’s entire life may be impacted. Young children who experience trauma and neglect are much more likely than their peers to develop mental health disorders and physical ailments and are at greater risk of having behavioral and educational problems.

Guilford County continues to rank high on many of the factors associated with increased rates of child maltreatment for children: poverty, economic stress, parents who are adolescents, or single parents without social support networks.  As well preventive services may be available but not accessible or utilized due to barriers. This project will provide continued support for the Community Court Coordinator in Guilford County’s Juvenile Court Infant Toddler Initiative (JCITI). This program builds the capacity of families, court team members and service providers to support the safety and the healthy development of young children, 0-5, who present in the child welfare system due to abuse, neglect, or dependency. The purpose of the Juvenile Court Infant Toddler Initiative is 1) to increase awareness among all those who work with maltreated infants and toddlers about the negative impact of abuse and neglect on very young children, and 2) to change local systems to improve outcomes and prevent future court involvement in the lives of very young children, thereby reducing the risk for abuse and neglect among infants and young children in Guilford County. The project will continue the work of the JCITI Community Court Coordinator (CCC), who is trained in providing services to children and families from diverse backgrounds and working across the judicial, legal, child welfare and child-serving systems. The JCITI CCC is an early childhood mental health/child welfare professional, housed in the courts, addressing the needs of young children birth to three in Guilford County, utilizing the services for infants and toddlers provided by the community stakeholders. Specifically, the JCITI coordinator will engage early childhood service providers, provide some mental health services, serve as a resource for child development expertise for the court, track referred cases, and work with community partners to identify gaps in services helping to coordinate services and resources in support of infants/toddlers and their families. Approximately 100 children, 0-5, and their families benefit from this service each year. The Guilford County initiative creates a system and provides services modeled after the evidence-based Zero to Three Safe Babies Court Team program.  Guilford County JCITI utilizes the 10 core principles of the ZTT model. The ZTT Safe Babies Court Team model is being used in several locations across the US including: Washington State; Miami/Dade, Florida; Little Rock, Arkansas; Des Moines, Iowa; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Cherokee, NC.

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi

Dr. Ryoko Yamaguchi (Office of Research and Engagement) received over $1 million in new funding from the National Science Foundation “BRIGHT-CS: Building Student Retention through Individuated Guided coHort Training in Computer Science.”   

BRIGHT-CS proposes to create a comprehensive computer science and empowerment model for African American/black girls by building strategic partnerships with schools, universities, non-profit and community organizations. We recognize that to engage and promote black girls in computing, it cannot be a “one-off” experience such as a school’s coding day, a Hackathon, or a summer coding camp. Rather, engagement must be an ongoing process that is part of a larger learning ecosystem of students, parents, the community and the school. This learning ecosystem must also provide peer-level support to help guard against feelings of isolation in the field. BRIGHT-CS is a three-year project that will:

– Create a computing learning ecosystem that uses a cohort model of positive peer and near-peer mentors among black girls in computing with an emphasis on (1) empowerment and leadership development for black girls, (2) comprehensive computer science and computational thinking experiences, and (3) partnerships with schools, colleges/universities, and non-profit and community organizations; and

– Research the effectiveness of this learning ecosystem to promote black girls in computing and determine best practices for broadening participation to other marginalized student groups.

Three important features of BRIGHT-CS are that 1) it leverages the existing (and growing) local community of empowerment for black women and girls, 2) it focuses on creating a CS learning ecosystem focused on computational thinking, and 3) it has vast reach in providing professional, leadership, and civic development for its constituents and partner organizations. Creating a CS learning ecosystem can easily be extended to other groups of students and locales. The concept of a CS learning ecosystem is one that has great potential for broader impacts across different communities.

Dr. Sonja Frison

photo of FrisonDr. Sonja Frison (Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for the project “Support of Child Tiered Case Management Pilot.”  

In Fiscal Year 2016, North Carolina Local Management Entity-Managed Care Organizations (LME-MCOs) served an estimated 1.4 million Medicaid and uninsured children and youth. That year, concerns about a lack of coordination across child-serving systems resulting in insufficient assessment of behavioral health needs, slow delivery of services and an impenetrable public behavioral health system were highlighted by the Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders recommendations.

As a result of those concerns, the Governor’s Taskforce recommended that a child case management pilot project be implemented to test evidence-informed strategies for addressing those identified concerns. This tiered case management pilot connects two at-risk populations of youth and their families to behavioral health services: youth and families involved in child welfare and juvenile justice. Both populations have high rates of exposure to trauma and complex behavioral health needs. Assessing, treating and coordinating their behavioral health and life domain needs can assist social services in maintaining or reunifying youth with their families and can assist juvenile justice in keeping youth from moving deeper into the justice system.

UNCG’s Center for Youth Family and Community Partnerships will provide the project oversight and necessary infrastructure to design and implement an evaluation of the entire pilot project, support consistent program development involving a variety of stakeholders, provide well-informed implementation consultation, and coordinate efficient and timely training and responsive technical assistance across all the pilot sites.

Dr. George Hancock

photo of HancockDr. George Hancock (SERVE Center) received additional funding from the U.S. Department of Education for the project “National Center on Homeless Education (NCHE).”

With over 40 years of experience in homeless education among its staff members, NCHE has concentrated its efforts since 1998 to be the primary national repository of expertise in homeless education and to operate a highly responsive and efficient technical assistance center customized to the unique needs of its stakeholders. NCHE has honed its expertise not only as a technical assistance center, but as a technical assistance center specifically for building the capacity of educators and service providers who work to improve the education of homeless children and youth.

Stakeholder feedback, NCHE evaluation data, and ED’s performance review data consistently corroborate NCHE’s excellent work. NCHE is the “go to” agency for many stakeholders to access information, receive training, and identify solutions to challenges in serving homeless children and youth.

UNCG and NCHE’s committed staff look forward to continuing in its role to provide the assistance and support to all stakeholders, including parents and families experiencing homelessness, to help homeless students succeed in school and overcome the devastating effects of lacking a stable place to live.

Dr. Terri Shelton

photo of SheltonDr. Terri Shelton (Office of Research and Engagement) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services for the project “NC Preventing Underage Drinking Initiative.” The project is supported by funds from the DHHS Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.  

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 in its efforts to prevent underage alcohol consumption and the resulting social, health and economic consequences, including development of innovative strategies. This continuing effort is designed to further support and develop Community Collaboratives working to implement environmental management strategies that prevent underage drinking, and create a sustainable movement to stop practices that make underage drinking both easy and acceptable.

Activities will include, but not be limited to, community mobilization and law enforcement partnership efforts such as: alcohol purchase surveys, merchant education, responsible seller/server training, sobriety checkpoints, media advocacy, youth empowerment and policy advocacy. Short-term outcomes include increasing quality youth participation, enhancing community mobilization efforts and community/law enforcement partnerships; these short-term outcomes will be measured by collecting performance measure data from grant recipients. Long-term outcomes include reductions in youth alcohol consumption (current use, binge drinking, age of onset) and will be tracked using the North Carolina Youth Risk Behavior Survey and local data, if available.

Shelton is vice chancellor for research and engagement.

Dr. John Willse

photo of WillseDr. John Willse (Educational Research Methodology) received new funding from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction for the project “Special Projects in Development and Maintenance of Statewide Assessments.”   

The Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services in the Department of Educational Research Methodology at UNCG will provide technical assistance and conduct research to support the North Carolina Test Development program in the development and maintenance of a comprehensive system for general and alternate assessments in English language arts/reading, mathematics, science and social studies. Tasks will include several types of analytic and research work, including statistical support, technical documentation, as well as auxiliary research to support operational practices.

Kara Baldwin

photo of BaldwinKara Baldwin (Special Support Services) received continuation of funding from the U.S. Department of Education for the project “Student Support Services Program.”

There are a high number of students who enroll at UNCG who need and could qualify for the academic support available through a Student Support Services Program. Thus, the project proposes to sponsor a Student Support Services Program for a five-year period, 2015 through 2020.

The program will provide writing, reading, study skills coaching, mathematics and computer literacy instruction; individualized tutoring; academic coaching, career, personal and financial aid counseling; financial literacy instruction and training; graduate/professional school guidance; and some limited cultural, educational enrichment, and academic award activities.

The university will identify and provide educational support services to 200 freshmen, upper-class, transfers, returning adults and students with disabilities for a five-year period who are first-generation, low-income and disabled students. The primary goal is to increase the rate of educational success for these students so they will earn a bachelor’s degree and/or prepare to enroll in a graduate or professional school or a doctoral degree program.

Both the commitment from UNCG and the funding from the grant itself will allow the university to begin services for first-generation, low-income and students with disabilities nearly as soon as notification of funding is received.

The program staff, participants and the university (Office of Institutional Research) will conduct an evaluation to measure both student and program success based upon the standardized and process objectives annually.

Dr. John Kiss

photo of kissDr. John Kiss (Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences) received new funding from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for the project “Novel explorations into the interactions between light and gravity sensing in plants.”

The Seedling Growth (SG) series of plant biology experiments is part of a barter agreement between NASA and ESA. The major goals are: (1) to determine how gravity and light responses influence each other in plants; (2) to better understand the cellular signaling and response mechanisms of phototropism and of light stimulation; and (3) to study the factors affecting the proliferation and growth of meristematic cells in order to analyze in how auxin (i.e., a plant hormone) transport and perception act in the regulation of these cellular functions.

Dr. Paul Knapp

photo of KnappDr. Paul Knapp (Geography) received continued funding from the National Science Foundation for the project “A multi-century reconstruction of tropical cyclone rainfall magnitude and variability derived from longleaf  pine in the U.S. southeast Atlantic coastal region.”

The project is designed to provide a multi-century perspective regarding the variability of rainfall derived from landfalling tropical cyclones (TCs; tropical depressions, tropical storms and hurricanes) in the Atlantic southeast coastal region (ASCR) of the southeastern United States by examining the instrumental climate record and the development and application of multiple proxy tree-ring records.

Latewood growth of longleaf pine within the ASCR principally occurs from mid-June through mid-October (tropical-cyclone season) and has strong statistical power when used to reconstruct TC precipitation (TCP). TCP is a critical component of the ASCR hydroclimate, as it influences summer/autumn recharge to groundwater supplies, can abruptly end severe drought conditions and serves an important ecological role. Conversely, TCs and their associated flooding impose substantial societal costs including human mortality and economic losses.

To place the effects of TCP in a historical context, this study will: 1) extend the TCP record to the 17th century to document spatio-temporal variability prior to historic records; 2) determine if actual and reconstructed TCP values significantly correspond with changes in tree-ring oxygen-18 isotopes; and, 3) examine variability of TCP and determine the sensitivity of TCP to the North Atlantic, Atlantic Multidecadal, and El Niño Southern Oscillations.

Dr. Arthur Murphy

Dr. Arthur Murphy (Anthropology) received a competitive renewal of funding in the amount of $676,578 from the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) for the project “Recipe for Success. The project is supported by funds from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Recipe for Success, in collaboration with public and private entities in Guilford, Randolph, and Rockingham counties in North Carolina, provides direct and indirect nutrition and obesity- prevention education to individuals and households who are either recipients of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or SNAP-eligible.

There are three primary target audiences: 1) Individuals over the age of 18 from a variety of socioeconomic groups who participate in programs hosted by mental health associations, veteran’s associations, faith-based organizations, etc.; 2) Children under age 18 who attend Title 1 schools and their associated after-school and summer recreational program; and 3) households with children under the age of 18 through eight direct-mail lessons in cooperation with county DHHS offices.

Dr. Louisa Raisbeck

photo of RaisbeckDr. Louisa Raisbeck (Kinesiology) received new funding from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Merging attentional focus and balance training to reduce fall risk in older adults.”

Approximately 15 million older adults fall every year in the United States and fall-prevention programs have only been moderately successful in arresting fall rate. This project uses motor-learning principles derived from the attentional focus literature to determine whether training someone where to focus their attention during a balance task enhances balance control and reduces fall risk.

Dr. Nina Arshavsky

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

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

Stuart Dischell

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

Dr. Ye (Jane) He

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

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

Dr. David Wyrick

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

Dr. Albert Link

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

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

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

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies

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

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

Oberlies completed a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Miami University and a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from Purdue University. The Oberlies research group focuses on the isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive compounds from natural sources, including those from both fungal cultures and plants.

Dr. George Hancock

photo of HancockDr. George Hancock (SERVE Center) received over $1 million in continued funding from the U.S. Department of Education for the National Center on Homeless Education (NCHE).

NCHE is housed at UNCG’s SERVE center and operates USED’s technical assistance center for the federal Education for Homeless Children and Youth program. NCHE has developed long-standing collaborations that foster a comprehensive and interagency approach to serving homeless children and youth at the national, state and local levels. The NCHE staff bring not only experience and expertise in homeless education and/or working with at-risk youth, but commitment and passion for the work. Key focus areas of NCHE’s work include building the capacity of state- and local-level program administrators to implement effective programs and activities that are compliant with federal legislation, providing expert advice and assistance to address challenging and emerging issues, building connections among constituents and outside agencies, and providing resources that enable constituents to carry out their responsibilities effectively.

Thus, NCHE provides resources that are accurate in content, relevant to constituent needs, and immediately applicable to their work in support of the more than 1.3 million homeless children and youth enrolled in our schools nationally.

Funding will continue to provide the assistance and support to all stakeholders, including parents and families experiencing homelessness, to help homeless students succeed in school and overcome the devastating effects of lacking a stable place to live.

Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz

photo of SienkiewiczDr. Holly Sienkiewicz (Center for New North Carolinians) received new funding from the North Carolina Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service for the project “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. Services to be provided include: 1. Employment Readiness and Placement, Disaster Preparedness, Volunteer Recruitment and Management, and related services to immigrant and refugees resulting in greater self-sufficiency; 2. Provide leadership development training to AmeriCorps staff; and 3. Provide community development training to community and faith-based partner organizations to help them achieve sustainability.

Holly Goddard Jones

photo of JonesHolly Goddard Jones (English, Creative Writing) will give a reading this Thursday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. at Scuppernong Books in downtown Greensboro. The event will celebrate the release of Jones’ latest novel, “The Salt Line,” published by Penguin Random House. The event is free and open to the public, and will be followed by a book signing. Jones is also the author of  “The Next Time You See Me” and “Girl Trouble.” Her work has appeared in “The Best American Mystery Stories,” “New Stories from the South,” Tin House magazine and elsewhere. She was a recipient of the Fellowship of Southern Writers’ Hillsdale Prize for Excellence in Fiction and of a Rona Jaffe Foundation Writers’ Award.

Dr. Iris Wagstaff

Dr. Iris Wagstaff (Chemistry and Biochemistry) is a UNCG graduate and adjunct associate professor. She will receive the K-12 Promotion of Education Award by the Women of Color Magazine and Women of Color STEM Conference. A subsidiary of Career Communications Group, INC, Women of Color magazine’s annual Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Conference is the forum of choice for recognizing the significant contributions by women in STEM fields. Wagstaff will be presented the award at the 22nd Annual Women of Color STEM Conference in Detroit, Michigan, on Oct. 7.

Wagstaff is a STEM Program Director in the Education and Human Resources Department of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Most recently she served as 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Institute of Justice in the Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy in the community developing informal science programs, mentoring STEM majors, equipping parents with tools and resources to encourage their children in STEM, and providing culturally relevant science education pedagogy to teachers.

Dr. Victoria Coyle

photo of CoyleDr. Victoria Coyle (SERVE Center) received continuation of funding from Temple University for the project “SEADAP Evaluation/Planarians and the Pharmacology of addition: an in vivo model for K-12 education.”

The award from Temple is for the continued evaluation of a National Institutes of Health/National Institute on Drug Abuse sponsored program titled, “Science Education Against Drug Abuse Partnership” (SEADAP). The program is starting its fourth year and has been designed to use live flatworms (planarians) to develop and deliver an inquiry-based grade 4 – 12 program to teach the science of drug addiction, and the pharmacology of natural and drug rewards. The program is being provided to teachers in the northeast (Pennsylvania, Virginia, and New York, through Temple University) and in Eastern North Carolina (through Eastern Carolina University). The program provides professional development, including hands-on experiences with the planaria and lesson plans to the teachers who then incorporate the lessons into their curriculum. The flatworms and materials are all provided to the teachers through the project. The teachers come from diverse content areas, including math, science, physical education, and health.

Dr. Jacqueline Debrew

photo of DeBrewDr. Jacqueline Debrew (School of Nursing) received new funding from North Carolina Area Health Education Center (NC AHEC) Program for the project “Proposal for RN to BSN Outreach Programs: 2017-2018.”  

The project will support five cohort programs for Registered Nurses seeking Bachelor of Science degrees. The five established cohorts are located on the North Carolina campuses of Davidson County Community College in Thomasville, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College on the NC Research Campus in Kannapolis, Gaston College in Dallas, Forsyth Technical Community College in Winston-Salem, and Piedmont Community College in Roxboro.

Chris Gregory

photo of GregoryChris Gregory (Assistant Director, Residence Life) co-authored a chapter in the recently published book “Leadership, Equity and Social Justice in American Higher Education.” The chapter, titled “The Unintended Consequences of New Residence Hall Construction,” looked at national building trends and the implications for equity and success.

Dr. Anne Hershey

photo of HersheyDr. Anne Hershey (Biology) received new funding from NC State University’s North Carolina Sea Grant for the project “Distribution and Concentrations of Antibiotics in Rural Wells and Streams.”  

Funding for this project will be used in the sampling of rural wells and streams to measure concentrations of antibiotics in order to assess the potential for land use to influence environmental exposure to antibiotics.

Dr. Chris Payne

photo of PayneDr. Chris Payne (The Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships), received new funding from Guilford Child Development for the project “Partnerships to Enhance Early Care and Education.”  

UNCG’s Center for Youth, Family and Community Partnerships will serve as the Research/Implementation/Professional Development partner to Guilford Child Development (GCD) for its second EHS-CC Partnership grant to increase staff knowledge and skills, which support high-quality comprehensive child development services. Using an implementation model, the project will provide training, technical assistance, mentoring and quality improvement for EHS staff and home child care providers delivering expanded services in Guilford County.

GCD, in partnership with UNCG, will increase access to high-quality early childhood care through a two-pronged approach: (A) Direct provision of high-quality early childhood services through additional Early Head Start classrooms in Greensboro; and (B) Comprehensive training to increase the knowledge and skills of child care staff and heighten the quality of care in homes and classrooms. This two-pronged approach will help to meet the immediate need for high-quality child care while also building a broad base of early childhood professionals to continue to meet community needs.

Provision of high quality, comprehensive child care services in this area will provide families with a path to a better future for their children. By building on the strengths of existing community agencies and partners, and developing a strong cadre of early childhood professionals, we can make permanent gains in the availability of high-quality services and opportunities for children in poverty and their families.

Dr. Diane Ryndak

photo of RyndakDr. Diane Ryndak (Specialized Education Services) received new funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) for the project “Project LEAPS: Leadership in Extensive and Pervasive Support Needs.”  

The Doctoral Program in Special Education at UNCG has a history of (a) graduating scholars who procure and maintain employment in teacher preparation programs nationally, and (b) conducting OSEP projects to prepare high-quality leaders. LEAPS builds on this history by collaborating with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, low-performing schools in North Carolina, self-advocates and parents of students with disabilities, and national experts to prepare leaders in research and the preparation of teachers to meet the needs of high-need students with disabilities who are far below grade level; at risk of not graduating with a regular high school diploma on time; or not on track to being college- or career-ready by graduation.

Specifically, LEAPS will focus on competencies for conducting research and preparing teachers to work with students historically labeled as having significant intellectual disabilities, autism, severe, or multiple disabilities, areas in which there has been a chronic critical shortage of qualified teachers nationally and in North Carolina.

LEAPS will extend UNCG’s existing doctoral program’s competencies for research, preservice teacher preparation, and service, and add competencies for evidence-based practices (EBP) to meet the needs of high-needs students with EPSN in low-performing schools. Scholars will learn competencies in inclusive practices, secondary and post-secondary education and transition, EBP and individualized supports (including assistive technology), advocacy, and academic and behavioral Multi-Tiered Systems of Support. This will be accomplished using technology during courses, when teaching, and in collaboration with schools, national experts, and other scholars nationally within the context of the existing doctoral program, additional one-hour seminars related to students with EPSN, authentic experiences with low-performing schools, and the use of resources and expertise of National Technical Assistance Projects. The intent is to improve outcomes for these students and their schools.

Dr. Stephen Sills

photo of SillisDr. Stephen Sills (Center for Housing and Community Studies) received new funding from the Greensboro Housing Coalition for the project “Evaluation of the Collaborative Cottage Grove BUILD 2.0 Health Challenge Project.”  

This project is supported by funds from the BUILD Health Challenge. UNCG’s Center for Housing and Community Studies will serve as the evaluator for the Greensboro Housing Coalition and the Collaborative Cottage Grove for their BUILD Health Challenge grant. The project will employ a contextually responsive, collaborative model of participatory research. The evaluators will work with the BUILD team and partners to ensure that evaluation is institutionalized throughout by developing data tracking and feedback mechanisms for accurate reporting. The evaluation design is responsive to the evolving project and that it provides data intended to: support program improvement, demonstrate initial outcomes, and reveal institutional changes resulting from the program.

The evaluation will be quasi-experimental, mixed-method, and include GIS mapping. Impact will be evaluated using multiple data sources. Residents will be asked at three separate time points to provide assessments of: (1) community activities (gardens, health fairs, trainings) (2) physical improvements that promote activity (bike lanes, parks, sidewalks), and (3) self-reported health status and nutrition. Residents will also provide assessment of their health at the time of their participation and 90 days following. This will provide a means to identify the “contribution” that participation in a particular activity had on perceptions of health and engagement in behaviors associated with positive health. Attendance counts at health fairs and other events will help to determine overall community engagement. Observational counts of bike riding, walking, playground use, other activities use will be made.

The project focuses on measuring impact at the (1) individual, (2) health issue, and (3) community level. At the individual level the focus will be on changes in perceptions of health promotion and reported levels of engagement. At the health issue level, the focus will be on improvements on health issues and their consequences (reduction in emergency department visits, living in homes without asthma triggers, healthy eating, reduction of diabetes symptoms, more physical active). At the community level, the impact on community dynamics (collaborations and communication, support for promoting healthy environment), community economics, improvement to housing, and development of public areas will be examined. To determine the relative impact of BUILD, residents of a nearby community with comparable socio-demographics will be surveyed at the same times. The communities will be compared on health indicators relating to diabetes, asthma, and general health.