UNCG Campus Weekly

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

Philosophy’s Dr. Michael Zimmerman, research leader in theoretical ethics, takes on big questions

Dr. Michael Zimmerman’s research in theoretical ethics is acclaimed for its incisive argumentation, nuanced insights, and major advances. He’s a leading writer on moral obligation, moral responsibility, value theory, and the theory of punishment. With nine books — the most recent with Oxford University Press — and a host of articles in prestigious academic journals, the professor of philosophy is prolific. Zimmerman also delivered the Hägerström Lectures in Sweden in 2011. The lecture series is internationally known for featuring some of the most eminent philosophers of our time.

The following was adapted from an interview for the most recent UNCG Research Magazine.


“Most research asks ‘What can we do to improve our knowledge?’ In philosophy, we tend to consider questions prior to this, such as ‘What is knowledge?’ and ‘How can we know anything?’

“Similar fundamental questions have preoccupied me throughout my career: ‘What is it to be morally obligated to do something?’ ‘What is it to be morally responsible for something?’ ‘How are moral obligation and responsibility even possible?’

“For example, our having freedom of will seems to be a precondition of our being morally responsible for anything. We believe we have such freedom, but do we? It’s reasonable to think that everything that happens, including everything we do, has a cause. If that’s true, then, in principle, we could trace the cause of our actions back to events that took place before our birth. If what we do now has its roots in a time before we came into existence, then how can we have the control necessary for being morally responsible for our behavior? People have been thumping their heads against this wall for millennia.”


“Much of what’s in the press and on people’s minds has to do with practical matters. Does the president have an obligation to divest in order to avoid conflicts of interest? Is a woman in the later stages of pregnancy obligated not to have an abortion? But my research focuses on underlying theoretical issues. I ask, ‘What conditions must be satisfied for someone to have any moral obligations at all?’ We have to consider these fundamental questions before we can be confident about our answers to more practical questions.”


“I’m interested in how ignorance of right and wrong can affect our responsibility for our actions. Suppose some terrorist secretly rewired a light switch so that, when you flipped it, you detonated a bomb. Most would say you’re not to blame for the destruction you caused. It looks like ignorance undercuts moral responsibility.

“But does ignorance always provide an excuse? We can be ignorant of a variety of things. Imagine you knew the switch had been rewired but thought you were doing the right thing in detonating the bomb. This is presumably the mindset of many terrorists. Does that ignorance provide an excuse? I’ve argued that we should be hesitant to blame terrorists for the terrible things they do. That’s an unsettling conclusion, but it’s where my argument has led me.”


“Ignorance can affect not only whether we are morally responsible for failing to meet an obligation, but it can also affect what obligations we have in the first place. If you’re pointing a gun at me, and the only way I can defend myself is to shoot you first, then many would say that I am under no obligation not to shoot you. But what if what you’re holding is a water pistol, only it looks like a real gun to me? We saw this play out in the Iraq War, with our faulty intelligence regarding weapons of mass destruction.”


“I have argued that almost no state punishment is morally justified. Many find this thesis repugnant, but, again, that’s where my argument has led me.

“The first problem with punishment revolves around ignorance. Did the defendant know that he was doing something wrong?

“The second problem has to do with luck. Suppose Smith and Jones are assassins. Both fire at their targets, but only Smith manages to kill someone — Jones’s bullet was intercepted by a passing bird. Typically, Smith would receive a greater punishment. But what did Jones do to be less blameworthy? It was just luck that he didn’t kill his target.

“You can push this back further and further. Maybe what stopped Jones from killing someone wasn’t a bird but a good upbringing, whereas Smith was raised in terrible conditions. Such considerations are really corrosive; they cast doubt on the conventional justifications of punishment.”


“I wish more people took the time to question their basic convictions. It’s easy to make mistakes; by the same token, it’s hard to provide rational support for one’s views. It’s just as important to engage in critical reflection on one’s own views as on the views of others. This is something I try to impress upon my students. Everyone’s views are subject to criticism, including your own. Recognizing that fact can be very humbling, and it should help you give a full and fair hearing to those who disagree with you.”

“Are you sure?” interview originally appeared in the spring 2017 UNCG Research Magazine.

Interview by Mike Harris & Sangeetha Shivaji; this edited version originally appeared on the UNCG Research website.

Gay Ivey, new Moran Distinguished Professor in Literacy, brings unique perspective

The key to getting kids to read? Find out what they’re thinking, said Dr. Gay Ivey, UNCG’s new William E. Moran Distinguished Professor in Literacy.

“Most of my research has centered on getting kids’ perspectives on things,” Ivey said. “Lots of people promote the idea of kids choosing what they can read, thinking that if they read more, they will get better. My research involves trying to understand what they’re getting out of it.”

Ivey is an elected member of the Reading Hall of Fame and has spent her career helping teachers help children learn to read and expand the thought process around reading instruction in schools.

In her native Virginia, Ivey began her career as a reading specialist and middle-school teacher. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the College of William and Mary, an M.Ed. in Reading Education from the University of Virginia and a PhD in Reading Education from the University of Georgia. Before joining the UNCG faculty this summer, she served as the Tashia F. Morgridge Chair in Reading at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she held positions at James Madison University, the University of Maryland at College Park and the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.

“What I didn’t know about myself is that I was really interested in research,” Ivey said. “And learning how we could expand and improve reading and writing practices in school for kids through studying kids and teachers in their classrooms.”

Classroom-based research, she added, allows her to learn from kids by spending time with them in the classroom.

What happens when children are given the opportunity to find reasons of their own to read in school? A question that has recently driven Ivey in her research.

“When kids are engaged in reading things that matter to them, they are at their most strategic,” Ivey said.

Too often the reading children do in school is in response to an assignment rather than for their own reasons. Reading instruction in school is focused on getting better at reading, comprehension and memorization. All good things, Ivey said, but it’s not the reason kids read.

“They read to make sense of their lives, to grow their social lives and get a better understanding of themselves and the world,” Ivey said. “We’re not situating it in ways that make sense to them or add value to their lives.”

Ivey’s research centers on what engagement in reading means for the literary, academic, emotional and relational lives of children and adolescents. One of the draws of UNCG, she said, is that it affords her the opportunity to combine research with public engagement and engagement with schools.

The renowned literacy faculty was another draw.

“It was a team I wanted to join. I saw a place I could be collaborative with colleagues who were like-minded and interested seeing how research can really impact schools and communities,” Ivey said.

And she was also attracted by the diversity of the student population: “I feel a connection with the students here.”

Ivey says she plans to make North Carolina her home for many years and hopes to see UNCG’s graduate programs in literacy flourish.

“I also hope to become heavily involved in engagements with school districts across the state of North Carolina,” she added.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison

Excellence Professor Dr. Kelly Stamp’s heartfelt research

Dr. Kelly Stamp’s focus comes from the heart.

The new department chair of Family and Community Nursing and Eloise R. Lewis Excellence Professor is a leader in scholarship and initiatives concerning heart failure self-care, nursing science and intervention development.

Sept. 29, Stamp appeared in a video for the American Heart Association with music star Queen Latifah. The video is part of the “Rise Above Heart Failure” campaign to increase awareness of heart failure through understanding the signs, symptoms and management options.

“Women don’t realize that they can be victims of heart failure as frequently as men,” Stamp explained. “It’s a risk factor for all of us, and it is important to get the word out that heart failure is an issue for both men and women. However, it can be particularly difficult for women because they tend to be older when diagnosed, may be widowed or live alone more frequently and feel more socially isolated.”

Stamp’s interest in heart failure and self-care behaviors began when she worked in a cardiac intensive care unit in Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Tampa, Florida, with patients who had bypass surgeries and other cardiac situations. Her research has been motivated by her desire to understand the information that keeps patients well at home and reduces morbidity and mortality rates.

“The fulfillment is being able to work with patients and see that interventions we have implemented based on what we’ve learned in our studies help to keep them well and out of the hospital,” Stamp said.

Stamp has authored numerous articles concerning heart failure, heart health, nurse-led interventions and self-care in older adults in peer-reviewed journals such as Heart & Lung, European Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, Nursing for Women’s Health, Current Heart Failure Reports, Journal of Nursing Care Quality, Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing, International Journal of Nursing Knowledge, Journal of Nursing and Healthcare of Chronic Illness, Journal of Nursing Administration, Patient Education and Counseling and Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality & Outcomes.

Currently, Stamp is President-Elect of the American Association of Heart Failure Nurses, Past President of the Alpha Chi Chapter through Sigma Theta Tau International Nursing Honor Society and a member and Fellow of the American Heart Association. In addition, she serves as a reviewer for the National Institute of Health and numerous peer-reviewed journals. Prior to joining UNCG, she was Associate Professor and Director of the Direct Master’s Entry program at the Connell School of Nursing at Boston College.

Stamp joined UNCG in August of this year. She remarked on the innovative teaching in the UNCG School of Nursing and the supportive, unified team she’s found there and across campus.

“It’s been a refreshing, positive place to be, with a common mission,” Stamp said. “Like that phrase of Dr. Robin Remsburg’s: Teamwork makes the dream work.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Qibin Zhang receives $1.7 million grant for diabetes research

photo of ZhangDr. Qibin Zhang, co-director of UNCG’s Center for Translational Biomedical Research and an associate professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, has received an R01 grant from the National Institutes of Health for a research project seeking novel biomarkers for the diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes. The award is $1.7 million over five years for the project.

Type 1 diabetes, or T1D, is caused by autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. According to the CDC, 30.3 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and approximately 1.5 million of those individuals have type 1 diabetes. Diabetes has an estimated annual cost of $245 billion in healthcare in the U.S. alone.

Since the onset of the disease is marked by a long asymptomatic period, T1D is often not diagnosed until significant damage has already occurred. Zhang’s research on novel biomarkers for T1D will aid efforts to identify individuals at risk and diagnose T1D earlier so that intervention or treatment can begin at an earlier stage. It will also improve understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease.

Dr. Zhang has also received a Collaborative Sciences Award from the American Heart Association in conjunction with scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. That project aims to identify new markers to better predict the progression of coronary artery calcification in the T1D population. Calcification occurs prior to the onset of cardiovascular disease.

Founded by the state in 2008, UNCG’s Center for Translational Biomedical Research is located at the North Carolina Research Campus in Kannapolis. The Center for Translational Biomedical Research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis and progression, biomarkers for diagnosis, and creating novel interventions for preventing and treating disease. The NCRC facilitates public-private partnerships between the corporations, healthcare organizations, and universities housed there. These partnerships are aimed at improving understanding of health, nutrition, and agriculture.

By Hope Voorhees

This article was originally published on the UNCG Research and Engagement website.

Kim Record named chair of NCAA DI Competition Oversight Committee

photo of RecordDirector of Athletics Kim Record has been named chair of the NCAA Division I Competition Oversight Committee. Record began her tenure this summer and her term as chair will run until June, 2019. The committee consists of 19 members: 10 Division I council members, eight non-council members and one SAAC representative.

“It is an honor to serve as chair of the Competition Oversight Committee,” Record said. “Our goal is to be inclusive, responsive and transparent with the membership as we monitor, evaluate and enhance the student-athlete championship experience.”

Record has been an active member in NCAA national committees during her career. In addition to the chair of the Competition Oversight Committee, she is currently a member of the NCAA Division I Council as the representative for the Southern Conference. Also, she has been a member of the NCAA women’s soccer committee and championship cabinet.

The Competition Oversight Committee has oversight responsibility of regular season and championships administration in sports other than football and men’s and women’s basketball, including supervision of qualification and/or selection procedures for Division I and National Collegiate Championships. The committee prioritizes enhancement of the student-athlete’s educational experience (academically and athletically) and, in doing so, promotes student-athletes’ personal growth and leadership development.

The Competition Oversight Committee reviews recommendations from sports committees and processes other issues related to the administration of those championships. The sports committees (other than football and men’s and women’s basketball) report directly to the Competition Oversight Committee.

Record is in her ninth year as director of athletics at UNCG.

She was named one of 28 Under Armour Athletic Director of the Year award recipients at the 2014 National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics Convention in Orlando in the NCAA Division I-AAA category.

Roy Schwartzman works to share Holocaust survivor testimonies

Portrait of Roy SchwartzmanUNCG Professor of Communication Studies Roy Schwartzman is focused on the power of the word and its consequences. A major portion of his research career has been devoted to Holocaust communication, beginning with Fraktur-font Nazi documents but going far beyond the propaganda of the perpetrators.

“If we’re looking for answers, one of the best ways we can learn is through listening to survivors,” said Dr. Schwartzman. “Not just their words, but by looking to their deeds, and not just through a chronological timeline, but by getting a sense of how they emotionally experience inhumanity. They have unique things to say that we have to heed very carefully.”

Through grants from the Alfred and Anita Schnog Family Foundation, Schwartzman and his colleagues have facilitated several UNCG-based education and outreach projects related to Holocaust testimonies.

One of those projects is a campus performance of the world-touring play “Etty,” with Susan Stein. The one-person play brings to life the diaries and  letters of Etty Hillesum, a Dutch Jewish woman who witnessed the Nazi occupation of Holland and was killed at the Auschwitz concentration camp at age 29. The Nov. 8 performance is sponsored by the Communication Studies Department, the Religious Studies Department’s Jewish Studies Program, and the UNCG Holocaust & Genocide Studies Research & Teaching Network.

The AfterWords Project is another UNCG project supported by the Schnog Family Foundation as well as several other grants.

It is a collection of resources focusing on Holocaust survivor testimonies, focusing on life after the Holocaust. This work deals especially with cultural adjustment, reshaping personal identity and re-crafting group identity in the United States. Another resource supported by the Schnog Family Foundation and the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust is the North Carolina Holocaust Education and Outreach (NC HERO) project, which addresses Holocaust and genocide prevention through the sharing of educational resources and research. NC HERO resources are connected to Holocaust education that involves survivors who relocated to North Carolina.

Schwartzman is teaching the “Voices of the Holocaust” course this fall at UNCG, as he has done in the past, but his investment in Holocaust education extends beyond the campus. He has worked with the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching to offer continuing education workshops for K-12 teachers. North Carolina was the first state in United States to require that Holocaust education occur in K-12 schools, and the historic commitment is taken seriously by the North Carolina Council on the Holocaust, and by teachers.

For his UNCG courses Schwartzman often works with the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive (VHA), the world’s largest video testimony of Holocaust survivors, which was founded by Steven Spielberg. The 52,000 video testimonies can reveal different narrations of the same events, showing how events affected people differently. Although it is chiefly focused on the Holocaust, the collection has expanded to include testimonies from survivors of the Cambodian, Rwandan, Nanjing, Guatemalan and Armenian genocides.

“Each testimony is a new angle,” said Schwartzman, explaining that the diversity of recorded experiences allows a researcher to move beyond iconic representations of genocide survivors often seen in popular movies. “It’s the everyday lived experience in all of its facets, how people deal with major life traumas and how they creatively respond.”

Schwartzman negotiated an agreement for UNCG to become one of approximately 50 sites in the world with full access to the Shoah Foundation Institute’s VHA.

At UNCG, Schwartzman creates opportunities not just to experience events, but for students to get involved in projects, engaging in research and creative activity that builds a connection to survivor stories. Several years ago he founded the UNCG Holocaust & Genocide Studies Research & Teaching Network, an interdisciplinary support network for curricular offerings, co-curricular activities and public events at UNCG that deal with the study of genocides

“There are great opportunities here for various groups that have specific concerns with survivors of collective traumas,” he said. “Given the nature of the UNCG community at large, we take our commitment to each other very seriously, as well as our principles, and we can practice vigorous, active listening to voices of people who have faced dangerous powers. If you’re doing that type of work, this is a great place to be.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Tara Green named the Linda Carlisle Excellence Professor

photo of GreenDr. Tara T. Green was recently named the Linda Carlisle Excellence Professor at UNCG. The professorship, which rewards the most promising faculty research agendas, was effective Aug. 1.

The Linda Arnold Carlisle Distinguished Excellence Professorship was established in 2002 by the UNCG Friends of Women’s and Gender Studies for the purpose of enhancing the academic and co-curricular programs of Women and Gender Studies, with the hope that the work will build energy throughout the campus. The four-year professorship comes with an annual research budget to support her research.

Green, who joined the UNCG faculty in 2008, has appointments in African American and African Diaspora Studies, the Department of English, and Women’s and Gender Studies. Excellence Professors are expected to engage with the academic and the surrounding community and Green, whose research focuses on the lives of black women, says her work appeals to multiple audiences.

“I seek to give voice to women who are too often overlooked in historical studies despite their contributions to society,” she said. “Exploring what they experienced both in their intimate lives and their public lives provides a template many can use in formatting their own agendas or in understanding what fuels their success.”

Green received her bachelor’s degree in English from Dillard University in New Orleans and her master’s and a doctorate in English, with an emphasis in African American literature from Louisiana State University. Before coming to UNCG, she taught at universities in Louisiana and Arizona.

Her research interests include African American autobiographies, twentieth-century novels, gender studies, Black southern studies, African literature, and the U.S. Black diaspora. She has published numerous articles and made presentations in these areas of research. Her books From the Plantation to the Prison: African American Confinement Literature, A Fatherless Child: Autobiographical Perspectives of African American Men, which was the winner of the 2011 National Council for Black Studies for Outstanding Publication in Africana Studies, and Presenting Oprah Winfrey, Her Films, and African American Literature, reflect her interests in African American literary and interdisciplinary studies. Her forthcoming book, a comparative study on the relationship between water and death in African diasporic literature, titled Reimagining the Middle Passage: Black Resistance in Literature, Television, and Song is due out in Spring 2018 from Ohio State University Press.

Inspired by her fondness for New Orleans, she is completing a manuscript on Alice Dunbar-Nelson, a writer and activist from New Orleans. In addition to presenting locally and nationally, she has presented her research in England, the Caribbean and Africa.

She has served as past president of the Langston Hughes Society and managing editor of the CLAJ, the journal of the College Language Association. Green enjoys mentoring students and working with community organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and the International Civil Rights Center and Museum. She also served on the inaugural community editorial board of the News & Record.

Andrea Hunter chair of Faculty Senate, as it marks 25th year

photo of Hunter.

When speaking about her new role as chair of the UNCG Faculty Senate, Dr. Andrea Hunter’s enthusiasm and positivity are infectious.     

“I just see so many possibilities for us as a faculty in this moment,” Hunter said.

Hunter succeeds Dr. Anne Wallace and is the second Faculty Senate chair to serve under the revised rules providing for two-year terms for each chair.

Strengthening partnerships, increasing faculty’s commitment to diversity and elevating the senate’s voice and visibility on campus are among Hunter’s ambitions as chair during the Faculty Senate’s 25th anniversary year.

Hunter came to UNCG in Fall 1999 after working as an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She received a bachelor of arts in Psychology and Child Development from Spelman College, and a master of science and PhD in Human Development and Family Studies at Cornell University. At UNCG, she is the associate professor of Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Health and Human Sciences.

She said UNCG was a good fit. She appreciated the emphasis on direct contact, advising and building relationships with students, and the strong commitment to research and creative activity.

In her 17 years at the university, she said she’s seen a ton of growth as UNCG distinguishes itself as a diverse and minority-serving institution with strong teaching excellence, a world-class faculty, and by its engagement in cutting-edge research.

“UNCG has the benefit of a smaller university, a very student-centered mission and a mission to work with a diverse student body, and we also have highly ranked programs and a stellar faculty. We are teacher-scholars, and this is very rewarding,” Hunter said.

Hunter has a long history of service throughout her career. At UNCG, in addition to the faculty senate and other roles in faculty governance, she served on the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusive Excellence and was director of the School of Health and Human Sciences Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

“I’ve always been interested in working in those capacities,” she said. “In my very nature, I’m a team player.”

She added that working at different levels in the university system gives people a richer perspective.

“I think faculty governance really opens that up for you and informs the other work you do, and certainly informs the way you engage with students,” Hunter said.

As Faculty Senate chair, Hunter has a vision for both programmatic and organizational  improvements. She’s interested in continuing the internal self-study started under Wallace and figuring out how to operate as a stronger organization.

“How would we like to see ourselves and what are the structures and processes we need in place?” Hunter said. “Some of that has to do with communication and transparency.”

She said it’s critical to strengthen the ways faculty connect and communicate across units and divisions such as student affairs and academic and business affairs as we develop a shared sense of identity and common fate.

Hunter would also like greater recognition and value of the breadth of the faculty government structure and work.

“It’s really important for Faculty Senate to be engaged and empowered partners where there’s mutual respect across those divisions and we have the opportunity for dialogue and connection,” Hunter said. “A lot of our role is advisory and consultative, but we also make recommendations and review and approve policies in areas central to instruction and student learning, as well as faculty welfare and development. Faculty have an important and unique perspective to bring.”

She said building relationships and mutual trust is key to increasing communication, particularly during a time of change and transformation.

An ongoing part of Hunter’s work is being a part of the institutional effort to move forward student and faculty diversity and success, which is a passion she is eager to bring to the Faculty Senate table.

“As a university, we’ve done really excellent work being able to attract, retain and graduate a diverse student body,” Hunter said. “The chancellor has said that diversity should be part of our DNA. As part of our DNA, the Faculty Senate is one place we can express that because we have the opportunity to live that out, raise issues, make recommendations in light of those issues…I think we can be leaders in that effort.”

Faculty Senate meetings are open to the public, and Hunter encouraged faculty to take advantage of the opportunity to engage at this level.

Meetings are monthly – the first is Sept. 6 at 3 p.m. in the Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House – and the schedule is available on the Faculty Senate website. The senate also holds frequent forums around issues relevant to faculty.

She suggested faculty get to know their senators, ask questions and talk with them about issues. Not only is the Faculty Senate the voice of the faculty, she said, but the liaison between faculty and the administration.

“I’m quite excited about this moment where we are taking giant steps, which I think means a lot of different things for us,” Hunter said. “It’s a good moment to be here, I think, as faculty members, students, staff as well, and a good moment to be chair of the Faculty Senate.”

By Elizabeth L. Harrison

Haskell named Bernard Distinguished Scholar of Jewish Studies

photo of Haskell

Provost Dunn and Dean Kiss have an announcement:

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Ellen D. Haskell has been appointed as the Herman & Zelda Bernard Distinguished Scholar of Jewish Studies. She is an outstanding professor and teacher-scholar in the Department of Religious Studies.

The Herman & Zelda Bernard Distinguished Professorship was established by family and friends in recognition of the Bernards’ contributions to the Jewish community in North Carolina. Zelda Bernard, a native of Danville, Virginia, was employed by the Works Progress Administration and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office until her marriage to Mr. Bernard in 1945. Herman Bernard, a native of High Point, North Carolina, was the founder of Casard Furniture Manufacturing and Bernards Inc., a furniture import business. The Bernards were both active in the affairs of B’nai Israel Synagogue and other important Jewish boards and communities in North Carolina.

As the new Bernard Scholar, Dr. Haskell brings groundbreaking approaches to Jewish Studies in her work on theology, culture, and gender. Her research productivity includes the publication of two monographs in important scholarly presses within four years, well-articulated plans for future scholarship, and most recently, an invited book chapter that will soon be published by Oxford University Press along with contributions from an international group of scholars.

Dr. Haskell’s area of specialty is late 13th-century Jewish mysticism and in particular the highly influential “Book of Splendor (Sefer HaZohar),” the major work of the Spanish Kabbalistic tradition. The Kabbalah is an esoteric school of Jewish thought that teases out the hidden meaning of Jewish scripture. Her scholarship focuses especially on two areas of discourse: gendered religious imagery, and indications of cultural transmission and the relationship between medieval Jews and Christians. In her first monograph, Suckling at My Mother’s Breasts: The Image of a Nursing God in Jewish Mysticism (SUNY, 2012), Dr. Haskell explores the many spiritual and theological meanings that invest the mystical representation of God as a nursing mother.

Dr. Haskell’s recently published second book, “Mystical Resistance: Uncovering the Zohar’s Conversations with Christianity” (Oxford, 2016), initiates a new scholarly direction. In this volume, she transforms our understanding of the Zohar by uncovering within it a range of hidden Jewish arguments against Christian claims. Her groundbreaking reinterpretation of the Zohar uncovers a rich record of the strategies and specific arguments that 13th-century Spanish Jews used to contest Christian power and illuminates Jewish resistance to a persecuting society in innovative ways. In summary, these achievements make clear that Dr. Haskell is a significant figure in her field and that she will continue to be a dynamic and engaged scholar.

We are pleased that Dr. Haskell will be the Herman & Zelda Bernard Distinguished Scholar of Jewish Studies at UNCG.

Dr. Vaughn Stewart is director of Digital ACT Studio

photo of new directorThe Digital ACT Studio welcomes Dr. Vaughn Stewart as the new director for the 2017-18 academic year. Stewart comes to the Studio from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he earned his PhD in 2016 and taught for nine years in the English department. His scholarship has primarily focused on early print in England – examining the ways that the first English printers (like William Caxton) made print books marketable as the field transitioned from manuscript. His interest in book history, however, extends to the present; he’s conducted original research on student attitudes to e-books, using digital books he’s created for his own literature courses.

Stewart has also worked with multimodal composition for much of his career. As part of the Carolina Digital Literacy Initiative Pilot program at UNC Chapel Hill, Vaughn’s students made movies, infographics, podcasts and brochures. He especially likes to see how a certain story or set of information can move through multiple media formats, and how each format changes both the presentation and the interpretation.

For the coming year, Stewart said he looks forward to crafting some new workshops, collaborating across the campus, and hosting lots of consultations.

Copy courtesy of University Libraries.

Spotlight on Green and Noel, new Staff Senate co-chairs

photo of Green and NoelAs the new school year starts up, UNCG’s new Staff Senate co‑chairs, Joshua Green and Staton Noel, aim to be a voice for staff across campus, serving as a communication link between staff and campus administration. They will help also keep staff informed about how decisions at the state‑level impact the campus, and why decisions are made.

Additionally, they plan to find unique ways to communicate to the UNCG staff that they are valued in the day-to-day operations of campus and in its long-term success and innovation.

“I’m a big encourager,” said Green. “I like to encourage staff and say, ‘you’re important – important to student success – you have a vital part in that – and that’s why we’re all here.’”

“I’d like staff to feel they can be empowered through working with us,” added Noel.

Citing former Staff Senate co-chair Robert Walker’s work on campus systems, Noel also plans to encourage innovations.

“This is an opportunity for me to work more closely with staff and see what innovations they’re bringing to the campus,” he said.

Aside from those goals, Green and Noel will continue inviting inspiring campus speakers to the Staff Senate meetings, plan Staff Senate-sponsored opportunities for professional development and support the Staff Senate Service Committee’s projects.

Joshua Green, who is coordinator of technology services for UNCG Police, came to UNCG in 2006 after serving in the U.S. Army for five years as a military police officer. He worked for the UNCG University Registrar’s Office, Academic Affairs and the Dean of Students Office, where he managed IT, student conduct and academic integrity processes. He earned his master’s degree in higher education in 2011, and he is a certified Veterans Service Provider through Operation College Promise.

Green’s favorite phrase? “Appreciate ya!”

Staton Noel is the director of the Office of Innovation Commercialization (OIC), which supports innovation by UNCG faculty, staff and students by protecting intellectual property, negotiating and executing agreements that help facilitate research partnerships, and providing connections to external commercialization partners. After a 20-year career with GlaxoSmithKline, Noel earned his master’s of business administration degree from UNCG and joined OIC in 2011 as a licensing assistant. He served the OIC as a marketing and licensing associate before becoming director.

Noel’s words of wisdom: “The glass is always full, even if one half is air – we need that to breathe.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Building peace with Dr. Tom Matyók, from soldier to professor

photo of Matyok“In my view, the purpose of the military is to build peace. Not war,” says Dr. Tom Matyók, associate professor of peace and conflict studies at UNCG.

Before joining academia, Matyók served 23 years. He was an enlisted soldier, a non-commissioned officer and a commissioned officer. He was with the 24th Infantry Division (Mechanized) during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

His career has been one long peace-making operation.

“Building peace is hard. After a war or military confrontation, moving to reconciliation and past the trauma can take generations.”

There’s one essential component the military has long ignored: religion. Overlooking local religious leaders ­– and local religion – does not make sense, Matyók explains. When armies have left, when nonprofit agencies have moved on, religious leaders remain.

“In many conflicts, the only positive force that remains during and after the fighting is a religious one,” he says.

photo of Matyok at army campAs an academic, Matyók served as senior fellow at the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, U.S. Army War College, from 2014 to 2016. There, he taught graduate courses on religion and violence and conflict studies. Many of his students had already seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A frequent student response: “I wish I had this knowledge before I was deployed.”

Matyók found that the curriculum of military education included almost nothing on religion.

“Very little was being done to prepare these soldiers,” he says. “It’s a gap.”

He has published widely on the topic, and in 2014, he co-edited the book “Peace on Earth: The Role of Religion in Peace and Conflict Studies.”

“We looked around the world for work demonstrating the peace efforts we’re talking about.”

One example was South Sudan and the multiple actors there working to reconcile in the face of violence – each guided by their individual religious beliefs. Another was in Nigeria, where an imam and a pastor set aside their differences to work toward a lasting peace.

“Conflict resolution is a virus,” Matyók explains. “You hope it’ll enter a nation’s body and spread.”

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

Visual: Matyók (left) and General Barry McCaffrey (right) during Operation Desert Storm. (Photo provided by Tom Matyók)

Dr. Heidi Carlone awarded Hooks Professorship

photo of carloneDr. Heidi Carlone will be the first recipient of the Jennifer Smith Hooks ’76 and Jacob T. Hooks Distinguished Professorship in STEM Education.

The professorship, announced in the fall of 2016, is a pivotal component of the School of Education’s vision to provide transformative educational experiences, advance research and innovation, and bridge research and practice.

Carlone is a professor of science education in the Department of Teacher Education and Higher Education. She is a teacher educator and educational researcher who works to make science and engineering pathways more accessible and equitable for historically underserved and underrepresented populations. She studies the potential of innovative science and engineering (STEM) learning settings in promoting STEM identities for K-12 youth who have wide-ranging life experiences, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, and interests.

She publishes and presents her work in national and international venues and has earned nearly $3.8 million dollars in funding from local and national foundations. This summer, she was awarded a National Science Foundation grant of more than $1 million for the project “BRIDGES for socio-environmental good: BRoadening Identities for Diverse Groups Engaging with STEM.” BRIDGES engages diverse middle school youth and their teachers with out-of-school, problem-based learning that demands science, engineering, and computing as tools to address environmental problems.

She has received a number of awards in her academic career including: The UNCG Alumni Teaching Excellence Award, the UNCG School of Education Teaching Award, the Early Career Research Award from the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, the Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation, Sallie Mae First Year Teacher of the Year in Wake County Schools, and North Carolina Teaching Fellow.

“I am honored,” Carlone said. “The Hookses’ generous investment in the UNCG School of Education will allow us to extend and enrich our efforts in STEM research and practice.”

The professorship was established by Jennifer and Jake Hooks. Jennifer Smith Hooks ’76 is a third generation alumna of the School of Education.

Jennifer and Jake Hooks have supported the UNCG School of Education for many years, establishing the Carrie Perkins Davis/Katherine Davis Smith Scholarship in Education in honor of Jennifer’s grandmother and mother. In addition, Jennifer Hooks is a member of the School of Education Advisory Board and the UNCG Alumni Board of Directors.

This copy courtesy School of Education.

Donna Heath is named Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services

In a memo Tuesday afternoon, Chancellor Gilliam made the following announcement:

I am pleased to announce that Donna Heath has been named
Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Services (ITS). Donna has shown extraordinary leadership in the year she has been Interim Vice Chancellor.

During this time, Donna has championed and helped guide the extremely complicated launch of the Banner XE project. She has provided critical leadership to the ITS management team in developing a new five-year Strategic Technology Plan. In addition, she and her team have had numerous noteworthy achievements this year – everything from collaborating with campus partners to create a virtual lab solution, to delivering high-speed networking to the research park’s North Campus.

Donna has cultivated important relationships with internal and external stakeholders on key strategic initiatives that offer opportunities for both UNCG and our community to grow, including the Tri-Gig Broadband initiative, the Connected Communities initiative, and the Smart City Smart Corridor initiative.

Donna has been a leader in Information Technology for more than 25 years. She has been with UNCG for the last 13 years, serving as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Technology Services, Systems and Networks.

Her staff, as well as the broader campus community, have been impressed by her leadership. I can’t think of a better fit for ITS and the university as we continue to take “giant steps.”


Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.

Chelimo wins national championship, heads to World Championships in London

UNCG alumnus Paul Chelimo, a public health major, added another highlight to his career last Friday as he won the U.S. National Outdoor Championship in the 5,000-meter race, dominating the field and qualifying for the World Championships in London in early August. Chelimo has been one of the best runners in the 5,000-meter distance since claiming the silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Chelimo dominated the field Friday to win the men’s 5,000 meters by over seven seconds in a meet-record 13:08.62.

See full story at UNCG Athletics site.

UNCG General Counsel Jerry Blakemore will receive national award

Jerry Blakemore, UNCG’s general counsel, will receive the Distinguished Service Award from the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) on June 25. The award honors individuals who have served NACUA and institutions of higher learning and who have made extraordinary contributions to the work of the association.

“Jerry Blakemore is one of NACUA’s most highly respected and much beloved leaders and members,” said association president Kathleen C. Santora. “The Distinguished Service Award certainly recognizes his outstanding service to NACUA and to the higher education community, but it also recognizes his serving as a model of NACUA’s values — quality, service, civility, collegiality, diversity, inclusiveness and respect.”

Blakemore has over 25 years of experience in higher education administration and policy development. Before coming to UNCG in December of 2016, he was vice president and general counsel to the Office of the General Counsel at Northern Illinois University, where he helped shape policies on a variety of issues relevant to college campuses. Blakemore also mentored law students at NIU.

Prior to his position at NIU, he was the chair of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. He is a graduate of Princeton University and earned his juris doctorate at John Marshall Law School. He was the 1976 recipient of the Princeton University Frederick Douglas Service Award for his community service and believes service is an essential part of education.

At UNCG Blakemore works in many areas of policy development crucial to the safety, diversity and efficiency of the campus. Recently, he facilitated professional development for UNCG Athletics that concerns the exercise of First Amendment rights.

“We’d like to make sure the university is not only in compliance with, but encouraging First Amendment rights,” he said.

He will continue his work with NACUA and the U.S. departments of Justice and Education on Title IX issues and the Violence Against Women Act. He is also chair of the Board Advisory Council on Diversity and Inclusiveness of NACUA, and a member of the Finance Committee.

Blakemore is dedicated to university law, and has found that it fits his desire for collaboration and public service.

“I enjoy working around the table as opposed to across the table,” he said. “I like to sit down and talk about challenges or issues, and look to see how we can work it out.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Vice Chancellor Cherry Callahan announces forthcoming retirement

Dr. Cheryl (Cherry) Callahan will retire as UNCG’s vice chancellor for student affairs effective January 1, 2018.

Vice Chancellor Callahan has been involved in higher education for over 40 years, with a focus on student affairs administration.

She is a “double alumna.” having earned her Ph.D. in Child Development and Family Relations at UNCG, her Master of Arts degree in Counseling from UNC Chapel Hill, and her bachelor’s degree with honors in Sociology from UNCG.

Prior to her tenure here at UNCG, she worked at Delaware State University as Staff Counselor and Director of Orientation. She joined UNCG Student Affairs in 1979 as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor. Ascending the administrative ranks from that role to Assistant Vice Chancellor to Associate Vice Chancellor, she became Interim Vice Chancellor in 2010. The following year, upon the conclusion of a national search, the “interim” title was removed.

What is she most proud of during her time in leadership of Student Affairs? “More recently, it is the establishment of the Veterans Resource Center, which provides support and guidance for our growing veteran population,” she said. “Over time, there are many things including the establishment of our first Office of Disability Services, now the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services, and the Greek Legacy Endowment, which is funded by Greek alumni and funds leadership development for our current fraternity and sorority members.​”

She has taught numerous courses with a particular emphasis on the freshman experience and leadership at Delaware State, Wilmington College and UNCG. Her professional interests include mentoring students and young professionals, managing crises, leadership development, and serving her profession in a variety of ways, most notably the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators which she served as President in 1998-99. She also served as Chair of the NASPA Foundation Board ​from 2012 to 2014.

She has served as a SACS reaffirmation committee member at various institutions since 1996.

She has served on numerous nonprofit boards, volunteered in a variety of roles across the Greensboro community including service as an emergency services volunteer and instructor for the American Red Cross. She is also a past president of the Junior League of Greensboro, which focuses on women’s leadership development and community engagement. She has received recognition and awards both in her professional work and in her community while also presenting dozens of workshops and professional sessions across the country on a variety of topics related to student affairs, leadership development, fundraising, alcohol education and volunteerism.

In a memo, Dr. Dana Dunn, provost and executive vice chancellor, said, ““Cherry,” as she is known to scores of students, staff, and faculty, has provided exceptional commitment and service to UNCG, her alma mater, for the past 38 years. She will be greatly missed by students and colleagues alike.” The provost detailed the impact she has had not only locally, but nationally.

What does Callahan look forward to most when she retires? “Having more time to spend with family and especially my two daughters, who are incredible professionals in their own right.”

A national search for Callahan’s successor will be led by Dr. Alan Boyette, senior vice provost, with support provided by the Isaacson Miller search firm.

Jennifer Koenig chair of Friends of the UNCG Libraries

The Friends of the UNCG Libraries elected new officers for the 2017-18 year.

Jennifer Koenig was elected as Chair of the Friends for the upcoming year. She is an attorney with Shell Bray Attorneys and Counselors at Law in the trusts and estates practice group. She has extensive experience representing charitable organizations and corporate fiduciaries. In addition to representing public charities, Koenig assists clients in creating private foundations and other charitable entities. In her free time, Koenig enjoys spending time with her husband, Dan, and their daughter, Nel. She is on the Business Ethics Award Committee and serves on many volunteer boards in the Greensboro community, including the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro’s Board of Directors, Future Fund Steering Committee and Professional Advisors’ Committee. She received her J.D. and A.B. from The University of North Carolina.

The new Vice-Chair/Chair-Elect is Elizabeth Hudson. She is Editor in Chief at Our State magazine and holds a B.A. degree in English from UNCG.

Newly elected to the Board for three-year terms were Betty J. Brown, Bob Hansen and Glenda Schillinger.

Re-elected for another term were Kate R. Barrett, Carolyn Carter Burgman, Jud Franklin, Bob Gatten, Janet Harper Gordon, Carolyn T. Green, Miriam Herin, Clint Jackson, Terri Blackwood Jackson, Catherine Magid, Leigh Seager, Karl A. Schleunes, Mary Ellen Shiflett, Pat Austin Sevier, Joyce Traver, Hermann J. Trojanowski and Laurie “Lollie” Lake White.

By Hollie Stevenson-Parrish

Anne Wallace honored at Faculty Senate mtg

Dr. Anne Wallace is completing her second term as Faculty Senate chair. She was the first to serve under the  revised rules providing for two-year terms for each chair.
She will be succeeded by Dr. Andrea Hunter, who’ll serve two terms.

Wallace began her term about the same time Chancellor Gilliam began his term as UNCG’s 11th chancellor.

The chancellor surprised her with a special, informal presentation at the end of the academic year’s final meeting, speaking for 10 minutes about her:

Wallace receives a token gift from the chancellor

“She helped show me the ropes in my first year,” he said. “She has deep institutional knowledge, and has been generous in sharing that.”

“She is an advocate for the faculty – she tells me the concerns of faculty, such as during the strategic plan process.”

She also encouraged him in likewise building a strong relationship with Staff Senate,” he added.

Minerva McGonagall” is how Wade Maki described her in a video with lots of campus and senate voices – the chancellor had noted her appreciation for the Harry Potter series.

“If I’m Dumbledore, then she’s Minerva McGonagall,” the chancellor’s lighthearted post-event tweet noted.

Anna Marshall-Baker honored by Interior Design Educators Council

How do the materials around you affect you, and how have they affected those who produced them and the environment?

Dr. Anna Marshall-Baker, professor and chair of the Department of Interior Architecture, can tell you. Her research concerns the interconnectedness between the environment, human health and well-being, economic conditions, and aesthetics.

In March, she received the Arnold P. Friedmann Educator of Distinction Award from the Interior Design Educators Council. IDEC’s most significant award recognized her contributions to interior design education, her leadership, her innovations in the profession and her excellence in teaching.

Marshall-Baker’s work on sustainability in interior design has not just influenced -operations and academics at UNCG, but that for every student who studies with an interior design educator. In previous years, as president of IDEC, Marshall-Baker guided the organization to adopt core values in sustainability, so that all educators incorporated it into their coursework and all interior design students gained a fundamental knowledge of sustainability. Through her research and leadership, Marshall-Baker has put the focus on interior design’s interaction with human health and environmental health.

“We need to understand the effect of informed design decisions, and the designer’s power and responsibility to influence quality of life,” she says. “Whether it’s in a home, in a medical facility or on an assembly line.”

Marshall-Baker’s work examines aspects of design such as indoor air quality and the use of nontoxic materials that support normal human development. She has given particular attention to environmental safety for young children, and a good part of her research and advocacy concerns newborn intensive care units (NICUs).
She is a member of the Consensus Committee on Recommended Standards for NICU Design, which combines the efforts of a variety of experts from all fields in analyzing healthcare environments and seeks to implement evidence-based requirements and best practices in design standards. The committee publishes their findings in the Journal of Perinatology.

Last year, Marshall-Baker co-authored “Creating an Environmentally Sustainable Neonatal Intensive Care Unit,” published in Newborn & Infant Nursing Reviews.

She also works in biophilia, which is the study of our inherent connection to natural conditions. Marshall-Baker can point to statistics on health and productivity that relate to biophilia. For designers, the challenge is to understand features of the natural world that can be designed into space such as colors, shapes, proportional relationships, and textures that are found in nature. Windows in offices, for example, are desirable to fulfill a human need for natural light conditions.

At UNCG Marshall-Baker promoted sustainability on campus when she was Faculty Senate chair and when she was co-chair of the Sustainability Council. In those roles she facilitated connections across campus and interdisciplinary interaction centered around sustainability – and worked closely with Academic Affairs and Business Affairs to find sustainability-based economic savings.

In the UNCG Department of Interior Architecture, Marshall-Baker compiled a materials library, which is a valuable resource for interior design students. Each material in the library has a documented life history, from its creation to disposal, which students can analyze to discover how “green” a material may be. The emphasis is not only on where the material came from, but on the health of the humans who have worked to produce the material, those who live with it while it’s in use and how it affects the environment after it is discarded.
“Through the library, students develop a process for evaluating material, and for making informed decisions,” she explained. “When they join design firms they’ll be able to advocate for sustainable choices.”

For UNCG, Marshall-Baker sees a future interacting with renewables, and entrepreneurship in green energy. She celebrates UNCG’s efforts to recycle water from chillers, and students’ contributions to and guidance of the Green Fund. She also sees opportunity for even more green education on campus, through classes and initiatives, and through asking questions about our progress toward a healthier planet.

“Students learn about sustainability and then influence how it is taught and practiced at UNCG ,” she said.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

For award recipient Terri Shelton, steward leadership is about supporting others’ work

What does it take to make a greater impact?

For Vice Chancellor for Research and Economic Development Terri Shelton, it comes from collaboration, working as a team and supporting many others at UNCG and in the community.

“I’m much more comfortable working behind the scenes,” she says. “I take the concept of steward leadership really seriously – it’s about supporting other people’s work.”

This week, Shelton will receive one of Triad Business Journal’s 2017 Outstanding Women in Business honors. She will be recognized at a luncheon on Thursday, April 27, and in a special publication later in the week.

Shelton is passionate about efforts that translate research into policies, programs and community initiatives and efforts that involve the collaboration of stakeholders. “How can we ask the right questions, how can we develop tools and methodology, how do we correctly analyze our data,” she asks, “if we aren’t partnering with the folks that are using the services?”

As a result of this focus, parents, teachers, police departments, nonprofits, entrepreneurs, youth, policymakers and researchers worldwide are all partners in UNCG efforts to make an impact in Guilford County, our state and beyond.

“We co-create the research with community partners,” Dr. Shelton explains. “It always generates really great questions.”

In addition to supporting the research, scholarship and creative activity of UNCG faculty, staff and students, Shelton guides community and economic engagement efforts on campus, as well as eight interdisciplinary research centers. Every initiative Shelton oversees is a multi-angled project, attacking problems from multiple directions, and always asking the next big question.

“I’m interested in how we address big issues,” says Shelton.

The approach has guided her own extensive work as a researcher, and the work she has supported over more than 20 years as a leader and mentor at UNCG.

As a researcher and a supporter of research, she effects change through evidence-based interventions. It’s not a simple type of research. In examining a problem, the work doesn’t only analyze one aspect of the equation, but many, and the research is meant to be applied.

“I often say UNCG is good at ‘messy’ research,” she says. But she doesn’t mean it’s disorganized.

“Sometimes the best practices you identify under controlled conditions don’t work in the real world,” she explains. “You have to look at the implementation piece. We look at what the research really means in the real world, and how to tweak it within that context. I think that’s where you end up getting better outcomes. That’s what I call the messy work, but it’s also the fun work. … We have a number of researchers on this campus that are really smart about doing that applied, implementation work. It’s one of the nice things about our research and scholarship.”

Shelton is the author of more than 70 publications, including the landmark “Family-Centered Care for Children with Special Health Care Needs.” The report, published 30 years ago, laid the foundation for an initiative by Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to make services family-centered, culturally competent and community-based.

For that initiative, Shelton had the opportunity to interview thousands of families in order to examine the elements of family-centered care. It showed her the importance of respectful communication and acknowledging the expertise of families as the architects of a patient’s health care. As a continuation of that work, Shelton cofounded the nonprofit Institute for Patient and Family-Centered Care in Bethesda, Md. The center is now in its 25th year, and implements its principle across the country and internationally, to produce better health outcomes.

Since she came to UNCG, Shelton’s research projects have brought around $30 million in grant funding, and her policy and program work in Guilford County and across the state is extensive and diverse.

Before becoming vice chancellor, she served for nearly a decade as director of the UNCG Center for Youth, Family, and Community Partnership, where she focused on early childhood issues and getting kids off to the right start. In that role, she was part of a group of passionate advocates who created the nonprofit North Carolina Infant and Young Child Mental Health Association, which brings together scholars and community collaborators to support the social and emotional development of young children.

Shelton has also contributed to a 20-year-long focused deterrence effort with partners across North Carolina. It’s part of a national initiative to reduce violence using evidence-based, collaborative approaches. The project, which has received national recognition, has addressed gun and gang violence, drugs, and, more recently, domestic violence.

In explaining the success of those initiatives, she says, “For me, everything comes down to relationships and partnerships. … I often use the phrase ‘ask better questions, get better answers.’ I think the collaborative process really gets you to that.”

Another program that Shelton has been instrumental in developing is Beyond Academics, now celebrating its tenth year. The program, which is part of a growing national movement, enables young adults with intellectual disabilities to participate in a college experience on UNCG’s campus for four years and to earn a certificate, while moving toward more fulfilling lives. It’s the first and only four-year program of its kind in North Carolina, and one of the largest in the nation.

We’re charting new ground,” she says.

Recently, Shelton volunteered at “Mentoring Monday” on UNCG’s campus. She says she took something away from the mentoring sessions as well. In all cases of good mentorship, she explains, “everybody learns.” Among her own mentors are her parents, who she says taught her to be fearless and to give back.

Shelton’s many projects and initiatives are ongoing, and meant to be sustainable — to have an impact on generation after generation. One thing that keeps her inspired is witnessing the differences, whether it’s encountering a young person she knew through a Head Start program who is now in college, or a Beyond Academics student who is excitedly planning his or her future.

“I’ll hear an individual story, where you can see something was changed, the needle was moved, and it’s extremely powerful,” she says. “But almost immediately as I hear that story, I say, ‘But the work’s not done.’”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Brett Carter leads Dean’s Office in bolstering UNCG’s culture of care

Photo of Dr. Brett Carter. In his office, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students Brett Carter has a wall of thank you notes from students. They’re thanking him for the support they needed to finish a successful semester, or for help in reaching graduation and in completing their college degrees. He’ll likely get another flood of them in May, as his work continues and the Dean of Students Office considers the past year and looks toward the next.

“Our philosophy here in the Dean of Students Office, as well as throughout the rest of the campus, is creating the culture of care,” he said. “So, we look at our successes—what has helped students fulfill their academic and individual goals and graduate and advance. Then we think about the incoming class and about what we can do to enhance that culture of care.”

Carter grew up in a family of nine, and when he became one of only two siblings in his family to go to college, he was struck by the care he experienced on a college campus. After majoring in human relations at High Point University, he thought he’d work for a nonprofit agency, but then he said to a friend, “Man, I don’t ever want to leave college. I want to stay in college.”
The friend told him about how he could get a graduate degree in higher education, so he came to UNCG to earn his Ph.D in higher education administration. As a UNCG staff member, he started in the Department of Housing and Residence Life, as an area director, and then the assistant director. In 2010 he became the dean of students and was named associate vice chancellor in 2016. Sometimes people ask him how he can work at the same place for 21 years.

“I love what I do,” he answers. “I love the UNCG environment, and there are just so many things UNCG has to offer. This is where I want to be.”

Carter envisions the Dean of Students Office as a hub of support, for students who are new to campus or for any students who are seeking support resources. The staff works collaboratively with a number of departments on the first-year experience, university policy, judicial affairs, student safety concerns, student advocacy, academic integrity and crisis management. More than anything, they want to help students locate and navigate support resources on campus.

“We want you to know that here at UNCG, we care. We care about your success. And success can have different definitions.” Carter cites successful moving-in experiences for freshmen, successful first semesters acclimating to the college environment or students successfully managing wellness—all essential for academic success.

The Dean of Students Office manages several unique programs for helping students feel connected to support and resources. One of those is UNCG Cares. It’s a program for faculty and staff that trains them to recognize students in distress and to connect them to support resources for further help. When a faculty or staff member completes the training, they are given a UNCG Cares sticker to place on their office door, to let students know they can come to that office for support. The program has received national recognition and Carter has shared it with other campuses, such as UNC Chapel Hill.

Another program is Dining with the Deans, which the office hosts four or five times each semester. At those events, students are invited to have lunch with the Dean of Students Office, to learn about the office and listen to presentations by speakers from a variety of campus departments. Carter says students leave the lunches knowing more about support resources on campus, and recognizing that the Dean of Students Office is somewhere they can go for help.

Recently, Carter spoke to the Class of 1967 at their 50th reunion celebration (see visual). He spoke about something that is very important to him: students who face temporary homelessness or food insecurity.

“It has always been a dream of mine to provide support for students in an emergency,” he said. “Their ability to access resources may determine whether they can stay in school, and it might be the thing that keeps them in school.”

The Class of 1967 raised approximately $12,000 for the Student Assistance Fund for Emergencies. With that gift, students who experience an emergency that causes them to lose their housing or ability to buy food will have the resources they need to remain enrolled at UNCG. Helping bolster the health and success of the UNCG student population is a collaborative effort, as Carter points out. Many departments and individuals take part.
“One of the things that I really like about UNCG and the culture here is that people genuinely want to help students,” he said. “I love being able to work in an environment where everybody has the same goal in mind—we all want to see our students succeed.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

‘Hidden Figures’ author Margot Lee Shetterly will be Commencement speaker

Photo of Margot Lee Shetterly.Margot Lee Shetterly, best-selling author of the book “Hidden Figures,” will present the commencement address to the university’s 2017 graduating class on Friday, May 12, at the Greensboro Coliseum. “Hidden Figures” was made into a major motion picture nominated for multiple Oscars and Golden Globe awards.

“We are honored to welcome Ms. Shetterly to UNCG as our 2017 Commencement speaker,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “I can’t think of a better person to address our graduating class with a message of excellence and opportunity – that regardless of your background or socioeconomic status, incredible things are possible with hard work and commitment. ‘Hidden Figures’ brings to life UNCG’s values of inclusion, opportunity and excellence. As our 2017 graduating class looks to the future, we are confident that they too, like the real-life heroes portrayed in ‘Hidden Figures,’ will go out into the world and accomplish great things.”

The book and film tell the story of the pioneering female mathematicians, known as “human computers,” who worked at NASA during the space race. “Hidden Figures” has a direct connection to UNCG; alumna Virginia Tucker ’30 was one of five trailblazing women to join the first human computer pool at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory (now Langley Research Center) in 1935. Langley was the main research center for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), the precursor to NASA.

When World War II broke out in 1939, more women were recruited as computers to conduct wind tunnel testing and other critical research for the military. Tucker recruited heavily at institutions across the East Coast, including UNCG (known then as the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina). In fact, UNCG graduated one of the largest cohorts of women who went on to work as human computers.

Commencement speakers at UNCG date back to 1893, with then-Governor Elias Carr addressing the students. Since that time, the university has welcomed ambassadors, governors, authors, university presidents, professors, bishops, ministers and other notable speakers throughout its history.


Brandon Lee, mentored by Wynton Marsalis, now teaches future generations

Photo of Brandon Lee.“There’s something powerful that’s tapped into when people are willing to listen,” said UNCG Jazz Studies professor and trumpet player Brandon Lee.

Lee has known he would be a musician since he was nine years old. He came from a musical family—his father was a band director and everyone played instruments. They tried him on the saxophone at first, and it wasn’t a match.

But as soon as he picked up the trumpet, “That was it,” he said. “They saw me focus like never before.”

Throughout his later childhood and high school years, Lee grew as a performer, and in 1999 he won “best soloist” in the Essential Ellington high school competition hosted by Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City. There he met the world famous Wynton Marsalis, director of the renowned Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

After that, Marsalis kept in touch with Lee. Something big was brewing up at The Juilliard School, one of the world’s leading music schools. A year later, Lee, who was 17, was asked to play a Louis Armstrong tribute with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, along with another classmate and a 14-year-old Trombone Shorty, for  PBS special. (The video is online.)

Right after the performance, Victor Goines, who would become the director of the jazz program at Julliard, said to Lee, “Okay, that was your audition.”

The following year, Lee became part of the inaugural jazz class at Juilliard. Among the many things he learned there: Be excellent immediately. As Lee says, sometimes jazz is “the underdog” in professional music and in music schools, and the first class had to prove themselves in the most competitive music school in the nation. Lee and his classmates worked hard, under Goines’s meticulous direction. They often subbed in for the performers of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, no small honor for musicians in their late teens and early twenties.

Wynton Marsalis continued to be a major mentor for Lee.

“He taught me what he always says, ‘There’s only one way to play.’ You’ve got to bring it, night after night.”
Even after he finished his studies at Juilliard, Lee was still learning from Marsalis. When he began touring with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra as a regular player, he received what the group called “the initiation” from his mentor. Marsalis was the most specific and detailed-focused musician—and teacher—Lee had ever met. The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra was a sort of family for Lee, and he continued to grow as a performer through his work with them.

Currently, Lee plays in several touring jazz groups, making appearances at New York’s Village Vanguard and Birdland. He recently made a tour with pianist Aaron Diehl and his band, playing “Jelly and George,” a program based on an imaginary meeting of Jelly Roll Morton and George Gershwin, who were contemporaries but never actually met. Occasionally, you can catch Lee in Durham at The Shed or Sharp Nine Gallery, or very occasionally in town, at the O. Henry Hotel.

He also writes his own music and produces albums, working with his core group in New York, his UNCG colleagues or with a new group he co-founded, Uptown Jazz Tentet, which released a new album, “There It Is,” in March. The cd release party will be in New York City in July, at Smalls jazz club.

In the UNCG trumpet studio, where he has taught since 2013, Lee aspires to give the same tough training he received to his own students. He expects them to learn their jazz music history, to “listen with a purpose,” as he says, and be influenced by what they hear. From the cd covers posted in his studio, it’s clear Lee wants his students to take in the jazz greats—Miles Davis, Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Parker, Clifford Brown, Sonny Rollins and many others, all of whom Lee cites as influences on his own work.

“They created the musical language we use in jazz today,” Lee explained.

In addition to committing to relentless practice, Lee asks his UNCG students to develop their ideas in music, to take the initiative in selecting their tunes and to do their absolute best every time they play.

Because, he says, echoing his mentor, there’s only one way to play.

Brandon Lee’s mentor, Wynton Marsalis, will speak and perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at UNCG April 20. See next week’s Campus Weekly for a feature on the upcoming performance and campus visit.

By Susan Kirby-Smith
Photography by Martin W. Kane

Tony Phillips honored for work as HUB coordinator of facilities

Photo of Tony Phillips.Tony Phillips, UNCG’s Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB) coordinator of facilities, has been central in fulfilling UNCG’s goal of providing minority-owned businesses equal access and opportunity to participate in the university’s construction program.

His work is part of UNCG’s culture of inclusiveness.

Phillips received the “Agency/Public Owner Advocate Award” from the North Carolina Department of Administration HUB Office, earlier this month at the Annual State Construction Conference.

Machelle Sanders, secretary of NC Department of Administration, and Tony Phillips

Philips became UNCG’s HUB coordinator in 2009. He has shown a clear commitment to meaningful partnerships with HUB contractors, and during the last five years, with his guidance, UNCG’s HUB participation has been higher than 30 percent, far exceeding the state’s recommended goal of 10 percent and UNCG’s own goal of 15 percent.

Phillips has worked closely with UNCG Purchasing and many other departments in contracting with HUB firms. He has promoted HUB projects on the UNCG campus by facilitating collaboration between UNCG, HUB contractors, majority contractors and other surrounding state agencies. He also encouraged UNCG to establish a HUB participation goal for design services under the open ended design services program. He attends many stakeholder meetings with HUB contractors to help identify potential barriers and challenges.

Assoc. VC for Facilities Jorge Quintal with Phillips

Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Jorge Quintal says of Phillips, “Tony’s commitment to providing opportunity for HUB firms to participate in UNCG’s construction program is remarkable. Through the HUB program, local and regional HUB contractors are able to compete for construction work at UNCG and when they are successful in winning a contract, they know that Tony is always available to make sure any issue that may arise during the execution of the contract is resolved. Because of his working experience and knowledge of the construction industry, Tony is very effective in working with construction managers in identifying opportunities for HUB firms in large university projects.”

In reference to his dedication to UNCG’s HUB involvement, Phillips said, “It is my goal each year to continue making significant gains towards building a strong program dedicated to providing minority businesses equal opportunities on UNCG’s campus.”

In 2011, Phillips helped create the UNC System Triad Coalition-Annual Minority Construction and Supplier Outreach Event, a project with Winston-Salem State University and NC A&T University that provides networking opportunities for UNC system schools, HUB contractors and majority contractors. With Philip’s direction, UNCG co-hosted the NC HUB Office Contractors College, an eleven-week program dedicated to increasing the capabilities and capacities of HUB/Minority contractors. Phillips also developed a HUB Coordinator procedures manual for facilitating processes at every stage, from design through construction.

Antonio Wallace, CEO of a local HUB firm, GP Supply Company, praised Phillips by saying, “When I first met UNCG’s HUB Coordinator, Tony Phillips, I immediately sensed his dedication to providing HUB Businesses equal access to the university’s construction and procurement opportunities. After working with him the past three years, I realize that Tony is a tremendous asset, not only to the HUB community, but to everyone. He recognizes the value of relationships and encourages networking and collaboration between the university, HUB contractors and majority contractors. His efforts are consistent and his commitment to the HUB community is unwavering.”

Some text in this piece courtesy the N.C. Department of Administration HUB Office.

Martin Halbert will be dean of UNCG University Libraries

Dr. Martin Halbert has been appointed dean of University Libraries effective July 17, 2017.

Halbert has served as the dean of libraries and associate professor at the University of North Texas since 2009. Halbert also serves as president the board of directors of the Educopia Institute, a growing international alliance of cultural memory organizations that was one of the founding partners of the US National Digital Preservation Program. Prior to this appointment, he served as the director for digital innovations and earlier as the director for digital programs and systems at Emory University Libraries. Previous positions have included appointments at Rice University, a consultant for the IBM Corporation and a programmer for the University of Texas. Early in his career, Halbert was an ALA/USIA Library Fellow stationed in Estonia, assisting with the automation of the Tartu University Library.

He has served as principal investigator for grants and contracts totaling more than $6 million during the past six years, funding more than a dozen large-scale collaborative projects among many educational institutions. His doctoral research and subsequent projects have focused on exploring the future of research library services.

Halbert received his Ph.D from Emory University, an MLIS from the University of Texas and a BA from Rice University.

Updated April 22, noon.


Catherine Ennis will receive highest award from SHAPE America

Photo of Catherine Ennis.This month, Dr. Catherine Ennis, professor of curriculum theory and development in the UNCG’s Department of Kinesiology, will be honored with the Luther Halsey Gulick Medal, which is the highest award given by SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators. A few days prior at the SHAPE America conference, she will give the Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport lecture titled, “Educating Students for a Lifetime of Physical Activity: Enhancing Mindfulness, Motivation and Meaning.”

Ennis’ research focuses on physical education in urban school settings, and seeks to determine what curriculum is most effective in enhancing student learning. She has been principal investigator for National Institutes of Health grants totaling more than $3 million that funded the design and assessment of the elementary school program “Science, PE, & Me!” and the middle school program “Science of Healthful Living.”

Of her experience studying physical education Ennis says, “I have always enjoyed the opportunity to create and apply knowledge to enhance school and student-related learning.”

Throughout her career she’s seen changes in physical education, and says the biggest one has been the shift from curriculum that trains students to play sports, to that which is focused on a variety of physical activities. This curriculum trend results in a better experience for students who are not already skilled in sports.

“It is difficult to have fun in sports and games and to want to participate at all if you are not already skillful,” she says.

Ennis has co-authored or edited three books, “The Curriculum Process in Physical Education,” “Student Learning in Physical Education: Applying Research to Enhance Instruction,” and “The Routledge Handbook of Physical Education Pedagogies.” She has been the pedagogy section editor for Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport and is an editorial board member for Contemporary Educational Psychology. She is also a past-president of the National Academy of Kinesiology. She has published over 80 research articles in refereed education and physical education journals and delivered over 175 presentations to international, national and regional audiences.

She’s been a member of SHAPE for 40 years and also served as president of the SHAPE Research Consortium in 2010. She was also the SHAPE/AAHPERD Alliance Scholar, presenting the Scholar Lecture, “On Their Own: Preparing Students for a Lifetime.”

In 2008, Ennis received the Distinguished Alumni Award  (M.S. ‘77) and in 2013, the Distinguished Senior Researcher Award from the School of Health and Human Sciences at UNCG.  She has received many other awards for her research and service to public schools, and was even inducted into the Lynchburg College Sports Hall of Fame (field hockey and lacrosse) in 1992.


Dr. Saundra Westervelt shines light on the exonerated

“Idaho. I know somebody who was almost executed there.”

UNCG sociology professor Dr. Saundra Westervelt views Lucinda Devlin’s “Omega Suites” photographs in the Weatherspoon Art Museum with an inroad to their significance. She’s a leading researcher on death row exonerees, and she’ll speak about the photographs in a special event in the gallery on March 2.

“Illinois, where they no longer have a death penalty. I have several very close friends who were almost executed here.”

The photographs from Devlin’s most celebrated collection show empty, clean execution chambers, each with a distinct personality. Westervelt has known people who have lived near them for 20 or more years, before they were proven innocent and released from death row.

“Oh, Yellow Mama, in Alabama,” she says, pausing in front of the photograph of the chair, which was intentionally painted a commanding bright yellow. “This particular chair, in the circles of people who study the death penalty, is famous.”
Westervelt and her colleague Dr. Kim Cook (UNCW) compile the stories of innocent people who have been convicted of capital crimes, incarcerated on death row and later released because of their factual innocence. Together, they have interviewed many exonerees and written extensively about the challenges they face in “Life after Death Row: Exonerees’ Search for Identity and Community,” published by Rutgers University Press. Westervelt is also co-editor of a collection of essays, “Wrongly Convicted: Perspectives on Failed Justice” and an edition of the Albany Law Review dedicated specifically to the aftermath issues experienced by exonerated death row survivors. Before she began her research, little was known about the lives of exonerees after prison, and few resources were available to them.

Through her research, she knew Walter McMillan, one subject of “Just Mercy,” an award-winning memoir by attorney Bryan Stevenson. Recently, Westervelt has led discussions on Stevenson’s work at a Friends of the UNCG Libraries event and at Scuppernong Books.

“He was put on death row before he was even convicted,” she shares about Walter McMillan, who lived in close proximity to Yellow Mama for six years, and expected to end his life there, she says.

Westervelt also counts among her close friends Kirk Bloodsworth, the first death row DNA exoneree in the entire United States. Following his exoneration, Bloodsworth worked with Congress to pass the Innocence Protection Act of 2003, and established the Kirk Bloodsworth Post-conviction DNA Testing Program, to protect other innocent people.

“Innocence is a very powerful thing,” Westervelt says, explaining that a high number of death row exonerees has led to the banning of the death penalty in some states, such as Illinois.

“Virginia. I’ve known a lot of people who were almost executed in that chair.”

In all the photographs of the immaculately clean execution chambers, Westervelt notices Devlin revealing “the attempt to sanitize it.” But the many exonerees Westervelt has interviewed would say it’s not possible.

“If you’re looking for a sanitized, painless way to kill people, you’re not going to succeed. On death row there’s this pervasive atmosphere of death, because everybody there is waiting to be killed. It’s a place of despair.”

Westervelt is vice chair of the board of Witness to Innocence, the only national organization whose members are solely death row exonerees, and she will attend the annual conference in April. She explains that the “Innocence Movement” took shape in the late nineties and early 2000s.

“The more that those cases became public, it made people think twice.” As public awareness increased, the United States’ use of the death penalty began to decline, after the height of its use in the late 1990s. Currently, 31 states have a death row, including most of those shown in Devlin’s photographs.

“So that’s death watch. Final holding cell. That’s Baltimore. That’s Raleigh.”

Westervelt is now gathering data on North Carolina exonerees, studying reparations, compensations and lawsuits. She also is working with a sociology graduate student, Tiffany Merritt, to gather information on the reparations received by all 157 death row exonerees in the U.S. One thing she has found that exonerees rarely get: an apology.

“That’s what they say they really want more than anything.”

She says that the people she knows who were exonerated from death rows are very lucky, and adds, “To think that there aren’t more people who are innocent who will be executed is just wishful thinking. They just aren’t lucky.”

Westervelt will speak on Devlin’s “Omega Suites: The Architecture of Capital Punishment” this Thursday, March 2, at 6 p.m. in the Bob & Lissa Shelley McDowell Gallery at the Weatherspoon Art Museum.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Former POW Porter Halyburton will give HHS lecture

Retired Navy Commander Porter Halyburton, whose inspiring story of war and friendship was told in the book “Two Souls Indivisible,” will visit UNCG on Monday, Feb. 20, to share his experience as a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

The event will begin at 4 p.m. in EUC Auditorium.

The lecture, titled “Honor Under Pressure: Reflections of a Former POW in North Vietnam,” is part of HHS’s Ethel Martus Lawther Lecture Series and the War & Peace Imagined event series.

The event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the Oakland Avenue Parking Deck on campus. A reception will follow.

Commander Porter Halyburton was commissioned in 1964 and flew combat missions in Southeast Asia from the aircraft carrier USS Independence beginning in 1965. In his 75th combat mission, Halyburton was forced to eject and was captured by the North Vietnam military. He spent 2,675 days in captivity, and was released during Operation Homecoming on February 12, 1973. He received the Prisoner of War Medal, the Legion of Merit award for exceptional meritorious conduct and the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action.
Halyburton remained with the Navy until his retirement in 1984, serving with the Navy ROTC at Georgia Tech and then at the Naval War College where he taught strategy and policy, international relations, leadership and ethics, and the military code of conduct.

For more information, contact hhsevents@uncg.edu.

To learn more about UNCG’s School of Health and Human Sciences, visit uncg.edu/hhs.

Dr. Sat Gupta’s landmark work in survey sampling

A fall 2016 Research Magazine article

Fifteen years ago, Professor Sat Gupta brought up his favorite subject, RRT survey sampling, in his introductory statistics class. RRT, or Randomized Response Technique, is a practical approach to a common dilemma in survey sampling — the possibility that a respondent might lie.

“A face-to-face survey may lead to serious social desirability response bias,” explained Gupta. “It’s the tendency in respondents to give socially acceptable responses rather than true responses.”

RRT reduces that tendency in survey participants by allowing them to scramble their responses and maintain their privacy. This is particularly helpful, Gupta told the class, with embarrassing survey questions, like “Have you ever had an abortion?”

Suddenly, a student stood up and asked, “What makes you think that a woman would be ashamed of having an abortion?” Gupta was taken aback — and then inspired.

He realized that researchers had been limiting themselves with RRT by making assumptions about what participants would and would not find sensitive. What researchers needed was an optional RRT model.

A new model

In a commonly used RRT model, a researcher might have a participant draw a card from a deck. Some of the cards display the number 0, some display 1, some -1, and so on. The participant is instructed to add the number on the card to their answer to a question — for example, “How many sexual partners have you had?” The participant is able to respond without fear of judgment because the researcher doesn’t know what is on the card they have drawn and has no way to unscramble their individual answer.

However, the researcher does know what cards are in the deck — both the type of cards and how many. So he knows the probability that a participant is adding 1 to their answer, or -1, etc. Using that probability information, the aggregate answers provided by the survey participants, and sophisticated statistical modeling, the researcher can estimate the surveyed group’s average answer to the question of interest.

In Gupta’s Optional RRT model, the participant has an additional choice if they don’t find the research question embarrassing. They can draw the card, ignore its contents, and provide a straightforward answer to the researcher’s question. The researcher will not know that particular participant provided an unscrambled response. However, the pool of survey answers now contains unscrambled responses as well as scrambled responses, which, with the correct modeling, allows the researcher to estimate the average response to the research question with greater accuracy.

Seminal work

Gupta’s 2002 publication on Optional RRT became a landmark paper in the field.

“We proved that optional models are more efficient than their non-optional counterparts,” explains Gupta. “This idea has become very popular and a lot of papers have been written based on this idea.” In fact, the paper has been cited more than 100 times.

With more than 25 papers on this topic, Gupta has continued to refine the Optional RRT model. His recent work centers on unifying Optional RRT with the use of auxiliary variables. In the latest model, researchers collect sensitive information from participants using Optional RRT, but they also gather secondary, non-sensitive information. The trick? The secondary information — for example, responses to “How many relationships have you had?” — is statistically correlated with the primary, sensitive question.

Each evolution of the model brings researchers greater accuracy. Gupta’s impact is felt not just in his field but in every field using survey sampling as a tool.

“Survey Says,” by Anna Warner and Sangeetha Shivaji, originally appeared in the fall 2016 Research Magazine

Bob Wineburg examines increasing role of churches as ‘houses of service’

According to UNCG’s Dr. Bob Wineburg, there’s a gap between perceived religious life in America and the reality of religious life in America.

There’s what he calls the “religious industry,” which is focused on high-profile issues such as abortion and religious freedom. And then there are the millions of acts by congregations – the coat drives and the warm meals – that greatly contribute to public life with little fanfare.

It’s these acts that have fascinated Wineburg for decades.

Since the 1980s, Wineburg, a professor in the Department of Social Work, has partnered with religious communities to study their role as “houses of service.” Now, he’s compiling all of the scholarship in the field as editor of “Religion, Welfare and Social Service Provision: Common Ground,” a special edition of the international academic journal Religions.

This special edition features articles from top community-engaged scholars in the United States and Australia. UNCG’s Dr. Jay Poole, Dr. John Rife, Dr. Daniel Rhodes and Fran Pearson contributed to the edition, along with professors from Duke University, University of Pennsylvania and Bucknell University, among others. Their findings are the result of years of developing deep relationships with congregations and faith leaders.

Why is this research important? Wineburg explains that contractual relationships with religious congregations providing public service date back to the beginning of the nation, when Quakers transformed their poorhouses into hospitals and contracted with the Continental Army to serve wounded veterans.

“Religious communities and their contributions to the collective are the least understood part of our voluntary tradition in the United States,” he said.

The special edition provides a better understanding of the partnerships between religious communities, government and nonprofit organizations and what makes them successful. Ultimately, Wineburg plans to assemble the articles into a volume that will help shape best practices and guide younger scholars in the field.

“There’s a whole generation of engaged scholars out there who want to solve real-world issues,” he said. “This is an opportunity to put all of the work that’s been done in the field in one spot.”

By Alyssa Bedrosian


Nancy Doll represents UNCG in Nanjing

Nancy Doll, director of UNCG’s Weatherspoon Art Museum, traveled to Nanjing, China, this past fall as the only American to present at the first International Forum of Cultural Inheritance and Innovation.

Doll was invited to the conference because of her vast experience in curating and preserving modern and contemporary art, and also because of a visit that twenty-eight delegates from the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) paid to UNCG in 2012. The representatives of seven Chinese provinces had traveled to the United States specifically to see how the arts are developed, promoted and taught. During their three days at UNCG, they visited the Weatherspoon, receiving an introduction to it from Doll and her colleagues.

The October conference in Nanjing, organized in-part by Nanjing University, UNESCO and the CPAFFC, featured a mixture of scholars and cultural officials from all over the world, presenting on a variety of topics concerning the preservation of cultural heritage. For her presentation, Doll described the Weatherspoon and spoke about the challenges of collecting and preserving contemporary art. Her topic, she said, was of particular interest to scholars from China and other cultures traditionally focused on preserving centuries-old historical artifacts rather than contemporary work.

The International Forum of Cultural Inheritance and Innovation was highly international, and Doll remarked on the particular novelty of having simultaneous translations of many languages were available through headphones. Conference participants were given cultural tours of the Nanjing area, including the Nanjing Museum, which Doll described as impressive, particularly in its display practices. Doll also traveled to Shanghai to view the city, which she found visually, technologically and culturally inspiring.

“I think it altered my perspective, to be in touch with this extremely ancient, extremely enormous culture,” she said.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Dan Hendrickson’s vision for campus health

For Dr. Dan Hendrickson, UNCG’s new medical director of Student Health Services, college campus health is his ultimate calling. As a parent of three college athletes, and a physician who’s spent most of his career serving a student population, he knows the student is not a number.

One new thing Hendrickson is bringing to UNCG’s student health center operations is the Student Health Advisory Committee, a group of eight to ten students who will help assess UNCG’s health services.

He is also looking forward to collaborating with the new Kaplan Center for Wellness, the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services and other campus health resources.

In 2015, UNCG was chosen by Active Minds as one of five campuses in the nation distinguished in prioritizing health and in creating a healthy college community, and Hendrickson is pleased to build on that accomplishment. His vision for a campus health center focuses on understanding day-to-day life on a campus, offering integrated services to each individual student. He says there is no one size fits all for managing the health of a campus community.

Before coming to UNCG, Hendrickson spent 18 years as director of medical services and head team physician for the University of Michigan Athletic Department, and was a staff physician at their University Health Services. Before that, he was an assistant professor of clinical medicine at the Penn State University College of Medicine and an attending physician in the Department of Medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital. He has covered many championship events and Bowl games with Michigan Athletics, as well as the New York City Marathon, and has served as a volunteer at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid.

With “education in his blood,” as he says, Dr. Hendrickson takes it as his mission not only to provide accessible and high quality health services to all students, but also to teach them about their health care options.

“We have the ability to work with a multidisciplinary approach, because there’s so much here,” he says.

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Growing green shoots: Keith Debbage and ‘entrepreneurial ecosystems’

120716spotlight_debbageDr. Keith Debbage is on a new track. He’s been writing the State of the City Report for the Greensboro Partnership for twelve years, and in the past year, he has moved into research concerning the geography of entrepreneurship by metropolitan areas, a subject he describes as “a key part of our future.”

Debbage is a professor of urban development in the Department of Geography and Veteran Coleman Entrepreneurship Fellow in the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics. This fall he attended the World Bank/George Washington University Annual Entrepreneurship Conference in Washington DC, presenting a paper titled “Geographies of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems: Non-Farm Proprietorship Employment by U.S. Metropolitan Area.” He finds his new research and teaching interests well-suited to a city like Greensboro, experiencing significant changes and development in recent years, especially regarding the ongoing evolution of its own entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Following his submission of this year’s State of the City analysis, his op-ed in the News & Record reported on Greensboro’s “fledgling recovery,” citing major developments in downtown, the desirability of a growing Greensboro as a place to live, and a low high school dropout rate. Debbage and his colleagues have studied comparable developing cities, such as Greenville, S.C., and Chattanooga, Tenn.

Debbage says of Greensboro, “There’s one big thing that makes us truly unique. A substantial amount of the really cool change in this city is not from the private sector, and it’s not from the public sector. It’s from the non-profits.” He points to the public art downtown, the urban greenway, Center City Park, and the Grasshoppers’ new stadium, noting that the Bryan Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro and other  non-profits have spurred a great deal of Greensboro’s recent development.

In his teaching, Debbage strives to expose students to a blend of traditional research and applied research, or experience with real world projects. Students he’s worked with often go on to become Triad city planning directors or policy analysts in the U.S. Census Bureau, most likely because of their applied geography experience.

Debbage praises private entrepreneurs, some of them UNCG graduates, who are developing South Elm Street. As well, he praises Greensboro’s grassroots entrepreneurial startups and the “green shoots phenomenon” – young graduates inventing their own projects and, subsequently, careers.

He said, “To me, it’s an exciting time. Greensboro seems to be reinventing itself, moving away from declining traditional industry, and gradually developing new ways of doing business.”

By Susan Kirby-Smith

Michelle Lamb Moone will be associate vice chancellor for human resources

Photo of Michelle Lamb Moone.Vice Chancellor Charlie Maimone announces the appointment of UNCG’s new leader of human resources:

Michelle Lamb Moone has been named as the new associate vice chancellor for human resources at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Moone has over 25 years of human resources experience.

Moone received a bachelor of science degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Maryland and a master of science degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University. Most recently, she held leadership positions at Howard University in Washington, DC, including senior director for talent management; director of compensation for performance management and HRIS; and director of organization development and change management.

Moone is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and a member of several professional organizations, including the College and University Professional Association of Human Resources, Society for Human Resources Management and Organization Development Network.

Moone will assume her leadership role on December 12, 2016. She replaces Deb Carley, who has served as the interim associate vice chancellor for human resources since spring 2015.

I would like to extend a sincere thank you to Terri Shelton, chair, and members of the search committee; and faculty and staff, who participated in this very important search.

Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Michelle Lamb Moone as associate vice chancellor for human resources. We are excited about her addition to the UNCG campus community.