UNC Charlotte Magazine, Q2 2013
The cover story on Big Data refers to the University’s major initiative to help Charlotte become a leader in data science and business analytics. That kind of expertise draws high paying jobs that are in big demand. This edition also brings you a profile of legendary professor emeritus Loy Witherspoon, a feature article on UNC Charlotte’s waste reduction and recycling efforts, and much more.
UNC Charlotte The magazine of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte for Alumni and Friends â€˘ v20 q2 â€˘ 2013 BIG Data Becoming a hub for data science, business analytics UNC CHARLOTTE | c h a n ce l l o r ’s l e tte r Alumni Support is Surging; Thank You Leading up to the Charlotte 49ers' Green-White scrimmage on April 20, I heard varying estimates on how many people might attend and tailgate. I heard estimates of 5,000-7,000, and then as the game approached, estimates climbed to the lofty figure of 10,000-plus. As many of you know, 13,950 Niners packed McColl-Richardson Field on this historic day. Our students made a great showing, and UNC Charlotte alumni turned out in droves, too. Our Alumni Association tent was jampacked, and hundreds more partied all across campus. UNC Charlotte graduates came from as far as Houston to celebrate their alma mater. They hugged, and they high-fived. They cheered like mad, and even some shed a few tears as the 49ers won; we could not have hoped for more! Football was an emotional tug drawing many alums back to campus, but there is other evidence of the strong level of alumni goodwill and support. As many of you know, during the last year, I’ve conducted daylong visits to counties within our service region. Accompanied by staff, coaches, faculty members and even students, I have visited Cleveland, Gaston, Lincoln, Rowan and Union counties. Each visit concluded with a high-spirited reception with alums. The turnout has been sensational and is growing. Recent visits to Lincoln (see page 9) and Union counties were bursting at the seams — results that provide hope that such support can be transformed beyond goodwill into efforts that benefit the University through political action, gifts and participation on campus and in the community. In events sponsored by our Alumni Association, we’ve seen very positive participation. At Harris Alumni Center at Johnson Glen, we hosted more than 160 events and meetings that drew more than 6,600 alumni and friends. More than 500 people attended the Spring Tailgate activities, and the Alumni Association hosted successful events at Childress Vineyards; in Cabarrus, Lincoln and Rowan counties; and in Atlanta, New York, Raleigh and Washington, D.C. UNC Charlotte always has been blessed with great leaders among our alumni but never quite so many at one time. Pacesetters in their professions, alumni leaders Bob Hull, Gene Johnson, Dhiaa Jamil, Karen Popp, Joe Price and Michael Wilson all served on the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees this year. Gene Johnson, our first alumnus to chair our Board of Trustees, will complete his service as chair on June 30 and will be succeeded by Karen Popp — our first back-to-back alumni chairs. Many more alums are serving on volunteer advisory boards that are crucial to optimum management of the University’s boards and foundations. On the Board of the UNC Charlotte Foundation, as of July 1, 22 of the 36 current members will be alumni; that’s a fantastic representation, especially considering that in 2005 — my first year as chancellor — the Foundation board had only a handful of alumni members. Beyond campus, our alums have achieved great success in elected office. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest and Congressman Richard Hudson have gone where no alums have gone before. Alumni Dean Arp, Bill Brawley, Tricia Cotham, Mike Hager, Kelly Hastings, Gene McLaurin, Deb McManus, Bob Rucho and Jason Saine are all serving in the North Carolina General Assembly. We’ve never had so many capable alums holding statewide or national elective office. All this engagement translates into new plateaus of financial giving by alumni. The fiscal year that closes June 30 has seen an alltime high of new gifts by alumni; this is very encouraging and much appreciated. Greater alumni support and participation validate the widely held perception that UNC Charlotte is “maturing” as an institution, providing an ever higher quality and value of education, and asserting itself like never before in the community. It suggests that concerted publicity and promotion of the University has gained traction. And best of all, it suggests that UNC Charlotte is a special place among alumni. As I move into my ninth year as the fourth chancellor of UNC Charlotte, this overwhelming response from alumni is gratifying. It provides a certain confidence and it is cause for appreciation. On behalf of a grateful UNC Charlotte, thank you! Cordially, "Greater alumni support and participation validate the widely held perception that UNC Charlotte is 'maturing' as an institution." Philip L. Dubois Chancellor contents | UNC CHARLOTTE 14 10 22 departments FEATURES 3 18 News Briefs 49ers Notebook 10 Big Data, Big Opportunity Through its Data Science and Business Analytics initiative — also known as Big Data — UNC Charlotte seeks to make Charlotte a hub of innovation and talent. A lectures series, residence hall and scholarship at UNC Charlotte bear the name of Loy Witherspoon. His dedication and contributions helped define the campus culture and make the University what it is today. 20 Center Stage 32 Class Notes 34 Giving 36 Building Blocks 37 Perspective 14 ‘Who is Loy Witherspoon?’ 22 Even Higher Education Four UNC Charlotte graduate students share an inside perspective about the nuances and idiosyncrasies that make graduate life interesting, fulfilling and memorable. stake your claim profiles 28 T he Muralist One UNC Charlotte student is staking his claim all over the city of Charlotte with his creative and passionate art as well as his use of unconventional canvases. 30 nline Community O A UNC Charlotte graduate student examines the integrity and cultural exchange present in Internet interactions, using his own experiences as inspiration. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 1 26 Zeroing In A grassroots effort that began in the 1990s has grown into a myriad of recycling and waste-management programs led by the University, with the new football stadium serving as a highly visible benchmark. On the Cover: The amount of data generated each day is unprecedented. UNC Charlotte is anticipating this new frontier for innovation, competition and productivity with the Data Science and Business Analytics Initiative. www.UNCC.edu U N C C H A RLOT T E | e d i to r ’s d e s k Happy Faces In contemplating what I might write for this space, I pored over the first set of page proofs for this edition. Literally, I had the 40 pages of this edition laid out on my office floor (all who entered needed to tip-toe to keep from stomping the sheets). After pondering different ideas for awhile I began to notice a distinct pattern among the pages: happy faces. Granted, for most of us, work is more than an unbroken series of happy times; editing a magazine is no different. Nor are the “stories” growing out of a teeming public research university always bright and cheery. Nonetheless, as you enjoy this edition, notice all the happy faces. Examples: a dean and provost celebrating the closing of the latest chapter in a stellar career; a chancellor, professor and alumnus enjoying each other’s company at a manufacturing plant visit; ecstatic 49ers football fans at the Green-White game; Miss Bonnie Cone and another campus legend in bygone days; a muralist amid his art; a scholar engulfed in a group of joyous Japanese children; a proud donor surrounded by beneficiaries; an enthusiastic student decked in UNC Charlotte gear. You might expect to see happy faces peppering a “promotional” magazine. Fair enough. But also consider this: these happy faces depict an important truth about UNC Charlotte. This University “does good.” It makes our city, region, state and world a better place; I believe that. So, add mine to the palette of happy faces. Regards The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Volume 20, Number 2 Philip L. Dubois Chancellor Niles Sorensen Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Stephen Ward Executive Director of University Communication Editor Director of Public Relations John D. Bland Associate Editor Susan Shackelford Contributing Writers Phillip Brown Clark Curtis Jared Moon Melba Newsome Lynn Roberson Shelly Theriault Sasha Trosch Meg Whalen Tom Whitestone Staff Photographer Wade Bruton Design & Production SPARK Publications John D. Bland, Editor Director of Public Relations UNC Charlotte is published four times a year by The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001 ISSN 10771913 Editorial offices: 202 Foundation Building The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223 704.687.7214 The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is open to people of all races and is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability. Printed on recycled paper 17,500 copies of this publication were printed at a cost of $.54 per piece, for a total cost of $9,375. 2 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 www.UNCC.edu Legacy ‘Impressive ’ n ew s b r i e f s | UNC CHARLOTTE Mary Lynne Calhoun retires, McIntyre is successor After 30 years of service to In announcing McIntyre’s UNC Charlotte, Mary Lynne selection, Provost Joan Lorden Calhoun is retiring at the end of said, “Ellen’s wealth of experience June from her post as dean of the as a scholar, administrator and College of Education. advocate for education will “Mary Lynne is known for continue the tradition of strong her dedication to her department leadership within the college.” chairs and faculty, particularly in About coming to UNC working hard to provide them as Charlotte, McIntyre said she is many resources as she can — and enthusiastic about the College in providing them a collegial of Education’s emphasis on environment that supports their diversity. She also stressed a work; she has built an impressive desire to “educate for the future” legacy that will be remembered for a by saying, “We must base long time at UNC Charlotte,” said our practices on the research Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. literature currently illustrating Under her leadership as dean, how people (children and adults) “Professional educators transforming are learning differently through lives” became the conceptual new technologies that did not framework of education programs, exist even a decade ago.” with an equal emphasis on teaching Prior to her July 2012 and research. appointment as interim The College of Education enrolls associate dean of academic more than 3,000 undergraduate and affairs, McIntyre spent five graduate students in professional and a half years as a leader education programs. UNC and administrator in N.C. Charlotte has become the secondRetiring dean of the College of Education Mary Lynne Calhoun (left) receives State’s College of Education, a gift from Provost Joan Lorden at a reception celebrating Calhoun’s 30 largest producer of new teachers in where she was influential in years of service to the University and the education community. North Carolina, recommending securing external funding and in Most recently, as the college celebrated its more than 600 new teachers for the state developing new degree programs. 40th anniversary, Calhoun helped dedicate the licensure each year. Before N.C. State, McIntyre was a Cato Teaching Discovery Mural that honors Calhoun joined the University as an assistant professor in the College of Education and great educators and will serve as a teaching tool professor of special education in 1982. Following Human Development at the University of for the campus and the greater community (see her appointment as dean of the college in 1999, Louisville. As a scholar, her research agenda Calhoun oversaw expansion of graduate education page 5). During a reception in Calhoun’s honor focused on instruction for populations of on April 9, Dubois announced that the atrium by adding doctoral degrees in counseling, students with a history of high failure rates in of the College of Education would be named curriculum and instruction and special education, U.S. schools. She was appointed University for Calhoun in recognition of her service to and master’s degrees in teacher education and Scholar at the University of Louisville in the University. teaching English as a Second Language, advanced recognition of her research productivity and Her successor, Ellen degrees that doubled graduate enrollment during ability to obtain external funding. McIntyre, who is her tenure. McIntyre earned a Doctor of Education currently the interim Also under Calhoun’s leadership, the College in Language and Literacy Education from associate dean of of Education received glowing reviews from the the University of Cincinnati in 1990. academic affairs at N.C. National Council for Accreditation of Teacher She received a Master of Arts in Reading State University, will Education and the N.C. Department of Public Education and a Bachelor of Arts in start working July 1 at Instruction, serving as a national model for Elementary Education from Northern institutional organization and expectations. her new post. Kentucky University. Ellen McIntyre www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 3 UNC CHARLOTTE | news briefs HEARST GRANT SUPPORTS DIVERSITY The William Randolph Hearst Foundations recently awarded the School of Nursing in the College of Health and Human Services a $100,000 grant to support diverse and minority graduate students enrolled in its Master of Science in Nursing and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs. While approximately 31 percent of North Carolina’s population consists of racial minority groups, only 11.9 percent of state-registered nurses represent ethnic minorities. With the scholarship support provided by the Hearst Foundations, the nursing school can recruit and retain students from underrepresented minority groups and increase the diversity of nurses who deliver advanced nursing care. The grant builds on the success of the William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship Fund, established in 2005. The School of Nursing will award the scholarship each year to students enrolled in graduate nursing programs. The school recently announced the approval of its new Doctor of Nursing Practice program, a partnership with Western Carolina University, slated to begin in fall 2013. SCIENCE FESTIVAL DRAW CROWDS The UNC Charlotte Science & Technology Expo was held April 21 on the Student Union Mall. In its second year as the closing expo event in the statewide North Carolina Science Festival, the free public exposition featured dozens of hands-on science and technology activities and educational presentations, with something of interest for every member of the family. UNC Charlotte decided to extend its festival participation in 2013 with events throughout the entire festival period. This extension included five public science and technology lectures, aimed at presenting GREENSBORO FIRM WINS VENTURE CHALLENGE Bio-Adhesive Alliance of Greensboro topped the field of 19 finalists to win the $25,000 grand prize of the Charlotte Venture Challenge. The company, a spin-out from N.C. A&T University, has developed technology to produce liquid asphalt from pig manure. “This technology provides a sustainable and cost-effective solution to swine-manure treatment while reducing pavement construction and maintenance cost,” said company officials. Charlotte Venture Challenge category winners eligible for $10,000 awards were New Energy and High Tech: Bio-Adhesive Alliance (Greensboro); IT: Robocent (Norfolk, Va.); Consumer Products and Services: Greenbug (Beaufort, S.C.); and Life Science and Biotech: WeRx.org (Charlotte). The undergraduate student category winner was NoireNaturals from UNC Charlotte, which also won the J. Chris Murphy Award. The graduate student category winner was ProVazo from the University of Virginia. The Charlotte Venture Challenge, organized by the University’s Charlotte Research Institute and Ventureprise, is a business innovation competition that attracts entrepreneurs from throughout the Southeast. 4 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 a variety of interesting scientific topics accessible to a general audience. California Institute of Technology physicist Sean Carroll, the acclaimed author of several popular books on modern physics and cosmology, highlighted the lecture series with a free public talk. Carroll spoke on “The Particle at the End of the Universe.” Other talks in the series were by UNC Charlotte faculty — chemistry professor Daniel Rabiovich; Director of the Complex Systems Institute and software systems professor Mirsad Hadzikadic; optical science professor Greg Gbur and Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Bioinformatics and Genomics Daniel Janies. The North Carolina Science Festival expo event at UNC Charlotte attracted all ages interested in scientific demonstrations and exhibits. www.UNCC.edu n ew s b r i e f s | UNC CHARLOTTE WILHELM NAMED TO SCIENCE BOARD Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed Robert Wilhelm, vice chancellor for economic and research development, to the N.C. Board of Science and Technology. Wilhelm joined UNC Charlotte in 1993 as a faculty member to work on the creation of doctoral programs, and he contributed to the formation of programs in biotechnology, information technology, mechanical engineering, nanoscale science and physics and optical science. In 2005, he was named executive director of the Charlotte Research Institute, the University’s portal for business/university science and technology partnerships. Named to his current position in 2011, Wilhelm holds an appointment as professor of mechanical engineering and engineering science in the Lee College of Engineering. One of the sculptural carvings in the Cato Teaching Discovery Mural depicts UNC Charlotte founder Bonnie Cone. CATO MURAL HONORS EDUCATORS University leaders formally dedicated the Cato Teaching Discovery Mural during a special ceremony April 22. Located beside the College of Education, this mural depicts important events in Charlotte and North Carolina history and culture on eight panels that rise eight feet in height. It also recognizes outstanding educators and will serve as a learning tool for teachers, students and the public who visit the University campus. “The mural is the centerpiece for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the establishment of the College of Education at Robert Wilhelm UNC Charlotte, originally established as the College of Human Development and Learning in 1970-71,” said College of Education Dean Mary Lynne Calhoun. Built with a generous gift from John Cato, a 1973 graduate of UNC Charlotte, and Cato Corp., the mural includes more than 375 square feet of carvings that reside on four large stone monuments in abstract shapes. Historical and cultural information about North Carolina and the region are featured through hundreds of images. The mural sculptor, Mara Smith, is an internationally renowned artist whose works can be seen in 20 states and abroad. ARCHITECTURE’S LIN WINS GUGGENHEIM Zhongjie Lin, associate professor of architecture at UNC Charlotte, has been awarded a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. Since 1925, the Guggenheim Fellowship has recognized “impressive achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment” in scholarship and the creative arts. Of nearly 4,000 applicants, 173 were chosen. Lin is one of only three www.UNCC.edu recipients this year from North Carolina. Lin, who earned a fellowship at the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars in Washington, D.C. for the 2012-13 academic year, studies China’s massive urbanization and the emerging new town movement. Every year, 16 million Chinese leave the country’s rural areas and move to the cities in what is the largest mass migration in human history. In response, the Chinese government is building towns to house the growing urban population and integrate it into the country’s fast-paced economic development. Upon completion of his fellowship at the Wilson Center, Lin will return to UNC Charlotte’s School of Architecture to resume teaching and complete the manuscript “Massive Urbanization and the Emerging New Town Movement in China.” To read more on Lin's work, see this issue’s Perspective on the inside back cover. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 5 UNC CHARLOTTE | news briefs STRUMSKY A LEADER IN SUNSHOT RESEARCH UNC Charlotte researcher Deborah Strumsky is leading a team that will use modeling to forecast optimal investments for the array of emerging solar energy technologies. The project will receive $949,131 as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative, which is investing $9 million in seven projects nationwide. The research team will explore how solar technologies in the past have been influenced by improvement in related technologies, public and private research and development investments and public policy initiatives. The team also will construct a network — called a “technology ecosystem” — to forecast and influence technological progress. Team members will use the data they dig out to analyze performance curves in technology and to forecast how policy investment decisions today would affect future technologies. Strumsky is a faculty member in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences and is affiliated with the Ph.D. in Public Policy program. She will work with researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Oxford on the project, entitled “Forecasting and influencing technological progress in solar energy.” Researchers from the other institutions are J. Doyne Farmer, Eric Beinhocker and Jose Lobo. Others from UNC Charlotte will collaborate as the project evolves. 6 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 Former trustee Ruth Shaw was honored for her support of education at commencement. Ruth Shaw Gets Honorary Degree At the May 11 commencement ceremonies, UNC Charlotte conferred bachelor’s degrees upon nearly 2,500 new graduates. In addition, the University presented 1,065 graduate degrees and certificates, including 64 doctorates, during two ceremonies in Halton Arena of the Barnhardt Student Activity Center. UNC Charlotte honored former trustee Ruth Shaw for her support of education, her corporate leadership and her commitment to the community. She received an honorary Doctor of Public Service. Prior to joining Duke Energy Corp. in 1992, Shaw was a leader in community college education, serving as president of Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte and as president of El Centro College in Dallas. Her dedication to higher education has been a life-long passion. She used her experiences in higher education and industry to advise UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and former Chancellor Jim Woodward. During two stints on the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, from 1995 to 2003 and 2005 to 2010, Shaw served as vice chair (19962003) and chair (2007-10). Shaw, who retired from Duke Energy in 2007, continued to serve as executive advisor to the company until May 2009. She previously was group executive for public policy and president, Duke Nuclear; president and chief executive officer, Duke Power Company; and executive vice president and chief administrative officer, among other roles. She also served as president of the Duke Energy Foundation from 1994 to 2003. During Shaw’s tenure on the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees, the University grew in stature and reputation — enrollments increased, academic programs were added, new academic and studentcentered facilities were constructed, and in 2008, football was approved as part of the University’s athletics offerings. Shaw continues to serve as chair of the UNC Charlotte Foundation and a member of the Charlotte Research Institute’s advisory board. Recently, she was chair of the “Let Me Play” luncheon, which raised more than $102,000 for women’s athletic programs at UNC Charlotte. An active civic and industry leader, Shaw chairs the board of the Carolinas Thread Trail, which is developing an interconnected trail system in piedmont North and South Carolina. In 2011, a 1.5mile greenway running through the UNC Charlotte campus was named the Ruth G. Shaw Trail. www.UNCC.edu n ew s b r i e f s | UNC CHARLOTTE GLOBAL PR CONFERENCE TARGETS YOUTH In April Microsoft’s corporate communications executive Tom Murphy gave the keynote address at “The Millennium Generation Communication Challenge,” sponsored by UNC Charlotte’s Center for Global Public Relations. Microsoft has a “YouthSpark” project that strives to empower youth to change their world by creating opportunities for young people around the globe to imagine and realize their full potential. Murphy’s presentation on the UNC Charlotte campus preceded a panel of experts that included U.S. Navy Commander Brook DeWalt; entrepreneur Henry Doss of T2 Venture Capital; and Alma Kadragic, formerly of the University of Wollongong in Dubai and Sheik Zayed University in the United Arab Emirates. Other senior-level public relations practitioners and scholars from around the world participated. The conference followed the center’s Teaching International Public Relations Colloquium. The event examined how to strategically organize study-abroad experiences. The colloquium featured David Remund of Drake University, UNC Charlotte faculty member Diana Rowan and public relations professors Alan Freitag and Ashli Stokes. At spring commencement, Joanne Robinson was presented with the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. UNC GOVERNORS GIVE ROBINSON TEACHING AWARD Joanne Robinson from the Department of Religious Studies in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences is among the 17 recipients of the UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence. Robinson was the 2012 recipient of the Bank of America Award for Teaching Excellence, UNC Charlotte’s highest teaching honor. Since joining the Religious Studies Department in 1996, Robinson has captured many teaching awards and grants. In 2008, she received the B.E.S.T. (Building Educational Strengths and Talents) Award www.UNCC.edu for Excellence in Teaching, and in 20102011, she became a University College Faculty Fellow. She also has received funding and recognition from the Wabash Center in Indiana and the National Endowment for the Humanities. Award winners, nominated by each UNC system campus, were selected by the Board of Governors Committee on Personnel and Tenure, chaired by John Fennebresque of Charlotte. The awards were presented formally by a committee member during the spring graduation ceremony on each campus. Each award winner receives a commemorative bronze medallion and a $7,500 cash prize. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 7 UNC CHARLOTTE | new briefs Graduate student stakes claim With storytelling project Graduate student Tammie Rosser teamed up this spring with Charlotte Housing Authority and Studio 345 to create an intergenerational storytelling project. According to Rosser, who is working on a master’s degree in gerontology, the project was designed to bring older adults together with youth to share their experiences and talents across generations. During a two-week period, students involved with Studio 345, a youth development program that uses digital photography and media arts, visited residents of Edwin Towers, a senior living facility operated by the Charlotte Housing Authority. Students were paired residents for activities and to interview them about their lives. Students also took portraits of their partners and used the information from their interactions to create a digital work that told residents’ stories. Each portrait in the exhibit included a written and recorded account of a resident of Edwin Towers, told through a student’s voice. “The project enriched the lives and empowered both older adults and youth through meaningful interaction and created lasting memories through social interaction and art,” noted Rosser, who coordinated the collaboration as part of a final class project related to intergenerational learning. Model UN wins 66 awards The UNC Charlotte Model United Nations team recently ended the 2012-13 academic year as the most successful in the group’s history. The team earned 66 awards in the fall and spring, hosted training conferences for area high schools and colleges and attended six conferences. UNC Charlotte’s Model UN provides students the opportunity to research and debate global issues. Students gain communication and research skills and a global perspective that often translates to studies and careers. In its busiest year ever, the UNC Charlotte team organized and managed the Carolinas Conference on campus in February to offer training to high school students. The team then traveled and competed for four weeks, bringing home honors from each competition. Delegations participated in events in Melbourne, Australia; Washington, D.C.; Spartanburg, S.C; and Charlotte. 8 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 www.UNCC.edu n ew s b r i e f s | UNC CHARLOTTE Calhoun, Tedeschi WIN SCHOLARSHIP MEDAL Professors of psychology Lawrence Calhoun and Richard Tedeschi are the 2013 joint recipients of the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal. The prestigious award, presented in March by First Citizens Bank and the University, honors faculty scholarship and intellectual inquiry. Calhoun and Tedeschi are widely regarded as the preeminent leaders of posttraumatic growth work and practice around the globe. They also have been important leaders, mentors and role models to colleagues and students alike. Among many notable contributions to psychology, their research and subsequent model of posttraumatic growth has provided a theoretical and conceptual platform that has been widely adopted. Their work has changed the way investigators and service providers approach people who are traumatized. While both are considered prolific individual scholars in their own right, the pair jointly have produced 42 journal articles, 16 book chapters and 7 books, including the landmark work “Trauma and Transformation.” Together they are credited with developing the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory, considered the gold standard for assessing the experience of posttraumatic growth. Chancellor Dubois paid a visit to Actavis Inc., a global pharmaceutical manufacturer with a facility in Lincolnton. Dubois (center) is pictured with UNC Charlotte Chemistry Department chair Bernadette Donovan-Merkert (right) and Actavis Manufacturing Manager Shan Collins, a UNC Charlotte alumnus. DUBOIS MEETS WITH ALUMS, LEADERS IN LINCOLN COUNTY In March, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois paid a daylong visit to Lincoln County, where he delivered the keynote address at the Lincolnton Rotary Club meeting. Dubois talked about the strong connection between Lincoln County and UNC Charlotte, which promises to grow even deeper in the future. Roughly 1,400 of the University’s 60,000 alums who reside in the region live in Lincoln County, he said. They include N.C. House Representative Jason Saine ’95, Lincolnton Mayor John Gilleland Jr. ’82, Lincoln Times-News Publisher Jerry Leedy ’77, retired Judge Tom Bowen ’66, John McHugh, dean of Gaston College’s Lincoln campus ’01, and Sherry Hoyle ’05, superintendent of Lincoln County Schools. Dubois highlighted educational and health-care partnerships between the www.UNCC.edu University and Lincoln County schools, human services facilities and agencies. The day concluded with a packed alumni reception at the Court Street Grille, which featured head football coach Brad Lambert. As part of the outreach initiative, the chancellor also met with business and industry partners and civic and governmental leaders. Dubois visited Actavis Inc., one of the largest generic pharmaceutical companies in the world. The company, he noted, has a need for talented UNC Charlotte chemistry majors and other capable graduates. This overall visit is part of a series of stops in the 12 counties that comprise the greater Charlotte region with the goal of strengthening relationships within the communities UNC Charlotte serves. Dubois is scheduled to make a similar visit to Union County in late June. Richard Tedeschi (left) and Lawrence Calhoun point to the future in accepting the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal for their research into posttraumatic growth. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 9 UNC CHARLOTTE | c o v e r s to r y The amount of data generated each day is unprecedented. UNC Charlotte is anticipating this new frontier for innovation, competition and productivity with the Data Science and Business Analytics Initiative. Pictured on these pages, students are pioneering answers for the Big Data revolution at the Visualization and Analytics Center at the College of Computing and Informatics. Big Data University eyes region as N.C. hub for data science, business analytics By Clark Curtis and Sasha Trosch Photography by Patrick Schneider 10 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 = Big Opportunity www.UNCC.edu c o v e r s to r y | UNC CHARLOTTE According to the MacMillan Dictionary, a visionary is defined as “a person with clear ideas or hopes of how something should be done or how things will be in the future.” Over a year and a half ago Yi Deng, Ph.D., dean of the College of Computing and Informatics at UNC Charlotte, brought his vision to the University on how to address the era of “Big Data” — an era which, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, will be the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity. “Big Data” refers to the vast amount of information about customers, products, purchases, processes, etc., being generated largely by the Internet and computer systems. By tapping into the data and analyzing it in meaningful ways, businesses and other organizations can gain insights, make better decisions and be more successful. Such analysis is often called business analytics, data science or informatics, and there is a shortage of people trained in these areas (see “What is Big Data” on page 12). At UNC Charlotte, Deng began approaching Charlotte industry leaders to open a dialogue on how to best leverage the region to become the leader in the Big Data revolution. All of the major datadriven industries in the Charlotte area — financial services, health care, energy, and retail — made the region ripe, according to Deng, for a collaborative effort between the University and the private sector to address the Big Data phenomenon and make Charlotte the hub and leader of innovation and talent in North Carolina. “To address these needs it became obvious and critical for the College of Computing and Informatics and the Belk College of Business, under the leadership of Dr. Steven Ott, to join forces,” said Deng. “This collaboration is very innovative as it integrates the science of data with the business of data, something that is rarely found anywhere in the United States.” INDUSTRY FOCUS GROUPS In March 2012, the two colleges gathered members of their respective advisory councils and representatives from key regional corporations for a daylong focus group on Big Data. The industry representatives discussed the challenges in identifying, recruiting and retaining analytics employees; noted the key skills and attributes they look for in data-science workforce talent; and provided valuable feedback to faculty exploring curriculum development around Big Data. Two months later, the two colleges partnered with the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce to raise awareness in the business community about the opportunity that Big Data brings, and to develop regional strategies to take advantage of the emerging informatics industries to enhance business competitiveness, attract talent, stimulate Big Data’s academic impact UNC Charlotte officials estimate that the Data Science and Business Analytics initiative will eventually enroll more than 500 students and will graduate 250 annually. In addition, data science and analytics fundamentals will be introduced into existing academic programs, benefiting more than 5,000 students each year. One of the top priorities for the DSBA initiative is the addition of a Professional Science Master's in data science and business analytics. This interdisciplinary program will draw faculty expertise from the Belk College of Business and the College of Computing and Informatics to help develop a new generation of data scientists, business analysts and managers who will have both technical and business skills to transform data into smart, innovative business solutions. Existing academic programs related to Big Data include: • Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science, Concentration in Financial Services Informatics • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science • Bachelor of Arts in Software and Information Systems, Concentration in Financial Services Informatics • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Management Information Systems • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Marketing, with concentration in Marketing Analytics • Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Major in Operations and Supply Chain Management • Professional Science Masters in Health Informatics • Professional Science Master’s in Bioinformatics and Genomics • Master of Business Administration, Concentration in Business Analytics • Ph.D. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology •P h.D. in Computing and Information Systems All of the major data-driven industries in the Charlotte area — financial services, health care, energy, and retail — made the region ripe, according to Yi Deng, for a collaborative effort between the University and the private sector. www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 11 UNC CHARLOTTE | c o v e r s to r y business innovation and boost entrepreneurship in Charlotte. The partners hosted “Charlotte Informatics 2012: Competing and Winning through Analytics,” a wide-ranging conference that brought together a diverse group of leading national thinkers and experts — from business and technology visionaries, strategists and corporate executives to practitioners, researchers and educators. Topics ranged from current practices and future trends to enterprise strategies and talent needs. By all accounts, the informatics conference was a great success. More than 300 people attended, including representatives from the region’s largest companies. Buoyed by the response to the conference and the earlier industry focus groups, the colleges — now including the College of Health and Human Services, which launched a graduate program in health informatics last year — spent the summer and fall developing a groundbreaking, collaborative solution to the challenges of Big Data: the Data Science and Business Analytics (DSBA) Initiative. The three pillars of the DSBA are: • Graduate degree programs to develop a talent pipeline of data scientists, business analysts and managers. These interdisciplinary programs will develop both technical and business skills, so employees can transform data into smart, innovative business solutions. • Professional development and executive education programs to provide state-of-theart training in the strategic use of data for innovative decision-making. • An industry-University consortium to integrate academic research with business innovation. Driven by real-world Big Data challenges, the deans hope that these research partnerships will result in direct transfer of ideas and technologies into the marketplace. While other universities in the state have created programs in response to Big Data — N.C. State has a master of science in analytics, for example — the DSBA team at UNC Charlotte is aiming for a wider impact. “This is truly a visionary alignment between technology and business,” Deng said. “We want to bring together the best minds in academia and industry in order to position the Charlotte region and North Carolina as a hub for Big Data talent and innovation.” Of course, new initiatives need new resources to get off the ground. UNC Charlotte will need to hire new faculty and technical staff in the colleges to support the DSBA and must provide merit- and need- based scholarships to attract top student talent to the academic programs. In addition, the consortium will require research funding and administrative and program support. UNC SYSTEM PRIORITY UNC system President Tom Ross selected the DSBA as one of only a handful of university system projects to submit to the N.C. General Assembly for a budget expansion request ($3 million in fiscal year 2014 and an additional $2 million in FY 2015). Several highprofile corporate executives have accompanied University officials to meet with legislators to explain the positive impact the DSBA would have on their companies’ talent pools and bottom lines. In addition to state funding, the DSBA is actively seeking private support. In fact, UNC Charlotte has asked that the second year of state funding be contingent on the University securing private-sector investments and pledges of at least $4 million. Industry partners from across the state are stepping up to answer the call. Belk Inc. donated $5 million to the Belk College in February, part of which will fund an endowed chair in marketing analytics. The Charlotte Chamber has endorsed the DSBA as a key workforce development initiative, and University officials are confident that this endorsement will lead to additional private investment. “The DSBA has incredible momentum,” said Belk College’s Ott. “Companies from a wide range of industries are eager to learn more about how they can leverage data to drive strategy, and we’re confident that the DSBA provides solutions to the key challenges of the Big Data economy.” Clark Curtis is director of communications in the College of Computing and Informatics, and Sasha Trosch is executive director of external relations in the Belk College of Business. www.UNCC.edu Each day, the current data-driven economy generates nearly eight times more information than is currently held in the combined, existing collections of all U.S. libraries. The term “Big Data” has been coined to describe this informational tsunami that impacts every aspect of operations in virtually every economic sector. Businesses and other organizations that can access and harness this data and utilize it strategically to make decisions will maximize their competitive advantages; those that cannot risk being left behind. Industry applications of data science and analytics are broad and far-reaching, from health care to retail sales and distribution, financial services to energy. A major challenge of the Big Data era is the lack of skilled talent. The consulting firm Gartner estimates that 1.9 million Big Data jobs will be created by 2015, only one-third of which could be filled with existing talent. Gartner further estimates that every Big Data-related role in the U.S. will create employment for three people outside of IT, so over the next four years a total of 6 million jobs in the U.S. could be generated by the information economy. 12 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 What is Big Data? BUSINESS DIGNITARIES TO THE BOARDROOM Many of Charlotte’s top business leaders are actively involved with graduate students at UNC Charlotte – as mentors, guest lecturers and program advisors. Take Smoky Bissell, for example, whose ventures transformed Charlotte into an economic powerhouse and who helped establish our graduate curriculum in real estate. If you’re hoping to take big strides in your career, connecting with business royalty is a great first step. CONNECT THE CLASSROOM UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re ‘Who is By Melba Newsome Loy Witherspoon?’ Religious studies professor made indelible mark in building UNC Charlotte When new UNC Charlotte students are assigned housing in the Loy Hahn Witherspoon Residence Hall, they may wonder, “Who is Loy Witherspoon?” That’s probably the same question they ask when acclaimed religion scholars from around the world turn up to speak at the annual Loy H. Witherspoon Lecture in Religious Studies. Former Chancellor James Woodward has a ready answer. “People who join an organization early define the culture of the organization,” said Woodward. “I don’t think there was anybody — other than Bonnie Cone — who contributed to the University so thoroughly. He did all of the extra things you need to have done by senior faculty . . . and then he did more.” Given that Witherspoon retired before the majority of today’s undergraduates were even born, many never had the pleasure to know the distinguished professor and scholar who devoted his life to education and whose 30 years of service left an indelible mark on the University. “It’s been a better place because he has been here,” said UNC Charlotte founder Bonnie Cone upon Witherspoon’s retirement. Born in Catawba, N.C. on January 17, 1930, Witherspoon and his younger brother were orphaned as young children and subsequently raised at the Methodist Children’s Home in Winston-Salem. Despite his disadvantaged childhood, he excelled academically. He spent four years at Duke 14 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 Loy Witherspoon stands in front of the residence hall that bears his name, and the home base for UNC Charlotte’s International House and Honors in Residence. University followed by three years at Duke Divinity School. Always intrigued by the broader world and different cultures, the small-town boy began his teaching career in 1954 in the Department of Philosophy and Religion at American University in Cairo. “I realized how important it was for my own growth and development to be exposed worldwide,” he said. “I was interested in the ancient Egyptian culture because so much of it had an impact on the Old Testament period, the Hebrew people and their religion. I thought it was very important to have an understanding of that background.” When he returned to Charlotte the following year as associate minister of Myers Park Methodist Church, prominent philanthropists and benefactors Ross and Jennie Puette were determined that he and Bonnie Cone, then president of Charlotte College, should get to know each other. What resulted was a remarkable 40-year friendship. “Mr. Puette played golf rain or shine and Mrs. Puette would always invite Bonnie and me to www.UNCC.edu fe a t u re have lunch with her at the Charlotte Country Club,” recalled Witherspoon. SOUGHT BY MISS BONNIE It was during those storied Sunday luncheons that Cone, known widely as “Miss Bonnie,” began working on the young professor to join Charlotte College. Although impressed with the institution and Miss Bonnie’s vision for it, doing so would have to wait for nearly a decade while Witherspoon earned his Ph.D. in New Testament at Boston University, and while he spent two years as assistant professor and director of religious life at Dakota Wesleyan in South Dakota. He finally joined the Charlotte College faculty in 1964, and the school became UNC Charlotte a year later. The 30 years in between Witherspoon’s hiring and retirement were filled with a long list of accomplishments. Described as a great teacher, caring counselor, skilled ombudsman, host, patron, politician, PR practitioner and troubleshooter, Witherspoon also served as college chaplain and on practically every University committee. Under his leadership, the Department of Religious Studies grew from a handful of courses to a full-fledged degree program. He was also instrumental in establishing campus governance. He was the first chairperson of the University Senate, the institution’s earliest attempt at a governing body, twice served as president of the faculty and was University marshal from 1988 to 1993. Invariably, the stories friends and colleagues tell are of his extraordinary generosity and kindness, such as the time he gave his gloves to a stranger who was working in the cold without any. As an ordained United Methodist minister, he served the spiritual needs of the community, especially those of students and alumni in times of joy and sorrow. “Loy probably married more UNCC graduates than anybody in the history of the University,” noted Woodward. In his comfortable den surrounded by books, photographs and mementos, Witherspoon joked that being a practicing minister wasn’t always viewed as a positive. He encountered a great deal of suspicion when he initially suggested creating a Religious Studies Department. “They thought I was coming in there to turn all the students into little future Methodist ministers — or worse Baptist ministers,” he said with a laugh. “Most of them had not really gone to major universities where the study of religion was a www.UNCC.edu | UNC CHARLOTTE major discipline. That’s why I decided to do the Philosophy Department first.” ‘FROM THE GROUND UP’ Despite being a Duke alum, Witherspoon said he never contemplated teaching there or at UNC Chapel Hill, another well-established institution. “I was so committed to Miss Cone and what she was doing here — where we could go from the ground up and build it as we thought it should be.” He demonstrated that commitment to the fledgling University in myriad ways. In 1966, he purchased a plot of land and built his home directly across the street. He raised money to commission musical compositions for the installation of chancellors Colvard and Woodward, organized a contest among the students to write words for the University’s alma mater and was instrumental in bringing the Greek system to campus. “I thought there were just certain things that ought to be done if you were going to be a major institution, and Miss Cone encouraged it,” he said. “We knew what needed to happen, and by hook or by crook, she and I found the money to get things started in the right way.” Since his formal retirement in 1995, Witherspoon has remained engaged with the University and the awards and accolades continue to come. In 2001, he received the UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award. That same year, the University chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha, for which he had served as faculty adviser, endowed a scholarship that “We knew what needed to happen, and by hook or by crook, she and I found the money to get things started in the right way.” UNC Charlotte founder Bonnie Cone enlisted Loy Witherspoon as one of the first faculty members of the University. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 15 UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re with his ability to impact and mold the lives of students through teaching. “It has always been my intent to be a teacher in the fullest sense of the word,” he wrote in 1994. “When I chose this vocation, I determined to make teaching and the advising of students the area of my major contribution to the University.” There is no dispute that he did exactly that — and much more. Melba Newsome is a freelance writer based in Charlotte. bears his name. The Loy H. Witherspoon Lecture in Religious Studies began in 1984 in honor of his 20th anniversary and is now the University’s oldest and most prestigious endowed lecture series. But for Witherspoon, it begins and ends The Professor and his Sons Loy Witherspoon forged bond with Lambda Chi Alpha By Ryan Gay For decades, Loy Witherspoon has utilized his wealth of knowledge and unique outlook on life to shape and inspire legions of students passing through the halls of UNC Charlotte. Over the years, he has formed a special connection to the members of Lambda Chi Alpha, many of whom regard Witherspoon as a father figure, mentor and close friend. “My relationships with fraternity members have provided a richness to my life I never could have achieved if I had not had them,” Witherspoon said. “My entire life has been enriched. The opportunities (Lambda Chi Alpha) has given me in life is remarkable.” Witherspoon, professor emeritus of philosophy and religious studies at UNC Charlotte and a confidant to University founder Bonnie Cone, retired in 1995 after teaching for 30 years at the university. Throughout his career, Witherspoon has placed special emphasis on giving back to the community. As a result, Lambda Chi Alpha has been noted as the only Greek organization to donate to the first UNC Charlotte Capital Campaign and established the Dr. Loy H. Witherspoon Scholarship in Religious Studies. In return, members of Lambda Chi Alpha have made generous contributions to the Athletic Foundation and the Belk College of Business. “(Dr. Witherspoon) has indeed been a father figure to many, including me,” Lambda Chi brother Michael Donahue said. “He can boast, and rightly so, of having raised several hundred college boys into manhood. I cannot think of any father who can attest that for themselves.” “I’ve never married, and I never had children,” Witherspoon said. “But, I think of all the young men in the fraternity as if they were my sons. I’ve been very proud of their achievements. I tried to honor, 16 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 Lambda Chi brothers and Norm the Niner surround Loy Witherspoon. Seated: Karl Slough, Dr. Witherspoon. Second row: Mark Joyce, David Gay, Brad Harris. Back row: Norm, Jody Jessup, Scott Boulware, Greg Ross, Mike Miles, Ron Richards. respect and guide them the best I could. I have always hoped that I have achieved some degree of success in that.” Witherspoon helped convince Cone to give the Greek system an opportunity on campus. Not long after, the men of Lambda Chi Alpha approached him about being their advisor. “Doc is a friend and counselor I can always count on,” Lambda Chi brother Scott Boulware said. “He flew to New Jersey in 1997 to marry my wife and me. In 2001, he baptized our daughter Camille, and in 2003 he baptized our daughter Marin. Considering this, his continued presence in the life of my family is incredibly important.” Lambda Chi brother Mark Doughton said he learned the importance of living life less seriously because of Witherspoon. “He taught me to respect everyone; find a way to help someone who may be less fortunate; that everyone is important; you have to learn to laugh; and you have to know when to be serious,” Doughton said. Looking back, Witherspoon said he simply wanted his students to have as rich of an experience as they could possibly have. “In some sense, as you experience meeting and talking with people, there are interactions and experiences you have where you just hope to have an impact on their lives,” Witherspoon said. “Sometimes they don’t even realize it. But, those interactions enable them to go on and achieve purposes and intentions that they have that they might not have had if you hadn’t been there, quietly and inauspiciously providing an aura in which it becomes possible for them to achieve what is best for them in their own lives.” In the end, Witherspoon had only one message to share with the brothers of Lambda Chi Alpha. “I can’t tell you how enriching you all have made my life. I would not want it any other way. My experiences with you in life have been far more than I ever imagined it could be,” he said. Ryan Gay is a writer based in Burlington, N.C., and the son of Lambda Chi Alpha brother David Gay. www.UNCC.edu Accomplished Dennis and Betty Chafin Rash honored for distinguished service By Jared Moon For their contributions to educational, political and civic institutions in the Charlotte community, Betty Chafin Rash and Dennis Rash are the recipients of the 2013 UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award. They were honored May 21 during a special luncheon in the Student Union, where a video tribute portrayed their impact on the region. “They are one of the most accomplished power couples in Charlotte,” said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. “Yet, clearly they are individuals who have made lasting marks in their own right.” In his remarks, Dubois described Chafin Rash as a prominent civic and political leader, crediting her as a pioneer in broadening the base of political participation in Charlotte, especially among women. First elected in 1975, Chafin Rash served three terms on the Charlotte City Council, becoming the third woman elected to the council as well as the first woman to be elected mayor pro tem in 1977. During her six years on city council, she was immersed in leading the city as it began its ascendancy as a financial hub. Chafin Rash co-founded the Charlotte Women’s Political Caucus, created to encourage women to run for political office. She also co-founded the 2008 Women’s Summit, an initiative held on UNC Charlotte’s campus that has become a research unit within the University designed to be a catalyst for change – improving the lives of women through research, education and civic engagement. As associate dean of students at UNC Charlotte, Betty Chafin Rash served alongside her future husband, Dennis Rash, who served as dean of students during the University’s formative years. A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, Rash served in private law practice and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar and the Bar of the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Judicial Court, prior to his time at UNC Charlotte. www.UNCC.edu Power Couple Dennis Rash and Betty Chafin Rash are pictured with family members at the Distinguished Service Award luncheon. From left: daughter, Mebane Rash; grandson, Hutch Whitman; Betty Chafin Rash; Dennis Rash; son, Jim Rash. Rash left UNC Charlotte after eight years to begin what would become an illustrious 23-year career at Bank of America. During his tenure at the bank, he initiated the first community development corporation and subsequently became the first president of the bank’s community development subsidiary. Rash was influential in developing many of the bank’s mixed-use buildings. Returning to UNC Charlotte in 2001 as executive-in-residence and visiting professor for transportation policy studies, Rash provided crucial counsel, advocacy and support for a number of important projects. Dubois referred to him as a driving force in the development of UNC Charlotte Center City and the adjacent First Ward Park, which are among the University’s most strategic achievements during Dubois’ tenure. “Both Betty and Dennis are individuals of exceptional leadership, vision, energy and passion,” said Gene Johnson, chairman of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. “Their influence extends throughout the greater Charlotte region and beyond.” The Rashes have remained steadfast in their commitment to service, dedication and passionate advocacy, demonstrating persistence, fortitude, honesty, integrity and generosity of spirit, Dubois said. Their tireless efforts have expanded educational opportunities for all the members of our community and have helped to forge a more vibrant, equitable society for all. The Rashes are the second couple to be honored with the award; James G. “Jim” and Mary Lou Babb were the 2011 recipients. The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1987 by the Board of Trustees of UNC Charlotte and the Board of Directors of the University Foundation. It honors those who have provided outstanding leadership and exemplary service to the Charlotte community and to the advancement of UNC Charlotte. Each recipient of the award receives a statue of a gold miner, cast from a sculpture by Lorenzo Ghiglieri. Jared Moon is communications specialist in the Office of Public Relations. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 17 UNC CHARLOTTE | 49 e rs N o te b o o k True Value Spring game shows what football means to Niner Nation By Tom Whitestone Nearly 14,000 fans turned out April 20 for the Charlotte 49ers first spring football game. Somewhere between the huge crowd and the great plays, the true value of the Charlotte 49ers football spring game lives. Maybe you loved the camaraderie. Maybe you loved the football. Maybe you just loved the brilliant sunshine. There was tailgating and 49er Pride, there were cheers and chants and there was plenty of green. And as the team raced out of the tunnel, through the smoke and rows of cheerleaders, to midfield, there were many who couldn’t believe their eyes. The Charlotte 49ers were playing football. “How about our fan base?” head coach Brad Lambert said afterward. “Just phenomenal. It was a real shot in the arm for our guys. To go out and play in front of a big crowd like that — it was a lot of fun for us.” For nose tackle Larry Ogunjobi, seeing was believing because he thought his ears were 18 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 playing tricks on him. As the team gathered in the tunnel, he thought the crowd noise was being piped in over loudspeakers. Slot receiver Austin Duke recalled, “When we came back out, we were all like, ‘This is real.’ It was time for us to show out and time to go out and do what we’ve been working so hard on since we got here. It was just a great turnout. The fans were amped, they were live. It was just an overall exciting experience.” And that excitement was certainly not reserved for the players. From the moment the lots opened at 9 a.m., to the moment the stadium gates opened at 11:30 a.m., to the moment the team ran out of the tunnel at 12:56 p.m., to the moment the 49ers kicked off at 1 p.m. — “the fans were amped, they were live.” Reading the Twitter timeline, you could feel the energy, excitement and pride that defined the day for many of the 13,950 fans. Many included pictures. Pictures of good friends and old friends, pictures of the stadium and game action — and the most appropriate: pictures of families. Especially, pictures of kids. Proud parents eagerly posted pics of their kids at the stadium, some no older than a couple of weeks. Some of these kids will not know a time when the Charlotte 49ers didn’t have football. They will grow up with it. For the parents and grandparents who pose with them, that, alone, is priceless. Some tweets say it simply, as Twitter is meant to do. “Great day to be a Niner.” “Today was awesome.” Indeed many found the day awe-inspiring. “Awesome time at the spring game today. Pumped for August 31st.” “What a great day for Charlotte! awesome crowd! Awesome atmosphere! www.UNCC.edu 49 e r s N o te b o o k | UNC CHARLOTTE 49er faithfuls cheered and celebrated. Awesome football!” Others wore their emotions on their sleeves: “I definitely have sunburn in the shape of a heart on my chest. Now you can physically see my love for the #charlotte49ers.” “Our stadium is too beautiful,” one fan tweeted, probably not even realizing that the most important word in the tweet was “our.” And then there is this: it’s simple but it speaks to the heart of why football was added in the first place: “I love my school.” “I love my school.” You want to know the true value of football. There it is. It lives in the smiles of little kids enjoying their first 49ers football game and in the smiles of their parents and grandparents doing the same. It lives in the words “our” and “my.” And it lives in the love burned into your chest. The Charlotte 49ers inaugural football season begins Aug. 31 as the 49ers take on Campbell University at McColl-Richardson Field. Niner Nation will be there. Tom Whitestone is associate athletic director for media relations. This story first appeared in the Final 49 series at www.Charlotte49ers.com. 49ERS REJOIN C-USA JULY 1 The Charlotte 49ers rejoin Conference USA July 1. The 49ers were charter members of the league in 1995 but have been in the Atlantic 10 Conference for the past eight years. Charlotte will compete in Conference USA in all of the school’s sports except football during the 2013-14 academic year. Charlotte will begin competition in C-USA in football in 2015. The 49ers football team will play as an independent in the Football Championship Subdivision in 2013 and 2014. Conference USA Quick Facts Formed: April 24, 1995 Charter members: Charlotte, Cincinnati, DePaul, Houston, Louisville, Marquette, Memphis, Saint Louis, Southern Miss, Tulane, University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of South Florida Commissioner: Britton Banowsky Location: Irving, Texas 2013-14 C-USA Membership: Charlotte 49ers, East Carolina Pirates, Florida Atlantic Owls, Florida International Panthers, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs/Lady Techsters, Marshall Thundering Herd, Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders, North Texas Mean Green, Old Dominion Monarchs, Rice Owls, Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles, Tulane Green Wave, Tulsa Golden Hurricane, University of Alabama at Birmingham Blazers, University of Texas at El Paso Miners, University of Texas at San Antonio Roadrunners GOLF OUTING RAISES $65,000 The Charlotte 49ers Athletic Foundation reached its goal of raising $65,000 at its annual Golf Outing April 22 at Pine Island Country Club. Mecklenburg Valve Source was the title sponsor of the 36th annual outing. Presenting sponsors were Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated and Rodgers Builders. The event attracted 124 players, which included 49ers head football coach Brad Lambert and head baseball coach Loren Hibbs. Director of Athletics Judy Rose, men’s basketball coach Alan Major and women’s basketball coach Cara Consuegra were also in attendance, greeting foursomes around the course. Jed Thomas of Coca-Cola Bottling served as chair of the outing committee. The Balfour Beatty team of Jason Jones, Harold Brewer, Derick Ritter and Jeff Thompson won the fourman captain’s choice event. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 19 2013 UNC Charlotte Football Schedule Home-game opponents are CAPITALIZED, and home games kick off at noon. All games are on Saturdays, and homecoming is Oct. 12. August 31 CAMPBELL September 7 CHOWAN 14 N.C. CENTRAL 28 at Presbyterian October 5 GARDNER-WEBB 12 UNC PEMBROKE (Homecoming) 26 at Charleston Southern November 2 at Coastal Carolina 9 WESLEY COLLEGE 16 at Old Dominion 23 at Morehead State www.UNCC.edu UNC CHARLOTTE | center stage 20 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 www.UNCC.edu Great Lake Photo by Wade Bruton Look closely and you can see one of UNC Charlotte’s beloved geese enjoying a cruise on one of its favorite sunning spots. Hechenbleikner Lake is re-opened and better than ever. Several years ago, Peter Franz, landscape architect, pitched the concept of making Hechenbleikner Lake a more “pedestrian friendly” venue; however, funds were not available at that time. Fast forward to 2009 when the lake’s underground overflow pipe was caving in, forcing the lake water to find its own path downstream. Broadrick Boulevard by the lake was in potential danger of collapse and needed immediate attention. In December 2011, the University received conditional permission to completely de-water the lake for construction. Before draining the lake, a firm specializing in wildlife relocation carefully moved all of the fish, turtles and other inhabitants to Davis Lake, beside Memorial Hall. Grass was planted inside the drained lake, preventing soil erosion during the new piping installation and relandscaping process. During the two-year rehab, Franz, along with others including Ken Lambla, dean of the College of Arts + Architecture, worked to integrate several pedestrian features, including a new brick sidewalk, benches and a platform overlooking the area. Now, not just geese enjoy visiting Hechenbleikner Lake. www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 21 UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re Even Higher By Jared Moon and John D. Bland Education ANDREW UNC Charlotte’s 5,000-plus graduate students may be in the minority, but they play a crucial role in the evolution of the University and the impact it has on the Charlotte region. In this article, UNC Charlotte magazine presents an update on the University’s graduate studies and introduces you to exceptional students who eat, sleep and breathe their graduate programs. UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university, an integral part of the social, cultural and economic fabric of the Charlotte Graduate studies become a lifestyle region. Teaching undergraduates is an essential and crucial aspect of the University’s mission, yet UNC Charlotte has grown to offer a robust menu of graduate programs at the master’s and doctoral level. Those offerings have become a key asset in keeping the region competitive in a global economy. “UNC Charlotte is working to provide the scientific and technical research, mostly at the graduate level, that will stimulate new businesses, create new jobs, and improve the overall quality of life for the citizens of Charlotte,” said Tom DAHLIA 22 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 www.UNCC.edu fe a t u re | UNC CHARLOTTE UNC Charlotte is working to provide the scientific and technical research, mostly at the graduate level, that will stimulate new businesses, create new jobs, and improve the overall quality of life for the citizens of Charlotte. Reynolds, associate provost and dean of the Graduate School. But first, a bit of historical perspective. “Higher education hasn’t always been terribly important in Charlotte; instead, we were a service center for labor-intensive manufacturing that went on around us,” Reynolds continued. “In those days, people who went to graduate school were studying to be physicians or lawyers, or to earn a Ph.D. that would enable them to be college professors. From around 1950 to 1985, the rise in technology made a baccalaureate degree more essential for success.” Since then, Reynolds said, at the accelerating speed of computers and the Internet, there has been an increasing demand from public, private and government sectors for men and women with graduate degrees in disciplines such as health informatics, business analytics, Continued on p. 24 Daniel Maysa www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 23 UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re Continued from p. 23 cyber-security, international relations, sociology, public policy, nano-technology, social work and ethics. “Based on my 30-plus years in Charlotte, I know this is a city of opportunity. It’s a place that encourages initiative, applauds research and rewards discovery — all of which are essential to graduate education,” Reynolds said. “Charlotte is a major player in the knowledge economy that is revolutionizing business, education and the daily life of the community, the nation and around the world. “My career in teaching and administration has taught me that each generation inevitably climbs on the shoulders of the next generation and pushes even harder against the boundaries of knowledge. And we continue to see this as more and more of our undergraduates are entering ANDREW 'Dr. Evil' BESMER, Computing and Information Systems Andrew Besmer is by all accounts a normal graduate student. He, like many others, spends his days conducting research, teaching a few undergrad sections and consuming whatever inexpensive, quasi-healthy meals he can find, namely the college-student favorite: Ramen noodles. He keeps a solid stash of Ramen in his desk and has even been known to trade with colleagues for some flavor variety. However, Besmer is not your average run-of-the-mill graduate student; as it turns out, he’s a far more interesting and powerful character, sort of. According to Besmer, graduate life comes with a fair amount of ambiguity and consequently, stress. One’s dissertation can be of his own choosing so long as he can convince his advisors it’s worthy of academic inquiry and secure their blessing, which is easier said than done. To combat this typically long and challenging journey of approval and academic rigor, most graduate students develop a few important traits along the way, for which Besmer is no exception: endurance, perseverance and most importantly, humor. A candidate for a Ph.D. in computing and information systems, he primarily focuses his time and efforts planning and executing deception-based research studies for his work in “Usable Privacy and Security.” It was during his “mid-grad life crisis” — the inevitable phase in which every graduate student questions what they’re doing and why they’re doing it — that Besmer stumbled upon the perfect piece of irony, humor and motivation. “I realized that in order to maintain the integrity of my research, I was forced to deceive people with my studies in order to garner a genuine, unbiased reaction. It was then I realized that if my advisors accepted my ‘evil’ research and passed me on my deception-based studies, they’d literally be making me Dr. Evil,” Besmer explained. In an act of pure genius and in direct defiance of his wife’s pleas, he shaved his head, borrowed a biology lab coat from his sister and proceeded to conduct his initial dissertation defense dressed as Dr. Evil. Legendary! DAHLIA BESMER, Biology When Dahlia Besmer walked across the stage during this May’s commencement to be hooded for her doctorate, she wasn’t met with a sense of elitism or superiority. She claims she doesn’t worry much about her new lofty title and says she often forgets that everyone doesn’t have a Ph.D. Instead, it was more validation she felt for all the hard work she had put in, primarily in the biology lab. As a doctoral student in the Biology Department with a passion for research, her lab work was her life, and the lab her home. “Experiments dictate your life, deciding both when you’re in the lab as well as how long you stay there,” Besmer explained. “I fit the last few years of my life around my experiments.” You see, while most graduate students are accustomed to conducting research, biology research can be different in that it is frequently time-sensitive. Once you begin an experiment, you’re committed to the process — which, in some instances, can run as long as 30 days and require precise measurements every hour or two. “I’ve slept on the couch in the lab more times than I can count. Everyone sleeps there,” said Besmer. “It was basically my second home providing me all the graduate-life comforts and stereotypes I needed.” The lounge, which was converted from an old classroom, is equipped with two couches typically occupied by a sleeping student, four coffee pots constantly brewing the life-blood of many graduate students, curtains to make daytime naps easier or to help one forget what time it is, an abundance of caffeineenriched soda in case the four pots of coffee aren’t enough, and a few random bags of Ramen noodles and oatmeal with plenty of beakers acting as makeshift bowls because, as Besmer says, “You’re not a biology Ph.D. student until you’ve eaten oatmeal from a beaker!” 24 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 www.UNCC.edu title | UNC CHARLOTTE graduate school and more and more corporations are looking for master’s and Ph.D. degrees among their new hires.” Katherine Hall-Hertel, assistant dean of the Graduate School, said graduate students are much more savvy today than they were a decade ago. “Given the enormous amount of debt some of them take on, they understand that they need more than just a good academic education to be successful. Graduate school can no longer be a luxury for students who don’t know what to do with their lives,” she said. Below are brief vignettes about the work-life of some of these highly committed students. DANIEL YONTO, Public Administration For Daniel Yonto, his life is as much about the people around him as it is about himself. His decision to go to graduate school, where he chooses to study and how long he studies are all examples of decisions the people around Yonto influence. A self-proclaimed transportation nerd, Yonto realized his passion while living in Washington, D.C., where he rode the Metro daily to his job as a criminal defense paralegal. “After analyzing cases all day, I’d find that those analytical thoughts would carry over to my Metro ride,” Yonto said. “I’d notice the insane amount of traffic gridlocked on D.C. roadways and wonder to myself, ‘Why don’t these people use the Metro?’” As a graduate student at UNC Charlotte, he’s still applying his analytical skills to his work for his Master of Public Administration degree. His research focuses on what influences the indecisions about using public transportation. While his work is relevant, especially to Charlotte and its growing public transportation infrastructure and population, Yonto’s inquiry has resulted in an interesting theory of certain study habits. For Yonto, the coffeehouse is as much social laboratory as it is a place to study. It affords him not only a place to delve into his academic inquiry but also a forum to examine social norms as well as his own academic fortitude and authority. “My Coffeehouse Dynamic Theory is essentially based on the idea that coffeehouse patrons seem to subtly compete with one another to give the appearance that they are the dominant scholar,” Yonto noted. “So, when I want to study, I go to the local coffeehouse and pick out the most diligent and dedicated looking patron and commit to studying longer than they do.” MAYSA DE SOUSA, Health Psychology Maysa De Sousa currently lives by three principles: higher education, love and the steadfast commitment to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. It’s not that she doesn’t have other beliefs or principles, it’s just that when you’re completing your Ph.D. in health psychology, and attempting to iron out the final details of your pending nuptials, all the while maintaining the all-so-important eight hours of beauty rest, there’s not much time for anything else. With two master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and a career in academia in her sights — this Canadian-born, New Jersey-bred Yankee made the move south of the Mason-Dixon Line into the “slowerpaced, overly hospitable South” to pursue her doctorate at UNC Charlotte. A move she is slowly growing accustom to. “I still can’t get used to Southern life and how much slower it is compared to the North,” De Sousa mentioned. And, there is one aspect of Southern life that drives De Sousa crazy: Southern drivers. It was the first day of classes this past semester, and De Sousa accidentally extended her eight hours of sleep into nine. She frantically hopped out of bed realizing she had overslept and was late to her first class. En route to class, she was met with the Southern staple of slow drivers in the left-hand lane, an untimely discovery that enraged this unassuming, Ivy League-educated doctoral candidate. “I don’t think I’ll ever understand the driving culture down here but the Southern hospitality is a pleasant surprise,” De Sousa said. “Everyone is so nice that it offsets my frustrations, and I never seem to actually get mad.” www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 25 UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re Zeroing In By Shelly Theriault Waste reduction, recycling efforts are high University priorities What does 220 million tons of garbage actually look like? According to the Environmental Protection Agency, picture more than 82,000 football fields. Now, bury them six feet deep in compacted garbage. This is how much estimated waste is produced by the United States each year. Take this already staggering amount to a worldwide level and it skyrockets to an estimated 1.3 billion tons, according to the World Bank, a global development assistance organization. It’s not an exact number (data is based on large-scale, readily available statistics); however, there’s no argument that recycling and waste prevention is a modern day, Goliath-like global dilemma. And UNC Charlotte is fighting back. Efforts began in 1990 with a handful of concerned Niner students collecting aluminum cans. That grassroots effort has grown into a myriad of recycling and waste-management programs led by the University. UNC Charlotte now boasts an award-winning, nationally recognized Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, several large-scale campus environmental initiatives and an ambitious zerowaste commitment that’s establishing its roots in the new football stadium. In 1992, the campus hired its first full-time recycling coordinator, a position that now manages a 16-member full-time staff. Last year, those individuals helped the campus reach its record diversion rate of 40 percent. “…that is, 40 percent of all material (trash or recyclable) discarded on campus was diverted from the landfill for re-use or recycling,” explained Devin Hatley, environmental educator with the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling. The goal is to reach 45 percent within the next five years and incrementally increase thereafter. The more than 1,142 tons of these recycled materials includes everyday items from plastic and glass bottles to 26 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 Students from the Charlotte Green Initiative, Student Government Association and the EARTH Club collaborate with facilities staff to host the annual Sustainability Week. Efforts began in 1990 with a handful of concerned Niner students collecting aluminum cans. compost from a growing dining hall food-waste program, construction and demolition debris, donated clothes, furniture and more. Waste diversion is only one of several projects. There have been “extensive cooperation and initiatives across campus,” said Kathy BoutinPasterz, recycling coordinator for the Office of Waste Management and Recycling, which is a part of UNC Charlotte’s Facilities Management Department. In partnership with student groups such as Charlotte Green Initiative, student government and the EARTH Club, the office hosts Sustainability Week, an annual campus-wide event promoting waste awareness and ecofriendly activities. Last fall’s edition included a “Travel Green” information fair, an energy tour of the new EPIC building, a Climate Action Plan presentation and the popular bi-annual Campus Cleanup. HUNDREDS PARTICIPATE UNC Charlotte’s Campus Cleanup involves hundreds of students, faculty and staff joining together with a single purpose. “The primary goal of the campus community is to give back and show commitment to the land, the University and its mission,” Hatley noted. In its sixth year, volunteers are assigned areas and given supplies to remove debris and collect litter throughout the 1,000-acreplus campus. Another educational event, Earth Day, celebrates the work of several on-campus environmental student groups www.UNCC.edu fe a t u re | UNC CHARLOTTE and hosts dozens of vendors demonstrating eco-friendly waste-reduction practices. Other programs include the annual campuswide Move Out initiative, class visits and campus recycling tours. UNC Charlotte’s research think-tank, the IDEAS (Infrastructure, Design, Environment & Sustainability) Center, hosts faculty fellows from here and other universities who provide research and critical thinking in tackling modern-day environmental problems. According to the IDEAS website, teams identify and research project-specific solutions “from unsustainable infrastructure, housing and technology design to practices more attuned to the challenges of the 21st century.” The teams offer perspectives from the fellows’ diverse subject expertise, including architecture; civil, mechanical, electrical and systems engineering; biology; business and geology. Among other activities, the prominent Levine Scholars program now hosts annual Campus Sustainability Conversations, where students discuss current sustainability topics, note possible solutions and participate in sustainability poster presentations. ZERO WASTE In October 2009, the UNC Board of Governors passed the University of North Carolina System Sustainability Policy. It called on universities to “develop policies and programs that work toward achieving zero waste.” Zero waste means recovering resources before they go into the municipal landfill. At the same time, Chancellor Philip Dubois signed the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment for UNC Charlotte to become greenhouse gas neutral by 2050. Still somewhat in its infancy, zero waste is an emerging global initiative. “We must invest funds and energy toward better product design, eliminate non-recyclable materials and coordinate efforts between manufacturers and end-users,” said recycling coordinator Boutin-Pasterz. With the University’s growing and vibrant waste-reduction programming, embracing zero waste was a natural next step for campus. In December 2012 the University began collecting pulped food waste from the Student Union for composting. “Earth Farms, a private company in Gaston County, comes once a week to empty food-waste containers and haul the food back to their facility for composting,” www.UNCC.edu The Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling takes the lead in UNC Charlotte diverting from landfills more than 40 percent of recyclable trash. Although a handful of other universities have recently launched zerowaste practices in their existing stadiums — such as Ohio State — UNC Charlotte is the first to implement the strategy in a new stadium. said Boutin Pasterz. And that’s no small thing. The University has produced more than 12,500 pounds of pulped food in just the first four months of the program. FOOTBALL STADIUM UNC Charlotte’s new football stadium will serve as a highly visible benchmark for zero waste. “The idea was first discussed at a student Charlotte Green Initiative meeting two years ago. Committee members researched the possibilities and then submitted a proposal to student government,” recalled Hatley. The Student Government Association then passed “The Zero Waste Vending Act” in April 2011, “encouraging dining services to incorporate zero-waste initiatives into the football stadium vendor contracts,” according to the document. Although a handful of other universities have recently launched zero-waste practices in their existing stadiums — such as Ohio State — UNC Charlotte is the first to implement the strategy in a new stadium. “We knew that introducing the stadium as zero waste would be much easier than converting it years down the line to incorporate recycling, composting and other green prospects,” said senior Ellen Payne, the Student Government Association’s secretary of sustainability and a well-regarded environmental student leader. Since then, representatives from the SGA, CGI and EARTH Club have met with the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling, as well as the campus’s food vendor, Chartwells, to turn plans into reality. Brad Green, director of catering and special services for Chartwells, said, “Students (still) want commercially viable brands that they are familiar with, as well as a wide variety of options.” To meet this demand, Chartwells and UNC Charlotte are working closely with vendors up front — particularly its larger vendors such as Bojangles and Coke — to “ensure an eco-friendly mindset,” said Green. “In Continued on p. 32 Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 27 UNC CHARLOTTE | s t a ke yo u r c l a i m Take a drive through the arts district along North Davidson and you might believe that the street has become the personal art gallery for UNC Charlotte undergrad Will Puckett. He is the artist responsible for the massive murals that grace Cordelia Park, the Johnston YMCA and a variety of buildings in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood, a historic mill area just north of downtown. Puckett’s most prominent creation greets visitors as they enter the arts district from the south via North Davidson Street. Several years ago, the local neighborhood association persuaded the city to approve a mural that would transform the overgrown, blighted area under the Matheson Street overpass into a welcoming representation of the arts district. Puckett’s proposal — a depiction of Mecklenburg County’s fabled Declaration of Independence from Britain in 1775 — won in an artists’ competition. To do the work, he donned a pair of rockclimbing shoes to compensate for the slope and ear plugs to drown out traffic and construction noise and perched himself on the concrete embankment or hung from scaffolding to create the whimsical scenes he describes as a “really, really big children’s book.” The project took about a year and 100 gallons of paint. Muralist William Puckett Makes His Mark on Charlotte By Melba Newsome 28 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 www.UNCC.edu The s t a ke yo u r c l a i m “The mural has turned this bridge into a vibrant gateway to NoDa — a neighborhood that is rapidly transforming itself into one of our city’s most happening sections,” Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx said. “I’ve always been one for alternative surfaces,” Puckett says. “I want to put my art in places where everybody can see. I’ve covered 30,000 square feet of public space in Charlotte.” Even his indoor work is not confined to traditional spaces. For several years, Cabo Fish Taco, one of NoDa’s most popular restaurants, has served as a gallery for his portraits. His first mega-project was an 8,000-square-foot mural on the floor of the NoDa@28th Street complex that houses Amelie’s French Bakery. GREW UP IN CHARLOTTE The oldest of three children, Puckett was born in Opelika, Ala., but has been a Charlottean since he was a year old. He attended Independence High School, where he was a jock who also took art classes — and not just for an easy A. “Art was something that I always wanted to do. The desire and approach was always there,” he said. “My high school art teacher, Brian Hester, was probably my biggest influence.” Despite his early passion for art, Puckett’s road to becoming a prolific working artist has been a long and winding one. After high school, he attended N.C. State and joined the wrestling team. After his freshman year, he transferred to a junior college in St. Louis and later attended Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., where he met his future wife, Lauren. He spent some time in Southern California before moving to Europe to work as a runway model in Paris and Milan. When he and Lauren moved back to Charlotte in 2005, living in the arts district fueled his passion to pursue his own work. For years, he worked a series of odd jobs — bike mechanic, bouncer, veterinary aide –— to pay the bills. Now, his art not only pays the bills, he has racked up impressive accolades. In 2012, his work was included in the Levine Museum of the New South’s Silent Heroes exhibit for the Democratic National Convention. He has been recognized for creating the Best Public Art Project and voted Best Local Artist. He has received numerous grants from the Arts & Science Council in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and the city of Charlotte to complete his large-scale public works, and is the recipient of an ASC www.UNCC.edu | UNC CHARLOTTE UNC Charlotte grad student Will Puckett is well known in Charlotte's arts district for his large indoor and outdoor paintings. His commercial and critical success notwithstanding, Puckett still longed for a formal art education. He enrolled at UNC Charlotte in the fall of 2012. Regional Artist Project Grant. His commercial and critical success notwithstanding, Puckett still longed for a formal art education. He enrolled at UNC Charlotte in the fall of 2012 and is now in his senior year as an art history major. While he doesn’t think his studies would have changed the overall design concept of his earlier paintings, he believes the additional education will help him better articulate his work. “I think having that art history foundation will make a difference in terms of knowledge,” he said. “I want to be able to speak more competently about my subjects.” ARCHETYPAL, SOUTHERN IMAGES Right now Puckett’s subjects revolve around archetypal images derived from his background as a Southerner. He spends roughly 30 hours a week in his warehouse studio near the railroad tracks along North Tryon Street working on his Continued on p. 32 Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 29 UNC CHARLOTTE | s t a ke yo u r c l a i m Online Community By Lynn Roberson After teaching English in Japan for a year, David Askay decided to travel before returning to the United States for graduate school. In doing so, he turned to an online community to find hosts willing to offer him lodging and advice, a simple activity that wound up changing his life. Through the experience, Askay discovered his future research focus on online communities, which he pursued as a UNC Charlotte doctoral student in organizational science. He has distinguished himself as a scholar at the University and is scheduled to graduate in July after previously completing his master’s degree in communication studies. “My experience traveling through CouchSurfing is directly linked to my current research,” Askay said, noting the website he used in his travels. “Based solely on peer reviews, complete strangers would welcome me into their homes. I was shocked at the level of trust and goodwill that people expressed. In Budapest, a host met me while on lunch break to give me a quick tour of the city and a key to the home.” In Riga, Latvia, another host who knew only 200 words of English took Askay mushroompicking in the woods by her summer cottage and served him a fantastic meal. “Having these experiences and hearing stories from people about their daily lives, I identified my own cultural biases and assumptions,” he said. “In Russia, I was shocked that while many people wanted to visit the United States, the fear of it being too dangerous a country, with kidnappings, muggings and violence, inhibited them from wanting to visit. The irony, of course, being that this is what most Americans think of Russia. I experienced how all over the world, people are mostly just like everyone else. They’re inquisitive, good-willed, and trusting.” 30 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 David Askay examines implications of Internet interactions When David Askay traveled overseas, he experienced the power of online information and networks. Here, he is pictured at Plitvice Lakes in Croatia. FORGING CONNECTIONS As Askay experienced firsthand, virtual networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other personal and professional online communities are increasingly forging connections among people. One UNC Charlotte researcher who studies these interactions and considers their implications is Anita Blanchard, an associate professor in psychology and organizational science. “With online — or virtual — communities, we definitely see that a sense of connection and meaningful relationships form,” Blanchard said. “We also know that the dimensions of the sense www.UNCC.edu s t a ke yo u r c l a i m of what community means differ somewhat from those of physical communities. People find ways to overcome the inherent challenges of electronic communications. They express support for each other, establish their identities and find common interests and connections.” Askay’s research helps grow the understanding of these online communities, said Blanchard, who with Askay and Katherine A. Frear published a chapter in the book “Communication, Relationships and Practices in Virtual Work.” Their chapter explored the sense of community in professional virtual communities and how it differs from the sense of community in social virtual communities. As a traveler, Askay realized the power of the Internet and online communities to promote cultural exchange, understanding and learning. “I was interested specifically in how something as unassuming as an online review could instill so much trust in people,” Askay said of his early experiences with CouchSurfing. “This led me down the path of studying the phenomena of online reviews, focusing more on the production of reviews and expression of opinions as opposed to the impact of seeing them.” CALIFORNIA BOUND The next steps on his journey will take him to California Polytechnic State University, where he will join the faculty in the fall as an assistant professor in communication studies. His proximity to Silicon Valley and its technology innovators will allow him to continue to explore emerging issues of online crowdbased technologies and social interaction in a technological world. “The biggest thing for researchers is being heard by the right people, where you can enact change,” Askay says. As a graduate student, Askay has distinguished himself with his research and his teaching. Among many honors, Askay received the Graduate Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award for the top graduate teaching assistant in 2012. In fall 2012, he received one of the most prestigious national research awards presented to students doing communication studies research, the Donald P. Cushman Memorial Award. Askay’s research for which he received the honor delved into the positive bias of opinions expressed in an online review system. He reviewed discussion forums in an online community of reviewers and determined that a fear of retaliation and isolation from the community reduces the willingness of members to voice minority neutral and negative reviews. “David’s research holds great contemporary relevance, advancing both science and practice in an emergent area in the organizational sciences, social media,” said Dr. Steven Rogelberg, director of organizational science at UNC Charlotte. In his doctoral thesis, Askay has conducted another study, a two-year ethnographic look | UNC CHARLOTTE at an online review system and the impact of users who are selected by the organization to be “elite” members. While comprising 4 percent of the reviewers, they generate 40 percent of reviews. They also are connected in the physical world, through parties and other activities. “With crowd-sourcing, you have a diverse group of people that provides the wisdom of the crowd,” Askay said. “They generally work for free and are not connected. But then there’s this group that is highly connected and rewarded by the organization.” He is studying what impact this connected sub-group has on the crowd view and whether it suggests the organization wants not merely more participation, but a certain type of participation to achieve organizational goals. ‘ELITE’ VIEWS OFTEN MODERATE His research so far suggests that the more moderate reviews by the “elites” can balance out the more extreme reviews by others, because they tend to rate their experiences with more 3s and 4s on a 1-5 scale than other reviewers. This, he presumes, leads to a more accurate overall rating of the business. His research considers why a business would wish to reward such moderating behavior, which is, in effect, what happens with “elites.” The presence of such a group raises other questions about whether it reinforces society’s stratification, Askay said. These members tend to be more literate and more affluent than the overall group. “This is a reflection of society, where elite members online are also the elites of society,” he said. He anticipates research opportunities in exploring what companies and organizations are doing to encourage people to basically work for them for free, such as by doing reviews. “Part of my research looks at how organizations can unobtrusively encourage crowds of people to participate in a desired way,” he said. He sees potential implications for employers and employees as they consider the impact of thousands of people working for free to generate value for the organization. “How does that change work, how people work and how they are rewarded?” Askay said. He is ruminating about even more research topics, no doubt. Lynn Roberson is communications director for the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Askay’s far-flung adventures include teaching school for a year in Japan. www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 31 UNC CHARLOTTE | c l a s s n o te s Zeroing In continued from p. 27 The Muralist continued from p. 29 Daniel Berei ‘12 Charlotte – Taylor Strategy has hired UNC Charlotte alum Daniel Berei as an account coordinator in their Charlotte office. In his new role, Berei is responsible for supporting the account team by working with media representatives, creating social media content and increasing awareness for a number of the consumer public relations agency’s national clients. Berei majored in International Public Relations at UNC Charlotte. Leslie Furr ‘04 Lincolnton, N.C. – The National Registry of Certified Microbiologists recently acknowledged Leslie Furr as an official registrant as she was certified as a Specialist Microbiologist in Pharmaceutical and Medical Device Microbiology. Furr achieved the rigorous educational and experiential eligibility requirements and passed a comprehensive written examination in order to receive the certification. Sharon Horinka ‘11 Charlotte – Sharon Horinka recently accepted a position at UNC Charlotte as a fundraising support specialist in the Annual Giving Department of the University Advancement Division. Horinka started working at the University as a student caller in the Student Telefundraising Center in 2008. She majored in psychology with a minor in English. Ryan Johnson ‘07 Charlotte – Ryan Johnson has joined the Charlotte firm of Hatcher Law Group as a family law attorney. Hatcher Law Group practices in all areas of family law, as well as wills and estate planning representing clients in Mecklenburg and surrounding counties. Devlin McNeil ‘02 Charlotte – Community School of the Arts has named Devlin McNeil ‘02 as its new president and executive director. Devlin begins her new role on June 17. Devlin comes to the CSA with a broad range of experience and skills in nonprofit leadership, most recently as the chief operating officer at McColl Center for Visual Art. She earmed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UNC Charlotte and is a master’s candidate in arts administration at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. Melissa Wellin ‘07 Raleigh, N.C. – UNC Charlotte alum Melissa Wellin works as a dance educator with the Wake County Public School System. She is set to get married this September to Derek Levandowski in the Raleigh area. Correction The Q1 edition of Class Notes included an error in a photo caption. The person to the right is John O. Lafferty, Jr. ’69. working with our brand partners, we were given special exemptions from the brand standards.” Bojangles, for example, offers its signature Bo sauce in individual, recyclable containers, and Coke has presented a fully compostable beverage cup lid. Stadium food waste and fiber packaging from these vendors and others will be accepted by locally owned Earth Farms for composting. Other waste-eliminating products will include: compostable food trays, recyclable souvenir cups and bottles, condiment dispensers versus packets and, of course, recycling bins throughout. In fact, there will be no available “regular” trash cans, except in the restrooms; only recycling options will be available. FAN BEHAVIOR Alongside rigorous planning, success depends heavily on human behavior: waste still needs to be properly disposed of in appropriate ways. “Fans will need to be educated on the process [recycling and composting],” Hatley said. “We’ll do that through the use of marketing and volunteers.” According to Payne, “each game will require more than 50 volunteers.” Many of the organizations already mentioned will participate, but they will still need help. “[These] students are educating visitors on sustainable practices that ultimately affect our future.” Understandably, the goal of zero waste is not technically possible, but leaders believe the University can and will divert over 90 percent of the stadium’s waste that would otherwise go to the landfill. It’s hoped that anticipated success at the football stadium will serve as a catalyst for expansion. One possibility is integrating a zero-waste initiative into the Student Union. “Everything has a place beyond the landfill,” said Hatley. Cooperative leadership demonstrated by the University shows the community — and the world — creative and realistic ways to face one of today’s most concerning global issues. “It is our job as students to educate ourselves on environmental world issues and to help teach others what we’ve learned,” Payne said. Editor’s note: Want to help? See the student-created zero-waste stadium Facebook page at www.facebook.com/zerowasteUNCCharlotte. Or, go to the website of the Office of Waste Reduction and Recycling at http://facilities-uncc.edu/ recycling-houskeeping/recycling. first solo exhibition he hopes to debut before the end of 2013. The work is intended to hang indoors, but his canvas is no more conventional than his dramatic murals. He uses metal fabricators to imprint sheet metal. What most of us see as trash, he sees as a canvas. Space is filled with loading pallets, old doors and layers of tree bark that have been transformed into vibrant visuals. “My imagery and approach is much more of an illustrator,” he said. “I consider what I’m doing drawing with a brush. Am I a garbage collector? Yes. Pretty much.” A year ago, all of his portraits were oil on canvas. However, his work recently took a dramatic turn when he abandoned his brush. Standing over his canvas, he uses small containers filled with a variety of paint colors and creates the portrait by dripping the paint in place. Sometimes he uses a stick to guide the color more precisely. The result is a form of Cloisonné, an ancient technique typically used to decorate metalwork, gemstones and glass. “It looks a lot more complicated than it is,” he says of a life-sized portrait of a gentleman in a fancy blue-checked suit. “I needed to do something very colorful and different. Everything else was so controlled and so precise.” He doesn’t yet have gallery representation, but he has the interest of gallery owners whenever he is ready to show. “I consider what I’m doing now research,” he said. “I’m putting together strong paragraphs in support of my argument, but I haven’t quite got it together as a cohesive body of work yet. I need to develop more of a thesis.” Inspired by UNC Charlotte alum and artist Chris Watts who was recently accepted into Yale’s Master of Fine Arts program, Puckett believes that his University coursework will help him reach the next level. “I didn’t know (what Chris did) was an option,” he said. “It may sound arrogant, but I believe I can do it, too.” Melba Newsome is a freelance writer based in Charlotte. www.UNCC.edu 32 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 TO POSITIVE CHANGE AND ADVANCED EDUCATION IS A A COMMITMENT CROWN-WORTHY Graduate faculty members like Diana Rowan are solving global issues, all while mentoring students in Charlotte. Community partnerships and opportunities are a few of the many benefits graduate students receive at UNC Charlotte. That’s something you just can’t replicate from a lecture through a computer. FOCUS UNC CHARLOTTE | giving Chris Jarrett, director of the School of Architecture; Ken Lambla, COA+A dean; Jeannette and Charles Hight; and Provost Joan Lorden at the formal gift announcement. ‘Symbol of By Meg Whalen This spring, the School of Architecture announced a $1 million estate gift from Charles Hight, FAIA, dean emeritus of UNC Charlotte's former College of Architecture, and his wife, Jeannette Hight. The announcement March 16 helped mark the fifth-year anniversary celebration of the College of Arts + Architecture. 34 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 Confidence’ “Every school of architecture in this country aspires to receiving such generous gifts as a mark of continuous commitment from faculty and student alumni, as well as the profession, to advance the quality of the program,” said Ken Lambla, dean of the College of Arts + Architecture. “This gift is a momentous occasion for the School of Architecture; it is a symbol of confidence and true philanthropy by our former colleague and his wife.” The planned gift includes two components: an endowed professorship in Innovative Architecture and Technology Design and the Hight Architecture Fellowship, a scholarship for exemplary architecture students. “As neither Jeannette nor I benefited from financial assistance from family or institutions, we understand the importance of providing www.UNCC.edu Architecture School receives $1 million gift from former dean, his wife giving financial support to excellent, dedicated students,” said Hight. “We hope our gift will help and inspire students to provide innovative architecture that will improve the quality of life for all persons. Likewise, if architecture is to have a pivotal role in the developing of our society, it is essential for architectural programs to have faculty members who will holistically advance innovative architectural design and technology.” INITIALLY A CIVIL ENGINEER Charles Hight earned a degree in civil engineering from the University of Maryland in 1955 and began his architectural studies at Johns Hopkins University, completing his degree at Auburn University. In 1965, he joined the faculty at Tuskegee University to help establish the first professional architectural program at a southern historically black university. “I had been accepted for graduate school at MIT and Columbia, but I believed in the Civil Rights movement and I thought if I’m ever going to really do something rather than be a spectator, I should jump in,” Hight said. He became the head of the program at Tuskegee in 1968 and led it to accreditation before leaving in 1976. Hight came to UNC Charlotte in 1976 and served as dean of the then College of | UNC CHARLOTTE “…I believed in the Civil Rights movement and I thought if I’m ever going to really do something rather than be a spectator, I should jump in.” Architecture until 2002. He remained on the UNC Charlotte faculty until 2005, when he moved to Tampa to serve as dean of the University of Southern Florida’s School of Architecture and Community Design for three years. In 1992, Hight was admitted to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects. 26 YEARS AS CHARLOTTE DEAN During his 26 years as architecture dean at UNC Charlotte, the program expanded significantly and achieved accreditation. Hight also oversaw the opening of Storrs Hall and initiated a community design program with studios in Charlotte’s center city. In 2007, the Charles C. Hight Architectural Library in Storrs Hall became UNC Charlotte’s first branch library. “My association with numerous dedicated, talented faculty staff members, as well as many outstanding designers who supported the program through teaching and service will forever be cherished,” Hight said. Hight’s wife, Jeannette, is also a life-long educator. She taught Head Start teachers at Tuskegee, and upon moving to Charlotte, she taught at Plaza Presbyterian Weekday School, serving as director from 1979 to 1997. The Hights now live in Tampa, Fla. “We believe if one is given much, one should give to the degree that one can,” said Charles Hight. “Our gift reflects our confidence in the architectural program’s continued innovative progress and its future. We hope it will stimulate others to make contributions.” Meg Whalen is director of communications and external relations for the College of Art + Architecture. THE CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY How to guarantee fixed income for life while providing a gift for the deserving students of UNC Charlotte. One annuitant/age 65 70 75 80 85 Two annuitants/ages 65/65 70/70 75/75 80/80 85/85 Payout rate 4.7% 5.1 5.8 6.8 7.8 Payout rate 4.2% 4.6 5.0 5.7 6.7 May we illustrate one for you? Contact Harry Creemers Senior Director of Development 704.687.7220 or email@example.com www.UNCC.edu Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 35 UNC CHARLOTTE | building blocks â€˜ Tailgate 13 The date: April 20, 2013. On a sunsplashed Saturday too beautiful for anything but 49ers spring football, UNC Charlotte staged its inaugural GreenWhite scrimmage at McColl-Richardson Field. Almost 14,000 jubilant fans, many 36 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine | Q213 decked out in 49ers green, tailgated, cheered and strutted, a precursor to the next historic milestone, opening day, Aug. 31, when the 49ers kick off their season against the Campbell University Camels. www.UNCC.edu perspective | UNC CHARLOTTE China’s New Town Movement Asian power to build 400 new cities by 2030 By Zhongjie Lin, Associate Professor of Architecture Under the current massive urbanization in China that has been regarded as the largest mass migration ever seen in human history, the Chinese government has taken bold steps to build hundreds of new cities to accommodate the swelling urban population and sustain economic development. These top-down governmental initiatives represent a wholesale introduction of emerging ideas of planning and cutting-edge building technologies to address social and environmental issues during a period of unprecedented economic growth. China’s national development agenda has a goal of 60 percent urbanization by 2030, which means that each year about 16 million rural inhabitants are moving into cities. In 1985, less than 20 percent of Chinese people were urban residents. Since then, the urban population has grown at a rate of about 1 percent each year and exceeded 50 percent of the national population in 2011. I have studied China’s massive urbanization and emerging new towns since 2011. This project falls within one of the research themes of the Woodrow Wilson International Center of Scholars, namely “urbanization, migration and immigration.” I received a Wilson Center fellowship to conduct research in Washington, D.C., from November 2012 through May 2013 and am currently the only scholar of architecture and urban design at the center. The Wilson Center is dedicated to fostering international relations to inform policy-making and to seeking solutions for significant global issues in political and social spheres. Fellows from different regions and academic backgrounds gather here. Although each focuses on an individual topic of international studies, the center provides great resources and opportunities for scholars to develop and share their work through symposia, talks and other public events. Fellows also make weekly work-inprocess presentations that serve as productive opportunities to provide updates on their research, receive feedback and discuss common interests. My presentation of China’s ongoing new town movement drew a lot of interest among scholars in Chinese urbanism, as it addresses several issues equally important to other regions in the world, including environmental challenges to human habitats, infrastructure for rapidly expanding cities and the economic and political implications of China’s growing urban society. The experience at the center has continued to broaden my perspective of the research project, which will help me in developing a book manuscript on China’s new town movement. The Chinese government has announced it will build 20 new cities each year for 20 years. At least 400 new cities are expected to emerge by 2030. Whether and to what extent these new towns can succeed, however, is still to be seen. They face both technical challenges and, more importantly, barriers existing in China’s current socio-economic system, such as land and energy policies. In any case, the rise of hundreds of new towns in the next decade will be a significant phenomenon to observe in China and will surely influence the rest of the world. Editor’s note: Lin recently won a 2013 Guggenheim Fellowship. For more on that, go to News Briefs on page 5. Q213 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 37 China’s national development agenda has a goal of 60 percent urbanization by 2030, which means that each year about 16 million rural inhabitants are moving into cities. In 1985, less than 20 percent of Chinese people were urban residents. www.UNCC.edu Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Charlotte, NC Permit No. 949 The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223-0001 Ray Johnson, a College of Computing and Informatics major from Rocky Mount, N.C., is a 49ers fan and was the designated 25,000th person to “like” UNC Charlotte’s Facebook page. At press time, the number of likes had RISEN to more than 27,500.