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UNC Charlotte First Face of

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The magazine of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte for Alumni and Friends • v18 q1 • 2011

UTOP at 25 Silver anniversary for a golden program


c h a n c e l l o r ’s l e t te r

Building Something Great

“The recession has not slowed public interest in higher education and UNC Charlotte continues to experience tremendous growth.”


Welcome to UNC Charlotte magazine. This issue comes to you as we approach the end of a very exciting semester and prepare to celebrate milestones on our campus and in the city of Charlotte. It also comes at a critical moment in UNC history, as North Carolina’s leadership determines budget priorities for FY 2012 (FY 12). Governor Beverly Perdue and the General Assembly have begun to debate how to close a multibillion dollar state budget gap; it’s already clear that significant permanent budget cuts will touch all UNC campuses in FY 12. This round of cuts will be the latest in a series of permanent and short-term cuts resulting from recession-induced state budget woes. For our part, we have been planning for budget reductions for some time, but the cuts may go deeper than previously anticipated. In addition, the General Assembly has not yet deliberated tuition increases that were approved last month by the Board of Governors. For UNC Charlotte and most of our sister campuses, the Board approved a 6.5% tuition increase for resident undergraduates. The General Assembly has final approval, however, and final tuition levels may be higher. Notably, the recession has not slowed public interest in higher education and UNC Charlotte continues to experience tremendous growth. The University serves 4,300 more students than it did five years ago — a 21 percent increase. Many of those students have come back to school to gain the tools and training they will need to participate in the economic recovery. To meet this demand, our faculty and staff have remained committed to ensuring access and have worked diligently to identify creative and more efficient uses of our resources. Because of their resolve, we have maintained our positive institutional momentum. We’ve taken another crucial step toward the 2013 kickoff of 49er football with the recruitment of our first head coach. Coach Brad Lambert comes to us from Wake Forest University where he was defensive coordinator. With his more than 23 years of experience at the coaching level in four excellent Division I programs, there is no doubt that Coach Lambert will foster a

tradition of excellence on the field and in the classroom. He is already assembling his staff and later this year will be able to begin recruiting players for our inaugural game against Campbell University on August 31, 2013. Read more about Coach Lambert on page 3. This fall we will celebrate the grand opening of our 11-story Center City Building at Ninth and Brevard streets. The building will link the University ever more closely to the City it serves by providing increased access to a number of our continuing education and graduate programs, including all of our graduate programs in the Belk College of Business. If federal and state funding comes through, we could see that facility linked to our main campus by light rail as soon as 2016. The Center City Building will be at the nexus of a great deal of activity in September 2012 when Charlotte hosts the Democratic National Convention (DNC). This convention may make it necessary for the University to delay the start of the 2012 fall semester, as we may be unable to hold classes in Center City at that time due to heavy security, traffic, and extraordinary demand for parking. It is also possible that the University will be asked to provide housing accommodations for individuals associated with the Convention, including security personnel, media, and volunteers. Those details are unfolding slowly as the local organizing committee gets established. We will announce new details as they develop. In July, I will finish my sixth year as UNC Charlotte’s chancellor. These six years have been immensely rewarding, thanks to the tremendous dedication of our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community supporters. Together, we will continue to build something great. Cordially,

Philip L. Dubois Chancellor







49ers Forever: Alums Foster Counseling Partnership Two former student athletes have developed an extensive partnership with UNC Charlotte to provide counseling services to those in need, experience to graduate students, and jobs to University alumni.

14 UTOP! Celebrating 25 Years of Success

The University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) celebrates its silver anniversary this year. More than longevity, the program is celebrating a sterling track record of helping underrepresented students achieve success and ultimately graduate from college at rates above and beyond the national average.

24 Are You Sold? A Look at Consumer Behavior

Advertisers use subtle and not-so-subtle methods to brand and market their products. Consumer Behavior expert and Belk College of Business professor James Oakley answers questions about a range of topics, including neuromarketing, prescription drug advertising, the “made in America” label and more.

36 departments 3 News Briefs 18

22 Center Stage 39 41

20 Ground Breaker:  Krista Long, ’90 From New Yorker to Charlottean, Krista Long has made her mark on the Queen City and 49ers athletics. A former volleyball player, Long has assumed a leadership role on the Executive Board of Directors for UNC Charlotte’s Athletic Foundation.

36 Scenes from Homecoming

UNC Charlotte has received national recognition for closing the graduation rate gap between white students and underrepresented students. UTOP is an important part of that effort. Pictured here are UTOP students (from left) Naajaya Leak, Bryn Williams and Julian Pridgen.


stake your claim profiles

Since 2008, communities across the country have felt the devastating effects of the foreclosure crisis. UNC Charlotte researchers and students are working side-by-side with residents of some of the most challenged neighborhoods in Charlotte to develop a model to bolster these communities and prevent future developments from suffering the same fate.

On the cover:

Class Notes

40 Building Blocks

28 Foreclosure Fallout: Rebuilding Challenged Communities

Alumni, students, parents and visitors gathered in record numbers on campus for a full weekend of homecoming festivities.

49ers Notebook


 tar of the Bar:  S Karen Popp, ’80 Though her home base is Washington, D.C., Karen Popp never really left UNC Charlotte. The much-sought-after lawyer was the first female Student Government Association president in the UNC System, and she now serves as secretary of the University’s Board of Trustees.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



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Fun at Work Working at UNC Charlotte has been the best job I’ve ever had – in many ways. One of the reasons is that my work is fun. There’s a goodly amount of stress but most of that is the fun kind – making decisions under pressure, celebrating achievements by my team and sharing them with others, and learning about the endless array of exciting things being done by students, faculty and staff. UNC Charlotte, with 25,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff, is a small city – one populated with an unusually creative, curious and driven citizenry. Hence, as a public relations person (read: advocate) being part of these stories is fun for me. In recent weeks, I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy participating in: a CFO panel discussion featuring our vice chancellor for business affairs, a social media workshop (read: conversation and debate) that drew dozens of faculty and staff, a Governor’s roundtable luncheon on campus that drew a few dozen of the region’s top business and civic leaders, a celebratory press conference introducing Head Coach Brad Lambert as the 49er’s first face of football – and an upbeat campus kick-off event for the annual Arts & Science Council fundraising campaign. All those things are my kind of fun. So were the three meetings last week with deans and communication directors at some of our colleges; more are coming soon. All these are fun because they inform, challenge and even entertain me. What could be more fun than that? I hope that as you page through this edition of UNC Charlotte, you’ll have some fun. It’s in here; find out for yourself – and enjoy!

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Volume 18, Number 1 Philip L. Dubois Chancellor Gene Johnson Chair of the Board of Trustees Niles Sorensen Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Editor Director of Public Relations John D. Bland Creative Director Fabi Preslar Contributing Writers Phillip Brown Kevin Hunt Paul Nowell Lisa A. Patterson Staff Photographer Wade Bruton


Circulation Manager Cathy Brown 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: Reese Building, 2nd floor The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223 704.687.5825; Fax: 704.687.6379

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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.

17,500 copies of this publication were printed at a cost of $.54 per piece, for a total cost of $9,375. 2




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The First Face of 49ers Football

Brad Lambert to lead UNC Charlotte into gridiron era

On March 1, the Charlotte 49ers made history again when Chancellor Dubois and Athletics Director Judy Rose introduced Brad Lambert as the 49ers first head football coach. Lambert, a 10-year assistant at Wake Forest, who has also had successful stints at Georgia and Marshall, was introduced at a press conference in the university’s Barnhardt Student Activity Center. “Brad is, first and foremost, a man of integrity,” Dubois said. “Not counting his playing days, he has more than 23 years of experience at the coaching level in four excellent Division I programs. He has experienced post-season and bowl success. He knows what success looks like. He also understands the importance of patience and resilience required to build a new program.” “I have absolutely no doubt that we got the right fit for Charlotte,” Rose added. “I know after spending as much time with Brad as I have, that he’s a builder. He makes players better — and I see him doing the same thing in building

Brad Lambert File: Born: Jan. 14, 1965 Birth Place: Hoxie, Kansas Alma Mater: Kansas State, 1987 (Business Finance) Family:  Wife, Angie; Daughter, Lucy, Sons, Layne and Beau Coaching History: Wake Forest, 2001-10 (Head coach: Jim Grobe) Georgia, 1996-2000  (Head coach: Jim Donnan) Marshall, 1990-95  (Head coach: Jim Donnan) Oklahoma, 1988-89  (Head coach: Jim Donnan)   Playing History: Kansas State, 1984-87 2nd team all-Big Eight, 1984 Academic all-Big Eight, 1984-86

Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, 49ers Football Head Coach Brad Lambert and Athletics Director Judy Rose greet the campus at a press conference.

our program at Charlotte. He’s obviously a relationship person, which I value very strongly. Look at the people that he has coached that have made special plans and flown in to be here today to help celebrate with Brad and his family. To me that speaks volumes.” Over his 23-year career, Lambert has won an NCAA National Championship, won an Atlantic Coast Conference title, been to eight bowl games, four NCAA National Championship games and enjoyed a winning pct. of over 62 percent. “The biggest thing for me was once I got involved in the process, I saw the vision and commitment and the excitement that there is here for football. They have great plans in place and it lines up with the vision I have. Football is really important to this university and that’s exciting for me and my family. I am humbled as well that we’ve been entrusted to lead this team,” Lambert said. “I would like to thank Chancellor Dubois and Judy Rose for the opportunity.” Lambert served as Defensive Coordinator for the Demon Deacons the last three years. He served as Linebackers Coach and Special Teams Coach at Wake Forest from 20012009. He served as secondary, linebackers, special teams and defensive ends coach while at Georgia and a secondary and defensive ends coach at Marshall. In his 10 years under Jim Grobe at Wake Forest, he was an integral part of the Deacons most successful football era. He was the Linebackers Coach on Wake Forest’s 2006 ACC Champion team and was a part of four Bowl Game appearances, including three straight from 2006-2008. In 2008, he coached Butkus Award winner Aaron Curry, as the Deacons advanced to their third straight bowl game: the 2008 EagleBank Bowl. Continued on p. 31  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine




news briefs Duke and Siemens Commit $8.8 Million to EPIC On Jan. 21, Duke Energy and Siemens Energy announced $8.8 million in support for the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center [EPIC] at UNC Charlotte. Duke Energy CEO Jim Rodgers said EPIC will help move Charlotte from an energy hub to the nation’s energy capital. Duke Energy will provide approximately $4.5 million and Siemens Energy will provide approximately $4.3 million in support of the Center. Both companies will do this over several years as the EPIC program develops. Critical to training new engineers and conducting research in energy technologies, EPIC will serve the diverse needs of existing and new energy companies, further positioning Charlotte USA as The New Energy Capital. The combined support from the two companies will provide engineering scholarships, advance research capabilities in Smart Grid and precision manufacturing, provide access to large-scale manufacturing equipment and enable recruiting of key faculty in power engineering disciplines. “The generous financial support from Duke Energy and Siemens are integral to the gathering momentum of the EPIC

project; we at UNC Charlotte are most grateful for the ongoing support of these two energy leaders,” says UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. “This support reflects the depth of academic and industry collaboration in the Charlotte Region. We also are grateful for the steadfast support of the State of North Carolina in its crucial funding to build the EPIC facility and to hire staff and faculty.” “EPIC will transform the future of our energy workforce and job development across this growing region,” said Dhiaa Jamil, group executive, chief generation officer and chief nuclear officer for Duke Energy, who also chairs EPIC’s Industrial Advisory Board. “It will be a resource for engineering students from many universities and colleges, and a national resource for the development of cutting edge technologies that continue to shape the energy industry,” he continued. “Siemens Energy is committing time, talent and funds for a dual community impact – to further the EPIC and New Energy Capital efforts and to support the expansion of Siemens’ superior energy workforce and research reputation,” says Mark Pringle, director of operations for

Siemens Energy’s Charlotte operation. Siemens Energy has announced plant expansions that will increase its Charlotte Region employee base from almost 800 to more than 1,800. Gas turbine manufacturing will be a premier specialty at the new Siemens Energy facility in Charlotte. At EPIC, Siemens Energy expects to support a manufacturing lab that can increase the accuracy of machining large-scale parts. EPIC director and SPX Distinguished Professor at UNC Charlotte, Steve Patterson, explains its importance. “First, highly accurate parts improve the efficiency of manufacturing operations thus allowing for reduced assembly and installation costs and longer service life. Overall that is a time and energy saver. Second, this will be a training laboratory for the next generation of manufacturing engineers.” Graduates are often said to locate close to their universities, so this talented workforce can provide an ongoing lure to the Charlotte Region for new and existing energy and engineering firms. Siemens Energy will also provide funding for undergraduate and graduate scholars, support for a veterans’ outreach program, and support for a visiting scholars program which

The massive new Energy Production and Infrastructure Center will be completed in fall 2011. It is located between Hayes Baseball Stadium and Grigg Hall and will overlook the upcoming Charlotte 49ers football stadium.





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will bring in key researchers from outside the United States to work with EPIC associates. Siemens Energy will also provide machinery time at its 550,000 square foot plant southwest of Charlotte so faculty can work on advanced manufacturing concepts. Part of Siemens Energy’s support is framed as challenge-funding that can motivate other firms to provide support. Duke Energy plans to support a Distinguished EPIC Student Fellows Program for promising high school seniors with a declared interest in energy engineering. The program will be a renewable award made to entering engineering freshmen, recurring over a four-year period to students enrolled in the energy program curriculum, provided that they maintain eligibility requirements. A Duke Energy Chair in Power Engineering Systems will recruit a distinguished professor with proven research in the area of power engineering systems and notable industry experience to serve as the inaugural director of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center. This faculty member will be equipped to direct faculty within EPIC to target research projects of immediate and long-term interest to Duke Energy and other energy companies. This researcher will attract students and develop graduate engineers that have the unique skills and knowledge required to add value to the energy engineering workforce.

This distinguished faculty position will be supported by an endowment of $2.67 million that is funded by a $2 million commitment from Duke Energy and a $670,000 match from the State of North Carolina. A Duke Energy Smart Grid Laboratory will provide much-needed research to modernize the electric power grid — a national priority. A digitally-enabled powersystem infrastructure will accommodate all generation and storage options, enable markets, optimize assets and operational efficiency, and motivate consumer stewardship. A modernized grid also provides feedback, ensures power quality appropriate for digital applications, allows self-healing within the system, and resists attack by providing adequate security measures. Says Jamil, “This will be a research service for our EPIC partners so that they may test new technologies and develop collaborative relationships within the Lee College of Engineering. This kind of crossdiscipline work within the college builds a greater understanding about our nation’s energy priorities among a large number of engineering students.” In the last two years, the State of North Carolina committed funds to build the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center Building on the UNC Charlotte campus and for ongoing support for new faculty. The College of Engineering is recruiting or has already hired more than 20 energy faculty.


COA+A Dance Dept Gets  NEA Grant for Graham Work The Department of Dance in the College of Arts + Architecture has received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) to fund a restaging of “Primitive Mysteries,” Martha Graham’s 1931 masterpiece. The NEA’s $15,000 Access to Artistic Excellence “American Masterpieces” grant will enable the Dance Department to present the restaging of this Graham work as part of the spring 2011 concert of the UNC Charlotte Dance Ensemble Wednesday, April 13, through Sunday, April 17, at the Robinson Hall for the Performing Arts. “American Masterpieces” is an NEA initiative to acquaint Americans with the best of their cultural and artistic legacy through the sponsorship of performances, exhibitions, tours and educational programs across the country. “The curriculum of the Department of Dance features work of the classic dance forms of ballet and modern dance as well as original work by faculty and guest artists,” said Pamela Sofras, chair of the department. “Primitive Mysteries” is considered one of Graham’s seminal works and marks the beginning of her recognition as a major artist. The NEA grant will fund several ancillary projects related to the work. On Thursday, April 18, the Department of Dance will host a master class on Martha Graham technique and a panel discussion with several former Martha Graham Company dancers representing multiple generations of the company’s existence. On Friday, April 19, the department will host students from area public schools for a special matinee performance. Additionally, UNC Charlotte students will perform excerpts of the work in several local public schools. More information is on the Web at Ticket revenues for all UNC Charlotte Department of Dance programs support student scholarships and educational program activities.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine




news briefs Steven Ott Appointed Dean of Belk College of Business In January, Steven Ott, the John Crosland Sr. Distinguished Professor of Real Estate and Development, was appointed dean of the Belk College of Business. Ott replaced Joseph Mazzola, who stepped down recently to return to the faculty to concentrate on teaching and research. “Steve has demonstrated his leadership abilities and skills in relationship-building as director of the Center for Real Estate and a dedicated senior faculty member in the Belk College,” said Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs. Ott joined the UNC Charlotte

faculty in 1999 to develop a curriculum in real estate in the Belk College. He crafted an academic concentration in real estate finance and development in the MBA program and was instrumental in the establishment of the Center for Real Estate in 2005. Ott collaborated with a high-profile group of industry Steve Ott leaders in 2007 to raise $4.4 million to support the expansion of the center’s research and academic programs and spearheaded the addition of a proposed Master of Science in Real Estate at UNC

Charlotte, which is pending approval from UNC General Administration. Ott previously served as interim dean of the Belk College for the 2007-08 academic year. Ott earned his undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of WisconsinWhitewater and both his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Mazzola, who holds the appointment as the Belk Distinguished Professor of Business, joined UNC Charlotte in 2008.

Austrian official discusses renewable energy at IDEAS Center A leading Austrian official visited the IDEAS Center at UNC Charlotte’s William States Lee College of Engineering to brief faculty, researchers and environmental leaders about how Austrian know-how in renewable technologies can help North Carolina. Hans Kordik, counselor for agriculture and environment at the Austrian Embassy in Washington, D.C., visited UNC Charlotte to share the Austrian experience in the growing industry of environmental technologies, particularly as it relates to Austria’s success story in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Environmental technologies have had a dramatic development in Austria and have emerged as a major branch of industry with a

significant increase in the number of companies working in this sector as well as employment. Austria ranks second in environmental investment based on percentage of GDP compared Europe-wide. The Austrian environmental and energy technology industry is making a considerable contribution to generating sustainable growth and supporting Austria’s environment.  Growing export numbers show that Austria’s green technologies are also treasured beyond its borders. UNC Charlotte’s IDEAS Center focuses on hastening the shift from unsustainable infrastructure, housing and technology design to practices more attuned to the challenges of the 21st century.

The University hosted officials from government and the private sector to learn about renewable energy technologies from Austrian Counselor for Agriculture and Environment Hans Kordik. Pictured from left to right are: Justin Hunt, David Young, Pam Friedl, Ron Smelser, Bob Friedl (recently deceased), Jennifer Roberts, Barry Edwards, Helene Hilger, Keith Baarson, Brett Tempest and Hans Kordik.





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Football Forum Draws Crowd Director of Athletics Judy Rose came away delighted with the enthusiasm of the large crowd of supporters who showed up for the Charlotte 49ers Feb. 9 “town hall” meeting to discuss the University’s new football program. Rose was joined by Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Dan Van Dyke, a senior associate at Jenkins-Peer Architects. Each of them made brief presentations before opening the floor to questions from a crowd estimated at 150. “I was really pleased with the crosssection of people in attendance,” said Rose. “We had faculty and staff members, students, the Greek community, community leaders like our former chancellor (James Woodward) and Mac Everett, who chaired our football feasibility study. “There were a lot of sections represented,” Rose said, “and the thing that got me was the excitement. They were out here and they were excited to be here and to participate.

Architect Dan Van Dyke briefs the audience on features of the upcoming 49ers football stadium.

That, I think, shows the interest — an interest that will continue to swell.” Included in the presentation was a status updates on the head coaching search, the 2013 schedule, and discussion of conference affiliation. In addition, the officials discussed the timeline of major

football events and a review of renderings of the stadium construction, which is due to break ground on April 28. Rose announced the scheduling of the first Bowl Championship Series opponent to be placed on a 49ers schedule. The 49ers will play at Virginia Tech in 2019.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine




news briefs Coughter named Executive Director of UNC Charlotte Center City Jerry Coughter has been named executive director of UNC Charlotte Center City, the new $50.4 million classroom building in the heart of the city’s business district. He joined the University on Feb. 1. Construction is nearly complete on the 12-story structure, which is the is the only University of North Carolina classroom building conceived Jerry Coughter and designed specifically to serve the business, organizations and people of the urban center. In the fall of 2011, students in UNC Charlotte’s MBA program and other graduate programs will attend classes in the latest addition to downtown Charlotte’s skyline. Coughter comes from George Mason University, where he had been campus executive officer of the campus in Loudoun County, Va., since 2007.   In addition to managing day-to-day operations of the campus, Coughter coordinated a public planning process in partnership with the local community college, school system, and business community resulting in the largest-ever gift to the university, a 37-acre, $17.3 million property to become the permanent campus.  “UNC Charlotte Center City is a great opportunity to connect the University to the city in new ways and to showcase and build upon our shared talents and expertise,” Coughter said. “I’m looking forward to have a chance to play a role in all the good things that will emerge from developing this partnership.” Provost Joan Lorden said Coughter’s experience makes him an ideal fit for the Charlotte Center City position. “The success of the UNC Charlotte Center





City is vital to our long-term plan to populate the urban center with our considerable intellectual resources,” she said. “Jerry is ready to take on the challenge of using this facility to connect us to the community and connect them to the main campus.” Coughter also served as assistant vice president for regional economic development and as director of life science management at GMU. His previous experience includes executive director of the Governor’s Biotechnology Initiative for the Commonwealth of Virginia and management experience in private industry. He earned a bachelor’s degree in

microbiology-molecular biology at Clemson University, a Masters .in Microbiology and Immunology at Virginia Commonwealth University and an MBA from Shenandoah University. He is a doctoral candidate in Science and Technology Policy at George Mason University. Center City Building will offer several of the University’s graduate-level programs, including the Belk College of Business MBA. The university’s Urban Design Studio will also be based there. In addition, graduate-level classes in Continued on p. 34

Howard Receives Patriot Award Michele Howard, dean of students, received the Patriot Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR). In presenting the award, ESGR representative Henry Bridgers praised Howard and the University as employers that supported workers who served in the National Guard and Reserves. Todd Delp, assistant director for student conduct, nominated Howard for the honor. A member of the Navy Reserve, Delp and his unit was mobilized from June 2008 through May 2009. During this time, he was deployed to Iraq for seven months. In his nomination letter, Delp wrote that Howard and Christine Reed Davis “have gone above and beyond to support me during my deployment to the Middle East and annual Reserve training requirements. “ He added that while on active duty, they maintained constant communication with him and arranged a smooth transition when he returned, and they continue to support his monthly training requirements. Delp also acknowledged the support of the Human Resources Department during his deployment. A part of the Department of Defense, the ESGR is comprised of approximately 4,500 volunteers, ranging from business executives, senior government representatives, educators and military personnel who serve on local ESGR field committees. Using resources from the National ESGR headquarters in Arlington, Va., the 56 field committees conduct employer support programs, including informational briefings, mediation and recognition of employers whose policies support or encourage participation in the National Guard and Reserve.

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White House Adviser Meets Faculty, Students President Obama’s top environmental adviser visited UNC Charlotte Jan. 28 to hear briefings on environmental, energy and sustainability research and for a roundtable discussion with faculty and students. Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, spent an hour at the William States Lee College of Engineering hearing presentations on several research initiatives, some partially funded by stimulus grants. Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners Chair Jennifer Roberts and U.S. Rep. Mel Watt also attended. Among several presentations by engineering professors was a briefing by Helene Hilger, director of UNC Charlotte’s Infrastructure, Design, Environment and Sustainability (IDEAS) Center. Its research focuses on finding new and innovative ways to lighten the impact of buildings, infrastructure and other human activities on the environment. Projects range from complex infrastructure systems and residential housing developments, to material science investigations and stream restoration. A diverse interdisciplinary team examines projects from many angles including cost, social impacts and environmental outcomes. The center also houses the UNC Charlotte Environmental Assistance Office (EAO), a pollution prevention and sustainability-themed community outreach and research division. The EAO offers an opportunity for state and regional agencies, small businesses and engineering practitioners to access university expertise, and provides students with experiential training in environmentally sustainable practices. “With your emphasis on applied research for urban uses, this is the perfect place to hear about innovations for saving energy and generating clean energy,” Sutley said. “We have to decide now what we want our economy to look like 3050 years in the future. The way we win the future is to become more innovative and competitive

“We have to decide now what we want our economy to look like 30-50 years in the future.”

Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, held a roundtable discussion at the William States Lee College of Engineering, hearing presentations on several research initiatives.

in developing clean energy.” She noted that the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act had invested $90 million in clean energy. Rob Cox presented an update on research aimed at improving and commercializing weatherization material, including the development of “smart meters” to detect and prescribe remedies for wasted energy, especially those from refrigeration systems. Tony Brizendine reviewed progress based on research funded with a $589,843 Department of Energy stimulus grant to develop accredited certificate level training

programs for commercial building operators. When fully implemented, the project will increase the pool of qualified professionals skilled in energy efficient building technologies and best practices. Other presentations centered on thermoelectric devices and materials for energy harvesting in buildings by Luna Na Lu and an overview of work in areas of fuel cells and gas turbines by Ahmad Sleiti. Roberts said, “These students’ work has tremendous impact on local progress in solving global problems.”  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine


UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re


Forever By Lisa A. Patterson

Former Athletes and Successful Counselors Foster Ties with University

10 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



fe a t u re When alumni Demon Brown and Rolanda Gabriel met in a course at UNC Charlotte in 1999, they discovered a mutual interest — the desire to give back to their community. Ongoing conversations planted the seeds for what would become a successful professional venture and asset to the University and its students more than a decade later. Now the proprietors of Be Well Therapy, PLLC, a Charlotte-based professional counseling service, they contribute every day to the health and well-being of children, adults and families from all over the region. Brown and Gabriel bring different perspectives to the practice. “During my time on the track team, I realized that what separated me from my teammates was my great family support system, which guided me to make good decisions,” Gabriel says. Grateful for that support, Gabriel sought ways to offer insight and support to others. She enrolled at UNC Charlotte as a business major, but after several sociology courses and an experience calming an angry teammate at a track meet, she realized counseling would be a natural career path. “I’m driven to help people find their motivation and help them see the other side of the situation,” Gabriel notes. Brown’s experience growing up in Baltimore bore little resemblance to his partner’s formative years. Basketball was his way out of a crime-ridden neighborhood. Well-known Maine Central Institute, a small prep school with a big reputation for basketball, recruited Brown. From there, the 6-foot-1 guard went on to complete four record-breaking seasons with the 49ers, graduating with a degree in criminal justice and Africana studies. BE WELL IS BORN After earning a master’s degree in counseling at Hampton University, Gabriel returned to Charlotte to establish a counseling practice. She met Kok-Mun Ng, UNC Charlotte associate professor of counseling, when she enrolled in advanced classes necessary for licensure in the field. Not long after Gabriel set out to practice on her own, she reconnected with Brown, who had been working in mental health services in Charlotte. One more conversation


grateful we are able to sponsor this assistantship because, as a student, I would have loved to have benefited from a similar opportunity where a portion of my tuition was paid for, while I also was gaining valuable experience.” Brown and Gabriel also remain connected with the 49ers athletic department; Brown mentors UNC Charlotte basketball players, and athletes from the University complete community service requirements by tutoring Be Well clients.

“I try to introduce our clients to a different life early and show them that school is fun.” and the two became business partners. “All of my dreams, the services I wanted to provide — Rolanda had written about the same things in her personal journal,” Brown says. They’ve since expanded the private practice to a group practice that serves children, young adults and families. Ng joined the practice as a therapist, and a multi-faceted collaboration with the University has flourished since. In fact, it didn’t take much effort for Ng to persuade Brown and Gabriel to provide a graduate assistantship to doctoral-level students at the University. As a graduate student, Gabriel had to work full-time to provide for her living expenses and tuition, as well as meet all of the academic requirements. “I remember constantly talking to my professors about wanting to participate in a graduate assistantship that would provide me with hands-on counseling experience and support me financially. I was able to obtain a research assistantship, but not within the counseling field,” Gabriel recalls. “I am so

REWARDS FOR YOUNGSTERS “Athletics instilled in me to always set personal goals. We try to incorporate those types of goals into the counseling for the children,” Gabriel says. When young clients achieve behavioral goals, a trip to see the 49ers play basketball might be a reward for their success. But Brown and Gabriel want to do more than reward their clients; they want to spark their clients’ imaginations and demystify higher education. “I try to introduce our clients to a different life early and show them that school is fun, too. They don’t hear about college at home,” Brown says. “I want them to understand the importance of education.” As a group practice, Be Well exists to meet two needs — the community need for professional counseling services and the employment needs of people entering the field. Since its inception in 2007, Be Well has employed seven UNC Charlotte graduates in programming and administrative roles. Gabriel and Brown have learned a great deal in a few short years as business owners. They see room for growth and expansion, both in the community and with the University. Next, they want to provide a weekend workshop to give their young clients even greater exposure to the UNC Charlotte campus and the college experience. “I’m grateful for the relationship I have with UNC Charlotte,” Gabriel says. “My goal is to give back to my University and community in an effective, powerful way.” Brown and Gabriel are on track to meet that goal. Along the way they’ve listened to countless stories of tragedy, but the success stories keep them in the game. Lisa A. Patterson is senior writer in the Office of Public Relations.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine


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Star of the Bar

Attorney Karen Popp Has Enduring Commitment to UNC Charlotte By Paul Nowell It didn’t take long for Karen Popp, ’80, to become completely enchanted with UNC Charlotte. “I knew when I came to visit this was going to be my school. I immediately felt at home,” she says about her first tour of the campus as a Mooresville High student in the mid-1970s. “I decided right then and there this was where I was going to go to college.” Despite a frenetic work schedule as a partner at a prestigious Washington, D.C., law firm, Popp has never really left the campus she fell in love with at first sight. And that’s despite counseling a sitting U.S. president, prosecuting top Mafia figures and representing Fortune 500 companies in court. Her pace has not slowed since she was an undergraduate, when Popp excelled in the classroom (she graduated cum laude), played intercollegiate sports and served in a number of extracurricular roles, including a history-making stint as the first female Student Government Association president in the UNC System. Popp insists she is beholden to her alma mater for all the opportunities she has been given. “All of the career paths I have taken are a reflection of this institution,” she says. “You can get a first-class academic education inside and outside the classroom and take those lessons and use them in anything you set out to accomplish.” Popp has maintained her close ties to her alma mater, serving in a variety of influential roles over the last three decades. She has returned to campus to speak to groups, including the annual “Let Me Play” luncheon, which raises money for the women’s athletic program and is sponsored by the Athletic Department. She also accompanied Attorney General Janet Reno to celebrate the University’s 50th Anniversary, and has served on the board of directors for the UNC Charlotte Foundation. 12 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



Currently, she serves as secretary on the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. “My parents raised me to give back,” she says, speaking in an interview following a recent board meeting. “I will always find the time to give back.”

Fittingly, following the interview she was headed to visit her parents, Joe and Peggy Popp, in nearby Mooresville before heading back to Washington. Popp is close to her family. Her father was a successful college

s t a ke yo u r c l a i m p ro f i l e and professional football coach for many years before he retired in 1992 with the Cleveland Browns. She is also proud of her brothers, Joey and Jim. Joey Popp is well known in the Charlotte area for his work in the news and media business. A former television news reporter, he is currently the weekend voice on the local NPR affiliate, WFAE. Joey also hosts the weekly “HealthWise” television show on WTVI, a PBS television channel. Her brother Jim is the general manager of the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League (CFL), who are the first league team to repeat as Grey Cup Champs since Doug Flutie and the Toronto Argonauts in 1997. They have been in the CFL title game eight of the last 11 years, and their 2010 win gives them three titles in that time, the first in 2002. Not surprisingly, Karen Popp is her brother’s agent and served in the same capacity for her father during his long and successful coaching career. Where she finds the time and energy to do all she does is a great question. Her high-octane personality was evident as an undergraduate. While studying at UNC Charlotte, Popp was named the University’s “Woman of the Year.” She also was the recipient of the University’s “Humanitarian Award” and received the University’s most outstanding student recognition, the “Bill Mitchell Award.” She was inducted into the campus leadership fraternity, which is now known as Omicron Delta Kappa, and the National Political Science Honor Society, Pi Sigma Alpha. She was also founder and president of the University’s Honor Society, which is now Phi Kappa Phi, and the founder of the UNC Charlotte Alumni Ambassador Program. As a freshman, Popp played on the varsity women’s basketball team. “I wore the same uniform number as Cedric “Cornbread” Maxwell,” she says with a big smile, referring to the No. 33 jersey word by Maxwell, who was one of the key UNC Charlotte players on the 1977 NCAA Final Four club. Popp may have not made it as far as Maxwell did on the basketball court, but her accomplishments on campus were stellar. In fact, she was so busy with her student-government duties and as a resident advisor that she chose to play basketball after her freshman year. As a member of the North Carolina Student Legislature, she proposed a bill to improve

nursing homes in the state. In 1978, the bill won the “Best Bill of the Year” award and three years later, the real North Carolina Legislature adopted the bill as state law. Popp traveled to Washington, D.C., twice to represent UNC Charlotte as student body president. One was at the invitation of the White House to meet with President Jimmy Carter and his advisors on student issues and the imposition of the draft system. In her senior year at UNC Charlotte, Popp was offered the chance to study at Oxford University. She won a Rotary International Scholarship, studied law and joined the rowing team.


conspirators in the case. “I took a 75 percent cut in pay when I took this job,” Popp says. “But it was a very prestigious position and I was rubbing shoulders with some of the top attorneys in New York.” Soon U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno hired her to join the Office of Legal Counsel at the U.S. Department of Justice. Popp subsequently served as associate counsel to the president, where she advised President Clinton and the White House staff on congressional and grand jury investigations and domestic policy issues. Following her White House stint, she joined Washington, D.C.-based Sidley Austin LLP as a partner.

Just six years out of law school, Popp prosecuted members of the five Italian Mafia families in New York. Following her time in England, she went to law school at UNC Chapel Hill, where she served as an editor on the law review and was a member of the Order of the Coif. Upon graduation in 1985, Popp clerked for the Honorable Sam J. Ervin III of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Following that, she joined the Wall Street law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell, where she represented banks and Fortune 500 companies. Some of her other clients were Exxon, Bank of Montreal, Barclay’s Bank, Mellon Bank and Goldman Sachs. In 1991, Popp left the corporate world for a different legal arena. She became a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, and specialized in organized crime and racketeering. Just six years out of law school, Popp prosecuted members of the five Italian Mafia families in New York: Gambino, Luchese, Colombo, Genovese and Bonanno. Her cases included racketeering, corruption and other charges involving fraud, bribery, extortion, tax evasion, money laundering, obstruction of justice, witness tampering and perjury. One of the high-profile cases she prosecuted involved murder and conspiracy charges against members of the Gambino crime family. Mafia boss John Gotti and Salvatore “Sammy the Bull” Gravano were named as co-

Currently, she is global co-chair of Sidley Austin’s White Collar Practice Group and a member of the firm’s executive committee. Her clients come from a diversity of industries, including finance, retail, oil, pharmaceutical, health care, communications, technology, insurance, security, charitable groups, transportation, labor and the government. Popp is on the annual Best Lawyers list for 2011 and received the first annual “Rainmaker Transformative Leadership Award” given by InsideCounsel magazine in 2010. She also was the 2006 recipient of the “Star of the Bar” award by the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Popp is also a frequent speaker at national conferences and before various groups. She has been a legal commentator on programs aired on CNN, Fox News and NPR. She has also written and consulted on books and news articles and the TV show, “The West Wing.” Still, the University is never far from her mind. “One of the top things I have learned from my time at UNC Charlotte is that it is a great university and you can’t get a better education anywhere,” she says. “It takes a great school to give you the confidence you need to compete and succeed in the world.” Paul Nowell is media relations manager in the Office of Public Relations.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 13

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UTOP! By Phillip Brown

Program Celebrates 25 Years of Helping Minority Students Succeed 14 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



fe a t u re This summer, the University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) will celebrate its 25th anniversary, a significant milestone for an important campus initiative credited with establishing UNC Charlotte’s commitment to prepare underrepresented students for the shift from high school to college. UTOP is one of several efforts administered by the Office of Multicultural Academic Services. Nationally, while significant gaps exist between the graduation rates of minority and white students at colleges and universities, it is not the case at UNC Charlotte. This past summer, Education Trust, whose mission is to promote academic achievement for all students at all levels, lauded the University’s efforts. According to the organization, UNC Charlotte is among a handful of public and private institutions that have systematically closed the racial divide in graduation rates. UTOP is a major reason. It was the “first academic support program established for minority students here at UNC Charlotte,” said Dr. Samuel Lopez, director of the Office of Multicultural Academic Services. “Since, its inception, nearly 1,000 students have participated in the program, and from the beginning, participants were retained at a higher rate than all first-time, full-time freshmen.” Research from the past 10 years indicates that students who participated in UTOP were retained after one year at a rate nearly 11 percent higher than underrepresented students who did not go through the program and almost 13 percent higher than all firsttime, full-time freshmen. During this same period, the percentage of UTOP students who graduated after six years was more than 11.5 percent higher than underrepresented students who did not participate and 10 percent higher than all first-time, full-time freshmen. Beyond the academic success of participants, UTOP alumni have staked their claim to professional achievement through careers in business, politics and community services. They have become mayors, state legislators, city council members and entrepreneurs.

Sam Lopez, director of the Office of Multicultural Academic Services (second from left) with former UTOP directors Greg Davis and Herman Thomas and Art Jackson, vice chancellor for student affairs (far left). Left, UTOP founder Herman Thomas is pictured with students from an early UTOP class.

The instant and ongoing impact of UTOP led to the establishment of additional support programs, including the Student Advising for Freshmen Excellence (SAFE), Producing Readiness of Diverse University Cohorts in Education (PRODUCE) and most recently Building Better Brothers (B3). At its core, UTOP is an academic program. Its focus is to help underrepresented students, the majority who are the first in their family to attend college, to succeed. During the summer before their freshman year, participants enroll in three courses, typically two English courses and a seminar from another discipline (math, chemistry, humanities or liberal studies) that

“It’s a wonderful network of colleagues who help one another continue on in their academic careers.”


satisfies a general education requirement. The students receive seven credit hours toward graduation upon successful completion. Throughout the five-week immersion, UTOP participants discover the many resources available to help them thrive. University leaders, professors and student counselors share their insights on navigating college life – how to use the library, how to keep track of degree requirements, how to manage their time, how to get involved and where to turn for help, academically and emotionally. This shared experience creates a sense of community that becomes integral to students’ success, too. “Most UTOP participants enter as a single entity. By the time the program ends, they have come together as a unit,” Lopez noted. “Many of the participants make lifelong friends, and they establish a unique group on campus that gives them instant companionship with previous years’ participants. It’s a wonderful network of colleagues who help one another continue on in their academic career.” Kinston native Julian Pridgen, a junior  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 15

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majoring in sociology, attests to the impact UTOP has had on his collegiate career. “As an incoming freshman, I had the general concerns and worries about college – will I fit in, can I find my way around campus, what will the professors be like,” Pridgen stated. “UTOP gave me a Julian Pridgen step up, because I learned how to set up study groups, how to speak to professors and how to maneuver campus. When I returned for my freshman semester, I knew where to go for class and what was expected.” From the outset, the importance of academics was stressed and high expectations were communicated, said Pridgen. Faculty members and student counselors (mentors) instructed UTOP students on what was necessary to achieve a 3.5 or 4.0 GPA. Pridgen noted his mentors continue to act as

experiences helped teach time management skills as well as how to balance the demands of an academic and social life. Fellow UTOP participants Naajaya Leak and Bryn Williams agree. Leak, a graduate of North Forsyth High School in Winston-Salem, Naajaya Leak Bryn Williams said UTOP was “college “big brothers and big sisters” to him – checking with training wheels.” It provided her a great on his academic progress, just as he does to academic foundation and helped her start out students who came after him. Pridgen served as her freshman year with an excellent GPA. A a student counselor during the summer after his junior majoring in public health with a minor freshman year. in communication studies, Leak also touted The program’s structured environment the personal relationships created through the — living and studying together as a group program. “I’m still friends with the majority of — forges bonds of friendship that continue UTOP students from that summer, and until beyond the summer. Pridgen noted that recently, a couple were my roommates.” apart from studying together, participants For Williams, a junior from Asheville, it, spent time engaged in fun activities, such as too, is the close friendships he developed with bowling or going to Carowinds. He stated these UTOP classmates that he cherishes. “These

UTOP alums excel in their communities Terry Bellamy: Call her ‘Ms. Mayor’ Now mayor of Asheville, Terry Bellamy began her UNC Charlotte academic career through UTOP’s five-week summer experience. She learned about UTOP from her high school guidance counselor. The program was “a valuable resource,” she says. “They were very supportive of finding us (study) Terry Bellamy partners on campus so that we wouldn’t feel like we were alone.” In addition to faculty encouragement, Bellamy appreciated the support of Drs. Greg Davis and Herman Thomas, calling them “stellar individuals.” Like many of her fellow UTOP alums, Bellamy continues to have strong ties with former classmates, and she encourages prospective students to take advantage of the experience. She notes that it’s a good time to begin that breakaway process toward adulthood. During Bellamy’s tenure, Asheville has received numerous accolades, including the city’s designation as a Fit Community (2006-09), one of the Top 25 Best Green Places by Country Home and one of the world’s Top 12 Must-see Destinations by Frommer’s. 16 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



Currently, Bellamy is enrolled in the graduate public policy program at Western Carolina University. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from UNC Charlotte in 1994.

Bernard Felder: Country Boy’ Goes Urban Roanoke Rapids native Bernard Felder graduated from UNC Charlotte in 1991 with a degree in political science. He later obtained a master’s degree in urban planning from UNC Chapel Hill, and he is now national director of the specialty housing group for Wood Partners in Charlotte. Bernard Felder UTOP helped him to “hit the ground running without stopping” once he arrived on campus, Felder says. UTOP also afforded him the opportunity to interact with students from across the state, and helped boost his confidence. “It shifted my mindset; I realized, ‘Hey, you can take this country boy from east North Carolina, and he can do well in an urban environment,’” he says. Without UTOP, Felder says, he might not have pursued graduate school. “It was one of the best aspects of my college career. Everything begins with one step, and UTOP was my first step.”

fe a t u re friendships have helped me get through classes, have given me a helping hand when I needed it and have helped me have fun on campus.” Building lasting relationships with individuals who eventually become close friends could be UTOP’s strongest benefit, noted Williams. Another UTOP strength is the program’s flexibility in that it caters to each individual’s needs, said Leak. She noted that each student could take from it what they needed to succeed. UTOP’s genesis can be traced to Dr. Herman Thomas, the program’s founding director. During spring semester of 1985, Thomas was selected as a faculty associate in the Office of Academic Affairs. Dr. James Werntz Jr., then vice chancellor for academic affairs, assigned Thomas to study retention and graduation rates of minority students and recommend how to address the disparity. Already an associate professor of religious studies and assistant director of Afro-American and African studies, Thomas researched universities across the nation – Iowa State, Syracuse, Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill and about

10 other programs. “As a member of the National Council for Black Studies, I had contacts at many institutions, and I knew they had statistical data and would be able to help with institutional initiatives,” Thomas explained. After completing his research, Thomas submitted a three-page proposal outlining his recommendation. At the time, he did not know he would be tapped to implement the program. “My major recommendation was to stress that any program created would have to be university wide,” said Thomas. “The University leadership ultimately had to accept responsibility for any such initiative.” As a result, the proposal became the University Transition Opportunities Program, which cemented the concept that the program was part of the overall campus culture. Thomas added that the vice chancellors for academic affairs and chancellors during his tenure actively supported and championed UTOP. “By the chancellors’ presence and expression on various occasions that

Demond and Kia Martin: From Charlotte to Harvard Demond and Kia Martin now live in Boston, but during the 1990s, they were both involved with UTOP. After completing a bachelor’s degree in accounting, Demond continued on to Harvard Business School where he earned a graduate degree in business. Kia and Demond Martin He is now a partner at Adage Capital Management. Kia finished her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1998. After teaching a year in both Charlotte and Boston, she enrolled at Harvard University, earning a master’s and doctorate in language and literacy. Today, she is an instructor at Wheelock College. Kia said UTOP administrators reached out to her and her husband shortly after they were accepted as students. She said they saw it as an opportunity to get to know the campus before starting school. She credits UTOP founder Dr. Herman Thomas with their success. “He is still there for us and with us.” In addition to honing her study and leadership skills, UTOP helped boost Kia’s confidence. She has developed a similar program at her church, where she helps college students recognize the opportunities they have and how to access them.


UTOP ‘worked’ as indicated by its graduates and broad involvement in the student and academic life of the University, they assured the legitimacy and fostered the success of UTOP,” Thomas stated. “Their personal presence at the concluding event (a special graduation/group project each summer) served as confirmation of and their dedication to the program.” As it approaches its 25th anniversary, UTOP continues to focus on its core mission. The major change occurred during the tenure of second director and UNC Charlotte alumnus Dr. Greg Davis, who ushered the creation of the UTOP learning community, a one-year immersion that builds upon the summer experience. Participants continue to enroll in select classes together and share a common living and learning environment. As multicultural academic services director Lopez contemplates the future, he wants UTOP to continue to evolve, perhaps by adding a summer experience for sophomores that pairs Continued on p. 34

For prospective students who question becoming involved with UTOP, Kia says, “If your expectation is to succeed, then this would be the tool to help you do that. You absolutely should not miss an opportunity that would change your life.”

Sylivia Smith-Phifer: Fighting Fires, Breaking Barriers Capt. Sylivia Smith-Phifer is the highest-ranking black female in the history of the Charlotte Fire Department. She holds a bachelor of science in finance and worked in the insurance industry before joining the fire department. A member of the inaugural UTOP class from summer 1986, SmithSylivia Smith-Phifer Phifer stresses the importance of the program in providing a foundation of success. UTOP introduced her to so many resources, organizations and clubs that she became more active on campus, she says. During her time, she was part of the Student Government Association, Black Student Union and Delta Sigma Theta. “UTOP isn’t just a program; it’s a life-changing experience that continues after graduation,” Smith-Phifer notes. “It provided the skills you need to survive in life. Besides the academic skills and outside experiences, there are the friendships that developed that exist today.”  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 17


n o te b o o k

Stadium Groundbreaking April 28, Football Forums Debut The University will break ground on its new football stadium Thursday, April 28, at 3:30 p.m. The public is invited. The 15,000-seat stadium — expandable to 40,000 seats — will include a 46,000 square-foot field house overlooking one end zone. The facility will feature coaches’ offices, meeting space, a tiered classroom, academic center, weight and training rooms, an athletes’ lounge and locker rooms. The facility also will have a hospitality lobby and deck at the concourse level. In

addition, an expansive press box will overlook midfield, complete with hospitality, print, radio and TV boxes. The stadium will be situated above the Hayes Baseball Stadium, where the Hayes Recreational Fields are currently located. The recreational fields are being relocated as part of the project. In addition, new practice fields will be built adjacent to the stadium. Jenkins-Peer Architects teamed with DLR Group to design the football complex. Rodgers Builders will handle the construction phase. Charlotte will welcome its first football recruiting class for the 2012-13 academic year. That class will redshirt one season and join the 2013-14 class for the inaugural 18 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



2013 season. The 49ers will play in NCAA Division I. On Feb. 9, the University hosted its first town-hall style forum to discuss the football program. Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, Director of Athletics Judy Rose and Dan Van Dyke, senior associate at Jenkins-Peer made presentations the McKnight Hall crowd before opening the floor to questions. The public forum was the first of a series of forums to discuss football plans with the community.

“I was really pleased with the cross-section of people in attendance,” Rose says. “We had faculty and staff members, students, the Greek community, community leaders like our former chancellor (Dr. James Woodward) and Mac Everett, who chaired our feasibility study. … And the thing that got me was the excitement. They were out here and they were excited to be here and to participate. That, I think, shows the interest — an interest that will continue to swell.” The panelists answered questions from the audience, as well as the online audience participating in a live chat. Rose announced the first Bowl Championship Series opponent to be placed on a 49ers’ schedule — Virginia Tech in 2019. That statement, like Dubois’ mention that efforts were being made to

have the light-rail line that will extend to campus named the “Green Line” received a large ovation. MARCH MADNESS  COMES TO CHARLOTTE UNC Charlotte will host second and third-round games in the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena in uptown Charlotte, March 18-20. The 49ers have a strong history of hosting the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament, including the 2008 NCAA East Regional, the 1994 NCAA Final Four and the 1991 and 1993 Southeast Regionals. In addition, the 49ers hosted the 1996 NCAA Women’s Final Four as well as the 1999 and 2000 NCAA Division I Men’s Soccer College Cup. The second and third rounds this year will include four games from the field of 64 on Friday, March 18, with the winners advancing to the field of 32 on Sunday, March 20. An open practice day will be held Thursday, March 17. Game times have not been set. Go to ncaa2011 for more information or to order your tickets. BASEBALL, SOFTBALL  LEAD PRESEASON PICKS After capturing a share of its third regular season title in the past four years, Charlotte has been selected to win the 2011 Atlantic 10 baseball title, in voting conducted by the league’s head coaches. Charlotte looks to repeat as Atlantic 10 regular season champions for the second time since joining the league during in 2006. The 49ers won back-to-back league titles in 2007 and 2008 and own the nation’s eighth-best winning percentage during the past five seasons. Veteran head coach Loren Hibbs returns 21 letter winners, including six position starters and 11 pitchers, from a team that went 39-17 last season. On the mound,

49 e r s n o te b o o k the Halton-Wagner Complex. As of press time, golf and outdoor track and field preseason polls were not available. The golf team, which has won five straight A-10 titles, will host the Irish Creek Collegiate in Kannapolis April 9-10. The 49ers men’s and women’s track teams, which have dominated the league in its five-year run in the conference, will host the 49er Classic March 17-19 and the Charlotte Invitational April 22-23. The Charlotte track teams have won eight of a possible 10 A-10 Championships since joining league, with the women’s club winning the A-10 title all five years. Charlotte also will host two A-10 championships this spring, track and field May 7-8 and softball May 11-14. Charlotte returns all three key starters from a year ago, along with senior relief pitcher Bryan Hamilton, a preseason All-America selection. Xavier, the 2009 A-10 Tournament Champion, was picked second, while Dayton, the 2009 conference regular season champion, rounds out the top three. Meanwhile, A-10 softball coaches picked Charlotte to finish third in the conference — which would match the Niners’ third place last season. In 2010, veteran head coach Aimee DeVos led the 49ers to a 40-18 record, winning 40 games for the only the third time in school history. Charlotte compiled a 15-5 record in conference play. The 40 wins mark the third-most in school history, while the 15 league victories is the second-most all time. Massachusetts is slated to win the league for the sixth-straight season. In tennis, conference coaches picked the 49ers men’s team to finish fourth and Michaela Gorman’s women’s team to place sixth. Under first-year head coach Billy Boykin, the men’s team returns three players that have earned an all-conference honor in the last three seasons, including senior Moritz Bernhoerster who is a two-time all-Atlantic 10 choice. The women’s team, which has finished third or better in four of their five years in the A-10, upset top-seeded Xavier in last year’s A-10 tourney on their way to a third-place finish. Lone senior Gabi Vergara holds the single-season record for doubles victories. Both teams will be playing their spring matches on the newly completed tennis courts at

BASEBALL’S HAMILTON ON  All-American WATCH LIST Charlotte senior relief pitcher Bryan Hamilton (Woodstock, Md./Mount Saint Joseph High School) was named third team, preseason All-America by the Pro-Line Athletic National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. In addition, Hamilton was among 45 pitchers nationally on the preseason watch list for the association’s seventh-annual Stopper of the Year Award, given to the top relief pitcher in NCAA Division I baseball. Hamilton battled back last season after missing most of 2009 with an injury, finishing tied for seventh in the Atlantic 10 Conference with 24 appearances. He put together a 4-0 season with a pair of saves and a 2.01 ERA in his comeback year. In parts of four seasons, he has a 16-3 career record with a 3.13 earned-run average (ERA) in 103.2 innings pitched. His ERA total is fourthbest on Charlotte’s career list of pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched.


In addition to the $2,755 raised, Charlotte collected 77 pairs of new shoes. In all, the shoe and monetary donations will provide 350 pairs of shoes to give to individuals less fortunate in a “Shoes for Hope” distribution event in the near future. Samaritan’s Feet is a nonprofit based in Charlotte dedicated to changing lives through Shoes of Hope distributions around the world. The goal of Samaritan’s Feet is to provide shoes to 10 million individuals in the next 10 years. NEW TENNIS FACILITY OPENS 12 COURTS Work on Phase I of the new Halton-Wagner Tennis Facility finished this winter, giving the 49ers 12 new courts on which to play. Later this year, Phase II will begin as construction starts on the part of the facility that will include offices, locker rooms and stadium seating. The new tennis courts sit in the same location as the previous varsity courts in the D.L. Phillips Sports Complex. In addition to 49ers tennis matches, student activity classes, intramural and club contests will be held on the new courts.

Student-Athletes  Help Samaritan’s Feet The 49ers collected $2,755 for Samaritan’s Feet in its “Barefoot for Bare Feet” drives at the men’s basketball game against UMass on Jan. 19 and the women’s basketball game against Xavier on Jan. 22. Student-athletes staffed donation areas around Halton Arena, where fans contributed money or new shoes. Men’s head coach Alan Major and women’s head coach Karen Aston and her staff coached their respective games barefoot to raise awareness for the cause.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 19

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Ground Breaker Krista Long to Lead Athletic Foundation in 2012 By Kevin Hunt

“I received the scholarship and (now) I am at the point in my life and my career where I can give back.” In the fall of 1986, volleyball player Krista Long (then Krista Doescher) ventured south to UNC Charlotte from Briarcliff, N.Y., to play the sport she loved. Twenty-five years later, Long is still here — building her legacy with the University as a successful businesswoman and influential figure in Charlotte 49ers athletics. Now vice president of sales and marketing with Ryland Homes, Long serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Athletic Foundation, where she chaired the 49ers annual Great Gold Rush Auction in 2009-10, and is currently the head of the annual giving campaign for the 201011 academic year. Next year, Long will become the first female, former studentathlete to serve as president of the Athletic Foundation, which raises money to fund sports scholarships. The road to Long’s success at Charlotte began on the volleyball court. An outside hitter for the Niners from 1986-89, she

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earned second-team Sun Belt Conference accolades her senior year. She also still holds two school records — the single-season mark for service aces (187 in 1987) and the career record of 286. ‘This New Yorker’ “(I remember the) long van trips and, for the first year I was at school, I could not understand what anybody was saying to me because I was this New Yorker and my coach and a lot of the girls I played with were very southern,” Long recalls with a chuckle. “It was incredible to go on campus before school started, in the preseason, and know 11 other people already. It was great, and I would do the same thing all over again.” After she exhausted her eligibility in volleyball, Long entered the administrative realm of Charlotte athletics as a marketing and promotions assistant with the department. While there, Long and current 49ers Athletic Director Judy Rose bonded. Long credits Rose for helping her jump-start her career, and considers Rose her mentor. “When I came to play volleyball, Judy had just been given the position of associate athletic director, and then they had the ruling that Jeff Mullins could not be the head (men’s) basketball coach and the athletic director, so they split the positions and (Rose) became the athletic director,” Long remembers, noting the approach that Rose brought to the position. “Her door was always open to us as student-athletes, and she really cared about us as people. She wanted to make sure we succeeded in whatever we did. And that hasn’t changed. “As I have grown, both personally and professionally, and stayed involved from the board of directors’ side, or in any capacity since I graduated, she has always maintained that relationship with student-athletes,” Long continues. “I truly believe that Judy is someone who truly cares about the success of somebody. She is a tremendous person and has done tremendous things for the school. She was always someone for me to look up to.” Housing-Industry Ascent It was Rose who put in a call to Squires Homes, helping Long earn a position as

Krista Long in her playing days with the 49ers.

marketing coordinator at the company. From there, Long rose through the ranks of the housing industry. In addition to being Ryland’s vice president of sales and marketing, she is also the 2010-11 president of the Home Builders Association of Charlotte, an organization of 900 approximately members. She is only the third female to hold that title in its history. A resident of Fort Mill, Long and her husband Mike have two children, Ryan, 16, and Kyle, 12. Though currently busy with the Athletic Foundation, sometime down the road, she may like to return as a college professor, possibly in the Belk College of Business. She possesses a great respect for the University and has given a lot back to

it. It is that respect and generosity for UNC Charlotte that makes Niner Nation proud to call her one of its own. “I received a scholarship and I am at the point in my life and my career where I can give back,” Long says. “I don’t think it is my obligation to do so, but I was definitely humbled by my experience as a studentathlete. I wanted to give back to the school that was so good to me. “It started with the athletic department and Judy was a big part of that — I felt like I was really cared about,” she continues. “Regardless of (whether) I was a student or an athlete, our success was always in everybody’s interest. I was very grateful for that.”  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 21

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Hands-on but White Glove

Photo by Wade Bruton

As part of the William States Lee College of Engineering’s hands-on learning philosophy, Electrical and Computer Engineering freshmen work in the Cameron Hall clean room, unloading silicon wafers from a vacuum thin film sputter tool after depositing aluminum on to the wafers. UNC Charlotte is North Carolina’s urban research university, whose mission includes engaging in research — both scientific and otherwise — that address the cultural, economic, educational, environmental, health and social needs of the greater Charlotte region. In this way, UNC Charlotte is unique among UNC system schools.

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Dr. James Oakley, an associate professor of marketing, studies consumer behavior — how and why we do what we do.

Are You

Sold? By Lisa A. Patterson

Belk College Expert Weighs in on Today’s Consumer Marketing

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“The pharmaceutical industry spends nearly twice as much on drug promotion as it does on research and development.” Businesses are constantly searching for novel, creative ways to get their products and services in front of consumers. We live in a world where marketing is pervasive — we receive pitches through subtle product placement in movies, advertisements on Facebook and other Internet sites, messages sent directly to our inboxes, as well as through traditional media such as magazines, television and billboards. Dr. James Oakley, UNC Charlotte associate professor of marketing in the Belk College of Business, is interested in how businesses generate interest in their wares and how their practices impact consumers, for better or worse. Find out what he thinks about everything from applying neuroscience to marketing, why pharmaceutical companies target consumers, the value of the Consumer Confidence Index and what “green” means in today’s economy. For insights on those topics and more, you’re invited to read on.

Q: Extraordinary developments in neuroscience have occurred in the last decade. Have marketers capitalized on them?

The neuroscience piece of marketing research is extremely new. Right now it’s interesting because we can do it, but not a lot has been figured out about what you can do with the information once you know what’s going on in the brain. Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience methods to analyze and understand human behavior in relation to markets and marketing behavior. It focuses on how the brain functions and processes information when consumers are exposed to marketing stimuli. The days of “Minority Report”— getting customized advertising as we’re walking down the hallway —are a ways off, but that’s where the research is heading. (“Minority Report” is a movie depicting a

future in which criminals are caught before they commit crimes.) If marketers can develop a more comprehensive understanding of the human brain, the idea is that they ultimately could determine how to trigger desired consumer responses using appropriate stimuli. Will we learn something from neuromarketing research that’s going to help the consumer, and not just bombard them with yet another channel of information? We don’t know yet.

Q: Prescription drugs are now marketed like any other product — shampoo, food, cars, etc. What are some of the ethical implications?

More than a decade ago the pharmaceutical companies got permission to advertise. They’ve always advertised, usually by sending representatives to interact directly with doctors, but they weren’t allowed to advertise a particular drug as a solution for a particular problem until 1997. The pharmaceutical industry has been extremely good at lobbying Congress to keep the regulators away from them. The practice of sending pharmaceutical representatives into doctor’s offices historically has been treated as hands-off by the regulators. But as pressure grew to clamp down a little harder on that practice, the pharmaceutical companies argued successfully that if regulations were going to close off that marketing practice, they would need to be able to market elsewhere. That was the impetus to advertise directly to consumers. There are benefits of direct marketing to the consumer — consumers are more educated about their choices and presumably are better able to discuss them with their doctor. But when the information presented in the advertising is inaccurate, it does more harm than good. The federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA)


continues to reprimand drug companies for creating ads with misleading and sometimes false information, including claims of benefits from the drug that haven’t yet been proven. There is significant pressure on drug companies to promote their products, particularly new drugs that have been brought to market after expensive research and development. In fact, the pharmaceutical industry spends nearly twice as much on promotion as it does on research and development. In 2006, pressure to regulate pharmaceutical-industry marketing practices grew. So the industry stepped forward with its own set of regulatory guidelines in an effort to forestall actual regulation. Now they have a heavily regulated industry, in terms of their product, but a very unregulated marketing apparatus. There’s no one out there monitoring the advertising; the companies merely react when a consumer complains. I’ve been working on a project with Denis Arnold, associate professor of management and Surtman Distinguished Scholar in Business Ethics, to look at the ethics of pharmaceutical advertising and the industry’s compliance with regulation. Initially we wanted to examine the whole industry’s practices for a four-year period, but that proved to be cost-prohibitive. Instead, we looked at a particular class of

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drugs — erectile dysfunction drugs — over a four-year period and found that, at least for this class, the industry doesn’t do a very good job of following its own guidelines. We identified ethical concerns in the marketing practices for these drugs, and faxed our complaints to the companies that manufacture them. For months the faxes wouldn’t go through. Eventually one did get through, but it’s been six months since they received the fax and we haven’t heard anything from them. We tried mailing the complaint … it may get somewhere, but no one’s looking at it. Essentially, the industry has done a good job of marketing the concept of self-regulation, but a poor job of following up with consumers.

Our paper about the study has been submitted to the Journal of Public Policy and Marketing. If this paper is well-received, maybe it will spur interest in looking at the whole industry.

Q: In a global economy, what does it mean to be “Made in America,” and how important is that to American consumers?

It depends on how you envision the idea of an American company. Is the company American because it is based in the United States, or because the people making the products are American citizens? Honda cars are made in Ohio, and the Toyota Camry is

made in Kentucky or Southern Indiana; a number of the new General Motors (GM) vehicles are made in Europe. For years GM has done a large share of their production in Canada. This applies not only to the automotive industry. You don’t see “Made in America” hyped in marketing, but there’s still a segment of the population that views that as a valuable characteristic. However, most people are looking for the product that best suits their need. All things being equal, would an American consumer choose an Americanmade product over a foreign brand? The response might vary by generation. I don’t think the younger consumers pay any attention to that — it’s not a relevant question. Will it have less importance as time goes on? Probably. Is that good or bad? I don’t think it’s either. It’s a global marketplace, and it’s easier than it’s ever been to manufacture something in one part of the world and deliver it somewhere else. Anyone can run a global business today. Buying as an act of patriotism is a concept that’s run its course. New industries are growing in the United States because we still have the most educated, productive workforce in the world. High quality products are best made here. Often these products are higher priced, so the production cost is not an issue. Commodity-type products end up being produced in Southeast Asia. For the foreseeable future, that’s going to be the least expensive place to produce them.

Q: What is the Consumer Confidence Index, and why does it matter?

It’s one measure of everybody — and it’s not perfect. The Consumer Confidence Index (CCI) is used as a barometer of consumer attitudes. Namely, are consumers feeling confident enough to spend money, or are they holding on to their money. Like all of these measures in the marketplace, at an aggregate level it’s extremely predictive of what’s going to happen with the economy in the short-term. The problem occurs when you try to take it apart and figure out how an individual consumer is going to respond

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fe a t u re given the CCI information — it has no predictive ability whatsoever. It does a good job of showing how consumers as a population are feeling, but the information is not segmented at any level. For example, how confident are individuals who make more than $250,000 a year feeling versus individuals making less than $40,000 a year? The CCI is clear and it’s easy to communicate, and it’s often discussed in black and white terms — if it’s low, gloom and doom is predicted, or if there’s an uptick in the CCI, that information is taken to bode well for the future. I’m working on an idea for a study of how the way we frame those messages alters how people interpret them. If you frame the information negatively, a lot of times you get a self-fulfilling prophecy. Information is only information — it has no valence in either direction. The valence is created by the provider of the information. We can choose whether we present it positively or negatively. A fall in the CCI could be presented as, “It only went down X and we were expecting Y,” whereas if we present it simply as, “The CCI went down,” the people receiving the information might think, “I was going to purchase that car,” or “I was going to expand my company’s workforce, but now I’ll wait.” The CCI influences whether companies make investments. When consumer confidence is said to be waning in the marketplace, they choose not to invest.

eventually has an impact on business. I did an interview around the time of Hurricane Katrina, when consumers were starting to shift from large SUVs to more fuel-efficient vehicles. The interviewer asked about the tipping point at which consumers change their behavior. You can’t predict it, but you can look back and see when it happened. Back then, it was when gas hit $2.50 a gallon. That increase in gas prices triggered a change in consumer behavior and a massive response from the industry — vehicles were made more fuel efficient. But automobile manufacturers have had the capability to make vehicles more fuel efficient for

Q: How has the economic downturn affected retailers?

Green marketing is all fluff right now. My favorite example is an auto company advertisement where they claim they are going to alleviate some specific number of metric tons of carbon by investing in planting trees. But no one knows what that number really means (unless you study carbon emissions). It just sounds good. That’s how that ad came to be — the people who created it said, “What can we pile into this ad that sounds good?” Not that it means anything, not that it’s useful. The green movement is going to have to take root. We don’t have a choice. We’ve done so much damage, and now it’s time to rebuild. It’s cyclical — the Industrial Revolution led to pollution, and the

As far as the business economy goes, for the most part everyone’s doing pretty well. Small companies were lean before the downturn. Bigger companies had gone through a purge in the early to mid-90s as they retooled to compete in the global economy. Large brands are doing fine. Some specific retailers have had problems, but they were in trouble before the economy soured — the downturn just sent them over the edge. There is a stark difference between the job market, which is dismal, and the actual market, which is fine. Of course, unemployment affects the consumer’s ability to consume, and that


pollution led to technological innovations to reduce pollution. One of my students talked about the environmental chaos that goes into the creation of a Chevy Volt. In the end you have a beautiful car that doesn’t emit carbon, but it took a lot of environmentally detrimental methods to create the car. It’s valid to look closely at these trade-offs — in this case, what’s worse? The destruction that results from the creation of the new car, or the destruction that results if we stick with the gas-burning vehicle? We’re not at the point where we can balance those two things — where what

“The technologies are there to move even further toward sustainability, but these things aren’t being marketed very well.” decades. It just took enough people caring about fuel efficiency for them to respond.

Q: “Green” products and corporations touting environmental stewardship have become ubiquitous in recent years. What does it mean to be “green,” and are these corporate citizens and their products truly “green”?

comes out on this side is actually cleaner than it would have been if we’d just done it the old-fashioned way. We’re getting there, we’re learning. It’s getting to the point where consumers want it, and so companies don’t have a choice. Anything marketed as “green” is really a step toward green. The technologies are there to move even further toward sustainability, but these things aren’t being marketed very well. There’s also a whole lot of power that sits with the status quo. All it will take is one building, or one development or one city that successfully uses the existing technology. When people see how easy it is, it will catch on. I remember when smoking bans were put into effect in New York and then in other states, including North Carolina. Adversaries of such bans said there’s no way you could run a bar or restaurant without allowing smoking. Within weeks of the ban going into effect, it became clear that you could do it, and make more money. Lisa A. Patterson is senior writer in the Office of Public Relations.

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UNC Charlotte’s 140-person Housing and Residence Life staff turned out for a day of service in the northwest Charlotte Windy Ridge neighborhood. The staffers worked alongside Windy Ridge residents to beautify the community, whose residents have acutely felt the effects of the foreclosure crisis.


By Lisa A. Patterson

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UNC Charlotte works with challenged Charlotte communities Windy Ridge was a community in trouble well before the foreclosure crisis began its march across the nation in 2008. In fact, five years prior, the new starter home neighborhood was on track to become a prime example of suburban decay, with foreclosures mounting daily. Boarded-up houses stripped of copper wire by vandals, overgrown yards and graffiti were hallmarks of the 132-home neighborhood, located in northwest Charlotte. But the neighborhood has since gotten some relief as part of a UNC Charlotte initiative. Researchers and students are developing novel, hands-on approaches to rebuilding communities left reeling from the foreclosure crisis. Their work could lead to significant changes in public policy, including recommendations for subdivision review and approval processes that address predictable negative outcomes, such as those experienced in Windy Ridge. With physical decay comes social decay, says



Assistant Professor of Geography Janni Sorensen. From 2003 to 2006, the Charlotte suburbs that have experienced the highest foreclosure rates saw a 33 percent increase in crime, according to a Charlotte Observer article. “One of the things we explore in our research is how the models we have used in traditional challenged neighborhoods are working in a suburban setting with very little home ownership and absentee landlords, or very high turnover of tenants,” Sorensen notes. “The social networks and social capital that you typically find when doing capacity building with most neighborhoods doesn’t necessarily work in these neighborhoods.” Before arriving at UNC Charlotte, Sorensen spent a decade working with challenged neighborhoods as a graduate student and later staff member at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2009 she approached the city’s Neighborhood & Business Services

fe a t u re to form a partnership with the University that would match the learning needs of students with the needs of challenged communities. A city neighborhood stabilization specialist suggested Windy Ridge — at the time, nearly half of the houses in the community were in foreclosure. Sorensen and Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design Jose Gamez seized on the opportunity and the neighborhood became a site for students to learn about distressed communities and find ways to strengthen them. The city agreed to use neighborhood stabilization funds to not only rebuild the crumbling physical landscape but also to address infrastructure issues that could help lower the incidence of crime and other ills associated with

concentrated foreclosure. “The city was very receptive — they wanted to work with the University,” Sorensen says. The city funded two graduate students to work as community liaisons in the neighborhood for 20 hours per week. Since then, the work has continued in Windy Ridge with $25,000 in grant funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and the project has expanded to the Enderly Park, Reid Park, Lincoln Heights and Farm Pond neighborhoods. “The work of the graduate students makes it possible for faculty to create courses focused on the needs of the communities,” Sorensen says. “Jose and I have conducted community planning workshops in multiple neighborhoods, and several other students have learned from this very timely opportunity to look at concentrated foreclosure. These students are going to graduate and deal with suburban

landscapes, and they’ve had the opportunity to work with one that has been featured in the national news as an example of how devastating things can get.” According to the Metropolitan Institute at Virginia Tech, more than half of the U.S. population lives in suburbs. While the foreclosure crisis has focused attention on suburbs such as Windy Ridge, suburban decline and renewal is part of a larger trend. Factors including rising energy costs have led to significant changes in the way Americans are choosing to live and work, with renewed interest in urban living. In 2006, institute researchers developed a model of future demand for various types of housing that pointed to a potential surplus of 22 million large-lot homes (houses built on a sixth of an acre or more) by 2025. These suburban neighborhoods face an uncertain fate. SAGGING SUBURBS From the 1980s to roughly 2000, Charlotte experienced fast-paced surburbanization, explains Gamez. As the city’s “middle belt” suburban neighborhoods age, a new ring of betterresourced suburbs are built further out from the urban core. Simultaneously, Charlotte, like other metropolitan regions, has resumed investment in the urban core. The middle belt neighborhoods are often left out of the equation. “Though Windy Ridge and other neighborhoods like it were built in the early 2000s, these developments are suffering from the same type of decay that many of our middle belt suburbs are facing,” Gamez says. Many of the newer starter-home communities such as Windy Ridge share common characteristics. The housing stock is not high quality enough to attract a wide range of buyers. Resources such as grocery stores and social services are not within walking distance, making residents automobile-dependent. Gamez, Sorensen and the students have conducted interviews, focus groups and surveys with the residents to learn more about them and find out how they came to live in Windy Ridge. “This is not an instance where people consciously moved into a place where they would be disadvantaged,” Gamez says. “In some instances folks were recruited and shown houses in the neighborhood and introduced to the idea that they might lease to own or be able to get a mortgage — the idea that you could get a brand new home for pretty cheap was very compelling for a lot of reasons.”


The combination of bad loan products and first-time homebuyers surprised by the costs of maintaining their property led to a spate of loan defaults and the ensuing decay the UNC Charlotte team is now addressing. “We’re trying to find strategies by which to repair new suburbs that were built in ways that we think were problematic from day one,” Gamez says. Windy Ridge’s vinyl-sided modern suburban homes are located on the metropolitan fringe, lodged between a highway and industrial plots of land previously classified as superfund sites. Sorensen and Gamez say the area doesn’t pass the “mom test”— namely, would your mother allow you to move to the area. “We’ve collected a lot of documentation from the city’s subdivision approval process, from when the developer first approached the city to build this neighborhood to the re-zoning,” Sorensen says. “The mom test helps us generate a lot of ideas about what red flags should have been raised in the development process, and what policy recommendations can be made to take that process off of auto-pilot.” That scrutiny could save taxpayers and the city money. “The city is now left to clean up the situation,” Sorensen explains. “The police are disproportionately burdened in this area because of the crime issues and abandoned houses. The Windy Ridge neighborhood and others like it are built to fail.” LONG-TERM PROPOSITION While identifying methods to prevent the construction of built-to-fail neighborhoods is one aspect of the research, another involves gauging the impact of concentrated foreclosure on the individuals left to live in such neighborhoods — a neglected aspect of the crisis, according to Gamez and Sorensen. “Most of the research relative to foreclosure focuses on irresponsible budgeting, lending practices and lending strategies — how to keep people in their homes by refinancing them in a creative way,” Gamez says. “In our opinion that’s only one part of the long-term project.” To affect any kind of lasting change, the UNC Charlotte team recognized that the residents would need to become empowered. They began with the difficult process of dismantling and re-building the neighborhood’s homeowners’ association (HOA). “Initially, the membership of the HOA was comprised of absentee landlords— they  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 29

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lived in Florida, California, New York, all over the country. Many had never been to the neighborhood or seen it,” Sorensen says. “Some owned packages of five or six houses, all managed by a property management company in Charlotte.” Enter the graduate students. Liz Shockey, now a second-year graduate student in geography, served as the first community liaison between Windy Ridge and the University from 2009-2010. Among

many achievements, she facilitated an election where the neighborhood residents replaced the HOA board with people who either lived in the neighborhood, or nearby in the Charlotte region. Shockey, a Kokomo, Ind., native, remains involved with the neighborhood; Aleksandra Borisenko, a dual urban design and community planning student from Charlotte, and Keihly Moore, a dual architecture and urban design student from Two Harbors, Minn. , have since become the new community liaisons. On an on-going basis, the students also facilitate meetings of neighborhood organizations and events, circulate timely information to residents in a community newsletter, and commit their considerable brainpower and energy to identifying problems, solutions and research questions. Gamez says the students fulfill an important role, but their involvement must be regarded as one part of the long-term effort. “There is so much turnover in the neighborhood, and many of the residents who’ve been there a while have run out of energy trying to improve the situation. They can’t carry the burden alone,” Gamez explains. “Programs like neighborhood stabilization are really good, but they are a short-term investment, and what we’re finding is they need a long-term investment to 30 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



build the social capacity so that we can eventually walk away.” Over the course of the project, the students have shifted their focus from addressing immediate community needs to motivating residents and teaching them skills they need to organize for themselves, and ultimately create a better community environment. “We want to be active there, but we don’t want to do their job for them,” Borisenko says. “So the challenge is figuring out what is the best strategy to get the residents to be active in the neighborhood.” GIVING, RECEIVING The University has maintained an intense presence in the Windy Ridge neighborhood, with benefits to both students and residents. A class of Sorensen’s undergraduate students developed and implemented a gang prevention program in the community in partnership with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department, while a graduate student created and administered a survey in the neighborhood to learn more about how to improve the physical space in the community. “Any time there’s an opportunity to bring a resource to the neighborhood we do it — there are so few opportunities for the neighborhood to access resources for themselves,” Gamez says. “When folks see outside forces are interested, it helps build morale.” In January, with input from community residents, Borisenko helped coordinate an on-site service and learning project in the neighborhood for UNC Charlotte’s 140-person Housing and Residence Life (HRL) staff. The students and professional staff members that comprise HRL participate in community service annually. Led by UNC Charlotte Crossroads Charlotte coordinator Susan Harden and Sorensen, the HRL staff participated in a workshop on diversity and community building followed by a massive community service project that included beautification, weatherization, security enhancements, youth activities and the distribution of information about college access. A week later, Borisenko and Moore hosted a neighborhood meeting, and a record number of residents attended to elect a neighborhood watch captain. “The HRL staff came out and were very intensively in the neighborhood, people were seeing the result of their work, and students were talking to some of the new homeowners we

hadn’t talked to previously, who then showed up at the meeting,” Sorensen says. Borisenko, who will graduate in May, is grateful for the learning opportunity she’s had in Windy Ridge, but she is saddened at the prospect of leaving one task undone. “I was brought into this project to help design a playground, but the only way to do it would be to demolish a foreclosure,” she says. The original proposal for the neighborhood included a play area, but it was poorly situated and the police consider the location problematic, Gamez notes. Homes in Windy Ridge are now priced at half of their tax value, so Borisenko suggested raising funds to demolish a foreclosed home and erecting a playground in its stead. So far, the team hasn’t devised a fundraising plan, but the suggestion remains on the table. “We’ve started to try to find a way to leave something behind or give something back that they can make use of on a daily basis,” Gamez says. He points to the playground problem as an illustration of a much larger issue: “We need not only a model for retrofitting these neighborhoods, but from a planning perspective we need a different kind of checklist for the development process of new neighborhoods going forward.” According to Sorensen, cases such as Windy Ridge are worth considering in the debate over how affordable housing is distributed. “This has become almost a private public housing complex — de facto public housing,” Sorensen says. “These types of neighborhoods are emerging all over the nation. This is a new type of concentrated poverty.” For now Windy Ridge and other neighborhoods like it might raise more questions than answers. But it’s clear that the impact of the foreclosure crisis has been felt city-wide. A CaseShiller Home Price Index released last month showed housing prices in the Charlotte region have fallen to 2004 levels, in part because of spreading foreclosures. To those who question why the city and University have chosen to invest in challenged neighborhoods, Gamez speaks squarely to the common good. “We have an interest as a city to see resources deployed to stabilize neighborhoods, in part because that stability benefits us all.” Lisa A. Patterson is senior writer in the Office of Public Relations.

n ew s b r i e f s Continued from p. 3

“Character, integrity, toughness. That’s how we did it under coach Grobe and that’s how we will do it here. We’re going to be a tough football team that’s really disciplined,” Lambert added. The Deacons had five winning seasons during Lambert’s tenure, including the 11-3 ACC Championship team and Orange Bowl team in 2006 and the 9-4 squad that advanced to the 2007 Meineke Car Care Bowl. In 2008, Lambert’s first as Defensive Coordinator, the Deacons went 8-5 to cap a three-year run in which Wake Forest put together an overall 28-12 record and a 15-9 mark in the ACC while earning bids to the three straight bowl games. Over the course of his 10-year run at Wake Forest, Lambert helped the Deacons to a 61-60 record. “He has a balance in what his expectations are,” Rose added. “He wants to put a talented team on the field and he expects to graduate his players — he expects excellence both on the field and in the classroom. He has those qualities we are looking for: patience, vision, a great work

ethic. In addition, he knows this area extremely well and has recruited this region of the country heavily during his career.” Prior to joining Wake Forest’s staff, Lambert coached for 11 years with Jim Donnan at both Marshall (1990-95) and Georgia (1996-2000). Donnan had given Lambert his start as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Oklahoma.  “I’ve been fortunate to have been around outstanding coaches who have had a huge impact on my career. I owe a lot to them and wouldn’t be where I am without their support and the opportunities they gave me,” Lambert added.


At Georgia, Lambert helped the Bulldogs to a 40-19 record that included four straight bowl wins: 1997 Outback Bowl, 1998 Peach Bowl, 1999 Outback Bowl and 2000 Oahu Bowl. At Marshall, he was a part of the Thundering Herd’s 1992 NCAA Division I-AA National Championship. In fact, as an assistant coach at Marshall, Lambert helped the Herd to the national title game in four of his six years and to a semifinal appearance in a fifth. During his coaching career, Lambert has overseen the development of players such as Curry, Will Witherspoon, Stanley Arnoux and Alphonso Smith. He also coached both Champ Bailey and Hines Ward while serving as Special Teams Coordinator at Georgia.  A 1987 graduate of Kansas State, Lambert was a four-year letterwinner who earned second-team all-Big Eight honors as a Defensive Back in 1984. He was an Academic all-Big Eight choice from 1984-86. Lambert and his wife, Angie, have three children: a daughter, Lucy, and sons Layne and Beau.

What they are saying about Brad Lambert: Jim Grobe, Head Coach at Wake Forest: “You’ve hit a home run with Brad Lambert. There is not any aspect of Brad that you won’t love. He’s a great football coach, a great person, a great recruiter. He’s all of those things. He was part of our ACC Championship team and Bowl wins — some of the most exciting times at Wake Forest. He will do things that make the people of Charlotte proud. He’ll recruit the right kids — kids with character. Kids that get it done in the classroom and on the field. I don’t think anybody can find a guy as good as Brad to run their program. He’s a brilliant guy when it comes to X’s and O’s but beyond that his commitment to the team has been outstanding. He’s just one of those guys who gets it. He really sees the team concept. Brad’s a guy who pats them on the back but if they’re not doing what they need to do, he has no problem straightening them out. For me, he is very demanding. He’s committed to discipline and hard work. Players will love to play for him but at the same time he will demand the best out of them. That’s what you get in Brad Lambert.”

Aaron Curry, 2008 Butkus  Award winner: “Coach Lambert changed my life as a football player and as a human being. He taught me responsibility, discipline and maturity which I think ultimately helped me progress and become an NFL Football player. I’ve always been thankful for coach Lambert and actually been thankful for God putting coach Lambert in my life. I know he’s going to affect the lives of any young man that’s willing to grow as a person.” Jim Donnan, Head Coach at Oklahoma, Georgia and Marshall with Lambert: “I’ve been involved with him in coaching for a long time. He’s got all the ingredients. He’s a good family man. Well-organized. He really cares about his players. I couldn’t be more excited for him. He’s always been a guy who relates well to players. He works his schemes around what his players can do. He knows the territory. I’ve always looked at Charlotte as a sleeping giant for a football program.

He has an established name base there and throughout the south. He knows the places to go to get players. He’s very competitive. He was a really good player in college and played at a major level at Kansas State. He’s got the personality to be a head coach. I’ve felt all along that he’d be one of those guys. It’s a good move for both of you.” Will Witherspoon, NFL star who played under Lambert at Georgia: “Coach Lambert is part of the family to me. He’s one of the few coaches I’ve maintained such a good relationship with over the years. Coach Lambert is one of those who has been there the longest and understands. I love it — he and his family — they are all genuine and have a truly genuine understanding of who you are. As a coach, I definitely enjoyed the fact that he played the game before. He’s not just X’s and O’s — he understands the ebb and flow of the game and can talk through it and paint a picture of what’s going on — and he’s not gonna beat around the bush on things.”  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 31

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Daniel Pink Offers Insight into

Changing Workplace By Lisa A. Patterson

Bestselling author Daniel Pink addressed a sold-out gathering in Charlotte last month. Pink’s talk was part of the Belk College of Business “next” speaker series. Pictured here from left to right: Steven Ott, dean of the Belk College of Business; Daniel Pink; Joan Lorden, UNC Charlotte provost; Philip L. Dubois, UNC Charlotte chancellor; and Scott Provancher, president of the Arts & Science Council.

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A great person is one sentence, and Daniel Pink has made it his business to help readers find their sentences. During a recent visit to UNC Charlotte, Pink explained the “sentence story.” Clare Boothe Luce, a U.S. Congresswoman, told then-President John F. Kennedy that the achievements of great leaders can be summed up in a single sentence by which they will come to be identified. For instance, when you read “He lifted us out of a great depression and helped to win a World War,” it’s apparent that you’re reading about Franklin D. Roosevelt. The best-selling author offered prescient words of advice for both students and employers on Feb. 1 as part of the Belk College of Business “next” speaker series. Pink’s provocative books focus on the changing world of work. At a public, afternoon presentation in UNC Charlotte’s Student Union, Pink elicited laughs from the audience, comprised mainly of students, when he admitted to loving charts and graphs in “unhealthy ways.” The former White House speechwriter and self-described linear thinker also referred to his foray into law school as a youthful indiscretion and confessed to graduating in the bottom 10 percent of his Yale Law School class. Nonetheless, Pink’s work resonates with thought leaders and laymen alike. WORKING SIDE-BY-SIDE Functions of thought are physically separated and localized to specific areas on either the left or right side of the human brain; thus we label individuals with aptitude in logic and sequential thinking as “left brained” or we call individuals

who are creative and language-oriented “right brained.” Pink’s campus presentation centered on his book “A Whole New Mind,” which looks at the functions of thought and their importance in a 21st century economy. He argues that while employees must possess the left brain capabilities that were critical to success in the 20th century workplace, they must now also hone their right brain capabilities to compete in a global economy. He pointed to changes in demographics and technology that have shaped and will continue to influence the modern work world, including the abundance of college educated English speakers from Asia who are poised to enter the workforce, and the rapid automation of tasks previously managed by humans. In order to provide the world with goods and services that can’t be produced by unskilled laborers or through automation, according to Pink, Americans will have to tap into their right brain capabilities.


MORE THAN MONEY Pink’s afternoon presentation was followed by a sold-out evening talk at Booth Playhouse in Charlotte where he discussed his latest book, “Drive. The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.” The Belk College partnered with the Arts & Science Council on the public event. In “Drive,” Pink describes effective ways to incentivize workers. Surprisingly, bonuses do not make the cut. Instead, he prescribes a fourpronged approach to employers: In short, give people control over their time, team, technique and tasks to get a more productive workforce. While compensation is important (Pink emphasized that employers should provide enough compensation so that money is not an issue), Pink asserts that young people are motivated by purpose and a feeling of mastery of their jobs, as well as by feedback from employers. Perhaps the sentence for the great 21st century employer will read: Lifted employees out of a great recession and helped to end the war between work and life balance. The next speaker series, which focuses on “tomorrow’s ideas today,” brought Freakonomics authors Steven Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner to Charlotte in the fall.

Employees are motivated by purpose, a feeling of mastery of their jobs, and feedback.  Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 33



Continued from p. 8

the colleges of Engineering, Education, Health and Human Services, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Arts + Architecture’s new master’s program in Urban Design, will be held in the downtown campus building. The 143,000 square-foot building will overlook a four-acre park and anchor the redevelopment of the First Ward neighborhood. The building site at Ninth and Brevard streets will be adjacent to the park, and a light rail stop is within easy walking distance. UNC Charlotte ranked  among top research universities in real estate The Center for Real Estate at UNC Charlotte has been ranked among the 20 most active research institutions in real estate during the past decade, according to a recently-published article. The authors of “World Ranking of Real Estate Research: Recent Changes in School Competitiveness and Research Institutions,” published in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, based their rankings on the number of pages published by faculty members in three major specialty journals: Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Real Estate Research and Real Estate Economics. UNC Charlotte ranks 19th among the top 50 universities for research produced from 1999-2008, the most recent ten years studied by the authors. Guobadia recognized  with leadership and  values award Michelle Guobadia, director of fraternity and sorority life, received the Steven Dealph Outstanding Award from the Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values (AFLV) at the 2011 Central Fraternal Leadership Conference/National Black Greek Leadership Conference held in Fort Collins, Colo. The honor recognizes an outstanding fraternity/sorority professional who was nominated by an undergraduate student. According to one of her nominators, “Michelle is an expert in fraternity and sorority expansion who is well-known nationally for her work in this area. Since 34 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



her arrival at UNC Charlotte, we have added 11 new chapters and created two new councils, the Diversified Greek Council and the Independent Council. Not only has Michelle added a large number of chapters to our campus, she has also brought increased diversity to our Greek system through multicultural groups helping us to better meet the needs and interests of our students. Michelle’s greatest accomplish with expansion, however, is her miraculous

Michelle Goubadia (middle) and colleagues at awards event.

work in bringing a new Panhellenic sorority to our campus for the fall 2011 semester. The University has not added a new NPC sorority in over 20 years. Michelle worked tirelessly and vigilantly to demonstrate the need for a new NPC sorority, and finally convinced everyone this was the best thing for our campus. The fruits of her visionary leadership will be fully recognized next fall when Kappa Delta arrives on our campus.” Guobadia said she was “extremely humbled and honored” at the recognition. “It means so much to me that students chose to honor me in this way. Working at UNC Charlotte with these students is really a privilege, and we just have the most amazing students.” The Association of Fraternal Leadership and Values exists “to stimulate the growth and development of fraternity/sorority council and chapter leaders by promoting leadership, educational and values-based experiences and resources for student leaders, their advisors and the larger fraternal market.”

Continued from p. 17

participants with UTOP alumni who can serve as career mentors/coaches. “UTOP has become more than a program. We are more than advisors – we are friends and surrogate families,” said Lopez. “Beyond its longevity, UTOP is a success because of the student mentors. Most are former UTOP students, and they had such a great experience they want to provide incoming students with that same experience – it becomes a continuing cycle of great experiences.” Plans for this summer’s UTOP Silver Anniversary celebration are being finalized. Currently, the intent is to enroll 100 students for the 25th anniversary class – the largest-ever. UTOP alumni will be invited to return to their alma mater for receptions, campus tours and other social events with a special banquet hosted by Dr. Thomas and Chancellor Emeritus Jim Woodward in August. Tiffani Teachey (’03,’05), a mechanical engineer with the Shaw Group, is chair of the August silver anniversary event. She is excited at the prospect of welcoming back UTOP alums. “For me, UTOP was such a wonderful bonding experience; it provided the opportunity to face college before the rest of the freshman class. Those bonds continue, today,” said Teachey. “It will be great to have our UTOP graduates on campus to meet the next generation, and our 25th anniversary celebration is a perfect time to focus on securing the continued success of UTOP. It is our legacy.” Leading up to the summer event, Teachey said UTOP alumni from each year will be contacting fellow class graduates to participate in the celebration and to support the UTOP scholarship endowment. “We all benefited from UTOP, and we want to see it thrive and grow to help even more students,” Teachey stated. “Not only do we need everyone’s financial support, but we want our alums to come back often, connect with new generations and share their wisdom as mentors, personally and professionally.” Learn more about the Office of Multicultural Academic Programs and UTOP on the Web at Phillip Brown is internal communications manager in the Office of Public Relations.

Ivy League taLent




To find world-class talent, you don’t have to look any farther than UNC Charlotte. Whether it’s academics, athletics, or the arts, we’re home to top achievers and leaders. 24,700 students strong and growing, UNC Charlotte boasts an award-winning faculty, notable alumni, and an outstanding student body. Stake your claim to a university that’s home to academic achievement.

Kenechukwu Onwugbolu Marketing, Honors Program, Class of 2011

Mona Abbasi, Biology/Pre-Med, Honors Program, Class of 2011

UNC CHARLOTTE | fe a t u re

Scenes from a

Homecoming! Homecoming weekend dawned chilly, rainy and threatening on Feb. 4 but eventually the campus dried out enough to welcomes thousands of alumni, students, parents and visitors. The official Homecoming events kicked off Friday night with the Alumni Awards reception at Harris Alumni Center at Johnson Glen More than 200 participated (see article on page 38). Activities resumed Saturday, with events such as the Chancellor’s Breakfast for students and parents, the Alumni Luncheon, the Homecoming 5K run and parade, the 49ers men’s basketball game against George Washington University, and other activities.

36 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



fe a t u re


More than 400 people attended the breakfast and another 400-plus partook in the alumni luncheon. Hundreds of students and visitors took part in the parade and race.

 Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 37

UNC CHARLOTTE | a l u m n i

Alums Feted with Awards At a Feb. 4 event at Harris Alumni center at Johnson Glen, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois congratulated recipients of the Alumni Awards presented by the University and the Alumni Association. This year’s honorees are Dhiaa Jamil ’78; Debra Morris ’94, ’99, ’04; Kathi Baucom and Derrick Smith ‘00 (pictured left to right, flanked by Chancellor Dubois and Alumni Association President Greg Ross) were honored at a special reception at the Harris Alumni Center. Jamil, Morris and Stephanie Ansaldo ‘88 (not pictured) received the Alumni Hall of Fame Award. Smith was honored as Outstanding Young Alumnus, and Baucom received the Alumna by Choice Award. Jamil is group executive, chief generation officer and chief nuclear officer for Duke Energy. He is responsible for the safe and efficient operation of all regulated generation across the company’s nuclear, fossil and hydro fleets. He also serves as chair of the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center and is a board member of the UNC Charlotte Foundation. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University. Morris has earned three degrees from UNC Charlotte. She received a Master of Arts in School Administration in 1994, a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership in 1999 and a Master of Arts in English in 2003. She was recognized as the Southwest Region Principle of the Year, and subsequently as the North Carolina Principal of the Year, an award given by the National Association of Secondary School Principals and sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and Metlife. Currently, she is assistant superintendent of the Kannapolis City Schools. 38 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine



Chancellor Philip L. Dubois (left) congratulated Alumni Award winners Dhiaa Jamil, Debra Morris, Kathi Baucom, Derek Smith and Greg Ross.

Ansaldo earned a Master of Science in Clinical Counseling from the University’s College of Education in 1988. She is founder and president of the Echo Foundation, which works to promote human dignity, social justice and moral courage in the community through educational initiatives and program. She received the inaugural Bob Barret Social Justice Award. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science/ Bachelor of Arts in Finance from the Belk College of Business in 2000. He is a former vice president in the Structured Equities Derivatives group at Natixis Capital Markets

in New York. In 2008, he earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Baucom, who recently retired as associate provost for enrollment management, began her 36-year career with the University as an admissions counselor in 1974. She rose through the ranks to become an assistant director of admissions and later the director of admissions. She twice served as interim university registrar and was appointed assistant vice chancellor for enrollment management and university registrar in 1996. She was was promoted to associate provost for enrollment management in 1998.

c l a s s n o te s

1990s Judson Gee, ’93, an independent financial advisor at JHG Financial Advisors, has qualified for the 2011 Director’s Club with LPL Judson Gee Financial. This distinction is awarded to less than 25 percent of the firm’s 12,027 advisors nationwide. Gee, of Charlotte, also qualified for the LPL Financial Director’s Club in 2010. Betty Tilson, ’93, was recently promoted to vice president at FirstCitizens Bank & Trust Company. Betty

Ann is a loan production manager. She and her husband Robby Tilson, ’93, live in Garner, N.C. with their son, Tyler. James Hoffman, ’96, is pleased to announce the release of the fourth edition of his book, “Day Trips from Raleigh.” This was Hoffman’s second book. He is working on a third book, “Day Trips from Charlotte,” expected out later this year. Richard Hudson, ’96, married Renee Howell of Evergreen, Colo. on May 21, 2010 at the St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C. The couple honeymooned in Portugal and resides in Arlington, Va. Beverly Irby, ’97, has been named chief executive officer of C.W. Williams Community Health Center. She serves on a community-based steering committee to plan and implement an


accredited school of public health at UNC Charlotte. David Allen, ’99, has joined the Morgan Stanley Smith Barney office at SouthPark in Charlotte. He brings a wealth of knowledge working with affluent and emerging wealth clients. He loves working with people from his alma mater since he feels he owes his success to his UNC Charlotte education.

2000s Crystal Skillman,’04, married Daren Brauer (Michigan State, 2006) on October, 23, 2010 in Concord, N.C. The couple honeymooned in Italy and lives in Concord. Crystal is an audit leader with Wells Fargo in Charlotte, and Daren is a project engineer with WhitingTurner Contracting in Charlotte.

 Q111 | UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 39

t iut li e lding UNC CHARLOTTE | b


The year: 1976. Platform shoes, Ultressa shirts and

Hall was recently converted from a seldom-used

honkin’ big headphones were de rigueur. In this

student lounge into a cubicle farm of transitional

shot from the Cone University Center, a student

offices for new faculty and staff and the University’s

decompresses to the strains of “Frampton Comes

call center. Students now flock to the magnificent

Alive.” The space on the third floor, near McKnight

Student Union, which opened in 2009.

40 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine





A Regional Model for Sustainability  By David Jones, Sustainability Coordinator

UNC Charlotte has and is making a commitment to become a more sustainable institution by planning to adopt and implement sustainable practices in all functions of the University. Sustainability at UNC Charlotte is defined as more than only environmental, and includes economic and social aspects as reflected in the sustainability mission and vision statements. Vision: To be the regional model of sustainable stewardship through the social, economic and ecological legacy we create. Mission: All citizens of the university understand the impacts and consequences of our activity on the natural systems that support our life. And that this knowledge guides the research, education, outreach and operations of the University. The goal of our sustainability program is to make sustainability a core value of UNC Charlotte. To achieve this goal we have developed a program that works for key areas: emissions reduction, resource conservation, stewardship enhancement and commitment. These four areas drive our practices that are then implemented across the key functions of the University, these being education and research, outreach and partnership, culture and community and business operations. This structure should support the implementation of a holistic sustainability program. UNC Charlotte has made great strides in becoming a responsible global citizen through its sustainability efforts. Our students established the first campus recycling program in 1987. Since then the students have continued to be instrumental in pushing the sustainability agenda at UNC Charlotte. In 2002 the Earth Club was established that promotes sustainability at UNC Charlotte through activism, education and social events. The Earth Club was the body responsible for spearheading a student lead campaign that lead to the establishment of the Charlotte Green Initiative. The Charlotte Green Initiative Committee is responsible for allocating student fees to pay for sustainability based projects at UNC Charlotte. The Student Government Association (SGA) appointed its first Secretary of Sustainability in 2007, to engage students’ faculty

and staff in a dialogue about sustainability and to help further initiatives on campus. Faculty at UNC Charlotte contribute to our mission and vision through their research and teaching roles. Members of the faculty through the Environmental Academy have been sharing information on sustainability research and courses, sharing experiences and lessons learned. UNC Charlotte engages the external community in sustainability initiatives through our Centers and Institutes such as the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the IDEAS CENTER (Infrastructure, Design, Environment and Sustainability) and the Daylighting Laboratory to name a few. Beyond this, faculty are involved in a diverse set of sustainability related and focused research efforts. Our staff play a critical role in carrying out sustainability initiatives on a daily basis. From materials management (purchasing), building design and construction, energy and water efficiency programs through to our recycling and petroleum replacement award winning programs. More and more educational institutions are taking on the challenge of implementing sustainability practices on their campuses. Institutions such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education have arisen to support colleges and universities in this effort, which in turn is leading to some national trends such as focusing on greenhouse gas reductions, unified reporting on sustainability practices, partnering with the community and infusing sustainability into the curriculum. UNC Charlotte is aligned with some of these national trends and has signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an undertaking

by colleges and universities committing to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations. We submitted our first greenhouse gas inventory on January 15 and are now developing our climate action plan to reduce emissions form identified sources. For more information on the UNC Charlotte sustainability program and specific actions being undertaken please visit the sustainability website at

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

At Homecoming 2011, Javarris Barnett and the 49ers battled the colonials of george washington University.

Q1 2011, UNC Charlotte Magazine  

We hope you enjoy the Q1 2011 edition of UNC Charlotte; our next issue will appear in early June. In this edition: news of the 49ers new foo...