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UNC Charlotte The magazine of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte for Alumni and Friends • v19 q2 • 2012

TOO MUCH Of a good Thing Biologist seeks solutions to nitrogen overload in nature


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c h a n c e l l o r ’s l e t te r

100,000 Alumni: A UNC Charlotte Milestone

Today, UNC Charlotte offers 19 doctoral, 64 master’s and 86 bachelor’s degree programs. Our enrollment is approaching 26,000 students, including more than 5,000 graduate students.

When Gary Gummerson set foot on the Charlotte College campus in 1961, he joined his classmates in a new place, the site of what would grow into today’s UNC Charlotte. But there were no residence halls, there was no gymnasium — just two buildings (and an old barn) in the middle of rolling, 100 thousandth alum Fabian Elliott ‘12 met with Gary Gummerson, green fields. Class of 1965. Gary’s experience was considerably different from that of Fabian Elliott, UNC The University’s origins extend back to Charlotte’s 100,000th alumnus. Fabian the end of World War II. In 1946, what was crossed the stage at this May’s graduation then known as the Charlotte Center opened ceremony in the company of nearly 3,500 and offered evening classes to 278 students of his peers, 48 of whom earned doctoral in the facilities of Charlotte Central High degrees. In fact, during the academic year School. Many of these students were 2011-12, UNC Charlotte awarded a record military veterans attending classes on the number of 118 doctorates. G.I. Bill. Three years later, the center was The commencement ceremony took taken over by the city school district and place in the Barnhardt Student Activity operated as Charlotte College. In 1961, Center, where the 49ers play basketball Charlotte College moved into the first two and the University hosts a range of events buildings on the campus we now call home. from concerts to lectures. The SAC was In 1965, following the state legislature’s built in 1997 and is the largest building approval, we became The University of on a campus that has added over 100 North Carolina at Charlotte. The University buildings, totaling 5.7 million square feet, began offering master’s degree programs in since its modest beginnings in 1961. The 1969, but our ascendance as phenomenal growth of the University North Carolina’s urban research university continues today with the most recent began in earnest with the authorization to additions being the iconic 11-story Center offer doctoral degree programs in 1992. City building that now gives our University Today, UNC Charlotte offers 19 doctoral, a major presence in Uptown Charlotte and 64 master’s and 86 bachelor’s degree the Energy Production and Infrastructure programs. Our enrollment is approaching Center on the main campus. 26,000 students, including more than 5,000 Clearly, UNC Charlotte has come a graduate students. long way in terms of the rate of our growth Look beyond the numbers and you will in enrollment and facilities, the many find that a cadre of committed people partnerships we have formed and the ties laid the foundation for the University’s the University has made with the Charlotte success and ultimately shaped the character region. The successes of our academic and of UNC Charlotte, perhaps none more athletic programs are nothing short of than Bonnie E. Cone. As director of the astounding. Amid so much change, as we Charlotte Center, president of Charlotte create new traditions (like football coming College, acting chancellor of the University in 2013) and celebrate new milestones, it is important to reflect on the past. Continued on p. 37


contents

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12 Too Much of a Good Thing

UNC Charlotte researcher leads international cohort to investigate nitrogen pollution and its effects on air, climate and water quality.

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Sustaining Partnerships UNC Charlotte strengthens ties in the region through county-by-county outreach initiative.

22 Cancer, Arthritis Linked

New research uncovers link between breast cancer and arthritis, opening up additional possibilities for treatment.

24 Joining Forces

UNC Charlotte professor garners attention of White House for pioneering research into what happens to children when a parent in the military is deployed.

34 Library Love

For two UNC Charlotte alumni the J. Murrey Atkins Library is a very special place. A chance meeting there resulted in a love story that is still being written.

departments 3 News Briefs 10

20 Center Stage 36

Giving

40 Building Blocks 41

Perspective

stake your claim profiles 14

Pivotal Players Organization headed by UNC Charlotte alumni offers support to LGBTQ youth.

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Wanderlust Alumnus TJ Anzulewicz traversed two continents in two years, recording his journey through photography.

38 Community Uplift

Rich Osborne’s steadfast commitment to philanthropy has enriched UNC Charlotte and the greater Charlotte community.

49ers Notebook

On the Cover: UNC Charlotte professor and chair of biology Martin Klotz is at the forefront of research into the nitrogen cycle, and how that natural cycle has been disrupted in modern history through agricultural practices. Photo by Wade Bruton, Illustration by SPARK Publications.

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| e d i to r ’s d e s k

Access to More Good Stuff You’ve heard of QR codes, correct? To me – admittedly not an early adopter of new technology – a QR code is simply a bar code for learning and entertainment. Bar codes were designed to provide information about the item to which they were attached. By the way, one source claims the first use of the Universal Product Code bar code was on a pack of chewing gum in the mid-1970s. In recent years, Quick Response (QR) codes have become common in consumer advertising and packaging; the proliferation of smartphones has put a bar code reader in everyone’s pocket or purse. With this edition of UNC Charlotte, we introduce QR code to this publication. But instead of placing a code on the cover, directing you to additional information about this magazine, or the University Communications team, we have chosen to sprinkle four codes throughout the edition, attaching them to articles and news briefs that may be natural choices for readers seeking more information. In our News Briefs section we’ve attached QR codes that connect you to the Web site for our Ventureprise business incubator and to a portfolio of paintings by Ralph Gilbert. In the middle of the magazine we’ve attached a QR code to our center photo spread about commencement – the link takes you to a special video commemorating our 100,000th alumnus milestone. Finally, we posted a QR code to our story on recent graduate TJ Anzulewicz; this code will link you of Web site containing his photographic artwork. Using your smartphone, scan the QR codes, and then use the scanned image to connect to the Web sites and video. We hope you find this new wrinkle worthwhile. Let me know what you think. Regards,

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Volume 19, Number 2 Philip L. Dubois Chancellor Niles Sorensen Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Stephen Ward Executive Director of University Communication Editor Director of Public Relations John D. Bland Associate Editor Lisa A. Patterson Contributing Writers Phillip Brown Arthur Murray Melba Newsome Shelly Theriault Candice Langston Staff Photographer Wade Bruton Design & Production SPARK Publications

UNC Charlotte is published four times a year by The University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001 ISSN 10771913 Editorial offices: 202 Foundation Building The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 9201 University City Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28223 704.687.5825

John D. Bland, Editor Director of Public Relations

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is open to people of all races and is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability. Printed on recycled paper 17,500 copies of this publication were printed at a cost of $.54 per piece, for a total cost of $9,375. 2

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Super Scholar

Goldwater scholar. NIH scholar. UNC med school. Oxford or Cambridge Ph.D. Must be a 49er.

Casey Rimland earns prestigious 8-Year grant UNC Charlotte student — wait, “student” doesn’t do justice to what Casey Rimland is. Let’s start over. UNC Charlotte super-scholar Casey Rimland gained notoriety last year as the University’s first-ever Goldwater Scholar. The Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program honors the late senator who served 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years of service in the U.S. Senate. That program aims to help produce a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers by awarding scholarships to college students who intend to pursue careers in those fields. That was then; this is now. Rimland has snared an even grander prize — a National Institutes of Health Oxford Cambridge scholarship in pursuit of a medical/doctorate degree. The NIH Oxford Cambridge Scholars program allows students pursuing the combined degree to complete their Ph.D. research in partnership with the NIH and either Oxford or Cambridge University. The program selects only four students a year who have not yet enrolled in medical school. As a track 1 student, Rimland applied to both the NIH OxCam program and Medical www.UNCC.edu

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Casey Rimland will earn her medical degree from UNC Chapel Hill and then her doctorate from either Oxford or Cambridge.

Scientist Training Programs at the same time. To participate in the NIH OxCam program, she had to have been accepted into an MSTP program. Rimland has chosen to attend UNC Chapel Hill’s MSTP program in the fall. “Ultimately, I will not pursue my Ph.D. research at UNC, but I am still considered part of the MSTP program at UNC,” she said. The academic program is fully funded for all eight years of her training — eight years at Chapel Hill and Oxford

or Cambridge. The award includes her medical school tuition at UNC, her doctoral tuition to either Oxford or Cambridge, health insurance, fees, a stipend of approximately $25,000 per year and a travel allowance of $3,000 per year. (Do you wish you had studied a little harder in algebra back in eighth grade?) “For the first two years, I will attend UNC for medical school. Then I will move to the NIH and Oxford or Cambridge to complete my Ph.D. research,” Rimland explained. “My Ph.D. thesis will be completed under the direction of two mentors, one at the NIH and one at either Oxford or Cambridge. I will spend two years at the NIH and two years at Oxford or Cambridge completing a collaborative, interdisciplinary and international project.” After she defends her thesis, she’ll return to UNC to complete the last two years of medical school clinical rotations. She will graduate with a medical degree from UNC and a doctorate awarded by either Oxford or Cambridge. “This summer I will actually be visiting the NIH and the UK institutions to choose my mentors,” she noted. “I’ll work to develop a project with both mentors during my first two years of medical school. Also during the summer between my first and second years of medical school I’ll have the chance to work in one of the labs.” Goldwater scholar. NIH scholar. UNC med school. Oxford or Cambridge Ph.D. Must be a 49er. Q212

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From left, Ken Lambla, dean of the College of Arts + Architecture, celebrates Violins of Hope with special guests. Paco Montalvo, visiting violin virtuoso from Spain, played in the Violins of Hope Restoring Hope concert. Sander Sittig, a Dutch pianist, played in several Violins of Hope concerts, and Amnon Weinstein was the violin maker who restored the violins.

VIOLINS OF HOPE DRAWS THOUSANDS TO EXHIBITS, PERFORMANCES After a weeklong series of programming the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. in which more than 6,000 people Members also lauded the project’s participated, the Violins of Hope successfully integration of arts and other disciplines concluded its debut in the Americas. into the programming and the College The instruments, a collection of 18 of Arts + Architecture’s partnership violins restored by Israeli master violin with Weinstein and the more than 35 maker Amnon Weinstein, were displayed cultural, educational and community at UNC Charlotte Center City Gallery. partners locally and internationally During their April appearance, more that made the project possible. than 20 events were held in conjunction Violins of Hope also received extensive with the violins, including exhibitions, media attention. In addition to regional lectures, panel discussions, film screenings stories, there was coverage nationally and and an original theater production. internationally through print and online Violins of Hope represented the kind articles and radio and television broadcasts of distinctive, internationally significant from outlets such as the Associated Press, programming that the University offers CBS News, National Public Radio, the to Charlotte, according to a resolution by Washington Post and Yahoo News. 4

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AREVA Commits $2 Million to EPIC AREVA Inc. announced on April 20 more than $2 million in financial support for the Energy Production and Infrastructure Center at UNC Charlotte. EPIC is a partnership between UNC Charlotte, state and local governments and corporations, including several energy companies with major footprints in the Charlotte area. AREVA has nearly 600 employees working in the Charlotte vicinity on a variety of clean-energy projects. It hired twice as many new engineers from UNC Charlotte in 2009-10 than from any other North Carolina university. “We are pleased to work with UNC Charlotte in advancing the critical need of continuing to invest in the next generation of engineering talent and to aid in advancing engineering research,” said Michael Rencheck, CEO of the corporation. “AREVA’s commitment to Charlotte and connection to the University runs deep, and we look forward to a continued partnership.” Chancellor Philip L. Dubois said commitments from companies such as AREVA are vital to the future success of EPIC. The commitment follows other multimillion-dollar pledges from regional energy companies, including Duke Energy, Siemens Energy and Westinghouse. “With these investments in engineering education and research, UNC Charlotte is staking its claim to the future of energy production,” Dubois said. “That’s great news for our energy production sector, the regional economy and the community.” The commitment from AREVA includes various types of support, including funding for scholarships, programs and equipment. www.UNCC.edu


n ew s b r i e f s Ventureprise: New Name for Business Incubator In April, the board of directors of The Ben Craig Center, a public-private nonprofit organization affiliated with UNC Charlotte, announced a new strategy. Its goal is to lead the region in developing a comprehensive innovation and entrepreneurial ecosystem to inform public policy and improve entrepreneurial and innovation practice. As part of this major initiative, the organization was renamed “Ventureprise Inc., The Catalyst for Entrepreneurial Innovation” to reflect its new mission and scope of services. “The Charlotte region has many great assets and networks that directly support an entrepreneur’s ability to succeed,” says Paul Wetenhall, president of Ventureprise. “Our joint planning with groups across the region identified a gap in strategy, coordination and communications leveraging these resources. That is what the re-launch is meant to do.” This strategy comes after two years of research and planning by The Ben Craig Center board, working with UNC Charlotte, the city, Chamber of Commerce, other community organizations and nonprofits, and entrepreneurs. Ventureprise is the University’s primary resource for community University Stakes Claim with “Big Data” Conference In May, the University hosted the groundbreaking “Charlotte Informatics 2012: Competing and Winning through Analytics” conference for the Charlotte business community. It brought a diverse group of leading national thinkers, visionaries, experts and executives from business, technology and education to discuss the impact of “big data” and analytics. “Big data” is an industry term that refers to large, complex data sets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage and process; examples include call detail records, Internet search records, sensor networks and social media sites. The conference’s goal was to raise awareness about the opportunities that “big data” brings and to develop regional strategies to take advantage of the emerging informatics industries to enhance the business competitiveness, attract talents, stimulate business innovation and entrepreneurship in Charlotte. www.UNCC.edu

engagement with entrepreneurs. The center was one of the nation’s first university-affiliated business incubators and recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Ventureprise represents the natural evolution of the center as a regional resource offering an expanded scope of services. Such services include organizing a regional entrepreneurial event calendar, communicating growth-oriented policies, providing entrepreneurs opportunity evaluations, leading problemsolving discussions among business networks, the University, investors and entrepreneurs; and organizing capital conferences, among other activities. Use your smartphone to scan this QR code for more information on Ventureprise.

National experts who will attend include keynote speaker Tom Davenport, chair of information technology and management at Babson College, one of the world’s leading business strategy consultants. Additional attendees will be Renato Derraik and Todd Scheidt, McKinsey and Co.; Glenn Finch, IBM; Mike Stonebraker, MIT; Joseph Kielman, Department of Homeland Security; Todd Wilkes and Dena Richardson, Premier Inc.; Dave Joffe and Tim Bendel, Bank of America; Steve Page, Wells Fargo; Richard Maltsbarger, Lowe’s; Michael Dulin, Carolinas Healthcare; and Bob Morgan, Charlotte Chamber. The conference is a collaborative effort between the College of Computing and Informatics, Belk College of Business and the Charlotte Chamber. Yi Deng, dean of UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics, noted, “The ‘big data’ era has begun. It will be transformative for competition and growth of businesses across all major industries in the greater Charlotte region. It is the next frontier for innovation, competition and productivity.”

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DEMOCRACY EXPERIENCE FEATURES PRESIDENTIAL SCHOLAR George Edwards III, a distinguished professor of political science at Texas A&M University, presented “Evaluating the Electoral College” at UNC Charlotte Center City in March, as part of the 49er Democracy Experience. A leading scholar of the presidency, Edwards has authored dozens of articles and has written or edited 25 books on American politics and public policy, including “On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit,” “Why the Electoral College is Bad for America,” “Governing by Campaigning” and “The Strategic President.” The UNC Charlotte 49er Democracy Experience is a nonpartisan interdisciplinary initiative to engage students and the greater Charlotte community in the 2012 presidential nominating conventions, the November election and policy decisions facing national leaders. EPIC Hosts Smart-Grid Conference at Center City UNC Charlotte ‘s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center hosted the second annual N.C. Smart Grid Forum in May at UNC Charlotte Center City. Bringing together electric delivery system leaders from utilities, academia, private sector and the government, the two-day forum featured a number of sessions related to smart grid technologies. Duke Energy CEO James Rogers gave the keynote address and Johan Enslin, EPIC director led the opening session focusing on the smart grid strategy in North Carolina and the surrounding region. Other featured speakers included U.S. Department of Energy Smart Grid Task Force director Eric Lightner and N.C. State Senator Josh Stein. Enslin said he hopes the center can host three or four such energy-industry conferences each year, focusing those events on different segments of the power industry. The conferences would be related to the energy clusters EPIC has chosen to focus on. Enslin said Duke Energy’s $4.5 million grant to EPIC has fostered development of the smart-grid cluster at EPIC. The center also has a large-scale manufacturing cluster related to a $4.3 million contribution from Siemens Energy, a large infrastructure cluster related to a $3 million gift from Westinghouse Electric Co. and an energy-markets cluster growing out of Areva’s $2 million contribution. Q212

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Chancellor Philip L. Dubois (left) and Board of Trustees Chair Gene Johnson joined other local and state leaders to hammer home the ceremonial rail spikes for the Blue Line light-rail extension to campus.

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CATS Stakes Claim to Campus Light Rail The Charlotte Area Transit System, UNC Charlotte and state and local leaders gathered on campus in April for a ceremony to “stake their claim” to the State Full Funding Grant Agreement for the LYNX Blue Line Light Rail Extension Project. The agreement provides 25 percent of the funding for the LYNX Blue Line Extension from Center City to the UNC Charlotte campus.

“The continued support from our state leaders allows us to advance with the vision set forth for transit in the Charlotte region,” said Carolyn Flowers, CATS CEO. “I am especially excited about the perseverance and resourceful approach CATS took to make the BLE a viable and attractive project, even with the drop in sales tax revenue we experienced over the last few years.” The support also prepares the system to receive a full funding grant agreement of 50 percent of the project cost from the Federal Transit

NC Science Festival Draws Crowd UNC Charlotte staked its claim to fun with science on April 29, with an outdoor science fair followed by “An Afternoon with Adam and Jamie,” hosts of Discovery Channel’s MythBusters. The North Carolina Science Festival wrapped up two weeks of activities in Charlotte with the UNC Charlotte Science and Technology Expo. The free public event drew hundreds of children, parents, students, faculty and staff to the mall between Halton Arena and the Student Union. “The North Carolina Science Festival was created to inspire children and adults to pursue education

and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Joan Lorden, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at UNC Charlotte. “Our city, state and nation need more people trained and working in these STEM disciplines in order to keep us competitive in today’s worldwide knowledge economy; providing these science-based events is part of our outreach toward that goal.” The expo featured more than 20 interactive displays for the science-curious of all ages. The William States Lee College of Engineering, the College of Computing and Informatics, the College of Health and Human Services, the College of Education, the department of chemistry, the department of physics and optical science, the department of geography and earth sciences and the department of biology and botanical gardens hosted exhibits, demonstrations and displays.

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Administration later this year. Chancellor Philip L. Dubois stated, “The Blue Line Extension to the UNC Charlotte campus is another critical milestone in enhancing the University’s connectivity to Center City Charlotte. It will provide the community with greater access to the University’s many arts, cultural and athletic events, including 49ers football. The extension also will contribute tremendously to economic development by linking the state’s urban research University and two of the region’s largest centers of economic activity — center city and University City.” In addition to Dubois, City of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, the governor’s Piedmont Regional Office Director Budd Berro, N.C. Department of Transportation Deputy Secretary for Transit Paul Morris, CATS CEO Flowers, Charlotte Chamber of Commerce President Bob Morgan and Mecklenburg County Commission and Metropolitan Transit Commission Chair Harold Cogdell, were invited to the ceremony at the University’s Bioinformatics Building. The 9.4-mile Blue Line Extension will run from uptown Charlotte to the campus, and include 11 light-rail stations and four parking facilities. Construction of the $1.16 billion project is scheduled to begin in fall 2013, with operational service expected in 2017.

Phillips’ Noted for Baseball Endowment The Charlotte 49ers recently recognized Tom and Lib Phillips prior to the baseball game against Duke University for endowing a scholarship for the baseball program. The Tom and Lib Phillips Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund for Baseball will provide scholarship support for one 49ers baseball student-athlete in perpetuity, according to athletics officials. The Phillips, for whom the 49ers baseball field is named, are long-time supporters of the 49ers athletic department and, in particular, the baseball program. “Tom and Lib have been dear friends of the 49ers for many, many years,” said Judy Rose, director of athletics. “To stand on Phillips Field and see what their support has meant to our program is humbling. We cannot thank them enough for all that they have done.” www.UNCC.edu


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Dee Dee Myers (center) paused with Lisa Lewis Dubois (left), Betty Chafin Rash (right) and other Women’s Summit supporters.

Milken Archive Loans Jewish Art FOR VIOLINS OF HOPE EXHIBIT As part of UNC Charlotte’s Violins of Hope project, the University hosted the world-premiere exhibition of “Not So Still Life, With Music: The Milken Archive of Jewish Music Presents Paintings by Ralph Gilbert.” The display was at UNC Charlotte Center City. Gilbert was commissioned by the Milken Archive of Jewish Music to create a series of 20 oil paintings to complement 20 themed volumes of music that

encompass more than 700 recordings. The artist is former associate dean for fine arts and founding director of the Center for Collaborative and International Arts at Georgia State University. Based in Santa Monica, Calif., the Milken Archive was founded by Lowell Milken in 1990. The archive seeks to preserve and promote Jewish music. Its virtual museum website (www.milkenarchive. org) is an interactive guide to music, videos, oral histories, photos and essays chronicling more than 350 years of Jewish music and culture in a land of freedom.

Artist Ralph Gilbert

Follow UNC Charlotte news on Twitter @UNC CLT_News www.UNCC.edu

Use your smartphone to scan this QR code for more information on Ralph Gilbert’s art.

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WOMEN’S SUMMIT TARGETS WOMEN, WAGES AND WORK Dee Dee Myers, former presidential press secretary in the Clinton administration, was the keynote speaker for the 2012 Women’s Summit in April, held at the Student Union. This year’s summit theme was “Women, Wages and Work.” The event’s aim was to educate and inform delegates on issues of public policy, social justice and advocacy. It also provided training and practical information on negotiation skills and diversity in the hiring process. Myers is the first woman and one of the youngest people ever to serve as White House press secretary. After leaving the Clinton administration, Myers worked as a political analyst, commentator and writer.

MPA, MBA Programs Among Nation’s Best The Master of Public Administration program in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences again is among the top 60 public affairs programs in the country, according to the Best Graduate Schools ranking by U.S. News Media Group. UNC Charlotte tied for 59th place in the 2013 ranking, a slight change from last year. Other universities in UNC Charlotte’s tier include Brigham Young University-Provo, Northwestern University, University of Central Florida, University of North Texas and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. The rankings are calculated based on responses of deans, directors and department chairs representing 266 master’s degrees in public affairs and administration. For the second consecutive year, the Master of Business Administration program in the Belk College of Business is among the top tier of parttime programs in the country, according to the same group. UNC Charlotte tied for 55th place among 326 programs in the annual ranking, moving up four spots from last year. The rankings are calculated based on responses by business school deans and MBA directors, as well as students’ GMAT scores, work experience and undergraduate GPAs. Other universities in UNC Charlotte’s tier include Rutgers, Villanova and the University of Richmond. Based at UNC Charlotte Center City, the University’s MBA program enrolls more than 300 students. Starting with the fall 2012 semester, the college will offer a master of science in real estate. Q212

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Campus Hosts Visitors From China Building on Chancellor Philip L. Dubois’ trip to Beijing in 2010, visitors from China arrived on campus in late March, as part of a trip to the United States coordinated by the University’s Center for China Studies. This was the second such visit in the last year. Organized and hosted by Paul Friday, director of the China Center and a professor of criminal justice and criminology, the event included two separate and independent groups. A group from Xuxhou Institute of Technology made an initial outreach visit to discuss the opportunity for students to participate in the proposed UNC Charlotte Summer Academy in 2012. Other topics included discussion of undergraduate

exchanges and institute graduates applying to UNC Charlotte graduate programs. The International Office of the China Work Safety Administration organized the second contingent, the Emergency Support New Equipment and New Equipment Training Group. The group included directors of provincial work safety administrations and managers of coal mines and energy companies. The group participated in a three-week training session beginning with one week at UNC Charlotte. They attended lectures and demonstrations from professors and others in criminal justice, political science, public administration, the transportation center, computer science and public safety.

C-SPAN Bus Stakes Its Claim Symbolic of the ramp-up of media coverage for this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, the 2012 C-SPAN Campaign Bus visited UNC Charlotte on May 6. With the bus parked near the Student Union, students, staff and faculty visited the bus and experienced C-SPAN’s programming, social media and educational resources. C-SPAN, partnering with Tout, a new, video-based social media service, allowed students to sound off on the issues that matter most to them in the upcoming election. Responses were posted to the C-SPAN Tout page and highlighted on C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal” morning program.

Visitors from China joined University faculty and administrators on campus in March.

Hunt for Geocache Goodies Helps Relieve Exam Stress UNC Charlotte’s social media team in University Communications provided a special stress release activity for students during finals – the Exam Week Geocache Giveaways. The GPS coordinates of individual boxes of UNC Charlotte gear were posted periodically on the Facebook and @UNCCharlotte Twitter feed and the first student to discover each box kept all the goodies inside. The Geocaches are a successful and exciting activity, mainly due to the heavy amount of engagement from the University’s 18,586 Facebook fans and 2,144 Twitter followers. The geocache project is a natural outgrowth of University Communications’ robust social media activities, said Marketing Director Richard McDevitt. Steady use of social media channels enhances communication between fans, followers and the University, and helps build community among students, staff, faculty and friends of UNC Charlotte. 8

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UNC Charlotte students proudly display the Stake Your Claim t-shirt and box of other goodies they found near Robinson Hall.

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‘Speaking Truth to Power’ Jonathan M. Marks, professor of anthropology, is the 2012 recipient of the First Citizens Bank Scholars Medal. The prestigious award, presented by First Citizens Bank and UNC Charlotte, honors faculty scholarship and intellectual inquiry. Marks’ work has made an indelible impact on the field of biological anthropology. An outspoken advocate on behalf of ethical issues in biological anthropology and molecular genetics, Marks is a highly regarded authority on anthropological approaches to race and human evolution and variation. Marks has been lauded as a scholar whose research straddles the sciences, social sciences and the humanities. His work

Jonathan Marks www.UNCC.edu

has helped to keep the ethics surrounding genetic studies of minority communities at the forefront of scientific debates. “Jon tackles, and applies a critical intelligence to, some of the most central intellectual debates of our time: about race, gender, ethnicity, difference and power. His work ‘speaks truth to power’ by clarifying and emphasizing what science tells us about the human condition, and what it does not tell us,” wrote a colleague about Marks, who joined UNC Charlotte’s department of anthropology in 2000. A prolific scholar, Marks has authored or co-authored nearly 80 journal articles, five books, including the award-winning “What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee:

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Jonathan M. Marks Wins First Citizens Scholars Medal Apes, People and their Genes,” and more than 60 book reviews. His contributions have been recognized with honors from the Biological Anthropology section of the American Anthropological Association, for which he served as president from 2000-2002, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Section H, among others. Additionally, Marks was a visiting research fellow at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in 2010 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Most recently, he was elected to serve a three-year term on the American Anthropological Association Executive Board. As a participant in the PBS special titled “RACE: The Power of an Illusion,” the exhibition “RACE: Are We So Different?” and other forums, Marks speaks to more than a scholarly audience. He reaches the general public. On May 11 he will deliver a TEDx presentation at Lincoln Center in New York City. After earning a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Marks earned master’s degrees in genetics and anthropology, followed by a doctoral degree in anthropology at The University of Arizona in Tucson. “At First Citizens Bank, we recognize that UNC Charlotte plays a unique and vital role as North Carolina’s urban research university,” said Marc Horgan, the bank’s area executive for Mecklenburg and Union counties. “We take great pride in our ongoing partnership with the University. Every day the faculty, staff and students of UNC Charlotte make significant, lasting contributions to the civic, cultural and economic life of our state and region.” The UNC Charlotte Graduate School administers the First Citizens Scholars Medal. Marks received the honor at a special recognition ceremony. Q212

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49 e rs n o te b o o k

Made in the C-USA

Seeking the “best promise for the future,” the 49ers move to Conference USA

In a press conference held on-campus in the Student Union on May 4, UNC Chancellor Philip Dubois announced to a boisterous throng of students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends that the University has accepted an invitation to join Conference USA, in all sports, beginning in the 2013-14 academic year. “The invitation to join Conference USA is momentous in what it can do for our University,” Dubois said. “As stewards of this University, it is incumbent upon us to provide the best leadership for today and the best promise for tomorrow. We have the unique opportunity to become one of the first programs in history to go from no football to FBS football in the minimum time allowed by NCAA regulations.” 10 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Conference USA is an FBS Conference that will provide a home for all 17 of the 49ers sports, including football. The 49ers football team will enjoy its inaugural season in 2013 as an independent FCS (Football Championship Subdivision) program and will compete in its first FBS season in Conference USA in 2015. Charlotte will be bowl eligible for football in the 2016 season. Each of the 49ers other 16 sports will begin play in Conference USA in 2013-14. “In adding football, it was imperative that we find a conference to compete in – and today we struck gold,” said Director of Athletics Judy Rose. “We not only found a conference to play in – we found an FBS Conference. It’s a strong conference across the board.”

Conference USA, which is adding four other schools, will have a 13-team membership that includes Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, North Texas, Rice, Southern Mississippi, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTEP and University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Charlotte was a member of Conference USA from 1995-96 to 2004-05. The 49ers joined the Atlantic 10 Conference in 200506 and will remain in that league through the 2012-13season. UNC Charlotte’s on-campus football stadium is under construction. It will initially hold more than 15,000 and is designed for expansion to more than 40,000. www.UNCC.edu


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Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex.

Volley This! University dedicates Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex The Charlotte 49ers dedicated the HaltonWagner Tennis Complex, Friday, April 27. The $5.2 million facility will house both the men’s and women’s tennis programs. Included in the 12,477-square foot complex are coaches’ offices, a conference room, a player/team lounge and the men’s and women’s team locker rooms. Located at the corner of Cameron Boulevard and Phillips Road, the facility overlooks 12 outdoor courts and features stadium-style seating for 246. Two scoreboards with wireless scoring capabilities stand opposite the field house area.

The facility is named in honor of Dale Halton and Fred Wagner for their generous support of the 49ers tennis program. In addition, the Jim Boykin Men’s Tennis Office Suite is named in honor of the 49ers all-time winningest men’s coach, who led the 49ers to their first NCAA tournament appearance. The Penny Brawley Women’s Tennis Office Suite is named for the all-time winningest women’s coach, whose career with the University spanned four decades. Statues of both a men’s and women’s tennis player, donated by longtime supporters Irwin and Carol Belk, adorn the entrance that leads to a breezeway into the stadium.

BUY FSL NOW, GET PRIORITY SEATING If you have not already done so, now is the time to secure your seat for life to 49ers football by purchasing your Football Seat License. Those who have purchased FSLs by June 30, 2012 will be seated according to their UNC Charlotte Athletic Foundation rank. Purchases after that will be assigned once the initial seats have been issued. In addition, FSL holders will

have the opportunity to make their seat location permanent, so the best seats are expected to go fast. As the University moves within a year of opening day, a limited number of FSLs remain. Get yours now to be on the front end of the seat assignment policy. Purchase your FSL by calling 704-687-4950 or logging on to www.Charlotte49erfootball.com.

Six-time Atlantic 10 track champion Cecily Young supports a youth reading effort called Promising Pages.

TRACK STAR ‘ERMA THE BOOKWORM’ Six-time Atlantic 10 champion Cecily Young is not only a key member of the 49ers track and field team. For the past semester, the senior sprinter/hurdler has spent time away from the track completing an internship at Promising Pages, a Charlotte-based nonprofit organization that collects new and gently used books for children in first through 12th grade. With the title of marketing and communications coordinator, Young is in charge of updating the Twitter and Facebook sites for Promising Pages. In addition, she handles event planning and scheduling, all duties that can be done right from her laptop. With companies today placing more value on social media skills, Young is doing exactly what she needs to prepare for life after school. Continued on p. 38

JUNIOR BREAKS HOMERUN RECORD With her game-tying home run over the left field fence in the bottom of the sixth inning against Temple, March 23, Briana Gwaltney overtook her own batting coach for the 49ers all-time home run record. Gwaltney’s blast was the 21st of her 49ers career, surpassing current assistant coach Kristi (Killough) Painter, who hit 20 roundtrippers in her career from 2004-07. Gwaltney didn’t consider herself a power hitter until Painter got a hold of her. “I usually got doubles or triples,” Gwaltney told The Charlotte Observer’s David Scott. “I didn’t consider myself a power hitter. (Kristi) pulled me aside and said ‘Bri, I can tell you right now that you’re going www.UNCC.edu

to be the one to break my record.’ It was kind of cool that she was able to see that in me.” Gwaltney had 10 homers through 34 games this season. A junior outfielder, she has another year to pad her career total. 49ers Softball Top Five: Career Home Runs Briana Gwaltney 24 (at press time) Kristi Killough 20 Stephanie Dunlap 18 Tenaya Tucker 18 Cee Brooks 17

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By Lisa A. Patterson

TOO MUCH Of a good Thing Biologist seeks solutions to nitrogen overload in nature

All life depends on nitrogen. The odorless, tasteless element provides the foundation for the essential acids and proteins that comprise all living organisms and the vast majority of the earth’s atmosphere. Nitrogen is a vital component of single-celled organisms, such as bacteria, and of the eukaryotic cells that make up complex organisms, such as plants and people. But today, because of changes over the last century, there is too much nitrogen in our ecosystem and it’s creating serious issues with air, climate and water quality. One person digging into the “why’s” and “how’s” of nitrogen proliferation is UNC Charlotte microbiologist Martin Klotz. He studies the nitrogen cycle — roughly the cycle of reactions facilitated by enzymes that occur on a global scale, as well as on the tiniest molecular scale, within individual cells 12 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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and between cells, in all domains of life. He is at the forefront of an international effort to better understand the nitrogen cycle and the mechanisms that have caused that cycle to spiral out of control in modern history. Eighty percent of the earth’s atmosphere is made up of dinitrogen gas, a nonreactive, naturally occurring form of nitrogen that cannot be used by plants or animals, explained Klotz, who chairs the department of biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. At least that was true until 1909, when chemist Fritz Haber developed a method to “fix” nitrogen, a process that involves taking nitrogen atoms from the atmosphere and joining them with atoms of hydrogen. “We have begun to witness over the last couple of decades that the global nitrogen cycle is really getting out of balance,” Klotz said. “It’s now in a state where the amount of fixed nitrogen is 3.5

times the level of naturally occurring nitrogen.” Before Haber embarked on what has been dubbed the largest geo-chemical experiment ever attempted in human history, the fertility of the soil depended upon a natural process whereby soil bacteria living in the roots of legumes “fixed” the nitrogen. Likewise, oceanic life relies on microbes to supply the nitrogen they need to live. The growth of the human population depends upon the fertility of the soil and the oceans; until Haber figured out a method to fix nitrogen, food production in the world had maxed out, and the population leveled off at 1.6 billion. The Haber-Bosch process, as it is known, relies heavily on fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas, whereas the natural fixing process is powered solely by the sun. Haber-Bosch gave birth to the production of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, the catalyst for modern agriculture, and helped www.UNCC.edu


to usher in an era of dependence on fossil fuel. Without having to wait for the land to replenish itself, people were able to grow more crops — more crops equates to more people. Since Haber-Bosch the human population has skyrocketed to more than six billion, and growing. “Haber-Bosch was really a game changer,” Klotz said. “What we see now is that the input of ammonium fertilizer is creating a situation where organisms change their lifestyles (resulting in changes to their metabolisms) and produce certain compounds in larger quantities than were normally produced.” One of these compounds is nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, which is mostly created when synthetic fertilizer washes from farms into rivers, streams, and then oceans, where it undergoes a chemical change facilitated by microbes, finally ending up in the air as nitrous oxide. Some of it evaporates into the air where it acidifies the rain and contributes to global warming. In fact, nitrous oxide lingers in the atmosphere three times longer than carbon dioxide, accumulating in the stratosphere and destroying ozone. It has been identified within the past decade as the most worrisome contributor to global warming. A 2011 study published in the “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” placed nitrous oxide levels in the world’s waterways at three times the amount estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. According to Klotz, the affects of synthetic fertilizer are easily observed in methanotrophs, or methane-eating bacteria. The bacteria normally oxidize methane into methanol and then formaldehyde, which they use as a source for carbon and energy. Some of these bacteria possess an enzyme that allows them to oxidize ammonia; the ones that don’t will die. The glut of

“We have begun to witness over the last couple of decades that the global nitrogen cycle is really getting out of balance.” www.UNCC.edu

These images of Lake Erie and the Sichuan River, in China, offer a visible depiction of the environmental consequences of agricultural waste in the world’s waterways. Bacteria and algae feast on the nitrogen in the water, leading to algal blooms (green areas in the photos) and “dead zones,” or areas where aquatic life cannot survive.

ammonia in the environment, caused by the use of synthetic fertilizer, has caused a massive shift in the methanotroph communities. Fewer methane-eating bacteria lead to increases in methane, a potent greenhouse gas, in the atmosphere and waterways. “If methane is not eaten away by methanotrophs, it can cause methane plumes, which are very prominent along the eastern seaboard of the United States, Canada, Europe, the western coast of Africa and along the coastline from the Indian subcontinent to Kamchatka, Russia,” Klotz said. In these areas, there aren’t enough methane munchers to mitigate the effects of fertilizer

run-off. The methane rises into the atmosphere; bad news because, molecule for molecule, methane traps more than 20 times as much heat in the atmosphere as does carbon dioxide. Conversely, some creatures, such as cyanobacteria, or blue-green algae, actually benefit from their newly nitrogen rich aquatic habitats. The bacteria and algae in oceans and lakes feast on the abundant nitrogen in the water, depleting the oxygen in the water as they grow. This leads to hypoxic zones, or dead zones, where fish and other oxygen-dependent creatures cannot live. “These oxygen minimum zones are mediated by lots of forces we don’t understand yet,” Klotz noted. “They involve organisms that use or produce compounds that lead to the formation of these zones and organisms that thrive in these zones.” New research techniques and collaborations have led to the discovery of microbes that until recently were unknown, Klotz explained. Scientists can decipher microbial activities through genetic dissection in the forms of single organism and meta-genome sequencing, and metabolic reconstruction of the inventory that the genome encodes. An “explosion” of research into the nitrogen cycle has resulted. With a multi-year research coordination grant from the National Science Foundation, Klotz has worked to unite the scientific community in the quest to understand the nitrogen cycle. The funding enabled researchers from the United States, Europe and Asia to form the “Nitrification Network,” thus opening up avenues for resource and data sharing, training and communication for scientists studying the nitrogen cycle worldwide. Klotz, who has helped to organize international conferences on behalf of the network, said it has brought people who are not usually sitting at the same table together — people who use different approaches in their research are now talking to one another. “By connecting in this way we really learned a lot about how the present nitrogen inventory works together, which led to a complete paradigm shift in how we approach the nitrogen cycle and a better understanding of how these processes are actually organized as functional units,” Klotz explained. In addition to advancing nitrification research, the network engages in activities that support young faculty and the next generation of scientists. Network members see education as an important part of their mission. They hope to make a broader impact Continued on p. 37 Q212

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Pivotal

Players

By Phillip Brown

UNC Charlotte alumni Rodney Tucker (foreground), Melanie Pace and Laurie Pitts (opposite) work at Time Out Youth.

Alumni trio leads growth at LGBTQ youth organization Time Out Youth is a welcoming space for Charlotte-area adolescents who identify as “lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning,” commonly known as LGBTQ. They can interact with other teens and receive support that may be unavailable in their homes or schools. Guiding the organization at a key time is a trio of UNC Charlotte alums — Rodney Tucker, Melanie Pace and Laurie Pitts. Not only is Time Out Youth increasing its involvement with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, it will soon raise its visibility and grow its programming at a bigger location. Tucker (’90, ’97) is the executive director. He joined Time Out Youth in December 2011. A Stanly County native, Tucker earned a bachelor’s degree in child and family development and a master’s in counseling from UNC Charlotte. He 14 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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also completed a master’s in Christian education from the Southern Theological Seminary. On the job for only a few months, he looks forward to building upon the organization’s 20-year history. Time Out Youth began with a small group of five individuals in 1991. Since then, it has expanded to assist hundreds of youth ages 13 to 23. Through its discussion groups, outreach programs and other activities, Time Out Youth currently reaches more than 300 young people regularly. “Moving forward, we’re going to be reaching even more youth through our public school program,” Tucker said. “Time Out Youth is more than what happens in our offices. We have gay-straight alliances in nine high schools and middle schools. We are working with youth where they spend the greatest part of their time — in the schools.” Reaching out to public schools and planning for the future are generating excitement at Time Out Youth, and it’s occurring at the right time, Tucker said. ‘COMING OUT’ EARLIER “More middle and high school students are coming out at an earlier age, and while

societal attitudes are changing slowly, it (coming out) can still be a scary time,” he noted. “LGBTQ youth are still afraid of what may happen — losing financial support from their parents. At the same time, we are seeing more supportive parents. They’re coming to us as a resource because they want their kids to be happy, healthy and safe and ensure they have friends. That’s a welcome change.” Overseeing the public school initiative is Melanie Pace, a 2011 graduate from the University’s master of social work program. Her undergraduate degree is from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she majored in religious studies and psychology. As school outreach liaison, Pace identifies and supports the needs of LGBTQ youth in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, primarily through the gay-straight alliances established throughout the county. “We also provide support to teachers and staff. For example, we have conducted Safe Zone training with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools personnel,” said Pace, whose position is funded by a community collaboration among Crossroads Charlotte, the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund www.UNCC.edu


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Time Out Youth is more than what happens in our offices. We have gay-straight alliances in nine high schools and middle schools. We are working with youth where they spend the greatest part of their time — in the schools.”

and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte. While progress toward greater acceptance has occurred since Time Out Youth was established, Pace noted the region’s LGBTQ youth are still searching to find their way. “We’re seeing middle school students becoming increasingly aware of their sexual orientation or gender identity, choosing to come out and in need of support,” she explained. “Recently, we provided a six-week support group to students at one middle school; for the first time, they came together with one another and some of their ally friends. To see these young people in a group setting with affirming adults present was exciting and a privilege.” As Time Out Youth reaches out to the public schools, Programs and Services Director Laurie Pitts focuses on planning and staffing the organization’s discussion groups held at its offices, currently housed in the basement of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church on The Plaza in Charlotte. She also coordinates volunteers, oversees the emergency housing program and Speakers Bureau. A Greensboro native, Pitts earned a bachelor’s degree in English in 1994 and a master’s in social work in 2008. She also holds a bachelor’s in criminal justice from Ashford University. The senior member of the staff trio, Pitts has been with the organization for three years. CHANGING MINDS “We are a small agency with a lot of work to do,” Pitts said. “But I have the best job in the world. I get to work with truly amazing young people every day. Every time one of our Speakers Bureau youths goes out into the community to share their

stories, I get to watch that person change and shape the minds of adults and young people with regard to their views and understanding of issues facing LGBTQ youth. I get to watch them change the world, one person at a time.” As alums of North Carolina’s urban research institution, Tucker, Pace and Pitts agree UNC Charlotte is a valuable partner. Time Out Youth is an internship site for undergraduate and graduate students in social work. Youths

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who volunteer to participate in the Speakers Bureau conduct presentations for University programs, such as social work diversity classes and multicultural counseling courses. Through the years, UNC Charlotte faculty and staff members have served on the organization’s board of directors providing guidance and leadership. Time Out Youth’s contributions to the community are vital the trio believes, and they are focusing on the future. A veteran fundraiser with many Charlotte-area organizations, including AIDS Walk, Gay Bingo Charlotte and Dining with Friends in Hickory, Tucker plans to employ his expertise to strengthen the agency’s financial standing. In addition, he, Pace and Pitts are planning Time Out Youth’s move to a new location — Midwood High School, a former CharlotteMecklenburg Schools facility in Plaza-Midwood being leased to International House, which in turn is allowing other nonprofits to lease space. “We’re calling this our ‘coming out’ process because we’re going to be more visible to the community. The new space will allow us greater interaction with youth, their parents, straight allies and prospective donors,” Tucker said. “We’re going to have five classrooms and be able to break up groups by age ranges and offer a lot more services.” Plans include expanding the organization’s library and adding a business center with computers to help youth conduct job searches and research colleges. Also, Time Out Youth will be employing technology, such as Skype, for discussion groups to support youth who might otherwise have to travel up to an hour’s drive to get to the center’s physical location, Tucker noted. The center’s move, he added, will also open up possibilities for greater collaboration with service organizations throughout the greater Charlotte region —including UNC Charlotte. Phillip Brown is internal communications manager at UNC Charlotte.

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Sustaining

Partnerships By Arthur Murray

Regional initiative strengthens links with nearby counties The relationship between UNC Charlotte and the 12 counties of the Charlotte region is symbiotic. It is a close, ongoing association marked by partnerships between the University and businesses, school systems, community colleges, civic organizations and alumni. This year, UNC Charlotte’s leadership is reinforcing that relationship with a regional initiative that starts with visits to the community. This spring UNC Charlotte graduated its 100,000th alumnus (see page 2). Of the more than 25,300 students at the university, more than 15,000 come from the region. More than 62,000 alumni — including nearly 36,000 donors — live in the 12 counties. Chancellor Philip L. Dubois says the initiative grew out of former UNC Charlotte Chancellor Jim Woodward’s efforts years ago, when he was mustering support to take the University to the next level. “We are linked to this region. Over the 16 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Barry Burks, associate director of the Charlotte Research Institute talks with Gaston County’s Economic Development Commission about the University’s major research initiatives.

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“This incredible campus is going to be a tremendous economic development tool, and I believe will help to spur entrepreneurism and innovation.” Kristen Fletcher, Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership years we’ve had great support from it,” Dubois said. “When Jim Woodward led the move to become an urban research institution, he went to the counties and got support. As we are looking to build on that, it’s important for UNC Charlotte leadership to be in the communities, telling our story of the value of UNC Charlotte in the region.” Early this year, Dubois spearheaded efforts in Cleveland and Gaston counties. Visits to

Shelby and Gastonia, in particular, included meetings with business leaders, elected officials, community college administrators and editors at local newspapers. The Shelby visit featured an alumni reception attended by more than 150 supporters who came to talk with the chancellor and 49ers Head Football Coach Brad Lambert. Similar meetings are in development now for other counties. Betty Doster, special assistant

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to the chancellor for constituent relations; Paul Wetenhall, president of the Ventureprise business incubator; and Barry Burks, associate director of the Charlotte Research Institute made a follow-up visit to Gastonia to meet with the Economic Development Commission. Both Cleveland and Gaston counties are rich in UNC Charlotte connections. More than 2,200 alumni live and work in Cleveland, while nearly 3,700 alumni — including 442 teachers — live in Gaston. Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony and former Mayor Ted Alexander, both UNC Charlotte alumni, were among the community and business leaders who met with Dubois and Lambert. Also taking part in the session was Kristen Fletcher, executive vice president of the Cleveland County Economic Development Partnership, the local industry-hunting group. “Our Cleveland County partners were grateful that we could spend the day with the chancellor and his team from UNC Charlotte,” Fletcher said. “We commend the University

Cultivating strong relationships with alumni is an essential aspect of the regional initiative. Almost 6,000 alums live in Cleveland and Gaston counties. At the alumni reception in Shelby, 49ers Head Football Coach Brad Lambert (far right) talked with supporters (from left) Charles Webber ’74, ’99, Ginger Bullock and Bob Bullock ’75.

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for proactively reaching out to us, and I must tell you how very impressed we were by the updates they gave us about some of the projects that are under way on campus.” ‘Blown away’ by institute Since then, Fletcher has returned the visit, seeing some of the projects she heard about. “I believe that many of us were not aware of the significant campus evolution that has taken place,” she said. “I … was blown away by the Charlotte Research Institute on campus. UNC Charlotte’s campus footprint has grown so much over the years. This incredible campus is going to be a tremendous economic development tool, and I believe will help to spur entrepreneurism and innovation.” Brett Keeter, a 1999 graduate of UNC Charlotte (bachelor’s in political science with a minor in history), is regional director for Congressman Patrick McHenry, Keeter lives in Gastonia, works in Shelby and attended the reception in Shelby. “The University’s outreach efforts to counties are essential,” he said. “These regional receptions are a great way to let our alums know how much they can help a current student who is walking the road they walked just a few years ago and also to show them how much the campus has transformed in just a few years since they have graduated.” Charles Webber, a Cleveland County businessman, earned two degrees from UNC Charlotte, one in 1975 and one in 1999. He sees the importance of the University staying in touch with communities. “Solidifying and maintaining regional contacts are essential to the continued growth and success of UNC Charlotte,” Webber said. “This type of meeting also allows longtime supporters and alumni like me to meet and dialogue firsthand with our chancellor and our new football coach, Brad Lambert. These meetings reinforce the bond we all have with our great university.” Another alum, Donny Hicks is executive director of Gaston County’s economic development commission. Hicks, who graduated in 1983 with a degree in political science, said he believes the delegation increased the University’s profile. “Among 18 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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“Among the leadership of the county, (UNC Charlotte’s initiative) raised the awareness of what the university is doing in engineering and applied research — entrepreneurship, too.” Donny Hicks, Gaston County Economic Development Commission

With the Cleveland County courthouse as a backdrop, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and Shelby, N.C. Mayor Stan Anthony head into a luncheon with the Rotary Club in Shelby.

the leadership of the county, it raised the awareness of what the University is doing in engineering and applied research — entrepreneurship, too,” he said. Hicks points to an increased role for the University in selling Gaston to potential employers. “We’re starting to recruit more advanced manufacturing,” he said. “Those companies look for partnerships in a couple of areas. One, they want technically trained employees — in engineering or sciences. They also want someone to help with applied research

to solve a problem or develop a product.” UNC Charlotte delivers on both counts, he said. “When we compete against larger locations, we have to have that in our toolbox to compete,” Hicks said. “To become a technology center, we have to be able to provide that service to employers.” He added that UNC Charlotte has supplied two other critical components of the county workforce. “When you look at what the University provides in the way of teachers, nurses and others, it is hugely important,” www.UNCC.edu


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Shelby, N.C. Mayor Stan Anthony, a UNC Charlotte graduate, presents the key to the city to Chancellor Dubois during the chancellor’s recent visit to Cleveland County.

he said. More than 440 Gaston County teachers got degrees from the University. Shared commitments The bottom line, Hicks continued, is that the county not only benefits from the relationship with the University, it has a responsibility to see that its partner thrives. “There’s an equal obligation for the county to fight for funding and programs important to the region,” he said. “The University must have broad-based support in order to thrive, particularly in difficult times,” Dubois noted at a recent Gaston meeting. “By now, I’m sure you’re well aware of some of the challenges education in the state of North Carolina will face because of state budget reductions and the lingering effects of the recession. Last year alone, our state www.UNCC.edu

appropriation was reduced by 16.2 percent. “More than 500 current UNC Charlotte students have graduated or transferred from Gaston College, so we have a long history of working with Gaston College and the other community colleges in our region,” Dubois added. “Our university has the largest number of transfers of community college students of any of the UNC system schools.” Fletcher plans to apply what she learned about the University to her industryhunting job. “Our partners in Cleveland County truly look forward to collaborating regionally with UNC Charlotte,” she said. “When we are working to recruit new industry to the Charlotte region, the close proximity that so many communities have to this University really serves as a great economic development tool.” While recruiters traditionally have

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focused on how community colleges can help train workers for new industries, Fletcher pointed out that the University can play a role as well. “I think that the local economic developers can provide insight to the University regarding emerging trends within our target regional sectors, so that UNC Charlotte can remain adaptive to the changing economic environment, and arm their students with curriculum that will meet the needs of future employers.” Shannon Kennedy, executive vice president of instruction and student development at Cleveland Community College, agrees that the University has a big part to play in educating the workforce. “From our community college, UNC Charlotte is a great partner for transfer students. There is another university in the county, but UNC Charlotte is the closest public university — plus its engineering programs complement the college’s offerings.” Her school works with UNC Charlotte, she said, to keep the relationship advantageous to both. “Something we look at when adding a program is making sure we have a bachelor’s degree program complement at UNC Charlotte,” Kennedy said. The partnership reaps big benefits for Cleveland County. “I do presentations for industry on behalf of the college,” Kennedy explained. “Two weeks ago, at an expansion announcement for a German company, it said it decided to be here because it needed to be close to Charlotte and an institution like UNC Charlotte, especially the engineering departments. We don’t have quite the level of what every industry needs. It’s nice to have a partner.” Telling a story of value Hicks believes UNC Charlotte’s role in Gaston’s economic development will only grow. “Normally, companies come and talk about workforce preparedness,” he said. “(The University has) a critical role in supplying midlevel skills. Increasingly important is having that engineering and research Continued on p. 37 Q212

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100 Thousand Reasons to Celebrate Spring commencement on May 12 marked a unique milestone as the University recognized its 100,000th alumnus during ceremonies on Saturday, May 12. To help celebrate, past alumni association presidents were on hand, along with a member of the Class of 1965, the first graduating class following the University’s designation as the fourth member of the statewide system. Nearly 3,500 students, along with family, friends and others gathered for commencement, in Halton Arena. Fabian Elliott, marketing major from Charlotte, was designated as the honorary 100 thousandth alum. Elliott was a Belk College of Business Dean’s Fellow, graduating with a 3.8 GPA and having been involved in many community service and extracurricular activities. He is the founder and served as president of the United Black Professionals at UNC Charlotte. He has accepted a job with Google. L. Howard Godfrey, a professor of accounting in the Belk College of Business, was recognized as the 2012 recipient of UNC Board of Governors Award for Teaching Excellence, during the afternoon ceremony. In total, 2,464 undergraduate students were eligible to receive bachelor’s degrees; 991 graduate students earned advanced degrees, including 48 who received doctorates.

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Metastatic breast cancer, arthritis linked By Lisa A. Patterson New research shows it may be no accident when doctors observe how patients suffering from both breast cancer and arthritis seem to have more aggressive cancer. However, the new-found interaction between the two diseases may also suggest a possible treatment. A potential relationship between metastatic breast cancer and autoimmune arthritis, as suggested by past epidemiological studies, has led researchers from the University to perform a series of mouse model experiments that appear to confirm the connection. “Epidemiological studies have implied that breast cancer survival is significantly lower in patients who also had autoimmune arthritis,” noted Pinku Mukherjee, Irwin Belk Distinguished Scholar of Cancer Research at UNC Charlotte, whose lab conducted the experiments. “As there is no obvious reason this should be so, we were interested in exploring possible cancer mechanisms that might explain why.” The experiments point to an intimate relationship between mast cells — immune system cells that are located in various tissues and that can cause inflammation — and metastatic tumors. In previously published studies, UNC Charlotte cancer researcher Lopamudra Das Roy and her mentor Mukherjee established that breast cancer-associated metastases were significantly higher in arthritic mice, with a threefold increase in lung metastases and a twofold increase in bone metastases. In their most recent work, the researchers found that mast cells and their associated inflammation are present in larger numbers 22 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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In previous studies Pinku Mukherjee and a colleague found links between breast cancer and arthritis in mice. www.UNCC.edu


“We confirmed the relationship we suspected between autoimmune disease and metastastic breast cancer cells,” Mukherjee said. in the bones and lungs of arthritic mice than they are in non-arthritic mice. Their findings point to a relationship between the c-Kit receptor found on mast cells and the transmembrane stem cell factor ligand found on metastatic breast cancer cells. The interaction between the stem cell factor and c-Kit receptor appears to play a critical role in facilitating metastasis. “We confirmed the relationship we suspected between autoimmune disease and metastastic breast cancer cells,” Mukherjee said. “This is an exciting result for us because it confirms an interesting interdependence between cancer metastasis and a specific component of the immune system.” Das Roy, research assistant professor at UNC Charlotte, and Mukherjee presented the study results at an April 1 press conference at the 2012 American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago. The researchers worked with two strains of mice. The first group had spontaneous arthritis and the second group had spontaneous breast cancer. Each of the strains were artificially induced to develop the other disease and then tested for differences. Among the findings of the analysis was that the population of mast cells within the bone and lung microenvironment was significantly higher in those mice with arthritis and breast cancer versus those without arthritis and breast cancer. The differentiation of mast cells from bone marrow-derived stem cells was also significantly higher in the arthritic versus the non-arthritic tumor-bearing mice. Mast cells are the only “terminally

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differentiated” (mature) cells in the body that develop, like blood cells, from stem cells in the bone marrow and that also have a c-Kit receptor. Suspecting a relationship between the c-Kit receptor on the mast cells and the stem cell factor ligand expressed by the metastatic cancer cells, the researchers tested the effect of blocking the receptor by treating the mice with an anti-c-Kit receptor antibody and Celecoxib, an anti-inflammatory medication. “When the mice were treated with a therapy to target the c-Kit mast cell receptor in combination with Celecoxib — a drug used to treat autoimmune arthritis — the incidence of breast cancer metastasis to the bone and lung was greatly reduced,” Das Roy noted. The researchers conclude that in an arthritic condition, stem cell factor expression in metastatic breast cancer cells induces the differentiation of mast cells from bone marrow through stem cell factor/c-Kit signaling. Mast cells, in turn, facilitate the efficient metastasis of the breast cancer cells in bone and lung tissue. Autoimmune arthritis disease increases the intensity of metastatic breast cancer because bone marrow stem cells in autoimmune arthritis victims have greater potential to develop into mast cells. Das Roy’s postdoctoral grant from the 2008 Department of Defense’s breast cancer research program funded this research. In future studies, the researchers plan to examine the presence of mast cells in human tumor samples. Lisa A. Patterson is associate editor and a senior writer for University Communications.

CanDiag Inc. Gets Grand Prize UNC Charlotte spin-off CanDiag Inc. bested more than 117 competitors from four states to win a $50,000 award in the University’s annual Charlotte Venture Challenge businessinnovation competition. CanDiag has developed a patent-protected blood test that detects breast cancer with improved accuracy and could replace annual mammograms for women. The company cofounders are Pinku Mukherjee, the Irwin Belk Distinguished Scholar of Cancer Research at UNC Charlotte, and Rahul Puri. The competition, now in its 11th year, seeks to accelerate the growth of new enterprises in the region, while promoting Charlotte as a center of innovation. The Charlotte Research Institute and Ventureprise—formerly the Ben Craig Center—host the competition, which focuses on key growth clusters in the Charlotte region. This year, applications were invited from the energy, information technology and biotechnology sectors. Winners in six categories were selected from among 18 finalists. Three Charlotte-based companies were among the winners, each of whom was awarded $10,000. Winners included DealCloud in the IT and informatics category; InfoSense Inc. in the new energy and high technology category; and InstructHealthcare, claimed the prize in the student category. Other winners include Bamboo Apparel, based in High Point, Mobile Potential Inc. of Asheville and Chapel Hill-based Qualiber Inc.

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Joining

Forces

Researcher gets high praise for work with military families

By Melba Newsome

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Dr. Sandraluz Lara-Cinisomo had barely settled into her position as assistant professor in the College of Education’s Department of Special Education and Child Development when her research garnered the kind of attention many in her field can only dream about. A study in the journal “Pediatrics” authored by her and former colleagues from the Rand Corp. had caught the attention of First Lady Michelle Obama. The investigation, one of the first to drill down on what happens to the children when a parent is deployed, concluded that they experience stress — which increases pediatric health care visits for anxiety, behavioral disorders and other mental health anxiety. At the time, the First Lady was in the process of fulfilling a campaign promise to assist the families of those in uniform. The report was particularly relevant to the mission of the Joining Forces initiative to mobilize all sectors of society to aid military families. A few months later, Lara-Cinisomo was invited to attend a summit in Washington, D.C. hosted by the National Military Family Association, the study’s principle funder. In her keynote speech to the group, Obama commended the study authors for their “pioneering research, which has highlighted the resilience of our military children, but also how today’s war can be so very hard for them.”

“That’s where I’m going to work one day,” she recalled saying when she saw the UNC Charlotte campus during a house-hunting trip.” First Lady Michelle Obama lauded Lara-Cinisomo’s “pioneering research.”

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This high-profile moment also validated the significance of Lara-Cinisomo’s work and its ability to impact policy. “In addition to reaching the White House, our work on military families has helped other researchers develop studies and surveys designed to learn about the experience of children from military families,” she said. Before joining the UNC Charlotte faculty, Lara-Cinisomo spent seven years with Rand working on significant studies related to the well-being of military families, maternal depression among Latinos and preschooler school readiness/child-care learning settings. She currently teaches two or three undergraduate classes and a seminar with master’s students while continuing to research issues such as employment and mental health among military caregivers. Funded by a UNC Charlotte Faculty Research Grant, her research often dovetails with her coursework. “I teach child-development courses,

which is basically human development focused on child and family wellbeing,” she explained. “One of the things I emphasize is context. So, if you’re looking at kids growing up in a household, you have to figure out how that experience affects their development.” MERGING RESEARCH, INTERESTS Most researchers tend to study particular segments of the population. In Lara-Cinisomo’s case, the focus has been primarily on low-income minorities, particularly Latinos, a typically understudied group with whom she can personally identify. “I’m trying to merge my research with my interests,” said Lara-Cinisomo. “I work with a research group that focuses on Latinos, and I am a member of an advisory board that focuses on Latinas’ health.” At times, her interests and activism come together. Last summer the avid runner completed the Ramblin’

Rose Triathlon in Rock Hill, S.C. in part to protest the state’s new hardline immigration policy, a hotbutton issue that is of particular concern to her as an immigrant. Born in Mexico, Lara-Cinisomo and her family came to the United States when she was three-years old. She and her five siblings grew up in South Central Los Angeles, raised primarily by her seamstress mother after her father abandoned the family. She became the first person in her family to graduate high school and enrolled in Glendale Community College to study physical therapy. While working part-time as a bilingual teacher’s assistant, she decided to pursue a degree in child development at California State University Northridge. She earned a master’s in human development from Harvard in 1995, followed by a doctorate in developmental psychology from Columbia University Teacher’s College in 2002. Lara-Cinisomo and her husband

Lara-Cinisomo, born in Mexico and raised in California, focuses her research on Latinos.

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Vincent Lara-Cinisomo were settled in Pittsburgh — she as a researcher for Rand and he as assistant managing editor for the Pittsburgh Business Times — when a job offer for Vincent with the Sporting News lured the couple to Charlotte. “That’s where I’m going to work one day,” she recalled saying when she saw the UNC Charlotte campus during a house-hunting trip. About a year later, she applied for the opening in the Department of Special Education and Childhood Development. While many of the other applicants had more classroom experience, department chair Lee Sherry felt her background would bring something unique to the mix. ‘EXCELLENT FIT’ “Dr. Lara-Cinisomo’s research background was perceived as an incredibly positive asset for the Child and Family Development Program as well as the department of special education and child development,” said Sherry. “After all, UNC Charlotte is a ‘Research I’ university and our focus on research, teaching and service/community outreach and engagement are important for all faculty members. Her credentials, her personality and her professional goals and aspirations were an excellent fit.” Sherry also noted that Lara-Cinisomo

Michelle Obama commended the study authors for their “pioneering research, which has highlighted the resilience of our military children, but also how today’s war can be so very hard for them.” www.UNCC.edu

Colleagues say Lara-Cinisomo has very high expectations for herself and her students.

has brought a level of diversity that adds greatly to the faculty, especially with the growth of the Latin community in the Charlotte area. “She has very high expectations for her own performance as well as for the performance of students in her classes.” Added Lara-Cinisomo, “I respect the department for seeing the value in hiring someone with my training and the diversity I bring to the table.” Being the first Latina in her department was a familiar situation for her. “That’s been my experience since grad school,” she said. “I’ve either been the only Latina or one of a few, especially in a place like Harvard or Columbia. Just 1 percent of the population has a Ph.D. and fewer still are Latinas. Most all of my girlfriends have Ph.D.’s and

most of them are Latinas, but it’s a very different story in most families, however.” As she completes her third year, LaraCinisomo continues to define her place in the department and the University as a whole. “I see my role here at the University as a researcher, teacher and representative of the University, and I take them all very seriously.” She aspires to make the kind of difference in the lives of her students that her professors made for her, as well as to continue doing research that spotlights important issues that impact marginalized populations. Melba Newsome is a freelance writer in Charlotte, N.C. Q212

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Alum mounts interactive photo exhibit only months after graduation By Melba Newsome

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One walk began at the Vatican and headed east toward Mecca to highlight the commonality among all the world’s great religions.

Like many people born into military families, TJ Anzulewicz moved 16 times before graduating from high school. So, it seems almost predestined that this photographer and arts graduate would put together a photo exhibit called “Wanderlust.” The surprising part is that his solo exhibition would come so early in his career. “I knew I would have a little exhibit but didn’t expect it to expand this much. It’s just kind of snowballed,” Anzulewicz said. www.UNCC.edu

Wanderlust was simultaneously well planned and haphazard — a collection of portrait photos and corresponding artifacts that include a fence topper, rocks and broken tiles. The collected items are marked with a QR code that, when scanned, will project the corresponding image for that location. At first glance, it may be difficult to find the link between the photos and assortment of discarded trash that comprise the 10-day exhibit, but it makes perfect sense once you hear how it came about. Q212

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In his travels as a study abroad student, Anzulewicz captured coastal scenes in Japan (pages 28, 29) and images in and around Rome, Italy (pages 30, 31).

Recently on display in the Rowe Arts Building May 3-13, Wanderlust was the result of eight, day-long walks Anzulewicz took over two years on two continents, as part of his study abroad program. “The project kind of created itself,” he said. “That was the whole point.” It is also similar in many ways to the way he chose to focus his studies on photography. When Anzulewicz graduated from high school in Lebanon, Pa., he planned to explore the culinary arts. “I took a vocational program at a local community college because I had originally planned on being a chef,” he explained. “After the second or third 120-hour work week, I realized it wasn’t for me so I decided to go back to school.” In 2007, he moved to North Carolina and enrolled at Pitt Community College in Greenville. Still unsure of what he wanted to do, he took a variety of classes until he stumbled across his passion in a digital photography course. He earned an associate of arts degree 30 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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and enrolled at UNC Charlotte in 2009. His first international trip was as part of a collaborative, four-week study abroad trip to Italy with 45 other students in the College of Arts + Architecture. “I had already taken digital photography in Greenville so I got the approval to devise my own photo project,” he said. Carrying a 50-pound backpack, he completed four walks in Italy and three in Japan with 8-10 stops each, depending on the terrain and the weather. He came away with a map of 2530 miles in a foreign land and about a dozen images and items to use as material for the interactive mechanical and digital exhibition. The additional benefit was the chance to escape the usual tourist path and observe the usually unseen layers of the culture. “Some people go to these places and don’t look at the rest of the country. This project allowed me to get away from the current of commercialism and tourism and see the countries for what they really are.”

Days began at sunrise at a historical location such as the Rome’s Spanish Steps. He would take a picture and collect a corresponding discarded item at the site. He would then set a timer for an hour’s walk in one direction. At the end of that hour, he would take another photo, collect another item, then repeat the process. Each trek lasted 10-12 hours with an hour rest for lunch. www.UNCC.edu


s t a ke yo u r c l a i m The experience was both physically and creatively grueling. “The physically taxing part was the part I most enjoyed because it became a challenge for me,” he said. “It helped me understand what my body is capable of.” One walk began at the Vatican and headed east toward Mecca to highlight the commonality among all the world’s great religions. Another journey went west from Emanuel, site of the original Roman gods, and ended up 22 miles away on the west coast of Italy. In September 2010, Anzulewicz participated in the University’s art program at Toyo University in Japan. He had been fascinated with the country since childhood because of his love for Japanese animation, but admits he was a bit disappointed when he first arrived. “There were fewer giant flying robots than I’d imagined,” he joked before adding, “It was a fantastic place —the culture and the people in general.” Anzulewicz used the January to March school break to embark on the second half of his photography exhibit. He was about 650 miles from Tokyo on the island of Kyushu when the devastating earthquake and tsunami hit. After several days, he returned to the capitol city, where he was instructed to return home five months ahead of schedule.

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Assistant Professor of Art Aspen Hochhalter, one of the two professors on the study abroad program in Rome, expressed both pride and surprise at the scope and depth of Wanderlust. “We always knew TJ was going to have an exhibit, but the amount of work he’s done and the intensity of this project is definitely unusual for someone at his level. It’s pretty amazing,” she said. Not reflected in the exhibit were the memorable personal encounters Anzulewicz experienced during his solo journey. On one walk in Italy, he found himself dehydrated and out of water with no place to buy any. A man in a quarry offered both beer and water to quench his thirst and refused payment. In Japan, a family invited him inside for a snack and prepared a to-go lunch box for the rest of his walk. Occasionally, he encountered the not-so-hospitable. “A few times in Italy, I really did feel that my life was threatened, like when I nearly got stabbed by a prostitute for trespassing on her territory.” The exhibit and past two years have helped him clarify that he really wants to teach, which will likely require returning to school for a master’s degree. He completed his undergraduate degree in December 2011.

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TJ Anzulewicz

Meanwhile, images from his Wanderlust exhibit are on his website, www.tjanzulewicz.com. Nine of his photos were displayed this spring at the Neighborhood Theater in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood and in the Sanskrit Gallery in the Student Union. Anzulewicz also recently won first place in self-portrait, third place in landscape and honorable mention in portrait in a competition. That the contest was sponsored by UNC Charlotte’s study abroad office was fitting. “If it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t have been able to travel in the first place,” he says. Melba Newsome is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, N.C.

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A favorite part of the internship, though, has been playing the role of the Promising Pages mascot, Erma the Bookworm. “I dress up as Erma every Wednesday when we go to the Crisis Assistance Ministry, and when we have our magic book parties at elementary schools,” Young explained. “My favorite part is interacting with the children. They’re always so happy to have an interaction with Erma.” A communications studies major, Young heard of the internship opportunity through the Athletic Academic Center. She will graduate from UNC Charlotte with her bachelor of arts in May 2012. ADAM MILLS’ JERSEY RETIRED The Charlotte 49ers retired the jersey of All-America pitcher Adam Mills during a pregame ceremony Feb. 25 at Robert and Mariam Hayes Stadium. Mills is the fourth baseball player and the 18th student-athlete in school history to have his or her jersey retired. Mills, who wore number 31, was a consensus All-American following his astounding 2007 season. He keyed Charlotte’s record-setting 49win season that included an Atlantic 10 regularseason title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Atlantic 10 Pitcher of the Year, he led the nation with a 1.01 earned run average, tied for the national lead with 14 wins and finished sixth in the country with 141 strikeouts. He also served as the ace of a staff that boasted a team ERA of 2.64. A finalist for the Roger Clemens Award, Mills posted the 49ers first-ever NCAA postseason victory, topping N.C. State in the Columbia, S.C. regional. He retired as the 49ers all-time record holder with 32 career wins, and he is second all-time with 371 career strikeouts and a 2.94 career ERA.

Mills graduated in May 2007 and was drafted in the eighth round by the Boston Red Sox. He enjoyed a four-year professional career, advancing to the team’s Triple-A club in Pawtucket, R.I. He joins Barry Shifflett, Joey Anderson and Tim Collie as the four baseball players who have had their jerseys retired.

This spring season Andrea Rivera (left) and Alexandra Zinn achieved a national rank as women’s doubles team, a first for the University.

RIVERA, ZINN MAKE TENNIS HISTORY For the first time in school history, Charlotte women’s tennis has a doubles pair ranked nationally. Charlotte’s top doubles pair of senior Andrea Rivera (Lima, Peru) and junior Alexandra Zinn (Trelleborg, Sweden) landed at No. 48 in the Campbell’s/Intercollegiate Tennis Association’s rankings in late February. The governing body of collegiate tennis, Campbell’s/ITA posts new singles and doubles rankings every two weeks, with new team rankings coming out every week. “I am extremely proud of Andrea and Alex,” said Charlotte head coach Michaela Gorman. “They have both been working hard on their doubles this year. I am excited for them and for the program that they have been nationally recognized for their efforts.”

Baseball Head Coach Loren Hibbs (from left), Director of Athletics Judy Rose, former University star hurler Adam Mills, his fiancée Renee Thomas and his parents Debra and Gary Mills were among the attendees when UNC Charlotte retired Adam Mills’ baseball jersey. 32 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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The pair opened the season 10-1—which included a road win over Elon’s 43rd-ranked doubles pair and a win over USC Upstate’s previously unbeaten number one doubles team. In 1991, Farah Khursheed was the first Niner to be regionally ranked, earning a No. 27 ranking in the Southeast Region. The women’s team earned its only national ranking in 2001, earning a tie for No. 59 on March 21 of that year. The men’s tennis team was nationally ranked in the 2000 and 2001 seasons, with a preseason ranking in 2002. Individually, Roy Sichel is the only tennis player in school history to be ranked as an individual, earning a No. 79 ranking in the ITA in 2006.

Evan James, who helped lead UNC Charlotte to the national championship game in soccer last fall, made the MLS Montreal Impact professional team.

JAMES MAKES PRO SOCCER TEAM Charlotte 49ers men’s soccer standout Evan James made the final roster for Major League Soccer’s Montreal Impact. James, a midfielder, was picked by Montreal as the first pick of the supplemental draft in mid-January. Last fall James keyed the 49ers historic trip to the NCAA College Cup national championship game against UNC-Chapel Hill. A first-team Atlantic 10 selection, James led the 49ers in assists with seven and scored five goals to rank second on the team. He scored just 43 seconds into Charlotte’s 3-1 secondround NCAA tournament victory at UAB. James finished his career 12th in school history with 63 career points. He finished 13th in the program’s history with 22 career goals and 14th with 19 career assists. A native of Mississauga, Ontario, James played this spring on Canada’s U-23 National team in the CONCACAF qualifying tournament to advance to the 2012 Olympics. Canada lost in the semifinals to Mexico and failed to advance. James scored a goal in Canada’s 1-1 tournament tie with Cuba. James joins 1996 first-team all-America Jon Busch (San Jose Earthquakes) as former 49ers currently active in the MLS. www.UNCC.edu


U.S. NATIONAL TEAM

SOCCER PLAYER.

ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICAN. MUST BE A 49ER. UNC Charlotte is home to the spirited. The tenacious. Can-do kind of pioneers who raise eyebrows and leave a mark. Whether it’s academics, athletics, or the arts, we’re home to world-class achievers and leaders. 25,300 students strong and growing, UNC Charlotte boasts an award-winning faculty, notable alumni, and a student body of winners. Stake your claim to a university that doesn’t just try – we succeed.

Lindsey Ozimek Women’s Soccer MVP B.A. Special Education Class of 2008


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Library

Love Story

By Shelly Theriault

Chance meeting in Atkins changes lives of Indian pair

The romance between Krishnan Kesavaram and Riddhi Gupta blossomed in the J. Murrey Atkins Library.

UNC Charlotte alumni Krishnan Kesavaram and Riddhi Gupta credit the Atkins Library and an unexpected cup of coffee for the start of a love story they are still writing to this day. When they met as students, they knew of each other only distantly through common friends and the Indian Student Association, where Riddhi served as treasurer. Though Krishnan and Riddhi are both from India, they grew up in separate regions. Krishnan is from the south in Calicut, while Riddhi hails from the north in Chandigarh. Their love story officially began fall semester, 2000. Riddhi, a computer science undergraduate, had just stepped onto the library’s second floor from the grand stairway. Krishnan, a graduate student, watched Riddhi walk, attracted by the way she carried herself, 34 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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and especially by her “gorgeous, beautiful hair.” Sadly, the moment ended as soon as it began. Riddhi moved on while Krishnan silently kicked himself for doing nothing. He promised if he saw her again he wouldn’t make the same mistake twice. Luckily, he got his second chance a few minutes later. Riddhi again walked by, still looking for a suitable work space. Krishnan blurted out, “Do you want to get a cup of coffee?” and without hesitation, Riddhi said yes. Thus began the couple’s 4 1/2-year courtship with Atkins Library as their host. Coffee was “all I could ask her out for without breaking the bank,” joked Krishnan, recalling his days as a college student with meager means. At the time, the library enforced

a no eating or drinking policy (which has since changed), so Krishnan and Riddhi went to the Bonnie Cone Center to get coffee. Sitting on an outside bench, the new acquaintances talked — and continued to talk — as if old friends reconnecting from years ago. Time together was as natural and easy then as it is today. From there, Krishnan and Riddhi claimed Atkins Library as their own. They unofficially declared a first floor couch as their “living room.” It was where they met between classes, studied together, chatted with friends, ate “contraband” snacks, even napped. They also met there and did nothing. “The more time you’re not doing anything is when you really get to know someone,” said Krishnan. “There’s no distractions, no pressure.” “It (the library) was a very warm and friendly place, very non-judgmental,” added Riddhi. “You could just hang out in your sweatpants, yet still feel like everyone was your academic equal.” THE PROPOSAL After a few more years, Krishnan and Riddhi had both earned master’s degrees in computer science and begun their professional careers. Krishnan had also been saving money for a ring and a new home. They knew the rest of their lives would be together, yet “the ask” had yet to take place. “I knew I had to propose to her in front of the library,” Krishnan recalled. “Even if I could have gone to France, I wouldn’t have. It had to be at the library.” Having both graduated, Krishnan’s challenge was getting them back to Atkins Library without www.UNCC.edu


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“I knew I had to propose to her in front of the library,” Krishnan recalled. “Even if I could have gone to France, I wouldn’t have. It had to be at the library.” being obvious. He thought of a hook: the graduate certificate class he was taking on campus. Krishnan decided to feign the need for research help in this class. He persuaded a reluctant Riddhi to drive with him to the library. As they got out of his car and began walking, however, Krishnan realized his plan had a glitch. It was spring break — the library would be closed. Krishnan needed to act fast before Riddhi got suspicious. He hurried her toward the library. Riddhi, unaware, took her time, enjoying the sights and chatting with Krishnan as he frantically nudged her along. Confused

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Married in 2005, Krishnan and Riddhi are now engaged alumni.

when they arrived at the library and couldn’t enter, Riddhi pressed her nose against a library window. Krishnan quit breathing. Turning around, Riddhi was shocked to see Krishnan down on both knees. She saw the engagement ring and started screaming (in a good way, incidentally). At some point, through all the commotion, Krishnan asked her to marry him. And, of course, Riddhi said yes. TODAY: FAMILY, SERVICE Married in 2005, they grew their family in welcoming a son in 2008. Their careers have also grown — they now both work as Charlotte-based consultants in information technology. “My son has been a huge motivator,” said Krishnan, now an active UNC Charlotte alumni board member. “I want him

to run around campus — I want him to truly feel this place and know what it means to me.” Krishnan and Riddhi are also contributing time and resources to develop more academic opportunities for UNC Charlotte students. As an alumni board member, Krishnan’s focus is scholarship funding. He and other members are identifying new initiatives to help students pay the rising cost of books and tuition. One day, the couple would like to provide a large scholarship in their family’s name. And who knows? Maybe, just maybe, their son will walk into Atkins Library 15 years from now, spot the love of his life and keep the story going. Shelly Theriault is communications manager for J. Murrey Atkins Library.

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Colvard’s Daughter Gets Nursing Award Linda Opdyke ‘84, the daughter of the late Dean W. and Martha Colvard, is the first distinguished nursing alumna. She was selected by the University’s School of Nursing Alumni Chapter and recognized Opdyke and her mother, during the recent Martha Colvard. inaugural chapter event “Health Care Reform: Implications for Health and Wellness.” Opdyke, who graduated in 1984, was among the first class that completed the University’s master’s degree in nursing. Before her retirement in 2009, she was associate dean of nursing at Mercy School of Nursing at Carolinas Medical Center. During a 32-year career at Mercy, Opdyke excelled as a nurse educator and advocate; she was appointed to the N.C. Board of Nursing, National League for Nursing and the North Carolina Access to Health Care Task Force on Nursing. Opdyke was instrumental in advocating for the creation of the University’s graduate nursing program. UNC Charlotte has a strong tradition of producing exceptional and high quality graduates who are making a difference in health care and improving the lives of others. The Distinguished Nursing Alumni Award is bestowed upon an alumna/alumnus who has made outstanding contributions to the School of Nursing and/or for recognition of exceptional achievement at the national, state or local levels.

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Past Presidents Celebrate Niner luminaries gathered at a dinner for the Past Presidents of the Alumni Association that was held in February at the Harris Alumni Center at Johnson Glen. Pictured here are: First Row: (l-r) Robyn Massey, Frank Jones, Misty Hathcock, Joel Gilland, Mark Colone Second Row: (l-r) John McArthur, H. Parry Bliss, Gene Johnson, Carol Lesley White, David L. Miller Third Row: (l-r) Gail Chapman, John Fraley, Jr., Bob Bullock, Tony Crumbley Fourth Row: (l-r) Donnie Koonce, Boyd Cauble, David R. Taylor, Sr., Bill Whittaker Michael Wilson Joins Trustees Charlotte attorney Michael Wilson and Student Government Association President Conor Dugan and recently were sworn in as members of the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees. Wilson, confirmed by the UNC Board of Governors, is a partner at the law firm Johnston, Allison and Hord PA. He was named to fill the unexpired term of Bert Scott. He joins Karen Popp as the second former UNC Charlotte student body president to sit on the board.

Michael Wilson (right) with SGA President Conor Dugan. 36 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

Shelley Clayton Joins Advancement Shelley Clayton ’10 has joined UNC Charlotte’s Division of University Advancement, as Director of Stewardship, effective Apr. 25. Shelley comes back to the University after five years serving as the assistant director of donor relations at Davidson College. Previously she worked at UNC Charlotte as Donor Stewardship Coordinator. Shelley received her undergrad degree from UNC Chapel Hill in English and Political Science and her Master’s in Public Administration from UNC Charlotte.

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After graduation from UNC Charlotte, Wilson attended law school at UNC-Chapel Hill. He returned to Charlotte and joined Johnston, Allison and Hord. His area of expertise includes litigating complex commercial disputes. His peers have named him one of the top attorneys in North Carolina under 40 years of age in Business North Carolina magazine and among the top 100 in the state in Law and Politics magazine. Dugan, a New Jersey native, was elected the 2012-13 president of the Student Government Association earlier this year. www.UNCC.edu


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and later as vice chancellor for student affairs and community relations, Miss Bonnie guided the development of this institution and touched the lives of thousands of faculty, staff and students. Gary Gummerson was among the students who received personal encouragement and support from Miss Bonnie. In fact, she inspired thousands of students by refusing to let them give up on their education. She lived by her motto: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, and what I ought to do, by the Grace of God, I will do.” That spirit lives on at the University Miss Bonnie built; our 100,000 alumni are the embodiment of that spirit. If you feel like reminiscing, or maybe you’re a newly minted graduate who is curious about your alma mater, visit UNC Charlotte’s Facebook page for a timeline that includes photos that capture the University’s historical transformation. There are more than 100,000 reasons to celebrate as we prepare for a new academic year, and there are nearly as many ways for our alumni and friends to connect to UNC Charlotte. Cordially,

Philip L. Dubois Chancellor

Carolinas HealthCare Foundation ENDOWS HEALTH ADMINISTRATION SCHOLARSHIP The Carolinas HealthCare Foundation has established the Robert Barber Memorial Scholarship Endowment within UNC Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services. It honors the life and memory of Barber, who was killed last year during an attempted robbery. Members of the community are invited to contribute to this endowment fund. An annual scholarship will benefit students in the Master of Health Administration (MHA) program who demonstrate the qualities that defined Barber’s life and career. As an executive at Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS), Barber was known for his exceptional leadership, creativity, innovation and integrity. During the course of his 19-year career there, Barber served in a number of capacities including managed care, finance and administration. Most recently, he was chief financial officer and chief executive officer at CHS affiliate hospitals. Barber was active in the National Guard Association of the United States, Institute of Management Accounting, Institute of Internal Auditors, National Association of Accountants, Society for Management Information Systems and Healthcare Financial Management Association. He contributed to the growth and professional development of countless students as an adjunct faculty member in health care finance and administration in UNC Charlotte’s MHA program. In addition, Barber was a stalwart advocate for and friend of the MHA program; he served as a preceptor, mentor and advisory board member. His commitment to education led to adjunct faculty positions at multiple institutions of higher education. For more information about the scholarship, contact Heather Shaughnessy at 704-687-7737 or email hshaughn@uncc.edu.

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talent nearby. It may not be needed every day, but it is critical. A region the size of Charlotte can’t succeed without it.” “The quality and credentials of our student body continues to increase,” Dubois said. “More than 800 students are currently pursuing doctoral degrees and last year we had seven National Science Foundation graduate fellows. This year we’re welcoming our third class of Levine Scholars. Seventeen of our Levine Scholars come from our 12-county region. “While Hicks already was familiar with the school’s impact, he believes the session with school leaders made a difference among fellow community members. “I think they were made aware of all the new programs the University has added, including those in uptown Charlotte — it greatly increased awareness of what the University has now.” Cleveland Community College’s Kennedy agrees, and believes the initiative is important, especially as UNC Charlotte has evolved. “When someone’s in your backyard, you don’t see. The initiative is important to show off growth.” That’s why the initiative will continue, Doster says. “The ties between UNC Charlotte and the greater Charlotte region are longstanding, and so this initiative will be a sustained effort. Our reach is broad, and every day our impact is being lived out in these counties.” Arthur Murray is a freelance writer based in Indian Trail, N.C. www.UNCC.edu

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through the development of education materials for K-12 educators, undergraduate and graduate research experiences, workshops for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, and by providing resources to the scientific community and the public. “We want to help educators and laypeople understand how we can work collectively to stop the nitrogen cycle from going out of Research associate Mark Campbell and graduate student Lin Wang prepare to control,” Klotz said. culture a marine bacterium that is active Network scientists recommend in the nitrogen cycle. a multi-pronged approach that includes funding to support basic research into the mechanisms that lead organisms to move electrons in the nitrogen cycle one way or another, creating compounds that produce both toxic and non-toxic by-products. “We also need better agriculture-management practices, and for that we have to not only reach managers and politicians, we need to educate the general public about how our present-day lifestyle can influence how we live in the future,” Klotz said. Lisa A. Patterson is associate editor and a senior writer for University Communications. Q212

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giving

Philanthropy is defined as the inclination to increase or improve the well-being of humankind through charitable aid. Richard J. “Rich” Osborne is the embodiment of philanthropy. Over many years, he has quietly but actively contributed to the health of the community through his efforts, time, commitment and financial support. UNC Charlotte and many other organizations in the region can point to the impact he has made. In 2009, Osborne received the prestigious Sally Ann Hall Spirit of the Symphony Award for his commitment to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. In April, UNC Charlotte’s College of Arts + Architecture presented Violins of Hope, a series of exhibitions and performances that featured 18 violins with histories tied to the Holocaust. As a member of the steering committee, Osborne provided crucial leadership in helping the College frame and fund the project — which resulted in raising over $500,000 in new gifts to the University. The magazine sought out Osborne to learn more about his passion for giving back and contributing to the greater good. The Q&A is edited for brevity and clarity. What is your professional background? I worked for Duke Power/Duke Energy, retiring in 2006 after 32 years. Most of that time was in a variety of finance functions, culminating with chief financial officer and chief risk officer. Finally, I managed the company’s energy policy and regulatory functions. We know you have a long and varied philanthropic history; give us the highlights. I have been active in a number of nonprofits, including longstanding financial and time commitments to the United Way, Jewish Federation of Greater Charlotte, Boy Scouts and the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. Tell us about your connection to UNC Charlotte and Violins of Hope? Dean Ken Lambla asked me to join the steering committee because of my 38 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Community Uplift Rich Osborne builds legacy of passionate philanthropy

By Candice Langston www.UNCC.edu


giving activities in, and connection to, the Jewish community. And with my history with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, he knew it was inevitable that I would find the Violins of Hope project riveting. Where does your philanthropic drive come from? It started with my parents who always supported a variety of worthy causes. I never understood why people who had the capability wouldn’t support causes of interest to them. These things don’t just happen — not in this country, anyway. Duke Power fostered a very strong sense of community engagement, and when I joined in 1974, that spirit was fairly blunt. At a departmental meeting to launch the employee United Way campaign one year, the CFO told the group that there were many people who chose not to support United Way with fair share pledges, but none of those people worked at Duke Power Co. Subtlety is not a common attribute of accountants or utilities. What was your first foray into nonprofit leadership? Boy Scouts and United Way were both vigorously supported by Duke Power.

“I never understood why people who had the capability wouldn’t support causes of interest to them. These things don’t just happen — not in this country, anyway.” Employees were strongly “encouraged” to become involved with nonprofits, and I worked on and off in both those groups for many years. I subsequently had periods of active engagement with Youth Homes, Planned Parenthood and Foundation for the Carolinas. These are all great organizations that I still support but without the kind of intense, hands-on involvement I once had. How do you think Violins of Hope impacted our community? Charlotte was very fortunate to host the first visit to this continent of the Violins

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of Hope. This event was unique in how it engaged the community, the University, the Jewish community and those interested in music and history. It really touched people on so many levels, and was such a memorable moment for all of us. What advice do you give young professionals looking to be community leaders on nonprofit boards? Identify a cause or organization in which you have a true interest or, better yet, a real passion. Don’t overcommit. They will expect you to give money commensurate with your capacity, and they will expect you to help them raise money from others. That’s what they need. They don’t want you for your good looks. Don’t let this scare you off. If it’s a worthy cause, be prepared to make the case and ask for support. If someone doesn’t, the organization will never survive. What is your definition of “legacy,” and what would you like yours to be? Work hard and deal fairly with people. Do your best, and leave defining legacies to those in the future with time for that. Candice Langston is director of development at the College of Arts + Architecture.

THE CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITY How to guarantee fixed income for life while providing a gift for the deserving students of UNC Charlotte. One annuitant/age 65 70 75 80 85

Payout rate 4.7% 5.1 5.8 6.8 7.8

Two annuitants/ages 65/65 70/70 75/75 80/80 85/85

Payout rate 4.2% 4.6 5.0 5.7 6.7

May we illustrate one for you? Contact Harry Creemers Senior Director of Development 704.687.7220 or hpcreeme@uncc.edu

www.UNCC.edu

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UNC CHARLOTTE magazine 39


UNC CHARLOTTE |

building blocks

Miss Bonnie

Would be Proud As UNC Charlotte recognized its 100 thousandth graduate at spring commencement, many in the University community must have harkened back to the tremendous work by our founder, Miss Bonnie Cone, and long-time professors such as Loy Witherspoon, pictured here at a gathering celebrating Miss Bonnie’s 90th birthday in June 1997. In 1946, Miss Bonnie became director the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina. In 1949, with the support of a cadre of community leaders, she sparked the Charlotte Center’s conversion into Charlotte College, a twoyear institution supervised by the Charlotte Board of Education. On July 1, 1965, Charlotte College was elevated to become UNC Charlotte, the fourth branch of Consolidated University of North Carolina. She served as acting chancellor until 1966, retired in 1973 and died in 2003. Miss Bonnie is buried on campus and her spirit still feeds the University culture.

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www.UNCC.edu


perspective

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Like an Expectant Father Fulbright fellow sees global PR blossoming By Alan Freitag, APR, Fellow PRSA As I write this, a focus group is underway in the next room. It is the first event in the modest research project central to my Fulbright fellowship in Poland from February through July 2012. After nearly two years of planning and navigating the Fulbright application process, then waiting for the project to fall into place, the muffled but animated voices I hear are satisfying confirmation that the long effort was worth it, and the fruits are emerging. I feel like an expectant father in the waiting room. Moderating and serving as note taker for the focus group, the first of six we will conduct, are graduate assistant Martyna Dziubek and Dr. Jacek Trębecki of the Poznań University of Economics, my host campus here in Poznań. We’re exploring the nature and quality of employee communication in companies here in Poland. Why Poland? It’s perfect for this research. It’s the only country in the Eurozone forecast by the European Commission to experience economic growth this year – again. I’ve found a spirit and energy here that is palpable. Perhaps Poland’s history has made its citizens resilient and determined. Perhaps its impressive education system. Perhaps the nearly universal embrace of the Catholic faith provides strength and hope. I’ve lived in three other European countries for 10 years, and I’ve traveled to more than 60 countries, but Poland is special. What happens here in the coming years matters. A measure of Poland’s commitment to success is the warm welcome I have received here and the eagerness with which students and public relations managers absorb what I have to share. Through frequent guest lectures and seminars, they relish the new perspectives on the roles, functions and value of research-based, planned communication programs. In turn, I have learned through rich discussions how social, economic and cultural dynamics shape the nature of human and organizational communication here. As a result, I think we understand each other better. And that’s the point of the Fulbright program. When I arrived at UNC Charlotte in 1998, following a career largely engaged in

international communication, it was my aim to build a premiere public relations program focused on a global view of the discipline. Fourteen years later, I couldn’t be more pleased with the results. Our department hosts the internationally recognized Center for Global Public Relations. We are the only university to offer a Certificate in International Public Relations. Our 4-week annual summer International PR seminar in London is consistently fully subscribed months in advance. Consequently, our alumni are equipped to function and excel in challenging international responsibilities that others would find daunting. Here are a few examples: •M  organ Jones is Director of Communications for the Health & Humanitarian Aid Foundation in New York City. •L  isa Mabe is in Washington, D.C., where she heads the PR firm she heads Hewar Social Communications. She specializes in communication projects involving the Middle East. •D  anielle Miller has been teaching in South Korea for several years. She recently moved to Hong Kong, where her career will continue. • J essica Nickle is about to go on active duty as a U.S. Air Force public affairs officer. Her responsibilities and assignments will certainly take on global dimensions. •R  yan Lineberry is an account representative with a leading PR firm. His travels regularly take him to Europe, South America and Asia. •H  eather Cummings is communications director for the North American headquarters of a South African mining and construction equipment company. •N  atalia (Kassahn) Moose served as the head of investor relations for a global mining company with headquarters in Vancouver, Canada. Her husband’s career then took them to Thailand and Finland. Not only is it satisfying to see these great UNC Charlotte alumni enjoying exceptional international experiences, but it’s extremely

gratifying to know that they’re also making a positive difference. Our stress on personal and professional ethical standards and corporate social responsibility means those qualities permeate their efforts wherever they go. They are fulfilling my simple, perennial request to all my students, that whatever they do, they make the world a better place. Alan Freitag is a full professor in the department of communication studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.


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

UNC Charlotte’s Venture outdoor experience program offers all sorts of opportunities for students and others, including this paddling trip on the waterways of the Congaree National Forest in South Carolina.

UNC Charlotte Magazine, Q2 2012  

With this edition of UNC Charlotte, we introduce QR codes to this publication. But instead of placing a code on the cover, directing you to...

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