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UNC Charlotte The magazine of The University of North Carolina at Charlotte for Alumni and Friends • v19 q3 • 2012

EPIC OPPORTUNITY

ENERGY PRODUCTION & INFRASTRUCTURE CENTER OPENS FOR BUSINESS


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c h a n c e l l o r ’s l e t te r

Protecting a legacy

You are more than just a graduate, friend or employee of this University; you are a potential advocate.

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This year marks the 150th anniversary of a very important occasion in the history of higher education. It was in 1862 that President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first Morrill Act, which established this country’s system of public land-grant universities. The Morrill Act was the nation’s most significant and tangible commitment to the comprehensive education of the middle class, the sons and daughters of ordinary people. This move was essential not only to the healthy functioning of our democracy, but also our industrial and scientific development. Later, it was the land grant universities that were charged with the formidable task of ensuring that universities engage in outreach and extension, and the application of knowledge to address critical public needs. This year also marks the anniversary of a decision by the national Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) to extend membership to UNC Charlotte and other urban institutions which educate the vast majority of the state’s students through their commitment to accessible and affordable higher education. These institutions are most invested in helping their communities address the wide-ranging and complex social and economic issues of urban areas. Like perhaps many of you, I owe my current position in life to having had the opportunity to attend a public university at little to no cost. What has happened in the last 20 years, of course, could lead some to conclude that this country’s commitment to accessible and affordable higher education is in peril. State appropriations for higher education have declined. Tuition has increased. Student debt is a national crisis. But, perhaps even more importantly, the “deliverables” of higher education are increasingly being seen as of value principally to those who benefit directly — those who earn degrees. The “public good” of public universities seems less apparent to some, even though it is clear that the production of degree-holding citizens has positive outcomes for state economies, the

generation of state tax revenues, the health of the population, the reduction of crime, and a variety of other indicators. As administrators, alumni, faculty, staff and friends, it is our obligation to attempt to turn this view around with advocacy and information. However, our primary task is to continue providing access to those who need and want higher education, and to provide that education at the highest levels of quality we are capable of delivering. Failure to do so not only has the potential to undermine our national and state economies, but could also result in the creation of a large swath of voters who have no stake in the future of the public university because they cannot afford to attend. Student interest in UNC Charlotte is at an unprecedented level, with record numbers of applicants and new enrolled students who have stronger academic backgrounds and who are more diverse than ever. Applications at the undergraduate level increased 11.8 percent in the last year among prospective freshmen, and 8.9 percent among prospective transfers. Our freshman class this fall will number over 3,600 students, nearly 500 more than last year as a result of a higher matriculation rate. The demand for affordable, quality higher education has never been greater in our region. That’s where you come in. You are more than just a graduate, friend or employee of this University; you are a potential advocate. Each of us has an essential role to play in delivering upon the promise of the Morrill Act. That is a high and noble purpose which should inspire each of us every day. So please consider this letter an appeal for advocacy on behalf of UNC Charlotte and all of North Carolina’s public institutions of higher education. Cordially,

Philip L. Dubois Chancellor www.UNCC.edu


contents

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9 features

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From ‘D’ to Design Award UNC Charlotte student Jeremy Olson is shaking up the app world with accolades from Apple.

departments 3

News Briefs

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49ers Notebook

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Center Stage

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Alumni

University program aims to become national model for enabling more energy efficient homes, and homeowners.

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Giving

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Building Blocks

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Passport to Success

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Perspective

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Legacy of Courage

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Digging This Class UNC Charlotte anthropology students and faculty partner with Gaston County’s Schiele Museum to unearth the past.

SWIFT Idea

Joint program with Central Piedmont Community College prepares students for transition to UNC Charlotte. A high school teacher partners with UNC Charlotte through “New Courage” project to create an innovative, engaging curriculum.

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Fulbrights at Full Sail

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Making a Difference

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Enhancing Collaboration

stake your claim profiles 10

Indonesian Fulbright scholars give recent UNC Charlotte alumna and Fulbright scholar some advice before she departs for their home country. UNC Charlotte students and faculty travel to Haiti to share computer expertise with teachers and mentors of young women.

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Love of University As alumnus David Causey ends his tenure as Alumni Association president, he looks forward to what’s to come at UNC Charlotte. Art of Gratitude Luquire George Andrews creative director and alumnus Todd Aldridge shares his talent with UNC Charlotte.

Former engineering professor turned entrepreneur brings interactive worktable technology to J. Murrey Atkins Library.

On the Cover: UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production & Infrastructure Center supports the needs of Charlotte’s burgeoning energy sector while training energy engineers for the future. Photo by Wade Bruton. www.UNCC.edu

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It Takes a Team Unlike a magazine you see on a newsstand or read online, UNC Charlotte magazine doesn’t maintain a full-time magazine staff. Even for a quarterly publication, developing compelling content on a part-time basis is remarkably challenging. Only through teamwork across the University are we able to chronicle the stories that we believe highlight the best of UNC Charlotte. In the column next to this message, you’ll see a list of contributing writers. Typically, you’ll find four or five people listed there. In addition to our prolific and talented Associate Editor Lisa Patterson, who usually writes two or three major features, these contributors are the valued partners who help keep this magazine alive. On this page you’ll see a whopping eight people listed as contributors. The list doesn’t include those whose content doesn’t bear bylines or who may have contributed photographs. And it doesn’t include others in University Communications who help our digital edition come to life. So, at risk of leaving out one or more valued teammates, I’d like to thank our contributing writers from the last year: Phillip Brown, Clark Curtis, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, James Hathaway, Candice Langston, Arthur Murray, Jared Moon, Melba Newsome, Paul Nowell, Lisa Patterson, Lynn Roberson, Karla Stanchina, Katie Suggs, Shelly Theriault, Meg Whalen and Tom Whitestone. I want to also thank teammates who have contributed photographs and original art work: Wade Bruton, Myron Macklin and Lynn Roberson. Also essential to the magazine are Cindy Jones, Susan Shackelford, Cathy Brown and Mark Wisniewski who, respectively, post the digital flipbook version of our magazine; proofread, concept and manage the editorial process; and keep our mailing lists up to date. I also bid thanks to the faculty members and administrators who have written Perspective columns during the last year: Nancy Fey-Yensan, Alan Freitag, Jose Gamez, Tanure Ojaide and Steve Ott. In addition, University staff members, including Mike Hermann, Sarah Caron, John Snelsire, Buffie Stephens and Sasha Trosch, are faithful sources of ideas and support. Finally, I applaud our dedicated design and production team at SPARK Publications, and our trusted printer, Progressive Business Solutions. Inevitably, I’ve left someone out, in which case I beg their pardon. But from the list above you can see that to bring this content to you with care, it takes a team. Regards,

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte Volume 19, Number 3 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 Clark Curtis Jared Moon Melba Newsome Paul Nowell Karla Stanchina Katie Suggs Shelly Theriault Meg Whalen 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

Printed on recycled paper

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is open to people of all races and is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability.

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

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An EPIC Accomplishment

EPIC’s impressive rotunda facilitates the building’s energy efficient features.

Energy Production & Infrastructure Center open for business In late July, as furniture, equipment and students were rolling in to the new Energy Production & Infrastructure Center (EPIC), Charlotte-area print and television outlets enjoyed a tour and briefing of EPIC presented by Director Johan Enslin and Jennifer Evans, project manager for the facility. www.UNCC.edu

EPIC was formed in response to the need from industry to supply highly trained engineers qualified to meet the demands of the energy industry – through traditional and continuing education – and provide sustainable support to the Carolina energy industry by increasing capacity and support for applied research. So far, EPIC has received multimillion dollar gifts from Duke Energy, Siemens, Westinghouse and AREVA. During the media tour, participants were shown a number of EPIC’s highlights:

• The main atrium, which opens up to an aesthetically pleasing rotunda; • The Duke Energy Smart Grid Laboratory, which houses equipment designed to test and run a wide range of model validation and real-time simulations; • The high bay area and control room,the building’s crown jewel and it is one of the five largest high bays in the country and will serve as a site for large-scale structural design and testing; • The environmental lab suite that will provide students the opportunity to conduct hands-on research; and • The basement floor, which contains two of the building’s large lecture halls with a combined capacity to conduct classes for more than 500 students and space where the University’s Solar Decathlon house will be built A LEED Gold certified building, EPIC contains a high-tech cooling system, a rain collection system and precise window locations and treatments that are among the energy-reducing technologies embodied within the $76 million facility. EPIC opened this fall and houses the civil and environmental engineering and electrical and computer engineering departments of the William States Lee College of Engineering. Q312

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ART COLLECTION BEGINS 3-YEAR RUN AT CENTER CITY The Lona-Frey Collection, representing 43 works by some of the most important American artists of the 20th century, is open to the public, at UNC Charlotte Center City. During the next three years, UNC Charlotte Center City will display the collection with 27 pieces exhibited on the second and third floors of the building; the remainder of the collection will be located in elevator lobby areas on upper levels. Recorded tours will be available for smart phones, and guided tours will be available by appointment. For more information, contact Crista Cammaroto, director of galleries, at 704-687-0833. The Lona-Frey Collection began with the creative sensibilities of Andrew Lona, an administrator for the Southwestern Bell Corporation (SBC) who was charged with creating a curatorial team to guide purchases for the corporation’s collection. Upon completion, the SBC collection included more than 1,000 works on paper, primarily prints and paintings from 20th-century American artists. Toward the end of this effort, Lona and his life partner Brently Frey began to amass a considerable personal collection that focused on American modern and contemporary art. Lona had always hoped that his art collection would become an educational tool. After his death, Frey decided to house some of the collection at UNC Charlotte. The University initially had access to 32 pieces in 2007, when Frey provided the works for an eight-year loan. In the past year, he extended the loan to 25 years and added 11 pieces to the collection. Consisting primarily of limited edition prints, sculpture and photographs from 1930 to 2000, the Lona-Frey Collection features works by prominent American artists, such as Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Sam Francis, Helen Frankenthaler, Julian Schnabel, Jim Dine, Robert Mapplethorpe, Sol LeWitt and Robert Motherwell.

Attending the opening of the Lona-Frey Collection at UNC Charlotte Center City were Ken Lambla, dean of the College of Arts + Architecture; Joan Lorden, provost; Brently Frey; Jerry Coughter, executive director of UNC Charlotte Center City; Crista Cammaroto, director of galleries; and Candice Langston, director of development for the college.

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PBS BRINGS “WASHINGTON WEEK” TO UNC CHARLOTTE “Washington Week with Gwen Ifill,” the critically acclaimed program of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), taped its weekly broadcast from the Anne R. Belk Theatre in UNC Charlotte’s Robinson Hall Aug. 31, prior to the Democratic National Convention. Now in its 45th year on the air, “Washington Week” is the longest-running primetime news and public affairs program on television. During the 2008 presidential campaign season, “Washington Week” launched a nine-city series of road shows across America with live audiences. The regular broadcasts and whistle-stop series earned “Washington Week” a 2008 Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting. Gwen Ifill Gwen Ifill is moderator and managing editor of “Washington Week” and senior correspondent for the “PBS NewsHour.” She is also the best-selling author of “The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama” (Doubleday, 2009). Each week on “Washington Week,” Ifill leads a robust roundtable discussion with award-winning journalists who provide reporting and analysis of the major news events. UNC Charlotte hosted the program’s taped broadcast along with a special in-depth “Behind the Scenes View” for students with the show’s producer as part of the University’s 49er Democracy Experience. In collaboration with other colleges and universities in the region, national nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations and the Charlotte in 2012 Host Committee, UNC Charlotte created the initiative. The 49er Democracy Experience brings together expert faculty, civic-minded students and community partners to develop educational programming to enhance the public understanding of and participation in our nation’s democratic process. www.UNCC.edu


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HALTON NAMES FIELDHOUSE FOR JUDY ROSE

NEW DIRECTORS JOIN UNIVERSITY ADVANCEMENT

In a surprise move to honor long-time Athletics Director Judy Rose (right), UNC Charlotte benefactor Dale Halton (left) has provided a gift that will name the 49ers football field house in Rose’s name. The gift was announced at a campus reception on Aug. 11.

UNC Charlotte has recently welcomed two new members to the University. Jenny Jones and Jeanette Sims have accepted positions to join the staff within the Division of University Advancement. Jones will serve as Executive Director of Alumni Affairs. She will be joining UNC Charlotte from Duke University, where she was the Director of Duke Jenny Jones University School of Medicine’s Office of Alumni Affairs. Her primary responsibility will be to oversee and advance the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association in its efforts to strengthen and maintain the relationship between the University and its constantly growing alumni community. Jones has enjoyed a varied career in university advancement bringing nearly 13 years of experience and knowledge to UNC Charlotte. Sims will serve as Director of Community Affairs. She comes to the University after serving as the Interim Conference Director for the Jeanette Sims North Carolina Governor’s Conference for Women. She will be a principal conduit between the University and the community at large and will provide leadership and strategic direction to campus-wide activities that build collaborative relationships with key local constituencies and organizations. Sims’ extensive experiences in highimpact community relations will serve the University well as it continues to put added focus on community engagement. Both Jones and Sims will work in direct support of University Advancement’s mission of cultivating alumni, community and government support and affinity.

Dale Halton and Judy Rose

OSHER FOUNDATION GRANTS $1 MILLION ENDOWMENT The Bernard Osher Foundation recently awarded a $1 million endowment to UNC Charlotte to provide permanent funding for nontraditional students who return to complete their degrees. “Adults of all ages continue to discover the benefits of an undergraduate degree in today’s knowledge economy, so the Osher Foundation’s endowment is outstanding news for potential students and their families. It’s also important for the communities we serve, because now we will be able to prepare even more graduates to enter the workforce,” said Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. “Increasingly, greater private support is needed for prospective students to achieve the dream of a college degree. The Oshers have a long history of staking their claim in support of education, and we are honored to be a beneficiary of their generosity.” UNC Charlotte’s Office of Adult Students and Evening Services (OASES) will administer the Osher Reentry Scholarship program. Prospective recipients, ideally between the ages of 25 and 50, must have college credits and www.UNCC.edu

at least a five-year gap in enrollment. Also, this must be their first bachelor’s degree, and they must have been in good academic standing with demonstrated financial need and a significant period of future employability. Through OASES, the University offers programs and services specifically for nontraditional students, including getting started and transition seminars, academic advising, extended hours in the evenings and on weekends, adult mentoring programs and honor societies and individual course assistance. For each of the past four years, the foundation awarded OASES $50,000 grants for scholarships for reentry students. The foundation is providing a $50,000 award for scholarships for this academic year, too, in addition to the $1 million endowment that will fund future scholarships. The Bernard Osher Foundation was founded in 1977, and it seeks to improve quality of life through support for higher education and the arts. Through post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, the foundation focuses special attention on reentry students.

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PAUL FRIDAY HONORED FOR VICTIMOLOGY WORK Paul Friday, a professor of criminal justice and criminology, was presented a special certificate of appreciation for his lifelong accomplishments in the field of victimology at the 14th International Victimology Symposium held in The Hague, Netherlands. Since the organization’s founding in 1974, this is the third time such an honor has been presented. Friday was given a similar award by the American Society of Victimology in 2006. Friday has published three books and dozens of peer-reviewed articles on victimology, as well as given numerous

professional paper presentations. For 25 years, he served on the executive committee of the World Society of Victimology (WSV), including 15 years as the society’s treasurer. He also was a founding director of the post-graduate course in victimology and victim assistance in Dubrovnik, Croatia, which just celebrated its 28th successive year. Friday was one of the WSV’s representatives to the U.N. Criminal Justice Commission in Vienna and to the International Scientific and Advisory Committee of the United Nations in Courmayeur, Italy. Currently, Friday is involved in research on the victims of migrant worker children in India and victims of corruption in China.

Paul Friday

SLEEP SCIENCE DEGREE FIRST IN WORLD UNC Charlotte will offer the world’s first bachelor’s degree in neurodiagnostics and sleep science (NDSS). This innovative, online degree will be available through the College of Health and Human Service’s Kinesiology Department in collaboration with UNCChapel Hill’s Department of Allied Health Sciences. The program will accept students starting with the fall 2012 semester. “The Bachelor of Science in Neurodiagnostics and Sleep Science, a collaboration between

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two world-class universities, will provide an opportunity for current practitioners to continue their professional development, while learning new skills in an increasingly important and rapidly expanding segment of health science. We look forward to assisting students with their matriculation into this exciting new program,” said Dennis McElhoe, director of credit programs in the Office of Extended Academic Programs. Research indicates that approximately one in four individuals have a sleep issue that significantly decreases their quality of life, increases their risk of accidents and increases

their chance of heart attack or stroke. Employment opportunities for graduates include influential positions in the clinical, educational and research settings of hospitals, specialized sleep and epilepsy labs, private practice, research facilities, educational institutions and manufacturing companies. Graduates will use their professional knowledge and critical thinking skills to address problems such as misdiagnosis and health care fraud, as well as how to create and maintain cost-effective practices for North Carolina and the nation.

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Joan Lorden

LORDEN HONORED WITH WOMEN IN BUSINESS AWARD UNC Charlotte Provost Joan Lorden was among the honorees of the Charlotte Business Journal’s Women in Business Award. Lorden, who has been UNC Charlotte’s chief academic officer since 2003, was recognized for her “thoughtful, deliberative

RESEARCH POINTS TO VAST INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES IN OUR BACTERIA In the culmination of a multi-year effort directed by National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Human Microbiome Project (HMP) has announced the first genomic Anthony Fodor compilation of the generalized biome of microbes in the human body that complement the human genome. “Like 15th century explorers describing the outline of a new continent, HMP researchers employed a new technological strategy to comprehensively define, for the first time, the normal microbial makeup of the human body,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., PhD.

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approach to education, research and community engagement that has had a tremendous impact on the long-term vitality of the Charlotte community and has raised the quality of intellectual life in the region.” During the past year, she has led the University’s preparation for re-accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. There are several components of the accreditation process, including an extensive institutional effectiveness audit that requires the institution to regularly collect data and document responses to what is learned from the data, for each and every academic program—169 degree programs in total. In addition, the University must create and document a measurable set of learning outcomes, metrics and performance standards for all degree programs. Also, Lorden has spearheaded the effort to develop a Quality Enhancement Project to improve the quality of undergraduate student learning. The project has resulted in adjustments to students’ first-year curricula and increased collaboration among University departments and colleges.

The human body contains trillions of microorganisms — outnumbering human cells by 10 to one. Because of their small size, however, microorganisms make up only about one to three percent of the body’s mass, but play a vital role in human health. In addition, the bacterial genomic contribution is critical for human survival. Genes carried by bacteria in the gastrointestinal track, for example, allow humans to digest foods and absorb nutrients that otherwise would be unavailable. In one companion paper, researchers asked the question of whether there were particular types of bacteria that were common, or “core,” across all the human subjects in the HMP cohort. Anthony Fodor, a co-author on the paper and an associate professor in bioinformatics at UNC Charlotte, notes however that, while there are a small core of commonly shared bacteria found

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MCALPIN GETS PRESTIGIOUS IRVING AWARD Valorie McAlpin, director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, received the 2012 Irving Award for outstanding leadership at the annual meeting of the American Distance Valorie McAlpin Education Consortium (ADEC) in College Park, Md. The Irving Award is The ADEC’s highest honor. In presenting the honor, Bobby Moser, chair of the ADEC board of directors, noted McAlpin’s efforts to increase educational access for youth in isolated and rural communities via the Advanced Internet Satellite Extension Program, a $5 million national program funded by the National Science Foundation. In addition, she was recognized for leading international collaborations with the University of Fort Hare in South Africa, establishing guiding principles on quality for ADEC distance education programs and serving on various ADEC committees, including the consortium’s board of directors.

at some body sites, he and his colleagues found the abundances of the “core” taxa at the sample sites could vary by several orders of magnitude between individuals. “Since all of the volunteers within the HMP were healthy, this tells us that there do not appear to be particular bacteria that are required to be present in high numbers to maintain health,” Fodor noted. From these data, it appears that different bacteria within the body can perform similar ecological functions, according to Fodor. “It remains an open question how individual variation in the types of bacteria within healthy people influences disease development,” Fodor continued. “It will be really interesting to see how this question is resolved as the field continues to mature and we learn more about the contribution of the microbiome to specific diseases such as obesity, cancer, fatty liver and inflammatory bowel disease.”

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DUBOIS BRINGS UPBEAT MESSAGE TO CONVOCATION Marking the traditional beginning of the University’s academic year, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois addressed faculty, staff and students at the annual University Convocation on Aug. 14, with an upbeat message. “On July 15, a month or so ago, I completed my seventh year as the fourth

chancellor of this institution,” Dubois said. “The first three of those years were really successful! The last four, eh, not so much given the great recession. “But, tough economics or not, the good news is that this university is on a roll,” he said. “And you can see it everywhere you look.” All across campus, there are new facilities under construction and renovation of existing ones. The university continues to add new academic facilities, including UNC Charlotte Center City, Energy Production & Infrastructure Center, and Motorsports Research. One new residence hall has been completed and two more are under construction, and the University will soon bid a new student dining commons. “Our industry partnership building — PORTAL— is coming out of the ground as I speak,” Dubois said. In addition, there is a new tennis facility and a nearlycomplete football stadium complex. Student interest in UNC Charlotte is at unprecedented new levels, with record numbers of applicants and new enrolled students who are more diverse than ever and with stronger academic backgrounds, Dubois said. Applications at the undergraduate level increased 11.8 percent in the last year among prospective freshmen and 8.9 percent among prospective transfers. “Our freshman class this fall will be over 3,600 students, nearly 500 more than last

year as a result of a higher matriculation rate,” he said. “The third outstanding class of Levine Scholars joins us this fall. And, at the last commencement held in May, we celebrated the 100,000th alumnus of UNC Charlotte and a record-number of annual doctoral degrees awarded — 118.” University Convocation is an opportunity for members of the campus community to hear about UNC Charlotte’s long-term goals and immediate plans and issues. During convocation, new members of the faculty and professional staff are welcomed and faculty members who have been granted permanent tenure are recognized along with those who are beginning their 25th year of service to the University. In addition, Larissa Brunner Huber, an Associate Professor of the Department of Public Health Sciences, was named as the seventh Bonnie E. Cone Early-Career Professor of Teaching.Dubois said University officials remain optimistic that the gradual turnaround in the state’s revenue picture will continue and that additional gains can be seen in future years. “With that said, we are not going to quickly forget the experience of the last four years. Although the state budget for the second year of the biennium turned out to be much better for us than it could have been, we must remain prudent and conservative in managing our affairs,” he said. “Our governing motto has always has been ‘hope for the best, but plan for the worst.’ That approach has served us well.”

to enhance business competitiveness, attract talent, stimulate business innovation, and foster entrepreneurship in Charlotte. The national think tank of analytics experts in attendance included keynote speaker Tom Davenport, chair of Information Technology

and Management at Babson College, one of the world’s leading business strategy consultants. The conference was a collaborative effort between UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics, The Belk College of Business and the Charlotte Chamber. “UNC Charlotte has a long tradition of collaborating with the business community to develop programs that respond to forces of change and emerging trends,” said Steve Ott, dean of the Belk College of Business. “Analytics presents a particularly exciting opportunity because it impacts a wide variety of industries. The academic programs we’re developing will create a highly skilled workforce to meet these business needs.”

“BIG DATA” CONFERENCE EMPHASIZES ANALYTICS The University hosted “Charlotte Informatics 2012: Competing and Winning through Analytics,” a groundbreaking conference for the Charlotte business community. The conference 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. The goal of the conference was to raise awareness about opportunities created through “Big Data,” and to develop regional strategies to take advantage of emerging informatics industries, as well as 8

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From ‘D’

to Design Award

By Clark Curtis

Apple takes shine to Olson and his Grades 2 app Jeremy Olson isn’t your typical college student. The senior majoring in software and information systems in the College of Computing and Informatics has long days and sleepless nights, but not for the reasons you might think. He is recently married, has his own software company and just happens to be one of 12 designers in 2011 to win an Apple Design Award at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference. Along with his brother Josh, Olson developed Grades 2, a grade calculator for students with an intuitive user interface and high quality graphics that allows them to determine the scores they need to make on individual assignments and tests to achieve the grade they want. BAD GRADE DRIVES INNOVATION Olson came up with the idea for the original design after getting his first “D” ever, in a statistics course. He said he literally “went into shock” and desperately wanted to figure out a way to recover and get an “A” in the class. “It was like a flash went off in my head,” he said. “I thought the help could come in the form of an app. I started showing it (the idea) to some of my classmates, and they just lit up.” Olson had done some previous iPhone programming and found it difficult, but he decided to really buckle down and hone his programming skills on his GPA app. Within a year the first version of the app had been designed and uploaded to the Apple App Store. Through his blogs, it caught the attention of Apple, which then featured it a couple of times on the front page of the App Store. Olson said he and his brother then started working together on a new and improved version, www.UNCC.edu

Student and entrepreneur Jeremy Olson displays his Grades 2 app.

Grades 2, which also received a warm welcome from Apple. Ironically, Olson planned to attend Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference not knowing what was in store. “I honestly wasn’t expecting it,” said Olson. “I wasn’t thinking about the Apple Design Award when I went to WWDC. When Grades 2 was the first app that they announced, and I saw the big Grades 2 icon come up on the screen, and knowing there were thousands of developers there, I was just flabbergasted, it was pretty amazing.” APP STORE PUBLICITY TOPS NAT’L MEDIA Between receiving the award, having it featured on Apples App Store as one of the five “have to get” back-to-school apps and being the #1 app in the College Essentials store in 2011, Olson has received national media exposure that includes the New York Times, USA Today, Fox News and ABC News. However, nothing compares to the exposure from being featured by Apple on its App

Storefront, as Grades 2 has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times. “All of the media coverage is like a drop in the bucket compared to that,” Olson noted. He, his brother, Josh, and father, Todd, formed a new company, Tapity. It recently partnered with Sonico, the developer of the iTranslate app, one of the top 100 apps of all time, with 20 million downloads. Together, the firms are developing an off-line language dictionary app that people can access instantly from anywhere in the world. It would also be different from iTranslate, in that it would look up single words, not phrases. Research shows people tend to look up single words, not phrases. “We are very excited about this project,” Olson said. “They (Sonico) have tens of millions of users they can push the new app to. And we have our connections with Apple. So we think we can make a pretty big splash with this one.” Clark Curtis is director of communications for the College of Computing and Informatics. Q312

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Love of University By Katie Suggs The UNC Charlotte Alumni Association has been observing many important milestones: recognizing its 100,000th alumnus in May, welcoming a new director of alumni affairs in late summer and naming the 2012-13 president of the board of directors, Brett Keeter, ’99. Keeter’s arrival, however, means saying goodbye to David Causey ’83, the outgoing president of the board. His affinity for the University has been apparent to anyone who knows him. Causey enthusiastically speaks of all things UNC Charlotte — from football to new alumni chapters to the 49er Democracy Experience. “We have so much to be proud of,” he said. He relished his time as president. “It has been a great year for the board and the alumni association,” Causey said. “I am very proud of the work we have done to advance the University, and I am tremendously excited about what UNC Charlotte’s future holds.” As actively engaged as he is now with the University, one would never know that he nearly made another institution his alma mater. “I actually started my undergraduate career at UNC Chapel Hill,” he noted. “I was a Carolina basketball fan, but I quickly learned it was not a good fit for me and dropped out.” After working for a few years, Causey eventually decided it was time to go back to school. This time, he chose UNC Charlotte. NONTRADITIONAL STUDENT “It was different the second time around,” he recalled. “I had worked for almost seven years before deciding to become an engineer; I had gotten a little bit of real-world experience. I was married when I entered UNC Charlotte, and I was a nontraditional student in every sense of the word.” 10

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From nontraditional student to proud alumnus, David Causey plans to continue his involvement with the University.

Having to work and go to school had its challenges, but he quickly found support. “From day one, my instructors and classmates made me feel like I was going to fit right in, and I did,” he said. One instructor in particular made a huge impression on Causey. “Dr. Paul DeHoff was nothing short of amazing. He was my advisor and was always encouraging me,” Causey remembered. “He realized that school wasn’t easy for me, and he always tried to help me arrange my schedule so I could continue working and still get my

degree. He was an inspiration. He was a great mentor; though I doubt he ever saw himself as that.” After graduating with a degree in engineering, Causey remained engaged with the University. In the mid-90s, he joined the Alumni Association Board of Directors, serving as president for 2011-12. Causey has high hopes for new alumni chapters that have been established. “I was really involved with the School of Nursing Alumni Chapter,” he said. “In February, we held a really nice conference on healthcare www.UNCC.edu


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reform. We had student participation, board participation and corporate participation. We had phenomenal partners for this event, and I was just glad to be a part of it.” STAYING CONNECTED Even though Causey’s term as president has ended, his involvement with the University has not. As an engineer for energy firm AREVA, Causey is always looking for ways to enhance the University as well as the Charlotte community. “I am a huge advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Some of the jobs that were lost with the collapse of the banks have been replaced by energy companies,” he explained. “We have a strong employment base here; companies come here because UNC Charlotte and the community are committed to providing a skilled and educated workforce.” In addition to his love for UNC Charlotte, Causey has other reasons to stay involved with the University. The Causey

David Causey pauses beside the Formula 1 race car sponsored by AREVA.

“I am a huge advocate for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education. Some of the jobs that were lost with the collapse of the banks have been replaced by energy companies.”

David Causey with son, Thomas, wife, Sherry, and daughter, Sara -- all UNC Charlotte alumni.

www.UNCC.edu

family has made UNC Charlotte a family affair. Not only does David call UNC Charlotte his alma mater but so does his wife, Sherry ’88. Furthermore, two of the Causeys’ four children, Thomas and Sara, are following in mom’s and dad’s footsteps, and are currently enrolled here. “Thomas is a rising senior majoring in earth science, and Sara is a rising sophomore. She hasn’t decided on a major yet, but I’m trying to talk her into engineering,” her dad said proudly. As successful as the alumni association board has been over the last several years, Causey is aware that more work needs to be done. “We really need to work on getting our alumni even more engaged with the University,” he said. “With football just around the corner, we need all of the support we can get. Our alums have so much to give — not just money but expertise, time and volunteer efforts, and we need to find meaningful ways to engage them.” Katie Suggs previously served as assistant director of community affairs at UNC Charlotte. Q312

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Academic Kudos

Over 1/3 of athletes make A-10 honor roll, Three teams earn national recognition

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The Charlotte 49ers have been rolling up academic kudos. The University had 94 student-athletes named to the Atlantic 10 Commissioner’s Honor Roll for the spring 2012 semester, while three teams earned Academic Progress Rate Recognition for the school year. The squads were men’s and women’s tennis and men’s cross country. To earn a spot on the honor roll, student-athletes must have a 3.5 GPA or better (on a 4.0 scale) during that semester. Charlotte’s 94 honorees matches the school record set in the fall of 2011 and equates to 35 percent of the 49ers’ studentathletes, another school record. Charlotte was one of seven of the league’s 14 schools that had at least one representative from each of its sports. Of the 94 University athletes with at least

a 3.5 GPA, 36 student-athletes had a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring. But UNC Charlotte’s honor-roll success didn’t end there. Charlotte studentathletes posted a cumulative 3.102 GPA for fall 2011 and a 3.123 for the spring — both records. This is the sixth straight year that the 49ers have boasted a departmentwide GPA of over 3.0. With the APR, the NCAA honors teams that earn multi-year scores in the top 10 percent of all squads in their respective sports. The 49ers women’s tennis program made the list for the fourth consecutive year, while the men’s cross country team has earned the recognition list in backto-back seasons. The women’s tennis team’s four-straight years ties volleyball for the longest such streak by a Charlotte athletics program.

LAMBERT COMPLETES FOOTBALL STAFF Head football coach Brad Lambert announced in July the addition of four new coaches to complete his coaching staff . The 49ers have hired Drew Dayton as inside linebackers coach, Damien Gary as running backs coach, Johnson Richardson as tight ends coach and John Russell as assistant secondary coach. The 49ers also hired Jim Durning as strength and conditioning coach. Durning spent the last 13 years directing the strength and conditioning program at James Madison. Dayton, a 2003 Wake Forest grad who

helped the Demon Deacons to victories in the 1999 Aloha Bowl and the 2002 Seattle Bowl, has coached at Duke for the past six years. Gary was a four-year letter winner at Georgia and the school’s all-time career punt return leader. He helped key the Bulldogs 2002 SEC Championship team. He coached at Mars Hill for the last two years as the wide receivers coach. Richardson, a tight end at Wofford from 2006-10, has served as the tight ends coach/ offensive graduate assistant for the last two years at Wingate. A 2010 Wofford grad, Richardson was a member of Wofford’s 2007 Southern Conference Championship team. Russell starred at Wake Forest from 2006-09 and was Duke’s defensive graduate assistant last year. After a stint in the NFL that included a 2010 season with the Buffalo Bills, Russell joined Duke’s staff in June. To purchase a football seat license, call 704-687-4950.

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49ERS FOOTBALL COACHING STAFF Head Coach Brad Lambert (Kansas State, 1987), 2nd season Offensive Coordinator Jeff Mullen (Wittenburg, 1990), 2nd season Defensive Coordinator Bruce Tall (Ohio Wesleyan, 1982), 2nd season Secondary James Adams (Wake Forest, 2006), 2nd season Inside Linebackers Drew Dayton (Wake Forest, 2003), 1st season Running Backs Damien Gary (Georgia, 2005), 1st season Offensive Line/Recruiting Phil Ratliffe (Marshall, 1994), 1st season Outside Linebackers Napoleon Sykes (Wake Forest, 2006), 1st season Wide Receivers Joe Tereshinski (Georgia, 2006), 1st season Tight Ends Johnson Richardson (Wofford, 2010), 1st season Ass’t Secondary John Russell (Wake Forest, 2010), 1st season Football Operations Trevor Lambert (Kansas State, 2008), 2nd season Athletic Trainer A.J. Lukjanczuk (Elon, 2002), 1st season Strength & Conditioning Jim Durning (Marshall, 1992), 1st season www.UNCC.edu


Halton Field House

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student-athlete with the highest grade point average in the department.

FIELD HOUSE NAMED FOR DALE HALTON Dale Halton continued her generosity toward UNC Charlotte and the athletic department with her donation to name Halton Field House, a key feature of the 15,000-seat, on-campus football stadium. “For many years I have known that football would be a reality here at UNC Charlotte and now we are a little over a year until our first game,” Halton said. “For these many years I have known that I would contribute financially to the program. It is with great pleasure that I make this gift, and I am hopeful that others will join me in making our return to Conference USA a wonderful success!” The 46,150-square-foot Halton Field House, due for completion in August, will be the home of the football program, complete with locker rooms, coaches’ offices, an academic center, a tiered classroom, a strength training suite, conference rooms, a hospitality deck and a players’ lounge. “Dale’s was the first call I received after the trustees and the Chancellor voted to add football,” Rose said. “I was in the Indianapolis airport when she pledged her support, and she was quick to back that pledge with financial support through the purchase of FSLs (Football Seat Licenses). “Fast forward to the press conference when we announced that we would be returning to Conference USA: Dale was on the front row, again, showing her support,” Rose continued. “When she listened to the remarks of what the move will mean for our athletic program, she understood the costs associated. Again, she stepped up to help make us competitive in the league.” With her philanthropic donations, Halton has placed an indelible stamp on campus athletics. Previous major donations include capital support for the Dale F. Halton Arena, HaltonWagner Tennis Complex and Miltimore-Wallis Athletic Training and Academic Center. Halton also has a well-documented history of giving to the university in areas of scholarship and facility development. Her name can be seen on the Dale Halton Reading Room in Atkins Library and a variety of scholarships, including The Halton www.UNCC.edu

BASEBALL SCHOLARSHIP ENDOWED The University is grateful to Tom and Lib Phillips for endowing a scholarship for the baseball program this past spring. The Tom & Lib Phillips Student-Athlete Scholarship Fund for Baseball will provide scholarship support for one 49ers baseball student-athlete in perpetuity. Study Abroad Scholarship, The Dale F. Halton Tom and Lib Phillips, for whom the 49ers Women in Marketing Scholarship, the Re-entry baseball field is named, have long been supporters Scholarship Fund and the Henry B. Fowler Men’s of the athletic department and, in particular, the Basketball Scholarship. baseball program. “Tom and Lib have been dear Halton has served on the University’s friends of the 49ers for many, many years,” said boards of trustees, visitors, athletic 49ers Director of Athletics Judy Rose. “To stand foundation and overall foundation. on Phillips Field and see what their support has With her donation to name the field house, meant to our program is humbling. We cannot Halton joins Hugh McColl and Jerry Richardson thank them enough for all that they have done.” as the lead donors to the football complex. The University is actively seeking a donor for naming rights to the stadium. TRACK STAR EARNS POST-GRAD GRANTS Charlotte track and field star Macey Ruble, who graduated with a 4.0 GPA as a double major in physics and mathematics, pulled another double by being named recipient of Macey Ruble both A-10 Post-Graduate and NCAA Post-Graduate scholarships. The A-10 awards four post-graduate scholarships annually, while the NCAA grants 87 male and 87 female awards each year. Ruble plans to enroll at Cornell to pursue a terminal degree in physics. The four recipients of the A-10 award will receive $5,000 to contribute to their graduate education, while the NCAA award is for $7,500. A native of Boone, N.C. and pole vault specialist, Ruble placed in the top 10 at the A-10 Indoor Track and Field Championships all four years, including a runner-up finish at the 2010 A-10 Indoor Championships. He also placed in the top five at the A-10 Outdoor Track and Field Championships in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. His 15’1” mark in the 2009 outdoor season is tied for third all-time in the pole vault at Charlotte, while his leap of 14’3” stands as 10th-best at Charlotte for an indoor meet. Ruble is a three-time winner of the Hugh McEniry Men’s Student Athlete of the Year Award at Charlotte, granted to the male

SOCCER SPURS TOP 25 FINISH, FACES TOUGH SCHEDULE On the strength of the men’s soccer team’s trip to the NCAA national championship game, the University’s men’s athletic program ranked 23rd in the final Capital One Cup standings. Charlotte accumulated 36 points, thanks to its final rank of #2 in the NSCAA Men’s Division I Soccer Coaches Poll. The men’s soccer team reached the College Cup Finals for the first time in school history last season. This fall, it faces a challenging 2012 schedule featuring six 2011 NCAA tournament teams, and will host the A-10 Tournament Nov. 8-11 at Transamerica Field. Key nonconference home games include 2011 NCAA tourney participants Coastal Carolina (Aug. 27), University of Alabama at Birmingham (Aug. 31) and South Carolina (Sept. 12). The UAB game is a rematch of last year’s NCAA second-round match-up, which the 49ers won on the road, 3-1. In October, Charlotte hosts four straight A-10 contests: Fordham (Oct. 12), La Salle (Oct. 14), Massachusetts (Oct. 19) and Rhode Island (Oct. 21). The 49ers conclude the regular season at home Nov. 3 vs. George Washington. Q312

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Digging

this Class Students, Schiele Museum seek telltale shards of history By Paul Nowell

Using a small brush, student Doug Sanders, clears debris from a small glass bottle he unearthed in one of the grids.

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fe a t u re Not far off busy Beatties Ford Road in the northwest part of Mecklenburg County, the evolving landscape still preserves some of the county’s history from more than 200 years ago. Familiar names like Davidson and Latta are etched into walls and rustic structures along winding country roads. Turning off the main thoroughfare onto Neck Road, there are large open fields dotted with walled-in burial grounds and historical sites, including Rural Hill. On nearby Sample Road is Latta Plantation, another noteworthy site. Go on a bit further down Neck Road and the road changes from asphalt to gravel. Suddenly, there’s a dense canopy of red cedar trees, which create a natural tunnel. The reward at the end of the journey is Holly Bend, a Federal-style home built between 1795 and 1800 by Robert Davidson. He was oldest son of Major John Davidson, a Revolutionary War figure and signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. Once the hub of a working 2,800acre plantation, Holly Bend is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Worn by the ages but still in remarkable shape, the house and surrounding acres were purchased by Mecklenburg County, primarily for watershed protection. Surrounded on three sides by the Catawba River, the plantation is reputed to have gotten its name from the abundant holly trees that still grow in the area. Flash forward more than 200 years and

Alan May (right), curator of anthropology at the Schiele Museum, discusses plans for the next excavation at the site with student Byron Smith.

Holly Bend is a Federal-style home built between 1795 and 1800 by Robert Davidson, the oldest son of Major John Davidson, a Revolutionary War figure and signer of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence. The home was once the hub of a working 2,800-acre plantation. www.UNCC.edu

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you will find a small but dedicated group of UNC Charlotte students and their mentors working on the site. They are members of a class called: Field Project in Archeology. While many of their peers were sitting in air-conditioned classrooms during the University’s first summer 2012 session, these students were out in the elements, making important discoveries about Mecklenburg County’s past. Led by UNC Charlotte Anthropology Professor Janet Levy and Alan May, curator of anthropology at the Schiele Museum, in Gastonia, N.C., the students battled ticks, poison ivy and summer weather as they unearthed artifacts from the site of the historic Holly Bend house. Starting on May 21 and lasting three weeks, the students worked in the field from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Q312

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Students Franci Hamilton and Byron Smith carefully document the findings in one of the two-meter-square grids at the Holly Bend site.

Friday. The purpose was to conduct exploratory work to provide information for the planned development of the site.

Eden Van Essen works at a screening station looking for small artifacts in the crumbling dirt.

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ONGOING COLLABORATION The dig is the latest example of an ongoing collaboration between the University and the Gastonia museum, a relationship that dates back 25 years. According to Levy, the project provides students with hands-on experience in the field. In turn, the museum benefits by having the opportunity to collaborate with faculty experts on a local project. “Working together with the Schiele Museum has been very productive,” said Levy. “I hope the folks at the museum feel they are benefitting from this collaboration because I know UNC Charlotte has benefitted.” Schiele Museum Director and President Ann Tippitt said the partnership has paid huge dividends for more than a generation to students, researchers and museum visitors. “As a natural history museum, the Schiele conducts research and maintains collections in several major disciplines,” she said. “For over 25 years, the Schiele has partnered with the UNCCharlotte on a variety of research projects and student internships. This relationship has allowed the museum and the University to extend our reach in serving our community and region.” On the first day of class, May took the students into a small theater at the Schiele Museum and showed them photographs on a large projector screen to give them an orientation on Holly Bend before starting work. “You will be traveling to another era and another time,” May told the students. “This is what makes this sort of work so much fun. Forget about the 21st century mindset and immerse yourself in the past.” www.UNCC.edu


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“You will be traveling to another era and another time. This is what makes this sort of work so much fun.”

The origins of the artifacts found at the Holly Bend site span more than two centuries. Most of them are rather small such as this tiny piece of pottery.

The county plans to restore the house in partnership with local preservation groups and eventually open it for public tours and events, much like Latta Plantation and other historic sites. For now, it provides an educational experience for students who are interested in history. Artifacts found during the three-week dig will eventually be displayed at the site. The work is hard and meticulous. One day in early June, the students used shovels and trowels to search through two-meter-square grids for fragments of pottery, bottles and other items. When something of interest appeared, the students documented its precise location. While some students were hard at work digging, others were sifting the soil through a screen to pick out anything noteworthy. Some early discoveries included fragments of pearlware, which dates to the time of the construction of Holly Bend. DECIPHERING DISCOVERIES At one point, Doug Sanders, 23, a senior applied anthropology major from Raleigh, called to May to show him a small glass bottle he unearthed in one of the grids. Under May’s direction, he began the process of clearing away the dirt so it could be documented. www.UNCC.edu

“Getting out in the field and breaking a sweat doing this sort of work is not that bad,” Sanders said, wiping a bead of sweat from his brow. “I would absolutely enjoy it if I could turn this into my career.” He was not alone. Most of the students in the class said they would be interested in pursuing it as a career. After more than two solid weeks of digging at the site, anthropology student Kataryna Flowers of Charlotte was not prepared to admit she was growing weary. As she worked at a screening station looking for small artifacts in the crumbling dirt, she said she was gaining a lot from the experience. “It’s one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about this work and quite another thing to say you have actually done it,” she said. “It’s not complicated work, but it is important that you pay attention. You don’t want to miss anything.” The students worked for four hours each day, starting early in the morning to escape the worst summer heat. After they finished each day, the group gathered and discussed the latest finds and how they fit into the bigger picture of what life was like at the plantation 100 years ago or more.

“Dr. May wants us to try to figure things out on our own; he doesn’t hold our hands during the excavation,” Sanders said. “If we have questions, we have plenty of opportunities to raise them with the leaders and the other students.” Kristy Lally, 33, an anthropology student from Monroe, N.C., said the physical demands of the work were tougher than she initially expected. “I’m not really any outdoors kind of person, so it was a little rough digging in the ground for four hours a day,” she said. “But now I’m used to it and it’s been an incredible experience. It really is one thing to read about these things and another to get your hands dirty.” Lally said the education she was getting by working on the Holly Bend dig was not concentrated only in archeology. “There are many life lessons to be learned out here — like patience,” she said with a smile. “You can dig for hours and find nothing. You need to keep coming back and looking at the entire picture to get the true value of this experience.” Paul Nowell is media relations manager at UNC Charlotte. Q312

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SWIFT Idea

University project on home energy savings draws national attention By Meg Whalen

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fe a t u re It sounds like a novel by Charles Dickens: to get to Mrs. Rubentine Brank’s house, you drive down Orphanage Road and No Man’s Avenue into a neighborhood where small houses and trailers cluster close to the uneven edge of a narrow paved road. There are no sidewalks, gutters or curbs. At noon on a hot summer day it is a peaceful place. The only sound is a lazy conversation between a couple of roosters down the block. But for two days at the end of June, Brank’s pale blue house became a center of activity. Tables, tools, buckets, water coolers and a tent cluttered the tidy green yard; trucks and cars lined the driveway and street. Contractors and construction workers, professors and students marched in and out of the doors, up and down attic steps, across the roof. Brank’s house was the first of 800 lowincome North Carolina homes to be weatherized in a high profile, $8 million project funded in part by a U.S. Department of Energy grant and directed by UNC Charlotte professors Thomas Gentry (School of Architecture) and Rob Cox (College of Engineering). Called SWIFT for “Streamlined Weatherization Improvements for Tomorrow,” the project aims to become a national model for enabling homes and their inhabitants to be more energy efficient. In 1976, three years after OPEC (the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) oil embargo against the United

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“There are going to be periods in the day when you can run the whole house fan without running the air conditioner. The house provides that feedback to the owner.” Architecture undergraduate student Gina DeMatteo is organizing University volunteers to join the SWIFT team.

States, the Energy Conservation and Production Act established the Weatherization Assistance Program, a program to make low-income housing more energy-efficient by increasing insulation, sealing air leaks, and installing energy efficient equipment and appliances. In the three decades since its

inception, the WAP has provided services to more than 6.4 million low-income households. Recently, however, the Department of Energy has begun to look for a more effective approach, prompted largely by three developments: new building technologies, new knowledge about environmental health and

Rubentine Brank’s house in Cabarrus County was the first of 800 low-income homes served by the SWIFT program. www.UNCC.edu

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“What I find to be intriguing now is — how do you use that monitoring device to engage with people? How do we enable the homeowner to make smarter decisions about their energy?”

The Energy Detective, or TED, allows residents to monitor their energy use 24 hours a day.

political pressure to reduce federal spending. In the spring of 2010, the DoE called for weatherization proposals that addressed these three issues. Gentry and Cox’s SWIFT project was one of 16 proposals to win DoE funding, and the only university project to do so. The SWIFT project operates out of UNC Charlotte’s Laboratory for Innovative Housing, which is affiliated with the School of Architecture’s Center for Integrated Building Design Research and the IDEAS Center (Infrastructure, Design, Environment and Sustainability) housed in the College of Engineering. “In the lab, we’re doing energy efficiency and sustainability and low-income housing,” said Gentry. “I thought — we can make that work within the lab.” SWIFT accomplishes four broad goals. For Gentry and Cox, it provides a platform for their research; for architecture and engineering students, it offers hands-on work experience; for homeowners, it renders lower energy bills; for the environment, it reduces the carbon footprint associated with fossil fuel usage. EMPOWERING HOMEOWNERS “A lot of my previous work has been about using power monitoring,” said Cox. “In a building, you can save about 20 percent on energy costs if you monitor your systems.” Educating the homeowner about energy consumption and conservation is a huge part of the SWIFT program. After the work on a house is complete, the residents receive consultations on three separate occasions, 20 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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which provide explanations about the improvements to the home, evaluations of their energy use, and advice about ways to do better. But they also are able to constantly monitor and adapt their own energy consumption through the use of new technology. Sitting on Ruby Brank’s kitchen counter, it looks like an iPod, or some sort of fancy thermometer, but The Energy Detective — known fondly as TED — is actually a hightech monitoring device that allows Brank and the adult son and daughter who live with her to constantly see how much energy they are using and what that costs per hour. On the first day of construction, a 90-degree afternoon when the air conditioning was running but the doors were wide open to allow workers to come and go, TED indicated that Brank was spending 27 cents per hour for her electricity. It may sound slight at first, but multiply that out over the number of hours in a month, and all of a sudden you have a whopping $194 electric bill. By the second day, with weatherization improvements underway, a 10-degree drop in the outside temperature, and the doors closed, TED was projecting 6 cents per hour. After a couple of days of monitoring, Cox noticed that Brank’s electricity use never went below 500 watts. “So I talked to Ruby,” he said, “and I was able to cull some things out. She leaves her TV on when she goes to bed, and often, so do her children.” Brank decided she would put her TV on a timer so that it turned itself off at night. “She’s very savvy about stuff,” said Cox. “She’s very open to those sorts of changes.” Gentry’s research on natural ventilation is also about empowering homeowners to make wise decisions based on increased information. Some houses served though SWIFT will receive whole house fans and “annunciator panels” that let residents

know when the humidity and temperature outside are conducive to turning off the air conditioner and turning on the fan. “We are really trying to optimize what is realistic for the homeowners,” Gentry explained. “There are going to be periods in the day when you can run the whole house fan without running the air conditioner. The house provides that feedback to the owner.” Natural ventilation also reduces greenhouse emissions and addresses a problem that three decades of weatherization efforts have contributed to: a decline in indoor air quality, which exacerbates health issues like asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. SWIFT-served homes will still be sealed tight with insulation,

Engineering professor Rob Cox, left, talks to a contractor after installing insulation in Brank’s attic. www.UNCC.edu


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passionate about this as well.” On her first day on the construction site, DeMatteo learned how to install weather stripping. “It’s definitely educational for me personally. I’ve learned quite a few things. Even though I’m in architecture, I’m as pure as any other volunteer.” That hands-on, real-world experience, said architecture graduate student and SWIFT team member Clarke Snell, is so important for students. “Every architecture student that’s been in the lab — until they’re actually dealing with a real situation, they really don’t get it.”

The SWIFT team celebrates upon completion of the work on Brank’s house.

weather-stripping, caulking and other traditional weatherization techniques. But, in addition to house fans, homes will be equipped with a special bathroom fan that provides continuous ventilation. Cox and Gentry project that the improvements will save each home $10 to $15 per month, maybe more. “Somebody like Ruby, if you can save them $10 or $20 a month, it’s meaningful,” said Cox. MOBILIZING THE TROOPS Gentry and Cox have put together a large group of partners to carry out the SWIFT project and to help shift the burden of expense away from the federal government. Habitat for Humanity is helping to identify eligible homes and organize volunteers. Energy Inc. (maker of TED) and Lowe’s Home Improvement are providing discounted materials. Sherecom LLC. conducts energy audits before and after the weatherization service. The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is providing forgivable loans to the homeowners to cover costs. And UNC Charlotte’s SWIFT team is doing the work, with the help of University volunteers coordinated by architecture student Gina DeMatteo. DeMatteo was already interested in urban www.UNCC.edu

Brank hopes to save as much as $15 each month on her energy bills.

housing and sustainable architecture when she learned about the SWIFT program. She immediately signed on. “I enjoy helping people. It’s a great opportunity to give back to the community.” Each house will need about five volunteers, DeMatteo said. “My goal is to find volunteers who would be

POLICY CHANGE ESSENTIAL Residents of the 800 homes across North Carolina that SWIFT will serve over the next year will certainly see a savings. But the implications of SWIFT reach even more broadly. For the Department of Energy, it could become a national model for more effective weatherization of low-income housing at a reduced cost to the federal government. From the start, the proposal received positive feedback from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oakridge National Laboratory. “At the Department of Energy at large, people are really intrigued by it and are really hoping to see us succeed,” said Gentry. For Gentry, Cox, and Snell, an environmental activist who worked in residential design before entering the master of architecture program, the hope is that SWIFT research will inform practitioners and influence architectural design and energy policy. “Ultimately, it’s about climate change,” said Snell. “If we don’t solve that, architectural form is a moot point.” And for Ruby Brank, it’s about quality of life. Sitting on her bed in the little blue house where she’s lived for 17 years, she said she had known for some time that her home needed this kind of work. “A year before my husband passed, we talked about getting more insulation. After he died, I didn’t think about it anymore. I knew I couldn’t afford it. When they presented this idea to me, it was like a godsend. We’re just hoping to get everything a little bit better than it was.” Meg Whalen is director of communications and external relations for the College of Arts + Architecture. Q312

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center stage

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Gravitas Photo by Wade Bruton

This photograph from July 2012 suggests the critical mass — gravitas, if you will — the UNC Charlotte campus has reached since 1961, when the original buildings, Kennedy and Macy, were built (see Building Blocks, page 40). Looking northwest, this photograph shows Hayes baseball stadium in the foreground with the 49ers football complex field rising behind it. At the rear are buildings of the Charlotte Research Institute complex, Grigg Hall, Bioinformatics and Duke Centennial Hall. All of these facilities have been constructed since 2006. If you haven’t visited our impressive campus lately, come see us soon.

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Passport

to Success

By Jared Moon

Associate Director of Admissions Barbara Seyter helps first-generation students like Ohavia Phillips (right) transition from CPCC to UNC Charlotte.

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For more than 50 years, UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College have partnered to meet workforce needs of the region. The Passport Program is one of the latest ways. The academic transfer program bridges gaps that might occur between CPCC’s two-year workforce development academic programs and its urban research partner, UNC Charlotte. As the largest transfer institution in the state of North www.UNCC.edu


fe a t u re Carolina, UNC Charlotte enrolls more than 3,000 transfer students every year. CPCC often represents the largest number of those transfers. For the 2011-12 school year, that was the case — 538 of 3,414 transfers came from CPCC, representing nearly 16 percent of the University’s transfer group. For years UNC Charlotte has worked closely with CPCC’s Transfer Resource Center to assist students through the transfer process, developing “2+2” programs designed for students to complete two years at CPCC and then move directly to UNC Charlotte to finish up their final two years. The Passport Program was born out of those 2+2 programs but has been tailored to seek out, and focus on, a select group of CPCC students who weren’t accepted at UNC Charlotte but aspire to transition there. The students attend CPCC for one year, and take 24 hours of transferable credit and then transfer to UNC Charlotte. The program admitted its first students in fall 2010. “The thing that’s specific about this program and that makes it so successful is that we’re really trying to prepare them for that transfer process,” said Barbara Seyter, associate director of admissions at UNC Charlotte. “Not necessarily just getting the credits and getting here, but actually making them a more prepared transfer student.” Ohavia Phillips, a CPCC student currently enrolled in the Passport Program, has felt the benefit. As the first person in her family to attend college and the oldest of five children, Phillips entered higher education with high expectations but little knowledge of how to navigate through her new environment. A self-proclaimed procrastinator, Phillips said the Passport Program has helped her become better organized and build relationships that will carry over into her experience at UNC Charlotte. “I’ve been able to link up with other Passport students and also link up with www.UNCC.edu

For the 2011-12 school year, 538 of 3,414 transfers came from CPCC, representing nearly 16 percent of the University’s transfer group. other 49ers, so I feel very prepared and I’m ready to transition over,” she said. Noted Seyter, “When we sit down to meet with students one-on-one, the thing that I find over and over again is that the students who are coming to us from CPCC are much more prepared. You can tell it’s a product of the fact that they’ve already been prepared, and it makes their transition process much easier to know what to expect when they get to us.” Highlights of the program include dual advising from both schools, with the goal of assisting transfers both academically and socially through their year of study at CPCC and initial year at UNC Charlotte. The proactive approach displayed by both institutions through the Passport Program reaffirms their commitment to serving the community by providing a well-trained workforce that helps lure new employers to the region and supports existing ones. UNC Charlotte and CPCC strive to deliver the high quality education needed by a growing region. Jared Moon is a UNC Charlotte senior majoring in communication studies.

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From left: Gene Johnson, Tony Zeiss, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois

Zeiss Gets Service Award Tony Zeiss, president of Central Piedmont Community College, is the 2012 recipient of the UNC Charlotte Distinguished Service Award. Zeiss was honored in the spring for his contributions to the community and as a leader in education, in particular his efforts to strengthen ties between CPCC and UNC Charlotte. “For two decades Tony has demonstrated a steadfast commitment to the community and a passion for education that has elevated Central Piedmont to among the nation’s best community colleges,” said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip L. Dubois. Most recently, CPCC and UNC Charlotte launched the Passport Program, a transitional plan for transfer students (see main story). The Board of Trustees of UNC Charlotte and the Board of Directors of the University Foundation established the Distinguished Service Award in 1987. It honors those who have provided outstanding leadership and exemplary service to the Charlotte community and to the advancement of UNC Charlotte. Q312

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Legacy of

COURAGE By Melba Newsome

University partnership inspires high school teacher, her students

Charlotte-Mecklenburg students created artistic expressions of courage inspired by the history of the civil rights movement as part of the New Courage initiative. 26 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Last fall UNC Charlotte joined efforts with 12 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to take the “New Courage” challenge, coinciding with the COURAGE exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South. The project led to more than 20 classes and a Courage Day with panel discussions, art exhibits and dramatic and musical performances. It also helped Laurie Gurthie, a dedicated high school teacher, earn a coveted award and create a legacy that is destined to last well beyond just one semester. This is that story. The exhibit at the Levine Museum, whose full title is “COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America,” was inspired by Clarendon County, S.C., citizens who fought racial segregation in public schools and whose legal case ultimately became part of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education, U.S. Supreme Court case that led to school desegregation nationwide. Through the New Courage project, UNC Charlotte and the museum created opportunities for ninth and 10th grade students to interact with the award-winning exhibit and apply the lessons to contemporary life. “The purpose of the partnership was to bring high school and college students together to create joint artistic expressions of courage that were inspired by the history of the civil rights movement, and as depicted in the museum’s COURAGE exhibit,” explained psychology professor Kim Buch. Rocky River High School psychology teacher Laurie Gurthie had been teaching for more than 20 years when she got her students involved in the project. Initially, she wondered how she would fit psychology into the New Courage curriculum. www.UNCC.edu


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New Courage was developed as a dropout prevention program to help students make connections between curriculum and daily life.

GURTHIE WINS TEACHING AWARD With the help and support of Buch, Susan Harden, Paul McDaniel, and Elaine O’Reilly, she developed one of the most innovative classroom programs. In July, Gurthie earned the Cato Excellence in Teaching Award from the Arts & Science Council for “exceptionally creative teachers who have distinguished themselves in teaching the Arts, Sciences or History.” Gurthie credits the assistance, encouragement and accolades she received from her partners at UNC Charlotte for giving her the courage her to apply. “I was a brand new psychology teacher and Dr. Buch took me under her wing and helped me think of ways that the courage project could relate to psychology and help me with my AP (Advanced Placement) students,” she said. Buch helped her own students apply psychological concepts to the “New Courage” curriculum, while Gurthie translated the lessons into artistic expressions of courage. The UNC Charlotte team provided input on dance, drama, creative writing and visual arts that students could employ in their work.  They took the students on a tour of the museum and worked together to develop personal expressions of courage. The students were asked to look at the challenges of the past, confront current issues and answer the question: “Where do we need courage now?” www.UNCC.edu

“Kids often feel like school doesn’t relate to them in their real life, but this made my kids want to come to school and more interested in going to college.” MORE INTERESTED IN COLLEGE Buch also went far beyond the project requirement by bringing about 70 of her upperlevel students to Rocky River to assist the AP psychology students. “Kids often feel like school doesn’t relate to them in their real life, but this made my kids want to come to school and more interested in going to college,” said Gurthie. While the purpose of the New Courage project was dropout prevention, Gurthie said her own upper-level students benefitted, too. After AP student Isabel Fee worked with Buch’s

most advanced undergrad students on test preparation, she was admitted to Cornell but ultimately chose to major in architecture at UNC Charlotte as a Levine Scholar. “Working with them (University faculty and students) was also a personal benefit to me,” said Gurthie. “As a teacher you’re usually the only adult in the room and that can be pretty isolating. To have these driven, committed colleagues and this university presence was a beautiful academic experience.” Although the joint partnership has officially ended, Gurthie continues to incorporate the New Courage-inspired artistic and historic content into her psychology curriculum. Her classroom has been included in an in-depth research study examining the lasting impact of the New Courage project and its curricular innovations on students’ learning outcomes and attitudes. “Lisa’s AP psychology class is now a practicum site for my students who earn field credit by mentoring and leading enrichment activities for Lisa’s students,” Buch said. “She is a truly inspirational and creative teacher who is incredibly deserving of this award.” This fall, Gurthie will have another connection to the University: her daughter enrolls as a freshman. Melba Newsome is a freelance writer based in Charlotte, N.C. Q312

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By Meg Whalen

The

of

Gratitude Alumnus Todd Aldridge donates Violins of Hope logo, designs 28 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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When Todd Aldridge was a high school student in the 1980s, he knew he wanted to go to college, but faced some big “ifs.” He wasn’t sure whether he would have the money to go or, if he did, what he would study. Growing up in rural Cabarrus County, Aldridge — now a vice president group creative director at the prominent Charlotte agency Luquire George Andrews — did not even imagine that a career in advertising existed. But he was good in art. His art teacher at Mount Pleasant High School recognized his gift and helped him get a scholarship to study art in college. As Aldridge considered which school he would attend, UNC Charlotte was an obvious choice. His older sister had graduated from the University some years earlier with a degree in economics. His parents had both left Cannon Mills in the 1970s to work at UNC Charlotte. His father, a loom fixer, became a maintenance mechanic. His mother, who had worked in the spinning rooms and the mill office, came first to the University bookstore and ended up in the department www.UNCC.edu


s t a ke yo u r c l a i m of religious studies. (Aldridge’s parents both retired from the University a decade ago.) So, in the fall of 1988, Aldridge entered the bachelor of creative arts program to study printmaking. “Printmaking, lithography, etching were what I felt my world was, because it felt a little blue-collarish,” Aldridge said. “It was a process, like what I was familiar with growing up, because there was work to it.” To offset his educational expenses, Aldridge worked the second shift at a cotton mill in Mount Pleasant. After getting off at 11 p.m., he would drive over to the University to spend most of the night in the Rowe Arts Building, grinding stones or filing metal plates to prepare them for the next day’s classes. He later left the mill and took a job at a tree farm, where he dug irrigation ditches and pruned trees. “After hours on a tractor, I’d come on campus filthy and tired, but I had to get the stones or plates prepared,” Aldridge recalled. “That is what the work demands. The whistle doesn’t blow at five o’clock. The whistle blows when the job is done and done right.” Aldridge entered an art department that was focused more on the fine arts than the crafts. “I didn’t have the artist vocabulary, but once I got in there, all these doors opened up,” he said. “The education that I got in what being an artist meant was life changing.” Within the first few semesters, Aldridge was introduced to printmakers from the past. He became especially enamored with the art nouveau prints of Czech artist Alphonse Mucha. “I realized there was type on his posters — words that coexisted with the lines and color. From that point on, I became more illustrative, and from that illustration, moved into the elements of design.” Eldred Hudson, now the chair of the department of art & art history, became Aldridge’s mentor. “Eldred had been in the (advertising) industry in Boston. He understood what the world was going to be like outside of college. I worked some weird hours, but he was always there when I needed him — to look at sketches, talk through a project. He helped me stay on track to be what I could eventually become.” Aldridge joined Luquire George Andrews 18 years ago as a graphic designer and has been a vice president group creative director since 2010. His biggest clients are BB&T and SPX, and he has also done work for his alma mater. Last spring the UNC Charlotte College www.UNCC.edu

of Arts + Architecture presented the North American premiere of “Violins of Hope,” violins with Holocaust histories in exhibition and performance. Aldridge designed the project’s logo, website, brochures and exhibition/program book — hundreds of hours of work over a year — all as a gift to the University.

“I didn’t have the artist vocabulary, but once I got in there, all these doors opened up. The education that I got in what being an artist meant was life changing.”

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“It felt like it was a way for me to give back to the University and to the department,” he said. “I would not be where I am today without those teachers, those classrooms. It was a way for me to say thanks.” Aldridge prides himself on the fact that, in 1992, he was the first design student to ever receive the Outstanding Senior in Art award. At that time, he said, craft and design students had to work extra hard to prove themselves — not unlike the University itself. “It was an exciting time to be there. A lot of changes were going on at the University at that time; it was really trying to distinguish itself,” he remembered. “We were students who were also trying to establish ourselves. I’m glad it wasn’t easy. I think it made us better problem-solvers today.” Aldridge has three children, ages 13, 16 and 17. His wife, Sandy, is also a UNC Charlotte alum. “I’m tied to UNC Charlotte in a lot of different ways,” he noted. “It’s great to see it succeed.” Meg Whalen is director of communications and external relations for the College of Arts + Architecture.

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Fulbrights at Full Sail University students share insights about Indonesia By Karla Stanchina

The Fulbright Program is synonymous in higher education with excellence in international learning. It strives to increase mutual understanding through the exchange of people, knowledge and culture. Among the latest UNC Charlotte-Fulbright connections is Leah Smith. A spring 2012 graduate with a bachelor of arts in German, Smith will teach high school English in Indonesia from August 2012 to June 2013 through the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Smith selected Indonesia following research on teaching opportunities and country culture. “I knew I wanted to teach the lower level grades like high school or middle school,” she says. “I elected Indonesia because it is predominantly Islamic and I’ve studied that culture. I also know their language has a lot of Dutch and Arabic influence, and I’ve studied both of those.” Recently, Smith learned more about the country when she met with two foreign Fulbright graduate students from Indonesia who are currently studying at UNC Charlotte. Yudo Anggoro, a doctoral student studying public policy, and 30 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Alexander Suryandono, a master’s student in the urban design program, shared insights, advice, expectations and even shopping tips. The Q&A is edited for conciseness and length. WHAT SHOULD AN ENGLISH INSTRUCTOR EXPECT TO SEE IN INDONESIA HIGH SCHOOLS? Alex: In high school, every school is teaching English in their school. I learned English beginning in the sixth grade. Yudo: And they are starting younger — maybe in the third or fourth grades nowadays. WHAT ARE STUDENTS LIKE IN THE CLASSROOM? Yudo: The kids are very respectful. Students will observe you first. They are shy. Alex: Maybe after you finish one subject and you ask for questions, you’ll need to point at them and call on them. They don’t understand that it’s okay to speak up in class. www.UNCC.edu


fe a t u re HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE TYPICALLY IN A CLASS? Yudo: Typically, in public schools — probably 30 in a class. Alex: International school is very exclusive, so they only have about 10 or so students in a class. WHAT IS THE USUAL INVOLVEMENT FROM PARENTS? Alex: It’s rare they get involved with the student’s schoolwork. But we put America on a higher level in our country. (Parents) expect more from you, as a teacher from America, than from, say, an Indonesian teacher. WHAT IS ETIQUETTE FOR INTERACTIONS WITH COLLEAGUES? Alex: You must always be polite. Don’t call the teacher or headmaster at your school by their first name. Yudo: You call them sir or ma’am. Alex: Especially for people older than you. WHAT IS THE GENERAL TIME ORIENTATION REGARDING PUNCTUALITY? Alex: It’s Jam Karet. Yudo: Karet means rubber and jam means time. Rubber time! Alex: Basically, it means you don’t have to be on time. Yudo: If you have an appointment at 3 p.m., people might come at 3:50 p.m. or 3:30.p.m. But now people try to be punctual. Most schools have a gate they close at 7 a.m. Students go to school Monday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., but (on) Fridays they get off earlier. WHAT FIRST IMPRESSIONS DO NEWCOMERS USUALLY HAVE? Yudo: You will be landing at Jakarta airport, so you will see a lot of traffic. Alex: Yes — traffic jams. Also it will be hot and muggy, like (Charlotte) in the summer. WHAT IS THERE TO DO FOR FUN? Alex: Go to the city. Jakarta is really, really traditional. It has everything cultural like museums, dancing and more. Yudo: Jakarta also has a lot of theater, and the malls are much more luxurious than what I’ve seen in the States. Bigger. Exclusive. When I came to the United www.UNCC.edu

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The University’s Fulbright Connection

Left to Right: Yudo Anggoro, Leah Smith, Alex Suryandono

States, I was a little bit surprised by the small size of the malls here. Charlotte’s SouthPark wasn’t nearly as exclusive as what we have back home. WHAT ARE THE POPULAR FORMS OF CUISINE? Alex: In Indonesia, we have more than 300 different tribes. Food is part of the culture. Food in the west is very different from the east. For example, the cuisine of Sumatra – which is in the west – is very much like India’s. Spicy. Yudo: People go to Pizza Hut to celebrate their birthdays. It’s very exclusive. You will find that McDonald’s can be considered high-level food, too. Alex: Three dollars will get you a meal at most restaurants, but for McDonald’s you’ll need $5. And Starbucks, I didn’t dare to dream about Starbucks! AND LASTLY, TELL US, WHO IS GENERAL SUKARNO? Alex: ( who wears a T-shirt bearing the name): He’s our national hero. Yudo: He led the fight against Dutch colonization and won Indonesia’s independence. Alex: You can find his name on streets everywhere. What makes him special is that he led the battle for independence when he was sick. He couldn’t walk. He created tactics called “guerilla” which was attack and hide. He was carried all over Indonesia to do battle. You can even follow his battle path all around the islands.

Since its inception in 1949, Fulbright-funded opportunities have allowed almost 117,000 U.S. students and scholars to study, research or teach in more than 150 countries worldwide. The organization has also funded more than 192,000 international students and scholars to study, teach or research in the United States and in other countries. Over 40 Nobel Prize winners are alumni of the prestigious award program. The UNC Charlotte faculty and staff include 25 former Fulbright recipients. Since its designation as an institution eligible to receive foreign Fulbright students in 2010, the University has welcomed nine graduate students across the disciplines to our campus; two of the foreign Fulbright students graduated in 2011 and seven will be enrolled in fall 2012. Current undergraduate students can visit the Office of Education Abroad in the College of Health and Human Services, Suite 256, for information on available Fulbright programs or overseas opportunities. Rising seniors are encouraged to apply for Fulbright funding for programs the year after graduation. Application deadlines are in October for programs in the 2013-2014 academic year.

Karla Stanchina is manager of communications and student outreach for The Graduate School. Q312

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Making a

Difference By Clark Curtis

Students, faculty provide computer expertise to Haitians Spring break for many college students conjures up images of warm sandy beaches and the roar of the waves. However that wasn’t the case this year for 10 students and faculty members from UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics. They had their sights set on three rural schools in northern Haiti as they embarked on a volunteer effort to share their computer expertise with teachers and mentors of Haitian girls. “This all came about as part of a collaboration with Charlotte-headquartered Mothering Across Continents, through which volunteer ‘catalysts’ receive consulting, coaching and mentoring to develop dream projects that help raise tomorrow’s leaders,” said Tiffany Barnes, associate professor in the department of computer science. “MAC, in partnership with Hands for Haiti received a grant from Waveplace Foundation, to provide 25 XO laptop computers to each of the three schools, along with mentoring and educational software,” she continued. “The missing element was the computer training, which made this a perfect fit for us and an incredible opportunity for international outreach.” Participants are part of the Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service Leadership Corps, a STARS Alliance program that develops leaders to impact the world through computing. Led by the College of Computing and 32 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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UNC Charlotte student Stephen (Nick) Chandler provides computer training to Brinige Floreal.

“Once you know how to speak English down there, you can pretty much punch your own ticket.” www.UNCC.edu


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“We specifically targeted young women for the training as studies show in developing countries girls are much more likely to remain in the community and give back to others.” Informatics, STARS is a national consortium of 31 colleges and universities dedicated to preparing a larger, more diverse computing workforce for the 21st century. ADDRESSING REAL PROBLEMS Barnes said students worked with the female mentors to teach them how to use the laptops and “Scratch,” a programming language developed at MIT. The drag and drop technology allows the user to create colorful games. In this instance, the women how to develop interactive games or presentations that address real world problems in the area, Barnes said. Such examples include energy, or lack there of, pollution in the river due to the lack of bathrooms or finding the nearest doctor. “If we could get everyone, be it the mentors or students, telling stories via their laptops to others in the community about how things are and the need for change, then it will hopefully make everyone come together and find solutions to the problems,” Barnes noted. “We specifically targeted young women for the training as studies show in developing countries girls are much more likely to remain in the community and give back to others.” For STARS student Stephen (Nick) Chandler, the experience was life changing. He was approached by one of the female mentors and asked if he would create a program that could teach them how to speak English, he said. www.UNCC.edu

UNC Charlotte student Megan Harwell (foreground) and Haitian student Rhode.

A PROGRAM TO TEACH ENGLISH “With the help of a fellow student from the college we were able to create a working prototype in about 20 minutes,” said Chandler. “It then took four of us about 30 hours to create a program with 75 words and phrases to teach English. Not only could you see the word but hear it. The program is also scalable so you can push updates through it. Once you know how to speak English down there, you can pretty much punch your own ticket.” Chandler said the gratitude and appreciation the Haitians expressed despite their many hardships was overwhelming.

His plan is to develop his own nonprofit and continue the effort. “It was exhilarating for me to see the personal development of the STARS students and the mentors,” Barnes said. “I think this kind of work is extremely important because it makes you feel like you are making a difference. It’s a way of giving back whether it is giving back as computing people or (through) other diverse skill sets. For me, taking your advantage and giving back to the community is very important.” Clark Curtis is director of communications for the College of Computing and Informatics. Q312

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Enhancing

Company with University ties creates InTouch worktables

Collaboration By Shelly Theriault Sporting comfortable jeans and businesscasual shirts, T1Visions owners Mike Feldman and Jim Morris strolled into UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library this summer. Their attire was a perfect match to their good-natured, unassuming demeanors. At first glance, it’s hard to believe this former UNC Charlotte engineering professor and his doctoral research student sold their first company, Digital Optics Corp., for an astounding $60 million in 1997. Now the pair are focusing on another business, T1Visions, and its InTouch interactive worktables, two of which were installed inside Atkins Library’s new north entrance last April. “They were immediately popular,” said Donna Lanclos, Atkins Library’s on-site anthropologist. “During the first week, students would watch other groups of students using the new tables, occasionally jumping in and asking questions. The fact that the touch-screen surface was also a table meant they could spread out their work papers, notebooks and other items easily — all while working together on projects and assignments.” The InTouch product differs from other collaborative worktables. “The touch screen is the ultimate difference, as well as its multi-user functionality,” Feldman explained. “Users are also able to connect laptops and iPhones directly to the monitor.” OBSERVING INTERACTIONS T1Visions and Atkins Library are observing the interactions and work by student groups using the InTouch tables. The observations will then be translated into usability testing and focus-group questions as Feldman and Morris continue to fine-tune the tables’ capabilities. “This is a great research project that marries the business and academic sides of collaborative learning,” Lanclos said. 34 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Both Feldman and Morris were rooted in academia when they met. In 1989, Feldman joined UNC Charlotte as a professor of electrical engineering. Morris, with his degree in engineering, had recently begun his master’s — and ultimately, doctorate — degrees in UNC Charlotte’s then newly formed department of engineering. The two met when Morris became one of Feldman’s graduate research assistants. During this time, Feldman conceived and founded his first business endeavor, Digital Optics Corp., along with a group of UNC Charlotte students and alumni, including Morris. The company “commercialized diffractive optics

techniques (using laser beams to replace wires inside computers) that we developed at UNC Charlotte — both how to design them with computers and how to fabricate them,” said Feldman. They worked in UNC Charlotte’s Ben Craig Center, a research and business partnership incubator, now called Ventureprise. Between 1993 and 1995, Digital Optics “really took off,” Feldman recalled. The team found new applications for diffractive optics, including manufacturing equipment, bar-code scanners, cell-phone cameras and sensors for touch-screen displays. Feldman and Morris soon discovered a new

The J. Murrey Atkins Library now features interactive worktables that allow students to collaborate and connect with their portable devices. www.UNCC.edu


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Jim Morris and Mike Feldman

passion: collaborative technology. They had been meeting with the key technology leaders such as Apple, Samsung and LG, to determine the next untapped market in the field. Surrounded by the boom of smartphones, iPhones and eventually the iPad, they noticed an interesting limitation. “There was no multi-user social interaction of these products,” said Morris. “People were still unable to simultaneously see and interact with the visual.” The gap fostered the idea of the InTouch Interactive Table. FOOD FOR THOUGHT Due to the table’s high price and portability restraints, Feldman and Morris knew they needed to conduct vigorous, long-term product

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“This is a great research project that marries the business and academic sides of collaborative learning.” testing that would address as many issues as possible before its unveiling. They took a novel approach, and opened their own restaurant in Huntersville, N.C., now called Baja Soul Taqueria, in Birkdale Village. They installed the machines, and tested customer usability and behavior, particularly how people ordered from the table, socially interacted and entertained themselves. They went on to receive a good reception from the restaurant industry and soon began to explore higher education and other markets. After spending two months participating in University technology symposiums and conferences, they spent almost a year developing a market prototype, and another

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year working out the bugs. University Librarian Stanley Wilder, who has reshaped Atkins Library to meet demands of higher education’s growing collaborative learning and technology environment, was looking for better worktables for the library. “Our search for an alternative led us to T1,” he said. “I was particularly interested because they were local and could see the product in action.” The company continues to flourish, and includes other UNC Charlotte alumni as part of the team. Feldman also actively serves on the University’s foundation board and enjoys relationships he established years ago in UNC Charlotte’s engineering and physics and optical science departments. Morris has collaborated on joint projects with University colleagues, as well. T1Visions has brought to life the vision of Feldman and Morris to use technology to increase and facilitate human interaction. The process of research and discovery is their greatest passion. Although the money is nice, Feldman emphasized their ultimate driver is to simply “have the chance to make products that have an impact.” Not too shabby for a couple of engineers in jeans. Shelly Theriault is communications manager for J. Murrey Atkins Library.

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CLARY INSTRUMENTAL IN RENAMING STUDENT LOUNGE The UNC Charlotte Center City study room recently was named the Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Student Lounge in recognition of BCBSNC’s support of the Chancellor’s Speaker Series, which kicked off last fall. This fall’s edition of the series features presidential historian Michael Beschloss on Sept. 13. Ellison Clary ’68, director of Charlotte Community Relations for BCBSNC, has been an active, engaged and supportive alumnus, and BCBSNC has partnered with the University on a number of initiatives, including the Chancellor’s Speaker Series and the CHHS Health Series.

CLASS NOTES E. Richard Capps Jr., P.E., ’90 was promoted to senior vice president of STV. He will continue in his role as regional manager for the Transportation & Infrastructure Division’s Southeastern Region. He is responsible for overseeing the operations of the firm’s Southeast region. Capps graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. A civil engineer and project manager with more than 20 years of experience in roadway design and construction, Capps has directed numerous notable highway projects, including the widening of the I-385 urban loop in Greenville, S.C. — the largest American Recovery Reinvestment Act — funded project in the state – as well as the Fantasy Harbour Bridge and US 17/SC 707 Interchange in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Robert Coats, ’96, Cambridge, Mass., has been appointed to a three-year term to serve as a Commissioner for the City of Cambridge, Mass. He serves as preaching minister with the Metropolitan Community Church of Boston. Rev. Coats will serve as a Commissioner on the City’s GLBT Commission. His term of office will expire in 2015. 36 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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Ellison Clary ‘68, Dean of the College of Health and Human Services Nancy Fey-Yensan, and UNC Charlotte Center City Executive Director Jerry Coughter

Micaela De Leon ’07, Everett, Mass., was married to Arturo De Leon on April 28, 2012, in Charlotte. Micaela has lived in the Boston area for nearly four years. She is employed as a student service representative with the Wentworth Institute of Technology. Rodger Lentz ’96, Wilson, N.C., serves as director of planning and development services for the City of Wilson. He served three years as president of the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association from 2007-2010, and was recently elected to the American Planning Association’s Board of Directors. Jan Millsapps ’72, San Francisco, Calif., has published her second novel, “Venus on Mars,” a multi-generational story about women working on the periphery of astronomy and rocket science. The official “launch,” June 2 at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona (where parts of the story take place) was timed to coincide with the rare “Transit of Venus” occurrence on June 5. Some pages of the novel feature “QR” codes that can be scanned with a smartphone and link to online material. More info at: darkskycity.com.

Pam Smith ’08, Charlotte, earned a diploma in Fashion Merchandising from Bauder Fashion College in Atlanta, Ga., and a bachelor’s degree Smith in Communication Studies from UNC Charlotte. In 1999, Pam obtained an administrative position at UNC Charlotte in the Office of Field Experiences and then went on to work in the University Career Center. She is currently the assistant director of Alumni Affairs where she handles the departmental budget, serves as liaison to the Black Alumni Chapter and is the advisor for the Student Alumni Ambassadors. Pam is currently pursuing her master’s degree in Strategic Leadership at Mountain State University and her ministerial license at The Park Church. Pam treasures spending quality time with her husband of 26 years, Antonio Smith, her daughters, Nicole and Candace, and her grandson, Josiah. She is an avid cat-lover and enjoys reading Christian books and going to the movies.

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‘Remarkable Nicholas wins first Robert Barber Memorial Scholarship

Teacher’

By Lisa A. Patterson

Theresa Nicholas ‘12, remembers Robert Barber as a highly revered executive and dedicated professor who expected nothing short of excellence from his students.

When Debbie Cannon met Robert Barber, she first noticed the kindness in his eyes. It wasn’t long before she was won over by his many other attributes — integrity, honesty and dedication to every endeavor he undertook, including teaching. Debbie and Bob married in 1998. Last year, Bob was killed during an attempted robbery as he walked home in his South Charlotte neighborhood, leaving a vast chasm in the lives of those who knew and loved him. But Debbie, other family members, his friends and the many people in his professional network were determined to make something good come of the senseless tragedy. 38 UNC CHARLOTTE magazine

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When The Carolinas HealthCare Foundation proposed the Robert Barber Memorial Scholarship Endowment within UNC Charlotte’s College of Health and Human Services, Barber’s friends and family embraced the idea with enthusiasm. The annual scholarship honors the life and memory of Barber, and benefits students in the master of health administration program who demonstrate the qualities that defined Barber’s life and career. 19 YEARS AT CHS As an executive at Carolinas HealthCare System, Barber was known for his exceptional

leadership, creativity, innovation and integrity. During his 19-year career there, he 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. “I consider Bob one of the best friends I had in the world,” said Fred Brown Jr., a group vice president for Carolinas HealthCare System. The two met in the Air National Guard — both were health-care executives and colonels in the military. “Bob had such a wonderful, analytic mind; he knew all of the intricacies of how a hospital worked,” Brown said. During their more than www.UNCC.edu


giving 14-year friendship, Barber and Brown worked together to turn around failing hospitals; one such hospital in Union County went from losing money to making a profit within a year. Brown credits Barber’s expertise for the shift, as well as his ability to impart that knowledge to those around him. “He was just a remarkable teacher,” Brown said. “I don’t know that I’ve ever known another human being that could, in so little time, help another understand what the issue was and what the solution might be to the problem at hand.” Barber also was a lifelong learner. He earned a doctoral degree in health-care administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and taught for multiple institutions of higher education, including UNC Charlotte. In addition, he was a stalwart advocate for the University’s master of health administration program; he served as a preceptor, mentor and advisory board member. Debbie Barber recalled her husband’s zeal for the classroom and deep regard for the well-being of his students. “He would work hard all day, and he would still be up at midnight grading papers. His students wondered if he ever slept,” she laughed.

“A pupil from whom nothing is ever demanded which he cannot do, never does all he can.” John Stuart Mill USING GREEN INK “When he graded papers he graded them in green ink because he thought people associated red with negativity. He always wanted to give students a positive experience — his whole objective was for them to learn the material,” she said. Barber saved every student roster so he could refer back to the students he’d taught and follow their professional advancement. According to Debbie, Barber relished reading student evaluations, particularly when they commented that he was able to bring so much health-care experience into the classroom. Barber was active in the National Guard Association of the United States, Institute of Management Accounting, Institute of Internal Auditors, National Association

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of Accountants, Society for Management Information Systems, Healthcare Financial Management Association and the Rotary Club of Charlotte. He contributed to the growth and professional development of countless students, including Theresa Nicholas, the first recipient of the memorial scholarship. “My success in the MHA program at UNC Charlotte would not have been possible without the guidance, leadership and pristine example set by leaders like Dr. Barber,” Nicholas said. “It was his devotion and persistence that set him apart, and for that I gained a deeply rooted respect and admiration for him.” “One of the things I find so ironic is that he was a gentle man — really concerned about the way people felt, hated to do anything that would negatively impact anybody,” Brown said. “He would love to know students are being helped by this scholarship, and we will continue, all those that knew and loved him, to put the word out about the scholarship.” For more information about the Robert Barber Memorial scholarship, contact Heather Shaughnessy at 704-6877737 or email hshaughn@uncc.edu. Lisa A. Patterson is associate editor and a senior writer for University Communications.

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

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building blocks

Yes, a Barn The year was 1963. The windswept and lonesome UNC Charlotte (at that time known as Charlotte College) campus comprised the Kennedy and Macy buildings … and a barn. The barn came with the property, as they say. It was part of the original 270-acre tract. By late 1963, the campus consisted of 393 acres; today, the main campus covers 990 contiguous acres. The 1963 North Carolina General Assembly officially moved Charlotte College forward when it approved four-year, state-supported status. Fall 1962 enrollment had been 1,188. Fall 2012 enrollment is projected to exceed 26,000. In 2012 UNC Charlotte’s student body represented 100 countries, 46 American states and 97 North Carolina counties.

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The Kennedy and Macy buildings remain on campus. The Kennedy building was named for Woodford A. “Woody” Kennedy. Sometimes called the “spiritual father of Charlotte College,” Kennedy was a member of the first advisory board of the institution in 1947. Macy was named for Pierre Macy, professor of French and chair of the-then Foreign Language Department. The noted author and translator arrived at Charlotte College in 1949 and almost single-handedly established and maintained the fledgling college’s Foreign Language Department (now the Department of Languages and Culture Studies). The barn was “moved” in 1963. Its final disposition is unclear. (Sources: Atkins Library Special Collections; Charlotte and UNC Charlotte – Growing Up Together, Ken Sanford, 1996.)

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perspective

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A Career Leg Up NEW BELK COLLEGE CENTER OFFERS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR UNDERGRADS By Steve Ott, Dean, Belk College of Business At the Belk College of Business, we pride ourselves on crafting academic programs that are responsive to the changing needs of the business community. We also work hard to prepare students to be competitive in the job market and to be ready to meet expectations of employers. Surveys of employers across the country indicate that while recent business graduates have a solid understanding of business concepts, they may lack some of the practical knowledge and skills necessary for success in a work environment — i.e., oral and written communication, leadership, business etiquette and personal productivity. Employers also frequently tell business schools that they look for candidates who have taken advantage of experiences like

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study abroad and internships to complement their studies, but only a small percentage of students pursue these opportunities. In the Belk College, we are tackling this knowledge and experience gap on two fronts. In the classroom, we are increasing attention to teamwork, relationship building and practical applications of the curriculum. Outside the classroom, we are launching an exciting new initiative: the Student Center for Professional Development. Under the leadership of Director Kristine Hopkins, who previously served as director of undergraduate advising, the SCPD will provide customized professional development services to undergraduate students in the Belk College. The SCPD experience begins this fall with a new required course for freshman, Introduction to Business and Professional Development. Students will learn about the roles and functions of business in society, explore the functional areas of business and their corresponding majors in the Belk College, expand their business vocabulary and research skills and participate in career-planning exercises. As students progress through the college, they will have access to additional opportunities and services through the SCPD: an online career-planning portal with self-assessment tools, sessions with a dedicated career advisor, guest

speakers and alumni mentors and opportunities for job shadowing, co-ops, study abroad and internships. The potential impact of the SCPD — for both individual students and our entire college community — is tremendous, and we look forward to engaging as many students as possible. How will we measure success for the SCPD? Our students’ achievements will be our guide. We will be tracking student retention, participation in internships, graduation rates and career-placement opportunities. The concept of the SCPD has already resonated with the business community. A generous alumni donor, Mark Doughton ’80 and his wife Susan, stepped up with $50,000 of seed money as we began the planning phase. Additionally, The Belk Foundation has supported the SCPD with a grant of $250,000 as part of its mission to increase the number of students who have an intentional path after high school. We are grateful for this critical support for the SCPD from The Belk Foundation and the Doughtons. This funding allows us to reach more students more quickly as we build infrastructure and programming. We also hope the funding will pave the way for additional financial support from alumni, foundations and corporations. One of the most exciting aspects of the SCPD is the chance to increase our students’ engagement with faculty, alumni and the business community. We will be actively seeking new and expanded internships, placement opportunities, alumni mentors and guest speakers. If you are interested in being involved with the SCPD, or have ideas on how we can increase student success, please contact me at COB-Dean@ uncc.edu. I look forward to reporting the progress of the SCPD in a future edition of the UNC Charlotte magazine.

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THE PROJECTIVE EYE GALLERY AT UNC CHARLOTTE CENTER CITY LAUNCHED ITS “SUMMER EXPERIMENT” WITH SONGS OF THE FISHERMAN, A MULTI-MEDIA INSTALLATION THAT BROUGHT VISITORS INTO THE SET OF AN OPERA/BALLET. DESIGN BY ANITA EASTERLING, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF SCENE DESIGN.


UNC Charlotte Magazine, Q3 2012