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UNC asheville Volume 3, No. 2 · Summer 2011


Inside: An Intellectual Workout Basketball’s Post-Season Run A Senior Looks Back

page 12 | The Sherrill Center: Dedicated to Healthier Living for North Carolina


UNC asheville



University of North Carolina at Asheville One University Heights Asheville, North Carolina 28804

UNC Asheville Magazine Staff Managing Editors Jill Yarnall, Debbie Griffith Designers Nanette Johnson, Mary Ann Lawrence Contributing Writers Aaron Dahlstrom ’09, Hannah Epperson ’11, Michael Flynn, Kevan Frazier ’92, Mike Gore, Debbie Griffith, Colin McCandless ’01, Steve Plever, Katie Rozycki ’07, Devin Walsh ’07, Jill Yarnall Contributing Photographers Debbie Griffith, Perry Hebard, Patrick Hill, Doug Kaspustin, Steve Mann, Nill Silver Photography, Benjamin Porter, Matt Rose, Jason Wingert Alumni Office Alumni Director Kevan Frazier ’92 UNC Asheville Magazine is published twice a year to give alumni and friends an accurate, lively view of the university—its people, programs and initiatives. Contact us at Address Changes: UNC Asheville Office of Development Owen Hall, CPO #1800 One University Heights Asheville, NC 28804-8507 email 828.250.2303 UNC Asheville enrolls more than 3,700 full- and part-time students in more than 30 programs leading to the bachelor’s degree as well as the Master of Liberal Arts. The university is committed to equality of educational opportunity and does not discriminate against applicants, students or employees on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, disabling condition or sexual orientation. © UNC Asheville/Office of Communication and Marketing, June 2011



UNC Asheville Senior Staff Chancellor Anne Ponder Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Jane Fernandes Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs William K. Haggard Vice Chancellor for Finance and Operations John Pierce Senior Administrator for University Enterprises and Director of Athletics Janet Cone Chief of Staff Christine Riley University General Counsel Lucien “Skip” Capone III

n an absolutely glori- “From the compelling academic achievements of our championship ous April morning, basketball team members to the accounting students who gave up with a few thousand of our close friends, comtheir Saturdays to prepare tax returns for low-income and disabled munity partners and honored individuals in our community, UNC Asheville students are eager to guests, we dedicated the Wilma M. Sherrill Center, make their mark in the world.” home of the North Carolina —CHANCELLOR ANNE PONDER Center for Health & Wellness. You will want to read the story in these pages to learn more about how UNC Asheville has become a leader in understanding and improving the health of North Carolinians. As you read the story and glance at the photos, you will be reminded that a project of this magnitude does not come into being without many years of planning. Indeed, from the very founding of this university, administrators, faculty Chancellor Ponder and the class of 2011 and trustees have considered the needs of the current generation of students, faculty their mark in the world. Each Planning well assures that and staff as well as those that day, our dedicated professors we can preserve a rigorous would follow. work directly with students academic standard combined Careful planning is the to help them discover their with real-world experience to hallmark of our ability to enormous potential. prepare our students to meet offer the best possible underRead on to learn how superb the challenges they will face graduate education in a time teaching, cross-disciplinary after graduation. In this issue, when resources are scarce. learning and well-prepared you will read several stellar Our strategic plan has guided examples of this. students can combine to us well in making the very launch the leaders and From the compelling difficult choices that our state problem-solvers of tomorrow. academic achievements of budget cuts have presented. This is what North Carolina our championship basketball As careful stewards of state has come to expect of one of team members to the accountfunds, we are holding ourthe best public liberal arts ing students who gave up selves accountable to the universities in the nation—and their Saturdays to prepare tax taxpayers of North Carolina. returns for low-income and that’s what we deliver. Visit our Strategic Plan Dashdisabled individuals in our board to community, UNC Asheville —Chancellor Anne Ponder see our progress. students are eager to make

UNC asheville Volume 3, No. 2 · Summer 2011


on the cover 12


The largest facility ever constructed on the UNC Asheville campus was dedicated in the spring. The Wilma M. Sherrill Center will house the Department of Health and Wellness, N.C. Center for Health & Wellness and Kimmel Arena.



COVER: With more than 133,500 square feet of space, the Sherrill Center signals the university’s continued focus on health and wellness. Photo by Jason Wingert. BELOW: Longtime university advocate Wilma M. Sherrill and the new building that bears her name. Photo by Perry Hebard.

features 8


Preparing students for a changing world is a challenge for all universities, but at UNC Asheville, students find a curriculum that challenges them to think differently to ensure professional success.



Balancing basketball and a tough academic schedule takes dedication and careful planning. Our Bulldog team’s tenacity, inside the classroom and out, turned into a record-setting year and prospects for more wins in the future.


departments 2 Around the Quad 11 Extra Credit 21 Longitude & Latitude 22 Student Perspective 23 Practically Speaking

24 25 2 6 32

Honor Society Go, Bulldogs! Class Notes In Retrospect

on the back: Commencement May 2011


the around Q UA D

L–R: Pete McDaniel ’74,

Carol King ’89, Brenda Hopper, Ed Johnson ’96 (with Rocky I) and Alexis Johnson ’97, Chancellor Anne Ponder, Amanda Edwards ’90 and Kinneil Coltman ’00.

Annual alumni and student leadership awards and for the past two decades has served as a senior writer for Golf Digest and Golf World magazines. McDaniel and Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods, co-authored the bestselling book, “Training a Tiger.” McDaniel also co-authored Chancellor Anne Ponder comTiger Woods’ all-time bestmended the group, saying, selling golf instruction book, “They have used their educa“How I Play Golf.” tion, many skills and talents to help others. They embody the Alexis and Ed Johnson received the Thomas D. spirit of selfless service that Reynolds Award for Service to has been the core of our misthe University. The couple was sion since our founding.” honored for their generous The highest alumni recogand unique contribution to nition, the Roy A. Taylor UNC Asheville as the keepDistinguished Alumnus ers of the university’s mascot, Award, was presented to Pete Rocky I. Since Rocky was introMcDaniel ’74 for his notable duced to Bulldog fans during career as a sports writer. For Homecoming 2009, Alexis ’97 more than 13 years McDaniel and Ed ’96 have contributed served as sports editor for the thousands of hours to the Hendersonville Times-News, HONORING A GROUP of men and women who exemplify service to the university, UNC Asheville presented its annual alumni and student leadership awards at a recent ceremony on the campus.


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

university as “parents” of the mascot. Ed is a Mathematics lecturer at UNC Asheville. Kinneil Coltman ’00 was inducted into the Order of Pisgah for outstanding achievement in her professional field. Coltman serves as the director of Diversity and Language Services for the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center. The Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award was given to Brenda Hopper, director of the UNC Asheville Teaching Fellows program. Hopper was recognized for her genuine care and concern for her students’ professional and personal well-being, and for her exemplary service as a mentor and adviser.

The Francine M. Delany Award for Service to the Community was given to Carol King and Amanda Edwards. King ’89 was an instrumental leader in the redevelopment of Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Edwards ’90, an advocate for literacy, served as executive director of the Friends of Literacy in Knoxville, Tenn., and is now executive director of the Literacy Council of Buncombe County. The Champion for Students Award was presented to Linda Pyeritz, R.N., for her work at the UNC Asheville Health & Counseling Center. Students who participated in the U-LEAD campus leadership program that inspires students to take an active role in the community also were recognized. These include Melanie Bonds, Kristen Emory, Karina Balaoro, Cantrell Brown, Stephen Bava, Brittany Bell, Caitlin Peters, Rebecca Raab and Anne Marie Roberts.


Lassi Hurskainen is a hardworking student-athlete balancing classes in Mass Communication with soccer practices. Recently, he had to learn how to manage worldwide media attention as a YouTube star.

The video has appeared in major media outlets in the United States, Finland, England, France, Mexico and Japan. NBC Sports called the reel “impressive”and it was featured on ESPN’s Sports Nation.

“I had no idea it was going to be this big,” Hurskainen said. Hurskainen, a native of “There have been other similar Finland, is a talented goalie things online but there’s never with a knack for performing been a goalkeeper doing it. I mind-boggling soccer tricks. think that is what makes it Two classmates thought these stunts would be good material unique.” for YouTube. They filmed for Following up on his February six days, creating a threeYouTube success, Hurskainen minute video that they posted did a second video of new trick online Feb. 14. Within days, shots. “It’s really even better the video had received more than the first,” he said. By than two million hits, fueled April, the second video logged by global media attention. about half a million viewers.



Bulldog goalie is YouTube star

click it: and

UNC Asheville again ranked a national best value FOR THE FIFTH consecutive year, the Princeton Review’s “2011 Best Value Colleges” ranked UNC Asheville as one of the 50 best value public colleges, proving that despite tuition increases that were necessary to offset reduced state appropriations, a diploma from UNC Asheville is still a great value.

According to the Princeton Review, the highest ranked colleges “provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price, either by controlling costs or offsetting them with stellar financial aid packages.” In addition, Kiplinger’s Personal Finance has once again listed UNC Asheville among the nation’s top 100 public colleges for its “Kiplinger’s Best Values in Public Colleges.” Beginning with a pool of more than 500 public colleges and universities, Kiplinger’s selected just 100 for a combination of best academic quality, retention rates, student-faculty ratios, graduation rates, cost of attending and financial aid. 3

the around Q UA D Eric Boyce named UNC Asheville chief of police PERRY HEBARD

NORTH CAROLINA NATIVE Eric Boyce was officially recognized

as the new UNC Asheville director of public safety and chief of police at an October 2010 campus ceremony attended by law enforcement and community leaders from across Western North Carolina. Chief Boyce has an extensive career in law enforcement, having served as a park ranger as well as working on street drug enforcement units. Most recently, he was a member of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Police Department, where he served for 12 years.


At UNC Asheville, Chief Boyce is placing a special emphasis on personal attention and community building. His focus includes creating new partnerships with programs and departments, active listening to students’ needs, and maintaining an environment of trust through demonstrating respect to all people served by Campus Police.


Fargo Company, recently donated $100,000 to UNC Asheville. The funding will support a $25,000 Wachovia-Wells Fargo Endowed Scholarship for Future Teachers and provides $75,000 in unrestricted support to the new Wilma M. Sherrill Center. “We are pleased to make this grant to UNC Asheville,” said Robby Russell, market president for Wells Fargo in Asheville. “Wachovia has long been a supporter of education in Western North Carolina. This grant demonstrates Wells Fargo’s ongoing commitment to the Asheville community. We’re responsible for being leaders to promote the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our communities. If they prosper, so do we.”

Breaking ground for new residence hall A new $15.7 million, 300-bed residence hall will soon be under construction to meet student demand for more on-campus housing. Taking part in groundbreaking ceremonies in April were (L–R) John Pierce, vice chancellor for finance; Bill Haggard, vice chancellor for student affairs; Ryan Ridenour ’13, student government representative; Chancellor Anne Ponder; Renee Bindewald ’13, student body president; and Pam Turner, trustee. 4

Wachovia donates $100,000 to UNC Asheville

UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

Chancellor Anne Ponder said, “Scholarship support for our extraordinary students and Wachovia’s investment in UNC Asheville, the ‘intellectual capital’ of Asheville, couldn’t come at a better time.”

Poet receives National Endowment for the Arts fellowship UNC Asheville’s Master of Liberal Arts Program, has been awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. She is the only North Carolinian and one of just 42 poets selected nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowship for 2011. Iglesias plans to use the funding to support and expand the work she is best known for: prose poems based on histori-

cal events. “Because the work is its own reward, the NEA fellowship is icing—thick butter cream—on a three-layer chocolate cake,” noted Iglesias.


POET HOLLY IGLESIAS, a lecturer in

Iglesias is the author of “Souvenirs of a Shrunken World” (Kore Press, 2008), “Angles of Approach” (White Pine Press, 2010), “Boxing Inside the Box: Women’s Prose Poetry” (Quale Press, 2004) and two chapbooks.

During the last week of spring classes, we stopped students on the Quad to ask what they’re currently reading both in class and for fun. Here’s what they had to say…

ABBY HILL ’12 Anthropology Kinston, N.C.

“I’m reading ‘Where the World Ended,’ by Daphne Berdahl, for one of my anthropology classes. It’s about the time after the Berlin Wall came down, about the boundaries in people’s heads and physical boundaries.”

KANYDAH BELLAMY ’12 Biology Havre de Grace, Md.

“I’m reading a book by Mary Frances Berry, ‘And Justice for All—The United States Commission on Civil Rights and the Continuing Struggle for Freedom in America,’ to prepare for my internship.” (Bellamy is one of only two students nationwide selected for an internship at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for the summer of 2011.)


Creative Writing Tryon, N.C. “It’s called ‘Love 101,’ by Peter McWilliams. It’s a how-to on love in a broader sense. The version of love that you see in pop culture— that’s a false sense of a romantic relationship. It’s debunking the myth that romantic relationships are the only place where love is possible. I found it in Karpen Hall on a bookshelf for $1.”

SARAH VINTON ’12 Mathematics (with teacher licensure in secondary education) Lincolnton, N.C.

“I don’t have time to read. I read over the summer, romance novels and stuff like that. I read ‘Redeeming Love,’ by Francine Rivers, during winter break. As a math major, I don’t need to read too much, and in education, I read more journal articles than books.” 5

the around Q UA D Protecting forest health with technology UNC ASHEVILLE and the USDA Forest Service have joined forces to boost awareness and understanding of threats to forest health. The collaboration teams the university’s advanced computer modeling and imaging capabilities with Forest Service research expertise to develop web-based resources that make threats to forest health readily visible and comprehensible.

NEMAC will contribute unique skills in computer modeling and programming, database management, Geographic Information Systems, education and outreach. These tools support EFETAC scientists in educating natural resource managers and planners, landowners and the public about threats to forest health in a clear and user-friendly manner.


The agreement, effective through June 2015, extends the ongoing collaborative efforts between UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) and the USDA Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC).

The two agencies also are collaborating to develop several web-based tools and resources to inform and support natural resource management, including a forest planning and decision support system, a database of forest threat information and images, and a satellite imagery-based monitoring system for detecting unexpected forest changes—all of which strengthen natural resource research and technology transfer efforts. PATRICK HILL


Adam Reagan receives first Erskine Bowles Service Award ADAM REAGAN, an appli-

cations analyst for UNC Asheville Information Technology Services, was awarded the UNC Staff Assembly’s first Erskine Bowles Service Award last fall. He was recognized for the many examples of his generosity, including serving as co-chair of the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event, facilitator for the 2010 Relay for Life South Atlantic Division’s National Focus on Leadership conference, and work on the statewide Have-A-Heart Campaign, which collected 11,000 pounds of food for hunger relief charities. In addition, Adam volunteered to donate bone marrow to an anonymous leukemia patient after the National Bone Marrow Registry selected him as a match for the patient. 6

UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

“Adam is a humbling person,” said Chris Miller, UNC Asheville health and safety officer, who serves on the Staff Assembly with Reagan. “Every time I am around him, I find out something amazing that he’s done.” On campus, he has served on the Chancellor’s Staff Advisory Committee, Transportation Committee, Excellence in Public Service Committee and State Employees Combined Campaign Committee. He is also a regular blood platelet donor. In what little free time he has, Reagan teaches indoor cycling (spinning) classes three times per week and recently received his master’s degree—his second—in project management from Western Carolina University. He’s also training for a marathon. “It’s a busy schedule. I usually eat dinner around 9 p.m. and then go to bed to get ready to do it all again,” Reagan admits. “But the things I do, I do because I enjoy them. My goal in life is to humbly help humanity.”


UNC Asheville honors retiring senior faculty members Eight senior faculty members who helped shape UNC Asheville over the past three decades were honored in May as they move into retirement. L–R: (Front row) Brenda Hopper, Teaching Fellows program director; Margaret Downes, Literature professor and Master of Liberal Arts program director; Sandra Byrd, assistant provost for Graduate and Continuing Education and associate professor of Education. (Back row) Jim McGlinn, Education professor; Charles Massey, Computer Science lecturer; Forest Davenport, Physics professor; Joseph Daugherty, Computer Science professor; and Mark Boyd, Computer Science associate professor.

Previously, Jill served UNC Asheville for 10 years as assistant director of News dedicated to Jill Tompkins Yarnall, who served as editor of the magazine until her Services, where she brought her curiosdeath on April 20 after a brief but valiant ity and talents to wide-ranging writing assignments. She won many area and battle with cancer. She was 39. regional communications awards. A contributing writer for the magazine since its inception, Jill was named editor In 2010, she was named the university’s Distinguished Staff Member of the Year, in July 2010. This year, her efforts on recognizing her extraordinary contribubehalf of the magazine were recognized tions to the university’s communication by the Council for Advancement and efforts and her tireless dedication to the Support of Education with a special university community. merit award.

THIS ISSUE of UNC Asheville Magazine is


in memoriam: Jill Tompkins Yarnall


Integrative curriculum challenges students to think differently BY MICHAEL FLYNN

Questioning I

nstead of coasting toward graduation during her final semester, UNC Asheville alumna Samantha Little spent spring 2010 juggling an undergraduate research project, campus leadership duties and a full academic schedule that required an internship, volunteer work and peer mentoring. The Management major remembers the late nights and early morning alarms, but calls the university’s demanding and varied curriculum crucial preparation for her career. “It has definitely paid off,” says Little, 23, now a marketing assistant with Asheville developer Biltmore Farms. “There was not a class I took that was a waste of time. And I learned it was important to be involved in your community.” Little’s perspective is echoed by other students and faculty, who call the university’s Integrative Liberal Studies Program rigorous, rewarding and key preparation for future endeavors. And with a process under way that will lead to the university’s reaccreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the university is planning further enhancements to the undergraduate academic experience. “The hallmark of the core curriculum is its integrative nature,” says Lisa Friedenberg, Psychology professor and director of academic assessment, who has been at UNC Asheville since 1977. Instead of distinct major and general education elements, the university’s liberal studies approach intertwines the two. Topical cluster, writing and quantitative course requirements demand wide-ranging class work, but many requirements may also be satisfied within a major. “Part of an integrative education is understanding the relationship between your field and other fields,” Friedenberg says. “We live in a world in which information changes rapidly and disciplinary boundaries are fluid, so if all you know is a small amount of information defined by your major, you are at a disadvantage in the workplace.”


criticalthinking inquireapplyconnectreflect




Anytime you require people to go outside their “comfort zone of what they’ve chosen to study, their lives become different. ” —Lisa Friedenberg, professor of Psychology

criticalthinking inquireapplyconnectreflect




criticalthinking 8

UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

The Integrative Liberal Studies curriculum includes the bookend requirements of an introductory colloquium designed to spark interdisciplinary intellectual inquiry and a senior capstone seminar. “The capstone requirement offers students a chance to bring their education together as they study the contemporary human condition, concepts of global citizenship, and the range of challenges facing our global society,” says Edward Katz, associate provost and dean of University Programs.

theanswers Cross-disciplinary connections

The benefits of this liberal studies approach aren’t always immediately apparent to students wondering why they’re enrolled in art history or natural science classes while planning to major in another subject. “Anytime you require people to go outside their comfort zone of what they’ve chosen to study, their lives become different,” Friedenberg says. “Oftentimes people don’t realize what the benefits of a particular experience are right up front.” Recent graduate Rachel Whaley, who plans to work in print or web design before applying to graduate school, agrees. A double major in

Spanish and New Media, Whaley and their minds begin to make to make the cross-disciplinary connections.” satisfied UNC Asheville’s topical The Collegiate Learning Assessment, a cluster requirement with classes in nationally administered essay-based exam psychology, new media design and the that tests critical-thinking and analytiphysics of sound. cal skills, indicates the strength of UNC “The liberal arts experience is about Asheville’s liberal studies curriculum. teaching your mind to make cross-disciSeniors who took the test during the plinary connections and understanding the same content from multiple perspec- 2007–08 academic year scored “above” or “well above” expected performance levels tives,” she says. “Most students do not appreciate the liberal arts experience the (based on SAT scores) on all five graded portions, and their overall score was in first year or two because they see it as the 95th percentile. Senior scores from having to take classes that are unnecesthe most recent administration of the sary. However, in the third and fourth test at UNC Asheville will be released year, many students have the epiphany this fall. that their classes are all interconnected

The benefits of this liberal studies approach aren’t always immediately apparent to students wondering why they’re enrolled in art history or natural science classes while planning to major in another subject.

Herman Holt, chair and professor of Chemistry, in the classroom with students. Opposite: Sally Wasileski, associate professor of Chemistry, in the lab with a student. PHOTOS BY PERRY HEBARD


then& now ...

UNC Asheville took a more experimental approach to its curriculum in the 1970s, says Lisa Friedenberg, professor of Psychology, who’s been at the university more than three decades.

UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E



Beyond the Classroom: Student researchers launch a weather balloon to collect atmospheric data in eastern Buncombe County.

educational experiences that are in line with our fiscal reality,” Associate Provost Katz said. Reflecting on her student years at UNC Asheville, former student Little says she continually draws on her academic experience, whether drafting press releases or recalling Humanities classes during office conversations. “It gave me a toolset—it was very well rounded,” she says about the university’s liberal arts requirements. “Everything comes full circle at UNC Asheville.”


“For example, we didn’t use grades, just a rating system (H, G, P, F for high, good, pass, and fail),” she says. “All courses were taught five days a week for an hour in eight-week terms. Students generally took two classes at a time. We didn’t have any final exams.” Things began to change in the 1980s, as UNC Asheville adopted grades, began calculating grade-point averages, and created a new general education curriculum.


their critical thinking skills by inquiring about a topic that intrigues them, applying what they learned by designing and implementing a project, connecting with individuals outside their discipline to share what they’ve learned, and reflecting on the experience via a written or oral report, says Mary Lynn Manns, an associate professor in the Department of Management and Accountancy, and campus QEP director. The ability to connect one’s discipline to other disciplines is central to the liberal arts education. “Professors involved in the QEP will help students uncover and articulate multiple perspectives through the connections they make and will, in turn, help students improve their critical thinking skills,” she said. Courses that give students opportunities to be immersed in rigorous inquiry Quality enhancement and then make connections to examine Planning is under way for additional other perspectives and test their assumpcommunity engagement by UNC tions will reinforce UNC Asheville’s Asheville students in future semesters. curriculum strengths, Manns notes. As part of its ongoing reaccreditation “You can’t just know your narrow focus, review, the university is preparing a whether it’s management, literature, Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) calling biology or something else,” she says. for courses designed to sharpen critical“You need to connect outside your thinking skills with experiences beyond discipline while striving to understand the classroom. the views of others.” A QEP is mandated by the Southern Along with QEP discussions, the Association of Colleges and Schools as university also has created a task force part of its once-a-decade reaccreditation to examine UNC Asheville’s academic process. programs in light of the state’s current The plan calls for courses that provide budget climate. “Our aim will be to constudents with opportunities to improve tinue to offer outstanding and sustainable

Alongside the core curriculum, departmental offerings also add undergraduate research, service learning, and internships to many student schedules. As part of her academic experience, 2011 graduate Taliaferro Pollock, a Mass Communication major, interned at Asheville ABC-TV affiliate WLOS. An Alabama native who transferred from a large state university campus, Pollock noted that UNC Asheville’s smaller size fosters community and creativity. “Everything was much more accessible,” says Pollock, who is headed to Los Angeles to work as a production assistant with an entertainment firm. “You can create personal relationships with people. I feel I never would have gotten this experience elsewhere.”



inside UNC asheville



Technology connects second graders with a French experience By Devin Walsh ’07



that’s the guy that was on the Smartboard!’” they’d say.

Those who wish to teach must never cease to learn.” TOP: Snapshot of Malik

Jizi ’11 during his semester learning French in Angers, France. BOTTOM: Back in North

Carolina—Jizi with the second-grade class of Becky Wuerzer at Sugarloaf Elementary in Hendersonville.

The Hendersonville trip dovetailed with his decision to join UNC Asheville’s Global Ambassadors. For Jizi, being a Global Ambassador is personal. The disrespecting of other cultures, he says, “spawns from the abyss of our ignorance. By showing students other cultures…a Global Ambassador helps the world move forward,” he said.

AT A TIME when the term

“global classroom” has entered the lingua franca of educational philosophy, UNC Asheville senior Malik Jizi stands at the vanguard. And he does not stand still. A double major in French and History with an omnivorous appetite for learning, Jizi’s ambition is to give back by teaching. “I always remember the saying, ‘Those who wish to teach must never cease to learn.’”

ing relatives in Lebanon over the summer, Jizi returned to France for another semester and volunteered to be a Cultural Correspondent. As such, he used Skype to communicate every two weeks with the second-grade class of Becky Wuerzer at Sugarloaf Elementary in Hendersonville.

“It was a wonderful experience for the kids,” said Wuerzer, explaining that prior to each Skype session, she and Jizi would plan their approach. He’d assemble a PowerPoint related to the class’s course of Jizi came to UNC Asheville study, and afterward would intent on a history degree and field questions. Early in 2010, with a smattering of French Jizi went to Hendersonville to from high school. A defining give a final presentation to the moment came during freshclass. This was doubly special man orientation, when he was for the second graders, said introduced to the possibility of Wuerzer: “You’re dealing with studying abroad. 7- and 8-year-olds, so it’s hard Spring 2009 saw Jizi in Angers, for them to comprehend that France, a semester he spent he’s even overseas. And then learning French. After visitthere he is, in person! ‘Hey,

According to Bonnie Parker, UNC Asheville’s Study Abroad director, “Malik’s Skype lessons reached 331 K–8 students in Transylvania, Union, Buncombe and Henderson counties; 16 senior citizens at Asheville’s Jewish Community Center; and approximately 330 UNC Asheville students through the Global Ambassador program.” Jizi’s postgrad plans include teaching English in France and researching master’s degree programs in Middle Eastern History and Arabic. (He’s already started learning Arabic.) “Just because my time as an undergraduate is over, my love for learning and inspiration to grow as a student of life will never cease,” he said. “The worst thing a student can do is finish a bachelor’s degree and think they’re done learning. It’s only the beginning.”





UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E


cover story


ngular rooflines framed against the backdrop of Mount Pisgah provided a scenic setting for the April 18 dedication ceremony of the Wilma M. Sherrill Center, the largest and newest building at UNC Asheville—a building that signals the university’s commitment to promoting healthy living. The 133,500-square-foot facility will house classrooms, labs and offices for the academic Department of Health and Wellness, now one of the fastest growing majors at the university, as well as the offices and programmatic activities of the new N.C. Center for Health & Wellness, a statewide hub for the coordination and promotion of healthy-living initiatives for all North Carolinians. In addition, the Sherrill Center will feature a new convocation facility called Kimmel Arena, which will be the largest venue at the university, capable of seating up to 3,800 people for conferences, summer institutes, commencements, convocations, lectures, community events, health fairs, corporate events, dinners and other gatherings. It also will be the home court for men’s and women’s Bulldog basketball. Crowds of university faculty, staff and students joined community members, legislators and leaders in the health care profession in celebrating the dedication of the $41 million building, named for one of the leaders of the effort to build the facility—Wilma Sherrill. More than once during the dedication event, Sherrill was called a bulldog for her determination and toughness in championing the building and its programs that will promote wellness, prevention of disease and the education of the next generation of health promotion professionals. A long-time supporter of UNC Asheville since she and her husband Jerry moved to the area more than 40 years ago, Sherrill ramped up her advocacy for the university when she was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives in 1995.


“We wanted to focus on educating students in prevention and preparing them for jobs.”

—Wilma M. Sherrill



“We wanted to identify the gaps in prevention

and wellness efforts across the state and work toward helping stakeholder groups find ways to close those gaps.”

When state funding was appropriated in 2003, Sherrill began working with Dr. Keith Ray, who currently is chairman of the academic Department of Health and Wellness, to envision a new program that would emphasize prevention, not just treatment of health problems. It was a unique approach. Ray remembers, “Our vision was that we would become a leading catalyst statewide in the prevention of chronic disease and other conditions through the promotion of healthy living.” Ray said early activities of the center would focus on promoting healthy living among children, and enhancing workplace wellness and healthy aging. “While our academic program will prepare graduates to be effective in health and wellness promotion, the center’s initiatives will provide unequaled opportunities for students to learn through hands-on involvement in making a positive difference across North Carolina,” Ray said.

Public and Private Support In addition to the $35 million appropriation by the N.C. General Assembly in 2004, many corporations and individuals contributed to the Sherrill Center construction and programming. Some of those include: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation, Joe W. and Cynthia Kimmel and the Kimmel Foundation, Mission Health Systems, Jim Anthony and The Cliffs community, BB&T, HomeTrust Bank, Wachovia/Wells Fargo, Pepsi, Office Environments, Chartwells and the Compass Group, Roy and Wanda Williams, Tom and Nancy Hunnicutt, Junius and Pat Grimes, John Ellis, Parsec Financial Management, and many other generous individuals.


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

—Keith Ray


In 2004, UNC Asheville was awarded $35 million to build the center. The university later pledged to raise additional private funds to equip a multi-purpose convocation center and arena. Under the leadership of Chancellor Anne Ponder and with help from individuals, corporations, and foundations like Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, more than $6 million was added to the state appropriation, and construction of the facility began in 2008 on a site next to Justice Center. The building itself, with large expanses of reflective glass, and faced with tons of native North Carolina stone donated by Junius and Pat Grimes, is imposing and yet it seems to fit nicely into the campus’ mountain landscape. Its architects, Bowers Ellis & Watson of Asheville, and HOK, an international firm that specializes in public assembly architecture, used flowing ridgelines around the campus as design accents throughout the building. The Sherrill Center, in keeping with its wellness mission, is designed to be a very walkable building to encourage physical activity among those who use it. Green features include significant use of daylighting, occupancy sensors that turn off lights in unoccupied rooms, no-touch lavatory faucets and hot water re-circulation that will reduce water usage. An underground rainwater cistern was designed to collect runoff that could be used to irrigate nearby athletic fields, and its light-colored reflective roof will reduce the heat island effect. Low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint and carpet has been used throughout the structure. In addition to offices, classrooms and research labs, there is a large dance studio, fitness training and physical activity areas, a meditation room, a demonstration and teaching kitchen, and a wellness café. Even the concourse surrounding Kimmel Arena serves as a walking track.

More than bricks and mortar Before there was a Sherrill Center, there was a dream that through outreach and education North Carolinians could be inspired to live healthier lives through prevention of disease. What emerged from that spark of a dream, is what is now known as the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness, housed within the building called the Sherrill Center. The principal

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architect of the dream was Keith Ray, chairman of the Health and Wellness academic department. As he explained, “We wanted to identify the gaps in prevention and wellness efforts across the state and work toward helping stakeholder groups find ways to close those gaps.” Ray used childhood obesity to provide an example of a gap already being addressed by the center. “Our research regarding lawmakers’ opinions suggests that advocacy groups need support in delivering effective messages to elected officials about their role in preventing or reducing childhood obesity… and the center is using these findings in collaboration with stakeholder groups, to create useful tools and messages to support their work with elected officials.” In addition to working with stakeholder groups across the state to advocate for healthy living policies or to identify the need for additional programs to support health and prevention initiatives, the new wellness program also would have a strong educational component. As Sherrill explained, “We wanted to focus on educating students in prevention and preparing them for jobs. The shortage of nurses and doctors in our area, the rising costs of health care, people not living healthy lives, those things make it really important for us to support healthy living initiatives and educate the next generation of health professionals who are focused on healthy living and not just treating disease.”

The new N.C. Center for Health & Wellness Now, Ray has handed off the day-to-day operations of the fledgling N.C. Center for Health & Wellness to a new director, Dr. David Gardner. Gardner has built a staff of four highly regarded experts in wellness and in research evaluation to begin implementing programs to achieve the lofty goals set for it eight years ago. Gardner explained, “By helping create an existing statewide health and wellness infrastructure, our center will contribute to the prevention of disease and injury by identifying successful


programs and practices already in place and facilitating their replication throughout the state. “We’ll also develop tools for evaluating these programs, as well as providing information to local and state policy-makers so they can make informed decisions on health and wellness policies,” Gardner said. And, of course, at the forefront of the center’s work always will be a strong link to the faculty and students at UNC Asheville who will undertake applied research in collaboration with community-based organizations. Those are the kinds of handson learning opportunities that UNC Asheville is known for providing to its students.

Kimmel Arena: more than basketball Janet Cone, senior administrator for university enterprises and athletic director, could hardly contain her excitement as she led a group of VIPs through a tour of the new Kimmel Arena on dedication day. The floor of the arena is freshly painted with “UNC ASHEVILLE BULLDOGS,” a huge scoreboard hangs above the court and end-zone videoboards are ready to flash player stats. Royal blue chair-back seats flank the court. Cone, however, was excited not just about basketball prospects, but how the arena will bring the community onto the UNC Asheville campus. “This is a facility that like most other buildings at UNC Asheville is really multi-purpose. In additional to basketball games, we’ll be able to host large conferences,

“By helping create an existing statewide health and

wellness infrastructure, our center will contribute to the prevention of disease and injury by identifying successful programs and practices already in place and facilitating their replication throughout the state.” —David Gardner






UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

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summer institutes, concerts, convocations, national speakers, health fairs, you name it. This is going to be a huge benefit not just to our campus but to the whole Asheville community. And the economic benefits are obvious.” Cone also explained that the new facility boasts a state-of-theart fitness room for use by students, faculty, staff and members of the N.C. Center for Creative Retirement. “The new fitness facilities in the Sherrill Center, combined with those that will continue to be used in Justice Center, will help our university be a model for improving campus health and wellness.” “And of course, I can’t wait to see our men’s and women’s teams playing their first games here in the fall.” Cone said. The opening game against UNC Chapel Hill in November is the hottest ticket in town, she said.

Looking toward the future Now that the building is finished and set to be fully operational by the fall, there’s still much to be accomplished and many expectations to be met. As Chancellor Anne Ponder said during the dedication event: “This building represents the very best in community engagement and cooperation. It is a model of the integration of public and private support for education and the greater community. “Within the walls of this building, students will have an opportunity to learn about personal health and wellness, to learn about serving their communities as health and wellness


professionals, to learn about prevention, to prepare to become physicians, pharmacists, sport and exercise scientists, and public health professionals. They’ll learn to research best practices for healthy living and to share this knowledge with local, state, and national audiences. North Carolinians will have a healthier tomorrow thanks to the support of the North Carolina General Assembly and an extraordinary group of private partners.” As she looks back on the efforts put forth by so many people to make the Sherrill Center a reality, Wilma Sherrill said, “I’ll never be able to express how thankful and how proud I am that UNC Asheville has this new facility and all the programs that are inside. I really think the work that we do here will put UNC Asheville and Western North Carolina on the map.”

At a Glance • Size: 133,500 square feet • Cost: $41 million — $35 million in state appropriations and $6 million in private gifts and grants • Building features: Classrooms, offices, laboratories, fitness rooms, wellness café, demonstration kitchen, hospitality suites, meeting rooms, banquet facilities, locker rooms and VIP dressing rooms • Kimmel Arena: Multipurpose convocation facility seating up to 3,800 and home of the NCAA Division I UNC Asheville Bulldog Basketball • Staging: A 60-square-foot raised platform for performances

“This is going to be a huge benefit

not just to our campus but to the whole Asheville community.” —Janet Cone




it takes

hard work

Bulldog basketball heroes earn success with effort and teamwork on and off the court



rom the podium, John Williams scanned Williams and his teammates had every right the crowd of basketball fans who greeted the to ask for extensions of classroom assignments. Bulldogs when they returned to campus after The Bulldogs had extended their season and their magical run in the post-season. The lone time away from campus by sweeping the Big senior among the team’s stars, Williams was South Conference Tournament, and winning the first player to step to the microphone, but the first game of the NCAA Tournament. Their his first words had nothing to do with basketjourneys through Conway, S.C., and Dayton, ball. Instead, as he craned his neck, looking for Ohio, had earned them a trip to Washington, one of his professors, he said, “Please, just give D.C., for a date with the much bigger, topme a little time—I’ll get the work done.” seeded University of Pittsburgh team. 18

UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

I’ve always been an athlete. I wanted to focus on something I needed work in. —Bulldog John Williams ’11

preparing for academic crunch time. “We were doing the homework whenever we could,” said Williams. “I’ve also taken summer school classes every year, so my course load isn’t as heavy during the basketball season.” Even after the post-season ended, Williams had yet another personal road trip in store—this one to Houston where he finished second in the national Final Four Slam Dunk Contest—and he earned his bachelor’s degree in Management in May, with a concentration in Marketing, and a minor in


In the first half of that final game, the Bulldogs put up a battle that surprised many analysts, but the effort took a toll and Pitt eventually prevailed. “It was 10 times the normal level of intensity,” said Williams. “I put out so much energy in the first half that I was cramping out in the second half.” It was an exhausted group of student-athletes that returned home to face the academic work that needed to be made up, with final exams just five weeks away. But the Bulldogs, who excelled on the court in crunch time, also had been

Hitting the Books: Bulldog players gather for study hall on the second floor of Ramsey Library five evenings a week.

Economics. “I told my parents a while back that I’m here to get an education first,” said Williams, whose parents drove from Raleigh to Dayton to watch their son play in the NCAA Tournament game. “I’ve always been an athlete. I wanted to focus on something I needed work in.” That willingness to put in needed work was also a key to the Bulldogs’ on-court success this season. “The one thing that was different about this team,” said Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach, “is that we had three guys in particular that were motivated for off-season work: juniors J.P. Primm and Matt Dickey, and John Williams. When you have experienced players that are talented like that, and they know how much you have to sacrifice in order to be good, those kind of guys win close games. And those three guys were willing to do all of that last summer.” That leadership helped establish a tone that led to improved attitude and performances by the entire team, says Biedenbach. And he was proud to see it shine through when the Bulldogs found themselves in the national media spotlight with their NCAA Tournament overtime victory. “We got good national publicity because the attitude of our players came across in the interviews,” said Biedenbach. “And on the court, I think we demonstrated a ‘teamness’ that was very good for the country to see.”

It takes a team

The solidarity so evident on the court this season also characterizes the daily life of these student athletes. Many


my parents a while back that “II’mtoldhere to get an education first.

Above: Head Coach Eddie Biedenbach won his 200th game in this, his 15th season at UNC Asheville. Opposite: Chris Stephenson (#4) scored 7 points in the first half against Pitt to help keep the Bulldogs close. 6'5" Bulldog starting center Quinard Jackson (#32) had to contend with Pitt’s 6'11" Gary McGhee.

of them room together in the residence halls. “I mostly hang out with the team,” said Dickey, a Trussville, Ala., native. “We’re together all day.” Players and coaches eat together every weekday morning in the dining hall. “When I see them at breakfast,” said Biedenbach, “I know they’re trying to eat well and are on their way to class.” And five evenings a week, there is study hall that is mandatory for all players until they establish and maintain a certain GPA. This provided a structured way to catch up on work when players were emotionally as well as physically drained after the NCAA Tournament.


Left to Right: Matt Dickey was selected to the Big South’s All Conference Jaron Lane’s scoring off the bench was a key to many Bulldog wins this and All-Academic teams this year. John Williams, who had three blocked year. J.P. Primm iced the Bulldogs’ overtime win with clutch free throws shots against Pitt, placed second in the NCAA Slam Dunk contest. in the first game of the NCAA tournament. PHOTOS BY DOUG KASPUSTIN

“We were gone maybe two or three weeks,” said Madison Davis, a red-shirt sophomore from Waynesville, “emailing teachers, trying to keep in contact—that was definitely hard.” “It’s not fun missing class,” agreed Primm, who hails from Dickson, Tenn. “It was tough,” said Josh Seligson, a red-shirt freshman from Raleigh, “but with the study hall and with the coaches staying on us, I didn’t have a problem.” Assistant Coach and alumnus Nick McDevitt (’01) says that the coaching staff is able to play that role because of the time they invest in relationships with the young men. “You have to be around your players, you have to be pres-

ent,” he said. “We all come from different backgrounds; we all take criticism and advice and things like that differently, so you have to learn each player’s personality in order to help them maximize their potential.” Coaches and players alike also credit the university faculty for offering crucial academic and personal support to the student-athletes. “If you go to a big university with 20,000 students, they have tutors because they don’t have access to the professors,” said McDevitt. “Here, you have direct access to your professor and the people here are great, with open-door policies. I tell them, ‘your tutor is your professor.’”

Looking ahead

The Bulldogs will certainly miss John Williams next season, but will be rooting for him as he works to earn a spot in the NBA or with a professional team abroad. J.P. Primm originally declared for the NBA draft, but did not hire an agent and then withdrew his name, so he will be eligible to return to the Bulldogs next season and earn his diploma. Matt Dickey says he is on course to graduate in May 2012, and hopes to play professionally after that. With their professional aspirations fueled by this season’s success, backcourt mates Dickey and Primm are working that much harder this summer to take their

you go to a big university with 20,000 students, they “Ifhave tutors because they don’t have access to the professors. Here, you have direct access ... I tell them, ‘your tutor is your professor.’ —Assistant Coach Nick McDevitt ’01


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

games to an even higher level. Bulldog fans can also expect further improvement from Chris Stephenson ’12 (Punta Gorda, Fla.), Jaron Lane ’13 (Greenville, N.C.), Quinard Jackson ’12 (West Palm Beach, Fla.), and D.J. Cunningham ’13 (Waterford, Ohio), all of whom played key roles last year. For Bulldog fans, the next big moment will come Nov. 13, when Coach Roy Williams and the Tar Heels of UNC-Chapel Hill come to Asheville to meet the Bulldogs for the grand opening of UNC Asheville’s new Kimmel Arena.

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For more information about next season and for tickets, go to


inside UNC asheville



Teamwork, meditation and discovery: Experiencing Buddhism in Kyoto By Katie Rozycki ’07

I had never felt comfortable talking about religion, which I know is odd for a religious studies major. I came back from Japan more confident.” —Kitty Kendall ’12 STUDYING BUDDHISM in a temple in Kyoto, Japan, was called an “immersive experience” when Kitty Kendall, a junior religious studies student from Durham, signed up for the study abroad program earlier this year.

Kendall had no idea just how immersive it would be, and how it would change her college experience. “On my first night in the temple, six other girls and I were taken to the ofuro—the bath house,” remembers Kendall. “The thing about bathing in Japan is it’s generally communal but separated by sex.” “So there I was, bathing with six women I had just met that day. We didn’t even know each other’s names and here we were in the bathtub together. We were exhausted, confused and naked—and we just laughed. It was possibly the most awkward experience, but the ultimate icebreaker.” Over the remaining three months in the Antioch Education Abroad program, the Durham student experienced many more life-changing lessons: living, working and sleeping communally; waking up at 4:15 in the morning to meditate and do chores before having a simple breakfast; and sleeping on a traditional thin tatami mat with a buckwheat pillow.

practicing meditation. She traveled to a number of temples in Japan to experience different meditative forms. “When it was hot, we’d be meditating, and I’d be covered in sweat,” said Kendall. “But then we went to another temple where it was 20 degrees. The heat was distracting, but it’s really hard to center yourself when your body is shaking because it’s freezing.” They also worked to incorporate meditation in everyday life—remaining silent, for example, during meals and chores. “It was particularly hard during chores— we had to work creatively to get things done as a team,” remembers Kendall. Kendall returned to the States with a depth of education but, most important, a confidence in her knowledge that she had never quite had before. “I had never felt comfortable talking about religion, which I know is odd for a religious studies major,” Kendall said. “I came back from Japan more confident. I had lived in Japan. I had practiced

Kitty Kendall ’12 in Kyoto, Japan. Buddhism. I had a right to talk about Buddhism with some level of authority.” Kendall also gained a deep respect for the religion. “Maybe that’s the best way to acquire an appreciation for a religion—to actually experience it,” she said. Kendall pauses, then continues: “This is part of me now. I hope it’s going to be with me for a long time.”

In addition to taking three classes on Buddhism, a key focus for Kendall was


[student ]

inside UNC asheville


Reflections on sleepless nights By Hannah Epperson THE NIGHT BEFORE I came to UNC Asheville my freshman year, I stayed up all night puking. If I had known about UNC Asheville—I mean, really known about it—I probably would have slept peacefully through the night. I was convinced UNC Asheville was where I wanted to be—small classes, great professors, the “liberal arts” gig. But all of that didn’t seem like a fair trade for the familiarity and closeness of my hometown and my high school. The first day of college did little to dispel my nausea. My parents left me with the three strangers who I would be living with for the next eight months.

Our personalities, which ranged from chaotic artist to hyper-organized psych major, seemed like a recipe for disaster.

Soon I’ll be facing another sleepless night: the one before graduation, but instead of counting sheep, I’ll be mentally ticking off the things that have made my time at UNC Asheville so special.” The next morning I went to my first class, Lang 120 with Dr. Blake Hobby, who told us we would learn to write essays by watching documentaries, and cracked jokes that no one knew how to respond to—a fact that he found hilarious. I could not have known that nearly four years later my last student-teacher conference would find me back in Dr. Hobby’s office, chatting for nearly two hours with the professor who had guided me through every semester of college.


And I could not have predicted that those three strangers I lived with freshman year would become my closest friends. If I had known all that, surely I would have slept like a baby that last night before college. Although the next several semesters saw plenty of other sleepless nights, none was quite as restless as the night before my interview at the university’s News Services office, where I had applied for a paid internship. A few toss-and-turn nights later found me dancing in my dorm room after a phone call from my new boss, offering me the job I would end up keeping for the rest of my time at UNC Asheville.


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

I started out with little more news writing experience than that gained from the basic class required of all Mass Comm

students. But my bosses, Merianne Miller and Jill Yarnall, and later Steve Plever, guided me through each revision and draft with the patience of tee-ball coaches. It felt like having three professors all to myself for a couple hours every day—except instead of getting graded, I got paid. Soon I’ll be facing another sleepless night: the one before graduation. But instead of counting sheep, I’ll be mentally ticking off the things that have made my time at UNC Asheville so special: Late at night in the video lab I could always find someone to come watch a scene I had put together, and they would tell me if the sound levels were off, or if the pacing was right. I’ll remember the time my roommate and I studied by turning our dining-room wall into a giant timeline and raced to see who could get the most authors into the correct centuries. Really, if I had really known all these things about UNC Asheville that first night before college, there’s no way I could have happily slept through the night. I would have been too excited. Editor’s Note: Hannah graduated in May with a degree in Mass Communication and Literature. She began her career at WCQS Public Radio the next week as the local host of “Weekend Edition.”

[practically ] SPE AKING

Having a doggone good time By Colin McCandless ’01 MOST DOG OWNERS are content with

teaching Fido to sit or stay, but some UNC Asheville staffers have discovered other ways to have a doggone good time with their furry friends.

Straub explained that dog agility involves the dog and handler navigating an obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles, and teeter-totters for speed and accuracy. “I think it helps build a bond between you and your dog,” said Straub, who currently owns a collie named Katie Claire.

So you think you can dance? Well, can The personal benefits he derives from teaching dog agility you canine freestyle dance? UNC Asheville classes are the interactions with fellow humans. staff member Linda Pyeritz and her talented “I like the people,” Straub said. “Training a dog in dog agility pooches can raise the ‘woof.’ takes significant patience as people must learn to communicate Pyeritz, a registered nurse with Weizenblatt with and lead their dog”. Health Center, who does canine musical Dominique Ennis , UNC Asheville’s assistant director of freestyle with her two female golden retrievers, Lark and Spice, Campus Recreation with the Health and Fitness Center, has explains that the routine isn’t about the dog doing unnatural been taking dog agility training with Straub for more than two moves or trying to be another “two-legged” partner for you. years with her two Shiba inus, Koki and Kibi. “The most impor“Rather, the skill of training your dog is a partnership with you, tant thing is it’s exercise, and it’s something you and your dogs as you develop behaviors that highlight your dog’s abilities,” can do together that’s fun.” Pyeritz said. “Basically, it’s obedience moves choreographed to Another of Straub’s students is Debbie Griffith, Communication music.” and Marketing director, who is training two Australian shepPyeritz’s “Golden Girls” may enjoy a little boogie, but they aren’t herds, Goodtime Charlie and Gracie. “Charlie is just now able just acting like party animals. They have their musical freestyle to compete in some agility trials. Thanks to some good teachers, beginners title, are registered therapy dogs, and work he’s won some titles, but his handler still through Paws on a Mission at Mission Hospital. needs a LOT of work,” she said. Pyeritz mostly performs the freestyle routine for “Agility is great exercise—mental and cancer fundraisers, for both human and canine physical—for both dog and the handler, cancer research (her first dog died of cancer). and it’s easy to see that the dogs are just having a blast out there.” “I have always seen a patient smile when we do some musical freestyle moves,” Pyeritz said. “Always!” But Pyeritz isn’t the only UNC Asheville staff member with passionate pursuits involving man/woman’s best friend. Robert Straub, UNC Asheville’s associate director for Student Activities and Integrative Learning, has taught dog agility classes for 13 years and has earned many titles with his agility partners.

A CANINE WORKOUT: (Top) Straub’s collie, Bear; (Bottom L–R) Pyeritz and

Lark, Griffith and Charlie.

Clickarlieit, La: rk and

See videos of Ch /magazine/ Spice at g pe practicallys akin 23

[honor ]

inside UNC asheville


Faculty, staff and students garner honors

Philosophy Professor Duane Davis has been appointed as the 2011 Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the Pontifical Catholic University of Parana in Brazil. Richard Chess and Ted Meigs have been selected for appointment to UNC Asheville’s two newest endowed professorships. Beginning in the fall of 2011, Chess will be the inaugural Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts and Sciences, and Meigs will be the inaugural GlaxoSmithKline Professor of Molecular and Chemical Biology.

Cathy Smith Bowers, North Carolina Poet Laureate and UNC Asheville Literature instructor, has released a new collection of poems, “Like Shining from Shook Foil” (Press 52, 2010). Former Chancellor Sam Schuman was been selected as a member of the inaugural class of National Collegiate Honors Council Fellows for his exemplary dedication to honors scholarship and leadership. UNC Asheville Magazine received a 2011 Special Merit Award from the southeastern district of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. Bill Spellman, History professor and director of Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges, has released his 10th book, “A Short History of Western Political Thought” (Macmillan Press, 2011).

Professor Emeritus Cathy Mitchell won the Best Fiction Award from the Dog Writers Association of America for her recent book, “Save a Spaniel.” She received the award in a gala ceremony in New York in February.

UNC Asheville’s Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars received a 2010 gold award for embracing and acting on the ideals of the organization. Of the more than 270 NSCS chapters nationwide, just 76 received the 2010 gold award.

Katherine Zubko, assistant professor of Religious Studies, is co-author of the new book, “Inside the Indian Business Mind: A Tactical Guide for Managers” (Praeger, 2010). The text serves as a guide for Western businesses entering the Indian market. Connie Schrader, lecturer in Health and Wellness, and John McClain, lecturer in Humanities, were among just 20 faculty members nationwide selected to participate in the 2011 Freeman Summer Institute Workshop on infusing Japan studies into the curriculum. UNC Asheville’s Honors Quiz Bowl Team placed second in the Big South College Quiz Bowl Tournament in January 2011.

UNC Asheville student newspaper, The Blue Banner, won several awards at the North Carolina College Media Association’s Statewide College Media annual conference in February, including Best in Show for newspapers published at universities with less than 6,000 students and Best in Show for online news. It is the second consecutive year the paper has won these two top honors.

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Visit the award-winning Blue Banner site at: 24

UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

[go,bulldogs!] Bulldog athletes named to Hall of Fame By Mike Gore THREE FORMER STANDOUTS in Bulldog athletics were inducted

into the eighth Hall of Fame class at a February ceremony at the Reuter Center. The Hall of Fame Class of 2011 included former basketball player George Gilbert, former women’s soccer player Mackenzie McCoy and current major league baseball player Ty Wigginton. Gilbert played for UNC Asheville from 1976 through 1980 and was a four-year starter. He is the school’s fifth all-time leading scorer with 1,523 points. Gilbert averaged double figures each season he played for the Bulldogs. Gilbert and his wife Rhonda live in Indianapolis where he operates Gilbert Contract Company. Mackenzie McCoy played for UNC Asheville from 1995 through FORMER BULLDOGS HONORED (L–R): George Gilbert, Mackenzie 1998. She is the second leading goal scorer in school history with 39, and is second in career points with 86. McCoy led the McCoy and Bill Hiller, representing Ty Wigginton. Hiller was Bulldogs in goals and scoring in three of her four seasons. She Wigginton’s coach at UNC Asheville. helped UNC Asheville advance to the Big South Conference championship game three times in her career. In 1995, she named as a first all-conference performer and led the Bulldogs played on the Bulldog squad that won the Big South Conference to the semifinals of the Big South Tournament. Wigginton championship with a 1-0 upset victory over nationally ranked tied a school record for most home runs in a game with three UNC Greensboro. Today, McCoy and her husband Jamie live in and total bases with 15. He was drafted by the New York Mets Littleton, Co., with their two children. in June of 1998 and four years later he became the first UNC Ty Wigginton played for UNC Asheville from 1996 to 1998 and Asheville player to ever make it to the major leagues when he was the Bulldogs starting shortstop. In 1998, he enjoyed one played for the Mets. Ty is still in the big leagues today as a of the best seasons in the history of the program. Wigginton member of the Colorado Rockies, and last year was selected to was named National Player of the Week. In six games, he hit the Major League All-Star Game while playing for the Baltimore six home runs, drove in 20 runs and hit .680 for the week. Orioles. Wigginton set a single-season and Big South record for doubles with 26, total bases with 149 and runs scored with 59. He was


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awarded the annual Bob McCloskey Insurance Big South Conference Graduate Fellowships worth $2,000 each.

For the latest news, rosters The fellowship program was established by and schedules for all 14 UNC the league in the fall of 2005 as a means of Asheville Division I teams, visit recognizing the academic excellence of Big South Conference student-athletes who intend to pursue postgraduate studies upon graduation.

Sroka, who is from Durham, played four years for the Bulldogs, appearing in 34 games during her career with 16 starts. She was a 3.879 student in Health and Wellness Promotion and has been accepted into Duke University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy Program for the Fall of 2011. Lammers, who is from Westlake, Ohio, is in his fourth season as a reserve catcher for the Bulldogs. A 3.657 student in Cellular and Molecular Biology, Lammers plans to attend medical school and study oncology. He has applied to the College of Medicine at Wright State, Northeastern Ohio, Ohio State, Cincinnati and Wake Forest. 25


notes 1977 Terry Price has been recently appointed to the position of director of emerging media at Texas Lutheran University.

1980 John Boesch is now a certified environmental educator. He resides in Durham, N.C.

1981 Drop us a line! We love to hear from alumni— and so do your classmates! So be sure to send us your accomplishments, career moves, family news, fascinations and celebrations. Either log on to or send an email to

Paul Parce was the focus of a profile in the Hendersonville Times-News in September, 2010. After 35 years in the food industry (20 as a chef), Parce is now training as a professional blacksmith and welder.

Markus Roeders is head coach of the women’s soccer team at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. It is one of the top programs in the nation. Wendell Whitney Thorne has released his second book “Don’t Worry, It’ll Grow Back,” a collection of essays and stories inspired by his job as a barber in an old-fashioned barbershop. He is currently working on a novel.

1991 John Howard Smith and wife Erica welcomed the birth of Iain Connor, their first child, on November 15, 2010. They reside in Sulphur Springs, Texas.



Tawana Rickman Weicker was named Teacher of the Year in Polk County for 2010. She teaches at Polk County High School and also has a thriving biofuels operation.

Tracy Proctor is now president of TDP Strategic solutions, a consulting firm providing strategic project planning and implementation for non-profits. She resides in Durham, N.C.

For more than 15 years, Chuck Vestal has served as director of the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum Complex in Winston-Salem, N.C. He recently visited campus to provide expert advice about the opening of UNC Asheville’s new Sherrill Center.

Frank Pelaez is associate head coach of the women’s soccer team at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. It is one of the top programs in the nation.

1988 Deena McKinney works as an associate professor of history and education at East Georgia College.

1993 Allison Simpson and Shannon Simpson welcomed their daughter, Echo Anastasia, on June 15, 2010. They reside in Fort Worth, Texas.

1994 Natasha Augustine is the human resources director for Texas-based Omni Hotels in New York City.


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

@ Tara Quinn works as program manager for the Capital Region Land Conservancy in the Richmond, Va., region.

Danielle Wilson and husband Robert welcomed the birth of a baby girl. The family resides in Lexington, S.C.



Tanya and William Banks ’98 have welcomed the birth of their child. They reside in Swannanoa, N.C.

Mark Teague has been named to the Board of Directors for the Hickory Kiwanis Club. He also works with Wells Fargo Advisors in Hickory, N.C.

Donna Forga was elected District 30A Court Judge in November 2010. She resides in Waynesville, N.C.

1997 Deborah S. Hart was married to Frank Serafini in July 2010. The couple then moved to Kuwait where she is the Middle East Partnership Initiative coordinator at the U.S. Embassy. She will be in Kuwait until the summer of 2012 when she will move to the U.S. Embassy in Oman to be the public affairs officer.

1998 Brian Castle is now the director of global marketing and client relations for Thought Leader Select in Chapel Hill, N.C.

1999 Vanessa Harper works as an account executive with BrunetGarcia Advertising in Florida. Leigh Spicer and Louis Bernard welcomed the birth of their second child, London Bernard, on October 7, 2010. They reside in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

Melodie Warren has recently welcomed the birth of her child. She lives in Candler, N.C. Nona Mitchell Workman has recently welcomed the birth of her child. She lives in Asheville. Amber Munger, who has worked in Haiti for 13 years, was recently hired by Oxfam America to launch its Haitian economic recovery and livelihood program.

Tabita Ann Renaldi and Darrel Dawson Daniels III were married on March 20, 2010. On Dec. 31, they welcomed the birth of their daughter, Madison Lucas Daniels. Reed Wood received a master’s and doctoral degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. His current research focuses on the strategic dimensions of state and non-state actor violence against civilians during civil wars, and the processes of strategic learning among states and insurgents during conflicts. He teaches courses on international relations, political violence, and human rights at Arizona State University.

Piper Nieters Su has joined the law firm DLA Piper in Washington, D.C. She serves on the firm’s Health Care Public Policy and Regulatory Group.

The Steep Canyon Rangers, featuring alumnus Mike Guggino on mandolin, were grand marshals of the 2010 Asheville Holiday parade. The band regularly tours with actor-musician Steve Martin; their forthcoming CD will feature contributions from Paul McCartney and the Dixie Chicks.



Josette Exprua is married to Emilio Cornejo and they have two daughters, Josette Xaviera and Natalia. Josette is living and working in her native Nicaragua as marketing director of the Centro Empresarial Pellas Foundation, a private NGO in Nicaragua. The organization’s mission is to strengthen the economy and reduce poverty in Nicaragua through development and support of small and medium enterprises.

Bridget Marie Goss and Jeremy Stephen Shrader were united in marriage. They currently live in Greensboro, N.C. Morgan Cranford and husband Matthew welcomed their daughter, Kendall Paige, on May 21, 2010. They reside in Randleman, N.C. Jacqueline Newton received a master’s degree from UNCChapel Hill in 2010. She is working as a clinical therapist in a residential program for women and children through

UNC-Chapel Hill. She also serves as community outreach director for Girls Rock NC, a nonprofit organization dedicated to girls’ empowerment.

2004 Russell Edwards recently graduated from the University of Georgia School of Law and was the Democratic nominee for the U.S. House of Representatives (GA-10) in the 2010 elections. Jessica Kenney and Daniel Kenney ’03 have been united in marriage. They reside in Asheville. Katie Konchar works as an ethnobotanist at Missouri Botanical Garden, where she researches climate change and biodiversity in the Himalayas. Jeremiah Lee Shelton recently welcomed the birth of his child. He resides in Leicester, N.C. Kevin Skolnik has launched his solo music career with the release of “Kinetic” in November 2010. Previously he served as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Mozambique as a community health specialist from 2006– 2008 before going to work for KaBOOM! a nonprofit that helps communities build playgrounds across North America. More information about Kevin’s music can be found at www. Jess Wells has been hired by the city of Roswell, Ga., as the new Cultural Arts Center coordinator. He has been production manager at the Gwinnett Civic and Cultural Center’s theater.


CLASS notes A L U M N I P R O F I L E : J O S H TA N

With the wave of his hand, Josh Tan ’97 makes the human body rotate, shrink and even shed its skin. Tan works as an imaging informatics programmer at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, where he helps prepare three-dimensional images of the body for use by doctors and surgeons during medical procedures. These images are crucial to determining the exact location of a patient’s injury and its severity. Under normal conditions, surgeons in the operating room manipulate these images using a mouse, but Tan is working on a way to allow full control using only the motion of a hand. He does this by using the Xbox Kinect, a piece of technology originally designed for use in video games.


“I though it would be great if you could rotate all this stuff in midair without having to have a controller or touch a mouse.” In a video posted on YouTube, Tan demonstrates how the Kinect can be used to manipulate 3D images using only hand motions. He said he developed this technology after working closely with surgeons and seeing the difficulty of working with 3D images in the operating room.

“They actually have the mouse in a glove to keep it sterile,” Tan said. “When you are trying to move a mouse with a glove, and you have a glove on as well, it’s pretty hard to do. I though it would be great if you could rotate all this stuff in midair without having to have a controller or touch a mouse.” Microsoft plans to release a software development kit for the Kinect later this year so more alternative uses can be developed. Tan’s software shows the potential of technologies being adapted for alternative uses, an interest he developed at UNC Asheville. “The humanities actually did open my mind to viewing things from different angles,” Tan said. “Seeing things from different angles helped me combine different technologies.”

Asheville-based fashion designer Sarahbeth Larrimore was featured in the November 2010 edition of Sophie magazine and the January 2011 issue of VERVE magazine. Her company, Unabashed Apparel, features clothes made from fairly traded fabrics treated with low-impact, fiber-reactive dyes.


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E

team of National Guard Green Angi West recently released her third album, “Opportunity Cost,” Berets, last year. in February 2011. She also is currently working toward a master’s degree in accounting from Western Carolina University. Ian Austin is a law student at Mississippi College School of Elizabeth Woods was the Law. subject of a multi-day series of stories in the Charlotte Observer Jessica Ray and Dustin Sipes about Afghanistan War widows. ‘06 were united in marriage on Woods lost her husband Brian, October 23, 2010. They reside a medic on a Special Forces in Minneapolis, Minn.


2006 The Asheville-based nonprofit Pages Open People Project, founded and directed by Jim MacKenzie, has expanded its effort to deliver books to prisons in South Carolina. The POP Project collects and distributes used books to prisons, and is one of the first programs in North America to provide books to death row inmates.

@ Artist Lisa Nance was profiled in the February 2011 issue of VERVE magazine. Colin Andrew works at Advanced Data and Network Solutions in Asheville as a systems engineer focusing on VoIP phone systems. Ashley English recently welcomed the birth of her child. She also has published four books, all of which are available for purchase from Amazon. Joy Fishman and husband William Burke live in Ohio where Joy is pursuing an MBA. Joy works as the graduation coordinator for Cleveland State University.

Emily Sharples received a master’s degree in higher education administration in May 2010 from NC State University. Emily works at Duke University School of Law Career and Professional Development Center.

2007 Anna Huntley and Peter Coffey ’08 were united in marriage on September 26, 2010.

2008 Ingrid Allstaedt has joined Asheville’s WLOS-TV as a local news reporter. Previously, she served as a reporter and weather

anchor for an NBC affiliate in Eugene, Ore. Nicole Caldwell was married to Travis Saunders on October 24, 2010. Nicole works at LenoirRhyne University in Hickory, N.C., as the student activities coordinator. Ryan Dodd is a graduate student at NC State University working toward a master of science in soil science, emphasizing nitrogen and phosphorus mineralization from biosolids.

Tierney Oberhammer earned a master’s degree in popular culture from Bowling Green State University. Samantha Rose Russell recently gave birth to twins. Stephanie Casey and Thomas Fuhs ’07 were married on October 9, 2010 at Walt Disney World, Fl. They reside in Middletown, Conn.

Erin Ball and Gregory Cutrell were united in marriage on October 23, 2010. They reside in Arden, N.C.

Membership has its privileges… Did you know alumni receive automatic membership in the UNC Asheville Alumni Association? Here are some of the perks of being a member: ➟Alumni Regional Events—In the next year, the Alumni Association will be hosting events in Asheville, Charlotte, Greensboro, Raleigh, Washington D.C., and other cities.

u d e . a c i.un n m u l a

➟Alumni Email—Alumni receive access to a lifelong email account that they can take with them when they change jobs, schools, or cancel their other email addresses.

➟Alumni Newsletter—Each month the Alumni Association sends out a newsletter to keep graduates informed about what’s happening at the University and with their fellow alumni.

Visit and check out all the Alumni Association can do for you. Become a fan on Facebook ( uncaalumni) or follow us on Twitter ( uncaalumni) to stay up-to-date on everything UNCAsheville.


CLASS notes 2010 Nan Kramer was profiled in the January 2011 issue of VERVE magazine as one of “The 30 Under 30,” which highlighted young women with ties to Western North Carolina “on

their way up.” Kramer was recently elected to the board of Slow Food Asheville and has been instrumental in bringing a focus on local and traditionally produced foods to college students.

Lorin Mallorie works as a field reporter in Haiti. Her stories appear regularly in the Ashevillebased Mountain Xpress newspaper.

in April 2010. They reside in Virginia Beach, Va. Lisa Cook works as a medical lab technician at the DCC Drug Lab in Asheville, NC.

Hannah Duncan and Jonathan Houser were united in marriage


David McConville ’93 lives in a world of his own creation. As a musician turned visual artist and researcher, he spends his time creating “geodomes” that are immersive and interactive environments. The domes help turn data into visual experiences.


McConville designs and constructs these visualization domes with his company, The Elumenati, a design and engineering firm that integrates visual immersion, social interaction, storytelling, real-time visualizations, and scientific data to create custom display environments for clients ranging from art festivals to space agencies.

“Right now I think the most important task before us is to really reintegrate a lot of what we’re doing with the larger world in creative ways.”

“What our company really tries to do is develop technologies that are really compelling ways to communicate experiences — particularly experiences related to scientific visualizations and data,” McConville said. “I like to use these tools to essentially facilitate the focusing of attention on what are these data sets are actually telling us.” The goal is to produce visualizations that fully engage the senses of participants and focus attention on largescale issues of global concern, McConville said. From there, it is easier to transition into problem-solving and see how individuals can fit into the larger picture.

The visualization domes McConville and his team produce can be both portable and permanent and include ways to project images for large or small groups. He has presented them in Brazil, Germany, Switzerland and other parts of the world. But McConville didn’t start out working with visualization. As a music major at UNC Asheville, he studied under synthesizer pioneer Robert Moog. Later, as a graduate student at UNC-Chapel Hill, he helped that college’s radio station become the first ever to be broadcast live over the Internet. McConville, who lives in West Asheville, says his passion for blurring boundaries came from his time at UNC Asheville. “I can attribute my interest in all of these different disciplines to my liberal arts education,” he said. “There weren’t rigid boundaries around what it was I was expected to accomplish. Right now I think the most important task before us is to really reintegrate a lot of what we’re doing with the larger world in creative ways.”


UNC asheville M A G A Z I N E


Immigrants to the United States face a number of challenges when adjusting to life in this country. Kinneil Coltman ’00 works to be sure problems with access to the best medical care isn’t one of them. Coltman is the director of Diversity and Language Services for Greenville (S.C.) Hospital System University Medical Center. Every day, patients walk through her door from a variety of countries, and bring with them their own languages, cultures and customs. Coltman builds bridges between doctors and patients not only to ensure a patient’s medical needs are met, but that the care they are given respects the culture from which they come. “I work behind the scenes, advising and guiding our clinical staff on providing really compassionate, patient-centered care to patients and families that come from radically different walks of life,” Coltman said. “The American health care system has its own culture,” Coltman said. “Sometimes that culture doesn’t always make a lot of sense when it’s connecting with cultures from different parts of the world. Some might have folk healers in their community that they want us to work with. I help our staff navigate those complexities. The patients still affirm that we are being respectful and working within the context of their cultural needs.” Coltman majored in Management at UNC Asheville, but quickly realized diversity and social justice issues were her passion. She was given the opportunity to create her own concentration within her department focusing on diversity. After graduation, she immediately began looking for work in health care. Through the medical field, Coltman is able to work with diversity in ways that have a very profound impact on people’s lives. “There are certain parts of our society that aren’t able to contribute as much because their health is not in keeping with the status of everyone else’s,” Coltman said. “For me, doing diversity work in health care added this whole additional dimension of diversity work that I was just incredibly interested in. Plus, it’s one of the biggest industries in the United States and has a huge set of diversity challenges. I felt like it would be a great place for my skills and passions to be used.”

F A C U LT Y A N D S TA F F DEATHS David R. Gullyes, January 2011, Campus Operations (retired) Dr. William H. Haas III, October 2010, Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology Harold S. Marienthal, January 2011, Mass Communication (retired)

Jill Tomkins Yarnall, April 2011, Communication and Marketing

Harry Ballew ’49, February 2011 Hoyte Hayes ’54, February 2011 Robert Messer ’57, January 2011 ALUMNI DEATHS Thomas Ray ’59, January 2011 Robert Cogburn ’60, February George Lynch ’33, February 2011 2011 Eddie Jones ’73, November James Parker ’38, February 2011 2010 Ruth White ’44, October 2010 George Koon ’48, February 2011 Donna Wright ’75, January 2011 Arlene Nutter ’79, October 2010 Stanley Moore ’48, January 2011

Michael Ochsenreiter ’80, December 2010 Dorothy Grob ’83, January 2011 Ruth Moody ’87, November 2010 Vicki Deschenes ’98, September 2010 Lee Craig ’92, February 2011 Jamon Deal ’93, February 2011 Paula Roberts ‘93, January 2011 Sabrina Morris ’09, December 2010 31

in retrospect A pillar of student life—Justice Center By Kevan Frazier ’92 For more than 47 years, the Charles Justice Sports, Health and Recreation Center, also known simply as the Justice Center, has brought fans as close to the action as any facility in intercollegiate athletics. The gymnasium’s intimate design sometimes caught opposing team players off guard as it seemed that rowdy Bulldog fans surrounded them as they played. The Gymnasium, as it was originally called, was dedicated on December 17, 1963, during a campus-wide assembly. Interestingly, it was also during that ceremony that Chancellor William Highsmith and members of the faculty shared with the students their plans to transform the college into one of the nation’s first public liberal arts institutions. From the opening day, the importance of the relationship between athletics and academics at the university was set. Although the college began naming its buildings after important community and college leaders about the same time that Justice was built, it was not until the fall of 1975 at the annual Tip-Off Tournament that the Gymnasium Complex was named in honor of Charles “Choo-Choo” Justice.

after this Asheville native who was one of the state’s first true sports superstars. In the 1980s, the Justice Center served as a glorious battlefield for the 1984 National Championship Women’s Basketball Team. It also was during those years that the athletics program transitioned from the NAIA to the NCAA. The women’s volleyball team, which also called Justice home, claimed back-to-back Big South Championships in 1991 and 1992. All told, some 2,000 athletic events have transpired on those maple floors as students pushed themselves to achieve new heights on and off the court. Homecoming 2011 marked the end of an era at the Justice Center as the Bulldog men’s basketball team played their last regular season game there. In an epic farewell finale, the men’s team crushed Radford and went on to claim the Big South Championship. Beginning in the fall, both the men’s and women’s basketball teams will host visiting teams in the new 3,200-seat Joseph Kimmel Arena housed within the Wilma M. Sherrill Center. The Justice Center, however, will remain the home of Bulldog volleyball and will continue to offer recreational programs, intramural sports and other athletic activities for the campus and the local community. With a recently installed new court surface, (the result of a flood during the summer of 2010), the Justice Center is ready for another five decades of Bulldog athletics.

All told, some 2,000 athletic events have transpired on those maple floors as students pushed themselves to achieve new heights on and off the court.

Justice was, at the time, Western North Carolina’s most famous sports figure, and still is considered one of the greatest football players in UNC-Chapel Hill’s history. Justice led the Tar Heels to three bowl games in the years following World War II. Even though UNC Asheville had not fielded a football team for more than 20 years prior to the dedication, it seemed fitting to name the sports complex


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Dick Allen wasn’t planning to attend college after he graduated from Biltmore High School in 1961. Because his family’s financial situation wasn’t the best, Richard C. “Dick” Allen didn’t think he could afford college. But thanks to a $100 scholarship, Allen was able to enroll at Asheville-Biltmore College, which later became UNC Asheville. “I was headed to the Navy but then that scholarship came through and I was able to enroll in the first group of students that attended class on the current campus. I credit my years there with allowing me to get my degree and become somewhat successful in my career. The college is very close to me.” After studying pre-engineering at Asheville-Biltmore College, he transferred to NC State where he earned a mechanical engineering degree and later worked for 37 years for BASF (American Enka).

Now retired, he maintains a hectic schedule of volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, the United Way, the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. And he cheers on the Bulldogs. “I love sports, and I wanted to give back to athletics as well as academics.” Allen has chosen to donate a percentage of his retirement investments to the university—both to academic programs and athletics. A deferred gift to the UNC Asheville Foundation is an easy way to make a meaningful gift that does not affect your current lifestyle or your family’s financial security. For information, contact Development Director Julie Heinitsh at 828.232.2430 or

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More than 650 newly minted graduates enjoyed the 83rd Commencement Ceremony on May 7 at what UNC President Tom Ross called “the best public liberal arts college in America—UNC Asheville.” Ross also told the graduates, “Your minds are sharp and filled with ideas...and you are well prepared for the adventures, opportunities and challenges life will bring you.”

UNC Asheville Magazine Summer 2011  

UNC Asheville Magazine Summer 2011

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