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asheville Volume 7, No. 1 FALL 2014


Tiny House, Big Dreams Alumni entrepreneurs at home in the building business INSIDE

Meet Chancellor Mary K. Grant The Edges of Knowledge International Players

MEET CHANCELLOR MARY K. GRANT “I have a profound passion for the mission of UNC Asheville,” Grant says. “I think about how my life has been shaped by public higher education–I’m a graduate of two public institutions–and I believe deeply in it. It’s a sector that needs continued strong leadership and advocacy in telling our story.” Grant holds an undergraduate degree in sociology from North Adams State College (now MCLA), a master’s degree in public affairs from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate in social policy from Brandeis University. She’s worked as both an educator and administrator, with a focus on student success.

“When I talk with students about what they are going to do next, it makes me excited, because they talk about opportunities. They are not frightened by the future, and they talk about how they can shape their own future. It’s the confidence that comes with a high-quality liberal arts education.” Grant is confident she’ll find that same determined nature in the Bulldogs, when she and her husband, Jim Canavan, join their new community in Asheville. Coming from the MCLA Trailblazers, they are ready to discover and define new paths while working with the community to build upon the strong foundation at UNC Asheville. “We are so excited about this move because of the people that we have met. We can see ourselves being a part of something and making a difference alongside people who care about the same things we do.”

Hear more from Chancellor Grant in our welcome video at


When Mary K. Grant steps into her role as seventh chancellor of UNC Asheville in January 2015, she’ll be on familiar footing, having served for 12 years as president of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA), a designated public liberal arts university and a fellow member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges.



Big Dreams, Small House Alumni entrepreneurs join the tiny-house movement to build their homes and businesses (Photo by Peter Lorenz)

FEATURES Meet Mary Grant Welcoming UNC Asheville’s seventh chancellor to campus



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n+7 a

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The Edges of Knowledge Four areas of study that blur the boundaries between disciplines


International Players Student-athletes on familiar courts in a new country



A Season of Transition



William K. Haggard

especially in our picturesque mountains,


as well as a transition from the green

John Pierce

days of summer to winter’s altered


Buffy Bagwell

landscape and then the promise of


spring. So it is with UNC Asheville, as


we segue from the superb nine-year

Janet Cone

tenure of Anne Ponder to the great


promise of Chancellor-elect Mary

Christine Riley

Grant. Other transitions are at work


Heather Parlier

as well: the leadership of Academic Affairs by our experienced


interim provost Joe Urgo, faculty and staff retirements and new



hires, and upcoming transitions on the Board of Trustees. It also is a time of unprecedented change in higher education: new educational

Nanette Johnson, Mary Ann Lawrence

delivery systems, a changing student demographic, the twin forces of


technology and globalism, new budget challenges, and so it goes.

Paul Clark, Aaron Dahlstrom ‘09, Hannah Epperson ‘11, Jon Elliston, Mike Gore, Amy Jessee, Steve Plever, Karen Shugart ‘99, Melissa Stanz, Rebecca Sulock ‘00, Cory Thompson ‘16

As your interim chancellor, I am privileged to partner with so many


David Allen ‘13, Luke Bukoski, John Fletcher, Peter Lorenz, Galen McGee ‘08, Matt Rose, Nick Sloff

UNC Asheville Magazine is published twice a year by UNC Asheville Communication and Marketing to give alumni and friends an accurate, lively view of the university—its people, programs and initiatives. Contact us at


Laura Herndon

Address Changes Office of University Advancement & Alumni Giving CPO #3800 • UNC Asheville One University Heights • Asheville, NC 28804 • 800.774.3381 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 and Sciences. 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.

connected to this fine university. While UNC Asheville, like our many sister institutions, must be resourceful and creative in facing the changing landscape of higher education, there is so much for which we are blessed, starting with a distinctive and respected mission as the state’s pre-eminent public liberal arts university. We have students who seek out this university on their journey to making a difference in the world; a highly talented faculty committed to student-centered learning; staff who make a significant impact on the campus learning environment; loyal alumni who contribute to the betterment of society; thoughtful university friends; and a setting that is the envy of every visitor who ventures into our beautiful mountain region. This fall issue of UNC Asheville Magazine highlights a number of impressive accomplishments reflecting the spectrum of the university’s continued growth and impact, such as the renovated dining hall in Brown Hall, profiles of international student-athletes, interdisciplinary research and teaching that extends the boundaries

© UNC Asheville, November 2014

of our knowledge, and alumni who are making their homes after

32,500 copies of this magazine were printed on paper with recycled content at a cost of $15,985 or 49 cents each.

graduation in innovative ways.


And finally, we welcome and introduce our chancellor-elect, Mary

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ON THE COVER: Annelise DeJong Hagedorn ’12 and Jake

Grant, who will join this university in January after 12 highly productive years at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, a fellow member of the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC). As co-chair of the chancellor search committee, I know that I express the sentiment of the committee members that we are pleased Mary and her spouse, Jim Canavan, will soon be heading from the Berkshires to the Blue Ridge! —Interim Chancellor Doug Orr

Hagedorn ’12 on the porch of their tiny home. (Photo by Nick Sloff) FA L L 2 0 1 4



Kyle Cavagnini (left) gained hands-on experience in the lab with faculty mentor Ted Meigs.

GRADUATES EARN FULBRIGHT SCHOLARSHIPS Four Awards Bring UNC Asheville’s total to 42 Scholars

Recent graduates Kyle Cavagnini ’14, Hannah Clark ’14, Sam Moser ’14 and Gillian Scruggs ’11 have been selected for prestigious Fulbright Scholarships, which fund research and teaching experiences abroad. The four were selected this spring for the quality of their proposals and their academic and professional achievements, among other factors. These scholarships, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, have now been awarded to 42 students and graduates of UNC Asheville. Cavagnini will travel to Norway to research neuropathic disorders, building from his double-major in chemistry

Hannah Clark



and philosophy and extensive undergraduate research. Clark will teach in Germany, a good fit for her double major in German and psychology. International studies major Moser will teach in South Korea, a country he first visited during a summer study abroad experience. Scruggs was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to Brazil to teach English, but she has decided instead to accept what she calls her dream job at the Alzar School in Idaho, where she will teach Advanced Spanish, AP World History, AP U.S. History, backpacking, whitewater kayaking, and lead trips to Chile twice a year to promote international cultural awareness.

Sam Moser

Gillian Scruggs


CULINARY EXPERIENCE A Taste of What’s New in the Dining Hall This fall, UNC Asheville students have a new dining experience, in a familiar place—with the opening of the renovated Brown Hall on August 21. The renovations come as part of UNC Asheville’s new 10-year contract with Chartwells, funded primarily through a $3 million investment by Chartwells. “The renovated space is very Asheville,”

“We met with the designers early on to hear the overall changes, then again to see the details. We discussed everything about the dining hall from traffic flow to lighting choices,” said political science major Rachel Collman, a member of the Dining Services Student Advisory Group. “It looks like it will be a more comfortable and welcoming space that will feel less like a cafeteria.”

The expanded open space adds 100 seats indoors and outdoors, as well as a hydroponic herb wall. Recent renovations also have been completed to Highsmith Union Food Court, The DownUnder in Overlook Hall, Argo Tea in Ramsey Library, and Rosetta’s Kitchenette in the Sherrill Center’s Wellness Cafe.

See more of the new dining hall at


says Senior Director of Dining Services Emily Williams. “We used reclaimed materials and commissioned local artists to construct the community tables.

We also created areas to make students feel at home, such as the ‘relax’ space that mirrors a residential area.”

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CAMPUS GROWTH Land Purchases Expand UNC Asheville’s Acreage The UNC Asheville Foundation continues to acquire land on behalf of the university, including the newest property located on Zillicoa Street. The August purchase from Highland Park LLC comes at a reduced price of $1.1 million as part of a gift to the university. It includes two tracts: 4.5 acres near the corner of Zillicoa Street and 2.5 acres that border six acres of land acquired in January from the Odyssey Community School. UNC Asheville also owns 9.3 acres at the 525 Broadway Property, acquired in 2011 from TD Bank when the former Health Adventure children’s museum development filed for bankruptcy. A portion of the property has been developed as part of the Reed Creek Greenway, providing a section of a route that will further connect the campus to downtown Asheville. “UNC Asheville currently has little room for expansion and the remaining undeveloped property on campus would be difficult and costly to develop because it lacks flat building sites. So when property that is close to campus becomes available, the university makes every effort to acquire that land for future growth,” said John Pierce, vice chancellor for finance and campus operations. The university will determine use of the land through the ongoing campus master-planning process.

New media major Bryan Smith at work in NEMAC’s downtown engagement site.

SUSTAINABLE INVESTMENTS McCullough Institute Provides Research Funding for Students The McCullough Institute for Conservation, Land Use and Environmental Resiliency launched at UNC Asheville in June, thanks to a $1 million endowment commitment from Dr. Charles T. McCullough Jr. and his wife, Shirley Anne McCullough, to promote environmental study and service. The institute’s mission begins with students—two have been named to McCullough Institute Student Internships, under the supervision of the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC). New media major Bryan Smith and sociology and anthropology major Stacie Toropova work with local organizations on issues surrounding natural resources, quality of life and the long-term

health of the region, including an examination of local and regional food assets and food security. Their work has the potential to assist governments, interest groups and the public in identifying, managing and enhancing the southern Appalachian area’s unique human and natural vitality. “I’m so glad the opportunity arose to work on the Southern Appalachian Vitality Index,” said Smith, a senior. “The project, a product of the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere (SAMAB), is an education in the interwoven nature of human existence within a unique culture, topography and climate across seven states. The lessons learned reach from sociology to economics to ecology and beyond. It is a liberal arts education enveloped by the mountains of the South.”

To support additional McCullough Institute scholars and have an impact on the regional community and environment, visit




CIVIC LEARNING AND LEADERSHIP Provost Joe Urgo Brings Expertise in the Liberal Arts Joe Urgo has been named UNC Asheville’s interim provost, filling a vacancy created when Provost Jane Fernandes joined Guilford College as its president on July 1, 2014.

Urgo’s familiarity with UNC Asheville stems from the prior academic year, when he taught a literature classroom session and participated in a faculty learning circle on “Defending the

Liberal Arts.” He also has worked with the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC), which is headquartered at UNC Asheville, and assisted in the planning of a civic learning/ civic engagement initiative.


A former senior fellow with the Association of American Colleges and Universities, Urgo has also served as president at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, dean of faculty at Hamilton College, and department chair in

English at the University of Mississippi and at Bryant University. He is an advocate for liberal arts education as a matter of national defense and civic responsibility, topics he blogs about for The Huffington Post.

REACHING NEW HEIGHTS OF SUSTAINABILITY Solar Panels Top Overlook Hall Director of Sustainability Sonia Marcus introduces students to the newest addition to Overlook Hall— 112 photovoltaic (PV) panels donated from Strata Solar. The rooftop panels are connected to the university’s electrical grid, with the capacity to power about 300 laptop computers—making it a perfect fit for the residence hall.

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NOT YOUR AVERAGE ZOMBIE Students Suit Up for Annual Alternative Athletics Activity

music technology major Kevin Forté goes to class, eats lunch in the dining hall with his friends, and spends a few hours working as a clerk in the mailroom. It’s a schedule he’s kept since freshman year in 2011, with increasing responsibility and more advanced coursework. He makes time for extracurricular activities too. He tinkers with computers and guitars. And for one week of the year, he transforms into a warrior, identifiable by the running shoes, Nerf rifle, and brightcolored arm band. The game is called Humans versus Zombies, or HvZ for short. The rules are simple enough. The game lasts a week and all but one or two people start on Team Human. Should a human be tagged by a zombie, they mutate and become part of Team Zombie. Humans arm themselves with Nerf weapons. Blasting a zombie will stun him for 15 minutes, which is just enough time to run. As a human, survive the week. If you’re a zombie, conquer the campus. Either way, keep going to classes. HvZ is an extracurricular activity. Academic halls, residence halls and the cafeteria are safe zones. No shooting and no tagging. Everywhere else is fair game. Forté quickly learned this new campus landscape during his first year, establishing a hideout near Brown Hall. Nearby, zombies had trapped six humans. One zombie saw the pack of humans heading for a meal. News travels fast on a college campus. “Suddenly there were five or six zombies hiding by every door and more in the bushes waiting to jump people,” Forté recalled. “The humans inside were waiting for hours for someone to bail them out.” Forté and his friends took on the mission. “It was almost like we were part of a SWAT team,” Forté said. “We stormed the parking deck and stunned the zombies waiting there before they knew what was happening.” Then, chaos erupted.



By Cory A. Thompson ’16

the shelter of the university union. According to HvZ facilitator and sociology major Jackson Gantt, the humans are always safe­— and that’s the point. “I want it to be fun,” Gantt said. “I appreciate the excitement of being a human and walking outside wondering, ‘Am I going to be tagged?’ but I’m not going for a scary or paranoid vibe. At the end of the week I want people to think, ‘Wow, that was a really fun time.’” The activity is sponsored by a club called the UNC Asheville Alternative Athletics Association or A4 for short. Each year, students take time out of their schedule to participate in HvZ. For some, the game gives them a different character or reveals a different side of their character. “Kevin is thoughtful and introspective—someone who doesn’t say a whole lot unless he has something to say,” observed Jude Weinberg, associate director of music technology. “But in one class, he made a video styled as a horror movie—old-school black and white with a turntable. It was very creative. He took things a step further in electronics class. He built his own interface while most people were taking stuff out of the box.”

after the parking deck raid, Forté has traded his rifle for a moderator’s megaphone. He’s managing the mailroom. He’s spent time working as a resident assistant and has moved from playing with audio equipment to building it. Even though he lives off campus, he says he can’t stay away from Humans versus Zombies. He might even play again this semester. “As a moderator, I got to meet every single player instead of just the ones in my circle of protection,” Forté said. “But either way, you meet a lot of people and make a lot of friends through HvZ. You have to strategize and collaborate with everyone. If you are on someone’s team and they are your teammate then you have to like them, at least for a little while. That is, if you want to survive.”

Experience this year’s fall edition of Humans versus Zombies at

Kevin FortĂŠ is a human among zombies (left to right) Kayla Russell, Jimmy Villatoro, Ian Phillips (hand) and Chantae Shor, with zombie makeup by junior drama major Ashley Wilson (not pictured). The story on Humans versus Zombies is captured by junior mass communication and anthropology major Cory A. Thompson. (PHOTO BY LUKE BUKOSKI) FA L L 2 0 1 4



THE BULLDOG EXPERIENCE AVID Living/Learning Initiative Aims for Success

By Melissa Stanz

Remember your first year at college? You probably felt excited, hopeful and thrilled at having freedom. Odds are you were also feeling insecure, uncertain about what to do and how to fit in. Now imagine what that first year feels like for first-generation college students, many of whom have no idea what to expect and no one to help them find out.


Succeeding in the first year is critical to staying in school and graduating, and that’s the focus for UNC Asheville’s AVID (Advancement via Individual Determination) for Higher Education initiative. This national program helps first-generation college students—some from low-income families and other underrepresented groups—improve their odds of success in college.




In the pilot year of the AVID for Higher Education program at UNC Asheville, 101 students were accepted into the program. Deaver Traywick, director of the University Writing Center and Peer Tutoring Program, is the campus liaison to AVID for Higher Education, working with AVID and many departments on campus. “AVID for Higher Education is both a program and a philosophy,” he said.

“National research shows that students who participate in living learning communities have better grades, stronger connections to their institutions, and higher rates of retention,” said Melanie Fox, associate dean of students. “With students from underrepresented populations, and those who are first-generation college students, creating these connections can be the difference that causes the student to succeed at a higher level.”

“I appreciate living in an all-freshman hall. Having all of us together builds community, and our hall is really close after just a few weeks.” —AVID student Katie Ritchie “There are several components to the program, including a first-year seminar that uses active learning strategies and AVID’s emphasis on writing, inquiry-based learning, collaboration, organization and reading (WICOR).” All AVID students are participating in an additional course called the Bulldog Experience, which covers the transition to college, leadership, health and wellness, careers and academic integrity. To help the students bond and better adjust to college life, they all reside in a Living Learning Community in Founders Hall. They also receive tutoring and advising that provides extra support. “I appreciate living in an all-freshman hall,” said AVID student Katie Ritchie. “Having all of us together builds community, and our hall is really close after just a few weeks.”

Left: Meg Clark Johnson, assistant director of residential education, works with Rayna Pharr and Noah Tittle during the Bulldog Experience class.

The program builds on UNC Asheville’s nationally respected 15-year track record of tutoring Asheville City Schools’ middle- and high-school AVID students to prepare them for college. In 2014, UNC Asheville became the first four-year university in North Carolina to join the AVID for Higher Education initiative. The university dedicated substantial resources to program training for faculty and staff when they started the AVID process two years ago. Dozens of faculty and staff members also committed to helping with the program, many drawing from their own experience as first-generation college students. External support includes a grant from the Dell Foundation through the AVID for Higher Education program, one of

only 10 awarded in the United States. The funding supports training at AVID conferences and on campus for faculty and staff, as well as membership in the AVID national organization. The Sisters of Mercy of North Carolina Foundation also funds part of the program. The foundation is providing additional resources for training, upfitting a collaborative learning center for AVID students, and offering funding for students to conduct undergraduate research and participate in other academic activities. “We place a high importance on student academic success for underrepresented populations. UNC Asheville’s collaboration with the AVID for Higher Education program, a program that equips largely first-generation college students with skill sets to break the cycle of generational poverty, is a wonderful fit for the mission of the foundation,” said Michelle Maidt, foundation president. The goal for AVID’s first year is to help students become fully immersed in the campus community. That integration will help them stay in school and achieve higher GPAs. “We are committed to all students enrolled at UNC Asheville,” said Traywick, “but we’re making a particular effort to better serve the needs of students from underrepresented groups on campus. We are dedicated to their success and to seeing them graduate.”

Learn more about helping first-generation college students succeed and share your story as a first-generation college student at

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g a


the edges of 12


knowledge Blurring the Boundaries Between Disciplines


Interdisciplinary innovation stems from UNC Asheville’s classes, programs and undergraduate research projects. Take a look at four areas of study that merge majors, create connections and might change your view of the world.

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Environmental Science and Music

ecomusic Consider Pete Seeger singing a protest song about pollution in the Hudson River, or the music created by whale and birdsong. Those topics come into focus in Ecomusic, which collapses the boundaries between music and the natural world. “I think it’s a mark of our times that we’re beginning to ask whether or not the kind of philosophy that we’ve been applying to music is tired out, and that maybe we should start seeing the environment as an equal partner in our music-making,” said William Bares, assistant professor of music at UNC Asheville and host of the global Ecomusics and Ecomusicologies Conference held on campus this fall. The conference appeals to both musicians and environmental activists, at all points on the spectrum. “Ecocriticism is meant to turn our attention as scholars and as human beings to the ways we tend to tune out our environment,” Bares said. “And tuning in may be precisely the thing that’s needed right now in order to address the pressing issues that we’ve got.” Ecomusic, as an expression of ecocriticism, is ideally suited to encourage that. “As a liberal arts campus, we believe that it is through inter- and intra- and trans-disciplinary study and education about issues like sustainability that we will achieve the greatest effect,” said Sonia Marcus, director of sustainability at UNC Asheville, who co-hosted the event.



“To me, the Ecomusicologies Conference is a perfect expression of this academic and philosophical approach that we have here at this institution.” That intersection took the form of a multimedia performance presented by the Fry Street Quartet and physicist Robert Davies, aptly titled “The Crossroads Project” for addressing climate change and environmental sustainability through a combination of scientific information, imagery, theater and— of course—music.

Mathematics and Creative Writing

oulipo We hold these tubers to be self-evident, that all manageresses are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creek with certain unalienable Rigorists, that among these are Lifetime, License and the pushover of Hardship. “That’s one of the most well-known constraints in Oulipo—the N+7 algorithm, where every noun in a given text is replaced by the seventh noun following it in an agreed upon dictionary,” explained Associate Professor of Mathematics and University Honors Program Director Patrick Bahls. Oulipo—an acronym for ouvroir de littérature potentielle, or workshop for potential literature— requires writers to use special constraints under which to write. Bahls taught a special topics course in the subject this past summer. “It wasn’t so much to produce new works of literature as it was to produce new means of focusing or forcing the way in which one could write literature,” he said. Other constraints include lipograms, in which a specific letter is intentionally omitted from the text. For example, Georges Perec’s novel La disparition was written entirely without using the letter “e.” It may seem silly—and it is, a little. “The line between what is serious and what is playful can sometimes be blurred,” Bahls said. “But this is the beautiful thing about Oulipian constraint; it really forces a sort of creativity to come to light.”

he wasn’t entirely sure what Oulipo was when he signed up for Bahls’ class. He became such a fan of the writing style that he’s considering starting an Oulipian writing group, and he and Bahls have plans to write an Oulipian play together. “I don’t know why math and literature come together in that way, but they really do work together beautifully,” Suskauer said. “The biggest reason why Oulipo really speaks to me, and why it’s really so effective, is that it’s a way to exert control over our creativity, and by doing so bring out its potential more.” “The kinds of constraints that mathematics forces on you are artificial in the sense that you would not discover them if you were ensconced comfortably in literature only,” Bahls said. “I think it helps coming from a perspective outside the discipline to nudge people in another discipline and say, here’s an idea, have you thought of this?”


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Adrian Suskauer, a junior double-majoring in history and Spanish, found that source of creativity, though

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Art and Computer Science

creative fabrication You don’t need a paintbrush and easel to create art. “You could program it to store up to so many In the Creative Fabrication course, taught by Rebecca medications,” Cory said. “So if you had to repeat it Bruce and Susan Reiser, students create art through every third day, you could. Everything was compact. technology, gaining hands-on experience in the process. It had a screen, which told you which medications to take, and a light. It was simple.” Students were asked to design and create a number of artistic and functional projects based on the theme Cory drew inspiration from family members coping of disability. They used a 3D CAD (computer-aided with illness and caretaking. She did everything from design) software program to create virtual models of designing the program to soldering the pieces together. their projects, and then turned their designs into reality in the machine shop. “Technology and art don’t seem to go together, but they do,” Cory said. “They have to. You have to be creative “The notion is that technology can be used creatively to invent.” for personal expression, for exploring yourself and representing yourself,” said Bruce, professor of computer science and associate director of engineering programs. “We were looking for more of the tangible technologies,” explained Reiser, lecturer in computer science and new media and associate dean of natural sciences. “We wanted to combine shop skills and electronics along with computer science in the class.” For example, engineering major Jason McCrary’s project included an origami hand embedded with red LED lights that pulsated as a representation of arthritis. While the project was primarily an artistic one, it took computer science and engineering capabilities to design it and make it work. For her final project, mechatronics engineering major Jennifer Cory created an electronic medication reminder—a functional project that required an artistic touch to produce.



Women’s Studies and Sociology

gender & globalization Connecting multinational corporations and deforestation to uterine prolapse in women is not an easy path to trace, but students in Lyndi Hewitt’s sociology course have taken the steps to discover the link. How? The answer is complicated, and it lies in the study of globalization and development, and its intersection with women and gender studies. “Women in parts of the developing world are responsible for gathering water and fuel and firewood for their families,” explained Hewitt, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology. “The gendered division of labor means that those are considered women’s responsibilities.


“As governments and private corporations have destroyed or claimed natural resources such as forests and clean water, women are having to travel farther and farther while carrying wood and water, which are very heavy. This form of structural violence can cause substantial damage to women’s bodies” she said. The increased physical strain not only increases their caloric need, which they may not be able to satisfy, it also puts them at higher risk for uterine prolapse, which increases the risk of problems during pregnancy and birth. “So when we ask questions like how can we improve women’s health in the developing world, or how can we decrease maternal mortality, the answer is not simple,” Hewitt said. Hewitt’s course in Gender, Globalization and Development explores a variety of complicated issues

like this one, such as violence against women, the percentage of women living in poverty, and women’s participation in the labor force and in political leadership. Students in the course study the works of economists, sociologists, political scientists and feminist theorists to gain a variety of perspectives. “You can’t boil it down to one issue,” she said. “You have to address multiple issues, and intersections of those issues in order to craft meaningful solutions.” 4

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Small Houses

Ranging from 100 to 800 square feet, tiny houses have become a big movement that counts several UNC Asheville alumni among its members—

builders, bloggers, believers Written by Karen Shugart ’99 Photos by Peter Lorenz and Nick Sloff

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any UNC Asheville alumni credit their undergraduate education with giving them the tools to start their own businesses.

The Hagedorns’ loft has windows on three sides and plenty of space for sleeping or sitting.



In the case of Jake Hagedorn ’12 and Annelise DeJong Hagedorn ’12, those tools have included the traditional critical- and creative-thinking skills associated with the liberal arts and a few that they have picked up along the way, such as wood saws, routers and T-squares. The couple founded the Brevard Tiny House Company at the beginning of 2013. Now in graduate school at Penn State, the Hagedorns not only build tiny homes, they live in one. They aren’t alone in choosing the lifestyle. Another alumnus, Ryan Mitchell ’07, maintains a popular blog, The Tiny Life, and earlier this year published a book on the subject, Tiny House Living: Ideas for Building and Living Well in Less Than 400 Square Feet. All three say UNC Asheville gave them a foundation on which to build their ideas. Jake Hagedorn, an environmental studies graduate, learned about tiny houses in Environmental Studies 330 and studied alternative techniques for heating a home in a solar design class. One of his professors, Kevin Moorhead, even remembers Hagedorn talking with him outside of class about building a tiny home. “I really loved the idea, because a tiny home would certainly reduce the ecological foot print,” Moorhead said. “You can get so much living space in the tiny space that you have in these homes.” Mitchell also recalls that the climate on campus was ripe for such ideas even outside the classroom. “If you spend any time at UNC Asheville, you know there is an environmental consciousness there,” said Mitchell.

You never get bored building a tiny house. You can finish the roof in one day. You can finish the bath in one day. —Jake Hagedorn

Small The tiny-house movement urges people to reevaluate the spaces they call home. Its devotees ask, how much home is enough? Can one live more simply in a small home? While not a new concept, tiny-house living has struck a chord among many people for varied reasons. Jake Hagedorn attributes some of the idea’s popularity to an increased awareness in environmental sustainability. Also, he suggests, the recession and ensuing slow recovery have prompted many people to rethink their relationships with material goods and consumption. At a time when rents are on the rise and mortgages remain harder to get, living in a cash-paid house has its appeal. “People are more willing to think outside the box,” adds his wife, Annelise DeJong Hagedorn, a sociology graduate. For the Hagedorns, the decision to “live tiny” came in Sri Lanka. The two had moved there after Annelise earned a Fulbright Fellowship to teach English. They came to the

country with few possessions and lived in a 300-square-foot, two-bedroom house. “It worked out really well because Jake got to come along with me and be co-teacher,” Annelise said. “We primarily lived in the one bedroom because it was the room that provided the best air circulation from the fan,” Jake said. “Since it was so hot, we were always under the fan. It was the perfect experience for us to realize that we did not need much space to be happy and comfortable.” The day after they returned to the United States, the couple and their families began building. They bought materials from around the Southeast and used walnut and maple beams milled at the company’s Depression-era sawmill. They made certain to include many windows—11 highly efficient, low-E, argon gas-filled windows—so that they could feel like they were outdoors without exposing them to the elements. The building process was satisfying in a way that traditional home construction isn’t, Jake said. “You never get bored building a tiny house. You can finish the roof in one day. You can finish the bath in one day.” Only a month later, the house was ready to be hitched and towed to State College, Pa., where the two began graduate

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school at Penn State in August 2013. Annelise is pursuing a master’s degree in rural sociology while Jake works toward a master’s degree in hydrogeology. They dubbed the home “Keep on the Sunny Side,” in part because of its yellow exterior, but also as a reminder to “keep on the sunny side of life,” Jake said. “It also aligns with the tiny-house lifestyle that it is best to always be happy and do what works best for you.” The 8-foot-by-24-foot house has standard home amenities, including a washer/dryer and shower. Their utilities average $40 or less each month, and they price the home at only $39,000.

Work “We wanted to make it of utmost quality,” Annelise said. “We wanted to make this house last a long time. We have a really sturdy roof. We didn’t spare any expense when it came to the functionality of the house.” Living in a tiny home isn’t for everyone, Jake said. But for them, it works.



“I would not give up the tiny house for any apartment,” he said. “The tiny house feels like our home. It’s something we built. The aesthetic feels like a home. It feels very sturdy and long-lasting. We can decorate it like we want.” They park “Keep on the Sunny Side” on land rented from a Pennsylvania family, while their families help maintain the business at Annelise’s parents’ house in Brevard. Both of their fathers have construction experience, while their mothers contribute ideas and web design know-how. Their hometown has embraced their venture, she said, and they’ve received much encouragement online. The business is a side venture for the couple and their families. “The tiny house is an investment we can live in for a few more years,” Annelise said. “We own it outright.” Jake added, “Even if we move out, if kids come along and we want a little bigger space, it can be used as a guest house. We feel it’s a lifetime investment.” But for now, they are enjoying their handmade space and family-owned business. “We were surprised at how much positive feedback we’ve received,” Annelise said. “Hopefully, it takes off, but we have other dreams too.”

Big For Ryan Mitchell, owning his own business is his dream. A psychology graduate, he worked in the corporate world briefly before earning a master’s degree in human resources from Western Carolina University and joining a nonprofit in Charlotte. As he began examining his relationship with money and material goods, he realized he wanted a simpler life—one that was less subject to the whims of the U.S. economy. Building and owning a 150-square-foot home that he could easily tow, he said, freed him to pursue his goals and dreams. The 150-square-foot home will have a sleeping loft with a queen-sized bed as well as a shower, bathroom, and kitchen. Utilities include water, electricity, heating, air, and Internet. He plans to build it himself, with some help from family, in a little more than a year. “It’s really just a normal house on a very small scale,” he said. Now, as managing editor of, he provides guidance for others who might wish to do the same. Living in a tiny house requires knowhow, he said, like how to navigate municipal building codes. Many towns and counties require a minimum square-footage that some tiny houses simply don’t have. “Probably the single-biggest issue that tiny houses face is building codes and zoning,” he said. “In most cases, it’s not a safety or public nuisance concern. It’s archaic codes that don’t really meet the needs of citizens.” Like the Hagedorns, Mitchell is building his home on a trailer. That way, he said, he has flexibility to simply hitch up his home and drive away. “If it were ever to happen that the city said, ‘You can’t live in this tiny house,’ I can rent a truck and be gone in an hour.” Mitchell and The Tiny Life have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, the BBC, Huffington Post and Forbes, among others. Last year, Betterway Home approached him to publish a book. “I’ve never written so much in such a short time,” he said. “At the time, I was still at my full-time job, but I was trying to take the leap to become a full-time blogger.”

The result, which has drawn accolades on, is not a building guide. “It’s mainly a guide on how tiny houses are a vehicle to live the life that you want to lead, how tiny houses can facilitate your goals and dreams,” he said. That approach, which stems from his liberal arts education and interdisciplinary knowledge, means making the lifestyle accessible to others, on a small or large scale. “Knowing how to learn and how to digest information was something that I developed a knack for at UNC Asheville and was able to transfer to this work,” he said. “I’d never really built anything prior to the tiny house.” Now he’s got the house building under his belt and a business to build as well. 4

...tiny houses are a vehicle to live the life that you want to lead. —Ryan Mitchell

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RETURN ON INVESTMENT Students, Faculty and Staff Weigh in on ROI The Princeton Review, Fiske Guide to Colleges, and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance all include UNC Asheville among the ranks of Best Buys and Best Values, but according to a PayScale survey released in March 2014, UNC Asheville is among the schools with the worst return on investment (ROI) when measured by salary and costs, particularly for out-ofstate students (-4.8 percent or -$62,500 over a 20-year career). But does ROI measure the value of an education? “Return on investment and net present value [the two numbers from the PayScale ranking] are concepts developed for making business decisions, such as should I buy a machine or not or should I replace my computer system with a newer and fancier computer system,” explains Associate Professor of Economics Chris Bell. “All that matters in those decisions is dollars and cents. When you start talking about careers and lifetimes, there are a lot of other factors that are more difficult to attach numbers to.”

Economists such as Bell and colleague Leah Greden Mathews, professor of economics and Interdisciplinary Distinguished Professor of the Mountain South, factor in these nonmonetary values to their research and classes. “Literature in economics and other fields such as psychology and sociology help us understand how people use value in their lives,” explains Mathews. “One example is a choosing a residential location. People look at home prices, but they also look at the value of neighborhoods, school quality, and other community amenities.” With college education constituting one of the biggest investment in a person’s life, second only after a house, it’s easy to try to assess its value in a similar way, but in this case, the individual has a greater role to play in determining the result. What you make out of your college education can be just as important as what you make.

STUDENTS SPEAK UP UNC Asheville students are ready to talk about the value of their education Giovanni Figaro As senior accounting major Giovanni Figaro states, “One of the things that makes my college education worthwhile are the intellectual tools I have been given to prepare me for problems that stretch beyond the textbook and into the real world. Most of my professors make sure to translate the vocabulary, strategies and ideologies we are learning about into road maps for tackling challenges we will likely face in the working world or life in general. Since we take classes across the board, we are that much more prepared to face a wide array of issues and understand many different voices and perspectives.”

Randi Carter Senior chemistry major Randi Carter says, “The liberal arts aspect of UNC Asheville makes you not only a scholar of just your major, but also a scholar of the world. This understanding allows for great human interaction that encourages trust, which is something I highly value due to my career path of becoming a doctor. And with my education at UNC Asheville, I know I have some advantages in the competitive process of applying to medical school.”



By Amy Jessee

“When you are talking about a liberal arts degree, we don’t know exactly where it might lead because you can go in many directions,” says UNC Asheville Provost Joe Urgo. “That concept of return on investment starts to break down. How do you measure life satisfaction?”

Sizing up the Change “In this context, finding a negative return on investment isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it is instead a measure of how much income the students in the sample are willing to give up in order to have jobs they love or to live in places as attractive as Asheville,” says Bell. “The sample of students surveyed by PayScale could easily have included an unusually large number of students intending to go into


such low-paying professions as teaching, social work and the arts. Such students might be willing to give up—and indeed, because the lower-paying majors are well known, consciously choose to give up—some income in exchange for the rewards that come from a life filled with artistic expression or of service to others.” History professor Dan Pierce is seeing a shift toward that paradigm, particularly as the job market changes over time. “The value of a college degree is still there, but it is not going to be realized the day after graduation,” he says. “Instead of retiring at 50-something, these graduates might retire later in their 60s or 70s. So if you consider a 30- to 35-year working career, it’s going to take a few years to get into their career. But this is an opportunity for our students. Those years in your 20s give you the opportunity for service learning such as AmeriCorps or travel. You have the time, energy and youth on your side. That’s the strength of this generation. Students need to be prepared to enjoy those years of their career searching. They have a variety of skills they can take advantage of and they can adapt to a world of work that is rapidly changing.”

Articulating Degrees of Value That opportunity for students to expand their concept of career path and redefine their return on investment also can be articulated during the start of their career search, and it’s something that employers are looking for, according to Marlane Mowitz, director of UNC Asheville’s Career Center. “We aren’t telling the full story of our value. Our students have the liberal arts mindset—that’s like gold. They come to employers with that mindset, and they bring the expertise of their major too, whether it is in the natural sciences, humanities or social sciences. Our employers are surprised by that expertise. We are training professionals in fields of studies—those are the majors. Our students know how to solve problems and think critically—it’s that knowledge capital that is very important to employers. That’s the return on investment, and it’s in the students’ hands. It’s the students’ understanding of the value that they bring and learning how to articulate it.”

“When you are talking about a liberal arts degree, we don’t know exactly where it might lead because you can go in many directions. That concept of return on investment starts to break down. How do you measure life satisfaction?” —Joe Urgo, provost

For students in economics, their value can increase over time as they advance in their career and realize a steep salary path with room for growth, says Bell. Predictably, engineering students have experienced 100 percent employment or graduate school acceptance in the past four years with impressive starting salaries, according to UNC Asheville and NC State joint-program director Steve Walsh. However, liberal arts majors have a lot to say about their success and payback too. “For example, I’ve had many students who want to go into social work,” says Urgo. “We don’t pay them a lot but their job satisfaction can be immense. Their sense of doing something worthwhile is a tremendous motivator. Do we want to discourage those students by saying they failed in life because their salary is low but they might be keeping hundreds of people alive? In that sense, this concentration on ROI and valuing your education by the money you make is almost a subversive force in society, particularly to students who want to devote themselves to social progress. I see this latest concentration on return on investment is to make 20-year-olds scared again, to frighten them into conformity, and they should know that because they should do something about it.”

life satisfaction

$ FA L L 2 0 1 4



FROM THE COURTS Cone Selected to Join Men’s Basketball Committee

STEPPING UP New Coaches & Supporters for the Bulldogs

FRIEDHOLM NAMED BASEBALL HEAD COACH Bulldog baseball has a new head coach, with Boston College assistant Scott Friedholm named to the position in June. “I am very excited to be the next head baseball coach at UNC Asheville,” said Friedholm. ”This is an outstanding academic institution with a baseball program that has a great deal of potential.” Friedholm is the program’s ninth head coach, succeeding Tom Smith, who retired following the 2014 season.

GOLF CLASSIC RAISES $100,000 FOR SCHOLARSHIPS The 2014 Bulldog Athletic Association Scholarship Golf Classic was held in September and raised a record $100,000 for the UNC Asheville StudentAthlete Scholarship Fund. This year’s tournament was presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, with sponsorships by Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Belk’s.

The NCAA announced last spring that UNC Asheville Director of Athletics and Senior Administrator for University Enterprises Janet R. Cone has been selected to serve on the Men’s Basketball Committee. Her term began on Sept. 1. She is the fourth woman to serve on this prestigious committee. Cone has a long history of service to the NCAA, having been appointed to the Women’s Basketball Issues Committee as well as the Division I Leadership Council. A native of Summerville, S.C., she is a graduate of Furman University and holds a master’s degree from the University of South Carolina. Prior to arriving in Asheville as director of athletics, Cone was the associate director of athletics at Samford University. In June of 2013, she was one of only 28 Directors of Athletics to be named as Under Armour AD of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics.

By Mike Gore

In October 2007, Cone was named the Division I-AAA Administrator of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators. “Having been a former student-athlete, basketball coach, and now director of athletics, I am honored to represent UNC Asheville and the Big South Conference, and thankful to be chosen to serve on the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee,” said Cone. “I look forward to working with (NCAA vice president for men’s basketball) Dan Gavitt and the distinguished group of committee members. I am committed to being a team player with a focus on keeping basketball a great sport for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. I am anxious to play my role and ready to begin this unbelievable journey.”




International Players Bulldog athletes from abroad bring big wins– and big lessons

This year, there are eight student-athletes from seven countries playing for UNC Asheville. To learn more about their experience, we checked in with two students. Written by Jon Elliston • Photos by David Allen ’13

The routine is tough enough for your average student-athlete, who has to juggle the rigors of training and playing with academic work. And for UNC Asheville’s foreign athletes, it’s a whole different ball game: Not only do they have to tackle the usual challenges, they have to do it in a new county.

Big shoes to fill: Giacomo Zilli

When Giacomo Zilli was growing up in Italy, soccer was all the rage among most of his friends. But the sophomore, who today stands 6' 9" tall and wears size-15 shoes, had trouble getting into the game, in part because it was hard to find cleats to fit his feet. Instead, he turned his interest and abilities to basketball, a decision that ultimately brought him to play center and power forward for the Bulldogs. Zilli left Italy and came to Durham for his senior year in high school, with the hopes of getting into a college basketball program in the United States. “The style of play here is more athletic, more competitive,” he says. Former Bulldogs Assistant Coach Kevin Easley saw Zilli play in a tournament and recruited the Italian to play and study here. Since Zilli had already learned English before coming to Asheville, the biggest challenge he’s faced, he says, is time management. But a regimented schedule comes naturally to athletes. “You don’t waste time—that’s the good part about it,” Zilli says. At present, he plans to pursue a double major in economics and management. UNC Asheville fits Zilli like a size-15 pair of high-tops. “I like the fact that it’s a relatively small community, so you get to know a lot of people,” he says. “And it has something of a family environment, especially with the team. The team is really close, and the coaches too—they really get you involved, and you get the sense that you belong.”



Beating the heat: Ericka Rivero

Sophomore Ericka Rivero, a budding tennis champ from Bolivia, knew she wanted to study in the United States, and that she needed some climatic relief. “It’s really hot where I come from, like a tropical rainforest,” she says. “We basically don’t have a winter or fall—it’s either hot or really, really hot.” Searching on the Internet, she was happy to find that there was a university in the North Carolina mountains that enjoyed some cool climes and boasted a top-notch tennis program. What she found when she got here only increased her contentment. “I love Asheville; the mountains and the city are really pretty,” she says, adding that she’d grown up assuming all American cities are as big and chaotic as New York, Houston and Miami, and that she digs Asheville’s small-town vibe. The university also has helped Rivero get back to her roots, academically. Growing up, she’d studied and enjoyed piano, but she dropped that when she got serious about tennis. She came to UNC Asheville with the idea of studying biochemistry. “Once I got here, I realized the music program was really good,” she says, and she’s now majoring in music technology. “I feel like I wouldn’t have figured that out and switched to music if I was in another place,” she says. Meanwhile, Rivero’s experience here has maintained her enthusiasm for tennis. “I love my team especially,” she says. “Since the first day, we were really close. There are just eight of us, so you get to know everyone really well.” 4

Meet more of our international Bulldogs, including a coach and an alum, on the courts and online at

class notes

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 and celebrations. Either log on to or send an e-mail to



Douglas Norton retired.

Kenneth Waddell is a

After four years of service with the U.S. Armed Forces and obtaining a master’s degree in international relations at the University of Arkansas, Doug worked for 35 years with First Union-Wachovia Bank. He now lives in Lexington, S.C. Doug and his wife, Dianne, recently celebrated their 30th anniversary.

director superintendent and the 2014 chair of the California Curriculum & Instruction Steering Committee.

1975 Zollie Stevenson Jr. was elected vice president of the American Educational Research Association, Division H, Research, Evaluation and Assessment in Schools. He was also elected president of the National Association of Test Directors for the 2015–16 term.

1980 Steve J. Ferenchiak retired after 28 years with Bank of America. Before graduating from UNC Asheville, he served eight years in the U.S. Air Force.



1987 Edwin Gosal is a managing consultant at PT Multipolar Technology Tbk, a prominent IT solutions provider in Indonesia. He also is continuing his education with a dualdegree MBA program from the University of Pelita Harapan in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Peking University in Beijing, China.

1991 Ed Harris was promoted to manager of global security operations for VF Corporations.

1992 Kirk Boone is a lecturer in property tax and mass appraisal at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government.

Andy Digh was named the 2014 Spencer B. King Distinguished Professor of the Year for excellence in teaching at the College of Liberal Arts at Mercer University in Macon, Ga.

Tracy D. Proctor is the director of advancement at St. Paul’s School in Clearwater, Fla.

1993 Derek Allen was listed in the 2015 Best Lawyers publication. Kelly R. Allen and his wife, Adriana, had a baby girl named Caroline Elizabeth on March 17, 2014.

Wes Behrend is an air-quality meteorologist with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control in Columbia, S.C. He also served as the 2012–13 president of the Palmetto Chapter of the American Meteorological Society.

Paul Fanning was listed in the 2015 Best Lawyers publication.






Christopher Justice, the

Devon Sanchez-Ossorio is

Meredith Newlin and

Athena Anderson owns

former CEO and co-founder of Austin, Texas-based Sparksight Inc., now leads worldwide marketing at Magnolia International Ltd., located in Basel, Switzerland.

the general manager at Legends of Notre Dame, located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame.

Catherine Guerrero had a baby girl named Eleanor Lucile on Aug. 27, 2013.

NatureGoods, an online craft business on Etsy. All sales benefit cat rescue groups.


Lauren Magnie and her

1995 Suzanne Cantando married Frank Kirschbaum on May 25, 2014, in Raleigh.

Jay Jordan is an associate professor in the Department of English and Department of Writing and Rhetoric Studies at the University of Utah. In 2014–15, he’ll serve as a faculty member at the university’s Asia campus in Incheon, South Korea.

1996 Rebecca Barraclough Howell is the director of student advising and support services at A-B Tech.

1997 Deborah Hart-Serafini is now a virtual member of the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute marketing committee. She also volunteers with the Interfaith Food Shuttle in Raleigh and the Rice Street Community Garden in Brevard.

1999 Tiffany Drummond Armstrong is now the vice president of chapter and community development for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation.

Christie Wild recently received a graduate certificate in web development from East Carolina University. She is the owner of Write the Next Book Web Designs, which specializes in creating author websites.

Kim Angelon Gaetz is an ORISE research fellow at the Environment Protection Agency.

Nicholas McDevitt and his wife, Lauren, had a baby boy named Cooper Lee on June 23, 2014.

Shelly Mitchell earned a second master’s degree in instructional technology from UNC Greensboro. She is an instructional specialist with Wilkes County Schools.

husband, Bo, had a baby boy, Otis Orion, on Aug. 8, 2014. He joins sister Elena Serene.

Jessica C. Newton works at UNC Asheville in the sociology and anthropology department as an administrative support associate.

2003 Mary McAvoy is a professor in the Theatre for Youth MFA and Ph.D. program at Arizona State University.

Homecoming 2015

Denise Gardner Marlow has taught at Yancey County Schools for the past 11 years. She received her national board certification as a severe needs specialist in 2010. She completed a master’s degree in education in special education/severe and profound disabilities in 2011.

Joshua C. Tan and his wife, Thanh, welcomed a second son, Joseph, on Feb. 18, 2014.

Feb. 20-21

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Jeremy and Bridget Shrader

Laura Simmelink received

had a baby girl named Stevie Lindley on March 25, 2014.

a Master of Science in public affairs from American University. She is the campaign finance manager for Senator Terry Van Duyn.

Letisha Franklin Trescott and her husband, Adam Trescott, had a baby boy, Thomas Anson, on July 31, 2014.

2004 Rachel Ansari and her husband, Stephen ’02 , had a baby boy named Harold August on July 22, 2014.

Samantha Bowers married Peter Pfister on May 24, 2014.

Amber Nycole Brown married Matt Brown on Oct. 19, 2013.

Somanna Muthanna and his wife, Elizabeth ’07, had a baby girl named Amaya Elizabeth on May 10, 2014.

Tamara Pandolfo received a master’s degree in environmental toxicology and a doctorate in zoology from North Carolina State University. She married John Frey and had a baby girl named Geneva in 2012.


Mike Bowers is the director of student rights and responsibilities at Eastern Washington University.

Max Cooper is a photographer based in Asheville. His art and documentary photography have gained recognition from organizations such as National Newspaper Association and the Association of Alternative Newsmedia.

Jillian Davis received a doctorate in biology at Ohio University. She is as an anatomy professor at High Point University.

Tanya Harris married Jerome

Dustin Jordan and his wife, Ginny, had a baby girl named Peyton on March 16, 2014.

Janine Lennon married Tyler Lacosse on June 14, 2014.

Bradley Andrew Patterson had a baby girl, Aubrey Atwood Patterson.


earned certification as an oncology social worker. She works at Park Ridge Health Cancer Services.

2008 Cale Burrell and his wife, Casi Burrell ’09, had a baby boy named Jack Badger on March 24, 2014.

Trisha Close received a master’s degree in world language instruction at Concordia College in Moorehead, Minn. She is a Spanish teacher at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

Mary Catherine Mills Dillon is a middle and high school teacher in Sheridan, Ind.

Erin and Paul Moerner gave birth to their second daughter, Madelyn, on May 24, 2014.

Chas and Megan Pippitt had

Katie Potter Sewell and her

husband, Ken, had a baby boy named Dylan Graham Guthrie on Nov. 3, 2013.

Lauren Woodard recently

label in Oakland, Calif., called Nightrider Records.

Alexandra Duncan published

Ryan Norman Guthrie and her

named Mason on July 7, 2014.

Amelia Eakins started a record

a baby boy named Bryant on June 17, 2013.

her first young-adult novel, Salvage, in April.

Talia Ogle had a baby boy

Fleming II on June 21, 2014.

Timothy Henderson.

Lauran Bowes married



that helps new parents form intentional and meaningful communities.

husband, Stephen, had a baby boy named William Parker on April 13, 2014.

Ryan Stewart and Stacy Stewart ’08 had a baby boy named Nolan on May 7, 2014.

2007 Julia Champion and Gregory Goddard had a baby girl named Jaymi Clare Goddard on Aug. 21, 2014.

Krista Dourte Miller founded and now serves as the executive director of Partners in Parenting, an Austin, Texas, nonprofit

Megan Graham works for the city of Jacksonville, Fla., as an emergency preparedness planner.

Bryan Greene and his wife, Sara Lenthall Greene ’10, both received promotions. Bryan was promoted to athletic director at Fishburne Military School, and Sara was promoted to assistant director of career development at Washington and Lee University.

Lee Griffin is a seventh-grade social studies teacher at Hand Middle School in Richland County, S.C.

Rachael Beach Hollifield is chief resident for 2014–15 at the Riverside Family Medicine Residency in Newport News, Va.

Harry Johnson IV married Kreth Ball on June 7, 2014. Harry also received a juris doctorate from the University of North Carolina School of Law.

Jessica Wallace received a doctorate in colonial American history from The Ohio State University.

2009 Royce Cowan founded the organization Active Reconnect, a digital library and sponsorship program that supports athletics and sporting events for people with disabilities.

Katie Henderson is the staff attorney at the United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco.

Cherie Miller and Josh Miller ’10 had a baby girl named Ruby Luna on Jan. 30, 2014.

Ashley Molin received a doctorate of psychology in clinical psychology from the Illinois Institute of Technology.

Patrick Tate and Whitney Odden were engaged on May 26, 2014. The couple was introduced by the former men’s and women’s soccer coaches, Steve and Michele Cornish.

2010 Christopher Green married Amanda Downes on June 21, 2014.

Justin Newhart married Heather Spencer on May 25, 2014.

Erin Matthew Ryan is a financial services representative at State Employees’ Credit Union in Weaverville.

Nathaniel Speier serves in the U.S. Army at Fort Lee, Va.

Edwin Wotortsi married Lynnlee Hardesty on July 12, 2014.


DRAWN TO ART Professional Muralist Molly Rose Freeman Finds Patterns in Creativity FROM IDEA TO RESEARCH TO EXECUTION , painting murals

By Paul Clark

temples. Patterning can

isn’t very different from the creative writing that Molly

have an overwhelmingly

Rose Freeman ’10 majored in as a student at UNC Asheville.

positive effect on people, she believes.

Freeman said time she spent composing and refining creative nonfiction based upon her mother’s Cherokee

One day after graduation,

heritage and her father’s Eastern European Jewish lineage

a friend asked her to help

helped her prepare for a career as a muralist. Her work

with a mural in Miami’s

can be seen now in Asheville, Atlanta, Miami and San

Wynwood neighborhood,

Francisco, among other places.

known for its fabulous street art. She went, and she was hooked. “It was a combination of being outside, being

“I learned a certain way of delving into any kind of prompt,” Freeman, from Durham, N.C., said. “The process is similar

able to use my whole body as a paint brush, as opposed to just my hand,” she said.

in writing and painting and any kind of creative expression. You’re choosing your focus and doing your research and

Working from intellectual patterns her work at UNC

letting that idea grow and grow until it becomes some-

Asheville fortified, she began painting repetitive forms.

thing solid and ready to launch.”

The work had a meditative quality, she found. “There is a sense of devotion and healthy labor to doing the same

Training as a painter in high school, Freeman also studied

shape over and over again. It becomes very relaxing. It has

art at UNC Asheville. But she felt herself being pulled to-

been pretty much my focus since then.”

ward writing with every poetry class and fiction workshop she took. Studying literature by day, she’d work until mid-

Freeman recently completed work on a mural in Atlanta,

night on her drawing and painting in a studio in Asheville’s

part of the Art on the Atlanta BeltLine trail. This winter

River Arts District. Increasingly, she found herself drawn to

she’ll be part of a team of a half dozen artists working on

geometric forms in repetitive patterns, something she sees

murals for a connector road in Nashville, Tenn.


in the sacred architecture of grand cathedrals and Hindu

“The Soul’s Bright Anchor” from Atlanta’s 2012 Living Walls Conference

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“CAPTAIN” OF INDUSTRY Andrew Heath Takes the Reins as Chairman of the N.C. Industrial Commission

By Steve Plever

McCrory to lead the N.C. Industrial

After earning his bachelor’s degree in

Commission. As chairman, Heath is

management in 2003, Heath entered

chief officer for a state agency with a

law school at Indiana University and

$16 million budget and 160 employ-

clerked for then Indiana Governor

ees. “We have a lot of responsibility

Mitch Daniels in the General Counsel’s

here,” says Heath. “The commission is a

Office and also for the Indiana attorney

statewide judicial system that primarily

general. Then, from 2006–13, in private

hears claims against the State of North

practice in Wilmington, N.C., he rep-

Carolina and workers’ compensation

resented employees and employers in

claims. We process more than 70,000

injury claims and other cases, and was

workers’ compensation claims a year.”

voted one of Business North Carolina’s

Heath is working to integrate new

Legal Elite.

technologies to make the commission’s operations more efficient.

As part of his position in the McCrory Administration, Heath also has contrib-


On the job, Heath is sometimes re-

uted to state economic policies beyond


minded of his UNC Asheville years,

his commission duties—he was part

student-athlete in 2001, Heath was

especially management classes taught

of a small group that advised the N.C.

named All Conference goalkeeper after

by Professor Bob Yearout. “Every

Board of Economic Development on the

he helped lead the men’s soccer team—

time I see an industrial facility, it jogs

impact of the state’s legal and regulato-

picked during the preseason to finish

my memory and I can’t help but think

ry climate. “I am trying make a positive

last—to the Big South championship.

about all the math that goes into de-

impact for North Carolina,” he says.

veloping efficient

“The management program at UNC Asheville provided me with the sort of ‘fertile soil’ necessary to grow and develop strong business fundamentals that I’ve been able to build on.” —Andrew Heath

manufacturing processes, or calculat-

A native of Fort Wayne, Ind., Heath now has firm roots in the Tar Heel State. “I really enjoyed my time at

ing the most

UNC Asheville,” says Heath. “I was


lucky enough to make lifelong friends,

preventive maintenance

including a number of alumni who are attorneys here in the Raleigh area.”

schedules, etc.,” And just a dozen years later, after less

says Heath. “The management program

He and his wife, Kristen Waldman

than a decade as a practicing attorney,

at UNC Asheville provided me with the

Heath ’02, an attorney for Chiltern

Heath was appointed by Gov. Pat

sort of ‘fertile soil’ necessary to grow

International of the U.K., have two

and develop strong business funda-

young children, Maley Amelia and

mentals that I’ve been able to build on.”

James William.

2011 Patrick Brown married Miranda Wilson on Dec. 29, 2013, in Asheville.



Evan Foote-Hudson was

Megan McCarter is the

promoted to visitor services and special projects coordinator at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

director of programming at Odyssey Community School.

Mary Frances Ritchie earned a master’s degree in public health, health management

and policy from Portland State University.

Serena Vonkchalee is a senior clinical project coordinator at Quintiles.


2012 Chris Boone earned a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina. He works as a consultant for Deloitte.

Matthew Johnson earned a master’s degree in interactive technology and digital game development from the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University in May 2014. He is a software developer at Shiver Entertainment in South Miami, Fla.

Isaac Newsome earned a master’s degree in higher education from Geneva College. He works as a residence hall director and instructor at Mitchell College.

Phillip Michael Vaughn

Emily Myers works at the

earned a master’s degree in physiology from North Carolina State University.

Southern Research Station with the Forest Service.

Karina Zimmerman married Devin Zimmerman ’11 on

teacher at Candler Elementary School.

Ashli Singleton is a first-grade

Aug. 1, 2014. Devin serves in the United States Air Force. Karina earned a master’s degree in higher education and student affairs and now works as an academic advisor at Hillsborough Community College.



Heidi Harrell and her husband,

Emma Bussard joined the Peace Corps in Malawi, Africa, where she is a community health adviser.

Candice Boling married Todd Jordan. She is now working in broadcast meteorology at WKNY in Bowling Green, Ky. Benjamin, had a baby girl named Teagan Harrell, on Jan. 7, 2014.

IN MEMORIAM William C. Hendriks Jr. ’39, March 2014 Charles Lee Marler ’51, February 2014 John T. Saunders Jr. ’81, February 2014 David Eugene Bell III ’84, July 2014 Kenneth Gray Woodward ’94, July 2014 David Larry Sprinkle II ’98, August 2014

Taylor Sluder is teaching English and coaching soccer at Enka High School.

Plan Now to Make More Possible Your planned gifts to UNC Asheville support the next generation of Bulldogs and can benefit you and your family by providing a smart philanthropic and tax-wise alternative to cash gifts. By making a gift in appreciated securities, you can give more this year, without impacting your cash flow. Increase your giving, reduce your taxes, and help our students take the next step.

Learn more about planned gifts at Contact Julie Heinitsh, associate vice chancellor for planned giving and major gifts, at 828.232.2430 or

FA L L 2 0 1 4



MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA Summer Sailing with Retired Professor John Stevens When John Stevens took a professorship in the Western North Carolina mountains in 1968, it pretty much precluded one of his dreams: to live on a sailboat. “When I got involved with academia, it was a lifelong commitment,” Stevens says. He’d grown up sailing at his family home in the Jersey shore town of Beach Haven and raced a 28-foot boat during his college years.


But when the mountains were calling, he turned toward other dreams. His tenure includes helping to found the university’s undergraduate research program, the international Mössbauer Effect Data Center, the Renaissance

Computing Institute (RENCI) and the National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC), to name just a few. And despite an official retirement from his position as professor of chemistry in May 2013, Stevens is still active in the scientific community and still works with students on their research. But that other lifelong dream? He and his wife, Salli Gaddini, are making that come true, each summer in the Netherlands. They chose what might seem like an unusual destination: an island off the Dutch Coast in the North Sea (Terschelling), accessible only by boat.

By Rebecca Sulock ‘00

Stevens knew of the place because he’d spent considerable time in the Netherlands during the late 1970s as research professor at the University of Nijmegen. It was decided: he and Gaddini would camp on Terschelling. While there, they purchased a sailboat they saw in the harbor, even though Gaddini, an avid swimmer, didn’t then know how to sail. The price was so ridiculously low Stevens figured it must have holes in the sail. And as for the fulfillment of that original dream: “Sailing, especially for three months, is incredible, being outside all the time, and the Netherlands is one very special place,” Stevens says. They keep fold-up bicycles on their boat, and when docked, Stevens gets up early to bike around the countryside. “It’s like a step back into time; village life is still preserved,” he says of the area. “Some of the villages have their own sublanguages. They’re very community and family oriented.” The decision to buy the sailboat happened almost by kismet and required what he calls “nonlinear thinking,” an ability that defined his tenure.

Above: John Stevens working below deck, keeping in touch with colleagues in Asheville and around the world. Right: Home on the water, ready to sail!



“That’s probably why I enjoy sailing,” he says. “You’re interacting on so many different levels—with the water, the air, the people, the boat, the mechanical stuff ... where will the next wind be coming from, how are you going to respond to it. You’ve got to see the bigger picture.”

UNC Asheville senior Leigh Whittaker and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute member Judy LaMĂŠe

A Lifetime of Learning Learning can extend from your senior year in college to your senior years. At the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at UNC Asheville, you can experience an award-winning, internationally acclaimed center for creative retirement.


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

Burlington, VT Permit No. 19

Head of the Class One of UNC Asheville’s newest alumni showed off her creativity with a nod of appreciation for family support during the Spring 2014 Commencement. The decorated caps top off traditional academic regalia, with students donning cords and stoles in recognition of their honors. (Photo by Peter Lorenz)

UNC Asheville Magazine Fall 2014  

UNC Asheville Magazine is published twice a year to give alumni and friends an accurate, lively view of the university—its people, programs...

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