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UNC

asheville Volume 9, No. 1 FALL 2016

MAGAZINE

Interdisciplinary Innovations With creativity and collaborations in unexpected places, UNC Asheville fuels innovators in every field. INSIDE

Research in the National Parks Behind the Seams of TheatreUNCA


contents 28

Early Adopters K-12 students coming to campus (Photo by David Allen ’13)

FEATURES

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Behind the Seams A look at the costume makers in TheatreUNCA

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Research in the National Parks How our students and faculty have made the most of the parks over the past decade and century

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Interdisciplinary Innovations Discover how to find a snake, learn an indigenous language, build robots and more

DEPARTMENTS 4 16 18 26

A R O U N D T H E Q UA D DOUBLE TEAM GIVING BACK HONOR ROLL

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I N G O O D C O M PA N Y G O, B U L L D O G S ! C L A S S N OT E S WRITING LIFE

ON THE COVER: Graham Reynolds and Landon Ward bring an expertise in snakes to their classes in environmental studies and biology. (Photo by David Allen ’13)


UNC ASHEVILLE LEADERSHIP TEAM CHANCELLOR

Mary K. Grant

THIS FA LL , U NC ASHEV ILLE

PROVOST AND VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ACADEMIC AFFAIRS

aimed to inspire change, a fitting goal

Joseph R. Urgo

for the No. 1 university in the nation

CHIEF OF STAFF

Shannon Earle

for “Making an Impact,” as named by

VICE CHANCELLOR FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS

The Princeton Review.

William K. Haggard VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

It’s a mission that started at the

John Pierce

beginning of the semester as

VICE CHANCELLOR FOR UNIVERSIT Y ADVANCEMENT

Carla S. Willis

visionary technologist Kevin Ashton

SENIOR ADMINISTRATOR FOR UNIVERSIT Y ENTERPRISES AND ATHLETICS DIRECTOR

came to campus at the conclusion of

Janet Cone INTERIM GENERAL COUNSEL

the first-year reading program and at the start of a renewed conversation about creativity, discovery, and

Clifton Williams

civic engagement. We’ve recommitted to our core values of diversity

CHIEF COMMUNICATION AND MARKETING OFFICER

and inclusion, innovation and sustainability, clearly outlined in a

Luke Bukoski

new strategic plan that sets a path forward.

SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE CHANCELLOR FOR OUTREACH AND ENGAGEMENT

Darin Waters EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF COMMUNIT Y ENGAGEMENT AND NORTH CAROLINA CENTER FOR HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Stacey Millett

UNC ASHEVILLE MAGAZINE STAFF EDITOR

Amy Jessee

The stories in this edition of UNC Asheville Magazine might be the best illustration of our future work. It’s in classrooms, labs and studios, including those spaces that often remain behind the scenes, such as our costume design shop in the Drama Department. It’s in the field, where undergraduate research projects take students to our national parks, celebrating their centennial this

DESIGNERS

year. And it’s in our community, where we develop curriculum for

Mary Ann Lawrence, Hanna Trussler ’13

our first responders and rising leaders and work through our K-12

PROJECT MANAGER

partnerships to increase access to higher education.

Susan Lippold CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Kari Barrows ‘17, Betsy Blose, Aaron Dahlstrom ’09, Erin Dalton ’17, Hannah Epperson ’11, Steve Plever, Meridith Ristic ’14 CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

David Allen ’13, Sarah Carballo ’17, Aaron Dahlstrom ’09, George Etheredge ’16, Adrian Etheridge ‘15, Emmanuel Figaro ‘18, Peter Lorenz

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 magazine@unca.edu.

UNC ASHEVILLE ALUMNI OFFICE ASSOCIATE VICE CHANCELLOR FOR ALUMNI RELATIONS & ANNUAL GIVING

As a leader in the liberal arts and a public university, UNC Asheville remains committed to offering a top-quality multidimensional education at an affordable price, and our students and alumni make sure to make the most of their time here. Within these pages, you’ll meet students who have won first runner up for Miss Wheelchair America and been named Junior World Champion in freestyle kayak, as well as alumni who now work for The New York Times and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Laura Herndon

Thanks to these community members, students and alumni, as

Address Changes

well as our faculty and staff, for inspiring us in all that you do and

Office of University Advancement & Alumni Giving CPO #3800 • UNC Asheville One University Heights • Asheville, NC 28804 alumni@unca.edu

place to be.

UNC Asheville enrolls more than 3,800 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 of North Carolina at Asheville is committed to equality of educational experiences for students and is an Equal Employment Opportunity employer. UNC Asheville will not discriminate against students, applicants or employees on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or any other legally protected status.

for the reminder that being at a mission-driven institution is a great

Go Bulldogs! —Chancellor Mary K. Grant

To make a report to the university, contact the Title IX Office at 828-258-7872 or visit titleix.unca.edu or Highsmith Union 207. © UNC Asheville, November 2016 32,500 copies of this magazine were printed on paper with recycled content at a cost of $15,304.11 or 47 cents each. FA L L 2 0 1 6

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Buzzing Around Campus You may have already seen one of UNC Asheville’s newest sustainability projects on your way into campus. That structure of wooden boxes stacked together under a sloped steel roof, sitting by the pollinator gardens on University Heights, is really one of Asheville’s hottest new hotels—for pollinators. The Bee Hotel is a shelter for solitary bees and other pollinators on campus that will take up temporary residence in the exposed ends of bamboo poles, hollow flower stems and cardboard rolls that fill the box modules. Built through a partnership with Asheville Design Center, the unique structure also is an educational tool to be used by the human community at UNC Asheville, with spaces built in for informational displays and even art projects, giving the community another way to interact with the Bee Hotel.

PHOTO BY DAVID ALLEN ’13

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To find out more, visit magazine.unca.edu. Hear more about the Bee Hotel and other sustainability projects at UNC Asheville in our debut podcast, visit unca.edu/podcasts.


B I G PI C TU RE

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PHOTO BY DAVID ALLEN ’13

Rick Chess in conversation with Alicia Jo Rabins, Laurie Patton and Amy Gottlieb in the Laurel Forum.

FAITH IN LITERATURE Festival Features Conversations for On Being

Two sold-out conversations with Krista Tippett, host of the public radio program On Being, headlined UNC Asheville’s first Faith in Literature Festival, jointly convened with the Wake Forest University School of Divinity with radio productions thanks to WCQS—Western North Carolina Public Radio. The two-day event from Oct. 21-22 brought together 14 writers of the spirit, whose work deeply engages—by embracing, complicating, or wrestling with—a faith tradition or spiritual practice. Among those authors, poets and playwrights reading and discussing their work were poet Marilyn Nelson, a chancellor in The Academy of American Poets, and Pulitzer Prize winner Isabel Wilkerson, who received the 2015 National Humanities Medal from President Obama just a month before the event. “For many years, I’ve been dreaming of organizing an event that would bring together a group of first-rate writers who deal seriously and honestly with the spiritual and religious life,” said Rick Chess, a poet and writer who is the Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts and Sciences, director of the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville, and author of Third Temple. “I don’t know what it’s like for other folks who take their spiritual and religious lives seriously, but I’ve always turned to the work of poets, fiction and nonfiction writers as part of my own spiritual and artistic life. I’m thrilled to have this opportunity to feature the life of the spirit and literature in this festival.” Conference co-organizers were Chess and Evan Gurney of UNC Asheville’s faculty, and Fred Bahnson from the Wake Forest University School of Divinity, with many partners and supporters.

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ARO U N D TH E Q UAD

CROWNING ACHIEVEMENT

WELCOMING CARLA WILLIS UNC Asheville Names Vice Chancellor for University Advancement PHOTO BY DAVID ALLEN ’13

PHOTOS COURTESY OF MADELINE DELP

Madeline Delp Competes in Miss Wheelchair America

Carla S. Willis, a 25-year veteran of higher-education fundraising, was named vice chancellor for university advancement at UNC Asheville on June 10, 2016.

UNC Asheville student Madeline Delp won First Runner Up in the Miss Wheelchair America pageant, after being named Miss Wheelchair North Carolina 2016. Now she has the opportunity to travel across the nation and state, sharing with others her ideas of “living boundless,” regardless of injury or condition. A self-described adrenaline junky, Delp has already been zip-lining and skydiving and made two trips abroad to study and explore in Germany. And she’s got plans for much more. “I want to encourage people that they can do whatever they set their minds to, and push the limits,” Delp said. She’s taking that message to the masses through a new video series, both informative and inspirational, from “how-to” tips to international travel advice, based on her time studying abroad. “I like being able to inspire people that they can see the world,” she said.

Willis brings to UNC Asheville an impressive track record of success in highereducation advancement. She comes to UNC Asheville from Kean University in Union, New Jersey, where she served as vice president for institutional advancement and president of the university foundation. In her time at Kean, Willis implemented a series of initiatives that helped the university exceed fundraising goals. “Carla brings a wealth of experience and passion to this position, and it’s very exciting to have her on the team,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant. “She has a real enthusiasm for higher education and knows the importance of private support to ensure that college remains affordable and accessible. I look forward to all that we will accomplish together here at UNC Asheville.” “This is an exciting time at UNC Asheville, and I am thrilled to join this vibrant academic community,” said Willis. “I look forward to leading advancement and, through collaborative efforts, achieving higher levels of philanthropic investment in the university.”

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HEADLINES & HAPPENINGS

Discussions and Documentaries Shared at Third Annual Event

NPR’s Vice President Speaks on Campus

The third annual African Americans in Western North Carolina Conference brought together scholars and filmmakers in three days of dialogue and celebration at the YMI Cultural Center and UNC Asheville.

PHOTO BY PETER LORENZ

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN WNC CONFERENCE

The films introduced during the conference included Beneath the Veneer, which explores race, class and income mobility by taking a glimpse beneath the veneer of life in a progressive, affluent, Southern city as seen through the eyes of its “invisible black boys,” and Testify Beyond Place, a documentary film that pays homage to the Mount Zion AME Zion Church and its relationship to Western Carolina University. In addition to honoring DeWayne Barton, founder and CEO of Hood Huggers International, the conference also partnered with Buncombe County’s Health and Human Services and Date My City to honor “Unsung Heroes,” recognizing African American and Latino leaders in the community.

PHOTO BY PETER LORENZ

“The university is pleased to host this third conference on the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina,” said Darin Waters, assistant professor of history and conference organizer. “From its inception, the goal of the conference has been to raise awareness about the presence, and contributions of African Americans to the history and development of this region of our state and nation. This year’s conference provided further evidence of how this goal continues to be met. We are excited about the broad range of scholarship that is being done on the historical experiences of African Americans in this region.”

Keith Woods, vice president for diversity in news and operations at NPR, came to campus just one month before the election, at a moment full of headlines, and what he calls dog whistles—those faint but distinct phrases apparent to those tuned to hear them. He shared his insights in a free public talk, along with workshops for faculty, staff and students in the Department of Mass Communication and WCQS, Western North Carolina Public Radio, which invited him for the visit. “Journalism’s job today is to cut through the rhetoric and help the public understand not just what was said but what was meant,” said Woods, who also led workshops with WCQS and UNC Asheville’s Department of Mass Communication, meeting with administrators, faculty and students.

Michelle Lanier gave the Jesse and Julia Ray Lecture Series keynote at the African Americans in Western North Carolina Conference.

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ARO U N D TH E Q UAD

CURRICULUM IN THE COMMUNITY Leadership Program for Fire Fighters UNC Asheville and the City of Asheville Fire Department have partnered to develop a leadership development program for fire fighters, delivered at the Asheville Fire Department headquarters in downtown Asheville. The program is administered by UNC Asheville’s Leadership Asheville program with faculty from several departments. “We are excited about this partnership that will strengthen the leadership skills for our next generation of leaders in the City of Asheville Fire Department. This will also provide our rising leaders with a jump start on their pursuit for even more advanced academic accomplishments,” said Fire Chief Scott Burnette. The six-course sequence totals 14 credit hours and includes courses on writing for professionals, organizational leadership, municipal finance and government, project management and a seminar in public management and leadership.

Collaborating to Stop Sexual Assault UNC Asheville has partnered with Our VOICE and the fall semester launch of CODE RED, a new curriculum developed to end Drug Facilitated Sexual Assault (DFSA) on college campuses. The CODE RED curriculum engages college-aged students in interactive activities, role-plays, workshops, and in-depth discussions that strive to prevent the occurrence of DFSA and sexual violence. “We know that one solution that works is collaborating,” said Angélica Wind, executive director of Our VOICE. “This community, and this college campus community, is working with a rape crises center in ways that have not been seen across the nation. This program highlights what is right here, what is right in Asheville, and what is right in Western North Carolina. We together—UNC Asheville, Our VOICE, and the community of Buncombe County, are coming together to create a place where the prevention of sexual violence is a community priority.”

PHOTO BY LUKE BUKOSKI

Our VOICE hopes to expand the program to additional local colleges and serve as a national model for preventing DFSA on college campuses.

Chancellor Mary K. Grant and UNC Asheville’s Title IX Coordinators with Our VOICE Board President Nedra Wallace Wilson and Executive Director Angélica Wind. FA L L 2 0 1 6

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID ALLEN ’13 & SARAH CARBALLO ’17

When the curtain rose on MARAT/SADE, it wasn’t just the work of the actors seen on that stage. The production included an original score, beautiful costumes, an innovative set, and an in-depth understanding of the history, psychology and politics behind the story—created with the help of important players in departments all across campus.

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The costumes for MARAT/ SADE, which is set in early 1800s France, were meticulously researched and constructed by student costumer Justine Brownell (left), along with several costume shop assistants and volunteers. Brownell drew inspiration from artwork portraying French revolutionaries and paintings from the Napoleonic era.

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Perhaps the most challenging costume was for the character of assassin Charlotte Corday, which took Brownell a full week to complete. “I had to design the dress, purchase fabric, make the pattern, construct a muslin mock-up, fit her in the mock-up, make adjustments, do another fitting, dye the fabric and shawl, construct the garment, fit her again, and complete all the finishing work—hems, closures and trim,” Brownell said. But the results made it all worthwhile.

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RESEARCH IN THE

NATIONAL PARKS Celebrating the National Parks Centennial through Classes and Projects WRITTEN BY AMY JESSEE

In 2015, a record number of visitors explored the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, just in time for its centennial celebration. Paul Super, research coordinator/biologist for the park, expects even more people to visit this year. UNC Asheville researchers are ready, from engaging Kids in Parks to understanding how the landscape has changed since they were kids. A panel of researchers shared their updates on Sept. 9, 2016. 12

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What Happens When Half a Million Trees Fall in the Forest? Christopher Godfrey, associate professor of atmospheric sciences, and his team of student researchers aim to answer the age-old question of what happens when a tree falls in the forest, but they aren’t interested in the sound that it makes (or the lack of a sound). They’re interested in the force that brought the trees down, specifically the force associated with tornadoes. “It’s difficult to rate tornadoes in mostly inaccessible areas with only trees instead of damaged buildings, like in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park,” said Godfrey. Previously, scientists weren’t able to accurately rate tornadoes that tear through forests. April 27, 2011, changed that, as two storms moved over the mountains, leaving paths of destruction and paths of opportunity.

case of her research, the field-like area is called a grassy bald, and has somewhat mysterious origins, possibly created by lightning strikes, severe weather or Native Americans. It remains bald due to natural or man-made factors as well, or other plants encroach, such as the blackberry plants at her research site. In 2000, more than 95 percent of Craggy Flats had been invaded by native blackberries. The solution seemed to be mowing it back. Rossell has been there since the mowing began, or more accurately right before it began. Her first team of students enrolled in the fall offering of Ecology and Field Biology completed their fieldwork in Craggy Flats, taking inventory of the blackberries and the herbaceous mountain angelica. Sixty students participate in the hands-on research each fall, collecting data in all weather. Over the course of 13 years, more than 400 undergraduates have participated, and with 10 mowings in that time, the blackberry plants have decreased by 61 percent.

Godfrey took aerial photos of the damage, and his undergraduate researchers methodically plotted each fallen and standing tree in GIS software, accounting for nearly half a million trees, in what he calls “an incredible data set.” The result is a graphical indicator of tornado damage and a rating system that works in the forest.

How Do You Find a River in the Sky?

What Grows Up When the Trees Are Gone? Irene Rossell, professor of environmental studies and chair of the department, also is interested in those park locations devoid of trees, specifically Craggy Flats. In the

Douglas Miller, professor of atmospheric sciences, has been laying the groundwork to collect data that a NASA satellite has missed, specifically in measuring the accumulation of light rainfall in the mountains. The satellite has trouble detecting light rainfall at mountain tops due to signal noise produced by the mountain. Miller’s network of 32 rain gauges easily collect it, though the path for the researchers to collect the data is not so easy. At elevations of 3,000-6,500, maintenance requires a hike, while lugging gallons of water to recalibrate the gauges. It’s worth it for Miller’s students, who are working in collaboration with Ana Barros, the James L. Meriam

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Associate Professor Christopher Godfrey surveying fallen trees in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park

TRAILING INTO OTHER PROJECTS NATURE’S PLAYGROUND Researchers at UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) know “the mountains are cooler,” as Executive Director Jim Fox explains, but his team of scientists, designers and communicators have the tools to show climate data and climate change visually. Through mapping and storytelling, they can show the impact of the National Parks outside of the parks, particularly how “we are the nature’s playground for the Southeast.” Learn more at nemac.unca.edu.

KIDS IN PARKS Rebecca Reeve, director of evaluation and learning at the NC Center for Health and Wellness at UNC Asheville, has been expanding her work as well, starting with three Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation Kids in Parks trails and supporting expansion to 141 trails across nine states. The aim is to get families out in nature, offering selfguided hikes and adventures to promote health and create the next generation of park stewards. Her work provided the groundwork for national expansion of the Kids in Parks program. Learn more at ncchw.unca.edu.

FOR THE BIRDS New faculty members in environmental studies bring their research to the mountains, with Assistant Professor Andrew Laughlin venturing to the highest elevations of spruce fir forests to study changes in the ecosystem and specific bird populations. Though in the early stages, the research will surely be something to tweet about in the future. Learn more at envr.unca.edu.

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Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the Edmund T. Pratt, Jr. School of Engineering, and her students at Duke University, to analyze extreme precipitation and the possibility of an atmospheric river in Western North Carolina. That atmospheric river, or water vapor in the sky, could contribute to extreme precipitation events, and predicting those helps lead to community impact and saving lives. It all starts with a few rain gauges in the mountains and funding from NASA.

What’s the Value of a View?

Students research the invasion of native blackberries in Craggy Flats for Professor Irene Rossell’s class

When it comes to funding the parks, Leah Greden Mathews, Interdisciplinary Distinguished Professor of the Mountain South and professor of economics, could be the university’s resident expert, but not in the way you typically expect. Mathews’ research focuses on estimating the value of those things you can't buy on grocery store shelves, like water quality, scenic quality and cultural heritage. In looking at “The Value of the View,” she led a team of students in surveying Blue Ridge Parkway visitors in Western North Carolina and Southwest Virginia about what they might be willing to pay to preserve the scenic quality. The answer: $151 per year and $328 per year to improve visibility, a number that has factored in as part of a court case argued by North Carolina’s Attorney General. “We always ask the question of ‘so what, and who cares?’ to apply our research,” said Mathews. Those figures also factor into the next steps for the National Park, providing valuable data for resource allocation and ways that the park can enhance the visitor experience, particularly for the next generation. 4

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DOUBLE TEAM WRITTEN BY ERIN DALTON ’17 PHOTOGRAPH BY EMMANUEL FIGARO ’18

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WINS MADISON AND SKYLAR ROGAN dove into the pool this fall, as two of the newest members of UNC Asheville’s women’s swim team. They also joined the university as the third set of twins currently competing in collegiate sports for the Bulldogs.

For the Rogans, competition comes in the family. The twin sisters have been in the pool since they were 6 years old, frequently competing against each other, and learning from their parents, who now compete in triathlons. “We used to be competitive because we raced the same stuff. Our times were really close in the same events, and we’d be racing each other,” said Skylar, “But as we got older we’ve spread out and swim different events. It’s not as bad anymore, and we are just happy for each other.” Madison swims the Individual Medley (IM), free, and the fly, specializing in the 200 fly, 400 IM, 100 fly, and 500 free. Skylar swims the fly and free with specialization in 500 free, 200 free, and 1650 free. They previously swam in club swimming in their hometown of Athens, Georgia, but both knew they wanted to continue swimming in college, particularly because of the team camaraderie, though each selected schools individually. “We said that we weren’t going to make our decision based on each other

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but at the same time we went to all the same places and talked about it together,” Madison said. “And we really love Asheville as a place in general,” said Skylar, “We definitely wanted to choose a place that if something happened and we couldn’t swim we wanted to be happy with the school, and the town.” Though they are known as “The Twins” on the team, Madison and Skylar are ready to make a name for themselves in the first season of collegiate competition. They are also looking into health and wellness promotion as their majors, a complementary course to their activities in the pool. “Usually we do sets in groups, but there is this one set where we do it all together and it’s 50s” Skylar said, “We’re on the wall a lot, and every time we touch the wall everyone is screaming, ‘Go Madison! Go Skylar!’ It is so much motivation!” Madison added, “It’s amazing. The first time we were shocked. I didn’t even know where it was coming from, I just kept hearing my name.”

Meet our other twin Bulldogs, soccer stars Caroline and Emma Houser and Erika and Rachel Snyder, at magazine.unca.edu.

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G I V I N G B AC K

LEADERS FOR LEADERS Mentorship Program Inspires Both Sides to Give Back

By Meredith Ristic ’14

PHOTOS BY ADRIAN ETHERIDGE ’15

Ahmad Thomas isn’t one to sit on the sidelines. He’s a starting player on UNC Asheville’s men’s basketball team, and as a participant in the university’s Leaders for Leaders program, he’s making a difference in addition to making plays. This summer, he worked with mentor Kevin O’Connor to outfit Special Olympians with new Adidas uniforms. O’Connor and Thomas were matched up through the UNC Asheville Athletics Leaders for Leaders program, which pairs student-athletes with members of the Asheville community, many of whom are also members of UNC Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). The program is sponsored by Colton Groome and Company. “One day we were having a conversation, and Ahmad told me that he wanted to be an elementary school special needs teacher,” said O’Connor. “I just couldn’t believe that at his age he knew what he wanted and that he was already thinking about ways to serve his community.” But, this doesn’t seem so out of the ordinary to Thomas. “Wanting to work in special education is just something my heart grew into. Being around special needs individuals while I was younger and working with Special Olympics back in my hometown of Danville, Virginia brought me so much joy. They are kids who have their own unique powers. I just want to help out, and let them know that they aren’t different at all,” said Thomas.

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(Above) Ahmad Thomas with mentor Kevin O’Connor (Below) Tianna Knuckles helps with the event

“When I started thinking about Ahmad’s career plans, it challenged me to think about what I was doing to help others,” O’Connor said. So he reached out to Josh O’Conner (no relation) at the Special Olympics of Buncombe County


G I V I N G B AC K

and asked if there was a place where he could help. As fate would have it, they were looking for a basketball coach. So O’Connor advanced from mentor to coach, then he teamed up with UNC Asheville Athletic Director Janet R. Cone and women’s basketball coach Brenda Mock Kirkpatrick on the uniforms, purchased through a partnership with First Team Sports and the Walnut Cove Members’ Association.

But in Thomas and O’Connor’s case, coaching comes into it, a little.

“When I started thinking about Ahmad’s career plans, it challenged me to think about what I was doing to help others,” Kevin O’Connor said.

Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams continue to volunteer their time with the Special Olympic Team this fall, and as the Leaders for Leaders program continues in its third year, 58 mentors have signed up. It has expanded beyond athletics to the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Program. The connections are already apparent. “By seeing Kevin work hard with this program, and hearing how much he enjoys working with the athletes just makes “Cutting out the middle [generation] sometimes lets old and me want to follow his lead and help out in any way I can,” young share their concerns and I think that’s been useful for said Thomas. both groups,” said OLLI Executive Director Catherine Frank. “It’s a voice who’s not your mom or your grandma who is in your corner—not your teacher, not your coach, but someone who is able to share some life experience and wisdom and do it in a slightly more objective way.”

Mix&& Mix Match Match

Women’s basketball Women’s Basketball political science political science major interested major interested in in law school and law school and public public service service

Tennis player who Men’s Soccer is interested in a player majoring in career with the FBI accounting

Men’s soccer Tennis player who is player majoring in interested in a career accounting with the FBI

UNC Asheville Women’s Basketball baseball alum who political science is major a practicing CPA interested in Asheville lawinschool and public

Former Asheville Men’s Soccer Mayor player majoring in

Retired Tennis player who is veterinarian interested in a career with the FBI

Women’s track and cross country Men’s soccer studentrunner who is athletein interested veterinary school

See how a student’s interest is matched up with a mentor’s expertise in our Leaders for Leaders program.

accounting

Someone retired fromsoccer Homeland Men’s studentsecurity athlete

service

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Landon Ward and Graham Reynolds bring an expertise in snakes to their classes in environmental studies and biology.

INTERDISCIPLINARY INNOVATIONS THIS FALL, FIRST-YEAR STUDENTS AT UNC ASHEVILLE READ HOW TO FLY A HORSE: THE SECRET HISTORY OF CREATION, INVENTION AND DISCOVERY BY KEVIN ASHTON — A PRACTICAL PRIMER TO HELP THEM PREP FOR THEIR FIRST CLASSES, UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH PROJECTS, AND FUTURE WORK. LITTLE DID THEY KNOW THAT THEIR CLASSES WOULD BE FILLED WITH FELLOW INNOVATORS AND INSTRUCTORS, FROM THE FACULTY EXPERTS SHARING NEW APPROACHES AND DISCOVERIES, TO CLASSMATES FLIPPING THE KAYAKING WORLD ON ITS HEAD.

QUICK HOW-TO GUIDE >>> WRITTEN BY AMY JESSEE PHOTOGRAPHS BY DAVID ALLEN ’13

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fig. 1 HOW TO DISCOVER A SPECIES

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raham Reynolds might have dreamt of finding a new species of snake, but he probably didn’t expect to discover one in his sleep. That’s what happened to the UNC Asheville assistant professor of biology, then a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, one night during a research expedition to a remote corner of the Bahamian Archipelago. The silver, slithery species crossed his head while he slept—one of six animals that the research team documented during the trip, naming it the Silver Boa, Chilabothrus argentum.

The silver boa is the first new species of boa discovered in situ in the Caribbean since the 1940s and brings the total known species of West Indian boas to 12. It is considered

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fig. 1 (continued) critically endangered and is one of the most endangered boa species globally. “We found this species on its way to extinction, and now we have the opportunity to intervene on their behalf so that doesn’t happen,” said Reynolds, who led expeditions in 2014 and 2015, and now incorporates the research into his zoology classes and undergraduate research projects. “It’s a tangible example of what a species is, how we describe them, and how we define them.” That tangible process is present in other courses at UNC Asheville, from the Liberal Arts 178 course on reptiles and amphibians to environmental studies classes in Herpetology and Field Herpetology, taught by Instructor Landon Ward. He brings creatures into the classroom and leads two-week research-intensive courses every other year, where students search for snakes from North Carolina to the Florida Keys, with stops in each state along the way. “Snakes can be hard to find, but if you know where to look and how to look for them, it can be done. The easiest way to find snakes is to drive around looking for them, particularly after sunset when the roads are warm. That’s what we do in field herpetology,” said Ward. “We find a lot of reptiles. By the time it’s over, students have seen lots of different habitats and seen a lot of different species—and

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learn how to identify different species. They learn about invasive species and we talk about the ecology and how native species may be threatened.” Reynolds echoes that approach, along with a little patience. “Snakes are always hard to find when you

Landon Ward holds a Black Ratsnake, a species native to Western North Carolina and to the UNC Asheville campus itself. Ward and Reynolds emphasize native diversity in their courses, encouraging students to learn about the fantastic diversity in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

are actually looking for them—they are secretive and can remain very well hidden even when you are very close to them,” he said. “The best way to find snakes is to know where and when to look—which of course requires preparation ahead of time.”


fig. 2 HOW TO LEARN AN INDIGENOUS LANGUAGE

J

ohn “John John” Grant Jr. grew up with the Cherokee language around him, but it wasn’t until he was an adult that he started a quest to learn it – trying different methods from listening and retention to Total Physical Response and master/apprentice. What worked, and what’s now in classrooms at UNC Asheville, is a patented method called “Your Grandmother’s Cherokee.” Inventors Barbara Duncan, folklorist and education director at the Museum of the Cherokee Indian, and John “Bullet” Standingdeer, a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI), introduced this method at the first Indigenous Languages Summer Institute held June 1-2 at UNC Asheville. Duncan is teaching the first Cherokee language class at UNC Asheville this fall, WLANG 174 with Gilliam Jackson, a native language speaker from EBCI. Twenty-five students are enrolled. Grant, who enrolled in classes before they were offered at UNC Asheville, compares the process to baby steps. Following a process laid out by Standingdeer and Duncan, students can master the long polysynthetic words that equal a sentence in English. These words include action, who’s doing it, how it’s happening, and more; until now they have been difficult to learn. Standingdeer and Duncan studied the patterns of the language with more than 10 years of research, and their analysis resulted in the “Grandmother Chart” and a “Who-to-Whom chart” that explain how all Cherokee words are made. Duncan and Standingdeer describe “Your Grandmother’s Cherokee” as “a revolutionary way to understand the inherent logic and beauty of the Cherokee language.” It uses morphological analysis of Cherokee verbs, following ethnolinguistic categories, to show consistency and internal logic of the language, allowing it to be programmed with computer software. They obtained a patent in October 2015. “This provides for us a base and an association, with understanding, that students need as

second-language learners. Without it, they are walking in the dark,” said Standingdeer. “Students have to have something to build on.” At UNC Asheville, if students take two semesters of Cherokee language, they not only build upon that knowledge, they also fulfill the university’s second language requirement, using established methods of

FOR DUNCAN, THE IDEA COMES NATURALLY. “THESE ARE THE OPPOSITE OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES. THESE ARE THE LANGUAGES OF THIS PLACE. THIS LANGUAGE IS GROUNDED IN WHERE WE ARE NOW,” SHE SAID.

Cherokee musician and storyteller John Grant Jr. performed at the Farm-to-Table Dinner on the Quad.

instruction and the innovative approach. Students who are now taking beginning Cherokee with Duncan and Jackson can enroll for the second level course in Spring 2017. For Duncan, the idea comes naturally. “These are the opposite of foreign languages. These are the languages of this place. This language is grounded in where we are now,” she said.

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fig. 3 HOW TO BUILD A ROBOT

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t UNC Asheville, robot building is a team sport. the 30-plus member FIRST team, John Muse and Josh Lyons, graduated and are now enrolled in com“From a skills point of view, they are learning a lot of the same things, and that is how to work puter science and engineering at UNC Asheville. together,” said Neil Rosenberg, team mentor and They also serve as mentors for teammates, providing lecturer in engineering at UNC Asheville, who’s now perspective along with practical advice. “My FIRST Robotics experience was a splendid one,” said Muse. “I learned that I wanted to pursue computer science for my future professional career life. But I think more importantly I learned two valuable life skills: to know what success feels like and how to let things go when they don’t go in your favor.”

The 2016 robot created by team GLITCH resulted in the Rookie All-Star Award.

in his second year of leading FIRST Robotics, the program for high school students with a team now hosted at UNC Asheville. “There are so many people who come into a team like this thinking they can’t do it. They can’t cut. They can’t program. They can’t work together. But they discover in the context of a team like this, that they can do all of those things, and that they want to. They are effective at it.” That’s why UNC Asheville’s inaugural team, GLITCH, or GLITCH 5854 to be precise, qualified to participate in the 2016 World Championship after earning the “Rookie All-Star Award” for the state of North Carolina. This fall, two members of

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By choosing UNC Asheville, Lyons has stayed close to his family, both by living at home in Asheville and by continuing to work with FIRST. He now teaches a version of CAD software called SOLIDWORKS, which he learned just a little over a year ago in order to design and build a six-foot, 150-pound robot that can navigate rough terrain and shoot a ball through a hoop.

Students become involved in robotics at younger ages too, with UNC Asheville hosting the Lego League for the first time this year. Students ages 9-13 build a robot, complete a research project and demonstrate core values in competition. To complete the family circle, their mentors come from the GLITCH Team.

It’s a growing interest that Rosenberg has seen before, having coached FIRST for more than 14 years, starting with high school programs, “where the FIRST team was bigger than the football team.” He’s looking for the same kind of crowd when the competition returns to Kimmel Arena on campus in spring 2017, already calling for volunteers.


Rowan Stuart takes a turn during the roll sessions in the Student Recreation Center pool on campus.

fig. 4 HOW TO ROLL A K AYAK

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“Kayaking has taught me a lot about being a professychology major Rowan Stuart can demonstrate how to roll a kayak 17 times in 45 sional in a setting where all of my friends are. When seconds. That’s the time for each of three rides you lead OLTP spring break, you are teaching your during the World Championships in freestyle kayak. peers, but you are the authority and the voice of She was named Junior World Champion in the knowledge. It’s a good cross-over to the paddling sport in 2013 and placed seventh in the women’s world,” she said. division in 2015. She’ll compete again in 2017, but Crossing over might be one of the first skills to for now, in her senior year of study at UNC Ashelearn, and Stuart has more tricks, including a few ville, she calls her self retired (sort of). of her favorites, like the 180-degree rotation called On any given Wednesday, she’ll be in the pool help- the McNasty and the cross-bow paddle stroke ing other students learn how to roll a kayak, albeit “K AYAKING HAS TAUGHT of the Phonics Monkey. at a much slower pace than her typical ride.

“I say, ‘if they aren’t having fun, they shouldn’t be doing it,’” she says. “You don’t have to have been in a kayak before…. It’s really important to have fun with it.” Stuart started paddling in fifth grade, won her first competition in 2010 and received her first sponsorship in 2011. What started as work with her dad at an outdoor center in her hometown of Bryson City grew into a group of like-minded peers who challenged her. Now she’s taken a leadership role, building from offering Kayak 101 to leading UNC Asheville’s Outdoor Leadership Training Program (OLTP) as part of her work with Campus Recreation.

ME A LOT ABOUT BEING

She’s studied up for A PROFESSIONAL IN A her classes too. The SETTING WHERE ALL OF psychology major with MY FRIENDS ARE.” a minor in biology and neuroscience has class, lab or office hours for her on-campus job from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., then fits in crossfit, and by Fridays, she aims for the river. It’s the hard-earned result of a schedule with 8 a.m. classes every day. The goal is the Green Race, but she has something long-term in mind too: graduate school or nursing school is next on her busy schedule. 4

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H O N O R RO LL

A NOBEL CALLING Alumna Leads International Climate Conversations UNC Asheville alumna Ko Barrett ’94 might be an anomaly in the sciences. She’s an interdisciplinary communicator among subject matter experts. She holds a bachelor’s degree from a liberal arts university among a sea of Ph.D.s. And she’s a woman in the sciences, a position she advocates for as one of three vice chairs for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “With more women in IPCC leadership than ever before, we hope to work together to encourage more women to choose STEM careers that will be good for them and for their nations’ economic futures,” Barrett said in the 2015 announcement of the appointment. “I’m excited to serve on the executive committee and look forward to working with the world’s leading scientists to engage the wider scientific community and the public on the most important issue of our time.”

By Aaron Dahlstrom ’09

several months in Egypt with a USAID project that brought water to rural villages. She combined this intercontinental experience with an interdisciplinary education, transferring to UNC Asheville after beginning her studies at the University of Alabama on an athletic scholarship in 1979. She took time away from school to start a family before resuming her education at UNC Asheville in 1989. At UNC Asheville she connected to the environmental studies program, with professors like Gary Miller and Rick Maas, who encouraged her to think across disciplines and gave her a sense of what was possible with a liberal arts education. After graduating, she moved to the Ukraine and managed a sustainable development program, again with USAID.

When she returned to the United States in 1997, Barrett shifted her focus from environmental policy to Since her election last October, climate science. Her ability to distill Barrett has become one of the IPCC’s complicated research findings and go-to facilitators for helping councommunicate their importance to tries to reach consensus decisions. society led to her first position with Barrett credits her early successes in NOAA, where she served as lead Vice Chair for the United Nations this arena to her years of experience negotiator and scientific advisor Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as a negotiator. “My many years of for the United States delegation Ko Barrett ’94 listening to countries’ positions and to the United Nations Framework being quick with possible solutions Convention on Climate Change. serves me well in my role as vice-chair,” Barrett said. Those negotiations led to the Paris Agreement, a joint effort between 195 countries to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The In addition to her role at the IPCC, Barrett serves as deputy agreement entered into force in November. assistant administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), where she supervises the “It is a huge challenge to communicate the findings in a way agency’s research operations, which in addition to climate that is easily understandable by the average person,” Barrett change, include ocean exploration and air quality. Prior to joinsaid. “Scientists, in their desire to be careful and meticulous, ing NOAA in 2005, she was the director of the Global Climate don’t always convey the larger meaning and the strengths Change program at USAID and oversaw climate activities in of the message because we are always offering all of the over 40 countries. caveats.”

Life’s Work Barrett began her work with USAID while in school, spending

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In 2007, Barrett’s efforts to communicate complex research were rewarded in a big way. She and her fellow IPCC scientists were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work


H O N O R RO LL

to disseminate knowledge about climate change. They shared the award with former vice president Al Gore.

Asheville Connections Barrett comes back to Asheville often. She has collaborated with UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC), producing a suite of indicators that offer visual displays of trends in climate change. For four years, her visits included a stop on campus to see her daughter, Ellie, who graduated in 2014 with a degree in psychology. “When Ellie decided to come to UNC Asheville, I was ecstatic,” Barrett says. “I knew that she would really thrive in a smaller, liberal arts college. And she loved it, just like I did.” Barrett still gives credit to her bachelor’s degree. “The quality of the education I received at UNC Asheville was first-rate and on par or better than that at other, more expensive institutions,” Barrett says. “Even though I did not go on to pursue an advanced degree, I clearly was well prepared by UNC Asheville for the critical thinking required to address the challenges one encounters in a policy-relevant, scientific career.”

She’s taken on the challenges with a clear communication strategy, contributing to a paradigm shift around climate change and making a name for herself in the process. “Life experience is often underrated in making someone successful in their career,” she says. “Some people advance

“I clearly was well prepared by UNC Asheville for the critical thinking required to address the challenges one encounters in a policy-relevant, scientific career,” Ko Barrett ’94 says. because they dig deep into a topic or some narrow field of research. Others are connectors who understand the importance of that research in the context of other topics and how it relates to society. I fall into the second category.”

Barrett at the Headquarters of the UN Environment Program, Nairobi, Kenya PHOTO BY IISD/KIARA WORTH (WWW.IISD.CA/CLIMATE/IPCC43/12APR.HTML)

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Early Adopters WRITTEN BY JON ELLISTON

For many students, the UNC Asheville experience starts long before college TO PARAPHRASE PLATO, the direction in which a person’s education starts will determine their future. That path starts long before higher education, of course, and a growing number of UNC Asheville programs and partnerships cultivate relationships with students who are decidedly pre-collegiate, planting the seeds of a brighter educational future.

FIRST LOOKS

PHOTOS BY DAVID ALLEN ’13

Senior physics major Dylan Cromer leads a group from Asheville Middle School’s “In Real Life” Program.

College must seem a most-distant matter to a kindergartner or third grader, if it’s on their radar at all. But the power of a university setting starts to come into focus at UNC Asheville’s Lookout Observatory, where local elementary school students visit for their first look at the world outside our solar system. “It starts when the roof rolls off, which is cool to see, and then their eyes get even wider when they get excited about seeing the telescopes,” says Judy Beck, a lecturer in physics and astronomy who helps explain the great beyond to observatory visitors. Since opening two years ago in partnership with the Astronomy Club of Asheville, the observatory has hosted more than 4,500 public visitors, with about 700 of them from school groups.

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And that’s just a small fraction of the pre-college students coming to campus. In fact, there’s an ever-widening K-12 pipeline bringing young students closer to higher education through their interactions with UNC Asheville, whether or not they ultimately attend college here. And either way, it’s bringing star students into the university’s orbit.

AN EYE ON HIGHER EDUCATION Many middle schoolers will take their first steps on a college campus through the Junior Bulldog and GEAR UP programs. “We’ll serve something like 2,500 middle schoolers through Junior Bulldogs this year,” says the university's director of pre-college outreach and GEAR UP grant programs, Andrea Martinez. The students visit campus for an action-packed five hours that include a scavenger hunt, a workout with the Athletics Department, two “academic adventures” in classrooms and a meal at the dining hall. “They experience some independence about how they choose to eat, which at that age resonates in a very specific way,” Martinez says, “and all while going through a series of creative, hands-on learning programs.”

PHOTO BY STEVE PLEVER

(Above) Students compete in the Science Olympiad each spring, presenting their constructions and experiments. (Opposite) Students from Burke and Madison counties attend a GEAR UP kick-off event.

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Many Junior Bulldog participants also take part in GEAR UP, a more extensive effort to promote “a college-bound culture,” as Martinez puts it. Along with Appalachian State University, UNC Asheville uses the program to spark awareness among students from 11 mostly rural Western North Carolina counties: Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Clay, Graham, Madison, Rutherford, Swain, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey. Standing for Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, GEAR UP is a federal program started in 1990s that’s buoyed by state grant funds. It begins at the sixth-grade level, and students in the program are supported all the way until they reach college. Among its many components are tutoring by UNC Asheville faculty and students, classes on how to enter high school with an eye on higher education, and cost-free professional development for area teachers involved in promoting college access.


GEAR UP participants also attend “summer academies” at the university that include engagement with students and faculty, most involved with STEM fields, and an overnight stay in residence halls. “This gives them a first sense of what it’s like to go to college,” Martinez says, and often the students come from families with little prior experience with higher education. Along the way, the students learn about financial aid, the importance of GPAs and testing skills, and what the future’s skilled workforce might look like. “We’re preparing them for careers that, in some cases, don’t even exist yet,” Martinez notes. Why invest so much effort in reaching out to such young students? On the one hand, it’s never too soon to put them on a trajectory that could take them to college. “It’s hard to reach a kid once they’ve reached 10th or 11th grade and they haven’t had the support to know what could help them head toward college in terms of courses and what skill sets they need to enter university,” Martinez says.

BUILDING AVID INTEREST Moving into the high school level, GEAR UP’s goals are furthered for some students by Juntos (the Spanish word for together), a dropout-prevention and college-access program for Latinos that was created by North Carolina State University and adopted by UNC Asheville last year. “It has a very large family-engagement piece, a tutoring piece, and a success-coaching, mentoring piece,” Martinez explains. About 15 students at Asheville High School and 25 at nearby Erwin High School enrolled in the program last year, which was funded by the AT&T Foundation and run by an Americorps volunteer. It’s now university supported and managed by a full-time Juntos coordinator, Vanessa Guerrero.

PHOTO BY SARAH CARBALLO ’17

“It’s pretty heartbreaking to have a kid decide in 11th grade that they want to go to college but don’t have the right level math classes or any experience with a foreign language, or they’re not prepared to take entrance tests because they haven’t built their writing skills over the years,” she adds. “It’s so hard to cram that in at the last year or two before college. Even if they are entirely capable, intellectually, they’re starting at a deficit. Middle school is the time to build the habits that you need, instead of when we’re staring at their transcript on a college application.” That outreach is important for the institution too. “Because we’re a public university, and we’re situated in Western North Carolina, it’s really important that we serve the communities around us,” Martinez says. “It would be a waste for us to be an Ivory Tower on a hill and not offer access to communities that typically have not had access, either because of economic resources or other reasons. Ultimately, it helps the intellectual community, because by keeping those students out of college pipelines, you’re effectively raising an echo chamber of other people who are just like you and have the same experiences and backgrounds. That lacks vibrancy and real diversity of thought.”

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UNC Asheville has nurtured many more middle and high schoolers—and even starting college students—for 18 years through a larger program, AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination). Kim Kessaris, the university’s middle and high school AVID coordinator, explains the program’s expansion: It started with a handful of UNCA students and a couple of classes at Asheville Middle School, and blossomed into an effort that now involves 50 or so university students and more than 300 middle and high school students. “Basically, we’ve grown by 10-fold,” Kessaris notes. AVID participants get tutoring and mentoring for years, with most of it focused on fostering the organizational and studying skills, and community engagement commitments, that best prepare students for college. “It works on so many levels in terms of supporting education,” Kessaris says. “Having college students come in and work with [younger students] consistently, AVID students gain an ability to say what they’re not so sure about. It’s a comfortable setting to ask for advice about problem solving. They learn all the steps that it takes to get to college, all of the things that aren’t sometimes obvious to teenagers.” And again, the benefits are mutual, especially for the university’s teaching licensure students involved with AVID.

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(Above) Associate Professor of Psychology Patrick Foo leads a class in the Junior Bulldog Program.

“It’s a great opportunity to get hands-on experience working with students in the classroom setting,” Kessaris says—whether or not the university student wants to go into teaching. “We had a young woman who wanted to be a pediatrician, but first she wanted to spend some time with young people to make sure that was the right age group for her. So it’s good for whomever wants to work with young people or just give back to the community.” Mariah Lee, an Asheville native and UNC Asheville sophomore who was in AVID throughout her four years at Asheville High, can testify to the program’s value. “We did a lot on time-management skills and the importance of taking good notes,” she says. “The most helpful thing was that it showed me how to get organized, because I wasn’t before. We learned the questions that we had to ask ourselves about things teachers would say in class and had tutorial sessions with UNCA students in whatever we needed help with. “They really prepared you for college,” she says, “and expected a lot out of you.” 4


I N G O O D CO M PAN Y

MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT Health & Wellness Celebrates 10 Years Ten years ago, the Health & Wellness Promotion Program, or HWP for short, was in its infancy at UNC Asheville, with a handful of majors and a few dedicated faculty who had a dream to expand their impact—across campus, around the state and throughout the nation. In 2016, the program has grown to more than 100 declared majors each year, seven full-time faculty members, and a state-of-the art facility that’s part classroom, part colosseum, with numerous labs and fitness facilities where students and the community focus on their health. On Sept. 1, 2016, the founding faculty gathered with students, staff and alumni to celebrate a decade of accomplishments and share a healthy meal. “The reason we are here is thanks to the vision and energy of Dr. Keith Ray and his sidekick for some 30 years, Elise Henshaw (program assistant for the department),” said Professor Amy Lanou, now the department chair. “We built the building, program and culture of health and wellness on our campus, and we promote and support it throughout Western North Carolina and the state through the N.C. Center for Health and Wellness and our talented alumni.”

By Amy Jessee

across the focus areas of children’s health, employee wellness, and the well-being of older adults. “Health relates to everything, and you can connect it to everything else here on campus,” said Stephen Hussey ’09, who pursued chiropractic school and earned a master’s in nutrition following his degree in health and wellness. He now works as a health coach and chiropractor. Stephanie Stewart ’13 said, “UNC Asheville was a gem right in my backyard.” The Asheville native, who returned to school for a bachelor’s degree, parlayed an internship into a full-time job, now serving as the aging program specialist with the Area Agency on Aging for the Land of Sky Regional Council. “This program saved my life,” said Kevin Rumley ’13, a combat-wounded veteran who came to UNC Asheville to take the next step in his life, after learning to walk again. “It’s truly transformational and opened doors to a world that I knew well but didn’t have the tools to deal with.” Rumley, who is pursuing a master’s in social work, now serves as a substance-abuse counselor. In total, the program has graduated 384 professionals.

“We had the right people at the right time, and I’m truly grateful for our work together,” said Ray, who is now retired but still active. “Many questioned if a small liberal arts university would have this kind of impact, but it must come from this place. It’s interdisciplinary, and our graduates have the broad perspective needed to address complex social problems…. We believe that UNC Asheville could and can become the model for the nation to make sure that the healthy choice becomes the easy choice.”

“You’ve contributed to the field and contributed important community connections,” said UNC Asheville Chancellor Mary K. Grant. “This group came together to transform the university and you are still making a difference in the quality of all of our lives. Together, we can build healthier, stronger communities.” PHOTO BY AARON DAHLSTROM ’09

Both the major and the center found a home at UNC Asheville thanks to the work of Ray and building namesake, Wilma M. Sherrill, who led the charge in the N.C. General Assembly to secure a $35 million state appropriation for the facility.

Several graduates shared how their choices, through the program and careers, are now making an impact, specifically Health and Wellness Program faculty and staff

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GO, BULLDOGS!

KEVIN VANNATTA WRITTEN BY MEREDITH RISTIC ’14 PHOTOGRAPH BY DAVID ALLEN ’13

Bulldog Named to National Committee UNC Asheville men’s basketball player Kevin Vannatta has been named the Big South Conference’s NCAA Division I National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Representative—one of just 32 student-athletes nationwide who serve as a member of the national committee. In his role, Vannatta will assist in the mission of the NCAA Division I SAAC—to enhance the total studentathlete experience by promoting opportunity, protecting student-athlete welfare and fostering a positive studentathlete image. He also serves on the Big South’s SAAC and is vice president of UNC Asheville’s SAAC in 2016-17. As a member of the Bulldog basketball team, Vannatta has appeared in 63 games with 52 starts in the last two seasons, including being one of two players to start all 34 games in 2015-16 as Asheville won the Big South Tournament and advanced to the NCAA Tournament. He has started all 35 Big South Conference games he has appeared in to date in his Bulldog career. “It’s an honor and a privilege to represent UNC Asheville and the Big South, and I am excited to represent all of the student-athletes in our conference. I know I will learn a lot about the world of legislation at the NCAA level and the student-athlete experience—both from my perspective that I already know and also more of what the NCAA is trying to do for us as student-athletes,” Vannatta said. He’s also been named to the NCAA men’s basketball oversight committee.

For the latest news, rosters and schedules for all UNC Asheville Division I teams, visit uncabulldogs.com.

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GO, BULLDOGS!

ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME By Betsy Blose

PHOTO BY ADRIAN ETHERIDGE ‘15

Alumni Honored During Homecoming

Kevin Martin, Tanya Harris-Fleming, and Emily Langill

The UNC Asheville Athletics Department inducted its 2016 Hall of Fame Class during the fall celebration of Homecoming on Oct. 21. With the addition of this year’s inductees, the UNC Asheville Hall of Fame now hosts 14 classes of 44 members.

2016 Inductees Kevin Martin was a three-year letterman for Bulldog Basketball from 1996-1999. He was the Big South Player of the Year in 1999, a first-team Big South honoree in 1998 and a second-team Big South recipient in 1997. Martin is 14th on the all-time list in scoring with 1,340 points. He was part of two Big South Conference regular-season championship teams. He also holds the school record for most free throws made in a season (174) and career (383) and for free throws attempted in a season (234) and career (527).

Tanya Harris-Fleming was a standout in Track and Field from 2002-2006. She was a dominant force in the Big South Conference completing her career with two championships in the 400m dash (2005 and 2006) and five-time Big South Championships in sprint events. She holds the school record in the 400m dash with 54.95 set in 2006. In 2004 and 2006, she became the university’s first track and field sprinter to qualify for the NCAA Outdoor Championships. Emily Langill was a four-year starter as a defender for the women’s soccer team from 2002-2005. She was recognized as the Big South Player of the Year in 2004. She was a firstteam All-Conference performer in 2004 and in 2005, and she earned second team All-Conference recognition in 2003. Langill was a key player on the 2004 and 2005 Big South regular season title teams and earned All-Tournament in 2004 and 2005. She helped the Bulldogs advance to three Big South Conference title games (2002, 2003, and 2005).

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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 visit alumni.unca.edu or send an e-mail to alumni@unca.edu

1983

Rená Johnson and her husband Richard recently opened a new business, KoleKole Ice, featuring snow cones and funnel cakes.

Dana Wilson married Jim

1997

Marquis McGee was the recipient of the inaugural multicultural alumni award from UNC Asheville.

Dr. Adam Bradley was promoted to principal engineer at Amazon.com.

Dr. Pamela Meliski and Jay Meliski had a baby girl, Addison, on Aug. 12, 2016.

Deborah Hart-Serafini recently got certified in permaculture design and primal health coaching. Deb and her husband Frank are developing a four-acre food forest in Sapphire, N.C.

1999 2000 Marc Baldwin and wife Jennifer welcomed a baby girl, Stella, on June 19, 2016.

Meredith Newlin and Catherine Guerrero welcomed a baby boy, Oscar Kemp NewlinGuerrero, on May 12, 2016.

had a baby girl, Salem, on Aug. 4, 2016.

1998

2001

Joshua Tan and wife Thanh

in the Louisville office of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs, has been selected for the 2016 edition

UNC ASHEVILLE MAGAZINE

Harris on April 4, 2016.

Lewis Winder got married on June 11, 2016, and moved from Brooklyn, N.Y. to Lexington, K.Y. to attend medical school at the University of Kentucky this fall.

Christopher Brooker, partner

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of the first-ever “Under 40 Hot List” of Benchmark Litigation.

William Hirst and Carla Hirst had a baby boy, Liam, on April 16, 2016.

2002

Emily Bruggeman earned her Ph.D. in neuroscience from Georgia State University.

2003 Jennifer Hill and James Hill had a baby boy, Israel, on July 27, 2016. Heather Houser, principal of Union Elementary, was named 2015-16 Lincoln County Schools Principal of the Year.

William “Skip” Rohde’s “Faces of Afganistan,” a series of 52 drawings, will be a part of the Post-9/11 Veteran Art collection of the Smithsonian Museum of American History.

Robert Rudder has a new baby, Addison, born on June 6, 2016.

2004 Amanda LaRue and John LaRue had a baby girl, Molly, on Oct. 5, 2016.

John Mitchell and Meredith Mitchell had a baby girl, Catherine, on July 1, 2016.


C L A S S N OT E S

Aaron Rembert and his wife Angela had a baby boy, Reid, on March 27, 2016.

Joshua O’Conner and Lexi Binns-Craven welcomed their son, Oren, on May 3, 2016.

Susan Smallwood married

Katie Rozycki accepted the

Tyler Berg on May 15, 2016.

position as a marketing manager at Graham-Pelton Consulting.

2005 Greg and Ashley Garrison had

2008

a baby girl, Lily, on Aug. 3, 2016.

Sarah Giavedoni is now

Sean Heuser was recently

a social media and content development assistant at Beverly-Hanks & Associates.

promoted to NC ECOnet manager for the State Climate Office of North Carolina.

David Jenkins and Kerry Jenkins welcomed a baby boy, Owen, on June 20, 2016.

Jennifer Lunsford and her husband Ronald had a baby boy, Ryder, on Aug. 1, 2016.

Heather Smith and husband Ben welcomed a baby girl, Sofia, on June 24.

Carrie Jordan had a baby, Justice, on July 13, 2015.

2009 Ana Baker and her wife Ophelia welcomed a baby girl, Delilah, on May 16, 2016. Michelle Barbeau was recently appointed development director of Historic Rural Hill.

2006

Casey Bernath and Bill Bernath ’08 had a baby girl,

Jeromy Bullman and wife Amy had a baby girl, Blake, on Aug. 9, 2016.

Terry Munroe and wife Sarah

Rebecca Cobbledick and Michael Cobbledick had a baby boy, Michael, on Aug. 12, 2016.

Ariel Robinson is Asheville

Charles Davis was accepted to the August 2016 Military’s Interservice Physician Assistant Program.

Sarah Davis and Phil Kudisch had a baby boy, Oliver, on Sept. 11, 2016.

Briana Hastings and Daniel Hastings ’02 had a baby girl, Adelaide, on April 10, 2016.

Maribeth Kiser married Marcus Spake on June 21, 2016.

2007 Liza Burke married Steve Bates on June 11, 2016. Stephen Burnich and Amanda Burnich ’06 had a baby boy, Wells, on July 27, 2016.

Rose, on Aug. 24, 2016. welcomed a baby girl, Riley, on June 21, 2016. City Schools’ Teacher of the Year for 2016-17.

2010 Sara Greene and Bryan Greene ’08 had a baby girl, Elizabeth, on Sept. 18, 2016.

Brian Hunt and wife Kella had a baby boy, Finley, on Aug. 15, 2016.

Nathan Silsbee and Rachel Hollis were married on Sept. 10, 2016, in Flat Rock, N.C.

Leah Smith is now a program officer at the Center for Health Care Strategies.

Nathaniel Speier was promoted to sergeant in the U.S. Army, on April 1, 2016. Lauren Turnburke married

2011 Molly Austin recently graduated with a Master of Arts in Human Services from LenoirRhyne University.

Evan Foote-Hudson was promoted to destination experience manager at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Cortland Mercer married Stephanie Kelly on the weekend of July 16, 2016.

Emily Porter-Fyke accepted a position as information literacy librarian at Western New England University in Springfield, Mass.

Hanna Trussler and Derek Patton ’12 were married on Aug. 27, 2016.

Katherine Woodard is working as a first-grade teacher at a Title I school in Charlotte, NC for the Americorps program, Teach for America.

2014 Carley Brandau was accepted to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) in the Master of Design in Fashion, Body and Garment Degree Program, and was the recipient of SAIC’s most prestigious scholarship: the New Artist Society Scholarship.

David Pickett is now a member of the North Greenville University track and field coaching staff.

Darrell Jack (DJ) Cunningham had a daughter,

2012

consultant with Deloitte.

Hannah Barrineau recently married Scott Arico. Ayden Jones recently accepted a position at UNC Asheville’s NC Center for Health and Wellness as a project manager for fall prevention with the center’s healthy aging initiative. Mary Tucker married Beau Zinman on July 16, 2016.

RayLynn, on Sept. 13, 2016.

Kristen Lawson is now a tax Emily Munroe is actively working in the Atlanta film industry and is in the work union, IATSE Local 161 as a script supervisor.

2015 Adrian Etheridge and Jeremy Gower ’16 were married on May 7, 2016.

Amanda Larsen got married to

Casey Ward and Lauren Ward

Joe Pasini on July 9, 2016.

had a baby boy, Remington, on July 21, 2016.

Jorja Smith is now the

2013 Sarah (Ogles) Cheng and Gok Cheng ’05 got married.

marketing communications coordinator at the Grove Park Inn.

Leigh Whittaker works for the

Lauren Gunter married her

U.S. House of Representatives as a staff assistant and legislative correspondent.

high school sweetheart, Cody Mink, on June 11, 2016—their 10 year dating anniversary.

2016

Marah Laurie and Peter Mencher ’11 were married on

Carolyn Brown recently

Sept. 10, 2016, in Lake Lure, N.C.

Samuel Maynard married

started working at the Carter Center with the Democracy Program.

Katelyn Bradley on April 16, 2016.

Brandon Harper on Sept. 24, 2016.

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37


C L A S S N OT E S

MAKING THE SHOT Photographer George Etheredge ’16 goes to The New York Times & beyond

by Hannah Epperson ’11

DURING HIS TIME AT

Times included spending a day photographing the average

UNC ASHEVILLE, George

Sunday of Bill Nye the Science Guy, traveling to Kentucky

Etheredge earned a B.A. in

to take photos of mountaintop removal coal mining to

photography, a spot in the

accompany a story by Pulitzer-prize winning journalist

prestigious Eddie Adams

Sheryl Gay Stolberg, and taking press-preview shots of the

Photography Workshop, a

brand new Museum of Ice Cream in New York. Since then

place in a national photog-

his photos have also landed in the International New York

raphy exhibition and much

Times and Fortune Magazine, and he’s now exclusively

more. Now his photos have

freelancing for the Times.

found their way from a portrait series in the Asheville

It’s not just talent or technical ability that makes

Citizen-Times to the front

Etheredge a successful photographer. It’s the ability to

page of The New York

look at the world differently.

Times—at least four times. “The broad and varying perspectives that I found while During his time as a student, Etheredge had photojour-

attending UNC Asheville gave me the ability to sift through

nalism essays and photograph series published in several

the world with more intention and compassion,” Etheredge

online and print publications. His photo essay, “Urban

said. “As a liberal arts institution, UNC Asheville opened

Gardens in Asheville,” was published in Modern Farmer

me up to a diverse world of knowledge, thus challenging

and Asheville Citizen-Times, and was the culmination

my own perceptions about the world, making me realize

of a long-term photographic project with Pisgah View

that very few things in life have simple answers.”

Community Peace Garden in Asheville. Two prints from the series were selected for inclusion in Looking at Appalachia, a national traveling exhibition curated by documentary photographer Roger May. After graduation, Etheredge began freelancing for The New York Times, and then headed up to New York City for a highly competitive internship position with the newspaper. His work with the

(Above) Rachel McPhee portrays Mary Shanley, one of the earliest female first-grade detectives in the New York Police Department, in “Dead Shot Mary,” a one-woman show that opened recently. (Left) Artist Cheng Ran in one of the New Museum of Contemporary Art’s studio spaces, in New York, Sept. 12, 2016.

38

UNC ASHEVILLE MAGAZINE


C L A S S N OT E S

2016 ALUMNI AWARDS Alumni award honorees recognized at Reunion Dinner

By Steve Plever

Jacquelyn Hallum, director of health careers and diversity education, Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC)—Hallum received the Francine Delany Alumni Award for Service to the Community, named for UNC Asheville’s first African-American graduate who gave a lifetime of service to the Asheville area in support of education. Hallum, a former chair of the Asheville City Schools Board of Education, is a leader in the effort to support workforce diversity in health care and educate area youth about health care careers. After studying at UNC Asheville for some of her undergraduate years, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A&T State University, and earned a dual master’s degree at Pfeiffer University. John Noor, attorney, Roberts & Stevens, P.A.—Noor ’07 received the Thomas D. Reynolds Alumni Award for Service to the University, named for the son of the university’s founder, a graduate of the class of 1937, and one of the university’s most active volunteers and supporters for over sixty years. Noor, a litigation

PHOTO BY SARAH CARBALLO ’17

Jennifer Forsyth, deputy editor, investigations, The Wall Street Journal —Forsyth ’90 received the Roy A. Taylor Distinguished Alumnus or Alumna Award, UNC Asheville’s highest alumni award, which is named for the founder of its first alumni association and a distinguished member of the U.S. Congress. Forsyth had served as U.S. editor for The Wall Street Journal for three years prior to being promoted to her current position in 2014. (From left to right) John Noor, Dee James, Katie Rozycki (Chair, National Alumni Council), Jennifer Forsyth, LaKesha McDay, Jacquelyn Hallum

attorney focusing on environmental law, complex business litigation, governmental affairs, and public policy, serves on UNC Asheville’s National Alumni council and serves students as an adjunct instructor, teaching a course in environmental law. Dee James, professor of English and director of the First-Year Writing Program, UNC Asheville—James was named the winner of the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award, recognizing a faculty member who goes beyond the call of duty in the classroom and as a mentor and advisor to students. James, a 1973 graduate of UNC Asheville and member of the faculty since 1987, has co-led international travel experiences to Ghana, taught in the Africana Studies, Arts and Ideas, and Humanities programs, and played an essential role in helping students master effective and expressive writing. Cristina Alonso, attorney—Alonso ’97 was named one of two winners of the

2016 Order of Pisgah Award for Alumni Achievement. Alonso, experienced in appellate litigation in state and federal courts, is former president of Florida Legal Services Inc., a nonprofit providing legal assistance to those unable to afford representation. She was counsel of record on an amicus brief filed by the Campaign for Southern Equality and the Equality Federation that called upon the U.S. Supreme Court to act quickly to ensure the freedom to marry for LGBT people across the nation. Lakesha McDay, director of diversity and inclusion, Mission Health— McDay ’09 was named one of two winners of the 2016 Order of Pisgah Award for Alumni Achievement. McDay has held a variety of positions at Mission Health over two decades. She also serves as a consultant for Mission’s Center for Leadership and Professional Development, and has served the community as a loaned executive for the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County.

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39


Writing

L I F E BY K ARI BARROWS ’17

UNC Asheville is the place for authors, with alum Wiley Cash back on campus as the writer-in-residence and host of a visiting writers series, and the Faith in Literature Festival organized by Rick Chess, poet and writer who is the Roy Carroll Professor of Honors Arts and Sciences and director of the Center for Jewish Studies at UNC Asheville, and Evan Gurney, assistant professor of English. UNC Asheville Magazine took a page from their books, asking a few of the writers on campus what inspires their creative work.

RICHARD CHESS DEPARTMENT CHAIR, ROY CARROLL PROFESSOR OF HONORS ARTS AND SCIENCES, DIRECTOR OF THE CENTER FOR JEWISH STUDIES

M I L DR ED BA RYA ASSISTANT PROFESSOR

“I kind of think that I’m always around inspiration,

“I don’t wait for inspiration. I just write whenever I

but that sounds lame. Anything can actually inspire

can. I work mostly indoors.”

me, even when I’m not thinking about inspiration. Places do inspire me. I find that whenever I arrive in a place there’s a certain mental state I develop and the

WILEY CASH WRITER-IN-RESIDENCE, ALUMNUS

kind of writing that emerges of that place could be different to the kind of writing that comes out of say Uganda or when I’m in Seneca.”

“I feel most inspired in small, quiet spaces. At home in Wilmington, N.C., I rent a tiny office with one window: no comfy chair, no books, no internet. Just a desk and my laptop. It’s easier to create the world if I can shut it out.”

LORI HORVITZ PROFESSOR, DIRECTOR OF WOMEN, GENDER AND SEXUALITY STUDIES PROGRAM

“I think what inspires me to write, and

LEIGH ANN HENION

artists, is an obsession, or a big question. What are you obsessed about? And that’s what you’re trying to figure out. My

VISITING AUTHOR, ALUMNA

book came out last year and it deals a lot

“In general, I’m inspired when I’m outdoors. It’s

with identity and coming to my identity,

where I feel most alive. One of the things I love

dealing with my religious background

about my work is that it allows me to get out

and cultural background, being a New

and explore. Still, when I’m actually writing,

Yorker, my sexuality. So it’s sort of like an

I prefer to be completely sealed off, in silence.

obsession, digging in and trying to figure

I love my office, but I could happily write in a

out, it’s kind of like a puzzle.”

broom closet.”

40

I think this is true probably for most

UNC ASHEVILLE MAGAZINE


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Homecoming Just in time to see the changing leaves, alumni and students gathered at UNC Asheville for Homecoming in October this year. The crisp autumn weekend featured all the Homecoming favorites—the pep rally and lip-sync competition, the Bulldog big wheel race, and of course tailgating and the parade, featuring a rallying performance by the Pep Band. The highlight of the celebration was a 1-0 victory for the men’s soccer team. (Photo by Peter Lorenz)

magazine.unca.edu

UNC Asheville Magazine Fall 2016  
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