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asheville Volume 10, No. 1 FALL 2017


Once a Bulldog, Always a Bulldog Chancellor Grant’s impact on the university


Campus heroes throughout our history Graduates’ world views 360 degrees of the liberal arts

contents 22

Master Class Thought leaders connect with campus and the community (Photo by Aaron Dahlstrom ’09)




Campus Heroes Making a difference throughout our nine decades

360 Degrees A holistic look at the liberal arts


World View Political science grads travel far


A R O U N D T H E Q UA D B O O KC A S E G O, B U L L D O G S !

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ON THE COVER: Chancellor Grant at home with Sweeney (Photo by Leslie Frempong ’17).


Mary K. Grant

AT U NC ASHEV ILLE , 90 years


is just the beginning. It’s the start

Joseph R. Urgo

of our storied history as Asheville’s


University and North Carolina’s

Shannon Earle

public liberal arts university. It’s


the first pages of our legacy, which


many of you helped write and can

John Pierce

help us share.


Carla S. Willis

In this issue of UNC Asheville


Magazine, we highlight a few

Janet Cone

pages of that history, with stories of fearless flyers who signed up


for service before World War II and before women were recognized

Clifton Williams

in the role, to those who integrated campus, not once, but twice,


as students and later as faculty members. We focus on the work of

Sarah Broberg

current staff as well as the leaders who have made campus what it


is today and what we continue to strive for in the future.


Stacey Millett


We know UNC Asheville students experience liberal arts education at its best, and we bring that story full circle, thanks to the insightful investigation by our alumna Kari Barrows. Our


alumni writers fill these pages with tales from around the world,

Amy Jessee

catching up with our remarkable, inspiring colleagues working


in human rights locally and internationally. That same intellect

Hannah Epperson ’11 DESIGNERS

and engagement comes to campus through our visiting scholars

Mary Ann Lawrence, Hanna Trussler ’13

and cultural events, where just this semester we welcomed


New York Times columnist David Brooks for our Founders Day


Emma Anderson ’16, Kari Barrows ’17, William Bruce, Aaron Dahlstrom ’09, Matthew Dershowitz ’20, Hannah Epperson ’11, Audra Goforth ’17, Brian Hand, Casey Hulme ’05, Steve Plever, Colin Reeve CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

David Allen ’13, Aaron Dahlstrom ’09, Adrian Etheridge ‘15, Emmanuel Figaro ‘18, Leslie Frempong ’17, Peter Lorenz, Colby Rabon

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

keynote lecture, hosted a three-day residency with activist and author Vandana Shiva, and welcomed renowned artist Mel Chin to our new media, art, and engineering classrooms. Our students have certainly had memorable experiences. As I look back at this past semester and the last three years, I thank all of you who have shared a memory with me, from those illustrated in the imaginative time capsule that closes this edition,


to the many individuals whom I have met and spent time with


while chancellor of UNC Asheville. It has been an honor for my

Elizabeth Saxman Underwood ’01

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

husband Jim and me to call Asheville home, and we will always be proud Bulldogs. Our story doesn’t stop here, and UNC Asheville will continue to have a champion and a strong voice for the liberal arts, particularly the work of civic engagement, through my new role as president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston. I look forward to many more great things to come as you all begin to write the next chapter of UNC Asheville’s story. Go Bulldogs!

To make a report to the university, contact the Title IX Office at 828-258-7872 or visit or Highsmith Union 103. © UNC Asheville, December 2017 32,000 copies of this magazine were printed at a cost of $15,932 or 50 cents each.

Mary K. Grant, Ph.D. Chancellor

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TOP SPOTS UNC Asheville Ranks Among the Best

UNC Asheville is featured in the 2018 edition of The Princeton Review’s “The Best 382 Colleges,” earning a spot on two of the top 20 lists, coming in at No. 18 for “Town-Gown Relations are Great” and No. 20 for “College City Gets High Marks.” “The Princeton Review’s ranking of UNC Asheville is a testament to our close community partnerships and our mission as the state’s public liberal arts university,” said Chancellor Mary K. Grant. “Our university has grown and thrived with community support since our founding in 1927. As we celebrate our 90th Anniversary this year, we are proud to be known as Asheville’s university.” The Princeton Review selected the 382 colleges and universities primarily based on academic strength, from more than 2,500 on which data are collected. The descriptions of each college in the guidebook are based on a survey of 137,000 students who provide candid assessments of their institutions. The students’ ratings of their schools are used to compile 62 ranking lists of top 20 colleges in the book in various categories. The “College City Gets High Marks” list stems from students rating of the city where the school is located, and the “Town-Gown Relations Are Great” accolade comes from their answer to how students get along with the local community. In addition, UNC Asheville has once again been named to The Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges, also as a result of student surveys. The methodology for the green colleges lists combined school-reported data and student surveys; responses included student ratings of how sustainability issues influenced their education and life on campus; administration and student support for environmental awareness and conservation efforts; and the visibility and impact of student environmental groups.






From Founders Day to Founders Week

Interim Chancellor Urgo and Acting Provost Peterson Announced PHOTO BY DAVID ALLEN ’13


UNC Asheville is celebrating 90 years in 2017-18, with Founders Day expanding to a full week and dishing up more treats than the usual cake.

UNC President Margaret Spellings has appointed UNC Asheville Provost Joe Urgo to serve as interim chancellor upon Chancellor Mary K. Grant’s departure at the end of the year. President Spellings’ decision comes with the unanimous and enthusiastic support of the entire UNC Asheville Board of Trustees. “I’m thrilled that Provost Urgo will assume the role of interim chancellor at the end of the year,” said Spellings. “Dr. Urgo has partnered with Chancellor Grant to develop and lead innovative new endeavors over the past three years—in line with the University’s Strategic Plan. Ensuring the continuity of leadership during this time of transition is critical for UNC Asheville, and there’s no doubt that the institution will be in great hands.”

(Top) Annual Farm-to-Table Dinner on the Quad (Bottom) The Founders Day Celebration

The annual recognition of UNC Asheville founders made its way indoors to The Grotto due to rain, but the festivities continued with a photo booth, themed to capture the present moment with a throwback to the past. The celebration continued through the week, honoring UNC Asheville’s core values of sustainability, innovation, and diversity and inclusion. The annual Farm-to-Table Dinner on the Quad was held on Sept. 14, and that same evening also started a two-day history symposium, “Zebulon B. Vance Reconsidered,” which brought Yale University Professor of History David Blight to speak on the timely topic.

Karin Peterson, professor and chair of sociology and anthropology, has been named as acting provost for the spring 2018 semester, following the appointment of Provost Urgo as interim chancellor.

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UNCA NOW App Brings Campus Events Straight to Students’ Fingertips

The portal also allows club administrators to access important assessment information regarding foot traffic and activity. When students swipe their OneCards at events, it gets uploaded to the UNCA Now software, and they can accumulate NowPoints, leading to prizes at an auction at the end of the semester. That’s the functionality that the app developers, Presence, strive for. The small start-up based in St. Petersburg, Florida has partnered with Highsmith Student Union to bring the new technology to UNC Asheville’s campus.

co-curricular transcript as well. According to Tugas, the co-curricular transcript, or CCT for short, “is an official university document that will be verified by our office as well as the university registrar to capture everything that a student does outside of the classroom. “This really helps our students to show off not only their success in the classroom with an official academic transcript, but their success outside of the classroom as well with this co-curricular transcript,” said Tugas. “That is the true value of a liberal arts degree—that you are not only a good student, but you have an interdisciplinary understanding of the world and that you have leadership abilities and are able to create sustainable change after you graduate.”

When students swipe into events, that information is also automatically uploaded to what the university is calling a

To learn more about UNCA Now, visit

INTO THE WOODS Major Productions for UNC Asheville Students Students set the scene for UNC Asheville’s drama productions in the fall, selecting Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s fairytale musical Into the Woods as the first production, presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI), followed by The Sunset Limited, a show exploring life, literature, existentialism, and hope. “We then decided to use the first play as the theme for the entire year,” says Director and Professor of Drama Scott Walters. “So the first semester takes us into the woods—into the darkness to find one’s way—and the second semester brings us back out of the woods again.” Visit for upcoming productions.




From the user’s perspective, the app functions as an event calendar, showing every campus event for the next 30 days. From there, students can filter both by organization and tag. So, for example, if a student is interested in seeing all of the Mindfulness Club events in the next 30 days, they can with a single tap of the screen. Or, if a student’s just in it for the food, they can click the food tag and see any event with free food within the next 30 days.


The name UNCA Now is meant to invoke action. As Fred Tugas, associate director for programming in Highsmith Student Union, explained, “we decided on UNCA Now because we wanted students to know that there are dozens of events happening right now that you can get connected with.”


MAJOR INITIATIVES New Programs Start in Fall 2017

MEET OUR NEW DIRECTORS Lisa Tandan, UNC Asheville Career Center UNC Asheville welcomed Lisa Tandan to the role of Career Center director in October. The move gave her an opportunity to return to her home state, and to her liberal arts roots. Tandan was first drawn to working in college career services as a graduate student at the College of William and Mary, where she earned a master’s degree in counseling. She graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. For more information about UNC Asheville’s Career Center, visit

Mahmut Reyhanoglu, joint UNC Asheville-NC State Engineering Programs

UNC Asheville launched several new programs in fall 2017, adding a major and minor in Arts Management & Entrepreneurship, a minor in American Indian & Indigenous Studies, and undergraduate certificates in Contemplative Inquiry as well as Food, Food Systems & Culture. “These new programs bring together the expertise of our faculty and the interests of our students, intersecting with Asheville’s unique history and momentum. They will provide students with an interdisciplinary foundation on which to build their careers, engage civically with the places they call home, and advance their knowledge and skills,” said UNC Asheville Provost Joe Urgo.

Mahmut Reyhanoglu has been named the new director of the joint UNC Asheville-NC State Engineering Programs, including the 2+2 program with two years on each campus, and the mechatronics engineering program where students study for all four years on UNC Asheville’s campus. He serves as the Glaxo Wellcome Distinguished Professor of Engineering and teaches a capstone design course for seniors, a class that will make use of the university’s new STEAM Studio where he is also working to develop testing methods for quadcopter control systems, his specialty. He earned his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from University of Michigan, and also has three master’s degrees covering electrical engineering (University of Michigan), aeronautical and astronautical engineering (The Ohio State University), and mechanical engineering (Istanbul Technical University). For more about UNC Asheville’s Engineering Programs, visit

Luke Givens, Multicultural Affairs Luke Givens has been selected as the director of multicultural affairs, joining the office in October. He previously served as retention and multicultural center coordinator at Portland Community College’s Cascade campus. He holds a master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University, where he also holds a certification in servant-leadership, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a concentration in criminology and social control from Appalachian State University.

Find out about UNC Asheville’s Multicultural Affairs, visit

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HEROES Written by William Bruce, Hannah Epperson ’11, Amy Jessee, and Colin Reeve Photographs by David Allen ’13 and Leslie Frempong ’17

In the movies, heroes wear capes or wield swords. At UNC Asheville, heroes are the ones who have worked tirelessly throughout the university's history to make our campus community a thriving place—whether it's striking a blow against inequality, flying airplanes to defend the nation in WWII, or helping the college succeed in its early years. Our heroes keep the Wi-Fi on and the computers running, they mentor students, and they build community. Take a look at the stories of just a few of our very own campus heroes.



Dee and Charles James graduated from UNC Asheville in 1973, and have spent more than three decades as professors here. They plan to retire in 2018— but they’ll always be Bulldogs.

Liberal Arts Legacy

“It looked good on paper,” Charles said. “All of the relatives would be up here for graduation.”

Dee James ’73, Professor of English, and Their classmate Zollie Stevenson became their wedding Charles James ’73, Associate Professor of Chemistry planner, driving them to town to purchase rings and order When Dee and Charles James stood on the steps of Ramsey Library on a warm Saturday morning in 1973 to receive their diplomas from UNC Asheville, they were ready to launch out into the world together—they were getting married the very next day, and starting new jobs that Monday. But they never imagined their journey would lead them back to UNC Asheville.

flowers. The dean of women, Alice Wutschel, organized the reception. Dee’s classmate’s mother owned the Rolling Pin Bakery in town and gave them a wedding cake as her gift. Peter Gilpin, the director of public relations, lent the couple his car to drive away from the chapel to their honeymoon—an overnight stay in the Evergreen Motel near campus, which was also a wedding gift, so that they could be close to work starting Monday morning.

The wedding itself was a UNC Asheville community effort. “We didn’t know very much about weddings or that stuff,” Dee said, “and we were also trying to finish up our senior year—so writing our theses and doing our final research and all those things.”

“There were many dramatic things going on then,” Dee said. And not all of them were dramatic in the positive way of graduations and weddings. “We were trying to find a place to live near campus; we didn’t have a car, so it FA L L 2 0 1 7


know today, including Dee’s creation and leadership of the university’s Writing Center, and Charles’ development of the popular Ghana study abroad program. Together with Dwight and Dolly Mullen, both faculty members in the Political Science Department, and Carolyn Briggs, then-director of African-American Student Affairs, in 1990 the James helped to develop the African-American Colloquium—a program designed to create community and support for first-year African-American students on campus.

“One of the things that the numbers showed was that the number of African-American students, although not large, stayed pretty constant. That looked good, except when you looked at the details,” Charles explained. “People were not making it to graduation.”

Who am I? Who am I becoming? And how will I get there? Where is the there? I think these questions of identity, and what it means to be human, seem to be the central questions of the liberal arts.

needed to be within walking distance. And nobody would rent to us around here because we were black.”

A friend of the James’ offered to move from her garage apartment in Montford so they could live in her space, and still be able to get to their jobs. “I’m saying it lightly,” Dee said, “but it was traumatizing.”

The James’ career aspirations soon took them to graduate school at Clemson University in South Carolina, and then to the University of South Carolina in Columbia for their doctorates. In 1984, Dee’s former teacher and mentor, Arnold Wengrow, called to inform them that two faculty positions had opened in literature and chemistry, and encouraged them to apply. Now, more than three decades later, the James are preparing for retirement after long and successful careers at their alma mater. When they retire in the spring of 2018, the James will leave behind a liberal arts legacy that has shaped the university we



The colloquium included classes, tutoring, mentoring, and advising, along with special annual trips to places around the country, from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans. “What I wanted them to understand was that a liberal arts education was not in the job that you will have, it’s in the skills that you acquire,” Dee said. “And your understanding of the world, and how it changes you, and how it changes your understanding of who you are in the world.” The colloquium’s legacy continues in the university’s “Donning of the Stoles” tradition at Commencement, and in current campus programs geared toward first-year student success. And the James’ dedication to providing a liberal arts education to their students has endured throughout their careers at UNC Asheville. “The liberal arts are not so much a subject, as how those subjects are connected and the context they are placed in,” Charles said. As both a chemistry student and professor at UNC Asheville, Charles said learning the context for his science studies has been invaluable. “How is it connected? How is chemistry a reflection of human beings and culture, and how is its direction focused?” “One of the things that retirement is making me think a lot about is those questions: who am I? Who am I becoming? And how will I get there? Where is the there?” Dee said. “I think these questions of identity, and what it means to be human, seem to be the central questions of the liberal arts. “Obviously there are multiple answers, and you could spend your whole, whole life trying to understand that.”

Founding a Miracle in Asheville Asheville-Biltmore College President Glenn Bushey Asheville-Biltmore College was celebrating its 20th anniversary when Glenn L. Bushey became the institution’s president in September 1947. He arrived, as he later described it, to “face the greatest challenge of [his] professional career.” Opportunities included: “securing a permanent campus for the college; improving the library and other academic facilities, especially laboratories; upgrading a dedicated faculty with emphasis on raising the percentage holding graduate degrees; revising the curriculum to more successfully meet the needs of undergraduates as well as the business and professional needs of the community; instituting more effective admissions and counseling programs; expanding the public relations activities; developing adequate financial resources including increased local support and securing state aid; and attaining regional accreditation.” Bushey described the task as “formidable” but, “marvelous cooperation from…trustees, faculty, students, alumni, county and city officials, business and professional groups, the media, and the general public” ensured that “brighter days appeared” for the college. As Bushey noted, there was a pressing need for adequate financial resources to be developed. In 1947, the college was “receiving only about $5,000 from outside sources,” but one innovation that helped improve the financial situation was the establishment of an evening college. This not only allowed the college to provide programs for many sections of the community, but was also a boon to WWII veterans wanting to take advantage of the GI Bill. The first item on Bushey’s list of challenges, “Securing a permanent campus,” was achieved in 1949, when AshevilleBiltmore moved to Overlook (aka Seely’s) Castle on Sunset Mountain. Bushey recalled how, after initially securing larger gifts, the fundraising campaign then concentrated on a three-day effort, with no gift being seen as too small. In a letter written in March 1998 to Tom Byers, then special assistant to the chancellor, Bushey described the fund raising to purchase the castle as a “milestone,” and something that generated a feeling that Asheville-Biltmore was the community’s college.

A strengthened academic program and a permanent home contributed to the college being able to attain regional accreditation, which further increased its base of support—support that was to prove important in subsequent bond campaigns by the college. Furthermore, although the attainment of four-year college status and acceptance into the UNC system occurred after Bushey had left Asheville, the support created during his tenure was important to both achievements. In a letter to Chancellor Patsy Reed, Bushey wrote that his time at Asheville-Biltmore was “one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life,” and acknowledged students, alumni, faculty, and community members who “were almost like family.” He closed his letter by writing, “It is most gratifying to me to have lived long enough to witness a very small college which struggled for existence for more than 20 years after its founding develop into a great university. This I view of somewhat of an educational miracle.” Bushey’s years as president of Asheville-Biltmore College were times of great change, and provided many of the foundational pieces for the present-day university. In 1998, UNC Asheville formally recognized Bushey’s part in founding the “educational miracle” by awarding him an honorary doctor of humane letters. Bushey died in Chattanooga, Tenn. on November 16, 2006. He was 101 years old.

From 1947-1962, Glenn Bushey was president of AshevilleBiltmore College, which became UNC Asheville.

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Richard White displays old punch cards, which were used when he first joined the Computer Center—now called ITS—in 1980.

Decades of Changes Father and Son: Richard White ’76, Director of Networks, Infrastructure and Systems; and Asheville-Biltmore College Football Star Dick White Richard White’s UNC Asheville story includes more than three decades as a staff member, several semesters as a faculty member, and four years as a college student. But the story actually begins even before White enrolled at UNC Asheville in 1972. White’s father, Dick White, was a football star at AshevilleBiltmore College—UNC Asheville’s predecessor institution— in the 1940s. “The year my dad played they had a 9-1 record,” White said proudly. Though Dick transferred to Western Carolina University on a full football scholarship, his family legacy at what is now UNC Asheville was just starting. Richard White started classes in 1972, but he didn’t imagine he would eventually spend his entire career there. In fact, he didn’t intend to spend the full four years of college there. He planned to pursue dental school at UNC-Chapel Hill after two years at UNC Asheville. But Dexter Squibb, one of White’s chemistry professors, convinced him to stay and complete his chemistry degree. (White says his girlfriend at the time may have had some influence on that decision, as well.) White was one of only four or five chemistry majors at the time—“We had as many chemistry majors as we had



professors”—and there was only one computer on campus, and no such thing as a computer science major. But the Computer Center—which later became Information Technology Services (ITS)—is where White found himself a few years after graduating from UNC Asheville, after a stint with Chemistry Professor John Stevens’ project, the Mössbauer Effect Data Center. “I kind of learned things from the ground up,” White said. “I got involved in operations, which was keeping the system up and doing back-ups, mounting tapes, mounting disk drives.” White also taught a course in database management, giving him a chance to connect with students on campus and share cutting-edge technology. Computers evolved and became smaller and more powerful. But it is networking where White has seen the biggest changes over the years. “Up until the late ’80s, early ’90s our ‘network’ on campus was telephone circuits,” White said. “Just analog, dumb telephone circuits, copper wire from this building to the next building.” This proved especially problematic when lightning would hit the Quad, White recalled. Entire buildings would be knocked out, White said, and equipment would be destroyed. “You’d be in the middle of registration over in Lipinsky and a lightning storm would hit,

Silvia Meyer traveled the country after graduating, but has now returned to her roots as the Student Affairs Executive Assistant.

From Student to Student Support Silvia Meyer ’08, Student Affairs Executive Assistant After graduating from UNC Asheville in 2008, Silvia Meyer hit the road. She traveled the country for several years working with a souvenir photography company, but when a job opened up back at UNC Asheville in the SAIL (Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership Office), she knew she was ready to come back to campus.

I know that there’s a big-picture and that in doing my job, I help provide important services that contribute everyday to the success of our students.

“I learned a ton about student development, and what services go into supporting the life of students, and I really enjoyed my work,” said Meyer, who first came to UNC Asheville as a non-traditional transfer student and received her degree in management with a concentration in business administration.

and all of sudden we were out of business. Those days were the stressful days, because you never knew what was going to happen next.” However, White developed as a problem solver—and technology evolved, too. He will reach 38 years of employment at UNC Asheville in March, and he admits he’s thought about retiring once or twice. But for now, he’s happy where he is. “I’ve had an interesting career,” White said. “It’s pretty unusual to be in one place as long as I’ve been in one place. But the reason I have been is because I’ve had a lot of different opportunities here, from being a student to being a part time teacher to being a full-time staff member for all these years, and doing it in different areas.”

Read more of Dick White’s legacy at

Meyer is now executive assistant in Student Affairs. “It’s support,” she explained. “I support Dr. [Bill] Haggard and respond to any request that comes through out office, whether it’s from a student, parent, or community member. I determine what is the best resource and direct them where to go.” Meyer said she loves the culture of UNC Asheville and the community she works in, but the most rewarding part of her job is knowing she’s making a difference for students. “I know that there’s a big-picture and that in doing my job, I help provide important services that contribute everyday to the success of our students,” Meyer said. “I worked for many, many years in hospitality, and the bigger picture and the fulfillment is kind of not there... I think that the most fulfilling part is even in a small exchange with a student. Maybe one of them comes in and they sit down and they talk, they know that I am a holder of information, so if they ever needed anything they can reach out to me, and I can point them in the right direction. “It’s just knowing that every little bit of what we do has a big impact on a young adult’s life.”

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airfields in partnership would provide hands-on flying instruction. By October of 1940, 10 Biltmore College students were in the air. At the college, they studied meteorology, navigation, and the rules of civil aviation. At the AshevilleHendersonville Airfield, they learned to fly in a small yellow airplane fitted with dual controls.

The Forgotten Flyers of Biltmore College Dorothy Post Hoover ’34 In 1940, with America on the brink of World War II, Biltmore College, as UNC Asheville was known then, faced great uncertainty about its own future. The school was highly dependent on tuition payments from students, accounting for roughly three-fourths of the budget. Dean of Biltmore College Charles Lloyd could foresee that in a national mobilization, many young men would stream out of the college into the armed forces. Perhaps he knew his students well enough to sense that some of the women would enter military service, while others might defer college attendance in favor of work. As a first priority that spring, Lloyd arranged a lease for classrooms, lockers, library, and facility space at another institution, the Asheville Normal School. Then, with an operating location secured for two years, Lloyd courted approval from the Civil Aeronautics Authority for Biltmore College to become a training site for the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP). The United States Congress had passed the Civilian Pilot Training Act to provide an economic stimulus to the light aircraft industry, and to create a large number of collegeeducated pilots who could be called for military service in the event of war. Several hundred colleges across the country would provide the ground school courses, while nearby



Biltmore College student Dorothy Post Hoover graduated from the college, completed the CPTP in South Carolina, and became the first woman in Greenville, South Carolina to earn a pilot’s license. She then learned to fly the larger, more powerful and complex military aircraft at Avenger Field, Texas and became a member of the WASP—the Women Airforce Service Pilots. She trained young male glider pilots for the Normandy invasion—pulling the gliders on low-level flights at night—and towed aerial targets for ground crews to fire at with live ammunition. It was dangerous work—one WASP pilot was killed towing these targets. As a member of the WASP, Hoover was honored with the Congressional Gold Medal for her WWII service (pictured above), as one of “the first women in history to fly American military aircraft.” Fourteen months after pilot training began at Biltmore College, the brutal and devastating attack on American military forces in Hawaii brought the country into the Second World War. The pilot training program increased in pace and numbers. Military service was required of all trainees—it was no longer a “civilian” training program— and women were no longer accepted. Biltmore College continued coordinating the program and teaching ground school courses. At the end of the first full year of war, a college official reported that 115 young men had entered the program, 100 had completed it, and all 100 were serving in the armed forces.

​Photo of Dorothy Post Hoover from Dorothy Hoover Papers (WV​0170), Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project, Martha Hodges Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, NC​.

Dorothy Post Hoover, one of the first women in U.S. history to fly military aircraft, graduated from Biltmore College.

Jacob Cohen is learning new skills and giving back through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

Curiosity and Service OLLI Student, Instructor and Volunteer Jacob Cohen The first time Jacob Cohen came to UNC Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for a film class, he wasn’t quite sure he really belonged there. “I remember standing at the door and looking and going, ‘Whoa, there are a lot of old people here!’” Cohen laughed. Though he hadn’t quite retired yet from his 40-year career in education, Cohen—who says he’s always been a curious person—was interested by the course offerings at OLLI, especially the film class on aging. And despite his initial reservations, Cohen discovered he had a community at OLLI. “I realized that the issues we were discussing were the same issues I feel—in other words, it made me realize we’re all in this together,” he said.

Some people think, ‘Well, what do I have to offer?’ Just be yourself. Be sincere. Be open. Have fun. Listen. Try to be helpful if they’re asking for help.

user here,” Cohen said. “To balance all those deep subjects, I teach things like Scrabble and cryptic crosswords.”

In the 10 years since that first class, Cohen has become not only an avid student at OLLI, but a dedicated volunteer and instructor.

Cohen also spends every Friday afternoon volunteering in the OLLI office, lending a hand wherever he might be needed. Cohen also volunteers his time with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, and as an AVID mentor to a first-generation college student.

“I’m getting my liberal arts education at this point in my life, because we have people involved here in history, philosophy, science, math, and arts—and I’ve taken all that. I’m a heavy

“Some people think, ‘Well, what do I have to offer?’” Cohen said. “Just be yourself. Be sincere. Be open. Have fun. Listen. Try to be helpful if they’re asking for help.”

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A Legacy of Leadership Chancellor Mary K. Grant UNC Asheville’s seventh chancellor empowers faculty, staff, and students to hold a mirror up to themselves and see their true potential—not only as individuals, but as leaders and difference makers in Asheville, the region, and the world. “Chancellor Grant brought a level of energy that matched a faculty eager to help move our campus in a new direction. Thanks to her leadership, the faculty and administration developed a more cohesive relationship with a focus on enhancing our systems of shared governance,” said Micheal Stratton, chair of faculty senate, and chair and associate professor of management. “Together, we asked difficult questions and challenged assumptions in an effort to reimagine our strategic priorities.” Student success and academic rigor are central to a UNC Asheville education, defined as directions in the university’s strategic plan, which was developed with the engagement of over 500 faculty, students, staff, alumni, trustees, and community members under Chancellor Grant’s leadership. Through this planning, she fostered a deep commitment to supporting diverse and inclusive communities, making innovation a core competency, and renewing attention toward sustainability—all core values of the strategic plan that were unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate—with enthusiasm! In just three years, she led a renaissance of creative partnerships with the community, including the Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Mission Health, and Asheville City Schools. She established UNC Asheville as a center for creativity, innovation, and excellence in the public liberal arts, bringing the community to campus for tours, lectures, concerts, games and important conversations. Chancellor Grant’s work in the community makes it clear that UNC Asheville is Asheville’s university. “When Jim and I arrived over winter break three years ago, we instantly felt at home and felt the warmth of this campus community. It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have served alongside this distinguished faculty and this talented, passionate group of administrators, staff, and students. We knew that we had made the right choice because of



all of you and because of the mission, the strength, and the possibilities of UNC Asheville.” During Chancellor Grant’s tenure, UNC Asheville was ranked No. 1 for “Making an Impact,” by The Princeton Review, recognizing schools with the best community service opportunities, student governments, sustainability, and on-campus student engagement. UNC Asheville continues to earn high marks for value and academic excellence, garnering an annual Top 10 place on the Best Public Liberal Arts Colleges by U.S. News and World Report. In addition, The Fiske Guide to Colleges once again named UNC Asheville a “Best Buy,” and the university is also featured in The Princeton Review’s Guide to 375 Green Colleges: 2017 Edition for its commitment to sustainability. Since Chancellor Grant stepped onto campus, she has increased access to higher education which brought in one of the largest classes of incoming students on record. Through Chancellor Grant’s encouragement and passion, UNC Asheville scholars succeed in academics and athletics. Seventy percent of student-athletes made the Dean’s or Chancellor’s Lists in 2016, and the Bulldogs scored big on the basketball court, winning three Big South Conference championships in two years. She is a champion for the Bulldogs in the classroom and beyond, bringing women’s golf to UNC Asheville and serving as president of the Big South Conference. Under Chancellor Grant’s leadership, UNC Asheville secured millions in grant funding for the arts and sciences, from launching the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation scholars in chemistry and biology to securing funding for Center for Creative Entrepreneurship through the Windgate Foundation in partnership with the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design. The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation recognized the university’s expanded work in community engagement through a $700,000 grant for an arts and educational alliance focused on public humanities, which further connects UNC Asheville’s expertise to the city of Asheville. “With her fierce commitment to diversity and student success, Dr. Grant played a pivotal role in securing the $1.5-million grant that is strengthening college careers of low-income,

It has been the privilege of a lifetime to have served alongside this distinguished faculty and this talented, passionate group of administrators, staff, and students.

first-generation female minority students as well as those of post-doctoral teaching and research fellows,” said Marilyn Foote-Hudson, executive director of the North Carolina GlaxoSmithKline Foundation. “Her profound understanding of the value of mentorship and the difference it can make in one’s personal and professional development are just part of her vast legacy. Her strong and visionary leadership, driven by a passion for education and compassion for her students and faculty, sets her apart in the field of higher education. It has been a privilege to work closely with Chancellor Grant, who serves as a beacon for those who love teaching and those who love learning.” Chancellor Grant is not slowing down, from increasing connectivity through technological advances to encouraging collaboration vital to interdisciplinary innovations, she is moving full steam ahead. The launch of STEAM Studio at the RAMP exemplifies how a liberal arts curriculum drives innovation, bringing together the next generation of makers, engineers, artists, and entrepreneurs. As students’ learning opportunities continue to expand, so does the campus. Several construction projects are underway

including UNC Asheville’s first apartment-style student residences, renovations to the Highsmith Student Union, and renovations to two academic buildings—Owen and Carmichael Halls. These projects represent $67 million in campus construction and renovations, including $21.1 million funded through Connect NC bonds, which Chancellor Grant led the efforts to secure. “Mary exemplifies integrity, innovation, and strong character—and her authenticity, humility, and insightfulness have been the cornerstone for her remarkable success as chancellor these past three years,” said UNC System President Margaret Spellings. “This is no doubt a loss for UNC Asheville and the University of North Carolina System, but we can all agree that North Carolina—and particularly the west—is a better place because of Chancellor Grant’s leadership.” Chancellor Grant will continue to engage future generations in the work of citizenship and democracy as she takes on her new role as president of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. 4

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IF SOMEONE ASKS YOU WHAT A LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION IS, WHAT DO YOU SAY? HOW DO YOU DEFINE SOMETHING SO COMPLEX? For Micheal Stratton, chair and unit head for the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and associate professor of management at UNC Asheville, it’s about exploration. “Students and faculty are driven to explore and uncover the complexity inherent to human existence in a variety of social, political, economic, historical, and organizational contexts,” Stratton says. “It’s a multi-interdisciplinary approach to the identification and analysis of complex problems leveraging multiple and sometimes competing perspectives.” For others, like Student Body President Tim Hussey, it takes on a more personal meaning. “To me, a liberal arts education means seeing beyond single perspectives and thinking about situations holistically,” Hussey says. “At UNCA, the liberal arts education has played a crucial role in deciding what career path I want to take. I originally came in with a set idea of what I wanted to do after graduation, but by exploring not only my major, but classes across all disciplines, I was able to recognize and cultivate other skills that I hope to use to make the world a better place.”

Both these definitions hold similar fundamental values, ones that Senior Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Steve McKellips says contribute to UNC Asheville’s unique student-centered approach. “It really concentrates our energies on 360 degrees around a particular student,” McKellips says. “It uses this interdisciplinary approach to teach people content, but also teach people about learning in general, in particular, how you learn, or to demonstrate how other people learn.” Still, even after describing what a liberal arts education means, how do you show what it looks like? UNC Asheville alumnus Austin Napper says his liberal arts education has helped him become more flexible, something that comes in handy in the workplace. Napper currently works with the Asheville City Schools Foundation as a communications associate, where he helps with a new initiative called “The Listening Project.” The project assembles more than 20 community members and district staff that will take an in-depth, year-long look into student perceptions about the culture at Asheville High School and



School of Inquiry & Life Sciences at Asheville (SILSA). Volunteers do this by listening to 100 students, taking their input and creating an action plan to address issues of inequality that will be implemented next fall. Napper calls the project “a community effort to identify and address the challenges facing high school students today.” On campus, students from the Health and Wellness Department have worked on several research-for-advocacy projects, meaning they have created surveys, collected data, and done research for community-based groups, helping further policies and advocacy. Ameena Batada, an associate professor in the Health and Wellness Department, says projects like these incorporate various skills that expand across departments. “It’s not just about our individual discipline, it’s about bringing together urban planning, political science, even mass media,” Batada points out.


Batada presented information on three different student research-for-advocacy projects at the Gulf South Summit in March of 2017. One group partnered with the Voices Transportation Committee of Just Economics in order to extend bus route end times in Asheville. Another group of students partnered with the Homeless Initiative Advisory Council (HIAC), creating surveys for some Asheville shelters in order to help HIAC with their five-year strategic plan. The third group partnered with the Henderson County Department of Health, collecting data from Henderson County stores on tobacco marketing in order to advocate for a county-level resolution to request that the state end the pre-emption related to tobacco marketing and sales, a policy Batada says passed surprisingly fast by the Henderson County Board of Health. For Batada, a liberal arts education is learning how to confront issues in different ways. She says her students have pursued a wide variety of careers, including those in public health, international studies, and specialized medical fields. “I think their liberal arts background will always be beneficial in those careers because those students will be the ones who will revolutionize how we think about medicine and health by using a broader view,” Batada says. Stratton sees those connections happening across disciplines. “My view of what we’re doing as a liberal arts college is that we value working across sectors, across disciplines, and breaking down the silos... eliminating an isolation factor that can come from not understanding another point of view.” McKellips says this critical thinking is the foundation of UNC Asheville and what it reflects in each department. “When everything about this place is actually driven by the values that are articulated in the mission, it’s really easy to see the mission at work in what I would describe as grassroots behaviors; it’s in the weeds.” As Mahmut Reyhanoglu, chair and professor of engineering, points out, this interdisciplinary approach is exactly what’s in the weeds at UNC Asheville. “The mechatronics program in itself is unique in the sense that it blends mechanical engineering with electrical engineering in a very nice way,” Reyhanoglu says. “The students learn both mechanical engineering aspects and electrical engineering aspects. Hence, they are highly employable. It’s not very easy to find engineers that could do both, who could wear both hats.” He also stresses how interdisciplinary classes, such as diversity intensives, help students engage and connect outside of their own major, something that helps build




interpersonal skills. “Your resume could be highly shiny, you could have so many things accomplished, but if you are not able to present yourself, express yourself, you are not going to get anywhere,” he says. Karin Peterson, chair and professor of sociology, echoes this sentiment on the importance of interdisciplinary methods. She has some of her classes work on projects with students in the Health and Wellness Department and makes sure to use a diverse range of reading materials in her classes, from African-American to Australian authors, stressing the value of different perspectives. “In having multiple lenses, you are not always at the center of each of those lenses, someone else is closer to the center of some of those lenses,” Peterson says. “It inevitably involves dialogue with people who are different from you and listening skills that involve appreciating difference.” This holistic approach is also reflected in UNC Asheville’s admissions process, where applications

are reviewed and considered by counselors rather than just through a computer system. However, McKellips says the admissions process starts even before the application is sent in. It starts when a student is considering UNC Asheville, as they develop a personal relationship with recruiters here, and begin to understand what a liberal arts education means. McKellips says this is part of UNC Asheville’s 360 degrees around a student. Peterson says this student-centered approach creates accessibility, something not always readily available to everyone in other places. This, she says, is an essential part of UNC Asheville’s liberal arts education. “We have so many students who work, and who have families already; we have students who are first-generation college students,” Peterson says. “So the opportunity that students get to discover multiple disciplines and to find a place in a world of conversation rather than in a narrow specialization really matters.” 4

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The Last Ballad

by Wiley Cash ’00, UNC Asheville Writer-In-Residence Morrow, 2017 “The Last Ballad, which is based on true events, tells the story of Ella May Wiggins, a young, single mother who’s swept up in the struggle for more humane wages, conditions and work hours for herself and other textile workers. I tried to capture the particular historical moment when gender, race, class, and politics converged in a violent storm that spelled tragedy for anyone willing to take a stand for equality and individual rights…. It may be 2017, but 1929 is not far behind us. These are the kinds of issues that were discussed in my Southern Literature course at UNC Asheville and in classrooms across this campus.”

An Illustrated Guide to Great Smoky Mountains National Park

by Daniel S. Pierce, Professor of History, and Joel and Nathan Anderson of Anderson Design Group Anderson Design Group, 2017 “For this book, I worked with a guy who was actually an old friend who I’d lost touch with, Joel Anderson. He’s a poster artist in Nashville and in the last few years he and his son Nathan have been doing national park posters. I brought him to campus last year during the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service and while he was here he asked me if I wanted to work with him on this book. I did most of the text in the book while his group designed the 40 posters. I’ve worked on a lot of books but honestly, I think this has been the most fun. I try to explain to my wife that I’m actually working when I’m hiking or trout fishing, or taking trips across the country to California.”

The Rhetoric of Humor: A Bedford Spotlight Reader

by Kirk Boyle, Assistant Professor of English Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2016 “I was interested in how humor can be a way to persuade people of opposing positions—that it might be a way to bridge gaps and at least help people understand where you’re coming from. If you’re laughing with somebody, you’re connecting with them on some level. You might have completely different value systems but if you find yourself laughing you might be able to recognize that you’re actually not that different. Plus, how do you trick first-years into writing academically? Well, maybe humor and laughter can do that.”



Love Nailed to the Doorpost

by Richard Chess, Chair and Professor of English University of Tampa Press, 2017 “The book is a collection of my own poems and lyrical prose that aren’t necessarily unified around one theme. One of the reasons I started writing poetry a long time ago, when I was in my late teens, was because of a poem I had read that perfectly articulated a feeling I had felt inside that I couldn’t put into words myself. When I read this poem, it made me feel less lonely, less isolated. It made me feel connected to another human being through words. Really, I just want to be able to do that for someone else.”

The Democratic Constitution: Experimentalism and Interpretation

by Brian E. Butler, Professor of Philosophy Chicago University Press, 2017 “The book emphasizes an experimental and populist picture of the Constitution—the Constitution as the people’s document rather than a legal document. Start with the idea that the Constitution was not a set of game rules. It was an experiment in government. It was radically democratic, and that’s how we should interpret it. We should not let democracy be ruled by a bunch of attorneys that think this is the way things should be. In fact, the people should be consistently reinterpreting the Constitution. The end game being that we’re ruled by the people.”

Human Rights in Democracies

by Peter Haschke, Assistant Professor of Political Science Routledge, 2017 “I try to show that human rights violations (e.g., abuses such as torture or killings perpetrated by agents of the state) are much more common in democratic contexts than people think—and it is not just the Irans, Syrias and the North Koreas of the world where citizens suffer abuses by their governments. Showing that democracies are not immune to violations of basic human rights is of course troubling because democracy has traditionally been heralded as the solution to government abuse. Much of the book then is devoted to an attempt to explain why and when human rights might be violated in democratic contexts.”

Philosophy of the Bhagavad Gita: A Contemporary Introduction

by Keya Maitra, Chair and Professor of Philosophy Bloomsbury, March 2018 (forthcoming) “My book is on the Hindu text, the Bhagavad Gita, which was originally written in Sanskrit. In my philosophy classes, I had always wanted a translation of the text that was both accessible to my students in Western classrooms, and that captured some of the nuances of the Sanskrit. That’s why I’ve created this translation... I’m pointing out possible moments of involvement and interaction with the Western audience about questions of metaphysics, questions of epistemology, typical questions that philosophers would be interested in.”

Philosophical Reflections on Mothering in Trauma

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by Melissa Burchard, Professor of Philosophy Routledge, 2018 (forthcoming) “The book is on trauma and what it is that philosophy needs to learn from the way that trauma affects people’s perspectives. It’s the idea that bodies make a difference, and the kind of body you’re in really affects the way that you will experience the world. So, for instance, take the idea of rationality. Philosophy has wanted to say for some time that rational, ‘good’ thinking is always the same for everyone. But, people who have been significantly traumatized may or may not think like that at all. The world that they are in is significantly not the same world.”

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THE VENUE WILL BE TIMES SQUARE IN NEW YORK CITY. AND THE DATE WILL BE EARTH DAY, 2018. THAT IS WHEN MEL CHIN’S ARTISTIC VISION WILL BE BROUGHT TO LIFE ON ONE OF THE WORLD’S BIGGEST STAGES BY UNC ASHEVILLE STUDENTS. Chin, UNC Asheville’s 2017-18 Black Mountain College Legacy Fellow, is making regular appearances in Zeis Hall to work with new media students, and in the STEAM Studio, collaborating with a team of engineering students. Together, they are creating AR (augmented reality) and kinetic sculpture installations designed to raise awareness of rising sea levels, for a daily Big Apple audience of people beginning April 22, 2018. Chin, who resides nearby in Burnsville, N.C., is just one of many thought leaders and performers to come to campus from near and far this fall, bringing their expertise, talents, and insight to share with students and the Asheville community. New York Times columnist David Brooks flew in from New York to deliver the Founders Day lecture in Kimmel Arena—a talk attended by thousands that probed the roots Artist Mel Chin works with students in the STEAM Studio

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New York Times columnist David Brooks during his Founders Day lecture

“The students quoted Immanuel Kant and St. Augustine... They were serious, they were intent, and they were really challenging me. And I’m grateful for that.” —NEW YORK TIMES COLUMNIST DAVID BROOKS of America’s political divides. And a week after Brooks’ visit, Vandana Shiva, an international leader of the anti-GMO movement, arrived from India. Her presence attracted roughly 100 people to a community seed swap and 500 more to a public lecture. She also spent two days on campus meeting with students in small groups.

Engineering a New Perspective Engaging up close with people like Shiva, Brooks, and Chin brings students a chance to stretch intellectually. Artist Chin challenges audiences as well as his students—he is known for environmentally-themed works like fencing in and sculpting a Superfund site while collaborating with scientists to show how plants can remove toxins from soil. His Fundred Dollar Bill project has led almost half a million people to hand-draw 24


currency bills, symbolically funding a campaign against lead poisoning in children. So it is not a surprise that the engineering students working with Chin face multiple tests. They meet regularly to negotiate with the artist over how to navigate the hurdles of limited resources and time, and they find themselves engaged in conceptual problem-solving. “Mel’s vision for this project is to make people feel uncomfortable, which is kind of interesting and counterintuitive to us as engineers,” said senior mechatronics major Kyle Ward. “We’re trained to look at things from a logical perspective and have it fully defined. So to translate emotion into something that’s strictly mechanical and electrical has definitely been a challenge and it’s one that we’re taking head on, and I think, taking on pretty well.” Chin agrees: “In teaching situations, there can be some distance and there should be, but I’m finding a real enthusiasm, engagement, and a real willingness to absorb the ideas and ask questions. That’s what I really like. I think the engineering class one day gave me 43 questions. I thought that was pretty good.” “There’s a conversation back and forth the whole time,” said senior engineering student Jacob Fink in an interview with the student newspaper, The Blue Banner. “It’s kind of an ever-changing design.”

Bridging Divides When students met with David Brooks, a columnist who champions dialogue and incremental change, it was students who tested him in a master class. “The students quoted Immanuel Kant and St. Augustine, and then they made me squirm on issues I hadn’t really thought about and I was sort of unsatisfied with my own opinions on issues like free speech, about how to deal with fanaticism,” Brooks later said during his Founders Day lecture. “They were serious, they were intent, and they were really challenging me. And I’m grateful for that.” History student Jennifer McLean asked Brooks “where is the conservative voice” in opposing police brutality. Afterward, she said, “What I’ve noticed in the classroom at UNCA is that students and faculty are working hard to make a safe environment for political disagreement.” Brooks echoed that sentiment in a New York Times column published a few weeks after his visit to campus, citing how students at UNC Asheville engaged in a heartfelt discussion over whether extremists should be allowed to speak on campus. From the students’ perspectives, as expressed by Christopher Bobbitt, a junior political science major and a self-described

progressive, that dialogue was important. “I think there’s only so much you can learn by talking in the mirror, by talking to people with the same ideas,” he said.

Seeds of Discontent Vandana Shiva’s visit was less about finding common ground across ideological lines, and more a chance to dig deeper with someone who has written more than 20 books and led an international movement. “It’s a really amazing opportunity for the campus community as a whole to engage in a conversation on a single topic,” said senior Carter Smith, co-director of UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center. “A lot of students are really trying to get to the root of this whole GMO issue and how they should understand genetically modified crops and their potential benefits and consequences.” Smith found her connection to Shiva’s ideas deepening as she hosted the activist during the residency. The religious studies major with a minor in political science plans to travel to India after she graduates in December and work on organic farms that are associated with Navdanya, a movement founded by Shiva in India that has established more than 100 seed banks and conserved more than 3,000 rice varieties. Smith then

“It’s a really amazing opportunity for the campus community as a whole to engage in a conversation on a single topic.” —CARTER SMITH ’18

Co-director of UNC Asheville’s Student Environmental Center

Vandana Shiva leads a community seed swap

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“When students get these experiences in these short intensives with visiting scholars...they get a 360-degree view, not only physically, but they can put the pieces together intellectually.” —CELIA BAMBARA

Malini Srinivasan teaches a master class on traditional Indian dance

plans to then return to the U.S. and enter divinity school, while continuing to focus on food justice. That topic came into focus during Shiva’s talk on the imperative of seed saving, which is not allowed when using GMO seeds. Shiva sees the question of whether farming will be industrial, or small and organic, as a question of human survival, and our relationship to the natural world. “The roots of climate havoc are the same roots that are causing hunger,” she said. “Our plate and our planet have a deep, deep connection.”

More Movements


Assistant Professor of Dance & Director of UNC Asheville’s Dance Program

Dancer and choreographer Ruth Barnes, who once taught at the Merce Cunningham Studio in New York City and now directs the Dance Program at Missouri State University, came to campus for a three-day residency that included intensive workshops with dance students. Senior Lane Wagner described the impact this way: “Dance techniques are kind of like how your body understands how it’s moving—it’s almost like it’s speaking a language. The dance you’re doing is like putting sentences together with that language. So having someone come in to teach a new technique is like learning a new way to understand words— a new way to speak.”

Malini Srinivasan brought her interpretation of the sacred to campus in September, performing traditional Bharatanatyam dance of her native India in a concert titled Rhythms of Love: Dancing for Krishna. Srinivasan, who teaches dance at Stony Brook University, also delivered a humanities lecture and led two master classes.

Wagner now has an expanded vocabulary as he connects dance, posture, and gender identity—using what he has learned and experienced as part of his dance minor to inform and express his ideas for his senior thesis in Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

It was a rare opportunity for students, according to Kate Zubko, UNC Asheville associate professor of religious studies who has studied and written about spiritual aspects of traditional Indian dance. “Malini’s visit to campus provided a tangible invitation into exploring how a performed, embodied storytelling tradition can raise new questions about how humans relate to and express their devotion to the sacred from a diverse perspective.”

“When students get these experiences in these short intensives with visiting scholars—a lecture, a workshop series, and a performance—they get a 360-degree view, not only physically, but they can put the pieces together intellectually,” said Celia Bambara, assistant professor of dance and director of UNC Asheville’s Dance Program. “It adds more depth,” said Wagner. “It’s a diverse and rich experience.” 4


TIMELY DISCUSSIONS & BIG IDEAS “Ideas, symbols, historical forces—these are the stock in trade of a university. Universities can help us think through the issues that arise when we consider our shared past and its meaning or its legacy today,” said Provost Joe Urgo, as he introduced the two-day symposium, Zebulon B. Vance Reconsidered.

In another timely talk, veteran diplomat and journalist Elizabeth O. Colton shared her insider view of world affairs and the news media, speaking to more than 200 people in her World Affairs Council lecture at OLLI, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in September.

In October, Judge Yvonne Mims Evans was the keynote speaker when Darin Waters, assistant professor of history, convened the fourth annual African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia Conference, which was expanded to include the annual State of Black Asheville presentation.

And while debate continues over Asheville’s Vance Monument and Confederate monuments all over the nation, the Department of History teamed with the Vance Birthplace State Historic Site to present a twoday symposium with keynote by Yale University historian David Blight about Zebulon Vance, his life and legacy, and in a broader sense, how history is recalled and commemorated.

As UNC Asheville’s 90th anniversary year continues, look for more “big idea” events, beginning on January 18, when Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, speaks on campus. And if you’re planning a trip to New York City on Earth Day or shortly after, visit Times Square, where Mel Chin and UNC Asheville students will offer a look at rising sea levels from a new perspective. FA L L 2 0 1 7



World Affairs to Worldwide Impact WRITTEN BY AUDRA GOFORTH ’17

For many UNC Asheville graduates, Model United Nations and the World Affairs Club are just the start. They take what they’ve learned in the classroom and extracurriculars into careers around the world.



Sarah Mine ’06 This 2006 alumna, UNC Asheville World Affairs Club founder/president, and Model United Nations delegate has continued to take an interest in worldly affairs and tackle issues in human rights. Now the principal of market systems at Engaging Inquiry LLC, Sarah Mine works with clients focused on enhancing the ways that the poor and vulnerable interact with markets and their environment. “I’m not sure I’d say I’ve ‘landed’ a career,” says Mine. “What I would say is that I am in a place where I have colleagues I enjoy, I have a chance to create something new and meaningful every day, and I’m getting more comfortable with uncertainty. It’s been a winding road.”


Having joined AmeriCorps in Asheville right after graduation—a great step in her path despite the small income—Mine focused on the experiences and life-changing relationships she was making. She met her husband during this time and after their wedding, the couple moved to Washington, D.C. where Mine worked for two years at an association of agricultural cooperatives. With the support from many professors in the Political Science Department at UNCA, Mine applied to Yale where she earned her master’s degree in food security and international development. She secured a summer internship at an agriculture research center in Nairobi. Since moving home, she’s found work performing field-level adoption surveys to leading a research project in East Africa, which led to her current job as of last year performing international consulting and analysis.

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John Noor ’07 Former 2006-07 Student Body President and a founder of the College Republican’s chapter at UNC Asheville, John Noor always had a passion for law and debates. “My parents were small business owners, so I think it seemed natural for them to teach us about contracts and the law through the things we did at home,” he says. “I wasn’t certain I wanted to be a lawyer, however, until I met Professor Mark Gibney. He was amazing and loved to challenge the views of every student in the class.” With the encouragement from Gibney, Noor pursued a semester-long internship in Washington, D.C. where he worked for the Senate Judiciary Committee on the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. This experience sealed the deal for Noor, who was accepted to UNC School of Law but deferred his admission a year so that he could work on education policy as a presidential intern for UNC System President Erskine Bowels. Noor graduated UNC Law with honors in 2011 and began working with Roberts & Stevens in 2013, making partner this year. He also received the Thomas D. Reynolds Alumni Award from UNC Asheville. “Every day I get up and think about why I became a lawyer,” says Noor. “And I became a lawyer because I wanted to help people. A lot of folks think human rights are limited to events going on in North Korea, Sudan, and China, but these rights impact the everyday living that goes on in each country around the world. Domestic violence, voting rights, and election integrity are all human rights that we have to fight for here in the United States.”



Dimah Gasim ’11 A political science graduate who credits Dwight Mullen’s classes as a source of inspiration, Dimah Gasim now embraces her interest in human rights as communications specialist for the United Nations Environment Program, based in Khartoum, Sudan. “I have many passions, but I feel strongly that making the world a better place requires long-term and proactive commitment,” says Gasim. “And that, ultimately, a world where natural resources are unprotected, with inequitable access, there will remain economic, social, and environmental injustice.” Having moved to Doha, Qatar as a research assistant at Georgetown University’s overseas campus after graduating from UNC Asheville in 2011, Gasim then moved to Sudan and began teaching conversational English at a small college in addition to helping form a small environmental volunteer group. Due to her determination and ability to speak Arabic, Gasim soon took on short-term consultancies with NGOs such as the Sudanese Development Initiative and UN agencies like UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization and UNICEF. With routine duties consisting of writing articles, producing films, preparing presentations, and managing social media on behalf of UN Environment, Gasim works for an office that has won the UN Environment Baobab Award for having such a tireless and dedicated staff. The UN Convention to Combat Desertification recognized one of their Darfur-based projects with The Land of Life global award. “Many of my colleagues are institutions in and of themselves, so it’s been an honor to work with and learn from people who have long been devoted to environmental peace and sustainable livelihoods—especially my Sudanese colleagues,” says Gasim. When Gasim is not advocating for the environment, or exploring the Middle East, North and East Africa, she is working to spread wellness to the Khartoum community at Blue Nile Lotus where she teaches yoga throughout the week.

Joseph Wilde-Ramsing ’01 Founding member of UNC Asheville’s Spanish theater group and political science major, 2001 alumnus Joseph Wilde-Ramsing began his career in human rights during his time at UNC Asheville. “I would definitely say that my career development began at UNCA. For my undergraduate thesis, I conducted empirical research in Quito, Ecuador, examining political graffiti as an alternative form of political participation in a developing democracy,” says Wilde-Ramsing.


After graduating from UNCA, he interned at the U.S. embassy in Madrid during the months following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Once the internship ended, he spent a year traveling and working on organic farms in different parts of Spain. WildeRamsing returned to the United States to complete a master’s degree in political science from Tulane University. In 2004, Wilde-Ramsing followed his wife, UNCA alumna Birka Wicke, to the Netherlands, finding work with an Amsterdam-based, nonprofit, non-governmental research institute called the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO) that investigates multinational corporations and the impact of their activities on people and the environment. While continuing his work at SOMO, in 2008 he began conducting doctoral research through the Centre for Studies in Technology and Sustainable Development at the University of Twente earning his Ph.D. in 2013 with a dissertation on sustainable development and corporate accountability in the global energy sector, based on fieldwork in Argentina, Peru, Mali, Uganda, Cambodia, and Laos.

“I get to travel around the world doing research and speaking to communities and individuals whose human rights have been violated by companies, then assist those communities in raising their voice to claim and defend their rights.”

“I have a passion for justice, but also for people and for cultures and cuisines of the world. My work at SOMO allows me to combine these passions perfectly,” he says. “I get to travel around the world doing research and speaking to communities and individuals whose human rights have been violated by companies, then assist those communities in raising their voice to claim and defend their rights.” 4

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Donna Bailey is not one to sit too long on the sidelines. A retired marketing and sales professional, she’s worked in event management, as an advertising and communications manager and finally sales support director for computer software. She still works as a consultant for The Cliffs, defining marketing and communication strategy for real estate sales, and she’s a Bulldog through and through, having served on the Bulldog Athletics Association Board and now on the UNC Asheville Foundation Board. “Once I became involved, I realized there are so many ways to engage with the Bulldogs,” Bailey said. “The university is very open to new ideas and is eager to improve the educational experience.” Those new ideas have included connections with a sustainable farm in the area and the launch of the women’s golf team. She also helped start the “Leaders for Leaders” program. Studentathletes are matched with mentors who have expertise in areas that allow them to provide insights and guidance in their particular educational or desired professional area.

SINGLE DIGITS Donna Bailey at her home

“We started out with 10 people and this year we have over 90. That growth was accomplished in just three and a half years,” Bailey stated. “Not only are students seeing the benefit, but mentors themselves see the value in being able to share with young people their experiences with education and their careers.” “I am so thankful that Donna is a bold, loud and proud Bulldog,” Janet R. Cone, director of athletics, stated. “She and her husband, Dave, have become true ‘Champions and Leaders’ for not only athletics, but the entire university.”

92% UNC ASHEVILLE ATHLETICS’ GRADUATION SUCCESS RATE Catch a game in Kimmel Arena or on ESPN, Stadium, WMYA-TV, or Big South Network. See the schedule at



By Brian Hand


You Should Be, Too!

Men’s tennis junior Henry Patten concluded his fall season with two big championships, winning the USTA/ITA Carolina ITA Regional and tying for the title at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships. He finished last spring’s regular season with a perfect 19-0 at No. 1 singles en route to earning Big South Men’s Tennis Player of the Year honors.

TOP TEAM UNC Asheville Men’s Basketball began the 2017-18 season as the top team, picked No. 1 in the Big South and as a mid-major top-25 selection by ESPN’s Jeff Goodman also predicted that UNC Asheville’s Nick McDevitt will be the National Coach of the Year, and UNC Asheville sophomore guard MaCio Teague has been ranked among the top 25 sophomores in all of men’s college basketball by ESPN.


2017 ATHLETICS HALL OF FAME UNC Asheville Holds Induction Ceremony PHOTO BY ADRIAN ETHERIDGE ‘15

By Brian Hand

UNC Asheville Director of Athletics Janet R. Cone (far left) and Chancellor Mary K. Grant (far right) celebrated (left-to-right) Micki Logue, Mark Magee and the Snyders, who were represented by their children Dawn Funderburk, Debbie Sexton and Dennis Snyder, at the 2017 UNC Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.

The 2017 Hall of the Fame class, announced during Homecoming & Family Weekend, is comprised of track and field legend Micki Logue (2000-04), men’s soccer great Mark Magee (1985-88), and longtime supporters Ben and Shirley Snyder (1977-2017). Logue was a tremendous distance runner for the Bulldogs, winning the Big South Indoor Championship in the mile in 2004. She also claimed three Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, taking home the honor in 2002 (Indoor Track and Field), 2003 (Cross Country), and 2004 (Outdoor Track and Field). Logue was named to the 2003-04 CoSIDA Academic All-America Women’s Cross Country/ Track and Field third-team. Magee played multiple positions during his time at UNC Asheville, ending his career as the all-time assists leader for the men’s soccer program. He is second all-time in program history in points overall with 112 as he also finished his stellar playing career third in program history in goals with 35. A two-time Big South AllConference selection in 1986 and 1988, Magee collected a program-best 16 assists in the 1987 season. The Snyders, who were inducted posthumously, were faithful boosters to the UNC Asheville Bulldog Athletic Scholarship Fund for nearly 40 years. The Snyders were cherished volunteers who gave their time at basketball games and helped with numerous special events for student-athletes. They were the loud and proud team parents when the UNC Asheville women’s basketball team won the NAIA National Championship in 1984.

BAA SCHOLARSHIP GOLF CLASSIC REACHES NEW HEIGHTS IN 2017 The 2017 Bulldog Athletic Association (BAA) Scholarship Golf Classic was held on Monday, Aug. 28 and Tuesday, Aug. 29, at the Asheville Country Club. The annual event sponsored by Adidas, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort raises valuable scholarship money for the UNC Asheville Athletics Annual Scholarship Fund. The 2017 edition raised a record-breaking over $120,000. Over the last five years, the BAA Scholarship Golf Classic has raised over $500,000. Senior baseball student-athlete Jesse Juday knows he is in a great position because of the efforts of so many to make scholarships at UNC Asheville a reality. “We truly appreciate the support for student-athlete scholarships,” Juday said. “Your support means a lot to our Pursuit of Greatness.”

For the latest news, rosters and schedules for all of UNC Asheville’s Division I teams, visit

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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. Visit or send an e-mail to




Donald Calloway retired from the U.S. Navy in 1994 as (O-4) Lieutenant Commander, and retired from West Virginia Government service in 2015 after 20 years.

Teryll Higgins is a neurofeedback trainer with the ICAN study, a joint research study with UNC Asheville and Ohio State University that studies the effect of neurofeedback on improving attention in children with ADHD.

Benjamin Leonard and Tracy Leonard recently had a baby girl, Arabella, on April 18, 2017.

1976 David Ramseur published his first book, Melting the Ice Curtain: The Extraordinary Story of Citizen Diplomacy on the Russia-Alaska Frontier, with University of Alaska Press.

1977 Terry Price was promoted to executive director of conferences and event services at Texas Lutheran University.

1978 Kaye Lanning Minchew was named Georgia’s Writer of the Year for History.

1988 Dee McKinney was named professor of history and associate dean of teaching and learning at East Georgia State College. Jeffrey Richardson has recently been named Albemarle’s county executive.

1991 Norman “Ed” Harris was promoted to senior manager of global security operations at the Fortune 200 company, VF Corporation.

1993 Sandy Hall married Carolyn Hall on Sept. 19, 2015.



1997 Colonel Charles Morrison accepted a position as the deputy chief of staff for operations and training for the N.C. Army National Guard. Jessica Nunn married Phillip Gilfus on April 22, 2017.

1999 Travis Bryenton and his wife welcomed a baby boy, Everett, on May 14, 2017. Josh Littlejohn was promoted to member attorney at national plaintiff’s law firm Motley Rice LLC.

2000 Kinneil Coltman and her husband, Mark, welcomed a baby girl, Sayla Rose, on July 19, 2017.


Jennie Davis married Jordan Elks on April 8, 2017. Lewis Winder and his wife, Frances Edwards, welcomed their first child, Reed, on March 21, 2017.

2001 Tabitha Daniels and her husband, Darrel, had a baby boy, Leo, on July 14, 2017.

2003 Anelle Ammons won a national GWA Silver Medal Media Award, for her article “Taking the Prickly Path” published in American Nurseryman Magazine in 2016. Tony Barlage recently became the program director for Spirit Environmental’s Denver office. Carly DaCunha and her husband welcomed a baby girl, Charlotte, on April 12, 2017. Brian McElreath received an A.V. Preeminent peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell from 2014 to 2017, Best Lawyers® recognized him among the leading workers’ compensation defense attorneys in the country in 2016 & 2017, and Super Lawyers selected McElreath as a 2017 South Carolina Rising Star. McElreath also authored a chapter in the upcoming 7th Edition of The Longshore Textbook . He teaches workers’ compensation as an adjunct professor at the Charleston School of Law in the fall of 2017.

2004 Mary Arfmann and Doug Arfmann ’02 welcomed a baby girl, Nali Grace, on April 2, 2016.




Ian Dennis is now designing soft sculptures and plush toys under the name Denizens Plush.

Caroline Blankenship and Zach Blankenship had a baby boy, Harrison, on April 5, 2017.

Natasha Creticos Edwards recently married Chad Bryant Edwards ’05. The couple had a baby girl, Abigail, on Aug. 26, 2017.

Rebekah Boore married Jonathan Boore on Sept. 26, 2015.

Courtney Galatioto is the director of stakeholder relations at a D.C.-based nonprofit and is pursuing a master’s degree at The Johns Hopkins University.

Ashley Fay was recently hired as the new HR consultant for recruitment for the City of Asheville. Katie Potter and Stephen Sewell had a baby boy, Ryan, on March 31, 2017. Ryan Stone and Meredith Stone had a baby girl, Olivia Ryan Stone, on June 10, 2017.

2007 Steve Dellinger and Holly Dellinger ’08 welcomed a baby girl, Caroline, on July 4, 2017. Beth Mancuso married Kyle Mills on Nov. 13, 2016. Phillip McGuffee is now the production manager at Blue Ridge Biofuels.

2008 Omar Ahmad and Anna Beth Parlier ’13 got married on June 17, 2017. Louis Barcia Jr. recently joined the philanthropic engagement team at Rochester Area Community Foundation in May 2017. Emily Bowers and Ethan Bowers welcomed a baby boy, Owen John Bowers, on Aug. 18, 2017.

Amber Brown and her husband welcomed a baby boy, Finn, on May 27, 2017.

Stephanie Casey Fuhs is an assistant school leader at KIPP Jacksonville Elementary in Florida.


Dustin Justus married Jessica Barnes on June 24, 2017.

Kasey McDevitt Lane and her husband, Brian, welcomed a baby girl, Serena, on Aug. 3, 2017.

Karen Rigsby and Josh Rigsby had a baby girl, Maeve, on April 9, 2017.

2010 Stephanie Day and her husband, William, welcomed a baby girl, Jasmine, on July 15, 2017.

Sarah Irene Maher married Sid Laws on June 24, 2017. Christopher Stephenson welcomed a baby boy, Jacoby, on Aug. 5, 2017. Karina Zimmerman and Devin Zimmerman ’11 welcomed a baby boy, Aiden, on Aug. 1, 2015.


Michael Hicks was recently promoted to director of special projects at the Mecklenburg County Bar.

Abby Agriesti moved to Chicago and recently started a job as a communications specialist for SEIU Healthcare.

Leslie Smith married Raphael Brochand on Sept. 17, 2017.

Chelsie Kenley married Will McClung on July 8, 2017.


Roberta Neuhausler became the assistant director of the auxiliary board at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Emily Baker recently accepted the position of program coordinator for humanities, medicine and science at Old Salem Museums and Gardens in Winston-Salem, N.C. Betsy Gaines welcomed a baby girl, Micah, in the summer of 2017. Jonathan Griffin married Katherine Kendall ’12 on June 4, 2017. Caroline Parworth received her Ph.D. in agricultural and environmental chemistry at the University of California Davis. She has also been awarded the NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship at the NASA Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley. Her research will focus on measuring greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere for satellite validation and routine measurements in the Western U.S.

Anna Stearns is attending law school at Campbell University. Rebecca Wertheim was recently awarded Teacher of the Year for Asheville City Schools. Clara Wilson has been working almost two years at the NCSU’s Hunt Library.

2014 Andrew Dolina married Sarah Merritt on Sept. 2, 2017. Susan Enwright Hicks and Joshua Hicks welcomed a baby boy named Isaac on June 10, 2017. Sarah Weaver started a position as a software developer for Lenovo in October 2016 and married Yunus Ozatici in April 2017.

Michelle Peck Savard and John Savard welcomed their first child, June, on July 6, 2016.

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2015 Kate Averett graduated in May from Chapel Hill with an M.A. in art history and has been hired as a project coordinator at Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center. Rachel Collman recently started a new position with Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts in Boston as the get real educator. Dee Bitner Eisel got married on June 3, 2017 to Nelson Eisel. Morgan Heflin is engaged to Ryan Renfrow, to be married in 2018. Corey Littlejohn is married to Janel Cox Littlejohn and recently had a baby boy, Winfield, on Sept. 16, 2017. Olivia Medoff accepted a position to be a registered behavior technician in Asheville. Gabriel Warren and Drew Hines were married on Oct. 14, 2017.

2016 Gray Barrett started an M.A./ Ph.D. program in political science at Emory University this fall. Erin Bishop and William Voss got married on June 2, 2017. Italo Medelius began as an employment coordinator at Henry Street Settlement in NYC and is now the internship program & recruitment manager. Medelius was also appointed as a board member by NYC Councilman Corey Johnson to serve a two-year term on Manhattan Community Board 4 from 2017-2019. He is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Industrial & Labor Relations from Baruch College. Paola Salas Paredes accepted a position as the community outreach and investigation specialist for the City of



Charlottesville’s Office of Human Rights. Mason Ryon recently joined Johnson Price Sprinkle PA as an associate. Jonathan Sowder now plays/ works for the Raleigh Flyers, Raleigh’s professional ultimate Frisbee team. William Voss accepted a full-time position as the technical director for High Country Soccer Association.

2017 Rose Anderson accepted a position as an engineer at Underwriters Laboratories.

Sarah Humphries recently got engaged to Ryan Nazionale on Jan. 1, 2017 and is set to marry him in June 2018. Davis Jett accepted a position at a software company in Asheville as a data analyst. Jordan Jurinsky has taken a research assistantship position at Vanderbilt University while pursuing a master’s in education. Rachel Markham started a position as a healthcare technician at Carolinas Healthcare Systems-Pineville. Madeline McLeod is traveling the U.S. with Kickass Catering.

Kara Cometti is a summer camp presenter at the Discovery Place in Charlotte.

Amanda Nix is wrapping up a seasonal environmental education position at the N.C. Botanical Garden and is preparing for an 11-month AmeriCorps term in West Virginia as Trout Unlimited’s stream restoration and monitoring organizer.

Morgan Davidson recently accepted a position as an office project coordinator at The Cook and Boardman Group.

Jordan Johnson Rowe accepted a position as a client service manager at Bayada Home Health Care.

Alexandra van Dorsten is traveling Southeast Asia and will be back to graduate school in the spring.

Christy Seagraves was recently promoted to assistant store manager at Dillard’s.

Lauren Bergenbush accepted a position as a new high school English teacher at Westminster High School in Colorado.

Lauren Etheridge is a grad assistant for the cross country team at Auburn University at Montgomery. Corey Goddard started a mushroom farm called Black Mountain Mushrooms. Mark Gotwald started a new job teaching English in Russia. Greg Lamont Hall II recently started a position at the Asheville City Schools Foundation as an In Real Life after-school lead youth development coordinator. Stephanie Smith just marked one year with Highlight Magazine and is currently working on the Circuit Riders 21 Project.

Miranda Satterfield recently bought a house and is now working as a lab tech for Genova Diagnostics. Allison Schaffer is starting her first teaching job at West Henderson High School. Anne Squires is working as a research project assistant at MAHEC in Asheville. Kara Thompson was recently hired as the new weekend meteorologist and MMJ at KLST in San Angelo, Texas. Allegra Torres is volunteering with Wild South and is working at the NC State Mountain Horticulture and Research Extension Center.

In Memory Joseph R. Bly Jr., class of 1977, passed away on April 29, 2017. Lisa Fuller, class of 2004, passed away on June 23, 2017. Conrad Maney, class of 1955, passed away on August 3, 2017. Connie Brown Nickerson, class of 1972, passed away on June 23, 2017. Kimara Parker, class of 1999, passed away on June 30, 2017. Lillian Reynolds, class of 1937, passed away on July 23, 2017. Carmen Smathers O’Malley, class of 1978, passed away on May 8, 2017. Alberta Starnes, class of 1983, passed away on June 2, 2017.


2017 ALUMNI AWARDS Alumni Award Honorees Recognized at Reunion Dinner

Dwight Mullen, professor of political science and 33-year veteran of UNC Asheville’s faculty, is the 2017 recipient of the Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award. Steve Woody is the founder and CEO of Avadim Technologies in Asheville and is named the Roy A. Taylor Distinguished Alumnus of the Year—the highest honor given to an alumnus of UNC Asheville. Bill Gettys, an IT expert, is the 2017 recipient of the Francine M. Delany Award for Service to the Community, recognizing his service to area boards, community gardens, and the Veterans Restoration Quarters.


UNC Asheville recognized the winners of the 2017 Alumni Awards at a special ceremony during Homecoming & Family Weekend. This year’s awardwinners include Professor of Political Science Dwight Mullen, honored for his mentorship of alumni as well as students, and UNC Asheville graduates Steve Woody ’89, Bill Gettys ’74, Molly de Mattos ’02, David de Haan ’97, and Patrick Conant ’11.

Patrick Conant ’11, Molly de Mattos ’02, Steve Woody ’89, Dwight Mullen, David de Haan ’97 and Bill Gettys ’74

Molly de Mattos, co-owner of the Matt and Molly Team of Keller Williams Realty, is the recipient of the 2017 Thomas D. Reynolds Award for Service to the University, particularly for her support of UNC Asheville Athletics. David de Haan, a psychologist by degree and profession, has made significant contributions in his field of Performance Enhancement

Psychology in the United States and Europe, earning the Order of Pisgah Award for Alumni Achievement. Patrick Conant has used his computer science degree from UNC Asheville to co-captain Code for Asheville and found PRC Applications, also earning the Order of Pisgah Award for Alumni Achievement.


HOMECOMING FACULTY Alumni Scholars from the Class of 1999 UNC Asheville’s 2017 celebration of Homecoming & Family Weekend brought a few familiar faces back to the classroom, particularly from the Class of 1999 as Cerise Glenn and Aldo Garcia Guevara co-facilitated a workshop on Friday, Sept. 22. Glenn is an associate professor in communications studies at UNCG, and Guevara is an associate professor of history at Worcester State University. They joined Richard Reddick, an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin in the Departments of Educational Leadership and Policy, and African and African Diaspora Studies, in leading the workshop on “Novel Recruitment Strategies for Diversifying the Faculty.”

Cerise Glenn, center, and Aldo Garcia Guevara right were co-facilitators. They are joined here by their classmate, UNC Asheville’s Assistant Director of Academic Programs Marquis McGee ’99

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alumni FROM BIR K ENSTOCK S TO HIGH HEELS , my academic journey has taken me down many paths. When I received my diploma in 2001, I didn’t know that 16 years later I would return to campus to lead the Alumni Relations Department. Many staff members inspired me to pursue a master’s degree in higher education, and defending my dissertation paled in comparison to the nerves I battled to defend my senior thesis in front of Professor Katz and the intellectual classmates whom I admired. I attribute all of my accomplishments to the academic rigor and student life experiences at UNC Asheville. That peer feedback matters to me and as your alumni director, I want to ensure we are building an alumni program that reflects the wishes of you—our graduates. How do you want to stay connected to your alma mater? What kinds of services or programming would you like to see? With all of the exciting things happening with the university, my number one priority is to listen. We’ve had plenty of opportunity to do so since I started in July. I have traveled to Washington, D.C., Raleigh, Wilmington, and places in between to meet with alumni and find out what YOU want to see from your alma mater. It has been a joy to meet so many alumni who are just as passionate about UNC Asheville as I am. Things on campus have been no less busy. In September, we hosted Homecoming & Family Weekend, where we welcomed more than 200 alumni back to campus. We hosted several events on campus, as well as a kickoff event at Well Played, which is owned by three UNC Asheville graduates, and Green Man Brewery, which is managed by an alumna. We heard from Alex Preston, UNC Asheville sophomore and engineering major, who spoke at the joint meeting of the National Alumni Council and National Parent Council about how his experience at UNC Asheville is enriched by the generosity of alumni who contributed to his scholarship. In October, New York Times bestselling author and Class of 2000 graduate Wiley Cash released his third novel, The Last Ballad, here at Lipinsky Auditorium, kicking off a nationwide book tour where he met with fellow alumni along the way. We are busy planning for the future, as the university continues celebrating its 90th birthday. On February 3 we are welcoming alumni back for a Bulldog basketball doubleheader and to celebrate our championship seasons in 1997, 2002, and 2007. We’ll host alumni events throughout the weekend and an Alumni Zone during the games. We’re also partnering with the Career Center to expand offerings to alumni and to help promote alumni-owned and alumni-managed businesses. If you own a business and want to be featured, please submit a class note at Please do not hesitate to get in touch if there is ever anything UNC Asheville can do for you. My door is always open.

GO BULLDOGS! Elizabeth Saxman Underwood ’01, Ph.D.


Senior UN C A S H Director E V I L L E Mof A GAlumni AZINE

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Bulldogs of all ages came to campus to celebrate the university’s 90th birthday.


Best-selling author and writer-inresidence launches his latest novel.

To find out how you can connect with Bulldogs in your area at upcoming alumni events, visit You can also sign up for our monthly newsletter at

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Campus pictures from when Asheville-Biltmore College was in Seely’s Castle, because I doubt that students today know this is part of UNC Asheville’s history.

- Susie Ray ’54

AN IMAGINATIVE CAMPUS TIME CAPSULE As UNC Asheville celebrates 90 years, we asked

A smartphone because smartphones have become a 'natural' way of communication throughout the world today. In 100 years, they won't exist and people will probably wonder what they were used for—like phone booths are today.

- Joseph Graham ’73

our graduates what they wished they had left behind for future generations to find.

My freshman ID, so students in the future can know what students looked like and what we used for ID cards.

- (Robert) Todd Fortune ’90



Recordings by UNCA music students and alumni, especially by those who lived/worked in Asheville after graduation.

- Bryan White ’03

iPhone By Rafael Fernandez - CC BY-SA 4.0, Boy Meets World By Laurendaily06 - CC BY-SA 4.0,

Programs from Carol Belk Theatre because it’s one of the most unique theatre spaces in the country.

- Tim Kelley ’94

An “Alternative Service Experience” t-shirt because one of my fondest memories from college was volunteering during Alternative Service Experience. I want to preserve the item to show that although trends will change, engagement and making an impact have always been an integral part of the UNC Asheville identity.

- Juliana Grassia ’15

In the 80’s the Walkman was the first portable and personal music player with head phones or ear plugs you could walk and jog with.

- Michael Breen ’80

Boy Meets World was a classic show that taught me a lot of valuable lessons as a kid and encouraged me through college. It was about family who always put each other first and treats friends like family. It was purely wholesome. Mr. Feeny was the role model adult with endless wisdom. They don't make shows like that anymore and I imagine they won't in 100 years from now either. Everyone needs to be reminded of the simple things in life.

- Chloe Holden ’15

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90th anniversary events continue in the spring. Learn more at

UNC Asheville Magazine Fall 2017  
UNC Asheville Magazine Fall 2017