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date: october 23, 2002top storiescarolina first campaign sets $1.8 billion goalinstitute to expand in new hyde hallferris: carolina has a 'special responsibility and a place of honor'more storiesnews briefsfaculty/staff newsphotoscalendartable of contents

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Wicker awarded Order of the Long Leaf Pine
Edgerly wins one of four Massey service awards
Thorp named 2002 Distinguished Young Alumnus
Decorations & Distinctions

Wicker awarded Order of the
Long Leaf Pine

Jake Wicker supported himself by gripping the lectern, having cast aside the walker he used for the few steps from his seat to the front of the room.

His brain and extremities don't communicate well these days, but then people tell him that communication gap has existed for many years, he quipped. He let go of the podium long enough to thump his chest, revealing the rigid "clamshell" that braces his spine, now brittle from the effects of prostate cancer. He said he hoped this event was not a roast or a wake. Indeed, it was far from either.

About 150 of Wicker's family, friends and associates gathered to pay tribute to him Oct. 19 in the atrium of the new wing of the University's School of Government, where a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for a classroom named in his honor. After Wicker had made his remarks, entertaining the audience with anecdotes from his career, he was surprised when he was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina's highest civilian honor.

Ellis Hankins, executive director of the North Carolina League of Municipalities, who presented the award, described Wicker as an esteemed mentor, a model of grace and wit. To him, he said, the popular acronym WWJD means: "What would Jake do?"

While cancer has eaten away at his spine, it hasn't broken Wicker's backbone. He has an office on campus and at home, where he is becoming familiar with a new computer and Internet connection. His native stubbornness helps, according to his wife, Peachee.

A Carolina alumnus and faculty member for 47 years, Warren J. Wicker has consulted with and provided training for nearly every group of public officials the institute serves.

"I cannot think of anyone who has done more than Jake Wicker to improve the quality of local government, even though I know that is a broad statement," Hankins said. " All of our citizens enjoy better government because of his efforts."

Michael R. Smith, dean of the School of Government, said it is appropriate that a classroom be named in Wicker's honor.

"Jake has led a life devoted to teaching, whether in a classroom, over the telephone or in a meeting. He has been more than a teacher for local officials -- he also has been a model and a mentor for countless institute faculty members."

Wicker, the Gladys Hall Coates professor emeritus of public law and government and assistant director emeritus of the Institute of Government, retired in 1991 after 36 years as assistant director of the institute.

Since then, he has continued on the faculty part-time working on special projects in his areas of specialization, including municipal and county administration, city-county consolidation, public purchasing, water and sewer services and solid waste administration.

Among his many awards, Wicker cites his honorary membership in the International City and County Managers Association and his appointment as the first honorary member of the National Purchasing Institute as two of the most significant.

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is presented to individuals who have a proven record of extraordinary service to the state. Contributions to their communities, extra effort in their careers and many years of service to their organizations are some of the guidelines by which recipients are selected for this award. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the governor of North Carolina. Past recipients include Maya Angelou and Billy Graham.

Edgerly wins one of four Massey service awards

John White Edgerly never knew what he was going to have for breakfast. Or more accurately, who.

The Edgerly breakfast table seated eight family members, from parents and siblings to his grandmother and great grandmother.

But because of his father, there were always one or two invited guests around the table as well, young or old.

Sometimes, it was a kid whose father had just lost a job. Sometimes, it was a kid who had lost a father. On one occasion, at least, it was a kid whose father had recently gone away to prison.

"I never saw my father refuse a request for a handout," Edgerly said. "When I queried him about his generosity, especially when he had just denied me the cost of a Coke -- five cents back then -- he would reply: `There but for the grace of God go I.'"

Edgerly said he never really understood what his father was trying to explain to him until much later in life. But he credits his father's compassion as an early, inescapable influence that has kept people and their concerns in the front of his attention his entire life.

Edgerly, who now serves as director of Counseling and Psychology Services, or "CAPS," was one of four University employees honored this past May with a C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award.

"I was truly surprised when I received the call from Chancellor (James) Moeser telling me that I was a recipient of the award," Edgerly said in a recent interview. "I am flattered and honored by the award. It is clearly the most significant event of my professional experience."

The citation details how Edgerly was appointed two decades ago as the new director of its Student Development and Counseling Center and how Edgerly's career here has spanned a succession of national crises from the Vietnam War to Watergate to the new stresses and uncertainties brought up after Sept. 11.

"In him they found a man of skill in dealing with persons, judicious in temperament, fair and unfailingly courteous in his treatment of others," the citation reads.

In 1991, the Division of Student Affairs formed a standing committee on counseling out of which Edgerly would work to coordinate his center's work with other University agencies that specialized in areas from career services to accommodating students with disabilities.

In 1999, when psychological services and counseling services were merged into a single department, Edgerly provided the leadership necessary to achieve a smooth transition, the citation said.

In addition to his father's influence, Edgerly credits clinical psychology professor Henry Paar with directing him on his career path. Paar served as Edgerly's faculty mentor during both his undergraduate and master's degree studies, and he became like a second father to him who set the example of the kind of professional Edgerly aspired to be, he said.

Edgerly had considered going into law, or medicine, or even the ministry and had gone as far as applying and being accepted to law school. A lack of funding steered him instead toward earning a master's degree in psychological services.

Another turning point in his life came in 1982. At the time, he was an associate director at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and trying to run a thriving private practice he had started five years earlier.

The problem, he found, was time. There were days he did not get home until the wee hours of morning, particularly because of his hospital rounds. Making matters worse was that his son Nathan had just been born and it occurred to Edgerly that he was "missing out on a lot of the early childhood wonders."

He was at a crossroads, he knew, and knew he was going to have to decide between going into full-time private practice and seeking a directorship at a counseling center. And it was during this period of indecision that he received a call from his vice chancellor at Tennessee who told him about the opening for the directorship at Carolina.

"To make a long story short, after 18 years in Tennessee, I was offered the job, accepted, gathered up my family and headed east to Chapel Hill," Edgerly said. "I have never questioned my decision in coming to Carolina. It felt right from the very beginning. The community was perfect for my family and put us equal distance from the natural environments we love the most, the mountains and the ocean."

He now has worked at Carolina longer than he was at Tennessee, and in that time there have been challenges and opportunities, from the fraternity house fire to the Williamson homicides.

Two governors have appointed him a member of the North Carolina Psychology Board. As chair of this board, he has served as the hearings officer for cases brought against psychologists.

Another highlight is that his son earned both his bachelor's degree in philosophy and master's degree in accounting from Carolina.

The years, he hopes, have changed him for the better.

"Aside from being a lot older and I hope wiser, I think that I am a much better manager than I was 20 years ago," Edgerly said.

"I not only think more along inclusive management lines, but I think I behave that way much more thoroughly and consistently. I think my staff is much more productive because of it and feel that what they think counts and that they have greater control over their work lives.

"Additionally, I do believe that I more greatly appreciate the contributions of my profession to the enhancement of people's lives and living, and I think that I am a far better psychotherapist/counselor than I was 20 years ago."

Thorp named 2002 Distinguished Young Alumnus

Alumnus and faculty member H. Holden Thorp Jr. has been recognized by the General Alumni Association (GAA) with the GAA's 2002 Distinguished Young Alumnus award.

The GAA saluted Thorp's achievements in the chemistry lab and on the stage and acknowledged his next goal: to lead the ambitious project designed to develop the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and to transform the Morehead into a diverse public science showcase.

The GAA award continues a 12-year tradition honoring alumni age 40 or younger whose achievements bring credit to the University. The award was presented to Thorp by GAA President Doug Dibbert at a recent GAA Board of Directors meeting.

Thorp learned the world of the theater from his parents, music on his own and chemistry from some of the best minds in science. He has meshed the three to create a Renaissance man who is leading an important Carolina initiative and giving tirelessly to his community.

Fascinated with chemistry, he applied a vast imagination and a considerable stage presence in the classroom to become one of Carolina's most popular professors. His love for his alma mater kept other universities at bay when, at age 27, he was awarded a $500,000 grant for research in genetic therapy.

Thorp's research includes laying new groundwork in the field of chemistry, particularly in DNA research, along with exploring the commercial possibilities of electrochemical detection technology to analyze DNA, RNA and proteins. He is a highly decorated teacher, a recipient of the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the Ruth and Philip Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement and numerous science awards.

Thorp has lent his non-scientific talents to his church. In his hometown of Fayetteville, he wrote an anthem for the dedication of a building at St. John's Episcopal Church and also has written music for Church of the Holy Family in Chapel Hill. When he has time, he plays in a rock band and does some acting.

Among the past 26 recipients of the Distinguished Young Alumnus awards are basketball star Michael Jordan, soccer player Mia Hamm and author Kaye Gibbons.

Decorations & Distinctions

Gordon H. DeFriese
Professor of social medicine, epidemiology, and health policy and administration and former director of the Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, DeFriese has been named the recipient of the Porter Prize from the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health for his outstanding work in health promotion and disease prevention.

Mel Levine
Director of the Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning, Levine recently received the Milton J.E. Senn Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics for accomplishments in school health. Levine has pioneered programs for the evaluation of children with learning, development or behavioral problems for more than 25 years.

Diana Levy
Assistant director of the International Center, Levy received a Fulbright grant for the 2002-03 U.S.-Japan International Education Administrators Program for travel and research to Japan regarding higher education, society and culture in Japan. The program, which focuses on examining Japanese academic infrastructure and culture, involved briefings, appointments with selected government officials, campus visits, cultural activities and meetings with Japanese international education professionals in Tokyo, Kyoto and Hiroshima.

Hugh Tilson
Clinical professor of epidemiology and health policy and senior adviser to the dean of the School of Public Health, Tilson has received the Distinguished Service Award from the International Society for Pharmacoepidemiology. This is the second time in the society's 12 years that the award has been given.

Joel Tepper
Chair of the Department of Radiation Oncology, Tepper has been elected president of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the largest radiation oncology society in the world. The society works to improve and enhance the practice of radiation oncology both in the United States and internationally.

Timothy A. Turvey
Chairman of the School of Dentistry's Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Turvey recently represented the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons at the opening ceremonies of the Second World Cleft Congress in Munich, Germany.

Morris Weinberger
Vergil N. Slee distinguished professor of healthcare quality management in the School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Administration, Weinberger has received the Vision Award of the Improving Chronic Illness Care program for his research on methods to improve the care of patients with arthritis, diabetes and other major chronic conditions.

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