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March 5, 2003

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Library exhibits focus on Coker and his legacy
Web site debuts, showcases sciences
Faculty pay issue sparks debate
Carolina jumps to fourth in Peace Corps volunteers
Carolina-schools partnership breaks ground
Graduate students honored for work in state
Center for Public Service debuts Ned Brooks Award
Dance Marathon breaks record
New archivist aims to preserve campus history

Robertson Scholars build bridges in Krzyzewskiville
Sontag brings Hollywood savvy to classroom

Talenti film wins honorable mention at Sundance festival

Library exhibits focus on Coker and his legacy

William Chambers Coker hated pruning.

Fungi fascinated him -- especially mushrooms. He helped Chapel Hillians decide what to plant where in their yards, identified plants for people all over the Southeast and, judging by letters from his students, was one of the best teachers ever at Carolina.

The letters and much more about Coker, Carolina's first botany professor, can be seen in four exhibits up through spring in the University Libraries. The displays herald the 100th anniversary of the campus arboretum that Coker developed and later was named in his honor.

Also in anticipation of the centennial in April, the libraries will co-publish a biography of the botanist by his niece, Mary Coker Joslin of Raleigh, a former member of the Board of Visitors. The co-publisher is the North Carolina Botanical Garden, which oversees the arboretum. On March 20, Joslin will attend a 5 p.m. reception in Wilson Library and discuss and sign copies of the book at 6 p.m.

The event will highlight the signature exhibit of the libraries' remembrances, "William Chambers Coker: The Legacy of a Lifelong Botanist," open through April 13 in the Melba Remig Saltarelli Exhibit Room on the third floor of Wilson. This exhibit focuses on the life and achievements of Coker, 1872-1953, who taught at the University from 1902 to 1945 and headed the first botany department, created in 1908. Today he is known for the classroom building named for him.

Also in Wilson is "`All the Charms of Nature': A History of Landscaping at UNC-Chapel Hill," which tells that story in photographs and lithographs from 1795 to the present and looks at some plans for the future. This 40-piece display will be up through May in the North Carolina Collection Gallery.

Davis Library will offer an exhibit March 5 through April 15 on Joslin's book and the libraries' venture into publishing. Items will be in the 72-foot display case on the first floor. Davis opens 8 a.m. to midnight Mondays-Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. to midnight Sundays.

The fourth exhibit, "William C. Coker As Collector of Fungi" in the biology library in Coker Hall, includes photographs, articles about the professor in the 1926 "Chapel Hill Weekly," two of Coker's books and information on students he influenced.

The biology library exhibit includes a list of 26 graduate students that Coker advised, said botany section librarian Bill Burk, exhibit curator. They earned, collectively, 25 master's and nine doctoral degrees. "Three of them were elected as members of the National Academy of Sciences," Burk said.

Besides students, Coker was protective of his plants. His letters in "Legacy" include one to a dean, said Guthrie, "about some suspicious activity he believed was taking place in his arboretum. He didn't like the way some of the students were behaving there in the summer, especially at night. He singled out one student who had picked the finest bouquet in the arboretum to give to his girlfriend. He wanted the dean to make sure that student was reprimanded."

Coker arrived in Chapel Hill in 1902 as associate professor of botany, fresh from studying at a German university that had an arboretum, Guthrie said. Carolina owned the land that is now Coker Arboretum, at the corner of Cameron Avenue and Raleigh Street, but considered it useless for building.

Coker convinced UNC President Francis Preston Venable to allow him to turn it into an arboretum -- a place where trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes.

From the large scale to the small, Coker glorified greenery. "Legacy" includes plant specimens that Coker dried and mounted himself and a microscope from his era. He even wrote poetry, mostly about plants, which fills a whole case in the exhibit.

Among the diversified professor's specialties was the study of fungi, and he discovered (as new to science) and described many species, Burk said. "He became particularly enthralled with mushrooms," he said.

"`All the Charms of Nature'" recognizes Coker and others who contributed to the present beauty of the campus, said Neil Fulghum, keeper of the North Carolina Collection Gallery. "The gallery's exhibition intends to place the Coker Arboretum in a broader historical context with regard to this campus's development over more than two centuries."

Photographs and lithographs recount the first real landscaping efforts, in the late 19th century, and a push southward in the 1920s. A member of the buildings and grounds committee from 1913 to 1942, Coker was party to the planting of many trees and shrubs that helped beautify the campus.

"At one point, very elaborate gardens were proposed behind South Building, but those were never developed because of the cost involved and the pragmatic concerns of serving students," Fulghum said.

In another pragmatic move documented in the exhibit, professor of chemistry, mineralogy and geology Elisha Mitchell had stone walls built around campus to keep out pigs and cattle. "Back then there were no restrictions about penning up animals," Fulghum said.

He also documents that Coker helped beautify campuses across North Carolina, not just in Chapel Hill. And it was Fulghum who learned that unlike modern gardeners, Coker spared the shears.

"We've included a booklet by Coker in 1921 in which he talked about the `barbarous act of pruning.'"

Grow forth, arboretum, and prosper. Exhibit hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays in Coker (962-3783) and Wilson and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays in Wilson. Call 962-1345 for information on the "Legacy" exhibit and 962-1172 about the history of landscaping exhibit.

Web site debuts, showcases sciences

For the past two years, Carolina junior Ben Wilde has worked toward creating a three-dimensional force microscope that will allow researchers to touch small structures contained in living cells.

The computer science major is working in the physics laboratory of Associate Professor Richard Superfine and under the guidance of his adviser, Russell Taylor, research associate professor in the computer science department.

Showing high school students how they, too, may immerse themselves -- as undergraduates -- in the physical sciences and technology at Carolina is a major reason behind a new web site:

The web site particularly focuses on how undergraduates and world-renowned faculty work together in the classroom and in research settings, University officials said. It also showcases Carolina's leading programs in science, engineering and technology; illustrates how a liberal arts foundation can prepare students to better communicate in their careers and emphasizes the general undergraduate research experience.

"At Carolina, students can participate in research programs at the frontier of science through close, one-on-one interaction with many of the world's great scientists," said Holden Thorp, director of the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center and a chemistry professor.

As a Carolina alumnus, Thorp said, his praise stems from firsthand experience. "Being able to do these things in the rich, overall undergraduate environment is an opportunity available nowhere else," he said.

Visitors to the new web site will find featured stories on students, faculty members, successful alumni and academic programs -- including a story on Wilde's ongoing research.

In the laboratory, Wilde and Taylor place tiny magnetic beads in, on and around living cells. Then, they use electromagnets to "touch" the beads and pull them against different parts of the cell, giving them a better sense of its properties.

"The coolest thing is that it's a fun job, so I enjoy every minute I spend in the lab," Wilde said.

Rohit Prakash, a sophomore physics major, studies carbon nanotubes with Superfine, Michael Falvo and Sean Washburn in the physics and astronomy department's nanoscience research group. Nanotechnology is the science behind building increasingly fast devices in dramatically smaller packages. It affects everything from sensors and computer chips to medical implants.

Prakash said he values the interdisciplinary approach to research at Carolina.

"What I enjoy most about the lab is the wide variety of specialties we have here. There are all kinds, from physicists to chemists to computer scientists at every corner."

Undergraduate research experiences extend beyond campus laboratories, too. Senior environmental science major Liz Veazey traveled to the U.S. Virgin Islands with classmates from her coral reef management course and professor, Greg Gangi. She later spent a summer with the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences.

This year, she will journey to New Zealand, thanks to a Morris K. Udall Scholarship, where she will study conservation and biodiversity with the School for International Training. Her research experiences are profiled on

The web site also demonstrates how science programs offer excellent preparation for medical school.

Senior biology major Kristin Benjamin looks forward to working directly with patients, but for now she's helping people through her research with mutant flies in professor Stephen Crews' neurogenetics lab. Eventually, Benjamin's findings may further the development of treatments and cures for diseases resulting from abnormal central nervous system development.

The new web site is one component of a larger initiative including faculty scientists campuswide and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. They are telling high school students about what the University offers in the study of science, in research opportunities for students and in preparation for science careers.

The admissions office also is arranging for Carolina faculty members and students to meet with high school students in select North Carolina cities, contacting outstanding students throughout the state and hosting on-campus events for science teachers and their students.

Faculty pay issue sparks debate

There is firm agreement among Faculty Council members that professors here should be paid in accordance with their credentials and experience and productivity in all the ways those things can be subjectively evaluated and objectively measured.

The council gave voice to that agreement when, at its Feb. 7 meeting, it unanimously passed a resolution aimed at ferreting out inequities, particularly among female professors. The focus on pay disparities for women springs from the results of a salary study completed last fall that revealed female faculty are paid less than their white male counterparts, particularly within the School of Medicine.

But at the Feb. 28 Faculty Council meeting, a fault line emerged among faculty that had less to do with the ultimate goal of fair pay for all but the steps that should be taken to reach it by remedying existing inequalities.

The discussion was prompted when Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert Shelton reviewed for the council some of the recommendations that already have been made by the advisory committee formed as a result of the Feb. 7 resolution.

The recommendation from that committee that sparked debate at the Feb. 28 Faculty Council meeting addresses the question of which faculty members should have their salaries reviewed for possible raises.

The committee's decision was to review only the salaries of women and minorities who fell below the norm -- and it was this decision that some men called into question.

Richard Pfaff, history professor, asked why only the salaries of women and minorities would be reviewed. "In seems some inequalities are more unequal than others," he said.

In response, Shelton cited the intent of the original salary study, which was commissioned specifically to find out whether pay disparities existed for those two groups.

Pfaff's concern prompted Faculty Chair Sue Estroff, who serves on the advisory committee, to offer a more detailed explanation of the committee's rationale. "It's not a question of either-or," Estroff said, "but sequencing."

"We are concerned about inequalities across the board," she said. "This time, for one of the first times, we are going to look at these groups first."

Kenneth Bollen, sociology professor, objected to that idea by saying it wasn't obvious to him why a female faculty member who is closer to the statistical norm should have her pay inequity remedied before a male faculty member whose pay might be twice as far below that norm.

Thomas Shea, a professor in the School of Medicine, argued a similar point about the importance of addressing all pay inequities the same, and at the same time. There should be one process to address pay inequities, he said, that covers all, all at once.

The criticism prompted Estroff to elaborate on her earlier defense. The committee had "no intention of being disingenuous," she said. "It really is a question of sequencing."

But again Pfaff objected to the notion this process could be judged to be fair.

"Sequencing is not an abstract exercise," Pfaff said. It's not abstract because the funding that it will take to redress the pay for women and minorities may leave no funding available to redress the group left to wait. "There is a significant injustice potentially," Pfaff said.

But Diane Kjervik, who splits her time as a professor in the School of Nursing and as director of the Carolina Women's Center, suggested that these complaints ignore a long history of disadvantage for women.

"It's time," Kjervik said. "Women have waited long enough."

Also at the meeting, Chancellor James Moeser recognized the University's School of Law for the amicus brief in support of the University of Michigan in the lawsuit filed against it that is now headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The lawsuit challenges Michigan's practice of using race as a factor in its admissions process for both undergraduate and law students.

On hand for Moeser's remarks from the School of Law were Dean Gene Nichol, Professor Charles Daye, who is a member of Faculty Council, and Professor John Charles Boger.

Nichol said both he and Daye were appearing under false pretenses, because Boger did most of the writing of the brief and most of the work.

Nichol, in defending the admissions policies both here and Michigan, quoted legal scholar Karl Llewellyn, who said, "Technique without compassion is a menace, and compassion without technique is a mess."

Moeser said the brief the three men put together was both eloquent and compelling in a legal battle that will have strong implications for higher education throughout the country.

The argument it makes, which is that diversity benefits not only minority students who attend the University but the University community as a whole, is in step with that of this University, Moeser said. A copy of the amicus brief is available via the law school's web site at brief.pdf.

In other matters, the council approved a series of recommendations from the Task Force on Appointment, Promotion and Tenure. The council completed some of the recommendations at the Feb. 7 meeting.

The recommendations fell within three broad categories: flexibility in the process of promotion and tenure, policies and procedures for appointment and promotion of fixed-term faculty, and review of tenure-track appointments and promotions.

Carolina jumps to fourth in Peace Corps volunteers

Carolina has jumped to number four among large colleges and universities in the number of alumni who serve in the Peace Corps, and the University ranks first for the entire mid-atlantic region.

There are 76 Carolina alumni serving in the Peace Corps -- a 52 percent increase from 2002. More than 848 Chapel Hill alumni have served since 1961 or continue to do so.

Last month, Henry McKoy, Peace Corps Africa regional director and a North Carolina native, recognized Carolina for its support of Peace Corps service around the world.

McKoy, a former adjunct instructor in the University's Institute of Government, was elected to the North Carolina senate in 1995 and earlier worked as deputy secretary of the North Carolina Department of Administration.

The recognition came against the backdrop of the University opening a Peace Corps recruiting office on campus in Hanes Hall as part of University Career Services. Recruiters Badi' Bradley and Erin Shaughnessy Zuiker both served as Peace Corps volunteers in Guatemala and Vanuatu respectively. Bradley is a master's degree candidate in city and regional planning, and Zuiker is master's degree candidate in public health.

While she said the office has helped, Zuiker also attributed Carolina's high ranking to its emphasis on incorporating service learning into the academic curriculum, as well as organizations here that give students the chance to join service projects in the community and overseas.

Zuiker also said many students arrive at Carolina from high schools that have service requirements, so serving is something they're used to.

There are practical benefits, too, she said.

"Many students realize that the job opportunities with Peace Corps afford an incredible experience to work hands-on in a relevant field that many college graduates would not usually get in their first work experience," she said. "And the opportunity to learn a second or third language is a wonderful asset in our global economy."

Zuiker said the "future is wide open for students to get involved with the Peace Corps."

"With the presence of on-campus recruiters providing many events on the campus and class talks as well as a strong and supportive community of Peace Corps alumni within the University as well as the Triangle area, there is great potential to increase the number of volunteers from Carolina," she said.

The majority of volunteers who have served in the Peace Corps over the past 42 years have been college graduates. Currently, 86 percent of the volunteers have an undergraduate degree and 12 percent have graduate degrees or have studied at the graduate level.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health and HIV/AIDS awareness and education, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

Carolina-schools partnership
breaks ground

Special to the "Gazette"
By Linda Baucom, School of Education

It is widely accepted that learning takes place in schools. But learning about learning needs to take place in schools as well.

Based on this conviction, Carolina's School of Education has formed an unprecedented partnership with the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools to build a School of Education wing onto the new R. D. and Euzelle P. Smith Middle School in Chapel Hill. Capping five years of planning, Carolina and school system officials broke ground for construction of the wing on Feb. 24.

"We're building these walls to break down the walls that have separated the study of education from the public schools," said Madeleine Grumet, dean of the School of Education. Grumet praised the patience and commitment of all the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School and University personnel who worked to realize the vision of this collaboration.

The wing will be a workplace bringing together University faculty, practicing teachers, public school students and Carolina undergraduate and graduate students. It will house the School of Education's Carolina Teaching Network, a series of distance education programs that bring University faculty into schools to work with teachers, administrators and school service personnel.

The wing will serve as a meeting place for teachers across the region, as well as boast the technology critical to communications between the School of Education and its public school colleagues across the state, including high-speed web access and videoconferencing.

Along with flexible classroom space and ample room for ongoing staff development seminars and gatherings, the wing will include a fully equipped, state-of-the-art mathematics and science teaching laboratory funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. This will be a place where teachers and faculty will conduct demonstration lessons with middle school students and participate in professional development.

The wing also will house an educational counseling center where school counselors and psychologists will be trained and will provide services to students and their families as well as support groups for new teachers.

The 7,200-square-foot, $1.2 million wing will extend the facilities of the School of Education, which has been housed in Peabody Hall on the Carolina campus since 1913. Because Smith Middle School is located between an elementary school and a high school, the addition of the wing will create an innovative pre-kindergarten through grade 16 campus.

Construction is expected to begin in March and be completed in the fall. The wing is scheduled to open in January 2004.

Joining Grumet in the ceremonial ground-breaking were James Moeser, chancellor; Valerie Foushee, chair of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board; Neil Pedersen, superintendent of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools; and Valerie Reinhardt, principal of Smith Middle School. The audience was serenaded by the Smith Middle School "Cyclone" Sixth-Grade Chorus, directed by Amy Evers.

Graduate students honored for work in state

By Brian MacPherson,
"Gazette" Student Assistant

For 100 years, students in the University's Graduate School have conducted research that has benefited North Carolina in countless ways. Thousands of graduate students working across the state -- and across the world -- have studied issues that affect the lives of Tar Heel residents.

In the first event of a year-long celebration of graduate education at Carolina, five Centennial Awards will be presented to students for outstanding research that helps the state. Twelve other students will be recognized with Dean's Awards for their work.

All eight Centennial Award winners will speak briefly and present their research at the Graduate School's Centennial kickoff celebration, "A Celebration of Graduate Students and Their Contributions to the State of North Carolina," which will take place at The Carolina Club on March 6 at 3 p.m.

"Focusing on the benefits that graduate research provides for our state is a logical way to being the celebration of the centennial year, given Carolina's long history of success in this area," said Linda Dykstra, dean of the Graduate School.

One award winner, Mahyar Mofidi, analyzed disproportionate access to dental health care for children in North Carolina from the point of view of parents. He divided a cross-section of poor North Carolina families into 11 focus groups by race, but the message of every group was the same.

"They said, `We are experiencing a lot of barriers accessing dental care for our children,'" Mofidi said.

Families described their difficulties in finding dentists who would treat families on Medicaid. Once they found a dentist, they had difficulties making appointments, finding transportation to the office and finding treatment once at the office -- some reported waits of up to four hours.

They said that dentists held their financial status against them due to the low rates paid by Medicaid for dental health care.

"They felt stigmatized and discriminated against being on Medicaid," Mofidi said. "They felt like they were receiving inferior care because of their ethnicity and race."

Mofidi plans to use his findings to educate health-care providers and legislators as well as the families who encountered the barriers.

"Lawmakers cannot wait too long to try and resolve this issue," he said. "The longer they wait, the more and more patients suffer -- and we're talking about children."

Katie Otis, along with partners Angela Hornsby and Joe Mosnier, won a Centennial Award for work with "Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition" as part of the University's Southern Oral History Program. Otis' component documented how flooding from Hurricane Floyd affected the lives of victims, especially the elderly.

"I was really impressed by their courage and how they were able to repair and recover their lives," she said.

Otis told a story of one man she met -- a blue-eyed "flirt" who was about 80 years old -- who lived independently but was hooked up to an oxygen machine during the interview because of breathing problems he developed because of the flood. Another elderly couple, during the height of the flooding, had to swim from their backyard to their front yard and cling to a tree for four hours until their rescue. The husband admitted in a later counseling session that he had even considered suicide, so deep was the depression into which he had fallen after the traumatic experience.

"Even for folks who were financially OK," Otis said, "just the experience of going through something like that can really shake you up."

Otis plans to host a seminar in June in eastern North Carolina to "celebrate the tenacity and strength of the flood survivors." The program tentatively includes a multimedia presentation and a question-and-answer session with flood victims and state disaster relief officials.

Award winners were chosen after submitting an application detailing research methods, results and relevance to the state along with a faculty recommendation. A panel of 10 faculty members from a variety of disciplines reviewed the applications and selected the winners.

The quality of applications was so high, noted Graduate School Associate Dean Michael Poock, that the Dean's Award was created in rder to recognize more students.

"There was some really good research," Poock said. "The committee felt like, `We have to recognize these somehow,' and that's how the Dean's Awards came about."

The event will also feature poster displays about the research of each applicant for the Centennial Awards. The posters will be on display prior to the 4 p.m. award presentations, followed by a reception with a jazz band.

For information about the Graduate School's entire Centennial Celebration, see

Center for Public Service debuts
Ned Brooks Award

Special to the "Gazette"
By Carmen Woodruff, School of Journalism
and Mass Communication

Edward "Ned" Brooks was born to serve others. Since the day he entered this world, the spirit of "servant leadership" has been embedded into his soul.

The phrase "servant leadership" was first coined by Robert Greenleaf, a noted author, lecturer and consultant for the Center for Applied Ethics. Greenleaf died in 1990, but people like Brooks continue to carry his torch.

Brooks credits his parents, who aided people in the midst of the Great Depression.

"They still felt they were in a position to help," he said.

Margaret Henderson said Brooks possesses the qualities of a "servant leader," which include building community, empathy, foresight and awareness. Henderson recalled Brooks' contribution to the Rape Crisis

Other 2003 public service awards

In addition to the Ned Brooks Award, the Carolina Center for Public Service offers two awards that recognize extraordinary service and engagement. Detailed information and online nomination forms for all of the public service awards are available at Nominations are due March 28 by 5p.m.

Call the Carolina Center for Public Service at 843-7568 for more information.

Office of the Provost Public Service Award

Established in 2000 by former Provost Richard "Dick" Richardson, this award was created to recognize outstanding public service at the University. It honors University units/departments, including officially recognized student organizations, for service to the state of North Carolina. The service should exemplify the concept of engagement, including responsiveness to community concerns and strong community partnerships.

Up to four awards will be given -- two awards of $2,500 each for departments/units and two awards of $1,000 each for student organizations.

Robert E. Bryan Public Service Award

This award honors the memory and accomplishments of alumnus Robert E. Bryan of Newton Grove, who worked diligently to become a successful businessman, entrepreneur and public servant.

The award recognizes individuals who, as representatives of Carolina, demonstrate exemplary public service to the state of North Carolina, working in partnership with community members; provide direct service; inspire and involve others; or, through their support, enable others to serve; and work to assure the sustainability of their efforts.

Students, staff and faculty are eligible. This award is for a particular effort carried out through the individual's role(s) in the University rather than that as a private citizen. Up to four awards will be given -- two for students and two for faculty/staff. Each award includes $500 for the individual and $500 for the public service program they have worked with.

Center as the first male in history to serve on the board of directors.

"He's one of those fellows who keeps showing up," said Henderson, a research associate and visiting instructor in the School of Government.

Along with earning numerous personal honors and achievements, Brooks was instrumental to the founding of the Carolina Center for Public Service in 1991 and served as its interim director from June 2001 to December 2001.

Even though he is "retired," Brooks keeps things moving onward and upward. He continues his commitment to service through teaching and other engagement efforts.

The father of two, Brooks also has mentored hundreds of students, faculty and staff, as they work to address important community issues.

Why such a strong commitment to service?

"I think it goes to the core of our reasons for being," Brooks said.

The Ned Brooks Award for Public Service honors the contributions of Brooks, who has served Carolina since 1972. The $500 annual award is funded through an endowment created by the generous support of many friends and colleagues of Brooks. Nominations for the inaugural award are due March 28; see for more information. The award recognizes one faculty or staff member of the Carolina community who:

Facilitates active involvement of others in public service to the community beyond the University and/or directly provides public service;

Embodies the spirit of "servant leadership," inspiring and providing opportunities for others, emphasizing the "we" not the "I" and making a difference in the larger community; and

Demonstrates commitment to service over a period of years carried out through the individual's faculty or staff role(s) in the University.

"We are very excited to announce the call for nominations for the first Ned Brooks Award for Public Service," said Lynn Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service. "Ned personifies the best of public service and engagement at Carolina; it is only fitting that we honor him by recognizing others who contribute in outstanding ways.

"This award, along with the Robert E. Bryan Award and the Office of the Provost Award, provide a meaningful way to pay tribute to those who make a difference and exemplify Carolina's culture of service."

That sentiment was echoed by Linda Carl, associate director for distance education and e-learning.

"The Ned Brooks Award honors a premier citizen of the University and the community," she said. "His style and substance are in harmony. By the force of his optimism, moral integrity and hard work, he leads quietly and measures his success though the accomplishments of others."

Dance Marathon breaks record

This year's Dance Marathon raised approximately $168,000 to benefit the patients of the N.C. Children's Hospital -- $46,000 more than the 2002 total.

Nearly 700 dancers participated in the 24-hour event that ended Feb. 22 in Fetzer Gymnasium. The marathon is one of the largest fund-raisers for the children's hospital and is organized solely by Carolina students.

Money raised by the Dance Marathon goes to the For the Kids Fund, benefiting children receiving care in the N.C. Children's Hospital. The Dance Marathon Committee has left this money unrestricted because its members want it available for the programs and patients most in need.

New archivist aims to preserve
campus history

Janis Holder loves history.

And now she's got another 100 years to work with.

Holder became Carolina's University archivist Feb. 3, arriving on campus from UNC- Greensboro, where she was assistant university archivist for the past six years and an employee of Jackson Library for more than 30 years.

"I actually began my library career as a student assistant in the Reserve Division in 1972," Holder said, "so I pretty much grew up there."

After completing her bachelor's in English at UNC-G in 1975, Holder worked full-time as a library assistant in reserves and decided to pursue her master's degree in library science there. "It took me five years to do it while working full-time, and my daughter was born about midway through," Holder said. "That nearly derailed me!"

With the MLS degree under her belt, she transferred to Jackson Library's Catalog Department in 1984 and ended up cataloging materials for Special Collections and University Archives. Working with these unique

Service, seminar can help manage records

Carolina units and departments may find the University Archives and Records Service particularly helpful right now, as campus renovation and construction projects will require many offices to relocate.

The service is available to consult about departments' stored records and will create a customized records schedule for offices that identifies records with historical significance to be transferred to University Archives or that authorizes the destruction of files that have no current administrative value.

The unauthorized destruction of public records is illegal in North Carolina. For help with record-keeping questions, call 962-6402.

Also, a seminar scheduled at the Ida and William Friday Center for Continuing Education on April 8 will address various challenges surrounding successful management of an electronic records system.

"From Promise to Reality: Surviving the Implementation of an Electronic Records Program," will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The event's speaker is John Phillips, highly regarded as one of the most knowledgeable speakers on the topic of records and information management.

Sponsors for the event are the Academic Affairs Library, the School of Information and Library Science, the Triangle Chapter of ARMA International, the Society of North Carolina Archivists and Duke University Archives.

Advance registration and payment of fees are required by March 21. Cost is $40, or $30 for members of ARMA International or the Society of North Carolina Archivists.

For additional information and to request a brochure and registration form, contact Frank Holt, 962-6402 or

materials sparked an interest in both rare books and university history, so when a new position was added to the Special Collections Division in 1993, Holder jumped at the chance to work there.

"I wouldn't say that patience is one of my virtues," Holder said, "but I have learned that good things sometimes come to those who wait."

When one of the two staff members in University Archives retired in 1996, she was promoted to the vacated archivist position.

"Although my route to archives was a circuitous one, once I landed there I realized that I had finally found my niche in the library world," she said. "Part of what makes archives work so fulfilling is the awareness that as an archivist you play such an important role in preserving and providing access to your institution's history.

"The whole concept of `institutional memory' is supported by the quality of the records preserved in the archives, and it is the job of the archivist to make decisions about which records have historical significance. A school like UNC-G is important not only because of its historical role in higher education for women in North Carolina, but also as a teacher training school, or `normal' school. The women who were trained there in the late 1800s and early 1900s made a very real difference in the quality of public education in North Carolina at that time."

As the first state-supported institution of higher education in the United States, Carolina was in operation almost 100 years before UNC-G got its start in 1891 as the State Normal and Industrial School. With this long, rich history and emphasis on research and academics, Carolina has achieved worldwide prominence, and faculty, staff and students here seem to be aware of the historical importance of their institution, Holder said.

"I've been given a wonderful opportunity to be a part of this University's history, and I'm very excited about the challenges ahead," she said. "If we can make University Archives synonymous with University history, then we can assure that the history of this University will not be lost."

Losing history is a very real concern these days, with more and more reliance on electronic records to conduct business at every level of operation. Finding a way to ensure that electronic records are being created in a responsible way, with provisions for preserving and providing access to those records of permanent value, is one of the biggest challenges facing any university today.

Carolina is involved in a National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant-funded project with Duke University called "Managing the Digital University Desktop: Understanding and Empowering the Individual; Preserving the Public Record and Institutional History." Under the direction of Helen R. Tibbo, associate professor in the School of Information and Library Science, and Tim Pyatt, Duke University archivist, the goals of the study are to document how faculty, administrators and staff use and manage files and records from electronic mail and to develop policies and "best practice" guidelines and educational opportunities for the universities involved. This will eventually lead to an evaluation of electronic records management systems that might best suit the needs of Carolina and Duke.

"We are at the point of doing field interviews now," Holder said, "so if they call you up to schedule an interview, please say yes. Nobody's going to come in and criticize how you manage your e-mail and other files; that's not what this is all about. The whole point is that we learn the needs of the University community and come up with some recommendations that will ensure the proper management of electronic records."

There are other, more basic, challenges in records management as well.

"University Archives is only as good as its holdings," Holder said, "and it is unfortunate that many early records were either discarded or allowed to leave the campus with their creators. There is still much to be done in terms of identifying records with historical significance that may be lurking in file cabinets and closets in various buildings on campus.

"Many people are still unaware of the Public Records Act -- G.S. 132 -- and don't know the legalities involved in managing the enormous amount of records created in the course of doing business here at the University."

Carolina's Records Management Program grew out of another NHPRC grant-funded project begun on this campus in 1992 and supported by University monies. The original goal of the grant was to survey the records in Carolina's many offices and departments, disposing of non-essential ones in a legal and efficient manner, and identifying those needing preservation in the University Archives.

When the separate Records Management Program evolved under the direction of Tim Sanford, former assistant provost, much progress was made in writing records retention and disposition schedules and in educating the University community about records issues.

Budget cuts forced the elimination of the Records Management Program in February 2002, but the Academic Affairs Library rescued one full-time staff position and combined the records management function with University Archives.

The resulting University Archives and Records Service has a full-time staff of three and is a part of the Manuscripts Department in Wilson Library. The staff includes Holder; Susan Ballinger, records processing supervisor; and Frank Holt, records services coordinator.

Holder believes that it makes perfect sense to have records management and archives working together, because the archivist is able to have direct input into identifying records that may have historical significance, thus smoothing their transfer to University Archives.

The merged office will continue to develop records schedules, offer workshops through Human Resources and consult with offices and departments about their records and try to help them in any way possible, Holder said.

Holder also plans to spend a significant amount of time promoting the University Archives in various venues across campus and beyond. One thing she's particularly interested in is documenting student life on the campus and encouraging student use of the University's records.

"I would like to see more undergraduates utilizing the resources of University Archives," Holder says. "There are significant research opportunities here using primary sources. Many undergraduates never set foot in Wilson Library -- I'd like to see that change."

Robertson Scholars build bridges
in Krzyzewskiville

Editor's note: The following story by Katherine Porter, a Duke University junior, is reprinted from the Feb. 14 "Dialogue," Duke's faculty/staff newspaper. To see a "Gazette" story about Robertson Scholars from Duke University who are spending this semester at Carolina, go to

When you are a UNC-Chapel Hill student dropped right into the middle of campus at Duke University for a semester, there are some things you're just not going to give up.

"I cheered for Duke against UVA," said Melissa Anderson, one of 15 Robertson Scholars from UNC living at Duke this semester. "But I tented for the Duke-UNC game, and I definitely cheered for UNC."

The student exchange is one of the unusual aspects of a unique program. The Robertson Scholarship, initiated with this year's sophomore class, was founded by Julian Robertson and his wife, Josie. Robertson, a Salisbury native, Carolina alum and Wall Street investor, is the father of both a Duke grad and a Chapel Hill grad.

The program serves two primary goals equally, said Eric Mlyn, the program director.

"Our first goal is to attract outstanding and unusual undergraduates to these universities, and the second is to build a collaboration between Duke and UNC," he said. "This is not a simple merit scholarship. We want these students to be ambassadors for collaboration."

The program has been the source of a number of joint activities that are attracting interest, from grants funding groups working on both campuses to the Robertson Bus, which shuttles daily between the two campuses. The student exchange started this semester and is the newest initiative.

In the classroom, there has been little adjustment to make, the UNC students say. The two schools feel similar academically, said Anderson and Brittain Peck, a sophomore from UNC. While certain classes are offered at only one of the universities, such as the film animation course he is currently taking at Duke, Peck said he has not noticed a difference between the workloads at Duke and Carolina.

The primary academic difference lies in student attitudes, he said. Duke students are more scholastically focused than their counterparts down the road, said Anderson, citing the constancy of frisbees on the Chapel Hill quad and students on Franklin Street.

Social life is a different matter, they said. The difference in the schools' populations makes for very different student bodies. At about 7,000 undergrads, Duke is relatively tiny compared to its rival with an undergraduate population of 14,000.

"UNC has a lot more people, but I feel like it is easier to interact and communicate with each other (there)," said Peck. "UNC has more of an outspoken, loudspeaker tone and buzz."

This may be due to the campus layout, or to the inherent commonalities found in a population comprised largely of people from the same state, he said, or simply because the UNC Robertsons arrived mid-year.

The ways in which students interact reflects a major difference between the students, Anderson added. Carolina students seem to be constantly meeting new people, she said. Heavier involvement in non-Greek organizations helps the networking there, she said. Dorm blocks, selective houses and fraternity sections often determine friendships at Duke, she said.

On the other hand, geographic diversity among dorm-mates is a real advantage at Duke, said Peck. The five-person hall he lives on now is much more varied than his eight-person freshman year suite.

Greek life stands out more at Duke than at UNC, the Robertsons said. Lodging frats in dorms rather than houses, as is done at Carolina, increases their proximity to many students, and thereby increases their influence over Duke's social scene, said Peck. Non-Greeks at Chapel Hill find it much easier to distance themselves from frats, said Sarah Pickle, another Robertson sophomore living at Duke this semester.

Another point of comparison is student space, Peck said. The Pit, a major Tar Heel gathering place, provides a venue where thoughts and organizations are publicized, he said. The excitement of this crossroads, which he compared to the Bryan Center walkway but with more "energy," helps information spread on the Chapel Hill campus better than at the Duke campus. Paintings on the Campus Drive tunnel and cluttered flyer poles give communication at Duke a "read if interested" vibe that feels less personal and makes it harder to get involved, he said.

On the other hand, Peck has been impressed with some of the intellectual and cultural opportunities at Duke, citing slam poet Saul Williams and jazz musician Maceo Parker.

In general, the UNC students said they've been made to feel very welcome at Duke. The exception is that some noted encountering a feeling that students from state universities are inferior to those at Duke.

"I feel like I need to constantly defend myself because, maybe, some people don't believe I belong here," one UNC student said in an e-mail. "I'm not saying that all Duke students feel this way, but ... with this kind of an attitude, Carolina students won't really be taken seriously."

Others note that the Robertson program may help end such attitudes. All of the UNC scholars have immersed themselves in campus activities; Anderson said the students have made inroads into the Duke population. One of the least expected places for this bridging of cultures has been at Krzyzewskiville while tenting for men's basketball games.

"My tentmates stood up for me even when the Duke fans got a little vicious during the [Duke-UNC] game," Anderson said.

"I am very thankful for the opportunity to live here at Duke and get to know people here and now," Peck said.

Sontag brings Hollywood savvy
to classroom

David Sontag, an award-winning motion picture writer and producer, has been a senior executive at major studios and broadcast networks. He has managed the careers of big-name movie stars.

Now he's using his Hollywood expertise to launch a new undergraduate minor in writing for the screen and stage at Carolina. The new minor degree program will start this fall; plans call for expanding the curriculum later to add a major in the field.

"The new program will tap the University's historic strengths in dramatic art, communication studies and the English department's creative writing program," said Sontag, a communication studies professor.

Sontag has worked on developing the new program since joining the University three years ago. In 1998, alumnus Michael Piller, co-creator of two "Star Trek" television series, pledged $500,000 to launch a

And I'd like to thank
the Academy ...

Carolina faculty who have helped David Sontag shape the curriculum for the new undergraduate minor in writing for the screen and stage and who will advise or teach in the program are:

Joan Darling, visiting professor in communication studies and dramatic art;

Ray Dooley, professor and chair of the Department of Dramatic Art;

Paul Ferguson, associate professor of communication studies;

Marianne Gingher, associate professor of creative writing;

David Hammond, dramatic art professor, playwright and artistic director of PlayMakers Repertory Company;

Joanne Hershfield, associate professor of communication studies and women's studies;

Bland Simpson, creative writing program director, author, composer, lyricist and musician;

Bill Svanoe, visiting professor in communication studies and dramatic art and a screenwriter, playwright and songwriter; and

Francesca Talenti, assistant professor of communication studies, a specialist in live-action narrative filmmaking and animation.

nationally distinctive screenwriting program at his alma mater. Piller, a 1970 graduate, also was screenwriter for the 1998 movie "Star Trek: Insurrection."

"Carolina is ideally suited for this kind of program to prepare students to write intelligently and creatively for both film and theatre," Sontag said. "This is the only undergraduate liberal arts program that I know of that will encourage students to write in both arenas, something that is becoming increasingly relevant today."

The minor will require courses in creative writing, screenwriting and playwriting, the history of film and play analysis. Students also will take electives in acting, directing and other related topics.

Courses will emphasize the craft of writing while including social, political and cultural history as explored in film and theater, Sontag said. The program is designed to help students develop skills in critical thinking and analysis as well as creative techniques for written and visual communication.

That's a formula for success, said Carolina alumnus John Altschuler, executive co-producer and co-head writer for the hit television series "King of the Hill."

"What distinguishes UNC from all of the budding film schools is its tradition of great writing programs," Altschuler said. "The University is creating an artistic space for young writers to learn their craft, combined with access to people who are in the business."

Students also will work with Carolina faculty who have expertise in writing, adapting, producing, directing and acting for film and theatre. Sontag, the program's director, has written and produced films and television programs for 35 years for Columbia Pictures, MGM, Hollywood Pictures and other major studios.

He was a senior executive at Twentieth Century Fox, ABC-TV, CBS Films and NBC TV, and he continues as president of David Sontag Productions Inc. He also has managed the careers of stars including Steve McQueen, Mel Brooks and James Coburn; he has taught or consulted at the American Film Institute, the universities of California and Colorado and the Institute for American Indian Art.

Talenti film wins honorable mention at Sundance festival

Francesca Talenti was one of the last to hear the news.

The assistant professor in Communication Studies left Chapel Hill in mid-January to accompany her film "The Planets" to the Sundance Film Festival where it had been accepted into the Short Films category. She hung around for all of its showings but ultimately needed to leave early to get back to campus and her classes.

The awards were announced Jan. 25, but she didn't find out she'd won an Honorable Mention until the next day when a friend e-mailed her to send her congratulations.

Now that "The Planets" has made its successful debut, it has garnered interest and been invited to several film festivals in 2003, including ones in San Francisco, Ann Arbor, New York and the Cucalorus Film Festival to be held in March in Wilmington. In addition, it's been booked for the Hi Mom! Film Festival at the Varsity Theatre in Chapel Hill, April 3 - 5.

"The Planets," which is six minutes long, also will screen for a week in front of a feature film at the Carolina Theatre in Durham -- either beginning March 7 or March 14. Talenti said they'll be plugging her film in their ads, so anyone interested in seeing it can be on the lookout for it in the movie listings.

In addition to making short films, Talenti wrote, produced and directed "Snake Tales," a feature-length film that she completed in 1998 while teaching at the University of Texas at Austin. She's learned that Chapel Hill video store VisArt will be buying multiple copies of "Snake Tales," and she thinks those should be available for rental within the month.

To read the original "Gazette" story about Talenti, see

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