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University Gazette


bullet Numerous schools, programs ranked at top of latest list
bullet Suttenfield to Wake Forest; Perry to be interim
bullet 2006 University Campaign under way for employees
bullet Employee forum: Forum resolutions address compensation, scheduling
bullet School of Public Health selected for engagement
bullet APPLES Service-Learning Program celebrates 15 years of outreach
bullet UNC alumnus Kats highlights campus Earth Day events
bullet UNC, OWASA to partner in building water reuse system
bullet UNC junior wins Truman Scholarship
bullet ArtiFACTS: Florida cypress section adorns Coker Hall entrance
bullet SECC Beach Blast
bullet @ your library: Research consultations save time, get results

bullet Sheps Center study examines effects of rural hospital closures
bullet Carolina Family Scholarship receives additional funding
bullet Gift to School of Medicine creates opportunity for cutting-edge research
bullet Study finds physical activities may protect teens against risky behavior
bullet Learn IT @ Effective communication tips, multimedia help
bullet Rams Head is served more national awards

Numerous schools, programs
ranked at top of latest list

The University appears on multiple lists of newly ranked schools, programs and specialty areas produced by U.S. News and World Report magazine for its 2007 edition of “America’s Best Graduate Schools.” Following is a summary of newly ranked UNC schools and programs, as well as specialty areas listed in the magazine’s top 10:


bullet   Tied for 1st (among programs with accredited master’s degrees)

Specialty areas
bullet   Health librarianship, 2nd
bullet   Digital librarianship, 4th
bullet   Law librarianship, tied for 5th
bullet   Archives and preservation, 7th
bullet   Information systems, 7th
bullet   Services for children and youth, 8th


bullet   Primary care, 2nd
bullet   Research, tied for 20th

Specialty areas
bullet   Family medicine, 2nd
bullet   Rural medicine, tied for 4th
bullet   Women’s health, 9th


bullet   20th (for master of business administration degree programs)


bullet   Tied for 27th

Specialty areas
bullet   Listed among the top law schools for racial and ethnic diversity


bullet   Tied for 29th


Specialty areas
bullet   Environmental/environmental health, tied for 7th

(Note: U.S. News listed this category under engineering schools, but UNC has no engineering school.)



bullet   Tied for 24th


bullet   Tied for 14th

Specialty areas
bullet   Analytical, 1st
bullet   Inorganic, tied for 9th


bullet   Tied for 22nd


bullet   Tied for 29th

Specialty areas
bullet   Statistics, 4th

New rankings appeared in the April 10 issue of U.S. News and World Report magazine, which hit newsstands April 3 along with the “America’s Best Graduate Schools” guidebook.

U.S. News first ranked graduate programs in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Business, education, engineering, law and medicine are ranked annually. Those rankings are based on expert opinion about program quality and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students, according to magazine officials.

Other disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences and humanities are ranked periodically. Those rankings are based on the ratings of academic experts.

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Suttenfield to Wake Forest; Perry to be interim

Chancellor James Moeser recently announced David Perry, executive associate dean in the School of Medicine, as interim vice chancellor for finance and administration.

David Perry

Perry will serve until a successor is found for Nancy Suttenfield, who will become senior vice president and chief financial officer at Wake Forest University, effective Aug. 1. She will have responsibility for Wake Forest’s financial affairs and resource management.

“David has long served as the principal business officer and administrator in the medical school and has routinely represented the dean in operational and administrative matters involving the school, the UNC Health Care System and other health affairs and university units,” Moeser wrote in an e-mail to campus leaders.

“In 2004, David was among the winners of the C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor given to University employees.”

Moeser said the University has been moving quickly to ensure a smooth transition and will launch an aggressive national search for a successor. Bill Roper, vice chancellor for medical affairs, dean of the School of Medicine and chief executive officer of the UNC Health Care System, will chair the search committee.

Nancy Suttenfield

Moeser noted Suttenfield’s work in serving Carolina since arriving more than five years ago.

“She has accomplished virtually all of the key objectives we had set together, and our University is stronger in the finance and administration units thanks to her leadership.”

Notable among her achievements is the exemplary way in which Suttenfield has led an excellent team of colleagues in managing the progress of the University’s Higher Education Bond Referendum program, Moeser said.

“Ninety percent of the $510 million worth of construction and renovation projects in the bond program have been completed or are under contract,” he said. “That represents about a third of the University’s total capital construction program. The University’s track record throughout this major growth cycle has been among the best of any campus in America. That is a great tribute to Nancy and her staff.”

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2006 University Campaign under way for employees

The annual University Campaign is built on the generosity of Carolina employees. The 2006 campaign  is already under way, offering every permanent faculty and staff member the opportunity to donate to Carolina. The donations can take many forms.

Here’s a look at a few of the Carolina employees who give to the University Campaign:

Andy Alberti photo


What he supports: Chancellor’s Unrest- ricted Fund.

Why he supports this area: I want to give the chancellor the flexibility he needs to meet the University’s most important priorities.

Why he believes employees should give to the University: I think it’s good to give something back. The University has been good to me. It’s provided me a job and benefits. I don’t mind giving back a little.


Linda Douglas

Director of Community Relations and Carolina alumna

What she supports: Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History; School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Why she supports these areas: I give to the areas that left me with the most memories of my time here at Carolina. Even as a student I knew that the relationships I built at the J-School were for a lifetime.

The name behind the Stone Center takes me back to those days in the early 1980s in a Greenlaw classroom. I can still see a royal-looking Sonja Stone sporting one of her head wraps or an Afro. Dr. Stone took us much deeper into Afro-American history than I had ever experienced. Every class was an incredible journey.

Why she believes employees should give to the University: As employees, we’re already a part of helping this great University become even greater. Our contributions help in that process.

Bruce Egan

Information Technology Director and founder of the Carolina Family Scholarship program

What he supports: Carolina Family Scholarship program, which gives need-based scholarships to the children of UNC faculty and staff to attend any of the 16 campuses or the state’s community colleges.

Why he supports this area: We provided four scholarships last year and hope this year to increase that number through support from faculty and staff. We all work for an educational institution, so what better program to support than one that helps the children of our colleagues go to college? And since they can attend any UNC campus/community college, it’s another example of Carolina helping support education throughout the state.

Why he believes employees should give to the University: If you believe in Carolina’s mission and purpose, then one of the ways you can help Carolina is by providing support to those campus programs you feel are important.

Holden Thorp

Kenan Professor of Chemistry,
Department Chair

What he supports: The Carolina Physical Science Complex, which provides new spaces for chemistry and the other physical sciences.

Why he supports this area: The success of Carolina depends on our ability to provide resources that faculty need to be creative and productive.  For the sciences, the physical facilities are one of the most important resources that we need to improve.

Why he believes employees should give to the University: Participation of faculty in the campaign is a way to show our support for the fund-raising priorities that we have helped establish.

Every permanent faculty and staff member who works 20 hours or more should have received a direct mail piece about the 2006 University Campaign that included a gift slip.

For more information about the University Campaign, call Beth Braxton at 962-4388 or email

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Employee Forum News

Forum resolutions address compensation, scheduling

Employee Forum delegates continued a focus on pay and benefits issues during the April meeting.

The forum approved a resolution that would ask the state for across-the-board raises for all employees.

Resolution 06-01 noted that benefits are “no longer attractive or sufficiently competitive to recruit and retain quality” state employees.

“As state employees, we have endured over six years with little or no increase in salaries,” said Alan Moran, who leads the forum’s compensation and wages committee. “The bottom line is this: The state needs to set the standard and give its employees regular increases in take-home pay.”

To improve the situation, the forum resolution urged the governor and legislature to increase salaries at the state level by  $3,500 or
5 percent, whichever is greater, to help bring the employees of this University and of this state into line with the cost of living. These raises would begin at the start of the fiscal year 2006-07.

The forum urged Chancellor James Moeser and the administration to publicly support the concepts of the resolution. The chancellor has previously said that faculty and staff salaries and benefits were among the University’s top legislative priorities.

Chair Ernie Patterson noted that the Office of State Personnel recently sent an e-mail stating that the maximum for all salary grades of SPA employees was raised by 5 percent. While the maximum has been increased, departments are implementing it in different ways, he said.

While the new levels became effective
April 1, departments must be able to identify the funding source to implement such increases.

Flexible scheduling and telecommuting
The forum noted that the Chancellor’s Task Force for a Better Workplace emphasized flexible scheduling as a way to enhance the job situation of University employees.  In 2004, the task force said flexible scheduling allows departments to offer employees a choice in their daily work schedule as long as departmental operating needs can be met.

Forum resolution 06-02 stated that Chancellor James Moeser, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Robert Shelton, and Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Nancy Suttenfield have all supported flexible work schedules wherever possible.

While the administration has backed these efforts, the rising cost of commuting and the hesitancy of some managers to allow flexible schedules were a few employee complaints the forum addressed.

As passed, the resolution called on the chancellor and the Office of Human Resources to inform the forum of the telecommuting policy development, increase the awareness among managers and employees of the need for flex time work options, improve understanding among managers and employees on how to use flex time options effectively, provide training on this issue for supervisors and managers, and provide information sessions for employees.

Schwab visits forum
Board of Trustees Chair Nelson Schwab attended the meeting, addressed members and fielded questions. Patterson recognized the efforts of Schwab and the board and pledged to continue working together to enhance the University.

“There are issues out there that are large related to benefits and compensation,” Schwab said. “These are troublesome to all of us. Being a part of the state system makes them more complicated to solve those problems.”

Talking about them is a first step toward a solution, he said.

“Your efforts are not taken for granted or underestimated,” he said. “I want you to know that we all appreciate it.”

Career banding update
Vicki Bradley, a senior director with Human Resources, gave a presentation on the Office of State Personnel’s (OSP) new career banding system. The OSP has set a target date of
Jan. 1, 2008, for all employees to be career banded, she said.

Career banding is a compensation plan designed to place employees into banded classes where career paths are identified and career development is the emphasis. The system will reduce the number of classes in the state system based on the nature of the work, similar jobs in the market, the training and experience needed and the competencies needed on the job.

The goals of the system are to retain and develop a qualified, motivated and diverse workforce; to base employee pay on level of contribution and labor market information; to simplify the administrative process; to delegate compensation decisions to managers and to held them accountable; and to encourage employees to develop skills necessary for the organization to succeed.

In the old system, time and position determined an employee’s salary.

“The career banding system is also job based, but there are also the factors that the person brings to their job through their demonstrated competencies,” Bradley said. “You can get rewarded based on the competencies you demonstrate.”

There are 10 job families in the system, and UNC has already moved employees in two of these — Information Technology and Law Enforcement and Public Safety — to career banding as pilots. Carolina was one of the pilot agencies for the state, Bradley noted.

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School of Public Health selected for engagement

The School of Public Health is one of 12 U.S. schools and graduate programs of public health recently selected to participate in the Engaged Institutions Initiative funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

The initiative seeks to support and promote the sustained efforts of institutions of higher education working in partnership with communities to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

“Eliminating health disparities among North Carolinians and those beyond our state is one of the most important priorities of our school,” said Barbara K. Rimer, dean of the School of Public Health. “We have a long tradition of working in partnership with communities to improve the health of underserved populations and to increase the number of well-trained public health professionals from under-represented groups. Being part of the Engaged Institutions Initiative will allow us to expand our efforts.”

The school’s involvement with the Engaged Institutions Initiative is an ideological fit with UNC’s continued commitment to serving North Carolina communities, said Lynn W. Blanchard, director of the Carolina Center for Public Service.

“The School of Public Health is an integral part of our campus tradition and culture of serving the state, as well as a model of how a research institution can partner with communities to address priority issues,” Blanchard said. “This opportunity comes at a time when Carolina is putting increased attention to the concept of engaged scholarship and service — that is, applying our intellectual and academic resources to meet community need. We are all excited about how the effort will complement and catalyze other efforts across the campus, including the Chancellor’s Task Force on Engagement.”

The School of Public Health was chosen from among 26 schools and graduate programs that applied. Schools were selected based on their track record of engagement with communities and concrete efforts to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities.

The school’s work in eliminating health disparities has included activities such as the Annual Minority Health Conference led by the school’s Minority Student Caucus, the development of a health disparities curriculum, the Summer Public Health Research Institute and Videoconference on Minority Health sponsored by the school’s Minority Health Project and the Kellogg Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Health Program.

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APPLES Service-Learning Program celebrates
15 years of outreach

The APPLES Service-Learning Program will celebrate its 15th anniversary April 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Frank Porter Graham Student Union.

Since 1990, APPLES has grown steadily with increasing support from the University and community.

APPLES photo
Five years ago, APPLES veterans gathered in Chapel Hill for the 10th anniversary.

“We have so much to celebrate, having grown from offering six service-learning courses in 1990 to 34 this spring semester alone,” APPLES Director Jenny Huq said. “This celebration honors all the people who have supported and advocated for APPLES throughout the years. Our success is due to the vision and passion of our founders and student leaders, the mentoring of our community partners and the commitment of our faculty members”

APPLES began on campus in the spring of 1991 with the successful implementation of six service-learning courses. During the 2003-04 academic year 36 faculty members from 16 different departments taught service-learning courses through APPLES, allowing 759 students to serve 133 organizations through coursework. APPLES extends its service-learning philosophy into the state and the region with its student-led alternative fall and spring breaks.

APPLES also runs a service-learning initiative program and an international service-learning program, supports community-based research and special projects, and awards service-learning grants to both faculty and students who pledge to support spread it mission.

The anniversary celebration will consist of presentations from 4 to 5:30 p.m., followed by a panel of alumni student leaders, an awards and recognition ceremony and a special dessert reception in honor of alumni.

The student presentations will highlight the growth and development of APPLES each year since its birth through an interactive historical timeline, as well as through a special multimedia presentation of APPLES throughout the years, Huq said.

At 6 p.m., APPLES awards will be presented to those who have made special contributions to the organization and its mission. Mary Morrison, former APPLES director, will receive the Annual Service-Learning Award in honor of Ned Brooks; Deborah Bender, a clinical professor in Health Policy and Administration, will receive the Annual Faculty Excellence Award; and the Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate Program will be honored with the Annual Community Excellence Award.

For information, visit the APPLES 15th anniversary celebration web site at, or contact Jenny Huq at

Ueltschi grant recipients announced
The APPLES Service-Learning Program has awarded Ueltschi Service-Learning Grants to five UNC professors for the development of innovative service-learning courses for undergraduate students.

Grant recipients receive $8,000 to support expenses such as course development, books, materials and stipends. Recipients must teach the course at least three times within five years, starting in the 2006-07 academic year.

The following professors were chosen for this honor, listed with the course they will teach:

bullet   Della Pollock, Department of Communication Studies, “Performance and Oral History;”

bullet   Elizabeth Dougall, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, “Crisis Communication Management;”

bullet   Jordynn Jack, Melissa Birkhofer, Heath Slodge, Department of English, “English Composition and Rhetoric;”

bullet   Tara Muller and Niklaus Steiner, International Studies, “International Education in K-12 Classrooms;” and

bullet   Timothy Marr, Department of American Studies, “Tobacco and America.”

Jim and Jean Ueltschi, both UNC-CH alumni, fund the grants in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. The Ueltschis have decided to give back to their alma mater through the contribution of grants to professors in support of innovative service-learning course development.

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UNC alumnus Kats highlights campus Earth Day events

Greg Kats, leading expert on green buildings and clean technology financing, will give the Earth Day speech on campus at 5:30 p.m. April 19.

The speech, “Climate Change, Energy Policy and National Competitiveness . . . Where are We Going?,” is part of UNC’s 2006 Earth Day celebration. The location will be the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History Theatre. An informal reception will follow in the Hitchcock Multipurpose Room.

The event is free and open to the public. Those wishing to attend can make a reservation by e-mailing or by calling 843-7284.

Kats is a principal of Capital E, a premier provider of strategic consulting, technology assessment and deployment, and advisory services to firms and investors in the clean energy industry.  He chairs the technical advisory committee on energy issues for the U.S. Green Building Council. His studies on the business case for green building are transforming the design and construction industries around the world.

Kats holds an MBA from Stanford, a MPA from Princeton, and earned his bachelors degree in English from UNC, where he was a Morehead Scholar.

Earth Day events continue on April 21 with informational displays by about 20 UNC-affiliated environmental organizations on Polk Place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. That evening, bands will perform in a concert on Polk Place in honor of Earth Day.

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Master plan remastered for 2006

UNC, OWASA to partner in building water reuse system

The Orange Water and Sewer Authority (OWASA) recently approved a contract with the University for the financing, construction, operation and maintenance of a water reuse system.

Reuse refers to the use of highly treated wastewater for non-drinking purposes such as operation of cooling towers, irrigation and toilet flushing.

“This is a great project for all of the community,” Mac Clarke, chair of the OWASA board of directors, said. “Reuse will not only meet a water resource need of the University, but it will bring supply and financial advantages to the overall community for the long term.”

Associate Vice Chancellor for Campus Services Carolyn Elfland said the University is looking “forward to continuing our work with OWASA to make the reuse system a reality. This is a very significant step forward for Chapel Hill, Carrboro and the University.”

Like other forms of drinking water conservation, water reuse will:

bullet   Reduce the demand for drinking water;

bullet   Reduce the community’s risk during severe droughts and other water supply emergencies;

bullet   Extend the sufficiency of OWASA’s high quality, locally protected drinking water supply sources (the Cane Creek Reservoir and University Lake); and

bullet   Help defer or eliminate the need to develop or expand costly drinking water supply and treatment facilities, thereby providing long-term savings for the community.

The reuse system will initially carry highly treated water from OWASA’s Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant in the southeast part of Chapel Hill to the southern campus area near Manning Drive and Skipper Bowles Drive.

The University has been installing reclaimed water pipeline on its property along with its other utility infrastructure projects in anticipation of the approval of this contract, and a reclaimed water storage tank was included in the concept plan the University submitted to the Town of Chapel Hill earlier this month.

This submission was part of the University’s proposed modification to its development plan with the town.

The overall amount of water use by OWASA customers will drop when the reuse system comes on line. That will affect OWASA’s drinking water revenues and rates somewhat, but the long-term effect will be savings to customers through reduced or deferred needs for water system capacity expansions.

The University plans initially to use reclaimed water instead of OWASA drinking water in cooling towers at its chiller plants by 2008. The initial water savings from reuse will be about 530,000 gallons per day or 6 percent of the community’s total drinking water demand. The long-term reduction in the community’s total water demand resulting from reuse on the main campus is projected to be about 13 percent.

OWASA will own the reuse system and will have the sole authority to set the rates and fees for water reuse service. The rates and fees will reflect the actual cost to operate, maintain and manage the water reuse system.

The estimated cost for design and construction of the first phase of the reuse system from the Mason Farm Wastewater Treatment Plant to the southern part of the University campus is about $11 million. The University will finance all of these costs, except for
$2.5 million to be covered with approved state and federal grants. Future phases could extend the system to the northern part of the campus at an estimated additional cost of about $3 to $4 million. The University would also pay for future phases on campus.

The University will pay for the costs to operate, maintain, extend, enlarge and manage the reuse system that will serve campus. The reuse system can be extended in the future to serve additional customers, who would pay for all costs of reuse service to them.

OWASA and UNC did a special study in 2004 to confirm that the quality and disinfection of treated wastewater will meet state standards for allowable reuse purposes and will provide a high level of protection of public health. This microbiological analysis was done by a member of the University’s environmental sciences and engineering faculty who is a nationally recognized expert. The microbiological study concluded that with the planned treatment system, pathogens will be reduced.

Wastewater is disinfected with ultraviolet light as part of the treatment process, and chlorine will also be added to reuse water before it goes into the reuse system to maintain disinfection during use.

The contract commits the University to using reclaimed water instead of drinking water in certain cooling tower operations.

A summary of the proposed contract is available in the water reuse section of the OWASA web site,

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UNC junior wins Truman Scholarship

E. Mary Williams, a junior at the University, has won the distinguished Truman Scholarship, worth $30,000 for graduate studies.

A political science and religious studies major from Washington, D.C., Williams was one of 75 recipients selected by the Harry Truman Scholarship Foundation. Nationwide, 311 colleges and universities had nominated 598 applicants.

E. Mary Williams
Chancellor James Moeser, right, surprises Mary Williams with the news she had won a Truman Scholarship.

Williams brings Carolina’s number of Truman Scholars to 29 since the first awards in 1977. In the last four years, five UNC students have won the Truman.

Williams is the second Robertson Scholar in a row from Carolina to win the Truman, after Lauren McAlee of Crofton, Md., last year. The scholars are outstanding students who receive full, four-year merit awards to study at both UNC and Duke University, with half of them based at each campus.

Williams plans to earn master’s and doctoral degrees in education, then work toward equal access to quality education in American schools.

“Our country pays virtually no attention to the achievement gap,” she said. “This is something that my generation has the power to change.”

The daughter of Emily and John Williams of Washington, D.C., Williams graduated cum laude in 2003 from the National Cathedral School in Washington. She will be inducted into Phi Beta Kappa at Carolina on April 10.

Congress created the Truman Scholarship Foundation in 1975 as the official federal memorial to the nation’s 33rd president. Truman recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills and be committed to careers in public service, government, education or the non-profit sector. Their grade-point-averages must be 3.6 or higher.

The foundation chooses recipients who are seen as future change agents, with the desire, intellect and leadership potential to improve how government agencies or non-profit organizations serve the public.

After college, Williams will apply to Teach for America, with which she hopes to work at the same time that she pursues her master’s degree in education for elementary and secondary teaching.


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Florida cypress section adorns Coker Hall entrance

Coker Hall stump

This section of a Florida cypress in Coker Hall came from a tree
that was approximately 950 years old.

Editor’s note: ArtiFACTS is a showcase of interesting art objects found across the University campus. In future issues, Historic Collection Curator Anne Douglas will highlight some of these little-known treasures.

More than 40 years ago, poet Shel Silverstein published a small book called “The Giving Tree.” The poignant story follows the lifelong relationship between a boy and an apple tree and ends with the tree, now a stump, providing a resting place for the boy, now an old man.  “And the tree was happy,” Silverstein wrote.

In 1929, with the assistance of David G. Coit (the brother-in-law of Robert E. Coker, professor of zoology from 1922 to 1947), the Cummer Cypress Company of Jacksonville, Fla., gave the Biology Department a 1-foot tall section of a swamp cypress tree.  Also called a bald cypress, this variety of tree is native to the southeastern United States. 

Swamp cypress trees have needle-like leaves; they grow quickly and can reach heights of 100 to 120 feet. The University’s section, cut from a log that weighed four tons, came from a venerable tree that was approximately 950 years old at the time it was felled.

The section measures 78 inches across and fills much of the lobby of Coker Hall, where it is used as seating. It’s nice to imagine, as students relax on the cypress between classes, that this tree is happy, too.

ArtiFACTS provided by:
Anne M. Douglas              
Historic Collection Curator

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SECC Beach Blast

SECC Beach Blast

Frank Brantley, clinical associate professor of dentistry, center, observes Lydia Lewis, left, giving shag dancing instructions on March 30 during the State Employees Combined Campaign (SECC) beach party at Sitterson Hall. Lewis is senior operations manager for Medical Education, and she and Brantley are members of the Eno Beach Shag Club that put on the demonstration. Volunteers and contributors were celebrating the end of the successful campaign, that in partnership with UNC Health Care and UNC General Administration raised $1.22 million — exceeding the $1.121 million that was raised in 2004.

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At Your Library

Research consultations save time, get results

‘If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?’
– Albert Einstein

Carolina’s libraries offer a wealth of resources, if you know what you’re looking for. But, then, it wouldn’t be research, would it? Even the most experienced scholar may have difficulty tracking down an obscure citation or getting started in an unfamiliar subject area.


Request a research consultation by using the web form at:

Just tell us a little bit about your research and either select a library subject specialist from a list or let us direct you to the best person to help you. Consultations are also available for managing your RefWorks and EndNote libraries. Once you’ve submitted the form, the librarian will contact you to schedule a consultation.

If you’re not sure whether a consultation is right for you or you’d like more information, ask us a question through any of our ASK-A-LIBRARIAN services or contact Lisa Norberg at or 843-2310.

For the graduate student and undergraduate, mastering the core tools of disciplinary research can be daunting.

Students, faculty, post-docs and visiting researchers are encouraged to take advantage of the library’s research consultation services. These customized sessions provide an opportunity to delve as deeply into a topic as you want or need with a specialist librarian.

“The researcher is the one with scholarly expertise in a topic,” said Tommy Nixon, humanities reference librarian in Davis Library. “But the librarian brings deep bibliographic knowledge and experience with similar questions.”

Going deep
Many consultations involve tracking down difficult references or sources. Nixon recalls a graduate student who sought a book published in Naples during the 17th century. The student had found a single reference to the volume and had already performed a number of sophisticated catalog searches to locate it.

Nixon eventually used a shared catalog of university libraries in the United Kingdom to locate a later edition in Glasgow. During his research, Nixon uncovered a variant of the author’s name that finally led to the volume in question held at the Biblioteca Nazionale di Napoli.

Researchers also benefit from a librarian’s up-to-date knowledge of changing databases. “Even accomplished researchers get stuck,” Zari Kamarei, librarian for the Brauer Math-Physics Library, said. “They might be used to using a certain database and not know about something else that just came out. We can also help them refine a search to take advantage of the special features in each database.”

Getting started
Consulting with a librarian can save time and avert frustration in the early phases of research. A graduate student might know the basic sources in his or her discipline, but, Nixon said, “Unless they are aware of the enormously varied specialized resources we have, they’re going to waste a lot of time.”

As an example, he points out a four-volume print encyclopedia of the Victorian era.

“It’s not one of your basic sources, but if you’re studying British literature, history, government, you’re likely to find something of interest here.”

Learning about new sources is especially important for cross-disciplinary and interdisciplinary research. A medical specialist studying problems associated with inactivity in humans, such as osteoporosis or muscle atrophy, might be interested in the physiology of hibernating animals, which are not prone to these illnesses.

“We’re well positioned to introduce that researcher to resources outside the medical field,” said David Romito, assistant biology librarian. “For example, he or she might know how to search ‘Medline’ but might not know about ‘Zoological Record,’ which indexes research on wild animal biology.”

Scholars who want to make use of new technologies also value consultations with librarians. Vin Steponaitis, a professor in the anthropology department, makes extensive use of geographic information systems as part of his research.

“I’ve had great help from library staff,” he said. The advice of the GIS librarian in Davis Library “has saved me hours of work in finding resources and figuring out how to use software.”

Continuing benefits
For many faculty members and students, the value of research consultations doesn’t end once a source has been found, a question answered, or a search completed. Librarians familiar with the interests of individual scholars often send them word about an item of interest as it comes in, or will keep a difficult query in mind in case something turns up.

Jim Fraser, senior research associate at the Center for Urban and Regional Studies, noted another advantage.

“Librarian consultation services add a crucial dimension not only to my own work, but also to my academic instruction of students in urban geography. These services touch many people at the University and are one of the elements that make UNC an excellent institution of higher learning.”

@yourlibrary highlights library services, collections, events and news of special interest to faculty and staff. Questions about this feature and requests for future topics may be sent to Judy Panitch (, director of library communications. The web site for the UNC libraries is

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Sheps Center study examines effects of rural hospital closures

A study conducted at the University has concluded that closing the only hospital in a rural community has a negative impact on the local economy: In the three-year period after a lone hospital closed, researchers found the communities’ local per capita income levels fell 4 percent.

The study, titled “The Effect of Rural Hospital Closures on Community Economic Health,” tracked the economic well-being of 140 counties nationwide that experienced a hospital closure between 1992 and 1998. Researchers found that, in general, a county that lost a hospital experienced a decrease of approximately 1 percent in per capita income in the county for the first three years following the closure. If there were other hospitals in the county, the income of the community returned to pre-closure levels within three years.

However, if the closed hospital was the only one in the county, then per capita income fell by 4 percent (or roughly $703) and did not return to pre-closure levels.

“Our findings suggest that in certain situations, it may be in a community’s long-term interest to directly support a hospital in order to ensure its long-term survival,” said Mark Holmes, a senior research fellow for health economics at UNC’s Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research and co-author of the report.

The research, believed to be the first study to separate the economic contribution of the hospital as a major employer from the importance a hospital brings to the economic development possibilities of a community, was funded by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy and appears in the April issue of the Health Services Research journal.

“A county losing its only hospital experiences a larger decline in its average income. This suggests that private business values the existence of a local hospital,” said Holmes. “Anecdotally, we hear from local economic developers that recruiting is more difficult without a hospital to serve the community.”

In addition to the decrease in average income, the unemployment rate rose by 1.6 percentage points in communities that lost the only hospital. Again, this effect was not manifested in communities with other sources of hospital care.

The community population did not change appreciably for either type of closure, suggesting that there was no exodus from counties losing their hospitals.

Other authors on the study were Rebecca T. Slifkin, program director with the Program on Health Economics and Finance; Stephanie Poley, research assistant; and Randy K. Randolph, applications analyst programmer, all of the Sheps Center.

The Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research seeks to improve the health of individuals, families and populations by understanding the problems, issues and alternatives in the design and delivery of health-care services.

This is accomplished through an interdisciplinary program of research, consultation, technical assistance and training that focuses on timely and policy-relevant questions concerning the accessibility, adequacy, organization, cost and effectiveness of health-care services and the dissemination of this information to policy-makers and the public.

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Carolina Family Scholarship receives additional funding

The Carolina Family Scholarship program, which gives need-based scholarships to the children of University faculty and staff to attend any UNC system school, will soon selects its second group of scholars.

This year’s group will include at least four additional scholars because of increased private support to the Carolina Family Scholarship Fund. Last year, the fund provided four scholarships, which went to the children of a campus security guard, a construction estimator, a social research assistant and a dental assistant. They are now attending N.C. Central University, Carolina, UNC-Greensboro and UNC-Charlotte, respectively.

The scholarship fund started out with a $200,000 endowment and $4,000 in employee gifts. This year employee contributions have grown to $14,500, and Chancellor James Moeser has designated that an additional $32,000 in private support go to the fund. This support comes from an unrestricted estate gift that is a part of the Chancellor’s Unrestricted Fund.

“I’m delighted that the chancellor has chosen to provide this additional support,” said Bruce Egan, associate director of the ITS Response Center, who established the Carolina Family Scholarship program. “It’s a great feeling to tell a child of a Carolina employee that Carolina employees are going to help them get a college education.”

Donations of any size to the scholarship fund are appreciated. For more information, visit

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Gift to School of Medicine creates opportunity
for cutting-edge research

A gift pledged by Hugh A. “Chip” McAllister Jr., and his wife, Angela, will give a major boost to cardiovascular disease research at the School of Medicine.

The McAllisters’ gift will establish the Hugh A. McAllister Jr., M.D. ‘66 Endowment for Cardiovascular Biology. The endowment will support the medical school’s Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center.

“We hope to turn this into one of the nation’s leading centers for cardiovascular research,” said McAllister, a retired Houston physician who earned his UNC
medical degree in 1966. “We want to get young scientists, the best in the country, to come here.”

Cam Patterson, chief of the Division of Cardiology at UNC and director of the Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center, called the McAllisters’ gift life altering.

“The gift is really key to our center’s ability to accomplish our major goal, which is to understand cardiovascular disease and to place UNC at the international forefront in cardiovascular research,” Patterson said. “Generous gifts like the one from the McAllisters are crucial to our having the resources and flexibility to do the kind of research that will change our understanding of cardiovascular disease over the next decade.

Chip McAllister is a visionary scientist himself, and we are fortunate and honored to be able to follow in footsteps of giants like him.”

The Carolina Cardiovascular Biology Center aims to advance the care of patients with diseases of the heart, blood and circulation by encouraging basic, preclinical and applied research to unravel the causes of cardiovascular disease and to provide new tools for diagnosis and treatment to promote well being.

Specifically, the McAllisters’ gift will allow the center to: recruit the most promising young investigators to come to UNC to carry out research, enable high-impact research that is not typically funded by the National Institutes of Health and allow researchers to communicate the importance of their work to the community.

“Cardiovascular disease is the most common cause of death in our society,” Patterson said. “Half of all Americans will die of cardiovascular disease, unless we do something about it.”

The spectrum of cardiovascular diseases is enormous — ranging from strictly genetic diseases such as sickle cell anemia and coagulation disorders to common diseases such as hypertension and atherosclerosis, the most common cause of heart attacks. This second group has environmental and poorly understood genetic components, which Patterson and his team will seek to unravel.

Although the McAllisters live in Houston, McAllister’s roots at the School of Medicine run deep. His father, Hugh A. McAllister Sr., earned his certificate of medicine at UNC in 1935. McAllister Sr. practiced obstetrics and gynecology in his hometown of Lumberton for four decades before his death in 1978.

The younger McAllister began his medical career in the armed forces. In 1971, he was named chair of the department of cardiovascular pathology at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and he remained in that position until his retirement from the Medical Corps in 1984 at the rank of colonel.

After his first “retirement,” McAllister embarked upon a second career as founding chairman of the Texas Heart Institute’s department of cardiovascular pathology.

McAllister has been an active alumnus of the School of Medicine, serving on the UNC Medical Alumni Council. In 1999, he created an endowed distinguished professorship in obstetrics and gynecology at UNC in honor of his father.

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Study finds physical activities may protect teens against risky behavior

New research out of the University finds that physically active adolescents are not only improving their health — they also are decreasing the chance that they will get into trouble.

Among teens who fare well are skateboarders, particularly regarding their self-esteem and despite a lack of wide public support for this activity.

The study found that teens who participate in a wide variety of physical activities, particularly with their parents, are at decreased risk for drinking, drugs, violence, smoking, sex and delinquency, compared to teens who watch a lot of TV.

“Adolescents who spend a lot of time watching TV or playing computer video games tend to be at higher risk for engaging in all of these risky behaviors,” said study co-author Penny Gordon-Larsen, assistant professor of nutrition, a department housed jointly in UNC’s schools of public health and medicine, and a fellow at the Carolina Population Center.

“Anything we can do to get kids to be physically active will help them in terms of their physical health, but this research suggests that engaging in a variety of activities may also have social, emotional and cognitive benefits, including reduced likelihood of engaging in risky behaviors such as drinking, drugs, violence, smoking, sex and delinquency,” Gordon-Larsen added.

The study is published in the April issue of the journal Pediatrics. The first author is Melissa C. Nelson, who received her doctoral degree from UNC and now is assistant professor of epidemiology and community health at the University of Minnesota.

The study compared seven distinct clusters of adolescents, defined according to the types of physical or sedentary activities they participated in frequently. These clusters were identified in 2005 by Nelson and Gordon-Larsen, and UNC professors of nutrition Linda Adair and Barry Popkin.

“Our previous research revealed physical activity and sedentary behavior patterns that vary among teens, and these activity patterns go beyond highly active and not active,” Nelson said.

Examples of clusters include:

bullet   Adolescents who frequently played sports with their parents, who also spent a lot of time playing sports overall;

bullet   Skaters/gamers, who did a lot of skating, skateboarding, bicycling and playing video games;

bullet   High TV/video viewers, who made their own decisions about TV viewing and did a lot of it;

bullet   Teens who often use neighborhood recreation centers; and

bullet   Adolescents who often participated in school activities, including sports, clubs and physical education.

The current study also asked questions about self-esteem, finding that risk of low self-esteem was lowest for the cluster of adolescents engaging in sports with their parents.

The remaining clusters were groups of adolescents who often used community recreation centers, as well as the group who participated frequently in school activities. Both also tended to have high self-esteem, compared to adolescents who watched a lot of TV.

The risk was similarly low for the skaters/gamers. Skateboarding may get a bad rap, since schools don’t generally sponsor it, many public places ban it and not a lot of adults participate in it. “But we found that adolescents who skateboard actually fared well in terms of self-esteem and were less likely to engage in risky behaviors compared to teens who watch a lot of TV,” Gordon-Larsen said.

“I think that parents should find ways to participate in sports and physical activities with their children,” Gordon-Larsen said. “So, instead of having family TV time, build in time that the family is together and active.

“It’s also extremely important for communities and schools to provide safe and affordable recreation facilities and opportunities for physical activity,” she added.

At this point, Nelson said, researchers still trying to understand all of the benefits of being active.

“This research leads us to believe that those benefits extend well beyond physical fitness. It could be that active teens are being exposed to more opportunities for team-building, engaging in more social interactions with others, or seeing the benefits of hard work and practice.”

“We also suspect that all teens might not benefit similarly from the same kind of activity — it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Helping to provide kids with the opportunity to get involved in any number of physical activities, instead of staying at home and watching TV, may provide a kind of resilience against engaging in these other risky behaviors.”

Funding for the research came from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health and from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Learn IT @

Effective communication tips, multimedia help

There is a new document available to help remind you of some ways to make e-mail a more effective communication vehicle for you and your colleagues. Read “Ten Ways to Keep Your eSanity with eMail” by pointing your web browser to

Teaching with technology listserver
If you’re interested in using technology in your teaching, be sure to subscribe to The list is used to discuss issues, announce conferences and other meetings, ask questions, and identify articles and books that might be of interest. We believe the list has a very high signal-to-noise ration. To subscribe, point your web browser to, “Search for Lists” (right-hand side), and enter “learn” in the search box. Then follow the instructions for subscribing.

CBT featured courses
Are you interested in learning to use Photoshop? Consider taking one or more of the 58 courses offered through the computer-based training (CBT) license. Titles include Exploring Photoshop, Automating Tasks, Designing Web Page Layouts, Preparing Images for the Web, Using Advanced Image Enhancement Techniques and many more. If you haven’t subscribed to the CBT service yet, point your web browser to and select CBT from the right-hand side. Follow the instructions and within three business days, you can start taking Photoshop (and any of the other 500-plus courses) online.

Make the most of your multimedia classroom experience
Are you teaching in one of the multimedia classrooms on campus? If you want to learn more about operating the equipment in the room, you can schedule an orientation demonstration with the ITS Classroom Hotline staff. Point your web browser to and select the option to “Schedule Classroom Demo” on the right side. The sessions take about 30 minutes. You can bring your classroom materials with you to be sure you know how the room will work for your needs. For more information about the multimedia classrooms, visit the web site at, call 962-6702, or send an e-mail to

Create shorter web addresses
You know that you can create an e-mail alias for yourself (see the LearnIT column in the February 22 Gazette), but did you know you can also create aliases for web addresses (URLs)? If your department, school or other work unit has a web address that is, you can ask to have an alias created that will be easier to remember, shorter to type and may reflect an image you want to convey for your web site.

For example, if you work in a department that is called We Create Widgets Here, your default URL might be You might prefer because nobody remembers your acronym and widgets are the most important aspect of your department. You could then use the shorter version in publicity materials.

To create a shorter version of your work unit’s URL, call 962-HELP or point your web browser to and select the option to “Submit/update a request for help.” Be sure to include both the new and old URLs.

Conference sharing from LearnIT in April
Have you ever wondered what your colleagues learned when they attended a conference? LearnIT offers opportunities for finding out through our Conference Sharing series. In April, Jason Morningstar and Cindy Stone will each host a presentation and discussion about conferences they recently attended. On April 20, Cindy will describe the Training 2006 conference including her experience with obtaining a training manager certificate offered at the conference.

On April 27, Jason Morningstar will share highlights from CSUN, an accessibility and assistive technology conference. Register for these sessions on the LearnIT workshop registration site:

Have you recently attended a conference you’d like to share with the campus community? We’d be happy to arrange a similar session for you. Contact or call Elizabeth A. (Libby) Evans (843-0132).

We would be especially pleased to host people who have attended academic conferences with content related to teaching with technology. For example, did you attend the workshop on interactive teaching for economic faculty and graduate students at the annual meeting of the Allied Social Science Associations? Did you attend the recent meeting of the Association of American Geographers and go to any of the sessions on best teaching practices? Did those sessions include discussions about audience response systems? Simulations? Good and bad uses of PowerPoint in the classroom?

Please help us bring these discussions to our campus by offering to present and discuss what you saw and heard in a 45 - 60 minute conference sharing session.

Have questions about technology or Information Technology Services?
Send your question to Loretta Bohn, communications editor, at, or Elizabeth Evans, manager for training and education, at You can always visit the ITS web site (, the Help site ( or the Help Desk at 962-HELP if you have a pressing need.

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Rams Head is served more national awards

Since basketball season is over, call it a hat trick. That’s one way of capturing the run of honors that the University’s Ram’s Head Center has netted this spring.

The latest two awards were announced earlier this month by the National Association of College and University Services (NACUFS) and Foodservice and Supplies (FES) magazine.

The Ram’s Head Center will be featured in FES magazine’s May issue as its “Facility Design Project of the Year.”

NACUFS named the Ram’s Head Center as one of five winners in its fifth annual “Best in the Business Campus C-Store Contest.” The Ram’s Head Market won in the category of “Product Mix” and will be featured along with other recipients in a presentation at the “Neighborhood Marketing: The Campus C-Store” workshop that will be held in Toronto in July.

In March, the center was featured as one of Food Management magazine’s Best Concept Awards for 2006.

The nearly $80 million structure opened in spring of 2005 along Kenan Stadium. It features a 700-space garage with a grassy plaza for a roof. The plaza features wide, brick-lined walkways.

On one side of the plaza is a dining hall and a sports café called The End Zone. On the other side of the plaza is a two-story recreation center.

On one corner of the ground floor of the garage is a grocery store.

The development of the dining hall and grocery store stems from a master plan for food service developed in the mid-1990s.

At the same time, the dining hall was conceived as part of the 2001 campus master plan that sought to increase student accommodations on south campus.

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