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Public sessions mark key point for Carolina North

Institute expands environmental program, initiatives

Governing board appoints three new trustees

   

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University Gazette

 

bullet Global American South conference to focus on health           
bullet U.S. News ranks schools, graduate programs
bullet Former Brazil president speaks on globalization
bullet Joint committee examines academic responsibility
bullet Employee Forum News: Forum members pose questions about layoffs
bullet James named provost at Columbia college
bullet UNC offers new interdisciplinary graduate program
bullet Historic econstruction
bullet Campus mourns loss of Tar Heel mascot, student
bullet Three students win Goldwater scholarships
bullet Residents to help in study of walking, cycling safety
bullet Standard ‘clickers’ suggested for use in classrooms
bullet Ueltschi grant recipients announced
bullet Stormwater success

Global American South conference to focus on health           

The University will host an interdisciplinary conference on the global American South April 19-20 at the Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport Conference Center in Research Triangle Park.

“Navigating the Global American South” will focus on regional approaches to public health and explore how experiences translate between the American South and other world regions.

Speakers include Judith Rodin, president of The Rockefeller Foundation, and William L. Roper, dean of the School of Medicine and chief executive officer for the UNC Health Care System.

More than two dozen scholars, policy-makers and professionals will discuss topics including post-Katrina recovery in a comparative perspective; gender, violence and health care; globalization and the southern health care work force; nutrition and obesity; Hispanic access to the health-care system; health disparities; HIV/AIDS and sexual risks; and the growing challenges of water management.

Conference attendees will address these topics in daily plenary or full assembly sessions and will participate in moderated presentations and roundtables. A networking lunch and an evening reception also are planned. 

 Niklaus Steiner, director of the UNC Center for Global Initiatives, said the conference offered an opportunity to discuss what the South can learn from other world regions, and vise versa.

“With this conference, UNC is building upon its long-standing tradition as the intellectual center for studying the American South,” Steiner said. “Our region has been dramatically transformed by globalization in the last few decades and we need to understand this change in order to confront the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities.”

The Center for Global Initiatives is organizing the event in collaboration with the Center for the Study of the American South, the Office of Global Health and Quintiles Transnational Corp., based in Research Triangle Park.

The conference kicks off April 19 at 1:30 p.m. with a plenary session featuring remarks by Rodin, of the Rockefeller Foundation, and Louis W. Sullivan, founding dean and first president of Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta and former U.S. secretary of health and human services.

Later in the day, Pierre Buekens, dean of Tulane University’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, and Eric K. Noji, distinguished fellow in health policy at The Center for Health Transformation in Washington, D.C., will discuss the implications of post-
Katrina recovery efforts.

On April 20, the morning plenary session will feature John Briscoe, country director for Brazil for The World Bank, and Dale Whittington, professor in the University’s department of environmental sciences and engineering. Both speak about the challenge of water management in the South and worldwide.

The afternoon plenary session will examine the effects of Latino migrants on the health-care system. Speakers are UNC’s Roper, Leah Devlin, director of the North Carolina Division of Public Health, and Jaime Sepulveda, visiting professor at the University of California at San Francisco and former director of the National Institutes of Health of Mexico.

For more information about the “Navigating the Global American South” conference or to register, visit www.globalsouth.unc.edu

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U.S. News ranks schools, graduate programs

The University appears on multiple lists of schools, programs and specialty areas newly ranked in 2007 by U.S. News & World Report magazine for its 2008 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:

SCHOOL OF PUBLIC HEALTH
Overall

bullet  Second (tied with Harvard University for master’s and doctorate programs)
bullet  Health-care management, third (for master’s degree program)
bullet  Environmental/environmental health, tied for eighth

(Note: U.S. News listed environmental/environmental health under engineering schools. UNC has no engineering school, but related programs are based in public health.)

SCHOOL OF MEDICINE
Overall

bullet  Primary care, second
bullet  Research, 20th

Specialty Areas
bullet  Family medicine, sixth
bullet  Women’s health, tied for eighth
bullet  AIDS, ninth

Health Disciplines - Nursing
Master’s programs
bullet  School of Nursing, fifth
bullet  School of Public Health, tied for 12th

Clinical Nurse Specialist
bullet  Community/public health, third (School of Nursing)
bullet  Community/public health, fourth (School of Public Health)
bullet  Psychiatric/mental health, tied for sixth (School of Nursing)

Nurse Practitioner
bullet  Family, eighth (School of Nursing)
bullet  Pediatric, eighth (School of Nursing)

Nursing Service Administration
bullet  Third (School of Nursing)

KENAN-FLAGLER BUSINESS SCHOOL
Overall

bullet  Tied for 18th (for master of business administration degree programs)

Specialty Areas
bullet  Accounting, ninth
bullet  Executive M.B.A., tied for 10th

SCHOOL OF EDUCATION
Overall

bullet  Tied for 22nd

Specialty Areas
bullet  Administration/supervision, 10th

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES
Sciences Ph.D. Programs

Biological Sciences
Overall

bullet  Tied for 26th

Chemistry
Overall

bullet  Tied for 16th

Specialty Areas
bullet  Analytical, first
bullet  Inorganic, 10th

(Note: U.S. News ranked several other sciences Ph.D. programs in 2006 but reissued those rankings only for biological sciences and chemistry in 2007 to correct a problem with last year’s survey, according to the magazine editors.)

SCHOOL OF LAW
Overall

 bullet  Tied for 36th

New rankings appeared in the April 9 issue of U.S. News & World Report magazine.

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, humanities and other areas, including selected health specialties, are ranked periodically. Those rankings are based on the ratings of academic experts.

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Former Brazil president speaks on globalization

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, the immediate past president of Brazil, discussed the complex forces driving the global economy and how those forces have played out throughout Latin America.

Cardoso
Former Brazilian President Fernando Cardoso (left) speaks with students March 26 in Assistant Professor Wendy Wolford’s Political Economy of Development and Globalization class.

Cardoso, president of Brazil from 1995 through 2002, came to UNC as the Frey Foundation Distinguished Visiting Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences. On campus March 24 – 27, he met with two undergraduate classes, attended a meeting of UNC’s advisory board for global education and met with faculty engaged in research on Latin America, globalization and development issues.

Currently, Cardoso is a professor at large at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International Studies.

The first president ever democratically re-elected in Brazil, Cardoso instigated social programs that increased primary school enrollment to near-universal levels, reduced infant mortality and slowed the spread of AIDS by providing free medical treatment for all HIV-positive Brazilians.

As national finance minister from 1993 to 1994, he was credited with successfully controlling inflation and turning the troubled Brazilian economy around.

Previously, Cardoso taught sociology and political science at the University of Sao Paulo; he was president of the International Sociology Association from 1982 to 1986.

His publications include “Dependency and Development in Latin America,” a 1970s classic in the field of sociology and political economy, and “Charting a New Course: The Politics of Globalization and Social Transformation” (2001). Cardoso discussed his country’s turbulent political and economic history in his 2006 memoir “The Accidental President of Brazil.”

In his March 26 speech at UNC, Cardoso talked about the rise of global economy since his book on Latin America was published 40 years ago and how different countries throughout Latin America have been helped or hurt.

Not all the countries of the region had the conditions to integrate into the new world order and reap opportunities that would lead to a higher standard of living for their citizens, he said.

“In a nutshell, the hurricane of macro-economic adjustments that swept the continent in the last decade took different forms and met with different political and economic and social situations,” Cardoso said.

Countries such as Bolivia and Ecuador that lacked a diversified economy experienced a greater difficulty to adjust positively than other countries whose economies had already developed an urban-industrial base, Cardoso said.

Over the past 15 years, Cardoso said, Brazil has undergone the opening of the economy and the government reforms that are still in process. It is a country in South America that has a greater degree of economic diversification than any other in the region, yet faces obstacles like none other to overcome poverty and social inequality, Cardoso said,

The Frey Foundation Visiting Professorship was established in 1989 to bring to campus distinguished leaders from fields including government, public policy and the arts. The professorship is supported by a gift from the Frey Foundation, established by Edward J. and Frances Frey of Grand Rapids, Mich., and chaired by their son, UNC alumnus David Gardner Frey, who earned bachelor’s and law degrees at UNC in 1964 and 1967, respectively.

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Joint committee examines academic responsibility

The University has established a campus committee to look at how controversial issues are taught in classrooms in response to a request from a student advisory panel.

Chancellor James Moeser recently told the Faculty Council about the new Joint Committee on Academic Responsibility, which met for the first time March 23.

Student Body Vice President Brian Phelps raised the issue at a January meeting of the chancellor’s Student Advisory Committee. He presented Moeser with a draft report on academic responsibility, which noted that the issue had been addressed by students attending a chancellor’s open house event for students last October.

In delivering his charge to the new committee, Moeser said he and the students had a good discussion about the report in January.

“We all agreed that the twin goals of preserving an environment in which academic freedom and civil discourse may flourish are essential to the Carolina experience,” he told committee members. “We are not about political correctness or avoiding controversy, but we also are keenly aware of the responsibility we all share to encourage thoughtful and constructive exchange of ideas.”

Moeser agreed to name a committee to evaluate the report and make recommendations to him and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Bernadette Gray-Little.

The draft report listed four objectives for the committee to consider:

bullet  For the University to enact policies that help create an environment that encourages critical and respectful academic dialogue in its classrooms among students and faculty.

bullet  The creation of an impartial and confidential process that gives students a means to resolve conflicts they may have with a faculty member.

bullet  To improve faculty and student facilitation skills.

bullet  To find ways to evaluate and quantify the problem to minimize the occurrence of repeated complaints.

Moeser asked committee members to evaluate each objective and, using its work and input from the broader University community, to make a final report and recommendations by the end of next fall’s semester.

Steve Allred, executive associate provost, chairs the committee. Other members are Lauren Anderson, president, Graduate and Professional Student Federation; Ronald Bilbao, undergraduate student; Frayda Bluestein, associate dean for programs, School of Government; Melissa Exum, dean of students; Karen Gil, chair, department of psychology; Darryl Gless, professor of English; Ashley Collette Groves, undergraduate student; Matthew Hendren, undergraduate student; and Ronald Strauss, Distinguished professor and chair of dental ecology, School of Dentistry.

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Employee Forum News

Forum members pose questions about layoffs

Layoffs and outsourcing have been hot topics for the Employee Forum for most of the academic year. During the April 4 meeting, some forum members finetuned that focus with questions they posed to a representative from Lee Hecht Harrison (LHH), the outplacement service hired by the University to offer advice and support to employees losing their jobs.

The firm assists employees through an extensive two-day workshop on campus, followed by individual coaching and consultation, as well as access to its online job banks.

Amy Cocke, LHH’s regional sales director, said the firm does not seek to place employees, but to prepare them for successful job searches. Each search, she said, is personal and idiosyncratic. The help each employee receives is tailored to his or her needs.

“We’re teaching people to fish rather than giving people a basket of fish,” she said.

(Currently, employees facing a layoff or whose positions are being discontinued can receive help from the Office of Human Resources. In addition, employees in state-funded positions can turn to LLH for support.)

Several forum members asked if the outside service should be viewed as a precursor to future layoffs. Some pointed to three employees in the Campus Mail Services who were notified last week they would be losing their jobs at the end of the fiscal year in June.

(University policy requires a 30-day notification. The change involves the Division of Student Affairs decision to convert the current mail delivery system in south campus housing communities from U.S. Postal Service to bulk delivery using students now employed as desk staff.)

That underlying fear of what may come was expressed by forum Vice Chair David Brannigan, who told LHH representatives, “I’m not really interested in a sales pitch. I’m interested in the underlying motive.”

But Kathy Dutton, compensation consultant in Human Resources, said there is nothing new about this outside service. The University had a similar contract with a different firm the past several years, but ended that contract last year. LHH was one of five firms that submitted detailed proposals.

Dutton said Human Resources would continue offering an array of services, including resources that are available through its Training and Development Division.

The forum’s concern over layoffs stems, in part, from a management decision to restructure the Dental Services Laboratories in the School of Dentistry and outsource many of the services that technicians there had performed. Another concern has been the specter of PACE, otherwise known as the President’s Advisory Committee on Efficiency and Effectiveness. That initiative, announced last year by UNC President Erskine Bowles, has focused on identifying ways for the 16 campuses to examine administrative costs, rework processes and leverage opportunities to operate more cohesively.

David Perry, senior associate vice chancellor for finance and administration, tried to place the swirl of concerns expressed by forum members into a broader context during his last presentation before the forum before retiring this month.

Before Laurie Charest’s retirement earlier this year, Perry had worked closely with the forum as interim associate vice chancellor of
finance and administration and advised them on various initiatives, including PACE and the legislative proposal that Bowles has since rescinded to create a separate human resources organization for the UNC system.

Perry encouraged forum members to keep an open mind on the subject of personnel flexibility. He said the flexibility introduced for UNC Health Care employees has been tremendously advantageous to employees as well as the organization.

Perry said he understood that forum members were concerned about losing the protections they now have under the State Personnel Act, but cited the advantages of being removed from the state plan that health-care system workers have already experienced.

In recent years, when state employees were getting meager pay raises, health-care workers were receiving merit pay raises and bonuses based on the revenues generated within their unit and the system as a whole. More recently, the health-care system adopted a policy under which it would subsidize up to 50 percent of dependent health-care coverage.

Perry said he cited these accomplishments, not to advocate that the UNC system have a system exactly the same as the one UNC Health Care created, but to point out the advantages of having a flexible system that can respond to the demands of the labor market by rewarding valuable employees, while deploying employees in a way that maximizes their value to the organization.

As for PACE, Perry said, “It is fair to say that process won’t go away,” by whatever name it might be called.

Embrace change, Perry said. “We have to reach some acceptance in our minds that it will never be business as usual.”

But Perry also said it was important to remember that layoffs have always been a natural part of business for a $2 billion-plus enterprise like Carolina. Every year, there are between 50 to 60 layoffs, many tied to the cycle of outside funding for research grants.

The School of Medicine recently announced it will close the Medical Illustrations and Photography Office on May 1 —  a move that reflects the fact that the University’s needs continue to evolve, Perry said.

Once, that office had close to 20 employees, Perry said, and that number is now down to five. The services they once performed, because of what talented postdoctoral fellows can now produce with their digital cameras and computers, are no longer needed.

And that is why that office will soon be closing, he said. Medical school officials said the five affected employees are being reassigned to other positions. Perry expressed optimism about those prospects and that they would remain productive members of the University community.

Perry advised the forum to resist the temptation to address concerns with a long list of resolutions. The resolutions may produce warm feelings, he said, but they are only words — and the more resolutions that are passed, the less attention is paid to any of them. The key to getting things done in the best interest of employees is to find strategic opportunities to form partnerships with people in a position to help.

“Resist the temptation to speak out on a topic because the long-term objective is to get things done,” he said.

In other action, forum members approved three resolutions dealing with salary increases for state employees, defining features for any new personnel system and membership on the task force that Bowles will create to study modifications to the State Personnel Act. For more on the forum, see forum.unc.edu.

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James named provost at Columbia college

Columbia University’s Teachers College has named Thomas James, dean of the University’s School of Education since 2003, as its provost, with the accompanying titles of dean and vice president for academic affairs.

James
James

Columbia made the announcement April 2 after a months-long national search. James will start his new job July 1. Teachers College is the largest graduate school of education in the nation and has been ranked as the top graduate education school in the country by U.S. News and World Report magazine.

During James’ four years in Chapel Hill, the School of Education increased its research funding, generated more faculty research that was field-based in community and school settings, placed more of its teacher education programs in public schools, forged new ties with policy-makers at the state and federal levels and developed strong collaborations with other areas of the University. Before coming to the University, James was vice dean and professor of educational history at New York University’s Steinhardt School of Education. He has also been a tenured professor at Brown University.

James, who will teach in the department of arts and humanities, is the author of “Exile Within: the Schooling of Japanese-Americans 1942-45,” viewed as a seminal text on the internment upon Japanese-American children during World War II. He also has written on law and the history of education, as well as on educational governance and control.

“Among a group of truly superb candidates, Tom James has the best of all backgrounds — particularly in terms of his prior experience in New York City and as a dean at one of the nation’s rising schools of education,” said Teacher’s College President Susan Fuhrman. “He brings a combination of strength and gentleness to this position that will be of great benefit to Teachers College, and we’re confident that he will set the very highest academic standards.”

Bernadette Gray-Little, executive vice chancellor and provost, said James had brought a deep commitment and passion to the School of Education, the University and North Carolina.

“He is a dynamic leader who reinvigorated the school, and who gave the faculty a new vision for how they may serve the state and the national education community,” she said.

Gray-Little said she soon planned to announce an interim dean and a search committee to begin looking for James’ successor.

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UNC offers new interdisciplinary graduate program

The University will begin offering a certificate program in interdisciplinary health communication for graduate students in the fall 2007 semester. The program is designed to develop expertise in health communication for use in applied practice, academic and research settings.

Certificate recipients are trained to apply what they have learned in real-world settings, such as departments of public health, health service agencies, public relations or advertising firms, libraries and Web design firms. Students who take a research-oriented approach are trained to apply appropriate theories in designing studies of health messages and channels of communication.    

“This initiative fosters a rich interchange of ideas among students and faculty,” said Jean Folkerts, dean of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “We are working across disciplines. This kind of collaboration makes Carolina a unique place to conduct research and receive graduate training in health communication.”

The interdisciplinary program involves more than 20 faculty members from the schools of journalism and mass communication, public health, information and library science, and the psychology department in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students in the program will choose to specialize in one of two areas — how health communication leads people to change their behaviors, or how to use integrated communication strategies to create and deliver health information through a variety of methods.

The certificate program will draw on current health communication research at UNC-Chapel Hill in the areas of using the Internet and other technology to improve health, message tailoring, risk communication, health decision making, dissemination, media effects, psychological processes, usability of electronic medical information and health marketing.

For more information about the certificate program in interdisciplinary health communication, visit the IHC website at ihc.unc.edu or e-mail ihc@unc.edu.

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Historic reconstruction

Gerrard Hall columns

Workers from Carolina Stone Setting assemble columns as part of the renovation of historic Gerrard Hall. The columns are a part of a historical reconstruction of the original south portico of Gerrard that was designed and built by English-born architect, William Nichols, in 1822.

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Campus mourns loss of Tar Heel mascot, student

Some 1,000 friends and family members gathered at Concord First Baptist Church in Concord on March 31 to celebrate the life of Jason Kendall Ray.

Ray died March 26 at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, three days after he was hit by a vehicle in Fort Lee, N.J. He was 21.

Ray was in New Jersey as the Tar Heels’ mascot, Rameses, in the NCAA Men’s Basketball East Regional.

Jason’s brother, Allen, thanked the UNC athletic department for making the terrible experience as tolerable as possible.

“Jason was a member of their family and they extended their support to us and provided support to our family as we have dealt with this terrible loss,” Allen Ray said.

“Jason was a wonderful son, brother and friend. He leaves behind a legacy of friendship, laughter, excitement for life and a genuine love for all the people he touched during his all-too-short life.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Jason Kendall Ray Memorial Fund, Concord Christian Church, 3101 Davidson Highway, Concord, NC 28027.

“Jason believed in organ donation and in the sharing of the gift of life,” Allen Ray said. “His organs will be donated to the Sharing Network of New Jersey. We hope that Jason’s gift will be able to help up to 50 people in critical need of transplant.”

Director of Athletics Dick Baddour said that Ray’s death was a devastating loss for his family and the University community.

“Jason had many talents,” Baddour said. “We have heard from so many people who said Jason went above the call of duty to brighten their days and make their child smile and laugh. He may have performed in the anonymity that comes with playing the mascot, but his life has had an overt and lasting impact on the people whose lives he touched.”

Jason majored in business administration with a concentration in marketing at the Kenan-Flagler Business School and was working toward a minor in religious studies. He had played the Ram mascot for the past three seasons.

“Jason gave Rameses an energy that was unique,” said cheerleading coach Brown Walters. “He embodied all of the qualities you would want in a team member. He was a tremendous ambassador of the University and that spirit will live on forever. The Carolina Spirit Program has lost a member of our family and he will be deeply missed.”

Ray’s loss will be felt by everyone who cares about UNC, Chancellor James Moeser said. “His legacy will be one of caring and joy, of hard work and enthusiasm for life,” he said. “Susan and I join his friends, classmates, teammates and instructors, people across the campus and far beyond Chapel Hill in wishing his family comfort during this time of profound loss.”

A memorial service for the campus community was held April 10.

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Three students win Goldwater scholarships

Three University students have received Barry M. Goldwater Scholarships, one of the nation’s most distinguished awards.

Juniors Lena Hyatt of Asheville and Stephanie Jones of Cary and sophomore Jonathan Toledo of Sylva were among 317 winners chosen from a field of 1,100 math, science and engineering students nominated by faculty members at U.S. colleges and universities. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

The Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation of Springfield, Va., makes the awards annually to sophomores and juniors who demonstrate strong commitment to careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering. Recipients must display intellectual curiosity and intensity and possess potential for significant future contributions in their chosen field.

Congress created the Goldwater scholarship program in 1986 to honor the late senator, who served his country for 56 years as a soldier and statesman, including 30 years in the U.S. Senate.

The winners bring to 31 the total number of Goldwater Scholars to come from Carolina since the first awards were made in 1989.

“We are absolutely delighted that three of our students have been recognized for their academic accomplishments and for their potential as future research scientists,” said biology professor William Kier, chair of the faculty committee that chose UNC’s Goldwater nominees. “They are representative of the excellence of the undergraduates here at UNC-Chapel Hill.”

Hyatt
Hyatt

Hyatt, 21, is the daughter of Joseph and Nancy Hyatt of Asheville. She graduated from A.C. Reynolds High School in Asheville in May 2004 and has taken classes at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College and at a Duke University study abroad session in Costa Rica.

Hyatt has a grade-point average of 3.839 on a 4-point scale and is on track to graduate in December 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry and biology. Since 2005, she has worked at a campus genetics lab, examining DNA repair in Drosophila (fruit flies). While in Costa Rica, in April 2005, Hyatt conducted an independent research project, comparing relative concentrations of chlorophyll between fruiting and non-fruiting plants. She will travel to the University of Giessen in Germany this May to conduct DNA research on E. coli bacteria.

“Ultimately, I want to help people, but the best way for me to save the world is different than most people’s ideas,” Hyatt said. “My way is in a lab, peering under a microscope, purifying proteins, crossing flies and searching for novel information about aberrant DNA repair that might one day lead to cures for cancer.”

Hyatt is president of the UNC women’s club volleyball team; pledge-class president of Alpha Chi Sigma, a national chemistry fraternity; and student affiliate for the American Chemical Society.

Jones
Jones

Jones, 21, is the daughter of Cindy Hughes-Jones and Stephen R. Jones of Cary. She graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham in May 2004. She participated in UNC Field Studies in Siberia (based out of Novosibirsk and Irkutsk, Russia) in the summer of 2006.  

Jones has a grade-point average of 3.947 and is on track to graduate in May 2008 with a bachelor of science degree in chemistry. She first worked at a campus lab in 2003, as a high school student, and has continued to log time as an undergraduate. In 2005, she joined a campus research group where her research, which she plans to incorporate into an honors thesis, focuses in part on stem cell differentiation. Jones also works part-time at an internship with Liquidia Technologies, a materials science company based in Research Triangle Park and founded by researchers at Carolina and N.C. State University.  Jones plans to become a university professor, conducting interdisciplinary research involving biological chemistry and materials science.

“I want to throw myself into a research project in which I must learn anything needed to solve the problem,” she said. “I also hope to teach and mentor. I believe many students become discouraged from science because of lack of personal interaction with professors who do the most interesting research. I want to change this.”

Jones is president of the UNC student group Space Talk and was a member of the board of directors for Students for the Exploration and Development of Space, a national student interest group. She has tutored students in chemistry, coached an elementary club soccer team, worked for The Daily Tar Heel student newspaper and volunteered for Katrina hurricane relief.

Toledo
Toledo

Toledo, 19, is the son of Janet James and Charles Toledo of Sylva. He graduated from Smoky Mountain High School in Sylva in 2005 after having also attended classes at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, N.C. State University and Western Carolina University before coming to Carolina.

Toledo has a grade-point average of 3.890 and is on track to graduate in May 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in physics and minors in chemistry and mathematics. He is an undergraduate research assistant in the applied mathematics department, and in summer 2006 he received a William P. Smallwood Undergraduate Research Fellowship to fund his research. Toledo recently was accepted into the Integrated Biomedical Research Training Program, which will provide research funding for summer 2007. He presented his work at two math and physics conferences last year, and the results of a research modeling project that he worked on recently were accepted for publication in Physical Review E, a journal of statistical, nonlinear and soft matter physics.

Toledo plans to seek a position at a university where he can conduct biophysics research. “It is the challenges of science and the process of discovery that truly bring me happiness,” he said.

Toledo is a member of the student attorney general staff and has volunteered for INSPIRE, a service project that aims to motivate younger generations to pursue careers in science. He has tutored students in physics, mathematics and chemistry.

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Residents to help in study of walking, cycling safety

Walking, cycling safety study
Bicyclists and pedestrians cross at the Bell Tower on South Road.

A research team from the University’s Highway Safety Research Center will survey pedestrians and bicyclists in April and May at Chapel Hill and Carrboro parks and greenways, shopping centers and other public spaces, including the UNC campus.

The study, which is being conducted for the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT), will identify, prioritize and conduct on-site assessments of roadway locations that present safety problems to bicyclists and pedestrians.

 Once the most serious problem locations are identified and assessed, potential treatments will be suggested.

Besides evaluating pedestrian-motor vehicle and bicycle-motor vehicle collision locations, the study team seeks input from the traveling public about locations that are perceived to be risky to bicyclists or pedestrians. The intent is to identify locations that may be unsafe but have not necessarily experienced a pedestrian or bicycle crash problem yet.

Researchers will seek input from willing survey participants ages 18 years and older.

A final report documenting the study’s findings and recommendations will be prepared for NCDOT and is expected to be available to the towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro in January 2008.

For more information, call researcher and the study’s principal investigator Libby Thomas at 962-7802.

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Standard ‘clickers’ suggested for use in classrooms

ITS Teaching and Learning has recommended eInstruction’s Classroom Performance System (CPS) as the standard product for class response systems. The student devices for these systems are popularly known as “clickers.”

An instructor uses a class response system to pose questions to the class, and students use the clickers to transmit their answers to the instructor’s receiver. Answers are tallied almost instantly, and the instructor can display graphs of the collected responses to the class.

While instructors and departments can still adopt any response system they wish, choosing the recommended standard will be most cost-effective for students and the University.

“Some students have reported having to purchase up to three different clickers for their classes,” said Charlie Green, assistant vice chancellor for Teaching and Learning. “A recommended standard should make it easier for instructors to adopt a single device that students can use across different courses.”

Green said the decision to partner with eInstruction was made in consultation with faculty and student government representatives after evaluating five products on the market (report available at its.unc.edu/tl/clickers/resp_sys_eval.pdf).

“Because some faculty are already using response systems, their needs and experience have played a significant role in making this decision,” said Green. “We’ve tried to strike a balance between the features that make these effective instructional tools, the quality of support provided by the vendor and the cost to students.”

eInstruction charges separately for the clicker and a student’s online registration of the device. Benefits of the partnership with eInstruction include a 15 percent to 30 percent discount on the cost of this registration, depending on how many semesters a student uses the clicker.

Beginning in May, both Student Stores and Ram Book and Supply will sponsor buy-back programs for used CPS devices, which will give students the option of buying a used device at a lower cost.

Planning for the next generation of class response systems is already under way. Teaching and Learning is partnering with the Office of Student Affairs to evaluate the use of cell phones as class response devices. Over the next several years, the need for clickers will likely disappear.

“The potential for convergence is great here since most students are already carrying cellular devices,” said Green. “In the meantime, though, the effective use of clickers is an immediate way to increase student participation in the classroom, especially in large classes.”

More information about CPS clickers, including best practices for classroom use and support contacts for instructors and students is available at its.unc.edu/tl/clickers.

“Introduction to Clickers,” an hour-long workshop for interested faculty and staff, will be offered on April 13 and April 16. Register online at help.unc.edu/tracs.

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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 2007-08 academic year.

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

bullet  Douglas Crawford-Brown and Kathleen Gray, Carolina Environmental Program, “Internship in Sustainability;”

bullet  Jessica Fifield, Department of Communication Studies, “Persuasion;”

bullet  Flora Lu, Department of Anthropology, “Environmental Justice;”

bullet  Darcy Lear, Department of Romance Languages, “Business Spanish and North Carolina Communities;” and

bullet  Jonathan Weiler, Curriculum in International and Area Studies, “Comparative Development.”

Jim and Jean Ueltschi, both alumni, fund the grants in collaboration with the Office of the Provost. The grants are administered through the APPLES Service-Learning Program, a student-run, academic affairs program that engages students, faculty and community agencies in service-learning partnerships. 

For more information, call Jenny Huq, director, at 962-0902 or Leslie Parkins, associate director, at 843-6829.

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Stormwater success

Stormwater landscape challenge

One of the two second-place teams in Grounds Services’ stormwater landscape contest takes a break near their winning Carrington Hall project. They are, from left, Charles Tomberlin; Kittie Allen, crew leader; Joe Moore and Bobby Couch.

Winners of the first-place prize — and $100 — were Don Acrey’s crew. The other second-place winners — who took home $50 — were David Brannigan’s crew.

The idea for the contest sprouted in December 2006 when Grounds Services Director Kirk Pelland, in the holiday spirit and on his way to a departmental party, thought about isolated problem areas on campus and conceived of a solution: Donate $100 of his own money for a landscaping contest, ask grounds supervisors if they’d be willing to donate $10 each and challenge the grounds crews to select areas of concern and landscape them with plantings, soil, rocks and mulch to minimize stormwater runoff.

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