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 WORKING AT CAROLINA


* * From Hollywood to Chapel Hill, finding a new passion
    Human Resources news:
* * Budget constraints force Carolina Kids Camp to close
* * ULEAD program Nominations
* * Campus scenes


From Hollywood to Chapel Hill, finding a new passion

Temple Northup likes to recall his days in Hollywood.

Northup

He spent seven years there writing scripts for sitcoms before coming to Carolina as a doctoral student in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where he now teaches ethics and audio-video classes.

Northup moved to Los Angeles in 1999 after graduating from Wake Forest, and landing his first job through his brother, Fred, who had already been there working on the TV show “Living Single.” Life in L.A. is about networking.

That first job was at Warner Bros., working on a sitcom called “For Your Love.” Then, when NBC decided to create a show featuring chef Emeril Lagasse, producers chose Northup to work with the writers. Unfortunately, that show was short lived.

But cancellations are part of a sitcom writer’s life. “You never know what’s going to happen,” Northup said. “One day you’re on the air, and the next day you’re out of a job. You just have to learn to adapt.”

The sitcom “Half and Half,” which ran from 2002 to 2006, aired his first script.

“To have so much of my script make it through was amazing,” he said. “Producers rewrite the hell out of scripts. I mean, your favorite joke usually doesn’t make it through, but mine did. That was a very powerful experience.”

So was partying with the stars, which required some creative tactics on his part.

A favorite was to call to add his name to the guest list, using the Warner Bros. Studios caller I.D. for legitimacy.

“Or I would have my friend Heather flirt with the bouncers and pick a random name off the V.I.P list while they were talking,” he said. “I would then arrive a few minutes later, and she would tell me who I was supposed to be that night.”

One night, however, he got more than he expected.

It was the premiere of “Dawson’s Creek.” Knowing that company presidents usually don’t attend the parties, Northup walked to the door and told the bouncer he was Jamie Kellner (president of The WB network).

The bouncer stared at him and asked if he was sure. When Northup said yes, the bouncer replied, “That’s funny because Mr. Kellner just went in a few minutes ago.”

Not ready to admit defeat, Northup said, “No, I’m Jamie Kellner Jr. I’m his son.”

The bouncer’s assistant entered the party and came back with someone Northup had never seen. As the man looked at him, Northup stared back and began mentally packing up his office. But the man said, “Son! Let’s go in and have a drink.”

Although that night was unforgettable, Northup knew that life in Hollywood wouldn’t always be this way. That realization brought him back to North Carolina in 2008. His students keep him here.

“I’m lucky to be at UNC where the students are motivated and smart,” Northup said. “I don’t have a lot of time to spend worrying about if you guys can complete a sentence. I also am able to feed off of your energy, and that makes the environment much more fun.”

Maintaining that environment calls for some untraditional teaching methods.

One morning during his 8 a.m. class, Northup’s students heard a voice similar to his, but his mouth didn’t move. As the students watched in amazement, their instructor climbed onto a table and danced to “Time Warp” from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

“I mean, it’s an 8 o’clock class and most students are about to fall asleep halfway through,” Northup said. “I decided to record my voice, and at a certain point I had the PowerPoint start heckling me and telling me how boring it was.”

The exchange between the live teacher and the recorded voice definitely brought energy back into the room. While he admits teaching might not always be quite that entertaining, Northup has found a new career direction.

“I know it sounds cliché, but I think that having passion is important,” he said. “You should also learn to be flexible. Things can change in a matter of seconds.”

After he completes his Ph.D. in the spring, Northup may leave UNC to look for a full-time position teaching college students, but will remember his time at Carolina fondly.

“There is so much life and diversity here. I will never forget the great faculty and staff, and most of all the students,” he said.

Editor’s Note: TeQuia Clark, a senior journalism and mass communication major from Hendersonville, wrote this article.



Human Resources news:
Budget constraints force Carolina Kids Camp to close

After extensive review and consideration of all available options, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) has decided to end Carolina Kids Camp, effective this coming summer.

Started in 1992, Carolina Kids Camp was a summer day camp provided by OHR for the children of the University’s permanent employees and students, UNC Health Care employees and General Alumni Association employees as a service to the University.

“Given the role that Carolina Kids Camp has played for many University families during its 18-year history, this was a very hard decision,” said Brenda Richardson Malone, vice chancellor for human resources.

“With the serious budget challenges facing the University, though, we must take all necessary and prudent steps to meet our budget requirements, while still focusing on the crucial human resource services that we must provide to our employees.”

The camp was partially receipt-supported, but tuition and fees did not fully cover the support resources involved in putting the camp on, particularly staff time and effort, Malone said.

To help the University community through the transition, OHR has compiled a list of day camps in the surrounding area. Refer to http://bit.ly/fDmLiA.



Human Resources news:
ULEAD program nominations

The University Leadership Education and Development Program (ULEAD), a 10-week educational program for middle managers, is now accepting nominations for its next session, which begins in September.

The program includes six core classes, a comprehensive leadership assessment, peer coaching and team projects that are designed to have a significant impact on improving the effectiveness of institutions. Class topics include crucial conversations, negotiations, ethics, strategic thinking and the business of higher education.

Detailed information about ULEAD and the application process is available at hr.unc.edu/training-development/specialized-programs/u-lead/index.htm.

Eligibility criteria are included on the website. Apply by March 15 online or by contacting the Office of Human Resources’ Training & Talent Development unit at 962-2550 or training_development@unc.edu.

For additional information, contact William Frey at 962-9685 or will_frey@unc.edu.



Campus scenes

As grounds crews work to clear the sidewalks, a bicyclist makes his way onto campus after an overnight ice storm Jan. 10.

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JANUARY 26, 2011

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