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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

News in Brief for March 8, 2017

Faculty Council members discuss diversity in ‘today’s climate’ at Feb. 24 meeting

After opening remarks and updates from Chancellor Carol L. Folt, the Faculty Council turned its attention to the latest presentation in its ongoing “diversity syllabus.” The presentation at the Feb. 24 meeting focused on “Navigating Uncertainty: Today’s Climate and its Impact.”

Carolina Women’s Center Director Gloria Thomas, law professor Michael Gerhardt and LGBTQ Center Director Terri Phoenix shared concerns they have about the state’s controversial HB2 law (barring transgender people from using the bathroom of their gender identity), a political climate that seems to encourage hostility and harassment and the importance of freedom of speech.

In other business:

  • Faculty Council unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the use of “teaching assistant professor” and “teaching associate professor” for fixed-term faculty;
  • Chair Bruce Cairns announced that the two candidates for chair of the faculty are Lloyd Kramer, history professor and director of the Program in the Humanities and Human Values, and Leslie Parise, professor and chair of the biochemistry and biophysics department and co-chair of the most recent Quality Enhancement Plan steering committee; and
  • Cheryl Stout, assistant director for parking services, gave the council a preview of the five-year transportation and parking plan she will present to the Board of Trustees Finance, Infrastructure and Audit Committee in March. The updated plan will spread the cost of parking and access to transportation more equitably among the system’s users, phase in weeknight parking permits and add enhancements including a bike sharing program.

Employee Forum meets new Housekeeping director, Herb Richmond

Herb Richmond, newly named director of Housekeeping, visited the Employee Forum at its March 1 meeting. Richmond fielded a wide range of questions from the delegates, including staffing shortages, employee policies and even changing the name of Housekeeping to something else.

“I’m proud of what I do. I am a housekeeper,” Richmond said.

“I agree with you. You don’t change a condition by changing the name,” said delegate Ricky Roach of Energy Services. “My title is ‘energy utilities technician,’ but I’m a mechanic.”

In other business:

  • C.J. Stevenson presented information about the State Employees Association of North Carolina (SEANC), which lobbies the legislature on behalf of state employees;
  • Shauna Stackhouse, benefits manager in human resources, told delegates that employees’ total compensation statements are now being delivered;
  • Malee Kirk, events coordinator, said that Carolina raised $793,836 of the $3.87 million 2016 State Employees Combined Campaign, the most of any campaign in the state; and
  • Delegates voted to supply volunteers for a building shift April 12 on a Habitat for Humanity home for a fellow employee.

Carolina rises to No. 7 on the Peace Corps’ Top Colleges Ranking

Carolina has risen to No. 7 on the Peace Corps’ Top 25 list of large schools producing Peace Corps volunteers. In 2016, Carolina held the No. 12 position.

“Peace Corps service is an unparalleled leadership opportunity that enables college and university alumni to use the creative-thinking skills they developed in school to make an impact in communities around the world,” said acting Peace Corps Director Sheila Crowley. “Many college graduates view Peace Corps as a launching pad for their careers because volunteers return home with the cultural competency and entrepreneurial spirit sought after in most fields.”

Since the Peace Corps’ founding in 1961, 1,296 Carolina alumni have traveled abroad to serve as volunteers. Service in the Peace Corps is a life-defining, hands-on leadership experience that offers volunteers the opportunity to travel to a community overseas and make a lasting difference in the lives of others.

Potential applicants can connect with a local recruiter and locate their local regional recruiting office by visiting the Peace Corps website at peacecorps.gov. 

02Adriano Bellotti.jpgBellotti named 2017 Gates Cambridge Scholar

Adriano Bellotti, a student in the School of Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship, which provides full support for graduate study at the University of Cambridge in England.

Bellotti, 24, a Charlotte native, is among 36 Americans selected for the award from 800 U.S. applicants.

As an undergraduate, Bellotti began to appreciate the pragmatic perspective and mathematical methods of research in biomedical engineering. He sought to apply this empirical approach to medicine, which led him to pursue a combined master’s and doctoral degree program at Carolina.

At Cambridge, Bellotti plans to complete a three-year doctoral degree, studying neurophysiology through computational modeling, specifically neuroplasticity in both single neurons and neuronal circuits. Using this research, coupled with his engineering background and clinical experience, he aspires to lead medical researchers in facilitating the translation of new treatments and technologies into the clinic.

“It is wonderful to see Adriano selected for this outstanding award that will help him advance his studies in the development and application of mathematical models to create new biomedical engineering solutions leading to breakthrough clinical treatments and technologies,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “I am very excited for Adriano and know his studies at Cambridge will provide an excellent opportunity for him to continue his studies.”

Bellotti is Carolina’s sixth Gates Cambridge Scholar and its fourth consecutive recipient since 2013.

Established in 2000, the Gates Cambridge Scholarship is funded by a $210 million donation to the University of Cambridge by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Martha Isaacs

Isaacs earns Luce Scholars Program Fellowship

Senior Martha Isaacs, a geography of human activity major and city and regional planning minor, has been named a recipient of the 2017 Luce Scholars Program Fellowship.

Isaacs is Carolina’s 38th Luce Scholar and one of only 18 students in the United States selected for the prestigious program, which includes an internship in Asia.

Isaacs, 21, is from Reisterstown, Maryland. She will graduate from Carolina in May and is working on her senior honors thesis. She is a Morehead-Cain Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa member, Honors Carolina student and was named a Buckley Public Service Scholar in 2014 after completing more than 300 hours of public service.

“I am honored and overjoyed to have the opportunity to travel to Asia next year with the Luce Scholars Program,” said Isaacs. “As a Luce Scholar, I hope to work as a transportation planner in Singapore or Japan, beginning my professional career with a chance to shed North America-centric planning practices and learn from a different political, economic, and geographic context.”

Isaacs works with the Refugee Community Partnership as a Bridge Builder to encourage connection with local refugees originating from Burma/Myanmar. She plans to pursue a graduate degree in city and regional planning with a focus in transportation, and then start her career as a transportation planner in the governmental, private or nonprofit sector.

“It is wonderful to see Martha selected for this outstanding program and fantastic opportunity to continue her studies of transportation and urban planning systems in Asia,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “I am very excited for Martha and have no doubt that her studies will help shape the cities and transit systems of the future.”

The Henry Luce Foundation launched the Luce Scholars Program in 1974 to provide an immersion experience in Asia to young Americans who would not otherwise have the opportunity to learn about the region.

Carolina boasts more Luce Scholars than any other college or university in the United States, including eight recipients in the last five academic years.