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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


A collaborative art: the making of ‘Johnny Johnson’

In professional theater, there are obvious ways to tell whether a production has been a success. Reviews. Box office sales. How long an audience applauds – or laughs. For David Navalinsky, the director of undergraduate production at Carolina, there is a more subtle – and substantial – measure: how much his students learn. ... Read More

Building a Village of Hope in Ghana

How do you explain a calling? Devon Leondis curls her fingers into her palm and touches her hand lightly to her chest, explaining, “It was always something that was in my heart.” For as long as she can remember, the Carolina junior with the long dark hair and quick smile has wanted to help poor […] ... Read More

Lee advocates treating the whole patient, not just the injury

When your father is a surgeon and your mother is an internist, odds are that you will be a medical professional, too. The only real question is what your specialty will be. Michael Lee chose physiatry, also known as physical medicine and rehabilitation – and a very new field 30 years ago. He knew that […] ... Read More

Trustees honor seven with prestigious Davie Awards

The Board of Trustees on Nov. 19 presented its highest honor, the William Richardson Davie Award, to seven alumni in recognition of their “dedication, commitment, loyalty and service.” Established in 1984, the Davie Award is named for the Revolutionary War hero who is considered the father of the University. Rusty Carter is the president of […] ... Read More

Gil to step down as arts and sciences dean in 2015

Karen M. Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences since July 2009, has announced her decision to step down at the end of the academic year to return to teaching in the Department of Psychology. “There is never a ‘best’ time to leave a job that you love,” she wrote in an email […] ... Read More

Sturgess sees end of an era as ConnectCarolina launches

Carolyn Sturgess is accustomed to being on the forefront of the University’s financial system evolution. Since the 1980s, she has been involved in the development of the many financial systems that were collective tools for the University until the new ConnectCarolina Finance and HR/Payroll system was implemented in October. Sturgess, a 1998 recipient of the […] ... Read More

Johnson to speak at December Commencement

James H. Johnson Jr., a distinguished economic development and impact researcher and demographer, will speak at the December Commencement ceremony. Chancellor Carol L. Folt will preside at the Dec. 14 ceremony at 2 p.m. in the Smith Center. She selected Johnson, William R. Kenan Distinguished Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at Kenan-Flagler Business School and director of […] ... Read More

Carolina Family Scholarship may move to Employee Forum

It began as a pesky question in Bruce Egan’s head. How was it possible, he wondered, that some Carolina employees could not afford to send their own children to college? To Egan, that seemed not only unfair, but also intolerable at an institution that began as the nation’s first public university and became known as […] ... Read More

Saluting veterans and ROTC students

Veterans Day is a day set aside to honor Americans who have served in the U.S. armed forces. To continue that celebration and remembrance, we present this gallery of photos taken by University photographer Dan Sears at Carolina’s Veterans Day service on Nov. 11 as well as photos he took of ROTC students as they […] ... Read More

Faculty emphasize making sure academics remain top priority

Frustration, anger, disappointment. These emotions were apparent in speaker after speaker during the Oct. 31 Faculty Council meeting. The entire council meeting, the first since former federal prosecutor Kenneth Wainstein released his report detailing an 18-year span of academic wrongdoing at Carolina, was devoted to a discussion of the report’s findings. During the standing room-only […] ... Read More

Finding a common faculty voice

In the aftermath of the release of the Wainstein report, many faculty members’ voices have been heard, particularly during the Oct. 31 Faculty Council meeting, but there isn’t yet a collective faculty voice. And that’s what the Faculty Athletics Committee (FAC) is listening for. “We hear a lot of individual voices, but we don’t yet […] ... Read More


Christi Hurt, assistant vice chancellor/chief of staff for Student Affairs, and Kelli Raker, sexual violence prevention coordinator for Student Wellness, were honored by the Orange County Rape Crisis Center. Hurt received the Margaret Henderson Award for Service and Self-Care, and Raker received the Margaret Barrett Award for Advocacy. Alan Shapiro, Kenan Distinguished Professor of English […] ... Read More

Carolina Covenant shows ‘us at our best’

As a teenager in rural Michigan, Shirley Ort had no expectations of going to college until her high school principal rapped on her screen door the summer after her graduation. He was carrying an application to Spring Arbor College, a private liberal arts school about 60 miles from her home. Although Ort did not understand […] ... Read More

Thank you for your service

On a sunny morning under blue skies, about 80 people from the Carolina community gathered Tuesday between Phillips and Memorial halls to celebrate and thank those who have worn military uniforms – American veterans. The Carolina Alumni Memorial in Memory of Those Lost in Military Service is a space on Cameron Avenue marked with low […] ... Read More

Meet a Tar Heel: Piano man/computer scientist Nassib Nassar

When his fingertips touch the keys of the piano, Nassib Nassar tells a story. As he plays, he listens — paying attention to the details of the story, making sure the truth is being conveyed. He takes the same care when his fingertips touch the keys of a computer. Nassar is a pianist and also […] ... Read More

Middle schoolers preview what it’s like to be a Tar Heel

Roughly 130 middle school students on Oct. 29 took part in Tar Heel Preview Day, an initiative by UNC Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA) meant to introduce minority male students to college life, inspire their desire to attend college and give them the necessary information to plan for life after high school. The Carolina Millennial […] ... Read More

Folt: ‘Academic freedom does not mean freedom from responsibility’

“Paper classes,” they were called. For nearly two decades, they represented a shadow curriculum that handed out hundreds of high grades to students who seldom earned them. They began in secret, with the good intentions of a misguided departmental administrator with a soft spot in her heart for students who struggled with the academic rigor […] ... Read More

Community grapples with academic report findings

At a time when most would usually be heading home, about 300 people gathered in the Genome Sciences auditorium on Oct. 22 for a town hall meeting about the Wainstein Report. The attendees – evenly divided among faculty, staff and students – were not there to point fingers but to try to understand what happened […] ... Read More

Don’t get tricked – follow the rules for Homegrown Halloween

Franklin Street will close from 9 p.m. until midnight on Oct. 31, in anticipation of the seventh annual Homegrown Halloween. In an effort to keep the event a small-town community gathering, parking and traffic, including streets adjacent to campus, will be affected on the day and evening of Oct. 31. There will be limited parking […] ... Read More

Picking up the PACE for peds in Porthole Alley

Right now, Porthole Alley is home to a lively parade mural and a strip of pavement warily shared by pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles. The alley, only 18 feet wide, has no designated place for people to walk or bike, and the height of the buildings that line the alley makes it hard for pedestrians to […] ... Read More

Staff kick up their Heels on Employee Appreciation Day

While the students are away for fall break, the University has a chance to say thank you to the staff and faculty who make the place run. On a perfectly sunny and mild October Friday, employees celebrated Employee Appreciation Day by gathering at the Pit and the Student Union for lunch, games, dancing and fun. […] ... Read More

50 years ago, they started a revolution still going strong

Collectively, they have been with Carolina’s Department of Computer Science a total of 132 years. Fred Brooks came here to found the department in 1964, and Stephen Pizer arrived four years later with his newly minted Ph.D. from Harvard. Pizer’s dissertation adviser told him about the exciting new program that Brooks – another Harvard alum […] ... Read More

Panoramic display technology puts Davis Library on the map

People who want to visit the Great Barrier Reef, the Louvre or even the moon can do so without leaving campus. Thanks to a new Liquid Galaxy display system on the second floor of Davis Library, visitors can call up any Google Earth destination in a surround-screen immersive environment. The installation, made up of seven […] ... Read More

Confronting institutional prejudice, paving the way for change

Deborah Stroman believes in tackling complex issues head on. Both as a participant and a trainer, she frequently takes part in diversity programs and is always looking for opportunities to communicate that information broadly. In fact, one anti-racism workshop she attended about a year ago became the inspiration for a new course at Carolina that […] ... Read More

PAWS connects for success

Petting a dog has obvious pluses, including decreased blood pressure, lowered heart rate, lowered cortisol levels resulting in less stress, and many smiles. At UNC PAWS, a new shelter-to-pet program at Carolina’s Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health, clinicians amplify those benefits by connecting shelter dogs with people who suffer from addiction disorders, depression […] ... Read More