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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

News in Brief for August 8, 2018

Southwestern CC joins C-STEP partnership

The Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program and Southwestern Community College in Sylva are partnering to increase the number of students transferring to and graduating from Carolina.

SCC will be the 11th community college to partner with C-STEP and Carolina. The surrounding area includes the Qualla Boundary, home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.

Through C-STEP, low- and moderate-income high school and community college students who enroll in one of the program’s partner colleges are guaranteed admission to Carolina if they are first admitted to and successfully complete the community college portion of the program with at least a 3.2 GPA.

“Every day we have the chance to see our students grow and challenge themselves as they build successful lives,” said Don Thomas, Southwestern Community College president. “The launch of C-STEP at Southwestern Community College will create even more opportunities for our students, their families and our community.”

Now in its 12th year, C-STEP was launched with the support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation in an effort to enable more community college students to transfer to and graduate from Carolina. Almost 800 transfer students enter Carolina each year, about 33 percent from North Carolina community colleges.

C-STEP currently serves almost 845 students; 652 of those have already enrolled at Carolina and 482 have graduated. The remaining students are expected to enroll after completing their community college courses. As of 2018, the average C-STEP graduate GPA is 3.0 and the overall graduation rate is 81 percent.

Other current C-STEP partners are Alamance, Cape Fear, Carteret, Central Carolina, Craven, Durham Technical, Fayetteville Technical, Robeson, Sandhills and Wake Technical community colleges.

2-Step to be required for campus email users by Nov. 1

Over the past few years, University ITS has added 2-Step verification to protect a variety of digital resources – online W2 access, ConnectCarolina administrative access, student bill pay, to name a few.

This fall, ITS will require 2-Step verification for campus email users as well. The deadline is Nov. 1, but faculty and staff who want to protect their accounts immediately can visit for instructions on how to set up 2-Step for email now.

In a recent campus email, Chris Kielt, vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer, shared examples of employees who were the victims of email fraud or phishing this summer. Phishing is tricking people to reveal passwords, credit card numbers and other sensitive information by pretending to send emails from someone the receiver trusts. In the examples, employees had their identities stolen, their credit cards hacked and their direct deposit information changed.

To make it harder for phishers to steal personal information, Kielt recommends that University employees use 2-Step on all accounts that offer it, including Amazon, Google, Apple, LinkedIn, banks and retirement accounts, as well as campus email.

To set up 2-Step for Microsoft Office 365, follow these steps:

  • Visit and click on “2-Step Verification for Office 365.”
  • Follow the quick on-screen prompts to opt in to 2-Step Verification.
  • Visit to finish 2-Step enrollment.

Employees will need to download the free Microsoft Authenticator app to their mobile devices to complete enrollment. Visit for more information or contact the ITS Service Desk at 962-HELP (4357) with any 2-Step support needs.

Wonder Connection works wonders, wins award

The North Carolina Botanical Garden’s Wonder Connection program earned the Program Excellence Award at the annual conference for the American Public Gardens Association for its “truly innovative spirit in the development of an original program.” Wonder Connection provides pediatric patients at the NC Children’s Hospital with a connection to nature via hands-on natural science activities. Katie Stoudemire, the Wonder Connection program manager, invented both the WonderSphere, a sealed chamber with built in gloves that enables young patients to touch nature without danger of infection, and Hippoie Creek (shown below), a portable bedside creek with rocks, toy insects and other animals.