The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

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Dr. Linda P. Brady
Dr. Linda P. Brady, UNCG's next chancellor, was all smiles when she met faculty and staff for the first time June 12.
The search is over

Dr. Linda P. Brady, who is senior vice president and provost at the University of Oregon and a former dean at NC State, became our campus' 10th chancellor Aug. 1. Hear her remarks.

“This is one of the very best jobs in American higher education,” Brady said at a press conference in the Gatewood Building June 12, the day of her appointment. “I am so grateful for this opportunity and indeed humbled by the trust and confidence that has been placed in me.”

She noted that UNCG is a special place with a unique heritage. “I am drawn to the roots of Woman's College — a college that has served so many women, North Carolinians and others — a college that has undergone a major transformation to become a top-tier co-educational institution, serving a diverse student population, including many first-generation college students. I am drawn to an institution in which its faculty call themselves ‘teacher-scholars,’ a place where teaching and research, learning and discovery are intertwined as they must be.”

Brady, whose father emigrated from Scotland in 1928, was the first in her family to attend college. She covered the $200 per semester tuition at Douglass College, the women's division of Rutgers University, through a scholarship, federal loans and working as a waitress in the dining hall. The day she graduated was one of the proudest in her parents' lives.

“My parents believed in the power of education to open doors,” she said. “Education changed my life. It continues to change the lives of students at UNCG. … We must ensure that these opportunities are available to future generations of North Carolinians.”

Brady was elected chancellor unanimously by the UNC Board of Governors.

In recommending Brady to the board, President Erskine Bowles said, “Over the past 25 years, Linda Brady has accumulated a wealth of leadership experience at highly respected public, urban universities, as well as in the halls of Washington. At each step along the way, she has proven herself to be an energetic leader who promotes collaboration, creative problem-solving and real-life commitment to scholarship, research and public service.

“With her broad experience in higher education and federal government, her demonstrated integrity and sound judgment, and her profound understanding of the global marketplace in which our students must compete, Linda Brady will be a forceful and effective leader for UNC Greensboro. We are delighted to bring her back to North Carolina.”

A native of New York City, Brady graduated from Douglass College in 1969 with a degree in political science. She received a master's degree in the field from Rutgers in 1970 and a doctorate in political science from the Ohio State University in 1974.

From 1978 to 1985, Brady held several positions in the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense. Among other roles, she served as a political analyst in the State Department's Office of Disarmament and Arms Control and as special assistant for mutual and balanced force reductions in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. She later served as a senior fellow in international security and arms control at the Carter Center of Emory University from 1986 to 1987 and as a distinguished professor of national security at the U.S. Military Academy from 1991 to 1992.

From 1993 to 2001, Brady led the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where she was also a professor of international affairs. She joined NC State in 2001 as Dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and professor of political science. She left North Carolina in 2006 to become the chief academic and operating officer at the University of Oregon.

Brady is married to Gustav “Steve” Heyer, a retired Army officer. She has two adult stepsons and three grandchildren: Stephen Heyer and his wife, Suzanne, live in Richmond, Va., with their children Alex, Megan, and Andrew Casey, while Michael Heyer lives in Chicago.

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Science Building Naming Photo
NC System President Erskine Bowles applauds the naming of the Patricia A. Sullivan Science Building.
Sign of respect

Since its opening in 2003, the new landmark on the corner of North Drive and McIver Street has been called the “Science Building.” But no longer.

Now the state-of-the-art facility has a new name — the Patricia A. Sullivan Science Building.

The announcement took place following the final trustees meeting of Sullivan's tenure as chancellor at UNCG. Following adjournment, the group came to the site where a crowd was waiting.

“Pat, for your dedication; for the excellence of your leadership; for your love of this campus, its faculty, staff and students; and for your love of the sciences — the UNCG Board of Trustees can't think of a better way to honor you and your legacy than to name this building for you,” said Trustees Chair Stephen C. Hassenfelt. “From this day on, students who come and go through its doors will know it as the Patricia A. Sullivan Science Building — and they will know of the many ways you helped to improve the education that they will receive at UNCG.”

UNC President Erskine Bowles was on hand with another surprise. He told Sullivan she was receiving The Old North State Award from Gov. Mike Easley. The Old North State Award recognizes “dedication and service beyond expectation and excellence to the Great State of North Carolina.”

Its inscription read: “You have recognized that the real focus in life is to do more, to be more and to give more. It is above all else to matter and to count … to stand for something and to make a difference.”

Sullivan said she was humbled, even embarrassed, by the magnitude of the tribute. “Knowing that this building now carries my name stirs a combination of emotions that are difficult to describe,” she said. “I strongly feel that I have not defined this university; rather, it has defined me. I have not single-handedly impacted UNCG; but it has made a profound impact on me. And as much as I love the sciences and believed in the need for this building, I did not lay these bricks. I did not draft the blueprints. Nor did I hire each professor or recruit each student who walks these halls, advances knowledge and makes important discoveries.

“The sciences have rewarded me. This university and all the wonderful people associated with it have rewarded me. And today, youíve rewarded me with an incredible honor.”

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Statue of General Nathanael Greene Photo
Statue of General Nathanael Greene
Goin' Greene

Sculptor James Barnhill MFA '82 rose to the challenge.

The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation commissioned Barnhill to create the 11Ĺ-foot bronze statue of General Nathanael Greene — “The Fighting Quaker” — that graces the Greene Street roundabout in downtown Greensboro. The job wasn't easy. How does one capture the essence of a man who was a walking contradiction, and something of a saint?

“As far as I could tell, he was all virtue and no vice,” said Barnhill, who read up on the cityís namesake. Greene was Washington's right-hand man during the Revolutionary War, commander of the Southern army and commanding general at the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. “He was everything you would think a hero figure should be, and he was every bit the man Washington was.”

Barnhill also created the Minerva statue that stands outside Elliott University Center. He now teaches art at NC A&T.

The City of Greensboro unveiled Greene March 26, following a year's worth of work on Barnhill's part, and a few setbacks. The first form collapsed under the weight of the clay, causing Barnhill to start from scratch.

But, Barnhill said, the effort was worth it.

“It was a great honor to be chosen to do this. I feel like they were real, real pleased with the results. And I was pleased; that was the main thing.”

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Dr. Celia Hooper Photo
Dr. Celia Hooper
Alumna named Health and Human Performance dean

You can remove interim from Dr. Celia Hooper's title.

The UNCG alumna and professor of communication sciences and disorders became dean of the School of Health and Human Performance (HHP) on July 1.

She assumed leadership on an interim basis when Dr. David H. Perrin left the post to become provost July 1, 2007.

Dr. Hooper was a superb department head of communication sciences and disorders, and over the past months has demonstrated her effectiveness as interim dean,” Perrin said. “She has the leadership skills and vision needed to move the school to the next level.”

Hooper, who earned her master's degree in speech-language pathology at UNCG in 1974, led the planning for a doctoral program in communication sciences and disorders, which began offering courses in the fall. She also established the Applied Communicative Sciences Laboratory, where undergraduate and graduate students from several departments conduct research related to speaking and singing.

“I look forward to expanding student research, distance learning and community college collaborations,” Hooper said. “I continue to be amazed at the variety of research taking place in our departments, research that contributes to health and wellness throughout North Carolina and beyond.”

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A million thanks

Sometimes, it's a matter of perspective.

How much do people admire retired Chancellor Patricia A. Sullivan? At least a million dollars worth.

Since Sullivan announced her retirement in December, more than $1.5 million dollars have been given in her name to honor her extraordinary legacy. Of that number, $137,979 has been given directly to the Dr. Patricia A. Sullivan and Dr. Charles W. Sullivan Endowed Scholarship Fund.

“It's a staggering sum,” said Dr. Patti Stewart, vice chancellor for university advancement. “It shows the deep respect and admiration so many have for Chancellor Sullivan's legacy. It is also an inspiring example of the wonderful spirit of giving possessed by those who care a great deal about UNCG.”

Those gifts provide much-needed support in a variety of areas — scholarships, professorships, leadership development and research, to name a few. Contributions are a part of the Students First Campaign, which, as of July 31, had raised $100 million.

If you are interested in making a gift in Chancellor Sullivan's honor, call 1-877-641-8276 toll free or go to

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Crashing the Party

The second week in May marked a virtually unheard of event in North Carolina, a presidential primary with the nominee still in doubt, at least for one party.

Although Sen. Barack Obama had built a substantial lead over Sen. Hillary Clinton in the Democratic contest, the state's voters received an unusual amount of attention from the candidates. On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain had locked up the nomination March 4 with decisive wins in the Texas, Ohio, Vermont and Rhode Island primaries.

Despite occupying an important day on the academic calendar — the May 6 primary fell on the last day of classes — the presidential race and other contests, such as the competition for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, generated high interest among students. Spartan Television, the student-run station with three channels on the campus cable service, hosted a debate among four candidates vying for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole. As with the presidential contest, the Republican primary for the Senate seat generated less attention throughout the state as Dole cruised to her party's nomination for a second term.

The primary season suggests that the confluence of current events and candidates could lead to a higher percentage of young voters casting ballots than ever before. The current record for turnout among 18- to 24-year olds is 52 percent in 1972, the first presidential election in which 18-year-olds were allowed to vote. In addition to the novelty of the vote, young adults were motivated by strong feelings about the draft and the Vietnam War.

Turnout for presidential elections among young adults has dipped substantially since then, according to statistics compiled by CIRCLE, the Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement. The elections of 1996 and 2000 were particularly uninspiring to younger voters with only about 36 percent heading to the polls. In those years, turnout among voters 25 and older was more than 25 percentage points higher than among those 24 and younger.

Dr. David Holian, an associate professor of political science, came to the university in 2000. “You would have barely known there was a presidential election,” he said during an interview in mid-May. “Students were not engaged in it. With a couple of exceptions, they weren't working for campaigns. Not only in the run up to the election, but there wasn't a whole lot of interest in the controversy that followed as recounts went on, as ‘hanging chads’ became part of the lexicon.”

But there have been exceptions when turnout again approached 50 percent. In 1992 — when a youthful Bill Clinton played saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show and billionaire Ross Perot mounted a third party run — turnout reached 49 percent. In 2004, with large numbers of U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, 47 percent of young adults voted. “In 2004, interest picked up considerably,” Holian said. “We had a number of students working on campaigns in the fall.”

In an ominous omen for Republicans, national polls indicate young people are increasingly supporting Democrats. Disenchantment with Bush Administration policies, especially over the war in Iraq, appears to be fueling a generational shift away from the G.O.P. “Much as Reagan brought a generation of young people into the Republican Party, Bush seems to be having the opposite effect,” Holian said.

Of course, polls change and reality has a way of confounding pundits, Holian is quick to point out. Mere months ago, many political analysts believed McCain had no shot at his party's nomination, despite his war hero resume. With Obama winning the nomination, it will be even more difficult than usual to predict the election's outcome, Holian said. “The wild card is race. Itís something we have no experience with. We can't go back and look at what happened the last time we had a black candidate running for the presidency.”

Holian did offer this forecast: “My educated guess is that we'll see a record for turnout this time around for 18- to 24-year-olds.”

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All politics is local

It was a natural fit: An election year. A community that was once the site of the South's first civil rights sit-ins. Six colleges and universities, along with a dozen community members, willing to take on the challenge of working together.

“Reclaiming Democracy: Dialogue, Decision Making and Community Action” — the first course of its kind — brought more than 90 students together from UNCG, Elon University, Guilford College, NC A&T, Bennett College, Greensboro College and the community to tackle big issues such as democracy in education, human rights and economics.

Dr. Spoma Jovanovic, a UNCG associate professor of communication studies, called the class wild and challenging.

“It's harder than I thought it would be — dealing with the cultures of other institutions. It's like democracy in America. But the conversations have been fabulous. The students were really engaged.”

A sample of topics that came out of those conversations included: the impact of No Child Left Behind legislation on schools in rich and poor communities, structural oppression in the classroom, education in the community about human rights, the role of forgiveness in reclaiming democracy, truth and reconciliation, economics and social responsibility.

Shari Tate, a rising UNCG senior, said she had been looking for something like this, a class that leads to action. “It helps you find your voice. I had never considered taking any of this on. It sounds too big to tackle. Now I'm inspired to go back home [to Charlotte] and start making changes. Why can't I go to board meetings? The first step is dialogue.“

Dialogue was a cornerstone of the class. Naturally, not everyone agreed on the topics at hand.

“It was healthy,” Tate said. “You can't fix problems or come to consensus without understanding one another's perspectives.”

At the end of the academic year, the class held a community conference and invited elected officials, grassroots leaders and other stakeholders.

The group that examined No Child Left Behind legislation asked two freshmen from Dudley High School to sit on a panel. The Dudley student body is 95.5 percent African-American; 61 percent are economically disadvantaged.

The freshmen fielded questions about the lack of textbooks in general education classes and teachers who spent class periods talking on their cell phones. Rhonda Kittrell, a member of Dudley's first desegregated graduating class and a current Greensboro College student, had heard enough.

“You all have rights,” she said as she rose from her seat in the Sullivan Science Building auditorium. “You stand up and say something. You have power. Do not believe you are second class. Democracy is yours.”

Later, she reflected on what the class had meant to her.

“It's been difficult being in this class. I remember when we couldn't sit at the lunch counter. It's difficult to read about it. It's like opening a very old wound.”

But she was encouraged by the first steps. And there are hopes the course will be offered again.

Seeing those Dudley students, however, was an eye opener, she said.

“It makes you wonder whatís in store for the future.”

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Talkin' bout that generation
Archivist seeks stories about that extraordinary decade — the '60s

We know from talking with alumni and from scraps of evidence here and there that WC/UNCG students were very active in protests, sit-ins and other “extra-curricular” activities of the 1960s. Very little of this shows up in the official records of the university. As a matter of fact, sometimes I think the administration was hoping that if it ignored all of the chaos, these wild people would just go away.

The Civil Rights Movement in Greensboro dates from the late 1950s. Three white WC women participated in the Woolworth sit-ins in 1960. Students from this campus helped to integrate Tate Street businesses and other segregated businesses in Greensboro. We have a petition that was sent to Chancellor Singletary in 1963 and a letter sent to SGA President Carol Furey in 1962 (each has 23 signatures) concerning integration of the Corner. We also have a copy of a 1963 call to boycott the segregated Tate Street businesses.

The Vietnam War era is usually dated 1960 to 1975 — the Anti-War Movement had begun by 1963 or 1964, depending on what you read. There were teach-ins on this campus. John Kerry spoke here in the 1970s. The Carolinian ran a special edition after the Kent State killings in May 1970.

We have no documented participation in the Women's Lib Movement on this campus — but I am guessing there were those who were involved in this activity.

The name of one counter-culture group that has come up several times in the past year is the “black stocking girls.” Who were these students and what part did they play in any of these campus activities? Were they the original beatniks? Hippies? Were there other groups that we donít know about?

UNCG has one of the best documented university histories in the South, if not in the country. We have the official records from the 1960s — now we need the records from the students — today's alumni. More and more, the 1960s are being remembered. It was a historic decade — an extraordinary time. I understand that many of us that were around in the 1960s do not like to be reminded of our age, but this is history that must be preserved.

We are interested in acquiring diaries, letters, scrapbooks and photograph albums relating to this decade. If you don't have these, we are interested in your memories. Would you be willing to answer a series of questions concerning your time at UNCG? If you are not too far from Greensboro, would you be willing to do an oral history?

Let's celebrate and remember the 1960s (including the late 1950s and early 1970s). Please email me ( or write to me (P.O. Box 26170, Greensboro, 27402-6170). I look forward to hearing from you.

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Ready to master a disaster

No one wants to imagine a disturbance to the peace and safety of the campus, but planning teams have done just that for the past 18 months. A system of emergency notification and security measures is now in place to handle problems ranging from a Virginia Tech-style shooting to a lengthy pandemic that could close the campus.

“Our response system helps ensure campus-wide awareness of how to respond to crises,” said Bruce Griffin, assistant vice chancellor for environmental safety. “We have based it on a continually updated Crisis Communication Plan. By using multiple communication systems, the university can provide rapid notification to more than 17,000 students and 2,500 faculty and staff.”

UNCG is investing almost $1 million in campus alert measures, and those already in place are:

  • Web — Emergency information will be posted on the university homepage and the emergency information web site
  • SMS Text Messaging — Students, faculty and staff will receive this if they have signed up and provided cell phone contact information.
  • Computer Screen Pop-Up and RSS Feed — Alert messages can be delivered to all computers logged onto the internet.
  • “Blue Light” Telephone Public Address & Sirens — Several of the 150 emergency phone stations are equipped to sound sirens and deliver public address messages.
  • Classroom Public Address — Emergency announcements and call-ins can be heard or made through a classroom speaker system.
  • UNCG Information Radio Station — 1640 AM: This channel will broadcast updated information during an emergency. Several campus offices have hand-powered radios to receive information during power outages.
  • Emergency and Adverse Weather Telephone Line — Messages will be recorded on (336) 334-4400 and also on UNCG's main number (336) 334-5000.
  • Mass Email — The campus community can receive email through their UNCG mailbox. Other systems are available for resident students, and for parents who sign up through the Office of Orientation & Family Programs.
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Saving paper: Coble, Weatherford archives added to library collection

Those little scraps of paper — memos, letters, doodles — can sometimes hold the key to something so much larger.

For University Archives and Manuscripts, it means a treasure trove of information from U.S. Congressman Howard Coble and childrenís writer Carole Boston Weatherford. Both Coble and Weatherford have given their papers to University Libraries.

The Coble collection includes congressional correspondence, mainly with constituents, dating from 1985-2006. Clippings, tapes, photographs and other records will come to UNCG later.

Coble, a Greensboro native, has served in the U.S. House of Representatives from the N.C. Sixth Congressional District since 1984.

Weatherford MFA '92 is a Baltimore native. She now lives in High Point and teaches at Fayetteville State University. Her award-winning children's books include “Juneteenth Jamboree” and “Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom.” Weatherfordís collection includes drafts and proofs of her books, illustrations, correspondence and newsletters.

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Time passages

Do you know when the first master's degree was awarded at this university and to whom?

You can find the answer to this and other tidbits about UNCG at

This interactive timeline, created by University Archives, features significant events in the history of the university, beginning with its founding in 1891. It also gives the viewer an opportunity to see photographs and other images from the University Archives collection. The timeline may also include audio and video at a later date.

In addition to clicking through years and decades of interest, a viewer can also search by keywords to learn more about topics of interest such as woman's suffrage or student involvement in the first and second world wars.

In case you didn't know, the first master's degree was awarded to May Minerva Meador, a member of the Class of 1917.

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A signing sensation

Laverne Francis let her fingers tell the story, taking her audience on a tropical journey “Under the Sea.” And her hard work paid off.

On May 4, Laverne, a junior enrolled in UNCG's Educational Interpreter Preparation Program, became the fourth ASL (American Sign Language) Idol. She also came away with the grand prize, a $200 check.

ASL Idol, organized by UNCG faculty and students and the deaf community, challenges students to interpret songs for deaf audiences. The crowd almost filled the EUC auditorium, which seats about 500.

Laverne, a native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, used minimal props. A bubble machine produced the needed background while she relied on her calypso dancing and signing skills.

Laverne said she chose her song, from Disney's “Little Mermaid,” because of the storytelling potential. Five other competitors performed songs ranging from the poppish “Barbie Girl” to the toe-tappin' “Ladies Love Country Boys.”

But preparing for the performance was far from easy, Laverne said. “It's hard because you're hearing one thing and signing another. In ASL, you give your topic, then you go back and comment on it and put in the extra details. You have to change all the sentences around so they make sense in ASL.”

Laverne wasn't the only big winner of the afternoon. The event, priced at $5 per ticket, raised more than $1,000 for Camp Dogwood, a summer camp for the deaf and blind located near Lake Norman.

Glenda Torres, coordinator of the educational interpreter program and one of the event organizers, said UNCG and the deaf community are tightly bound. “We support each other.“

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Big CEO on campus

Getting students excited about entrepreneurship is the easy part. Getting them to follow through with creating a sound business plan — that's the challenge.

During the spring semester, students in Joseph Erba's Campus Entrepreneurship class were challenged to come up with ideas for a campus-based business. The reward for the best business plans was a university-approved license to operate a for-profit business and eligibility for micro loans from the Bank of Oak Ridge.

Of the 28 students in the class, which was open to students of any major, seven submitted business plans. They ranged from a babysitting service to a company that would supply mini-refrigerators, alarm clocks and other residence hall accessories to new students. Two businesses were ultimately selected to receive licenses.

“Entrepreneurship is the epitome of self-motivation,” said Pablo Diaz, a sophomore with a dual major in physics and economics and one of the winners. “Nobody is pushing you to do it but yourself.”

iDiaz, Diaz's business, produces custom computer presentations such as graphics, spreadsheets and marketing materials targeted toward graduate students and faculty. Diaz determined that “Generation X” students — those born between 1965 to 1982 — have more money to spend on highly detailed presentations. “Microsoft is the industry standard for presentations,” said Diaz, who worked as part of a team of three students. “Our business offers a lot of potential.”

Students conducted market research, identified potential competitors, figured out pricing schemes and outlined marketing plans.

“This class is a virtually risk-free way for budding entrepreneurs to learn how to write a business plan, get a business up and running, and to have the full support of the university,” Erba said.

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Song of the SimMan

One lung has a crackle, the other a wheeze.

And it's Kimberly Reamís job to interpret what she hears through her stethoscope.

Ream, a rising junior in the School of Nursing, is perturbed that she can't do more for her patient. He lies there, helpless, in his hospital bed, his comfy Spartan socks poking out from under the covers.

“I know there's something wrong with you,” she tells him sympathetically. “But at this point in our careers, we can't really do anything to help.”

Her classmate Byron Haddock shakes his head. He's glad, he says, that this patient isn't flesh and blood but a programmable mannequin known as SimMan. “There's not nearly as much pressure.”

SimMan, a $40,000 piece of equipment manufactured by the Texas-based company Laerdal, is the “hot buzz word now in health education,” says Dr. Dorothy Herron, clinical associate professor of nursing. He was initially used by the military for CPR training.

“More and more nursing schools are using him,” Herron says. “If you think about it, there are only so many real patients students can work on. And, of course, we have to be safe. Some patients don't need multitudinous nursing students assessing them.”

SimMan has been so useful, in fact, that the nursing school is investing in a second one.

Beginning students like Ream and Haddock first meet him in Nursing 220, Physical Assessment. Herron says the mannequin is used for very basic purposes, as these students won't actually enter the nursing school until their junior year. But they can learn to detect abnormal breathing and take vital signs such as respiration rate, heart rate and blood pressure.

Advanced students practice catheterizations, drawing blood and giving intramuscular injections. They also encounter “code” scenarios. The operator can pre-program SimMan to “crash” gradually. Student decisions about which medicines and techniques to use are all that stand between life and death for him.

An operator can “speak” for SimMan through a microphone system, and students can watch their performance on web cam recordings.

“That's the important thing, the debriefing,” Herron says. “Did they look at ease? Did they work together as a team?”

And, yes, with the addition and deletion of certain features SimMan can become SimWoman.

His ability to become her can be useful to train students in the different techniques for urinary catheterization, Herron says.

A $5,000 grant from the university's Teaching and Learning Center will help Herron and the nursing school's Simulation Users Group publish a manual on how to use him most effectively. They are also seeking more funds to promote information sharing between UNCG and other schools who own other programmable mannequins — Guilford Technical Community College, Alamance Technical Community College, Randolph Community College and NC A&T.

Since SimMan is so complex, he is often underutilized at schools, Herron says. The Simulation Users Group is working on a journal article on “How we got our SimMan out of the box.”

“We don't yet consider ourselves experts on SimMan, but we do consider ourselves experts on beginning,” she says.

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Love stories

Sometimes the library houses more stories than you realize.

Amid the stacks of books and tucked away in study carrels, students meet, study, sleep and sometimes fall in love.

University Libraries is looking for those love stories. Did you meet your spouse-to-be during late night study sessions on the fourth floor of Jackson Library? Did you fight over a reserved reading? Did you find a quiet corner and talk more than study?

Rosann Bazirjian, dean of University Libraries, knows it can happen. She got engaged in the stacks of the library at the University of West Florida.

Please send your stories to Rosann Bazirjian, Dean of University Libraries, UNCG, P.O. Box 26170, 220 Jackson Library, Greensboro, N.C. 27402-6170 or email

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Rules of engagement

The wedding season is in full swing and, if she could, Dr. Christine Murray would give couples about to say “I do” two bits of guidance.

“Be willing to seek help when you need it; you don't have to face problems alone,” says Murray, an assistant professor of counseling and author of the recently published “Just Engaged.” “And be respectful of each other. That puts a whole different context on your interactions.”

Murray, a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor, offers these additional tips:

  • Talk to each other. Discuss your reasons for getting married, your expectations for marriage, your concerns and fears, and, on a more positive note, your strengths as a couple. Couples can benefit from talking openly about everything that will affect their marriage — finances, religious beliefs, career goals, feelings about having children, etc. — before the wedding.
  • Stay focused. “There's so much emphasis put on the wedding that people often forget to think about their marriage,” Murray says. “There are so many messages about what a wedding should be. There's nothing wrong with that, but it de-emphasizes the more important part of getting married.”
  • Expect the unexpected. “You won't know what your marriage will be like until you are married,” Murray says. “Even then, changes will shake up your relationship and your plans. All the premarital preparation in the world will not make you entirely ready to be married.”
  • Explore your ‘cold feet.’ Jitters are normal, almost universal, Murray says, but don't dismiss something “that feels like a red flag. If it's a nagging concern and you can't get past it, it's a good idea to address it as early as possible.”
  • Get help. Premarital counseling is a good idea if you're confused about your feelings or trying to sort out differences. Many couples with a problem don't seek counseling until they've lived with it for more than six years. By then, at least one partner has often “checked out” of the relationship.
  • Don't be afraid to break the engagement. “Assume that your partner will be unhappy — although there is a possibility that your partner may feel relief if he or she was having similar doubts. Emphasize your reasons for coming to this decision, and explain the efforts you made as you went through the decision-making process. However, be clear the decision was yours, even if you discussed it with other people.”
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Will you marry me, Bill?

The girls at WC weren't crying any salty tears after the winter holiday of 1951. Many returned sporting rocks their boyfriends gave them for Christmas. This article appeared in the Jan. 11, 1952, issue of the Carolinian celebrating the mass altar call.

Set Your Traps, Girls: WC's Name Is at Stake
Quick! Sunglasses! Murine! Visors! The diamond glare is blinding me. The halls of WC ring with squeals of congratulations as the campus population clusters to pat a lucky gal on the back. The number of girls who got pinned or engaged at Christmas time was so great that one would think half the campus had been majoring in marriage with a minor in diamond cutting. After battering her way through numerous hordes of well-wishers, yours truly emerged dazzled but armed with a few vital statistics for public consumption.

The Senior Class seems well ahead in this game of proposed matrimony, perhaps because they are nearest the diploma and hence on the way to the altar. Most of these plan to marry at the end of the school year. Three seniors, determined to beat the leap-year rush, turned up after the holidays already permanently attached. They are Jerry Harmon, Barbara Beckner, now B. Goodman, and Dot Winter, new member of the Jones clan.

The education majors in the Senior Class are the talk of the campus; a tremendous percentage hooked their man at Christmas, without waiting for Sadie Hawkins Day and leap year. Music must really charm. The music majors are high on the list, since seven out of the ten seniors in the course are sporting brand new rings. Just to name a few of the newly-engaged seniors on campus, there is Dot Hogan, Joyce Johnson, Virginia McFarland, Betty Duncan, Milly Newitt, Agnes Gee, Edna Freidman and those other lucky people that this reporter did not see or hear about.

The Junior Class is not far behind the seniors in the race. Best wishes are extended to Shirley Uden, Kathy Shields, Sue Page, Mary Howard Franck, Miriam Lassiter, Marie Moose, and Rose Holden. Sophomores Helen Shewmaker, Jo Smith, Barbara McClellan, and Betsy Barmer, plus many of their classmates who swell the ranks of the prospective brides.

Just a few of the freshman “little sisters” who are wearing rings this season are Frances Carr, Liz Chandler, Betty McLean, Barbara White, Pat Jenkins, Joan Kerns and Jean Spivey.

Although this list seems to be a rather impressive one as far as size and brilliance are concerned, we have it on authority that the number of seniors, at least, that are engaged this year does not compare too favorably with last year's percentage. What is happening, girls? Surely there is not going to be a lag in interest of the WC student in the finer species of life. We have one hope and help, though, my friends. This is the most sacred of all years to the female — LEAP YEAR. If we must go get our man, now is the time to go. All is fair in love and Leap Year, you know, and this is the traditional chance for girls to speak for themselves, John. It is to be suggested that those interested in a concrete plan of attack should contact the already successful members of WC society. Remember, the reputation of the whole student body is at stake.

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The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone: 336.334.5000
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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