The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Far reaching
Tape Art Image

Martha Graham School faculty member Elizabeth Auclair (foreground) came to UNCG for a week in February to help instruct students rehearsing Graham's “Steps in the Street.” Supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Duane Cyrus, an assistant professor in the Department of Dance, has researched the 1936 work and is teaching it to a new generation of dancers. Venues for the public performances at the end of the spring semester will include local high schools. Auclair, a principal dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company from 1993-2009, told the students, “Dancing Martha Graham is like a rose blooming. As you keep going there are more and more petals. It just keeps opening. There is more and more to explore.”

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Billy Lee near his new sculpture
Billy Lee near his new sculpture
The power of suggestion

A new sculpture by UNCG art professor BIlly Lee stands in front of the Guilford County Courthouse. Lee's piece, Guardian II, unveiled in September 2009, is part of a series titled “Warrior, Helmet, etc.”

The sculpture, which stands at Market and Eugene streets, is the first installation arising from Greensboro's Pubic Art Endowment, an initiative of the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro. It is a gift to the county from the Community Foundation.

“As the title implies, its form and structure alludes to a guard/figure without actually stating it,” Lee says of the work. “For me the power of suggestion is greater than the actuality.”

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Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquait, 1982, Polacolor ER photograph
Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquait, 1982, Polacolor ER photograph, 4 1/4 x 3 6/16 in. Gift of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, 2008.
Little shots of big shots

His art is as iconic as his name: Andy Warhol.

Warhol created art out of the ordinary, like a can of soup, and art with the ordinary, like the humble Polaroid camera.

Hundreds of his snapshots will be on display June 6-Sept. 19 at Weatherspoon Art Museum as part of the exhibit “Big Shots: Andy Warhol Polaroids.” The show features approximately 300 Polaroids and 70 gelatin silver black-and-white prints pooled from the many donated to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Duke University's Nasher Museum of Art and UNC Chapel Hill's Ackland Art Museum in 2008 by the Andy Warhol Photographic Legacy Program, a division of the Andy Warhol Foundation.

The exhibition, a first-time collaboration between the three university art museums, will feature the models, actors, sports heroes and socialites who populated Warhol's world.

“Warhol was one of the first artists to embrace Polaroids in the 1970s,” said Elaine Gustafson, the Weatherspoon's curator of collections. “He'd take pictures wherever he went, whether it was a casual encounter or a party.”

Warhol's photographs offer viewers insight into his working method as well, Gustafson added. He'd photograph people when he was commissioned to do their portraits, sometimes adding white powder to his subjects to make their bone structure more prominent, she said.

A variety of programming is planned around the event, including a documentary film series exploring the rock music created in the 1970s and 1980s, during the height of Warhol's popularity. Visit the museum's web site at for more programming related to the Warhol exhibition.

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Design in action
Debbie Nestvogel puts finishing touches on the Salvation Army SELECT thrift boutique. Behind her is a wall-sized mural, 'Amazing Grace,' which tells the story of the Salvation Army's charitable programs, painted by local artist Sage Hanna.

Debbie Nestvogel puts finishing touches on the Salvation Army SELECT thrift boutique. Behind her is a wall-sized mural, “Amazing Grace,” which tells the story of the Salvation Army's charitable programs, painted by local artist Sage Hanna.


Something special is in store for shoppers at Salvation Army SELECT.

With its layout, furniture and fixtures designed by Matt Jones and Debbie Nestvogel as their undergraduate honors thesis in interior architecture, the store is a prototype for re-selling donated clothes and accessories in a boutique atmosphere. Located at 3610 N. Elm Street in Lake Jeanette Station, it opened in November.

“This Salvation Army SELECT store is a shining example of the good things that happen when students combine learning and service,” Provost David Perrin said during a news conference.Visitors find walls painted chocolate brown and robin's egg blue and stylish track lighting highlighting eye-catching displays. The Salvation Army's trademark red shield is set at an angle, reflecting a new image.

Proceeds from the 5,000-square-foot store will support the Salvation Army's local work including Greensboro's Boys and Girls Clubs and Center of Hope, a shelter to self-sufficiency.

Matt and Debbie spent the summer designing the store, including frequent trips around the state for inspiration. Faculty member Suzanne Cabrera served as thesis professor and mentor to the two students.

“We didn't want a cookie cutter approach like many other stores,” Matt said. “We were influenced by trendy retail environments and interiors that promote comfortable adventure and discovery.”

Matt graduated in August and now works for the Department of Interior Architecture as a lecturer and woodshop supervisor. Debbie graduated in December. While juggling other responsibilities this past fall, they continued to work to make their vision a reality.

“It's been an incredible experience that we're so grateful for,” Nestvogel said at the news conference. “We've learned so much throughout the entire process. It's surreal standing here right now, seeing the design we've had in our heads since May.”

Studio courses in interior architecture led by Cabrera and Stoel Burrowes helped with projects ranging from marketing to construction of shelves, display cases and other furniture.

Students and faculty in the Department of Consumer, Apparel and Retail Studies contributed merchandising expertise. Local contractors and volunteers provided more assistance.

“This has been a community project, by the community and for the community,” Matt said. “The idea of community is what drew Debbie and me to this project from the beginning.”

The design of Salvation Army SELECT grew out of an earlier collaboration between the university and the Salvation Army. A year ago, several dozen students and faculty spent all night at the Gatewood Building brainstorming a makeover for the Salvation Army's Family Store on Lee Street.

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Kris Ostrowka
Kris Ostrowka
A sporting opportunity

Greensboro's best college radio station? The News & Record's Readers' Choice Awards said it's UNCG's station, WUAG 103.1 FM.

WUAG also earned an honorable mention in the Triad's overall “Best Station” category.

Station general manager Jack Bonney '02, '06 MLS notes the signal can be heard in a radius of a few miles around campus — and can be heard online anywhere at

It not only offers great music, it provides training to students.

This past year, Kris Ostrowka used his experience at WUAG to snag the sole summer internship at ESPN Radio in Connecticut. “The highest level of radio,” he says.

He worked on all facets of radio broadcasts and podcasts, on shows such as “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” and “The Scott Van Pelt Show.”

“I learned what constitutes a good show,” he says.

Now in his final semester at UNCG, he is applying those lessons to his own WUAG sports talk show, “The Sports Cycle,” every Monday night at 7 p.m.

“[The internship] showed me where I want to end up,” he says — in front of the mike. He continues to build his audio resume for his next step in radio.

On a wintry Monday night, Kris has finished crafting his intros and outros, using tricks and ideas he learned at ESPN. He steps to the main console, pulls the mike closer and looks over his notes on his laptop, as the previous DJ's final song winds down.

Kris' ear-grabbing show intro kicks in. He leans into the mike. “Crazy weekend in sports …”Kris says. And the show is off and running.

Web extra:
Dial it in Hear a bit of Kris Ostrowka's interview with athletic director Kim Record.

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Woody Burkhead, second from right, volunteering on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Woody Burkhead, second from right, volunteering on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Artistic in the extreme

When the television show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” announced it needed volunteers to help create a home for a local family in need, Woody Burkhead jumped at the chance to help.

Assistant director of facilities in Housing and Residence Life, he is noted for his carpentry. “I got selected. They told me where to go, what to do. Luckily, I got to work in the art tent, where TV personalities work.” And he had a front row view when the family first saw their new home.

Carpentry was “bred into me,” Burkhead said. His grandfather and father owned an antiques and carpentry business. Burkhead used to own his own company, as well.

He has volunteered his carpentry skills for four years, with his church and with Housing Greensboro, a subsidiary of Habitat for Humanity. Mostly he has repaired rotting kitchens, bathrooms and other rooms.

A friend told him how to register to help out with the ABC network television show. There were lots of volunteers for the family. “The neatest thing, in the grand scheme of things, [was] a whole area of people coming out to help — seeing that many people involved,” he explained.

Only six volunteer craftsmen were selected to work in the art tent.

The six and a show star, Ed Sanders, decided on a creative use for the old porch floorboards. After being cleaned, they were reused, as Sanders and the volunteers designed and created a beautiful, one-of-a-kind dining room table. “In the middle there are 512 pieces, then a border around them — a woven design. No bolts, no fasteners — [just] mortised and glue,“ he said. Then they sanded and burnished it with heat and protected it with a clear coat.

Is working on the show so different from how it appears on television? “It's very real. No secrets. It is what it is,” he said. Although as each of the show's designers does their takes, they might do the same shot several times, he added. The episode he worked on aired Jan. 31.

At the end, the family was driven to the site. He and all the volunteers gathered to share the moment. “We had a great view when they saw [the house]. Very moving. You kind of get choked up.” Adding to the emotion was the fact that he knew the man who'd nominated the family for the show.

“A very deserving family,” he added. The mother, a Davidson County teacher, is battling cancer.

Afterward, he saw a newscast — on Fox 8, he thinks — where the mother was interviewed. She said the dining room table was “one of her favorite parts of the house,” he said. It was very special to her.

Being able to help out was very special to him.

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Top 20

Creative writing graduates, feel good about your degree. The MFA program has been ranked No. 19 in the nation by Poets & Writers magazine, a leading publication in the creative writing field.

The rankings were published in the magazine's November/December edition.

UNCG's MFA program, the third oldest in the nation, has enjoyed Top 20 rankings before, says program director Jim Clark. But the Poets & Writers ranking method is unique, with heavy emphasis put on the polling responses of more than 500 current and prospective students.

“We're especially pleased that people applying to programs thought of us so highly,” Clark says.

“What also impressed us, in the judgment of this poll, is that we outranked such big money schools as Columbia University, the University of Houston and Washington University and prestigious state universities such as the University of Florida, the University of Arizona and Ohio State University,” Clark adds. “Not only were we very pleased about how high we were in the rankings, we were pleased about the people we outranked.”

In addition to the overall ranking, UNCG's MFA fiction concentration ranked 19th in the nation and the MFA poetry concentration ranked 10th in the nation. The program also ranked No. 12 in postgraduate placement, No. 12 in selectivity, No. 33 in total program funding and No. 31 in annual program funding in the magazine's rankings, an exceptional showing according to the publication.

“Because there are 140 full-residency MFA programs in the United States, any school whose numerical ranking is in the top 50 in any of the ranked categories — the overall rankings; rankings in the poetry, fiction, or nonfiction genres; or the rankings by funding, selectivity and postgraduate placement — should be considered exceptional in that category,” according to the article accompanying the ranking.

Overall, UNCG's program was identified as one on the rise by the magazine, something that speaks not only to the hard work of faculty and staff, but also to the success of the program's graduates, Clark says.

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Alumni Authors

  • “This Won't Take But a Moment, Honey,” essays by Steve Almond '97 MFA
  • “The Ever Breath,” a young adult novel, and “This Country of Mothers,” an ebook release by Julianna Baggott '94 MFA
  • “Girl in a Library: On Women Writers and the Writing Life,” which includes an essay about the early days of the UNCG writing program, and “The Retreats of Thought: Poems,” by Kelly Cherry '67 MFA
  • “Suck on the Marrow,” a collection of poetry, and “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry,” an anthology by Camille Dungy '97 MFA
  • “A Year of Cats and Dogs,” a novel by Margaret Hawkins '79
  • “Women, Civil Society and the Geopolitics of Democratization,” by Denise Horn '93, assistant professor of international affairs at Northeastern University
  • “Captioning for the Blind,” a short story included in the “Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009” by Rebecca Johnson '96
  • “Paternity,” a book of poetry by Scott Owens '94 MFA
  • “Full,” a book of poetry by Ann Finley Privette '92 that covers the span of her battle with anorexia.
  • “Breaking It Down,” a series of drum instruction books by Kevin White '95


  • Scott Owens '94 MFA received a special mention from the 2009 Pushcart Prize Anthology for a poem from his fourth book, “The Fractured World.”
  • Jack Riggs '79, '93 MFA, author of “The Fireman's Wife,” was named 2009 Georgia Author of the Year by the Georgia Writers Association.
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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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