Follow Me Season 3 Spotlights Students Who Serve

Posted on July 15, 2024

UNCG students fistbump on the patio at Southend Brewery.

University Communications has released the third season of its “Follow Me” video series, featuring four students who give viewers a peek into their daily lives at UNC Greensboro. 

This most recent season stars students with nursing, political science, music education, and biology majors. All four are living full lives on campus with personal passions, academic drive, and a penchant for service to others. Find out how they are using their time on the UNCG campus to prepare for careers that will uplift their future communities. 

Be inspired by how our Season 3 Follow Me students are already serving those around them and subscribe to UNCG’s YouTube channel to be the first to see new content from across the campus. 

Lauren McWhinnie:
from poolside lifeguard to neuroscience nurse 

Major:  Nursing  

Inspiration: Witnessing an uncle’s struggles with a brain injury engages a caretaker’s calling. 

Stress Relievers: swimming laps and sweet treats 

Videography by Sean Norona, University Communications.

Mannie Aquino:
from fraternity philanthropy to public policy

Major: Political Science & Philosophy 

Inspiration: Spartan communities and cultural pride unlock a passion for public service. 

Stress Relievers: donation buckets and downed bowling pins  

Videography by Sean Norona, University Communications.

Joshua Thomas:
from church choir leader to school band director 

Major: Music Education 

Inspiration: Band teacher lights a musical fire. 

Stress Relievers: fresh air and crocheted creations 

Videography by David Lee Row, University Communications.

Daniel Araya:
from farmers market volunteer to Dr. Araya 

Major: Biology 

Inspiration: Spartan advising puts med school within reach. 

Stress Relievers: pumping iron and growing global solutions 

Videography by Grant Gilliard, University Communications.

Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications.
Photography by Sean Norona, University Communications.

Two women chat as they sit on a brick wall in front of the EUC on the UNCG campus.

Be the first to see new content from all around campus.


Funding Friday: Relationship Problem Solving and Sleep’s Impact on Weight

Posted on July 12, 2024

UNCG Professor Wiley looks at the Arabic language written on a whiteboard.

Thanks to new funding awards, UNCG faculty continue to advance research in a wide range of areas. These projects will include an expansion of slave deeds and study materials for flow batteries.


Staff Senate Announces 2024-25 Co-Chairs

Posted on July 12, 2024

Headshots of UNCG Staff Senate Co-chairs Kimberly Mozingo and Carla Wilson.

Staff Senate is thrilled to introduce the co-chairs for the 2024-25 academic year, Kimberly Mozingo and Carla Wilson.


Spartan Summer Excursions: Escape in Nature

Posted on July 11, 2024

Wooden bridge crosses stream near a Crabapple Falls.

North Carolina’s outdoor spaces are growing in size and popularity each year. The Parks and Recreation Department says more than 20 million visitors came to the state parks in 2023, exploring nearly 3,000 acres of North Carolina’s most beautiful landscapes.  

Spartans looking for a summer outdoor excursion will find there are no limits. They can tailor their experience for a vigorous day of exercise, a space to relax, or an outdoor show in North Carolina’s mountains, beaches, and Piedmont communities, many of which are a short distance from UNC Greensboro. 

Stamp Your Way Through the Parks

View of Grandfather Mountain.
Grandfather Mountain

North Carolina created a passport program to track your progress across parks and trails. These booklets are kept in the park visitor centers, so hikers can start anywhere in the state. Once you pick up a booklet, you can take it to other visitor centers and get a stamp, tracking your progress through 34 recreational areas. 

There are no prizes for completing a passport outside of bragging rights and your photos and memories of majestic waterfalls, rock formations, and lookout points. You don’t need to be an experienced hiker to navigate these paths. They are categorized by length and difficulty. 

Outdoor Tunes 

Summer music is a staple of Piedmont cities; all you need to enjoy it is a lawn chair or blanket. Greensboro has made a tradition out of MUSEP, which stands for “Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park” and hosts bands through August. 

Winston-Salem is in the midst of its 26th Summer Music Series featuring downtown jazz concerts. Asheboro’s Summer Concert Series brings throwback bands and popular regional artists to its park once a month on Friday and Saturday. In Burlington, grab a drink every Fourth Friday and take in a foot-tapping show at its Historic Depot. Mt. Airy’s amphitheater lineup runs through October for $17 a ticket. Or enjoy Kernersville’s botanical garden at sunset for July Music at Twilight

If you don’t mind traveling a little further, you can mix music with fireworks. Kure Beach, just south of Wilmington, is the home of Boardwalk Blast, which features weekly outdoor concerts with fireworks by the sea. 

Park for a Picture

Cars parked around an outdoor movie screen.
Eden Drive-In

How about a movie under the stars? Drive-in movies saw an uptick when traditional movie theaters were closed during the pandemic. A few remain in operation and show old film favorites along with new releases.

The Eden Drive-In is a 45-minute trip from the UNCG campus. It updates its showings on its Facebook page. If you don’t mind the longer drive, you can head south to the Badin Drive-in Theater in Abermarle. Movies at both locations are $8 per adult. 

Fruitful Festivals 

What’s better in the summer than a refreshing slice of sweet watermelon? Food-themed festivals let you explore some of North Carolina’s small communities, embrace the state’s agricultural heritage, and sample popular cuisines. 

Crowds walk past a booth advertising fried apple pie.
NC Apple Festival

There are two different watermelon festivals this summer. Columbus County holds its annual Watermelon Festival on July 27. This event began in the 1970s with a friendly competition between two retiring farmers comparing the size of their watermelons. That grew into something even bigger – an annual event with a parade, contests for different ages, a pageant to crown the Watermelon Festival Queen, and of course, lots of watermelons. If that date does not work for you, you can go to Murfreesboro for the four-day Watermelon Festival from July 31-August 3.

Also on July 26-27 is the Peach and Heritage Festival in Wilkesboro. Try some peach concoctions, buy locally-made crafts, and enjoy live music. Or check out the Ocracoke Fig Festival on the coast from August 2-3 for performances, demonstrations, and free samples from its bake-off contestants. Just before summer draws to a close, Hendersonville will hold the NC Apple Festival from August 30-September 2, with a street fair and carnival. While you’re there, make sure to check out jewelry for sale at the Gem and Mineral Spectacular that coincides with the festival. 

It’s not all fruits and veggies. Greensboro holds its Food Truck Festival on August 25. Come downtown to check out about 50 different food trucks, craft beer, and arts and crafts for sale. 

Cool Off 

Once the humidity rises, North Carolina summers start to feel less like paradise and more like a sauna. But thanks to the state’s many waterways and parks, it’s easy to beat the heat. 

People swimming in Piney Lake.
Piney Lake

Greensboro has Wet ‘n Wild Emerald Pointe, a popular water park packed with slides, lazy rivers, wave pools, and splash zones. There is so much to do, you can choose whatever thrill level makes you comfortable.

UNCG also keeps Piney Lake, a 40-acre park with a water trampoline, paddleboards, and kayaks, open on weekends in the summer. Make it an all-day event with your family and friends by using the charcoal grills to prep an outdoor picnic after a dip in the lake. 

And though many of the trails have a “Look, but stay back” policy due to slick rocks around waterfalls, the state’s rivers make up for that. Schedule a lazy afternoon on some of North Carolina’s most popular waterways – the Dan River, Deep River, French Broad, and New River all let you rent an inner tube. Or you can ramp up the adventure with whitewater rafting or kayaking. 

Visit a Castle 

The Biltmore Mansion is one the most popular draws in the state, nestled in Asheville. Not only can you experience its fantastic interior design, but you can also tour the six gardens, conservatory, and trails winding through its 8,000 acres. Stop by the winery or go shopping in the Antler Hill and Biltmore Villages.

Walkway through Latham Gardens at Tryon Palace.
Tryon Palace

Biltmore is by far the most famous, but not the only castle in North Carolina. Near the coast in New Bern, dive into the beleaguered history of the Tryon Palace, the home of a British governor that became a centerpiece in the prelude to the War for Independence. Now it’s a hub for tours, reenactments, and special events. Its restoration in the 1950s developed new, expansive gardens for visitors. 

Smithmore Castle sits between Pisgah and Cherokee National Forests, making it a prime spot for picking and choosing your outdoor adventure. It offers horseback riding, cave tours, archery, and river activities. Relax on the balcony with friends and a cup of tea. And if you book a room at Smithmore, you can end the day listening to the crackle of the fire pit. 

Story by Janet Imrick, University Communications 
Photography courtesy of Adobe, Eden Drive-In, Visit Hendersonville, and Tryon Palace
Additional photography by Sean Norona, University Communications

Students walking downtown.

Check out Greensboro’s hot spots and hidden gems.


High Honors for Dance Grads, Lydia and Laniya

Posted on July 09, 2024

UNCG students Laniya Smith and Lydia Pate in their caps and gowns holding certificates.

Lydia Pate and Laniya Smith were among the recipients of the 2024 Provost Student Excellence Awards, the highest academic honor for undergraduate students at UNCG.


Spartan Student-Athletes Named to SoCon Honor Roll

Posted on July 08, 2024

Student in UNCG shirt writes in a notebook while sitting in the stands of the soccer stadium.

196 UNCG student-athletes named to conference honor roll earn praise for hard work on their field of play and in the classroom.


UNCG Professor Digs Through 5,000 Years Worth of History

Posted on July 05, 2024

UNCG's Dr. Jeffrey Soles with his excavation team on the shore of the island of Mochlos.

For the past 50 years, Classical Studies Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Soles has focused on the secrets buried on one Greek island off the coast of Crete. His discoveries about Bronze Age cultures have received worldwide acclaim.


New UNCG Vice Chancellor for Research Wins NCBiotech Award

Posted on July 02, 2024

UNCG's Dr. Obare stands at the window of a lab in the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology building.

Dr. Sherine Obare received the 2024 NCBiotech Academic Development Excellence Award for her impactful work in life sciences.


Staff Senate Announces Meetings for 2024-25

Posted on July 05, 2024

Outside the UNCG Alumni House.

The Fall 2024 and Spring 2025 UNC Greensboro Staff Senate full body meetings will be held monthly at the Alumni House Oakley Room from 10-11 a.m.

Staff Senate meetings are open to the public and all staff, faculty, administrators, Board of Trustees members, Board of Governors members, and members of the public are welcome to attend. This year’s Staff Senate co-chairs are Kimberly Mozingo and Carla Wilson.

A hybrid option for these meetings will be offered through the Staff Senate webpage on the events calendar.

Fall 2024Spring 2025
July 11January 9
August 8February 13
September 12March 13
October 10April 10
November 14May 6
December 11June 12

All UNCG staff are encouraged to check the events calendar regularly for updates and opportunities that will help them keep engaged with their colleagues, faculty, and students. Learn about Staff Senate divisions, senate members, and Staff Senate initiatives here


Service Knows No Limits for Army Reservist and UNCG Alumna

Posted on July 02, 2024

UNCG alumna Lindsey Jefferies Jones '18 in the cockpit of a helicopter.

Captain Lindsey Jefferies Jones ’18 has no qualms about taking the skies, but she also knows how to stay grounded.

The Army Reservist has combined all her experiences with a master of science in counseling earned at UNC Greensboro, so that she can serve through her private practice. 

A Trailblazer Takes Flight 

Captain Lindsey Jefferies Jones in fatigues and in front of a helicopter in its hanger.

“My time in the Army National Guard greatly influenced my counseling work, especially connecting with clients who are currently serving or are veterans,” says Jones. 

This summer, she’s also part of the permanent “Trailblazing Women” exhibit at the new Sullenberger Aviation Museum in Charlotte, which will showcase her uniform, flight gloves, and other items. Jones earned the moniker of “trailblazer” in the North Carolina National Guard, becoming its first African American female pilot in 2013. She flew the UH-60 Black Hawk and later the UH-72 Lakota. 

“As a pilot, the best part is being a role model for little girls and motivating them to chase after their dreams,” she says. 

That dream to serve her country began for Jones at 17 with the JROTC in high school. She rose to platoon leader for an air assault company before taking command of the MEDEVAC Detachment and then the Lakota Detachment. 

During that time, she looked at ways she could serve others in other venues. Having already gotten a bachelor’s in psychology and sociology and a minor in military science, she came to UNCG so that she could enter the field of counseling and become a licensed clinical mental health counselor associate. 

Broadening Her Outreach 

The Lakota can reach speeds of 167 mph, but the popularity of telehealth allows Jones – now living in Germany where her husband is stationed – to reach clients in an instant, thanks to her private counseling and consulting practice called Level Your Wings Counseling and Consulting PLLC.

“Jumping into counseling, the depth of human connection and the impact of empathy stands out to me the most,” says Jones, who does all that while working in a logistics position for the Army. “The beauty of being a part-time soldier is that I can both serve and counsel simultaneously.”

Jones connects with people around the world on social media, using her TikTok and Instagram accounts (both @levelyourwings) to share relationship and fitness tips, as well as advice for those who want to work in aviation.

Later this year, she will publish a book “Level Your Wings: A Pilot’s Guide to Healthy Relationships,” correlating the positive dynamics between two pilots in the helicopter with the positive dynamics of two people in relationships. She uses her experience as a therapist and as a pilot to guide readers on the journey to healthy relationships.

“Whether flying helicopters or helping clients navigate their emotions, one thing remains constant,” says Jones. “Dedication to serving others, staying flexible in any situation, and always being there to support people on their journey to personal growth and happiness.”

Story by Janet Imrick, University Communications
Photography courtesy of Capt. Lindsey Jefferies Jones

A group of CED students talk about counseling in a small group discussion.

Inspire others to reach new heights.