August 31, 2018


To:  UNCG Faculty

RE: O. Max Gardner Award Nominations

I am writing on behalf of the O. Max Gardner Award committee to ask that you assist us with the nomination process for the 2019 award. The Gardner Award is awarded by the UNC Board of Governors and has been given annually since 1949. The award was established to recognize faculty who have “made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race.” The Board of Governors solicits nominations from UNC campuses in the fall semester each year, and a BOG committee decides on the system-wide winner during the spring semester. The winner receives a cash prize and recognition at the May BOG meeting. Those chosen in the past have been persons who have made notable contributions of national or international scale. See information regarding last year’s winner here 2018 O. Max Gardner Award Winner.

The role of our UNCG Faculty Senate-based committee is to solicit nominations, recommend the campus nominee to the Provost and Chancellor, and assist with preparation of the nomination materials that are put forward to the Board of Governors. To better honor our campus nominees, I have allocated a $1000 award for our campus nominee.

One thing to note about the award criteria: the award is based on the significance of accomplishments made during the past year. Of course, big accomplishments almost always arise after an extensive history of work.  So, don’t discount putting forth a nominee whose long-standing work has culminated in an interesting way over the past 12 months (we can put forth nominees multiple times).

For more information on our past nominees, our committee, and the nomination process, please visit the Provost’s O. Max Gardner Award information pageThe deadline to submit nominations is Friday, October 26, 2018.

Feel free to forward this to others; nominations are encouraged from all on campus. If you have any questions, committee members contact information may be found here.

2019 Honorary Degree Nominations – Deadline Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Committee on Honorary Degrees invites you to identify people who would be good candidates for honorary degrees to be granted at the 2019 commencement or subsequent commencements. The purpose for awarding honorary degrees includes the following:

  • To recognize individuals who demonstrate extraordinary achievement over their entire scholarly or artistic careers or who have performed distinguished public service in their lifetime;
  • To recognize excellence in the scholarly fields of degrees awarded by the University as well as those that exemplify the history and mission of the University;
  • To honor those individuals whose lives and achievements are consistent with the qualities and values espoused by the University in order to provide examples of the University’s aspirations for its graduates;
  • To elevate the visibility and reputation of the University by honoring those individuals who are widely known and regarded in their field or in society as a whole.

The person selected may be distinguished in any number of areas: humanities, sciences, arts, public service, and education, to name a few. Those currently holding public office in the state and the permanent staff of our state universities are not eligible. The achievements may vary in scope from prominence on the international or professional scene to vital contributions to the University, North Carolina, and beyond. A previous connection to the University or state is not mandatory but is considered a strength.

In order for you to have an idea of the persons who have received Honorary Degrees, we invite you to examine the names of awardees from past years: Mansukh C. Wani, William Mangum (2017); William Black, Harold Schiffman (2016); Timothy Rice (2015); Norman Anderson (2013); Bonnie McElveen-Hunter (2012); Thomas Haggai (2011); Margaret Maron (2010); Rebecca Lloyd, Nido Qubein (2009); Fred Chappell, Tom Ross, Kay Yow (2008); Irvin Belk, Betty Ray McCain, Edwin S. Melvin (2007); Molly Broad, Henry Frye, Shirley Frye (2006); Muriel Siebert (2005); Jim Hunt (2004); Jaylee Mead (2003); Michael B. Fleming, Stanley Frank (2002); Kenneth L. Adelman, Bonnie Angelo, Jean Brooks (2001); Erskine Bowles (2000); Maud Gatewood, Eloise R. Lewis (1999); Carolyn R. Ferree, Calvin Trillin (1998); Mary Ellen Rudin, LeRoy T. Walker (1995); T. James Crawford (1994); Maya Angelou (1993).

The committee asks that initially you submit candidates on the Honorary Degree Candidate Nomination Form, along with biographical information. After the first screening, we may request additional information. Please keep in mind the need for confidentiality, as candidates should not be aware that they are being considered.

The deadline for nominations is Wednesday, November 7, 2018. Please send the completed nomination form to Jennifer Johnson, assistant to the provost, at or the University Committee on Honorary Degrees, Office of the Provost, 201 Mossman Building.


Provost Dunn and the Board of Governors/Alumni Teaching Excellence Awards Committee invite members of the UNCG community to nominate individuals for the 2018-2019 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, or for one of three Alumni Teaching Excellence Awards described below. Recipients of these awards receive an honorarium and university-wide or, in the case of the Board of Governors award, state-wide recognition. Self-nominations are encouraged. Click here for the nomination form. Eligible faculty members who received a 2017-2018 teaching award from their School or College will be nominated automatically.

The nomination period closes Wednesday, August 29. Nominees will be reviewed to ensure basic criteria are met.  Eligible nominees will be invited to submit dossiers. Completed dossiers are due by 5pm Monday, October 22, 2018. Award recipients will be notified in spring 2019. The dossier cover sheet and submission instructions are available at the BOG / ATEA Site.

UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award (for Tenured Faculty) is open to tenured faculty members who have completed at least seven years of teaching at UNCG. The BOG Award is the highest post-secondary award in the state and carries the expectation that applicants will be exceptional teachers who have extended their pedagogical activities beyond the classroom. The award recognizes outstanding teaching (including online or blended instruction, mentorship and educational service) that has resulted in the advancement of the profession. The Board of Governors presents one faculty member from each UNC school with this award every year. The award brings statewide recognition.

Mary Settle Sharp Alumni Teaching Excellence Award (for Tenured Faculty) is open to tenured faculty members who have completed at least three years of teaching at UNCG. The award recognizes outstanding teaching (including online or blended instruction, and mentorship) at UNCG.

James Y. Joyner Alumni Teaching Excellence Award (for Untenured, Tenure-Track Faculty) is open to untenured, tenure-track faculty members who have completed at least three years of teaching at UNCG. The award recognizes outstanding teaching (including online or blended instruction, and mentorship) at UNCG.

Anna Maria Gove Alumni Teaching Excellence Award (for Non-Tenure-Track Faculty) is open to any full-time non-tenure-track faculty member (lecturer, academic professional, clinical faculty, etc.) who has completed at least three years of teaching at UNCG. The award recognizes outstanding teaching (including online or blended instruction) at UNCG.


For questions, contact: Marisa Gonzalez at  (

This email is an official communication from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. You may verify official university emails by checking the Verified Campus Communications Repository. If you have questions about the VCCR or the authenticity of an email message you have received, please contact the sender of the message or search the UNCG website for “VCCR.”

[UTLC] New This Fall with the UTLC and Online Learning Level Two Starts Soon! UTLC Newsletter 8-14-18


Teaching Tips

Happy first day of classes! We’ve got a longer than usual newsletter to get things started, but if you power through the updates with us then you’ll find a link for a book raffle.

We start the semester with some thoughts about student motivation, perception of the value of learning, and how we communicate value throughout the semester. The following exercise idea comes from a colleague at Temple University’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching:

  • Communicating the value of your course. Imagine a student can choose between your course and another course to fulfill a requirement. Using only a discussion about the value of the course, convince this student to take your class. Try writing down your argument. Think about how course content connects to student interests, the skills students will learn, the habits of mind they will develop. Then, build this imagined discussion of value into this first week of class.
  • Communicate value day one and beyond.Don’t let the benefits of this reflective exercise end with the first week of class. You may start communicating that value on day one through your syllabus, but also find ways to return to it throughout the semester. You may see your students’ motivation increase as they make clear connections in their learning.

For more, you might look at this guide from Carnegie Mellon to help you with some key strategies for approaching student motivation and engagement.

Upcoming with the UTLC


You can find a downloadable copy of our 2018-19 event calendar on our website.

Starting Next Week: Online Learning Level Two

If you have taught online before you are ready to explore new approaches and strategies, Level Two is the Online Learning course for you. Participants review the latest research about what works in online environments, learn new ways for students to collaborate online, create new resources with media tools, explore new ways to facilitate and create assessments and experience a variety of communication tools from the viewpoint of a student.

Current participants emphasize that the course is an important source of accountability as they work on an upcoming course. Click on the link below to sign up for the Fall Session!

Online Learning Level Two – Fall Session: August 20 – October 5

Teaching Station Demonstrations

Join ITS Learning Technology in Bryan 209 from 1-2pm this Thursday and Friday (8/16 & 8/17) for an overview of the UNCG teaching station with practical support to get your semester started smoothly!

Save the Date, September 10: The Spark of Learning with Sarah Rose Cavanagh

The Teaching Innovations Office, in collaboration with the Title III Intentional Futures Grant, is excited to welcome to campus Sarah Rose Cavanagh, author of The Spark of Learning: Energizing the College Classroom with the Science of Emotion, on the morning of Monday for a visiting lecture and workshop.

In the meantime, you can find out more about her book here!

New This Fall with the UTLC


If you are looking for ways to get engaged with the great work around teaching and learning that is happening on our campus, consider some of these new opportunities for this year:

Viewpoints of Inclusive Student Experiences (VOISES) Panels

From students, for faculty: a panel of student experiences

Join us for dialogue about UNCG student experiences in the classroom and beyond. In collaboration with the Office of Intercultural Engagement, VOISES panels provide a venue for faculty to hear the perspective of students from marginalized identity groups on campus.

Our first panel is Wednesday, August 29th from 1-2:15pm in the Faculty Center and the focus will be on LGBTQA experiences at UNCG.

Click here to sign up for this and other VOISES panels.

Faculty Literary Circles

Literary Circles unite faculty around a reading related to the scholarship of teaching and learning. We provide the books, and you provide the thoughtful conversation!

There will be four literary circles for Fall 2018, starting September 4th. Check out the options below and then sign up here. Once groups start in September, they will set their own schedules for the semester.

On Course by James M. Lang – A week-by-week guide to your first semester of college teaching.

Experience on Demand by Jeremy Bailenson – What virtual reality is, how it works, and what it can do

Minds Online by Michelle D. Miller – Teaching Effectively with Technology

Knowledge for Social Change by Benson et al. – Bacon, Dewey, and the revolutionary transformation of research universities in the twenty-first century

Teaching Tips Podcast

On August 28th, the UTLC will release its new Teaching Tips Podcast, hosted by Ben Peterson in the Teaching Innovations Office. The podcast brings guests from across the UNCG community to talk about key topics related to learning and student success on our campus.

Email if you have ideas for a topic or someone you’d like to hear as a guest!

“___ On College” Video Series

The end of the month also brings our new video series, “___ On College,” in which we steal some moments to talk teaching and learning on College Ave with great teachers. Come see what new things you’ll learn from Spartans who think deeply about pedagogy and student learning as we talk with someone new On College each month!

New Faculty Center Gatherings: Biergarten, New Faculty Brown Bag, and Soda Shop

This year, the UTLC is changing up our existing weekly Coffeehouses in order to reach a broader set of tastes and schedules! Coffeehouses will continue to happen as usual on the first Wednesday of every month, but every other week will have a new theme with new options to enjoy with your colleagues in the Faculty Center!

Biergarten: On the third Wednesday of every month, join us from 4-5 for our new Biergarten! The Biergarten is a nice way to shift gears at the end of the day and catch up with friends in the center of campus. Our first Biergarten is next week, so we’ll see you on August 22nd!

New Faculty Brown Bag: On the second Thursday of every month, the UTLC invites faculty new and seasoned to bring their lunch to the Faculty Center from noon-1pm and chat about the challenges that new faculty confront in their careers.

Soda Shop: On the fourth Thursday of every month, the Faculty Center goes back to its roots as the campus Soda Shop, but this time it is the faculty who will be the focus of some classic ice cream and soda. Join the UTLC from 2-3pm for an afternoon pick-me-up with a nostalgic touch!

If you’ve made it this far in our extended start-of-the-semester newsletter, then click here to enter into a raffle for one of five books on the science of learning!


Other Upcoming Events Around Campus

Elon Teaching & Learning Conference 2018

Thursday, August 16

This week, Elon University welcomes area university and college educators to the 15th Annual Teaching and Learning Conference on Thursday, August 16, 2018. The conference is jointly sponsored by Elon’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning (CATL) and Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT), and attendance costs are covered by these sponsors, so all you have to do is sign up and show up!

This year’s conference theme is Busting the Myths of Teaching and Learning. In interactive sessions and pedagogy presentations – including several from folks at UNCG – attendees will challenge myths, misconceptions, and hidden assumptions related to teaching and learning, and explore the evidence-based research that debunks them. Attendees will also reflect on how these ideas have influenced both our practice, our discipline, and our students.

“Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” Workshop, hosted by UNCG Online

Friday, September 28 – 9am-4:30pm in Bryan 209

You are invited to participate in the “Applying the Quality Matters Rubric” face-to-face, 1-day workshop at UNCG, which will be taught by certified Quality Matters instructor Dr. Racheal Brooks of NCCU. UNCG Online has organized this workshop for faculty and staff. Materials and lunch will be provided, so there is no cost to you!

For instructions on how to register for this opportunity, click here.

Teacher and student playing in a mud kitchen
Master’s student and preschool teacher Kathy Spivey plays with a child at the mud kitchen, part of the new sensory garden at UNC Greensboro’s Child Care Education Program.

UNC Greensboro researchers and child care professionals know that inclusive opportunity for intellectual stimulation begins long before elementary school, and that the best opportunities occur through a multiplicity of sensory experiences that encourage make-believe.

This knowledge is the source of a project recently completed by Kathy Spivey, a teacher at UNCG’s Child Care Education Program and a master’s student in UNCG’s Birth through Kindergarten Interdisciplinary Studies in Education and Development Program, offered jointly through the Department of Specialized Education Services in the School of Education and the Department of Human Development and Family Studies in the School of Health and Human Sciences.

Garden with rocks as a border and small plants in the middle

With the understanding that outdoor play reduces stress and increases confidence in young children, Spivey developed a plan to enhance the outdoor area at UNCG’s child care center by building a sensory garden that would give children more opportunities to create and lead their own play.

“Sensory gardens are known to help children with and without disabilities with tactile stimulation, improving sensory integration and processing skills,” Spivey observed in her proposal. She intended for the garden to be accessible to children with differing abilities, and it would be her capstone project for her internship in inclusive early education, which was to reflect leadership and contribution to community.

In planning and constructing the sensory garden, Spivey not only worked with her advisor Dr. Linda Hestenes and her internship professor, Dr. Susan Kingsley, but also Dr. Judy Kinney in the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation, director of UNCG’s Child Care Education Program Dr. Sharon Mims, the grounds crew from UNCG Facilities, cross-campus partners Beyond Academics and the very families whose children would eventually play in the garden, and, perhaps most importantly, the children themselves.

Child looking at herb garden

“The most unexpected and important partners I had throughout the process were the children,” said Spivey. “The children were excited to participate in each step. They showed enthusiasm as things were in progress and completed, and they especially encouraged me with their kind words and excitement as we accomplished each milestone together.”

Spivey issued surveys to the families about their children’s outdoor play and what they would like to see on a playground. Spivey also planned work days during which families and children participated, as well as volunteers from Beyond Academics, and undergraduate therapeutic recreation student Norma Rodriguez, who focused her senior honors project on her work on the sensory garden.

An outdoor path made of different materials.

Spivey also created an evaluation tool – a quantitative playground assessment using the Best Practice Indicators and the Preschool Outdoor Environment Measurement Scale. With her team of volunteers, Spivey constructed three sensory pathways, sun catchers, a mud kitchen and a unique music wall made of donated pots and pans. Children were invited to select the plants that would grow alongside safe herbs – labeled with pictures to help them more easily begin to identify them.

“Including children in the decisions motivates them to take pride in the space,” explained Spivey.

When the children used their new outdoor play-space, multiple teachers noticed that they were more engaged in the play spaces ‒ using their senses to explore, describing their learning in expressive language and requiring less redirection. The enhancements also revitalized the children’s interest in pre-existing structures, such as the stage near the music wall. Spivey also noticed that children who didn’t typically play together were doing so, with new camaraderie through their enjoyment of the space.

Child and teacher playing on the music wall with spoons banging on pot

“They’re excited to walk along the pathways, and to feel and smell the herbs. Some are interested in collecting rocks to add to the pathways. Many love to “cook” in the mud kitchen and play music with their friends at the music wall,” said Spivey.

a wooden wall with pots and pans hanging on it - a music wall

“Kathy clearly understands that children learn through all their senses, and by creating these new outdoor settings she is opening up the opportunity for higher levels of learning,” said Hestenes, a  researcher who studies outdoor learning environments for young children. “I am thrilled that she has taken the knowledge and skills she has acquired from her master’s degree program at UNCG and transformed it into a project that is directly impacting our youngest Spartans.”

Child holding up a spoon


Story by Susan Kirby-Smith, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications, and Norma Rodriguez

You only need to walk through the doors of the UNCG School of Education’s SELF Design Studio Makerspace to know innovative things are happening there.
Newly created robots of various shapes and sizes line the walls. Drawings with spinning flowers, historical story boxes and “augmented reality” postcards occupy shelves. Hanging on the back of a chair is a talking sports coat. Here, in the SELF studio, in-service and pre-service teachers learn to use a variety of emerging technologies and tools including 3D printers, microcomputers, robotics and circuitry kits, as well as traditional art supplies.

A School of Education student performing an experiment at the Science Everywhere festival.

Makerspaces are a growing part of school environments, and the UNCG School of Education is ahead of the curve with the SELF Design Studio (SDS). It has been in operation for more than five years and is always moving forward with new ideas and contributions to educational environments.
“We figure out how to use technology in the classroom and use it in practical and meaningful ways,” said SDS Assistant Director Matt Fisher. “Someone has an idea, and we make it once, and then we figure out how to make it better.”

Each semester, several UNCG students serve as “makers in residence.” During their weekly volunteer hours, they learn to use a variety of makerspace tools and mentor other pre-service teachers.

The Spartans who develop their skills at the SELF studio expand “maker” culture throughout local schools as they move into teaching internships. Through the Transforming Teaching Through Technology (T4) grant, UNCG has installed makerspaces in four elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school in Guilford and Forsyth Counties. The newest will be at the Moss Street Partnership School, opening in August 2018.

SDS makers and faculty advisors ensure that creation and exploration continue through an ever-expanding variety of mediums. One day, UNCG pre-service teachers may be helping elementary school students write non-linear stories with technological enhancements and the next day, taking them on adventures via virtual reality technology ‒ to coral reef ecosystems, the International Space Station, inside a human heart or to the Great Wall of China.

The SELF Design Studio is also an integral part of UNCG’s annual Science Everywhere festival. The 2018 festival drew more than 4,000 kids to campus to participate in hands-on learning projects in many different locations.

Kiser Middle School students and SELF Design Studio collaborators watch as a high-altitude weather balloon and spacecraft ascend.

But that’s not all; SDS is the host of the Writing and Robotics summer camp and in May, the studio staff and makers-in-residence helped Kiser Middle School’s meteorology club launch a high-altitude weather balloon into the stratosphere for the second year. The SELF team plans to work with the meteorology club for another launch in 2019.

For more information about SELF Design Studio workshops, which include coding, 3D printing, video game design, “augmented reality” and more, visit the website.

“With the students and all their ideas,” Fisher says, “no day here is every the same.”

When are Dr. Mike Perko’s students ready to engage in their field as professionals?

The professor in UNCG’s Department of Public Health Education says it’s the first time they enter his classroom and make an observation about health.
He operates with “the truly simple notion that my students and I are in this together, both in and out of the classroom.”
Perko received the 2018 UNC Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching, an honor bestowed on only 17 recipients representing all of North Carolina’s public universities.

“I deeply appreciate the BOG selection committee embracing my own story of fighting for the underdog,” said Perko. “And my personal creed of ‘once a student of Perko’s, always a student of Perko’s.’”

Perko works with a set of core values that he passes down to his students – he calls it “The Seven Cs.” Courage, community, conceptualization, creativity, collaboration, collegiality, compassion. And the students respond to his approach. They comment on his generosity, his approachability and how his ability to tell a good story piques their interest and supports their engagement in a topic.
“To know Dr. Perko (‘Dr. Mike’) is to know that he is a purposeful teacher,” observed Dr. Sharon Morrison. “He believes in empowering students for learning outside the classroom.”

“He encouraged us to think BIG,” recalled one former student. “So, I thought BIG. Really BIG. I could do anything I set my mind to, because that is how Mike Perko inspires his students to succeed – to reach his or her highest potential.”

Perko has served as graduate program director for both the master’s and doctoral programs in public health and teaches in both undergraduate and graduate program. He has been the advisor for dissertations on such diverse topics as opioid overdose prevention, the physical activity of nurses and how organization structure affects the physical health of long-haul truck drivers.

His own research activity spans from worksite wellness and health initiatives to athletes’ use of dietary supplements and performance enhancing drugs to diabetes prevention to smoking cessation studies and programs. He is the author of “The Secrets of America’s Healthiest Companies” and “Can You Win Without Supplements?” as well as a children’s book, “Cornered!” ‒ in which a turtle named Sheldon addresses a bullying problem.

“Because health is such a broad field, and impacts our lives so much, it’s almost impossible to not get interested in a variety of things,” said Perko. “I like to always remember that scholarship in academia should focus on new discoveries, creation of new and or unique knowledge, have application in teaching and involve stakeholders, including students.”