May 21, 2019




TO:  UNCG Faculty and Staff

RE: Dr. Andrew Hamilton Named New Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate Studies

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Andrew Hamilton has accepted the position as Associate Vice Provost for Student Success and Dean of Undergraduate Studies.  He will also hold an appointment as adjunct lecturer in the Department of Philosophy.

Dr. Hamilton currently serves as Associate Dean for Student Success, College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at University of Houston.  His previous administrative appointments include Associate Dean for Student Success, The Honors College as well as Executive Director for Academic Innovation both at the University of Houston.

Dr. Hamilton holds a B.A. from Berea College, M.A. from Boston College, and a Ph.D. from University of California San Diego.

Please join me in welcoming Andrew to the UNC Greensboro community.  He will begin his new role on July 1, 2019.

I would also like to express thanks to the search committee for their outstanding work to help us select a new Associate Vice Provost and Dean.

Research revealed at undergraduate expo

UNCG undergraduates are more than students – they are researchers.

Each year, they have the opportunity to share their research and scholarship with peers and the campus community, at the Carolyn and Norwood Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo, now in its 13th year.

All students engaged in faculty-mentored scholarly inquiry were invited to participate, with projects that could be developed from course work, independent research, other research with a faculty mentor, or volunteer work.

Student in front of presentation board

More than 200 presentations were included in the 2019 expo, making it the largest thus far. 245 UNCG undergraduates participated, with 111 mentors from 42 academic departments and programs.

In addition to the honors awarded to students, the 2019 Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award for Early Career Faculty was presented to Ramji Bhandari.

Picture of Ramji Bhandari
Dr. Ramji Bhandari

Bhandari joined the faculty at UNCG as assistant professor in the Department of Biology in 2016, and has mentored 15 undergraduates, several of whom have co-authored manuscripts and have presented their work at scholarly venues including the NC Academy of Sciences, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and Developmental Biology.

“My lab is a family,” he says. “As a mentor I thoroughly enjoy working with undergraduates and seeing their confidence develop over time in the lab. Undergraduate research facilitates the students moving from classroom theory to practical research lab experience and solidifies their learning, particularly critical thinking and problem-solving skills that are transferrable to areas beyond the classroom and research laboratory.”

Many of Bhandari’s students advance to graduate school and medical school, and he says that the research experience has been instrumental in helping them embark on their career paths.

The 2019 expo award winners are:

Humanities and Social Sciences

1st Place: Courtney Phillips (Nursing)
“Nurse Practitioner Knowledge and Use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies for the
Management of Chronic Pain: A Pilot Study”
Faculty Mentor: Susan Letvak

2nd Place: Vanessa Enoch (Human Development and Family Studies)
“Trauma and Abuse Experience and Elevated Scalp Hair Cortisol Concentrations Among SE
Asian Refugees in the US South”
Faculty Mentor: Sudha Shreeniwas

3rd Place: Kaitlyn Chaplin (Communication Studies), Ariana Chavez (Classical Studies), and Brianna Rogers (Classical Studies)
“There’s No Place Like Homescreen” (Performance)
Faculty Mentor: Killian Manning

Education and Behavioral Sciences

1st Place: Avila Ramirez Itzel (Psychology)
“Do Ethnic-Racial Socialization Messages Manifest in Technological Communication Between
Romantic Partners of Latinx Heritage?”
Faculty Mentor: Michaeline Jensen

2nd Place: Sarah Ragab (Biology)
“The Transfer of Global Applications of Sport for Positive Youth Development”
Faculty Mentor: Michael Hemphill

3rd Place: Brianna Ferraro (Specialized Education Services)
“From Accommodation to Invitation: Roles Communication Centers Play in Acknowledging and Empowering People with Disabilities”
Faculty Mentor: Roy Schwartzman

Honorable Mention:
Morgan Bryant (Interior Architecture)
“The Ancillary Office: The Effects of Biophilia and Ergonomic Solutions within the Workplace”
Faculty Mentor: Travis Hicks

Aran Garnett-Deakin (Human Development and Family Studies) and Rachel Fuqua (Human
Development and Family Studies)
“A Meta-Analytic Review of the Associations between Marital Dissolution and Anxiety”
Faculty Mentor: Heather Helms

Mathematics, Life and Physical Sciences

1st Place: Ayesha Ejaz (Chemistry)
“Simulating a Microchip-based Stark Guide and Decelerator using Simion”
Faculty Mentor: Liam Duffy

2nd Place: Quashawn Chadwick (Biology & Biochemistry)
“Transgenic Tobacco with Archaeal Heat Stress Resistance”
Faculty Mentor: Ayalew Osena

3rd Place: Ekaterina Ellyce San Pedro (Biology)
“Effect of the Regulatory Light Chain of MyosinII on Glut 4 Translocation to the Plasma
Faculty Mentor: Yashomati Patel


1st Place: Michael Newman (Theatre), Jordan Speas (Theatre), Steve Williams  (Theatre), Auntais Faulkner (Theatre)
“MAMA” (Mindfulness Arts Mindfulness Action)
Faculty Mentor: Denise Gabriel

Emerging Scholars (UNCG Residential College Students)

1st Place: Isabelle Cooper (Environmental and Sustainability Studies)
“An Interactive Map of Holistic Veterinary Medicine”
Faculty Mentor: John Sopper

2nd Place: Ryan Peace (Political Science)
“The Effects of Child Sexual Abuse on Black Men”
Faculty Mentor: Sara Littlejohn

3rd Place: De’Viona Lowery (Consumer Apparel & Retail Studies)
“Cancel Culture: Destroyer of Celebrities but How Does It Affect You?”
Faculty Mentor: Sara Littlejohn

Honorable Mention:
Belle Downing (Community and Therapeutic Recreation)
“How Recreation Therapy Can Improve the Quality of Lives within Human Trafficking
Faculty Mentor: Sara Littlejohn

Sydney Chamberlain (Biology)
“Cannibalism in Food Culture: Why Prions Need Regulation”
Faculty Mentor: Sara Littlejohn



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

Group Picture of Faculty Excellence Award Recipients

Faculty Honored for Teaching, Research, Advising, and Service

The 2019 Faculty Awards Ceremony was held April 17 in the Elliott University Center Auditorium, honoring UNC Greensboro faculty who display excellence in teaching, research, mentoring and enhancing student success.

Board of Trustees Chair Brad Hayes joined Provost Dana Dunn in presenting awards and Dr. Alan Boyette assisted in the ceremony. The ceremony included videos produced by UNCG media studies students and Professor Michael Frierson that highlighted the recipients’ accomplishments and teaching.

The recipients of the 2019 Faculty Awards are:

    • Dr. Dianne Welsh: UNC Board of Governors Excellence in Teaching Award
    • Dr. Mariche Bayonas: Mary Settle Sharp Award for Teaching Excellence
    • Dr. Amanda Gale: James Y. Joyner Award for Teaching Excellence
    • Dr. Aaron Terranova: Anna Maria Gove Award for Teaching Excellence
    • Dr. Pam Kocher Brown: UNCG Award for Excellence in Online Education
    • Dr. Susan Keane: Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award from the Graduate School
    • Dr. Ruth DeHoog and Dr. Ken Klase (on behalf of MPA program, Political Science): Student Learning Enhancement Award
    • Dr. Ramji Bhandari: Thomas Undergraduate Research Mentor Award
    • Sarah Dunning: Advising Excellence Award for Faculty Advisor
    • Steve Haines: Gladys Strawn Bullard Award
    • Dr. Matina Kalcounis-Rüppell: Holshouser Award for Excellence in Public Service nominee
    • Dr. Tom Martinek, Sr.: O. Max Gardner Award nominee
    • Dr. L. DiAnne Borders: Senior Research Excellence Award
    • Dr. Risa Applegarth: Junior Research Excellence Award

Six faculty members received 30 years of service awards: Dr. Keith Debbage, Dr. John Lepri, Roberta (Robin) Maxwell, Dr. Jonathan Tudge, Dr. Kathleen Williams, and Dr. Michael Zimmerman.

Six received 35 years of service awards: Dr. Rebecca Adams, Cathy Griffith, Mary Eloise Hassell, Dr. Susan Keane, Professor Jo Ramsay Leimenstoll, and Dr. Jerry Walsh.

Three were recognized for 40 years of service: Dr. William Karper, Dr. Stephen Layson, and Mark Schumacher.

Enjoy the 2019 Faculty Awards videos below:

2019 UNCG Teaching Awards:

2019 UNCG Service Leadership Awards:

2019 UNCG Mentoring, Assessment, and Advising Awards:

2019 UNCG Research Excellence Awards:



Videos by UNCG media studies students and Professor Michael Frierson

Photography by Jiyoung Park, University Communications

April 9, 2019

TO:  UNCG Faculty and Staff

RE: Candidates for Associate Vice Provost/Dean of Undergraduate Studies Open Forums

The Associate Vice Provost/Dean of Undergraduate Studies Search Committee and the Provost have selected four finalists to visit campus.  I encourage you to participate in the interview process by attending the open forums and receptions. The finalists will provide a 15-20 minute presentation on their vision for promoting student success at UNC Greensboro followed by a question and answer session.

The open forums are scheduled in the Kirkland Room in the EUC as follows:

Candidate 1:  Thursday, April 18th 10:45am-12:00pm

Candidate 2:  Monday, April 22nd from 3:00-4:15pm

Candidate 3: Wednesday, May 1st from 3:00-4:15pm

Candidate 4:  Monday, May 6th 3:00-4:15pm

A brief reception will be held immediately after each open forum.

Finalists names and CVs will be made available three days before each visit. A video recording and survey will also be posted after each open forum.  All information can be accessed at

Thank you in advance for your participation.  I look forward to a successful conclusion to this important search.


March 25, 2019

Renowned Statistician Joins UNC Greensboro as Founding Director of MS in Informatics and Analytics

John Stufken has joined UNC Greensboro to head the new Master of Science in Informatics and Analytics (MSIA) program. He will direct the Fall 2019 launch and subsequent expansion of the MSIA. Initially, Stufken will focus on recruiting high caliber faculty and students, partnering with local industries to create a strong capstone experience for students, and maintaining an active research program.

Provost Dana Dunn said, “Informatics and analytics credentials are in high demand.  Dr. Stufken brings an outstanding record of research and accomplishment to a high priority program designed to be responsive to employer needs”.  Stufken will enter the Director role with 18+ years of administrative experience, an extensive research background, and an exemplary track record of program development and interdisciplinary partnerships.

Stufken, the inaugural Charles Wexler Professor of Statistics at Arizona State University (ASU), currently serves as the Coordinator for Statistics for the School of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences (SoMSS).  Prior to ASU, Stufken served 11 years as head of the Statistics department at the University of Georgia (UGA).  From 2000-2003, Stufken served as the Program Director for Statistics at the National Science Foundation. At NSF, Stufken collaborated on many interdisciplinary programs involving geosciences, computer science, biological sciences, and medical sciences.

Stufken has authored more than 75 publications, many in top refereed statistics journals, co-authored/edited two books, given approximately 100 invited presentations at professional conferences plus 70 invited research seminars. He is a Fellow of both the Institute of Mathematical Statistics and the American Statistical Association and an Elected Member of the International Statistical Institute.

Stufken says, “It is exciting to see that, with its new MSIA program, UNCG will train students to acquire informatics and analytics skills that will equip them to be leaders in a data-driven world. A focus on these skills is not only important today, but will be invaluable for many years to come. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help build this program as its founding Director.”

March 11, 2019


TO: UNCG Faculty

RE: UNCG Online Dean Selection

March 11, 2019


Karen Bull, Incoming UNCG Online Dean

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Karen Bull has accepted the position as Dean of UNCG Online.   Dr. Bull is currently Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Syracuse University.  Previous administrative appointments include Interim Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Online Programs and Manager of Online Programs and Services at Syracuse University.  She also served as Director of Program Evaluation and Assistant Director of Distance Learning at Onondaga Community College.

Please join me in welcoming Karen to the UNC Greensboro community.  She will begin her new role on July 8, 2019.

I would also like to express thanks to the search committee for their outstanding work to help us select a new Dean.




March 7, 2019


TO:  UNCG Faculty

RE:  April 3-5 “Unlikely” Documentary Screenings and Events

I am excited to share with you an important opportunity for UNC Greensboro to host a campus-wide conversation and series of events about student success, amplify our leadership position in this area, and create engaging, curricular opportunities for a variety of departments across campus.

On April 3 and 4, UNCG will host screenings of the documentary “Unlikely.” This penetrating and personal new film investigates America’s college dropout crisis through the lives of five diverse students as they fight for a second chance at opportunity and highlights the innovators reimagining higher education for the 21st century. After each screening, faculty will help facilitate discussion.  Screening events will begin at 5:30pm at the School of Education building, Room 114.

On Friday, April 5, UNCG will host a series of events on campus with one of the award-winning filmmakers, Adam Fenderson. The day will include a Q&A event from 10:15-11:15 a.m. for the campus community to discuss higher education and policy issues, as well as film making, with Fenderson. We are still finalizing the location for this open Q&A and will follow up soon.

UNCG is the first university in North Carolina to screen the documentary and host this important conversation. The film has been critically acclaimed and featured at high profile events like South by Southwest in Austin as well as at screenings and events nationwide.   We know that our faculty and staff are focused on addressing many of the challenges presented in the documentary, and we believe this platform will help us share our innovative programs and success stories with the campus community and beyond.

Attendance and participation by students, faculty, and staff are very important. I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity as you see fit – for example, by integrating the screenings and Friday’s Q&A into course plans, or by informally encouraging students to participate.

Thank you for your partnership in making these screenings and events a success. We look forward to the vibrant, open discussions that will take place on our campus.

February 19, 2019


To: UNCG Faculty

RE: CourseLeaf Software for Catalog (CAT) and Curriculum Inventory Management (CIM)

We are pleased to inform you that the CourseLeaf CIM and CAT programs will be available for use beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2019.  These systems can now be used to propose catalog and curriculum changes for the 2020-2021 academic year.  Links to access the system may be found on the CourseLeaf website:

Please be aware of a few of items as we complete the implementation:

  • Any course that is new or revised for 2019-2020 may not yet be available for edit for 2020-2021.
  • Any programs impacted by the 500-level course changes may not yet be available for edit for 2020-2021.
  • Some programs impacted by the 120-credit hour change are still being processed by the University Registrar’s Office.

If you have any questions, please contact

Training sessions will be offered on an ongoing basis beginning on Tuesday, Feb. 19.  If you would like to attend training, you may sign up for workshops here:

If you need any other help or have any other questions, please use the Contact Us tab on the web page.

February 11, 2019


TO:  UNCG Faculty

RE:  Provost’s Faculty Fellow Announced

I’m pleased to announce that Steve Haines, Professor in the School of Music in UNCG’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, has accepted a position as Faculty Fellow in my office for the 2019-2020 academic year.  He begins his appointment July 1, 2019 and his primary project will be coordination and development of the biannual themed series of performances, lectures, films, and exhibits.  Steve will work collaboratively across the campus to ensure that the 2020-21 series is intellectually and artistically vibrant.

Please join me in congratulating Professor Haines on his new role.

January 30, 2019


TO:  UNCG Faculty

RE:  Campus Climate Survey

UNC Greensboro is investing in a survey of our undergraduate students to examine student views about campus climate and factors that contribute to student success and belonging. We need your assistance in encouraging students to take the survey, which we are referring to as the “iBelong Campus Climate Survey.”  It is officially the Culturally Engaged Campus Environments (CECE) survey, a project out of the National Institute for Transformation & Equity.  A representative sample of students will be randomly selected to complete the survey.  Later in the semester, all students will have the opportunity to attend focus groups related to campus climate.  As faculty, you can help by posting a message about the iBelong Survey to your course, making announcements in classes, or answering questions about why taking surveys is important.  Students should be instructed to check their email to see if they have been selected for the survey opportunity this year.

The survey will open February 4, 2019, and the selected students will receive an email invitation to participate. Preliminary results will be available later this semester. A full report will be shared with the campus next fall. Together, we can use these results to improve our practices with all students who attend UNC Greensboro.

If you have questions about the iBelong survey or campus climate, please contact Cathy Akens, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, or Julia Mendez Smith, Chancellor’s Fellow for Campus Climate.

Thank you.

Sample message for you to share: Dear Students, please check your email during February for a new opportunity to see if you have been invited to take the iBelong Survey. This brief survey will ask for your thoughts about how to help us meet our goal of providing the best possible learning experience at UNCG for all our students. Together, we can use these results to improve your experience now and for future Spartans.