Saturday, August 18, 2012

Largest, stronger freshman class at UNCC ever – again

The incredible popularity of UNC Charlotte is testament to the tremendous value of the university. Through great public relations and marketing, smart students and parents from all over the United States are choosing a fine university and a dynamic city. This is good news for everyone associated with UNC Charlotte and for the Charlotte community. More and better college students help produce a better future.

Largest freshman class at UNCC ever – again | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Don't Get Mad; Get Smart About Campus Parking

With move-in weekend beginning this Friday. Aug. 17 and fall classes beginning Monday, Aug. 20, the perennial "strategery" used to master on-campus parking is underway.

Beware: Permit enforcement begins the first day of class. Please have a current valid permit properly displayed on you vehicle or park in a Visitor deck or meter until a permit is obtained.

Student permit purchase/pick-up will be set up in the Student Union first floor Art Gallery, Thursday, Aug. 16 - Tuesday, Aug. 21

Thursday, Aug. 16, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 17, 8 a.m. - 8:00 pm

Saturday, Aug. 18, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Sunday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 20, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 21, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m.

If you're unable to purchase a permit before classes and permit enforcement begins, you may buy a temporary permit for $5 per day.

Parking anywhere during the first two weeks of classes is typically challenging

The beginning of a new academic year creates the highest strain on parking availability. That’s because nearly every student - residents, commuters, full-time, part-time, night and online - need to conduct business here, like paying tuition, checking in with financial aid, meeting with advisors,buying books and parking permits, etc. Add to that a full roster of faculty and staff people and lots of extra visitors and it’s easy to see why parking gets uncomfortably close to capacity.

Advice for that first week or two of parking:

1. Park remotely - take the shuttle in

It’s so much easier to park along the margins and take the shuttle into the core of campus; and much faster too, as you’ll spare yourself the frustration of circling crowded decks. The best spots to park and ride the shuttle into the academic areas are:

North Deck (across Cameron from Witherspoon Hall, near Police and Public Safety and Laurel Hall). Rt. 49 Green Line picks up there Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.;

Lower portion of Lot 6 (Cameron across from Campus Edge). Rt. 50 Red Line stops there Monday through Thursday, 6:30 a.m - 10 p.m., Friday, 6:30 a.m. –6 p.m..

Here’s what you can do:

Make a plan – Before commuting to class on the first day, familiarize yourself with the lots and decks in which your permit allows you to park. Have a ‘plan B’ lot in mind if your first choice is full when you arrive. The first two weeks of the semester will be especially crowded, so make a ‘plan C, D and E’ while you’re at it. Know where you’re going and give yourself plenty of time to get there.

Get real – decks and lots closest to campus core will fill up quickly and early. Maybe this will be your lucky day and that one guy will be pulling out of a primo spot just as you’re rolling in five minutes before class. But probably not!

Don’t circle – in the time it takes you to loop five floors of a deck and /or stalk a pedestrian in hopes they’re leaving, you could have parked elsewhere, taken the shuttle in and started your day with a whole lot less stress.

PARK ONCE – unnecessarily driving around campus gums up traffic flow and makes the shuttles run late. Park once, then take the shuttle around if you need to go from one end of campus to another.

Don’t be ‘that guy’ – you know, the "sweetheart" who uses up two spots. Take a second to check that your vehicle is within the lines. And if you have to pull out a little to straighten up, do it to that person who’s stalking your back-up lights.

Don't get mad; get smart.

Dubois: UNC Charlotte on a Roll; Serving Public Good

By Phillip Brown

As UNC Charlotte welcomes its largest class of freshmen this fall, Chancellor Philip L. Dubois, during University Convocation Tuesday, Aug. 14, reminded the campus community about the value of providing access to quality higher education, such as that provided by the University.

“Like perhaps many of you, I owe my current position in life to having had the opportunity to attend a public university at little or no cost,” said Dubois. “What has happened in the last 20 years, of course, could lead some to conclude that this country’s commitment going forward to accessible and affordable higher education is in some peril… The ‘public good’ of public universities is less apparent to many, even though it is clear that the production of degree-holding citizens has positive outcomes for state economies, the generation of state tax revenues, the health of the population, the reduction of crime and a variety of other indicators. It is our obligation to attempt to turn this around with advocacy and information… To fail to do so not only has the potential to undermine our national and state economies but could result in the creation of a large swath of middle and lower class voters who feel no stake in the future of the public university because they cannot afford to attend.”
Dubois noted that student interest in UNC Charlotte is at unprecedented levels, with record numbers of applicants and enrolled students, representing a more diverse population with stronger academic backgrounds.

“Our freshman class this fall will be over 3,600 students, nearly 500 more than last year as a result of a higher matriculation rate,” he said. “The third outstanding class of Levine Scholars joins us this fall. And, at the last commencement held in May, we celebrated the 100,000th alumnus of UNC Charlotte and a record-number of annual doctoral degrees awarded - 118.”

Despite tough economic circumstances, the University is on a roll, stated Dubois, adding it was apparent everywhere one looked across campus with new facilities under construction and renovation of existing ones. The University has added UNC Charlotte Center City, EPIC and Motorsports Research. One new residence hall has been completed and two more are under construction, and the University will soon bid a new student dining commons.

“Our industry partnership building – PORTAL - is coming out of the ground as I speak,” Dubois said. In addition, there is a new tennis facility and a nearly complete football stadium complex.

The chancellor said he and fellow University leaders remain optimistic that the gradual turnaround in the state’s revenue picture will continue and additional gains could be seen in future years.

“With that said, we are not going to quickly forget the experience of the last four years. Although the state budget for the second year of the biennium turned out to be much better for us than it could have been, we must remain prudent and conservative in managing our affairs,” he said. “Our governing motto has always has been “hope for the best, but plan for the worst. That approach has served us well.”

University Convocation is an opportunity for members of the campus community to hear about UNC Charlotte’s long-term goals and immediate plans and issues. Provost Joan Lorden; Vidal Dickerson, president of the Staff Council; Conor Dugan, president of the student body; and Faculty President Ed Jernigan from the Department of Management in the Belk College of Business; spoke at the event, too.

New members of the faculty and professional staff were welcomed, and faculty members who have been granted permanent tenure were recognized, along with those who are beginning their 25th year of service to the University.

The Broadcast Communications Department provided a live Web stream of University Convocation; click here to watch a recorded version.   # # #   Phillip Brown is internal communications manager at UNC Charlotte.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

49ers Men's Soccer Team Poised for Championship Run

Last season, the 49ers Men's Soccer team advanced all the way to the National Championship game and despite falling just short of the ultimate prize, the team is poised to make another run at capturing Charlotte's first National Title.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Computers for Haitian Girls; Students, Faculty Teach Practical Skills

By Clark Curtis

Spring break for many college students conjures up images of warm sandy beaches and the roar of the waves. However that wasn’t the case this year for 10 students and faculty members from UNC Charlotte’s College of Computing and Informatics. They had their sights set on three rural schools in northern Haiti as they embarked on a volunteer effort to share their computer expertise with teachers and mentors of Haitian girls. 

“This all came about as part of a collaboration with Charlotte-headquartered Mothering Across Continents, through which volunteer ‘catalysts’ receive consulting, coaching and mentoring to develop dream projects that help raise tomorrow’s leaders,” said Tiffany Barnes, associate professor in the department of computer science (pictured on the left, opposite). 

“MAC, in partnership with Hands for Haiti received a grant from Waveplace Foundation, to provide 25 XO laptop computers to each of the three schools, along with mentoring and educational software,” she continued. “The missing element was the computer training, which made this a perfect fit for us and an incredible opportunity for international outreach.”

Participants are part of the Students & Technology in Academia, Research & Service Leadership Corps, a STARS Alliance program that develops leaders to impact the world through computing. Led by the College of Computing and Informatics, STARS is a national consortium of 31 colleges and universities dedicated to preparing a larger, more diverse computing workforce for the 21st century.

Barnes said students worked with the female mentors to teach them how to use the laptops and “Scratch,” a programming language developed at MIT. The drag and drop technology allows the user to create colorful games.

In this instance, the women how to develop interactive games or presentations that address real world problems in the area, Barnes said. Such examples include energy, or lack there of, pollution in the river due to the lack of bathrooms or finding the nearest doctor.

“If we could get everyone, be it the mentors or students, telling stories via their laptops to others in the community about how things are and the need for change, then it will hopefully make everyone come together and find solutions to the problems,” Barnes noted. “We specifically targeted young women for the training as studies show in developing countries girls are much more likely to remain in the community and give back to others.”

For STARS student Nick Blanchard, the experience was life changing. He was approached by one of the female mentors and asked if he would create a program that could teach them how to speak English, he said.

“With the help of a fellow student from the college we were able to create a working prototype in about 20 minutes,” said Blanchard. “It then took four of us about 30 hours to create a program with 75 words and phrases to teach English. Not only could you see the word but hear it. 

Blanchard said the gratitude and appreciation the Haitians expressed despite their many hardships was overwhelming. His plan is to develop his own nonprofit and continue the effort.

“It was exhilarating for me to see the personal development of the STARS students and the mentors,” 
Barnes said. “I think this kind of work is extremely important because it makes you feel like you are making a difference. It’s a way of giving back whether it is giving back as computing people or (through) other diverse skill sets. For me, taking your advantage and giving back to the community is very important.”

Clark Curtis is director of communications for the College of Computing and Informatics.

Megan Says, Get Your Parking Permit Now!

Gabe's Move-in 2012 - Time Saving Tips