Tuesday, December 8, 2015

First Ward Park opens in University's center city front yard

First Ward Park Grand Opening
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Chancellor Philip L. Dubois' Remarks

Thank you, Daniel (Levine), and thank you all for being here for this exciting celebration. 

It's great to see so many friendly faces here who have enabled this vision to become reality. It has been a long time coming but, as you can see from the results, it was well worth it.  Won’t this be a great place to celebrate the Panthers winning the Super Bowl!
Image result for First Ward Park
First Ward Park connects UNC Charlotte Center City
 (lower right) with the core of Uptown Charlotte.
In 2006, The North Carolina General Assembly appropriated $50 million for the 11-story building that anchors this site. That important decision, along with the decision of the Levine Family to convey this property to the University Foundation in a generous sale and gift arrangement,  launched the public-private partnership represented here today.

We knew we wanted to build an iconic structure to anchor our presence in First Ward.  But we also knew that we wanted to create a link to the rest of Center City and, indeed, the rest of the larger community.  Working with Daniel, the city, and the county (as well as a host of elected representatives who shared this vision), we were able to build an open space that welcomes all into UNC Charlotte—Center City.  And it also protects, in perpetuity, our ability to enjoy the impressive skyline that is Center City Charlotte.

First Ward Park is designed with iconic spaces.
By all measures, the Center City Campus is exceeding expectations as a vibrant pillar of First Ward. As the home of the Belk College of Business graduate programs, the Urban Education Collaborative in the College of Education, and the Urban Design program within our College of Arts + Architecture, over 1800 students attend classes here each week. Thousands of participants in the Continuing Education certificate program receive their professional training at the building. And most notably, Center City is the home to over 500 University and community events that attract 30,000 visitors annually to the building.

In the summer of 2017, those visitors will soon have an easier time of getting here when light rail opens up the link between Center City and the main UNC Charlotte campus in spring 2017. 

We are excited about what has been accomplished through this incredible partnership, and we look forward to seeing what the future holds as we work together to strengthen First Ward. We are proud to be your neighbor and, on behalf of our Center City campus, we hope you'll enjoy some hospitality in the form of hot cocoa and cookies to enhance this celebration.

We are thrilled that this day has finally come and we look forward to a park filled with 49ers for years to come. Have a great day and enjoy your time in the park.

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Thursday, November 5, 2015

Student Angelica Brown Gets Community Impact Award

Junior Angelica Rose Brown has been recognized for outstanding leadership and service by North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities with a shared commitment to community engagement. She is a recipient of the network’s Community Impact Award honoring one student leader at each member school.
Angelica Rose Brown
Brown, who is majoring in psychology and business with a minor in civics, is from Kings Mountain. She is one of 21 students chosen for the 2015 honor, and she joins more than 200 college students recognized by the network since the award was first presented in 2006.
In her first semester at UNC Charlotte, Brown founded a student organization called My Sister’s Keeper. The group works to influence the community by philanthropy and the art of self-expression through dance and step, combining Brown’s artistic and humanitarian passions. Under her leadership, My Sister’s Keeper has raised hundreds of dollars for campus and community charities. She also has served as a program coordinator and teaching assistant for the University’s Psychology Learning Community. In this role, she led community service projects, including Stop Hunger Now and the new Niner Student Food Pantry, where she directs 35 student volunteers.
All Community Impact Award winners will be honored at the annual CSNAP student conference, which will be held Nov. 7 at UNC Pembroke. This event will convene nearly 100 students and staff from more than 20 campuses in the network.  In addition to the awards presentations, the conference will include training on cultural competency, community engagement and the “sustained dialogue” leadership process.
North Carolina Campus Compact, the state affiliate of the national Campus Compact organization, builds the capacity of colleges and universities to produce civically engaged graduates and strengthen communities. Started in 2002 and hosted by Elon University, the statewide network includes 36 public, private and community colleges and universities. UNC Charlotte first joined the compact in 2007.
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Niner Food Pantry Gets New Home

Thursday, October 1, 2015

New York artists's work coming to Rowe Gallery on campus

The UNC Charlotte Department of Art & Art History presents work by acclaimed new-media artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy. Priests of the Temple 2015 opens in Rowe Galleries on Monday, October 5, with a lecture by the artists at 4:00 pm, followed by an opening reception from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The exhibition continues through October 30.
Art from the Priests of the Temple 2015 exhibit.
Based in New York City and recipients of a 2011 Guggenheim Fellowship, the husband and wife duo have exhibited at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, P.S.1, The Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, and in galleries across the United States. International exhibitions include projects at the Pompidou Center, the British Film Institute, the Hanover Kunstverein, the Bonn Kunstverein, and the Hong Kong Arts Center. Their work has been reviewed in major news and art publications, including the New York TimesNewsweek, the Washington PostArtforum, and New York and Wiredmagazines. They have exhibited in Charlotte only once before, at The Light Factory in 1997.
Described by New York magazine as “perennial wizards of little worlds made to look like sculptural panoramas,” the McCoys create unique installations that combine sculpture, portraiture, miniature diorama, and video projection. “There’s simply nothing else quite like the work they do,” wrote Blake Gopnik in a profile of the artists in theWashington Post.
A suite of multi-media works developed during a recent residency at the Headlands Center of the Arts, Priests of the Temple 2015 expands upon a work from a 2012 exhibition at Postmasters Gallery in New York. That “Priest of the Temple” places a photograph of Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corporation, and a model of a deteriorating office building into a rugged miniature landscape that evokes Mt. Rushmore and the American West. A tiny embedded video shows a Silicon Valley hotel spa, while a live video projection on a nearby wall creates a kaleidoscopic treatment of the diorama’s elements.
The artists became fascinated by the relationship between Silicon Valley innovation and the libertarian ethic of the American frontier. Priests of the Temple 2015 further explores this relationship, portraying Silicon Valley leaders within the changing landscape of the West.
The McCoys both received MFA degrees in electronic arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Jennifer McCoy is a professor at Brooklyn College; Kevin McCoy is a professor at New York University. Learn more about their work athttp://www.mccoyspace.com/.
Rowe Arts building is on the main campus of UNC Charlotte. For parking information and directions, please click here. Free parking is available on October 5.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Pride of Niner Nation Makes Debut

The UNC Charlotte “Pride of Niner Nation” Marching Band is ready for its inaugural season! The band made its debut on August 22 at a special preview for family and donors, followed on August 24 by the New Student Convocation, where it performed the UNC Charlotte Alma Mater and 49ers Fight Song. 

The Pride of Niner Nation marching band.

Beginning with the first home game on September 12, the Pride of Niner Nation will perform pre-game and halftime shows at all Charlotte 49ers home games this fall.

Band members began preparations this summer with a two-week band camp, August 9-22. Under the leadership of Director of Athletic Bands Jeff Miller, the marching band staff, and the Pride of Niner Nation drum majors and section leaders, the musicians and color guard worked 12-hour days to learn the drill.

“We are making history each day, and I love being a part of each step,” says drum major Quinten Wrenn, a music education major. “I am looking forward to all of the "firsts" for the Pride of Niner Nation Marching Band.”

Jeff Miller
The inaugural Pride of Niner Nation is made up of 144 students, representing every college at UNC Charlotte. While most of them are traditional undergraduate students – and 86 are freshmen – there are non-traditional students, as well, including a doctoral candidate in psychology and a retired combat veteran who plays sousaphone. Participating in marching band brings this diverse group together in a special way, says drum major Madelyn Colby, a sophomore communications major.

“What I love most about marching band is the tight-knit community that is formed within. It is such a safe haven where lifelong bonds are built, and it goes along with performing with people. There is absolutely nothing like performing alongside people with whom you share a common goal.”

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

$2 million gift names football promenade

By Leanna Pough

As the fastest growing institution in the UNC system, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte welcomed nearly 28,000 49ers this fall. The university is expected to continue its climb towards becoming an integral part of the economic, social and cultural fabric of the Charlotte region with the Fall 2017 debut of the light rail; but growth isn’t possible without support.

Friday, August 28, 49ers gathered at the Jerry Richardson Stadium for the naming of the Hunter and Stephanie Edwards Promenade. The naming announcement follows a generous donation of $2 million from the couple –both UNC Charlotte graduates.

Edwards notes the changes and expansion of the UNC Charlotte campus since receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Stephanie and Hunter Edwards.
“We rode around this place and Wow! What a different facility we have here now than when we did back in the day. It’s impressive,” Edwards says. President and CEO of MSS Solutions, Edwards accredits the UNC Charlotte for much of his adult life.

“I met my wife here, I got a degree finally. I got my first job interview because I had a degree and that started my career path. Without UNC Charlotte, the faculty, the professors, the staff here, I wouldn’t have made it,” Edwards says.

The Edwards’ gift helps lay a foundation of greatness for Charlotte 49ers in their commitment to build champions on and off the field.

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Leanna Pough is a senior Communication Studies major ad intern in the Office of Public Relations.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

High school students do "real science" research

By Wills Citty

Deep underground in a basement auditorium, a high schooler is teaching about nanoparticles. It’s the end of a hot summer spent in cool laboratories for the fortunate juniors and seniors chosen for the research experience at UNC Charlotte. Delivering their presentations marks the culmination of more than a month of study for the six high school students, who were paired with professors to work on complex scientific questions.

The high schoolers were part of a paid internship program offered by UNC Charlotte’s Center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (CSTEM); it provided them the chance to perform real science on a college campus.

UNC Charlotte faculty researchers worked with
high school interns in a summer research program.
Dawson Hancock, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Education, said the quality of the students’ research was remarkable. “I was extremely impressed with the methodology and the soundness thereof, the detailed analyses, and the eloquence of the presentations was outstanding.”

The students’ investigations covered a range of scientific spheres. One looked at the possibility of making solar panels more efficient using microscopic silver particles. Another considered ways to improve photodynamic therapy — killing cancer cells with light.

Local student David Mack spent the summer researching how to use Doppler radar to help robots see and navigate better; his presentation, under the supervision of James Conrad, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was entitled “Using Robots and Range Finder Data to Create Navigational Maps.” For Mack, the research was the continuation of years of personal interest.

“Creating information gathering technology has interested me for a long time, since I was five as a matter of fact, and I thought that this experience would be a good opportunity to try my hand at it,” he said.

Victor Mack is the director of the Office of Educational Outreach at UNC Charlotte, and David Mack’s father. The elder Mack led the program from its inception on campus in 1998 through 2006. He said watching his son benefit from the experience was meaningful.

“I'm glad to see the program continue and be supported by the college,” said Mack. “For me, I feel as if I have come full circle. Rare are the opportunities to see our children benefit directly from our labor and excel. I'm extremely proud and thankful.”

The younger Mack said navigating the fast-paced environment of a university laboratory was a new experience, but that his supervising professor was receptive to questions and provided the needed guidance along the way.

A parent who attended the symposium said her son’s “personality changed completely” over the course of the six-week program, and that the experience went a long way to establishing work ethic.

The program was initially created through a National Science Foundation grant as part of a statewide program. That funding dried up, and UNC Charlotte is the only remaining site of the original six that maintains the program; discretionary funding from CSTEM has been used to keep it afloat.

Hancock said the summer research program is in sync with CSTEM’s overarching goals: to heighten the visibility and salience of these topics in the public consciousness.

“The centers were created because STEM wasn’t getting the level of attention it needed,” stated Hancock. “We recognized that in the global economy, the college needed to develop students’ talents and interests at a young age.”

Along with the summer research experience, CSTEM operates a pre-college program that helps prepare students from six nearby counties for math, science and engineering-based careers. The program is affiliated with the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network and coordinated on campus by Shagufta Raja, a pre-college coordinator for CSTEM. It consists of a 12-week Saturday academy that meets during the school year, as well a summer scholars program separate from the more intensive summer research experience.

Hancock, who described these programs as a “win-win,” said, “Participants gain exposure to a university stetting, work with faculty in that environment and engage in depth in areas of STEM in which they are particularly interested. The University gains the benefit of exposing students to our campus, so they can hopefully develop a better understanding of what we have to offer, and maybe one day even become 49ers themselves.”

Concluding presentations by the other high school students were:
·       Kartheek Batchu’s ″Effect of Nanoparticle Sized Silver Paste on Contact Resistance,” supervised by Abasifreke Ebong, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

·       Ethan Wickliff’s ″Screen-printed Solar cell Efficiency Improvement Though use of Appropriate Ag Paste,” supervised by Ebong

·       Bhavana Ambil’s ″Effect of ADP on Actomyosin Dissociation,” supervised by Yuri Nesmelov, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics and Optical Science

·       Dean Tran’s ″The Use of Radio Waves in Determining Distances,” supervised by Conrad

·       Jared Johnson’s ″Improving Skin Permeation for Photodynamic Therapy,” supervised by Juan Vivero-Escoto, assistant professor of chemistry. 

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