Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shakespeare Comes to Campus in November

Shakespeare’s Tempest Comes to Campus

The Actors from the London Stage will come to UNC Charlotte for a week-long residency that includes three public performances of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, November 3-5. Co-sponsored by the Shakespeare in Action Center and the Department of Theatre, the five-member troupe will participate in a variety of classes and workshops on campus, leading discussions and coaching students in Shakespeare performance.

Founded 35 years ago, Actors from the London Stage is headquartered at University of Notre Dame. British actor Sir Patrick Stewart developed the troupe’s touring concept, which takes the actors to colleges and universities across the United States for a series of residencies that combine public performances and educational outreach. The troupe will arrive at UNC Charlotte on October 31. The tour ends at the Cockpit Theatre in London.

The five actors in the current tour come from prominent British schools and stages, including the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, and the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. They will play all the roles of The Tempest (there are 21 characters) in an innovative and minimalist production.
The presentation of Actors from the London Stage and The Tempest is part of the Shakespeare in Action “36 in 6” project. Between 2010 and 2016, the university’s Shakespeare in Action Center will mount six events per year, each devoted to one of Shakespeare’s plays, so that by the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, it will have staged—in some form—all 36 plays in the canon. The events will include major productions, staged readings, and the performance of selected scenes, alongside public lectures, colloquia, and guest appearances.

Tickets for The Tempest are $14, $9 for seniors and UNC Charlotte faculty and staff, and $6 for all students. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 704-687-1849.

Housed both in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the College of Arts + Architecture but working across colleges and disciplines, the Shakespeare in Action Center serves to advance and coordinate various activities and initiatives related to the production and exploration of Shakespeare’s work and that of his contemporaries. Its goal is to advance the study and enjoyment of Renaissance/Early Modern drama and culture, particularly through performance, on campus and in the broader Charlotte community.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

4.NINER K raises funds for needs-based scholarships

Join UNC Charlotte Saturday, October 22, 2011 for the third annual 4.NINER K scholarship fund-raising event. Run or walk your way through this challenging and family-friendly 4.9K course, located throughout the beautiful UNC Charlotte campus. All race proceeds will be used to fund need-based scholarships for current students. After the race, stay for FREE food, entertainment, awards, and fun activities!

Why are we doing this now?

Last year, more than 70 percent of UNC Charlotte students received some type of financial assistance to help pay their educational expenses, the number of financial aid applications for this year has increased almost 6 percent over last year’s numbers and over 20 percent from two years ago. The dire economic situation has had the dual effect of increasing the need of financial aid for our students while decreasing the University’s capacity to provide assistance.

Race Day Schedule

7:30 AM: Race day registration and packet pickup
8:49 AM: Race start time
9:00 - 10:30 AM: Post-race celebration
9:49 AM: Awards Ceremony (will occur as soon as the last participant has crossed the finish line)
Registration Fees

Online registration through October 20:
$25 for individuals
$49 for families
$15 for UNC Charlotte students
Onsite registration on October 21 at Bike Line of Charlotte:
$30 for individuals
$55 for families
$20 for UNC Charlotte students
Day of registration at the Student Union (7:00 - 8:45 AM):
$30 for individuals
$55 for families
$20 for UNC Charlotte students
Individuals must be 15 years of age or older. Family registration is limited to a maximum of 4 participants; kids 14 and under are free! Students must have a valid UNC Charlotte Student ID.

Pre-race packet pick up will be held at Bike Line of Charlotte on Friday, October 21, from 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM. The store is located across the street from campus at 8528 University City Blvd., Suite M. Registration fees may be paid by cash or check only. Call 704-549-8804 for more information.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Center City Gallery offers a gentle push out of the comfort zone

UNC Charlotte Center City provides an art gallery that will welcome a full, broad-based slate of exhibitions, installations and receptions -- from a diverse range of local, national and international artists. Center City Gallery offers a gentle push out of the comfort zone

Monday, September 26, 2011

Levine Scholars Class of 2015 Take Alaska

The second annual class of Levine Scholars have returned safe and sound from their summer trip to the Alaskan wilderness and are nowe ensconced on campus, deep in study. For three weeks they toured the backcountry, growing, learning and having fun. These super-scholars are some of the best and brightest -- 16 chosen from more than 1,100 appicants natonwide. They are smart, studious, serious (sometimes) and ... they're teenagers.

The UNC Charlotte Faculty Jazz Quintet

Jazz artists on UNC Charlotte faculty will perform as quintet Sept. 27 at Robinson Hall. These accomplished musicians have played with some of the great jazz performers, in some of the great venues in America and beyond.

Friday, September 23, 2011

DOE Solar Decathlon: People's Choice Award

Vote Now for Appalachian’s Solar Homestead!

Show your North Carolina pride by supporting Appalachian State University’s Solar Decathlon team. Appalachian’s Solar Homestead, one of 18 net-zero designed houses selected to compete in the competition that includes representation from five countries, is proudly representing our state and the UNC system. Please show your support by voting in the People’s Choice category.

Voting is live now and will remain open until 7 p.m. Sept. 30.

It is easy to vote just click on this link:

Learn more about the competition:
• Via the Solar Decathlon website

• Via the Solar Decathlon mobile website (
To learn more about Appalachian’s entry visit
Information about all teams competing in the Solar Decathlon is available at

DOE Solar Decathlon: People's Choice Award Registration

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Countering Terrorism: our Learning Curve is Good but We Must Learn Faster

By Cindy Combs

Ten years after the events of 9/11, if we want to assess how well we have learned about the threat of terrorism we need to look back. But we also need to look at our world today, to see how well our learning curve compares with those planning and carrying out terrorist events. And we must look to the future to decide how high the cost of failure – or success – could be.

The passage of time has not changed the number killed or the damage to our country, but during those 10 years at least three important things have changed: our perception of terrorism as a real threat to domestic security, our ability to detect and deter emerging terrorism threats, and our awareness of the critical need for cooperative effort in preparing for and responding to this threat.

During the past decade terrorism has occurred with increasing frequency, but not on the scale of 9/11. This suggests several possibilities about our ability to deal with terrorism today, compared to U.S. counterterror capabilities 10 years ago. A brief look comparing the failures identified in the Report by the 9/11 Commission with more recent reports of patterns of global terrorism and counterterror initiatives offers insights both reassuring and troubling. Our learning curve is improving, but terrorism may be changing more quickly than our counterterror measures.

The report issued by the 9/11 Commission in July 2004 identified four critical failures in U.S. policy and preparedness: in imagination, policy, capabilities, and management. Each contributed to the attacks’ catastrophic impact, and each has been addressed, with some measure of success. Although the report detailed many different manifestations of these failures, we can look at just one to highlight the problem: the failure of imagination which led us to assume that airline hijackings could generally be resolved by negotiation. While numerous books and movies depicted suicidal airline hijackings, this was not built into our preparations for such events. Indeed, even though after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack – by al-Qaida operatives – we secured computer records indicating the group was planning to use planes as weapons of attacks in multiple cities, our imagination did not force us to envision this type scenario. So our pilots were unprepared.

This has certainly changed in the past 10 years. Today, training programs to prevent and, if necessary, deal effectively with the use of planes as weapons is fundamental to airports and airlines. But our imagination, our willingness to think outside of the box when envisioning modes of terrorist attacks, remains limited. Two simple points make that clear: First, we still do not match luggage with passengers on domestic flights. This allows a terrorist to buy two tickets, using one for travel and the other for the explosive-laden luggage which could be placed on a different flight, using the second ticket. Simple, yet we do not scan and match all luggage to prevent this.

Second, our airport checks focus on failed attempts to bring explosives aboard (in shoes and in small bottles of liquids). Unless we continue to assume that terrorists are stupid, announcing that these are what we are checking makes the checking essentially useless – and unimaginative.

Today, one area of assessment offers positive encouragement: We have substantially improved, particularly in the Charlotte region, on one of the other failures the report noted –the failure of management. While the report made clear that 10 years ago our country had a critical shortfall in interagency cooperation, organization, and convergence planning, Charlotte at that time already had substantial success in this arena with our ALERT system. Starting in 1998, emergency response agencies in Charlotte-Mecklenburg identified the area as a potential terrorist target and developed the Advanced Local Emergency Response Team (ALERT), made up of local law enforcement, fire, emergency medical and physician personnel to ensure preparedness for urban terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and natural disasters. Today Charlotte ALERT is a model for many cities, and in this arena Charlotte is ahead on the learning curve for counterterrorism response.

But even if we are learning quickly, it’s important to remember that terrorists are growing in numbers and, potentially, learning at least as fast. Terrorism today is more likely to be carried out by leaderless movements than by groups with fixed leadership structures and regular meetings. Instead of going to countries like Afghanistan for training, training camps today are often mobile, even available online, as are most of the weapons of choice. Today, password-protected Internet chat rooms are more likely venues for recruiting and motivating young people into terrorism than the coffee house and club meetings of previous decades. Our ability to track, identify and prevent terrorist attacks is challenged by the volatility and diversity of the terrorist movements, even after the death of Osama bin Laden.

So our learning curve concerning terrorism is good: Courses are taught in schools across the nation and in the military academies; we have pooled substantial resources to develop counterterror strategies and to equip national, state and local law enforcement organizations; we perceive terrorism as a clear domestic as well as foreign threat to security. Our problem tomorrow will be that terrorism is rapidly changing. What we perceived in 9/11 to be a large organization led by Bin Laden is now a dangerous but scattered and leaderless movement, spanning many continents, and our ability to defeat it is not clear. What is clear is that the technology that makes terrorism able to connect across vast spaces and to coordinate attacks, as occurred in Mumbai, also makes accessible weapons of mass destruction, particularly biological and chemical weapons such as sarin, ricin and anthrax.

In the future, we must be able to prevent, not simply most potential terrorist attacks attempted in the United States, as the FBI has done since 9/11. If only one occurs successfully, using a nonconventional weapons, it will be far worse than 9/1. So we must learn faster.

Cindy Combs is a professor of political science and public administration and is associated with the University's Center for Applied Counterterrorism Studies and with similar organizations worldwide.

UNC Charlotte Center City Community Day is Sept. 17

Community Day planned for UNC Charlotte Center City

Event Date:
Sat, 09/17/2011 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Event Location:
Center City Building, 9th & Brevard, Uptown Charlotte

With the opening of the Center City Building, UNC Charlotte is responding to the needs of the Charlotte region. The facility will offer programming focused on arts and the creative economy, business and finance, urban and regional development, health and community engagement.

On Saturday, Sept. 17, Center City opens its doors to welcome the neighboring community and University partners into the building to learn more about how UNC Charlotte plans to enhance existing connections and create new ones. UNC Charlotte faculty and staff members along with their family and friends are invited to the celebration.

“The campus community and our First and Fourth Ward neighbors will have a great opportunity to get better acquainted with UNC Charlotte Center City through our family-friendly Community Day celebration,” said Jerry Coughter, executive director. “This building promises to inspire collaboration between the University and the community, so it is fitting to bring us all together to discover how we can join forces.”

The UNC Charlotte Center City Community Day celebration will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The colleges of Arts + Architecture, Business, Computing and Informatics and Engineering, as well as the Auxiliary Services Office, Extended Academic Programs Office and Athletics Department are participating in this celebration. Parking will be available for a fee in nearby lots; visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit. UNC Charlotte Center City is two blocks from Seventh Street Station.

A fully operational race car, provided by the Motorsports Engineering Program will be among the displays featured at UNC Charlotte Center City. Motorsports students and staff will be available to talk about the car and the research associated with it. Also, the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI) will have an interactive, robotic virtual human on display; CCI students built it under the supervision of college faculty.

Mira Frisch, assistant professor of cello in the College of Arts + Architecture’s Music Department, will perform in a string trio with Charlotte Symphony musicians Kari Giles and Jenny Topilow. Adjunct faculty member and pianist Noel Friedline will perform with a flutist and flamenco guitarist, and Terranova Dance Theatre will give a preview of its performance that will be part of the N.C. Dance Festival. Two UNC Charlotte art professors will help children create print screen T-shirts while an art teacher from First Ward Elementary School helps others make tie-dye shirts.

English professor Mark West will stage a puppet show and deliver literary readings geared toward children and families, and there will be performances by the First Ward Elementary School step team and UNC Charlotte alumnus and slam poet Boris “Bluz” Rogers. Film screenings and more cultural and technological presentations are part of the celebration, too, and throughout the day, Charlotte 49ers mascot Norm the Niner will be on hand.

A complete schedule of events is being finalized, and new offerings from campus and community partners may be added prior to the celebration.

The 143,000 square-foot Center City Building houses graduate programs for the Belk College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services. Also, the College of Arts + Architecture’s Master of Urban Design and College of Education’s urban education program will meet at the building, and the Office of Extended Academic Programs will base its continuing education offerings there.

With its location at Ninth and Brevard streets, UNC Charlotte Center City borders the light rail tracks on one side and the First Ward neighborhood on the other. Fourth Ward is a few blocks away, and the core of Uptown Charlotte is nearby. University and community leaders envision the building will be a catalyst for continued redevelopment in the First Ward.

UNC Charlotte Center City Community Day 9/17/11

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Spotlight: Charlotte Research Institute is Portal For Industry Partners

Charlotte Research Institute is UNC Charlotte's portal for businesses and other organizations looking for partnerships in research -- especially applied research that that results in commercialized products and services (economic value). CRI specialities include visualization technology, optoelectronics, precision manufacturing, nanoscale science, biomedical and motorsports engineering.
Spotlight: Charlotte Research Institute is Portal For Industry Partners

CMS to spend up to $56,500 on search | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board will turn to UNC Charlotte to assist in searching for its new superintendent. The board chose the University because of exemplary previous work that UNC Charlotte did in helping the library system with its budget crisis.

CMS to spend up to $56,500 on search | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

TV coverage at

Friday, August 26, 2011

Students anticpating $4.5 million UNC Charlotte Motorsports Building | NinerOnline

The new Alan Kulwicki Motorsprts Engineering building is nearing completion on the UNC Charlotte campus. The new facility will provide additonal laboratory space for what is already one the nation's top motorsports engineering programs. Students move into $4.5 million UNC Charlotte Motorsports Building | NinerOnline

Friday, August 19, 2011

Going Back to School, Giving Back to Schools

The signs are unmistakable – the new academic year is fast approaching. The University’s annual Convocation Aug. 16 was followed by today’s announcement of a partnership that will afford students, faculty and staff many opportunities to give back to the community this year.

TIAA-CREF and UNC Charlotte have jointly adopted Governor’s Village, comprised of schools including John M. Morehead STEM Academy, Nathaniel Alexander Elementary School, Morehead Elementary School, James Martin Middle School and Zebulon B. Vance High School, all named for former North Carolina governors.

Governors Village schools educate more than 4,700 students and employ 500 faculty.
The University and TIAA-CREF have pledged to provide educational support to Governor’s Village schools in the form of financial education, cultural experiences and mentoring programs for students, parents and faculty.
The partnership builds on an initiative that began last year, when UNC Charlotte adopted James Martin Middle School.

Here’s a clip from today’s announcement:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Violins of Hope

International cultural event coming exclusively to UNC Charlotte Center City in April 2012. Preview events will begin in August.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Failure of nerve: Bolder vision needed for an uncertain future | UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Commentator shares his thoughts on the recent Vision 2020 plan for Charlotte. The author is a professor at UNC Charlotte but his views do not necessarily represent the views of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute, its staff, or the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Your thoughts?
Failure of nerve: Bolder vision needed for an uncertain future | UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Monday, August 1, 2011

Campus collecting supplies for school kids; please help

Join Us for the School Tools Campaign
August 15th-19th

UNC Charlotte is joining Classroom Central, Communities in Schools, and WSOC-TV Channel 9 for the 15th annual School Tools Campaign. Last year, UNC Charlotte collected 3,966 items for children in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.

UNC Charlotte is supporting School Tools by collecting school supplies at 12 collection sites across campus. We will be collecting the following items:

1, 3, and 5 subject notebooks
Boxes of crayons

Donations will be accepted from August 15th through August 19th at the following locations:

Atkins Library
Auxiliary Services Building
Cato Building
College of Education
Foundation Building
Fretwell Building
Friday Building
Facilities Management
Grigg Hall
Reese Building
Student Activities Center
Student Union

Thank you for staking your claim!

*Remember tax free weekend in North Carolina is August 5th through August 7th. This would be a great time to purchase your School Tools!

Please feel free to contact your area staff representative or contact Katie Suggs at (704) 687-7788 or with any questions.

About School Tools:
School Tools is a drive to collect and distribute school supplies to children who need them. All supplies collected will be distributed through Classroom Central, a place where teachers can pick up supplies for their students for FREE. In 2010, School Tools collected over 472,744 items.

About Classroom Central:
Classroom Central, a nonprofit organization, equips students to effectively learn by collecting and distributing free school supplies. Classroom Central exists so that every child, regardless of their economic status, will have the essential tools like pencils, paper, scissors, markers and other basic materials they need to learn. Classroom Central serves high-poverty schools in six school districts: Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Gaston County, Kannapolis City, Iredell-Statesville, Union County, and Rock-Hill. To learn more about Classroom Central, please visit

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fire Safety Engineering Technology

Researchers from UNC Charlotte have conducted a series of studies to determine how best to protect structures from approaching wildfires. Last year, researchers completed a three-year study and now another two-year study is under way to investigate the effectiveness of wetting agents, gels and foil wraps in protecting structures. The research is sponsored by FEMA and the U.S. Forest Service.

See a short video below to witness some amazing new substances to resists fires.

Fire Safety Engineering Technology

The Teachers We Need

Mary Lynne Calhoun, Dean, College of Education

Everybody’s talking about education these days. Much of the conversation is worry-filled. Budget crises are leading to unprecedented cuts in education budgets. School closings. Lay-offs. Some of the conversation focuses on anxious questions: Are America’s schools failing? Is America losing its competitive edge? Is test-based accountability the right way to gauge the success of children? Of teachers? Of schools? And the big question: Is there a future for American public education?

Central to the discussion of the future of our schools is a laser-sharp focus on teachers and teaching. Recognizing that teachers have a powerful impact on student learning, questions have arisen about who should be teaching our children, how should they be recruited, prepared and evaluated, and how we can retain and support excellent teachers. These questions provide a strong platform for taking teaching seriously in America.

While many voices – policy makers, elected officials, philanthropic leaders, business and corporate entities, school boards and executives – bring important ideas and perspectives to the conversation, I wonder if all the right voices have joined the conversation and if all the right voices are being heard. I encourage us to broaden the conversation and to make sure that parents, young people, and most especially teachers have the opportunity to shape America’s educational future.
And institutions of higher education must have a voice in the conversation as well. At UNC Charlotte, we are committed to the recruitment and preparation of the teachers we need now and in the future. Close to 7000 UNC Charlotte alumni are teaching in North Carolina’s public schools. UNC Charlotte is now the second largest teacher education program among North Carolina’s 47 colleges and universities, recommending over 600 new teachers for the North Carolina license each year. These new teachers come to the profession both through undergraduate teacher licensure programs and graduate pathways to teaching for college graduates from other fields. In the current environment of tension, worry, and negativity around schools and teaching, we should all be heartened by the presence of thousands of UNC Charlotte students – bright, caring, committed – who have said “yes” to careers in education.

We care not only about preparing “more” teachers but “better” teachers as well, those who can tackle the pressing challenges of children, youth, and schools and who give every child the educational opportunities to learn, grow, and have successful adult lives. Our faculty constantly examine the changing needs of children and schools to make sure our teacher candidates are prepared to help all children have rich, rigorous, and authentic learning experiences and to help all children succeed. Recent innovations in our teacher education programs include a more intense focus on the clinical preparation of teachers, including experiences in schools throughout the four-year baccalaureate program, and new impact studies that link P-12 student achievement to our teacher education programs and which help inform our practice.

If the next generations of Americans are going to be able to cooperate, compete, and succeed in our globally interconnected world, the answer to the big question – Is there a future for American public education? – must be a resounding “yes.” UNC Charlotte stands ready to continue the conversation with our community, school, and policy colleagues to work toward a bright educational future.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Spotlight: Camps on Campus = Fun, Friends, and Learning

Spotlight: Camps on Campus = Fun, Friends, and Learning

Web-based Wellness Program 411Fit Goes Commercial

The Web-based health and wellness management system 411Fit is now a stand-alone commercial venture, demonstrating the University’s ability to foster entrepreneurial enterprises.

Experienced business executive Terry Montgomery is president and CEO of 411Fit LLC. When he first reviewed 411Fit, he discovered “a very effective exercise and nutrition journaling site. As I dug deeper and saw the brilliance of the development that had gone on, it was obvious that the uniqueness of 411Fit was in its architecture, functional breadth, versatility and ease of use…all at a modest cost to demonstrate a true return on investment for a company’s wellness program.”

411Fit was created through the Software Solutions Lab in the College of Computing and Informatics (CCI). The lab, recognized for its expertise in social networking and data analytics, provides software research and design consultancy and world-class information technology services to the University and the greater Charlotte business community. David Wood, a Web developer with the lab, was one of the founders of 411Fit.

“We started with creating a capability for individuals but our vision was to provide an easy-to-use tool that could be the foundation for a successful corporate wellness program,” said Wood.

According to Montgomery, the vision for 411Fit is to simplify the design and management of wellness programs and put the power of the software’s data analytics to work. The site will deliver ready access to cost-effective wellness management for companies, health professionals and organizations.

411Fit brings together journaling, content, social networking, data analytics and insight into a highly usable website, stated Montgomery. “While existing Web-based wellness management technologies may include one or more features independently, 411Fit offers a comprehensive approach for individuals and corporations.”

Since 2009, developers have worked with eight universities to refine the technology; it was later released for free to the public for further testing. Without any promotional efforts, more than 30,000 registered users have discovered 411Fit.

Mirsad Hadzikadic, director of the CCI Complex Systems Institute, is a recognized expert in the field of predictive analytics. He sees the capability of 411Fit to address the growing needs of corporate health and wellness programs. “From the very beginning, we saw the potential of using data analytics in the field of health and wellness in conjunction with Web-based technologies to improve the well-being of our communities.”

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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Getting Our Garden On at UNC Charlotte

By Lisa Patterson

Chancellor Dubois established the Advisory Committee to the Chancellor for Employee Health and Wellness (ACCEHW) to find out what types of wellness programs UNC Charlotte employees want and need, and to promote existing programs and resources — not a small task when you consider that the campus employs more than 3,000 staff and 1,000 faculty. So for starters, we chose to narrow our focus to smoking cessation, physical fitness and nutrition, and mental health.

When University dietician and committee member Katie Powers passed along a New York Times article about companies that have started organic gardens in the workplace, including the likes of PepsiCo, Kohl’s, Google, and Toyota, the committee began a discussion about how we could offer something similar to our employees.

Well, we’ve come a long way in a year – this spring 40-plus UNC Charlotte employees signed up for 6’ x 6’ garden plots, and planting will begin early next week. With the support of the Chancellor, Facilities Management, ACCEHW and Dining Services, the Community Garden has become a reality. The garden is located near the Facilities Management building – right now it looks like a raised 50’ x 50’ mound of dirt, soon to be bordered by a fence. I’m looking forward to the day when it is lush and green.
Some of the participating employees are avid gardeners, others have never touched a trowel in their lives – but I’m certain we’re all in for a great learning experience.

For more information about employee health and wellness at UNC Charlotte, go to


Lisa Patterson is senior writer in the Office of Public Relations and an ACCEHW committee member (and amateur gardener).

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Regional Model for Sustainability

By David Jones, Sustainability Coordinator

UNC Charlotte has and is making a commitment to become a more sustainable institution by planning to adopt and implement sustainable practices in all functions of the University.

Sustainability at UNC Charlotte is defined as more than only environmental, and includes economic and social aspects as reflected in the sustainability mission and vision statements.

Vision: To be the regional model of sustainable stewardship through the social, economic and ecological legacy we create.

Mission: All citizens of the university understand the impacts and consequences of our activity on the natural systems that support our life. And that this knowledge guides the research, education, outreach and operations of the University.

The goal of our sustainability program is to make sustainability a core value of UNC Charlotte. To achieve this goal we have developed a program that works for key areas: emissions reduction, resource conservation, stewardship enhancement and commitment. These four areas drive our practices that are then implemented across the key functions of the University, these being education and research, outreach and partnership, culture and community and business operations. This structure should support the implementation of a holistic sustainability program.

UNC Charlotte has made great strides in becoming a responsible global citizen through its sustainability efforts.

Our students established the first campus recycling program in 1987. Since then the students have continued to be instrumental in pushing the sustainability agenda at UNC Charlotte. In 2002 the Earth Club was established that promotes sustainability at UNC Charlotte through activism, education and social events. The Earth Club was the body responsible for spearheading a student lead campaign that lead to the establishment of the Charlotte Green Initiative. The Charlotte Green Initiative Committee is responsible for allocating student fees to pay for sustainability based projects at UNC Charlotte. The Student Government Association (SGA) appointed its first Secretary of Sustainability in 2007, to engage students’ faculty and staff in a dialogue about sustainability and to help further initiatives on campus.

Faculty at UNC Charlotte contribute to our mission and vision through their research and teaching roles. Members of the faculty through the Environmental Academy have been sharing information on sustainability research and courses, sharing experiences and lessons learned. UNC Charlotte engages the external community in sustainability initiatives through our Centers and Institutes such as the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the IDEAS CENTER (Infrastructure, Design, Environment and Sustainability) and the Daylighting Laboratory to name a few. Beyond this, faculty are involved in a diverse set of sustainability related and focused research efforts.

Our staff play a critical role in carrying out sustainability initiatives on a daily basis. From Materials Management (purchasing), building design and construction, energy and water efficiency programs through to our recycling and petroleum replacement award winning programs.

More and more educational institutions are taking on the challenge of implementing sustainability practices on their campuses. Institutions such as the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education have arisen to support colleges and universities in this effort, which in turn is leading to some national trends such as focusing on green house gas reductions, unified reporting on sustainability practices, partnering with the community and infusing sustainability into the curriculum. UNC Charlotte is aligned with some of these national trends and has signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment, an undertaking by colleges and universities committing to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions from campus operations. We submitted our first greenhouse gas inventory on January 15 and are now developing our climate action plan to reduce emissions form identified sources.

For more information on the UNC Charlotte sustainability program and specific actions being undertaken please visit the sustainability website at

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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Helping Charlotte Become the Nations's Energy Capital

Prof. Steve Patterson, director of UNC Charlotte's Energy Production & Infrastructure Center, weighs in to a Business North Carolina roundtable discussion on the energy sector. UNC Charlotte, through partnerships with leading energy companies and with state support, is building EPIC to educate the next generation of energy engineers, which will go a long way to helping Charlotte evolve from an important energy hub, into a national energy capital.

Says Patterson, "The students are seeing that there’s an expanding job market, and educating and doing the research in these areas is a steadily growing business. In fact, I would say interest in the education is probably growing as fast or faster than the business itself. We have not built nuclear plants for a very long time, but we’ve also not built most of the major turbine installations. It’s all aging infrastructure, including the expertise that’s maintaining it. So I’m looking for another generation of hardware, and I’m looking for another generation of engineers to be able to design and service that hardware."

Business North Carolina - North Carolina's business magazine

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ruth Shaw Trail opens at UNC Charlotte greenway

There's now 1.5 miles of new greenway running through UNC Charlotte's beautiful campus. It's named in honor of Ruth Shaw, an accomplished business person and educator who has been a leader in the Carolinas Thread Trail. She also happenes to have served UNC Charlotte for many years as a trustee and as the former chair of the Board of Trustees. Now, she's chairing our university foundation. Couldn't be more fitting. Come to the Ruth G. Shaw Trail for a walk,ride or run.Ruth Shaw Trail opens near UNC Charlotte | & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Fun at Work

Working at UNC Charlotte is the best job I’ve ever had – in many ways. One of the reasons is that my work is fun. There’s a goodly amount of stress, but most of that is the fun kind – making decisions under pressure, celebrating achievements by the team and sharing them with others, and learning about the endless array of amazing things being done by students, faculty and staff.

UNC Charlotte, with 25,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff, is a small city – one populated with an unusually creative, curious and driven citizenry. Hence, as a public relations person (read: advocate) being part of these stories is fun for me. Yes, this has been a rough year of sorts, due to lingering budget pressures and uncertainty about how looming cuts will effect this great university and its people -- and the community we serve.

But amid the uncertainty and concern, there remains plenty of fun. In recent weeks, I’ve had the good fortune to enjoy participating in a sneak-peek reception at our 11-story Center City building, which is nearing completion; the 10th annual Five Ventures competition for start-up companies -- $50,000 in prizes and some amazing presenations; a stirring dedication of our Memorial Hall and its tribute to UNC Charlotte "fallen heroes"; and several meetings with deans and campus communicators to find out about their most exciting projects. All those things are my kind of fun because they inform, challenge and even entertain me. What could be more fun than that?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Spotlight: A Room with a View

When we turn over the past in our hands, breathe it in, feast on it with our eyes, we develop a better understanding of the present, and quite possibly, a more profound appreciation for the forces that shape our future. For a sensory journey of this sort, start in UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library Special Collections, located on the 10th floor.

Special Collections at the Atkins Library is a treasure trove. Go spend some time there.Spotlight: A Room with a View

Friday, April 1, 2011

Economic Optimism Flickers Among Business Leaders

UNC Charlotte's Urban Institute has released a report that shows optimism among area business leaders. Let's keep the good vibes going as North Carolina seeks to fix a $2.4 billion budget deficit. A stronger economy lifts all boats and helps preserve the UNC system, one of the finest in the nation. Mecklenburg County Business Leaders Optimistic About Second Quarter | UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

Friday, March 18, 2011

Visual Analytics Enhances Disaster Response and Homeland Security

The visual analytics program within the College of Computing & Informatics is deeply engaged in developing tools to enhance homeland secutiry and disaster response.Here's one example.It's all part of UNC Charlotte mission as North Carolina's urban research university -- solutions to problems and challeneges facing the greater Charlotte region, and beyond.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Dr. Bill Ribarsky Discusses His Work in the Visualization and Analytics ...

The fast-growing field of visual analytics is key to homeland security, urban development and a specialty of UNC Charlotte's.

Students remain safe in Japan

Ten UNC Charlotte students studying in Japan are shaken, but OK following another earthquake Tuesday morning. All of them checked in are said to be safe. The group is part of the Education Abroad Program at the university.

Another tremor shook Japan Tuesday. This recent one registered a 6.0. UNC Charlotte has 10 students studying in Japan. News 14 Carolina spoke with one of them via Skype.

"It was literally 60 seconds of the room shaking,” said UNCC student Edward Stahl. "It's pretty much the whole building shakes. It creates, an odd noise... the entire ground is moving. It's quite an odd sensation."

Stahl an international studies major, is studying in Japan, and never experienced an earthquake before moving there. Stahl was in his dorm room in Tokyo last Friday when the 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck, and again Tuesday during a 6.0 magnitude aftershock.

Stahl said he's going to try and stay in Japan to finish out his semester. But right now it's difficult; Tokyo has rolling blackouts and food and water are scarce.

"The grocery store was closed, McDonald’s was closed. We were trying to find food for that and it was very scarce,” Stahl said about the situation. “We finally found some about a mile away."

UNC Charlotte's Director of Education Abroad, Brad Sekulich, said students are prepared for emergency situations while abroad.

"We talk about the potential for emergency situations,” said Sekulich. “And try to get them prepared. Obviously we didn't prepare them for an 8.9 magnitude earthquake because no one saw that coming.”

The UNC Charlotte students studying abroad have the choice to leave Japan. Right now only one student decided to go home.

Reprinted from News 14, Charlotte

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Gov. Beverly Perdue visits UNC Charlotte

Gov. Bev Perdue in a roundtable discussion with Charlotte area business and civic leaders ON March 7, praised UNC Charlotte as NC's urban research university and pledged continuing support for public education.

Purchase your Football Seat License

Friday, February 25, 2011

Got Social Media? Get Some!

Today I took part in a "social media for faculty" workshop on campus, sponsored by the Charlotte Research Institute, Division for Academic Affairs and the Division for University Advancement. More than 50 folks showed up -- staff and faculty, many novices in blogging, Tweeting and Facebooking. Several were experienced, prolific users. All were interested -- and interesting.

On Twitter see #unccfsm11.

The subject at hand was if and how social media can be better utilized by university faculty (and staffers like me who work in communications). Some of the assertions by heavy users of social media who participated:

* Facebook may be jim dandy for fun and games, but Twitter and Blogging is the better vehicles for broadening personal knowledge, interacting with colleagues, engaging in debates on professional issues, promoting one's work product and opinions, finding support groups and staying connected with one's profession. (FB lovers, of which I am one: don't shoot the messenger!).

* Blogging is a writing laboratory for faculty and staff who publish regularly; blogging is good practice and opportunity for experimentation.

* All of social media is an intrusion into the pastoral pursuits of our already-harried professional and personal lives. Some folks just don't accept social media yet. But by sitting through four hours of workshop and engaging in debate, they showed that they recognize SM as a major force.

* For those who partake, social media should be engaged consistently, however periodic. Only by consistent use can you learn -- and actually gain insight into the people you engage with.

(Key word: engage?).

* Some people are threatened by social media, perhaps concerned about being washed to sea on the strong tide or worried to be left isolated on the beach.

One concerned participant approached me later and asserted that I should not have mentioned the amount of advertising dollars that are flowing into blogs. Seemed an innocent bit of data to me, but he received it as an ominous portent of ... corporate greed and potential pollution of faculty blogs. Hmm.

The workshop was a good thing. We shared. I learned.

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

An ever-safer campus

For 2010, UNC Charlotte recorded major decreases in campus crime. Reductions achieved by the University’s Police and Public Safety Department (PPS) were greater than those of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s University Division.

Robbery on campus declined 75 percent in 2010 versus 2009; larceny from auto was down 61 percent and auto theft dropped 78 percent. Within the CMPD University Division, the declines were 30, 10 and 26 percent, respectively.

“These statistics illustrate significant crime reductions, and the success that can be achieved through collaboration with CMPD and our campus partners – students, faculty and staff,” said Jeff Baker, UNC Charlotte’s interim police chief.

According to Baker, the ability to maintain a fully staffed department this past year contributed to the decline in crime on campus and within the surrounding neighborhoods.

“With full staffing, the department can perform more foot patrols in the academic areas, directed patrols in the parking decks and lots and provide quicker response to calls,” Baker stated.

The University’s PPS Department operates 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. In addition to the normal operations, the department provides a number of additional safety and security programs, such as RAD classes (Rape Aggression Defense), Operation ID and presentations related to identity theft, date rape, domestic violence and “club” drugs. Officers also participate in National Crime Victims Week, Take Back the Night and National Campus Safety Awareness Month.

A new initiative for its community policing program involves posting an officer at the Student Union. Officer Jerry Lecomte will be stationed at the building to provide information to students and address any concerns from the campus community.

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Industry commits big $ for Energy Center

By Lisa A. Patterson
In the midst of bleak economic news and in what is shaping up to be a frigid winter, the good news of an $8.8 million financial commitment from Duke Energy and Siemen’s Energy to UNC Charlotte’s Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC) comes at the right time. The announcement was made today at the Charlotte Business Journal’s Energy Leadership Awards event.

EPIC represents the positive outcome that is possible when academia, industry and government cooperate to tackle a problem or seize an opportunity. The forward-thinking people behind EPIC, including University administrators, energy industry leaders, local and state government officials, understand that the future of energy production in the United States is a major economic and national security concern.
Some facts:
• By 2012, roughly half of the engineers and technicians in the energy industry today will be eligible to retire. These are the people running our current fleet of plants. This number does not account for any new facilities.
• A 2009 survey of energy and engineering firms done in the Carolinas showed that they will need in excess of 3,000 engineers in the next five years to meet the demands of their industry. Remember, these are just companies in the Carolinas.
• As the United States looks toward the development of renewable energy, the gulf widens between the level of need and the engineering talent available.
• The same kinds of expert mechanical, electrical, and civil engineering skills needed to produce fossil fuels and nuclear energy are at the core of alternative energy technologies as well.
• According to the American Association of Energy Engineers, more than 40% of energy professionals plan to retire in the next 10 years.

Duke Energy CEO Jim Rogers and Siemens Energy Director of Operations for Charlotte Mark Pringle joined Chancellor Philip L. Dubois and North Carolina Secretary of Commerce Keith Crisco to make the announcement. According to the press release, “the combined support from the two companies will provide engineering scholarships, advance research capabilities in Smart Grid and precision manufacturing, provide access to large-scale manufacturing equipment and enable recruiting of key faculty in power engineering disciplines.”

Rogers said EPIC will help transform Charlotte from an energy hub into the nation's energy capital.

The State of North Carolina will add to Duke Energy’s $4.5 million contribution with another $667,000. Siemens Energy is providing $4.3 million in support.
UNC Charlotte is uniquely positioned in the heart of a region that is rapidly becoming “The New Energy Capital” in America. As a region and as a University we are answering the call for energy engineering talent and research through EPIC. This generous financial commitment from Duke Energy and Siemens Energy will contribute to our students’s education, the economic health of the region and the energy needs of the country and potentially beyond.

Lisa Patterson is senior writer in the Office of Public Relations.