Click here to view the embedded video.
Click here to view the embedded video.“Yole” means come together. And Yole!Africa US is helping students in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and students at UNC come together to create positive change through cultural exchange.
Students involved in Yole!Africa US work with Congolese youth to create art including music, choreography and videos.
“It really made everything more real and connected. Rather than us just sending money to the Congolese, it was us actually interacting with them and seeing the benefit,” said Lauren Gil ’16.
The organization was founded by UNC Music Professor Chérie Rivers Ndaliko, filmmaker and activist Petna Ndaliko and the students of Ndaliko’s fall ’12 First Year Seminar “Making and Marketing Music in the Digital Age.” It is based on the understanding that by building a cultural bridge, American and Congolese youth can bring awareness to critical global issues unfolding in Congo and contribute to sustainable peace in one of the world’s most conflicted regions.
Rivers Ndaliko says students want to get involved because “in many ways Yole!Africa US is an invitation to extend the idea of globally responsible citizenship to another part of the world where there’s so much going on that’s rich and that’s exciting and that’s also deeply troubling.”
Deborah Kiserow ’16 said her favorite part about the organization is the connections the students make. “It’s like bonding with a purpose, which is just incredible,” she said.
To find out more about Yole!Africa US and its sister organization in Congo, visit www.yoleafrica.us and www.yoleafrica.org.
[Text and video by Beth Lawrence ’12]
The performance is free and open to the public. A discussion with the creative artists will follow. Space is limited and based on availability. To reserve seats, contact the PlayMakers box office at (919) 962-7529.
Now in its earliest stages, the piece will be a year-long exploration of the difference between drive and discipline. Each member of the five-member ensemble will commit to a year of learning a new skill or task — banjo, writing a novel, electric guitar — and to spending the year learning Mandarin as a group.
While in residence at PlayMakers from May 24-30, they will begin their studies, as well as meet with UNC faculty to learn about cognitive therapy, early childhood education and contemporary American politics.
The TEAM is a young, innovative theater company comprised of a core group of New York University alumni plus associated artists dedicated to dissecting and celebrating the experience of living in America today. They describe their performances as “at times a rock concert, at times a sporting event” and “Gertrude Stein meets MTV.” The Village Voice (New York) describes The TEAM as “staggeringly ambitious.” The Herald (Scotland) called the ensemble “the artistic conscience of a younger generation.”
They will be joined in the creative process by guest artist Taylor Mac, who was seen in April as the Emcee in PlayMakers’ hit season finale “Cabaret.”
The TEAM is at PlayMakers as part of a residency program that provides support for the company’s creative research and development with access to PlayMakers’ professional staff, production shops, rehearsal halls, performance spaces and the intellectual resources of UNC. The TEAM will then take its creation, incubated at PlayMakers, on to performances around the world.
The ensemble is the third participant in the PlayMakers residency program, which is supported by a $200,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation which funds annual residencies by theater ensembles. Previous participants have been Philadelphia’s Pig Iron Theatre Company and SITI Company of New York.
Based in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, PlayMakers is the Carolinas’ premiere resident professional theater company. The Drama League of New York has named PlayMakers one of the best regional theaters in America. Ticket packages are currently available for PlayMakers’ 2013-2014 season. For more information, visit www.playmakersrep.org.
The grant also supports the Innovate@Carolina Campaign, a drive to help make Carolina a world leader in launching university-born ideas for the good of society.
The TEAM website: http://theteamplays.org
Taylor Mac website: www.taylormac.net/]]>
Seventy-nine undergraduate students at UNC will spend the summer engaged in research, thanks to 2013 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURFs) awarded by the Office for Undergraduate Research.
Some of their projects include:
Undergraduate majors include biology, environmental health, geology, exercise and sport science, religious studies, journalism and mass communication, political science and many others.
Competition for the award was quite intense, as 199 undergraduate students submitted research proposals for review. A multi-disciplinary committee evaluated each recipient’s proposal based on feasibility, originality, background knowledge and skills.
See a list of the recipients.
Each SURF will engage in undergraduate research, scholarship or performance for at least nine weeks, for a minimum of 20 hours per week, between May 13 and Aug. 16. Projects will be supervised by a faculty research advisor, and collaborations with graduate students or postdoctoral fellows is encouraged.
SURF award recipients receive at least $3,000. Funding for the SURF program comes from many sources including Honors Carolina, the Cancer Center, Carolina First campaign, and the Carolina Parent’s Council. Successful applicants are also expected to present their research at UNC’s annual Celebration of Undergraduate Research held in April.
Read about some past projects. Past SURF recipients have gone on to do exciting things:
SURF awards are open to all currently enrolled undergraduate students who wish to engage in undergraduate research, scholarship or performance. The SURF program attracts a variety of students, from the novice researcher, the student who always seeks to discover something new, and those preparing for their honors thesis. Applications are reviewed at the end of February.
The Office for Undergraduate Research offers several undergraduate summer programs. These programs vary in scope from those that target rising sophomores and transfer students majoring in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) disciplines, to those seeking to become future teachers or scientists and clinicians.
The SURF program is unique in that it aims to support the diversity of student projects at each stage of the undergraduate’s career. Projects vary by discipline, and some scholars travel abroad.]]>
Jacquelyn Dowd Hall, the Julia Cherry Spruill Professor of History and founding director of Carolina’s Southern Oral History Program, has won the 2013 Mary Turner Lane Award.
Established in 1986, the award recognizes people who make outstanding contributions to the lives of women students, faculty, staff and administrators at Carolina. It is named after the late Mary Turner Lane, founding director of the Curriculum in Women’s Studies and the first recipient of the award.
The University’s Association for Women Faculty and Professionals presented the award May 2 at the group’s annual meeting and spring luncheon at the Carolina Inn.
During 40 years on the Carolina faculty, Hall has advocated for women in every aspect of her career: her research and professional leadership, her award-winning teaching, her mentoring of both undergraduate and graduate students, and her service to her profession and to the University.
“By her scholarship, Hall changed the very concept of history, developing the methodology and best practices of a new kind of history that incorporates the experiences of women and workers and minorities into understanding the past,” the award citation said.
In 1973, fresh out of graduate school at Columbia University, Hall came to Carolina as the first director of the Southern Oral History Program, a position she held until 2011. At the time, oral history was a relatively new field. Four decades years later, oral history is well established as a research method, and the distinguished Southern Oral History Program, now part of the Center for the Study of the American South, has become an institution of national influence.
The program works to preserve the voices of the southern past. Its collection of more than 5,000 interviews with people from all walks of life – from mill workers to civil rights leaders to prominent political figures – is available through Carolina’s Southern Historical Collection online.
The ripple effects of Hall’s influence and her insights into women’s contributions to human history have been recognized nationally. A former president of the Organization of American Historians, she received the National Humanities Medal presented by President Bill Clinton in 1999, and in 2011 was inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
But it isn’t the accolades that give Hall the most pride; it’s the students who have conducted the many interviews that helped create the program and have gone on to do great things. An award-winning teacher, she has garnered accolades from generations of students.
One described her as “imparting the sheer delight that she feels doing history, conveying a sense of urgency about the lessons of the past, demonstrating meticulous research methods and shaping students’ arguments with the most subtle of suggestions.”
Former students also praise her as a mentor. One said, “She lets her students grow up, transitioning her relationship with them as they move through the profession and their lives.”
Hall’s students become part of an ongoing community. Her email messages often have as their subject line “More Ripple Effects,” as she passes along news of the accomplishments of women in the “Jacquelyn Hall network of support.”
The countless ripples that stem from what people have described as Hall’s visionary, caring, loyal and quiet leadership no doubt will continue to reach women in years to come.
[ By Patty Courtright, University Gazette ]]]>
The research, led by Andrew Reynolds, associate professor of political science in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and chair of the curriculum in global studies, appears in the May 2013 issue of American Political Science Review.
The numbers of openly LGBT members of parliament do not have to be high in order to effect LGBT-friendly legislation, Reynolds said.
“Marginalized communities often seek political representation as a means of protection, advancement and integration,” he said. “Openly LGBT legislators act as mold-breakers and trailblazers, giving symbolic hope to younger generations and slowly lessening the shock of difference in the legislative chamber.”
Individual LGBT legislators also can nurture acceptance from their straight colleagues, who quite often become more supportive of LGBT rights when they know someone who is LGBT, he added.
Reynolds addressed three major questions in the study:
Since 1976, 181 openly LGBT legislators have been elected to serve in national office in 30 countries.
In the study, 96 countries (those with and without LGBT members of parliament) were scored on the progressiveness of their LGBT legislation on a scale from -2 (the most homophobic) to 6 (the closet to equality). The 27 countries which have experienced at least one LGBT legislator averaged a score of 3.6 in 2011, while the 69 nations with no LGBT legislators scored an average of 0.3. The highest equality law scores in 2011 were in Sweden and The Netherlands.
Other interesting findings from the report:
“Politicians around the world sometimes use ‘gay issues’ as a wedge issue in election campaigns, and homophobia can be a potent weapon for candidates around the world,” Reynolds said. “As such issues dominate national campaigns, the need to represent the community at risk becomes more urgent.”
More and more openly LGBT candidates are winning office, Reynolds added. From 1977 to 2013, the United Kingdom has had the most LGBT members of parliament in the study — 44. In the United States, there have been 12 LGBT legislators in Congress from 1983 to 2013.
The second phase of the research will move beyond quantitative data to interviews with LGBT legislators around the world — to gauge the interaction between their sexual orientation, policy advocacy and roles as representatives.
The research is the first and most comprehensive database to date on open LGBT national representation worldwide. The work was supported by the UNC LGBT Representation and Rights Initiative, an academic program focused on the link between the representation of LGBT people and the legal and political rights afforded to them. Download the policy paper, data, maps and infographics.]]>
Work entirely designed, implemented, and interpreted by UNC undergraduates has been published in Biochemistry and is highlighted on the journal web page.
Many viruses encode their genetic information in RNA molecules and these RNAs can have complex structures that are essential for efficient replication. The all-undergraduate team developed a model for the genome of the satellite tobacco mosaic virus, which is roughly the “hydrogen atom” of RNA viruses.
The UNC undergraduates, under the guidance of professor Kevin Weeks, discovered that the RNA genome has a complex higher-order structure with three domains, each of which corresponds to an essential viral function. This work is likely to broadly inform our understanding of the role of genome structure in the infectivity and pathogenesis of many RNA viruses, including those that infect humans.
The work was carried out as part of the UNC Undergraduate Transcriptome Project, an NSF-funded program developed in the Weeks Laboratory, designed to help undergraduates explore their potential for independent creativity, to fuel their passion for science, and to be a model for engaging undergraduates in a research university.
Duncan conducts research with the Nannerl Keohane Distinguished Professor Jeffrey McDonnell, a visiting professor at both UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke.
As a watershed hydrologist, Duncan studies nitrogen cycling and the exports from watersheds. Low nitrogen levels in watersheds he examined prompted his research into where the nitrogen goes, or what hydrologic or ecosystem processes cause it.
“These questions we are asking aren’t just abstract concepts — they are fundamental science questions that have tremendous economic and societal impact,” Duncan said.
Research like Duncan’s is significant for management and restoration of watersheds, because of the study of how watersheds process nutrients, like nitrogen.
Duncan’s work with McDonnell has led to a study of hillslope hydrology and how rainfall becomes streamflow. McDonnell has also encouraged more collaboration between UNC and Duke by creating a joint theoretical workshop on network structures on watershed systems.
The Keohane Distinguished Visiting Professorship was established in honor of Duke’s eighth president, Nan Keohane, who worked with then-UNC Chancellor James Moeser for further collaboration between the two schools. This is the first year a graduate student award was created to recognize one student from each school.
Results from a study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill of one asset-building program offer insights on how to encourage low-income taxpayers to start saving and keep it up.
The study, released today (May 14) by the UNC Center for Community Capital, looks at $aveNYC, a program in which New York City used tax refunds and matching funds as incentives to save. “The Importance of Tax Time for Building Emergency Savings: Major Findings from $aveNYC” can be downloaded at www.ccc.unc.edu.
“The match is a crucial part of the program,” said Kim Manturuk, the center’s senior research associate in financial services, who led the study team. “Given the importance of encouraging saving, these findings offer insight and support for federal policymakers to implement tax-time savings match programs for low-income taxpayers. Such programs could help lower-income families build wealth in much the same way the mortgage interest deduction and tax-advantaged retirement plans help middle- and upper-income families.”
The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs’ Office of Financial Empowerment created the $aveNYC program to help low-income households build emergency savings and increase their financial stability. The program targeted the tax refund as a way to allow families to build savings without taking money from day-to-day cash flow.
“Our launch five years ago of a federally scalable, realistic ‘on ramp’ to savings has fully rebutted the assumption that those with low incomes couldn’t or wouldn’t save money when given the right opportunity,” said DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz. “Coupled with the success we’re seeing with the current multicity replication of the program, SaveUSA, UNC’s findings demonstrate that savings incentives in the tax code can and will improve the financial stability of those with low incomes to help build both short- and long-term economic security.”
With $aveNYC, participants – who had average annual incomes of $17,000 – signed up for while having their taxes prepared at select Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) sites. They agreed to deposit at least $200, and up to $500, of their tax refund into a $aveNYC account. Those who maintained the initial deposit for one year received a 50 percent match. There was no penalty for withdrawing refund deposits before the end of the year, although those who did were ineligible for matching funds. The program sold out its available accounts, attracting approximately 2,200 New Yorkers in its three years of operation. Participants living in some of New York’s poorest neighborhoods pledged more than $1.4 million in savings.
Researchers at the UNC Center for Community Capital and the UNC School of Social Work studied the results of the program with a grant from the Ford Foundation and found that:
Based on these results, researchers recommend that policymakers find ways to encourage more programs like $aveNYC and its current replication, SaveUSA, now offered in New York, Newark, San Antonio and Tulsa; eliminate provisions in public benefit programs that prohibit recipients from saving more than $2,000 without losing benefits; and support development of other types of financial products that meet the needs of lower-income households.
UNC researchers and $aveNYC program staff will discuss the program and study findings in a webinar briefing May 14 from noon-1 p.m. (EDT). The webinar is free and open to the public, but registration is required at www.ccc.unc.edu/TaxTime.]]>
Slocum’s appointment is effective July 1.
Slocum is an anthropologist whose research focuses on globalization, place, rural lifeways, and race and history as they relate to groups within the African diaspora. For the past year, she has been a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow and Resident Scholar at the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, N.M.
At UNC, Slocum also has been co-director of the Moore Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program. Each summer, 18 to 22 undergraduates in the program pursue 10 weeks of research at UNC, guided by faculty mentors.
“Her strong record of scholarship in African diaspora studies, long-standing relationship with the institute and commitment to forging interdisciplinary connections all position her well to provide sound and energetic leadership for the IAAR, said Carol Tresolini, vice provost for academic initiatives. “We look forward to working with Dr. Slocum as she engages, expands and strengthens the broad community of scholars of African American and diaspora studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond.”
The mission of the IAAR is to facilitate, support and promote research being done by scholars of African American and diaspora studies in every discipline. It encourages and creates space for innovative, interdisciplinary interactions and collaborations and also is committed to the serious engagement of public policy issues, particularly to those confronting black North Carolinians, as well as those concerning African Americans throughout the United States and African descendants in the diaspora.]]>
Three UNC College of Arts and Sciences faculty members received mentoring awards from the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council May 10 at a Campus Y ceremony.
Sherryl Kleinman was honored for mentoring undergraduate students, and Silvia Tomášková was honored for mentoring junior faculty. Because the council added a third award this year, Jeanne Moskal was honored for mentoring graduate students. The awards include a $5,000 stipend.
The council, sponsor of the award, is a volunteer committee formed during the Carolina First Campaign, a major fund-raising drive that ended in 2007. Council members have raised $400,000 to endow the mentoring awards.
The awards recognize outstanding faculty members who make extra efforts to guide, mentor and lead others in making career decisions, embarking on research challenges and enriching their lives through public service, teaching and educational opportunities.
Kleinman is a professor of sociology, director of the social and economic justice minor and the faculty adviser to Feminist Students United. She has taught at UNC since 1980. Originally from Montreal, Quebec, she received a bachelor’s degree from McGill University (in Montreal), a master’s degree from McMaster University (in Hamilton, Ontario) and her doctorate from the University of Minnesota – all in sociology.
Kleinman’s nominators all said she manages to mentor all of her students, while tailoring her guidance to each individual. “Her class and her mentorship helped me to become mindful of how my actions impact others, and how I can contribute to making the world a more just place,” wrote one. “Throughout my four years at Carolina, I never met another professor who was so available and interested in helping students reach their goals.”
Tomášková, an associate professor, holds a joint appointment in the department of women’s and gender Studies and the department of anthropology. She teaches courses in both areas and directs the Women in Science program. She holds four degrees: a B.A. from McGill University, one M.A. from Yale and another from the University of California-Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from the University of California-Berkeley. She has taught at UNC since 2001.
Calling Tomášková a “first-rate scholar” and “phenomenal teacher,” nominators praised her drive and discipline, and mentioned that she created a monthly junior faculty mentoring group. “For both new faculty members looking to integrate into the department and the University, and for advanced junior faculty navigating the tenure process, Silvia’s contributions have been invaluable,” one wrote.
Moskal, a professor of English, has taught at UNC since 1984. A scholar of the British Romantic period, she earned a B.A. degree from Santa Clara University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
“Professor Moskal takes professionalization of graduate students extremely seriously,” one nominator wrote. “She also models and inculcates the values that make the humanities matter: curiosity, openness to dialogue, research and social ethics, and understanding of the human as a holistic being.”
First awarded in 2006, the Faculty Mentoring Awards are open to tenured and tenure-track faculty, as well as fixed-term faculty who have taught at UNC for at least three years. A selection committee appointed by the executive vice chancellor and provost reviews and recommends the award recipients.]]>