- Jazz Composition Student Zach Rich Wins ISJAC Award
UNC Jazz Composition doctoral student Zach Rich was named this year’s recipient of the International Society of Jazz Arrangers & Composers/University of South Florida’s (ISJAC/USF) Owen Prize for Jazz Composition. His winning piece is titled, “Story of the Mad Hatter.”
This is an annual prize offered to young, up-and-coming jazz composers. The work will be performed by the Colorado Jazz Orchestra in front of an audience of jazz composers from throughout the world at the ISJAC’s Jazz Composers’ Symposium at UNC May 16-18.
- English Professor interviewed by the BBC
UNC Professor and Chair of English, Andreas Mueller, Ph.D., participated in the radio show, “The Forum,” which is the BBC World Service’s flagship discussion program. The episode marks the tercentenary of the publication of Daniel Defoe’s famous novel Robinson Crusoe (1719), and Mueller, along with others, discussed the various 18th-century contexts that shaped the story as well as the ongoing appeal of the Crusoe myth in modern culture. The program was broadcast by the BBC World Service in February.
- School of Nursing Makes Positive Impact on Community
Forty-five nursing students and faculty from UNC’s School of Nursing attended the Colorado Mission of Mercy’s Greeley free dental event in November 2018. UNC Assistant Professor of Nursing Deb Rojas discussed this involvement as well as two other community events the school takes part in: Weld Project Connect and 9Health Fair.
At these events, nursing students do everything from measure blood pressure, body mass index and glucose screenings, to assist patients around the event, wash feet and get to know patients. Nursing students are better able to connect to community members and understand their stories.
“There are community needs that are not met, or that are hard to meet, and we have a huge group of people with very specific skillsets that can meet those needs,” Rojas said. “Putting them together is really kind of a magical thing where there are needs in the community that can be met.”
- “Glo-cal” Community Engagement: UNC meets Budhan Theatre of India
In February, members of the Budhan Theatre of Gujarat, India, collaborated with students from the School of Theatre and Dance and the Department of Anthropology. Hosted by faculty Michael Kimball and Gillian McNally, global and local communities joined to address social justice issues.
Both the Budhan Theatre and UNC’s Creative Drama course found their methodologies of Theatre for Social Justice incredibly similar. Both use the techniques of improvisation, interactive theatre and Image Theatre (using the body, rather than voice, to reflect on social issues) to engage in critical thinking and action towards social justice in communities.
Over two weeks, the groups engaged each other in physical and interactive exercises. Members of Budhan Theatre attended UNC’s School of Theatre and Dance production of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark. Then, UNC students and community members watched a street-theatre style performance by the Budhan Theatre. Throughout the collaboration, groups contemplated their roles in making a difference in their communities and the world. How theatre professionals have and can make social change was the main topic of discussion.
- Three Faculty Members Receive CAST Award
In November, the Colorado Association of Science Teachers (CAST) presented their Distinguished Service Award to UNC faculty members Rob Reinsvold, Ph.D., and Lori Reinsvold, Ph.D., as well as their Excellence in Elementary Science Teaching Award to Neva Nardone.
CAST’s mission is to support, stimulate and improve science education for students of all ages in Colorado. The CAST service award recognizes distinguished service to the field of science education in Colorado.
- Addressing a Shortage of Interpreters
Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafblind and live in rural Colorado may see an increase in qualified American Sign Language interpreters as a new certification training program begins.
The Rural Interpreting Services Project was made possible by a partnership between UNC’s Department of American Sign Language and Interpreting Studies and the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and DeafBlind.
Currently, ASL-English interpreters working in the deaf community are required to hold national certification, which includes a four-year degree; however, there’s a shortage of certified interpreters in rural Colorado. The project’s Certification Readiness Training program will prepare participants to earn credentials over the course of a year.
The commission received funding for the Rural Interpreting Services Project from the Colorado General Assembly and is actively engaged in the development of the training.
- Two UNC Student-Athletes Awarded Colorado Sportswoman of the Year Award
For the first time in UNC history, two student-athletes received the Colorado Sportswoman of the Year award: Savannah Smith (basketball) and Mariel Gutierrez (soccer).
Smith’s outstanding 2018 season led the committee to award the second-ever honor for the UNC women’s basketball program. Smith joins former teammate D’shara Strange, who won in 2016.
Gutierrez won the honor due in large part to leading the conference in points and goals. She leaves UNC as the leader in game-winning goals, shots and shots on goal and is second in career games played at the Division I level.
Gutierrez, Smith and all Sportswoman of Colorado award winners were honored March 10.
- UNC Professor to Co-Host 2019 ABA’s National Convention
UNC Professor of Music Education and Associate Director of Bands, Richard Mayne, served as the co-host at the 2019 American Bandmasters Association (ABA) National Convention March 6-9 at the Embassy Suites Conference Center in Loveland with the Director of Bands at Colorado State University, Rebecca Phillips.
The ABA is a prestigious association that represents American bands to the world. Those invited to membership follow an intensive selection process. This is the first time Colorado hosted the prestigious event since the inception of the ABA in 1930.
- Volleyball Team Improves their Game with Biomechanics Technology
UNC’s volleyball team is gaining insights on how to improve their off-season training programs with the assistance of three-dimensional motion-capture technology. Volleyball team members were asked to move and jump in a real-time setting to better understand if they were getting a return with the programs they’re using to train.
“We used equipment in our lab, including motion-capture and force plates, to capture how they’re moving,” said Otto Buchholz, a UNC Sport and Exercise Science doctoral student who works in the lab. “These special instruments — commonly used to develop video games and virtual reality — quantify the motions and forces while they’re jumping and landing.”
After the technology measures where their body positions are in the three-dimensional space, Buchholz, along with UNC Sport and Exercise Science students Shane Murphy and Nathan Robey, can reconstruct them on a computer.
“We just started this relationship, so our capabilities to dive deeper into how our athletes function is endless,” said UNC Volleyball Strength and Conditioning Coach, Jimmy Edel.
- Professor Participates in Conference on Teaching STEM to English Language Learners
A recent consensus study report titled, “English Language Learners in STEM Subjects,” from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS) found that U.S. school systems need to do more to ensure that English language learners (ELLs) are being included in STEM subjects in K-12 schools. To share its findings, NAS held a public event in January at the Beckman Center of the National Academies of Sciences and Engineering in Irvine, Calif.
Jingzi Huang, Ph.D., UNC professor of Language Education and associate dean and school director of Teacher Education, was invited to take part in a three-person panel as an expert on preparing and developing educators to teach ELLs science and mathematical subjects.
“We must make teachers realize that they need to be more inclusive with ELLs,” said Huang. “Studies show that teaching STEM to ELLs from an English teacher is not the best policy/practice instead, math and science educators should work with culturally and linguistically diverse teachers collaboratively for students’ development of language for math and science in the process of teaching and learning math and science content.”
- Upcoming Environmentally Friendly and Sustainable Events
In a recent Bear-in-Mind podcast episode, UNC Student L.E.A.F. President, Zak King and Vice-President, Max Wike, discussed upcoming environmentally friendly and sustainable solutions found on campus and within the community.
One such event includes a solar flower that literally blooms, follows and collects energy from the sun throughout the day. This solar flower will be installed in front of the César Chávez Cultural Center and will power the center.
UNC Jazz Composition doctoral student Zach Rich. Photo by Matteo Sabttini