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- Back to Campus for Fall 2021
After more than a year of varied course modalities due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the campus community is gearing up for a full return to campus courses and activities this fall.
The majority of UNC’s courses and resources for the spring 2021 semester were offered through virtual or hybrid modalities to ensure the safety and health of its campus community members. Safety and wellness remained a priority, public health guidelines were carefully observed on campus and safety measures remained in place as UNC hosted in-person spring commencement ceremonies in May to celebrate the spring class of 2021.
Throughout the semester, on-campus testing, hosted by the state of Colorado, city of Greeley and UNC, offered campus community members and the greater Weld County community access to free, quick and simple testing. In early spring, UNC’s Student Health Center began administering a limited number of COVID-19 vaccine doses to eligible campus community members based on the state’s vaccine phases, and in mid-April, the university began mass vaccination efforts.
“UNC classrooms and lab spaces remain safe spaces for instruction, and I believe are one of the safest places to be,” President Andy Feinstein said. “Our community has done a great job following public health guidelines, and we have no evidence that COVID-19 transmission has occurred in our classrooms.”
Looking ahead, the university plans to return to a full schedule of in-person courses for the fall 2021 semester, restoring many traditional activities and events.
“As students and their families consider academic plans for the fall, it is important for them to know UNC is planning to return to a more normal operating schedule, much like we had prior to the start of the pandemic,” Feinstein said. “The traditional college experience provides unparalleled opportunities, and our efforts are focused on the long-term success of our students, and the health and safety of our entire university community.”
- UNC Offers Athletic Training Master’s Program
Applications are being accepted for the new Master of Science in Athletic Training program at UNC. Athletic Training was previously offered at UNC as a bachelor’s degree until key stakeholders in athletic-training education agreed to standardize the professional degree in athletic training at the master’s level.
UNC has the longest-standing and first accredited athletic training program in Colorado, first offering the bachelor’s degree program to students in the 1970s.
"It’s the only athletic training program in Colorado that’s housed in an institution that sponsors athletics at the NCAA Division I level,” said Gary Heise, Ph.D., director of UNC’s School of Sport and Exercise Science. “This makes UNC unique in this area. We also have a large, diverse alumni network across the country with many working in major league and professional sports as well as other clinical settings.”
- Legislative Preview Highlights Funding, Mental Health, Vaccines
In early January, UNC convened a panel of state legislators and local leaders during the spring 2021 legislative session. Issues affecting UNC included the Joint Budget Committee’s considerations of higher education and preschool through grade 12 (P-12) funding, as well as vaccine availability and administration.
This was the second annual Colorado legislative session preview, prompted by UNC President Andy Feinstein as he continues to advocate for higher-education funding and support from the state.
- Kristen Mattio Announced as Women’s Basketball Head Coach
In early May, Kristen Mattio was announced as UNC’s new Women’s Basketball head coach. Mattio, a Nashville, Tennessee native, has spent the last six seasons as the head coach at West Texas A&M where she compiled a record of 154-35. Mattio secured four Lone Star Conference Titles (2016, 2018, 2019, 2020), took home two LSC Tournament Titles (2018, 2019)
and won the South Central Regional Championship in 2017.
- UNC Names Executive Director, Three New Deans
Joining UNC leadership are Arte Libunao, new executive director of Extended Campus; Jared Stallones, Ph.D., new dean of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences (CEBS); Cristina Goletti, newly named dean of the College of Performing and Visual Arts; and Kamel Haddad, Ph.D., newly named dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
Previously, Libunao worked at West Coast University in Irvine, California, for eight years, where he held positions including the associate dean of nursing, executive director of operations and, most recently, provost and chief academic officer. He oversaw all operations of the university’s seven campuses in California, Texas and Florida and managed the university’s academic budget of $350 million.
Stallones will be coming to UNC from the University of Kentucky, where he serves as a professor and chair of the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, with expertise in social studies education, creating positive classroom environments, curriculum development and clinical practice. He has led the department in articulating common goals, building community across diverse programs and fostering partnerships in the community.
Goletti, who begins her role at UNC this summer, comes to UNC from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), where she’s the chair and an associate professor for the Theatre and Dance department and led the curricular restructuring of undergraduate degrees and renovation of studios and classroom spaces. She also serves as the president for the World Dance Alliance Americas.
Haddad, who began his role at UNC on May 1, came to UNC from California State University San Marcos (CSUSM), where he was a professor of Mathematics with a special assignment as consultant for student success initiatives in the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. He also served as vice provost and interim provost from 2014 to 2020.
- UNC Chapter of Music Teachers National Association Wins Grant to Hold Competition
The Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) awarded UNC’s Collegiate MTNA Chapter a Collegiate Enrichment Grant to support UNC’s fourth Youth Piano Competition and Festival. Open to young pianists ages five to 18, the February event aimed to serve community piano students with opportunities to reach new levels of musical achievement, broadening their performance and learning experiences and fostering connections between the UNC School of Music and local community.