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News Briefs – Fall 2022


October 28, 2022

For more UNC News stories:  NEWS CENTRAL

  • Inaugural Juneteenth Celebration Draws Hundreds to Campus

    On Friday, June 17, the streets in front of UNC’s Marcus Garvey Cultural Center were alive with festivities for the first-ever community-wide Juneteenth celebration.    

    Although celebrated for over a century in other parts of the country and first recognized as a state holiday in Texas in 1979, Juneteenth (June 19) was officially declared a federal holiday on June 17, 2021. The day honors the end of slavery in the United States, marking the date that the last of the enslaved Africans in America were notified of their freedom, a full two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.   

    This year’s event, “Juneteenth: A Family Reunion,” was sponsored by UNC, the City of Greeley and powered by PDC Energy. Its purpose was to honor the day of Juneteenth as a day of rest and freedom for participants and attendees.   

    “This inaugural event truly captured the essence of a family reunion: good food, good music and great energy,” said Janine Weaver-Douglas Ed.D., director of UNC’s Marcus Garvey Cultural Center. “The attendance was more than double what we expected, which truly served as an affirmation that our goals of community and celebration were sound and shared.”

  • UNC Welcomes new Executive Vice President and Provost

    Kirsten Fleming, Ph.D.

    After a nationwide search, UNC selected Kirsten Fleming, Ph.D., as the university’s new executive vice president and provost. She began her position in May.  

    “The provost is an important leader for the university. I’m confident that Dr. Fleming’s expertise and partnership will help guide the work we’ve begun on our Rowing, Not Drifting 2030 strategic plan, UNC President Andy Feinstein said. “Her work also demonstrates the strength of her commitments to innovation, faculty professional development, and diversity, equity and inclusion in alignment with our plan. Dr. Fleming will be a tremendous asset to our leadership team.”  

    Fleming brings more than 30 years of higher education experience to her new role, including more than three years at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) where she served as the associate vice president (AVP) of Faculty Affairs, and five years at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB) where she was dean of the College of Natural Sciences and professor of Mathematics.

  • Alumni Bring Art to Greeley Stampede

    Armando Silva ’10

    Cody Kuehl ’05

    The Greeley Stampede chose the artwork of UNC alumni Armando Silva ’10 (top) and Cody Kuehl ’05 (above) to grace the stairways to the Stampede arena. 

    The Greeley Stampede, which started in 1922, has always brought color and energy to the local community, so it’s fitting that as it celebrated 100 years, it did so with even more color greeting spectators. The annual event — which ran from June 23 to July 4 this year — includes rodeos, concerts, a demolition derby, a carnival and an art show. Stampede General Manager and UNC alumnus Justin Watada ’02 says the Stampede staff started talking about adding artwork to the Stampede arena as they made anniversary plans. 

    After consulting with the City of Greeley, Stampede staff reached out to two Colorado artists for the project, and chose UNC alumni Armando Silva ’10 and Cody Kuehl ’05 — both highly successful artists with distinct styles.  

    “We wanted a western flair, but we really gave them the freedom to be creative. They both provided a sample of their idea and the group (including the Greeley Arts Commission) quickly approved.”  

    Watada says that art — including its annual art show — is a big part of the Stampede. “It’s a fundraiser for our foundation and proceeds go to support scholarships in Weld County. And a lot of people only get to see western art in person once a year, so it’s always been important for us to showcase that artwork.”  

    He says that the murals will continue giving people access to art beyond the Stampede, with all the events — from the county fair to motocross — that take place in the arena.

    Read more   about Watada and the Stampede 

  • Celebrating UNC Anniversaries

    Several areas across the university have reached (or are about to reach) milestone anniversaries.  Through the end of fall semester, Michener Library is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a retrospective exhibit that covers not only Michener Library’s history, but the overarching history of libraries on campus. On display at the library throughout the fall 2022 semester, the exhibit includes interactive displays, historic photographs of campus, and furniture and technology from previous eras. 

    On Dec. 2, UNC’s School of Nursing will celebrate its 60th anniversary with live music, cocktails, dinner and a silent auction from 4–8 p.m. at UNC Campus Commons and Gunter Hall. More information about the event can be found at unco.edu/nhs/nursing and at the alumni link listed below.

    In February 2023, the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center will be celebrating 40 years of service and community at UNC.  Watch for more about the upcoming anniversaries and other alumni events at unco.edu/alumni/events/reunions.aspx 

  • Accounting Program ranked #1 globally

    The Accounting and Computer Information Systems (CIS) Department at the University of Northern Colorado’s Monfort College of Business (MCB) has been ranked as the number one program in the world for experimental research in Accounting Information Systems (AIS). The top recognition, from among more than 630 universities measured, comes from the annual Brigham Young University Accounting rankings.  

    AIS research examines the intersection of accounting, technology and analytics, and is one of the fastest growing and most important segments of the accounting profession. 

    “The research rankings demonstrate the recent efforts by MCB to create a leading program in accounting where we emphasize understanding and addressing the greatest challenges to the profession today,” said Jake Rose, chair of the Department of Accounting and CIS.

    The MCB Accounting department also ranked highly in several other research categories critical to the future of the accounting profession, including scoring the top in the state in financial and audit experimental research.

  • Doctoral Student Studies Sports Betting 

    While diehard football fans were getting ready to watch last February’s Super Bowl, dusting off their favorite dip recipe and making sure their lucky socks were clean, many others were preparing by keeping their eyes on the sports betting odds.     

    “It’s become so commonplace now,” Tyler Hajek said, a doctoral student in the University of Northern Colorado’s Sport and Exercise Science-Sport Administration program. “There are advertisements with sports-betting promotions all over the place.”    

    Hajek has been researching different aspects of sports betting as a graduate student at UNC. In October, he went to Las Vegas to present research at the Sports Marketing Association’s annual conference with fellow doctoral students Logan Schuetz and Yohan Lee, and Associate Professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Science, Yoon Tae Sung, Ph.D. The group’s focus was sports-betting partnerships among various professional teams.    

    Now, Hajek is shifting his research to explore whether various states profit from the exchange. “I’m looking into secondary data for the financial impact portion to see what states produce from sports-betting, what their tax revenue is and how much each state and entity hold,” Hajek said. “Then I want to relate that information to the overall income.” This is what Hajek has focused on for his dissertation.

  • UNC Posts Record Fundraising Year

    Thanks to the ongoing generous support and engagement of alumni, friends, faculty and staff, the University of Northern Colorado has posted a record fundraising year for fiscal year 2022 (FY22), surpassing the $20 million mark for the first time in university history.   

    From July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, 3,784 donors committed $20,353,242 to UNC through a combination of cash, pledges and planned gifts, exceeding FY18’s record year by more than $2 million.    

    Many donors made their first gift in response to the university’s second annual day of giving, Bears Give Back, held on April 14. In addition to giving through annual giving initiatives, many donors made larger contributions during FY22. Every college on campus received support 
    and more than two dozen new funds were created in FY22.

    Read More

  • Getting Physical: The need for more physical education in Colorado schools

    physical education

    For nearly a decade, Jioni Reliford ’12, a physical education teacher at Jackson Elementary, has been finding new, impactful ways to incorporate health into his students’ days.     
    His goal is to integrate life lessons into his physical education class plans to go along with movement, heart rate and fitness zones. Reliford learned the importance of well-rounded health and how to teach it while he was attending UNC as a Sport and Exercise Science student.     

    In its teacher preparation programs, the College of Natural and Health Sciences encourages physical education classes to continue to evolve like Reliford’s.   

    “We’re one of only four states in the nation that has no requirement for physical education in K-12,” said  Jaimie McMullen, associate professor in the School of Sport and Exercise Science.   

    McMullen is one of many faculty members working toward more consistent state-wide physical education policies. She is also a member of the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE Colorado), an organization that recently advocated for legislation with bi-partisan support that will determine the benefits of quality physical education.