Civic Engagement as a Point of Focus

This essay is from a speech I gave to Community Partner Appreciation Breakfast, May 9, 2013, thanking those who work with our students and faculty in Greensboro and surrounding Triad areas.  I was very honored and appreciative to be in the same room with our community partners and glad to talk with them.  This was organized by Dr. Cathy H. Hamilton, Director, Office of Leadership and Service-Learning. After my talk, they broke into groups for discussion about a variety of topics, all related to community engagement in a democracy.  I am in the middle of reading the book, Team of Rivals, by Doris Kearns Goodwin, and I am struck by how community engagement by regular citizens MADE our democracy from the beginning.  Universities only recently came into play in community engagement—at least most of them.

Long ago (in the early 80s!)  I was a member of the community, running a program for people with health problems in a nonprofit agency in Cleveland, Ohio.  I supervised student interns from our two affiliated universities and I learned more from them than they from me.  I also think I did a better job with a young person watching, and as I had to explain why I did what I did.  But back then I didn’t think to ask the faculty to join me, to ask for help in solving some of the intense health care needs of the inner city of Cleveland where I worked…I didn’t think to work on having the university become a true  partner –the university and community together.  Continue reading

Wear Plaid!

Do you like this picture?  It is one of my favorites and it brings to mind one of my favorite memories this time of year.

This is a photo of my older sister and me, first day of school, Thomasville, North Carolina.  I get this feeling every fall.  I want to sharpen my pencils, pack my plaid book bag and wear a spiffy new plaid dress with a fancy color.  I call it the “plaid feeling.”  It is a nice coincidence that we have a UNCG official plaid (tartan).

Yes, we have had many changes in the past year—academic realignment, academic program review, severe budget cuts, and the loss of some of our students and faculty in HHS.  But this is a time of renewal and excitement.  In what other job do you have the opportunity to start over each fall?  Education, higher education in particular, is so exciting with the arrival of new students, the frenzy of activity by those in Student Affairs, and the arrival of new colleagues on our faculty and staff.  I remember being new at UNCG, in 1973, as a new graduate student.  In 2003, as a new department chair.  In 2007, as an interim dean.  In 2011 again, as an interim dean.  In all of those situations the feeling was the same—will the other kids like me?  Will I be smart enough?  Will the teacher (fill in chair, dean, provost, etc.) be mean?  Will I sit next to/play with nice fun people?  Will I know how to find the bathroom and the lunchroom?  Will I have the right “stuff” in my book bag?    This week/month, if you know faculty or staff who are new, remember that they probably feel this way now. Continue reading

Welcome Conflict and Peace Studies

I am very pleased to announce that the program in Conflict and Peace Studies is moving to the School of Health and Human Sciences! The program was housed within the Division of Continual Learning as a holding spot until their permanent home could be determined. There were many discussions, over the course of this year, about housing them in the College or HHS. They met with our administrative team, outlined their purpose and work, and have been talking with some of our chairs. This decision was just made a few days ago and we are delighted that they will be joining us!

Conflict and Peace Studies offers a master’s degree with optional concentrations in professional conflict practice, education, or international peace development, along with a post-baccalaureate certificate. Both are offered face-to-face or online. Details about the programs can be found on the Conflict and Peace Studies program page.

Please join me in welcoming them to the HHS family!

Conflict and Peace Studies Advertisement

This image is from the advertising campaign for Conflict and Peace Studies running March-May 2012 in print publications, on local public radio stations, and online. Credit for the ad creation goes to the creative and marketing teams at UNCG’s Division of Continual Learning.

My Thoughts on Leading with Kindness

Today I read an article from my Case Western University alumni magazine (Think), written by a man who graduated ahead of me, William Baker, from the psychology department.  His background is in organizational behavior and he has studied leadership in industry, business, and higher education, not unlike two other people (former instructors) I admire, Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal, authors of Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice, and Leadership.  Nine years ago, when I became a department chair, I began reading very seriously books on leadership, especially books on “how to be a department chair.”  Similarly, when I was an interim dean, nearly five years ago, I continued that reading (“how to be a dean”) and attended the UNC system leadership program for women, “Bridges,” and the Harvard University Institute for Higher Education  …great video…I attended the Institute for Management and Leadership in Higher Education for administrators with 5-12 years of experience.  All of these experiences have affected me, and I hope have made me a better person and leader.  Continue reading

HHS Transition and our Transition Committees: A birthday celebration

Now that the dust is settling from the beginning of the semester, our HHS transition committees and permanent faculty and staff committees are beginning to form and work.  On our HHS transition web site, I have posted the names of the faculty and staff who are working on these committees – it changes frequently as more people want to help.  But in this posting I want to reflect on the wonderful work thus far and my thoughts about our transition work this year. Continue reading

Exciting Week!

This is an exciting week in the life of HHS.  On Wednesday, August 10, the new UNCG Health and Human Sciences Middle College will open in one of the buildings of the School of Health and Human Sciences with 50 ninth graders seeking an exciting, alternative, form of education.  See the Guilford County Schools web site for the school, and a local news article about it.  Although reporters sometimes refer to it as a “health careers” school, it is a “health and human sciences” middle college.  We hope that our students can be exposed to both traditional health careers and related human science careers.  There are so many careers that these high school students may not have considered, such as social work, child development careers, nutrition, exercise physiologist, speech-language pathologist.  At UNCG they will be able to rub shoulders with students and professionals engaged in these careers.    Dr. Tom Martinek, Professor in Kinesiology and the Faculty Liaison to the MC, and I spent many years visiting the Guilford County Schools, UNCG Dean’s Council, lobbying people in the community….I can’t believe that it is really happening THIS WEEK.  I am reminded of the many UNCG students in the past who did their “practice teaching” in the old Curry School on campus.  My own mother, in 1945, did her elementary education practice teaching at Woman’s College (UNCG) in that very place.  It has been closed now for over 40 years.  Many of us are delighted that high school students are back on campus!

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Space and HHS

Where’s HHS?

As the new semester begins, students and faculty will return from summer activities to discover many moves around campus.   Not to worry HHS Faculty and Staff; you will receive a school directory after August 17!

The School of HHS is in 13 buildings, so you may need our campus maps page!

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