Bulldogs on Bikes
It’s Not a Circus Act, It’s a Transportation Celebration
Bulldogs love bicycles. That’s just a fact at UNC Asheville. So in August, the campus celebrated Bulldog Bicycle Bonanza, introducing students to the many bicycling resources in the Asheville area, including a new do-it-yourself bicycle repair station in front of Zeis Hall.
UNC Asheville Debuts Two New Majors
UNC Asheville launched two new major programs this fall—the Bachelor of Arts in Art History and the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Jazz and Contemporary Music. Both gained approval from the UNC Board of Governors this past spring based on the strong curricula already built by the faculty and serious student interest in the subjects.
“With the new B.F.A. program in Jazz and Contemporary Music, the students will be able to function as professional musicians,” says Music Department Chair and Professor Wayne Kirby.
“With a variety of new ensembles, we’re preparing the students to do all kinds of gigs—musicians have to be able to play in many styles to be able to work consistently, and they need great sight-reading skills to do recording sessions.” The department has added faculty integral to Asheville’s hot new jazz scene, who are able to give the B.F.A. students experience performing in clubs.
We have many art graduates already succeeding in the art history field, and the new degree should help open even more doors”—Leisa Rundquist, associate professor of art history
The new Art History Program also links students to the art world off-campus, bringing in local curators and gallery owners to talk to classes, and through student internships in places like the Flood Gallery and the Asheville Art Museum. As an early example of their collaborative work, the Asheville Art Museum will feature an exhibit from January through May curated by Leisa Rundquist, associate professor of art history, with help from Katie Johnson ’13 and current students.“We have many art graduates already succeeding in the art history field, and the new degree should help open even more doors,” says Rundquist. “It signals to employers and to other universities that our program has a high standard—an intensity and academic rigor. Our students will go into graduate programs in art history and jobs ranging from library science to archival work and museum work, to journalism and art criticism—art history involves really solid writing and research skills.”
If you are reading this magazine in a digital edition, you aren’t alone, according to new University Librarian Leah Dunn, who is now in her second year at UNC Asheville.
“We’re in a time of rapid transition and it’s now accelerating,” she says. “What we used to see with journals becoming electronic, is now happening with books. E-books have taken off, certainly in the popular market, and it’s affecting the scholarly market now as well.”
The library now has a choice to purchase publications in print or electronically, says Dunn, who had been library director at Guilford College and before that, spent 11 years working at UNC-Chapel Hill. “The downside is there are people on both sides, but we can’t supply both because of limited resources, so we have to think strategically about how to reach the most people. Sometimes it’s print, but more often now, it’s electronic. We’re very quickly moving into that realm.”
One upside is that e-books on the scholarly market are typically much less expensive than paper copies, and with unlimited licenses, readers don’t have to wait for others to finish a book before “borrowing” a copy. Another upside is that the full text of e-books is viewable to search engines, but weeding through those search engines can still be complicated. Students and faculty now have round-the-clock online assistance through NCknows, a statewide library reference, and reference librarians also are ready to answer questions in person.
“Any time you come, you’ll see the library is full of people studying,” says Dunn, “so we’re looking at how we can make the limited space we have more comfortable and accommodate more people.”
One obvious answer is to eliminate some of the stacks of paper books. “Electronic collections make a lot of sense,” she says. “When space for physical books is in competition with space for people, our priority has to be the students and faculty who use the library and making sure they have a place where they can do their work.”
Health and Counseling Center Expands Services and Space
Students who return from winter break feeling the onset of cold season can find comfort in the expanded Health and Counseling Center, which will relocate from Weizenblatt Hall to 118 W.T. Weaver Boulevard this winter.
“We’ll be able to expand our square footage, offer better services and add services, such as physical therapy and IV therapy,” said Director Jay Cutspec. “The benefit will be that students won’t need to go to urgent care as often, since we will be able to manage most of their care here. We’ll be on one floor instead of the current two floors and able to fully implement our integrative care model, as well as host events and groups in the large meeting space.”
The campus-contiguous building was formerly owned by the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC), making it ideal for use as UNC Asheville’s Health and Counseling Center with only minor renovation. The university purchased the property in July for $3.95 million, using funds from the UNC Asheville Foundation and from student fees.
The shared purchase also will encourage shared use of the space. The offices of University Advancement, including Alumni Relations, will move from Owen Hall to the second story of the building in 2014, welcoming graduates and friends of the university with plenty of parking and a healthy dose of cheer.
Running the Board
New Members and Chair Bring Experience and Enthusiasm
New Board of Trustees Chair N. King Prather first visited campus in 2004 when his son Nick was choosing a college. Nick enrolled here in 2005 and was soon joined on campus by his twin sisters, Rachel and Lindsey. The three Prather siblings graduated together in May 2010, and after serving on the National Parents Council, King Prather was appointed by the Board of Governors as a trustee in 2011. He was elected chair earlier this year. “I can’t put my finger on it,” says Prather, “but I notice an energy on and around campus...excitement, innovation, collaboration and a commitment to creativity that is engaging and addictive. I am excited to be a part of it.”
Prather is senior vice president and general counsel of BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina.
Kennon Briggs, appointed as a trustee last spring by the Board of Governors, got involved with the university three years ago as a part of the National Parents Council. His daughter, Kasey Briggs, is a junior and member of the Bulldog cross country and track and field teams. Kennon and his wife Kimberly are also avid runners—she is a marathoner and he runs half-marathons. Briggs also is serving on the Bulldogs’ Circle of Champions capital campaign. “I just felt like a member of the Bulldog family from the very beginning,”
he says. Professionally, Briggs served the state’s community college system. Prior to his retiring in 2012, he was the system’s executive vice president and chief of staff, and was CFO for 11 years.
J.W. Davis¸ appointed to the Board of Trustees last spring by Governor Pat McCrory, is an associate with Bison Investments. “My involvement with UNC Asheville began with my employer at the time, Carolina First,” says Davis. “Carolina First, now TD Bank, made a financial contribution to Pisgah House, the chancellor’s residence, and my wife and I began endowment scholarships for students.” Davis also served on the Foundation Board for six years, and says, “It has been very rewarding because I’ve gotten to know many students. Our university is truly molding our future leaders, and I am very proud to make a contribution.”
Piyush Patel was appointed by former Governor Beverly Perdue to complete an unfinished term on the board and was reappointed last spring by Governor McCrory. An inventor who holds many patents, Patel is director of engineering at Qualcomm, and he is passionate about the importance of higher education and keeping it accessible. “Education is what attracted me to this country,” says Patel, a native of India. “Education is the equalizer in society. I feel very fortunate that I am able to be part of it. When you come here from abroad, you realize how unique the democracy is, how unique the system is.”
ARTS Fest Coming in 2014
Creating Community through the Arts
This four-day festival from April 10–13, 2014, will cultivate creative and critical thinking, while also fostering community through participation and engagement with arts events and activities across the UNC Asheville campus. Local artists and alumni will be encouraged to share their talents and expertise, and area schools will be invited to participate in interactive arts activities for all ages and abilities.
Save the dates and stay tuned for further developments and announcements of guest artists!