Celebrating the Extraordinary Programs and People in UNC Asheville Magazine

Chancellor Anne PonderTHIS YEAR, UNC ASHEVILLE CELEBRATES 50 YEARS of our flagship Humanities Program, one of the foundational distinctions that our graduates tell us, year after year, have made a profound difference in the choices they have made for their futures. To this day, we remain one of the few universities that anchors the humanities at the core of our curriculum—at “The Heart of the Matter,” as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences titles their recent report on the subject.

We have reached a time when the value of higher education has become, at least in part, measured by our ability to contribute to a healthier society. Our faculty members and undergraduate student researchers have earned national recognition for doing exactly that, winning the prestigious 2013 William E. Bennett Award for Extraordinary Contributions to Citizen Science from the National Center for Science and Civic Engagement. You’ll read about studies in the kitchen, in the campus gardens and in the classrooms, a seriously creative combination that’s changing the way we think about food and leading the way in entrepreneurship and practicality for the future. 

In this issue of UNC Asheville Magazine, you’ll also see another side of our faculty, as a few professors share their previously hidden talents, detailing how atmospheric sciences dovetails with sailboat racing on nearby Lake Julian and how chemistry can make the best cakes—expertly decorated, of course. We also introduce you to some extraordinary faculty who are helping to put UNC Asheville students on the map, such as International Studies Lecturer Jinhua Li and Associate Professor of New Media Lei Han, who led students on an interdisciplinary trip through China this summer. And you can catch up with Nick McDevitt, the first UNC Asheville alumnus to lead our men’s basketball team as head coach.

You’ll also see a new side of the magazine. Recently redesigned, we’re sharing more stories from Around the Quad and filling our pages with the content that keeps you connected to the university, the greater Asheville community and your classmates. With this new magazine, the stories do not end in these pages. Look for links to web extras, the new News Center and behind-the-scenes videos. We also invite you to share your story in your own words. We look forward to hearing from you.

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