UNCP’s Digital Academy hosts a ‘Digital Jam Session’ in March
A convergence of wide ranging digital technology users will meet here on March 26 – 27 for the second annual Digital Content Consortium (DCC) “Brick and Mortar” Conference 2004.
Whether they are educators, artists, photographers, musicians, filmmakers, web designers, disabled persons, Apple or PC users, the attendees of the second annual Digital Content Consortium “Brick and Mortar” Conference all have one thing in common – they all use digital tools and content in their work and lives.
What can the 2004 attendees expect? “A wide variety of seminars and workshops are planned to attract digital users of all types,” said Dr. John Labadie (Art), director and co-founder of the Digital Academy (DA, formerly the Media Integration Project).
“Now, under the banner of the newly evolved Digital Academy, the DA team is pleased to offer this valuable opportunity for education, information exchange and networking,” Dr. Labadie said. “We encourage the public to register and to join us in this digitally-focused activity featuring professionals from many fields of digital practice.”
The 2004 conference kicks off Friday with a concert and presentation by Mike Hamer, a wheelchair bound musician and digital artist. Hamer, a quadriplegic who plays the hammer dulcimer, describes his work in music, storytelling, songwriting, dance and film as “a paradigm for dealing with disability.” He lives in Greenville, N.C., and teaches at East Carolina University. Mike will be an inspiration to all attendees.
The cost of admission to the concert is included in the registration fee. Tickets for non-conference attendees are $5. The concert will be held in the Sampson-Livermore Library Reading Room at 8 p.m.
At the 2004 DCC conference on Saturday, March 27, many interesting and informative sessions on a variety of topics will be offered, including:
The 2004 DCC conference is free for students (with IDs) and $14.99 for non-students. For printable registration forms go to www.uncp.edu/digital_academy/. For conference information, email Margie Labadie at LabadieM@uncp.edu or call (910) 522-5781.
This event is sponsored by the Digital Academy. The Digital Academy is a coalition of digital technology users and proponents on campus. The Digital Academy was the first UNC member of the prestigious New Media Consortium, an international collaboration of universities and technology companies. The Digital Academy describes, elaborates, models, promotes, establishes, activates and focuses on digital technologies. The Digital Academy supports those persons and organizations using digital technologies focused upon valuable causes and agendas related to university education, research and service.
The Brick and Mortar Conference is made possible by the generous support of Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Roger Brown, in collaboration with Dr. Maurice Mitchell, Chief Information Officer and Associate Vice Chancellor for Information Research, Dr. Thomas Leach, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Warren Baker, Dean of the School of Education, Dr. Elinor Foster, University Librarian, and Lynda Parlett, Interim Director of the Center for Sponsored Research & Planning.
Grant upgrades technology for disabled students
Support for disabled students at UNCP just took a leap into the future.
The Office of Disability Support Services (DSS) received a grant to enhance accessibility to computer software that supports disabled students.
Accommodations Coordinator Misty Sykes (pictured here) applied for the grant. The grant is valued at $19,200 and allows for a package of software to be installed on any computer on campus.
The grant from Premier Assistive Technology Company is called “Breaking Down Barriers to Assistive Technology.” The software performs functions such as enlarging computer text, reading textbooks and reformatting text documents into audio files.
Provost Roger Brown hailed the grant as a major step for the University’s support for disabled students.
“Disability Support Services under Mary Helen Walker’s leadership are serving our students extremely well,” Dr. Brown said. “We are proud of our proactive and positive approach to making higher education accessible to every qualified student who desires it. The grant will help ensure that we employ the latest technology on their behalf.”
DSS serves approximately 500 UNCP students, including more than 40 visually impaired students.
“This is a significant upgrade of our resources for students with disabilities,” Sykes said. “I am very impressed with this software.”
Besides upgrading current software, students with disabilities may perform tasks that were previously unavailable to them, Sykes said.
“For the first time, we have a talking calculator and a talking dictionary,” she said. “And for the first time, audio files can be converted to popular formats that do not require the use of a computer to hear.”
“Also for the first time, we have a program that can read PDF files,” Sykes said. “There were so many documents on the Internet that were not accessible to the disabled.”
Premier Assistive Technology’s online tutorial program will save DSS time and money.
“The free online tutorial is fast and easy. I did it in one night,” Sykes said. “Before we received this software, students made appointments to get help, and it took many hours of tutorials.”
DSS Director Mary Helen Walker said the new software would increase the productivity of her staff. Disabled students will be the primary beneficiaries.
“Accessibility of services and helping the disabled to become more independent is the bottom line in our office,” Walker said. “This grant is a breakthrough for us.”
The grant allows the University to run assistive technology programs on as many personal computers as needed. Currently, assistive technology software is on four computers in DSS’s office, five in the 24-hour computer lab and 20 computers scattered across campus. The grant also allows for full technical support and free upgrades for one year.
For more information, contact the Office of Disability Support Services at (910) 521-6695.
Jennifer Smith joins new program in Counseling
In her eight years working in substance abuse counseling, Jennifer Smith has seen the negative outcomes of alcohol abuse.
As the University’s new alcohol awareness program coordinator, Smith will have the opportunity to jump in on the side of early prevention.
“What excites me about this program is that it is a proactive strategy targeting prevention at a critical stage in the lives of young people,” Smith said.
Smith comes from Southeastern Regional Mental Health Center. At UNCP, she will launch a new program aimed at high-risk drinking among students. The program, entitled SPARC (Study to Prevent Alcohol Related Consequences), is funded at five universities in North Carolina by a grant from the Wake Forest University’s Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
The universities – Duke, Western Carolina, UNC Greensboro, Appalachian State and UNCP – are a testing ground for the prevention program, which seeks to change the culture surrounding high-risk alcohol use by college students.
“Our wellness surveys show that UNC Pembroke is about the same as the national standard as far as alcohol use is concerned,” Smith said. “What is unique about the program is that few campuses have one staff member whose only mission is to combat alcohol abuse.”
Smith will form a broad coalition of “stakeholders” at the University and in the surrounding community. The coalition may include fraternities, sororities, student government, faculty, staff, merchants, churches, local government and law enforcement.
“These are the people and groups who deal with high-risk behaviors,” Smith said. “Our first objective is to promote positive social norms, and our second goal is to reduce the availability of alcohol.”
High-risk behavior is defined as binge drinking and drinking and driving or engaging in other dangerous activities. Smith said that changing culture is “a lofty goal” but a worthy one.
“We would work to be a change agent for a culture,” she said. “This is a vulnerable age, especially for freshmen who may be away from home for the first time and have a lot of freedom.”
“It’s a freedom to make bad decisions, but it’s also freedom to make good decisions,” she said. “I am very optimistic that we can make changes.”
Smith has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and a Master of Science and an Education Specialist degree in counselor education, all from UNC Greensboro. She is an Asheboro native.
For more information about the SPARC program, call (910) 521- 6202, Ext. 6580.
Service-learning mission gets a boost at UNCP
As part of the “Serving to Learn, Learning to Serve” initiative, funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, more than 60 faculty and staff members from 21 higher education institutions met in Charlotte in February for an in-depth faculty development institute on service-learning.
The University sent three members to the institute, including Melanie Clark, Director of Leadership and Community Service in the Office of Student Activities, Anita Guynn, Assistant Professor of English, and John Bowman, Professor of sociology.
Service-learning integrates community service into course content for enhanced student learning.
The North Carolina Campus Compact (NCCC) is a national organization of university presidents who support service-learning and civic engagement. Chancellor Meadors is a member of the Campus Compact. The NCCC provides financial support, professional development and resources on service-learning to its member institutions.
The Institute on Service-Learning conference was paid for through a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. A $500 grant from the project will allow UNCP to conduct faculty development workshops on service-learning.
“The overarching goal is to have a minimum of five faculty members who will agree to teach service-learning courses in the fall,” Clark said.
UNCP faculty members have an opportunity to attend a conference on service-learning at Elon University on March 3. The Office of Academic Affairs has agreed to pay fees and travel expenses.
Topics include the core concepts of service-learning, building campus-community partnerships, using reflection in teaching, assessing student learning, engaging diverse disciplines and accessing resources.
Faculty and staff teams that participated in the institute returned to their campuses to implement faculty development workshops on service-learning.
NCCC member campuses seek to involve students, faculty, and the entire campus in community service to fulfill higher education's most noble goals of educating citizens, preparing tomorrow's leaders, and contributing to the life of America's communities.
At left,Chef John Campbell cooks tortellini as Sodexho Catering Manager Janet Williams (right) discusses menus with David Thaggard (GPAC).
Sodexho Catering Services, a division of campus Food Services, put on a cooking exhibition for the University on February 24.
The Catering Showcase featured cut flowers, two ice sculptures and a cooking demonstration by Executive Chef John Campbell. The purpose of the event was to demonstrate the catering possibilities for University event planners, said Janet Williams, Catering Manager.
“It was very successful,” Williams said. “A new catering menu is in the works, so it was good to touch base with our customers.”
On the menu was stuffed flounder, chicken Charleston, a tortellini cooking station, garlic mashed potatoes, broccoli with lemon zest, chocolate fondue, tiramisu, bite-sized dessert bars, a pastry table and cold shrimp served in a boat carved out of ice.
CHEF CAMPBELL PROMOTED
Sodexho Executive Chef John Campbell has taken the new title of Director of Operations of UNCP Food Services in 2004.
Campbell has been with Sodexho’s UNCP operation for two years. He worked with General Manger Mike Nance at UNC Wilmington before that.
“I started cooking when I was six,” Campbell said. “It’s a family thing. My grandfather and aunt were cooks too.”
“I have never worked anywhere but in a kitchen,” the California native said.
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