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UNC System, Army Partner To Spur Student Interest In STEM Fields PDF Print E-mail
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 09:19

Several thousand U.S. Army engineers and scientists are nearing retirement age. The Army will develop and attract the talent it needs to fill those vacancies through a new partnership with the University of North Carolina System.

On June 18, 2019, U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Army Research Laboratory, the army’s corporate research laboratory also known as ARL, formally signed an educational partnership agreement (EPA) with the UNC System. The purpose of this initiative is to stimulate student interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math disciplines) education, particularly in areas of relevance to the Department of Defense’s mission.

The EPA is a master agreement designed to facilitate new partnerships between the Army and individual UNC System institutions. It allows institutions, colleges, and even departments, to expedite their own potentially groundbreaking EPAs with ARL.

"By streamlining the approval process for education partnership agreements at individual institutions, this agreement will open up collaboration opportunities and a pipeline of new ideas," said ARL Director Dr. Philip Perconti. "We will be able to get innovative coursework and research opportunities up and running more quickly and reach more students, attract better talent, and ultimately identify cutting edge solutions to the military's challenges."

The partnership model will help the army to accomplish three central objectives: (a) to encourage and enhance the study of STEM disciplines; (b) to provide technical assistance that will enhance STEM teaching throughout in the UNC System; and (c) to leverage regional collaborative efforts in support of STEM educational goals that will benefit students, government, industry, and non-profit organizations. 

In pursuit of these objectives, the EPA encourages partnering institutions to establish student and faculty research opportunities at ARL. By providing hands on, experiential learning opportunities in state-of-the-art labs, these exchanges will help STEM students and researchers apply basic academic skills and theoretical concepts to realistic contemporary applications.

In addition, ARL will help partnering institutions develop and teach new courses. North Carolina State University’s proposed “Hacking for Defense” course will serve as a template. In this course, military customers will bring real-world battlefield challenges to teams comprising engineers, business, and management students. These joint teams will work together to keep warfighters at the cutting edge of technology. This proposed course exemplifies how the EPA will connect the military community with faculty and students, who will earn college credit while working to find solutions to security challenges.

Finally, through the EPA, UNC System institutions will be able to secure material and intellectual resources from ARL. Surplus equipment can be loaned to or donated to partnering institutions. Partnering institutions will have access to the Army’s vast array of research facilities and equipment, and the laboratory’s representatives will be available to offer academic and career advice and assistance to students enrolled at partner institutions.

“This agreement reflects the UNC System’s long and productive partnership with the U.S. military,” said UNC System Interim President William Roper. “Together, we will develop life-changing opportunities for our students and faculty. At the same time, our collaboration will lead to innovations that will protect liberty at home and abroad.”


UNC System Names 2019-20 Presidential Scholars PDF Print E-mail
By Donna Martinez   
Tuesday, 30 July 2019 08:53

University of North Carolina System Interim President Bill Roper has announced that three recent UNC System graduates will serve as Presidential Scholars for the 2019-20 academic year. Presidential Scholars serve a one-year appointment and provide a wide range of professional functions for the UNC System Office. The scholars will interact with the president, his senior leadership and members of the UNC System Board of Governors, on topics that include education, public policy, research and data trends that affect higher education.

“This program has been such a great success since it began,” Roper said. “The scholars assist the UNC System with crucial work, while they also earn valuable experience in their preparations for promising careers in public leadership. We are proud of them for this high achievement and anticipate a great working relationship in the coming year.” 

Scholars were selected from among 2019’s UNC System graduates. Each of the applicants demonstrated leadership skills, intellectual curiosity and a strong interest in higher education and public service. The Scholars program goes beyond higher education and career development, with an exposure to the ideals of public service to the state.  Scholars see firsthand how education legislation and university policy affect current students and state residents.

This year’s scholars class includes:

Robert Boone

Elizabeth City State University

Bachelor of Science, Business Administration

Concentration:  Economics & Finance


Alexis Landrum

University of North Carolina Wilmington

Bachelor of Arts, Communication Studies 

Bachelor of Arts, International Studies

Minor:  German Studies


Katharine Shriver

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Bachelor of Arts, Public Policy and Political Science

Minor:  Social and Economic Justice


The UNC System wishes to thank Dajer Fernandez, UNC Pembroke; Ashley George, UNC Wilmington; Colin Russell, UNC-Chapel Hill; and William Zaharn, East Carolina University for serving as Presidential Scholars for the 2018-2019 year.



Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 July 2019 09:04
Interim Chancellor Named At UNC School Of The Arts PDF Print E-mail
By Administrator   
Thursday, 11 July 2019 09:13

CHAPEL HILL - Brian Cole has been neamed interim chancellor of UNC School of the Arts. The appointment will be effective August 1, 2019.

Since 2016, Cole has served as the dean of the School of Music at UNCSA. In that capacity, he oversees operations at the school and all programs at the graduate, undergraduate and high school levels, as well as the Summer Intensive Programs and the UNCSA Community Music School. In addition, he has served as the executive director for two pre-professional graduate institutes at the school: the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute and the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute.

“Brian Cole’s impressive international background in the arts and his leadership experience made him the ideal candidate to step in and lead UNCSA,” said UNC System Interin President Dr. Roper. “Throughout this selection process, I found Brian’s reputation and professionalism to be of the highest caliber, and many stakeholders at UNCSA have reached out to offer enthusiastic support for this appointment. Brian is an innovator, collaborator and deep thinker, and I have the utmost confidence that he will succeed in this new interim position.”

In collaboration with the Vice Chancellor for Advancement at UNCSA, Brian Cole has served as the lead for advancement projects for the School of Music. Under his leadership, the School has doubled merit-based scholarship resources through major gifts totaling $4 million, and has achieved a 150 percent increase in applications.

“I’m honored to be stepping into the role of interim chancellor at UNCSA, an institution I so strongly believe in,” said Brian Cole. “In my position as dean of the School of Music since 2016, I have been continuously inspired by the level of talent and dedication of the students, alumni, faculty and staff throughout this unique institution, and by the collaborative and creative ethos that permeates the school. I look forward to working closely with our Board President Ralph Womble, the Board and administration to propel the school forward during this time of transition, in particular supporting UNCSA’s first comprehensive campaign in 20 years, which launches publicly this fall. This is a transformative time for UNCSA and I look forward to continuing the momentum.”

Additional accomplishments as dean include developing the first-ever strategic plan for the School of Music, which establishes ambitious five-year goals, including the expansion and integration of the UNCSA Community Music School, a revision and modernization of existing academic programs, and the creation of new graduate and undergraduate program options. Cole also developed international partnerships for the UNCSA School of Music with institutions in Germany, Austria, Spain, and a consortium of six universities and high schools in China. 

Cole is an accomplished international conductor, leading orchestras and operas throughout the United States, Europe, South America and the Caribbean. He has served the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra as conducting assistant and also as assistant conductor for the May Festival. He has also served as assistant conductor and director of education and outreach programs for the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and as music director for the Concert Orchestra of the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Cole served four years as the founding dean of Academic Affairs at Berklee College of Music’s campus in Valencia, Spain. Before that, he served seven years as associate dean of Academic Affairs at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music.

At the Berklee College of Music’s Valencia campus, the college’s first international campus outside of Boston, Cole oversaw all college programs, which included four graduate majors in Music Production; Technology and Innovation; Global Entertainment and Music Business; Scoring for Film, Television and Video Games; and Contemporary Performance. While there, he led a robust study abroad program for students on Berklee’s Boston campus and other partner institutions, and he helped to design and implement an intensive summer study abroad program for students from around the world.

At the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, one of the largest schools of music in Latin America, Cole supervised graduate and undergraduate performance programs in classical, jazz and Caribbean music. He also led a substantial curricular expansion, launching graduate degrees in classical, jazz and Caribbean music performance, as well as in orchestral and choral conducting. He was also integral in the development of international exchange programs between the Puerto Rico Conservatory and musical institutions in both North and South America, including Berklee.

While at the Puerto Rico Conservatory, Cole worked with the chancellor on all aspects of the final development of and move to the Conservatory’s new $45 million facilities in Miramar (San Juan). He also directly assisted the chancellor in the planning and completion of a successful $3.5 million capital campaign, which equipped the institution’s new facilities, including more than 100 new pianos to convert the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music into an All-Steinway School.

Cole is a doctoral candidate in Orchestral Conducting at the University of Cincinnati. He received his Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from the University of Illinois and his Bachelor of Music in Bassoon Performance from Louisiana State University. He has memberships in several professional associations, including the League of American Orchestras, the College Music Society and the Association of European Conservatories, among others.

Cole will lead UNC School of the Arts as interim following the departure of Lindsay Bierman, who will step down July 31 after five years as chancellor of UNCSA. Bierman was appointed by Dr. Roper as the new chief executive officer of UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina and will assume that role on August 12, 2019. Both UNCSA and UNC-TV Public Media North Carolina are a part of the University of North Carolina System.


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