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News Briefs

For immediate use 

Jan. 25, 2006 -- No. 36


Sandler is elected vice president
of gastroenterological association

Dr. Robert S. Sandler, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in UNCís School of Medicine, has been elected vice president of the American Gastroenterological Association.

He will officially assume this role during the associationís annual Digestive Disease Week conference, which takes place in May in Los Angeles. Sandler will be vice president for one year and then president-elect for a year, before becoming president of the association for a one-year term in 2008.

Sandler is Nina C. and John T. Sessions distinguished professor in UNCís School of Medicine and professor of epidemiology in the School of Public Health. He joined the UNC faculty in 1981 and has been the division chief since 2003. Sandler is associate editor of Gastroenterology, the leading peer-reviewed journal in the field.

As a researcher, Sandler is nationally recognized in the field of cancer epidemiology and outcomes research. He was the principal investigator on a widely cited study published in the New England Journal of Medicine that found patients who had colorectal cancer might reduce their risk of developing future colorectal adenomas (colorectal cancer precursors) by taking an aspirin daily.

The American Gastroenterological Association is the largest and most prestigious professional organization in gastroenterology. Founded in 1897, the association is the oldest medical-specialty society nationwide, and its more than 14,500 members include physicians and scientists who research, diagnose and treat disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and liver.


School of Journalism professor
receives GAA Faculty Service Award

Dr. Jane Brown recently received the General Alumni Associationís Faculty Service Award for accomplishments that have had a lasting influence on UNC and the GAA.

Brown, James L. Knight professor in UNCís School of Journalism and Mass Communication, has been a member of the UNC faculty for almost 30 years. In addition to teaching and research, she has worked on the status of women on campus, faculty assembly committees and two re-accreditation committees, as well as the chancellorís advisory committee.

She also has been chairwoman of the UNC faculty.

Her research on adolescent health and the mass media have led to important insights about television violence, sexuality, alcohol, tobacco and the mediaís influence on adolescent girls. Brown is a co-principal investigator on a five-year project, "Teen Media: The Mass Media and Adolescents' Sexual Health," funded by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

She teaches courses in communication theory and is responsible for the School of Journalism and Mass Communicationís undergraduate honors program. She also directs the Academic Leadership Program at UNCís Institute for Arts and Humanities.

Brownís colleague Dr. Pat Curtin said Brown has a nurturing, mentoring role rooted in her intellectual ability.

"Sheís very inclusive with her research," Curtin said, "to make sure she gives opportunity to junior faculty and students to get involved, to share authorship, to train them in methods. Sheís a very astute observer of whatís happening across the university, and sheís empathetic on why things are happening. Sheís bright and bubbly and always has a big smile on her face. You always feel better after youíve seen Jane."

A complete list of award recipients can be found at The General Alumni Association is a self-governed, nonprofit organization serving alumni and friends of UNC since 1843.


Janda receives national
Slavic languages book award

Dr. Laura Janda, professor of Slavic linguistics in UNCís College of Arts and Sciences, has received a book award from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages.

The award was presented at the Russian Embassy in Washington, D.C., in December.

Janda received the 2005 Award for Best Contribution to Language Pedagogy for "The Case Book of Russian" (with CD), which she co-wrote in 2002 with Dr. Steven J. Clancy. He received his masterís degree and doctorate in Slavic linguistics from UNC and is now at the University of Chicago.

Janda also directs the Slavic and East European Language Resource Center in UNCís College of Arts and Sciences. She specializes in West Slavic linguistics and cognitive linguistics and teaches courses in those areas. She also teaches Russian and Czech.

The American Association of Teachers of Slavic and East European Languages, founded in 1941, promotes the study and teaching of Slavic and East European languages, literatures and cultures, from elementary through graduate school.


Best-selling adventure author Dean King
to give free, public reading Feb. 16

Best-selling adventure author Dean King will give a free public reading at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in Greenlaw Hallís Donovan Lounge, located on the second floor.

The reading is sponsored by the English departmentís Creative Writing Program.

Kingís latest book, "Skeletons on the Zahara: A True Story of Survival" (2004), was featured in Time magazine, serialized in National Geographic Adventure and was a Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle and Book of the Year. "Skeletons" is currently being developed by DreamWorks as a feature film.

In the book, King brings to life the accounts of Capt. James Riley and his crew, whose merchant ship, "Commerce," wrecked off the coast of Africa in 1815. The crew survived captivity at the hands of slave traders and endured the hardships of a grueling trek across the Zahara Ė what is called the Sahara Desert today. In 2001, King retraced Rileyís route on foot and camelback in a 17-day journey through the Western Sahara.

King also is the author of other books, including "A Sea of Words" (1995), "Harbors and High Seas" (1996), "Every Man Will Do His Duty" (1997) and "Cancer Combat" (1998). His book, "Patrick OíBrian: A Life Revealed" (2000) was a Daily Telegraph Book of the Year.

For information, call (919) 962-4000.

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