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News Briefs

For immediate use 

Feb. 10, 2006 -- No. 68


UNC paleobotanist will speak on evolution
of early environments on Monday (Feb. 13)

Dr. Pat Gensel, paleobotanist, will speak at UNCís Morehead Planetarium and Science Center at noon Monday (Feb. 13) as part of the Midday Science Series.

Gensel is a professor of paleobotany and biology at UNC and is currently on sabbatical at NESCent, a research facility in Durham.

The lecture is free to the public and will be held in Morehead Centerís NASA Digital Theater. Gensel will discuss the evolution of early environments, building on the concept that organisms are intimately interrelated and tied to their environment, a concept that was established about 400 million years ago.

"I propose to discuss what we know about this," Gensel said. "What major questions remain?"   

Genselís research at UNC focuses on the study of fossil plants of the Devonian age, a time of great transition in the earthís history when animals evolved quickly and trees appeared for the first time.

In her research, Gensel uses plant fossil records to detect the history of early plant life. Using these records, she finds information about how certain plants evolved, the communities they lived in and about other organisms that lived at the same time.

More information is available at or by calling (919) 962-1236.


Foster is elected chairwoman
of state nursing board

Dr. Beverly Foster, a clinical associate professor in UNCís School of Nursing, recently was elected chairwoman of the N.C. Board of Nursing.

Foster, also director of undergraduate programs for the School of Nursing, has held numerous roles in practice and academics. Her primary teaching areas include maternal-newborn care and community health nursing. She is active in community service in many local and state agencies related to health and human services, and serves at the national level as a Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education program evaluator.

Foster is serving her second term on the N.C. Board of Nursing.

The N.C. Board of Nursing aims to educate and consult, serve as a resource, set standards, license nurses, and develop standards for the evolving legal scope of nursing practice within the state, among other responsibilities. Currently, North Carolina has more than 123,000 licensed nurses, making the N.C. Board of Nursing the largest regulatory board in the state.


Dallas Mavericks CEO will give talk
Feb. 28 as part of Deanís Speaker Series

Terdema L. Ussery II, president and chief executive officer of the NBAís Dallas Mavericks, will speak at UNCís Kenan-Flagler Business School Feb. 28 as part of the Deanís Speaker Series.

Ussery will speak at 5:30 p.m. in the McColl Buildingís Maurice J. Koury Auditorium. The lecture, free to the public, will be followed by a reception. Free parking will be available in the business school parking deck. To RSVP, call (919) 843-7787 or e-mail

Ussery is in his eighth year as president and CEO of the Dallas Mavericks. He is an alternate governor for the Mavericks on the NBA Board of Governors and a member of the WNBA Board of Directors. Under Usseryís direction, the Dallas Mavericks have experienced increased corporate sponsorship, ticket sales, television revenues and community awareness.

He was ranked 21st in Sports Illustratedís "Top 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports," as well as "Corporate Executive of the Year" by Black Enterprise magazine.

Formerly, Ussery was president of Nike Sports Management. Prior to that, he was commissioner of the Continental Basketball Association. In 1999, then Texas Gov. George W. Bush appointed him to a six-year term on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Ussery sits on several other corporate and community boards and is CEO of HDNet, the nationís first high-definition television network. Last summer, Ussery was elected to serve on Princeton Universityís Board of Trustees.

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News Services contact: Deb Saine, (919) 962-8415 or