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News Briefs

For immediate use 

Feb. 28, 2006 -- No. 103


Former life sciences director at NASA
to discuss gravity-aging connection

Dr. Joan Vernikos, former director of life sciences for NASA, will discuss the connection between gravity and aging in a free presentation at UNCís Morehead Planetarium and Science Center on Wednesday (March 1).

Vernikos will present "Space Age Health" in the Morehead Centerís Star Theater. Her 7 p.m. presentation is sponsored by UNC student organization SpaceTalk, by North Carolina Space Grant and by the Morehead Center.

The author of "The G-Connection: Harness Gravity and Reverse Aging," Vernikos has published more than 200 scientific papers and reviews. Her research has focused on human hormonal and behavioral response to stress and applying that knowledge to operational conditions in aviation and space.

For this work and her leadership in the space sciences, she has received numerous awards, including NASAís Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award.

For more information, visit


Nursing school is recognized for safe
patient handling, movement curriculum

UNCís School of Nursing has received recognition from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for its outstanding efforts to improve nursing curriculum, including safe patient handling and movement systems to prevent work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

The departmentís Veterans Integrated Service Network 8 Patient Safety Center of Inquiry is presenting the school with the Educator Award for Safe Patient Handling. Lindsay Allen, a clinical instructor in the school, will accept the award on the schoolís behalf on Wednesday (March 1) at the 2006 Safe Patient Handling Conference in Florida.

Nurses have been manually handling patients for decades and have one of the highest injury rates of all industries, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

UNC was the only school statewide, and one of only 26 nationwide, to participate in a pilot program as part of a campaign targeting safe patient handling and movement.


Boeing CFO to speak March 14
as part of Deanís Speaker Series

James Bell, chief financial officer and executive vice president of finance of the Boeing Co., the worldís largest aerospace company, will speak at UNCís Kenan-Flagler Business School March 14 as part of the Deanís Speaker Series.

Bell 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

A 32-year veteran of Boeing, Bell has extensive experience overseeing business performance and strategic growth at the Chicago-based, $52 billion, 157,000-person commercial airplane and defense company.

From March through June 2005, Bell also was interim president and chief executive officer of Boeing. His remarks will focus on his tenure in that role and on the topic of ethical issues in business.

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