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News Briefs

For immediate use 

March 1, 2006 -- No. 110


ĎFacultyís Changing Roleí in university
is topic of Friday (March 3) lecture

Public-private partnerships, advances in technology and other trends have changed many facets of university life Ė including the role of faculty members in the campus community.

On Friday (March 3), three longtime university leaders will address what the changing role of faculty members means for students, the community and the university at large. The lecture, "Facultyís Changing Role in a Modern University: UNC-Chapel Hill," will be held from 10:30 a.m. to noon in room 039 of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillís Graham Memorial Hall.

William C. Friday, president emeritus of the University of North Carolina system; John Sanders, former director of UNCís Institute of Government; and Dr. Robert Shelton, UNCís executive vice chancellor and provost, are scheduled to speak.

The event is free to the public, and space is limited. Those wishing to attend should contact Rhonda Craig-Schwarz at (919) 962-3061 or to register.

The talk is co-sponsored by the Association of Retired Faculty and the Odum Institute for Research in Social Science at UNC.


Historians Burns, Shields
garner NEH research fellowships

UNC associate professor of history Dr. Kathryn Burns and history professor Dr. Sarah Shields were awarded $40,000 each recently from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The highly competitive fellowships allow faculty to pursue advanced research projects in the humanities.

Burnsí project is "Truth and Consequences: Scribes and the Colonization of Spanish America." Her goal is to make visible an enormous network she calls "invisible hands": Spanish and Native American scribes, or notaries, who generated vast colonial archives that are used today to write colonial Latin American history.

With an innovative mix of sources, including 16th- to 18th-century Castilian manuals, Burns places scribes in a trans-Atlantic historical context, showing how they produced "a heavily scripted form of truth," she said.

"The project challenges historians to approach the archive itself as a historical artifact, shaped by power plays and unequal relationships," Burns said.

Burns teaches courses on Latin America and on women and gender in Latin American history.

Shieldsí project, "Creating and Contesting Identities in Alexandretta," concerns national identities in Turkey, Syria and Iraq between World War I and World War II, particularly in the former Turkish province of Alexandretta.

A League of Nations 1938 referendum to decide the status of Alexandretta assumed that peopleís hopes for the future would depend on their ethnic or religious affiliation. But having lived in a multi-ethnic empire, the local people did not share that assumption. Syrians and Turks from outside Alexandretta attempted to influence the referendum.

"Telling the story of Alexandretta seems remarkably timely in the face of the divisive effects of externally influenced elections in Iraq today," Shields said. She teaches courses on Islamic civilization (not restricted geographically to the Middle East), Middle East women, the Arab-Israeli conflict, the modern Middle East and the history of Iraq.

Sandler to receive 2006 Masters Award
for Sustained Achievement in Digestive Sciences

Dr. Robert S. Sandler, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology in UNCís School of Medicine, has been selected to receive the 2006 Masters Award for Sustained Achievement in Digestive Sciences.

The award recognizes scientists and physicians who have made significant and sustained contributions to gastrointestinal disease research and who have been academic leaders, as well. The award is given by the Masters Awards Advisory Board, which consists of nine senior scientists and physicians, in cooperation with the American Gastroenterological Association.

Sandler will receive the award on May 22, during the associationís annual Digestive Disease Week conference in Los Angeles. During the same conference, Sandler will officially become vice president of the AGA.

Sandler, who joined the UNC faculty in 1981, also 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 is associate editor of Gastroenterology, the leading peer-reviewed journal in the field.

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.


UNC receives $120,000 grant to reduce
tobacco use among 18-to-24-year-olds

UNC has received a $120,000 grant from the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund to prevent and reduce tobacco use among 18-24 year olds.

The fund has awarded $1.6 million over two years to 20 universities, community colleges, heath departments and organizations statewide.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 28 percent of college-age North Carolinians smoke Ė and the 18-to-24-year-old age group is the only demographic nationwide in which smoking rates are rising.

The grant will allow UNCís Center for Healthy Student Behaviors to establish smoke-free policies on campus and promote the N.C. Tobacco Use Quit-line (1-800-QUIT-NOW).

The grant also will help UNC meet the American College Health Associationís Healthy Campus 2010 Initiative goals: to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities.

The N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund, created by the N.C. General Assembly in 2000, uses a portion of the stateís share of the national tobacco settlement to promote healthy behaviors.

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