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News Briefs

For immediate use

Sept. 20, 2006 -- No. 435


Housing and finance expert to speak
at department's 60th anniversary

Martin Eakes, co-founder of community development lender Self-Help Credit Union, will speak at 7:30 p.m. on Friday (Sept. 22) at UNC's Murphey Hall auditorium (room 116).

Eakes' free public talk, titled "Race and Wealth in America: A 25-Year Journey for Social Justice," is the 2006 Robert and Helen Siler Distinguished Lecture and part of the department of city and regional planning's 60th anniversary celebration.

Eakes co-founded Self-Help in 1980 with $77 in seed money generated from a bake sale. The organization's mission is to create ownership and economic opportunities for minorities, women, rural residents and low-wealth families. Headquartered in Durham, the organization has grown to more than $1 billion in assets and has helped provide financing to more than 50,000 homeowners. Eakes also helped create the North Carolina Coalition for Responsible Lending, an alliance of financial institutions that resulted in the state and nation's first anti-predatory mortgage lending law in 1999.

The Robert and Helen Siler Distinguished Lecture, administered by the city and regional planning department in the College of Arts and Sciences, was established by Bob and Helen Siler of Hilton Head Island, S.C. Bob Siler received his bachelor of arts degree in 1953 and his master of regional planning degree in 1955, both from UNC.

For more information on the department's 60th anniversary weekend, visit For information on Self-Help, visit


UNC symposium examines role
of bacteria in health and disease

A Friday (Sept. 22) symposium sponsored by the UNC School of Medicine will examine the role of commensal bacteria - those that populate the human body -- in health and disease.

The symposium will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at UNC Hospitals' fourth floor Clinic Auditorium. The symposium's goal is to develop interactions between Triangle-area researchers in different scientific disciplines and discuss recent scientific advances within the field, with an emphasis on new technology to identify microbial diversity and biologic processes of commensalism.

Dr. Balfour Sartor, a distinguished professor in UNC School of Medicine's departments of medicine, microbiology and immunology, will serve as moderator.

The keynote lecture will be given by Dr. Todd Klaenhammer, University Distinguished Professor and William Neal Reynolds Professor at N.C. State University. He will discuss how to determine the genetic composition of lactobacilli and how to predict the function of these bacteria once their genetic composition has been determined.

Other presenters, all from UNC, are Dr. David Threadgill, an associate professor in the department of genetics in the School of Medicine; Dr. Steven Offenbacher, a distinguished professor in the Center for Oral and Systemic Diseases in the School of Dentistry; Dr. John F. Rawls, an assistant professor in the School of Medicine's department of cell and molecular physiology; and Dr. Andreas Teske, an associate professor in the department of marine sciences.

Admission to the symposium is free but advance registration is required. To register, contact Fern Jeremiah at (919) 843-0758 or


Presidential adviser to address
environmental policy issues

Fred Krupp, president of Environmental Defense, will discuss environmental issues at 4 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 26) at UNC's James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence, located in the Graham Memorial Building.

Krupp's free public talk will be in the Kresge Foundation Common Room (039). Sponsored by the Robertson Scholars Program, the talk will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

Environmental Defense is a national nonprofit organization that seeks market-based solutions to environmental issues. Krupp joined the organization in 1984 and now leads teams of scientists, economists and attorneys in four areas: stabilizing the Earth's climate, preserving species and habitats, protecting human health and safeguarding oceans and marine life.

Krupp served on the President's Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations for the Bill Clinton and George W. Bush administrations. He also was on those presidents' environmental commissions. He won the 1999 Leadership in Environment Award from the Keystone Center, a science and environment group, and the 2002 Champion Award from the Women's Council on Energy and the Environment, a nonpartisan environmental advocacy group.

Contact the Robertson Scholars Program at (919) 843-5494 or for more information.


Celebrated Southern novelist
to speak at Wilson Library

Author Lee Smith will read from her most recent novel, "On Agate Hill," at UNC's Louis Round Wilson Library at 5:45 p.m. on Tuesday (Sept. 26). Author of 10 novels and three collections of short stories, in her latest book Smith weaves a touching biography of an orphan girl in the
Reconstruction-era South. Smith's previous novel, "The Last Girls," garnered critical accolades and a spot on the New York Times bestsellers list.

A reception begins at 5 p.m. Both the reception and reading will be held in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library. The free event is open to the public and co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library and the Bull's Head Bookshop on the UNC campus. For more information, contact Liza Terll at (919) 962-4207 or


Gallery talk, exhibit showcase
Renaissance books in Wilson Library

UNC's Louis Round Wilson Library will hold a gallery talk to discuss its current exhibit, "Incunabula: The World of the Fifteenth Century," at 1 p.m. on Sept. 27. The 45-minute talk will be held in the Melba Remig Salterelli Exhibit Room on the library's third floor. This event is free and open to the public.

Exhibit curator Roberta Engleman will discuss highlights from the exhibit, which features books printed soon after Johann Gutenberg invented moveable type, about 1454. Key holdings include a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible and Francesco Colonna's "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili." Engleman also will discuss how these items came to the library.

The incunabula exhibit has been extended through Sept. 30. For more information about the talk and the exhibit, call (919) 962-1143.


Leading genetics researcher to give
Stone Center African Diaspora lecture

Dr. Fatimah Jackson, a leading anthropologist, biologist, and researcher on genomics and its implications for the African-American community, will be the guest speaker for the 2006 African Diaspora Lecture at the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. The talk will be given at 7 p.m. on Oct. 3 at the Stone Center.

Jackson will address the implications of DNA and genomics research for blacks, particularly the use of DNA to trace African ancestry. Jackson is a professor of applied biological anthropology at the University of Maryland in College Park, Md., and has written extensively on genomics.

For more information, call the Stone Center at (919) 962-9001 or visit The lecture is co-sponsored by the Parr Center for Ethics.


English professor to address
poetry, politics and social discord

English professor Dr. George Lensing, an expert in 20th-century poetry, will deliver a lecture titled "Poetry, Senator McCarthy and Me" at 4 p.m. on Oct. 8 at UNC.

The free public lecture, to be held in the Tate-Turner-Kuralt Building auditorium on Pittsboro Street, is part of the E. Maynard Adams Lecture in the Humanities and Human Values series. Lensing is the Bowman and Gordon Gray professor of English in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the Office of Distinguished Scholarships. He will discuss whether an art form can influence social and political life and whether the artist has a responsibility to respond to larger political issues.

A banquet honoring Lensing as this year's Adams lecturer will follow at the Carolina Inn. Advance registration and a $50 fee is required for the banquet. Call (919) 962-1544 or e-mail for registration and more information.

The Adams lecture honors the late Dr. E. Maynard Adams, Kenan emeritus professor of philosophy at UNC. Adams played a key role in creation of UNC-Chapel Hill's humanities program and advocated for the humanities in contemporary education and culture.

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School of Medicine contact: Tom Hughes, (919) 966-6047,
News Services contacts: Becky Oskin, (919) 962-8596,; L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589