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People briefs

For immediate use

Dec. 5, 2006 -- No. 582

Information and library science dean
appointed to national advisory board

Dr. José-Marie Griffiths, dean of the UNC School of Information and Library Science, has been appointed to the National Technical Information Service Advisory Board, a part of the federal Department of Commerce. Effective immediately, the appointment extends through June 30, 2009.

The board advises the service's director, as well as the secretary of commerce and the undersecretary of commerce for technology, about policies and the service's mission and future. The service collects information and shares it with the public in an effort to promote economic growth and job creation.

The nation's largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering and business-related information, the service seeks to provide businesses, universities and the public with timely access to more than three million publications covering more than 350 subject areas and more than 200 federal agencies.

Griffiths also is on the National Science Board, appointed recently by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate. She held presidential appointments to the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science from 1996 to 2002 and the President's Information Technology Advisory Committee from 2003 to 2005.

Griffiths also has served on blue-ribbon panels and committees for agencies including the National Academy of Sciences, NASA, the Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Navy.

She has done groundbreaking work on the value and return on investment in information systems and services. Her research also has covered the development of protocols and policies for resource sharing across organizations - on local, state and regional levels and in both public and private institutions. Griffiths has reported on the influences of the digital revolution on the conduct of research; she has studied success criteria and best practices for information technology in higher education.

For more information about the service, visit For more on the school, visit or call (919) 962-8366.


Majette appointed interim executive director
of North Carolina Health Careers Access Program

Patrena Benton Majette has been appointed interim executive director of the North Carolina Health Careers Access Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The program seeks to increase the number of minority and disadvantaged students interested, educated and employed in the health professions.

Majette has served as the program's associate director for development, evaluation and new initiatives and chief operating officer since 2003. Collaborating with program constituents, Majette developed a sustainable educational training model for student exposure and enrichment in the health care professions.

"Health disparities and the under-representation of minority and disadvantage students in graduate and health professional programs continue to be critical issues in our state and nation," Majette said. "I feel privileged to have the opportunity to continue to contribute to these efforts."

Prior to joining the program in 1996, Majette coordinated pre-college and college summer programs for the UNC School of Medicine and held an adjunct-faculty appointment with Durham Technical Community College.

Majette earned a bachelor's degree in communications studies at Carolina and a master's degree in adult education at North Carolina A&T State University. She is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in leadership studies at N.C. A&T.

She succeeds Dr. Carolyn M. Mayo, who had led the program since 1990. Mayo recently became the chair of the department of communication disorders at N.C. Central University.


UNC dramatic art alumna
starring in three Hallmark films

When "Love's Abiding Joy," a fictional tale of a pioneer couple in the Old West, airs on the Hallmark Channel Dec. 16 and 21, viewers will be watching UNC alumna Erin Cottrell in one of the two starring roles.

Cottrell plays Missie LeHaye in the film, which is directed by Michael Landon Jr. and produced by FoxFaith Movies, a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox. The film was released nationwide in theaters in October and will be out on DVD Jan. 7.

A native of Willingboro, N.J., Cottrell, 31, earned a bachelor's degree in dramatic art in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences in 1997.

The movie is the fourth in a series of Westerns on Hallmark that are based on books by Janette Oke. Cottrell also co-starred in the third, "Love's Long Journey," which aired recently, and will appear again as Missie in the fifth movie, "Love's Unfolding Dream," currently in production.

"Aside from these films, which have been my life for the past two years, I teach for a nonprofit organization called City Hearts," said Cottrell, who lives in Los Angeles. "We bring arts classes - such as dance, photography and Shakespeare - to kids who are at risk for joining gangs in East L.A. and South Central (Los Angeles). For the past five years, I've spent time with children and teenagers, and it has completely changed my life. They teach me just as much as I assume I teach them."

At UNC, Cottrell trained with David Hammond, former artistic director of PlayMakers Repertory Co.; Ray Dooley, a PlayMakers member and head of the professional actor training program in the dramatic art department; and other faculty members. To view a trailer of the film, visit

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Photo URL: For a photo of Cottrell visit

School of Information and Library Science contact: Wanda Monroe, (919) 843-8337,
Health Careers program contact: Renee King, (919) 966-2264,
Department of Dramatic Art contact: Pam O'Connor, (919) 621-1230, pamo@nc.rr.dcom
College of Arts and Sciences contact: Dee Reid, (919) 843-6339,
News Services contact: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589