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210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279


For immediate use

May 16, 2001 - No. 252


The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hillís spring commencement will be 9:30 a.m. May 20 at Kenan Stadium. Following are a few of the stories of some graduating students:

Hard work and grandmotherís faith equals dream come true

Cotten Garrison, who will receive her law degree from the UNC School of Law, deferred her dream of attending law school until her two sons were grown. She had lived almost her entire life in Florida, but when one of her sons attended a college in North Carolina and "fell in love with everything about North Carolina," she thought it might be time to move Ė and take another look at that dream. Says Garrison: "It got to the point where I thought ĎIím either going to do this or regret not doing it.í "

Her grandmother had worked as a helper for her father, who was a clerk of court. Garrison was raised by her grandmother, who would tell her stories of how much she loved working in that office. Garrison says her grandmother inspired her to think about law school.

Her grandmother, who died in 1995 and before Garrison entered law school, would be proud of her granddaughter: Garrison has accepted a position in Charlotte clerking for George Hodges, Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of North Carolina.

To reach Garrison, call (919) 942-7071.


Studentís post-graduation plans include helping organization he co-founded

Dennis Markatos, who will graduate with bachelorís degrees in international studies and economics, co-founded Students United for a Responsible Global Environment, in fall 1998. During his time as a student and SURGE leader, he led the first international delegation for SURGE to Cuba (2000), helped organize National Student Lobby Day in Washington, D.C. (1999), led campus vigils and set up listserves that now include more than 700 people from more than 30 countries.

The Morehead Scholar received the UNC Carolina Center for Public Serviceís 2001 Robert E. Bryan Award for his outstanding commitment and contributions to public service. And that dedication to SURGE and university activism will continue after he leaves the student ranks: He will live in Pittsboro and work as a staff member with SURGE at least through the summer.

To reach Markatos before May 20, call the SURGE office at (919) 843-6548 or e-mail After May 20, call (919) 542-2139.


Carolina is a family affair for journalism graduate

Emily Cramer of Panama City, Fla., who will graduate with honors with a bachelorís degree in journalism and mass communication, says "itís all in the family" where Carolina is concerned. Her grandfather, William C. Cramer Sr., graduated from UNC in 1946 and will celebrate his 55th college reunion the same weekend Emily Cramer will graduate.

William Cramer served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and went to Carolina on the G.I. Bill. He then went to Harvard Law School and became a U.S. representative.

Two of his three sons, William Cramer Jr. and Mark Cramer, both graduated from Carolina. Mark Cramer met his wife, Carol Blankenship, at Carolina. And, of course, Emily Cramerís brother William has "baby blue blood": He will be a sophomore at Carolina next fall.

To reach Emily Cramer before May 20, call (919) 967-3948.


Student leaves legacy in organization that brings computer skills to students

Alex Little of Murfreesboro, Tenn., who graduates Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors in political science and international studies, is interested in pursuing a career as a mediator Ė and he is taking a big step toward that goal with a new position as a research assistant in the Carter Centerís conflict resolution program.

He interned last summer with the Atlanta-based center, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization founded by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter that advances peace, democracy and human rights. In his internship, he worked on developing conflict resolution strategies for Sudan and Uganda. He will continue his work on conflicts in Africa as a part of his new position.

Little also has served as a volunteer mediator for the Orange County Dispute Settlement Center and this semester served as a course instructor for a seminar on the conflict in Northern Ireland (he had worked with the Committee on the Administration of Justice in Northern Ireland in 1999).

He also co-founded in his freshman year Students Engaged in Technology for the Future, an organization that brought computers and computer skills to underprivileged middle school students in Chapel Hill. The program is still going strong and addressing a need that Little says is becoming more and more critical: "There is in the Chapel Hill area a huge, huge gap between families able to buy kids

the best computers possible and kids who don't have computers at all." As a part of the program, students and teachers from UNC help area schoolchildren learn computer skills (40 schoolchildren are currently in the program). The reward for the completion of the computer program is a computer. Little says that of all the accomplishments he has amassed in his years at UNC, this organization is at the top of the list.

To reach Little, call (919) 932-5705 or e-mail


Barcott to concentrate on work with youth in largest slum in east Africa

Rye Barcott of West Greenwich, R.I., who will graduate Phi Beta Kappa with highest honors with degrees in peace, war and defense and international studies, established in January 2001 a charitable corporation whose mission is to provide funding to support youth of Kibera, a slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Kibera is the largest slum in east Africa.

His immediate post-graduation plans (June through September) are to lead Carolina for Kibera Inc. with two other colleagues. Their goal is to work with a youth sports association, youth microcredit program and nursery school. Barcott speaks Sheníg, Nairobi youth slum language, in addition to Swahili. Carolina for Kibera has raised more than $15,000 in donor support and more than 1,000 pounds of donated sports equipment.

In September, Barcott will begin his four-year commitment to the U.S. Marines as a second lieutenant, heading first to The Basic School at Quantico, Va.

To reach Barcott, call (919) 914-6707 or e-mail To read about the organization he established, Carolina for Kibera, click on

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Note: For more information about commencement, go to

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