COMMENCEMENT TIP SHEET
|For immediate use||
May 14, 2002 -- No.271
N.C. local angles: Arden, Asheville, Cary, Charlotte, Concord, Durham, Gastonia, Greensboro, Halifax and Shelby.
Out of state: Pensacola, Fla.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s spring commencement will be 9:30 a.m. Sunday (May 19) at Kenan Stadium. Following are a few stories of some graduating students:
Deferred dream of a nursing degree comes true for mother of five
Kit Hanks Stewart of Durham, a married mother of five who will receive a bachelor’s degree from the UNC School of Nursing, dropped out of college in her 20s to marry and raise a family. Stewart, now 51, only returned to the classroom after her children – ages 17 through 27 – had gotten older.
"What else could I do after raising five children but take care of people?" she said.
Stewart spent seven years total in science prerequisite courses (at Durham Technical Institute and UNC) and the two-year nursing program at UNC, taking longer than a full-time student would "so I could do it without sacrificing my family life."
During her time in the nursing program, the family moved, saw one daughter through her wedding and welcomed a first grandchild. In April, Stewart was awarded the School of Nursing’s James M. Johnston Distinguished Senior Award.
Stewart may be reached at (919) 490-6759.
Senior accepts prestigious graduate fellowship for Jewish studies
Adina Dubin, a communication studies major from Charlotte, knows what she will be doing for three years after graduation.
Dubin is one of 19 recipients nationwide of the Wexner Graduate Fellowship, which provides complete tuition and a generous living stipend to candidates who demonstrate leadership potential, a commitment to the Jewish community and academic excellence.
Dubin will attend New York University, where she will study for two master’s degrees: public administration and Jewish studies.
"I see myself as a major leader in the Jewish community, either as a campus Hillel director or a leader of a Jewish non-profit because that is what I’m passionate about," said Dubin. Hillel is a foundation for Jewish campus life that is made of more than 500 regional centers, campus foundations and student organizations.
"Several experiences at UNC prepared me for this opportunity," said Dubin. "Of course my studies in the classroom, but also my learning outside of the classroom, especially my year as the president of North Carolina Hillel."
Dubin can be reached at (919) 225-8563 or email@example.com.
Graduate encourages English as a second language
Catherine Jones of Arden leads an unusual student volunteer program that provides free English language lessons to immigrant women in the Durham-Chapel Hill area.
MANO (Mujeres Aprendiendo por Nuevas Oportunidades, or Women Learning through New Opportunities) is a program where student volunteers work one-on-one with immigrant women, offering practical lessons in English. They meet twice a week during the evening hours, with child care provided by other student volunteers.
Thanks to their efforts, more than 50 women per week are learning to converse in English with employers, school teachers, merchants and others, and an equal number of students are learning about the complex needs of the immigrant population.
Heels on Wheels co-founder to graduate
During her freshman year, Emilie McGlone, a cultural studies major from Asheville, noticed a large volume of unintentionally wasted food products by the university community and decided to do something about it.
During spring 1999, McGlone co-founded the student organization Heels on Wheels, a food delivery service that collects leftovers from Greek organization kitchens and delivers the food to nearby shelters.
When McGlone founded Heels on Wheels, there were five core volunteers. Now Heels on Wheels has more than 50 active members, and the volunteers deliver meals to the shelters four nights a week.
"My co-chair and I had to work really hard to make Heels on Wheels such a success," said McGlone. "I think participation in the program increased so rapidly because of our energy, enthusiasm and commitment to the program."
McGlone was recently honored with the Robert B. House Award for her spirit of unselfish commitment through service to the university and the surrounding community.
She will continue her commitment to helping others after she leaves UNC. McGlone will spend one month in Guatemala with a program of East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine. Then she will travel with two other UNC students to El Salvador to teach women about cervical cancer. She will begin the next school year living in Japan working with the Japan Exchange and Teaching, or JET, Programme, teaching English to Japanese students.
McGlone can be reached at (919) 942-9164 until May 22. She will be available at firstname.lastname@example.org until June 9.
MBA graduate to have one of first offices rebuilt in Pentagon after Sept. 11
Ken Epps of Pensacola, Fla., has served the United States for 12 years in the U.S. Navy. As part of his duty, he came to UNC to earn a master of business administration degree.
"On May 22 I will report to the Pentagon for duty," said Epps. "One of the things about my new job that I’m excited about is the office I will work in was damaged on September 11, and I’ll be part of the ‘move back to the Pentagon’ process."
Epps said employees have been returning to the building as fast as workers rebuild sections. By the one-year observance, Sept. 11, 2002, people will be able to look out of their office windows on the E Ring deck to watch a dedication ceremony that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning for a memorial.
Epps will be on the staff of the Chief of Naval Operations, developing the financial plan that determines how the Navy will allocate its resources and present budget proposals to Congress.
"It’s been great being in Chapel Hill, but I miss being in uniform and look forward to returning to my duty," Epps said.
Epps can be reached at (919) 942-8876 until May 22 or at email@example.com after that.
Devins to continue advocacy on behalf of people affected by cancer
Walter Devins of Cary, who graduates with a degree in business administration, was appointed this year to the National Cancer Institute’s consumer advocate group.
Devins, a cancer survivor, was selected for this group, known as the Consumer Advocates in Research and Related Activities network, for his ability to represent the views of people affected by cancer, particularly adolescents.
Adolescents with cancer deal with a different set of problems than young children or adults, said Devins, who was 18 when treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. For instance, they have to deal with scheduling treatments around school.
Devins knows the difficulty of scheduling. He found out he had cancer during fall semester exams of his freshman year. He made the decision to keep taking classes the next semester and would get chemotherapy treatments every other Friday so that he would have a weekend to recover. Then he would go back to class on Monday morning.
That sense of determination – and ability to advocate on behalf of others’ interests – will prepare him well for the next stage of his academic life: the UNC School of Law.
He may be reached at (919) 945-5125 through May 28.
Actor to help start theater program for children in New York City
Marcus Harvey, who will graduate with degrees in dramatic art and communication studies, knows that Halifax, N.C., and New York City may not seem to have very much in common – but both are crucial to his dreams of a career in theater.
Harvey fell in love with acting when he was a 3-year-old Halifax resident; his day-care teacher, who baby-sat him in the evenings, would take him to her acting classes. His first speaking role was in 1984, as a Munchkin in a production of "The Wizard of Oz."
At Carolina, where he initially considered biochemistry as a major, he received an acting internship in Chicago, wrote and presented an award-winning one-man show titled "Are We Not Men?" and taught drama to children.
Harvey will continue his work with children and drama this summer, as he creates a theater program and directs a show involving inner-city children in New York City. In the fall, he will serve as a house parent and help create a theater program at the SEED Public Charter School of Washington, D.C., founded by the SEED (Schools for Educational Evolution and Development) Foundation.
One day, he hopes to create his own school, in North Carolina, dedicated to teaching young people about the dramatic arts.
"I’m very excited about what the world is about to offer me and what I can offer the world," he said.
Harvey may be reached at (919) 402-8256 or (919) 308-2660.
Four graduate with distinguished scholarship and fellowships
Among the graduates will be four who landed some of the world’s or the state’s most prestigious scholarships and fellowships for study, research and service.
Matt Dedmon of Gastonia won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship valued at approximately $33,000 a year for three years. Dedmon will seek a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Cambridge in England. He recently won one of the highest awards for undergraduates, the Venable Medal for the two most outstanding seniors majoring in chemistry. Dedmon can be reached at (919) 942-4839 through May 20 and in July.
Eric David Johnson of Greensboro won a two-year fellowship at the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation in Winston-Salem. Johnson recently won one of the highest awards for undergraduates, the Cornelius O. Cathey Award, to the undergraduate who has made the greatest contribution to the quality of campus life through participation in student programs or effort in development of new student programs. He can be reached at (919) 914-8300 through May 18 and later at (336) 288-4590.
Joanna Kristine Pearson of Shelby has a George J. Mitchell Scholarship for a year of graduate study in Ireland. She will study for a master’s degree in Anglo-Irish literature at University College in Dublin. The scholarship pays for housing and tuition, travel to and from Ireland, an $11,000 living expenses stipend and a study travel stipend of approximately $1,000.
Pearson recently won two of the highest awards for undergraduates, the Robert B. House Memorial Prize in Poetry and the Irene F. Lee Award for the graduating woman judged most outstanding in leadership, character and scholarship. To reach Pearson this summer, contact her family at (704) 484-3072. On commencement weekend, she will be in Chapel Hill at (919) 960-0876.
The fourth distinguished scholar, James Patrick Redding of Concord, won an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship in Humanistic Studies, paying all tuition and fees for the first year of graduate study plus a $17,500 stipend. Redding, who aims to become a college professor, will earn a doctorate in English and renaissance studies at Yale University. But that’s only part of his story. …
Cupid wouldn’t leave Carolina couple alone
Among many matches made in the Southern Part of Heaven, that between Patrick Redding of Concord and Katie Reklis of Durham just kept trying not to happen.
Redding, who will graduate Sunday (May 19) with highest honors, was forever winning travel fellowships and studying abroad. Reklis, who graduated from UNC in May 2001, traveled for summer projects as part of her Morehead Scholarship to UNC, a full four-year merit award. She was nominated from Carolina for the Rhodes Scholarship and other prestigious awards, often going to interviews.
Even though both were in London at the same time, in the same room, they didn’t meet; both were English majors, but they never had a class together.
So Cupid prodded a mutual friend, who introduced the two at the end of his sophomore year and her junior year. Redding immediately quoted a poem by Reklis that he had seen in a literary magazine, and loved, and memorized. Talk about the way to a woman's heart. But then he went to Berkeley, Calif., for the summer and she, to Romania.
The next year, the boy with the arrows got serious about campus path crossing – and so did they. "By November, we were dating," Reklis said. Then last summer they both headed off traveling again.
"Patrick proposed Aug. 5 in Budapest," Reklis said. "We knew we were going to get married, but I had no idea he had this ring that he had been carrying around in a belly pack all summer."
They made another pact, too, applying only to graduate schools that suited them both. Each applied to 11 schools and was accepted to six. They chose Yale, where Reklis will enter divinity school and Redding will seek a doctorate in English.
Before that, one detail: the wedding ceremony, outside, at an undisclosed location on the beautiful campus that – finally – brought them together. Through approximately May 24, Redding can be reached at (919) 969-7545 or firstname.lastname@example.org (all lowercase); Reklis, at (919) 962-1201 or email@example.com.
- 30 -
Contacts: News Services staff