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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          NEWS SERVICES
210 Pittsboro Street, Campus Box 6210
Chapel Hill, NC  27599-6210
(919) 962-2091   FAX: (919) 962-2279
 www.unc.edu/news/

 COMMENCEMENT TIP SHEET   

For immediate use

May 8, 2003-- No. 272

Local angles:, Alpharetta, Ga.; Chapel Hill, Davidson, Graham,
Greenville, Hatteras, Manteo, Winston-Salem, Mooresville.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will hold commencement at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, May 18, in Kenan Memorial Stadium. Following are human interest story ideas connected to this year's ceremony, with local angles in bold and contact phone numbers for pursuing each one:

Long way from Lima

When Stefan Stern receives his masterís degree in business administration on May 18, he will be a long way from selling pizza by the slice in his native Lima, Peru.

There, Stern ran two businesses as well as teaching part time in the School of Hotel and Restaurant Management at San Ignacio De Loyola University. In seven years of long days and long work weeks, Stern started, then sold, the cityís first pizza-by-the-slice chain and founded a wholesale bakery. Through the bakery, he launched more than 150 products in six years and managed a 48-hour non-stop operation to produce 120,000 lunches for campaign volunteers in Peruís 2001 presidential election Ė and later, another 150,000 for a runoff.

Stern was a successful businessman and graduate of the American Institute of Baking in Manhattan, Kan., but he wanted more. "After some years in business, you acknowledge that you lack some tools, and you come back to school to get them," he said. "I had no experience in finance, and I needed a lot of teamwork experience. I was dictating what should happen, and you make a lot of mistakes that way. Thatís why I came to Kenan-Flagler."

UNCís Kenan-Flagler Business School is well known in Lima, Stern said, with a sizeable alumni population there. Some were his friends, and they told him about the school. He began two years ago, assigned immediately to a group of students who would work together. "Itís like a real business environment," Stern said. "You donít pick your peers in an office, but you have to work with them, and together, you have to pull (projects) off."

An internship in Winston-Salem last summer at the home office of Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. has led to a job for Stern after graduation. Heíll be in the businessís Miami office as a regional manager, helping with international expansion Ė primarily, in Latin America. "As a company, Krispy Kreme fits with my beliefs and my vision 100 percent," Stern said. "Itís not all about profits. Itís about the people, about the customers, and itís just fun to work there."

His wife has been in Chapel Hill with him, and his son, seven months, was born here. "Itís been a wonderful experience, and my son is a Tar Heel," Stern said. Through May 23, he can be reached in Chapel Hill at914-6928 Ė except for May 9-16, when heíll be on vacation. He may, however, check email during that time, at Stefan_Stern@kenan-flaglermba.unc.edu.

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Handing out the hoods

For 15 years, Eve Bradshaw has taken care of caps and gowns for Carolina graduates. A manager in the UNC Student Stores, she can explain the variety of colors and styles that will be on parade at the universityís very first hooding ceremony for doctoral graduates in the Graduate School, set for 10 a.m. May 17 on Polk Place. Slated to become an annual event, the ceremony begins this year in conjunction with the Graduate Schoolís 100th birthday. The speaker will be Dr. Beth Elise Whitaker, a UNC-Charlotte faculty member who earned masterís and doctoral degrees at Carolina.

The ceremony title suggests that each new graduate being recognized will have something placed on his or her head. Well, not exactly. The garment is like a stole that each graduateís faculty adviser or dissertation committee chair drapes around his or her shoulders; the hood hangs from the back of the neck rather than covering the head, Bradshaw said.

Usually, graduatesí heads are adorned with traditional mortarboard caps Ė either black or Carolina blue, to match their gowns. They choose one of those two colors. Besides hoods, another big difference between the attire of doctoral graduates and undergraduates is velvet, Bradshaw said.

"All doctoral gowns have velvet panels down the front and three velvet bars on each sleeve," she said. "At Carolina, the velvet is royal blue."

Bradshaw, who lives in Graham, has earned a sort of Ph.D. in commencement attire over the years. She knows the different colors of hood velvet for all the different degrees Ė salmon, for public health, for example; citron, for social work. Inside the velvet panels on the hoods are school colors, Carolina blue and white, of course, in this ceremony. Bradshaw knows all the different options for big velvet hats that doctors can buy instead of mortarboards, and all about gown options, too. Bradshaw can be reached weekdays at 962-2427 or ebradsha@email.unc.edu. For details on the ceremony, visit http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/mar03/hooding031103.html.

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Daring degree seeker

After five years waiting tables while earning an associate degree at a community college, and five more at UNC, grandmother Lynette Roesch, 46, will graduate with a bachelorís degree in cultural studies. Also a full-time employee at UNCís School of Public Health, Roesch has triumphed despite single motherhood as well as having been hit by a car her first year in Chapel Hill.

"I was so mad and so determined that nothing was going to stop me that I went to school the next night cut and bruised, wearing a neck brace and on crutches," Roesch said. "The professor laughed and announced that I had raised the bar for excused absences."

Roeschís college story started in Virginia Beach, Va., where she supported herself and her son, Brandon, and attended Tidewater Community College. She finished an associateís degree in media advertising in 1989. Brandon decided to return to Hatteras Island, N.C., and live with his father, a fisherman, so Roesch moved back to Dare County, too Ė "never a regret, because that place is the home of my heart."

Roesch worked for the Roanoke Island Historical Association, doing membership and media work for "The Lost Colony" outdoor drama. Friends urged her to finish college, so after her son graduated from high school and entered UNC-Wilmington, Roesch headed for Chapel Hill.

Working in the Public Health Leadership Program brought "the most positive female role models Iíve ever worked with," including Dr. Bonnie Rogers, director of the N.C. Occupational Safety and Health Education and Research Center. Said Roesch: "Dr. Rogers offered me the freedom of work schedule and mentorship that was necessary to a successful attempt at earning a degree."

Hollie Pavlica of the school wrote, "Lynette has lived in a rented room to save money, and during the semesters she studies ALL OF THE TIME. She doesn't own a TV. She's made FABULOUS grades, and the only luxury she indulges in is visiting Greenville (where her son and two grandchildren live) once or twice a month."

Roesch wonít march in Kenan on May 18. She and her extended family will celebrate in other ways, and she will consider what comes next Ė heavens, could that possibly be more school? Roesch may have her eye on a masterís degree in folklore from UNC. Roesch can be reached at 966-1030 or roesch@unc.edu.

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Serial successes

The graduations of Lynette Roesch, featured above, and Janet Jackson, profiled in News Services release No. 273 on May 8, 2003 mark two more of many successes for continuing studies at UNC, the academic and administrative unit for part-time credit students.

"All of our students in a way are exceptional," said Margaret Stumpf, a continuing studies adviser. "So many of them are working full time and married; some of them have children, some of them are single moms. We have a lot of people who are just doing amazing things, and itís a pleasure and an honor to deal with them, because they are very admirable people."

One of several units at UNCís William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education, continuing studies helps returning and nontraditional students, many who previously have completed parts of degrees at UNC or elsewhere. Advisers comb the studentsí transcripts for courses that will transfer to Carolina, identify courses they must take to complete degrees and help them find their way in an environment that is focused on traditional students.

Norm Loewenthal, center director, said that assisting part-time students is rewarding and important work for the university. "The accomplishments of students like Janet and Lynette are a tribute to their perseverance and a reflection of the qualities exhibited by dedicated part-time learners in general," he said. "They underscore the importance of the universityís support for the efforts of part-time students."

Jackson and Roesch say they could not have completed their degrees without encouragement and skillful guidance from continuing studies advisers. Stumpf and Carol McDonnell, who handles distance learning courses, are Jacksonís heroines; Pat Kennedy is Roeschís.

Now a lecturer in English, Kennedy was a continuing studies adviser when Roesch entered Carolina. Returning to college later in life can be a daunting task, Roesch said. Much has changed, in higher education and the world in general; the new undergraduate experience can whirl at a fast pace.

"Continuing studies is a buffer zone," Roesch said. "Pat would answer questions very calmly and explain things so well, so that it wasnít just this big monster that you didnít understand."

Continuing Studiesí work isnít the only program offered at UNCís Friday Center. For the big picture, visit http://www.fridaycenter.unc.edu/. For more information, call 962-1134 or 1-800-862-5669. Kennedy can be reached at 929-6438; Stumpf, at 962-3449. For great story ideas throughout the year on exceptional continuing education students, contact June Blackwelder at the Friday Center, 962-2595, June_Blackwelder@unc.edu.

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From Mooresville to the world

Allyson Lippert, who will earn a bachelorís degree in business and political science, may be from a small North Carolina town, but the world is now her oyster.

The daughter of Kristen Carter of Mooresville and John Lippert of Alpharetta, Ga., Lippert was valedictorian of the class of 1999 at Mooresville High School. Now sheís headed to Europe for the summer, then San Francisco, where sheíll work for the Boston Consulting Group.

She aims to aid both worldwide businesses and disadvantaged people in markets where those companies operate. "They are in a position to tap large opening markets while simultaneously helping people in Third World areas improve their living standards through technological and financial resources," she said.

Last summer Lippert worked for the South Pacific Business Development Foundation in Samoa, helping residents who sought to improve their standards of living. Also an artist, Lippert completed and displayed 20 paintings on this topic while in Samoa. Her summer experience in Samoa was funded by a Burch Fellowship, made possible by a gift to the university from alumnus Lucius E. Burch III.

In another study abroad, in Paris, she explored issues of integration and expansion of the European Union.  

A Rhodes Scholar nominee from UNC last fall, Lippert has made the dean's list every semester and been inducted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, the Order of the Omega Greek Honor Society and the Beta Sigma Gamma Business Honor Society. She won two scholarships in UNC's Kenan-Flagler Business School and a Robert C. Byrd Congressional Scholarship. Recently, she won the Hampton Shuping Prize, for the Kenan-Flagler Business School senior who excels in academics, integrity and leadership; shows concern for ethical management; and respects individual commitment to the success of free enterprise.

Among many activities at UNC, Lippert chaired efforts in scholarship, philanthropy and activities at the Kappa Delta Sorority; sang with the Loreleis, a women's a capella group; and consulted for APPLES, UNC's service-learning program.

Most people just want to know what kind of vitamins she takes. Lippert will participate in the university-wide commencement on May 18. She can be reached at 919-360-8404 until May 8, and from May 17-27. On those dates and for much of the summer, she can be reached at lippert@email.unc.edu.

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Giving Whitman, more, to his alma mater

At Carolina, commencement weekend is also reunion weekend, and Dr. Julian Mason of Davidson will celebrate his 50th class reunion in a special way. Mason, who has multiple Carolina connections, will donate a section of a significant literary tome, once owned by Walt Whitman, to the Rare Book Collection of UNCís Wilson Library.

Whitman had removed and bound separately the section titled "American Literature," which was part of Fullerís 1846 book "Papers on Literature and Art." The section bears Whitmanís handwriting and underlining, said Dr. Charles McNamara, collection curator. He said the section reveals information about Whitmanís development as a poet and even the development of American poetry. Fuller (1810-1850) was an essayist, literary critic, magazine editor, teacher, foreign correspondent, translator and social commentator.

"Although they never met, Whitman was prone to quote, in conversation and writing, Fullerís ideas on the potential of American literature long after her death, and his ĎLeaves of Grassí resonates with the vision and Ďexpression spontaneousí shared by these two great American minds," McNamara said.

Mason, retired as an English professor at UNC-Charlotte, earned his bachelorís (1953) and doctoral (1962) degrees at UNC-Chapel Hill. He also taught English on the Chapel Hill campus, rising to the rank of assistant professor, and served as student aid director and an adviser to foreign students. His three children also graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill.

As an undergraduate, Mason was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa and the special orders of the Golden Fleece and the Old Well. He was active in student government, serving four years in the student legislature, and played in the band.

Mason will be in Chapel Hill for some, but not all, of the reunion events hosted May 16-18 at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center by the UNC General Alumni Association. Members of the Class of 1953 will be inducted into the Old Students Club and receive a revised Yackety Yack, which contains updated information about their lives.

Mason can be reached at 704-892-8239; McNamara, at 919-962-1143. Sallie Hutton, alumni reunions coordinator for the alumni association, can be reached through May 15 at 919-962-7053, and from May 16-18 at 336-669-2071.

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Commencement Web site: http://www.unc.edu/commencement

Photo urls:

Contacts: Print: L.J. Toler, 919-962-8589, laura_toler@unc.edu; broadcast, Karen Moon, 919-962-8595, karen_moon@unc.edu