17 Tar Heels Competing for Olympic Gold in Rio

With the Summer Olympics Games set to begin next week, 17 athletes with ties to UNC will be making the trip to Rio to compete for their respective countries.

Former Tar Heel student-athletes will compete for the United States, Turkey, India and New Zealand in the games across track and field, field hockey, men’s and women’s basketball and women’s soccer.

UNC athletics director Bubba Cunningham issued a statement about having 17 former Carolina players competing in Rio:

“We are proud to have so many students representing North Carolina and their countries at the 2016 Olympics. Our coaches recruit world class students who come to Chapel Hill to compete at the highest level for national championships, conference championships and Olympic medals. We will be watching and cheering them on during the Games.”

Eight of the 17 Tar Heels in Rio will be competing in women’s soccer; seven for Team USA and one for New Zealand.

Five former Carolina stars will represent the US field hockey team.

That leaves two Tar Heels competing for a gold medal in basketball – one on the men’s side and one on the women’s – and two Tar Heels in track and field.

The full list of former UNC players in the Olympics is below, courtesy of GoHeels.com:

  • Harrison Barnes, US men’s basketball
  • Shane Flanagan – US track and field
  • Vikas Gowda – India track and field
  • Crystal Dunn – US women’s soccer
  • Whitney Engen – US women’s soccer
  • Ashlyn Harris – US women’s soccer
  • Tobin Heath – US women’s soccer
  • Meghan Klingenberg – US women’s soccer
  • Allie Long – US women’s soccer
  • Heather O’Reilly – US women’s soccer
  • Katie Bowen – New Zealand women’s soccer
  • Jackie Briggs – US field hockey
  • Rachel Dawson – US field hockey
  • Caitlin Van Sickle – US field hockey
  • Katelyn Falgowski – US field hockey
  • Kelsey Kolojejchick – US field hockey
  • LaToya Pringle Sanders – Turkey women’s basketball

Five from UNC Tennis Earn Academic Honor

Five UNC tennis players have recently earned an academic honor from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Four members from the UNC women’s tennis team earned ITA Scholar-Athlete status – junior All-America Hayley Carter, senior Ashley Dai, senior Whitney Kay and freshman Jessie Aney.

It was Carter’s third time receiving the recognition and the first time for her three teammates.

The Tar Heels women’s team also received the ITA All-Academic Team award by recording a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or better.

Meanwhile, rising sophomore Blaine Boyden was named an ITA Scholar-Athlete from the men’s team.

Both programs had tremendous seasons with Carter spending most of the year as the top-ranked singles player in the country. The women’s team finished the season as the fourth-ranked team in the country, while the men’s side finished the season ranked No. 5.

Being an ITA Scholar-Athlete requires that the student-athlete be a varsity letter winner, have a GPA of at least 3.50 and have been enrolled at their present school for at least two semesters.


National Issues Catch Attention of UNC Board of Trustees Chair

Chair of the UNC Board of Trustees Dwight Stone mentioned fairly standard topics during the chairman’s remarks at the board meeting last week – he laid out the committee leadership on the board for the next academic year, spoke about a dinner hosted by UNC System President Margaret Spellings with the chairs from Boards of Trustees across the system – but then his tone changed.

Stone thanked the campus leadership for providing an environment where productive discussions around tense topics could be held. Stone then said he wished that could be said for more of the country.

“Like most of you in this room, I’ve been deeply troubled by the events that have gone on in our country over the last several weeks and months,” Stone told those in attendance.

Stone was referring to recent shootings across the country involving police officers – separate incidents of African-American men being killed by law enforcement officers and then officers subsequently being targeted in other instances.

Stone said he was “scared for our society.”

“When friends tell me they sit down with their children [and] discuss how to handle a traffic stop by police, when they tell me of the fear that they have that something could cause harm to their child or themselves, by a very small percentage of misguided people, because of the color of their skin…there’s a certain loss of innocence in talks like that and it’s disturbing to me.

“I don’t understand what that’s like.”

Stone said he was also disturbed that police officers – who he described as “good, decent people” – were now nervous about going to work.

“When those same policemen are targeted by a few ideologically impaired people,” Stone said, “I don’t understand what that’s like.”

Stone extended his remarks to call for discussions around issues that can be contentious at times.

“Regardless of the color of our skin, or whether we are Christian, Muslim, Hindu or whatever,” Stone said, “we all have certain human rights.”

And Stone went on to quote legendary UNC basketball coach Dean Smith, who was known as much for his work involved with civil rights as his success on the court.

“There comes a time in every contest when simply standing on the sidelines is not an option,” Stone quoted. “Now is that time.

“We need to have earnest, intentional, honest conversations so that we can understand each other better.”

During the meeting’s intermission, Stone emphasized why he felt it was important to address these topics at the board meeting.

“Without having those kind of conversations and understanding each other, that’s what leads to breakdowns,” Stone said. “And it has been on my mind – both from a national level and a level here at the university – that I wanted to make sure that I spoke, on behalf of the Board of Trustees and myself, saying that we’re open to those conversations and that we know that those are things that we need to do from an understanding standpoint.”

Chancellor Carol Folt said the university would be working to ramp up efforts with Carolina Conversations, which began last year in an attempt to foster talks among the campus community.

“We’ve already started accelerating plans for that to happen more often and really advertise them,” Folt said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of work done in orientation – and not just about safety issues, but also about conversation and what it means to join suddenly in a new community; it’s not your hometown; all that we see as really critical.

“There have been people working on it all summer, and I’m really pretty excited about what I think will take place here in the fall.”


Former Dean Jean Folkerts Wins Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism History

UNC School of Media and Journalism dean emeritus Jean Folkerts has won the 2016 Sidney Kobre Award for Lifetime Achievement in Journalism History.

Folkerts served as dean of the UNC MJ-school from 2005-11 and is currently a visiting professor and scholar at the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Kansas State University.

The Kobre Award is the American Journalism Historians highest honor that recognizes individuals with achievements in journalism history through research, teaching and professional activities.

David Nord, a professor emeritus of journalism at Indiana University said in a release that Folkerts book, “Voices of a Nation: A History of Mass Media in the United States” is highly influential.

Her book “has been perhaps the most popular and substantial textbook in the field for 25 years,” Nord said. “Thousands of students have learned the history of American journalism from it.”

Folkerts earned her undergraduate degree in journalism with concentrations in English and Sociology from Kansas State University.

She earned her Master’s Degree in journalism from Kansas State University, a Master’s in philosophy from University of Kansas and a doctorate degree in American Studies from University of Kansas.

Folkerts will receive the award at AJHA’s annual convention in October.


UNC Students Receive Scholarship for National Security Education

A UNC grad student and a Carolina alumna have been awarded the National Security Education Program’s David L. Boren Fellowship.

Christine Kim and Julia Tenyotkin were awarded the Boren Fellowship, which supports a field of study – particularly languages – identified as vital to national security.

The scholarship is valued at $30,000 and is awarded to graduate students in exchange that the students pursue a career working in the federal government – specifically departments like defense, homeland security or other intelligence agencies after graduation.

Mary Floyd-Wilson, director of Carolina’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships, said in release that the Boren Fellowship is vital for students to study topics that are important to national security.

“The Boren Fellowship is among the few awards available to fund deep pursuit of language study for graduate students, and the award underlines the commitment of both the federal government and the Institute of International Education to educate our country’s citizens,” Floyd-Wilson said.

Kim is currently a doctoral student in health policy and management in UNC’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. She graduated with a degree in History from University of California-Berkeley in 2007 and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in 2011.

The Boren Fellowship will allow Kim to travel to Uganda where she plans to complete a project focused on improving community-based learning, according to the university.

Tenyotkin graduated from UNC in 2012 with a Global Studies and Peace, War and Defense double major and a Chinese minor. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in International Affairs at Monterey Institute of International Studies.

The Boren Fellowship will enable Tenyotkin to study Mandarin in China where she plans to complete a project focuses on understanding the South China Sea conflict.


UNC Launching New Policy Treating Alcohol Abuse as Public Health Issue

UNC is implementing a new policy dealing with alcohol and substance abuse across the campus.

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Winston Crisp told the Board of Trustees University Affairs Committee that this effort was focusing on a particularly dangerous form of alcohol use, which Crisp called “high-risk drinking.”

“We’re not talking about underage drinking, sneaking a beer,” Crisp said. “We’re not talking about having a couple of drinks.

“We’re talking about drinking for the sole purpose of getting drunk.”

John Sauls is the Dean of Students at UNC and is leading the 26-member working group studying substance abuse on campus. He said the last time the issue was studied at Carolina was the mid-90s, when Sauls himself was a new alumnus.

“We recognized that the advent of high-risk dangerous drinking, the amounts that people drink, the availability of alcohol had really changed generationally,” Sauls said. “So we had to think about some of those things as we tackled it, and we organized these five major areas.”

Those five areas of focus for the new policy are education, prevention, intervention, accountability and treatment and recovery. Sauls said this model focuses more on alcohol and substance abuse as a public health issue rather than a law enforcement issue.

“Historically, campuses have tried to cite their ways out of this problem,” Sauls said. “[Thinking] if you just had more discipline, more efforts to give people citations, then perhaps that would curb the problem. All of the data nationally tells us that is not accurate.”

Sauls said UNC is in a unique position because of the availability of alcohol near campus.

“Within a two-mile radius of where we are, there are over 50 establishments that sell or serve alcohol,” Sauls said. “We are in an alcohol-dense environment, which is very much a factor in contributing to the overall environment.”

The meeting was being held one day after the one-year anniversary of a wrong-way crash on I-85 in Orange County that left three people dead. The car going the wrong way on the interstate was being driven by Chandler Kania – a 20-year-old UNC student at the time whose blood-alcohol content the night of the crash was .17, twice the legal limit to drive in North Carolina.

Sauls and Crisp said the university, the Town of Chapel Hill, Orange County and state officials are working together to tackle the issue of binge or high-risk drinking.

One innovative portion of the potential solution is hiring a clinical substance abuse counselor, which UNC is doing. Crisp said a “good portion” of the money to fund that new position was coming from the North Carolina Alcohol Law Enforcement agency.

The new policy is also comprehensive, meaning that it not only applies to students but everyone in the campus community. The new policy will go into effect on August 1.

A new website – alcohol.unc.edu – was also launched as part of this effort.


UNC’s American Indian Center Receives Grant to Strengthen Programs

The Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust has awarded a grant to the American Indian Center at UNC to strengthen programs in preventing obesity and chronic disease.

The near-$400,000 grant will support the Healthy North Carolinians Network, a center that promotes “Healthy Eating and Active Living” for North Carolina’s tribes and Indian organizations.

Dr. Amy Locklear Hertel, director of the American Indian Center, said in a release she is excited to continue providing support of the Indian and tribal communities.

“This grant enables the center and our Native community partners to impact tribal HEAL policies, family lifestyle choices and cultural revitalization,” Hertel said.

Hertel added that the grant added a student internship element, which will allow native high school and college students to be placed within the tribal communities and evaluate the efforts.

With the grant money the HNNC will renovate facilities that allow for physical play and activity as well as creating walking trails.

This grant builds off the previous grant made by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust back in 2011.


UNC Hosts U.S. Army ‘Strategic Broadening Seminar’

For the fifth year in a row, UNC is hosting a four-week strategic broadening seminar to teach Army leaders to think strategically about national security issues. Fifty-one U.S. Army officers, warrant officers, senior non-commissioned officers and civilians will engage in the training and discussions from July 11 to August 6 as part of the longstanding partnership with the Institute for Defense and Business (IDB).

The graduate-level seminar, known as the UNC-IDB Strategic Studies Fellows Program (SSFP), combines domestic and foreign national security strategy with sessions in innovation, media relations and crisis communications among others.

Retired Major General Jim Hodge is president of the IDB and said the program helps students broaden their leadership and problem-solving skills.

“These fellows will be challenged to step outside their comfort zone and I know this outstanding group will rise to the occasion,” Hodge said.

Faculty from UNC’s Peace, War and Defense department as well as the Kenan-Flagler Business School, will give lectures during the program. The Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University also partners with the program to discuss strategic planning when it comes to combating acts of terror.

Participants study a variety of national security scenarios, present in the world today. In addition to their coursework, students collaborate in small groups to complete a capstone project and write and present an academic paper which demonstrates what they’ve learned.


UNC Football Adds Defensive Commit

UNC football picked up a commitment from a highly touted defensive back in the Class of 2017 on Monday.

Tre Shaw has played all over the defensive backfield for his Georgia high school, while also contributing on the offensive side.

Shaw chose UNC over scholarship offers from Auburn, Clemson and South Carolina.

Shaw announced his decision on Twitter Monday evening.

Shaw joins 14 other high school rising seniors who have committed to head coach Larry Fedora’s program.


UNC Student-Athletes Team Up with Habitat for Humanity for Efland Build

A group of UNC student-athletes traded their cleats for construction gear Saturday.

Luke Ciocca is a junior at UNC. He’s also a soccer player. On Saturday, he added handy man to his résumé.

“We’re mulching; we’re moving siding,” Ciocca said. “And I’ve come out and helped move cardboard as well as heavy lifting.”

Ciocca was one of over 100 UNC student-athletes who participated in the first Day of Service on Saturday. It’s a partnership with the Orange County Habitat for Humanity. Athletes from at least five different teams worked side-by-side with Habitat workers to finish a group of houses in Efland, so families could move in as quickly as possible.

“We wanted to find a summer project where a lot of our student-athletes could come together and give back to the community since they have a little more free time in the summer,” UNC assistant director for student-athlete services Korie Sawyer said at the event.

She said the project was so successful that they had almost too many people and not enough jobs to divvy up.

“This is the first time we’ve had kind of a big service project Day of Service,” Sawyer said. “And we think we might have to do it again in the fall and spring because there was a good turnout.”

Hannah Strom is the communications manager for Habitat for Humanity of Orange County. She said Saturday was one of the most successful volunteer days Habitat has ever had.

“I think one of the great things about working with sports teams is that they’re so used to being a team and working together that they’re just a really fun group of students to work with,” Strom said.

Ciocca said he hopes to continue days of service with Habitat for Humanity, because he feels it’s so important to do something that helps the community.

“It’s something that UNC really tries to do is give back,” Ciocca said. “Especially student-athletes, because we have a lot of stuff that we get and so we try to give something back.”

Habitat for Humanity members also said they hope to plan more days of service like this in the future.