Since its opening in February 2010, Pisgah House has carried the name of one of the region's well-known mountains. Now, it also takes on the name of one of the university's greatest champions—Janice W. Brumit.
The new name, The Janice W. Brumit Pisgah House, was revealed in a special ceremony on September 27.
Brumit's husband, Joe, recently made a generous bequest to UNC Asheville in honor of his wife's many years of service to the university. The Board of Trustees later voted to name the new multipurpose facility that also serves as a chancellor's residence in her honor.
Brumit began her service to the university in 1998 as a member of the UNC Asheville Foundation Board. In 2001, she was appointed to the Board of Trustees by then Gov. Michael Easley. Brumit served as board chair from 2005 to 2008 and remained an active member until 2009. During her time on the board, the university underwent numerous changes, including a host of building projects and the appointment of Anne Ponder as chancellor.
Off campus, Brumit is a noted business and civic leader and philanthropist. She has served on a number of boards and was the first woman to chair the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce.
UNC Asheville remains at top of class in national college rankings
UNC Asheville has continued its tradition of receiving high marks in the annual rankings for best colleges in the nation.
This year, Parade magazine published a new "College A-List." UNC Asheville was among just 21 small state schools in the U.S. ranked for offering "a big-league education."
Also new were two "green rankings," which highlighted colleges with a focus on environmental sustainability. UNC Asheville and nearby Warren Wilson College tied for first place as the greenest small colleges in a five-state region by
The 2011 edition of Fiske Guide to Colleges calls UNC Asheville "one of the best educational bargains in the country."
Blue Ridge Outdoors magazine. In addition, the inaugural edition of The Princeton Review's Guide to 286 Green Colleges noted that UNC Asheville has an "exemplary commitment to sustainability."
For the seventh consecutive year, Fiske Guide to Colleges named the Environmental Studies Department to its list of pre-professional programs "with unusual strength in preparing students for careers."
U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Colleges highlighted the university on several of its prestigious rankings. It listed the Undergraduate Research Program among the best in the nation for the ninth consecutive year. The guide noted UNC Asheville as the only North Carolina institution among National Liberal Arts Colleges whose students graduate with the least amount of debt. UNC Asheville faculty were lauded for having "an unusually strong commitment to undergraduate teaching." And the university moved up to number five in the "Top Up-and-Coming School" category among National Liberal Arts Colleges.
New executive director of N.C. Center for Health & Wellness
Longtime North Carolina health educator David Gardner has been named the first executive director of UNC Asheville's North Carolina Center for Health & Wellness. He joined the university in July 2010.
"I'm honored to be affiliated with UNC Asheville and to be part of something very exciting that will have an impact across the state of North Carolina," he said.
Gardner holds a doctorate in physical education from Middle Tennessee State University. Previously, he was section chief of healthy schools for the N.C. Department of Public Instruction in Raleigh. Gardner also has served as director of corporate and community health at WakeMed Health and Hospitals and as fitness and wellness coordinator for the Charlotte Fire Department. Earlier in his career, he taught health and physical education at Gardner-Webb College (now Gardner-Webb University) and Halifax Community College.
When the N.C. Center for Health & Wellness opens next spring, it will be a statewide hub for educating health and wellness professionals, conducting research and incubating wellness-related community programs. The work of the center will focus on three of the state's most pressing concerns: reducing childhood obesity, enhancing workplace wellness and facilitating healthy aging.
I'm honored to be affiliated with UNC Asheville and to be part of something very exciting that will have an impact across the state of North Carolina."
Digging deep: Geothermal wells take root under Quad
This past summer, the Quad was transformed from an iconic green landscape into an impressive construction zone. Drilling rigs were brought in to create 34 geothermal wells to provide environmentally friendly heating and cooling to Rhoades Hall and Tower, currently undergoing renovation. The wells, which are 500 feet deep and connected by seven miles of pipe, were finished and hidden under fresh sod in time for the start of classes in August.
Also known as a ground-source heat-pump system, geothermal wells operate by continuously circulating liquid through the well-and-pipe system. During the winter, pumps extract warmth from the earth's constant 58-degree temperature to heat the building. In the summer, heat is extracted from the building's air and carried underground through the closed-loop system.
The $8.8 million state-funded renovation of Rhoades Hall and Tower will give the 40-year-old buildings new labs, classrooms and offices. Additional environmentally friendly and cost-efficient features include occupancy sensors to turn off lights when rooms are empty and a rainwater cistern to collect water for low-flow toilets. The project is expected to be completed in fall 2012.
We stopped four of our students on the Quad to ask them about their best and worst classes at UNC Asheville. Here's what they had to say…
Lindsay Greenfield '13
"My best class is newswriting. I'm really interested in writing and learning how newspapers work. My worst class was astronomy because I'm just not big into science and math."
Frank Meadows '14
"I'm really excited about my honors class on Comic Absurdity in Film and Literature. It's a fun topic, and I'm getting a lot of helpful feedback and personal attention from my professor. I honestly love all my classes—there isn't a worst one!"
Natrieifia Miller '13
"My best class was Social Psychology. It was really engaging and entertaining, which helped me learn the material easily. I'm not much of a writer, so my worst class was Language 120. All of the papers were really tough."
Shane Banner '13
"My favorite class was Acting I. It was almost like a meditation. I don't like Humanities lectures. Some are interesting, but some are really boring, and it's hard to stay awake."
Brad DeWeese tapped to coach U.S. canoe/kayak team
Brad DeWeese, UNC Asheville director of sports performance, has taken on a new challenge: training Olympic athletes. DeWeese has been tapped as strength and conditioning coach for team USA Canoe/Kayak to help prepare them for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Previously, these athletes, many of whom live and train at the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, have worked on strength and nutrition only a few times each year with coaches as far away as Colorado and California.
DeWeese says he is honored to take on the new role. "My heart is in the Olympic movement," he said.
DeWeese holds a bachelor's degree in sports physiology and a master's in nutrition from Western Carolina University. Currently, he is working on a doctorate in coach education and elite athletic development through NC State University. While working with the Olympic hopefuls, he will continue to train UNC Asheville student-athletes.
Golf tournament raises $50,000 for scholarships
Coach Biedenbach (left) gets a golf lesson from Grove Park Inn Resort & Spa Golf Pro Breanne Hall.
Photo courtesy of Asheville Citizen-Times
Some of the biggest names in college sports gathered recently at the Second Annual Eddie Biedenbach Celebrity Golf Classic to raise more than $50,000 for UNC Asheville student-athlete scholarships. Biedenbach has served as head men's basketball coach since 1996.
Held at the Cliffs at Walnut Cove, the tourney brought together a roster of notable players, including college coaches Rick Barnes of Texas, Bobby Cremins of College of Charleston and Davidson's Bob McKillop; former college and pro stars David Thompson, Tommy Burleson and Jon Barry; famed analyst Billy Packer; and Golf Digest senior writer Pete McDaniel '74.
"The golf tournament is fun, and a way for me to get together with old friends," said Biedenbach. "But it also helps promote our school and helps us build relationships in our community."
Sciences get a boost from two recent donations
(L–R) UNC Asheville Board of Trustees Chair Jim Buckner'71; Phil Weihl, Kennametal Foun-dation trustee; Joy Chandler, Kennametal Foundation trustee; David Greenfield, former vice president, secretary and general counsel of Kennametal Inc.; UNC Asheville Provost Jane Fernandes; and Kevin Nowe, Kennametal Foundation trustee.
UNC Asheville sciences recently got a boost from two significant donations.
The Pennsylvania-based Kennametal Foundation donated $40,000 to benefit the programs and equipment in Zeis Hall, the university's new cutting-edge facility for the study of natural sciences and multimedia arts. The Chemistry lobby, located on the lower level of the building, was named in honor of Kennametal Inc.
"Whether it be chemistry, engineering, material sciences or mechatronics, it is where disciplines intersect in a facility such as this that innovation and breakthroughs occur," said David W. Greenfield, former vice president, secretary and general counsel of Kennametal Inc.
Whether it be chemistry, engineering, material sciences or mechatronics, it is where disciplines intersect in a facility such as this that innovation and breakthroughs occur"
A few weeks later, Progress Energy donated $25,000 to support UNC Asheville's joint engineering programs with NC State University. The grant will be used to purchase lab equipment for engineering courses and undergraduate research.
"We have seen first-hand the tremendous renewable energy projects designed by the senior class at UNC Asheville," said Martha Thompson, community relations and economic development manager for Progress Energy. "The equipment purchased with this grant will be used to further advance these projects and stimulate the students to think about energy usage and consumption for our future."