In Memoriam: Jill Tompkins Yarnall
This issue of UNC Asheville Magazine is dedicated to Jill Tompkins Yarnall, who served as editor of the magazine until her death on April 20 after a brief but valiant battle with cancer. She was 39.
A contributing writer for the magazine since its inception, Jill was named editor in July 2010. This year, her efforts on behalf of the magazine were recognized by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education with a special merit award.
Previously, Jill served UNC Asheville for 10 years as assistant director of News Services, where she brought her curiosity and talents to wide-ranging writing assignments. She won many area and regional communications awards.
In 2010, she was named the university's Distinguished Staff Member of the Year, recognizing her extraordinary contributions to the university's communication efforts and her tireless dedication to the university community.
Honoring a group of men and women who exemplify service to the university, UNC Asheville presented its annual alumni and student leadership awards at a recent ceremony on the campus.
Chancellor Anne Ponder commended the group, saying, "They have used their education, many skills and talents to help others. They embody the spirit of selfless service that has been the core of our mission since our founding."
The highest alumni recognition, the Roy A. Taylor Distinguished Alumnus Award, was presented to Pete McDaniel '74 for his notable career as a sports writer. For more than 13 years McDaniel served as sports editor for the Hendersonville Times-News, and for the past two decades has served as a senior writer for Golf Digest and Golf World magazines. McDaniel and Earl Woods, father of Tiger Woods, co-authored the best-selling book, "Training a Tiger." McDaniel also co-authored Tiger Woods' all-time best-selling golf instruction book, "How I Play Golf."
Alexis and Ed Johnson received the Thomas D. Reynolds Award for Service to the University. The couple was honored for their generous and unique contribution to UNC Asheville as the keepers of the university's mascot, Rocky I. Since Rocky was introduced to Bulldog fans during Homecoming 2009, Alexis '97 and Ed '96 have contributed thousands of hours to the university as "parents" of the mascot. Ed is a Mathematics lecturer at UNC Asheville.
Kinneil Coltman '00 was inducted into the Order of Pisgah for outstanding achievement in her professional field. Coltman serves as the director of Diversity and Language Services for the Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center.
The Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award was given to Brenda Hopper, director of the UNC Asheville Teaching Fellows program. Hopper was recognized for her genuine care and concern for her students' professional and personal well-being, and for her exemplary service as a mentor and adviser.
The Francine M. Delany Award for Service to the Community was given to Carol King and Amanda Edwards. King '89 was an instrumental leader in the redevelopment of Pack Square in downtown Asheville. Edwards '90, an advocate for literacy, served as executive director of the Friends of Literacy in Knoxville, Tenn., and is now executive director of the Literacy Council of Buncombe County.
The Champion for Students Award was presented to Linda Pyeritz, R.N., for her work at the UNC Asheville Health & Counseling Center.
Students who participated in the U-LEAD campus leadership program that inspires students to take an active role in the community also were recognized. These include Melanie Bonds, Kristen Emory, Karina Balaoro, Cantrell Brown, Stephen Bava, Brittany Bell, Caitlin Peters, Rebecca Raab and Anne Marie Roberts.
UNC Asheville goalkeeper Lassi Hurskainen is a hardworking student-athlete balancing classes in Mass Communication with soccer practices. Recently, he had to learn how to manage worldwide media attention as a YouTube star.
Hurskainen, a native of Finland, is a talented goalie with a knack for performing mind-boggling soccer tricks. Two classmates thought these stunts would be good material for YouTube.
They filmed for six days, creating a three-minute video that they posted online Feb. 14. Within days, the video had received more than two million hits, fueled by global media attention.
The video has appeared in major media outlets in the United States, Finland, England, France, Mexico and Japan. NBC Sports called the reel "impressive"and it was featured on ESPN's Sports Nation.
"I had no idea it was going to be this big," Hurskainen said. "There have been other similar things online but there's never been a goalkeeper doing it. I think that is what makes it unique."
Following up on his February YouTube success, Hurskainen did a second video of new trick shots. "It's really even better than the first," he said. By April, the second video logged about half a million viewers.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Princeton Review's "2011 Best Value Colleges" ranked UNC Asheville as one of the 50 best value public colleges, proving that despite tuition increases that were necessary to offset reduced state appropriations, a diploma from UNC Asheville is still a great value.
According to the Princeton Review, the highest ranked colleges "provide high-quality academics at a reasonable price, either by controlling costs or offsetting them with stellar financial aid packages."
In addition, Kiplinger's Personal Finance has once again listed UNC Asheville among the nation's top 100 public colleges for its "Kiplinger's Best Values in Public Colleges." Beginning with a pool of more than 500 public colleges and universities, Kiplinger's selected just 100 for a combination of best academic quality, retention rates, student-faculty ratios, graduation rates, cost of attending and financial aid.
TNorth Carolina native Eric Boyce was officially recognized as the new UNC Asheville director of public safety and chief of police at an October 2010 campus ceremony attended by law enforcement and community leaders from across Western North Carolina.
Chief Boyce has an extensive career in law enforcement, having served as a park ranger as well as working on street drug enforcement units. Most recently, he was a member of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Police Department, where he served for 12 years.
At UNC Asheville, Chief Boyce is placing a special emphasis on personal attention and community building. His focus includes creating new partnerships with programs and departments, active listening to students' needs, and maintaining an environment of trust through demonstrating respect to all people served by Campus Police.
During the last week of spring classes, we stopped students on the Quad to ask what they're currently reading both in class and for fun. Here's what they had to say…
Abby Hill '12
"I'm reading 'Where the World Ended,' by Daphne Berdahl, for one of my anthropology classes. It's about the time after the Berlin Wall came down, about the boundaries in people's heads and physical boundaries."
Kanydah Bellamy '12
Havre de Grace, Md.
"I'm reading a book by Mary Frances Berry, 'And Justice for All—The United States Commission on Civil Rights and the Continuing Struggle for Freedom in America,' to prepare for my internship." (Bellamy is one of only two students nationwide selected for an internship at the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for the summer of 2011.)
Noah Stockdale '12
"It's called 'Love 101,' by Peter McWilliams. It's a how-to on love in a broader sense. The version of love that you see in pop culture—that's a false sense of a romantic relationship. It's debunking the myth that romantic relationships are the only place where love is possible. I found it in Karpen Hall on a bookshelf for $1."
Sarah Vinton '12
(with teacher licensure in secondary education)
"I don't have time to read. I read over the summer, romance novels and stuff like that. I read 'Redeeming Love,' by Francine Rivers, during winter break. As a math major, I don't need to read too much, and in education, I read more journal articles than books."
Poet Holly Iglesias, a lecturer in UNC Asheville's Master of Liberal Arts Program, has been awarded a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship. She is the only North Carolinian and one of just 42 poets selected nationwide to receive the $25,000 fellowship for 2011.
Iglesias plans to use the funding to support and expand the work she is best known for: prose poems based on historical events. "Because the work is its own reward, the NEA fellowship is icing—thick butter cream—on a three-layer chocolate cake," noted Iglesias.
Iglesias is the author of "Souvenirs of a Shrunken World" (Kore Press, 2008), "Angles of Approach" (White Pine Press, 2010), "Boxing Inside the Box: Women's Prose Poetry" (Quale Press, 2004) and two chapbooks.
Photo by Debbie Griffith
UNC Asheville and the USDA Forest Service have joined forces to boost awareness and understanding of threats to forest health. The collaboration teams the university's advanced computer modeling and imaging capabilities with Forest Service research expertise to develop web-based resources that make threats to forest health readily visible and comprehensible.
The agreement, effective through June 2015, extends the ongoing collaborative efforts between UNC Asheville's National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center (NEMAC) and the USDA Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center (EFETAC).
NEMAC will contribute unique skills in computer modeling and programming, database management, Geographic Information Systems, education and outreach. These tools support EFETAC scientists in educating natural resource managers and planners, landowners and the public about threats to forest health in a clear and user-friendly manner.
The two agencies also are collaborating to develop several web-based tools and resources to inform and support natural resource management, including a forest planning and decision support system, a database of forest threat information and images, and a satellite imagery-based monitoring system for detecting unexpected forest changes—all of which strengthen natural resource research and technology transfer efforts.
Adam Reagan, an applications analyst for UNC Asheville Information Technology Services, was awarded the UNC Staff Assembly's first Erskine Bowles Service Award last fall. He was recognized for the many examples of his generosity, including serving as co-chair of the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life event, facilitator for the 2010 Relay for Life South Atlantic Division's National Focus on Leadership conference, and work on the statewide Have-A-Heart Campaign, which collected 11,000 pounds of food for hunger relief charities.
In addition, Adam volunteered to donate bone marrow to an anonymous leukemia patient after the National Bone Marrow Registry selected him as a match for the patient.
"Adam is a humbling person," said Chris Miller, UNC Asheville health and safety officer, who serves on the Staff Assembly with Reagan. "Every time I am around him, I find out something amazing that he's done."
On campus, he has served on the Chancellor's Staff Advisory Committee, Transportation Committee, Excellence in Public Service Committee and State Employees Combined Campaign Committee. He is also a regular blood platelet donor.
In what little free time he has, Reagan teaches indoor cycling (spinning) classes three times per week and recently received his master's degree—his second—in project management from Western Carolina University. He's also training for a marathon.
It's a busy schedule. I usually eat dinner around 9 p.m. and then go to bed to get ready to do it all again. But the things I do, I do because I enjoy them. My goal in life is to humbly help humanity."
"It's a busy schedule. I usually eat dinner around 9 p.m. and then go to bed to get ready to do it all again," Reagan admits. "But the things I do, I do because I enjoy them. My goal in life is to humbly help humanity."
Eight senior faculty members who helped shape UNC Asheville over the past three decades were honored in May as they move into retirement. L–R: (Front row) Brenda Hopper, Teaching Fellows program director; Margaret Downes, Literature professor and Master of Liberal Arts program director; Sandra Byrd, assistant provost for Graduate and Continuing Education and associate professor of Education. (Back row) Jim McGlinn, Education professor; Charles Massey, Computer Science lecturer; Forest Davenport, Physics professor; Joseph Daugherty, Computer Science professor; and Mark Boyd, Computer Science associate professor.