Temperature helps drive the emergence of different personalities in spiders

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Temperature helps drive the emergence of different personalities in spiders

 

Spider societies with diverse personalities enjoy success despite extreme temperature shifts

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.—July 21, 2016) – Like people, animals have personalities. And their personalities differ, sometimes hugely, on traits like shyness and aggressiveness. Among the big questions are where those differences come from, why they exist, and how they are maintained. Now researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have uncovered an unexpected benefit of these personalities: to protect societies from extreme temperature changes.

 

A male subsocial spider Anelosimus studiosus with prey in a messy web typical of this widespread species. Austin, Texas, USA.

A male subsocial spider Anelosimus studiosus with prey in a messy web typical of this widespread species. Austin, Texas, USA. Alex Wild.

The work, led in part by Spencer Ingley, a postdoctoral fellow at UNC College of Arts and Sciences, is particularly relevant at a time when the planet’s climate is projected to increase on the order of 3 to 12 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100. It could also have far reaching implications on how to restore animals in their different habitats in an increasingly changing world.

 

 

“We live in a time of global change,” said Ingley. “Scientists are seeing that these changes can have a huge impact on individual organisms and groups of organisms. But people have rarely looked at personalities and how the personalities of groups can alter their response to these changes, particularly in different temperature environments.”

 

This work focused on the tangle web spider, known to scientists as Anelosimus studiosus, which lives in North Carolina and across North and South America. In this species, individual spiders have either one of two personalities: docile or highly aggressive. Together, they not only share the same living space but also share in the duties of brood care and capturing of prey.

 

Ingley and his team, which included researchers from Israel, Australia, and the U.S., looked at the effect of temperature – 75 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit – on the spiders’ ability to survive and reproduce as an individual and within a colony. They found that aggressive spiders were less likely to survive and reproduce at higher temperatures. But the opposite was true for docile spiders: as the temperature heated up, the better they reproduced and survived. The researchers saw the same pattern when the colonies were made up of all aggressive individuals or all docile ones.

 

But when a colony had different personalities – a mix of aggressive and docile spiders – the aggressive spiders didn’t die in hot temperatures and docile ones didn’t die in cooler ones.

 

In other words, not a single aggressive spider was able to reproduce at 93 degrees Fahrenheit and most of them died at that temperature. But when Ingley and his team added docile spiders to the mix, the aggressive spiders thrived in that diverse community at that temperature.

 

“Some aspect about living in a diverse society shields these aggressive spiders from selective pressures that would otherwise kill them,” said Ingley. “Without these diverse personalities, these spider societies would be more susceptible to extreme fluctuations in temperature – and it is interesting to think if our own society could benefit from diversity in a similar way.”

 

View the paper online.

— Carolina —

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

UNC Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_benios@unc.edu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Isolated coral reefs far from human activity are not healthier

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Isolated coral reefs far from human activity are not healthier

 

New UNC-Chapel Hill research shows that coral reef decline illustrates the far reach of climate change — and that local solutions alone cannot restore coral populations

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – July 19, 2016) – For the world’s coral reefs, the picture keeps getting gloomier. Although it’s widely assumed that both local and global factors are contributing to their decline, new research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that isolated reefs far from human activities are in fact not healthier than those in more densely populated areas.

 

The work, led by John Bruno, a professor of marine biology in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, marks the first global test of the hypothesis that isolated reefs are suffering from less damage.

 

“We often mythologize isolated coral reefs as pristine and safe from harm,” said Bruno. “In fact, coral loss on some of our isolated reefs is just as dramatic as coral decline on reefs adjacent to more densely populated islands.”

 

Bruno and co-author Abel Valdivia (a former UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student, currently a research scientist for the Center for Biological Diversity in Oakland, Calif.), analyzed data from 1,708 reefs around the world from the Bahamas to Australia collected from 1996 to 2006. Reef isolation was calculated as the number of people living within 50 kilometers of the reefs.

 

The research, to be reported online July 20 in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, shows that local management efforts to mitigate impacts of things like fishing and tourism cannot alone restore coral reef populations, which provide a home for thousands of marine species and offer coastal buffering from storms.

 

“Widespread arguments that coral reef degradation is mostly caused by local factors are unsupported,” added Valdivia. “We found the problem is better explained by global impacts such as climate change.”

 

One striking example is the massive bleaching of hundreds of kilometers on the northern and central Great Barrier Reef in Australia — which is one of the world’s most isolated and well-protected reefs — that was reported earlier this year, Bruno said.

 

“Our work illustrates the truly far-reaching effects of global warming and the immediate need for drastic and sustained cuts in carbon emissions to help restore the health of coral reefs,” Bruno said.

 

View the paper online.

— Carolina —

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

College of Arts and Sciences contact: Kim Spurr, (919) 962-4093, spurrk@email.unc.edu

Office of Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_benios@unc.edu

Removing a brain tumor makes remaining cancer more aggressive

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Removing a brain tumor makes remaining cancer more aggressive

 

UNC-Chapel Hill researchers show that glioblastomas are fundamentally different before and after surgery

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.—June 29, 2016) — Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that removing a glioblastoma tumor from the brain causes any cancer left behind to grow 75 percent faster than the original tumor did, which helps to explain why this cancer is so lethal.

 

“A glioblastoma is fundamentally a different disease before and after surgery,” said Shawn Hingtgen, who led the work at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “The process of removing the tumor speeds up the cancer such that we have to rethink of how to treat the disease differently after the surgery.”

resected cells dapi gfap nestin

Speed Cancer: Surgically removing a brain tumor causes star-shaped astrocytes to send signals that stimulate any cancer cells left behind to move and grow 75 percent faster than they did before the tumor was removed.

 

The work, which was published in the journal Neuro-Oncology, will allow researchers to understand the effect of surgery on the brain and tumor, potentially leading to new therapeutic targets that will tailor postoperative treatment to the new disease.

 

“Drugs are developed against large, solid tumors, but they’re actually used to treat the residual disease: the two things are not the same,” said Ryan Miller, a neuropathologist at the UNC School of Medicine and member of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

 

Glioblastomas are deadly because they diffusely invade the brain. Surgery is the standard of care, but unlike tumors elsewhere in the body, surgeons can’t cut it all out. Tendrils of the original tumor embed themselves throughout the brain and the tumor begins to regrow. The problem is that not much is known about what happens to the tumor’s remnants and the brain after surgery, raising new questions about how to treat a glioblastoma after removing it.

 

Researchers led by Hingtgen, also a UNC Lineberger member, are working to perfect a stem-cell treatment that can hunt down and kill the cancer cells that are inevitably left behind when a brain tumor is surgically removed.

 

To test their treatment, they had to develop a mouse model of the brain after surgery. “Testing them in a model that contains a solid tumor is not accurate in many ways,” said Hingtgen.

 

Developing the new model fell to Onyi Okolie, a graduate student working in Hingtgen’s laboratory. A tumor is implanted and allowed to grow in the mouse to the point where a patient would start experiencing symptoms, such as headache, seizures or an altered mental state. Okolie then removes about 90 percent of the tumor, which is comparable to what surgeons are able to remove in human patients.

 

The trauma of surgery causes astrocytes, star-shaped glial cells, to secrete chemicals. The team found that these signals reach the cancer cells and spur them into action.

 

“The remaining cancer cells multiply and they move, both of which are not good,” Hingtgen said. The regrowth rate was significantly increased compared to the growth rate of the preoperative tumor. The tumor was now more aggressive such that the cancer cells began moving and growing approximately 75 percent faster than they did before the tumor was removed.”

 

“In cancer, we always ask is it the seed or the soil?” Miller said. “A seed can go bad and turn cancerous, or the soil can turn a bad seed worse. Surgery changes the soil and makes the bad seed much more aggressive.”

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

UNC Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_beniois@unc.edu

 

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy contact: David Etchison, (919) 966-7744, david_etchison@unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill to host a Zika awareness event, Thursday, June 30

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UNC-Chapel Hill to host a Zika awareness event, Thursday, June 30

 

Chancellor Carol L. Folt will host a Zika awareness event, highlighting what the state, county and UNC-Chapel Hill researchers are doing to fight Zika

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.—June 29, 2016) – Mosquitos, no one likes them, but this summer they are more than a nuisance. Travel-related cases of the Zika virus have surfaced in North Carolina and that puts North Carolinians at risk. To address the issue, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will host an event, The Zika Virus: What You Need to Know. The goal of the event is to help the community learn how to prevent the spread of Zika and how to respond should anyone think they have contracted the virus.

 

The event will be held Thursday, June 30, 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., just outside the Frank Porter Graham Student Union by the Pit. It will include an information fair where public health experts will be on hand to address a wide array of Zika-related concerns.

 

Chancellor Carol L. Folt will host a brief presentation from noon – 12:20 p.m. with guest speakers, who will highlight what the state, county and UNC-Chapel Hill researchers are doing to fight the spread of the virus, including the development of a vaccine and ways to reduce sexual and maternal-fetal transmission of the virus. The discussion will be held in the Student Union, Room 3408. Speakers and topics are listed below:

 

Colleen Bridger, MPH, Ph.D., Orange County Health Director

Top five ways you can prevent Zika

 

Randall Williams, M.D., North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

What is being done in North Carolina to respond to Zika

 

Aravinda de Silva, Ph.D., UNC School of Medicine

How UNC-Chapel Hill researchers are helping stop the spread of the Zika virus on a global scale

 

Before and after the presentation, experts will be available at the outdoor information fair to respond to questions about Zika, such as travel advisories, reducing the risk of infection by mosquitos and UNC-Chapel Hill’s leadership role in the development of a vaccine.

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

UNC Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_beniois@unc.edu or Jeni Cook, (919-445-8555), jeni.cook@unc.edu

 

 

 

 

Media invited to attend Zika awareness event at UNC-Chapel Hill

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Media invited to attend Zika awareness event at UNC-Chapel Hill

 

Chancellor Carol L. Folt will host a Zika awareness event, highlighting what the state, county and UNC-Chapel Hill researchers are doing to fight Zika

 

Media are invited to join the campus community to learn more about the Zika virus at an event hosted by Chancellor Carol L. Folt and at a campus information fair. The event, The Zika Virus: What You Need to Know, will be held just outside the Frank Porter Graham Student Union by the Pit from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 30.

 

Chancellor Folt will host a brief presentation from noon – 12:20 p.m. that features public health experts. The discussion will be held in the Student Union, Room 3408. Speakers and topics are listed below:

 

Randall Williams, M.D., North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

What is being done in North Carolina to respond to Zika

 

Colleen Bridger, MPH, Ph.D., Orange County Health Director

Top five ways you can prevent Zika

 

Aravinda de Silva, Ph.D., UNC School of Medicine

How UNC-Chapel Hill researchers are helping stop the spread of the Zika virus on a global scale

 

Before and after the presentation, experts will be available at the outdoor information fair to respond to questions about Zika, such as travel advisories, reducing the risk of infection by mosquitos and UNC-Chapel Hill’s leadership role in the development of a vaccine.

 

Media Check-In: Media must check in at the Student Union entrance.

 

Media Parking: A limited number of spaces will be available for media on Raleigh Street (in between East Cameron and South Roads), in the metered spaces by the ATM machines adjacent to Davis Library. Meters will be hooded and turned off to accommodate media. Contact Thania Benios (thania_benios@unc.edu) or Jeni Cook (jeni.cook@unc.edu) by 2 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, to reserve parking.

 

–Carolina–

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

UNC Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_beniois@unc.edu or Jeni Cook, (919) 962-2091, jeni.cook@unc.edu.

Overusing social media as an adolescent may hurt your love life later on

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Overusing social media as an adolescent may hurt your love life later on

 

Study shows predominant use of social media may limit the opportunity to practice in-person conversations that are crucial for adolescents, particularly boys

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.—June 21, 2016) Social media allows adolescents to stay in constant contact with peers, but may keep young people, particularly boys, from developing key interpersonal skills they need to successfully manage some aspects of their relationships the rest of their lives.

 

A new study by researchers at the University North Carolina at Chapel Hill and N.C. State University finds that when it comes to romance, the more adolescents communicate online with their boyfriends and girlfriends, the worse they manage conflict and asserting themselves in romantic relationships at a time when kids are developing complex interpersonal skills.

 

“With electronic communications, there are fewer interpersonal cues,” said Jacqueline Nesi, the lead author of the study and a doctoral student in clinical psychology in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. “You’re not seeing facial expressions or using nonverbal communications. So, the predominant use of social media may limit the opportunity to practice in-person conversations that are crucial for adolescents, particularly boys, to develop important skills.”

 

Nesi and her colleagues studied 487 adolescents at two time periods, one year apart, to determine the proportion of time they spent communicating with romantic partners in person or on the phone, compared to using text messaging and social media sites. Then they assessed their levels of competence in two primary relationship skills: managing conflict and asserting their needs.

 

They found that adolescents who spent more time interacting online were not as skilled in those areas, from knowing how to stop arguments before they turn into a fight or understanding their partner’s point of view to telling partners things they don’t like about the relationship. Both boys and girls showed the effect, but it was worse for boys, Nesi said.

 

“Social media allows adolescents to be in touch with their peers 24/7. It’s a great vehicle to allow adolescents to feel like they’re connected to those who are most important to them in ways that people who grew up before the social media age can’t imagine,” said study co-author Mitch Prinstein, John Van Seters Distinguished Professor in the department of psychology and neuroscience and director of clinical psychology.

 

But in the area of handling some of the tricky parts of relationships, it looks like the more adolescents are using these electronic forms of communication, the worse they’re doing over time in some of these traditional skills,” he said.

 

Nesi and Prinstein collaborated on the study with Sophia Choukas-Bradley, a UNC-Chapel Hill clinical psychology doctoral student, and Laura Widman, assistant professor of psychology at N.C. State.

 

Their research, “Technology-Based Communication and the Development of Interpersonal Competencies Within Adolescent Romantic Relationships: A Preliminary Investigation,” appears in the June 21 issue of the Journal of Research on Adolescence.

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

UNC Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_beniois@unc.edu

 

 

 

Syringes are a surprising source of wasted medication

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Syringes are a surprising source of wasted medication

 

Better syringe design can save thousands of dollars per year

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C., June 6) – When medicine is injected, a little bit of it stays behind in the syringe. It’s not much, but depending on syringe design and the cost of the drug, this waste — or dead space — can add up to as much as $2,300 per year for a patient, according to a new study from researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and RTI International.

 

Syringe dead space is the leftover fluid that remains inside the syringe after the plunger is fully depressed. In syringes with a lot of dead space, the leftover amount averages to three percent of the volume of the medication dose. In syringes with a low-dead-space design, the volume of leftover medication averages 10 times less at 0.3 percent.

 

“It is a difference of fractions of a milliliter, but when some of these medications cost more than $20,000 a month, it adds up,” said Christine Oramasionwu, lead author of the study and an assistant professor in the nation’s No. 1 ranked UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy. “Low-dead-space design, like those with an integrated needle or a cone-shaped plunger, should be adopted as the industry standard for all syringes in order to reduce preventable and expensive medication waste.”

 

UNC-Chapel Hill and RTI researchers, whose work is reported in the June 6 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, identified 17 medications administered using high-dead-space syringes and seven using low-dead-space syringes. The total volume of the injection ranged from one-fourth to five milliliters for high-dead-space medications and 0.08 to one milliliters for low-dead-space medications. The median cost for a month’s supply of medication packaged in high-dead-space syringes was $4,443 and $3,412 for low-dead-space syringes.

 

The median value of the wasted medicine per dose was $5 for high-dead-space medications and about fifty cents for low-dead-space medications. Over one year, the cost of the waste for high-dead-space medications ranged from $558 to $2,329 (a median value of $1,638) compared to $68 to $205 (a median value of $125) for low-dead-space medications.

 

The researchers reported the median, or middle value, of most monetary ranges because of the high variability of cost among the relatively small number of medications included in the study. The high and low price for a 30-day supply of the 17 high-dead-space medications was $50 and $20,552. The high and low price for a 30-day supply of the seven low-dead-space medications was $716 and $29,728.

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

 

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

UNC Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, (919) 962-8596, thania_beniois@unc.edu

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy contact: David Etchison, (919) 966-7744, david_etchison@unc.edu

 

 

Military Veterans to attend Warrior-Scholar Project Academic Boot Camp at UNC-Chapel Hill

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Military Veterans to attend Warrior-Scholar Project Academic Boot Camp at UNC-Chapel Hill

Intensive program helps enlisted veterans transition to four-year higher education opportunities

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.—May 31, 2016) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will participate in the Warrior-Scholar Project (WSP) that is designed to help military veterans transition from the service and head back to school. To help ease the transition, the WSP is hosting a one-week academic boot camp at Carolina beginning Sunday, June 5, and running through Saturday, June 11.

 

WSP attendees are enlisted veterans and transitioning service members who are enrolled or planning to enroll in or transfer into a four-year undergraduate program. The program, which is conducted at 11 top national universities including Carolina, is designed to help military veterans develop or rediscover the skills and confidence necessary to successfully complete higher education opportunities.

 

At Carolina, 20 participants will be guided through the intensive syllabus composed of both classic and modern scholarly works by a team of student veterans. Classes, seminars and discussions will be led by university professors and graduate students who volunteered for this opportunity. A key goal is to help the WSP participants learn how to frame their ideas in an academic context, think critically and formulate scholarly arguments.

 

“This is a full-immersion opportunity because the week at Carolina is packed for these enlisted veterans, from early reveille to late-night lights out,” said Zach Johnson, WSP Coordinator at UNC-Chapel Hill. “These veterans are non-traditional students with unique experiences distinguishing them from their college peers, and this boot camp is designed to help them prepare for the emotional and cultural adaptations needed to succeed in a higher education environment.”

 

The WSP launched its first program at Yale University in 2012 with nine participants. Carolina is participating in the program for the second time.

 

“We are proud to host a Warrior-Scholar Project Academic boot camp at the University of North Carolina for the second year,” said Dr. Sidney Ellington, Executive Director of WSP. “The program at Carolina will tap into the immense potential of Post-9/11 veterans and reduce obstacles to success, addressing veterans’ misperceptions about college and building their confidence through an intense academic reorientation.”

 

WSP funders and private donors cover the entire cost of the program for participants, excluding travel. Student veterans attending UNC-Chapel Hill’s boot camp will reside in campus housing and attend lectures in various classrooms. Participation in the WSP is another way that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill supports the military and its veterans.

 

To learn more about the program, visit www.warrior-scholar.org.

 

-Carolina-

 

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Communications and Public Affairs contact: Michael John, (919) 445-8555, michael.john@unc.edu

President Obama to award National Medal of Technology and Innovation to UNC-Chapel Hill’s Joseph DeSimone at the White House, May 19

Not for publication

 

President Obama to award National Medal of Technology and Innovation to UNC-Chapel Hill’s Joseph DeSimone at the White House, May 19

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – May 17, 2016) – On Thursday, May 19, President Barack Obama will award the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to Joseph DeSimone, a distinguished professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. DeSimone will be one of 17 scientists, engineers, mathematicians and innovators who will receive the nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. He will be recognized for making lasting contributions to America’s competitiveness and quality of life while helping to strengthen the nation’s technological workforce.

 

WHEN:            Thursday, May 19, 2:30 p.m. EDT

 

WHERE:          The White House, East Room

 

MEDIA REGISTRATION:  This event will be open press, but space is limited.  Members of the media who wish to cover this event must RSVP via the following link by 1 p.m. EDT, Wednesday, May 18: https://www.whitehouse.gov/webform/media-rsvp-president-obama-award-national-medals-science-and-national-medals-technology-an-0

 

LIVESTREAM: The White House will run an ongoing livestream of the event for media representatives that cannot attend but plan to cover the ceremony, starting at 2:30 p.m., at www.whitehouse.gov/live. Trouble-shoot telephone number for day-of is (202) 470-5151.

 

PHOTOS: UNC-Chapel Hill will provide high-resolution photos immediately following the event. Photos from the event should also be available from the Medals Foundation later in the day at nationalmedals.org.

 

VIDEO: UNC-Chapel Hill will provide b-roll following the event for Thursday’s late-night newscasts and Friday morning shows.

 

INTERVIEWS: DeSimone will be available by phone for interviews. Please contact Thania Benios at (919) 962-8596 to schedule an interview.

 

– Carolina –

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, 919-962-8596, thania_benios@unc.edu

Dr. Ken May named interim dean of UNC School of Dentistry

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Dr. Ken May named interim dean of UNC School of Dentistry 

 

Critical near-term objectives to be focus for UNC School of Dentistry as it searches for a permanent dean

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – May 17, 2016) – Dr. Ken May, a longtime faculty member at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will take on the role of interim dean at the UNC School of Dentistry, effective July 1.

 

May joined UNC School of Dentistry in 1976, after earning both his undergraduate degree and doctorate in dentistry at UNC-Chapel Hill. This will be his second time serving as interim dean, bookending several leadership roles during his long and successful career.

 

“Dr. May will provide excellent leadership, as he has with his numerous appointments at the School,” said UNC Provost James W. Dean Jr. “We will provide him with every form of support as we search for a permanent dean.”

 

A nationwide search has already launched with the objective of having a new dean in place by the start of January 2017, when May plans to fully retire.

 

The current dean, Dr. Jane Weintraub, announced in December that she would step down after five years to return to research and teaching. She will continue her faculty appointment in the department of dental ecology with an adjunct appointment in the Gillings School of Global Public Health.

 

As interim dean, May will lead critical near-term initiatives, including continuing the growth of the School of Dentistry’s research portfolio, facilitating the strategic planning process, guiding the school through its accreditation site visit in the fall and continuing the School’s ongoing efforts for greater diversity and inclusion.

 

During his early career at the School, May focused his research on the clinical evaluation of dental restoration materials. He then moved on to serve in a variety of roles, including associate professor and professor of operative dentistry in the student dental clinics and graduate clinics, director of admissions and student affairs, associate dean for administration and planning, vice dean, a practitioner and interim dean, once before, in 2005.

 

May’s service to dentistry in the state has included a term as delegate to the North Carolina Dental Society House of Delegates and several leadership roles in the Third District Dental Society and Durham-Orange County Dental Society. May is a fellow in the American College of Dentists, International College of Dentists, Academy of Dentistry International and the Pierre Fauchard Academy. He has served as treasurer of the Dental Foundation of North Carolina.

 

 

– Carolina –

 

About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Communications and Public Affairs contact: Thania Benios, 919-962-8596, thania_benios@unc.edu