Unparalleled mosaics discovered by UNC-Chapel Hill archaeologist and team provide new clues on life in an ancient Galilean Jewish village

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Unparalleled mosaics discovered by UNC-Chapel Hill archaeologist and team provide new clues on life in an ancient Galilean Jewish village

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— July 9, 2018) — Recent discoveries by a team of specialists and students at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee, led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Jodi Magness, shed new light on the life and culture of an ancient Jewish village. The discoveries indicate villagers flourished under early fifth century Christian rule, contradicting a widespread view that Jewish settlement in the region declined during that period. The large size and elaborate interior decoration of the Huqoq synagogue point to an unexpected level of prosperity.

 

“The mosaics decorating the floor of the Huqoq synagogue revolutionize our understanding of Judaism in this period,” said Magness. “Ancient Jewish art is often thought to be aniconic, or lacking images. But these mosaics, colorful and filled with figured scenes, attest to a rich visual culture as well as to the dynamism and diversity of Judaism in the Late Roman and Byzantine periods.”

 

The first mosaics in the Huqoq synagogue were discovered by Magness’ team in 2012. Since then, Magness, director of the Huqoq excavations and Kenan Distinguished Professor of Early Judaism in the department of religious studies in Carolina’s College of Arts & Sciences, assisted by Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Tel Aviv University have uncovered additional mosaics every summer. This year, the team’s specialists and students focused their efforts on a series of mosaic panels in the north aisle. Magness said this series is part of the richest, most diverse collection of mosaics ever found in an ancient synagogue.

 

Along the north aisle, mosaics are divided into two rows of panels containing figures and objects with Hebrew inscriptions. One panel labeled “a pole between two” depicts a biblical scene from Numbers 13:23. The images show two spies sent by Moses to explore Canaan carrying a pole with a cluster of grapes. Another panel referencing Isaiah 11:6 includes the inscription “a small child shall lead them.” The panel shows a youth leading an animal on a rope. A fragmentary Hebrew inscription concluding with the phrase “Amen selah,” meaning “Amen forever,” was uncovered at the north end of the east aisle.

 

During this eighth dig, the team also continued to expose a rare discovery in ancient synagogues: columns covered in colorful, painted plaster still intact after nearly 1,600 years.

 

The mosaics have been removed from the site for conservation and the excavated areas have been backfilled. Excavations are scheduled to continue in the summer of 2019. Additional information and updates can be found at the project’s website: www.huqoq.org.

 

Mosaics uncovered by this project include:

  • 2012: Samson and the foxes
  • 2013: Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders
  • 2013, 2014 and 2015: a Hebrew inscription surrounded by human figures, animals and mythological creatures including cupids; and the first non-biblical story ever found decorating an ancient synagogue — perhaps the legendary meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest
  • 2016: Noah’s Ark; the parting of the Red Sea showing Pharaoh’s soldiers being swallowed by giant fish
  • 2017: a Helios-zodiac cycle; Jonah being swallowed by three successive fish; the building of the Tower of Babel

 

An image of the most recent discovery, images from past digs and video from this summer’s excavation may be downloaded here using password huqoq.

 

Photo/Video credit: Jim Haberman.

 

Sponsors of the project include UNC-Chapel Hill, Baylor University, Brigham Young University and the University of Toronto. Students and staff from Carolina and the consortium schools participated in the dig. Financial support for the 2018 season was also provided by the Friends of Heritage Preservation, the National Geographic Society, the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies.

 

-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, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, 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 323,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 149 countries. More than 169,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications: Carly Miller, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

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

 

UNC-Chapel Hill receives $10 million commitment from Pope Foundation to advance core areas of excellence and service

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UNC-Chapel Hill receives $10 million commitment from Pope Foundation to advance core areas of excellence and service

 

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – April 23, 2018) Today, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill announced a $10 million commitment from the John William Pope Foundation to support a combination of core areas where Carolina excels: cancer research, multidisciplinary and innovative thinking, excellence in sport and being of and serving the state’s citizens.

 

The gift supports For All Kind: the Campaign for Carolina, the most ambitious fundraising campaign in the University’s history. On Oct. 6, 2017, Carolina launched the second largest fundraiser for a public university in the nation. With a goal of $4.25 billion by Dec. 31, 2022, the Campaign for Carolina is inspired by the Blueprint for Next, the University’s overall strategic plan built on two core strategies: “of the public, for the public,” and “innovation made fundamental.”

 

“I am so grateful for this wonderful gift from the Pope Foundation,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “They are providing much needed support in critical areas from growing educational programs to fighting disease to supporting our student-athletes. Taken together, this gift will touch our students and faculty, promoting their success, leadership and impact in North Carolina and beyond.”

 

“The foundation supports the challenge to give back to UNC’s ‘strategic triad’ of teaching, research and public service,” said Art Pope, Pope Foundation chairman and a Carolina alumnus. “When Chapel Hill and other state institutions of higher education succeed at their core missions, we all succeed. My family and I are honored to contribute to that success — to achieve the Lux et Libertas, the ‘Light and Liberty,’ that graces the University’s seal. We encourage other North Carolinians to do the same.”

 

The commitment announced today will provide:

  • $5 million to the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center to establish the John William Pope “Tomorrow’s Best Hope” Endowed Fellowship Fund. The fund will generate nearly $250,000 each year for competitively awarded fellowships to recruit, educate and train future oncologists and cancer researchers to reduce cancer’s burden in the state and beyond. Lineberger is one of only 49 National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer centers in the U.S., and the only public comprehensive cancer center in North Carolina. 
  • $3.75 million to the Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) Program in the College of Arts & Sciences to support hiring two new faculty positions and two visiting assistant professorships. The gift will also fund a lecture series to bring prominent speakers to campus to discuss public issues from a philosophical, political and economic perspective. The funds will help the college’s efforts to elevate one of the most popular and fastest-growing academic minors to a major. The PPE Program develops students’ analytical skills to see issues from the perspective of all three of the core disciplines. 
  • $1 million to track-and-field scholarships in the Department of Athletics to create two in-state scholarships, one male and one female. It will be the program’s 16th scholarship in men’s track and field and 14th scholarship in women’s track and field. Carolina’s track-and-field program has won 37 ACC team championships and 30 NCAA event championships. 
  • $250,000 to the UNC Horizons Program to conduct a follow-up study with up to 125 women and their children enrolled in the program. The data from that study will help other states and countries model their programs helping women and children break the cycle of addiction and poverty. The funds will also eliminate a barrier to successful completion of the Horizons program by ensuring child care services for women undergoing treatment. UNC Horizons provides an outreach service to the state to treat pregnant and parenting women with substance use disorders. In 2016-17, the program enrolled 266 women, with 77 percent employed by the time they graduated.

With this latest commitment, the Pope Foundation and family members have more than doubled their lifetime giving to Carolina. Past gifts include a $1.3 million gift in 2014 to fund cancer research and treatment and a $2 million gift in 2006 for Carolina athletics’ football program and other areas on campus.

 

Additional quotes from university leaders:

“Thank you to the Pope Foundation for this generous gift, which will allow us to recruit the best and brightest oncologists and cancer researchers to Chapel Hill where they will join our outstanding researchers in the development of new cancer therapies. The impact of this work will be felt by our patients here in Chapel Hill, and cancer patients around the world.”
– Dr. William L. Roper, CEO of UNC Health Care, dean of the School of Medicine and vice chancellor for medical affairs at UNC-Chapel Hill

 

“I am proud of this program for its interdisciplinary approach to learning and its emphasis on helping students develop transferable skills that prepare them for a wide variety of careers.”
– Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

 

“Carolina has a long history of excellence in track and field, and this generous gift from the Pope Foundation will add to that tradition. It will enable us to recruit the very best student-athletes in the sport, and it will help us continue to compete at the highest level.”
– Bubba Cunningham, UNC-Chapel Hill director of athletics

 

“This generous gift will provide the needed systematic outcome and cost effectiveness data to unlock the potential for the Horizons model to help women and children in North Carolina and across the country.”
– Dr. Hendrée Jones, UNC Horizons executive director and professor of obstetrics and gynecology

 

-Carolina-

 

About the John William Pope Foundation

Founded in 1986 and located in Raleigh, the Pope Foundation makes grants to advance individual freedom, personal responsibility and encourage opportunity for all North Carolinians. The Pope Foundation’s lifetime giving totals more than $145 million directed to over 400 nonprofits.  The Pope Foundation receives its support from the Pope family, owner and operator of the Henderson-based Variety Wholesalers, Inc.

 

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, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, 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 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications Contact: Carly Swain, (919) 445-8555, mediarelations@unc.edu

 

 

UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Programs Ranked Among “Best Graduate Schools”

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UNC-Chapel Hill Graduate Programs Ranked Among “Best Graduate Schools”

U.S. News & World Report ranked UNC School of Medicine first for its primary care program

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— March 20, 2018) – University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill graduate programs received high rankings as part of U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 “Best Graduate Schools.” Among the rankings, the UNC School of Medicine is first for its primary care program, following a second-place ranking last year.

 

U.S. News ranks business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medical programs annually, while various disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas, are only ranked periodically.

 

This year, U.S. News ranked doctoral programs in criminology and criminal justice; master’s degree programs in social work, public affairs and related specialty areas; and doctoral programs in the sciences, specifically in biological sciences, chemistry, computer science, earth sciences, mathematics, physics and statistics.

 

The following are the complete UNC-Chapel Hill rankings and specialty listings. A comprehensive list of all rankings and data can be found here.

 

School of Medicine

Overall

  • Primary Care, 1st
  • Research, tied for 23rd

 

Specialty area

  • Obstetrics & Gynecology, 14th

 

School of Nursing

Overall

  • Master’s Degree, tied for 14th
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice, tied for 13th

 

Specialty areas

  • Nursing Administration, tied for 12th
  • Nurse Practitioner: Family, tied for 12th
  • Nurse Practitioner: Psychiatric/Mental Health, Across the Lifespan, tied for 9th

 

School of Social Work

Overall

  • Tied for 5th

 

Kenan-Flagler Business School

Overall

  • 19th

 

Specialty areas

  • Accounting, 11th
  • Executive MBA, 16th
  • Finance, 29th
  • Management, tied for 20th
  • Marketing, tied for 15th

 

School of Law

Overall

  •  45th

 

Specialty area

  • Legal Writing, tied for 12th

 

School of Education

Overall

  • Tied for 30th

 

Specialty areas

  • Administration/Supervision, tied for 14th
  • Curriculum/Instruction, 17th
  • Secondary Education, 14th
  • Special Education, tied for 11th

 

Public Affairs

Overall

  • Tied for 23rd

 

Specialty areas

  • Environmental Policy and Management, 14th
  • Local Government Management, 3rd
  • Public Finance and Budgeting, tied for 20th
  • Public Management and Leadership, tied for 15th
  • Public Policy Analysis, tied for 32nd

 

  • Carolina has programs and specialty areas within several units based in the School of Government, the College of Arts and Sciences and the Gillings School of Global Public Health with master’s degree programs that are ranked by U.S. News as part of a public affairs category.

 

Sciences

  • Biology, tied for 33rd
  • Biostatistics, tied for 8th
  • Chemistry, tied for 15th
  • Analytical Chemistry, 2nd
  • Inorganic Chemistry, 10th
  • Computer Science, tied for 25th
  • Earth Sciences, tied for 54th
  • Mathematics, tied for 34th
  • Physics, tied for 47th
  • Statistics, 19th

  

Methodology: U.S. News first ranked graduate programs in 1987 and has done so annually since 1990. Each year it ranks professional programs in business, education, engineering, law, nursing and medicine. Those rankings are based on two types of data: expert opinion on program excellence and statistical indicators that measure the quality of a school’s faculty, research and students. Its periodic rankings of additional disciplines and specialties in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and other areas are based solely on the ratings of peer academic experts, including deans, program directors and faculty.

 

The data come from statistical surveys sent to administrators at more than 1,970 graduate programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 16,500 academics and professionals in the disciplines. Surveys for the 2019 rankings were conducted during the fall of 2017 and in early 2018.

 

-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, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, 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 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications: Jeni Cook, (919) 962-2091, jeni.cook@unc.edu

 

U.S. News & World Report contactEducation-PR@usnews.com

 

PlayMakers Repertory Company Announces 2018-2019 Season

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Shifting Ground theatre that moves 18/19 PlayMakers Repertory Company

PlayMakers Repertory Company Announces 2018-2019 Season
New season marks 100 years of playmaking at UNC-Chapel Hill with a Pulitzer prize winner, several world and regional premieres and a cosmic musical tribute

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – March 1, 2018) – A merry romp through Sherwood Forest, a Pulitzer Prize winner, a high-stakes power play between working class and big business, a world premiere of depth and delicacy, the search for truth in the stars and one of the most romantic musicals of all time make up the Mainstage lineup of PlayMakers Repertory Company’s 2018-2019 season: “Shifting Ground – Theatre that Moves.”

 

The 2018-2019 Mainstage season delves into the reverberations caused by choice. Each of the six plays explores the power individuals wield to shape and shift everything– from our most intimate relationships, our memories and the institutions around us, to the broadest strokes of science, history and ultimately truth.

 

“In selecting this next season at PlayMakers, I wanted to take up the charge of using theater to provoke, represent and entertain our audiences and artists alike,” said Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch. “Our 2018-2019 lineup is all about shifting ground – how power dynamics constantly realign and the ways in which we reclaim or rewrite the narratives of our lives. From the brilliant reach of Brecht to the intimacy of Paula Vogel, the rigor of Dominique Morrisseau and the touching poignancy of emerging playwright Charly Simpson, we have chosen a season of great plays that I hope will move us in every sense of the word.”

 

PlayMakers will also present three works in the PRC2 Kenan Stage season, complementing the Mainstage themes and adding new work and conversation to the PlayMakers experience.

 

The 2018-2019 PlayMakers season marks the 100th anniversary of the playmaking tradition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1918, a traveling troupe of University and local artists performed, calling themselves Carolina PlayMakers. The troupe took their final bow in 1976, and PlayMakers launched as a professional regional theater. In its 40-year history, PlayMakers has produced more than 300 productions, served nearly 50,000 audience members each year and reached more than 125,000 area youth through award-winning educational programs.

 

Subscription packages are available for purchase now and renewing subscribers can secure their current seats for the new season through May 1. Call (919) 962-7529 or visit PlayMakers’ website for more information.

 

Mainstage productions:

“Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” by Ken Ludwig, Sept. 12–30, 2018
The season opens with the regional premiere of a swashbuckling new comedy about that iconic hero of the people who learns that sometimes doing “the wrong thing” ends up being the right thing after all. Ken Ludwig’s “Sherwood: The Adventures of Robin Hood” is family fare that promises music, merry men, Maid Marian and much merriment.

 

“Skeleton Crew” by Dominique Morisseau, Oct. 10–28, 2018
The third in acclaimed playwright Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit Trilogy, “Skeleton Crew” is a searing drama about a tight knit group of employees facing the realities of big business bureaucracy in one of Detroit’s last-standing auto plants during the 2008 recession. As the power dynamics shift between blue- and white-collar workers, how far over the lines is each side willing to go to survive? “Skeleton Crew” has been described as “the best play you’ll see this year” (Detroit Free Press).

 

“She Loves Me” book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, Nov. 1 –Dec. 2, 2018
Hum your way into the holidays! In this romantic musical comedy of mistaken identity, two perfume clerks who aren’t at all the best of friends can’t seem to find common ground – until they realize they are each other’s anonymous pen pals. Inspiration for the classic movie, “You’ve Got Mail,” this holiday event for the whole family has been called “the most romantic of all Broadway musicals” (The Wall Street Journal).

 

“Jump” by Charly Evon Simpson, Jan. 23–Feb. 10, 2019
This funny, heartbreaking and tender play takes us on a journey where lights flicker, things fall from the sky, and a sister finds solace on a bridge. PlayMakers is proud to present the world premiere of this work by emerging playwright Charly Evon Simpson.

 

“Life of Galileo” by Bertholt Brecht , Feb. 27–March 17, 2019
Brecht’s renowned drama explores the life of 17th century scientist Galileo Galilei, the ultimate groundshifter who upended not just the world’s view of our solar system, but our place in it. Political dogma, scienceand survival, still at the forefront of our cultural dialogue four centuries later, asks what price are we willing to pay for the truth? Featuring original music by Justin Ellington and directed by PlayMakers’ Producing Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch.

 

“How I Learned to Drive” by Paula Vogel, April 3–21, 2019
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this wildly funny and compassionate play travels across one woman’s adolescent memories and the complicated roads she was forced to navigate in a relationship with an older man. “How I Learned to Drive” has been called “a lovely, harrowing guide to the crippling persistence of one woman’s memories” (The New York Times).

 

PRC2 Kenan Stage productions for  2018-2019:

“Temples of Lung & Air” by Kane Smego, Aug. 22 –26, 2018
International hip-hop artist, groundbreaking educator and UNC graduate Kane Smego premieres his electric, personal spoken word odyssey and ode to hip-hop as a global tool for community building.

 

“Bewilderness” by Zachary Fine, Jan. 9–13, 2019
Few realize that Henry David Thoreau wrote a flop of epic proportions before he penned his American Masterpiece, Walden. This new work is a comedic look at one of America’s greatest philosophers and a celebration of the failures we all must face along the road to our greatest discoveries.

 

TBA: April 24–28, 2019

All performances will be presented in the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art on the UNC– Chapel Hill campus. Mainstage productions will be in the Paul Green Theatre; PRC2 shows will be in the Elizabeth Price Kenan Theatre.

 

For information about PlayMakers’ 2018-2019 season, visit www.playmakersrep.org or call (919) 962-7529.

 

-Carolina-

 

About PlayMakers
PlayMakers is the professional theater in residence in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina’s premier resident theater company for more than 40 years. The theater company produces relevant and courageous work that tells stories from and for a multiplicity of perspectives and creates transformational impact in its immediate and extended communities. PlayMakers has been named one of the “best regional theatres in America.”

 

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, 111 master’s, 65 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty, 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 322,000 alumni live in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 165 countries. More than 175,000 live in North Carolina.

 

PlayMakers contact: Diana Pineda, (919) 962-7114, dmpineda@email.unc.edu
University Communications contact: Carly Swain, (919) 962-7090, mediarelations@unc.edu

 

Elaine L. Westbrooks named University librarian and vice provost for University Libraries

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Elaine L. Westbrooks named University librarian and vice provost for University Libraries

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. – July 10, 2017) –  The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has selected Elaine L. Westbrooks, associate university librarian for research at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, as its new University librarian and vice provost for University Libraries. Approved by the University’s Board of Trustees, the appointment is effective Aug. 15.

 

“Chancellor Carol Folt and I are excited to welcome Elaine to Carolina,” said Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost James W. Dean Jr. “She brings more than 19 years of higher education library experience to her role, where she will oversee one of the top-ranked university library systems in the country, including its services and more than 9 million volumes across 10 libraries.”

 

At the University of Michigan, Westbrooks led the library’s support of the research enterprise, facilitated the management of the operations and budget. Prior to her time in Ann Arbor, Westbrooks worked at research libraries at three other universities. She served as associate dean of libraries at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, held several positions in technical services at Cornell University Libraries and worked as a digital research and Latin American Cataloger at the University of Pittsburgh.

 

The co-author of three books, along with several book chapters, Westbrooks lectures at numerous conferences. She also serves on the Association for Research Libraries Visioning Taskforce, was recently the chair of the HathiTrust Rights and Access Committee and also served on the HathiTrust Program Steering Committee.

 

“I am honored to be selected as Carolina’s vice provost for University Libraries. The University Libraries have rich collections and talented staff,” said Westbrooks. “I look forward to helping Carolina make its library spaces, collections and services an even more integral part of academic life on campus.”

 

Westbrooks earned a bachelor of arts degree in linguistics and a master’s degree in information and library science from the University of Pittsburgh.

 

She succeeds Sarah Michalak, who retired in December 2016. Carol Hunter, deputy University librarian and associate University librarian for collections and services, has served as interim University librarian since Michalak’s departure. She will retire from Carolina on Oct. 1.

 

-Carolina-

 

Photo: https://unc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000L1BiG3Ab08k/G00007jgAb2P2VEM/Westbrooks-Elaine

 

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, 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 318,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 157 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

University Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu

Excavations by UNC-Chapel Hill archaeologist continue to yield stunning mosaics in ancient Galilean synagogue

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Excavations by UNC-Chapel Hill archaeologist continue to yield stunning mosaics in ancient Galilean synagogue

 

Seventh season of Huqoq excavations brings to light the richest, most diverse collection of mosaics ever discovered in an ancient synagogue

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— July 6, 2017) – A team of specialists and students led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill professor Jodi Magness has uncovered additional mosaic scenes in the Late Roman synagogue at Huqoq, an ancient Jewish village in Israel’s Lower Galilee. The new finds provide insight about daily life in the fifth century C.E. and expand the rich repertoire of mosaics already discovered decorating the floors of the building.

 

Magness, the Kenan Distinguished Professor of religious studies in Carolina’s College of Arts & Sciences, along with Assistant Director Shua Kisilevitz of the Israel Antiquities Authority, focused this seventh season of Huqoq excavations on the southern part of the nave (main hall), where three panels were exposed.

 

A medallion in the center of the uppermost (northern) panel depicts the Greco-Roman sun god Helios in a quadriga (four-horse chariot) surrounded by personifications of the months and the signs of the zodiac, contained within a square frame with personifications of the four seasons in the corners.

 

The second panel shows the biblical story of Jonah and the whale with a twist: Jonah’s legs are shown dangling from the mouth of a large fish, which is being swallowed by a larger fish, and the larger fish is being swallowed by an even larger fish. This is the first time the story of Jonah has been discovered decorating the mosaic floor of an ancient synagogue in Israel.

 

The third (southernmost) panel contains a detailed scene of men at work constructing a stone tower, apparently the Tower of Babel.

 

“The Huqoq mosaics are unusually rich and diverse,” said Magness. “In addition, they display variations on biblical stories which must represent oral traditions (midrashim) that circulated among the local Jewish population.”

 

Mosaics were first discovered at the site in 2012, and work has continued each summer since then. In 2012, a mosaic depicting Samson and the foxes (as related in the Bible’s Judges 15:4) was found in the synagogue’s east aisle. The next summer, an adjacent mosaic was uncovered that shows Samson carrying the gate of Gaza on his shoulders (Judges 16:3). Another mosaic discovered in the synagogue’s east aisle in 2013 and 2014 depicts the first non-biblical story ever found decorating an ancient synagogue — perhaps the legendary meeting between Alexander the Great and the Jewish high priest.

 

A mosaic panel uncovered in 2015 next to this scene contains a Hebrew inscription surrounded by human figures, animals and mythological creatures including putti (cupids). Mosaics discovered in the northern part of the nave (main hall) in 2016 portray two biblical stories: Noah’s Ark and the parting of the Red Sea, in which Pharaoh’s soldiers are swallowed by large fish similar to the fish swallowing Jonah in the mosaic uncovered this summer.

 

“One of the distinguishing features of the Huqoq mosaics is the incorporation of numerous classical (Greco-Roman) elements such as putti, winged personifications of the seasons, and — in the Jonah scene — harpies (large birds with female heads and torsos representing storm winds),” said Magness. “The mosaics also provide a great deal of information about ancient daily life, such as the construction techniques shown in the Tower of Babel scene uncovered this summer.”

 

Sponsors of the project are UNC-Chapel Hill, Baylor University, Brigham Young University and the University of Toronto. Students and staff from Carolina and the consortium schools participated in the dig. Financial support for the 2017 season was also provided by the National Geographic Society, the Loeb Classical Library Foundation, the International Catacomb Society and the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.

 

The mosaics have been removed from the site for conservation, and the excavated areas have been backfilled. Excavations are scheduled to continue in summer 2018. For additional information and updates, visit the project’s website: www.huqoq.org.

 

Note: Magness can be reached at magness@email.unc.edu, or by phone in Israel until July 10 and after July 10 in the U.S. When dialing from outside Israel: 011-972-52-6611542; from within Israel: 052-6611542. Phone in the U.S.: 919-967-6888.

 

Photos: (credit: Jim Haberman)

https://unc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C0000.jfK5DRIwnI/G00008qO7cl_AvRE/Huqoq-Mosaics

 

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, 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 318,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 157 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

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

UNC Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill students receive Boren Awards

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UNC-Chapel Hill students receive Boren Awards

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C. –  May 31, 2017) – Two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill students have been recognized by the National Security Education Program with Boren Awards, which support fields of study identified as critical to United States national security, particularly language study.

 

Kirsten Cooper, a graduate student from Westerly, Rhode Island, in the College of Arts and Sciences studying history, received one of 114 Boren Fellowships granted nationwide by the NSEP to graduate students. She will use the fellowship to study in South Korea. Richard Ong, a rising junior at Carolina from Winston-Salem majoring in history and peace, war and defense, received one of 194 Boren Scholarships granted nationwide to undergraduates. Ong will use the scholarship to study Hindi in India through the South Asian Flagship Language Initiative.

 

Valued at up to $30,000, Boren Fellowships are awarded to graduate students to live and study in areas of the world important to national security.

 

Boren Scholarships award up to $20,000 a year for students to study less commonly taught languages in world regions critical to U.S. interests.

 

The Boren Awards underline the commitment of both the federal government and the Institute of International Education to educate our country’s citizens. It is among the few awards available to fund the deep pursuit of language study for graduate students. Both the Boren Fellowship and Scholarship are awarded in exchange for commitment to work in the federal government for a period of time.

 

“Without the Boren Awards, the National Security Education Program and the substantial funding and programs they provide, these outstanding Carolina students and others might find it difficult to gain advanced knowledge in critical languages not commonly studied,” said professor Inger S. Brodey, director of UNC’s Office of Distinguished Scholarships. “We’re incredibly proud that Kirsten and Richard will have this exciting opportunity.”

-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, 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 318,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 157 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Office of Distinguished Scholarships: http://distinguishedscholarships.unc.edu/, (919) 843-7757
Office of Distinguished Scholarships contact: Malindi Robinson, (919) 843-7756 malindi@email.unc.edu
UNC-Chapel Hill Communications contact: Will Rimer, (919) 445-0945 rimerwp@unc.edu

UNC Board of Governors selects UNC-Chapel Hill professor Jane F. Thrailkill for 2017 Teaching Excellence Award

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Associate Professor, Department of English and Comparative Literature, Jane Thrailkill leads a class March 6, 2017. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

 

UNC Board of Governors selects UNC-Chapel Hill professor Jane F. Thrailkill for 2017 Teaching Excellence Award

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— May 3, 2017) – The Board of Governors of the 17-campus University of North Carolina has selected University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill distinguished associate professor Jane F. Thrailkill, department of English and Comparative Literature in the College of Arts and Sciences, for a 2017 Award for Excellence in Teaching. Thrailkill is one of 17 recipients, nominated by special committees on their home campuses and selected by the Board of Governors’ Committee on Personnel and Tenure.

 

Initially on a pre-med track as an undergraduate, Thrailkill changed course and earned her bachelor’s degree in English from Amherst College, followed by master’s and doctorate degrees in English and American literature from Johns Hopkins University. Through her love of literature and interest in medicine she developed a passion for the interdisciplinary field of medical humanities.

 

Thrailkill is being recognized for her commitment to interdisciplinary teaching and scholarship and her leadership in the medical humanities field.

 

“Jane Thrailkill’s exemplary teaching and mentoring skills excite the imaginations of our students,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt. “The immersive experiences Jane provides students – inside and outside of the classroom – is revolutionizing the delivery of compassionate, people-focused healthcare and clinical training. We congratulate her on this well-deserved recognition and honor.”

 

Shortly after joining the English department in 2000, Thrailkill developed a series of interdisciplinary medical humanities classes, including, “Doctors and Patients,” which examines the nature of the relationship between healers and those who are ill. She also collaborated with Honors Carolina to create an undergraduate minor and a graduate program in literature, medicine, and culture.

 

Thrailkill is the co-founder and co-director of HHIVE lab (Health and Humanities: An Interdisciplinary Venue for Exploration), one of the first research-based health and humanities labs in the country. HHIVE provides undergraduate, graduate and professional students with interest in health humanities the opportunity to participate in research and outreach projects at the intersection of the arts. All Thrailkill’s curricula and programs offer a better understanding of how patients interpret illness, how definitions of disease are shaped through cultural understandings and how professionals can better reflect on their values and communicative practices.

 

Numerous undergraduates note that Thrailkill provided the means within and outside of the classroom for producing excellence in thinking, writing and communicating from a humanist perspective. One future physician testifies to the lasting impact she has had on many students’ academic and professional futures, “She laid the foundation for what I hope to be a lifelong pursuit of the medical humanities and the compassionate, humanistic practice of medicine.”

 

Thrailkill is currently teaching at UNC School of Medicine, as part of an interdisciplinary team of clinicians and scholars leading seminars for medical students during clinical rotations. She will receive her award during Carolina’s spring graduation ceremony.

 

Award citations and photos for all 17 recipients can be found on the University of North Carolina website:

 

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Photo:

https://unc.photoshelter.com/galleries/I0000AYvOngTfjhg/005117-threilkill-jane002

 

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, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pre

 

University Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu

Southern Historical Collection receives $877,000 from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

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Southern Historical Collection receives $877,000 from Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

 

Grant will for develop models for communities to tell their own stories

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— April 25, 2017) – The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received an $877,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, which will allow the Southern Historical Collection (SHC) at the Wilson Special Collections Library to further develop its transformative model for “community-driven archives.” In addition to several community archiving projects, the SHC will also develop and share training and educational materials in this emerging area of practice.

 

Activities for the three-year grant, “Building a Model for All Users: Transforming Archive Collections through Community-Driven Archives,” will begin immediately.

 

Community-driven archives are created through partnerships between a community that wishes to document and preserve its own history and an archival repository. In many cases, these are stories of marginalized communities that past generations of historians and archivists did not consider significant enough to record or preserve.

 

“These projects let us reach communities where people tell us, ‘I didn’t think anyone cared about our history,’” said SHC Director Bryan Giemza.

 

Giemza thinks having the community direct archiving activities with support from an archivist can foster trust and understanding. At the same time, establishing a more complete historical record benefits everyone who seeks to understand the past and the present.

 

“It’s a very democratic process that places the owners of the story at the center of documentary efforts. We are grateful to the Mellon Foundation for supporting work that leads to dialogue, truth and even reconciliation, by creating opportunities for Americans to learn from and about one another,” said Giemza.

 

As part of the grant, the SHC will hire a full-time Community Archivist and advance or complete four community archiving projects currently underway:

 

 

The SHC will develop a web-based resource to connect researchers with potential community archives projects. Additionally, the SHC will use the grant to share the information about its processes so other archives and communities can replicate them. This includes innovations such as the “Archivist in a Backpack,” which contains starter materials and instructions, protective document sleeves, a microphone and activity suggestions. It will also hold a publishing workshop so participants can reflect on and create a record of their own experiences.

 

-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, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day 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 317,000-plus alumni live in all 50 states and 156 other countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Libraries contact: Judy Panitch, (919) 843-3619, panitch@email.unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2016 Harvey Award funds projects focused on hunger and educational success for children in foster care

For immediate use

 

UNC-Chapel Hill’s 2016 Harvey Award funds projects focused on hunger and educational success for children in foster care

 

(Chapel Hill, N.C.— April 20, 2017) – Faculty members from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and schools of medicine, education and social work will tackle the issues of local hunger and academic success for North Carolina foster children with funding provided by the 2016 C. Felix Harvey Award to Advance Institutional Priorities.

 

The Harvey Award reflects a core Carolina value—serving the public good—by recognizing exemplary faculty scholarship that addresses real-world challenges and reflects the University’s commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation.

 

Dr. Alice Ammerman, director of the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and professor of nutrition, Gillings School of Global Public Health and School of Medicine, will lead a coalition of community partners to increase access to healthy food for low-income consumers.

 

“This venture provides access to healthy food for low-income community members while also providing economic opportunities for local farmers and retailers,” said Ammerman. “The project will develop a sales model with dual price points—full price or slightly higher at an upscale food store, and significantly reduced prices at four small community grocery stores.”

 

The group will use local food production facilities and seasonally available local food to create healthy frozen meals that will be offered for sale at local markets. While inspired by the Mediterranean diet, the recipes will be adapted for the southern palate, featuring southern vegetables and locally produced meats. Local partners include Weaver Street Market, Carolina student start-up Seal the Seasons and Farmer Foodshare among others.

 

This year, through the generosity of the McNairy Foundation and the C. Felix Harvey Award endowment, a second award will fund a team developing a program to meet the academic needs of children in foster care: Dr. Molly Berkoff, associate professor of pediatrics and medical director of the Child Medical Evaluation Program and Child Protection Team, School of Medicine; Dr. Robert Martinez Jr., assistant professor, School of Education; and Laura Phipps, clinical assistant professor at the Family and Children’s Resource Program, Jordan Institute for Families at the School of Social Work.

 

Together, they will develop an online training toolkit to guide child welfare social workers as they assist foster care children and advocate for their academic needs. Some studies show that less than 60 percent of students in foster care finish high school, and among those who do, only 3 percent pursue postsecondary education. Though North Carolina currently has a strong child welfare system, there are no training tools focused on the specific academic needs of foster children. This project will assist with development of resources for both child welfare and the North Carolina school system to use in local districts.

 

“I’m very passionate about this work,” said Berkoff. “Since I arrived at Carolina in 2003, I’ve worked with children who have been victims of abuse and neglect, focusing on their medical needs. Many of them are in foster care and over time I realized that we could work better with our partners in the school system and the child welfare system to meet their educational needs.”

 

The late C. Felix Harvey was chairman of Harvey Enterprises & Affiliates and founder of the Little Bank Inc., both in Kinston, North Carolina. A 1943 Carolina graduate, he joined his family in 2007 to endow the award with a $2 million commitment. Five generations of Harveys have earned UNC-Chapel Hill degrees.

 

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Photos: http://unc.photoshelter.com/galleries/C00005vwcu89jLJ4/G0000zIeBvX2w5xk/2016-Harvey-Award-Winners

 

 

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, 110 master’s, 64 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day 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 317,000-plus alumni live in all 50 states and 156 other countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.

 

Development contact: Kimberly Elenez, (919) 962-1628, kelenez@email.unc.edu

UNC-Chapel Hill Communications contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu