College of Arts & Sciences

News

THE 2016 GRADUATE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM POSTER CONTEST WINNERS

CarolineThe School of Graduate Studies and Research proudly announced the winners of the 2016 Graduate Research Symposium Poster Contest. Winners include: 

Jessica Mager (Elementary Education): A Study of Daily Five Reading and its Effectiveness Towards Increasing Student Motivation

 

Dena M. Ali (Public Administration): Improving Firefighter Effectiveness through Wellness

Caroline Newman (Science Education): The Effects of Student Generated Modeling on High School Physical Science Student’s Self-Efficacy and Motivation

A special congratulations to Caroline Newman, pictured above, who received Best Research Poster and Presentation at this year’s event!

The students named above will join representatives from other graduate schools across North Carolina at Graduate Education Day in Raleigh on May 24. 

 Jacqueline E. Barnoski (Nursing) received an honorable mention for At-Risk and Early-Stage CKD Identification Barriers Amongst Diabetics in the Primary Care Setting

The College of Arts and Sciences joins in congratulating the award recipients and in celebrating the accomplishments of our outstanding students.  Photos of the event are available here

 

COLLEGE OF ARTS AND SCIENCES CELEBRATES ACADEMIC AWARDS DAY 2016

The College of Arts & Sciences celebrated the achievements of our students at Academic Awards Day, March 30, 2016. Sixty scholarships and awards were presented to outstanding students in the College. Their excitement and enthusiasm were shared with faculty, staff, and donors alike. Pictured above are faculty and recipients from the Department of Biology:  Dr. Lisa Kelly, Dr. Connor Sandefur, Robbie Juel, Harold Arrington, Ashley Allen, Cameron Troutman, Ethan Sanford, and Dr. Velinda Woriax, department chair. For a complete list of recipients see the program and click here for more photos.

 

UNCP MODEL UNITED NATIONS TEAM DOES IT AGAIN!

Model UN TeamThe UNCP Model United Nations team, pictured above, returned home after a highly successful performance at the 2016 Spring Southern Regional Model United Nations. At this conference the team represented Russia, the Dominican Republic, Bulgaria, and Ethiopia. The team received more total honors than any other school at the conference and was the only school to win multiple position paper awards. The team received a total of eleven awards, including six individual awards, three Outstanding Position Paper awards, and two team awards, including an Outstanding Delegation award for Russia, which is the highest team award given.

 “In the span of two short years our Model UN team has transformed from one that had never won anything in its first six years to one of the strongest delegations in the southeast. The team has won a total of 29 awards in the four conferences participated in during school year 2015-2016,” noted faculty advisor Kevin Freeman (Political Science & Public Administration) .

Outstanding Delegates: Garrison Davis, Andrew Yarborough/John Ware, Maureen Johnston/Na’ilah el Amin, Demetrius Edwards, Dajer Fernandez, Mia Baxley/Chapell Brock

Outstanding Position Paper Awards: Ethiopia, Dominical Republic, Bulgaria

Team Awards: Ethiopia (Honorable), Russia (Outstanding)

 

UNCP MODEL ARAB LEAGUE WINS AWARDS

Model Arab League

The UNCP Model Arab League team participated in the Southern Regional Model Arab League (SERMAL) conference at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC, March 11-13, 2016.  Sixteen students and Professor Kirill Bumin attended. The team represented Saudi Arabia and took the roles of the heads of state and government in a simulated crisis committee, which pitted Morocco against Algeria in a territorial dispute over Western Sahara territory.  Professor Bumin notes, “Dr. Freeman and I are very proud of the wonderful work our Model United Nations and Model Arab League students are doing.” The students faced strong competition and brought home eleven awards: ten individual Distinguished Delegate awards students earned for work on their respective committees and an Outstanding Delegation award for representing Saudi Arabia overall. “This is superb! It is wonderful to see UNCP represented so well by this group of students!” Added Dr. Meredith Storms, interim Dean, College of Arts and Sciences.

 Participating students included: Kendall Bauer, Mia Baxley, Garrison Davis, Brian Edwards, Dajer Fernandez, Riley Gary, Tyler Grumelot, Devon Hester, Logan John, Maureen Johnston, Nicholos Palmer, Nicholas Rhodes, Carlos Rodriguez, Maddie Smith, Desmond Woods, and Andrew Yarborough. 

 

UNCP GRADUATE SOCIAL WORK PROGRAM RANKED

Best Social WorkThe UNCP Master of Social program is ranked #6 among the 50 Most Affordable Accredited MSW Programs in the East for 2016.  Best Social Work Programs (BSWP) ranked MSW programs accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) in New England, Mid-Atlantic and southeastern states.  BSWP confirmed the schools’ accreditation status and compared their graduate tuition and fees to rank the programs. UNCP's program is considered the 6th most affordable in the eastern United States. Check out our Master of Social Work program

 

ART STUDENT PLACES IN NATIONAL COMPETITION

Untitled by Reneba JohnsonGraduate student Reneba Dayona Johnson (Art) participated in the national New Impressions Printmaking Competition, and her print Untitled (pictured at left) tied for a third place award in the etching category.  Sponsored by the printmaking paper company Arnheim 1618, the competition was for college students across the country and awarded prizes totaling $10,000. Her print, along with those of the other winners, will be exhibited at the Sawtooth School of the Visual Arts, Winston-Salem, NC, and at the Southern Graphics Conference in 2016. Other winners in this category were from Cal State Long Beach; the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the School of Visual Arts, New York; and the University of British Columbia.

 

STUDENTS AND THE PERCUSSIVE ARTS SOCIETY INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION

Students_Percussive_Arts_Soceity Joseph Van Hassel (Music) and seven UNCP students performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention in San Antonio, Texas, November 11-13, 2015. Their performance included the world premiere of David Macbride's Flam, which can be seen here. The students not only performed but also attended performances and sessions by professionals such as Christopher Lamb (principal percussionist with the New York Philharmonic) and Ndugu Chancler (drummer for Michael Jackson, Santana, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, etc.).

Students received a PURC grant to help fund the trip. Participants, pictured left to right above, included: Allison Sontag, Hunter Baxley, Brandon West, Melody Strupe, Angelis Hernandez, Darius Dawson, William Campos, David Macbride (composer), and Joseph Van Hassel.

 

UNCP GRADUATE RAMON ZEPEDA MAKING A DIFFERENCE

UNCP graduate Ramon Zepeda (Sociology and Criminal Justice) was featured in a Fayetteville Observer article on December 26, 2015.  The first member of his immediate family to graduate from both high school and college, Zepeda is currently the program director for the Student Action with Farmworkers Program of the Southeast, a non-profit organization that helps college students and farmworkers build coalitions for social change through storytelling and the arts.  Born in a small village in Mexico, Zepeda lived in East Los Angeles before his family settled in Hoke County, while his father pursued work in agriculture.  Faced with pressure to work full time to help support his family, he chose the convenience of UNCP because of its supportive faculty and staff. “They are good people. I knew this would be difficult for me, and they were super-supportive,” he says. Today, he lectures on immigrant worker issues at colleges across the South, sharing his first-hand experiences, and addressing economic misconceptions and stereotypes about immigrant workers. Associate professor James Robinson (Sociology and Criminal Justice) notes, “His ability to engage with students is amazing. He speaks with an understanding that comes with experience.”  

 

RECENT GRADUATE NAMED 2015 OFFICER OF THE YEAR

Caleb Lockear, a recent gradute of the Sociology and Criminal Justice Department, was selcted by his peers as the 2015 Police Officer of the Year for the Laurinburg North Carolina Police Department.  Locklear joined the force in 2013. Robert McDonnell (Sociology and Criminal Justice) notes, "It is a great honor, especially when selected by your fellow officers. He is another example of high quality outcome produced by our department. More importantly, he is a fine young man."  Congratulations, Officer Locklear.

 

UNCP MODEL UNITED NATIONS TEAM HAS SUCCESSFUL FALL CONFERENCE

Vietnam Delegation

Twenty-Five students traveled to Atlanta to participate in the Fall Southern Regional Model United Nations Conference and returned after having the most successful fall conference in the history of the UNCP program.  UNCP delegations representing the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam won Distinguished Delegation awards, and the Vietnam delegation won an Outstanding Position Paper award.  Students Tyler Grumelot and Micah Baldwin also won individual awards in their committee. 

The Model United Nations Program at UNCP is led by Kevin Freeman, Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. “What’s most exciting is the energy in our students. They go to conferences expecting to win, and the students police each other to make sure that everyone is pulling their weight. I’m incredibly proud of our team and how they represented UNCP," he stated. 

 

UNIVERSITY CHORALE AND PEMBROKE SINGERS PERFORM WITH REGIONAL HIGH SCHOOL

Chorale

The UNCP University Chorale and Pembroke Singers performed their Annual Fall Concert at the UC Annex October 29, 2015. One of the highlights of the concert was a combined performance of "Hope for Resolution" performed by the UNCP University Chorale and Gray's Creek Women's Chorus for an audience of more than 200 guests. Under the direction of Ms. Amy Stovall, Gray's Creek High School choral program has become one of the strongest choral program in our region.  Ms. Stovall is a recent graduate of our Master's degree program in Music Education.

José Rivera, Undergraduate Music Education Coordinator, noted, "These types of artistic/educational collaborations between our institution and regional school Arts programs are powerful venues to build meaningful relationships, support existing Arts programs, and attract potential students to our university." 

 Next semester the University Chorale will collaborate with two other area high school choral programs for a combined performance of "Choral Music from Around the World."

 

MODEL UNITED NATIONS TEAM BRINGS HOME AWARD FROM NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Model UN Team

UNCP’s Model United Nations team traveled to Washington, D.C. October 30-November 1, 2015, to participate in its first National Model United Nations Conference.  The team brought home a Distinguished Delegation award recognizing its overall strength in diplomacy, negotiation, writing, problem-solving, and teamwork. One team member, Nicholos Palmer, also won an Outstanding Position Paper award for an extensive research paper discussing his committee's goals related to particular world problems.  The team members included: Diana Feria, Maureen Johnston, Jordin Dickerson (Head Delegate), Jeremy Jacobs, Nicholos Palmer, Logan John, Demetrius Edwards, Andrew Yarborough, Dajer Fernandez, Garrison Davis.

"This is an incredibly competitive conference, and to come home with two amazing awards truly speaks to the strength of this school’s Model UN program and students," noted Kevin Freeman (Political Science and Public Administration).  While in Washington, the team had a private tour of the Capitol Building and visited the Brazilian Embassy, where embassy staff briefed the students on Brazilian foreign policy. 

 

NEW BOOK ABOUT MERRIWELL BY RYAN K. ANDERSON
Anderson_Merriwell

Ryan K. Anderson, associate professor in History, has published a new book Frank Merriwell and the Fiction of All-American Boyhood: The Progressive Era Creations of the Schoolboy Sports Story (University of Arkansas Press, September 2015, 320 pages).  Created by Gilbert Patten, writing under the name of Burt L. Standish, Frank Merriwell was a fictional schoolboy athlete featured in over 800 stories published in Tip Top Weekly. “He helped define an entire generation of boys who grew up with him, and he informed a generation how to raise a boy,” Anderson said.  “This book has appeal to readers interested in gender studies, sports, business, and book history,” Anderson continued. 

 

ART MAJOR RECEIVES 2015 TRI-STATE SCULPTORS MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP

Jai_work

UNCP undergraduate art major Jai Woods will be recognized for her accomplishments at the 37th Annual Tri-State Sculptors Conference in Wilmington, NC. The conference will be held at UNC-Wilmington October 1-4, 2014. During the conference Ms. Woods will conduct a presentation of her work for Tri-State Members as she receives her 2015 Tri-State Sculptors Memorial Scholarship. This award is granted to one undergraduate and one graduate student whose work demonstrates a focus or concentration in sculpture.

  

STUDENT SCIENCE ENRICHMENT PROGRAM (SSEP) GRANT RECEIVED 

Kids in the Garden: Developing STEM Skills for a Sustainable Future, a program created by professors Martin Farley (Geology and Geography), Rita Hagevik (Biology),  Deborah Hanmer (Biology), and Jeffrey Warren (Education) receives funding from The Burroughs Wellcome Fund, an independent private foundation headquarted in Research Triangle Park, N.C..  The Student Science Enrichment Program (SSEP) grant provides $180,000 distributed over a three-year period. 

The program is designed to engage rising middle and high school students from Bladen, Richmond, Robeson, and Cumberland Counties in STEM-related biotechnology research and careers by having them study the hidden “micro-world” of pollen (palynology) and how it relates to sustainable agriculture, botany, ecology, and environmental change. Approximately 20 secondary students as well as their schools and teachers will participate each year in the project over a three-year period. The 2015 Student Science Enrichment Program grants, awarded to 13 nonprofit organizations and totaling $2.16 million, support informal STEM programing to take place outside the traditional classroom setting.  

 

DR. ELLERBE PUBLISHES REVIEW IN PROMINENT JOURNAL

Calvina_Ellerbe

Calvina Ellerbe, associate professor in Sociology and Criminal Justice, recently published a review in a prominent referred journal.  Her review of the book Faith, Family, and Filipino American Community Life by Stephen M. Cherry appears in the September 2015 issue of Contemporary Sociology: A Journal of Reviews

 

2015 LSAMP SUMMER BRIDGE PROGRAM WELCOMES STUDENTS

LSAMP

The NC-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minoriy Participation (LSAMP) at UNC Pembroke is an NSF-funded grant with Dr. Velinda Locklear Woriax (Biology) as the principal investigator and Ms. Valarie Deese as the Recruiter/Campus Coordinator. The goal of the grant is to increase the number of capable, successful historically underrepresented students completing a baccalaureate program in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as the number of students that enter into STEM graduate programs.

Four incoming freshman participated in the UNC Pembroke LSAMP Summer Bridge enrichment component July 6 through August 7, 2015.  The program included hands-on laboratory projects, fieldtrips, instruction on academic support opportunities, and tips for student success. Students developed research projects individually to allow them to think critically about about how problems are approached using the scientific method. Students isolated bacterial species from a local river source and conducted various assays to identify the species to the genus level. Research findings will be presented at upcoming regional and national meetings.

 

PAUL FLOWERS RECEIVES NSF GRANT FOR RESEARCH AND PUBLISHES TEXTBOOK

Paul Flowers

Dr. Paul Flowers (Chemistry) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant under the Chemical Measurement and Imaging Program. The three-year, $159,000 grant will provide equipment, supplies and stipends for six undergraduate research assistants. Dr. Flowers is developing new methods and devices for conducting chemical analysis of compounds seeking to save time, cost, and require much smaller sample sizes compared to existing techniques.

Professor Flowers also recently published a new textbook, Chemistry, that is designed for a traditional two-semester introductory course.  Dr. Flowers served as lead author of a team of contributors. The book was published by OpenStax College March 2015. OpenStax is a non-profit project of Rice University with the mission to provide high quality college texts in electronic format at no cost to students.

 

RUDY LOCKLEAR NOMINATED TO SERVE AS PRESIDENT OF THE ASSOCIATION OF NORTH CAROLINA MAGISTRATES  

Rudy Locklear (Sociology and Criminal Justice) was nominated to serve as President of the Association of North Carolina Magistrates.  After receiving notice of the nomination, he was invited to attend the State of the Judiciary Address from Mark Martin, Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court. Chief Justice Mark Martin delivered the State of the Judiciary address before the N.C. General Assembly on Wednesday, March 4, at the Legislative Building in Raleigh. The address was in response to an invitation by a joint resolution of the General Assembly. Themed, “Justice for All,” it was the first State of the Judiciary address since 2001.  Rudy Locklear (pictured in his UNCP tie) credits his success to a quality education from UNCP!

 

MUSIC STUDENTS RECEIVE AWARDS  

All three of our UNCP voice students that participated in NC NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) Classical Student Auditions placed in the top three in their categories.  Fabian Griffith placed 1st in Junior Men category, Terriq White placed 3rd in the Senior Men category, and Meredith Shanahan placed 3rd in the Junior Women category. This audition was held at the NC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem and all of these students are invited to sing again at the Mid-Atlantic NATS Competition on March 27-28, 2015 at the University of Maryland in College Park, MD.  Special thanks to Dr. Seung Ah Kim (Music) for great accompanying at this audition!

 GEOLOGY MAJORS TRAVEL TO THE GEOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA CONFERENCE AND VISIT THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS

Geology MajorsIn March of 2015, Geology students attended the Geological Society of America Southeastern Section meeting and conference. They participated in career workshops, listened to research talks, perused research posters by professionals and students, and learned about Professional Geologist Licensing. As they drove back through the Smokey Mountains, they stopped at several places and studied rock outcrops. Stops included Cullasaja Falls, a well-studied location involving upstream knick point migration of rivers as the Appalachians are potentially being rejuvenated.

  

STUDENT PROPOSAL ACCEPTED FOR CIVIC ENGAGEMENT CONFERENCE 

Sandra Torres' proposal, Stories of Struggle: Work Histories of the Lumbee, has been accepted to the IMPACT Conference, the largest annual conference focused on the civic engagement of college students in community service, service-learning, community-based research, advocacy and other forms of social action.  Sandra assisted Dr. Jason Hutchens (Mass Communication) and Dr. Michele Fazio (English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages) with archival research for the film (Voices of the Lumbee) and also worked to create the work history exhibit. Sandra be heading to Los Angeles in February to lead a workshop introducing both projects and will also screen the film trailer. 

 

YEARBOOK RECEIVES RECOGNITION

The American Scholastic Press Association released the results of its 2014 yearbook competition, and we are pleased to announce that the 2014 Indianhead received a First Place award and a separate award for Best Sports Section.  The award citation states that our 2014 yearbook “shows excellence in the fields of writing, photography and page design and contains elements/sections of an effective yearbook that will be treasured for years to come.”  Congratulations to Robert Hamilton, Nicole Payne, Christina Dawkins, and all the other students who worked so hard on the 2014 Indianhead—and are continuing to work on producing what we hope will be another award-winning edition in 2015! Sara Oswald (English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages) serves as the yearbook advisor.

 

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH STUDENT RECEIVES AWARD

 Anna Wade, an undergraduate research student, received the Best Undergraduate Paper Award for the poster/demonstration entitled “Simple, Low Cost Wavefront Splitting Refractometer” at the North Carolina Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers conference in November 2014. Dr. Bill Brandon (Physics) served as the research supervisor for the project.

 

BOOKS PUBLISHED BY PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN INDIAN STUDIES

Dr. Jay Hansford C. Vest (American Indian Studies) recently published “Native American Oralcy: Interpretations of Indigenous Thought.”  Details and scholarly reviews are available at http://www.jcharltonpublishing.com/native-american-oralcy.html.  Another book, “Bridging the Great Divide: Studies in Pikuni-Blackfeet and Salish-Kootenai Sacred Geography,” is scheduled to be published in February 2015.

 

DR. HAGEVIK'S AWARD-WINNING ARTICLE HELPS STUDENTS "GET CONNECTED" TO THE OUTDOOR CLASSROOM

Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology) and her team of collaborators found a way that helps school children discover the natural world of their schoolyard utilizing new technologies. Their article was recently published in the March 2013 issue of Science and Children, a peer-reviewed journal of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA). Published under the title “Get Connected,” the article was recently awarded the REVERE Award (Recognizing Valuable Educational Resources across all ages, in all media, for all educational settings) by the Association of American Publishers (AAP). Dr. Hagevik and her team were notified in the spring that the article “Get Connected” was a finalist for the award, and they were very excited when notified this fall that their article had been chosen for the award.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE STUDENTS MEET RECRUITER

In October, Officer Yolanda T. Hunter, Senior Recruiter of the Raleigh Police Department, met with more than twenty criminal justice majors.

 

MUSIC STUDENTS RECEIVE HONORS

Several UNCP students received honors at the Musical Theatre competition sponsored by the National Association of Teachers of Singing on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in January.  These students, all voice majors working with Professor Tracy Thomas, competed against singers from the North Carolina School of the Arts, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Charlotte, East Carolina University, Elon College, Meredith College, Greensboro College, and other North Carolina institutions. 

The following students were recognized: 

  • Ieisha Jones, first place, freshman/sophomore women
  • James Ellison, second place, junior/senior men
  • Allyson Ivey, second place, junior/senior women
  • Amy Rowland, second place, junior/senior women

These four students-along with Kiersten Adams, Dorianna Curry, and Nygel Robinson-will advance to the regional competition, which will take place at UNCP in April.  UNCP advanced more competitors than any other participating college/voice studio in the state.

The regional competition will feature scores of students from North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.  Some of these students will advance to a national competition in Boston, where $30,000 in case prizes will be awarded.

 

NSF GRANT WILL SUPPORT STEM MAJORS

Maria Santisteban

Rebecca Bullard-DillardDr. Maria Santisteban (Biology) and Dr. Rebecca Bullard-Dillard (Chemistry and Physics) have secured a $618,993 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) under the S-STEM (Scholarship in STEM) program, designed to promote the study of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The grant will provide annual scholarships averaging $6000 to 27 students, arranged in three cohorts, in biology, biotechnology, environmental science, or chemistry over the next five years. Candidates should have and maintain at least a 3.0 grade-point average and attend a number of programmatic activities.

The COMPASS (Creating Opportunities for Students in Science) program is designed to build a community of scholars, to prepare students for careers, and to coordinate the S-STEM program support activities with UNCP existing resources, such as those in the areas of financial aid and academic support programs.  

 

UNCP ART STUDENT RECEIVES OUTSTANDING AWARD

Kayla SeedigCongratulations to art major KAYLA SEEDIG, pictured left, recipient of the 2014 Outstanding Senior Award presented by the UNCP Alumni Association. Kayla has participated in fourteen exhibitions in 2013-14, including the Nashville Print Revival in Nashville, TN, and the UNCP-ESU Exhibition at Emporia State University in Emporia, KS. She was recently featured as Artist of the Month at Cape Fear Studios. Upon graduation, Seedig will be pursuing an MFA in Printmaking from the University of North Texas.

  

 UNCP OUTDOOR SOCIAL SPACE CONTEST

artAn art major, Vivienne Leaven, provided the winning design in the UNCP Outdoor Social Space Contest. Students were asked to submit designs for a social space to be built on campus that will encourage a 'robust community.'   Vivienne will work with the management staff to build the structure, which will include comfortable seating, hammock hooks, and a plaque with Vivienne's name.  When asked why here design will contribute to a robust community, Vivienne responded "Students want to stay and relax on campus outside of their dorm rooms; however, there really aren’t any outdoor structures to do so. This space unleashes some of the potential for the vacant areas on campus."

 

 CRIMINAL JUSTICE STUDENTS TOUR CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION

The Criminal Justice Club students toured the Polk Correctional Institution in Butner, NC.  Polk is a closed security prison with the only super-max unit in the state.  The administration gave a fantastic, thorough tour of the various units, and spoke with the students about the realities and benefits of working in corrections.  They ended the tour with a presentation and question/answer session.  It was an eye-opening educational experience for all!

 

UNCP'S MODEL UNITED NATIONS TEAM WINS AWARDS

The 2014 UNCP Model United Nations team produced its best results ever at the spring conference in Charlotte, winning two awards.  UNCP's delegation, led by Dr. Kevin Freeman, chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration, consisted of sixteen students, divided into three teams representing Australia, Sweden, and Syria, respectively. Model United Nations challenges students' skills in writing, problem solving, public speaking, and diplomacy.  Students are expected to submit a position paper prior to the conference and defend those positions while developing consensus in diverse groups.  Approximately 330 students from throughout the southeast attended the conference. UNCP's Australian delegation won a Best Position Paper award while the Swedish delegation won an Honorable Mention Outstanding Delegation award--the school's first two awards in the seven years it has participated in the conference. Students attending the conference were Matthew Belk, Kristen Burleson, Garriso Davis, Jordin Dickerson, Nailah El Amin, Adam Franco, Robert Hamilton, Logan John, Andrew Kot, Lakima Legette, Manuel Mejia Diaz, Natonya Owens, Ashley Peterson, Leah Williams, and Andrew Yarbrough. UNCP will next attend the fall conference, held each November in Atlanta.

Model United Nations team  Model United Nations team

 

ART FACULTY VISIT LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS

Art facultyArt facultyProfessors Adam Walls and Scott Zeigler provided a glimpse into college art courses by visiting several high schools including Terry Sanford, Massey Hill, and South View.  While molding clay on a wheel, students learned new techniques in making pottery. 

 

STUDENTS TRAVEL TO MADRID, SPAIN DURING SPRING BREAK

Madrid, SpainProfessors Cecilia Lara and Enrique Porrua accompanied a group of 17 students of different majors to Madrid, Spain over Spring Break. They visited numerous museums and historical places including the city of Segovia. The trip was very successful and students enjoyed it a lot.

  

UNCP MUSIC STUDENTS RECOGNIZED AT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF TEACHERS OF SINGING REGIONAL CONFERENCE

Several UNCP Music students received awards at the NATS regional competition.  Allyson Ivey placed first in the Junior/Senior Musical Theater Women category, Ieisha Jones placed first in the Freshmen/Sophomore Musical Theater Women category, Nygel Robinson placed second in the Junior/Senior Musical Theater Men category, and Fabian Griffith planced first in the Sophomore Men Classical category.  Dorianna Curry, Kiersten Adams and Terriq White all received Honorable Mention due to their high scores.  The regional competition includes students from universities in Maryland, Washington, DC Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.  Allyson, Ieisha, Nygel and Fabian will move forward in the competition (to the National level).  These students were led by Ms. Tracy Thomas and Dr. Jaeyoon Kim.   

 

STUDENT AWARDED HONORABLE MENTION AT PURC SYMPOSIUM

Donte WestDonte West, a Criminal Justice student, won 4th place (honorable mention) at the PURC Symposium in the Social Science Division category.  Donte's research poster displayed his work with the Teen Court program.  Donte's research mentor is Dr. Renee Lamphere (Sociology and Criminal Justice).

 

 STUDENTS VISIT DISTRICT COURTS IN WASHINGTON, DC

studentsTwenty UNCP students joined Professor McQueen (Sociology and Criminal Justice) in a trip to the U.S. District Courts in Greensboro, NC. The students participated in presentations given by U.S. Attorney Ripley Rand, a federal public defender, senior and line staff of the U.S. Probation office, staff of the U.S. Marshal office and Chief U.S. District Court Judge Osteen.  The students sat in on sentencing involving an internet pornography case.

 

DSS RECRUITER VISITS UNCP

Professor McDonnell's work on Diplomatic Security Service careers for our students: Chris Disney, a UNCP graduate who now works as a recruiter for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), part of the U.S. State Department, has agreed to conduct an information session for students interested federal law enforcement careers with the DSS. The session will take place in Sampson 233 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. March 19.

 

 BBC NEWS FEATURES BIOLOGY PROFESSOR'S RESEARCH ON ENDANGERED SEA TURTLES 

Dr. John RoeLeading a multi-institutional team of researchers, Dr. John Roe just published results from a long-term study on the leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea). The leatherback is the world's largest sea turtle and one of the most endangered. The species occurs in two distinct populations in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, but populations in the Pacific appear to be more at risk, largely from fisheries and overharvesting. Leatherbacks from the Atlantic population occasionally nest on North Carolina’s beaches.

Reporting in the journal, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Dr. Roe and his collaborators used a satellite system to track leatherback sea turtles and to estimate threats to their survival in the Pacific Ocean. They focused on turtle losses posed by bycatch (incidental catches) from longline fisheries. They tracked 135 leatherbacks from 1992-2008 (combining data from several projects) for an average tracking duration of 209 days. The greatest threats in the western Pacific occurred within exclusive economic zones (under national jurisdiction) near primary nesting beaches of Indo-Pacific islands. In the eastern Pacific, however, the greatest threat was in waters outside national jurisdiction --- the South Pacific Gyre. According to the researchers, conservation management of leatherback sea turtles should focus on these high risk areas (“hotspots”) to avoid fisheries bycatch. 

  

CRIMINAL JUSTICE STUDENTS PRESENT WORK AT CONFERENCE

Four Criminal Justice majors joined Dr. Renee Lamphere (Sociology and Criminal Justice) at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology November 20-23, 2013, in Atlanta.

Robert Atwell, Donte West, and Dr. Lamphere presented the academic poster "Robeson County Teen Court: A Program Overview," which discusses the students' experiences as interns with the North Carolina Academic Center for Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, where they volunteer as part of Dr. Lamphere's experiential learning course. Natalie Klemann, Briana Bowden, and Dr. Lamphere presented as part of a panel on using video and audio tools in the classroom. They gave their presentation, "Topping the Classroom Charts: Teaching Criminological Theory Using Popular Music," to a packed audience.

CJ students

Robert Atwell, Dr. Renee Lamphere, and Donte West pose in front of their poster at the 69th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Criminology in Atlanta.

 

 GRADUATE STUDENTS CONDUCT RESEARCH AT HARVARD

Two graduate students in the English Education program joined Dr. Mark Canada (English, Theatre, and Foreign Languages) at Houghton Library on Harvard University's campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to conduct research on projects related to the American novelist Thomas Wolfe. Michael Houck examined archival materials related to Wolfe's work as a playwright, and Nami Montgomery studied the manuscript of an unpublished biography of Wolfe by his friend Marjorie Fairbanks. Both students took a Wolfe seminar with Dr. Canada over the summer and received grant support from the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

 

UNCP GRADUATE NAMED BEST SPORTS ANCHOR

Newy ScruggsBroadcasting alumnus and current member of the UNCP Board of Trustees Newy Scruggs is a six-time recipient of an Emmy award in the state of Texas. Scruggs was recently named best sports anchor in the 2013 competition of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' "Lone Star" chapter, which represents 19 television markets. He is a 1994 graduate of what was then the Department of Communicative Arts at Pembroke State University. UNCP now has a Department of Mass Communication, where students can study broadcasting, as well as journalism and public relations.

Over the years, Scruggs has established the Newy Scruggs Endowed Sports Broadcasting Scholarship for students in the Department of Mass Communication and the Dr. Sylvester Wooten Scholarship for the local chapter of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He is the sports director at KXAS-TV NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth and hosts a national program called Voices of the Game with Newy Scruggs on NBC Sports Radio.

Newy Scruggs, who studied broadcasting at UNCP, appears above with his Emmy award.

 

SANDERSON, STUDENT TO PRESENT RESEARCH

Dr. Brandon Sanderson (Art) and student Daniela Jimenez are set to share the results of their summer 2012 PURC USA research at the the University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. Their work is part of a larger print exchange project entitled "Switching Costs," organized by Chris Wallace, one of UNCP's visiting artists in 2013. A work by Jimenez appears below.

 Daniela Jimenez artwork

 

UNCP STUDENTS PRESENT WORK AT SNCURCS

Sixteen UNCP students made a total of 12 presentations at the ninth State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS) on November 16, 2013, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.  They were among more than 460 presenters from 35 schools.

UNCP's student presenters came from five departments and were supervised by 14 mentors. The names of the presenters, projects, and mentors appear below.

Bioactivity of purified antibacterials secreted by entomopathogenic bacteria Xenorhabdus nematophila and Photorhabdus luminescence  
Matt Bowen, Biotechnology, University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Mentors: Len Holmes, University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Floyd Inman III, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

The Importance of Pharmaceutical Stability in African Countries  
Victor Cole, Pre-Pharmacy, University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Mentor: Meredith Storms, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

Design and Manufacture of an At-Home Basic Electronics Kit 
Edward Derosier, Applied Physics, University of North Carolina - Pembroke
Mentor: Bill Brandon, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

Forest Fragmentation of Southeastern North Carolina  
Justin Duncan, Environmental Science and Geography, University of North Carolina - Pembroke , Pembroke  
Mentor: Jesse Rouse, University of North Carolina - Pembroke

Surveying Red Imported Fire Ant Social Forms in Nature Preserves of the NC Coastal Plain  
Nigel Hirth, Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina - Pembroke
Co-Author(s): Mycah Sewell, University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Mentors: Jeremy Sellers, University of North Carolina – Pembroke,  
Lisa Kelly, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

Simplistic Sonar-based SLAM Platform for Low-Cost Unmanned Aerial Quadcopter Systems  
Christopher Hudson, Computer Science, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 
Mentosr: Saad Biaz, Auburn University; Chase Murray, Auburn University

A Better Suzuki Polymerization for Thiophene-Containing Monomers with Electron-Neutral Coupling Partners  
Robert Lamb, Chemistry, University of North Carolina - Pembroke

Mentor: Pamela Lundin, Appalachian State University 

The Effects of Gravity on the Cori Cycle  
Candace Langston, Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina - Pembroke
Co-Authors: Tiffany Scott, University of North Carolina - Pembroke;   
Molly Musselwhite, University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Mentors: Siva Mandjiny, University of North Carolina - Pembroke; 
Tim Ritter, University of North Carolina – Pembroke

Annotating Genes In Drosophila Species Through The Genomics Education Partnership: a Summer Research Experience  
Thomas Neal, Biology w/ Biomedical Emphasis, University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Mentor: Maria Santisteban, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

Geometer's Sketchpad vs. GeoGebra  
Ziya Ogron, Secondary Mathematics Education, University of North Carolina - Pembroke
Mentor: Mary Kilinikowski, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

Attraction of Galleria mellonella larvae to bacterial luminescence produced by the entomopathogenic bacterium Photorhabdus luminescence  
Walter Patterson, Biotechnology, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 
Mentors: Len Holmes, University of North Carolina – Pembroke;  
Floyd Inman III, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

Working Past the Struggle: Documenting the Voices of the Lumbee 
Sandra Torres, Social Work , University of North Carolina - Pembroke  
Mentor: Michele Fazio, University of North Carolina - Pembroke 

sncurcs

Candace Langston, Trae Griffin, and Tiffany Scott pose with their poster at the SNCURCS conference in Charlotte.

 

STUDENTS ENGAGED IN PHYSICS RESEARCH

Physics ResearchWith the supervision of Dr. Bill Brandon (Chemistry and Physics), several undergraduate students are involved with an ongoing research project related to magneto-optical polarimetic measurement techniques.  Applications include optical modulators, isolators, and circulators, along with field sensors, spectroscopy, and astrophysical probes.  In exploring various high precision measurement schemes to measure Faraday rotation in air, the undergraduate research group developed a balanced dual laser beam phase sensitive photodetection apparatus to measure laser modulation induced by an alternating current magnetic field.  With its very small Verdet constant, air simply serves as a convenient test case.  The ultimate goal is to measure vacuum birefringence (i.e. Faraday rotation in vacuum), an area of interest in the realm of quantum electrodynamics.  A similar, although significantly more sophisticated technique might qualify as a probe for one of the proposed candidate particles of dark matter - the axion.

With support from PURC, the undergraduate research students have presented at numerous conferences.  Austin Griffin received second place for best undergraduate research poster at the 2012 NCS-AAPT conference.  Rob Wardell won first place for best pedagogical paper at the 2013 NCS-AAPT conference.   

 

STUDENTS, FACULTY PRESENT WORK AT NSTA CONFERENCE

Students in science education, along with faculty in the Department of Biology and the Department of Chemistry and Physics, presented their work at the Regional National Science Teachers (NSTA) conference in Charlotte November 7-9, 2013. UNCP presented six sessions:

  • "Wiggling Into Biochar," by Dr. Deborah Hanmer (Biology) and Indya Evans (undergraduate science education);
  • "Bringing Scientific Argumentation Into the Science Classroom," by Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology) and Corinne Jordan, David Wimert, and Ursula Adams (graduate science education);
  • "Let’s Argue About It!," by Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology) and Chris Spencer and Jennifer Spivey (graduate science education);
  • "Graphing a Pathway Through Mechanics: An Inquiry Into Uniform Motion," by Dr. Pete Wish (retired-Biology), Dr. Tim Ritter (Physics), and Dr. Brian Postek (Chemistry);
  • "Hands-on Activities for Teaching the Basic Physical Quantities of Mechanics," by Dr. Ritter, Dr. Wish, and Dr. Postek.
  • "Got HERPS, There’s an APP for That!," by Ms. Mary Ash (Biology) and others from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Nineteen UNCP undergraduate and graduate science education students attended the conference. The UNCP students remarked of the experience, “A big thank you to all faculty members who provided everyone the opportunity to attend this exciting conference and for all your support and contributions to the student presentations. We could not have done it without you.  We really encourage anyone who has a chance to attend this conference in the future to attend.”

DSC group 

Pictured above, left to right, are Corinne Jordan, David Wimert, Ursula Adams, Chris Spencer, Jennifer Spivey (all graduate students in science education) and Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology).

 

RISE FELLOWS TO PRESENT RESEARCH AT ABRCMS

Five of UNCP's RISE Fellows will present their research at the ABRCMS (Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students) this November in Nashville, TN. The students will present research they conducted over the summer to an audience of individuals and science leaders from around the country.

The following list provides the student’s name, the title of their research poster, and the location at which they conducted their research.  All of these students are also currently engaged in research at UNCP and in the Bahr Lab at the BioTechnology Research and Training Center at ComTech.

  • Armando Corona, “Analysis of the Interaction Between Cib1 and Integrin Aiib Through X-Ray Crystallography and Nanodiscs," research conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Sarah Hafner, “ß1 Integrin Exhibits a Distinct Response to Seizure Activity Which is Blocked by the Cannabinergic System”, research conducted at the Bahr Lab at the BioTechnology Research and Training Center at ComTech
  • Jordan Smink, “Construction of an Improve Shuttle Vector for Transformation and Gene Expression in Histophilus somni," research conducted at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Robert Lamb, “A Better Suzuki Polymerization for Thiophene-Containing Monomers with Electron-Neutral Coupling Partners," research conducted at Appalachian State University
  • Marsalis Smith, “Optimizing Whole Animal Auditory Measurement,", research conducted at Stanford University

 

BEGNAUD WINS "BEST IN SHOW" IN PORTRAIT COMPETITION

On Saturday April 27, 2013, Professor Joe Begnaud (Art) was awarded "Best of Show" at the ArtFields Portrait Contest in Lake City, SC. He was among 24 artists selected to compete. The event was divided into four rounds, in which contestants had only one hour to complete a full portrait of a local farmer who served as a model for the competition. After each round, a panel of jurors selected which artists would advance to the next round. Professor Begnaud passed each round of elimination and completed four portraits before being awarded top honors and a prize of $1000.

 

STUDENTS STUDY LOCAL AGRICULTURE

Students and Faculty

Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology), Dr. Debby Hanmer (Biology), and Dr. Brooke Kelly (Sociology and Criminal Justice) have been working with several undergraduate research assistants (Spencer Thomas,  Scott Tyson, Valery Quinones, and Jeff Cooper) in partnership with the sustainable agriculture program, Agricultural Extension, and the Center for Community Action on a farmer interview project.  Interviews with local farmers began as a service learning project in Dr. Kelly’s social research methods course in the fall.  The UNCP local advantage grant has supported additional interviews and data analysis during the spring 2013 semester.  Through the study of the current practices and challenges that local farmers face, the project aims to inform community partners already working to support local foods in Robeson and nearby counties.  The students presented the preliminary findings from this project at the PURC Symposium.

 

CONFERENCE SHOWCASES LOCAL FARMERS AND FOODS

food conferenceApproximately 60 students, faculty, farmers, and consumers attended UNCP's first local foods conference at the Regional Center on March 22, 2013, to share ideas and learn more about how to support local farmers and local foods.  Sessions covered topics ranging from backyard chickens to financing.  Lester Locklear’s New South Catering of Pembroke prepared local beef, sausage, sweet potatoes, and cabbage  Robeson County Farm Bureau sponsored the local lunch. Dr. Debby Hanmer (Biology), assisted by Dr. Rita Hagevik (Biology) and Dr. Brooke Kelly (Sociology and Criminal Justice), organized the conference, using a UNCP local advantage grant focused on supporting local foods.  (For additional coverage of the event, see http://www2.uncp.edu/news/2013/local_food_conference.htm.)

 

STUDENT-ATHLETES RECOGNIZE TEACHERS

UNCP's Student Athlete Advisory Committee will honor more than 40 teachers, including several from the College of Arts and Sciences, for their teaching and commiment to students on Faculty Appreciation Night, February 7, 2013. A ceremony will take place during halftime of the men's home basketball game.

This year's honorees from the College of Arts and Sciences are Ryan Anderson (History), Larry Arnold (Music), Joyce Beard (Nursing),Debra Branch (Social Work), Gwenyth Campen (Mathematics and Computer Science), Anthony Curtis (Mass Communication), Katherine Denton (Foreign Languages), Camille DeVaney (Music), John DiSarno(Political Science),Cindy Edwards (Social Work), Warren Eller (Public Administration), Dena Evans (Nursing), Jeff Frederick (History), Kevin Freeman (Political Science), Nicholas Freeman (Psychology), Jeffery Geller (Philosophy and Religion), Amy Gross (Geology and Geography),Linda Hafer (Mathematics and Computer Science), Jo Ann Hart (Art),Scott Hicks (English and Theatre), Jason Hutchens (Mass Communication), Mary Ann Jacobs (American Indian Studies), John Labadie (Art), Siva Mandjiny (Chemistry and Physics), Stephen Marson(Sociology and Criminal Justice), Rohald Meneses (Sociology and Criminal Justice), Brandi Norman (Biology), Sara Oswald (English and Theatre),Linda Oxendine (American Indian Studies), Shilpa Pai (Psychology),Nathan Phillippi (Geology and Geography), Enrique Porrua (Foreign Languages), Ray Sutherland (Philosophy and Religion), Meredith Storms(Chemistry and Physics),and Mary Zets (Biology),.

 

STREMLAU'S BOOK HONORED

Rose StremlauSustaining the Cherokee Family: Kinship and the Allotment of an Indigenous Nation, by Dr. Rose Stremlau (History), was awarded the Willie Lee Rose Book Prize from the Southern Association of Women Historians. This is for the best book on any topic in Southern history written by a woman and published during the previous calendar year. The award is named after Willie Lee Rose, a path-breaking female historian and professor at Johns Hopkins University who wrote about race and slavery in the South. The award was presented by Dr. Janann Sherman, professor and chair of the History Department at the University of Memphis.

Sustaining the Cherokee Family also was given an honorable mention by the committee deciding the Wheeler-Voegelin Prize, an award given each year by the American Society for Ethnohistory for the best book-length monograph published the previous year. The book also was a finalist (one of six) for the Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, which is given each year by the Center for Great Plains Studies at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to the best book on a topic related to the region published during the previous year.

 

FLOWERS PRESIDES OVER ACS TECHNICAL SESSION

Paul FlowersDr. Paul Flowers (Chemistry & Physics) presided over a technical session on Electroanalytical Chemistry at the 2012 Southeast Regional Meeting of the American Chemical Society, held this year in Raleigh, NC. The session featured eight presentations, including one by Dr. Flowers titled "Sub-microliter Electrochemistry and Spectroelectrochemistry using Standard Electrodes and a Polymer Electrolyte Salt Bridge." The presentation abstract was coauthored by UNCP undergraduate David Blake, and the talk described traits of a novel device recently designed by Dr. Flowers that permits the chemical analysis of very small volume samples (as low as about 20 nL, roughly one-tenth the size of a typical grain of salt). Results of this research have been submitted for publication in the journal Analytical Chemistry.

 

UNCP FACULTY, STAFF LEAD EDUCATIONAL TRIP TO WASHINGTON, DC

DC group 

By Dr. Scott Billingsley (History)

Dr. Scott BillingsleyOn Thursday October 4, 2012 twenty-three students, faculty, and staff departed the Amtrak station in Fayetteville, North Carolina, bound for the nation’s capital.  Mike Severy (Student Leadership and Involvement), Amy Gross (Geology and Geography), and Dr. Scott Billingsley (History), guided the students on a four-day learning experience that included a tour of the United States Capitol building, visits to national museums and monuments, and, for some, the unique experience of traveling by rail and navigating their way around a large city.

Traveling via Amtrak dominated the first day and last day of the journey.  Students were taken by bus to the Amtrak station in Fayettevill,e where we boarded the train around 1:00 p.m. and enjoyed the leisurely ride to Union Station in Washington, D.C.  Along the way we saw a side of the nation that one normally does not see when traveling by car or airplane.  For many of us, one of the interesting things about the train ride was getting to see the centers of many small towns along the eastern seaboard.  Although seeing bustling downtown areas would have been commonplace for travelers a century ago, our students saw simply the remnants of the heyday of small-town life in America.  Even the trip from Union Station to the hotel via Washington’s subway system, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (“the Metro”), was a learning experience for students who had never ridden public transportation before.

Amy GrossOn Friday the group toured the U.S. Capitol and then split up to explore sites around the Capitol and National Mall.  Students visited sites such as the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the various Smithsonian Institution museums.  Later that afternoon students met near the Washington Monument to discuss the research projects they were supposed to complete before arriving in Washington.  Each student conducted a short research project on different protest rallies that had been held on the National Mall since the 1890s.  The students placed these protest rallies into the context of the leadership model that the students had been studying in their Living Learning Community Leadership program.  After our discussion we visited the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.  On Saturday we completed a scavenger-hunt activity prepared by Amy Gross at the Museum of Natural History, which gave students an overview of the entire museum.

 

UNCP SENDS DELEGATION TO NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN

UNCP's Office of Academic Affairs sent a delegation to the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., on November 16. Two students, Lydia Locklear and Francine Cummings, joined Dr. Alfred Bryant, associate dean of the School of Education, Carlene Cummings, university library specialist for special collections, and Dr. Mark Canada, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, on the trip.

The delegation met with two NMAI administrators--Associate Director David Penney and Community Services Specialist Jill Norwood--and discussed several opportunities for UNCP students and faculty:

Living Earth Festival: Students are welcome to propose projects to present at the fourth annual Living Earth Festival, set to take place in August 2013.

Internships and Fellowships: NMAI internships and fellowships provide students with opportunities to develop their knowledge and skills.

Scholarly Exchanges: The NMAI welcomes scholars who can share their expertise in various aspects of American Indian studies.

Colloquia and Symposia: NMAI-sponsored colloquia and symposia provide opportunities to exchange information.

After the meeting, the members of the delegation took a VIP tour of the museum and met informally with Jimmy Locklear, a Lumbee who serves as the museum's volunteer coordinator.

NMAI

Dr. Alfred Bryant, Francine Cummings, Lydia Locklear, Carlene Cummings, and Dr. Mark Canada pose in front of Sacred Rain Arrow, by Chiricahua Apache sculptor Allan Houser. The group saw the sculpture and other exhibits during a VIP tour of the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.