Saturday, May 26, 2012

Campus Dining Wins National Award

UNCW Campus Dining has received a national award for a New Orleans themed event hosted in Wagoner Hall, UNCW's main campus dining facility, last fall.  The event served as a tie-in event with Synergy, UNCW's Common Reading Program.  Synergy is a common reading reading experience designed to help build community among university students, primarily freshman students, faculty and staff by encouraging them to read one book together at the start of each academic year.  This year's reading selection was Zeitoun, a non-fiction account of one man's decision to remain in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina.  The book, centered around a prosperous Syrian-American man, highlights the issues of injustice and social responsibility.

While the University community was reading Zeitoun, Campus Dining was planning a special event to be included in the University's event series surrounding the book.  The aptly named "NOLA Lunch" incorporated traditional aspects of New Orleans food and culture into an event that reinforced what the community learned by reading the book.  The event was then nominated and subsequently received Gold in the annual Loyal E. Horton Dining Awards from the National Association of College and University Food Services (NACUFS).

"Feeding large numbers of students nutritious, high quality food on a daily basis is a big job," said Brian Dailey, director of Auxiliary Services, "but at UNCW we think Campus Dining can do even more than that. Dining is a large part of campus life, and offers many opportunities to partner with the academic community to reinforce what students are studying and learning. The NOLA Lunch was an excellent example of how well this approach can work."

Information on Campus Dining Services can be found at  For more information on the event, please visit the full article below!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

UNCW Faculty Highlight- "The Rock Whisperer"

UNCW Environmental Studies professor Dr. Paul Hearty has just received a tremendous grant from the National Science Foundation, one that will fully fund a team of world-class researchers studying climate change and its potential future implications.

Dr. Hearty is one of five principal investigators on a project designed to provide a comprehensive model of past climate change by studying various interconnected aspects of the biosphere, including the Earth's crust, oceans, atmosphere and ice sheets.  The main target of their study is an era of history known as the Mid-Pliocene Climatic Optimum (PLIOMAX), an era which has been identified as a time period that closely resembles the environmental conditions predicted by current models of climate change.  Fossil data and geological data from this ancient warming period will be used to build improved databases of sea-levels and ice sheet behavior, as well as provide the raw data for experiments that hope to predict the future global sea level under various climate change scenarios.  The ultimate goal of this project is to provide more accurate predictions of future sea-level rises and ice sheet behavior.

Dr. Hearty will collaborate on the $4.25 million, five-year study with Dr. Maureen Raymo of Columbia University, who has affectionately named Dr. Hearty "The Rock Whisperer," for his extensive expertise in field geology.  Along with Dr. Hearty and Dr. Raymo are geoscientist Rob DeConto from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, physicist Jerry Mitrovica of Harvard University and earth scientist David Pollard of Penn State.

For more information on this important and potentially influential study, please visit the link to the full article below.

UNCW Professor Part of Major NSF Grant for Climate Change Research