In 2020, Dr. Jocelyn Smith Lee was awarded a highly competitive $100,000 Grand Challenge Award through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Her winning proposal – one of 28 selected from over 1,200 – sought to disrupt dehumanizing narratives of Black boys, men, and families and reclaim their humanity.
Now, the faculty member in Human Development and Family Studies and her team have launched their narrative change campaign, In All Ways Human, in Baltimore, Maryland. The results of their work bring hope in the aftermath of Covid, skyrocketing gun violence, and the visible loss of Black lives to police violence.
“This right here will change the perspective on how people look at us,” says Kevin Harvey, Jr., participant and community advisor. “Every portrait up here is gonna change the world.”
Smith Lee, who has personally lost loved ones to gun violence, has centered her work on examining how violence affects the health and development of young Black men. The storytelling campaign grew out of a need she uncovered through her own doctoral research: to help Black boys and men navigate issues of trauma, violence, loss, and healing.
“I wanted to amplify the voices of Black boys and men,” says Smith Lee, “to co-create a platform where they could show up as they wished and control the stories told about their lives.”
An early-career scientist harnesses light and air to catalyze industrial reactions, with the goal of creating environmentally friendly technologies.
Exercise – even at low-intensities – shows promising results in model organisms as a treatment for cancer cachexia.
Bees have a big following. With superorganism status and a queen-based structure, they’ve captured the minds and hearts of countless scientists, artists, and hobbyists.
It’s not only bees’ behavior that fascinates humans: they are also essential to our food supply.
Across the United States, bees pollinate an estimated 130 fruits and vegetables, which amounts to a value of about $18 billion annually, according to the USDA. Within North Carolina alone, bees’ pollination of a variety of crops, from peaches to peanuts, equates to about $186 million dollars, according to the North Carolina Cooperative Extension.
But not everything is peachy with bees.
UNCG has joined the collegiate esports movement with a $2.4 million state-of-the-art facility. But gamers aren’t the only ones stepping into the arena.
A music education researcher sounds the experiences of Black students in predominantly White institutions.
Observation has always been fundamental to research – in the field or in a tightly controlled lab.
At the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, or JSNN, millions of dollars’ worth of major scientific instruments are allowing faculty and students from across two universities to drive their scholarly projects forward with powerful, precise observation.
“Just for them to have access to these facilities, it enables us to move the research quicker,” says JSNN Dean Sherine Obare. It also facilitates collaborations. “Easily a fourth of the usage comes from industry partners.”
Among the major scientific instrumentation that now lives at JSNN are an MRI, a micro-CT scanner, and electron microscopes – including one that allows researchers to see objects as small as a single atom.
The multiple instruments together can give researchers a more complete view.
Our 2022 Senior Research Excellence Award winner is lauded for his differential equations work and as an academic mentor.
A veteran undergraduate researcher explores how military training impacts mental health in civilian life – and finds a new way to serve.
A gamer. A researcher. An anthropology and religious studies major. An undergrad finds the path to their future in gaming research.
A first-gen undergrad dives into research, masters an in-demand electrochemistry technique, and publishes – as a sophomore.
Promising local high school students get to work in university research labs with faculty mentors, thanks to the Draelos Science Scholars program.
On her path from undergraduate to doctoral research, an international student discovers low-intensity exercise can slow tumor development.
A Minerva Scholar and first-gen PhD student works with Black youth, focusing on trauma, cultural assets, and translating her research into practice.
A doctoral student discovers a reproductive microbiome in honey bees – sparking a USDA-funded study on bee reproductive health.
Molecular and atomic-scale imaging paves the way for sustainable nanotech — and draws a nanoscience doctoral student to UNCG.
A doctoral student investigates a popular but problematic beekeeping product – and works to enact change as a science policy advocate.
Last year, in a culmination of ten years of consecutive growth, UNCG external funding climbed to the highest level in the University’s history. These dollars represent impact and expertise flowing out in the form of research and engagement initiatives to all 100 counties in North Carolina, as well as close to 40 countries.
From groundbreaking patents to community-engaged research and service-learning, from Grammy-nominated faculty and alums to Fulbright and AAAS Scholars, and with creative and scholarly products netting prestigious and international acclaim, UNCG has amassed a distinguished record.
What’s the winning combination? At the core are exceptional faculty and students. But as you will see within the stories of this magazine …
Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement
Dr. Terri L. Shelton
Interim Vice Chancellor for Strategic Communications
Rachel Damiani, Janet Imrick
Mike Harris, Alice Touchette
Zizwe Allette, Martin Kane, Jiyoung Park, David Lee Row, Bert VanderVeen
Robin Sutton Anders, Rachel Damiani, Elizabeth L. Harrison, Danielle LaVaque-Manty, Sayaka Matsuoka, Amanda Saber, Mark Tosczak
Web Copy Editors
Janet Imrick, Van Walker