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Monday October 18th

UNC-system happenings for August 19, 2014

A&T protests Brown’s death

Around 400 people attended a peaceful protest Monday at N.C. Agricultural and Technical State University over the Aug. 9 shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.

N.C. A&T sophomore Keyanna Morrow, who organized the event, said she wanted to draw attention to the injustice surrounding Brown’s death.

Brown was unarmed when he was shot multiple times by Officer Darren Wilson during what was allegedly a robbery. Several N.C. A&T students spoke during the event in support of Brown.

Many attendees wore all black and held signs protesting the Ferguson police force’s actions. Officers have struggled to contain violent protests in the streets of the St. Louis suburb since Brown’s death.

The Missouri National Guard is being deployed to Ferguson to help contain the riots, state Gov. Jay Nixon said in a statement Monday.

New UNC-A chancellor named

UNC-Asheville appointed its seventh chancellor on Aug. 1. Mary K. Grant, president of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, will start Jan. 5.

Grant succeeds former Chancellor Anne Ponder, who announced her retirement in January.

Grant will become one of five female chancellors in the UNC system, among them UNC-CH Chancellor Carol Folt.

Other female system leaders include N.C. Central University Chancellor Debra Saunders-White and Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Noren Everts — both of whom were installed and named, respectively, earlier this year. 

In a statement, system President Tom Ross praised Grant’s 25 years of experience as a university leader.

“(She brings) a solid reputation as an energetic and creative problem solver and a passionate belief in the enduring value of liberal arts education,” Ross said.

N.C. State merges degrees

Five N.C. State University foreign language bachelor’s degrees will soon be consolidated into a single new program, foreign language and literature. 

The UNC-system Board of Governors approved the consolidation earlier this month. The move will affect students looking to major in German studies, French and Spanish language and literature and French and Spanish language and literature teacher education.

Students enrolled in these programs will be able to finish their degrees under the current structure. 

The desire to be more efficient motivated the decision, said Ruth Gross, head of the foreign languages and literature department, in an email.

“By merging into one major with concentrations, we not only reduce the number of majors at N.C. State — something that the administration has been striving to do — but we also become more flexible as a unit.”

UNC-P students work at NASA

Four students and one professor from UNC-Pembroke, a group known as the Weightless Lumbees, attended NASA’s Reduced Gravity Education Flight program in July.

Rachel Smith, a chemistry professor, and team leader and recent graduate Molly Musselwhite joined three students at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, to conduct research on the effect of weightlessness on human biological processes. 

Smith said they conducted their experiments in the Weightless Wonder, an airplane that simulates two times the gravitational pull on its way up and zero gravity on its way down. The flight lasts 30 seconds, and the group repeated it 30 times for the experiment.

Musselwhite said their group was the last to experience the program because it’s been discontinued.

“Being weightless is indescribable,” she said. “The experience was definitely life changing.”

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