Jared Green

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EPIC Director Johan Enslin receives 2014 Energy Leadership Award from Charlotte Business Journal

On Jan. 30, Dr. Johan Enslin, director of the UNC Charlotte Energy Production and Infrastructure Center (EPIC), will be accepting an Energy Leadership Award from the Charlotte Business Journal at the Mint Museum in Uptown Charlotte.

Enslin has been selected this year as one of the ten recipients of this prestigious award. The award is open to key leaders of the energy industries in the Carolinas. Nominees are elected by the local community and then a panel of judges votes to select the ten recipients of the award.

Enslin has had the opportunity to work with several of the nominees from present and past years. Many of whom have been part of his staff at EPIC. UNC Charlotte Chancellor Phil Dubois was even a past recipient.

As a native South African, Enslin received his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from the University of Johannesburg. He went on to obtain his doctorate degree from The University of Johannesburg as well, and did a dual degree which also allowed him to study in Germany.

Enslin has been the director of EPIC for nearly two and a half years, ever since its completion and opening in August of 2012.

Enslin explained how EPIC is not only for engineering students. “All though EPIC started as a part of the college of engineering, it is in a way supporting the entire university’s energy education,” said Enslin

EPIC is integrated into the university across five different colleges. EPIC and the Belk College of Business were recently just approved to offer an MBA in business with an energy concentration.

EPIC focuses on setting workforce development goals to better all future professionals who go through any of their programs. Coordinating with industries to supply internships and scholarships to studentss another one of EPIC’s main focuses. There are currently 25 scholarships that EPIC provides to energy students.

Upon asking Enslin what made him decide to be an engineer he said,“I always broke things, and I got tired of breaking things and not knowing how to fix them.”

His father was also an engineer who influenced him greatly and exposed him to the industry.

When asked what his job was like Enslin said, “Someone asked me the other day and I told them It’s kind of like firefighting.” Enslin went on to explain the many activities he is involved in. A usual day for him means chatting with representatives of one or two energy corporations in the area, and finding new ways to get students involved in the field.

Another goal of Enslin’s to meet regularly with his staff to implement new goals in research, workforce development and leadership development. These workforce and leadership development goals focus not only on getting students into the industry quicker, but preparing them to succeed and move up in rank once they get there.

One workforce goal EPIC has is to bring together engineers of different disciplines to work together. Enslin focuses on giving students a “multidisciplinary” approach to their schooling and career.

EPIC is a unique research department, and is a very fast growing one to boot. Enslin spoke of an abundance of new labs that have emerged in EPIC within the last year such as the environmental lab, smart grid lab, energy analytics lab and the flexible power lab. There are a total number of about 25 labs within EPIC.

One of EPIC’s prized accomplishments was their performance in last year’s solar decathlon. The event took place in California where schools from across the U.S. and even several other countries competed against one another. Enslin was very proud of our UNC Charlotte and was ecstatic that his team came third in the competition overall and first nationally.

To contact Dr. Johan Enslin or to find out more about EPIC, visit http://epic.uncc.edu/

Campus construction updates: Jan. 14, 2014

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Construction of South Village Dining Hall. Photo by Chris Crews

New in 2014: A Niner Times exclusive column looking at all things campus construction.

A few new structures are popping up around campus in 2014, including this construction column. This section will offer periodic updates in regards to new UNC Charlotte construction projects and renovations occurring on and near campus.

First up, one of the most talked about project, is the construction of the new South Village Dining Hall. The administration has heard countless complaints concerning a noisy wake-up at 8 a.m. every morning. The extensive overhaul planned for South Village is nearly complete.

The conclusive plans include the parking deck, Hunt Hall, and the dining hall, which are all new additions to the south campus area.

Two of these projects were completed before Fall 2013. The dining hall is scheduled for completion by Fall 2014.

The new dining hall will be bigger and offer more features than any other eatery on campus.

The structure will stack two levels, with an impressive wrap-around porch on the upper level with views of Davis Lake and the woods surrounding it.

The dining hall will also feature a large lounge which will have two three-sided fireplaces in it. In terms of what there will be to eat, students need not worry as there will be a vast variety of food choices including a buffet style dining room similar to that of Crown Commons, an on-campus bakery and a Denny’s late night diner.

University officials overseeing the construction are very excited for its completion. Lou Ann Lamb, marketing director for Business Services at UNC Charlotte, says, “We are all really excited for you guys to have this new structure.”

According to Lamb, construction on the new dining hall is going as planned and there have been no major problems impeding work.

Island Street Fair comes to UNC Charlotte

On Thursday night, Nov. 15, the Cone Center saw a bit of island flair as the organization Caribbean Connection sponsored the Island Street Fair. This event highlighted 10 of the islands located in and around the Caribbean Sea.

Some of the main facts about the islands were displayed on cardboard posters, but the culture of these nations were told orally by students from each of these places.

Acadia Brown and Serena Greene, two students from the Bahamas, moved to the U.S. in 2011. They decided on spending their time in college at UNC Charlotte because it was a “nice location.”

Both students are involved in the Belk College of Business.

When asked what was most different between the Bahamas and the U.S., Brown responded, “It is a lot colder here, and I think the food is the biggest difference.” She described how some food items like hamburgers were the same, but they had their local dishes that were more commonly eaten. Her favorite local dish was a fish called grouper.

Greene’s favorite dish was conch, which is similar to snail and can be prepared in a multitude of ways.

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago were also represented. These islands are coincidentally home to several famous people, including famous singer and songwriter Nicki Minaj.

“We have the best carnival ever!” said Tresean Cook about his home country.,

Carnival is a festival celebrated throughout the Caribbean and even parts of South America. It occurs on various dates, depending on the country.

In Trinidad and Tobago, it is officially celebrated the Monday and Tuesday before Lent but celebrations usually last for a week. There are many different events that take place during Carnival including dancing, and music.

One dance specific to Trinidad and Tobago is the “Dutty Wine.”

Another foreign student, Apollina Mitchell, came to the United States five years ago from Jamaica.

Mitchell is interested in a career in hospital health communications and is pursuing a major in health communications. Other than the differences in climate between North Carolina and Jamaica, she said that a big difference is the, “People in Jamaica are much nicer than people in America.”

Caribbean Connection, who sponsored the event, is a group that raises cultural awareness for the islands of the Caribbean Sea. This event comes before the start of International Education Week, which is November 18-22.

To find a schedule of events, visit http://oip.uncc.edu/calendar.

Diving into the Special Collections in J. Murrey Atkins Library

Chris Crews
UNC Charlotte’s football team was initially called the Owls. Photo by Chris Crews

Jutting 10 stories into the sky and clearly distinguishing the UNC Charlotte skyline stands the J. Murrey Atkins Library. The library has an array of places to study including the Library Cafe Pete’s and group study rooms, as well as small cubicles in the quiet zone. In fact, the tenth floor houses the library’s special collections reading room.

One of the special collections’s librarians is Tricia Kent. “Most people just come up to show their parents the campus because you can see all of it from this one place; then they stumble upon the reading room out of curiosity,” commented Kent.

The special collections department of the library was founded in 1973 by Mary and Harry Dalton. The Daltons were major benefactors of the library, and the library’s 10 floor tower, Dalton Tower, is named in their honor.

The special collections reading room was opened in 1983. The library’s special collections includes artwork, manuscripts, university archives and a collection of upwards of 500,000 books. The special collections and reading room are open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and are available to all students to use. The only requirement to use the special collections material is that an online patron request form be filled out once each term.

In addition to the reading room on the tenth floor, a study room for students will be coming soon. It is currently under renovation, but it’s planned to open within the coming year.

Many of the cases in the front of the special collections reading room house vintage children’s books. One of the popular novels they have is “The Wizard of Oz.” This is the first book of the “Oz” series written by Frank Baum. The first publication was in 1889.

In honor of the 1939 MGM film’s 75th anniversary starring Judy Garland, the library plans to create a display showcasing Baum’s novel to honor this cinematic anniversary.

Kept in the libraries’ archives is a 1948 program from a game of the original football team for Charlotte College. UNC Charlotte started out as a two year institution for returning WWII veterans, and since the school was a night college, the original name of the football team was the Charlotte College Owls.

One of  the collections in the reading room was formerly owned by Princess Sophia, the daughter of King George III and Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg. This collection was also owned by Princess Sophia’s brother, King Ernest Augustus of Hanover. This  collection of 842 plays was purchased by a grant from the American Credit Company Foundation. Harry Dalton happened to be the chairman of the foundation at the time and oversaw the funding to buy the collection.

Upon asking what her favorite piece was in the special collections, Kent quickly walked over and opened a drawer containing a book printed in 1471.

This book, written in Latin, was about a sermon on the book of Job preached by John Chrysostom in the 300’s A.D. It was printed shortly after the invention of the Gutenberg printing press in Nuremberg, Germany and it is only one of four copies in the United States.

Generally, books in this time period were only owned by the wealthy. “It was probably first owned by royalty or by a religious institution, and then it was passed down from there,” explained Kent.

Other pieces in the special collections include a first edition 1851 copy of “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville in addition to a copy of “Memoirs of the War” written by Henry Lee and signed by his son, the renowned General Robert E. Lee.

The library also owns a Sumerian tablet written in Cuneiform dated to around 2000 B.C. It was donated by UNC Charlotte professor Dr. Julian Mason and his wife Elsie Mason.

Cone Parking Decks clears inspection, repairs insist

On Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 7 and 8, the Cone Parking Decks underwent a structural inspection. The inspection included a routine maintenance procedure and according to Gary Caton, director of Parking and Transportation Services (PATS), “They are structurally safe and there are no serious issues.”

There is maintenance construction currently taking place in the parking decks.

After a small piece of concrete fell last summer in Cone Deck one, contractors were hired to inspect the structure for signs of wear. Cone Deck one was built in 1977 and Cone Deck two was added in 1988.

The two parking decks’ I-beams were pre-cast, meaning they were poured and cured on-site. According to Caton, “The beams are designed to flex, but after decades of use they are showing signs of wear.”

After the repair of the concrete in Cone Deck one, the ceilings were painted white in both of the Cone parking decks in efforts to lighten the parking deck. After the ceilings were painted, some of the small cracks became visible and PATS called its attention for repair.

Contractors were hired to install U-clamps and other systems to repair the beams. According to Caton, the construction is only scheduled to take place on weekends and breaks, when the parking decks are least full.

Although yearly structural inspections are not necessary, PATS is hoping to begin a maintenance plan where all parking decks are inspected annually.

The last structural inspection of other parking decks on campus was in 2008, however less intensive inspections occur on a weekly basis. Other renovation projects have taken place recently including an overhaul of the lighting systems, which have been switched to greener and more efficient lighting systems.

PATS insures that all parking decks on campus are being well cared for and that they are all structurally sound.

Latin Night spices up National Hispanic Heritage Month

This year, National Hispanic Heritage Month is being celebrated from Sunday, Sept. 15 to Wednesday, Oct. 15. This year to kick off the celebration, Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Lambda Theta Phi fraternity partnered together to throw Latin Night on Tuesday, Sept. 10.

Latin Night featured dance lessons and local latin band Orquesta Mayor. The night kicked off with Bachata and Salsa dance lessons from R&W Latin Dance Company. The hot vibes of the smooth Latin music forced everyone to get out on the dance floor.

The Bachata, a type of line dance, is a dance that originates from the Dominican Republic and utilizes a lot of shoulder movement. The Salsa is another Latin dance popularly danced with a partner.

The dance instructors from R&W Latin Dance Company on campus classes on campus on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the Student Activities Center. Lessons are free to students and are a great way to celebrate Latino culture.

After the Latin dancing, the local Latin band Orquesta Mayor performed. Their 11 piece band performs the upbeat stylings of Salsa music. They had students moving their feet onto the dance floor in no time.

The term “Latin Music” does not only refer to this generalized upbeat genre, but also applies to a wide variety of music ranging from pop to rap to folk.

Ali Monroe, who participated in the event, stated that she thought Latin music was interesting and wanted to learn more about it.

Students in a particular LBST class, like Monroe, were in fact able to receive extra credit for attending and participating in the event.

Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated nationwide. Sept. 15 marks the Independence Day for the Latin countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico and Chile also celebrate their own independence days in the same week on Sept. 16 and 18.

2013 RecFest attracts athletes and foodies

Students traversed to the Northeast Recreational Fields Sunday afternoon to experience the annual RecFest held by the UNC Charlotte Department of Recreational Services.

RecFest is a showcase primarily for student sports organizations, including intramural sports as well as club sports. There were sports such as ice hockey, badminton and quidditch to name a few. Also a score of local vendors came out to welcome back students as well as hand out quite a few “freebies.”

Sophomore students Anisa Taylor and Sydney Metcalf agreed that the main reason they came out to RecFest was for the free food and shirts.

“Other than all of the free stuff, my favorite part was getting to ride the mechanical bull,” said Metcalf.

 Other than free food and mechanized animal rides, events included group sport demos, bouncy houses, Greek life tables, Zumba dances, a push-up contest and a demonstration of how to snowboard, minus the snow.

Student club sports were also showcased at this event. The featured clubs ranged from ice hockey and cycling, all the way to UNC Charlotte’s own Quidditch team which plays in the Carolina Quidditch Conference. It seemed there was a sport for every interest out there.

Representatives for Intramural Sports joined the fields to invite students to sign up for their sports. Various intramural sports offered this semester include mini golf, badminton, volleyball, and six-a-side soccer. Students are encouraged to make haste in signing up as the deadlines for intramurals all fall on various days of this week. Students can register for intramural sports at www.IMLeagues.com/uncc. For more information on club sports, visit http://recservices.uncc.edu/ and follow the links to the “sport clubs” section.

Move-in process slowed by suspicious bomb-like package near Holshouser Hall

Residents of Scott, Holshouser and Hunt Halls awoke to blaring fire alarms and an immediate evacuation at 11 a.m. this morning. Students, faculty and staff waited under South Village Parking Deck for nearly two hours while campus police, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD) and CMPD special units were deployed to the scene to assess the situation.

Around 1 p.m. the university issued an official statement. According to Dr. Arthur Jackson, vice chancellor of Student Affairs, a suspicious package was reported outside the rear entrance to Scott Hall at about 11 a.m. Scott Hall and its two near-by residence halls Holshouser and Hunt were subsequently evacuated as well.

Jackson reassured that all safety procedures and protocols were followed. After CMPD special units arrived at the scene, they found that the suspicious package was not an explosive device and the area was deemed safe.

According to freshman student Walker Stamey, who resides in Hunt Hall, “The fire alarms went off so I got dressed and went outside. People were saying it was a pipe bomb.”

Freshman roommates Shelby Hopkins, Britney Callahan, Tori Bonnell and Maris Almquist reported rumors of Instagram posts, claiming there was a suspicious package in a car near one of the buildings. They also reported that a UNC Charlotte staff member stated that police officials planned to detonate the suspicious package at around 11:30 a.m. which could create a clearly audible noise.

Students and staff were allowed to re-enter the buildings shortly before 1:00 p.m.

The incident created a slight inconvenience for students who were moving into their dorms during that time. Sophomore transfer student Liz Zrilanka had just set down her belongings in Scott Hall when the alarm was activated and was forced to evacuate with the rest of the building.

At 1:41 p.m., campus police sent out an email saying a suspicious object was found near Scott Hall near a dumpster. The police followed protocols related to suspicious devices by notifying CMPD, who in turn responded with their Bomb Unit.

Housing and Residence Life has also sent out an email commending the University staff that reported the object, as well as South Village and their families “for their cooperation, patience and understanding during this situation.”

The best thing to do in case of emergency is to get away from the danger area if possible and warn others. Remember that if you need to report suspicious actions or you or someone else is in danger to immediately contact Campus Police at 704-687-2200, or simply dialing 911.