The UNC Bear Den

Posts tagged with 'BearsGive'.
Alumna Update – Kayla Pierce
Back in December, we introduced you to Kayla Pierce (BA-14) a student entering her final semester, thrilled at the prospect of finally attaining her degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. But her mind wasn’t always on her school work.
She was thinking about her dad. Six months earlier he had been diagnosed with late-stage cancer.  His dream was to see Kayla graduate, but given his prognosis they weren’t certain he would be able to attend her commencement ceremony in May.
He did!
Kayla is happy to report that her father is doing well. He proudly attended her graduation a few weeks ago.
“He’s actually quite a bit better than expected,” Kayla said. “In August, when he was first diagnosed, we weren’t really sure he’d make it to Christmas. He’s still getting around and remodeling parts of the house in his spare time. My dad is stubborn and he isn’t going to let cancer or anything else bring him down easily.”
They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, which seems a fitting description in this case—Kayla inherited her father’s tenacity. Last August, when her father was diagnosed, Kayla’s vision of the future was clouded with doubts and fear—her father was forced to quit his job.
"With my family’s loss of income, I didn’t think I would be able to afford my final semester," she said. The first person in her family to attend college, Kayla wondered if she would have to drop out.
That’s when the UNC community stepped in. A family friend told the Office of Financial Aid about Kayla’s situation and a special need-based grant was awarded to Kayla through the UNC Scholarship Fund. Thanks to the generous contributions of UNC supporters, funding is available to students like Kayla who find themselves in unlikely situations affecting their entire family.
Because of gifts from alumni, parents and friends like you, Kayla crossed the commencement stage and her father was able to fulfill his dream of seeing her graduate.
"I never really knew what happened to donor money before," Kayla said. "I just assumed it went into the school itself, for renovations and the like. Knowing it actually goes to help students makes me really happy. Knowing people out there care about someone they don’t even know is inspiring beyond words.”
We agree. And our alumni and friends prove to us time and time again how much they care through their generous gifts, volunteering, and more. Best of luck, Kayla, to you and your entire family!
If you’d like to make a gift in support of student scholarships or any of UNC’s other worthy funds, the UNC Foundation website has all the tools you need to make a donation online, by mail, or over the phone.
Here at the Alumni Association, we want all of our graduates to benefit from the knowledge and support of the Bear community. Membership is free and there are all kinds of ways to stay connected and get involved. There’s even a bundle of free perks like lifetime career services and discounts on interstate moving costs. Take advantage of your alumni benefits today!
-By Amy Dressel-Martin
ZoomInfo
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Alumna Update – Kayla Pierce

Back in December, we introduced you to Kayla Pierce (BA-14) a student entering her final semester, thrilled at the prospect of finally attaining her degree in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. But her mind wasn’t always on her school work.

She was thinking about her dad. Six months earlier he had been diagnosed with late-stage cancer.  His dream was to see Kayla graduate, but given his prognosis they weren’t certain he would be able to attend her commencement ceremony in May.

He did!

Kayla is happy to report that her father is doing well. He proudly attended her graduation a few weeks ago.

He’s actually quite a bit better than expected,” Kayla said. “In August, when he was first diagnosed, we weren’t really sure he’d make it to Christmas. He’s still getting around and remodeling parts of the house in his spare time. My dad is stubborn and he isn’t going to let cancer or anything else bring him down easily.”

They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, which seems a fitting description in this case—Kayla inherited her father’s tenacity. Last August, when her father was diagnosed, Kayla’s vision of the future was clouded with doubts and fear—her father was forced to quit his job.

"With my family’s loss of income, I didn’t think I would be able to afford my final semester," she said. The first person in her family to attend college, Kayla wondered if she would have to drop out.

That’s when the UNC community stepped in. A family friend told the Office of Financial Aid about Kayla’s situation and a special need-based grant was awarded to Kayla through the UNC Scholarship Fund. Thanks to the generous contributions of UNC supporters, funding is available to students like Kayla who find themselves in unlikely situations affecting their entire family.

Because of gifts from alumni, parents and friends like you, Kayla crossed the commencement stage and her father was able to fulfill his dream of seeing her graduate.

"I never really knew what happened to donor money before," Kayla said. "I just assumed it went into the school itself, for renovations and the like. Knowing it actually goes to help students makes me really happy. Knowing people out there care about someone they don’t even know is inspiring beyond words.”

We agree. And our alumni and friends prove to us time and time again how much they care through their generous gifts, volunteering, and more. Best of luck, Kayla, to you and your entire family!

If you’d like to make a gift in support of student scholarships or any of UNC’s other worthy funds, the UNC Foundation website has all the tools you need to make a donation online, by mail, or over the phone.

Here at the Alumni Association, we want all of our graduates to benefit from the knowledge and support of the Bear community. Membership is free and there are all kinds of ways to stay connected and get involved. There’s even a bundle of free perks like lifetime career services and discounts on interstate moving costs. Take advantage of your alumni benefits today!

-By Amy Dressel-Martin

On April 9th at 10:10AM in Kepner Hall Rm. 1030, UNC alumnus Brandon Barnholt (BS-81) will deliver a presentation to students in the Monfort College of Business. President and CEO of KeHE Distributors, LLC—the second largest distributor in the natural products industry—Mr. Barnholt will be joined by Director of Talent Management Rusty Bland to discuss the intersections between job opportunity and corporate culture.

Since earning his degree in finance and economics from UNC, Barnholt has maintained close ties to the university through a combination of service and philanthropy. In addition to serving as director of the MCB Dean’s Leadership Council and vice chairman of the University of Northern Colorado Foundation, he spearheaded the establishment of the KeHE Distributors Scholarship and Garth Allen Distinguished Chair through corporate and private donations.

I grew up in Denver and I was able to graduate from UNC thanks in part to funding from state grant programs,” Barnholt says. “I feel a sense of duty to pay it back, pay it forward, and make it possible for others to have the same opportunity that I had.”

Barnholt enrolled at UNC as a recreation major, but quickly made the switch over to business after taking courses in MCB which sparked his passion for finance. His first full-time job following graduation stemmed from a marketing internship at Conoco he had secured with the help of a Northern Colorado alumnus in his senior year. Working his way up over the course of a career spanning more than three decades, Barnholt served 11 years at Conoco before taking on the key leadership roles at Clark Refining & Marketing and White Hen Pantry that led to his current position at KeHE.

A college degree establishes that initial foundation: gives you a new vocabulary, equips you with important skill sets,” says Barnholt. “Once you’re launched, your professional life continues to be a constant, everyday learning process.”

Barnholt’s presentation will provide an overview of job opportunities at KeHE with an eye toward illustrating the links between a company’s values and employee success. Corporate culture is a point of differentiation for KeHE, an employee-owned company guided by a set of core values which emphasize giving and serving others.

Corporate culture is something I stress to every business student because job opportunities often entail a significant life commitment,” says Barnholt. “To decide whether or not a position is right for you, it’s essential that you do your research, carefully examine a company’s overall mission, and get a sense of how they’re going to help you to grow as an employee.”

According to Barnholt, it’s UNC’s culture that has made him such a staunch supporter of our institution. The university’s commitment to student persistence and success evidenced through programs like CHE and Cumbres—combined with its established record of serving first generation students—resonate with his idea of “potential” as a long-term resource that deserves to be cultivated.

Throughout my career, I’ve never been given the number one company in its space or the number one set of assets. I’ve always had to find the promise, develop the opportunity, and then turn it into something that has a lot of value,” Barnholt says. “I think the same can be said of connecting with young people at UNC who have a lot of promise. They just need that big break, a chance to pursue their own development.”

Many thanks to Mr. Barnholt for taking the time to talk to us about his ongoing work with our university.

Have you considered making a gift to support UNC students, but you’re unsure where to begin? Visit our official giving homepage and you’ll find a helpful FAQ, a comprehensive list of our 850+ funds, and even a handy search engine that will give you all the information you need to secure a matching donation from your employer. You can also explore on- and off-campus service opportunities by filling out this Volunteer Interest Form on the alumni website.

Interested in attending future presentations at the Monfort College of Business? You can find a detailed calendar of upcoming speakers on the MCB homepage

For Monica O’Campo (BS-08), undergraduate life at UNC was a time of self-discovery. As a student she realized her passion for therapeutic recreation and became a deeply involved member of the campus community. Now, thanks to her work with the charitable outreach organization SHE Thailand, she’s living in the Thai province of Phuket and helping some of the region’s poorest residents get the education they need to discover their full potential. Ms. O’Campo recently took some time to talk with us about the joys and challenges of her work abroad.
What first attracted you to UNC for your undergraduate studies?
I was really excited about the wide range of student activities and organizations offered by UNC, especially Center for Human Enrichment (CHE) and the President’s Leadership Program (PLP). Those two programs were hugely influential in shaping who I am today. They didn’t just support me academically and financially, they fostered my individual development and genuinely helped make me into a better person.
How so?
Well, ideally college is a time for personal as well as intellectual growth. In addition to all of the knowledge I was gaining in the classroom, PLP and CHE gave me so many opportunities to learn and grow in the world at large. Whether I was doing team-building activities on rope courses with my fellow PLP members or serving as a student advisor for incoming freshmen in CHE, I was constantly engaged with my community. It was an honor to study, volunteer and live alongside those students for four years. I also owe so much to the leaders of those programs: John Bromley and Amy Smart from PLP (both of whom, sadly, have since passed away) and Julie Trujillo and Libby Davis of CHE.
Following graduation, how did you begin to apply the things you learned and experienced at UNC to professional life?
The focus of my Bachelor’s degree from UNC was Therapeutic Recreation. This has allowed me to take on jobs where I help individuals who are living with disabilities and other challenging circumstances to improve their independence and quality of life using goal-oriented recreational activities as therapy. Recreation Therapy can be applied to their lives in core areas such as Arts and Culture; Sports, Fitness and Aquatics; Social Enrichment; Community Integration/Leisure Education; and Outdoor Adventures.
I’ve been able to apply these skills in a wide variety of positions as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the city of Colorado Springs, and, after returning to school to receive a specialized endorsement to my degree, teaching Special Education in a low-income Colorado school district.Today I continue to use many of those same principals in my work with SHE Thailand.
Generally speaking, how would you describe the purpose of your work in Thailand?
Here in Phuket, each day is different, but I help lead a Thai Bible study in the mornings, work on projects for SHE during the day, and in the afternoons or evenings, go into the red light districts and build relationships with people working on the streets and in the bars. As a faith-based foundation, we believe that each person has great worth and we hope to help them find freedom and personal fulfillment. 
Although some individuals work in the red light district by choice, many others are trafficked—deceived, sold into it by a friend or family member, or enslaved by a previous debt. Whatever their reasons for working there, many of the women and men we encounter on the streets and in bars say they feel broken, lost, and confused due in no small part to all the physical and emotional abuse they’ve suffered. 
My main project for SHE over the next two years will be opening a drop-in resource center and coffee shop where these men and women can receive job training, English instruction, counseling, and all manner of resources to help them transition out of the commercial sex industry and into a profession that will allow them to realize their full value as a person. I’m also exploring how therapeutic recreation—cooking, dance, journaling, art and music therapy—can be used to help them through the long-term struggles of this process.
What makes you so passionate about this work?
Education is a central part of our outreach here and my experience in Thailand has shown me what an incredible gift that can be. Many young girls and boys in Thailand—especially from Isaan, the poorer northeastern region of the country—do not have the opportunity to receive a full education. Very often, these children start working at an early age to help bring in more money to support their family. Ultimately, the majority of them either remain in these same jobs for the rest of their lives or are sold off to traffickers for more income. 
About 90% of the women working in the bars we visit are from Isaan and a large number of them have essentially grown up in the sex industry. Many come to the big city looking for better opportunities, but a lack of education keeps them locked into the only work they’ve ever known. At SHE, we’re trying to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential.
Are there particular skills or values that have served you well in your work with SHE?
Determination and passion are key. During my time at UNC, I juggled work, school, my personal life, and other extracurricular activities including PLP and CHE because I was determined to make the most of my college experience. At times it was tough, but I loved it, and I managed to get good grades while I was at it. Once you have a vision, you’ve to stick with it through thick and thin. 
There have been times where I have been discouraged for one reason or another, but I’ve continued to press on in order to realize my goals! Learning the Thai language, for example, has been a significant and ongoing challenge, but sticking with it has enriched my relationship with nearly everyone I encounter here.
What advice would you offer to other students and alumni who are considering following your professional path? 
I would tell students to get involved in the UNC community as much as they can, whether it’s through volunteering with organizations they care about or participation in academic clubs, sports, and faith organizations. These were essential experiences for me at UNC and they really helped me to discover my calling.
I would also highly encourage current students who have an interest in studying abroad to go for it! Fear held me back from studying abroad myself, so it wasn’t until my junior year at UNC that I discovered how much I absolutely love traveling! Ever since 2006, I have been traveling the world, and now I can’t seem to stop!
Thank you, Monica, for sharing your insights with us!
If you or another Bear you know is considering study abroad as an option, be sure to check out the official Facebook page. They’ve got information on scholarships and awesome galleries of UNC students all around the world.
For more information on the programs that were so meaningful to Monica’s UNC experience—CHE and PLP—visit their respective homepages here and here.
Did you study abroad at UNC? Are there other international alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below or on the Alumni Association Facebook page. 
Top photo by Daniel Fava of He Loves Photo. All other images courtesy of Monica O’Campo and SHE Thailand.
ZoomInfo
For Monica O’Campo (BS-08), undergraduate life at UNC was a time of self-discovery. As a student she realized her passion for therapeutic recreation and became a deeply involved member of the campus community. Now, thanks to her work with the charitable outreach organization SHE Thailand, she’s living in the Thai province of Phuket and helping some of the region’s poorest residents get the education they need to discover their full potential. Ms. O’Campo recently took some time to talk with us about the joys and challenges of her work abroad.
What first attracted you to UNC for your undergraduate studies?
I was really excited about the wide range of student activities and organizations offered by UNC, especially Center for Human Enrichment (CHE) and the President’s Leadership Program (PLP). Those two programs were hugely influential in shaping who I am today. They didn’t just support me academically and financially, they fostered my individual development and genuinely helped make me into a better person.
How so?
Well, ideally college is a time for personal as well as intellectual growth. In addition to all of the knowledge I was gaining in the classroom, PLP and CHE gave me so many opportunities to learn and grow in the world at large. Whether I was doing team-building activities on rope courses with my fellow PLP members or serving as a student advisor for incoming freshmen in CHE, I was constantly engaged with my community. It was an honor to study, volunteer and live alongside those students for four years. I also owe so much to the leaders of those programs: John Bromley and Amy Smart from PLP (both of whom, sadly, have since passed away) and Julie Trujillo and Libby Davis of CHE.
Following graduation, how did you begin to apply the things you learned and experienced at UNC to professional life?
The focus of my Bachelor’s degree from UNC was Therapeutic Recreation. This has allowed me to take on jobs where I help individuals who are living with disabilities and other challenging circumstances to improve their independence and quality of life using goal-oriented recreational activities as therapy. Recreation Therapy can be applied to their lives in core areas such as Arts and Culture; Sports, Fitness and Aquatics; Social Enrichment; Community Integration/Leisure Education; and Outdoor Adventures.
I’ve been able to apply these skills in a wide variety of positions as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the city of Colorado Springs, and, after returning to school to receive a specialized endorsement to my degree, teaching Special Education in a low-income Colorado school district.Today I continue to use many of those same principals in my work with SHE Thailand.
Generally speaking, how would you describe the purpose of your work in Thailand?
Here in Phuket, each day is different, but I help lead a Thai Bible study in the mornings, work on projects for SHE during the day, and in the afternoons or evenings, go into the red light districts and build relationships with people working on the streets and in the bars. As a faith-based foundation, we believe that each person has great worth and we hope to help them find freedom and personal fulfillment. 
Although some individuals work in the red light district by choice, many others are trafficked—deceived, sold into it by a friend or family member, or enslaved by a previous debt. Whatever their reasons for working there, many of the women and men we encounter on the streets and in bars say they feel broken, lost, and confused due in no small part to all the physical and emotional abuse they’ve suffered. 
My main project for SHE over the next two years will be opening a drop-in resource center and coffee shop where these men and women can receive job training, English instruction, counseling, and all manner of resources to help them transition out of the commercial sex industry and into a profession that will allow them to realize their full value as a person. I’m also exploring how therapeutic recreation—cooking, dance, journaling, art and music therapy—can be used to help them through the long-term struggles of this process.
What makes you so passionate about this work?
Education is a central part of our outreach here and my experience in Thailand has shown me what an incredible gift that can be. Many young girls and boys in Thailand—especially from Isaan, the poorer northeastern region of the country—do not have the opportunity to receive a full education. Very often, these children start working at an early age to help bring in more money to support their family. Ultimately, the majority of them either remain in these same jobs for the rest of their lives or are sold off to traffickers for more income. 
About 90% of the women working in the bars we visit are from Isaan and a large number of them have essentially grown up in the sex industry. Many come to the big city looking for better opportunities, but a lack of education keeps them locked into the only work they’ve ever known. At SHE, we’re trying to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential.
Are there particular skills or values that have served you well in your work with SHE?
Determination and passion are key. During my time at UNC, I juggled work, school, my personal life, and other extracurricular activities including PLP and CHE because I was determined to make the most of my college experience. At times it was tough, but I loved it, and I managed to get good grades while I was at it. Once you have a vision, you’ve to stick with it through thick and thin. 
There have been times where I have been discouraged for one reason or another, but I’ve continued to press on in order to realize my goals! Learning the Thai language, for example, has been a significant and ongoing challenge, but sticking with it has enriched my relationship with nearly everyone I encounter here.
What advice would you offer to other students and alumni who are considering following your professional path? 
I would tell students to get involved in the UNC community as much as they can, whether it’s through volunteering with organizations they care about or participation in academic clubs, sports, and faith organizations. These were essential experiences for me at UNC and they really helped me to discover my calling.
I would also highly encourage current students who have an interest in studying abroad to go for it! Fear held me back from studying abroad myself, so it wasn’t until my junior year at UNC that I discovered how much I absolutely love traveling! Ever since 2006, I have been traveling the world, and now I can’t seem to stop!
Thank you, Monica, for sharing your insights with us!
If you or another Bear you know is considering study abroad as an option, be sure to check out the official Facebook page. They’ve got information on scholarships and awesome galleries of UNC students all around the world.
For more information on the programs that were so meaningful to Monica’s UNC experience—CHE and PLP—visit their respective homepages here and here.
Did you study abroad at UNC? Are there other international alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below or on the Alumni Association Facebook page. 
Top photo by Daniel Fava of He Loves Photo. All other images courtesy of Monica O’Campo and SHE Thailand.
ZoomInfo
For Monica O’Campo (BS-08), undergraduate life at UNC was a time of self-discovery. As a student she realized her passion for therapeutic recreation and became a deeply involved member of the campus community. Now, thanks to her work with the charitable outreach organization SHE Thailand, she’s living in the Thai province of Phuket and helping some of the region’s poorest residents get the education they need to discover their full potential. Ms. O’Campo recently took some time to talk with us about the joys and challenges of her work abroad.
What first attracted you to UNC for your undergraduate studies?
I was really excited about the wide range of student activities and organizations offered by UNC, especially Center for Human Enrichment (CHE) and the President’s Leadership Program (PLP). Those two programs were hugely influential in shaping who I am today. They didn’t just support me academically and financially, they fostered my individual development and genuinely helped make me into a better person.
How so?
Well, ideally college is a time for personal as well as intellectual growth. In addition to all of the knowledge I was gaining in the classroom, PLP and CHE gave me so many opportunities to learn and grow in the world at large. Whether I was doing team-building activities on rope courses with my fellow PLP members or serving as a student advisor for incoming freshmen in CHE, I was constantly engaged with my community. It was an honor to study, volunteer and live alongside those students for four years. I also owe so much to the leaders of those programs: John Bromley and Amy Smart from PLP (both of whom, sadly, have since passed away) and Julie Trujillo and Libby Davis of CHE.
Following graduation, how did you begin to apply the things you learned and experienced at UNC to professional life?
The focus of my Bachelor’s degree from UNC was Therapeutic Recreation. This has allowed me to take on jobs where I help individuals who are living with disabilities and other challenging circumstances to improve their independence and quality of life using goal-oriented recreational activities as therapy. Recreation Therapy can be applied to their lives in core areas such as Arts and Culture; Sports, Fitness and Aquatics; Social Enrichment; Community Integration/Leisure Education; and Outdoor Adventures.
I’ve been able to apply these skills in a wide variety of positions as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the city of Colorado Springs, and, after returning to school to receive a specialized endorsement to my degree, teaching Special Education in a low-income Colorado school district.Today I continue to use many of those same principals in my work with SHE Thailand.
Generally speaking, how would you describe the purpose of your work in Thailand?
Here in Phuket, each day is different, but I help lead a Thai Bible study in the mornings, work on projects for SHE during the day, and in the afternoons or evenings, go into the red light districts and build relationships with people working on the streets and in the bars. As a faith-based foundation, we believe that each person has great worth and we hope to help them find freedom and personal fulfillment. 
Although some individuals work in the red light district by choice, many others are trafficked—deceived, sold into it by a friend or family member, or enslaved by a previous debt. Whatever their reasons for working there, many of the women and men we encounter on the streets and in bars say they feel broken, lost, and confused due in no small part to all the physical and emotional abuse they’ve suffered. 
My main project for SHE over the next two years will be opening a drop-in resource center and coffee shop where these men and women can receive job training, English instruction, counseling, and all manner of resources to help them transition out of the commercial sex industry and into a profession that will allow them to realize their full value as a person. I’m also exploring how therapeutic recreation—cooking, dance, journaling, art and music therapy—can be used to help them through the long-term struggles of this process.
What makes you so passionate about this work?
Education is a central part of our outreach here and my experience in Thailand has shown me what an incredible gift that can be. Many young girls and boys in Thailand—especially from Isaan, the poorer northeastern region of the country—do not have the opportunity to receive a full education. Very often, these children start working at an early age to help bring in more money to support their family. Ultimately, the majority of them either remain in these same jobs for the rest of their lives or are sold off to traffickers for more income. 
About 90% of the women working in the bars we visit are from Isaan and a large number of them have essentially grown up in the sex industry. Many come to the big city looking for better opportunities, but a lack of education keeps them locked into the only work they’ve ever known. At SHE, we’re trying to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential.
Are there particular skills or values that have served you well in your work with SHE?
Determination and passion are key. During my time at UNC, I juggled work, school, my personal life, and other extracurricular activities including PLP and CHE because I was determined to make the most of my college experience. At times it was tough, but I loved it, and I managed to get good grades while I was at it. Once you have a vision, you’ve to stick with it through thick and thin. 
There have been times where I have been discouraged for one reason or another, but I’ve continued to press on in order to realize my goals! Learning the Thai language, for example, has been a significant and ongoing challenge, but sticking with it has enriched my relationship with nearly everyone I encounter here.
What advice would you offer to other students and alumni who are considering following your professional path? 
I would tell students to get involved in the UNC community as much as they can, whether it’s through volunteering with organizations they care about or participation in academic clubs, sports, and faith organizations. These were essential experiences for me at UNC and they really helped me to discover my calling.
I would also highly encourage current students who have an interest in studying abroad to go for it! Fear held me back from studying abroad myself, so it wasn’t until my junior year at UNC that I discovered how much I absolutely love traveling! Ever since 2006, I have been traveling the world, and now I can’t seem to stop!
Thank you, Monica, for sharing your insights with us!
If you or another Bear you know is considering study abroad as an option, be sure to check out the official Facebook page. They’ve got information on scholarships and awesome galleries of UNC students all around the world.
For more information on the programs that were so meaningful to Monica’s UNC experience—CHE and PLP—visit their respective homepages here and here.
Did you study abroad at UNC? Are there other international alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below or on the Alumni Association Facebook page. 
Top photo by Daniel Fava of He Loves Photo. All other images courtesy of Monica O’Campo and SHE Thailand.
ZoomInfo

For Monica O’Campo (BS-08), undergraduate life at UNC was a time of self-discovery. As a student she realized her passion for therapeutic recreation and became a deeply involved member of the campus community. Now, thanks to her work with the charitable outreach organization SHE Thailand, she’s living in the Thai province of Phuket and helping some of the region’s poorest residents get the education they need to discover their full potential. Ms. O’Campo recently took some time to talk with us about the joys and challenges of her work abroad.

What first attracted you to UNC for your undergraduate studies?

I was really excited about the wide range of student activities and organizations offered by UNC, especially Center for Human Enrichment (CHE) and the President’s Leadership Program (PLP). Those two programs were hugely influential in shaping who I am today. They didn’t just support me academically and financially, they fostered my individual development and genuinely helped make me into a better person.

How so?

Well, ideally college is a time for personal as well as intellectual growth. In addition to all of the knowledge I was gaining in the classroom, PLP and CHE gave me so many opportunities to learn and grow in the world at large. Whether I was doing team-building activities on rope courses with my fellow PLP members or serving as a student advisor for incoming freshmen in CHE, I was constantly engaged with my community. It was an honor to study, volunteer and live alongside those students for four years. I also owe so much to the leaders of those programs: John Bromley and Amy Smart from PLP (both of whom, sadly, have since passed away) and Julie Trujillo and Libby Davis of CHE.

Following graduation, how did you begin to apply the things you learned and experienced at UNC to professional life?

The focus of my Bachelor’s degree from UNC was Therapeutic Recreation. This has allowed me to take on jobs where I help individuals who are living with disabilities and other challenging circumstances to improve their independence and quality of life using goal-oriented recreational activities as therapy. Recreation Therapy can be applied to their lives in core areas such as Arts and Culture; Sports, Fitness and Aquatics; Social Enrichment; Community Integration/Leisure Education; and Outdoor Adventures.

I’ve been able to apply these skills in a wide variety of positions as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist for the city of Colorado Springs, and, after returning to school to receive a specialized endorsement to my degree, teaching Special Education in a low-income Colorado school district.Today I continue to use many of those same principals in my work with SHE Thailand.

Generally speaking, how would you describe the purpose of your work in Thailand?

Here in Phuket, each day is different, but I help lead a Thai Bible study in the mornings, work on projects for SHE during the day, and in the afternoons or evenings, go into the red light districts and build relationships with people working on the streets and in the bars. As a faith-based foundation, we believe that each person has great worth and we hope to help them find freedom and personal fulfillment. 

Although some individuals work in the red light district by choice, many others are trafficked—deceived, sold into it by a friend or family member, or enslaved by a previous debt. Whatever their reasons for working there, many of the women and men we encounter on the streets and in bars say they feel broken, lost, and confused due in no small part to all the physical and emotional abuse they’ve suffered. 

My main project for SHE over the next two years will be opening a drop-in resource center and coffee shop where these men and women can receive job training, English instruction, counseling, and all manner of resources to help them transition out of the commercial sex industry and into a profession that will allow them to realize their full value as a person. I’m also exploring how therapeutic recreation—cooking, dance, journaling, art and music therapy—can be used to help them through the long-term struggles of this process.

What makes you so passionate about this work?

Education is a central part of our outreach here and my experience in Thailand has shown me what an incredible gift that can be. Many young girls and boys in Thailand—especially from Isaan, the poorer northeastern region of the country—do not have the opportunity to receive a full education. Very often, these children start working at an early age to help bring in more money to support their family. Ultimately, the majority of them either remain in these same jobs for the rest of their lives or are sold off to traffickers for more income. 

About 90% of the women working in the bars we visit are from Isaan and a large number of them have essentially grown up in the sex industry. Many come to the big city looking for better opportunities, but a lack of education keeps them locked into the only work they’ve ever known. At SHE, we’re trying to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to reach their full potential.

Are there particular skills or values that have served you well in your work with SHE?

Determination and passion are key. During my time at UNC, I juggled work, school, my personal life, and other extracurricular activities including PLP and CHE because I was determined to make the most of my college experience. At times it was tough, but I loved it, and I managed to get good grades while I was at it. Once you have a vision, you’ve to stick with it through thick and thin. 

There have been times where I have been discouraged for one reason or another, but I’ve continued to press on in order to realize my goals! Learning the Thai language, for example, has been a significant and ongoing challenge, but sticking with it has enriched my relationship with nearly everyone I encounter here.

What advice would you offer to other students and alumni who are considering following your professional path? 

I would tell students to get involved in the UNC community as much as they can, whether it’s through volunteering with organizations they care about or participation in academic clubs, sports, and faith organizations. These were essential experiences for me at UNC and they really helped me to discover my calling.

I would also highly encourage current students who have an interest in studying abroad to go for it! Fear held me back from studying abroad myself, so it wasn’t until my junior year at UNC that I discovered how much I absolutely love traveling! Ever since 2006, I have been traveling the world, and now I can’t seem to stop!

Thank you, Monica, for sharing your insights with us!

If you or another Bear you know is considering study abroad as an option, be sure to check out the official Facebook page. They’ve got information on scholarships and awesome galleries of UNC students all around the world.

For more information on the programs that were so meaningful to Monica’s UNC experience—CHE and PLP—visit their respective homepages here and here.

Did you study abroad at UNC? Are there other international alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below or on the Alumni Association Facebook page

Top photo by Daniel Fava of He Loves Photo. All other images courtesy of Monica O’Campo and SHE Thailand.

Sue Vaughn’s (BA-72) love of languages has taken her to many exciting places: from Grenoble, France to the Dallas World Trade Center. Following graduation, Mrs. Vaughn began applying her linguistic expertise to translation work in the import-export business. Since 2007, Sue has taken her passion for service, outreach, and making connections across boundaries even further, volunteering as a clown at Dell Children’s Hospital in Austin, TX. Mrs. Vaughn recently took some time to talk with us about the impact of her study abroad experience at UNC, her work as a language professional, and how she was initiated into the world of “caring clowning.”

How did you come to pursue language studies at UNC?

In my junior year of high school I decided to try my hand at a French class, and I ended up absolutely loving it!  I could almost always count on an A in French, so naturally it became my favorite subject, and eventually my college major. 

German became my minor because of a very good friend, classmate, and Delta Zeta sorority sister of mine, Terry Pierce. She was majoring in German and convinced me to give it a try. The senior German professor at UNC, Mr. Frank Keppler, had a love for the language and a way of relating to students that made him a truly remarkable instructor. Herr Keppler knew how to make learning fun and he was always able to keep students on their toes with his rapid-fire questions. I think he was a major reason why so many students enjoyed and persevered with German at UNC. 

What were some of your favorite learning experiences?

One of my most exciting experiences as a UNC foreign language student happened during the winter of my Junior year: I studied abroad for three months in Grenoble, France with a group of fellow French students. It was a great opportunity to be totally immersed in the language and culture!  A native-speaking French woman taught us conversation and our professor from UNC taught us about France’s history, art, architecture, literature, and much more.  There were lots of educational outings, and our teacher’s favorite thing was to lead us through knee-deep snow up to the top of a mountain to the remains of an old fortress.  We would build a fire there, grill and eat our lunch, and learn all about the French Revolution. 

Of course, there were a few minor moments of culture shock. A funny thing happened one time as our group in Grenoble entered a public cafeteria. The people inside began pointing at us, pounding on the tables, and shouting, “Chapeau! Chapeau! Chapeau!”  That was their way of embarrassing us for coming inside with our hat—or chapeau—on! Suffice it to say that was a faux pas we never made again!

After graduation, how did you begin to make your transition into the professional world?

The time after graduation turned out to be a major crossroads in my life as I began to assess my job opportunities as someone with expertise in French and German.  My brother Jerry, a POW in Vietnam for seven years and one of my biggest heroes, suggested that I consider making a move down to Dallas, TX where he and his wife were living. There are many international companies based out of Dallas, so I decided to give it a shot. I headed down to Texas with snow tires on my car and a dog in the front seat, a sight that was met with more than a few puzzled expressions as I made my way south.

I felt a bit out of place at first, but the move turned out to be a great choice. Not only did I get a chance to deepen the relationship with my brother, but a new faith journey began for me through the church he and his wife attended, where I also met my husband Andy.

And what was it like to start using your knowledge of languages professionally?

Soon after I moved to Dallas, a job opened up at Behgooy Export/Import Corp., a family business that deals in hand-made oriental rugs.  One of the family members was German-speaking and needed a translator, so I went to work in the office doing accounting, dealing with customers in the showroom, and generally doing whatever else was needed. There were challenges as expected: translating phone calls, documents, and conversations with clients. Once I even got called in to translate at the scene of an auto accident. (Thankfully, there were no injuries.) Eventually, I found myself thinking in German as often as I would in English. I even started picking up some basic Farsi from listening to the Behgooys. And having a showroom in Dallas’s World Trade Center meant that I got to be immersed in international business every day.

What are some important things that students and alumni should know if they’re considering a career as a language professional?

If you’re interested in a career utilizing languages, but you’d like to do something other than teaching, it’s helpful to combine language studies with another specialized skill set, like international business.  Also, be aware that one of the biggest challenges of using a foreign language professionally is the amount of industry-specific terminology you have to familiarize yourself with. One of the first jobs I applied for was in the oil industry and I was asked to translate a document containing a massive amount of technical jargon. After devoting so much time and effort toward attaining fluency in a language, an experience like that can really throw you for a loop.

Flash forward to the present. You’ve moved to Austin, raised two sons, and taken on several different volunteer causes. How did you get involved in “caring clowning?” 

I had encountered several stories of caring clowns in various books and newsletters and I was struck by the diversity and creativity clowns were bringing to their work in hospitals across the country. My good friend, Bev Harstad (aka Apples the clown) happened to be volunteering at Dell Children’s hospital and she offered to take me under her wing. Studying under Apples, I began to develop a clown character named Sudsy who loves to give bubble showers, make butterflies appear, and give free eye exams. It’s immensely rewarding to see the kids’ faces light up and their parents appreciate the opportunity to see their children laughing and playing. Usually by the time we leave, everyone in the room is wearing a red sponge clown nose and a smile. 

What was the learning curve like?

On the first hospital visit Bev taught me one simple trick, “the magic coloring book.” It’s really easy to perform and always a big hit with the kids.  But I was pretty nervous, so on that first outing I mostly ended up just observing Bev and trying to learn what I could.  

Soon, though, I realized that you don’t need to have a whole routine planned out to engage with these children. Just having a clown around is enough to bring them joy. It also dawned on me that, when you’re working with a population with such a wide range of limitations and health restrictions, spontaneity and the ability to improvise are going to serve you better than a carefully prepared act. I’ve learned from watching Bev that the art of caring clowning lies in finding a way to let each child interact with you. For example, if a child has impaired vision, you find ways to use your other senses to connect with them: talk to them, let them feel your face, your clown hair and your shoes.

What advice can you offer to other Bears who are interested in applying their creativity to volunteer work?

You need to maintain an awareness of the population you’re serving. To be effective, we need to check our motives: remember it’s not about what we want out of the interaction, it’s about the needs of others. In clowning, we’re there to bring joy and remind these kids that they’re important, that others care about them and how they’re feeling.  However you approach volunteering, it’s essential to make that connection so we can continue learning, growing, and working together.

Thank you, Sue, for taking the time to share your insights with us!

If you’d like to read even more about the international adventures of UNC’s Modern Languages alumni, be sure to check out these exciting profile features on the department’s homepage.

Another of UNC’s longstanding Modern Language-based traditions, World Language Day, is coming up soon on 4/16. You can see videos and photo galleries from this event’s 40+ years of history on its official website.

If you’re looking for ways to serve the UNC community as a volunteer, the Alumni Association is happy to help. Just fill out this brief form so we can connect you with an opportunity that is best suited to your interests.

Honored Alumnus S. Kato Crews (BA-97) has never been one to rest idly on his credentials. Since receiving his undergraduate degree from UNC in Journalism and Public Relations, Mr. Crews had gone on to attain a J.D., found two law firms, and earn 5 consecutive “Rising Star” titles from Colorado Super Lawyers Magazine. In addition to all of his professional accomplishments, Mr. Crews is known throughout the state for his intense commitment to public service. He’s maintained a deep connection to UNC and his local community through a wide variety of mentorship programs, community service projects, and public outreach initiatives.  As someone who has successfully balanced professional and charitable work for well over a decade, we were curious to get Mr. Crews’ perspective on what it takes to be an effective and fulfilled volunteer.

What first attracted you to UNC?

I visited campus and was impressed by what I saw there: the community was the right size and it reminded me of home in a lot of ways. It just felt right. I also knew that I was planning to study journalism and I discovered that, coming to UNC, I would have the opportunity to work in an editorial capacity for a new newspaper that was being put out through the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center. The opportunity to dive right into a leadership role on a major project like that was very attractive to me.  

After you began your studies here, were there any people or organizations that helped jumpstart your involvement in the UNC community?

My undergraduate fraternity, Iota Phi Theta, exposed me to several facets of the campus that I otherwise may not have known.  Our guiding principle was, “Building a Tradition, Not Resting Upon One.” We were founded with the mission of creating an inclusive environment for students who would typically be identified as “non-traditional”: older students, first generation students, students with families. Our brothers were involved in many different areas of the university, including athletics, residence life, the University Program Counsel, and the UNC Police Department.

Being part of such an active and diverse group brought community involvement to the forefront of my mind. It was a natural thing for us to support one another in our various projects, organizations, and community endeavors.  Through that support, you’d get to experience a whole new aspect of the university.

Did that experience help shape you into the service- and community-oriented person you are today?

Yes.  I’ve always had an interest in giving back to my community, but my experience with Iota Phi Theta really served as the model for how I try to give back my community today.  It molded my understanding of the types of contributions I was capable of making and enhanced my notions of leadership.  One of the great things about UNC being such a tight-knit community is that we were often able to see the immediate impact of our volunteer work on campus and in the larger Greeley community.  It’s so fulfilling to witness those results and know you’ve made a difference.

How do you apply your experiences from UNC to your work in the legal field?

As an undergrad I studied journalism with a public-relations emphasis.  I was interested in how companies attempt to manage their public relations crises when they arise.  My studies in that realm have proven to be very useful in my work as an attorney.  For many clients, a lawsuit can be a major public relations crisis if not managed correctly. 

For example, in my work as an employment lawyer I represent employers and advise them on their pre-termination decisions in an effort to place them in the best possible position should they have to defend their conduct in court.  Any lawsuit has public relations ramifications because it’s an open process.  When I’m addressing a jury with an opening statement, or introducing evidence, or giving a closing argument, those are all opportunities to shape the jury’s (and the public’s) perception of your client and their credibility.

What do you consider to be the most rewarding aspects of your career?

I believe that we have an affirmative obligation as lawyers to be involved in our communities. I’ve found that one of the greatest rewards of having my J.D. degree is that it seems to give me a seat at the table of organizations that have the power to affect positive change. Non-profits and charitable organizations are often eager to have attorneys serve on their boards.  I sometimes think that if I had chosen a different field I may not have been presented with the many opportunities I’ve had to be involved with stellar community organizations like the CHOICE Education Foundation or the Colorado Beautillion-Cotillion, Inc.

It’s also extremely gratifying when I’m asked to speak at different events.  When doing so, it’s always my hope that some of the young people out there will come away with an expanded view of their opportunities for success.  I’m particularly passionate about engaging young African American students who may not have had the chance to know black business professionals in the communities where they grew up.  I think that giving our youth the opportunity to engage with black professionals in their home state and their own communities can allow them to see what they’re capable of accomplishing.

And how have you translated those values into your ongoing volunteer work at UNC?

I’ve been working with a wonderful group of fellow grads, the Alumni Association, and Ty’Ray Thompson of the Marcus Garvey Cultural Center to form an active African American alumni network.  Our primary focus so far has been supporting UNC in its efforts to recruit and retain African American students.  One of our first projects was to retool “Welcome Black Week,” an orientation program for African American students that takes place in the week before classes. Historically, this had been more of a social event, and we wanted to round it out with a focus on giving incoming freshman some practical skills and insight on how to succeed at UNC.  For example, we had arranged to have the students attend a sample lecture with Dr. Hermon George so they could familiarize themselves with the experience of sitting in a college classroom, listening to a professor lecture, and taking good notes. Facilitating those kinds of first-hand experiences is really essential to effective mentorship and retention.

What advice would you give to students and alumni who are interested in becoming more service- and community-oriented, but aren’t quite sure where to start?   

For younger people, like undergraduates, my advice is to start small. Don’t let your volunteering get in the way of your studies and your grades because that’s where the majority of your focus needs to be. So maybe that means looking for a position on the student council or some sort of student organization that you feel passionate about. By getting involved and going to the meetings you can start to build those connections that will lead to other opportunities either later in your college career or after you’ve achieved your degree.

For alumni who are already pursuing their own professional lives, it’s a matter of just taking that decisive first step to get involved in something that has meaning for you.  Because we can all be so busy with our careers and families, one mentor of mine recommended that you only get involved in an organization where you’d be ready to assume a primary leadership role.  That way you can avoid being a “joiner” and make more meaningful decisions about the scope of your community involvement.  But once you’ve made that decision to participate—as another mentor of mine says—“Suit up, show up, and do the next right thing!”  I think those are words to live by; once you commit to the endeavor, you have to show up and get the job done if you’re going to make any meaningful impact at all.

Thank you, Mr. Crews, for taking the time to share those wonderful insights with us!

If you’re looking for ways to get more involved with the UNC community, the Alumni Association is happy to help. Just fill out this brief form so we can connect you with an opportunity that is suited to your interests.

Curious to find out more about UNC’s African American alumni network? You can contact the Garvey Center’s staff for more details here. You can also stay up-to-date on the Center’s latest events—including their ongoing Black History Month programming—by following them on Facebook

How far can a degree from UNC take you? After graduating from UNC’s School of Nursing, Laura Nemeth (BS-10) moved all the way across the country to work in the specialized field of pediatric critical care. But that was just the beginning of her journey. Ms. Nemeth wanted to serve the needs of communities globally, communities that often suffer from limited access to healthcare. So she saved her money, took a hiatus from her job in Tennessee, and traveled over 6,700 miles to work aboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity medical ship.
For three months, she lived aboard this gigantic vessel while it was docked in the Congolese city of Pointe Noire. There, she cared for children as they underwent surgery to repair cleft palates and remove life-threatening tumors. Ms. Nemeth has documented many facets of this journey on her blog, and we were curious to learn even more about her experiences. She took some time to speak with us about the steps that led her from UNC to the Republic of Congo and some of the valuable lessons she hopes to bring back to her work in the States.
What initially drew you to study nursing at UNC?
Nursing has been a long-time dream of mine, so when I began looking at colleges, I knew exactly what I was looking for: an in-state school where I could earn my Bachelor’s and receive top-notch medical training. UNC’s nursing program has an outstanding reputation, and it ended up being a great fit for all of my criteria.
What were some of the biggest challenges and rewards you experienced throughout your studies?
As you might imagine, studying to become a nurse was not without its challenges. Freshman year I took Biology 101 and ended up bombing my first test with a 54%. This was a big wake-up call for me as you can tell from my precise memory of the score. From that point on, I threw myself into my studies—Michener Library and I became intimately acquainted to say the least. By the end of the semester I was able to pull my grades up and, a few years later when graduation finally rolled around, my GPA was strong enough to earn a cum laude. On the whole, I was pushed quite hard throughout my education, but the challenges definitely paid off.
What inspired you to pursue this experience aboard the Africa Mercy and what steps did you have to go through to make it a reality?
In my senior year at UNC, one of my clinical instructors told me about a coworker of hers who was nursing abroad in Africa. Her story really sparked my interest: it was one of the first times that I had thought about nursing as a skill set that could take me all over the world. From then on, global nursing became a major goal of mine.
During my 5th semester in UNC’s nursing program, I had the opportunity to travel to Knoxville and work as a student nurse at the University of Tennessee Medical center. That experience of moving across the country to practice what I had learned gave me a huge confidence boost. I knew that I was capable of adapting my skills to the demands of a totally new setting.
After graduating and getting some more experience as a critical care nurse in the “real world,” it seemed like it was time to take that final leap and go abroad. Things began to fall into place: I had the money saved, the lease on my apartment was almost up, and the Mercy Ships jumped out at me as a program that needed nurses with my exact specialization. With the support of my friends and family I finalized my plans and now here I am.
Can you describe a “typical day” aboard the Africa Mercy?
As a place to live, a good word to describe the atmosphere onboard would be “communal.” Most nurses live in 6-person cabins with 3 sets of bunk beds and a shared bathroom. All meals are served buffet-style. It actually reminds me a bit of dorm life back when I lived in McCowen Hall. At UNC, I learned how to live as a member of community: making friends with the people you’re living alongside and negotiating conflicts when they arise. Those skills have definitely come in handy here.
The hustle and bustle aboard this ship is constant and sleep can be hard to come by, even in the most socially harmonious conditions. Still, it’s inspiring to see how much can be accomplished with so many people working together in such close quarters. The entire 450-person vessel is run by volunteers and there are a lot jobs that need to get done in order for the hospital staff to do their work efficiently: maintaining the ship, preparing the food, training students in the academy of long-term staff. The level of coordination involved is pretty incredible.
Nurses take rotating 8-hour shifts and your “typical day” will often change dramatically based on the shift you’re working. My three months onboard have been quite an emotional roller coaster, filled with high highs and low lows. You come face-to-face with a level of pain and resilience that can shake you to your core.
Many of the patients I care for suffer from tumors that begin to obstruct their airways as they grow. Surgeries to treat these patients are a top priority because, if they’re not performed in time, the patient can suffocate. The week that the Africa Mercy began operating in Pointe Noire, two children came into our care who were facing this condition. One of these children was still healthy enough to undergo the operation successfully, but the other child’s condition had progressed too far for her to be treated and she passed away. Experiencing these two opposite outcomes so close together has affected me in ways I can’t fully express yet. It’s definitely been cemented in my mind that access to healthcare is something that should never be taken for granted.
You’ve mentioned on your blog that you have a specialized skill set—pediatric critical care—which is well suited to the demands of medical care aboard the Africa Mercy. How have you brought those skills to bear over the past 3 months and how has your style of nursing evolved?
Pediatric critical care is a very specialized field of nursing. It requires a lot of teamwork and critical thinking skills that can only be developed with the help of time, practice, and a lot of peer encouragement. Still, on the Africa Mercy I find myself growing and adjusting in ways I hadn’t expected. The large number of patients and the flow of our work has taught me new time management skills. I’ve learned about the treatment of diseases I never encountered before in my professional life. I’ve also changed the way I interact with patients.
For a variety of reasons, nursing on the Africa Mercy causes you to build strong relationships with the people you’re caring for. Patients often have long recovery times during which they don’t require a lot of strict medical attention. What they truly need during that period is a lot of personal, day-to-day encouragement to help them through their hospital stay. The ship is well staffed with translators who are fluent in French, Kituba, and Lingala and they’re vital in helping us communicate with our patients, but oftentimes our deepest bonds are formed through non-verbal means. It’s amazing how much can be conveyed through things like gesture, body language, and touch.
What do you think you’re going to take away from your global nursing experience? 
This has undoubtedly been a life-changing experience. However, I probably won’t be able to express the scope and nature of that change until after I’ve returned to the states. I still feel like I’m headed down the same path personally and professionally, but with a different attitude. My patients and the broader Congolese community have shown me an encouraging, accepting, and loving way of life here and I hope that I will never forget that, no matter where my journey takes me. 
Thank you, Ms. Nemeth, for sharing that journey with us!
If you’d like to learn more about the exciting accomplishments of UNC’s Nursing graduates and faculty members, tune into the News section on the School of Nursing’s homepage. Also, be sure not to miss this interview with Nursing alum Heidi Burnett (BS-13), who was recently named as one of this year’s winners for the prestigious DAISY Award.
Are there other accomplished alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us about them in the comments section below or send us a message on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page.
Photos from top to bottom: a young girl sees her face for the first time after undergoing surgery, Laura Nemeth standing in front of the Africa Mercy in a Pointe Noire port, Vernel—one of Laura’s young patients— is joyfully reunited with his family after recovering from his facial reconstruction surgery.
All images courtesy of Mercy Ships & Michelle Murrey
ZoomInfo
How far can a degree from UNC take you? After graduating from UNC’s School of Nursing, Laura Nemeth (BS-10) moved all the way across the country to work in the specialized field of pediatric critical care. But that was just the beginning of her journey. Ms. Nemeth wanted to serve the needs of communities globally, communities that often suffer from limited access to healthcare. So she saved her money, took a hiatus from her job in Tennessee, and traveled over 6,700 miles to work aboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity medical ship.
For three months, she lived aboard this gigantic vessel while it was docked in the Congolese city of Pointe Noire. There, she cared for children as they underwent surgery to repair cleft palates and remove life-threatening tumors. Ms. Nemeth has documented many facets of this journey on her blog, and we were curious to learn even more about her experiences. She took some time to speak with us about the steps that led her from UNC to the Republic of Congo and some of the valuable lessons she hopes to bring back to her work in the States.
What initially drew you to study nursing at UNC?
Nursing has been a long-time dream of mine, so when I began looking at colleges, I knew exactly what I was looking for: an in-state school where I could earn my Bachelor’s and receive top-notch medical training. UNC’s nursing program has an outstanding reputation, and it ended up being a great fit for all of my criteria.
What were some of the biggest challenges and rewards you experienced throughout your studies?
As you might imagine, studying to become a nurse was not without its challenges. Freshman year I took Biology 101 and ended up bombing my first test with a 54%. This was a big wake-up call for me as you can tell from my precise memory of the score. From that point on, I threw myself into my studies—Michener Library and I became intimately acquainted to say the least. By the end of the semester I was able to pull my grades up and, a few years later when graduation finally rolled around, my GPA was strong enough to earn a cum laude. On the whole, I was pushed quite hard throughout my education, but the challenges definitely paid off.
What inspired you to pursue this experience aboard the Africa Mercy and what steps did you have to go through to make it a reality?
In my senior year at UNC, one of my clinical instructors told me about a coworker of hers who was nursing abroad in Africa. Her story really sparked my interest: it was one of the first times that I had thought about nursing as a skill set that could take me all over the world. From then on, global nursing became a major goal of mine.
During my 5th semester in UNC’s nursing program, I had the opportunity to travel to Knoxville and work as a student nurse at the University of Tennessee Medical center. That experience of moving across the country to practice what I had learned gave me a huge confidence boost. I knew that I was capable of adapting my skills to the demands of a totally new setting.
After graduating and getting some more experience as a critical care nurse in the “real world,” it seemed like it was time to take that final leap and go abroad. Things began to fall into place: I had the money saved, the lease on my apartment was almost up, and the Mercy Ships jumped out at me as a program that needed nurses with my exact specialization. With the support of my friends and family I finalized my plans and now here I am.
Can you describe a “typical day” aboard the Africa Mercy?
As a place to live, a good word to describe the atmosphere onboard would be “communal.” Most nurses live in 6-person cabins with 3 sets of bunk beds and a shared bathroom. All meals are served buffet-style. It actually reminds me a bit of dorm life back when I lived in McCowen Hall. At UNC, I learned how to live as a member of community: making friends with the people you’re living alongside and negotiating conflicts when they arise. Those skills have definitely come in handy here.
The hustle and bustle aboard this ship is constant and sleep can be hard to come by, even in the most socially harmonious conditions. Still, it’s inspiring to see how much can be accomplished with so many people working together in such close quarters. The entire 450-person vessel is run by volunteers and there are a lot jobs that need to get done in order for the hospital staff to do their work efficiently: maintaining the ship, preparing the food, training students in the academy of long-term staff. The level of coordination involved is pretty incredible.
Nurses take rotating 8-hour shifts and your “typical day” will often change dramatically based on the shift you’re working. My three months onboard have been quite an emotional roller coaster, filled with high highs and low lows. You come face-to-face with a level of pain and resilience that can shake you to your core.
Many of the patients I care for suffer from tumors that begin to obstruct their airways as they grow. Surgeries to treat these patients are a top priority because, if they’re not performed in time, the patient can suffocate. The week that the Africa Mercy began operating in Pointe Noire, two children came into our care who were facing this condition. One of these children was still healthy enough to undergo the operation successfully, but the other child’s condition had progressed too far for her to be treated and she passed away. Experiencing these two opposite outcomes so close together has affected me in ways I can’t fully express yet. It’s definitely been cemented in my mind that access to healthcare is something that should never be taken for granted.
You’ve mentioned on your blog that you have a specialized skill set—pediatric critical care—which is well suited to the demands of medical care aboard the Africa Mercy. How have you brought those skills to bear over the past 3 months and how has your style of nursing evolved?
Pediatric critical care is a very specialized field of nursing. It requires a lot of teamwork and critical thinking skills that can only be developed with the help of time, practice, and a lot of peer encouragement. Still, on the Africa Mercy I find myself growing and adjusting in ways I hadn’t expected. The large number of patients and the flow of our work has taught me new time management skills. I’ve learned about the treatment of diseases I never encountered before in my professional life. I’ve also changed the way I interact with patients.
For a variety of reasons, nursing on the Africa Mercy causes you to build strong relationships with the people you’re caring for. Patients often have long recovery times during which they don’t require a lot of strict medical attention. What they truly need during that period is a lot of personal, day-to-day encouragement to help them through their hospital stay. The ship is well staffed with translators who are fluent in French, Kituba, and Lingala and they’re vital in helping us communicate with our patients, but oftentimes our deepest bonds are formed through non-verbal means. It’s amazing how much can be conveyed through things like gesture, body language, and touch.
What do you think you’re going to take away from your global nursing experience? 
This has undoubtedly been a life-changing experience. However, I probably won’t be able to express the scope and nature of that change until after I’ve returned to the states. I still feel like I’m headed down the same path personally and professionally, but with a different attitude. My patients and the broader Congolese community have shown me an encouraging, accepting, and loving way of life here and I hope that I will never forget that, no matter where my journey takes me. 
Thank you, Ms. Nemeth, for sharing that journey with us!
If you’d like to learn more about the exciting accomplishments of UNC’s Nursing graduates and faculty members, tune into the News section on the School of Nursing’s homepage. Also, be sure not to miss this interview with Nursing alum Heidi Burnett (BS-13), who was recently named as one of this year’s winners for the prestigious DAISY Award.
Are there other accomplished alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us about them in the comments section below or send us a message on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page.
Photos from top to bottom: a young girl sees her face for the first time after undergoing surgery, Laura Nemeth standing in front of the Africa Mercy in a Pointe Noire port, Vernel—one of Laura’s young patients— is joyfully reunited with his family after recovering from his facial reconstruction surgery.
All images courtesy of Mercy Ships & Michelle Murrey
ZoomInfo
How far can a degree from UNC take you? After graduating from UNC’s School of Nursing, Laura Nemeth (BS-10) moved all the way across the country to work in the specialized field of pediatric critical care. But that was just the beginning of her journey. Ms. Nemeth wanted to serve the needs of communities globally, communities that often suffer from limited access to healthcare. So she saved her money, took a hiatus from her job in Tennessee, and traveled over 6,700 miles to work aboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity medical ship.
For three months, she lived aboard this gigantic vessel while it was docked in the Congolese city of Pointe Noire. There, she cared for children as they underwent surgery to repair cleft palates and remove life-threatening tumors. Ms. Nemeth has documented many facets of this journey on her blog, and we were curious to learn even more about her experiences. She took some time to speak with us about the steps that led her from UNC to the Republic of Congo and some of the valuable lessons she hopes to bring back to her work in the States.
What initially drew you to study nursing at UNC?
Nursing has been a long-time dream of mine, so when I began looking at colleges, I knew exactly what I was looking for: an in-state school where I could earn my Bachelor’s and receive top-notch medical training. UNC’s nursing program has an outstanding reputation, and it ended up being a great fit for all of my criteria.
What were some of the biggest challenges and rewards you experienced throughout your studies?
As you might imagine, studying to become a nurse was not without its challenges. Freshman year I took Biology 101 and ended up bombing my first test with a 54%. This was a big wake-up call for me as you can tell from my precise memory of the score. From that point on, I threw myself into my studies—Michener Library and I became intimately acquainted to say the least. By the end of the semester I was able to pull my grades up and, a few years later when graduation finally rolled around, my GPA was strong enough to earn a cum laude. On the whole, I was pushed quite hard throughout my education, but the challenges definitely paid off.
What inspired you to pursue this experience aboard the Africa Mercy and what steps did you have to go through to make it a reality?
In my senior year at UNC, one of my clinical instructors told me about a coworker of hers who was nursing abroad in Africa. Her story really sparked my interest: it was one of the first times that I had thought about nursing as a skill set that could take me all over the world. From then on, global nursing became a major goal of mine.
During my 5th semester in UNC’s nursing program, I had the opportunity to travel to Knoxville and work as a student nurse at the University of Tennessee Medical center. That experience of moving across the country to practice what I had learned gave me a huge confidence boost. I knew that I was capable of adapting my skills to the demands of a totally new setting.
After graduating and getting some more experience as a critical care nurse in the “real world,” it seemed like it was time to take that final leap and go abroad. Things began to fall into place: I had the money saved, the lease on my apartment was almost up, and the Mercy Ships jumped out at me as a program that needed nurses with my exact specialization. With the support of my friends and family I finalized my plans and now here I am.
Can you describe a “typical day” aboard the Africa Mercy?
As a place to live, a good word to describe the atmosphere onboard would be “communal.” Most nurses live in 6-person cabins with 3 sets of bunk beds and a shared bathroom. All meals are served buffet-style. It actually reminds me a bit of dorm life back when I lived in McCowen Hall. At UNC, I learned how to live as a member of community: making friends with the people you’re living alongside and negotiating conflicts when they arise. Those skills have definitely come in handy here.
The hustle and bustle aboard this ship is constant and sleep can be hard to come by, even in the most socially harmonious conditions. Still, it’s inspiring to see how much can be accomplished with so many people working together in such close quarters. The entire 450-person vessel is run by volunteers and there are a lot jobs that need to get done in order for the hospital staff to do their work efficiently: maintaining the ship, preparing the food, training students in the academy of long-term staff. The level of coordination involved is pretty incredible.
Nurses take rotating 8-hour shifts and your “typical day” will often change dramatically based on the shift you’re working. My three months onboard have been quite an emotional roller coaster, filled with high highs and low lows. You come face-to-face with a level of pain and resilience that can shake you to your core.
Many of the patients I care for suffer from tumors that begin to obstruct their airways as they grow. Surgeries to treat these patients are a top priority because, if they’re not performed in time, the patient can suffocate. The week that the Africa Mercy began operating in Pointe Noire, two children came into our care who were facing this condition. One of these children was still healthy enough to undergo the operation successfully, but the other child’s condition had progressed too far for her to be treated and she passed away. Experiencing these two opposite outcomes so close together has affected me in ways I can’t fully express yet. It’s definitely been cemented in my mind that access to healthcare is something that should never be taken for granted.
You’ve mentioned on your blog that you have a specialized skill set—pediatric critical care—which is well suited to the demands of medical care aboard the Africa Mercy. How have you brought those skills to bear over the past 3 months and how has your style of nursing evolved?
Pediatric critical care is a very specialized field of nursing. It requires a lot of teamwork and critical thinking skills that can only be developed with the help of time, practice, and a lot of peer encouragement. Still, on the Africa Mercy I find myself growing and adjusting in ways I hadn’t expected. The large number of patients and the flow of our work has taught me new time management skills. I’ve learned about the treatment of diseases I never encountered before in my professional life. I’ve also changed the way I interact with patients.
For a variety of reasons, nursing on the Africa Mercy causes you to build strong relationships with the people you’re caring for. Patients often have long recovery times during which they don’t require a lot of strict medical attention. What they truly need during that period is a lot of personal, day-to-day encouragement to help them through their hospital stay. The ship is well staffed with translators who are fluent in French, Kituba, and Lingala and they’re vital in helping us communicate with our patients, but oftentimes our deepest bonds are formed through non-verbal means. It’s amazing how much can be conveyed through things like gesture, body language, and touch.
What do you think you’re going to take away from your global nursing experience? 
This has undoubtedly been a life-changing experience. However, I probably won’t be able to express the scope and nature of that change until after I’ve returned to the states. I still feel like I’m headed down the same path personally and professionally, but with a different attitude. My patients and the broader Congolese community have shown me an encouraging, accepting, and loving way of life here and I hope that I will never forget that, no matter where my journey takes me. 
Thank you, Ms. Nemeth, for sharing that journey with us!
If you’d like to learn more about the exciting accomplishments of UNC’s Nursing graduates and faculty members, tune into the News section on the School of Nursing’s homepage. Also, be sure not to miss this interview with Nursing alum Heidi Burnett (BS-13), who was recently named as one of this year’s winners for the prestigious DAISY Award.
Are there other accomplished alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us about them in the comments section below or send us a message on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page.
Photos from top to bottom: a young girl sees her face for the first time after undergoing surgery, Laura Nemeth standing in front of the Africa Mercy in a Pointe Noire port, Vernel—one of Laura’s young patients— is joyfully reunited with his family after recovering from his facial reconstruction surgery.
All images courtesy of Mercy Ships & Michelle Murrey
ZoomInfo

How far can a degree from UNC take you? After graduating from UNC’s School of Nursing, Laura Nemeth (BS-10) moved all the way across the country to work in the specialized field of pediatric critical care. But that was just the beginning of her journey. Ms. Nemeth wanted to serve the needs of communities globally, communities that often suffer from limited access to healthcare. So she saved her money, took a hiatus from her job in Tennessee, and traveled over 6,700 miles to work aboard the Africa Mercy, the world’s largest charity medical ship.

For three months, she lived aboard this gigantic vessel while it was docked in the Congolese city of Pointe Noire. There, she cared for children as they underwent surgery to repair cleft palates and remove life-threatening tumors. Ms. Nemeth has documented many facets of this journey on her blog, and we were curious to learn even more about her experiences. She took some time to speak with us about the steps that led her from UNC to the Republic of Congo and some of the valuable lessons she hopes to bring back to her work in the States.

What initially drew you to study nursing at UNC?

Nursing has been a long-time dream of mine, so when I began looking at colleges, I knew exactly what I was looking for: an in-state school where I could earn my Bachelor’s and receive top-notch medical training. UNC’s nursing program has an outstanding reputation, and it ended up being a great fit for all of my criteria.

What were some of the biggest challenges and rewards you experienced throughout your studies?

As you might imagine, studying to become a nurse was not without its challenges. Freshman year I took Biology 101 and ended up bombing my first test with a 54%. This was a big wake-up call for me as you can tell from my precise memory of the score. From that point on, I threw myself into my studies—Michener Library and I became intimately acquainted to say the least. By the end of the semester I was able to pull my grades up and, a few years later when graduation finally rolled around, my GPA was strong enough to earn a cum laude. On the whole, I was pushed quite hard throughout my education, but the challenges definitely paid off.

What inspired you to pursue this experience aboard the Africa Mercy and what steps did you have to go through to make it a reality?

In my senior year at UNC, one of my clinical instructors told me about a coworker of hers who was nursing abroad in Africa. Her story really sparked my interest: it was one of the first times that I had thought about nursing as a skill set that could take me all over the world. From then on, global nursing became a major goal of mine.

During my 5th semester in UNC’s nursing program, I had the opportunity to travel to Knoxville and work as a student nurse at the University of Tennessee Medical center. That experience of moving across the country to practice what I had learned gave me a huge confidence boost. I knew that I was capable of adapting my skills to the demands of a totally new setting.

After graduating and getting some more experience as a critical care nurse in the “real world,” it seemed like it was time to take that final leap and go abroad. Things began to fall into place: I had the money saved, the lease on my apartment was almost up, and the Mercy Ships jumped out at me as a program that needed nurses with my exact specialization. With the support of my friends and family I finalized my plans and now here I am.

Can you describe a “typical day” aboard the Africa Mercy?

As a place to live, a good word to describe the atmosphere onboard would be “communal.” Most nurses live in 6-person cabins with 3 sets of bunk beds and a shared bathroom. All meals are served buffet-style. It actually reminds me a bit of dorm life back when I lived in McCowen Hall. At UNC, I learned how to live as a member of community: making friends with the people you’re living alongside and negotiating conflicts when they arise. Those skills have definitely come in handy here.

The hustle and bustle aboard this ship is constant and sleep can be hard to come by, even in the most socially harmonious conditions. Still, it’s inspiring to see how much can be accomplished with so many people working together in such close quarters. The entire 450-person vessel is run by volunteers and there are a lot jobs that need to get done in order for the hospital staff to do their work efficiently: maintaining the ship, preparing the food, training students in the academy of long-term staff. The level of coordination involved is pretty incredible.

Nurses take rotating 8-hour shifts and your “typical day” will often change dramatically based on the shift you’re working. My three months onboard have been quite an emotional roller coaster, filled with high highs and low lows. You come face-to-face with a level of pain and resilience that can shake you to your core.

Many of the patients I care for suffer from tumors that begin to obstruct their airways as they grow. Surgeries to treat these patients are a top priority because, if they’re not performed in time, the patient can suffocate. The week that the Africa Mercy began operating in Pointe Noire, two children came into our care who were facing this condition. One of these children was still healthy enough to undergo the operation successfully, but the other child’s condition had progressed too far for her to be treated and she passed away. Experiencing these two opposite outcomes so close together has affected me in ways I can’t fully express yet. It’s definitely been cemented in my mind that access to healthcare is something that should never be taken for granted.

You’ve mentioned on your blog that you have a specialized skill set—pediatric critical care—which is well suited to the demands of medical care aboard the Africa Mercy. How have you brought those skills to bear over the past 3 months and how has your style of nursing evolved?

Pediatric critical care is a very specialized field of nursing. It requires a lot of teamwork and critical thinking skills that can only be developed with the help of time, practice, and a lot of peer encouragement. Still, on the Africa Mercy I find myself growing and adjusting in ways I hadn’t expected. The large number of patients and the flow of our work has taught me new time management skills. I’ve learned about the treatment of diseases I never encountered before in my professional life. I’ve also changed the way I interact with patients.

For a variety of reasons, nursing on the Africa Mercy causes you to build strong relationships with the people you’re caring for. Patients often have long recovery times during which they don’t require a lot of strict medical attention. What they truly need during that period is a lot of personal, day-to-day encouragement to help them through their hospital stay. The ship is well staffed with translators who are fluent in French, Kituba, and Lingala and they’re vital in helping us communicate with our patients, but oftentimes our deepest bonds are formed through non-verbal means. It’s amazing how much can be conveyed through things like gesture, body language, and touch.

What do you think you’re going to take away from your global nursing experience? 

This has undoubtedly been a life-changing experience. However, I probably won’t be able to express the scope and nature of that change until after I’ve returned to the states. I still feel like I’m headed down the same path personally and professionally, but with a different attitude. My patients and the broader Congolese community have shown me an encouraging, accepting, and loving way of life here and I hope that I will never forget that, no matter where my journey takes me. 

Thank you, Ms. Nemeth, for sharing that journey with us!

If you’d like to learn more about the exciting accomplishments of UNC’s Nursing graduates and faculty members, tune into the News section on the School of Nursing’s homepage. Also, be sure not to miss this interview with Nursing alum Heidi Burnett (BS-13), who was recently named as one of this year’s winners for the prestigious DAISY Award.

Are there other accomplished alumni you’d like to see featured on the Bear Den? Tell us about them in the comments section below or send us a message on the Alumni Association’s Facebook page.

Photos from top to bottom: a young girl sees her face for the first time after undergoing surgery, Laura Nemeth standing in front of the Africa Mercy in a Pointe Noire port, Vernel—one of Laura’s young patients— is joyfully reunited with his family after recovering from his facial reconstruction surgery.

All images courtesy of Mercy Ships & Michelle Murrey

Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider
Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”
What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”
Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”
When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”
One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”
As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.  “RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.
You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.
ZoomInfo
Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider
Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”
What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”
Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”
When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”
One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”
As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.  “RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.
You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.
ZoomInfo
Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider
Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”
What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”
Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”
When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”
One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”
As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.  “RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.
You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.
ZoomInfo
Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider
Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”
What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”
Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”
When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”
One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”
As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.  “RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.
You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.
ZoomInfo
Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider
Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”
What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”
Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”
When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”
One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”
As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.  “RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.
You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.
ZoomInfo
Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider
Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”
What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”
Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”
When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”
One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”
As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.  “RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.
You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.
ZoomInfo

Remembering RMCRI Founder, Dr. Carole Schneider

Twenty-one years ago, when RMCRI founder Dr. Carole Schneider began her work at UNC, cancer research wasn’t part of her professional agenda. That all changed three years later when she received her diagnosis. “Her first questions were, ‘Can I exercise? If so, what should I do? What intensity? What duration?’ Being an exercise physiologist, her immediate inclination was to approach her illness the same way she would any other complicated research topic,” said colleague and current RMCRI Director Dr. Reid Hayward. When Dr. Schneider saw that no major studies had been performed on the effects of physical rehabilitation on cancer survivors, she knew there was a way that she could use both her diagnosis and her professional expertise to help others. Dr. Hayward still recalls her resolution, the one that would bring about the birth of the Rocky Mountain Cancer Rehabilitation Institute: “She told me, ‘we need to answer these questions and I’ll volunteer to be the first patient.’”

What began as a passion project in a single room in Gunter Hall has evolved into an impressive standalone facility with state-of-the-art equipment and a growing international reputation.  Today, RMCRI has trained over 600 of UNC’s graduate and undergraduate students in the science of cancer rehabilitation. Jessica Brown (BS-08, MS-10) is one of those students. Recruited by Dr. Schneider as a senior, Jessica has stayed on with the Institute for 6 years as a Clinical Coordinator and is currently in the process of earning her Ph.D. in exercise physiology. Jessica says the nearly miraculous impact that cancer rehabilitation can have on patients’ lives is a big part of what has kept her coming back year after year.  “A few of our clients come into RMCRI not being able to walk. They’re in wheelchairs and they’re not able to move in the way that they would like to. One particular client, after 6 months in our program, regained their ability to walk freely, move around, and pick up their little children. A bit later, they even did their first 5K. That was hugely rewarding to see.”

Sadly, on July 30th, 2013, RMCRI’s founder and first patient passed away at the age of 63. Traci Parry (BS-07, MS-09), a research associate studying the physiological effects of chemotherapy and exercise, remembers Dr. Schneider as a source of personal and professional inspiration. “Being a woman in the hard sciences isn’t easy, but she always set a high standard for us to follow.” For Traci, Dr. Schneider exemplified an instructor who lived according to the values she taught to others: “If Dr. Schneider saw potential in you, she’d push you as hard as she could. In the final stages of her own illness, she kept herself going and never complained once about the hand that she’d been dealt. To be mentored by someone with that level of conviction was a true blessing.”

When someone has had such a wide-ranging impact on both the UNC community and the world at large, it can be difficult to put their legacy into words. More than 1000 patients whose lives have been changed for the better, the largest database of cancer survivors’ health statistics in existence, a fleet of specialists from Australia to South Korea who flock to RMCRI each year for training in cancer rehabilitation: none of this would have been possible without the work of Dr. Carole Schneider. As her former student and successor, Dr. Reid Hayward, says that ensuring the Cancer Rehabilitation Institute’s long-term sustainability will be a first priority moving forward. “All of this, this whole facility, these educational opportunities, are here because of her. We’re going to do everything we can to make sure it goes on for a long time. Even after we’re all gone.”

One challenge that RMCRI is already grappling with is increased competition for the research grants they depend upon for funding. “When Dr. Schneider started this line of research, no one else was doing it. Now there are a lot of well-connected institutions out there vying for the same dollars we are. Maintaining our position as leader in our field requires constant innovation.”

As a way of commemorating Dr. Schneider and ensuring the continued growth of the institution she spent her life building, two avenues have been opened up to receive UNC Bears’ generous donations. Giving to the Carole Schneider Scholarship Endowment will provide funding for promising young Ph.D. students like Traci and Jessica. Giving directly to RMCRI will help to maintain their impressive array of scientific equipment and allow their dedicated staff members to continue doing their life-changing work. If you or a loved one have been affected by cancer or if you’re a firm believer in the world-class education our exercise physiology students receive at UNC, these are both extremely worthy investments.

“RMCRI is like a family,” said Jessica Brown. “We’re bound together by an active commitment we’ve all made to pursue knowledge and wellness compassionately. Every student we train, every cancer survivor that we have the opportunity to work with, and every donor who supports our Institute becomes a part of that family.” In honor of Dr. Schneider’s passing, we invite you, through your own active commitment, to join her family.


You can donate directly to RMCRI and the Carole Schneider Scholarship endowment by clicking here and here. There’s a fantastic video on the Institute’s home page where you can see Dr. Schneider herself explaining RMCRI’s mission. While you’re there, you can also get more info on their training workshops, educational opportunities, and ongoing studies. For a more in-depth look at how RMCRI changes the lives of UNC students, check out this profile on Justin Layden.

#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World
Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.
Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”
Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.
“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 
UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  
Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  
Quick Facts
For Bears Participating Remotely
-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total.   -Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze. -If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.  -Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.
For Bears Participating in Person
-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship. -Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here. -Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.
ZoomInfo

#BearsGive: Adamson’s Annual Blood Drive Expands to Include UNC Bears Around the World

Many college-aged kids simply think of the summer months as a time of fun and freedom from responsibility, but UNC nursing students like Ariana Roberts are conscious of the fact that more people away on vacation means less people donating lifesaving blood. Last year in mid-June, the Red Cross saw donations drop by the tens of thousands, resulting in dire national shortages. While elective surgeries can be postponed whenever resources run low, emergency transfusions and chronic illnesses like the one faced by little Ivy Tregenza (seen top-left) require a consistent supply of blood that can only be sustained through the donations of generous individuals.

Another thing Ariana Roberts knows first-hand is the serious set of financial hurdles faced by aspiring medical professionals like herself. Thankfully, the nursing scholarship she received has finally made her dreams of traveling the world to help communities with limited access to healthcare a real possibility. With the resources and expertise she’s acquired through UNC, Ariana wants to pay her education forward by joining the Peace Corps and working at the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital in Ethiopia. UNC’s nursing scholarships are essential not only to our students, but to the people who will eventually depend on them for quality healthcare. Ariana says donors gifts’ have helped to fund her education and her future, “There are so many things to do in the world and I hope these dreams are only the first of many accomplished during my life.”

Faced with these two urgent needs, educational support and life-sustaining blood, a local, alumni-run business developed a unique solution to help the UNC community tackle both issues at once. John Seitz, Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and Cherry Smith (BA-74) of Adamson Funeral & Cremation Services are issuing a straightforward challenge to Bears across the globe: for every unit of blood you give to our annual campaign, we will donate $10 to a dedicated nursing scholarship. Can’t make it to the blood drive in Greeley on August 10th? If you give blood any time, anywhere between now and August 17th, just send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email detailing how you gave and your gift will be counted toward the Adamson Nursing Scholarship Fund. You can use these handy webpages from the American Association of Blood Banks and the Red Cross to locate your nearest donation center and make an appointment right now.

“The spirit of the blood drive is about saving lives,” said Adamson owner John Seitz, “but it’s also a fun and positive experience for the donors as well. Every year, we strive to give the event a carnival-like atmosphere.” Those who can attend the live occasion on August 10th will certainly be treated to a variety of exciting surprises: refreshments, give-away items including UNC gear and game tickets, a bouncy castle for the kids. However, this doesn’t mean that Bears joining in from afar have to miss out on all the fun. If you send us a photo showing off your “I Gave Blood” sticker or your brand-new blood donation band-aid along with the message saying when and where you gave, that picture will be displayed on our Alumni Association Facebook page. This gallery is an exciting way to show your Bear pride while making remote donation a truly social activity. 

UNC nursing students Brittany Ogle and Teshia Cordia have found plenty about the Adamson Blood Drive to take pride in. This will be their second year volunteering to help run the event. For Brittany, being able to address a fundamental human need is the most rewarding aspect of being involved. “95 percent of Americans will need a blood transfusion by the age of 72. I tell my friends it’s important to give now because, down the road, they’ll have to rely on others to return the favor.” Teshia says that she keeps coming back to the blood drive because she’s inspired by the donors’ demonstrations of selflessness. “One woman in particular stood out in my mind: she had lost her husband very recently, just a few weeks before, and she decided that she wanted to give back to a good cause in his honor.”  

Whether you help out because of a deep sense of personal responsibility or for the fun of participating in a global online campaign, your contribution to the Adamson Blood Drive will do two times the good. By taking the time to schedule a donation appointment or sharing this story with a friend who gives blood regularly you’ll be helping to save lives and fund the education of nursing students like Ariana, Brittany, and Teshia. As UNC alumna and blood drive coordinator Cherry Smith explained, the heart and soul of this initiative lies in our shared determination to rally together and support our community by giving of ourselves: “Donating blood is beneficial in two ways; one donation holds the possibility of saving at least three lives, secondly it helps the donor because it is good for them physically.  Men and post-menopausal women who donate three times a year reduce their risk of heart attack and stroke by 50%.  Our blood drive motto is, ‘Do it for others…do it for yourself…do it for a lifetime.’”  

Quick Facts

For Bears Participating Remotely

-Any blood donation given between August 2nd and August 17th will be counted toward our scholarship fundraising total. 
-Remember to check those online blood donation center locators here and here. They’ll make scheduling your appointment a breeze.
-If you’re unable to give blood for any reason, consider convincing a friend to contribute in your place by passing along this link to our story: bit.ly/adamsonblood. Whether they’re Bears or friends of UNC, they can make their donation go twice as far by raising money for the Adamson Nursing Scholarship.
-Don’t forget to send us a message via Facebook, Twitter, or email (daniel.rosplock@unco.edu) telling us when and where you gave. If you have a camera or smartphone, be sure to include a post-donation photo to add to our online gallery.

For Bears Participating in Person

-The Adamson Blood Drive runs for two days, August 9th and 10th from 8 AM to 1 PM. The event will be located at 2000 47th Ave. in Greeley.
-If you give on the 9th, be sure to mention that you’d like your donation counted toward UNC’s Adamson Nursing Scholarship.
-Walk-ins are welcome, but making an appointment in advance means less waiting. You can sign up for a timeslot here.
-Thanks in part to this year’s online expansion, the donation goal for 2013 is 200 units of blood. That’s over $200,000 worth of lifesaving blood!

Photos from top to bottom, left to right: blood donation beneficiary and Red Cross poster child Ivy Tregenza, Red Cross apparel emphasizing the impact of blood donation, Adamson owners John Seitz and Jonathan Seitz (BS-07) and blood drive director Cherry Smith (BA-74), in-person and online blood donors demonstrating their enthusiasm, UNC nursing students participating in the 2012 blood drive.

#BearsGive: Donors and UNC Volunteers Support an Amazing Girls’ Summer Math Camp
“What is the probability you will be successful?” Brilliant mid-day sunshine is streaming in through a classroom window in UNC’s Ross Hall, but the young women of Las Chicas de Matemáticas Summer Camp remain fixated on the difficult question being projected onto the screen in front of them. The Chicas raise their hands and take turns sharing the struggles they’ll face on the road to college: complicated family finances, sarcastic remarks from friends about their passion for math, a chronic sense of uncertainty that often follows first-generation students.
Each statement is answered by a round of applause and cheers of support from the other Chicas. It’s a diverse group made up of young women from all around Colorado whose backgrounds span a broad spectrum of ethnic identities and educational experiences. Despite these differences, the Chicas clearly sympathize with the challenges facing their newfound friends. A few inspirational stories and some academic advice from today’s guest presenter, Theresa Chavez, a computer scientist from Ft. Collins, help guide the conversation toward an optimistic conclusion. By the end of the discussion, the girls have moved past the general possibility of college and onto the merits of pursuing a graduate degree. If probability suggests that these young women are unlikely to succeed as STEM professionals, then this has only made them more determined to help each other beat the odds. 
UNC math professor Hortensia Soto-Johnson began Las Chicas in 2008 with the basic goal of promoting diversity among undergraduates enrolled in STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. With the help of her colleagues, Drs. Diaz and Karakok, the program has made great strides toward that goal using a combination of staff support, academic mentorship, and a rigorous curriculum of upper-level coursework. At its very core, however, Las Chicas isn’t just about igniting campers’ interests in mathematics. The program uses math as a tool to teach the Chicas life skills that are essential to success in any field: confidence, professionalism, and persistence.
Ana Caudillo, an alumna of Las Chicas who has gone on to study biology at UNC, credits the program with setting her on a course to success that she otherwise might not have been able to pursue. “Las Chicas helped me become more involved and academically focused. As a result, my entire education has been paid for by financial aid and scholarships.” Caudillo believes that it’s a combination of the skills and self-esteem instilled in her by Las Chicas that have helped her to stand out from her scholastic peers. “I’m a science major, and having a strong math background is extremely beneficial. So many of my classmates fear math – I’m glad I had the chance to become comfortable with the subject in camp.” Caudillo, like so many others affiliated with Las Chicas, has become a passionate promoter of the program and an advocate for the next generation of campers. Her little sister will be applying to Las Chicas next year.
Through word-of-mouth buzz and ringing endorsements from grateful parents and teachers, the demand for Las Chicas has begun to skyrocket. This year, over 120 applicants from across the state competed for one of the camp’s 32 spots. The reason for this cap on attendance isn’t exclusivity or prestige, but financial accessibility. Every single position on the camp’s roster is fully funded through generous donations from corporate and institutional partners. Additionally, the individual campers are supported by the volunteer efforts of UNC math majors who compose Las Chicas’s crew of counselors. One former counselor, Linley Miller (BS-13) explained that a primary objective for the program moving forward will be sustainable expansion. “Speaking with the girls at the end of the camp I was told repeatedly that it was the best week of their lives. I would love to see the camp get even bigger so that every young woman who desires this experience will be able to have it.”
Each year, Las Chicas concludes with a banquet where the campers deliver group presentations, analyzing advanced mathematical concepts to instructors, peers, and parents. Their speeches on visual group theory and mathematical sculptures display a self-assurance that’s absolutely infectious. Keatra Nesbitt (BA-11), another former Las Chicas counselor who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Mathematical Finance at the University of Southern California says that seeing the girls in action gave her the boost she needed to present her own work at national conferences. “Seeing how confident and on fire the girls were kept my flame going as well. When I would get frustrated with my research, I would reflect back on Las Chicas and remember how confident I felt guiding the girls.” As community support for Las Chicas de Matemáticas continues to grow, more and more motivated young women like Ana, Linley, and Keatra will be able to envision their success in terms of certainty and concrete skill sets rather than abstract probability.
If you’re interested in exploring options to provide financial support to Las Chicas, you can contact the program’s fundraising liaison at sarah.berkman@unco.edu. To discuss volunteer opportunities, email the camp’s director at hortensia.soto@unco.edu. 
For photo galleries and videos curated by the Chicas themselves, explore the program’s official homepage here. More heartwarming images from this year’s session can be found on our Flickr gallery here. You can also read more about the girls’ emotional journeys in this touching profile piece from 2012.  
Las Chicas de Matemáticas would like to acknowledge the generous support of its 2013 sponsors:
State Farm InsuranceThe Women’s Foundation of ColoradoNoble Energy, Inc.OtterCares FoundationUNC College of Natural and Health SciencesUNC School of Mathematical Sciences
ZoomInfo
#BearsGive: Donors and UNC Volunteers Support an Amazing Girls’ Summer Math Camp
“What is the probability you will be successful?” Brilliant mid-day sunshine is streaming in through a classroom window in UNC’s Ross Hall, but the young women of Las Chicas de Matemáticas Summer Camp remain fixated on the difficult question being projected onto the screen in front of them. The Chicas raise their hands and take turns sharing the struggles they’ll face on the road to college: complicated family finances, sarcastic remarks from friends about their passion for math, a chronic sense of uncertainty that often follows first-generation students.
Each statement is answered by a round of applause and cheers of support from the other Chicas. It’s a diverse group made up of young women from all around Colorado whose backgrounds span a broad spectrum of ethnic identities and educational experiences. Despite these differences, the Chicas clearly sympathize with the challenges facing their newfound friends. A few inspirational stories and some academic advice from today’s guest presenter, Theresa Chavez, a computer scientist from Ft. Collins, help guide the conversation toward an optimistic conclusion. By the end of the discussion, the girls have moved past the general possibility of college and onto the merits of pursuing a graduate degree. If probability suggests that these young women are unlikely to succeed as STEM professionals, then this has only made them more determined to help each other beat the odds. 
UNC math professor Hortensia Soto-Johnson began Las Chicas in 2008 with the basic goal of promoting diversity among undergraduates enrolled in STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. With the help of her colleagues, Drs. Diaz and Karakok, the program has made great strides toward that goal using a combination of staff support, academic mentorship, and a rigorous curriculum of upper-level coursework. At its very core, however, Las Chicas isn’t just about igniting campers’ interests in mathematics. The program uses math as a tool to teach the Chicas life skills that are essential to success in any field: confidence, professionalism, and persistence.
Ana Caudillo, an alumna of Las Chicas who has gone on to study biology at UNC, credits the program with setting her on a course to success that she otherwise might not have been able to pursue. “Las Chicas helped me become more involved and academically focused. As a result, my entire education has been paid for by financial aid and scholarships.” Caudillo believes that it’s a combination of the skills and self-esteem instilled in her by Las Chicas that have helped her to stand out from her scholastic peers. “I’m a science major, and having a strong math background is extremely beneficial. So many of my classmates fear math – I’m glad I had the chance to become comfortable with the subject in camp.” Caudillo, like so many others affiliated with Las Chicas, has become a passionate promoter of the program and an advocate for the next generation of campers. Her little sister will be applying to Las Chicas next year.
Through word-of-mouth buzz and ringing endorsements from grateful parents and teachers, the demand for Las Chicas has begun to skyrocket. This year, over 120 applicants from across the state competed for one of the camp’s 32 spots. The reason for this cap on attendance isn’t exclusivity or prestige, but financial accessibility. Every single position on the camp’s roster is fully funded through generous donations from corporate and institutional partners. Additionally, the individual campers are supported by the volunteer efforts of UNC math majors who compose Las Chicas’s crew of counselors. One former counselor, Linley Miller (BS-13) explained that a primary objective for the program moving forward will be sustainable expansion. “Speaking with the girls at the end of the camp I was told repeatedly that it was the best week of their lives. I would love to see the camp get even bigger so that every young woman who desires this experience will be able to have it.”
Each year, Las Chicas concludes with a banquet where the campers deliver group presentations, analyzing advanced mathematical concepts to instructors, peers, and parents. Their speeches on visual group theory and mathematical sculptures display a self-assurance that’s absolutely infectious. Keatra Nesbitt (BA-11), another former Las Chicas counselor who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Mathematical Finance at the University of Southern California says that seeing the girls in action gave her the boost she needed to present her own work at national conferences. “Seeing how confident and on fire the girls were kept my flame going as well. When I would get frustrated with my research, I would reflect back on Las Chicas and remember how confident I felt guiding the girls.” As community support for Las Chicas de Matemáticas continues to grow, more and more motivated young women like Ana, Linley, and Keatra will be able to envision their success in terms of certainty and concrete skill sets rather than abstract probability.
If you’re interested in exploring options to provide financial support to Las Chicas, you can contact the program’s fundraising liaison at sarah.berkman@unco.edu. To discuss volunteer opportunities, email the camp’s director at hortensia.soto@unco.edu. 
For photo galleries and videos curated by the Chicas themselves, explore the program’s official homepage here. More heartwarming images from this year’s session can be found on our Flickr gallery here. You can also read more about the girls’ emotional journeys in this touching profile piece from 2012.  
Las Chicas de Matemáticas would like to acknowledge the generous support of its 2013 sponsors:
State Farm InsuranceThe Women’s Foundation of ColoradoNoble Energy, Inc.OtterCares FoundationUNC College of Natural and Health SciencesUNC School of Mathematical Sciences
ZoomInfo

#BearsGive: Donors and UNC Volunteers Support an Amazing Girls’ Summer Math Camp

“What is the probability you will be successful?” Brilliant mid-day sunshine is streaming in through a classroom window in UNC’s Ross Hall, but the young women of Las Chicas de Matemáticas Summer Camp remain fixated on the difficult question being projected onto the screen in front of them. The Chicas raise their hands and take turns sharing the struggles they’ll face on the road to college: complicated family finances, sarcastic remarks from friends about their passion for math, a chronic sense of uncertainty that often follows first-generation students.

Each statement is answered by a round of applause and cheers of support from the other Chicas. It’s a diverse group made up of young women from all around Colorado whose backgrounds span a broad spectrum of ethnic identities and educational experiences. Despite these differences, the Chicas clearly sympathize with the challenges facing their newfound friends. A few inspirational stories and some academic advice from today’s guest presenter, Theresa Chavez, a computer scientist from Ft. Collins, help guide the conversation toward an optimistic conclusion. By the end of the discussion, the girls have moved past the general possibility of college and onto the merits of pursuing a graduate degree. If probability suggests that these young women are unlikely to succeed as STEM professionals, then this has only made them more determined to help each other beat the odds.

UNC math professor Hortensia Soto-Johnson began Las Chicas in 2008 with the basic goal of promoting diversity among undergraduates enrolled in STEM-related (science, technology, engineering, and math) programs. With the help of her colleagues, Drs. Diaz and Karakok, the program has made great strides toward that goal using a combination of staff support, academic mentorship, and a rigorous curriculum of upper-level coursework. At its very core, however, Las Chicas isn’t just about igniting campers’ interests in mathematics. The program uses math as a tool to teach the Chicas life skills that are essential to success in any field: confidence, professionalism, and persistence.

Ana Caudillo, an alumna of Las Chicas who has gone on to study biology at UNC, credits the program with setting her on a course to success that she otherwise might not have been able to pursue. “Las Chicas helped me become more involved and academically focused. As a result, my entire education has been paid for by financial aid and scholarships.” Caudillo believes that it’s a combination of the skills and self-esteem instilled in her by Las Chicas that have helped her to stand out from her scholastic peers. “I’m a science major, and having a strong math background is extremely beneficial. So many of my classmates fear math – I’m glad I had the chance to become comfortable with the subject in camp.” Caudillo, like so many others affiliated with Las Chicas, has become a passionate promoter of the program and an advocate for the next generation of campers. Her little sister will be applying to Las Chicas next year.

Through word-of-mouth buzz and ringing endorsements from grateful parents and teachers, the demand for Las Chicas has begun to skyrocket. This year, over 120 applicants from across the state competed for one of the camp’s 32 spots. The reason for this cap on attendance isn’t exclusivity or prestige, but financial accessibility. Every single position on the camp’s roster is fully funded through generous donations from corporate and institutional partners. Additionally, the individual campers are supported by the volunteer efforts of UNC math majors who compose Las Chicas’s crew of counselors. One former counselor, Linley Miller (BS-13) explained that a primary objective for the program moving forward will be sustainable expansion. “Speaking with the girls at the end of the camp I was told repeatedly that it was the best week of their lives. I would love to see the camp get even bigger so that every young woman who desires this experience will be able to have it.”

Each year, Las Chicas concludes with a banquet where the campers deliver group presentations, analyzing advanced mathematical concepts to instructors, peers, and parents. Their speeches on visual group theory and mathematical sculptures display a self-assurance that’s absolutely infectious. Keatra Nesbitt (BA-11), another former Las Chicas counselor who is currently pursuing a graduate degree in Mathematical Finance at the University of Southern California says that seeing the girls in action gave her the boost she needed to present her own work at national conferences. “Seeing how confident and on fire the girls were kept my flame going as well. When I would get frustrated with my research, I would reflect back on Las Chicas and remember how confident I felt guiding the girls.” As community support for Las Chicas de Matemáticas continues to grow, more and more motivated young women like Ana, Linley, and Keatra will be able to envision their success in terms of certainty and concrete skill sets rather than abstract probability.

If you’re interested in exploring options to provide financial support to Las Chicas, you can contact the program’s fundraising liaison at sarah.berkman@unco.edu. To discuss volunteer opportunities, email the camp’s director at hortensia.soto@unco.edu

For photo galleries and videos curated by the Chicas themselves, explore the program’s official homepage here. More heartwarming images from this year’s session can be found on our Flickr gallery here. You can also read more about the girls’ emotional journeys in this touching profile piece from 2012.  

Las Chicas de Matemáticas would like to acknowledge the generous support of its 2013 sponsors:

State Farm Insurance
The Women’s Foundation of Colorado
Noble Energy, Inc.
OtterCares Foundation
UNC College of Natural and Health Sciences
UNC School of Mathematical Sciences

#BearsGive Featured Alumnus: Ryan Hochmiller

Ryan Hochmiller (BA-07), today’s #BearsGive honoree,epitomizes all of the qualities that make the UNC alumni base such a vital and inspiring group: drive, creativity, altruism, and a generous dash of idealism. Since earning his degree in Business Management from UNC’s Monfort College of Business, Ryan has taken on a variety of professional pursuits. From his family’s small business, Active Truck Parts and Sales Inc., to a board position in the Colorado Auto Recyclers Association to an advisory role in a 3D printing start-up, Ryan has rarely shied away from a new and exciting venture. With this penchant for novel approaches to communal action, it’s no wonder that he’s been so involved with our recently formed Young Alumni Council as co-chair of the Membership and Governance Committee. We spoke with him about the qualities that define an effective leader and mentor as well as his vision for the future of alumni engagement.

What first got you interested in joining the YAC and what do you enjoy most about your involvement?

I’ve been involved with Alumni engagement on a number of levels up to this point, so when I was asked to apply to the Young Alumni Council, I jumped at the opportunity without any real hesitation.  I most enjoy the fact that I’m able to serve the YAC during this critical, formative period.  I’ve learned a lot throughout this process of getting the group up and running. I’ve also had the pleasure of working with new graduates and a wide array of professionals who have all benefited from their UNC education.

Did you serve in any other leadership roles as a student at UNC? 

I never served as a leader in any organizations at UNC, but I did receive good deal of guidance at that time that’s proven to be highly applicable in my current roles.  As a freshman, I already had two jobs and those kept me very busy, but the structure they provided also helped drive me to finish school in 3 1/2 years.  In my work, I was mentored by a number of successful coworkers and businessmen.  Through these relationships I learned a lot about leadership, our potential as individuals, and our ability to carve out our own path.  I also learned to be a servant-leader, that nothing great can be achieved alone, and that we can only control our attitudes and actions, no one else’s.  I’m honored to have a small leadership role in the YAC because it gives me the opportunity to practice those leadership principles. 

What are the most interesting and challenging aspects of what you do for a living?

I think my ultimate challenge is that my professional future largely depends on my continued personal growth.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to run a small business or a psychologist to understand a family business; but as a student of these institutions, I’ve found they can still be very complex and engaging.

Being a leader in my family’s small business and pursuing my own personal ventures, I’ve been seriously challenged to manage our employees as well as our companies’ internal affairs.  I’ve also had to learn some very complicated industries from the ground up.  The learning curve for dealing with all these demands only seems to grow steeper over time. The deeper I dig into my professional aspirations, the more I understand how little I know. In spite of this, I feel like I always have the capacity to learn more. Plus, the great thing about business is that you never have to go it alone. There are always leaders you can go to for guidance. Personally, I’m grateful and indebted to those leaders. 

What skills do you need to work in your field and how did UNC help to equip you with those skills?

Leadership, obviously, is a huge must!  UNC helped me with that in an indirect way.  My education at UNC and the Monfort College of Business gave me the confidence and competence I needed to make decisions and take calculated risks.  That, in turn, has helped me to lead people in my day-to-day work and exert leadership through the board position I hold with the Colorado Auto Recyclers Association.   

Another concept that’s proven to be incredibly useful is the idea of maximizing efficiency.  In college I learned tools and methods to enhance efficiency and take advantage of the benefits it yields.  Now, as a good example of its application, our family business is undergoing a complete overhaul of its business model to improve efficiency across the board. I owe UNC a lot of credit for my progress.

Are there campus organizations or faculty members at UNC who were influential in steering you down this professional path?

Of course!  One great thing about professors is that, if you demonstrate a willingness to learn, they’re often happy to give of their time to help you out—for free!  One of my primary mentors is Dr. David Thomas, a professor in MCB.  Dr. Thomas is a seasoned business professional who really enjoys sharing his experience and knowledge.  I’m blown away that he’s always more than happy to give me an hour of his time. As a graduate, being able to talk through an idea with a professor like Dr. Thomas is an enormous blessing .  I am extremely thankful to all of my professors, especially those in the business school, for having such a great impact on my future.

How did you get started assisting small businesses and entrepreneurs with their business plans?

My dream to do business consulting started early in my freshman year and just kept growing from there.  My senior year at MCB, we were asked to write a business plan and compete against our fellow classmates.  From this challenge I gained my first spark of confidence and inspiration.  I have written several plans since then,”unofficially,” and my wife—more than anyone—has heard me talk about how one day I’d like to do this for a living.  I’ve also helped write marketing plans for different associations and small groups of UNC alumni.

So far I’ve had an interesting mix of results. Some of the plans I’ve started for others have stopped abruptly because of unfeasible business ideas; others I’ve been able to put to use within the family business; still others I’ve written for competitions.  So in 2012, after all that practice, I began to broadcast to my family that I was officially going to start pursuing this dream of mine.  Since then I’ve helped two small businesses get off the ground.  How did I hook these first two?  I got lucky.  They’re both family-run, home-based operations: the first is an interior design business and the second is a 3D Printing business—of which I am a co-owner.

What are the most important things these sorts of entities should be aware of as they’re getting started?

At this point, I think I can give a few basic recommendations to prospective small business owners.  Make time to plan, research, and think about your business.  Then, drop all of your work. Sleep on it or watch TV. Oftentimes when you go back to planning after that little break, your mind will surprise you.   That rest period can help break down walls that all of your intentional thinking couldn’t even begin to crack. 

Also, don’t underestimate the power of estimation.  Financials in particular deserve plenty of attention, so sit down with a professional early on and start creating detailed estimates.  Positive thinking is key, so it can be good to talk about your ambitions like you would about a goal you’ve already achieved. Finally, I’ll paraphrase one of my favorite quotes:  You become the things you read and listen to, the people you hang out with, and the ideas you embrace.  Take positive in, and positive will come pouring back out.

What are the most rewarding aspects of the volunteer work that you do with the YAC? What positive changes would you like to see accomplished through that work?

Being able to volunteer alongside all of the other accomplished members of the Young Alumni Council is a great reward in and of itself. The experience of working on the structure of a new organization is exciting and thought-provoking.  The people involved with the YAC— the President of UNC and her staff, council members, leadership, and Alumni Board—all expect to bring about a true transformation in the alumni experience through this new Council.  In my opinion, this has already begun to happen within the first three quarters of the organization’s existence. 

As far as the effects that will be brought about by that transformation, I have a number of positive changes in mind.  I would like more opportunities to reconnect with my college friends through UNC functions.  I want there to be more events where we can begin to tap into some of these awesome social networks we all share as UNC alums. I’d like to see our alumni give more, so that more can be given back to the school and its students.  My ultimate ambition is to help create a more prosperous, generous, and connected group of alumni.

A big thank you to Ryan for taking the time to share his thoughts with us and all that he’s done to blaze the trail into this brave new world of alumni involvement. If you’d like to learn more about the Young Alumni Council, check out their official organization page and consider attending their upcoming Bears and Brews mixer in Ft. Collins on 6/25. Interested in exploring other UNC alumni organizations, social occasions, and volunteer opportunities? You can view our events calendar here, contact the AA here, or apply to be a part of our first ever regional chapter in Denver here. For MCB-specific alumni news, be sure to visit their lovely new webpage—which, incidentally, Ryan Hochmiller helped to plan and implement—here

Were you inspired to pursue your entrepreneurial ambitions as a student at UNC? Do you know of a philanthropic alum who deserves a #BearsGive spotlight? Please share with us in the comments section or via email at dan.rosplock@unco.edu!

(Photo: Ryan Hochmiller with his wife Jenny, a teacher and fellow UNC alum. They live together in Reunion, CO.)