Campus briefs

Jul. 01, 2013 @ 10:11 AM

U.S. Dept. of Education lists highest tuition prices

The national College Affordability and Transparency lists were updated last week to highlight schools with the highest tuition prices and highest net prices, and institutions whose costs are rising at the fastest rates, according to the U.S. Department of Education.

The lists are available at the College Affordability and Transparency Center website,, and are meant to make the costs of college more transparent for students and their families.

Duke University was listed in the four-year or above, private not-for-profit, highest tuition category, at $41,938 for tuition and required fees for the 2011-12 year. The national tuition average for that category is $22,786. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill was listed as one of the public, four-year or above schools that has the highest increases in net prices (cost of attendance after grant and scholarship aid). For full-time undergraduate students attending UNC Chapel Hill, there was a 31 percent increase in net prices between the 2008-09 and 2010-11 school years. The national average percent change is 5.1.

Durham Tech receives grants for software, adult education

Durham Technical Community College has received $100,000 from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for a student success plan software system and the funds to support the college’s continuing efforts with student retention and goal completion, according to an announcement by Durham Tech President Bill Ingram.

Thomas Gould, dean and department head of Arts, Sciences, and University Transfer, said, “The new software will give students direct access to the planning system, which will enable them to chart, develop and assess comprehensive and accurate individual academic plans – a personal road map – as they navigate from registering for their first classes all the way to graduation.”

The college also received a $13,000 grant from Dollar General Corporation’s Literacy Foundation. The Literacy Achievement for College and Career Success grant will help Durham Tech deliver service to an additional 100 students in its Adult Education and Basic Skills program.

Durham residents graduate, receive scholarships, make dean’s lists

Three Durham residents graduated from Boston University this spring:  Ryan C. Fields graduated with a bachelor of arts in history, Annette M. Jochum graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in nutritional sciences, and Marcela X. Oliveira graduated with a bachelor of science in hospitality administration. 

Piedmont Electric Membership Corporation awarded four $1,500 scholarships to students in the region: Veronica Walker of Durham, who is a graduate of Northern High School and plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall; Austin Cole of Person High School; Devon Allen of Orange High School; and Andrew Oakley of Bartlett Yancey High School. The students were chosen based on their applications, scholastic achievement and extracurricular activities.

Six local students were named to the spring dean’s list at William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.: Samantha O’Neal from Chapel Hill, Jessica Pritchard from Chapel Hill, Christopher Wolfe from Chapel Hill, Phillip Goodling from Chapel Hill, Julia Kihm from Durham and Laura Faircloth from Hillsborough.

Hannah Strom of Chapel Hill graduated from Grinnell College in Iowa this spring. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in gender, womens and sexuality studies.

Evan Collins of Durham made the dean’s list at N.C. Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount. He is a rising sophomore majoring in accounting.

UNC awards summer global study

The Center for Global Initiatives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has awarded $134,927 in financial support to 36 students who are completing global internships, independent research and self-designed projects this summer, according to a UNC news release.

Projects range from working on archival research in Paris about William Faulkner's influence on French New Wave cinema to working as a research assistant at the Centre for International Mental Health in Melbourne, Australia.

Durham Tech offers simultaneous early child education courses

Durham Tech students can now fast-track their early childhood education degrees by taking two courses simultaneously.

“Introduction to Early Childhood Education” introduces the foundations of the education profession and the diverse educational settings for young children, according to the release. “College Transfer Success” is a requirement tailored for those interested in early childhood education. The course helps students develop clear academic and professional goals.

Students may enroll for the courses beginning this fall, and the courses also will be available during the spring and summer terms. Call 919-536-7230 or visit for more information.

UNC awards study abroad support to 147 students

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has provided about $657,500 in scholarships, fellowships and program support to 147 undergraduates for study abroad during 2013 and 2014, according to a UNC news release.

More than one-third of UNC undergraduates study in other countries before they graduate, one of the highest study abroad rates among public universities nationwide, according to the release. The UNC Study Abroad Office in the College of Arts and Sciences offers more than 320 programs in more than 70 countries.

Some of the fall study-abroad destinations lined up for these UNC students are London, Beijing and Singapore.

Duke University’s Energy Initiative supported by $5.5-million gift

Duke trustee Ralph Eads and his wife, Lisa, have committed to give $5.5 million to the university, most of which will support Duke’s Energy Initiative, President Richard Brodhead announced.

The gift will fund an energy-finance professorship of the practice, fellowships, conferences and other events, and will help create an energy information and analysis research program, according to the news release.

Duke’s Energy Initiative is a university-wide effort focused on education of future leaders and research to find solutions. The initiative highlights three challenge areas: meeting growing energy demand, reducing the environmental impact of energy and addressing energy security concerns.

A $1.25-million portion of the gift will support the Duke Annual Funds in Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, Sanford School of Public Policy, Fuqua School of Business and Duke Athletics.

Eads graduated from Duke in 1981 and joined Duke’s board of trustees in 2009. He is on the Duke Forward steering committee and has also served on the boards of visitors of the Fuqua School of Business, Trinity College of Arts & Sciences and the Sanford School of Public Policy. He is vice chairman of Jefferies & Co., Inc., an investment bank, where he chairs the firm’s global energy section, according to the release.

The Eads family lives in Houston. Two of the couple’s five children attend Duke and one graduated last year.

UNC named project site for STEM education advancement

UNC Chapel Hill has been pegged a project site by the Association of American Universities for a five-year initiative to improve undergraduate education in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

UNC Chapel Hill is one of eight campuses that will be awarded $500,000 each over the next three years. The university will commit $1.29 million over the same period to transform its gateway science courses in biology, chemistry and physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, according to the UNC release.

UNC’s enhancement of STEM courses began 10 years ago in the College of Arts and Sciences with an introductory physics course redesign.

The AAU STEM project’s goal is to advance the use of innovative techniques in the departments of biology, chemistry, physics and astronomy over the next three years. Plans include hiring additional science education lecturers.

The eight project sites were chosen from 31 AAU member universities that submitted concept papers. The seven other sites are Brown, Michigan State, the universities of Arizona; California, Davis; Colorado, Boulder; Pennsylvania, and Washington University in St. Louis.