The following clips are from UNC-Chapel Hill’s college newspaper, The Daily Tar Heel.
September 28, 2008
Most people know Andy Baldwin as the heartthrob from ABC’s “The Bachelor,” but his speech to students Thursday had an entirely different focus.
He told UNC medical students, members of the Naval ROTC and undergraduates about his experiences as a navy doctor.
During two months while he was stationed in Vietnam, Baldwin treated more than 1,000 patients, most of whom were children.
“They were scantily clad, no shoes, feet were all cut up,” Baldwin said. “Every one of them had gastronomical worms, lice, skin infections and malnutrition.”
In between treatments, he brought them Hawaiian shirts and took pictures of them just so they could see what they looked like.
“Every day for two months, I would go into the jungle on a helicopter,” Baldwin said.
“The elephant grass was so high that the helicopter couldn’t land. So each day I had to fast-rope down, machete in hand, to cut a landing zone for the helicopter so they could load off my medical supplies.”
But the TV star, professional triathlete and Duke University graduate didn’t get anywhere by accident.
Born into a poor family in Lancaster, Penn., Baldwin’s father told him he wouldn’t have the means to finance his education.
So Baldwin got a job as a paper boy, a lifeguard and lawn mower, and earned $25,000 by the time he turned 18.
And then, like his grandfather and uncle before him, he decided to serve in the Navy.
“They were both huge influences in my life and inspired me to follow in their footsteps,” he said. “I got a letter in the mail from the ROTC program saying that they would pay for at least the first year of undergraduate, so I said ‘heck yeah.'”
Influenced by a fellow Duke University student, Baldwin decided to go to medical school.
“I wanted it so badly, said Baldwin. I wanted to be the first doctor in my family,”
Baldwin was granted the Health Professions Scholarship Program scholarship his senior year, along with a blank check to pay for the tuition of his medical school of choice.
Baldwin was accepted to several top-tier medical schools, but not his dream school: the University of California, San Francisco.
But he was persistent, and went to the college to demand an interview.
“I will never forget getting that acceptance letter, jumping up and down and hugging the first person I saw, even though I didn’t know them,” Baldwin said. “I was on the road to greatness and on the way to reaching my goals.”
The key success is pushing yourself, Baldwin said.
“Whether it’s asking a girl out for a date, going out for a run or joining a club, live uncomfortably, fear regret,” he said.
Baldwin was recruited to be on “The Bachelor,” but told them he didn’t want to do it unless every show was charity-related.
It took the show organizers a few days to agree, but they did, he said.
“They wanted me so badly, I knew the leverage I had,” Baldwin said. “I’m a genuine person who has worked hard to get where I have.”
At Thursday’s meeting with students, he said his uncle often would introduce himself by shaking someone’s hand and saying, “Hi, I’m Tom, how can I help you?”
Helping people is a philosophy Baldwin strives to live by. He demonstrated the handshake on a woman close by.
“My heart started beating really fast,” senior Kristen Poe said. “He was my favorite bachelor.”
September 3, 2008
When UNC students pick up the September issue of Glamour Magazine some might see a familiar face.
Senior Danielle Maria Allen was named one of the Top 10 College Women by the magazine. She was recognized for her success in academics and her extensive public service work.
This week Allen and the other honorees will be traveling to New York City to meet with the Glamour editor in chief and tour the United Nations.
They’ll get manicures and pedicures too.
Allen discovered her love of public service after she was diagnosed with a severe case of scoliosis before high school, she said.
“I couldn’t play sports, and that’s hard for a high school freshman to not be able to do sports and other things to fit in and make friends,” said Allen.
So she ran for class president.
At the age of 17, Allen was presented with the key to Monroe, N.C., the city she grew up in.
“I did a lot of public service work; I had received scholarships and the Morehead, and I was coming to Carolina sort of creating a legacy,” Allen said.
“Early on, the mayor recognized that I was going to do something positive in the future and he didn’t want me to forget about them.”
Ever since appearing in Glamour, Allen can’t go home without being recognized. She said she has attained a sort of celebrity status.
“People in my community may not necessarily understand what I’m doing, but they know that I’m doing something positive,” Allen said. “Because of that I have a community at home – a system of unconditional support.”
Although she grew up in a high-crime area and attended a high school with a low performance rate, Danielle had the support of her family to inspire her to succeed.
“I’ve always been surrounded by really strong women and that more than anything has become a defining part of my success,” said Allen, who lived with her mother and grandmother. “I always have someone to turn to for advice and wisdom for things that I don’t understand.”
When Allen came to Carolina she began working with the Campus Y and was selected as one of two Freshman Members at Large, a position that allows two first-year representatives to sit on the executive board and have input about the projects of the Campus Y.
“When I first met Danielle, I noticed that she was quiet but a keen observer and that when she had something to say it was well worth listening to,” Campus Y Director Virginia Carson said. “I think that she often observes first and talks later and more of us should try that pattern.”
Senior Emily Nix, Allen’s roommate, met her while working at the Campus Y.
“It doesn’t matter what you look like; it doesn’t matter where you come from. We can find greatness anywhere,” Nix said. I think it’s important to have concrete people to demonstrate that.”
After graduation, Allen plans to take some time off to travel or to take part in the Teach for America program.
“I’m not sure exactly what my ultimate contribution will be. I just want to gather as much experience as possible,” Allen said. “And I don’t want to focus my attention to just one thing.””
Her drive for philanthropy won’t slow anytime soon.
“I’m happiest when I’m helping other people. I’m truly happiest when I can help someone,” Allen said. “I’ve also found that amazing things happen to you when you don’t always think about yourself first.”
August 26, 2008
UNC’s Institute for the Environment is kicking off a new year with new leadership and a new course of study.
Larry Band, former chairman of the geography department, was appointed as the 2-year-old institute’s new director in April.
Band will take over as director after completing a semester of research in Australia this fall. Philip Berke will serve as interim director until Band returns.
Band said he wants the institute to connect the various facets of environmental life on and off campus.
“We as an institute want to act as a glue in organizing structure for the study of the environment for the University,” he said. “We want to put all of the research in the different departments together.”
Band said the institute is focusing on joining students with other communities to make a difference.
He also said he hopes the institute will bring together various departments to engage in interdisciplinary research.
The first director, Douglas Crawford-Brown, left to become a senior sustainability adviser for Pell Frischmann, a European and Asian building design company.
The institute also is offering a sustainability minor for the first time this fall.
The new curriculum is the product of student demand and has been in the works since the 2004-05 school year, said Elizabeth Shay, who teaches Principles of Sustainability, the primary course for the sustainability minor.
Thirty-six students, the maximum allowed, are currently enrolled in the class. There is also a waiting list.
“There was a lot going on already on campus in sustainable operations and this class and the minor are the academic manifestation of UNC’s commitment to sustainability,” Shay said.
She said the course and the minor have drawn students from multiple majors, including drama, English, geography and business.
The variety of the enrolled students’ majors mirrors the appeal sustainability has to all types of students across campus and disciplines, Shay said.
Some students said they chose to minor in sustainability because they want to practice being green in other careers.
Junior Chessa Atkinson, a business major, said she hopes to employ sustainability practices toward a business career. “I am, of course, taking all of the normal B-school classes,” she said. “But eventually I intend to apply them toward sustainable green business.”
She said she was motivated to take the class after taking other environmental classes.
“I took (Greg) Gangi’s Environment and Society class pretty early in my career here at Carolina,” said Katherine Betz, a senior environmental studies major. “And he was one of the ones who was planning it and doing it.”
Betz said she is glad the course was created in time for her to enroll.
“I was just really excited about this,” Betz said about the sustainability class. “This was my last chance to take a sustainability course, and they were offering it during my last semester.”
April 23, 2008
Time is dwindling to address the effects of climate change on the earth, Oberlin College professor David Orr said Tuesday while delivering an Earth Day speech.
“Time is not our friend,” Orr said, referring to the quickly changing global climate.
Orr, a professor of environmental studies and politics, said it has taken humans too long to see obvious harms about climate change.
“It’s too late to avoid trauma, but it’s not too late to prevent the worst,” Orr said.
“There’s no easy way out. . I think Al Gore is right when he says this is the first global emergency since Homo sapiens have been on the planet.”
Orr addressed climate change and how important it will be for humans to address this issue in coming years.
He put the topic into perspective for audience members by saying that humans aren’t concerned enough with the environmental issue because they are wired to be more disturbed by direct physical threats.
Orr also touched on the serious effect on the quality of life for future generations if humans don’t take action.
“These are my grandchildren,” Orr said, showing several pictures.
“This is my stake. Your children, your grandchildren have no voice on climate change unless it’s your voice, your life, your actions.”
The Institute for the Environment started working to bring Orr to campus last year.
“He’s an ideal person to bring because he pulls together all the environmental issues we face instead of focusing one aspect,” said Danielle Del Sol, information and communications specialist for the institute.
“He really brings to life how the issue of climate change is going to affect our whole world.”
Students also noted Orr’s diverse approach to the topic of climate change.
“I thought the presentation was done very well as it was more of a holistic approach versus specifying within one solution or one cause,” freshman Jordan Manickam said.
“He took both political perspectives, as well as the technological perspectives.”
Freshman Elliot Montpellier said Orr’s perspective was different than he has heard from other environmental speakers.
“He focused on behaviorism, as well as people’s individual responsibility, as well as our country’s leaders’ responsibilities,” Montpellier said.
“I really liked that he incorporated the green-collar jobs, as well as the prospective jobs for college students in environmentalism.”
Orr’s speech culminated a day of environmental-related events, which included a cookout with grass-fed hamburgers and informational booths in Polk Place.
The day’s activities sought to emphasize the need for awareness about the environment and what needs to be done to address the problems associated with climate change.
“It’s going to take a complete change in our values and our society to really bring the problem to a solution,” Del Sol said.
Published April 11, 2008
For Agustin Abdallah, the Student Health Action Coalition was what kept him interested in pursuing a career in medicine.
The UNC alumnus now works as a translator for one of the services at SHAC. He’s also planning to apply to medical school soon.
“I started working here when I was taking organic chemistry,” said Abdallah, a member of one of SHAC’s subgroups called Salsa. “And when school work sort of (got me) down a little bit, SHAC really rejuvenated me and rejuvenated my desire to keep pursuing medicine.”
SHAC, the oldest student-run, volunteer clinic in the country, not only serves as a learning experience for those going into the health field but also provides a service to the community.
And on Sunday the clinic will celebrate 40 years of service with a free birthday bash at the Carrboro ArtsCenter.
Students, alumni, former SHAC volunteers and anyone interested are welcome to eat cake, enjoy music and learn about SHAC’s history.
“To be able to celebrate 40 years of this kind of work is kind of stellar,” said Jason Blatt, a second-year medical student and volunteer.
During the past four decades, SHAC has evolved into six different branches and made a difference in many lives.
But SHAC is best known for its free clinic, held every Wednesday night at the Carrboro Community Health Center.
Generally servicing low-income, less-privileged members of the community, SHAC welcomes anyone in need of service, free of charge.
“SHAC is about providing a service that is really, really needed by a lot of members in our community, and it is about providing it, no questions asked,” said Anna McCullough, former SHAC director, adding that the group also takes a holistic approach.
Before seeing the medical team, patients are seen by a public health student to assist them with topics, such as nutrition, tobacco, physical activity and cancer screenings.
They also have a conference with a social-work student who can counsel them on housing, income or jobs.
“When patients come to SHAC, they know they are in a safe place because we are not asking for documentation. They know they are guaranteed to have an interpreter,” McCullough said.
Interpreters, like Abdallah, also are present every Wednesday night at the clinic. “SHAC is about building and providing basic human rights for people who can’t otherwise get health care,” SHAC Co-Director Lindsey Bach said.
And in recent years, SHAC has received heightened interest for its free HIV testing.
“We have the highest positive HIV rate of anywhere else in the state,” Co-Director Brian Zeithaml said. “This means that we are reaching the population that needs to be tested and the population that otherwise may not get tested because they trust us.”
And SHAC is more than just a free clinic. It has five other branches that work with community groups.
“The beautiful thing about working with SHAC is that everybody who works here are just pieces of the puzzle,” Zeithaml said. “Everybody who works here believes in SHAC.”
February 27, 2008
Following an introduction of her achievements as lengthy as her stance, former UNC women’s basketball player Tresa “Tree” Brown- Tomlinson took the stage Tuesday night beaming.
Showing her UNC spirit dressed in Carolina blue, Brown-Tomlinson spoke to a group of about 35 people detailing her life and experiences.
The entire women’s basketball team was present sitting in the front two rows of the audience” in addition to coach Sylvia Hatchell.
“She was one of the best players I ever coached” said Debby Stroman, a professor in the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and one of Brown-Tomlinson’s former coaches.
“Not only did she have technical skill, but she also had passion.”
The lecture was put on by the General Alumni Association’s student alumni relations committee.
Brown-Tomlinson delivered a speech about her life, her experiences as a basketball player and ways in which she has given back to the community through sharing what she has learned.
“I learned at a young age what it meant to be determined,” Brown- Tomlinson said. “I learned what it was to be able to sacrifice and commit yourself to something you want to achieve.”
Brown-Tomlinson juggled her responsibilities as the oldest child as she took care of her younger siblings while still making time to practice.
“I would play ball from sun up to sun down. I set a schedule for myself. I would get up, get my chores done run to the gym run back for lunch to make sure my siblings were fed go back to the gym then go back in time to have dinner on the table when my parents got home,” she said.
All this hard work paid off, as she was heavily recruited to play basketball for UNC and turned down several other universities’ offers.
Brown-Tomlinson also was named one of 13 ACC Tournament Legends on Jan. 22.
She came back to North Carolina and began working for the Department of Corrections, primarily in the Raleigh area.
She also became a minister for the New Trinity Missionary Baptist Church in Clayton in 1999 in addition to volunteering as an assistant coach for Clayton High School’s varsity women’s basketball team.
When asked why she chose UNC, Brown-Tomlinson explains she wanted to come to a place where she could make a difference – where she could be part of the up and coming.
“I wanted to come and help make a difference in UNC’s women’s basketball program” Brown-Tomlinson said.
Make a difference she did as she scored 1,931 points throughout her time playing for UNC and received honors in 1984 as the MVP of the ACC tournament, scoring an average of 20.8 points per game.
“She seemed to have a lot of experience and a lot of good things to say about going beyond just playing a sport” senior rugby player Jennifer Velez said of the lecture.
Brown-Tomlinson ended by stressing the need to give back to the community.
“I challenge you … to share your legacy knowledge experiences and your skills,” she said.
“Remember what you see and make it a lasting experience because once you leave school, you should make time to give back.”