Great minds collaborating to create new online and blended courses is the focus of the third annual UNC Instructional Innovation Incubator (i3@UNC) co-hosted by Winston-Salem State University’s Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) and the University of North Carolina’s Office of Learning Technology and Innovation from June 1-8, 2016.

WSSU Chancellor Elwood Robinson will welcome the fellows at an opening ceremony at the Center for Design Innovation (CDI) and deliver a keynote presentation on teaching and learning innovation. All events related to the fellowship program will be held at CDI. Fellows will receive certificates at the conclusion of the program signed by UNC system President Margaret Spellings.

Dr. Tiffany Baffour

Dr. Tiffany Baffour

Tiffany Baffour, Director of CETL and Program Director of i3@UNC, said, “WSSU is honored to partner with faculty and staff colleagues from across the UNC system. This program is about excellence in online and blended instruction, a value shared by colleagues across UNC institutions.”

This year, 36 i3 faculty fellows from 13 UNC institutions were selected to work with instructional developers, designers, and technologists to create new online and blended courses. Over the course of a week, fellows will work together with leading national and state experts to build high quality learning experiences for UNC system students.

Seven WSSU faculty members were selected for the this class of i3@UNC fellows: Stephen Aragon, Manjunatha Bhat, Montrale Boykin, Vanessa Duren-Winfield, Elizabeth Fain, Hayley Jackson-Figueroa, and Jeffrey Overholt.

Dr. Bhat, a 2016 Board of Governor’s Teaching Award recipient, said he was thrilled to be taking part in this year’s i3@UNC workshop at WSSU. “As an i3@UNC fellow, I will have a chance to collaborate with peers from other UNC schools as well as national experts in instructional design to develop and improve courses that I teach at WSSU,” said Bhat. “I am currently using a few active and adaptive learning technologies. I look forward to learning about additional innovative teaching and learning tools and best practices to incorporate in my courses.”

The University of North Carolina’s Office of Learning Technology and Innovation coordinates i3@UNC in partnership with constituent institutions. “i3@UNC supports instructional innovation at a moment of creative freedom for faculty, when they are building a new course,” said Matthew Rascoff, UNC’s Vice President for Learning Technology and Innovation. “That is when they are most open to new ideas about teaching and learning, and most in need of technical support, feedback, and collaborative opportunities,” he said.

Walker (left) with CIAA Commissioner Jacque McWilliams

Walker (left) with CIAA Commissioner Jacque McWilliams

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) recently held its annual Spring General Assembly Meeting and End-of-Year Awards Reception in Charlotte, NC. Athletics administration representatives from each of the CIAA’s twelve member institutions joined members of the conference office for the recognition of more than twenty conference awards.

Winston-Salem State University Director of Athletics, Tonia Walker, was named CIAA Athletics Director of the Year by the AD Association. Walker, in her second full year at the helm of WSSU’s athletics department, oversaw a 2015-16 year that brought the Rams five championship titles: football, volleyball, women’s indoor track & field, women’s cross country, and softball. In addition to hosting the Indoor Track & Field Championship and a volleyball roundup with her staff, Walker serves on the Division II Athletic Directors Association’s Board of Directors and is the President of the CIAA AD Association.

Walker called the day “an emotional one”, and said she was humbled to be named the CIAA Best AD for the 2015-16 year, as the Rams also captured the Loretta Taylor All-Sports trophy, indicative of the best women’s athletics program in the CIAA.

Dr. Tiffany Baffour

Dr. Tiffany Baffour

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) will be one of five colleges and universities in North Carolina to carry out a “Facing Project.” Facing Projects unite students, writers, artists, and storytellers in a collaborative effort to collect and share stories of individual community members dealing with a community issue.

WSSU’s project, which runs from August 2016 through April 2017, will “face” the issue of local health disparities in Forsyth County. “We are interested in using digital storytelling as a method to explore how underserved populations have been impacted by health disparities and inequality,” said Tiffany Baffour, WSSU director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning and Campus Liaison for the NC Campus Compact.

She continues saying the project will “explore how a non-profit organization, The Freedom Tree at the Institute for Dismantling Racism (IDR), has worked together with higher education institutions (Winston-Salem State University, Wake Forest University) and community and government leaders and health care professionals to create meaningful strategies in developing a more equal and just health care system.”  Once collected and processed, the digital stories will be shared with various community stakeholders to share with organizations and community service agencies through their sharing platforms.

A national nonprofit called the Facing Project facilitates and supports the community-building effort.

The Facing Project approach shares the stories of local people through the talent of local writers and actors. Writers interview community members who are facing the issue and capture their stories in the first-person.

WSSU and other participating schools are all members of North Carolina Campus Compact, a coalition of 36 public and private colleges and universities dedicated to improving community life and educating students for civic responsibility.

Dr. James Pope

Dr. James Pope

A new locally produced program focused on African issues and those of the African diaspora worldwide will begin Wednesday, June 1, on WSNC-FM 90.5 at 7 p.m.

Africa World Now Project is an hour-long program exploring and connecting the continent. “What Africa World Now Project brings is a direct and clear intent to explore all of the Africa world,” said James Pope, a liberal studies assistant professor at Winston-Salem State University and the show’s producer.  “It seeks to understand the global connectivity of local and national issues that face Africa and African descent communities wherever they are found in the world.”

Africa World Now Project is the latest locally produced program offered exclusively by WSNC-FM, the public radio station licensed to Winston-Salem State University.  The show will replace People’s Pharmacy.

For more information, contact Elvin Jenkins at 336-750-2324 or email him at

WSNC 90.5 FM broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from a 10,000-watt tower located on the campus of Winston-Salem State University. Our coverage area includes Forsyth, Stokes, Davie, Davidson, Randolph, and Guilford Counties. Our format is jazz, including blues, R&B, gospel, and world music, plus National Public Radio News (NPR), Public Radio International (PRI), and public affairs programming.

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