Fall 2022 Guidance for F/J Visa Holders

Summary of guidance:

  • International students on F-1 visas are still expected to enroll in a full course of study for Fall 2022 (typically 9 credit hours for graduates and 12 hours for undergraduates with a few exceptions found here),

  • Effective June 12, 2022, incoming internationals are no longer required show a negative COVID-19 viral test result or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past 90 days, before they board their flight [to the US]. Air passengers will also no longer be required to confirm in the form of an attestation that the information they present is true. For the full list of requirements and exemptions, please review the language in the Order (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/international-travel/index.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Ftravelers%2Ftesting-international-air-travelers.html).

  • Continuing international students (those enrolled prior to Fall 2022) with active SEVIS records must enroll in as many face-to-face courses as available in their programs for Fall 2022.

  • New international students(those planning to attend UNCG within the U.S. for the first time in Fall 2022) must be enrolled in as many face-to-face (LEC) or hybrid format courses as available in their programs for Fall 2022.


Starting Nov 8, 2021, all international students and scholars must be vaccinated in order to enter the U.S.  Please make plans to get the vaccine!

Very limited religious exemptions are available but you must apply to be approved for any exemption to this mandate. More information can be found here.  Please note that you will still be required to show a negative PCR test in order to board a flight (and also to move into UNCG Housing).

Visit www.ICE.gov/COVID19 for the latest COVID-19-related information and guidance. Please continue to refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Department of State, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection for the latest COVID-19 information, specific port-of-entry screening processes, as well as any travel restrictions.

If you have case-specific questions related to your F-1 status that are not addressed by these FAQs, please contact the International Programs Center at isss@uncg.edu. All questions related to graduate assistantships should be directed to the Graduate School at gradinquiry@uncg.edu.

For additional COVID-19 updates, please refer to the UNCG’s COVID-19 updates website.


COVID-19 FAQs for F/J Visa Holders

Do I need to be vaccinated before returning to campus before the Spring semester?

Effective November 8, 2021, non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their vaccination status to fly to the United States. There will be very limited exceptions to this vaccination requirement for certain non-U.S. citizens who are not immigrants, including children under the age of 18.

Fully vaccinated air passengers, regardless of citizenship, will continue to be required to show a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before they board their flight to the United States. For passengers who are not fully vaccinated, the rules will tighten to require a test taken no more than one day before departing to the United States.

Further guidance on the very limited exceptions to these vaccination requirements, what constitutes acceptable proof of vaccination, and other operational details are available on CDC’s website . If you are planning to live on campus, please contact Housing and Residence Life for more guidance.

What is the current operational status of UNCG for Spring 2022?

Compared to the 2020-2021 academic year, classes at UNCG this spring look much more like they did prior to COVID-19. The majority of our classes are delivered via in-person instruction. We will still offer a variety of online classes, as we did prior to COVID. Instruction in disciplines that are highly experiential (e.g., music, theater, kinesiology physical activity classes) may have specific COVID-related protocols in place that have been developed in concert with faculty in those areas to provide a safe learning environment. . For more information on adjustments to the Spring 2022 academic calendar and student course schedules, please see the UNCG COVID-19 FAQ page.

In general, what are the enrollment requirements for international students (F-1 visa holders) in Spring 2022 based on the most recent SEVP update?

Students who have been issued an “Initial Attendance” Form I-20 must enroll in a full course of study with as many face-to-face/hybrid courses available in their programs this Spring if they plan to live in the U.S. and have their SEVIS record activated. Refer to the "Continuing F-1 Visa Holders" paragraph below for more information.

Continuing F-1 visa holders (including transferring directly from another U.S. institution or change of education level at UNCG) must enroll in a full course of study with as many face-to-face/hybrid courses available in their programs this Spring while otherwise maintaining F-1 status. International students will need to enroll in a full course of study that contributes to the timely completion of their degree program, which typically consists of the following:

  1. Undergraduate students are required to be enrolled in at least 12 credit hours per semester. 
  2. Graduate students must generally be enrolled for at least 9 credit hours.

Some continuing F-1 students may be eligible to enroll for less than full-time or be considered full-time with fewer hours than stated above. If you believe you qualify for an exception to full time enrollment (outlined here) please contact IPC at isss@uncg.edu for further instructions as you will be required to complete the appropriate request in the ISSS Portal.

Will my SEVIS record be activated this Spring?

As long as your registration meets full time enrollment requirements as listed above, IPC will be able to activate SEVIS records for continuing students, even if you are outside the U.S. for the Spring semester. Again, students with an “Initial” I-20 must be physically present in the U.S. and register for as many face-to-face/hybrid courses as available in their programs to be eligible for SEVIS record activation.

What happens if the operational status of UNCG or the UNC System as a whole transitions to fully online during or before the start of the semester?

Our campus plans to maintain a hybrid operational model as long as permitted by the UNC System and NC Governor. Please continue to monitor updates on this page. Should the operational status of UNCG change to fully online at any point in the Fall semester, international students may remain in the U.S. and will not be put into removal proceedings based on their online studies, as long as they are otherwise maintaining status

How do I know which of my courses are being offered online, hybrid, or face-to-face?

You can view any course adjustments in UNCGenie. Please visit this resource for an update on course offerings and a how-to guide for more information.

Do I need a new I-20?

No. The amended SEVP guidance issued on July 24 does not require that continuing students receive an updated I-20 to confirm the operational status of the university.

What do I need to know before attempting to (re)enter the U.S.? Will I have to quarantine upon arrival?

If you are attempting to enter the U.S. to begin or continue a degree-seeking program at UNCG while in F-1 nonimmigrant status, please be sure to carry all required documentation listed here. If you are a continuing UNCG student, you must also request a travel signature via the ISSS Portal. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued guidance currently permitting DSO’s to issue electronic copies of I-20s due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, so you can receive a travel signature even if you are currently outside of the U.S. Request a travel signature via the ISSS Portal (login here).

The U.S. now requires that international arrivals present proof of COVID-19 vaccination, along with a negative PCR COVID-19 tests prior to boarding flights to the U.S. Please consult this webpage for more information.

We do not require quarantine periods for new international arrivals. However, we do require that you carefully monitor your symptoms at all times throughout the semester, report any symptoms you experience, and leave campus immediately if they appear. Reporting your symptoms is required by the university, and failure to do so can result in disciplinary action. Please review the UNCG Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webpage for a full list of requirements when coming to campus this Spring.

North Carolina relevant information

On May 14, 2021 the North Carolina Governor announced that, effective immediately, maintaining social distance and wearing face coverings are no longer required in most public settings. Face coverings remain required while using public transportation, in childcare settings, in schools, in long-term care facilities, and in healthcare settings. Many private businesses also have decided to continue to require face coverings in their facilities.

UNC Greensboro relevant information 

UNCG has decided to adapt the Governor’s order to meet its unique campus circumstances. UNCG will maintain the following practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus through mid-June:

  • Face coverings will continue to be required when inside University facilities.
  • Individuals should continue to be respectful of others and maintain social distance. 
  • If you develop COVID-like symptoms, do not attend campus activities or report to the workplace.
  • Complete the self-report form and get tested, regardless of vaccination status.
  • If you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, complete the self-report form, and we will give you guidance about whether or not you should get tested and/or quarantine.
We will update this information as UNCG guidelines change.

Students are now required to receive a COVID-19 vaccination to return to campus in the spring, with very limited exceptions. Effective November 8, 2021, all incoming international arrivals are required to present proof of a World Health Organization (WHO) recognized COVID-19 vaccination before traveling to the US.

If you have not already been vaccinated, you can get a COVID-19 vaccination in one of the following community locations: CVS Pharmacy, Walgreens, Genoa Healthcare, Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine, Walmart and Costco Pharmacies.

Other Important COVID-19 vaccination information

As of May 13, 2021, the World Health Organziation (WHO) has listed the following COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use:

  • Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., COMIRNATY, Tozinameran)
  • AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccines (e.g., Covishield, Vaxzevria)
  • Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) COVID-19 vaccine
  • Moderna COVID-10 vaccine
  • Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

People who have received all recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that has been listed for emergency use by WHO do not need any additional doses with an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine.

People who received all or some of the recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine that is neither authorized by FDA nor listed for emergency use by WHO may be offered a complete FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine series. The minimum interval between the last dose of a non-FDA authorized vaccine or a WHO-listed vaccine and an FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine is 28 days.

As a new UNCG student, what is required of me to arrive to the U.S. and begin my program this Fall?

Students beginning their program at UNCG this term who have been issued an “Initial” I-20 may not take 100% online courses this Fall. To request permission for entry into the U.S. at the Port of Entry, please be sure to print the memo issued by IPC confirming UNCG’s hybrid operational status for Fall 2021 and plan to register for at least one face-to-face/hybrid course, if you have not already done so. IPC cannot activate SEVIS records for students with an Initial I-20 who are enrolled in all online courses.

What is the latest I can arrive in the U.S. for the Fall semester to have my SEVIS record activated? 

New students must arrive to campus no later than September 15 to have their SEVIS record activated for Fall 2021. If you are not able to arrive by this date, you will need to defer your admission to a subsequent semester (see instructions below).

I am a newly admitted student and prefer to defer my admission to a future term like Spring or Fall 2022. How do I do that? 

All requests for I-20 deferral and updated admission letters reflecting the new term must be received at IPC no later than 15 days from the program start date indicated on your initial I-20 form. Please contact IPC at isss@uncg.edu for additional instructions as your financial information may be affected and require further documentation. 

Undergraduate students should contact the International Recruitment and Admissions Office for procedures on how to defer your admission as an undergraduate student. Graduate students should complete the online deferral form located in the “Intent to Enroll” section of your Graduate School application and notify your department as soon as possible. 

I am a newly admitted student and currently outside the U.S. Can I start my coursework online from my home country and start making progress on my degree? 

Yes, you can enroll in courses online, provided that you are not living in a fully embargoed country like Iran or Syria; however, IPC will not be able to activate your SEVIS record. We will have to issue a new Form I-20 reflecting a new program start date when you are ready to apply for a visa to come to the U.S. in the future. Any SEVIS (I-901) fee that you have paid to date, will still be valid and your SEVIS ID number will not change as long as you confirm your new arrival term with us by September 1, 2021. We recommend checking with your academic department for specific enrollment requirements surrounding your program.

What will happen to my assistantship offer if I only take classes online this Fall?

IPC does not oversee university assistantship matters. Please consult with your academic department and/or the Graduate School at gradinquiry@uncg.edu for more information. Faculty are also encouraged to reach out to the Graduate School for any questions related to an international student’s assistantship eligibility.

I am a continuing student but currently outside of the U.S. Can I enroll in online courses to maintain my academic progress? How will my SEVIS record be impacted?

Yes, you can enroll in courses online, provided that you are not living in a fully embargoed country like Iran or Syria. As long as you are enrolled in a full course of study, IPC will be able to activate your SEVIS record this Fall. We will review registration as we do each semester and you will receive an email if you do not meet full time enrollment guidelines.

Please contact your academic advisor to adjust your study plan as needed and determine which classes you can take online that will contribute to the completion of your program. You also have the option to not take any classes at all in the Fall, but make sure to reach out to the Graduate School or International Recruitment and Admissions Office (undergraduates) if you decide to take a semester off.

I depend on my university assistantship to offset tuition costs and living expenses. If I am not in the U.S. for the Fall semester, will there still be a stipend or tuition assistance that I can receive?

IPC does not oversee university assistantship matters. Please consult with your academic department and/or the Graduate School at gradinquiry@uncg.edu for more information. Faculty are also encouraged to reach out to the Graduate School for any questions related to an international student’s assistantship eligibility.

As the Light the Way Campaign continues, we asked international students to share their Spartan Story during International Education Week. Here are some of their amazing stories.

I came to UNCG with a desire to pursue my master’s in Information Technology and Management. Leaving my parents back home was one of the toughest things for me while traveling to the United States. Moving to the states amid a pandemic wasn’t a great experience. I have been through anxiety and loneliness for various reasons— some of them were due to the transition from one country to another, not being able to meet anyone due to the pandemic, missing friends and family back in the home country, etc. Given the circumstances, most of us have been through something like this. But, I was always very grateful for UNCG, and the opportunity of being able to pursue higher studies in the United States of America, a privilege not everyone has. I always kept reminding myself of the very purpose of coming here and worked hard despite my circumstances and situations. It helped me overcome my fears and insecurities. This experience has turned me to be an overcomer, a much stronger person than I was back in my home country. 

My favorite thing about UNCG is its faculty. I believe we have the best faculty. Everyone I have met so far is extremely hardworking, and they always wanted to get the best out of us. They’re very inspiring. I have high regard for all the faculty and staff at UNCG who are striving every day to give us the best quality education and experience. 

One of the biggest lessons I learned recently is that “Complaining and comparing steals one’s joy”. They never let us be happy, grateful, or content with what we have. Being motivated, inspired, and learning from others is good, but complaining about what we don’t have and comparing our lives with others isn’t a good idea; by doing that we are only hurting ourselves. We are all made uniquely, blessed with unique gifts and talents, skills, and ambitions. We all have different purposes in life. We are on our path to success, only if we focus on our journey without complaining and comparing and by making progress every single day. – Susanna Murumalla





My journey to the United States of America was conceived immediately I finished my Master’s degree program at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in 2015. I told myself “I AM DONE STUDYING IN NIGERIA”. I cannot obtain my BS, MS and PhD degrees from the same university, same department and with the same set of professors. “Ayeni” – as I often fondly called and inspired myself – “it is time to go outside of  

your comfort zone and experience a new life elsewhere”, I challenged myself – even though I had no inkling of how to go about it. Comfort zone? Yes – I finished atop of the class as the best graduating student from the department during my first and second degree programs respectively! I was not also ready to lower my academic profile because the University of Ibadan is Nigeria’s first and best. Note, this is purely personal, and I would remain eternally grateful to all my Alma Maters and professors- past and present for always showing me the way.  

I took and passed all the necessary examinations, and as prudence would shine on me, I received with glee, my best ever e mail from the Graduate School, informing me of my admission into the PhD program of the Department of Geography, Environment and Sustainability with full tuition waiver plus teaching assistantship offer, sometime in February, 2020. I went to bed that night without food because I was over joyful. I was to resume for my studies in Fall 2020 but the deadly Corona virus pandemic struck and the world was literally closed down. However, with the help of the Graduate School at UNCG, my Advisor- Dr. Dan Royall, and Dr. Selima Sultana, the then Director of Graduate Studies in my department, I deferred my resumption till Spring 2021. And in December 2020, the son of a shoe cobbler finally boarded the airplane for the first time, and he flew to the United States. Bidding my cherished family members good-bye at the airport was indeed a tough moment for me. In all, any delay is not a denial. Do not let your current circumstance and socio economic backgrounds stop you from fulfilling your set goal(s). 

Settling down was very easy for me because I had a number of Nigerians on UNCG Campus. They did everything for me and even accommodated me for few days before I moved to my own apartment. Since then, my life has changed positively. My professors have never disappointed me as they have shown great depth of knowledge and professionalism in their various fields. What about the facilities in my department-top-notch Geographic Information Science laboratory, serene environment, diversity amongst the students, my equipped office, Regolith laboratory? The list is endless! A slow and steady night-drive in and around the UNCG Campus would reveal its beauty and greatness as a 21st citadel of learning. I cannot easily forget the pantry on campus where I pick free food items every week! What about our precious library that provides all the books and journal articles I need! A big salute to all the guys working in 6Tech. True, the proof of pudding is in the eating! If you are not here, you are nowhere! UNCG is my home after home! I am proudly Spartan!- Shamusideen Ayeni





The interest to be better, do better, see, experience the world and other cultures was the main motivation in leaving my Country to UNCG. It was a little bit difficult deciding to leave because of the special bond I have with my parents and siblings. It was a lot of emotions leaving the familiar environment, people, food and everything I grew up in and with to a ‘strange’ land. Getting here was a bit of a struggle in itself, I tested positive for the covid19 few days to my intended date of travel, I had to reschedule my trip, be on admission and that was a really stressful period of my life but I had my family with me, which made it somewhat bearable.  

Settling down here, I’ve met some really kind hearted people, especially my advisors, they’ve been very helpful. I remember walking into Tuisha’s office and just started crying, she made me feel very comfortable and I was smiling in few minutes. I love my lecturers, you can obviously see they enable us to succeed. They are accessible and easy to talk to. What I love most about UNCG is the fact that everyone is willing to help, there are materials, seminars, mentors and so on, to help along the way. I would advise fellow international students/scholars to be open minded and try to integrate as much as they can. It’s a work in progress but I’m really glad I made this decision.- Olayemi Olofin




What brought me to UNCG was mainly the fact that my home university had a few partnerships with some American schools and I thought that this one, due to it’s location, it’s diversity, it’s campus infrastructure and academic level, was the suitable one for me. Moreover, I had been in touch with an Uruguayan girl that studied in the same university as I am studying and who did an exchange at UNCG and she was really happy with the experience. 

My major worries before coming to the US were literally being home sick and missing my family and friends, which did not happen at least in a serious way. Although there were not many roadblocks in order to come to UNCG to study, I feel that the process of application was somewhat overwhelming due to the requirements of the US Department of State and other official institutions to come to this country.  

I will definitely take away from my experience at UNCG the marvelous and outstanding people that I have met here, and that became my friends in a short period of time. Also, the things that I’ve learned in the different courses that I took, that I feel had contributed to my wisdom. Furthermore, having improved my english is one of the things that I value the most as well as meeting people from different countries, cultures and races.  My favorite thing about UNCG was the charm that the people here posses and living the American way of life in a campus that offers students a myriad of opportunities. 

To any other student that may be willing to come to UNCG, I would absolutely tell him/her to COME. I am so thankful and grateful with the decision I took to come here that I feel that no one would regret doing so. This is an amazing university which offers it’s students everything they need to succeed and have a great time while being here. I couldn’t find any aspect of it that would hold someone back from coming. – Juan Ignacio Berro














The Amazing Race

The International Student Association (ISA) is focused on building a strong and collaborative network to support the international community at UNCG and globalize our campus community by promoting and providing opportunities for intercultural exchange. We welcome everyone!

You can build your leadership skills in many different ways in our organization. For example, volunteering at our events, joining our eboard, helping us expand ISA with all your creative ideas, and more!

Through ISA, one is able to create wonderful connections and friendships with people from around the globe. The opportunities are endless and the world’s cultures are so vast. ISA is the perfect place to start your adventure of learning about all the opportunities available right within Greensboro. 

Our latest event, The Amazing Race, was held in Foust Park. We welcomed new members with fun and crafty activities from four different countries. Countries and activities highlighted were the United States corn hole, Japan’s origami folding, Cyprus and Greek writing, and Mexico’s day of the dead skull drawing.

Find us on Spartan Connect or keep up with us on Instagram to find out about upcoming events!

International Education Week 2021

This year, the International Programs Center celebrated the 2021 International Education Week from November 1st -November 5th!

Launched by the US Department of State as an initiative to celebrate international education and exchange programs, International Education Week has become a yearly tradition celebrated during the month of November by universities across the US.

This year, in collaboration with organizations and departments across campus, we were able to offer over 22 events! While many of the events were virtual, they came in a variety of formats. From panel sessions to cooking classes, events captivated the audience and cultivated participation. There were also several in-person events which included the Faculty and Staff Appreciation Social, A Taste of the World at Fountain View, a tour of the Weatherspoon Museum’s Seven Masters: 20th Century Japanese Woodblock Prints exhibition, Diwali Sand Art, and Sports from Around the World!

Overall, the week’s events were eclectic and attempted to cater to all tastes and interests, providing insights into various national cultures, Study Abroad and related prestigious scholarships, financial wellness, teaching English abroad, OPT, immigration, and more! The UNCG community also had the opportunity of taking pictures beside our world globe at the Elliott University Center and the winners of our International Education Week Photo Contest were announced and recognized!

If you are reading this and have a memory to share with us from International Education Week, please write to us at ipc-programs@uncg.edu. We look forward to seeing you at next year’s International Education Week! In the mean time, be sure to subscribe to IPC’s events calendar for ways to get involved with international-happenings all year long!

Center for New North Carolinians

UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) promotes access and integration for immigrants and refugees in North Carolina by bridging newcomer populations with existing communities through direct service provision, research, and training. Specifically, the CNNC conducts community-based outreach and programming, research and evaluation studies, and experiential training and leadership development to facilitate access to education, employment, health, and social services. The CNNC served over 2,000 immigrants and refugees annually. Its programs include the Community Centers Program which works collaboratively with partner agencies to provide on-site programming to immigrant and refugee families with a focus on employment, health, education, and social service access; Immigrant Health ACCESS Project which assists uninsured adult immigrants and refugees in obtaining health coverage and accessing integrated healthcare services in Greensboro; Thriving at Three which offers educational and support services to at-risk Latinx families with children ages 0-3; Immigration Services whose accredited staff offer high quality, low-cost or no-cost immigration services; Interpreter ACCESS Project which trains bilingual and multilingual individuals to become professional interpreters and operates a fee-based interpreter bank to provide health and human service access to individuals with Limited English Proficiency; and the CNNC Fellows who seek to strengthen immigrant and refugee communities through participatory research and evaluation.

The CNNC recently hosted its third annual Shifting Worlds Symposium with the assistance of the Fellows. This year’s symposium, titled “Engagement with Refugee and Immigrant Communities during a Pandemic: Collaborations, Challenges, and Resilience” included sessions dedicated to discussing support and services accessibility to immigrant and refugee communities. Nearly two hundred individuals registered to attend the sessions throughout the day.

The CNNC has also received several recent grants to support the implementation of its work: A US Citizenship and Immigration Services grant for the provision of free legal services for naturalization, and Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust and CDC Foundation grants to increase vaccination access, awareness, and education among refugee and immigrant communities. The CNNC has been recognized for its efforts with the 2021 W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Engagement Scholarship Award and the 2021 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

Most recently, in recognition of extraordinary community outreach, the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities has named UNC Greensboro the winner of the 2021 C. Peter Magrath Community Engagement Scholarship Award.

UNCG is recognized for its multipronged approach to increasing access to culturally responsive scholarship and community engagement. Through initiatives such as the Immigrant Health ACCESS Project (IHAP), part of the UNCG Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC), UNCG has helped create multi-directional pathways of health care access to marginalized communities.
IHAP reaches over 700 uninsured immigrant and refugee adults in Greensboro each year. CNNC is transforming refugee and immigrant services as it also transforms understanding and scholarship about the issues facing these communities. CNNC students, faculty, and community research fellows have contributed 25 peer-reviewed publications and over 20 practitioner-oriented publications and reports. Read the full story here!

Study Abroad and Fieldwork Experiences for Undergraduates in Anthropology

As a cultural anthropologist who has enjoyed many years of interesting international fieldwork experiences, I readily encourage undergraduate students to participate in a study abroad experience for a semester or longer while attending UNCG. Longer-term stays enable a student to learn more of the language and culture wherever they may be studying abroad. A student may even reach a point in their transformative experience where they wish they could have stayed longer and can’t wait for their next travel or fieldwork experience. Such students catch the cultural exploration and travel bug and look for ways to maintain their international connections in their daily and professional lives. 

Undergraduates who take Methods in Cultural Anthropology (ATY 362), a writing course that provides hands-on experiences, complete the course by learning ethnographic methods and applying them to a grant proposal, which is the final written project for the course. The grant proposal is modeled after the proposal available at UNCG from the Undergraduate Research and Scholarship and Creativity Office that funds empirical research opportunities. Students who plan ahead, take this methods course in advance of participating in their study abroad experience, design their grant proposal around their semester or year abroad, where they are able to be in country to collect data while studying abroad. This opportunity is fantastic training for a future field cultural anthropologist. Some students have collected sufficient data and left enough time in their academic careers to complete a Disciplinary Honors thesis too. Students present their research at the Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo and sometimes at the Undergraduate Honors Symposium. Over the years some students also have presented at professional conferences such as the Society for Applied Anthropology or the American Anthropological Association. 

A recent example is Liliana Vitale (May 2021 Alum) who was awarded an URSCA for conducting empirical research on French Food Identity: The Connection between Local Agriculture and Gastronomic Traditions in the Loire Valley”. She spent the Fall semester 2019 in Angers, France and managed to visit farmers market and farms, meet farmers, take cooking classes, and interview French locals on food and culture. She returned to UNCG January 2020 which gave us time to begin a poster for Annual Thomas Undergraduate Research and Creativity Expo, but Covid-19 sent us all home in March 2020, and we all became zoom experts.  In April 2020 Liliana delivered her poster with audio recording on-line which was entitled “Findings from Fall 2019 research in the Loire Valley”. The poster served as starting point for her Anthropology Disciplinary Honors Thesis, which required further data analysis. Liliana later presented her work entitled “A Taste from France: Understanding Angevins’ Food Culture” at the Society for Applied Anthropology annual conference in Spring 2021. We have co-authored a piece for journal submission entitled “Taste and Terroir: Understanding Angevins’ Food Culture”. With almost four months in the field, Liliana’s study abroad experience, coupled with her Anthropology and French academic training at UNCG, she is prepared for her next steps – further studies of food, foodways and cultural traditions – a topic she can explore in Appalachia as well as France or other places, be they international or domestic. 

Professor Susan L. Andreatta, Ph.D., Anthropology Department

JSNN Researchers Use Nanotechnology to Contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2000, following the establishment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI), a U.S. Government research and development (R&D) enterprise, it was envisioned that nanotechnology would offer sustainable innovations toward society’s most challenging problems. The field of nanotechnology has emerged and is offering efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly innovations that are aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Because of its integration of science, technology and engineering to converge knowledge, nanotechnology offers strategies for end-users to adopt solutions for an improved quality of life.

The Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering (JSNN), a collaboration between North Carolina A&T State University and UNC Greensboro, is leading nanotechnology-based efforts in sustainability research and education. JSNN researchers have enabled technologies that have the potential to transform lifestyles. Its faculty and students have contributed to developing materials for water purification, clean energy technologies, management of greenhouse gases, and the detection and decontamination of toxic pollutants. 

Professor Jianjun Wei, in the Department of Nanoscience was recently issued an international patent, NO: WO2020041575, titled “Compositions and Methods for Enhancing Electrocatalytic Efficiencies” which was issued on March 31, 2021. This patent was awarded for an invention focused on development new materials for clean energy technologies. 

Furthermore, Dr. Hemali Rathnayake, Associate Professor of Nanoscience, along with UNCG Alumnus, Dr. Sheeba Dawood, together were issued an International Patent No: WO 2021/071624 A1, titled “Synthesis of Nanoporous polyphenol-based coordination polymer frameworks and methods of use thereof,” on April 15, 2021. This patent focuses on developing strategies for lithium recovery, which is essential for developing affordable and clean energy. 

JSNN faculty are also involved in new initiatives funded by the National Science Foundation. In 2021, JSNN partnered with Duke University, Carnegie Mellon University and Appalachian State to establish a program titled “The International Network for Researching, Advancing, and Assessing Materials for Environmental Sustainability (INFRAMES)”. The purpose of this program is to educate students and engage faculty in research focused on sustainable environmental nanotechnology. The program assembles the substantial investments in US and EU networks into a coordinated international community of researchers dedicated to assessing the sustainability of the materials our society produces.

JSNN also contributes to a recent National Science Foundation Center for Science and Technologies for Phosphorus Sustainability. This $25M center led by North Carolina State University, aims to develop solutions that minimize the mining of phosphorus, an essential element for life. Instead, researchers will develop sustainable solutions to recover, recycle and reuse phosphorus from the environment.  

Through support from the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure, JSNN not only has faculty conducting this important research, but it also offers state-of-the-art facilities that enables this research. From advanced laboratories and cleanrooms to high-tech analytical instrumentation and microscopes, JSNN provides access to researchers to advanced science and engineering research, with an eye toward making the world a better and more sustainable for future generations. 

Dr. Sherine Obare, Dean of the Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering

Rangel Fellowship Finalist


Rangel finalist Ms. Joy Woods is no stranger to applying for competitive fellowships. Woods was chosen as a Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship and Freeman-Asia recipient for her year-long study abroad program in Japan, and as a 2021 Critical Language Scholarship recipient for intensive Japanese language study. 

“I decided to apply for the Rangel because of my interest in working in the Foreign Service,” explains Woods. “I was so excited to be chosen as a finalist because I didn’t actually believe that it was something I could accomplish, even with the support of my friends, family, and mentors”.

The Charles B. Rangel Graduate Fellowship Program is a fellowship administered by Howard University that aims to prepare the next generation of Foreign Service Officers, focusing on diversifying the ranks of U.S foreign policymakers. The fellowship offers full funding for a masters program at a U.S. university, two summer internship opportunities, and provides a direct path into the U.S. Foreign Service.

Woods will have her interview on December 1 and will know soon after if she has received the award. Regardless of the outcome, she has a clear plan for her future. “While I know I’ll go into the Foreign Service, I also want to get a PhD one day and teach Political Science and hopefully inspire other young women of color to do the same.”



Rhodes Scholarship

First awarded in 1902, the Rhodes is perhaps the oldest and most prestigious competitive fellowship in the world, funding future leaders’ graduate study at the University of Oxford. Thirty-two US scholars and 67 global scholars are selected each year based upon their intellect, character, and commitment to leadership through service. 

Ms. Christelle Barakat, a graduate student in Peace and Conflict Studies, was selected as a finalist for the Rhodes for the Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine (SJLP) region. Originally from Lebanon, Barakat is currently pursuing her degree at UNCG with the help of a Fulbright Award, another prestigious international scholarship. 

“I decided to apply for Rhodes mainly because of the community of scholars within it, the scholarship’s focus on leadership development, and the criteria of the scholarship which deeply resonated with me. I felt honored to be selected as a finalist.” Hundreds of applicants competed for two Rhodes SJLP scholarships, and Barakat was one of just 11 applicants chosen to interview as a finalist, a major accomplishment.

After she finishes her degree at UNCG, she hopes to go on to get a second masters in Development Studies and ultimately a PhD. Barakat wants to be involved in both the theoretical and the practical aspects of the field, hoping to teach and work with an international organization such as the UN. “I love teaching and transmitting my skills and knowledge to others and I think that research can impact policy and lead to better implementation.”

Belgium Goes Virtual

The Spring 2020 Experience Business Abroad in Belgium participants pose in front of the Gravensteen Castle in Ghent.

In Spring 2020, the world was brought to a virtual halt with the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the learning never stopped for UNCG students on the Experiencing Business Abroad program. After making it back days before borders began to close in March 2020, in 2021 the course was redesigned to be delivered 100% online for the first time. Travel restrictions on in-person travel turned into an unexpected opportunity for virtual collaboration.

The Experience Business Abroad in Belgium program is the result of nearly a decade of collaboration between the Bryan School of Business and Economics at UNCG and the Louvain School of Management (LSM) at the Universite Catholique de Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. This course is designed for students wishing to experience a study abroad program in a limited timeframe.

This program is truly unique among UNCG’s study abroad offerings. Students start the semester collaborating virtually, developing global teams and working on various assignments. Over spring break, UNCG students travel to Belgium to visit their Belgian counterparts, living in their homes and traveling together to visit businesses and cultural sites abroad. LSM students do the same when they travel to spend their spring break in North Carolina, with the coursework culminating in team presentations at the conclusion of their visit to UNCG.

As you can imagine, translating this model to an online-only setting was no easy feat.

Professor Karen Lynden (Lecturer, Department of Management) was up to the challenge. She is a veteran of virtual programs, having been involved with the X-Culture course and conference events for seven years. 

We are incredibly fortunate to have Professor Frank Janssen of Louvain School of Management, one of the founders of this long-running partnership,  co-leading this course.  True in practicing what he teaches, Dr. Janssen was an innovative collaborator in creating an engaging global virtual learning experience for our students.  He brought interactive guest presentations that included entrepreneurs and small business leaders, delivering live forums for all to discuss topics in the current business environment, with unique ‘doing business in’ Belgium and Europe perspectives.   

Although it’s impossible to replicate an in-person experience exactly, students hosted each other virtually, with the UNCG students trying their hands at making Speculoos (aka Lotus cookies), a Belgian national treat and LSM students taking a virtual tour of the International Civil Rights Museum in downtown Greensboro. 

Delivering the course online allowed Lynden to enhance the curriculum through offering pre- and post-project Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) assessment and feedback sessions with IDI certified International Program Center staff; providing additional mini-modules and lessons focused on environmental briefings and culture profiles; and enhanced course ending reflection journals. 

“When I signed up to take this class, I was not happy that I had to take it” said one participant in an anonymous course evaluation. “Obviously I would have loved to [have] been able to go abroad. Even though this class didn’t have any travel, it was amazing to form relationships with foreign students even over zoom/teams. I can say after a few weeks this class became my favorite. The professors put so much work in to still make the time fun for us and I’m so happy I got this study abroad experience even during a pandemic.”

The program is planning to return to the in-person short-term travel abroad model in Spring 2022. However, there are some lessons learned from 2021 that will make their appearance in the course. The ability to create the necessary modifications and restructure the course for a successful experience was due to many internal and external community partners’ willingness to adapt and develop resources and activities.  We are grateful for the UNCG International Programs Team staff, particularly Ms. Heidi Bretz, for working so closely and tirelessly with us to support our ability to provide excellent programming and intercultural learning opportunities for our students.  We look forward with optimism and confidence in knowing we will continue to work together to deliver on our Bryan School mission: 

In the Bryan School of Business & Economics, we create and disseminate knowledge about the theory and practice of business. In addition to our courses and research, we accomplish this through hands-on projects, global experiences, and outreach to the community. Our work produces principled leaders and exceptional problem solvers who have a global perspective, an innovative mindset, a broad understanding of sustainability, and a commitment to improve the organizations in which they work and the communities in which they live.