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Business Notebook for Sept. 11

A roundup of business news in Fayetteville and Cumberland County


School system recognizes high school counselors, health care professionals

Two high school counselors and three health care professionals were recognized recently for their commitment to Cumberland County Schools.

Tracy Rowland and Emonique Grevel, counselors at Terry Sanford High School, were named co-recipients of the August 2022 Extra Mile Award, the school district said in a release.

Three health care professionals were recognized with the August 2022 Committed Community Support Award: Dr. Roxie Wells, president of Cape Fear Valley Hoke Hospital; Dr. Chris Tart, president of Highsmith-Rainey Specialty Hospital; and Dr. Jennifer Green, health director of the Cumberland County Health Department.

The Extra Mile Award is the district’s monthly recognition program. It is designed to acknowledge employees who demonstrate a sustained high level of performance and inspire others to do their best, the release said.

Rowland and Grevel were nominated by Terry Sanford Assistant Principal Jennifer Walker. 

“During the summer months, they continued to work to ensure that all students' schedules had been audited and each student had a schedule to start the school year,” Walker said in the release. “Their work is done with care and tact. They are self-starters and display a level of professionalism that sets them apart from many others.’’

The Committed Community Support Award is presented monthly to an individual or group for selflessly supporting the school system and helping students succeed, the school system said.

Wells, Tart and Green worked with the school district to help it navigate issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are so grateful for our partnership with such incredible public health heroes,” Superintendent Marvin Connelly Jr. said. “In CCS, our number one priority is keeping our students safe and healthy so that they may reach their full potential. In the post-2020 world, the dedication of health professionals like Dr. Wells, Dr. Tart and Dr. Green cannot be overvalued.”

Cape Fear Valley receives grant for Arts Therapy program

Cape Fear Valley Health has been awarded an $8,000 grant from the Arts Council of Fayetteville-Cumberland County for the health system’s Arts Therapy program.

The grant will fund the program for the Inpatient Behavioral Health Unit, the health system said in a release. The program was launched four years ago, the release said.

Patients who attended the classes regularly reported a reduction in symptoms and felt more relaxed afterward, John Bigger, Cape Fear Valley’s corporate director for Psychiatric Services, said in the release.

“We are grateful for the continued partnership of the Arts Council in helping to bring art therapy to the patients in our inpatient Behavioral Health Unit,” he said. “With the increase in funding this grant period, we are excited to be able to offer these sessions to patients at the Dorothea Dix Adolescent Care unit as well.”

FSU professor secures funding from National Science Foundation

Lieceng Zhu, a professor at Fayetteville State University, has secured nearly $100,000 from the National Science Foundation for her research on the impact of extreme heat due to climate change on wheat’s resistance to insects, the university said in a release.

This is Zhu’s third such grant since 2017, the release said.

Zhu is a professor in FSU’s Department of Biological and Forensic Sciences. She and her team have been researching the impact of extreme heat on wheat’s resistance to insects for the last five years, the university said.

The latest award is for $99,888, the release said. To date, Zhu has secured nearly $1 million to advance her research initiatives, FSU said.

“It’s sobering to consider the delicate balance of sun, rain, soil conditions and time needed to yield a successful crop that will help feed the world’s seven billion people,” Zhu said in the release. “Mitigating the threat of insect infestation on major agriculture food crops, in this instance, wheat, is difficult enough. When harsh environmental factors exacerbate that problem and further threaten the food industry at its source, it’s crucial that we identify strategies to protect crops from such environmental factors.”

Monica T. Leach, FSU provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, said Zhu’s research “will have a profound effect on agriculture/food production and food security, especially in at-risk and vulnerable populations.”

MU engineering program receives accreditation

Methodist University’s bachelor’s degree program in engineering has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, the university said in a release.

“The Methodist University engineering program is ecstatic to receive ABET accreditation,’’ Denise Bauer, founding director, chair and associate professor of engineering at Methodist University said in the release. “The accreditation signifies to those across the world that our program has been thoroughly and systematically evaluated.

“This is especially important to our graduates as they enter the workforce knowing their engineering education at Methodist has prepared them to be excellent problem solvers that are compassionate and ethically responsible. It will also open doors to our alumni since the accreditation is retroactive to October 2019.’’

Business Notebook, business, Cumberland County Schools, Cape Fear Valley Health, Fayetteville State University, Methodist University