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The 20th annual Larkspur Party takes place Sat., June 6, and Sun., June 7, in Raleigh. The show features the 3-acre garden of Frances Alvarino-Norwood, a sculptor, and 34 regional artists displaying and selling their work.


The paintings of Chrystal Hardt and the textiles of Jacqui Mehring are showcased in "Transient Spring," an exhibit at the Hillsborough Arts Council through June 20.


"Natural Expressions," featuring painter Jan Kinlaw of Raleigh and jewelry artist Diane Starbling of Cary, runs through June 23 at Cary Gallery of Artists. These two North Carolina women approach nature from entirely different perspectives. Kinlaw works in vibrant acrylic paints on canvas, creating beautiful naturalistic images. Starbling creates jewelry that delights the senses using natural stone and metals such as silver and copper.


Local Color, in the Raleigh arts warehouse district, presents "Images of Summer," garage studio acrylic works by Margo White, through June 27. Her paintings include figurative work, florals, boats and landscapes. Local Color offers the opportunity to meet and interact directly with the artists every First Friday.


Amy Fletcher's paintings are on exhibit in the Durham Convention Center pre-function corridor through Oct. 14. The exhibit is titled "Pencil : Finger :: Brush : Hand." Notes Fletcher, "I run through the thicket of canvas with a brush in one hand and a can of spray paint in the other – splashing and streaking bold, sometimes brash, color combinations."



    The Morrisville Chamber of Commerce announced:
  • Sarah Gaskill is the organization's new president. Gaskill comes to the Morrisville chamber from the Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, where she was vice president of small business and membership services. Vanessa Jenkins, chair of the Morrisville chamber's board of directors, said, "We are so excited Sarah has accepted the position of president for the Morrisville Chamber of Commerce. Her experience and enthusiasm will be the catalyst needed to continue moving the chamber forward as Morrisville opens its next corridor for growth."
  • The Knowledgeable Network of Women hosted a luncheon in May at Prestonwood Country Club in Cary. The guest speakers, who've made successful careers in the construction business, were: Anne Lloyd, CFO of Martin Marietta; Heather Denny, president and CEO of McDonald York Building; and Mikki Paradis, CEO of PDI Drywall.


    Duke University awarded distinguished professorships to 19 members of its faculty, including:
  • Trinity Arts & Sciences - Susan C. Alberts, Robert F. Durden Professor of Biology; Katherine Hayles, James B. Duke Professor of Literature; Priscilla Wald, R. Florence Brinkley Professor of English
  • School of Law - Margaret H. Lemos
  • School of Medicine - Ann M. Reed, William Cleland Professor of Pediatrics; Cynthia A. Toth, Joseph A. C. Wadsworth Professor of Ophthalmology
  • School of Nursing - Marion E. Broome, Ruby Wilson Professor of Nursing


Wake Technical Community College in Raleigh welcomed Theresa Peaden as director of the Small Business Center. Peaden is the first woman to hold the position of director in the center's 30-year history at Wake Tech. Her responsibilities include providing small-business owners and potential entrepreneurs with information they need for starting or expanding a small business. She conducts confidential, one-on-one counseling sessions, along with organizing various free seminars and workshops throughout the community.


    UNC-Chapel Hill announced:
  • Two professors have been honored as inaugural 2015 Andrew Carnegie Fellows by the Carnegie Corporation of New York. Patricia Sullivan, an associate professor in the department of public policy and the curriculum in peace, war, and defense in the College of Arts and Sciences, and Zeynep Tufekci, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Information and Library Science and an adjunct professor in the department of sociology, also in the College of Arts and Sciences, are two of 32 scholars selected for the honor. The new annual fellowship program provides up to a $200,000 award to junior, emerging, or senior scholars, journalists, and public intellectuals in the humanities and social sciences who are pursuing research on the challenges facing U.S. democracy and international order in the next 25 years. Recipients are enabled to take a sabbatical of between one and two years to research and write.
  • Carissa Landes and Mary Elizabeth Walters have each been awarded a David L. Boren Fellowship through the National Security Education Program, which supports fields of study, particularly languages, identified as critical to United States national security. A master of arts student in Russian and East European studies, Landes plans to immerse herself in the Persian language and in Central Asian culture for nine months in Tajikistan. The Boren Fellowship will enable Landes to attend American Councils' Eurasian Regional Language Program in Dushanbe, Tajikistan for nine months. Walters, a doctoral student in the history department, is conducting dissertation research on the dynamics and impact of interactions between NATO, the Albanian government and local communities during the 1999 Kosovo refugee crisis. The fellowship gives Walters the opportunity to reside in Albania for 11 months, where she'll attend intensive Albanian language programs, pursue research in the federal and municipal archives, and conduct oral history interviews.
  • Incoming first-year student Hayley Sigmon of Rocky Mount was awarded a 2015 Thomas Wolfe Scholarship, a full, four-year merit scholarship to UNC-Chapel Hill. Sigmon graduated from Rocky Mount Academy. She started the book club and film club at her school, plays the drums and piano, and has been involved in the Rocky Mount community theater. She also officiates soccer games for younger kids. Sigmon has published works through the Nash-Rocky Mount Council of the International Reading Association. The scholarship program honors Carolina graduate Thomas Wolfe, best known for his 1929 novel, "Look Homeward, Angel."
  • Three sophomores, including Carrie Hamilton and Alfrë Wimberley, earned 2015-2017 Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The scholarships come with a 10-week, full-time internship during the summer at a NOAA facility. The Hollings Scholarship Program provides up to $8,000 in academic assistance per year, a total $16,000 over the two-year scholarship. Hamilton, from Chapel Hill, is majoring in environmental science. Wimberley, from Raleigh, is an environmental science major and chemistry minor, concentrating her studies in energy and sustainability. She is the first African-American student at UNC-Chapel Hill to win the Hollings Scholarship.
  • Anya Katsevich, a sophomore from Florida, and Mary Kaitlyn Tsai, a junior from Raleigh, received Goldwater Scholarships from The Barry Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation. The award provides up to $7,500 per year for educational expenses to sophomores and juniors who intend to pursue careers in science, mathematics, engineering and computers.


Lisa Van Deman, Kidzu's director of education, was named interim executive director. Pam Wall, who had been executive director of Chapel Hill's museum for children, stepped down in May after three years in the position.

Leslie Cohen, CKD, CID, AID, ASID, won a first-place award for her redesign of a kitchen in an historic home in the 2015 ASID Carolinas Excellence in Design Awards competition. ASID Carolinas is the local chapter of the national American Society of Interior Designers. Leslie Cohen Design creates homes and offices.


Lana Calloway, president of Exhibit Resources, announced her retirement after a 40-year career in the trade show industry, 25 of those as the owner of Exhibit Resources, an exhibit design and production agency in Raleigh. A strategic alliance with Jake Merzigian of Zig Zibit, also of Raleigh, allows the referral of clients and staff members to transition accounts and create one of the largest integrated companies in the display and exhibit industry in the Southeast.


Genevia Gee Fulbright, CPA, CGMA, president and COO of Fulbright & Fulbright, CPA, PA of Durham, was a Business Acumen Institute Course leader for the Black Women in Business session sponsored by PNC Bank. Her session was entitled "Building a Dynamic Board to Grow Your Business."


Suzanne Libfraind of Wardrobe Consulting is serving as a judge for the 2015 Wake County's Miss Heart of the USA Pageant, taking place in Cary.


    Linda Craft & Team, REALTORS in Raleigh announced:
  • Lisa Varona, a buyer's agent, was agent of the month for March.
  • Sarah Gross, a buyer and relocation specialist, joined the team.


Michele Schicchi is the new director of operations at The Pyramid Resource Group in Cary. Schicchi is the first person to hold this position in the corporate coaching company. For the last year, she had been its executive office coordinator.




Activate Good's Raleigh Typhoon, a fundraising scavenger hunt, is scheduled for June 27. Amber Smith is executive director of Activate Good, a nonprofit center that activates volunteers to help charitable causes in the local community.


    The N.C. Triangle chapter of Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) hosted its annual scholarship and awards gala in May at Raleigh's City Club. The event supports the chapter's mission to raise funds for college scholarships and outreach programs for middle and high school students. These aid young women entering secondary education and careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Renee Chou, news anchor for Raleigh's WRAL-TV, emceed the event. WTS is an international organization of transportation professionals with more than 5,000 members throughout the United States. Members include engineers, planners, administrators and marketing professionals. The following awards were presented:
  • Woman of the year: Jill Gurak, PE, AICP, of Atkins
  • Member of the year: Leslie Tracey, PE, of the city of Durham
  • Rookie of the year: Rachel Ruiz, EI, of HNTB
  • Employer of the year: CH Engineering (Maha Chambliss, PE, co-owner)
  • Rosa Parks Diversity Leadership Award: N.C. Department of Transportation Office of Education Initiatives (Ashley Goolsby, director)


More than 200 people attended the Volunteer Center's 41st annual Key Volunteer of the Year Recognition Luncheon. The charitable organization has the largest volunteer base in the Triangle and works with more than 900 nonprofits. The Key Volunteer Award in the category Perseverance in Volunteerism went to Solita Denard, who is an invaluable asset to the Johnson Service Corps. Denard is one of 12 winners of the recognition. Kim Shaw, executive director for the Volunteer Center said, "It was incredible to see so many people come together to celebrate the accomplishments of these volunteers." All the winners received the "Hands On" statuette, made by Vega Metals of Durham, to symbolize the many volunteer hands involved in making our communities a better place.


The Triangle Shape Note Singers were honored with an Outstanding Group Project Award at a banquet hosted by the Historic Resources and Museums Program in Raleigh. The group includes Julie Kemper and Lynda Hambourger. The nomination for the group cited the important role it has filled in various programs at Mordecai Historic Park over the past year, including its participation in events such as "Fall Back in Time" and "Mordecai Holidays." Shape Note singing is a form of a cappella in which singers sit in a hollow square, arranged by vocal part.


The Playwrights Roundtable presents a 10th anniversary show at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro. The Triangle's longest-running producing playwrights' lab returns June 19-21 for Roundtable Redux. It's a best of show, culled from the over 120 original shorts conceived and staged by the Playwrights Roundtable over the last decade. Actress Abby Overton returns for what Alan Hall called "a dynamite performance" in Paul Baerman's "Gun Play: The Rifle Report," a humorous and sexy-chilling look at the relationship between men and their guns.


Chapel Hill's Natalie Marrone choreographed a film that premiered in New York City in May. Marrone's choreography, using traditional Italian dance, serves as the pivotal point in the film "ALTO" starring Annabella Sciorra, Diana DeGarmo, Billy Wirth, Lin Tucci and Natalie Knepp. Marrone choreographed the Italian festival scene for writer/director Mikki del Monico with dancers from North Carolina and New York. The film was shot in the Big Apple.


Carolina Harmony Chorus, the Triangle's all-women's a cappella group, took home First Place Small Chorus and placed fourth overall at the Sweet Adelines Region 14 annual competition in Winston-Salem. The chorus scored more than 600 points - an impressive achievement that earned its beloved director Susie Smith the status of master director. Carolina Harmony Chorus will compete next at the Sweet Adelines International Competition in Las Vegas in October.


Lemur girls behave more like the guys, thanks to a little testosterone, according to a new Duke University study. Males rule in most of the animal world. But when it comes to conventional gender roles, lemurs - distant primate cousins of ours - buck the trend. It's not uncommon for lady lemurs to bite their mates, snatch a piece of fruit from their hands, whack them in the head or shove them out of prime sleeping spots. Females mark their territories with distinctive scents just as often as the males do. Christine Drea, Duke professor of evolutionary anthropology, and her team examined behavior and hormone profiles in nearly 30 animals representing six closely-related species. In four of the species, females are at the top of the pecking order, and in the other two species the sexes have equal status.


Jennifer Martinez, Ph.D., is the latest of several new tenure-track scientists to join the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) in Research Triangle Park. Martinez earned her doctorate from Duke University and is an immunologist who studies how the body deals with pathogens, environmental toxins and the accumulation of dead cells. "A lot of autoimmune diseases are characterized by an inability to get rid of cells," said Martinez, a resident of Durham. "I want to understand the immune response to these cells, and how the body determines if they're dangerous or part of normal processes." Martinez completed her postdoctoral fellowship at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis before returning to the Triangle to lead the Inflammation and Autoimmunity Group at NIEHS.


School and community gardens have become increasingly popular in recent years, but the people managing and working in them are often unfamiliar with food safety practices. Now researchers have developed guidelines that address how to limit risk – and a pilot study shows that the guidelines make a difference. "People involved with these gardens are passionate about healthy eating, food security and helping people connect to where their food comes from," said Ashley Chaifetz, lead author of a paper describing the work. "But they often don't have formal training in how to limit exposure to foodborne pathogens. We developed tools to help educate these gardeners, and our research shows that the tools are effective." Chaifetz is currently a Ph.D. student at UNC-Chapel Hill, but worked in the lab of Ben Chapman, associate professor at N.C. State University, at the time of the study.




Christine Macomber, M.D., a pediatrician at Generations Family Practice of Cary, is the 2015 recipient of the Centers for Disease Control's Childhood Immunization Champion Award for the state of North Carolina. The award recognizes individuals who make a significant contribution toward improving public health through their work in childhood immunization.


    Susan G. Komen, whose Triangle affiliate holds its largest fundraising event - the Race for the Cure, announced:
  • Komen-funded researchers have discovered a breast cancer susceptibility gene known as RECQL, which could one day lead to more options for women to identify and take steps to reduce their breast cancer risk. The discovery project, which took place at the University of Toronto, was made possible in part by a $1.125 million Komen research grant.
  • Susan G. Komen N.C Triangle to the Coast gave almost $546,000 in grant funding to 12 community organizations conducting breast health services and education projects for the under-served, under-insured and uninsured populations in its 29-county service area in eastern and central North Carolina. "Community Health Grants provide screening and diagnostic mammograms, education, support services and treatment support," said Pam Kohl, executive director of the group. The grants will provide two educational/support programs, nine screening programs and one treatment support program. This year's grantees include: Lincoln Community Health Center in Durham; Orange County Health Department; Piedmont Health Services in Chatham County; and Rex Healthcare Foundation in Raleigh.



    Quail Ridge Books in Raleigh, owned by Lisa Poole, announced its author events for June, including:
  • June 2 – Kimberly Hartnett, "Carolina Israelite: How Harry Golden Made Us Care About Jews, the South, and Civil Rights"
  • June 8 – Mamri Hart, "You Deserve a Drink"
  • June 11 – Stacey Cochran, "Eddie & Sunny"
  • June 17 – Kate Blackwell, "You Won't Remember This" and Kelly Cherry, "Twelve Women in a Country Called America"
  • June 19 – Dorothea Benton Frank, "All the Single Ladies"
  • June 23 – Rachel E. Kelly, "Colorworld"



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