Friday, November 22, 2013

Of Red Bull and Morale Dances

     At 7 PM on Friday, November 15th, a new UNC Charlotte tradition started. Charlotte held it's first Dance Marathon in support of the Children's Miracle Network, and dancing occurred for TWELVE STRAIGHT HOURS! Wow, was that tiring. I had considered doing a live blog of the event, but it's just as well that I didn't. What would have been typed would have looked like: "Oh my goodness I'm up now for 8 hours and I've had SOOOOOOOOOOOO much caffeine! Whoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!"

     To spare you all that torture, I figured it would be much wiser to go ahead and talk about some of the finer points of Dance Mine, after the event. Just now, as I was sitting here typing this, I got told to include "jazzercise", some very inventive form of torture designed solely to suck the energy out of the audience. It included some really intensive dancing and flinging of arms. I kid about the torture, it was actually quite fun. The whole night was quite fun, in reflection. Not only did we jazzercise, we performed the most upbeat salsa dancing I have ever been part of, raved, drank enough caffeine to make the Energizer bunny look lethargic in comparison, and wobbled the night away. We did this cool morale dance which involved pirates, superheroes, and the Lion King. And, of course, there was a lot of food. Enough that I couldn't complain about being hungry, even with my prodigious hunger. All in all, it was a pretty killer party.

     But let's not forget what this stood for, why we stood for (at least) twelve hours, and all that came before this.

     This Dance Marathon was in support of Children's Miracle Network, as I said before. But CMN is a very large entity, and most people don't know about what it is. To give you some reference, Levine Children's Hospital is a part of CMN. For those of you who don't know what Levine Children's Hospital is about, it gives specialized care to children with life-altering - and usually life threatening - issues. It's also where every dime of the $35,066.25 (WOW!) raised through Dance Mine went. Levine Children's is a place that has touched my family personally, and I was so grateful to be part of an effort to give back to the hospital that saved my baby cousin's life. 

    Speaking of that effort, I was blown away this year by the concerted work I saw from my fellow Niners. When I got here this year, I had expected the entire effort to be Levine Scholars only. Last I checked though, there are only 59 of us. There were over 600 people that contributed to the event in some way, shape or form. That means that over 540 people just volunteered their time and money to this event, just because it was a good cause. To them, and to my fellow Levines, I want to say thank you, so much. It wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of all those in the event, from setting up prior to the event (Operations, you guys were incredible), or tabling in front of the Union, to getting corporate sponsorship (I was a big fan of the Red Bull), and - most importantly - just fundraising and getting the word out. You guys are the best!

   And for those of you who want to take a look, we have a video of the night. I highly recommend you take a look at it! Thanks for reading this, and have a great day!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Greenway Gremlins

You can always count on October to be a great month. School’s back in session, the weather is perfect in North Carolina, and Halloween candy is always at hand. That's why if you're going to run a half marathon, October is the month to do it.

Fellow scholar James Parkhill and I decided to sign up for our first half marathon this summer when we were looking for a new goal to work towards athletically. We registered for the Rocktoberfest race in Charlotte under the alias Greenway Gremlins.

Since returning from our first summer experience in Alaska with NOLS, we have had a running routine 
together. It's something we both look forward to every day. We’re regulars at the UNCC gym with the 8 pm crowd and we often frequent the Mallard Creek Greenway.

Team Greenway Gremlins (with the addition of Christie Koehler, center) in Alaska, 2012

13.1 miles is a long, long way. Especially when your background is as a sprinter and hurdler. I had to increase my mileage gradually. And, it was incredibly helpful to have a running partner-- having someone to talk to on long runs and to strategize with makes the experience so much better.

We didn’t know what to expect for race day. Especially since all of our mileage had been based on estimation. We came to a consensus that finishing the race without stopping was our first goal, and that second, if we could run each mile in 10 minutes we’d be doing well.

Well, we ran the race, gave it our all, and couldn't be happier with our results. We ran 8-minute 50-second miles and were top finishers for our age group!

James and I collecting our awards at the Annual Rocktoberfest Half Marathon

Our first half-marathon was a success. If we run another one, I will keep you posted. But for now, I'd say it's time to enjoy some candy J Hope you’ll do the same.

Isabel Fee
Class of 2016

Sunday, September 1, 2013


It's finally here! Charlotte 49er Football!

Yesterday was the first ever football game for UNC Charlotte. It was quite a day!

I was lucky enough to be one of the students that got a ticket to this game and I was beyond thrilled. Since before I was even a student at Charlotte, all I've heard about is how football is coming and this year, we got to watch the stadium go up. This first game is the culmination of three years of waiting for football to get here and as a proud senior, I could not wait to be a part of this day.

I got to spend the morning tailgating with my Levine family thanks to Dr. Mike and his wife, which was so much fun!


At 9:49am, everyone lined the walkway to the stadium to cheer as the football players and coaches walked by headed to the game. It was so cool to be there starting this new tradition of supporting our players and celebrating the game. After the players went by, we followed the players up to the stadium to continue the 49er walk. 

We stood in line for forever and got great seats once we were inside. You could feel the excitement in the air. There was an incredible flag that filled the entire field during the national anthem and the noise during kickoff was unbelievably loud. 

Then we proceeded to let Campbell know that we meant business. 

Within forty-five seconds of the game starting, we intercepted a Campbell pass and took it in for a touchdown. I had goosebumps from excitement and the stadium went nuts! It was such an incredible feeling to witness the first ever 49er football touchdown and be able to celebrate with my Niner family. That set the tone for the rest of the game and we ended up beating Campbell 52-7. I'd say that is certainly the best way to let people know we were here and the 49ers are a force to be reckoned with. 

I have loved Charlotte since the day I joined the Niner family, but this weekend has made me prouder than ever. I can't wait to see what the rest of this season holds for our football team. 

Check out some of the action from the game in this video:

And this story recaps the game great:

Until next time, GO NINERS!


Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Summer to Remember

Hello Everyone! 

It has not been too long since I last posted on the blog, but I thought I would go ahead and start off the 2013-2014 school year with a post about my very wonderful and memorable summer.

My summer began with my internship at Envision Charlotte in the middle of uptown Charlotte.  The scariest part of starting my internship wasn’t the fact that I was going to be somewhere new or working with “high-up” people – It was the realization that I would be driving myself to the middle of a metropolitan city during rush hour when I did not have much previous driving experience.  Fortunately, after a few days on the job I got more confident with my driving (traffic was not as bad as I had imagined it would be), and I could make it to my internship site’s parking deck with minimal honking from the vehicles around me.

My internship was phenomenal since I worked so closely with both Envision Charlotte (whose focus is sustainability within Charlotte companies) and Charlotte Center City Partners (who organizes and facilitates numerous events in the community).  With Envision Charlotte, I worked closely with the air quality program and visited the big buildings in the uptown area to look at their standby diesel generators.  Let’s just say, I got to see a lot of basements during my 6 week internship.  I also attended numerous board meetings, socials, community events, and lunches during my internship as well as a scavenger hunt in “South End” during my last week.  It was simply amazing to become so connected and familiar with the city of Charlotte, and it was an experience I will never forget.

Board Meeting
View from my internship building (Can you spot the Panther's Stadium?)
In the middle of the summer, I was chosen to attend the U. S. Women in Nuclear (WIN) National Conference in Chicago, IL at the end of July.  While attending the conference I learned A TON about the nuclear energy industry and how it relates to sustainability and the world’s future energy resources.  I shook so many hands and spoke to dozens of the most prominent individuals within the energy industry, including William D. Magwood, the commissioner of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Bill Fox, the Senior Vice President and Project Director of the new V.C. Summer Nuclear Power Plant in South Carolina.  I built friendships with fellow engineering students from across the county and made numerous connections with individuals within the nuclear industry which I hope to use as I look for careers in the future.
Had to try some Deep Dish Pizza
On top of the Willis (Sears) Tower
My awesome mentor and I

Now I am back at UNC Charlotte, and my first week of classes is over.  I am working as an Engineering Teaching Assistant and a residence hall Eco-Rep, so I know I will be keeping busy throughout the semester.  It is wonderful to be back in the Queen City and to see all of my classmates and roommates again.  Christie and I even celebrated our return to campus with a rainy day bike ride on the Greenway.

Muddy after a great bike ride!

A memorable summer has come to an end, and I am looking forward to all of the new and exciting things my Sophomore year has in store for me.

Talk to you all later!

- Kaitlyn

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sweet Summertime!

Hello everyone!

I hope everyone’s having a fantastic summer…I know I have been. It’s been super busy, filled with work, conferences, and various adventures. I guess since I gave that little tidbit, I can fill you in on some more…

For the first part of my summer, I barely had a break, and after a few days of moving my massive amounts of belongings home, I was actually back on campus, leaving on a bus to Gardner Webb for a ‘leadership institute’ called LeaderShape. LeaderShape has been hosted by UNC Charlotte for over thirteen years now, and is probably one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had. Little did I know, complete strangers would soon become some of my great friends that will always give constant support, kindness, and friendship.  

I was sent to LeaderShape because of my position as Homecoming Co-Chair. Other organizations and groups like CAB, Student Government, Greek Life, UTOP, and more also sponsor students after an application process. I arrived and was paired with a random roommate, and assigned to a high-rise style dorm where we could all get close and personal. (Something I never even experienced before due to my freshman year in Witherspoon!) Every morning bright and early until late at night, we all got to participate in different activities within our ‘family clusters’ to which we had been assigned, small random groups, and the large group as a whole. These activities created our LeaderShape family, instilled trust, and helped everyone solidify dreams and goals that could be supported throughout this community. Throughout the week I was able to participate in Venture activities, games, panels and even intense talks. It was a wonderful time to grow as a person and helped me realize how much more I wanted and was capable to do in life! Everyone should have to opportunity to go to this awesome institution. 

My awesome family cluster and our facilitator...go Anti-Gravity!

My sisters that were also selected to attend LeaderShape with me!

After getting back from LeaderShape, I started my usual lifeguarding job. However, it was time for my birthday present that I ‘received’ in March to be put to use. What is that present you may ask? Skydiving! Talk about the ultimate thrill. Falling through the air at 120 miles per hour was crazy, and actually felt like I was floating…not that rollercoaster-stomach-falling-gasp-gulp-drop that you would expect! Below are some awesome pictures!

Don't lie, you know you love my new hat.

Simply awesome.

Now back to working…I work waterfront, which is nice because I spend my day in the sun and with kids on the lake. I enjoy it! In the back of my mind though, every day, is MY SUMMER TRIP! For my next adventure, I will be traveling to Cape Town, South Africa, to work in a educational facility in the community called “Where the Rainbows Meet”. It’s a place where students of all ages can get all kinds of education, whether it be in language, basic school, sports, or my forte, computers. I’m very excited to share my knowledge of IT and help young adults build up resumes that can help them be more involved in their communities…it will be a great experience.

I just received my rooming assignment a week ago, and I will be living in a house that hosts volunteers often. I will be staying with three other girls who are also volunteering or interning through Project’s Abroad. We are in the valley of  Table Top Mountain National Park, about ten minutes from the beach, and twenty from the center of Cape Town. I have attempted to start packing, but it’s difficult to remember it will be winter when I arrive! Unlike my shorts I wear everyday here, I actually have to pack my winter boots and long sleeves!
Where I will be in less than a month!

So that is my summer thus far. Away from the crazy and bustling school life, and more into the relaxing working side, it can sometimes get mundane. However, I always try to look for adventure in even the smallest moments. Because after all, what is life but one big adventure? Remember…

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear…” –Eleanor Roosevelt

XOXO, Elizabeth

Happy summer! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Getting Ready for Adventure!

Hi Everyone!

I just registered for my senior year of classes. Whoa.

I’M SO EXCITED!! It’s coming so fast and I’m going to miss everyone but I am more than excited to officially be called Nurse Caroline Brewer, RN BSN!

I hope everyone is doing wonderful! This semester has been the wildest by far but I wanted to stop by and update everyone a little with what’s been going on in life. Nursing school is tough but well worth all the work and will only a couple more weeks of school left this semester, I’m going to make it!

Ronald McDonald House is going strong. We have a meal coming up next week and Kevin, Alex, and I are all working hard to get it organized. Kevin is in charge of the menu (I’m trying to relinquish my control because like I mentioned, I’m graduating soon) and I am very happy with it so far. I really enjoy serving these people and spending time with the other Levine Scholars. If you’re looking for a great organization to work with in the community, check out your local Ronald McDonald House. They really do great things for the sick children and their families and it’s a fun service activity. Oh, and go get a Shamrock Shake at McDonalds. Proceeds from the shake go back to you local House. I think that’s a pretty good excuse to get a milkshake!

So my summer is about to be INSANE. I’m planning on spending a great deal of time abroad this summer and you guessed it, I’M EXCITED! And a little nervous…but mostly excited. In June, I am heading to Jerusalem with other Levine Scholars to work on the faculty-led Mount Zion Dig project. Basically, we are spending two weeks at an archeological dig site and exploring Israel. I’ll post the link so you can check it out. I’m very excited to have the opportunity to go to such a historic location and immerse myself in it for two solid weeks. Jerusalem is a critical part of what I personally believe in and I feel so blessed to get to go. Plus, I’m going with my Levine family so I get to share it with other people who I care about.

But this is not the craziest thing I’m doing this summer…

When I leave Jerusalem, I’m going here…

Yep, that’s Mongolia. Yes I said Mongolia. The country between Russia and Asia that many people don’t know anything about except that there was some not so great guy named Genghis Khan who reigned there. Well that’s where I’m going. I will spend 4 weeks working with the local midwives there. Now I know what you’re thinking because I get this a lot and no I’m not going to be living in a ger (the little white nomadic huts in the Gobi Desert). I will be living with a host family in the capital city of Ulaan Baatar. No, I don’t know any of the local language (Mongolian) because it sounds like a smash up of Chinese and Russian and there is no way I would learn that before I left.

Mongolian Ger
See what I mean about the language...AHHH!

I chose Mongolia because of my passion for pregnancy and birth. I won’t go into it, but I have worked in an American hospital, an out of hospital unmedicated birth center, and I wanted to go somewhere that the culture of birth is very different so I could actually learn something new. So here I go to Mongolia.  It took some convincing to get everyone on board with me going here, but I have only heard wonderful things about the people and the country. I will be taking a ridiculous amount of pictures to share with everyone.

I think this about wraps up what’s going on in my life lately. It’s about Easter time and I just bought my Easter hat to wear to our family lunch. My grandmother and I wear the hats every year as part of our tradition. So I’m heading home in a few days to relax and recoup to finish these last couple of weeks. My pooch is still great and handsome and brings me great joy. Oh and I’m very excited that our new class of scholars is starting to form! I can’t wait to meet you all!!! 

Max says bye bye!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Trust me, I'm an Engineering Major

Hello Readers!

My Halloween Costume this year.
Women Engineers, "We Can Do It!"
My name is Kaitlyn Chapman and I am a freshman Levine Scholar at UNC Charlotte.  I am a Civil Engineering major in the William States Lee College of Engineering here on campus, and I have a hard time imagining myself anywhere else.   Because of my engineering major, I am bound to be pretty straightforward with you throughout this post (Bear with me!).  When I applied to UNC Charlotte, I had a difficult time convincing myself that I would actually enjoy the engineering program here.  Most of my friends were looking into science, math, and engineering majors at other more large and well-known universities across the state and country.  

 One of my favorite T-Shirts on campus!  Notice "Niner" highlighted within the word "Engineer."  
When I was accepted as a Levine Scholar, I barely knew anything about the achievements of and research opportunities in the college of engineering at UNC Charlotte.  Making my final decision between UNC Charlotte and another well-known engineering school was extremely difficult for me (just ask my family or any of my high school friends), but it all came down to looking at which college would offer me better opportunities for the future.  The Levine Scholars Program works very closely with faculty and staff throughout the entire university including the college of engineering.  With connections like these, I knew I would be able to get involved and thrive here at UNC Charlotte.

My first semester as an engineering major has been both fun and challenging (as it should be).  It is a great feeling to be able to walk around campus and tell people “I’m an engineering major,” and have them look at you like you are a celebrity or something (especially since there is not that many women in the engineering department in the first place).  Being an engineering major at any university involves a lot of projects, homework, studying, and math classes, but if it is something you really enjoy and are passionate about, you will be able to persevere through it all and do well.

My first engineering project as a student at UNC Charlotte.  Isn't it beautiful?
Testing out my beam design for the second engineering project.  Of course it was safe...
It turns out the engineering program at UNC Charlotte is growing and becoming more popular at a shocking pace.  Within the past year, construction was finished on one of the newest buildings on campus – EPIC (The Energy Production & Infrastructure Center).  EPIC contains some of the newest engineering technologies that can be used by students to have a better understanding of the energy industry throughout the globe.  UNC Charlotte’s goal is to use EPIC and other new campus facilities to train its engineering majors to become some of the most talented and knowledgeable graduates in the energy industry so they can move on to work in leading engineering firms across the world.  While environmentalism, sustainability, and energy are some of my biggest passions, UNC Charlotte also contains one of the best Motor Sports Engineering Programs in the country since we are so close to the Charlotte Motor Speedway and NASCAR has been so influential here.  Overall, the engineering program at UNC Charlotte offers many great opportunities and resources to its students, and I know I made the right decision by choosing to come here.  Trust me, I’m an engineering major.

If you have any questions about the William States Lee College of Engineering at UNC Charlotte, feel free to look through the college’s website:

 A beautiful picture of the EPIC (Energy Production & Infrastructure Center) building!  My engineering class this semester actually meets in the ground floor here.
Until next time,

Kaitlyn Chapman
Levine Scholar Class of 2016

PS:  And since you asked for it, here are some more pictures!

Fellow Levine Scholar roommate and suitemate!
Exercising with all of my suitemates!
Levine Women's Intramural Flag Football Division Champions!
My roommate Christie and I being our normal, crazy, nerdy selves!