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Chancellor Carol L. Folt and Kevin Guskiewicz, the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, tour the Writing and Learning Centers at SASB North on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The Learning and Writing Center offers a variety of services to students, including peer tutoring, counseling, coaching, writing workshops, study tips and career guidance. (photo by Johnny Andrews)


Joseph Ritok, Frances Mangan, David Neill

Alumni Joseph Ritok, Frances Mangan and David Neill play vital roles as chairs of advisory boards in the College. They help to guide the programs’ missions and visions and promote fundraising opportunities.


Why they serve

The College of Arts & Sciences is home to 13 advisory boards, in addition to the Arts & Sciences Foundation Board of Directors. Volunteers to these boards play vital roles in guiding the mission of the department or program, encouraging fundraising and promoting that vision in the community. We recently talked to a few alumni about why they are passionate about these volunteer roles.

Joseph Ritok

Chair, Carolina Public Humanities Advisory Board

How does Carolina achieve its mission of extending the resources of the University to the citizens of North Carolina? Carolina Public Humanities connects faculty to the public through lectures, seminars and K-12 professional development. Joseph Ritok ’70 attended several of these programs and knew he had to be involved.  Ritok, who retired from a prestigious law career in Michigan, and his wife, Jean, now call Chapel Hill home.

Q: Why do you serve on this advisory board?

A: When I first became involved, I was pleased to learn that the weekend programs were just one part of the board’s role. K-12 curriculum development and teacher training are offered at no charge to public school teachers in North Carolina, and Carolina Public Humanities sponsors programs that bring UNC faculty to state community colleges.

Q: What growth have you seen in the program?

A: Carolina Public Humanities has expanded its K-12 teacher workshops in various locations throughout the state and added a postdoctoral fellow to establish UNC faculty programs at community colleges. The E. Maynard Adams Symposium for the Humanities was established in 2017 and brings a nationally recognized scholar to engage the public about the humanities. We have also begun reading groups and foreign language lunches. The program could do even more with additional philanthropic support.

Q: What is most rewarding to you?

A: I have been introduced to the many ways Carolina Public Humanities contributes to the public discourse, including meeting accomplished faculty and staff who make the excellent programming possible. I have also established friendships with fellow board members and am pleased with how they share our goal of bringing UNC scholarship to public audiences.

Q: What are your favorite memories from your time as a student?

A: My most intense memories are of the intellectual doors that were opened for me by the great faculty and my fellow students. Whole worlds of ideas that I did not know existed were there for me to explore.

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Frances Mangan

Chair, Learning and Writing Center Advisory Board

The Learning and Writing Center offers a variety of services that students may need, from peer tutoring, counseling, coaching, writing workshops, study tips to prepare for graduate school and career guidance. Frances Mangan ’83, now retired from publishing, has been involved since the center’s beginning.

Q: Why do you serve on this advisory board?

A: I think it’s important to offer services and resources to students that enhance their educational experience, making it more straightforward and accessible. It’s exciting for students to have the opportunity to be the best they can be.

Q: What growth have you seen in the program?

A: Not many students initially were able to take advantage of the services. Few students even knew where the office was located. Moving to a permanent location in the Student and Academic Services Building was one of the highlights. The growth of the center has been due in large part to Director Kim Abels and her dedicated staff. Also, the growth of technology has contributed; the online services are now complemented by phone apps that students can download.

Q: What is most rewarding to you?

A: I love coming back to Chapel Hill, especially having two daughters here in school for the past eight years. It is also rewarding to hear about the innovations developed by the hard-working staff and what they’re doing to make the Carolina experience better for students.

Q: What are your favorite memories from your time as a student?

A: I was here in 1982, when we won the [men’s basketball] national championship, so that was one of the best experiences of college! And it’s interesting that one of my children was here for the championship in 2017.

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David Neill

Chair, Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

New ventures. Innovation. Creativity. Excellence. All are associated with the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship. Founded in 2005, the minor in entrepreneurship equips Carolina’s students with the skills and knowledge to create successful ventures — in science, public health, art, computer science, media, sports and more. David Neill ’83 understands firsthand the life of an entrepreneur — he has been a successful automobile dealer for 35 years.

Q: Why do you serve on this advisory board?

A: I serve because I feel the mission and structure of the entrepreneurship program are so relevant in today’s world. I appreciate the founding concept that this program would allow students to pursue their passions and learn not only how to make a living doing what they love, but also change the world.

Q: What growth have you seen in the program?

A: Thanks to the [$18 million] Shuford gift, we know the program will grow, and these resources allow us to think bigger and more strategically. The chancellor and the dean of the College have embraced the vision of this program, and because of that, the impact on the students has been tangible.

Q: What is most rewarding to you?

A: Working with outstanding people has been the most rewarding — my fellow board members, the faculty, the entrepreneurs-in-residence and the administration. These incredible people make UNC the special university that it is.

Also, obviously the students. You share experiences and concepts that you’ve learned over the years and watch the students embrace and run with them.

Q: What are your favorite memories from your time as a student?

A: My favorite memories are great times with fellow classmates, special professors and winning the 1982 NCAA championship!

Interviews by Mary Moorefield