The University and the Division of Student Affairs strive to promote a climate at UNCG where everyone feels supported and welcomed. In order to better understand student experiences, the iBelong Project was launched in the Spring 2019 semester. The project utilized the Culturally Engaging Campus Environments (CECE) survey, developed by the National Institute for Transformation and Equity.

The CECE survey measures college students’ perceptions of their campus environment through questions about aspects such as cultural groups, meaningful cross-cultural engagement, the ways in which faculty and staff support students, holistic support, and experiences around diversity and inclusion. 7,000 undergraduate students were randomly sampled from the UNCG roster to provide a representative sample of our student population, and then invited by email to complete the survey. The final sample used to compile the results included 1,127 undergraduates, including online and transfer students, and their demographic data mirrored the general demographics of the UNCG student body. The graduate survey scheduled for Spring 2020 was postponed and will be administered at a later date.

Please explore this website for updates and changes we have made since the survey to promote community and sense of belonging at UNCG. We care about the experience of our students and we want to understand how we can best help all students succeed here. The conversations that we have with our students and other groups on our campus will help us plan for the future. We hope you will reflect on the results of this Spring 2019 iBelong survey and our other action items in order to create opportunities for ongoing dialogue. We invite you to leave your feedback on the provided form or email us at Our iBelong committee members are ready to assist with your needs and ideas for supporting belonging at the G.

Cathy Akens, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

You Belong Here

15 February 2022

Dear Spartans,

One of the pillars of our University is a welcoming environment that creates the opportunity for our students to thrive, belong, learn, create, transform, and succeed. We want all of you to feel seen, supported, and affirmed. The diverse backgrounds and experience that we each bring with us makes our campus community unique, and we are proud that our students, faculty, and staff are known for their acceptance and compassion, exhibited by our culture of care. 

We know that students who feel like they belong have better outcomes in their college experience. Your sense of belonging reflects on our campus climate, which includes cultural groups, cross-cultural engagement, and experiences around diversity and inclusion. We have been focused on better developing that sense of belonging through the iBelong project. Through grant proposals, we have funded many campus events, such as support for first generation students, reading groups, and even speed friending. Next week, as part of the Ashby Dialogue on Belonging Series, the University will host a session which features nationally recognized scholar and advocate Dr. Elan Hope discussing activism as a response to barriers to campus belonging. You can RSVP here. 

Many of you have expressed interest in helping your fellow Spartans feel more comfortable here at UNCG. The Office of Intercultural Engagement is a valuable resource to connect with other students, programs, and more. OIE is fundamental in providing opportunities for dialogue and community building on our campus. They are currently hosting several events for Black History Month, which we encourage you to attend. They will also host events for UNCG Pride Month beginning in March and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in April. 

Our newly formed Bias Education and Support Team is also working to promote conversation about diversity, social justice, and inclusion. They aim to educate the campus community on how to recognize and report bias incidents and to support anyone who has been impacted by a bias incident. We support free speech and social discourse and have an expectation that all will do so with civility and respect for others. As such, if you see or hear something that seems to treat another Spartan in a threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, or hostile way, we encourage you to report it to the Bias team.

Your college journey goes beyond the classroom, and the environment in which you live, learn, and play is important to us. Our goal is to enrich your student experience with opportunities that celebrate diversity, service, and life-longing learning. I welcome your feedback on how you feel supported and thoughts on how we can continue to improve your sense of belonging. 

Take care,

Cathy Akens, Ed.D.
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs


George Still, Co-ChairStudent
Julie Mendez Smith,
Cathy AkensVice Chancellor, Student
Ren AquinoStudent Government
Neveah PayneStudent Government
Andrea HunterChancellor’s
Kisha CarmichaelUniversity Teaching and Learning
Katherine AldridgeCoordinator, BK Undergrad Online Program, Human Development & Family
Meredith AtchisonCampus Activities &
Kimberly OsborneUniversity
Bev FairclothTeacher Education and Higher Education (TEHE) Department, School of
Lauren KennonStudent
Scott HollowayStudent

iBELONG Updates

UNC Greensboro’s iBelong project grants continue to give students, faculty, and staff an opportunity to form a more inclusive campus climate. The UNCG iBelong project started in 2019 with a survey intended to find out how the university can better promote inclusivity on campus. In 2021, 53 percent of students agreed that “I feel like I belong at UNCG.” In the most recent 2023 survey, that number went up to 69 percent. This year, the Division of Student Affairs awarded funding to a record 24 iBelong projects. The grant recipients began work on their projects at the beginning of the 2023 spring semester and say their efforts have been rewarding. Read more about the iBelong Grants

UNCG’s Bias Education and Support Team, housed under the Dean of Students Office, serves the campus community by offering a reporting process that invites students to document and proactively address the impacts of bias-related incidents, behaviors, and actions. A trained interdisciplinary, interdepartmental group, the Bias Education and Support Team draws on restorative principles, appreciative inquiry, community conferencing and other restoration-focused practices to guide students as they process the impacts of bias incidents. For more information about the team’s membership and efforts, visit their website here.

UNCG recently celebrated projects that were awarded funding support from the campus iBelong Project. In the first year of this effort, there were 16 funded projects providing students opportunities to engage with each other in a primarily digital environment, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To read more about the outcomes, click here.

As part of the UNCG iBelong project launched in Spring 2019 and the Campus Climate initiatives, a total of $7,400 will be awarded in support of projects that help build a sense of belonging among Spartans. These projects have been selected for their innovative ideas to build deeper community and connections between students across campus. To read more about the 2020 – 2021 grant winners, click here.

  • The iBelong team conducted three focus groups with students which included sharing key findings from the survey and also opportunities for students to discuss their experience with belonging, support from faculty/staff, and community on campus. These groups included meetings with student leaders as well as the general student body members.
  • Also as part of the listening tour in 2019, presentations on survey findings and information were delivered to Staff Senate and Faculty Senate. Additional sessions were also held with the Chancellor’s and Provost’s Councils.
  • A three-part series was developed to provide information to the campus community through Campus Weekly, which was published in Spring 2020.

  • In early Spring 2020, planning sessions were held with Student Affairs staff to plan interventions to deepen campus community and sense of belonging and strategize ways to engage with proactive outreach with students. A session is scheduled with Student Success in Fall 2020. The strategies developed will be used to implement a three-year plan of action.
  • Representatives from Student Success and the University Teaching and Learning Commons were added to the iBelong team. The UTLC is expanding their civil discourse training which will provide support to faculty as they engage in difficult conversations in the classroom.
  • A proposal to form an ad hoc committee to explore models for a Bias Awareness, Education, and Response Team for UNCG was approved by Provost Coleman. The team is working to develop a recommendation for a campus-wide mechanism for helping students share their concerns about bias and discrimination during Fall 2020.
  • The iBelong committee is also meeting during Fall 2020 to identify strategic opportunities for investing in projects that will promote belonging on campus.


The Division of Student Affairs launched the iBelong Project in the Spring of 2019 with the administration of a campus climate survey, intended to inform us of how we can better promote a supportive and welcoming environment for all Spartans. The iBelong implementation team is requesting proposals for projects for implementation during the 23-24 academic year that aim to increase students’ sense of belonging. We know that a sense of belonging is connected to students’ success and retention at the university. We are looking for innovative projects that build deeper community and connections between students across campus. UNCG student groups and organizations, faculty and staff can submit a proposal that expands on a prior project or proposes a new project. We are especially interested in proposals that include students in the project idea’s development and implementation. Teams may submit requests for up to $500 in funding to support projects. Special consideration will be given to project proposals using Spartan Dining to support any food-related needs.   

A few examples of previously funded projects include a program that helped onboard new international students, a digital fashion show to highlight student design work, and a program that focused on helping first-generation students get adjusted to life at UNCG.  

  • Indicate whether it is a new project or a project expansion 
  • Clearly proposed outcomes – ex: The program will help provide a sense of community among xx population of students by hosting digital meet and greets.   
  • Clearly stated impact – ex: Who are the students this program will serve?  How will this program make an impact on the population you are trying to serve? 
  • Budget for the project 
  • Plan for evaluation to include stakeholder feedback and impact 
  • Deadline to submit proposal: Open, but priority consideration given to those who apply by September 29th 
  • Notification to grant winners: Two weeks from submission (Beginning October 9) 
  • Implementation deadline: April 15, 2024 
  • Final report due: April 30, 2024 

Please complete the following form with your proposal.

Please contact the Division of Student Affairs at or 336-334-5099

campus climate Grant wINNERS

Building Community and Connections between Students

  • UNCG Spring Career Fair Blazer Rack (Career and Professional Development): Providing workplace appropriate blazer jackets to students for the Spring Career Fair.
  • Diversifying Economics (Department of Economics): Inviting female alumni to talk about their experiences studying economics and about their careers.
  • Accessible Icon Project (Community and Therapeutic Recreation): Service-learning project for Community and Therapeutic Recreation Students.
  • Enhancing Asian American Pacific Islander Sense of Belonging (Japanese Club & Korean Student Association): Creating a buddy system/student support group for international, non-western students with a focus on Asian immigrants and Asian exchange students. 
  • The Weatherspoon and You: Connect, Collaborate, Converse (Weatherspoon Art Museum): A series of three events at the Weatherspoon Art Museum focused on engaging students interested in art and/or the museum.
  • Advising and Sense of Belonging (School of Health and Human Sciences): The Health and Human Sciences advising team will hold events highlighting its new location and the importance of advising first-year students.
  • The Visual Aesthetics Workshops (Office of the Dean of Students): Workshops to help prepare students for dressing professionally post-graduation. 
  • An Eye Toward the Future (Human Development and Family Studies): Graduate students will hold social gatherings to foster in-person connections,
  • Spartans Strengthen Power-Conscious Approaches to Sexual Violence (Title IX UNC Greensboro): A five-week program that will invite students to participate in a weekly session on power-conscious approaches to sexual violence and create a campus-wide campaign to address harm-doing behaviors and sexual violence.
  • Public Health Education Community Banquet: Engaging with campus dining to share ideas and recipes from the diverse student population while also educating about the Spartan Food Pantry.
  • More Than My Disability Campaign (Alpha Delta Pi Honor Society): A photo display in Elliot University Center that aims to create and foster a sense of pride among students, faculty and staff with disabilities while helping to reduce the stigma. Students, faculty and staff can sign up now to have their photo taken. 
  • Crowned Success: A series of events focused on professional development and self-advocacy for Black female students.
  • Thanks For Being A Good Human: Forming a “Good Human Team” on campus that will create tokens to give out to students for random acts of kindness. 
  • Student Leaders Summit: Holding a new student transition and first year experience student leader summit.
  • AlphaAcademics (Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity): Expanding the AlphaAcademics program by offering weekly small incentives for guest speakers and participants as well as supporting off campus enrichment activities.
  • International PAL: A support system for international students through weekly or biweekly gatherings and monthly events.
  • Yellow Rose Workshop: Workshop to help the general student population with resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profile.
  • Music Education Rally (Music Education): A music education rally to bring together undergraduate and graduate student music education majors.
  • Chinese New Year Celebration (School of Music): A public performance to celebrate the Chinese New Year in January. 
  • Fishing Day:An event to teach students how to fish on UNCG’s Piney Lake.
  • Winter Welcome Self-Care Kit (Recreation and Wellness): Creating Winter Welcome Self-Care Kits to provide incoming students with information and branded items directly related to the enhancement of mental health and well-being.
  • Brothers Doing Positive: UNCG Brothers Doing Positive is an Association of Leadership Educators grant funded program with the mission of providing Black men with a space to explore the Black experience.
  • Nursing Student Differences (School of Nursing): A project to look at the lived experiences of male nursing students and Asian-American nursing students.
  • Delight Ministries: The women of Delight Ministries will dress in warm Spring colors while exploring the variety of art at the Weatherspoon Museum. The group will then paint on canvases about what inspired them.

Belonging Efforts Strengthen Campus Climate

  • Destiny Talley, Chi Sigma Alpha: Graduate Students Involved in Volunteer Experiences
  • Tina ViresOARS: Sensory Space in the EUC
  • Tina ViresOARS: Faces of Disability at UNCG expansion
  • Melody RoodyStudent Success and University Libraries: Queer Café
  • Rose Ewald, Delta Alpha Pi: Inaugural DAPI Celebration (Disability Honor Society)
  • Laura Gonzalez, Bev FairclothSchool of Education: Ashby Dialogue Series on Belonging at UNCG
  • Natalie SowellSchool of Theatre: Project Junctions: Belonging Event for First Year Students
  • Laura LevinWeatherspoon Museum and Housing & Residence Life: COWAMM: Interactive Bulletin Boards using to further conversations on inclusion
  • Kynnith Francis-VaughanCAP and Dean of Students: Blue Table Talk: Supporting Black Women at UNCG
  • Maggie ChervenyFirst Year Experience: Succeed at the G Reunion
  • Portia HarrisLloyd International Honors College: Lloyd International Honor College Book Group
  • Carole Ott CoelhoCVPA: Representation at the Podium: Celebrating conductors/musicians
    of color
  • Chandni Lal, JAWLA Bollywood Dance Group: Support for JAWLA Student Organization to better incorporate Asian Culture and Clothing into events
  • Sarah Ludvik, Recreation & Wellness: Sensory Space for Kaplan Center for Wellness
  • Erin BlufordHuman Development & Family Studies: Connection event for online students in the CHP program
  • Jasmine Franco, Grogan Residential College: Celebrating Diversity in Grogan through art
  • Pam Brown & DeeAnne BrooksKinesiology: Celebrating inclusion in Kinesiology

Award Winners Announcement

Project Awardees Celebrated

  • Switching Lenses: Reflecting on environment and creating a sustainable peer-support program for belonging for students with disabilities. (Merve Ozdemir, Specialized Educational Services)
  • Engaging New International Students: Assisting new international students in building connections to UNCG through digital supports. (Stephanie Guzman, International Student and Scholar Services)
  • A Stitch in Time: Individuals will share historical stories through writing, fashion, photography, and other mediums. (Kiara Bethune, Apparel Product Design)
  • First Generation College Students and Belonging: Creating social and mental health support for first-generation students. (Ariana Watkins, Psychology)
  • Lloyd International Honors College: Fostering community and increasing opportunities for students to engage with one another. (Julie Boyer, Lloyd International Honors College)
  • Come Talk with GSA: A monthly meeting for graduate students to discuss issues and provide support for student concerns. (Lexi Hoopman, Graduate Student Association)
  • CVRC Book Group: For students about self-care. (Charnessa Ridley, Campus Violence Response Center)
  • Blue Table Topics: Black Womxn Students Creating Space for Black Womxn Students. (Briana Welsh, Residence Life, and Megan Karbley, Dean of Students Office)
  • Town Hall: Key stakeholders from the University invited to listen to concerns and challenges faced by our commuter student population. (Daisy Santiago, Office of Intercultural Engagement)
  • Video Game Reading Group: Group play of a video game themed around inequality and social justice and discussed together in a virtual space. (Vaughn Stewart, Digital ACT Studio)
  • NASA Speaker: Brittany Hunt will speak about her experience as an indigenous person and navigating North Carolina education. (Sky Kihuwa-Mani)
  • RecWell Day: Providing students with an overview of all the programs and opportunities provided through the Department of Recreation & Wellness. (Hannah Lanzillotta, UNCG Recreation & Wellness)
  • CHANCE Program: A reunion check-in event to support students who entered UNCG through the CHANCE program. (Julie Smith, Chancellor’s Fellow for Campus Climate)
  • CVPA: Students will be invited to create a participatory community exhibition of handmade symbolic totems that highlight their own unique personal interests. (Sidney Stretz, College of Visual & Performing Arts)
  • Speed Friending: A virtual event to support residential students in building friendships during the pandemic. (Paul Lentz, Housing and Residence Life)
  • Hillel: Two book groups that support students to deepen understanding of diversity and inclusion. (Shayla Glynn, first-year student, and Vicki Cathcart, director of Jewish Life, UNCG Hillel)
  • Get to Know Your Art Museum: Hosted by the Weatherspoon Art Museum. (Juliette Bianco, Weatherspoon Art Museum)

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