UNC Chapel-Hill Archaeologist Breaks New Ground

subhead: Jodi Magness appears in IMAX film on Jerusalem, discovers synagogue mosaic in Galilee

Note: This is part 2 of the revision assignment. Again, I have re-posted the story without photos. Revisions made: Shortened some more paragraphs and made the debut places and dates for the film into a bulleted list. Overall I thought the story was too long, so I did manage to cut about 135 words by eliminating one source altogether (Jonathan Hess) and tightening quotes and sentences. I also struggled to find a good historic map with the first post linking to historic Jerusalem showing all the religious quarters. I was able to find that this time, and included link in sidebar box at end. There were also instances where I tightened phrases such as — instead of “had a chance to participate” — changed to “participated.”

By Kim Weaver Spurr

Archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be featured on the big screen — literally — in the new IMAX 3-D movie,“Jerusalem.”

Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in the department of religious studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. She specializes in early Judaism and the archaeology of Palestine and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

“How should we approach Jerusalem,” the narrator says as the film trailer opens, “a city that for thousands of years has been regarded as the center of the world?”

The film seeks to highlight the city from different points of view — Jewish, Christian, Muslim and secular — said Daniel Ferguson, a producer, writer and the film’s director, who is based in Montreal.

“IMAX is so experiential and visceral,” said Ferguson, who has visited Jerusalem about 14 times. “People will see a side of Jerusalem they could never have seen as tourists or even living in the city.”

“We wanted to explore, ‘Why is there such global interest in Jerusalem?’ ‘Why is it key to peace in the region?’ We wanted to unpack those questions that make it enigmatic to so many different cultures.”

The film is tentatively scheduled to debut in the following places:

  • Boston, summer 2013;
  • Museums and science centers throughout North America, fall 2013; and
  • Charlotte, January 2014.

A passionate expert

According to the film Web site, Jerusalem has more than 2,000 archaeological sites. Since filming began in 2010, the production team has followed several of the most impressive excavations in and around Jerusalem, documenting the work there as well as the tools used to uncover history.

Producers first contacted Magness about three years ago. She will be featured in the film and serves as a historical consultant on the script. She has appeared in numerous documentaries on the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, PBS and the BBC.

Ferguson called Magness “a natural” when it comes to being on camera.

“I wanted someone who could appeal to young people, who was enthusiastic and a good communicator and educator,” he said. “Her passion is infectious.”

A stunning discovery

In summer 2012, Magness was continuing archaeological excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. There UNC students and students from partner universities uncovered a beautiful mosaic floor from a  late Roman-Byzantine synagogue building (ca. 4th to 6th centuries C.E).

The mosaic contains a Hebrew or Aramaic inscription flanked by female faces, and a scene depicting Samson and the foxes (an episode described in the Bible in Judges 15:4).

Jocelyn Burney, a UNC junior archaeology and religious studies major, participated in the Huqoq dig. She was there when the discovery, which was covered by international media, was made.

“We didn’t expect to find such big mosaic pieces of such high quality,” said Burney, who was digging at the village site, about 100 feet away from the synagogue.  “I remember thinking it was absolutely incredible.”

Lights, camera, action

Because of timing issues, producers were not able to film at the Huqoq dig. But they did film a lot of amazing material, Magness said, including shots of her and the students touring Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an ancient Biblical water system that still has water flowing through it.

At 1,750 feet long, Hezekiah’s Tunnel carried water from the Gihon Spring outside the city walls to the residents of the city in the event of a siege by an invading army.

James Heilpern, one of Magness’ students who graduated in May 2012 and is now a law student at Brigham Young University, participated in the filming at Hezekiah’s Tunnel.

When you visit any historical landmark, you get that feeling that something important happened there, Heilpern said, but Jerusalem is particularly special.

“Anywhere you stand, anywhere in that city, you know that not just one important thing has happened, but dozens of things. You are standing on a piece of land that may be the most valuable piece of real estate in the world,” he said.

Jerusalem is considered a “no-fly zone,” so producers had to work for many months to negotiate with various Israeli ministries, military, police and counter-terrorism officials to shoot aerial shots of the city.

Ferguson said it’s the first time in about 20 years that an aerial camera has been allowed so close to the city’s holy sites.

Love of archaeology

One of the questions Magness was asked during the filming was how she got interested in archaeology. She’s been a budding archaeologist since age 12.

“When I was in seventh grade, I was finding fossils of shells at Girl Scout camp, and I had a good world history teacher,” she said. “I fell in love with ancient Greece. Ever since then, (the discovery of) that ancient classical world, I have wanted to be an archaeologist.”

“My parents kept hoping it was another phase I was going through,” she added, laughing. “Now they’re OK with it.”

Magness will discuss the Huqoq mosaic at a Carolina Center for Jewish Studies free public talk Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.at UNC’s William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Magness said it’s easy to share her passion for archaeology with her students.

“I love what I do, and I’m lucky to be able to do that for my job,” she said.

“It’s at the heart of a liberal arts education — when you expose students to all kinds of different things they might not have known about.”

Sign up for updates on the film Web site or Facebook page.

—–

Jerusalem By The Numbers

(This Frommer’s map shows the historic sites and religious quarters of the old city.)

  • 2,000 archaeological sites
  • 40 languages spoken by the residents of the Old City
  • 80 different nationalities of Jews call Jerusalem home
  • 4 seas surround Jerusalem: Dead Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee and the Red Sea
  • 24 football fields could fit on the top of the man-made esplanade referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary

Sources: http://www.jerusalemthemovie.com, Municipality of Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Past, The Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies

 

 

 

 

PlayMakers Repertory Company Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Assignment: Revise two pieces you did earlier in the semester. I thought it easier to just re-post this.

Revisions made: Adding full name of company in title of FAQ, adding in more information about snacks which is a question Andy had in the original assignment, breaking up some of the longer paragraphs even further. I also asked my husband as a fellow theater patron: what questions are missing in the FAQ? So I have added a few new questions, marked by *** in the document. Note:I did not re-post the original photo with this revision of the assignment.

Welcome to PlayMakers! We know you have lots of entertainment options to choose from, so we are excited you want to know more about us. We have a great season planned for you.

The Drama League has called us one of the “best regional theatre companies in America,” and The Independent Weekly has said we are the “best live theater company in the Triangle.”  

***How do I find out about the shows in the upcoming season?

Visit our homepage or the media page to read press announcements about each show. Producing artistic director Joe Haj shares his thoughts on the exciting new season.

Where can I buy tickets?

We would love it if you would become a season ticket subscriber. For individual tickets, contact our Box Office.

Tickets are available online (click on a performance date to see the seating chart to select your own seats), in person and over the telephone. Or see a seating chart overview.

The Box Office is located on the first floor of the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road on the UNC campus, in the Paul Green Theatre lobby.

Phone: (919) 962-PLAY (7529)
Fax:     (866) 904-8396
Box Office Hours: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday.and two hours prior to curtain time.

Tickets sales cover only about 50 percent of our costs as a non-profit, professional theater in residence in the department of dramatic art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There are other ways you can support us, if you want to know more.

***Do you have any student or group discounts?

We are thrilled to offer a discount to UNC students. Tickets for each production are available for only $10 with a valid ID. Discounts are not available on community night or opening night performances. Call the box office at (919) 962-7529 for more information.

Groups of 15 or more receive 30 percent off the full price of single tickets. There are also multiple ways to make your group outing to the theater fun, such as post-show receptions, discussions with artistic staff or a backstage tour. Please call (919) 843-2311 to find out more and to make a reservation.

How do I find the theater?

You can find complete directions and parking information here.

We recommend that you arrive about 30 minutes prior to showtime, to allow yourself time to park, pick up your tickets and a playbill and enjoy our ever-changing exhibit of photos about each show.

Note that sporting events on the UNC campus often affect the parking situation. Check out up-to-date information on parking so that you can give yourself enough time. We don’t want you to miss a minute of the production!

Can I take pictures or use my cell phone during the show?

Taking photographs or videotaping during, before or after the show is prohibited, as this can be a danger to our actors and also disturbs your fellow audience members.

We love our technology, but we ask that you please turn off all cell phones and refrain from texting or calling during the show.

Can you recommend a place to get a bite to eat before or after the show?

Chapel Hill has some wonderful restaurants. Here are a few of our recommendations. Make a full night of it and stay at one of our recommended hotels as well!

Do you have any drinks or snacks available at the theater?

We have a variety of light snacks — such as popcorn, chips, cookies, coffee, water and soda — available in the lobby both before the show and during intermission. Cash only please.

Do you have any extra community events associated with PlayMakers’ shows?

Absolutely. Check out our hugely popular Vision Series – Directors in Conversation. This is where you get a behind-the-scenes look at the vision for each show. We like to think of our assortment of community events as like the neat DVD extras you get when you rent a movie.

See the press releases for individual upcoming shows to find out about events at your local library, area bookstores and more.

Are all your plays recommended for all ages?

Some of our plays are family-oriented, but some are for mature audiences. We invite you to check out our age recommendations for each production.

What do I do if I have a visual impairment or hearing disability? Can I still enjoy the show?

We believe in the power and magic of live theater and want it be accessible to everyone. We offer a variety of services from assistive listening devices to large-print programs, and we now offer open-caption performances with audio description and sign language interpretation on certain nights.

For questions, contact Whitney White, Audience Services Manager, at whitneywhite@unc.edu, or call our Box Office at (919) 962-7529.

***Is the theater handicapped accessible?

Absolutely. PlayMakers offers wheelchair-accessible seating, in addition to the other services listed above.

How do I find out about volunteering for PlayMakers?

We’d love to have you as part of the PlayMakers family! If you usher a show, you get to see it for free. And there are many other opportunities as well.

 

 


PlayMakers Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Assignment: Create an interactive FAQ help page for an entity of your choosing.

PlayMakers’ Associate Artistic Director Jeff Meanza welcomes you to the theater! (photo by Steve Exum)

Welcome to PlayMakers Repertory Company! We know you have lots of entertainment options to choose from, so we are excited you want to know more about us. We have a great season planned for you. The Drama League has called us one of the “best regional theatre companies in America,” and The Independent Weekly has said we are the “best live theater company in the Triangle.”  

Where can I buy tickets?

We would love it if you would become a season ticket subscriber. For individual tickets, contact our Box Office.

Tickets are available online (click on a performance date to see the seating chart to select your own seats), in person and over the telephone. Or see a seating chart overview.

The Box Office is located on the first floor of the Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road on the UNC campus, in the Paul Green Theatre lobby.

Phone: (919) 962-PLAY (7529)
Fax:     (866) 904-8396
Box Office Hours: 12 p.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday and two hours prior to curtain time.

Tickets sales cover only about 50 percent of our costs as a non-profit, professional theater in residence in the department of dramatic art at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There are other ways you can support us, if you want to know more.

How do I find the theater?

You can find complete directions and parking information here.

We recommend that you arrive about 30 minutes prior to showtime, to allow yourself time to park, pick up your tickets and a playbill and enjoy our ever-changing exhibit of photos about each show.

Note that sporting events on the UNC campus often affect the parking situation. Check out up-to-date information on parking so that you can give yourself enough time. We don’t want you to miss a minute of the production!

Can I take pictures during the show?

Taking photographs or videotaping during, before or after the show is prohibited, as this can be a danger to our actors and also disturbs your fellow audience members. We love technology, but we ask that you please turn off all cell phones and refrain from texting during the show.

Can you recommend a place to get a bite to eat before or after the show?

Chapel Hill has some wonderful restaurants. Here are a few of our recommendations. Make a full night of it and stay at one of our recommended hotels as well!

Do you have any drinks or snacks available at the theater?

We have a variety of concessions available in the lobby both before the show and during intermission.

Do you have any extra community events associated with PlayMakers’ shows?

Absolutely. Check out our hugely popular Vision Series – Directors in Conversation. This is where you get a behind-the-scenes look at the vision for each show. We like to think of our assortment of community events as like the neat DVD extras you get when you rent a movie. See the press releases for individual upcoming shows to find out about events at your local library, area bookstores and more.

Are all your plays recommended for all ages?

Some of our plays are family-oriented, but some are for mature audiences. We invite you to check out our age recommendations for each production.

What do I do if I have a visual impairment or hearing disability? Can I still enjoy the show?

We believe in the power and magic of live theater and want it be accessible to everyone. We offer a variety of services from assistive listening devices to large-print programs, and we now offer open-caption performances with audio description and sign language interpretation on certain nights.

For questions, contact Whitney White, Audience Services Manager, at whitneywhite@unc.edu, or call our Box Office at (919) 962-7529.

How do I find out about volunteering for PlayMakers?

We’d love to have you as part of the PlayMakers family! If you usher a show, you get to see it for free. And there are many other opportunities as well.

 


UNC-Chapel Hill Archaeologist Breaks New Ground

subhead: Jodi Magness appears in IMAX film on Jerusalem, discovers major synagogue mosaic in Galilee

By Kim Weaver Spurr

UNC archaeologist Jodi Magness will be featured in the new IMAX film, “Jerusalem.” (photo by George Duffield © J3D US LP.)

Archaeologist Jodi Magness of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill will be featured on the big screen — literally — in the new IMAX 3-D movie,“Jerusalem.”

Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in the department of religious studies in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. She specializes in early Judaism and the archaeology of Palestine and is an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls.

“How should we approach Jerusalem,” the narrator says as the film trailer opens, “a city that for thousands of years has been regarded as the center of the world?”

The film seeks to highlight the city from different points of view — Jewish, Christian, Muslim and secular — said Daniel Ferguson, a producer, writer and the film’s director, who is based in Montreal.

“IMAX is so experiential and visceral,” said Ferguson, who has visited Jerusalem about 14 times. “People will see a side of Jerusalem they could never have seen as tourists or even living in the city.”

“We wanted to explore, ‘Why is there such global interest in Jerusalem?’ ‘Why is it key to peace in the region?’ ‘Why is there so much media attention still devoted to it?’ We wanted to unpack those questions that make it enigmatic to so many different cultures.”

The film is tentatively scheduled to debut in Boston in summer 2013, a number of museums and science centers throughout North America in fall 2013, and Charlotte in January 2014.

A passionate expert

According to the film Web site, Jerusalem has more than 2,000 archaeological sites. Since filming began in 2010, the production team has followed several of the most impressive excavations in and around Jerusalem, documenting the work there as well as the tools used to uncover history.

Producers first contacted Magness about three years ago. She will be featured in the film and serves as a historical consultant on the script. She has appeared in numerous documentaries on the National Geographic Channel, the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, PBS and the BBC.

Ferguson called Magness “a natural” when it comes to being on camera.

“I wanted someone who could appeal to young people, who was enthusiastic and a good communicator and educator,” he said. “Her passion is infectious; she was perfect.”

A stunning discovery

Professor Jodi Magness (center) with UNC students (left to right): Brian Coussens, Caroline Carter, Jocelyn Burney, Jonathan Branch, and Kelly Gagnon, with Huqoq mosaic.(photo by Jim Haberman.)

In summer 2012, Magness was continuing archaeological excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee. There UNC students and students from partner universities uncovered a beautiful mosaic floor decorating a monumental, late Roman-Byzantine synagogue building (ca. 4th to 6th centuries C.E).

The mosaic contains a Hebrew or Aramaic inscription flanked by female faces, and a scene depicting Samson and the foxes (an episode described in Judges 15:4).

Jocelyn Burney, a UNC junior archaeology and religious studies major, had a chance to participate in the Huqoq dig. She was there when the discovery, which was covered by international media, was made.

“We didn’t expect to find such big mosaic pieces of such high quality,” said Burney, who was digging at the village site, about 100 feet away from the synagogue site. “This is very extraordinary. I remember the moment and thinking it was absolutely incredible.”

Lights, camera, action

Because of timing issues, producers were not able to film at the Huqoq dig. But they did film a lot of amazing material, Magness said, including shots of her and students touring Hezekiah’s Tunnel, an ancient Biblical water system that still has water flowing through it.

Jodi Magness and students tour Hezekiah’s Tunnel. (photo by George Duffield © J3D US LP).

At 1,750 feet long, Hezekiah’s Tunnel carried water from the Gihon Spring outside the city walls to the residents of the city in the event of a siege by an invading army.

James Heilpern, one of Magness’ students who graduated in May 2012 and is now a law student at Brigham Young University, participated in the filming at Hezekiah’s Tunnel, along with his wife, Kindra.

When you visit any historical landmark, you get that feeling that something important happened there, Heilpern said, but Jerusalem is particularly special.

“Anywhere you stand, anywhere in that city, you know that not just one important thing has happened, but dozens of things. You are standing on a piece of land that may be the most valuable piece of real estate in the world,” he said.

“Over the last two years, I’ve developed fabulous relationships with both Israelis and Palestinians. … It has been a significant experience in my life to not only experience those sites as a Christian, but to experience the religious sites of other faiths.”

Jerusalem is considered a “no-fly zone,” so producers had to work for many months to negotiate with various Israeli ministries, military, police and counter-terrorism officials to shoot aerial shots of the city. Ferguson said it’s the first time in about 20 years that an aerial camera has been allowed so close to the city’s holy sites.

Love of archaeology

Jodi Magness in Yotvata in 2006. (photo by Jim Haberman).

One of the questions Magness was asked during the filming was how she got interested in archaeology. She’s been a budding archaeologist since age 12.

“When I was in seventh grade, I was finding fossils of shells at Girl Scout camp, and I had a good world history teacher,” she said. “I fell in love with ancient Greece. Ever since then, (the discovery of) that ancient classical world, I have wanted to be an archaeologist.”

“My parents kept hoping it was another phase I was going through,” she added, laughing. “Now they’re OK with it.”

Jonathan Hess, professor and director of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies, said Magness is one of the most popular teachers in the College of Arts and Sciences.

“Known as an extraordinary teacher and mentor, Jodi is one of those Carolina faculty members who truly touches students — from students in her large lecture courses to graduate students whose Ph.D. work she supervises,” Hess said.

Magness will discuss the Huqoq mosaic discovery at a Carolina Center for Jewish Studies free public talk Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.at UNC’s William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education.

Jodi Magness and students on the steps leading up to the Hulda Gates, just outside the southern end of the Temple Mount. (photo by George Duffield © J3D US LP).

Magness said it’s easy to share her passion for archaeology with her students.

“I love what I do, and I’m lucky to be able to do that for my job,” she said. “It’s a really interesting time and place in the world to study.”

“It’s at the heart of a liberal arts education — when you expose students to all kinds of different things they might not have known about.”

Sign up for updates on the film Web site or Facebook page.

—–

Jerusalem By The Numbers

  • 2,000 archaeological sites
  • 40 languages spoken by the residents of the Old City
  • 80 different nationalities of Jews call Jerusalem home
  • 4 seas surround Jerusalem: Dead Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Galilee and the Red Sea
  • 24 football fields could fit on the top of the man-made esplanade referred to by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary

Sources: http://www.jerusalemthemovie.com, Municipality of Jerusalem, The Jerusalem Past, The Jerusalem Institute for Israeli Studies

 

Assignment: Write a Web story

Part I of this post will include the “extra” stuff required in the assignment; part II will be the story itself.

Below are the questions asked and sources interviewed for the story on UNC archaeologist Jodi Magness and her role in the upcoming IMAX film, “Jerusalem.” Note: I was actually able to reach all five sources that I contacted.

I fact-checked information by researching the Jerusalem movie Web site, Web sites on facts about Jerusalem, Web sites about Hezekiah’s Tunnel, etc. Note: When I was a newspaper reporter, we did NOT let sources review material prior to publication. Now that I work in academic communications — we do — so all sources were sent this story to check for “accuracy” prior to publication. Sources were just asked to fact-check the information where they were quoted/mentioned in the story.

Audience: College of Arts and Sciences Web site, Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine, Carolina Alumni Review

Additional features that could supplement the story:

  • A map of Jerusalem (I tried to find a good one, but had trouble finding one that featured sites representative of the three faiths (not just Christian) that are featured in the film.)
  • A Q&A could be done with a UNC student about daily life on an archaeological dig

Questions for Jodi Magness, the UNC archaeologist:

  • How did you first get involved in the film? How did producers contact you?
  • What footage of you will be in the film? What B-roll did they film of you? Did they film you on your summer dig?
  • What kinds of questions did they ask you? What did they want you to focus on?
  • How did you first become interested in archaeology; what made you want to become an archaeologist?
  • You have done a lot of media interviews before, how was this different?
  • What do you think about the footage in the trailer so far?
  • Tell me about your summer discovery of the synagogue mosaic – was this an unexpected discovery? What makes it so unique and special?
  • Will you continue digging at this site next year with your UNC students?
  • What do you love about teaching? Why do you like what you do? Do you think you might turn on a student to pursue archaeology who had not considered that field before?
  • What’s next? When’s the premier? Will you be involved in the editing?
  • What do you hope people get out of the film, particularly from your standpoint as an archaeologist?
  • Were there any funny moments or memorable moments you remember during filming?
  • Will they do any behind-the-scenes footage, kind of like DVD “extras?”

Questions for Jonathan Hess (UNC colleague of Jodi Magness):

  • Jodi is an expert on early Judaism and the archaeology of Palestine. What strengths does she bring as a scholar to UNC’s growing emphasis on Jewish Studies? Have you two ever worked together on anything at all? Research project? Panel discussion? Academic conference?
  • What has she been like to work with as a colleague? From what you have heard or observed, what makes her a good scholar and a teacher?
  • What ways has she been specifically involved with the Center for Jewish Studies?

Questions for Jocelyn Burney (UNC student who participated in Jodi’s summer dig):

  • When will you graduate UNC? What’s your major and where are you from?
  • You went on the summer dig with Prof. Magness last summer. Was this your first time going on a dig with her? Going on a dig period? Going abroad?
  • Tell us what the day to day routine is like when you’re working on an archaeological dig. What do you like about it? What makes it interesting to you?
  • Were you there the day the discovery of the mosaic was made? What was that like? Prof. Magness mentioned that little mosaic tile pieces kept coming up in the “fill,” so you were expecting to find something – but not something that intact and undamaged.
  • What do you like about Prof. Magness as a teacher? What makes her a good teacher and leader of this summer dig? Had you taken any classes with her before?
  • Why is the study of this period in history – early Judaism and ancient Palestine – important?
  • What was the most memorable part of your trip?
  • Did you know Prof. Magness was going to be in the IMAX film, “Jerusalem?” What do you think about that? What makes this such an exciting city to focus on for a major film?

Questions for Daniel Ferguson of the film “Jerusalem”:

  • How long have you been filming for the project?
  • Tell me about the approach you wanted to take with this IMAX film on Jerusalem – How are you telling the city’s story? What do you want viewers to get out of the film?
  • What led you to reach out to Jodi Magness as a lead archaeologist featured in the film? What makes Jodi a good candidate for this? What was she like to work with? How is she on camera?
  • She is featured IN the film, but I also understand she serves as bit of a historical consultant on the script; how has she helped in that capacity?
  • I know you are in the editing process now – but do you know yet what scenes featuring Jodi will definitely make it into the film? (for instance, she told me about the filming of she and her students walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel.)
  • You had to go through months of negotiations and special permits to be able to do aerial footage over the city. Tell me about this, how long it took, and how historic some of this footage will be, since aerial footage had not been permitted in many years?
  • How can folks best keep up with the latest updates on the film? Sign up on your Web site? Follow you on Facebook? Can you tell me if you are going to have showings in NC?
  • What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced in pulling such a massive and important project like this together?

Questions for James Heilpern (former UNC student of Jodi’s who participated in Jodi’s dig and in the filming):

  • Your major was religious studies at UNC and you graduated in spring 2012; Jodi says you are now in law school at BYU?
  • You participated in the dig in summer 2012 with Jodi; was this your first time on a dig? What was it like to be present at the discovery of such a rare archaeological find, the synagogue mosaic?
  • What are some misperceptions people have about participating in an archaeological dig?
  • What makes Jodi special as a teacher and a leader? Why does she make a good choice as a featured archaeologist in the “Jerusalem” film?
  • Tell me about your participation in the filming by the “Jerusalem” crew. What did they film you doing – walking through Hezekiah’s Tunnel? Anything else? What was that like?
  • Were there any memorable or funny moments during filming? Did this process dispel any misperceptions or stereotypes you might have had about making a film?
  • What are you looking forward to about the film? What do you hope it will show to people who have never visited Jerusalem, or may not have an opportunity to do so?
  • Why do you think IMAX is a good way to capture the essence of this city?

Corrections, community and social media information for The Holly Springs Sun

Assignment: As public editor for a news organization online, 1. draft a policy for covering changes and corrections online, 2. draft a policy for covering crowdsourced content, and 3. write a job description for the vice president of social media.

Note: For the purposes of this assignment, I will draft fictional information for The Holly Springs Sun online.

The Holly Springs Sun Online Corrections Policy

It is the responsibility of the staff of The Holly Springs Sun to seek the truth and provide fair, accurate and objective reporting of news events. As in our print edition, we will promptly correct any errors to stories.

Please call or e-mail the public editor at (919) 555-1212, public@hollyspringssun.com, if you believe The Sun has published something in error.

The following is our policy for corrections and changes made to online stories:

  • We will publish a list of all corrections on a separate page of our Web site at www.corrections.hollyspringssun.com. We will include the time and date of the correction, along with a link back to the original article. The corrections page is prominently displayed in the left navigation bar on the homepage.
  • At the top of the amended article, we will include an editor’s note explaining the correction, with the time and date of the correction.
  • In the body of the article, we will correct the error in the copy, but put in parentheses beside the correction a note that this article has been amended, repeating as in the editor’s note what correction has been made.
  • Once the article has been moved to our online library archives, we will retain the corrected version of the article, noting at the top of the article that the original version contained an error that has since been corrected for the archives. This is an effort not to perpetuate the dissemination of articles that contain erroneous information.
  • Corrections on the online corrections page (www.corrections.hollyspringssun.com) are also archived after 30 days.
  • In covering breaking news stories, we will include at the top of the updated article the time and date and the word “Updated” at the top of the article.

 The Holly Springs Sun Policy for Submission of Community Content

We value submissions of news content from our readers and believe this enriches and aids the staff of The Holly Springs Sun in covering our diverse community. This is an opportunity for you to be a part of the stories you care about and to add a unique perspective to those stories.

Your published stories will be edited for AP style and published on our “Your Community” page at www.community.hollyspringssun.com. We do not have the staff to fact-check every story, but will edit for any obvious spelling errors that we find.

To submit your stories, photos and videos:

  • E-mail your information to our online community manager at community@hollyspringssun.com. Note that e-mail is the only way we are able to receive your stories. If you have questions, please send a note to the above e-mail or call (919) 555-1210.
  • Please include your name, address, e-mail and a phone number where you can be reached. We will publish your byline with your article (no anonymous contributions allowed), but we will not publish your address or contact information.
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  • The “comments” feature, as with the stories written by our staff, will be enabled on our “Your Community” page to allow for feedback and interaction with our readers. As with our main news site, our online community manager will moderate these comments.
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  • For a brief snapshot of the AP Style Guide, visit www.wwu.edu/journalism/syllabi/207labmanual.htm.

 Wanted: Vice President of Social Media

The Holly Springs Sun produces a weekly print newspaper and maintains a frequently updated companion online site based in Holly Springs, N.C. We seek a vice president of social media as part of our digital communications team.

The vice president of social media, who reports to the chief digital officer, will be responsible for the following:

  • Sharing information daily about stories covered by The Sun and community events across our main social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
  • Engaging in conversations with followers and responding promptly to all questions from our followers to further build a sense of community.
  • Creating ways to grow our social media presence across these channels, including but not limited to developing contests to interest our readers.
  • Exploring the advantages of The Sun expanding its presence to additional social media outlets such as LinkedIn and Google +.
  • Keeping up with changing trends and updated information across our social media channels.
  • Coming up with a strategy for social media metrics, measuring our effectiveness across these channels.
  • Conducting periodic seminars for newspaper staff, updating them on our social media efforts.
  • Developing a plan for how The Sun’s social media efforts fit into its overall communications strategy.
  • Monitoring our competitors’ social media efforts.

The right candidate will possess the following qualifications:

  • A four-year degree in journalism or communications with an emphasis on digital communications preferred.
  • Five years of experience in managing social media campaigns.
  • An ability to multi-task, manage multiple projects at one time and communicate a strategic vision for The Sun’s social media efforts.
  • Excellent written and oral communications skills.

Please submit a resume, cover letter and three references to editor@hollyspringssun.com or mail to The Holly Springs Sun, 202 W. Main St., Holly Springs, NC 27540.

UNC-Chapel Hill dedicates new Genome Sciences Building

Assignment: Liveblog an event. Note: For the purposes of this event, this was faux-liveblogged due to various extenuating circumstances.

Event: 3:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Genome Sciences Building, Bell Tower Drive, UNC campus

4:35 p.m. Research that drives discovery

A view of the back of Kenan Stadium from the third floor balcony of the Genome Sciences Building. (photo by Kim Spurr)

I depart the building tour at this point. On the way out, I take another look at the dedication brochure, which boasts, “Research that drives discovery is a top priority at UNC.” The new Genome Sciences Building complements that vision. What are your thoughts about the importance of funding genomics research?

4:25 p.m. Third floor balcony

We step out onto the third floor balcony for a gorgeous view of Kenan Stadium and the green plaza below. There are tables and chairs on the balcony, where I envision students studying or eating lunch.

4:15 p.m. Classrooms and lab space

Konishi in Facilities Planning continues the tour with a peek into a faculty office and lab space. We pass by the office of biologist Jason Lieb, head of the Carolina Center for Genome Sciences. The building features an abundance of glass, letting in lots of natural light. The dominant indoor color theme is bright green, perhaps playing off the “green building” design?

4:05 p.m. Stunning staircase

A stunning spiral staircase resembling a DNA helix is the centerpiece of the new building, (photo by Dan Sears)

Masaya Konishi in UNC Facilities Planning leads the tour. He shows us the 400-seat classroom on the ground floor. The centerpiece of the building is a stunning spiral staircase that goes from the ground floor to the top.

The outer rim of the staircase is covered in lights. It is meant to resemble a DNA helix and serves as a literal and metaphorical connection from the basement to the rooftop greenhouse. I took a hard hat tour of the building with Konishi when it was under construction.

Check out a story featuring the staircase on the cover and profiles of scientists in the new building in fall 2011 Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine.

4 p.m. Reception and building tours

The crowd disperses. Some folks head for the reception, where fruit, cookies little sandwiches and punch are being served. Others meet at the ground floor café for the building tour. I join the tour, along with former Chancellor James Moeser and his wife, Susan.

3:55 p.m. Ribbon-cutting

Chancellor Thorp and others cut the blue ribbon officially dedicating the new building. Where do they get the giant scissors they use for these events? University photographer Dan Sears snaps the official photos.

3:52 p.m. Everyone can enjoy the building

Dean Gil illustrated how the building will benefit more than just students in the sciences:

  • Nearly 4,000 are taking classes in the Genome Sciences Building this fall in Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Ecology, English, Environmental Studies, Peace/War and Defense, Public Policy, Religious Studies, Romance Languages and Entrepreneurship.
  • The big auditorium was filled 10 days ago with literature-loving faculty, students and members of the general public, when novelist Josephine Humphreys presented the annual Thomas Wolfe Lecture.

3:50 p.m. Strengthening academic programs

Dean Gil said that Biology — one of the most popular majors on this campus — now has a Quantitative Biology track that is attracting students interested in genomics.

3:48 p.m. Shared lab spaces

One of the open, shared lab spaces on the third floor of the new building. (photo by Kim Spurr)

College of Arts and Sciences Dean Karen Gil said the design of the building itself offers unique physical space that fosters collaboration and interaction — from labs and classrooms to conference rooms and the courtyard.

“Many of the laboratories are shared spaces, bringing together investigators from a variety of disciplines,” she said. “Bioinformatics staff are strategically housed in the center of the building, where they are easily accessible for diverse projects.”

3:46 p.m. Once an asphalt parking lot

UNC Board of Trustees chair Wade Hargrove reminds visitors that “we are standing on what was only a short while ago an asphalt parking lot.” He thanks the N.C. General Assembly for their support of the project.

Hargrove said of the building’s 228,000 square feet of space, “I believe that’s bigger than my hometown.” (The crowd laughs in response.) He raves about the expansive green plaza in front of the building.

3:44 p.m. Great classroom space and a café

Chancellor Thorp mentions that he grabs a snack on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the building’s café before heading to the 400-seat lecture hall where he co-teaches a new “super course,” an introduction to entrepreneurship, with entrepreneur-in-residence Buck Goldstein and economics professor John Akin.

I have sat in on that class, and am working on a story on the class that will be featured before the end of the semester on http://college.unc.edu.

3:42 p.m. Commitment to genomics research

Chancellor Thorp recognizes his predecessor, Chancellor James Moeser (sitting on the row in front of me) who 12 years ago announced a commitment to genomics research. “It was a bold vision that included a total public-private commitment of $245 million invested over 10 years,” Thorp said. Construction began in 2006 on the building.

3:40 p.m. Building features

Greenhouse space for plant genomics occupies the top level of the building. (photo by Dan Sears)

What are some of the stats and features of the new building? What is genomics?

  • Seven floors
  • 228,00 square feet of space
  • Units using the building: Carolina Center for Genome Sciences, Center for Bioinformatics, the Program in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, and the departments of Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Statistics
  • 80, 250 and 400-seat lecture halls
  • Five 35-seat classrooms
  • A top floor greenhouse for plant genomics
  • Laboratories for scientists
  • Sustainable building design, registered with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)

3:35 p.m.  ‘Spectacular’ facility

Chancellor Holden Thorp steps to the podium. “This facility is spectacular, located between the science buildings of the College of Arts and Sciences to the north and the health affairs campus to the south. It defines the crossroads between the two,” he said. “This building supports a diverse range of interdisciplinary research. It is home to 45 faculty members and more than 300 students and research staff.”

We are seated on a ground floor plaza overlooking the back of Kenan Football Stadium. But the athletic scandals of the past year seem forgotten, at least for a while, on this day of singing science’s praises.

3:26 p.m. Crowd gathers under a Carolina blue sky

A core high throughput sequencing facility is centrally located on the ground floor of the Genome Sciences Building. (photo by Dan Sears)

Blue and white balloons decorate the podium, and jazz music plays softly as the crowd gathers to celebrate the dedication of the new Genome Sciences Building.

It’s a fitting milestone to mark on University Day, the annual birthday celebration that commemorates the laying of the cornerstone of Old East. The sunny mood is dampened a bit with Chancellor Holden Thorp’s announcement earlier in the day that beloved UNC President emeritus Bill Friday has passed away.

Jan Boxill, philosophy professor and chair of the Faculty Council, takes a seat beside me. She is interested in checking out the building’s features and going on the building tour after the dedication ceremony.

Line-up of dedication speakers:

  • Holden Thorp, Chancellor
  • Wade Hargrove, Chair of UNC Board of Trustees
  • Karen Gil, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences