FROM THE HILL
Innovation Center on Hold Due to Economic Crisis
undergraduate enrollment were up 16 percent from the previous
year — 8 percent
Carolinians and 26
percent from out-of-staters. Applicants
then were asked
whether the slumping
economy weighed in
their decisions to
apply, and only 15
percent indicated it
Director Steve Farmer
said the economy
probably would show
more clearly in the
percentage of those
accepted who enroll
Just as earth finally was about to be turned at Car-
olina North, the first project on the satellite campus
has gone into a holding pattern due to the eco-
The Chapel Hill Town Council was told in
November that Alexandria Real Estate Equities has put
UNC’s Innovation Center and its other projects on
hold indefinitely. The University has contracted with
Alexandria to build a three-floor, 85,000-square-foot
building to house its technology transfer office as well
as laboratories and other facilities related to getting
UNC’s research and private entrepreneurs together.
The contract calls for the San Francisco company to
manage the building, which was expected to open in
Jack Evans, executive director of Carolina North, said,
“The next move is up to them. They’re going to have to
sort out what they can do and on what schedule.” Evans
said any plan to go in a different direction would come
only if Alexandria decided not to pursue the project.
Unlike much of what is planned for parts of the
1,000-acre tract, the Innovation Center can be built
without a zoning change from the town of Chapel Hill
and without closing Horace Williams Airport.
Rhodes continued from page 3
She had her first global experience at the age of 6,
when her family emigrated from Egypt to the U.S.
Saad since has become a naturalized citizen. The oldest
of five children, she grew up learning the art of mediation. At Carolina, she has made connections among
campus community members of different faiths, races
and cultures, in part as outreach coordinator for the
Muslim Students Association.
Saad has interned with government ministries in
Peru and in the blood diseases ward of Cairo University’s Teaching Hospitals. Her article on the latter experience was published in the September 2007 issue of
the policy journal Health Affairs.
Yorke, who is from Boularderie, Nova Scotia, will
seek a master’s degree in immunology at Oxford,
focusing on HIV-related processes. Afterward, she
hopes to earn a medical degree. “As I look to my
future, I see myself as a passionate advocate for people
living with HIV and a catalyst in ending the
HIV/AIDS pandemic,” she said.
Yorke is writing an honors thesis on molecular biology and immunology. She was chosen by the Carolina
Forensics Association to compete in national debate
tournaments. She also was selected for the N.C. Fellows Leadership Program, a four-year leadership development experience.
Her Canadian honors include a Queen Elizabeth II
medal for superior academic performance and outstanding extracurricular and community involvement
and a Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia medal for
most outstanding 11th-grade student. She was one of
12 Canadian Merit Scholarship Foundation recipients
and one of 100 Millennium Excellence Award recipients in Canada.
Arriving in Chapel Hill, Yorke was disappointed to
find no women’s ice hockey team at UNC. She made
the women’s varsity rowing team and played on the
men’s ice hockey team for two years. Then she peti-
tioned UNC sports directors and administrators to start
a women’s ice hockey club, which now is in its second
Yorke’s shots on goal haven’t kept her from volunteering for community service. She periodically serves
breakfast in a local homeless shelter and has tutored
elementary school children. For the past three years,
she volunteered three to four hours each week at the
UNC Hospitals Jaycee Burn Center.
In one of her Morehead-Cain summer experiences,
Yorke volunteered in a Rwandan hospital, teaching
English to workers involved in activities ranging from
surgery to childbirth. She befriended a Rwandan teen
who was HIV-infected, orphaned by parents who had
died of HIV/AIDS and caring for her younger brother
and sister. Yorke spent $12 for a goat for her friend
that would help supply income for the family.
“I was so touched by her response that I organized
11 more goat donations to HIV/AIDS-affected families in Rwanda,” Yorke said. Outside her daily hospital
duties, Yorke interviewed HIV-positive adults and families with malnourished children about their challenges
in receiving care. She presented her findings to hospital
health-care staff and returned to Chapel Hill determined to help solve the riddles of HIV/AIDS.
“I left Rwanda with a commitment to the genocide
survivors, AIDS victims and impoverished children
who had given me a view into their lives,” she said. “I
was bringing back their story and the experiences they
shared with me to UNC.” Yorke said she wished “to
make more people aware of the hardships and situations that other people have to live with in other parts
of the world. It’s nothing like what we could imagine
in Western culture.”
Worldwide, about 85 Rhodes Scholars are selected
annually in 14 jurisdictions. The scholarship funds
tuition, fees and living expenses for two years, plus a
third year at Oxford if needed for the degree desired.
Its value averages about $50,000 per year and varies
according to each student’s course of study.