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Saxophonist Medals in International Competition

Saxophonist and UNC Charlotte alumnus Benjamin Still has won a gold medal in the 2015 Fischoff Competition as a member of the Mirasol Quartet. Founded in 1973, the Fischoff Competition is the largest chamber music competition in the nation and the world. The Mirasol Quartet, one of 49 ensembles to enter this year's Fischoff Competition, is a saxophone quartet from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, where Still is a student pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree. The quartet received the Gold Medal in the Senior Wind Division, with a cash award of $3,500.

Still graduated from UNC Charlotte in 2013 with a B.M.in Music Performance, studying saxophone with Dr. Will Campbell. An inaugural member of the College of Arts + Architecture Honors Program, he graduated summa cum laude, with honors. Other recent awards include national finalist in the 2015 Music Teachers National Association Young Artist Competition and finalist in the 2015 Coleman Chamber Ensemble Competition.

Professor Examines Use of Video Games in Class

At one time, news coverage centered on worries about video games’ negative influence on kids — but these days, they are making headlines because of the ways they are being used to help students learn. An avalanche of research supporting video games’ ability to encourage academic development has driven momentum on this issue.

Michael Thomas, UNC Charlotte educational leadership professor, studies the evolving relationship between education and games. He said the work of fellow researcher Constance Steinkuehler, associate professor of digital media, University of Wisconsin-Madison, sheds light on how video games help kids develop scientific habits of mind.

"Experts do not simply do something expertly. They share information with other experts. They trade ideas and strategies. They create tools to benefit the community of experts. They debate. They even fight. They collectively struggle to refine their skills and knowledge related to their expertise. This is true of gamers and it is true of scientists," Thomas explained.