Professor will use new UNC Gillings ‘Borrow-a-Bike’ Program during commencement weekend

April 26, 2016

“I’m considering getting myself cloned,” laughed Alice Ammerman, DrPH.

Dr. Alice Ammerman has figured out how to be several places at the same time on Commencement Day.

Dr. Alice Ammerman has figured out how to be several places at the same time during commencement weekend.

Ammerman, professor of nutrition at the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and director of the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, has a dilemma – albeit a delightful one – regarding her schedule for May 7.

Four of Ammerman’s five graduating doctoral students will participate in the 9:30 a.m. hooding ceremony that day at the Smith Center. One of her sons will graduate from medical school in Memorial Hall at 10 a.m. She also will be attending the UNC Gillings commencement at 1 p.m. in Carmichael Arena and the reception following, back at the Gillings School. With any luck, she’ll wake up with enough energy on May 8 to see another son accept his undergraduate degree at 9 a.m. in Kenan Stadium.

After reading in Dean Barbara K. Rimer’s blog about the Gillings School’s new Borrow-a-Bike program, Ammerman knew she’d found a workable solution.

She arranged to hood her nutrition students at the start of the 9:30 a.m. ceremony, and with help from facilities director Brent Wishart, she reserved a Gillings bike that would take her at lightning speed from Smith Center to Memorial Hall. The bike’s basket is even big enough to hold her regalia so it won’t get caught in the spokes.

“What you really need on graduation day is that DeLorean from Back to the Future,” Wishart told Ammerman.

“You’re right about that,” she replied, “but it will be a lot easier to find a parking place for the bike!”

Check back here on May 9 for photos of Ammerman’s time-traveling journey.

POSTSCRIPT: Ammerman arose at 4:30 a.m. on May 7 to prepare breakfast pastries for her houseful of commencement celebrants. A few short hours later, she was on the road, pedaling to multiple ceremonies, proving her fitness, especially on one particularly challenging hill.

Ammerman poses with her sons, both of whom graduated this spring -- one with an undergraduate degree; one from medical school.

Dr. Alice Ammerman (center) poses with her sons, both of whom graduated this spring. Dr. Kaleb Keyserling (left) graduated from medical school; Jonah Keyserling (right) received his undergraduate degree.

Ammerman, in full regalia, leaves home for the 9:30 doctoral hooding of her nutrition students.

Ammerman, in full regalia, leaves home for the 9:30 doctoral hooding of her nutrition students.

Ammerman poses with her doctoral students.

Ammerman poses with her doctoral students at the Dean Smith Center.

Ammerman makes a quick trip back home between events.

She makes a quick trip home between events…

Ammerman arrives at the Gillings School for the post-graduation reception.

… and then arrives at the Gillings School for the post-graduation reception.

On Sunday morning, Ammerman arrived at Kenan Stadium for Jonah's graduation.

On Sunday morning, Ammerman arrived at Kenan Stadium for son Jonah’s graduation.

Everywhere she rode, Ammerman announced her support of the Gillings School's bikeshare program.

Everywhere she rode, Ammerman announced her support of the Gillings School’s bikeshare program.

 


 
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Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu