FIRST YEARS > FAQs Library > UNC's Exchange Email Utility
vertical line divider When you are admitted to the FIRST YEARS certificate, you receive a Personal IDentification number, your PID. You use this to create an identifier - the "onyen," i.e. the Only Name You'll Ever Need at UNC. The onyen is used to log on to Sakai (at and to access all the services available to you as an officially-enrolled UNC student.

You will be creating your onyen with your PID at As a security measure, UNC will be emailing you a reminder, every 3 months, to change your password.

The UNC email address you will be assigned is a combination of your onyen + @ + the UNC email system address, namely This is the email address that Sakai uses, and is the address where you will receive all official UNC notices/emails. 

Outlook at UNCThe mailing utility that you will be using during your stay in FIRST YEARS is the Exchange/Outlook WebApp utility, accessed at It is the HIPPA-compliant utility that all School of Medicine students, faculty and staff must use for all official UNC email. 

Whether using Firefox or Internet Explorer as your browser, you will get all the usual Outlook features. We suggest bookmarking in your browser, for this will be a frequent "stop" for you while in the program. For more information, click here.

Communicating within Sakai
The Forums and Messages (and Announcements) links comprise Sakai's communication center. Messages sent within Sakai go to the recipient's mailbox in Sakai. However, there is an option there, recommended, that the message can also be additionally sent to the recipient's UNC email address (accessed via Exchange/Outlook as described above). Sending them to both places ensures that your "word" gets out.

Important video link: You will need to set Messages to automatically send to the UNC email addresses.
Whether sending messages within Sakai or via the UNC email system, you will find the features similar to those you use with your usual email utility, i.e. composing messages, adding attachments, etc. Note: Using the options under "TO," you can send to all or selected participants.

attaching in Outlook
A quick word on attachments: There may be times when your instructor will ask you to send him/her "file attachments" via e-mail. Such files may be image files, word-processed documents (e.g. essays produced in Word), or other types of documents needed for grading. Once your instructor has received your document file, she/he may grade it by inserting comments within your work, then emailing the corrected document back to you. This email will typically go to your UNC account. 

For more information about communicating in Sakai, see:
  --   Sending Messages in Sakai (and an accompanying video)
  --   Using Sakai's Forums
Bobby WorldWide Approved 508
Alexander Graham Bell Association | UNC-CH Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences

© FIRST YEARS, Last update: August 2012, Maintained by FIRST YEARS Webmaster