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ARTS SCIENCES CAROLINA

SPRING

2020

The Frog Family

The Pfennigs dig amphibians ALSO INSIDE: • The Lion of Greenlaw • Sleuths in the Archives • Meet Dean Rhodes

T H E

U N I V E R S I T Y

O F

N O R T H

C A R O L I N A

A T

C H A P E L

H I L L


FROM THE DEAN

Working together

As this magazine goes to press in mid-March, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing Meredith Tunney

a tumultuous turn of events. I have

Making music with students in February,

totally revised the original letter I drafted for this page, written before COVID-19 had made its presence widely known in the United States. Instead, I would like to share with

before “social distancing” became part of

you how our extraordinary faculty

everyone’s vocabulary.

and graduate teaching instructors in the College are using an extended

spring break preparing to teach students using an array of remote instructional technologies. The University’s Center for Faculty Excellence and Information Technology Services staff sprang into action to assist with this unprecedented transition. As I write this, we are still figuring out the short- and long-term repercussions of the coronavirus on our Carolina community. Our ultimate goal is to keep everyone safe and healthy and for our students to remain on track for the timely completion of their degrees. In its 227-year history, Carolina has witnessed a number of events that rocked the world, from world wars to the Spanish flu of 1918. Whatever challenges lie ahead, I am confident that we will rally as Tar Heels have always done. My original letter to you was titled “Working together,” and the title is the only thing that has not changed. Because whatever we do, we will accomplish it together, as many of the stories in this issue of our magazine show. Our committed Carolina community is made up of not only our students, faculty and staff, but also you — our alumni and friends. We couldn’t accomplish all that we do without your support.

Sincerely,

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES | SPRING 2020 | magazine.college.unc.edu

Director of Communications: Geneva Collins Editor: Kim Weaver Spurr ’88, Associate Director of Communications Staff Multimedia Specialist: Kristen Chavez ’13 Editorial Assistant: Lauren Mobley ’22 Designer: Linda Noble Carolina Arts & Sciences is published semi-annually by the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and made possible with the support of private funds. Copyright 2020. | College of Arts & Sciences, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Campus Box 3100, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3100 | 919-962-1165 | college-news@unc.edu

College of Arts & Sciences • • • • • • • •

Terry Rhodes, Dean Jaye Cable, Senior Associate Dean, Natural Sciences Chris Clemens, Senior Associate Dean, Research and Innovation Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, Senior Associate Dean, Social Sciences and Global Programs Elizabeth Engelhardt, Senior Associate Dean, Fine Arts and Humanities Abigail Panter, Senior Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education Robert J. Parker, Jr., Senior Associate Dean, Development, and Executive Director, Arts & Sciences Foundation Kate Henz, Senior Associate Dean, Operations and Strategy

Arts & Sciences Foundation Board of Directors, Spring 2020 • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

William T. Hobbs II ’85, Charlotte, NC, Chair M. Steven Langman ’83, London, UK, Vice Chair Terry Rhodes ’78, Chapel Hill, NC, President Chris Clemens, Chapel Hill, NC, Vice President Robert J. Parker, Jr., Chapel Hill, NC, Executive Director and Secretary Elizabeth Bakanic, Chapel Hill, NC, Treasurer Eileen Pollart Brumback ’82, New York, NY Sunny H. Burrows ’84, Atlanta, GA Bruce W. Carney, Chapel Hill, NC Thomas C. Chubb III ’86, Atlanta, GA Ann Rankin Cowan ’75, Atlanta, GA Andrew Cowin, Greenwich, CT William R. “Rusty” Cumpston ’83, Monte Sereno, CA Eva Smith Davis ’85, San Francisco, CA Joseph W. Dorn ’70, Washington, DC Druscilla French ’71, ’78, Chapel Hill, NC J. Henry Froelich III ’81, MBA ’84, Charlotte, NC Cosby Wiley George ’83, Greenwich, CT John C. Glover ’85, Raleigh, NC Steven H. Kapp ’81, MBA ’90, Philadelphia, PA Leon O. Livingston ’91, Memphis, TN Alexander D. McLean ’92, Memphis, TN Molly Monk Mears ’84, Atlanta, GA John T. Moore ’88, Saint James, NY Andrea Ponti ’85, London, UK John A. Powell ’77, New Orleans, LA William M. Ragland ’82, Atlanta, GA R. Alexander Rankin ’77, Goshen, KY Ashley E. Reid ’93, Greenwich, CT David S. Routh ’82, Chapel Hill, NC Grace Schott ’86, Portola Valley, CA Linda C. Sewell ’69, Raleigh, NC James Lee Sigman ’85, Charlotte, NC Thomas E. Story III ’76, Park City, UT Benjamin J. Sullivan, Jr. ’75, Rye, NY Marree Shore Townsend ’77, Greenwich, CT James A. Wellons ’86, Philadelphia, PA Alexander N. Yong ’90, New York, NY


TABLE OF CONTENTS

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The Frog Family

Every summer, David and Karin

Pfennig conduct fieldwork on

spadefoot toads. In addition to

the graduate students they bring

along to the Arizona desert,

they have a pair of special assistants

— their daughters.

Donn Young

More features:

25

7

The lion of Greenlaw

12

Sleuths in the archives

18

Terry Rhodes is handed the baton

Donn Young

Plus:

A student helping to curb youth

violence in his North Carolina

hometown, a new initiative focuses

on India as an economic

powerhouse, a spring course on

countering antisemitism and three

books that celebrate Southern food.

Departments 20-26

Students, Alumni and Faculty Up Close

Cover Photo

28-35

The Scoop

Research is a family affair for Karin

36-37

Chapter & Verse

and David Pfennig, who often take

their daughters Katrina (sitting) and

Elsa with them on fieldwork trips

to Arizona. (Photo by Megan May)

Stay Connected to the College via web, social media Magazine: magazine.college.unc.edu News: college.unc.edu Social media: @unccollege Dean Terry Rhodes on Twitter: @TerryERhodes

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Megan May

FROG FAM The

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AMILY Frog Family

B Y M E G A N M AY

David and Karin Pfennig have created a home away from home in the Arizona desert. Every summer, the couple conduct fieldwork on spadefoot toads. In addition to the graduate students they bring along, they have a pair of special assistants — their daughters. continued

The Pfennigs study spadefoot toads to understand how organisms adapt to extreme and often unpredictable environments. A plains spadefoot is shown here.

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Courtesy of the Pfennigs

Megan May

s the school year draws to a close, thousands of families across the country flood airports and highways — off to visit relatives, theme parks and waterways in celebration of the start of summer. David and Karin Pfennig and their two daughters, Elsa and Katrina, spend three days crossing the country by car in search of more than a little R&R. They’ll spend five weeks in the desert in pursuit of a unique amphibian. The Pfennigs study evolution. More specifically, the UNC-Chapel Hill biologists research how spadefoot toads’ environment and “It gives us, as behavior influence how they evolve. While other families may be scientists, a lot of soaking up the sun on a crowded experimental control beach or exploring tourist spots, the and understanding Pfennigs are ankle-deep in a muddy of variables in the pond — shoes kicked off and tiny natural populations. nets in hand — just the way they We can then go like it. “It’s really fun,” Karin says. back to the lab and “The girls help with the research conduct experiments and really enjoy it. They come up and know they with their own projects or go out actually reflect what’s and do their own natural history going on in the field.” observations.” — Karin Pfennig While their younger daughter, Elsa, wants a career incorporating her passion for music, Katrina hopes to follow in her parents’ footsteps in spadefoot research. “I feel like we’re the luckiest people on the planet to get to work on this and have it be a family thing,” Karin adds.

Extreme environments

TOP: Biologists David and Karin Pfennig have offices at UNC next to each other. They head up separate research groups but collaborate on projects. BOTTOM: A Mexican spadefoot mates with a plains spadefoot.

For the past 25 years, David and Karin have returned dozens of times to the San Simon Valley in Arizona, where a broad mountain range blends into vast desert plains. Although beautiful, the landscape is too harsh for most organisms. That’s exactly why the Pfennigs are drawn here. “A lot of times in science if you want to study something, you find a really extreme example,” David says. “It allows you to study it more effectively and then you work out from there.” Before explaining their research, David wants to get one thing straight — spadefoot toads are not toads at all. They’re frogs. This clarification is important because people think of toads as land-dwellers and frogs near water. So, how does a frog survive in an ecosystem defined by lack of water? They dig. Spadefoots live underground the majority of their lives to shelter from the dry climate, sweltering sun and extreme

temperature fluctuations. A small notch, or spade, on each hind foot enables the spadefoot toads to bury themselves in the desert landscape. Only summer rains bring them out of hiding as shallow depressions fill with water, signaling the start of a night of breeding and the Pfennigs’ fieldwork. The fact that breeding occurs en masse provides the Pfennigs with insight rarely seen outside the lab. “It gives us, as scientists, a lot of experimental control and understanding of variables in the natural populations,” Karin says. “We can then go back to the lab and conduct experiments and know they actually reflect what’s going on in the field.” The Pfennigs study diversity within three types of spadefoots: the Couch’s spadefoot, the Mexican spadefoot and the plains spadefoot.

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“At the end of Darwin’s life, he said there’s no bigger problem in biology than understanding

support from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.

Amphibian attraction

Water in the desert disappears fast, resulting in the because you need death of thousands of tadpoles that don’t develop quickly enough to have variation for to survive outside the pond. Karin selection to work. focuses on a breeding behavior, We still don’t have a called hybridization, which can complete handle on help them avoid this fate. that.” If the season has been — David P fennig especially dry and the ponds are shallow, a female plains spadefoot will breed with a Mexican spadefoot. Plains spadefoots, found mostly in the Great Plains rather than the desert, take about a month to go from egg to young toad. The Mexican spadefoot, on the other hand, needs only two to three weeks. Mating with other species that are already adapted to the environment might be a way for invasive species to move into new habitats, Karin explains. In this case, the plains spadefoot basically captures genes of the Mexican spadefoot, enabling them to better adapt to the dry climate. Today, at least 10% of all animal species are known to hybridize. Just look at humans — Homo sapiens are the product of several human species. When our ancestors migrated out of Africa about TOP: A Mexican spadefoot toad rests on a pond’s shoreline during the Pfennigs’ research trip. 70,000 years ago, they bred with BOTTOM: Katrina and Elsa Pfennig “teach” baby toads how to swim during a fieldwork expedition other human species in Eurasia, with their parents. particularly Neanderthals and Denisovans. This continued our “The big, overarching theme we try to understand is why genetic evolution, allowed us to adapt to new environments the world is as diverse as it is,” Karin says. “Where does diversity and produced the modern human. In this way, studying come from? How did we get that? And why is it distributed the hybridization among spadefoot toads gives insight into our own way it is?” evolutionary history. They have independent research groups that approach Understanding how and why animals interbreed is also that problem differently. David and his research team focus on important in an age of ever-changing ecosystems caused by how the toads’ environment shapes their development, known climate change, increased land-use and the spread of invasive as plasticity. Karin and her research team study behavior, species. specifically female mate choice. The Pfennigs’ work has received continued Courtesy of the Pfennigs

Courtesy of the Pfennigs

what causes variation,

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disparities between the two groups once they reach adulthood. “This is a little bit surprising, but, on the other hand, is consistent with theory,” he says. “These are just alternative strategies for achieving the same end.” All tadpoles start out with an omnivore body form, but some individuals have a genetic predisposition to eat meat and then produce a distinctive, large-headed carnivore body form. In David’s lab, there are tadpoles that are fed one or two shrimp and are completely transformed in this way in their appearance and behavior. “When you experience different environments, at the mechanistic level different genes are being either turned on or turned off,” ABOVE: A carnivorous Mexican spadefoot tadpole eats a smaller omnivore tadpole. David says. “Some of these interactions we now Carnivorous tadpoles can be two to three times larger than their omnivore counterparts. believe are really important for explaining a lot of things in humans that we formally have not been able to explain.” “We see what happens when there is long-term drought or Take Type 2 diabetes, for example. Some people are more rapid changes to the environment impacting these organisms,” likely to develop the disease due to their genetic makeup, but Karin says. “We can potentially observe ‘evolution in action,’ diet is also a deciding factor. Alzheimer’s disease and cancer which is really striking.” are genetic, but environmental cues — like long-term sleep deprivation and exposure to carcinogens, respectively — can Tremendous tadpoles reinforce these genetic predispositions. While Karin’s work centers on mating, David is interested in the product of that mating: tadpoles. Supportive spouses All organisms have traits that are determined not only by In the 16 years both Pfennigs have been professors at UNC, their genes but also their environment, known in biology as they have had ample opportunity for collaboration between developmental plasticity. their distinct research groups. But they’ve had to tackle unique “People always ask me, ‘Is it nurture or nature?’ It’s both,” challenges most science partners don’t face. David says. “Genes don’t solely determine what traits organisms “It can sometimes turn personal. I can’t get away from my produce. It’s almost always a gene-by-environment interaction.” collaborator if I’m not getting some of my deadlines met,” says While most people may think of an organism’s Karin, laughing. Not only do they share a household, but their environment as its physical surroundings, a biologist’s offices at UNC are also next to each other. definition is much broader. This includes anything that is The two are currently working on a study examining how external to the organism, including diet. the pitch and frequency of a male spadefoot mating call may David places a small, cylindrical glass tube on his desk. predict what kind of tadpoles he will produce. Inside are tadpoles varying wildly in size — some at least twice While over two decades of research exploring behavioral and if not three times as big as others. Surprisingly, these tadpoles environmental processes of spadefoots have given the Pfennigs an are all about the same age and are of the same species. They understanding of evolution, there is still much to be learned. may even be siblings. So what accounts for their differences? “At the end of Darwin’s life, he said there’s no bigger problem The smaller tadpoles are omnivores, while the larger ones are in biology than understanding what causes variation, because carnivores. you need to have variation for selection to work,” David says. “We “As far as I can tell, this is among the most extreme forms still don’t have a complete handle on that.” of morphological plasticity that we know of in any organism,” For now, the Pfennigs will continue chasing down these David says, explaining that for years scientists thought the two answers, one road trip at a time. groups were actually separate species. The carnivorous tadpoles live life in the fast lane, David ➤ Watch an NSF video about the Pfennigs’ research at explains. Their protein-rich diet speeds their development tinyurl.com/se9py4t. Learn more about spadefoots: and allows them to reach metamorphosis and leave the pond www.davidpfenniglab.com/spadefoots. earlier than their smaller counterparts. Those differences slow Megan May is a photographer and writer for Endeavors after that point, however — David’s team hasn’t found dramatic magazine.

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THE LION OF GREENLAW Donn Young

After teaching for 53 years at Carolina and leading study abroad experiences to England since 1973, English and comparative literature professor Christopher Armitage turns the page on his next chapter. BY K I M W E AV E R S P U R R ’ 8 8

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ABOVE: Professor Christopher Armitage taught his Shakespeare class in Greenlaw Hall for the last time in fall 2019. He calls Shakespeare “a supreme master of language” with a flair for telling a good story.

rofessor Christopher Armitage has a lot of interesting memories from his 53 years of teaching at Carolina. But it’s hard to top riding a horse across campus on Oct. 12, 1993, dressed in an 18thcentury costume and meeting storied Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith — all in one day. For many years, passersby were likely to see Armitage riding a folding bike (which fit nicely into the trunk of his Honda) from a parking spot on a residential side street near campus to class. But a horse — well, that was a different story. Proof of this momentous day lies in the photos tacked to his office wall on the fifth floor of Greenlaw Hall, home of the College’s department of English and comparative literature. There Armitage is, dressed as William Richardson Davie, “pressing the flesh” as he describes it, with Dean Smith.

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Armitage was asked to portray UNC founding father Davie at the institution’s bicentennial celebration. Along with Smith, he presented saplings of the Davie Poplar, the beloved tree on McCorkle Place that honors Davie’s legacy, to children representing every county in North Carolina. “I had ridden donkeys when I was a small boy on summer holidays at the beach, but I had not been on a horse in 40 years,” he said, chuckling at the memory. “But fortunately the president of the UNC Equestrian Club whisked me off to a farm in Hillsborough and trained me.” Armitage, who studied at the feet of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien at the University of Oxford, retired last fall after sharing his love of Shakespeare with countless Carolina students. He turned 89 in February. Last summer, in his popular “Shakespeare through

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Performance” Honors Carolina course, students spent about three weeks in London (with classes at UNC’s Winston House) and three weeks at St. Edmund Hall, known affectionately as “Teddy Hall,” the last surviving medieval hall at Oxford and the oldest academic society for the teaching of undergraduates. Creative writing professor Randall Kenan, whose office is two floors below Armitage’s, knows all about the Oxford experience. As an undergraduate student at Carolina, Kenan went on that trip in 1984. He came up with the term, “the lion of Greenlaw” as a tribute to his former professor, now colleague. Kenan said he got his “belly full of theater that summer.” “I’d go to West End plays for next to nothing. I saw Lena Horne, I saw Evita, and I’ll never forget at Stratfordupon-Avon we saw Richard III, one of


“Watching his enthusiasm for and knowledge of literature was, for me, akin to hearing a virtuoso performance on a violin — an experience of total mastery,” Morgan wrote in a tribute to Armitage called “Lionizing the Lion of Greenlaw” that was presented at a fall retirement celebration.

Courtesy of Laine Kenan

Connie Eble

PAYING IT FORWARD

TOP: Armitage, dressed as William R. Davie at UNC’s bicentennial celebration, recreates how Davie came to choose Chapel Hill as the site for the University of North Carolina. BOTTOM: The 1985 Oxford trip led by Armitage; Laine Kenan and Tom Lutz were on that trip. Armitage dubbed them “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.”

the greatest memories of my life,” said Kenan, who also took two Shakespeare courses and a Romantic poetry class with Armitage in Chapel Hill. He also remembers a visit to The Eagle and Child, a pub that Lewis and Tolkien often frequented. “I don’t know if students realize how lucky they are to have studied with someone with such longevity,”

Kenan said. “To hear him read [poet Percy Bysshe] Shelley — that was a revelation.” Kenan’s classmate Whit Morgan (B.A. ’85, M.A.T. ’86) also went on the 1984 trip. He’s been a teacher for more than 30 years at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Va., and credits Armitage as his inspiration for choosing teaching as a career.

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Armitage, who was born in Manchester, England, moved to Canada in 1954. After teaching at two Canadian universities and working as a technical writer with the Royal Canadian Air Force, he received a graduate scholarship to pursue his Ph.D. at Duke University. He took his first post-Ph.D. teaching position at UNC in 1967 and realized early on the value of students studying abroad. He began leading trips to England in 1973. In 2011, he decided to strengthen Carolina’s ties to the University of Oxford even more. In addition to leading his annual study abroad trip, he endowed at Oxford the Christopher Mead Armitage and Pauline Brooks Armitage Scholarship for Visiting Students to support a UNC student studying for a term at St. Edmund Hall. “I took my family inheritance and put my money where my mouth is — in education,” said Armitage, who is also an Honorary St. Edmund Fellow. “People kept saying, ‘Why don’t you buy a condo on the beach? Or a Maserati?’ I have enough trouble looking after my house in Durham, and why would I want a flashy automobile?” Alice Huang ’16 was a recipient of the Armitage scholarship, studying abroad at Oxford during the 2014-2015 school year, then serving as Armitage’s teaching assistant on the Shakespeare trip in summer 2015. Today she is a Schwarzman Scholar at Tsinghua University in Beijing, pursuing a master’s in global affairs. She said Armitage has remained a mentor and given her much invaluable advice. She hopes to pursue a career in international development. continued

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“My time at Oxford was incredible. Not only was I able to delve into economics and mathematics, but I also experienced a vibrant student culture and made lasting friendships,” she said. “I will forever remember watching Twelfth Night in the gardens of St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden.”

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Courtesy of Laine Kenan

Armitage’s study abroad trips proved so popular that children of his former students went on the expeditions, creating a family legacy of studying Shakespeare through performance. Students saw about 10 plays, wrote reviews and discussed how the text was adapted to the stage. Laine Kenan ’87 remembers Armitage spilling “lots of editor ink” on his assignments. Armitage had very high expectations of his students. Laine also remembers his quick wit; Armitage once said to a student who didn’t put forth his best effort: “My friend, you appear to be an alchemist because you make other students in the class to be gold.” Laine went on the Oxford study abroad trip in 1985; Armitage dubbed he and his good friend Tom Lutz “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern.” “I’m pretty sure it wasn’t entirely a compliment but offered in good humor,” Laine said. In 2018, Laine and Lutz encouraged their daughters, Claire and Charlotte, respectively — both now students at UNC-Chapel Hill — to go on the trip. And they went back to Oxford to spend time with their daughters. Claire said the experience pushed her out of her academic comfort zone, but she loved it so much she agreed to be Armitage’s student assistant on the summer 2019 trip. “With the world as your classroom, we also had the opportunity to visit museums and experience cultural elements that can inform your education,” she said. “It’s important to have a global perspective, and study abroad can really fuel that.” Laura Dover ’92 credits Armitage

Courtesy of Oxford University

FAMILY TRADITIONS

TOP: Armitage with the 2019 study abroad group at St. Edmund Hall. BOTTOM: From left to right, fathers and daughters who studied at Oxford with Armitage (center): Tom Lutz ’87, Charlotte Lutz ’21, Laine Kenan ’87 and Claire Kenan ’21 at a recent celebration announcing the Christopher Armitage Student Travel Scholarship.

with instilling in her a lifelong love of literature; she went on to pursue a master’s in English literature from Villanova University. She experienced the Shakespeare trip in 1992 and calls Armitage “the epitome of a scholar, the quintessential Oxford academic and an asset to UNC students over multiple generations.” Her favorite memories include “attending Shakespearean plays in

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Oxford courtyards, patronizing the kabob truck in our pajamas at midnight, daily visits to Queen’s Lane Coffee House, learning to play cricket, hanging out at the buttery at Teddy Hall and taking trips to London and Stratford.” In 2017, she encouraged her daughter, Ella Doran ’19, to go on the trip. Doran said Armitage made sure classes were lively and peppered with


Dan Sears

Courtesy of Laine Kenan

LEFT: Armitage enjoyed playing tennis with students like Laine Kenan. Armitage said: “Kenan regularly hustled me to defeat on the tennis court.” RIGHT: Armitage was known for the folding bike he rode regularly across campus. It fit neatly into the trunk of his Honda.

talk of current events. “He’s been teaching this for so long and knows the material so well, but he wasn’t afraid of trying new things,” Doran said. “And because it was a small class of around 20 students, he would take note of people who were not participating as much and bring them into the conversation.” Her mother came to visit her that summer in Oxford, sitting in on a class, attending a performance and paying a nostalgic visit to Queen’s Lane Coffee House, established in 1654. “It’s still there and exactly the same,” Dover said.

INFLUENCING THE FUTURE Armitage has won a slew of the University’s top teaching honors, including the Tanner and Board of

Governors awards, both for excellence in undergraduate teaching. He twice held the Bowman and Gordon Gray chair, also given for inspirational teaching of undergraduates. He was invited to give the University Day address in 2005. This semester, as he cleans out his office, he’ll pack up those framed certificates. But he’ll keep his trademark sense of humor, which was once characterized in a campus publication as someone who takes “teaching seriously not solemnly.” He stays in touch with many former students and recently received some poems set to music from a 1974 graduate. Some of those alumni have come together to create the Christopher Armitage Student Travel Scholarship to honor their former mentor and

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professor and to support future students participating in the Honors Carolina program in London and Oxford. In retirement, Armitage plans to work on a volume of his own poetry, along with some autobiographical sketches. (“Like what it was like to be bombed by the Luftwaffe [during World War II] when I was a kid!”) He’ll visit his three sons and four grandchildren, who are scattered throughout the United States. In offering parting advice for junior faculty, Armitage said simply: “Be patient. Try to diversify.” “I’ve taught over 20 different courses in this department, from freshman remedial composition to graduate seminars,” he said. “As a teacher, you’re not going to make a lot of money, but you are influencing the future.”

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BY K I M WE AVE R S P U R R ’ 8 8

PHOTOS BY DONN YOUNG

IN THE ARCHIVES Fifteen students in historian James Leloudis’ Honors undergraduate research seminar spent last semester in the University Archives, probing letters, financial ledgers and other records, to understand how the institution survived financially, in part, from the sale of enslaved people.

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hen the General Assembly chartered the University of North Carolina in 1789, it made no direct appropriation to support it. Instead, lawmakers gave the Board of Trustees the right to claim proceeds from the sale of escheats — property of people who died without heirs. To turn escheats — which sometimes included enslaved people — into cash, trustees appointed attorneys across the state to act as their agents in arranging sales. Between 1790 and 1840, escheats accounted for 69% of the University’s income, said James Leloudis, history professor and Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina. Other sources included tuition and monetary gifts. Fifteen students in “Slavery and the University,” an Honors course taught by Leloudis and history doctoral candidate Laurie Medford, spent hours in the University Archives in Wilson Library as they followed a trail of disparate documents to weave together stories of enslaved people’s lives and how the University benefited from escheated property. Philanthropic support from alumnus Gordon Golding helped to support Medford’s position. [See sidebar, page 17.] This second iteration of the class was part of the College of Arts & Sciences’ Reckoning: Race, Memory and Reimagining the Public University shared learning initiative in fall 2019. Taking a deep dive into one aspect of UNC’s ties to slavery was both a practical and a pedagogical strategy: it allowed students working together in teams to hone in on a specific topic and produce high-quality scholarship. They created research posters of individual case studies. The unique financial arrangement of escheats illustrates a larger point that Leloudis insists many people misunderstand — the degree to which the institution of slavery shaped not only the economic life of North Carolina and the South — but also the nation. Leloudis shared a quote from National Book Awardwinning author, journalist and activist Ta-Nehisi Coates, who said, “We talk about enslavement as though it were a bump in the road, and I tell people it’s the road, the actual road.” “In 1860, the value of enslaved people throughout the South was greater than the combined value of every railroad, bank and industrial enterprise in the United States,” said Leloudis. “So even in places that did not have slavery, slavery built the economy. “I think you could apply that to the University. If you imagine slavery as just a ‘bump’ in our history, that is a fundamental misunderstanding.”

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CASE 1: Names Unknown — 1841 In 1841, through escheats, the University of North Carolina came into possession of a number of slaves including a “decrepid [sic] and infirm” old man who was unlikely to attract a buyer. What was the University to do with him? By state law, trustees were required either to care for him or to sell him. New Bern attorney James W. Bryan (class of 1824), an agent of the University, wrote to Board of Trustees treasurer Charles Manly (class of 1814) for advice. Manly suggested a familiar sales trick: Lump the “old trumpery” in with a younger slave and sell the two of them together. The fate of the man remains unknown, as the archival trail goes cold, but his life lay in the hands of the University. TEAMWORK, TIME AND TENACITY

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: • Historian James Leloudis addresses students before they break into teams in the “Slavery and the University” class. • Betseat Tadiwos (seated) and Olivia Benton compare notes. • Laurie Medford (left) and Lucy Russell discuss a case. • Students faced the challenge of deciphering cursive handwriting and legalese. • An exhibit poster illustrates a case study. • Students pored over letters and financial documents in Wilson Library.

Lucy Russell, a senior public policy major, worked on the unknown 1841 case with her team. Every time they stepped into the archives reading room, Russell said, “We had to put on our 19th-century hat and leave our devices behind.” Students had to decipher cursive handwriting and decode unfamiliar colloquial, legal and financial terms. Medford said for many students it was like learning another language. Sometimes that involved doing keyword searches in legal dictionaries and working painstakingly through 19th-century documents that were 15 pages long. Names were often spelled in multiple ways across documents. For Russell’s team, that also meant a field trip to the UNC School of Law library. “In the letter, the writer referenced a legal code from the 1830s, and he cited the exact page number in the general statutes. So we made an appointment with one of the law school librarians and she helped us navigate antique legal codes,” Russell said. As it turned out, devices did come in handy — students often took photos of documents and used mobile apps such as CamScanner and Evernote to keep track of findings; they transcribed letters using their laptops. Alexandra Tamvakis, a sophomore history and journalism major, recalled something Leloudis told the students early on in their detective work: “He compared archival research to doing a puzzle. Half of the pieces are missing and someone threw away the box top, and now you have to put the puzzle together and figure out the picture it makes. That’s a pretty good description of the challenges we faced.” For one of her team’s cases, when the trail went cold, Tamvakis visited the State Archives in Raleigh to extend the research. “I got to be on a friendly basis with the archivists there, and because of my experience at UNC I didn’t feel completely out of my depth,” she said. “Certain records were easier to find in the state archives — for example, a copy of a will we were looking for.”

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CASE 2: A Family Asunder — New Bern, 1839 An older enslaved man who was later emancipated purchased his daughter and a grandchild, and they lived in his house as slaves until his death. Freeing them would have required posting two $1,000 bonds — a total equivalent to more than $58,000 today. In 1839, New Bern attorney Matthias Manly (class of 1824) wrote to his brother Charles, University treasurer, and asked about the daughter and grandchild who he believed should be escheated to the University. Charles gave a terse reply on the back of his brother’s letter: “Take possession and sell for cash.” No record of the sale survives, but the University stood to gain financially from a family torn asunder. A SOLEMN TOPIC, A PERSONAL JOURNEY For students, sometimes the weight of what they were uncovering was tough to process. Marilyn Boutté, a sophomore public policy major, said that’s where the small teams really helped. “We’d usually spend the last 30 minutes of class just talking through things,” she said. “It’s easy when we talk about slavery to talk about it institutionally and not as though it was about individual people. The language can sometimes be so cavalier.” Boutté said Leloudis took students on a walking tour of campus on the first day of class, where they touched the bricks of buildings constructed by enslaved people. Leloudis calls it “traces of slavery.” “The point was to help them recognize things that may otherwise be invisible. As we walk around the historic center of campus, there are traces of the institution of slavery everywhere you look,” Leloudis said. “These things we’re talking about become real when you see them in physical form.” Russell is writing an Honors thesis about how slavery is being taught in North Carolina public schools. For her, the class was also part of her personal journey. Her great-great-great grandfather, Edward Porter Alexander, was a brigadier general in the Confederate Army, serving alongside Robert E. Lee. His family papers, around 3,000 items, are in the Southern Historical Collection in Wilson Library. Before she came to UNC, Russell and her mom and great-aunt had spent time going through the papers — sitting in the same reading room where Leloudis’ class would later be held. “My maternal ancestors owned many enslaved people on their plantation in Georgia. The magnitude of my family’s involvement is unsettling,” she said. “I can’t control my heritage, but I can control how we as a family are grappling with that truthful history.”

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TOP: Leloudis said he was impressed with his students’ original research and their ability to condense complicated material into 500-word engaging stories. BOTTOM: Marilyn Boutté (flipping through folders) works with teammate Emma Miller. Boutté said: “We have to understand the history in order to move forward.”

CASE 3: Anthony, Nelson, Jack, Betsy, Lewis and Tom — 1838-1840 Dorothy Mitchell’s personal possessions: one bed and furniture; two Dutch ovens; 27 lbs. of lard; four chickens; “six Negroes by the names of Anthony, Nelson, Jack, Betsy, Lewis and Tom.” When Mitchell, a resident of Northampton County, died in 1838, the enslaved people in her possession escheated to the University. Family petitioners challenged the claim. In March 1840, agent Bartholomew F. Moore (class of 1820) ended up closing the Mitchell case by selling each of the six enslaved people to multiple buyers — suggesting they may have been eventually resold to slave traders. The sales netted the University $3,631.19 (roughly $107,000 today).

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TRUTH AND HEALING Leloudis was impressed with the patience, resilience and meticulous nature of the students’ work. They were asked to distill complex and convoluted cases into 500-word engaging stories. When you’re reading about the enslaved people on Dorothy Mitchell’s estate, or, as in another case, about how Violet and her five children were sold, it can be hard, Leloudis said. “The tragic humanity of the stories stops you in your tracks.” Tamvakis admitted it was “emotionally exhausting” but important work, and that she felt lucky to have had the opportunity. “This reaffirmed my passion for making history accessible,” Tamvakis said. She is taking an introduction to public history course this semester. Leloudis believes there’s also healing in the truth-telling.

ABOVE: Emma Mashburn and her classmates had to decode unfamiliar colloquial, legal and financial terms in 19th-century documents.

PULLING BACK THE VEIL G

ordon Golding believes that immersing undergraduate students in the archives allows them “to feel the dusty papers, to get a physical sense of history,” as it becomes real to them. An Honors research fund Gordon Golding established by Golding helped to support history professor James Leloudis’ “Slavery and the University” course. “They experience that these things we read about actually occurred and had an impact on human beings much like ourselves, despite differences in time, space and backgrounds,” said Golding, who received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in history from Carolina in 1974 and 1977, respectively, and a Ph.D. from Sorbonne University. He now lives in Paris. Golding grew up in Charlotte, but through family research found out about his ancestral ties to Reuben Davis Golding, a highly successfully businessman and slave owner in Stokes County. This led him to conduct extensive research on people held in bondage in Stokes County. He has shared those findings with African American genealogical sites. “The more I delved into my family history, the more I felt like I wanted to do something to pull back the veil that people have thrown over slavery, to show it in all its complexity and its pervasiveness, but also to reveal the often-denied humanity of enslaved people,” Golding said. There are extensive UNC archives just waiting to be explored that can tell this story, he added. “Encouraging scholarship and a fuller, richer version of history has been my over-arching goal, which I think is well embodied in Jim’s project.” — By Kim Weaver Spurr ’88

“It’s the kind of effect that honesty has,” he said. “What students began to care about a great deal with the stories was the humanity of the people — calling their names.” Leloudis is co-chairing the chancellor’s new Commission on History, Race and a Way Forward with Patricia Parker, associate professor and chair of the department of communication. “There’s a lot of work to do,” he said. “If we want to be serious about healing and repair, we have to begin with honesty. And I think at the end of the day, to the degree that we can do that, it actually speaks to the strength of the institution.” Boutté said walking around campus feels different to her now, but she wants to understand more about the history of the University where she will be spending so much time. “If we really want to reckon with the past, we have to understand the history in order to move forward and to determine what moving forward might look like,” she said.

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FROM LEFT: • Rhodes, who had served as interim dean since February 2019, became dean of the College of Arts & Sciences on March 1 (photo: Kristen Chavez). • While a sophomore at Carolina, Rhodes performed in summer stock in Cape Cod, Mass. She portrayed Ariana in Rodgers and Hart’s The Boys from Syracuse at the College Light Opera Company (image courtesy of Terry Rhodes). • Promotional poster for Rhodes’ 1995 CD To Sun, To Feast & To Converse (image courtesy of Terry Rhodes).

Terry Rhodes is BRAVA! TO THE NEW DEAN OF THE COLLEGE OF Harmony. Ensemble. In concert. These are musical terms readily understood by Terry Rhodes, soprano and music scholar. But they also have meaning for her as the new dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. Those who have worked with her praise her highly collaborative nature, her ability to bring people together, her gift for listening closely and her capacity to see the big picture as she works through the matter at hand. “I could tell she was a strong, positive, collaborative leader and truly passionate about the fine arts and humanities — not just the fine arts and humanities, but the broader liberal arts mission of the College,” said Karen Gil, dean of the College from 2009 to 2015, of why she chose Rhodes to serve as her senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in 2012. “Because she has been at Carolina a long time, she knows the campus, she knows the people, she knows our alumni. You can tell that everything she does has Carolina’s best interests at heart.” Rhodes also has insights from what

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it’s like to be a Carolina student today — her daughter was a Kenan Music Scholar who graduated in 2019. “I could tell she was a strong, positive, collaborative leader and truly passionate about the fine arts and humanities — not just the fine arts and humanities, but the broader liberal arts mission of the College.”

— FORMER DEAN K AREN GIL

When Dean Kevin Guskiewicz, Karen Gil’s successor, was named interim chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill in early 2019, he and Provost Bob Blouin appointed Rhodes interim dean of the College. A year later, both Guskiewicz and Rhodes received permanent appointments and have removed the “interim” from their titles. “Terry has been an inspiring and strategic leader in the College for many years and has effectively led as interim dean this past year,” Guskiewicz said. “She has long been a champion for diversity, interdisciplinary collaborations and bridging silos. Terry is truly ‘a Tar

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Heel born and bred,’ with a deep abiding love for Carolina, and she will bring continued success to the College.” The Carolina of Rhodes’ college years had no knowledge of Michael Jordan — he would arrive three years after she graduated in 1978. The libraries still had card catalogues. Students registered for courses by standing in line in Woolen Gym. The men’s basketball team played in Carmichael Arena and PlayMakers Repertory Company was the new kid on campus. Rhodes, a voice and piano major, practiced and performed in an un-air-conditioned Hill Hall. After graduating with a bachelor of music, she went on to earn master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Rochester’s acclaimed Eastman School of Music. Shortly thereafter, in 1987, she joined UNC’s music faculty. In 1993, a Fulbright artist-inresidence award sent her to Macedonia, where she taught classes and performed throughout the Balkans and Eastern Europe. Since then, she has performed across the United States and in more


FROM LEFT: • Rhodes, shown in 2012 directing an opera workshop, was the director of UNC Opera from 1987 to 2012. She became chair of the music department in 2009 and senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in 2012 (photo: Donn Young). • Rhodes served as the University’s faculty marshal from 2015 to 2019 (photo: UNC-Chapel Hill). • Rhodes greets students lined up for their sip from the Old Well on the first day of classes in fall 2019 (photo: Johnny Andrews).

handed the baton B Y

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ARTS & SCIENCES, A 1978 ALUMNA WHO HAS SPENT MOST OF HER ACADEMIC CAREER AT CAROLINA. than 20 countries throughout Europe and Central and South America. Her Dean’s Office duties have not prevented her from returning to Spoleto, Italy, most summers since 2003 to teach voice, direct choral groups and opera scenes, and perform as a soloist. “Terry has been an inspiring and strategic leader in the College for many years and has effectively led as interim dean this past year. She has long been a champion for diversity, interdisciplinary collaborations and bridging silos. Terry is truly ‘a Tar Heel born and bred,’ with a deep abiding love for Carolina, and she will bring continued success to the College.” — CHANCE LLOR KE VIN G USKIE WICZ

Rhodes is the first dean of the College to come from a fine arts discipline, and throughout her career she has been a fierce advocate for the arts and humanities as an essential component of a well-rounded Carolina education. In 2016, as senior associate dean, she chaired the yearlong Carolina’s Human

Heart: Living the Arts and Humanities initiative. Two years leader, she became the principal investigator of a four-year $1.5 million Mellon Foundation grant, Humanities for the Public Good. In her year as interim dean, she oversaw several new initiatives, including: • Reckoning: Race, Memory and Reimagining the Public University, a shared learning experience in fall 2019 that supported student inquiry and dialogue on issues of heritage, race and post-conflict legacies. • Countering Hate: Overcoming Fear of Differences, programming and courses that enable the University community to explore antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of intolerance and prejudice. • Southern Futures, an initiative designed to make Carolina the place to which the nation and world turn to understand and imagine the South’s future. • UNC Program for Public Discourse, an effort to build the University’s capacity for civil debate,

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dialogue, discussion and conversation. Rhodes has also proved to be an effective fundraiser. During her year as interim dean, the College raised more than $122 million in For All Kind: The Campaign for Carolina, including a $25 million bequest for graduate student support. One of her major priorities in the coming years will be to implement IDEAs in Action, the University’s new curriculum. It goes into effect in fall 2021, with core concepts being pilottested now. Faculty diversity is another major priority, and one for which Rhodes has long been active. She received a University Diversity Award in 2011. “I’m deeply honored to be following in Kevin’s footsteps as dean,” said Rhodes. “The College is where students come to get an arts and sciences education that is both broad and deep. Our faculty are world-class, our staff unrivaled in their dedication to this place. The College may be Carolina’s oldest school, but we are focused firmly on the future and all that we can accomplish by working together.”

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shot; it was really disheartening,” he said. Those challenges led Suggs to start a nonprofit, Kinston Teens, as a platform for young people to get involved in community service. Teens from middle school to college attend city council meetings, plan service projects, participate in mentoring activities and volunteer throughout the city. Suggs and his friends often travel to Kinston on weekends to stay involved with the organization. Since its creation in 2014, the organization has helped more than 3,000 youth participants get involved in the community. That first • “My primary mission is to make sure that the voices of entrepreneurial venture students are represented,” says Chris Suggs. would open the door to many other opportunities for the junior religious studies and political science major to continue to serve the state and the Carolina community. Service is the thread that runs In 2018, Suggs started Youth through Chris Suggs’ endeavors, Impact Strategies, a consulting firm from founding an organization that specializes in assisting nonprofits, to help teens in his hometown businesses, government agencies and to serving as president of the political campaigns to meaningfully Black Student Movement at engage young people in leadership, UNC-Chapel Hill. programming and communication. BY LAUREN MOBLEY ’22 Suggs is in his second term on the Chris Suggs was just 14 when Governor’s Crime Commission and is he started an organization to the youngest person to serve in that help curb youth violence in capacity. With other leaders across his North Carolina hometown the state, he advises the governor and of Kinston. secretary of public safety on criminal Suggs had experienced firsthand the justice and law enforcement policies. gun and gang violence among teens and Through his experiences serving wanted to do something to help the city on that board, Suggs has learned about he cares about so much. the complicated nature of government “People I knew from the community operations. were either shooting someone or getting “I realized that in order for us to

Leader, advocate, entrepreneur

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really make change in our community and in the state, it takes a partnership between our government officials and community members,” he said. Suggs also serves on the advisory board for the Task Force on Safer Schools through the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. Over the past five years, he has worked with others to develop Say Something, a school safety app where students can anonymously report tips to school administration and law enforcement officials about suspicious activity on campus. The task force is hoping to launch the app in August. “My primary mission is to make sure that the voices of students are represented when it comes to developing policies and solutions to keep our schools safer,” Suggs said. Suggs also knew he wanted to make a difference at Carolina. He serves as president of the Black Student Movement, one of the largest cultural organizations on campus. The organization’s welcoming alumni and student network was among the deciding factors in Suggs’ decision to attend UNCChapel Hill. Suggs said the Black Student Movement has given him a sense of belonging on campus. “Being president of BSM has been like a full-time job, but I love it,” he said. “It has been an organization that has aligned a lot with the work I do with kids and teens back home in Kinston.” Suggs, who was also recently elected senior class president, said he is able to manage all of his commitments because he truly values what he does. “In some capacity, all of my different responsibilities and obligations are related and that just makes it so much easier,” Suggs said. “I have such a strong passion for serving my community, helping other people and being an advocate. “It doesn’t feel like work. It just feels like I’m doing the right thing because I know this is what I want to do in life.”


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Giving voice to the marginalized A graduate student is using digital humanities tools to examine musical recordings from prisons in the American South to bring the true stories of the recordings to light.

Emily Hynes is examining musical recordings made in prisons in the American South before World War II and is creating digital maps that she hopes more accurately capture the stories of the inmates and their music. Hynes came to Carolina because of the progressive and rigorous musicology program and the opportunity to be a member of The Graduate School’s Royster Society of Fellows. “The fellowship has offered me unique research and networking opportunities,” she said. Last year, one such research opportunity came her way through the James W. Pruett Summer Research Fellowship awarded through the music department. Hynes conducted research at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center, which includes the field recordings and books of John Lomax, a pioneering musicologist and folklorist. Like other folklorists of his generation, Lomax traveled the country collecting songs from prison inmates. Lomax would visit prisons across the South, gather the inmates together and record them. As Hynes recounted, “some of the songs were folk songs, some of them were slave songs and some of them were Appalachian songs that were appropriated into the slave culture.” Hynes is now working to create digital maps of these recordings. Musicologists use geographical maps in combination with digital humanities tools to convey the movement of music and musicians as well as to contextualize music history within broader social,

Donn Young

BY CATHERINE PARK ZACHARY ’10

• Emily Hynes, in Hill Hall’s Beat Making Lab, is researching the prison recordings made by pioneering folklorist John Lomax. She plans to research women’s prison music next.

cultural and political history. Mapping one’s research findings in an ethical way, however, means taking into consideration such characteristics as the power dynamics at play during the time of the initial recordings. “The title and content of the maps needs to highlight the prisoners' names and any information we have on them, rather than putting it all under the umbrella of ‘Lomax's Recordings’ and only showing what he thought was relevant to know about them,” Hynes explained. Hynes’ research turned up conflicting representations of songs and conversations in Lomax’s notes. In one instance, when she listened to the recording to try to understand a particular contradiction, she found that Lomax had embellished the story and dialect of a prisoner and even called him a racially insensitive name. “Now the project has really become me wanting to look at these recordings and the way they were notated and published, and finding places where there are discrepancies,” Hynes said, “and in some cases, discrepancies that show instances of racism or sexism.” After finishing her master’s thesis this

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spring, she will begin work on her Ph.D. and has decided to focus on women’s prison music because so little scholarship exists on the topic. This past summer she was surprised to find in the Library of Congress nearly 70 women’s prison music recordings from four Southern women’s prisons. It strengthened her resolve to bring these neglected stories to light. Hynes grew up in rural Minnesota, which may sound far removed from the songs of the South that she studies, but she said she finds it easy to discuss the country and folk melodies with her family. The fact that many of Hynes’ older family members grew up with these songs speaks to the pervasiveness of folklorists’ canonization of folk song in the 20th century. Hynes hopes that her research will touch real people’s lives and extend beyond the academy. “I want people to be able to go to a website, look at the maps, listen to all of these different recordings and see if there's a connection there,” she said. “I think that the subjects of musicological study don't have to be people who were necessarily famous — these people still contributed to history.”

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• Mike Egan, standing in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, said Carolina nurtured his lifelong love of history.

Legal Falcon

Mike Egan has taken his history and law background into the sports arena. He oversaw construction of the MercedesBenz Stadium in Atlanta, host of the 2019 Super Bowl. BY PAMELA BABCOCK

When Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank asked general counsel Mike Egan (history ’78) to oversee construction of the $1.6 billion MercedesBenz Stadium (home of the NFL Atlanta Falcons and MLS Atlanta United), Egan was flummoxed. His background was in mergers and acquisitions. He had never overseen a major home remodeling project, much less building a 71,000-seat sports stadium (expandable to 75,000). “I said, ‘Arthur, I don’t really know anything about construction,’” Egan recalled. Blank’s response? “That’s OK. I just need someone to ask hard questions and to get things done.” Supervising the building of the

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stadium was “a stressful learning experience” full of last-minute decisions and all-nighters, Egan said, adding, “I mean that in the best kind of way.” The stadium hosted the Super Bowl in 2019. Egan considers the first day fans streamed into the building in August 2017 a highlight of his career. “When I saw the looks of awe and delight on their faces, it was just an incredible moment,” said Egan, senior vice president and general counsel for AMB Group, the holding company for Blank’s business interests. In addition to the Falcons and the stadium, AMB owns pro soccer team Atlanta United and PGA Tour Superstores, the largest golf retailer in the country. An Atlanta native and one of six children, Egan grew up wanting to be in law like his late father, a prominent Atlanta attorney who served as associate attorney general in the U.S. Justice Department during the Carter administration. Egan had a passion for European history because of stories shared by his maternal grandfather, a fighter pilot in the Army Air Corps in World War I,

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and his father, who was a U.S. Army first lieutenant in the Pacific theater in World War II and Korea. Armed with a Morehead Scholarship, Egan headed to Carolina to major in history. “It was really a very intellectually exciting time for me,” recalled Egan, a Phi Beta Kappa graduate. After college, Egan spent a year on Capitol Hill as a staffer for the Senate Judiciary Committee before graduating cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1982. After returning to Atlanta, he spent more than 30 years with the firm King & Spalding, where he led its mergers and acquisitions practice. A highlight came in 1989 when a temporary assignment with Coca-Cola required Egan and his wife, Mindy, and three small children to move to Düsseldorf, Germany. Three months later, the Berlin Wall came down. Armed with hammers and chisels, the couple traveled to Berlin and chopped off pieces of the wall, which are now on display in their den. In 2002, Egan began serving as outside counsel representing Blank and played a key role in negotiations for Blank’s acquisition of the Falcons and Atlanta United. In 2015, Egan went to work for Blank full time. Egan has maintained strong ties to his alma mater, having served on the Honors Carolina advisory board for more than a decade and on the UNC General Alumni Association board before that. Two of his four children went to Carolina — Katie (English/creative writing ’08) and Chas (business ’17). “I loved UNC and still love it. It just was a very special time in my life,” Egan said. He has also continued his lifelong passion for history. His latest read? Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford. Egan said he is a big believer in an arts and sciences education and is grateful for the lifelong skills he gained “in my ability to write, to think and to see different viewpoints. It has been a critical foundation for any success I’ve had.”


• Jonathan Miller watches a rehearsal at Rockefeller Memorial Chapel and, right, directs the combined Sounds Good! and Good Memories choirs at Fourth Presbyterian Church’s Buchanan Chapel in Chicago.

Singing to heal and connect

Carolina alumnus founds Chicago-area choirs for adults with early-stage memory loss. BY LAURA J. TOLER ’76

Jonathan Miller (M.A., Ph.D, musicology ’91) is positive that his choirs for older adults are helping those with early dementia. “There are indications that singing in a choir can slow cognitive decline and sometimes even improve cognitive function in people with memory loss,” said Miller, founder with his wife, the Rev. Sandy Siegel Miller, of Sounds Good! Choir in his native Chicago. Sounds Good! comprises more than 500 singers in 11 choirs around the Chicago area. Nine choirs are simply for adults ages 55 and older, but two, called Good Memories, are for people with early-stage memory loss and their care partners. Volunteers are interspersed among the choral members, helping singers stay on the right page and performing similar tasks. Miller’s choirs meet for two 15week sessions. Each session wraps up with a free public concert in the singers’

musicology program on a Chicago scholar’s recommendation. “Chapel Hill had a great reputation,” he said. “The faculty were very, very strong.” The College of Arts & Sciences awarded Miller a one-year Kenan Fellowship of full tuition plus $8,000, a godsend given that, as a non-music major as an undergrad, he needed serious catching up. As a graduate student, Miller taught music appreciation to non-majors and sang in choirs. A treasured Carolina memory is when a British early-music specialist was brought in to teach Collegium choir members how to sing in Pythagorean tuning. “You can’t do that kind of thing everywhere,” Miller said. After studying in Chapel Hill from 1986 “It’s like loading a 747 to get to 1991, Miller returned to Chicago and, everybody into place, but it’s magnificent uncertain what to do, began selling ads for and fun,” Miller said. “It’s this huge wall of a computer magazine. sound, which for me as a conductor is a “I used the first couple of years of total blast.” my extra income to bankroll Chicago a It’s fun for participants, too. Several cappella,” an ensemble of professional choirs have coffee and snacks before singers from which he will retire in June as and after rehearsals to foster friendships. Anyone may join. The oldest member is 93. artistic director after 27 years. Miller went on to work in music Miller cites a study that he said publishing for awhile, then started Sounds demonstrates that “isolation is as bad for Good! in early 2016. Soon a friend invited you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. It’s him to Minneapolis to see a choir for hard to be isolated when you’re singing in older adults with memory loss, and Good a choir.” Memories was born two years later. In the early 2000s, the National The Millers’ program has been covered Endowment for the Arts and the National by NBC Nightly News, The Washington Institutes of Health funded a multiyear Post and Comcast in Chicago. study of creativity in older people. “After billions of dollars over numerous “People singing in choirs compared years, the drug companies haven’t been with the general public had fewer doctor able to come up with anything reliable for visits, fewer falls, were less reliant on medication, were more active … and had a treating dementia, but social interventions have been having an impact,” Miller said. better outlook on life,” Miller said. “We are stretching older adults to do Miller began singing in fifth grade things musically that they didn’t think they in the Chicago Children’s Choir and continued in choirs while majoring in math could do, and there’s great joy and power in that.” at the University of Chicago. Eventually, ➤ For more on Sounds Good!, visit Miller knew music was his true calling. He applied to Carolina’s graduate soundsgoodchoir.org. neighborhood. All choirs learn the same music, so they can also participate in a mammoth free concert at Fourth Presbyterian Church on the Magnificent Mile.

Kelsey Cox

Jennifer Girard

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• Anusha Chari leads the new Modern Indian Studies Initiative, which will focus on India’s role as an economic powerhouse and a leader in innovation and technology.

India rising

An international economist is the director of a new initiative that will advance knowledge and understanding of India’s emergence as an economic powerhouse. BY MARY LIDE PARKER ’10

Imagine this for your workday: fly from RDU to Newark, then board a plane to Mumbai, India. Attend a conference, give two presentations and then return to the airport. Fly back across the world to North Carolina. Ten–and-a-half time zones and 16,000 miles. Welcome to a day in the life of global finance expert and UNC-Chapel Hill professor Anusha Chari. Chari is regularly invited to speak at central banks around the world: Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Canada, to name a few. “When you visit countries and talk to their government officials and policymakers, it enriches your understanding of what the issues really are,” Chari said. “It also expands your

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perspective. If I talk to officials at the Fed, I’ll get the U.S. point of view. But when I go to Korea or Hong Kong or India, I learn about the impact of U.S. policy on their countries.” When she isn’t globetrotting, Chari teaches courses in the department of economics in the College of Arts & Sciences and at Kenan-Flagler Business School. She is also the inaugural director of the Modern Indian Studies Initiative. Chari, who is originally from India, said her home country has long been an area of special interest at universities across the world. But traditional research institutes tend to focus on India’s rich cultural heritage, history, languages and religion. The Modern Indian Studies Initiative focuses on the India of today. Because the Indian economy has been growing at a rate of 7% to 8% a year, many economic models show it will rank as the world’s third largest economy within the next 10 years. By 2050, it may well be the secondlargest economy. “There seems to be a lack of awareness that India has transformed into an economic powerhouse and emerged as a leader on the global stage in terms of

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innovation and technology,” Chari said. To get a handle on how quickly India is growing and changing — and how those massive changes impact the rest of the world — we must examine its giant economy, its contributions to cutting-edge technology and its young population, Chari said. Roughly a third of India’s population is under the age of 15, and nearly 150 million are college-age. Delivering essential services like education and health to all those young people presents an unprecedented challenge. But great challenges create opportunities for innovative solutions. Chari hopes the Modern Indian Studies Initiative will generate some of those solutions. From the School of Medicine, where researchers are developing low-cost fetal monitoring equipment, to infrastructure research in the department of city and regional planning, UNC is already home to dozens of research projects connected to India. To promote the wide range of expertise and share that knowledge, Chari and her team plan to facilitate grants and fellowships for graduate students, as well as faculty research grants focused on issues that India is facing. They also plan to create an online portal to highlight the multitude of ways UNC faculty, researchers and students are working with India. As a researcher, Chari studies the effects of financial globalization, the flow of capital across countries and the financial systems of emerging markets. Her work involves large cross-country studies with massive data sets to understand the impact of policy changes. While she loves the research and world travel, Chari said the most fulfilling part of her job is working with students. “It’s especially important at UNC, where 82% of the undergraduate student body is from North Carolina,” she said. “Some of the students have had the privilege of traveling abroad but many have not. Teaching them about the international economy is so satisfying — I can see the changes in them in class when ideas connect and the lightbulb turns on.”


FACULTY UP CLOSE

Donn Young

PFAS?” she asked Leibfarth. “I went back and read a lot of literature about how diapers work,” said Leibfarth. Hydrogels, it turns out, are made of polymers — substances made from strings of single molecules bonded together. Plastics are polymers. Leibfarth is a polymer chemist, a rising star among a new generation of researchers who believe manmade materials must be both functional and sustainable. Though well suited to the PFAS challenge, Leibfarth, who joined the UNC faculty in 2016, had never worked on such a laser-focused, rapid-response project. The Leibfarth Group does basic scientific research to create sustainable plastics or develop ways to make existing plastics more sustainable. • Frank Leibfarth’s research on methods to clean up “We are not so much PFAS contamination is being supported by the UNC problem-driven as we are Institute for Convergent Science. method-driven,” Leibfarth said. “We’re interested in fundamental creativity.” Creativity is a big part of Leibfarth’s Polymer chemist Frank Leibfarth success. Raised in South Dakota, Leibfarth is rethinking plastics, with a admits he wasn’t always into science. An focus on sustainability. athlete — he was a placekicker for the BY LOGAN WARD University of South Dakota football team— who learned carpentry skills from his Disposable diapers. That’s what father, Leibfarth fell in love with chemistry inspired a groundbreaking as an undergraduate on a summer National toxic chemical-capturing resin Science Foundation fellowship at Columbia recently developed by UNCUniversity. Chapel Hill assistant professor “Chemistry is quantitative. You have to of chemistry Frank Leibfarth. have an analytical brain for it, but you also After the 2016 discovery that have to have this artistic way of thinking perfluorinated alkylated substances, or about molecules,” he said. “Chemists are PFAS, had contaminated North Carolina’s makers. We make things with molecules.” Cape Fear River Basin, representatives As a maker of molecules, Leibfarth from the state-funded NC Policy strives for simplicity. Collaboratory visited the College’s “There’s a natural drive in science chemistry department looking for towards complexity,” he said. A polymer innovative solutions. Leibfarth’s colleague chemist might enhance a plastic by tacking Marcey Waters suggested hydrogels, the on more and more functional groups, the super-swellable resins found in diapers. way one creates a Lego structure, adding “Can’t you make a gel that soaks up block after block. But that approach might

Molecule maker

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weaken the structure or increase production costs or reduce sustainability. “We’re finding that we can get high-performing materials from simple building blocks if we focus on understanding how to control their structure and connectivity in previously unforeseen ways,” he said. “That’s the fun part of working at the interface of disciplines.” One of his lab’s breakthroughs involves developing a sustainable plastic from a common substance by controlling the stereochemistry of polymers in a way that was previously undiscovered. Another involves creating catalysts that make throwaway thermoplastics more economical to upcycle. With the PFAS work, Leibfarth has entered a new realm — environmental engineering. The hydrogel suggestion from his chemistry department colleague was all Leibfarth needed. Leibfarth and his team designed a fluorinated resin that, when ground into a powder and added to a water-filtration column, soaks up GenX — the trademarked PFAS made by Chemours at the company’s Fayetteville plant — the way diapers soak up water. GenX is prevalent in the Cape Fear River Basin, which provides drinking water for more than 1.5 million North Carolinians. Because GenX is negatively charged, Leibfarth’s team put positive charges on their resin, creating an extra-sticky electrostatic bond. In tests, Leibfarth’s resin removed more than 80% — or more than four times — the GenX than the best commercial technology. The work is so promising that the UNC Institute for Convergent Science has partnered with the NC Policy Collaboratory to fund a demonstration phase of the research, with the hope of commercialization. “It’s highly rewarding,” said Leibfarth, who recently won a Sloan Research Fellowship and a Cottrell Scholar Award, both given to the best-of-the-best among early-career scientists. “We’re much closer to making an impact with the PFAS work than any of the other work we do. That invigorates me and my students.”

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ancestry. She had already begun researching Brown for her book Latin Blackness in Parisian Visual Culture, 18521932 when she chanced upon his eye-catching photo. The French • Lyneise Williams created a collaborative to help inform decision-makers publication about the historical implications of digital reproduction methods, particularly was produced on portraying people of color. through a then-new technology called rotogravure in which an entire sheet is laid out using film positives instead of film negatives and then engraved onto a cylinder. In addition, An art historian is leading efforts the 1927 paper was finished with a smooth to inform decision-makers about clay coating. the historical implications of “Rotogravure provides finer digital reproduction methods, detail and more nuanced gray tones,” particularly for people of color. Williams said. “It was revolutionary in BY PATTY COURTRIGHT (B.A. ’75, M.A. ’83) showing people of color because the technology translated all the subtleties of a photograph onto newsprint paper, which A stroll Lyneise Williams took the more common, less expensive halftone through a Paris flea market process couldn’t achieve.” several years ago ultimately She wondered whether this was the led to an international effort first time rotogravure had been used to that has the potential to portray a person of color. transform the preservation of After thoroughly examining the digitized images. European publications, Williams turned The 1927 issue of the sports to U.S. African American newspapers, newspaper Match L’Intran Williams including the Philadelphia Tribune, the bought that day featured a stunning first African American newspaper to get a photo of boxer Alfonso Teofilo Brown, rotogravure press. the Panamanian World Bantamweight She found ads touting the December Champion. Nearly a century later, the 31, 1926, anniversary issue and letters to image was still crisp, well defined and the the editor in the following issue about newsprint was smooth to the touch — the beauty of the images. Trouble was, unlike today’s newspapers. Williams couldn’t see what the earlier Williams, associate professor of art readers saw because she could view only history, came to Carolina in 2004. She flat digital images, including those housed studies the representation of people of color in the early 20th century, particularly at the Library of Congress. In 1929, the Library of Congress Latin American people of African

Preserving an accurate visual history

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began experimenting with microfilm and ultimately encouraged libraries to use it to free up shelf space. “By 1940, everyone was microfilming their newspapers and getting rid of the hard copies,” Williams said. But the process eliminated the fine details rotogravure had captured. Seventy years later, the Library of Congress began digitizing the microfilms, which meant those records were now two generations removed from the source material. “These decisions were made from a practical standpoint, not through the lens of art history or race, and the effect was that the visual historic record of the United States became distorted,” she explained. Last June, the National Archives and Records Administration announced that beginning in 2023, paper documents would no longer be accepted — only electronic versions — but issued no guidelines. Williams combed through 10 years of the archives’ guidelines and found only technical direction, nothing about visual, social or cultural implications. So, while in the thick of teaching two fallsemester courses, Williams took action. She created the VERA Collaborative to ]help inform decision-makers about the historical implications of digital reproduction methods, particularly the effect on portraying people of color. (VERA stands for Visual Electronic Representations in the Archive.) Already, Williams has garnered the support of the National Park Service, the University Libraries at UNC-Chapel Hill and King’s College London. In fact, the park service asked her to work with computer scientists and engineers to develop a cutting-edge digital asset management system for the archives of the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site. Williams believes this broad effort embodies exactly what art history does: “Technology used for visual representation includes the values of human beings, even our biases, so we constantly have to navigate those meanings — especially in this visual world.”


Reimagine the American South Members of the collaborative group for Voices of Resilience and Recovery in Robeson County, UNC’s project with the Coasts, Climates, the Humanities, and the Environment Consortium. Clockwise from bottom left: Jacqueline E. Lawton, assistant professor of dramatic art; Dylan J. Clark, director of InHerit; Diamond Holloman, a doctoral candidate in the Environment, Ecology and Energy Program; and Malinda Maynor Lowery, director of the Center for the Study of the American South.

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assistant professor of English and comparative literature, on “From Africa to Auschwitz;” and a deep dive by Carolina Public Humanities’ Rachel Schaevitz into the first-generation Jewish-American immigrants who founded Hollywood. Wayne County Community College, Sandhills Community College and Robeson Community College have hosted the talks. The Schochets were a Carolina family — Sidney was a 1940 graduate, and Mary, although a Virginia native, adopted UNC as her team. Several other relatives were graduates, and both Jan ’75 and Barry ’69 are proud Tar Heels. Barry found inspiration for the program from his family history and his experience as a founding member of the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies advisory board. “My dad was a great believer in trying to give people in North Carolina who had very little exposure to anything Jewish an opportunity to learn and have them experience it,” he said. Sydney was involved in the Jewish Chautauqua Society, a national group that once brought speakers to areas around the country to discuss subjects of Jewish interest. Jan and Barry wanted to recreate something similar for the citizens of North Carolina. “It’s important for people to understand the extent CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: • Jodi Magness discusses her Huqoq mosaics and breadth of the Jewish experience in North Carolina, research at Wayne Community College. • A 1979 family photo: Barry, Sidney, that Jewish people have been here for a long time — in Jan and Mary (seated) Schochet. • Jan Schochet. • Barry Schochet. big cities and small towns. We’ve contributed to culture, education and politics,” Barry said. Jan spearheaded a project that documented Sharing Jewish life and culture across the state the history and impact of Jewish merchants in downtown BY MARY MOOREFIELD Asheville from 1880 to 1990, producing an exhibit showcased for multiple years throughout downtown. She and co-organizer arry and Jan Schochet grew up in Asheville in the 1950s Sharon Fahrer taped 70 hours of interviews with people in and ’60s, the children of Jewish parents who owned several the local Jewish community that are now archived at UNCdowntown stores that sold clothing and dancewear. Back then, Asheville. Asheville had a thriving Jewish community, two synagogues “I believe we’re seeing a rise in antisemitism because people and many prominent Jewish business owners. The Schochets found a befitting way to honor the memory don’t have knowledge of others,” Jan said. “If you only stay in your own orbit, you’re not going to know about others in order to of their parents, Sidney and Mary, who died in 2005 and 2016, respect them.” respectively, through the creation of a program that reaches Schaevitz, who was Carolina Public Humanities’ associate North Carolinians far from Chapel Hill. director for state outreach and strategic partnerships when In partnership with the Carolina Center for Jewish Studies she gave her Hollywood talk at Wayne Community College in and Carolina Public Humanities, the siblings created the Sidney February, has seen the impact these events can have. and Mary Schochet Family Series on Jewish Life and Culture, “Bringing these events to community colleges allows which supports UNC-Chapel Hill faculty travel to community everyone in the audience to expand their horizons, learn new colleges throughout the state to present their research, things and possibly even find a new intellectual passion,” she particularly on topics related to Judaism. said. “We also help Carolina truly realize its mission of ‘serving These “Humanities on the Road” outreach events have the state’ and do so in a way that comes together through mutual included a presentation from Kenan Distinguished Professor Jodi Magness of the religious studies department on her work at collaboration that takes into account the needs and wants of our community partners.” the Huqoq excavation site in Israel; a talk by Danielle Christmas,

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Transformational gift to fund new sports medicine complex

A transformational

Jeyhoun Allebaugh

gift from Don and Billie Stallings of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Palm Beach, Florida, will fund the physical expansion of current University programs dedicated to sports medicine, sport-related traumatic brain injury and • Kevin Guskiewicz, chancellor, and Mack Brown, football coach, honor members of the Stallings family at a men’s concussion research, and basketball game. The new Stallings-Evans Sports Medicine Complex will advance traumatic brain injury research. create the Stallings-Evans Sports Medicine Complex. to best care for Special Operations Forces combat and combat “The Stallings are among Carolina’s most generous support soldiers who have sustained traumatic brain injuries. supporters, and this gift builds on their remarkable legacy In 2010, Don and Billie Stallings made the lead gift that seen on our campus and in the lives of the people we serve,” created the Stallings-Evans Sports Medicine Center, and the Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said. “Our work in traumatic new complex also will be named for them and their late son, brain injury research and novel treatments has had a global Eddie Evans. Don, a member of the Carolina class of 1960, impact because of the Stallings, and we are grateful for their was a three-year football letterman and later played for commitment.” the Washington Redskins. He is founder and CEO of Eagle The Stallings’ gift will support a 30,000-square-foot Transport Corporation, and a past chairman of the Educational addition to Fetzer Hall, a multi-purpose academic research and Foundation. He also has served two terms on the UNCsport facility. The new Stallings-Evans complex will allow the Chapel Hill Board of Trustees. Billie chairs the UNC School of Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Medicine’s cardiovascular medicine advisory board and has Center, which Guskiewicz co-directs along with Associate served on the UNC Health Foundation Board of Directors Professor of Exercise and Sport Science Jason Mihalik, and since 2014. the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes to work side-by“We knew the center needed to expand, and we knew the side. It will create much-needed space for growing research in University had a plan to do it, so we felt the time was right,” areas such as sports vision science, active rehabilitation and Don said. novel diagnostics. The new complex also gets Carolina closer Don and Billie’s son, Eddie Evans, was born with a to its aspirations for a new clinical program that addresses the congenital heart defect, which led to his premature death at treatment of patients dealing with symptoms related to chronic the age of 41. To this day, he is considered a pioneer in open traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative disease. heart surgery, as he braved four life-threatening surgeries. The Stallings have long been champions of Carolina’s work “Sports medicine was very special to Eddie,” Billie said. in the fields of sports medicine and sport-related traumatic “He wanted to be an athlete, but his heart condition wouldn’t brain injuries. Their previous generosity provided space for allow it. He was a student athletic trainer for all sports at the the Gfeller Center to take root and become a national leader Arendell Parrott Academy in Kinston, North Carolina, and for sport-related and military brain injury research and its always said he was going to excel in sports medicine and win dissemination. a scholarship to UNC–Chapel Hill. This complex is the perfect Carolina’s clinical concussion research began with a fourtribute to him, because of the wonderful work it will do in his member research team but has expanded to 30 members who name on behalf of what he loved.” train future sports medicine researchers in diagnosing and In addition to supporting sports medicine programs, the treating brain injuries across the age spectrum, from pediatric Stallings have funded numerous other areas at Carolina. patients to college students to retirees. The team has also been “Carolina has been good to us,” Don said. “We love the engaged in an eight-year-long clinical research partnership with place and want to give back to it.” the United States Army Special Operations Command on how

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Bringing sociology to the business field — and beyond BY MARY MOOREFIELD

Lindsay Guzowski (M.A. sociology ’04)

Courtesy of Lindsay Guzowski

credits her time and experiences at UNCChapel Hill with setting her on the path to where she is today. She recalled a colloquium where a professor discussed his research on twins. She was inspired by the amount of insight that can be gleaned from a dataset. “That has actually shaped where I have gone in life,” she said. “That told me you can use numbers to make things work and make things better,” she said. “Sociology made me a better thinker.” Guzowski’s graduate work resulted in an unconventional career outcome, eventually leading to her position today as a partner with Falcon, which specializes in • “Sociology made me a better thinker,” says Lindsay Guzowski, whose gift will support connecting private equity firms with topgraduate students in sociology interested in pursuing careers outside academia. notch talent. “I discovered through grad school that there were ways manage people from diverse backgrounds as well as apply to apply what I was learning to a path that would be more her strong statistics and research skills. inspiring for me,” Guzowski said. “I wanted to ensure that if It also got her interested in learning how to assess how other students had that desire that they could pursue it. But on companies can succeed over the long-term, so she enrolled the flip side, there are those who think that teaching is the right at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern path for them, but they don’t have the opportunity to get out University. into the real world and realize that they actually do like being While working toward her MBA, she did an internship a professor. Giving people the opportunity to experience both with a private equity fund. She said one of the reasons sides can help make better sociologists in the world.” they were interested in her was because of her sociology She established the Lindsay Hirschfeld Guzowski Graduate background — she could analyze businesses from a different Student Excellence Fund to support graduate students in perspective. She later had the opportunity to get in on the sociology who are pursuing careers outside of academia — ground level at Falcon and be a part of building a growing just like she did. company. “I’ve felt strongly about bringing in people with sociology “I discovered through grad school that there and social science backgrounds [to Falcon] because the way were ways to apply what I was learning to a you learn to think in those fields is very different than the way path that would be more inspiring for me. I that people learn to think in more business- or professionallywanted to ensure that if other students had oriented undergraduate majors,” Guzowski said. “That ability that desire that they could pursue it.” to understand different viewpoints and follow where the data — L i n d s ay G uzow s k i is taking you is a skill that just doesn’t really emerge in other disciplines.” Guzowski learned early on in her graduate program — Now she wants to provide opportunities for others to through an internship with the National Opinion Research gain the same opportunity. Center at the University of Chicago — that she enjoyed “I want people to be able to do theses that will allow business and being able to apply the thought processes and them to prove they have the ability to go into business and research methods from sociology to real-world economic still scratch that intellectual itch,” she said. “There are ways problems. to apply sociological theory to things that might seem like Her first job after graduation from UNC was with an business school projects and to do so in a way that advances industrial supply company in Cleveland that taught her how to the literature.”

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#Throwback HAPPY 100 YEARS, SOCIOLOGY Sociology marks its centennial birthday this year. Learn more about the department at sociology.unc.edu. In this photo from the 1930s, Howard Odum is in the Regionalism Lab in the Alumni Building. In 1920, Odum was hired to lead the new department of sociology and the School of Public Welfare (later called the School of Social Work). Do you have memories of your time in sociology? Email us your stories at college-news@unc.edu; we’ll share our favorites on College social media. (Photo courtesy of the Southern Historical Collection.)

What will be your legacy? Since the launch of the Campaign for Carolina, the College of Arts & Sciences has received more than $13.1 million from 44 alumni and friends who had previously documented their intentions to support the College through a deferred gift. Their collective generosity has provided critical support for students, faculty, departments and programs. Contact us today to learn about making a planned gift to the College of Arts & Sciences. 919.962.0108 | asf@unc.edu | college.unc.edu/pg

PLANNED GIFTS | BEQUESTS | CHARITABLE TRUSTS | CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES planned giving 3.indd 1

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Estimating the global extent of river ice loss frozen rivers support important transportation networks for communities and industries located at high latitudes. Ice cover also regulates the amount of greenhouse gasses released from rivers into Earth’s atmosphere. A new study from UNC-Chapel Hill researchers found that annual river ice cover will decline by about six days for every one degree Celsius increase in global temperatures. This decline will have economic and environmental consequences. “We used more than 400,000 satellite images taken over 34 years to measure which rivers seasonally freeze over worldwide, which is about 56% of all large rivers,” said Xiao Yang, a postdoctoral scholar in the geological sciences department and lead author on the paper. “We detected widespread declines in monthly river ice coverage. And the predicted trend of future ice loss is likely to lead to economic challenges for people and industries along these rivers.” The team also looked at changes to river ice cover in the past and modeled predicted changes for the future. Comparing river ice cover from 2008–2018 and 1984–1994, the greatest declines were found in the Tibetan Plateau, eastern Europe and Alaska. For the future, the team compared expected river ice cover through 2009-2029 and 2080-2100. The Rocky

Courtesy of NASA and U.S. Geological Survey

More than half of Earth’s rivers freeze over every year. These

• A satellite photo shows ice cover on the Yukon River as it approaches its confluence with the Tanana River in Alaska.

Mountains, northeastern United States, eastern Europe and Tibetan Plateau are expected to take the heaviest impact. “Ultimately, what this study shows is the power of combining massive amounts of satellite imagery with climate models to help better project how our planet will change,” said associate professor of global hydrology Tamlin Pavelsky. George Allen, assistant professor of geography at Texas A&M University, also worked on the study.

Mellon-funded undergraduate fellows develop new public humanities projects

The inaugural class of Humanities Futures undergraduate

fellows began work this spring as part of the Humanities for the Public Good initiative. The 10 students will have lab-style meetings and discussions as they work on public-facing projects that forward their personal cases for a humanistic education. The fellows will have access to humanities tools and research. They will also become part of a mentorship system that helps them identify and develop projects, find • The inaugural Humanities Futures undergraduate fellows are allies and acquire concrete project management skills like devising a useful budget. part of the Humanities for the Public Good initiative. Public humanities projects they develop might include addressing issues such as waste management systems, women’s labor in their own hometowns, the visibility of institutional racism and the environmental costs of fast fashion on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. Humanities for the Public Good is a four-year, $1.5 million effort funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to build upon the strong public humanities work of the University. It launched in 2017. “Public humanities, at its simplest, is bridging knowledge between academics and communities,” said initiative director Robyn Schroeder. Learn more at hpg.unc.edu.

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Confronting antisemitism

hour’s class time each week. “When Kenneth opics in Jewish Studies: Confronting Stern, director of the Bard Antisemitism” is a new, one-creditCenter for the Study of hour course that takes a broad look at Hate, visited campus in antisemitism in history, our contemporary November for the Colworld and on campus. The course lege’s Countering Hate examines the intersections between signature lecture, I was antisemitism and other forms of racism able to meet with him to and identifies tools that can be used to get ideas and resources,” counter antisemitism. added Lazar. “All of us The class sessions feature guest involved in the planning speakers and discussions on different process soon realized that aspects of this persistent form of hatred, this course demanded exand students write reflective essays in perts from many different response to the lectures. Students will disciplines if the students conduct a formal review of websites and were going to digest the media outlets that perpetuate antisemitic complicated topic through messaging. The course will conclude history while also develwith a roundtable discussion on how to oping tangible skills in address antisemitism at Carolina. identifying antisemitism and understanding current REQUESTED BY STUDENTS events.” The idea for the course was initiated As a result, students by an undergraduate student last are learning from weekly TOP: Ruth von Bernuth, director of the Carolina Center for semester. With the support of the College guest speakers who Jewish Studies, delivers a guest lecture in the “Confronting of Arts & Sciences and its Countering address a wide range of Antisemitism” class. BOTTOM: The course is led by Max Lazar Hate: Overcoming Fear of Differences topics — from medieval (left), a Ph.D. candidate in history. initiative, instructor Max Lazar developed texts to contemporary the course over a few weeks in time for A COHORT OF ALLIES social media, from medical students to register for the spring course. quotas, legal ethics and white supremacy Lazar designed the course so “Because the course was added to that students would understand the to Holocaust denial. the spring schedule at the last minute, underlying features of different types of The course supplements lectures we weren’t sure how many students prejudice toward Jews as well as how and readings with videos from the would actually enroll,” said Lazar, a antisemitism can creep into everyday life. Reconsidering Antisemitism conference Ph.D. candidate in history. “But during The class also examines antisemitism’s that the Carolina Center for Jewish the winter break, we saw an impressive relationship to expressions of hate toward Studies hosted in 2016. For example, wave of enrollment and had to increase other groups. Lazar said he hopes that before the first day of class, the students the class size limit. Then, right before as a final takeaway, the course inspires watched religious studies professor the start of the spring semester, we had students to become allies against hate Bart Ehrman’s lecture on the origins of the fantastic problem of scrambling to speech, showing leadership both on Christian anti-Judaism. This was followed find a larger classroom to accommodate campus and long after their time at by a lively discussion with a guest nearly 50 students. The students really Carolina. speaker from the department of religious responded to this opportunity and are Max Lazar specializes in modern studies. Other guest speakers have come eager to look at this topic from a scholarly from the UNC departments of history, German and Jewish history. Before point of view.” arriving at UNC, he was a Fulbright anthropology, English and comparative teaching assistant in Austria and worked literature, global studies, Germanic and LEVERAGING CAMPUSWIDE EXPERTISE Slavic languages and literatures, and the as the Richard J. Sonnenfeldt Fellow at When creating the course, Lazar said schools of information and library science the American Jewish Committee’s Berlin his first challenge was to determine how Ramer Institute for German-Jewish and law. Students are also learning from to cover so much content with just one Relations. several visitors to campus. BY KAREN M. GAJEWSKI

Donn Young

Donn Young

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A virtual museum of ancient N.C. history

raises awareness of the 15,000-year history of North Carolina’s indigenous populations and provides educational resources for the state’s teachers and students. The new interactive website involves decades of work by Carolina archaeologists. It showcases lesson plans, travel guides and a gallery of 3D artifact images. “This is just one more way that we’re bringing the fruits of all the research done here over the many decades out to the general public so that they can get a better perspective on who we are and how we got here,” said Vin Steponaitis, professor of archaeology and anthropology. The project relies on the resources of Carolina’s Research Laboratories of Archaeology. The RLA curates more than 8 million artifacts and 60,000 photographs and slides. This history is especially relevant to North Carolina, home to 80,000 American Indians, the largest population east of the Mississippi River. Through a comprehensive database, visitors can search topics throughout North Carolina pre-colonial and colonial history. They can view 3D images of bones, pottery shards, arrowheads and other artifacts in the RLA collection. With the click of a mouse, they can turn the image 360 degrees and zoom in to see, for example, the details of an American Indian spearhead from 1000 B.C. For K-12 teachers and their students, lesson plans and activity guides incorporate archaeology into language arts,

Meaning of emotions may differ across the world

The Somali word for fear is cabsi. In

Tagalog, takot. In Icelandic, ótti. But do these translations communicate the same human experience? Psychology researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill, in collaboration with scientists from the Max Planck Institute, studied languages around the world and found that the way humans conceptualize emotions like anger, fear, joy and sadness may differ across speakers of different languages. The study is the largest of its kind, including data from nearly 2,500 languages. Psychology doctoral student Joshua Conrad Jackson is lead author on the study, and psychology and

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Courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill

Ancient North Carolinians is a new virtual museum that

• UNC archaeologist R.P. Stephen Davis Jr. examines an artifact. The new virtual museum of North Carolina archaeology offers resources for students and schoolteachers.

math and science classes. Another purpose of the site is to boost the state’s tourism economy with travel guides to historical sites across the state. Users can click on each spot on the map to get directions and more information about archaeological sites, Indian tribes and other relevant cultural attractions. Graduate and undergraduate students worked with Steponaitis and RLA associate director R. P. Stephen Davis Jr. to organize the research and make it accessible for public audiences. Visit ancientnc.web.unc.edu.

neuroscience associate professor Kristen Lindquist is senior author. To approach the topic, the researchers built and analyzed large networks of colexification using a global sample of languages. Colexification occurs when one word has more than one meaning in a language. More often than not, colexifications mean that speakers of a language see two concepts as similar. For example, Russian speakers use the word ruka to describe both the hand and arm. In this study, the researchers asked whether languages colexified emotions, and if so, which emotions were seen as similar and distinct. The team found that languages describe emotions differently across the globe. For example, some languages

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view grief as similar to fear and anxiety, whereas others view grief as similar to regret. The team also found that the way cultures express emotion is tied to geography. Language groups located closer to one another share more similar views of emotion compared to far-away language groups. Regardless of geography, all languages distinguish emotions primarily based on whether they are pleasant or unpleasant to experience, and whether they involve low or high levels of arousal. For example, few languages view the low-arousal emotion of sadness as similar to the high-arousal emotion of anger. This suggests that there are universal elements of emotion experience that may stem from biological evolution.


THE SCOOP

University adds new Korean studies major

Thirteen years after 23 students enrolled in

the first Korean language class at Carolina, the University has added a major in Korean studies. Korean studies majors will take Korean language courses as well as courses in culture, literature, history and politics. Students who complete the requirements for the new major will receive a bachelor’s degree in Asian studies with a Korean studies concentration. “We want to train scholars who have a global vision that is detailed, nuanced and based in a variety of different types of knowledge,” said Jonathan Kief, an assistant professor in Korean studies who led the development of the new major. Korea is “not just a place on a map” but also a culture with multiple dimensions and multiple forms of diversity, identity and history, Kief said. The new classes in the major will organize material by framing Korean history through different lenses, like the class Kief teaches on gender and sexuality through Korean film. Since 2010, when students were first able to minor in Korean studies, enrollments in Korean classes have steadily grown to now over 200. One reason for the increase in enrollments is the international rise of K-pop music and culture, as seen in the popularity of Korean rapper PSY (“Gangnam Style”) and boy band BTS (“Fake Love”). The University is developing more upperlevel Korean language classes and planning for a new graduate program in Korean studies. • The Asian studies department celebrated the launch of the Korean studies major with cultural performances.

• A time series showing the self-assembly of a collection of neutrally buoyant spheres suspended within a sharply salt-stratified fluid, as viewed from above.

Discovering a new fundamental underwater force

A team of mathematicians from UNC-Chapel Hill and Brown University has

discovered a new phenomenon that generates a fluidic force capable of moving and binding particles immersed in density-layered fluids. The breakthrough offers an alternative to previously held assumptions about how particles accumulate in lakes and oceans and could lead to applications in locating biological hotspots, cleaning up the environment and even in sorting and packing. Ocean particle accumulation has long been understood as the result of chance collisions and adhesion. But an entirely different and unexpected phenomenon is at work in the water column, according to professors Richard McLaughlin and Roberto Camassa, along with their UNC graduate student Robert Hunt and Dan Harris of the School of Engineering at Brown. In the paper, the researchers demonstrate that particles suspended in fluids of different densities, such as seawater of varying layers of salinity, exhibit two previously undiscovered behaviors. First, the particles selfassemble without electrostatic or magnetic attraction or, in the case of microorganisms, without propulsion devices such as beating flagella or cilia. Second, they clump together without any need for adhesive or other bonding forces. The larger the cluster, the stronger the attractive force. Like so many discoveries, this one began accidentally a couple years ago, during a demonstration for VIPs visiting the Joint Applied Mathematics and Marine Sciences Fluids Lab that Camassa and McLaughlin run. The pair intended to show a favorite parlor trick — how spheres dumped into a tank of salt water will “bounce” on their way to the bottom, as long as the fluid is uniformly stratified by density. But the graduate student in charge of the experiment made an error in setting up the density of the lower fluid. The spheres bounced and then hung there, submerged but not sinking to the bottom. The next morning, the balls were still suspended, but they had begun to cluster together — to self-assemble for no apparent reason. The researchers eventually discovered the reason. In highly stratified bodies of water, such as estuaries and the deep ocean, being able to mathematically understand the phenomenon may allow scientists to model and predict the location of biological hotspots, including feeding grounds for commercial fish or endangered species. Harnessing the power of the phenomenon might also lead to better ways to locate ocean microplastics or petroleum from deep-sea oil spills.

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Donn Young

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• From left, Emily Wallace, Elizabeth Engelhardt and Bernard L. Herman share new books, recipes and stories in the Julia Child Kitchen in Graham Memorial Hall.

Good eating and good reading

From Appalachia to Virginia’s Eastern Shore to Southern roadside eats, three books by Carolina writers celebrate food, glorious (Southern) food. BY MICHELE LYNN

Food provides us with so much more than sustenance. It facilitates connections between people and provides a window into unique cultures and histories. In three recently published books, Carolina writers share fascinating stories about Southern food and the individuals who produce and consume it. • The Food We Eat, the Stories We Tell: Contemporary Appalachian Tables (Ohio University Press), edited by Elizabeth Engelhardt, senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities and the John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies, with Lora E. Smith, director of the Appalachian Impact Fund. This anthology invites readers to sit down at an Appalachian table. “These stories are about the wonderful messiness of everyday eating: Blue Ridge tacos, kimchi with soup beans, frozen dinners from the local grocery chain and leftovers taken home in old Cool Whip containers,” said Engelhardt. Composed of tales by a diverse group of contributors including poets, scholars, fiction writers, journalists and food

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professionals, Engelhardt’s new book portrays the past, present and future of Appalachia. “Soup beans, cornbread, ramps and pickles — and the ways they are prepared, preserved and served — are in this book about Appalachian foodways,” she said. “So are fast foods, fancy wines and fusion tacos.” “Some of the authors

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• Elizabeth Engelhardt


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come from families with long pasts in the mountains, from members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee to white and black families who entered Appalachia generations ago. Others have 20th- or 21st-century stories of migration and movement, arriving from Mexico, Central America, Spain, South Korea or Switzerland,” she added. “But what shines through all the stories are the connections between mountains and people made visible by the foods we share.” Engelhardt proudly hails from Appalachia. “If you ask me, I am most likely to say, ‘I’m from the mountains of North Carolina,’ and the word ‘mountains’ is of equal importance as the other words in the phrase.” With her first book about Appalachian women’s ecological and environmental literature and her more recent writing about food and cultures in the U.S. South, Engelhardt united those two interests in her most recent book. “I never left the mountains behind in my scholarship,” she said.

he said. “What has emerged is a distinctive terroir,” he added, borrowing a term from viniculture that refers to the “taste” of a place. Herman’s book comes alive through the stories of the region’s residents. Whether it’s oysterman Jack Brady or clammer Billy Bowen talking about mudlarking for peeler crabs or Mary “Mama Girl” Onley sharing her knowledge about yeast rolls, the book reflects the voices of Eastern Shore folks from all walks of life. “All of these people reflect generations of skill and care, which is what makes this place extraordinary,” he said.

• A South You Never

(University of Texas Press), by Emily Wallace (M.A. folklore ’10), art director and deputy editor of Southern • Emily Wallace Cultures quarterly at the Center for the Study of the American South. Bursting with 140 colorful illustrations drawn by Wallace, Road Sides is an A to Z compendium of essential visits for a well-fed Southern road trip. The book begins with “A for Architecture” in Wallace’s hometown of Smithfield, North Carolina. A snow cone-shaped treat stand called Hills of Snow entranced the young Wallace and — combined with more recent research into Southern foods (Wallace’s UNC folklore master’s thesis centered on the history of pimento cheese in the Carolina Piedmont) — provided the impetus for the book. “The road provided a way for me to tie all of these interests together,” said Wallace. “And the A to Z structure gave me parameters as well as jumping-off points. It allowed me, for instance, to write about kudzu’s culinary and roadside history for the letter K.” And the letter D, which in this case stands for “directions,” let Wallace write about the history of Florida’s Welcome Centers, where employees hand out 900,000 maps, 14 million brochures and “six swimming pools worth of 100 percent Florida orange and grapefruit juices each year … all for free.” Part travelogue, part encyclopedia, the book is not a travel guide. “It’s more a road map to histories and stories,” said Wallace. “You learn about a place through its food and communities.” ➤ Find more books by College faculty and alumni at magazine.college.unc.edu, and visit college.unc.edu for “Bookmark This,” a monthly Q&A highlighting books by Carolina people.

Ate: Savoring Flavors and Stories from the Eastern Shore of Virginia (UNC Press), by Bernard L. Herman, George B. Tindall Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies and interim chair of American studies. “When he is not tending his oyster beds in the waters of the Eastern • Bernard L. Herman Shore of Virginia, Herman researches, writes and teaches … at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.” His author bio is the first hint that Herman wrote his book — a narrative containing recipes, recollections, instructions and insights about food — as a labor of love about a community where he has lived off and on since the early 1950s. In A South You Never Ate, Herman honors and celebrates the region’s cuisine and people. “I try to tell their story in their words, in a way that their heirs will continue to own forever,” he said. “The book is about a truly undiscovered Southern culinary region, which has a cuisine that is every bit as distinctive as the Charleston Low Country or New Orleans Bayou Country,” Herman added. “On Virginia’s Eastern Shore, you’ll find clam fritters, baked fish chowders and oyster pies that are very close to recipes that were in circulation in the 1720s.” “What you see is a great tradition of food, recipes, ingredients, fishing and agriculture that started well before Europeans and Africans arrived and which continues today,”

• Road Sides: An

Illustrated Companion to Dining and Driving in the American South

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NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID UNC–CHAPEL HILL THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT CHAPEL HILL CAMPUS BOX 3100 205 SOUTH BUILDING CHAPEL HILL, NC 27599-3100

Profile for UNC College of Arts and Sciences

Carolina Arts & Sciences spring 2020  

Carolina Arts & Sciences is the semi-annual alumni magazine of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel...

Carolina Arts & Sciences spring 2020  

Carolina Arts & Sciences is the semi-annual alumni magazine of the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel...

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