SPRING • 2014
GOOGL E G A GGL E
ALUMNAE LAND GREAT JOBS
A L S O I N S I D E : • Addiction science • Classes with a beat • Asia up close
T H E
U N I V E R S I T Y
N O R T H
C A R O L I N A
C H A P E L
H I L L
F R O M T HE DE AN Carolina Arts & Sciences
That familiar sea of blue will soon fill Kenan
Stadium again, as our latest crop of Carolina graduates takes on the world. This issue of the magazine reminds me about how the practical experiences we give our students during their time at UNC are helping to shape their future lives. Six recent alumnae, all of whom benefited from our entrepreneurship minor, are now working for search giant Google in New York City, California and Seattle. Two of those Tar Heel grads got their start as Google interns. Our e-minor, housed in the department of Karen M. Gil economics, offers classes, internships and real-world lessons from entrepreneurs. Nearly 1,000 students have enrolled in the e-minor since it launched in 2005. The e-minor is helping students start ventures even while they’re still in school. For instance, one of our students has developed a wallet with GPS technology to prevent loss and theft. It’s now being sold on Amazon.com and Brookstone.com. In this issue we also highlight global programs in Singapore and Hong Kong that are giving an edge to students who are gaining experience in two of the finance and cultural capitals of the world. David Crawford was the first student to enroll in our unique joint degree program with the National University of Singapore. He graduated in 2011 and now works in Washington, D.C., for Accenture, one of the largest international consulting firms in the world. Jennifer Yeh completed the joint degree in 2013 and remains in Singapore today, where she works for a private tutoring company. Our alumni and friends are helping to make many of these opportunities possible. Jashawnna Gladney had never been out of the country or even flown on an airplane until she studied in Hong Kong last summer thanks to a scholarship from the Hong Kong Alumni Club. Speaking of covering the world, journalist Thanassis Cambanis graduated in 1996 with a B.A. in history and honors in creative writing. He lives in Beirut today, and he credits his undergraduate studies and his work at The Daily Tar Heel with preparing him for a successful career as a foreign correspondent. Back at home, Chapel Hill has always had a vibrant music scene. Popular professors Bland Simpson and Mark Katz are teaching new courses with hands-on learning that are reaching students interested in contemporary music, beat-making, DJ culture and songwriting. Our donors understand the value of real-world experiences. Chris Joy ’13 had a great summer internship working in Carolina’s fluids laboratory — home to the huge wave tank in Chapman Hall. It inspired his parents, Bob and Molly Joy, to set up an endowment to support experiences outside the classroom for math students. And thanks to private support, a new internship program that will begin in fall 2014 will provide semester-long internships in the Triangle area for our brightest psychology undergraduate students. Our faculty and students in psychology are already applying their laboratory experience to a real-world challenge — drug and alcohol addiction — by trying to unravel the scientific clues to addictive behavior. As you reflect on your own college education, we hope you enjoy reading in these pages about the many experiential learning opportunities that are providing our students with amazing advantages today. — Karen M. Gil, Dean
College of Arts and Sciences • Karen M. Gil, Dean • Kevin Guskiewicz Senior Associate Dean, Natural Sciences • Jonathan Hartlyn Senior Associate Dean, Social Sciences and Global Programs • Shannon Kennedy Senior Associate Dean, Development, and Executive Director, Arts & Sciences Foundation • Tammy McHale Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Planning • Bobbi Owen Senior Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education • Terry Rhodes Senior Associate Dean, Fine Arts and Humanities
Arts & Sciences Foundation Board of Directors • Vicki Underwood Craver ’92, Riverside, CT, Chair • G. Munroe Cobey ’74, Chapel Hill, NC, Vice Chair • Karen M. Gil, Chapel Hill, NC, President • Jonathan Hartlyn, Chapel Hill, NC, Vice President • Tammy J. McHale, Chapel Hill, NC, Treasurer • Shannon Kennedy, Chapel Hill, NC, Executive Director and Secretary • James L. Alexandre ’79, Haverford, PA • R. Frank Andrews ’90, ’95 MBA, Washington, DC • Amy Berry Barry ’91, Naples, FL • Constance Y. Battle ’77, Raleigh, NC • Laura Hobby Beckworth ’80, Houston, TX • Paul Bitler ’86, New York, NY • R. Duke Buchan III ’85, Palm Beach, FL • Sunny H. Burrows ’84, Atlanta, GA • Courtney Miller Cavatoni ’93, Atlanta, GA • Mark P. Clein ’81, Chevy Chase, MD • Sheila Ann Corcoran ’92, ’98 MBA, Los Angeles, CA • Laura Brown Cronin ’76, Boston, MA • Luke Fichthorn ’92, Brooklyn NY • Henry H. Hamilton III ’81, Katy, TX • Heavenly Johnson ’05, Chicago IL • Joseph M. Kampf ’66, Potomac, MD • M. Steven Langman ’83, New York, NY • Wendell A. McCain ’92, Chapel Hill, NC • Aurelia Stafford Monk ’85, Greenville, NC • Edwin A. Poston ’89, Chapel Hill, NC • Catherine Craig Rollins, ’84, Atlanta, GA • David S. Routh, ’82, Chapel Hill, NC • Betsy Shiverick, New York, NY • Tready Smith, ’92 BSBA, Tampa, FL • Karen L. Stevenson ’79, Los Angeles, CA • Thomas M. Uhlman, ’71, ’75, Murray Hill, NJ • Elijah White Jr., ’84, Houston, TX • J. Spencer Whitman, ’90, Charlotte, NC • Cecil W. Wooten III ’68, ’72, Chapel Hill, NC
TAB L E OF CON TEN TS Carolina Arts & Sciences
DE P A R T ME N T S INSIDE FRONT COVER FROM THE DEAN Experience matters
14 • Global Ready
20 • Google Gaggle
Six entrepreneurship alumnae land jobs with search giant
29 • Addiction Science Unraveling clues to addictive behaviors
P H O T O B Y CHRIS KLEMENS
Teen Health Tracker: connecting the dots from adolescence to aging
Foreign correspondent Thanassis Cambanis, Arts entrepreneur BR McDonald, MacArthur “genius grant” winner Susan Murphy, ACL injury researcher Becky Begalle
Remembering Bill Friday, a new collection from Russell Banks, plus books on eating Asian American, the Southerner’s guide to living a good life, military chaplains and the Vietnam War, the “other Gospels,” politics from Nixon to NAFTA, and more
INSIDE BACK COVER
COV ER P H OTO: From left, UNC alumnae
Abby Bouchon ‘13 and Meghan Lyons ‘13 are pictured in Google’s New York office.
Solar breakthroughs, a new health partnership with the NFL Players Association, something in the water at PlayMakers, helping schizophrenia patients, caterpillars and climate change, and more
Study abroad programs in Singapore and Hong Kong prepare students for a fast-changing world
Popular music classes teach song- writing, creativity and culture
F EAT U R E S
24 • They’ve Got the Beat
FINAL POINT Reflection at the Malecón: Biology graduate student Abel Valdivia’s stunning photograph at the Havana seawall.
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 1
Director of Communications Dee Reid Editor Kim Weaver Spurr ’88 Associate Director of Communications Editorial Assistant • Lars Bria ’14 Graphic Designer • Linda Noble Contributing Writers • Pamela Babcock • DeLene Beeland • Thania Benios, UNC News Services • Rah Bickley ’86 • Susan Hardy, Endeavors magazine • Del Helton • Whitney L.J. Howell • Beth Lawrence ‘12 • Mark Tosczak • Lisa H. Towle Contributing Photographers • Logan Chadde • Michal Daniel • Steve Exum • Duncan Germain • Leon Godwin • Chris Klemens • Beth Lawrence ‘12 • Mary Lide Parker ’10, Endeavors magazine • Dee Reid • Lars Sahl • Dan Sears’ 74, UNC News Services photographer • Abel Valdivia ’14 • Donn Young Carolina Arts & Sciences is published semiannually by the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and made possible with the support of private funds. Copyright 2014. If you wish to receive Carolina Arts & Sciences News, our periodic e-mail bulletin, please send us a note with your name, mailing address and e-mail address to: artsandsciences@ unc.edu. More News/Events: college.unc.edu Facebook: www.facebook.com/UNC.College Twitter: twitter.com/unccollege YouTube: youtube.com/user/UNCCollege Instagram: instagram.com/unccollege
College of Arts and Sciences The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Campus Box 3100 Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3100 (919) 962-1165
Videos Explore the magazine online with extra content at magazine.college.unc.edu. For more videos, visit our YouTube channel at youtube. com/user/UNCCollege.
Mary Lide Parker
24 • They’ve Got the Beat UNC Beat-Making Lab is helping students learn creative and technical skills and have a social impact.
26 • Mipso Acoustic trio shares their Tar Heel love song, “Carolina Calling.”
Carolina Arts & Sciences
O N L IN E EXTRAS
34 • Giving Hope Becky Begalle ’14 works with young female athletes on managing ACL injuries.
M ORE ON L IN E
at magazine.college.unc.edu. Watch a video that highlights faculty who are using new techniques and technologies to transform large lecture classes. Read a story about first-year students who are uncovering details from the lives of black artisans in North Carolina using new digital resources. online
2 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
C A RO LI N A
Guskiewicz, co-director of the Brain and Body Health Program and a leading expert on the long-term impact of head traumas at all levels of sports competition. He is research director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, Kenan distinguished professor of exercise and sport science, and senior associate dean of natural sciences. The Brain and Body Health Program was designed to address the needs of former players who are in need of a baseline ABOVE: Former NFL players will have access to UNC sports medicine professionals through a new partnership. medical evaluation upon leaving the NFL as well Medicine, was selected to be a medical arolina will partner with the National as those that may be experiencing both Football League Players Association on a new partner of The Trust to provide former NFL physical and mental problems as a result players with a comprehensive evaluation initiative aimed at providing medical services of abusing their bodies for years on the and treatment plan. Other medical partners and support to former NFL players. playing field. These problems can include in The Trust are Tulane University and the The NFL Players Association unveiled musculoskeletal pain that has led to lifestyle Cleveland Clinic. its new program, called “The Trust.” UNC’s changes and psychological problems, “This partnership with the NFL Players Brain and Body Health Program, which anxiety about transitioning out of the Association will provide former NFL players was created by the Center for the Study of sport, chronic headaches and other postwith better access to our expert sports Retired Athletes in the concussion signs and symptoms, increased medicine professionals for comprehensive College in collaboration episodes of sadness, irritability or depression assessment and clinical care,” said Kevin with the School of and early signs of memory impairment. •
PARTNERING WITH NFL ON FORMER PLAYERS’ HEALTH C
The Daily Tar Heel
H I G H L I G H T S
Finding faster way to administer nerve gas antidote LEF T: Joseph DeSimone
new $4.47 million project at UNC, funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, will help lay the groundwork for developing potentially better ways to deliver antidotes against exposure to chemical weapons. The work could ultimately help both civilian and military populations through the design of precisely engineered particles and microneedle patches that are loaded with a nerve gas antidote that can be easily
administered in the event of an attack. Researchers at UNC will use the PRINT® technology, also known as Particle Replication In Non-wetting Templates, to design and optimize the size, shape and composition of particles and microscopic needles that can carry life-saving antidotes to chemical nerve gas. If successful, the application of this technology could make it easier to deliver drugs faster to counteract severe reactions to chemical agents. “Finding the fastest, most effortless method to administer antidotes during a nerve gas attack can be crucial for saving lives,” said Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at Carolina and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University and of Chemistry at UNC. A central part of the five-year project will be to optimize the design attributes
of uniform arrays of microneedles, tiny structures that would be incorporated into a patch that can be applied directly to the skin where the microneedles dissolve for rapid absorption of the nerve gas antidote. The PRINT technology also allows for largescale manufacturing of these microneedle patches and other possible antidote systems. “Every second matters when someone is exposed to a chemical agent, so identifying a way to simply slap a patch onto someone’s arm, in an instant, could have a life-saving impact,” said DeSimone. DeSimone, who will lead the project, invented the PRINT technology with his students in 2004. The PRINT technology is licensed to Liquidia Technologies (Research Triangle Park, N.C.) for the development of a wide range of vaccines and therapeutics. Liquidia was co-founded by DeSimone. •
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 3
H I G H L I G H T S
Solar Breakthroughs Harnessing the power of the sun even when it’s not shining Meyer had been investigating DSPECs for years. His design has two basic components: a molecule and a nanoparticle. The molecule, called a chromophore-catalyst assembly, absorbs sunlight and then kick-starts the catalyst to rip electrons away from water. The nanoparticle, to which thousands of chromophore-catalyst assemblies are tethered, is part of a film of nanoparticles which shuttles the electrons away to make the hydrogen fuel. However, even with the best of attempts, the system always crashed because either the chromophorecatalyst assembly kept breaking away from the nanoparticles or because the electrons couldn’t be shuttled away quickly enough to make hydrogen. To solve both of these problems, Meyer turned to the Parsons group at NCSU to use a technique that coated the nanoparticle, atom by atom, with a thin layer of a material called titanium dioxide. By using ultra-thin layers, the researchers found that the nanoparticle could carry away electrons far more rapidly than before, with the freed electrons available to make hydrogen. They also figured out how to build a protective coating that keeps the chromophore-catalyst assembly tethered firmly to the nanoparticle, ensuring that the assembly stayed on the surface. With electrons flowing freely through the nanoparticle and the tether stabilized,
4 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
RI G H T: A new system generates hydrogen fuel by using the sun’s energy to split water into its component parts. BELOW: Tom Meyer
olar energy has long been used as a clean alternative to fossil fuels such as coal and oil, but it could only be harnessed during the day when the sun’s rays were strongest. Now UNC scientists, led by chemist Tom Meyer at the Energy Frontier Research Center, have built a system that converts the sun’s energy to hydrogen fuel and stores it for later use, allowing us to power our devices long after the sun goes down. “So called ‘solar fuels’ like hydrogen offer a solution to how to store energy for nighttime use by taking a cue from natural photosynthesis,” said Meyer, Arey Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. “Our new findings may provide a last major piece of a puzzle for a new way to store the sun’s energy — it could be a tipping point for a solar energy future.” In one hour, the sun puts out enough energy to power every vehicle, factory and device on the planet for an entire year. Solar panels can harness that energy to generate electricity during the day. But if solar energy is going to have a shot at being a clean source of powering the planet, scientists had to figure out how to store it for night-time use. The new system, designed by Meyer and colleagues at UNC and with Greg Parson’s group at NC State University, does exactly that. It is known as a dye-sensitized photoelectrosynthesis cell, or DSPEC, and it generates hydrogen fuel by using the sun’s energy to split water into its component parts. After the split, hydrogen is sequestered and stored, while the byproduct, oxygen, is released into the air. “But splitting water is extremely difficult to do,” said Meyer. “You need to take four electrons away from two water molecules, transfer them somewhere else, and make hydrogen, and, once you have done that, keep the hydrogen and oxygen separated. How to design molecules capable of doing that is a really big challenge that we’ve begun to overcome.”
Meyer’s new system can turn the sun’s energy into fuel while needing almost no external power to operate and releasing no greenhouse gases. What’s more, the infrastructure to install these sunlight-to-fuel converters is based on existing technology. A next target is to use the same approach to reduce carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, to a carbon-based fuel such as formate or methanol. “When you talk about powering a planet with energy stored in batteries, it’s just not practical,” said Meyer. “It turns out that the most energy dense way to store energy is in the chemical bonds of molecules. And that’s what we did — we found an answer through chemistry.” • — Thania Benios, UNC News Services
H I G H L I G H T S
Making solar affordable and accessible UNC scientists are trying to find ways to bring
the price of solar energy down and make solar-power devices more practical for much wider use. Most solar cells on the market today are made with costly silicon. Chemist Wei You and physicist Rene Lopez are experimenting with polymers, or plastics, to see if they can provide a cost-efficient replacement for silicon in solar cells. Plastic is cheaper than silicon and can be manipulated to convert absorbed sunlight into electricity. The key will be figuring out the right chemical configurations of polymers to create electricity efficiently. Lopez has experimented with many different solar-technology materials, including polymers, desensitized solar cells and quantum dots. Polymers aren’t the most efficient, but so far they seem like the least expensive to mass produce. Polymers are also lighter and they won’t fracture like the heavy, brittle silicon cells used in many solar energy panels. Some solar products already on the market are flexible and lightweight, but they’re still costly and don’t put out a lot of power. You’s team wants to build solar cells that can roll up like posters for easy packing and portability, while also providing enough power for anything from a camping trip to a military operation. They also want to make their new solar cell the first one that comes with a built-in battery, for storing power when the sun is down. You plans for the active part of the solar cell to be less than 500 nanometers thick. That’s one-twentieth of one millimeter. A big advantage of this kind of solar cell is that the polymers are processed in a liquid, opening up the possibility to cheaply massproduce solar cells by printing them onto plastic, much like printing a design on a T-shirt. This idea has attracted the attention of Solarmer Energy, an organic-photovoltaics company that has the technology to print these types of cells. The company will collaborate with labs at UNC and Duke to make sure the new cell design can be mass-produced with Solarmer’s technology. •
TOP: What might make solar technology more affordable? Trading silicon for plastic. B OTTOM : Chemist Wei You’s team wants to build solar cells that can roll up like posters for easy packing and portability.
Plastic is cheaper than silicon and can be manipulated to convert absorbed sunlight into electricity. The key will be figuring out the right chemical configurations of polymers to create electricity efficiently.
— E xc e rp te d f r o m a s to r y by S u s a n H a rd y in En d e avo r s m a g a z in e .
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 5
H I G H L I G H T S Two c l a ssi c s we re spe ctacula rly re i m a g i n e d onsta ge … po o lside
SOMETHING IN THE WATER AT PLAYMAKERS
A B OVE : From left, Brandon Garegnani and Arielle Yoder in PlayMakers’ production of “Metamorphoses.”
ast fall PlayMakers Repertory Company transformed the Paul Green Theatre into an aquatic wonderland complete with an indoor pool for the mythological storytelling of the Tony Award-winning play “Metamorphoses,” presented in repertory with the Shakespearean epic “The Tempest.” The production was co-directed by producing artistic director Joseph Haj and Dominique Serrand as part of UNC’s “Water in Our World” academic theme. DIVING INTO DESIGN Resident designers Jan Chambers and McKay Coble created the look for the oceanic setting. The UNC dramatic art faculty members are no strangers to working with water, having collaborated on “Pericles” for PlayMakers, but this undertaking took things to a new level. THE SET They researched aquatic environments from ancient Rome’s Baths of Caracalla and natural phenomena such as glacial lakes and cavern grottos to contemporary pools out of Architectural Digest. Then they focused on abandoned pools including Hashima, the Japanese island featured in the James Bond
thriller Skyfall, and Picine Molitor, a Parisian art nouveau swimming complex associated with Academy Award-winner The Life of Pi. They devised a three-story, coliseumlike edifice made of translucent plastic showcasing a pool filled with 15 tons of water over an open pit. Coble called this feat “a marriage of engineering and art.” The water had to be constantly cleaned, heated and recirculated. And with safety first, they included non-slip surfaces and water-proofing, along with support from steel thrusts and platforms with fencing at each level. They even got input from “Metamorphoses” playwright and director Mary Zimmerman — “make the pool liner black” — as the proven way to get the best reflective surface. THE COSTUMES … JUST ADD WATER With two casts of characters doing the things one can in a pool — frolic, bathe, dive, drown — the costumes were constantly splashed and immersed. So, a “wet plot” was devised mapping out who wore what at all times to determine which pieces should be doubled, whose hair would be dried, and how many sets of undergarments were
6 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
required, in addition to how all this would take place during quick changes. Campus and the media were abuzz, and reviewers, led by The News & Observer, proclaimed the repertory “must-see theater!“ The Chapel Hill News called the plays “audacious stagings” delivering “big creative payoffs.” The Daily Tar Heel gave the production five stars, saying “Joseph Haj’s risky vision to use a pool was well worth the wait … culminating in a thought-provoking and highly entertaining production!” • — By Connie Mahan
ONSTAGE AT PLAYMAKERS • April 2-20 Multiple Tony Award-winner “Assassins” with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim • April 23-27 “Hold These Truths” by Jeanne Sakata Performances at UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art, Country Club Road, Chapel Hill For tickets: 919-962-PLAY (7529) or www.playmakersrep.org.
H I G H L I G H T S
BUFKIN EARNS MITCHELL SCHOLARSHIP
stipend for one year. She will pursue a
master’s degree in moral, legal and political
interned for The
philosophy at Queens University in Belfast.
Huffington Post and
Bufkin, a cultural studies and history
major, is UNC’s third Mitchell recipient since
was awarded the
for a Mitchell Scholarship which supports
the first class of Mitchell Scholars in 2001.
arah Bufkin ’13 of Atlanta was selected
graduate studies in Ireland.
“It’s the crowning achievement of my
Fellowship to study
The Mitchell Scholarship honors
four years in Chapel Hill,” Bufkin said. “And
the intersection of
former U.S. Senate majority leader George
it will allow me to do more, to learn more —
Mitchell for his leadership in the Northern
to get a master’s (degree), which is something
political unrest and
Ireland peace process. Applicants are
I never thought I would be looking to do this
poetry in Northern
judged on scholarship, leadership and a
soon after graduating. I’m quite ecstatic.”
sustained commitment to community
Bufkin is a Morehead-Cain Scholar,
the 1970s. In the
A B O V E:
an Honors Carolina graduate and was
future, she would
inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. She previously
like to pursue a law
selected for the prestigious award, which
served as editor-in-chief of Campus BluePrint
degree and a doctorate in American studies.
provides tuition, accommodations, a living
and has been a counsel in the University’s
Long-term, she says, she would like to be a
expenses stipend and an international travel
student-run honor system.
civil rights public interest lawyer. •
and public service. Bufkin was one of 12 Americans
Ashby receives alumni faculty service award V
alerie Ashby, chair of the UNC chemistry department, received a 2014 General Alumni Association (GAA) Faculty Service Award. The award was established in 1990 and honors faculty members who have performed outstanding service for the University or the association. Ashby, of Durham, grew up in Clayton and earned both a bachelor’s degree in 1988 and a doctorate in 1994 in chemistry from UNC. After postdoctoral work overseas and a faculty position at Iowa State University, Ashby returned to UNC in 2003 as a professor in the chemistry department. She quickly became one of the most popular professors on campus, and in 2007 was named the Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Professor for excellence in undergraduate teaching and research. She became department chair in 2012. Her research focuses on synthesis of biomaterials used for such functions as drug delivery and gene therapy. Ashby also is director of the UNC National Science Foundation program aimed at promoting underrepresented minorities into doctoral programs in science, technology, engineering and math, which she participated in as a student. She received the outstanding faculty/staff award from the GAA-sponsored Black Alumni Reunion’s Light on the Hill Society in 2008 and was UNC’s December commencement speaker that same year. She is the UNC faculty marshal and served on the GAA board of directors as a faculty representative for 2010-11. • L E F T: Valerie Ashby
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 7
H I G H L I G H T S
Making a difference in the lives of schizophrenia patients T
he special mentormentee relationship between David Penn and Dave Roberts has led to improving the social lives of schizophrenia patients around the world. It all started in a psychology lab at Carolina. Penn is the Linda Wagner-Martin Distinguished Professor of Psychology at UNC. Roberts (Ph.D. ’08), now an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, was Penn’s student. Roberts works in the Division of Schizophrenia and Related Disorders at UT. When people think of schizophrenia, they often think of hallucinations and delusions, but patients say one of their chief frustrations is figuring out how to interact in social situations, Penn said. Scientists use the term “social cognition” to refer to the mental operations underlying social interaction, including the ability to infer another person’s emotions from facial expressions. In 2004, Roberts was doing a clinical rotation at John Umstead Hospital in Butner when he noticed that the schizophrenia patients didn’t seem fully engaged in the existing treatment process. But when they watched television, particularly episodes of shows like “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm” — which feature socially awkward situations — Roberts saw a spark of recognition. There was laughter among the patients. And shared understanding. Roberts knew he was on to something. He went back to Penn, who encouraged him
A B O V E : David Penn (far left) and Dave Roberts (across from Penn, far right) are helping schizophrenia patients around the world learn to deal with social situations.
to develop a new treatment approach based on social cognition, with video as one of the components. They wrote their own scripts and hired actors to create what a 2007 New Yorker story featuring their research called “cringe-worthy situations.” The result was Social Cognition and Interaction Training or SCIT, a group therapy treatment that is designed to improve the social functioning skills of people with schizophrenia. The numbers tell the story of SCIT’s success. The treatment manual and videos have been translated into Mandarin, Cantonese, Portuguese, Spanish, Finnish, Hebrew and Japanese. Roberts has made SCIT the centerpiece of his professional career. The duo have trained more than 400 clinicians in the United States, Japan, England, Portugal, Finland, China, Hong Kong, Australia and France. Two of their colleagues at UNC have developed SCIT-A, a version tailored to people with autism-spectrum disorders. Penn was recognized last fall with an Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award — given to only 10 professors from universities across the U.S. — for inspiring a former student to make a difference in his community. Roberts nominated his mentor for the award, writing “David always reminded me that our laboratory work means nothing if it cannot be put to the service of patients living in the community. This perspective so pervades David’s approach as a mentor
8 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
that to me the need to work directly with patients and front-line clinicians feels like an imperative.” Roberts said Penn encouraged him to take the lead on developing SCIT. Penn insists that’s what a good mentor should do. “Like anything else, when you have good students, they make you better; they push you. It’s a relationship that is very much reciprocal,” Penn said. “When you see that spark go off in students, you know they’re going to run with it, and I knew [SCIT] would have legs. As a mentor, you want to find out, ‘What is it that gets the student excited about the research?’” The two went on to edit a book together, with Roberts as lead author. Social Cognition in Schizophrenia: From Evidence to Treatment was published by Oxford University Press in 2013. Oxford Press will also publish the SCIT manual this year. And Roberts is working on an iPad app to enable SCIT to be delivered to patients who live in rural areas or who lack transportation to mental health clinics. Penn is appreciative of the Beckman recognition. Still, he confesses that the congratulations card his current graduate students gave him for receiving the award means more to him than the award itself. “I get to work with people like Dave Roberts, a brilliant young man and a nice guy,” Penn said. “It becomes not about the publications, not about the grants, but about potentially something you can do to make a difference.” • — By Kim Weaver Spurr ’88
H I G H L I G H T S
ENTREPRENEURSHIP STUDENT DESIGNS TRACKABLE WALLET
UNC student Andrew Royce Bauer ’16, an
African, African-American and diaspora studies major and entrepreneurship minor, has created buzz with his new Royce Freedom GPS Wallet. The product was featured in Glamour magazine. Twenty-year-old Bauer is also CEO of his family’s leather company, Royce. He talked to us about his inspiration for the wallet.
Q: Tell us about how the wallet works. How does it protect against electronic theft?
A: The Royce Freedom Wallet is stored with GPS
A B OVE : Two related species of sulphur butterflies in Colorado and California are evolving to adapt to climate change.
technology from a high-tech mobile application available on the Apple App Store and Android Market to track the exact location of your wallet wherever you go. The wallet is crafted with technology to stop thieves from fraudulently accessing your personal information.
Caterpillars respond to climate change R
esearch by a team of UNC biologists and graduate students shows that some caterpillars are already evolving to cope with climate change. Caterpillars of two species of butterflies in Colorado and California have evolved to feed rapidly at higher and at a broader range of temperatures in the past 40 years, their study shows. “To our knowledge, this is the first instance where we show changes in physiological traits in response to recent climate change,” said Joel Kingsolver, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Biology. Caterpillars can eat and grow only when it’s not too cold and not too hot, explained Kingsolver. But when temperatures are ideal, caterpillars eat with reckless abandon and can gain up to 20 percent of their body weight in an hour. Jessica Higgins, a graduate student in Kingsolver’s lab who spearheaded the study, worked with fellow UNC graduate student Heidi MacLean, former UNC faculty member Lauren Buckley and Kingsolver to compare modern caterpillars to their ancestors from 40 years ago. Their results show that the two related species of sulphur butterflies have adapted in two ways: • broadened the range of ideal feeding temperatures. • shifted their optimal feeding temperature to a higher one. In their work, the researchers measured changes in climate at the two study sites and then examined changes in the caterpillars feeding rates using current and historical data from the 1970s, collected by Kingsolver’s graduate adviser Ward Watt. Although they found little change in the average air temperature at both study sites, they noticed that the frequency of hot temperatures — that is, temperatures that exceeded 82 degrees Fahrenheit –— increased two-fold in Colorado and four-fold in California over the past 40 years. In response to these temperature fluctuations, modern caterpillars in Colorado ate faster at higher temperatures than their 1970s counterparts. In California, the modern caterpillars ate faster at both high and low temperatures than did their ancestors, but their optimal feeding temperatures did not change. •
Q: How did you get the idea for a wallet with GPS? A: Professor Buck Goldstein and program director Lizzy Hazeltine in the entrepreneurship minor have really encouraged me to create ideas that can have a widespread impact. The idea came to me during my freshman year in response to losing my wallet, and development took over a year.
Q: How has your experience at UNC contributed
to your success? Were specific professors or classes helpful to you?
A: Professor Goldstein has changed my life. His
mentorship has been decisive in the decisions I have made both inside and outside the classroom. The minor in entrepreneurship has accelerated my aspirations much faster than I ever anticipated.
Q: What do you want to do after graduation? A: After graduation, I intend on building my business until I [can] begin investing in social change through nonprofit work and public service.
Q: What advice would you give other students
seeking to undertake entrepreneurial ventures while in school?
A: Choose wisely. As entrepreneurs, we have a lot of
different ideas. If you are going to start a venture or run a company, make sure it has scalability, long-term value, and both a moral and financial incentive for you to sustain it for a long period of time. The Royce Freedom Wallet can be found at Brookstone.com and Amazon.com.
— B y B e t h L a w r e n c e ’12
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 9
H I G H L I G H T S
STUDENT’S WORK IN FLUIDS LAB INSPIRES MATH GIFT hris Joy ’13 was so excited about his summer internship that the math major’s parents wanted other Carolina students to benefit from a similar experience. Bob and Molly Joy of Vonore, Tenn., created the Robert Joseph and Myra Ficklen Joy Excellence Fund in the department of mathematics after Chris spent the summer before his senior year working in Carolina’s fluids laboratory — home to the wave machine— simulating oil spills and collaborating with faculty and graduate students. “ T his w a s su ch a n e ye - o p e ning e x p e r ie n c e fo r C hr is, using m at h in a p r a c t ic a l s e ns e a n d m a k ing it r e a l. We n e e d m o r e m at h a n d s cie n c e m a jo r s, a n d h o p e t hat m a ny ot h e r C a r o lina s t u d e nt s have t h e o p p o r t unit y to e ng a ge in r e a l -wo rld a p plic at io ns of w hat t h e y l e a r n in t h e cla ssr o o m.”
— B O B J OY
The Joy endowment will support math undergraduates — as well as graduate and postdoctoral students — with stipends, research materials, equipment and conference and symposia expenses. Those resources will supplement their classroom experience and inspire them to use what they have learned to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems. “This was such an eye-opening experience for Chris, using math in a practical sense and making it real,” said Bob. “We need more math and science majors, and hope that many other Carolina students
ABO V E : Scientists have used the large wave tank in Chapman Hall to study the physics of oil plumes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. • RI GH T: Bob and Molly Joy, far right, celebrate Chris’ graduation with brother Robert and sister Kelley.
have the opportunity to engage in realworld applications of what they learn in the classroom.” Today, Chris is a dedicated and energetic math teacher at Cedar Ridge High School in Hillsborough, N.C. He is also the school’s head coach for the junior varsity baseball team and assistant baseball coach for the varsity squad (he was a pitcher in high school). He is merging his two passions and inspiring more students to study math and science in college. Chris was enrolled in the UNC-BEST program, which provides math and science majors with a fast track to teacher licensure, helping to fill a shortage of qualified science teachers in high schools. “The Joys’ gift will make possible many fantastic opportunities for our students,” said Rich McLaughlin, department chair. “The excellent research that Chris conducted with a fluids lab research team ultimately led to several undergraduates traveling to present their findings at the national American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics [thanks to] Joy funding. “We look forward to sending many more students to national meetings and being able to provide critical support for generations of math students.” The Joys have long supported their three children’s alma maters, “especially
10 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
when they have such positive experiences,” said Bob, who retired five years ago after a 25-year career as a Colgate-Palmolive executive. A Tennessee native, Bob earned a bachelor’s degree from East Tennessee State University. Molly graduated from Hollins College with a degree in English and later earned a Ph.D. in political science from The George Washington University. She has deep family ties to Carolina: her father, brother, sister and niece are alumni. Though retired from their professional lives, Bob and Molly spend many hours each week as volunteers for The Bush Family Refuge, which serves the homeless, and the Helen Ross McNabb Center, which provides mental health services for families. Molly also volunteers at the Vonore Public Library. For the Joys, supporting Carolina is an extension of their family tradition of finding a need, then helping to fill it. • — By Del Helton
H I G H L I G H T S Even while immersed in chemistry her senior year, she found time to take a philosophy course. “It was fantastic,” she said, glad that she tried something completely different from her major. After graduating from UNC, the Winston-Salem native earned an MBA from Dartmouth and joined Goldman Sachs, eventually being named a vice president in the fixed-income division. She has since traded her
investment banking career for one as a community leader
Supporting ‘the heart of the University’ ABO VE: Vicki and David Craver, here with their three daughters,
make supporting academic causes in the College a top priority.
in her home of Riverside, Conn. Craver also chairs the board of the Fairfield County Community Foundation. The Cravers are parents to three young daughters. In addition to Carolina’s science complex, the Cravers have supported the Annual Fund, the Kappa
ickie Underwood Craver ’92, chair of the Arts and Sciences
Kappa Gamma Distinguished Professorship and many faculty
Foundation Board of Directors, could once be found deep inside the
projects. The College’s academic departments are in constant need
old Venable Hall chemistry lab, toiling over her experiments.
of private support, Craver said. Carolina faculty use private gifts to enable a range of important
If the former chemistry major were a student today, she would find herself in Carolina’s airy, new state-of-the-art physical science
academic activities from indexing a new book to mounting a new art
complex. In fact, she and her husband David Craver ’92, managing
exhibit. The couple’s support has been used to help send students to
director at Lone Pine Capital, helped build it, donating funds to equip
a jazz festival, fund faculty travel to academic conferences, and bring
a lecture room in Chapman Hall.
artists to campus for public talks. All these things require private support, she says.
Supporting academic causes within the College of Arts and Sci-
“The coffers are not deep. There is an immediate need. And
ences is Craver’s top priority for UNC. Looking back, she is thankful for the rich array of courses she found there as an undergraduate.
“The College is the heart of the University,” she said.
even small amounts of money, a couple of hundred dollars, can make a big difference.” •
— By Rah Bickley ’86
HILL HALL AUDITORIUM TO BE NAMED FOR THE MOESERS
ill Hall’s auditorium will be renovated and named after James and Susan Moeser. Hill Hall houses the music department. James Moeser served as the University’s chancellor from 2000 to 2008, and is a renowned organ recitalist, church musician and teacher. Susan Moeser is the University Organist and is a lecturer in the department of music. The new name will be the “James and Susan Moeser Auditorium.” Renovations to the 550-seat auditorium and rotunda are expected to begin in 2015 and take two years to complete. Upgrades will include a climate control system, a state-of-the-art acoustical treatment, a professional grade stage, and a piano and equipment lift. Total cost of the renovations is $15 million, with one-third coming from the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust, which launched the project; one-third from the Office of the Provost; and one-third from a special fundraising campaign managed by the Arts and Sciences Foundation. None of the money is coming from state-appropriated funds. • L EF T: James and Susan Moeser.
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 11
H I G H L I G H T S
he 2013 Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service to the College honors two alumni: Julia Sprunt Grumbles ’75 of Chapel Hill and the late Frank Borden Hanes Sr. ’42 of Winston-Salem. The award, established in 2010 by the Arts and Sciences Foundation, recognizes volunteers who have served the College with “exceptional vision and leadership.” Grumbles served as interim vice chancellor of university development from 2012 to 2013 while a search for a permanent director was under way. She retired in 2006 as a corporate vice president and the senior ranking woman at Turner Broadcasting Systems. In addition, Grumbles has served as: • A founder of the Carolina Women’s Leadership Council, which recognizes outstanding faculty, mentors promising students and brings together Tar Heel women with a common love for the University.
• A mentor to undergraduates in the College’s minor in entrepreneurship. • A counsel to the Chancellor’s Innovation Circle, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities Advisory Board and the steering committee of the Carolina First fundraising campaign. Hanes, a poet, novelist, journalist, farmer, outdoorsman, businessman and philanthropist, served his alma mater with selfless generosity as Carolina’s champion of the liberal arts. Hanes established multiple endowments bearing the names of family and friends, funds in the College that will benefit generations of students and faculty, and that reflect his love of creative writing, Will Owens
ECONOMICS GIFT SUPPORTS FACULTY WHO INSPIRED ALUM’S CAREER
hen Mark Kogan ’79 made a gift to the department of economics in 2010, he never expected to support one of the professors who taught him as an undergraduate more than 30 years earlier. Kogan established the Mark Kogan Fund for Excellence in the Department of Economics to honor the exceptional faculty in the economics department who inspired his successful business career. One of his professors, Art Benavie, became a recipient of Kogan funding in spring 2012. “Supporting professors who inspired me makes me feel like I’m giving back just a small part of what they’ve given me and that my life has come full circle,” Kogan said. After graduating from Carolina with a double major in economics and political science, Kogan joined Data Resources, Inc., an econometrics consulting company. He
then received an MBA from Harvard Business School and enjoyed a 19-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. in New York, Los Angeles and London before retiring in 2004. Kogan’s philanthropic spirit stems from his upbringing. His father, Jay Kogan, and grandfather, Irwin Cohn, were successful businessmen and philanthropists who encouraged their family to practice Tikkun Olam (“repair the world” in Hebrew). These role models taught Kogan that giving back rewards the donor just as much as the recipient. Kogan noted that navigating today’s increasingly competitive business world demands a thorough knowledge of economics and finance. “Through my studies, I developed a passion for understanding how the national and international economy shapes our lives,” Kogan said. “Being able to challenge and
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TWO ALUMNI HONORED FOR DISTINGUISHED SERVICE •
A B OV E : Julia Sprunt Grumbles (center) with, from left, Dean Karen Gil and Vicki Craver. • L E FT: Frank Borden Hanes Sr.
the humanities and art. In 1985, the Frank Borden and Barbara Lasater Hanes Art Center was dedicated in honor of the family’s support of the arts. In addition, Hanes: • Created the Thomas Wolfe Scholarship in Creative Writing to encourage and challenge good writers and talented faculty and to help students. • Founded the Arts and Sciences Foundation in 1975 to inspire private gifts that would elevate and strengthen the College, its faculty and students. A UNC professor once said of Hanes, “the whole span of his works and services to this University is a long season of friendship in multiple manifestations.” •
FR OM L E FT: Eli, Mark,
Betsy and Benjamin Kogan.
debate economic policies makes me a better investor and businessperson.” For others who are considering a philanthropic gift, Kogan offers this advice: “Don’t wait. After you start giving back, you realize that your world has expanded,” he said. “You meet interesting people, you get to see how you have an impact on others’ lives, and you feel more spiritually connected to your community and the institutions you support.” • — B y B r i t t a n y D a r s t ’ 14
H I G H L I G H T S
A BOVE: Psychology major Kandace Thomas ’13 (right) at the annual Celebration of
Undergraduate Research. Practical experiences for psychology students are the impetus behind new internships.
NEW PSYCHOLOGY INTERNSHIPS HONOR DEAN GIL
arolina’s psychology undergraduates will soon have the chance to apply for semester-long internships in the Triangle area, thanks to a major gift from a Carolina alumna and her husband. The Karen M. Gil Internship in Psychology Program honors Karen Gil, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and the Lee G. Pedersen Distinguished Professor of Psychology and professor of psychiatry. Gil’s scholarly work is in health psychology, and she has published extensively on the topics of pain, stress and childhood illness. “I am deeply honored that this exciting new initiative will carry my name,” Gil said. The $500,000 gift will provide experience for 10 to 15 student interns per semester starting in fall 2014, as well as funds for program administration. The donors — who wish to remain anonymous — say the idea is to help UNC differentiate itself from other universities. “Because of this generous gift, students will obtain work experience that will help them integrate their classroom studies with practical professional experience,” said
Beth Kurtz-Costes, director of undergraduate studies and professor of developmental psychology. “It will also help them start to decide on future career goals.” The alumna behind the new fund got the idea from her own experience at UNC. As a psychology major, she found an internship in a local hospital and calls the experience “priceless.” She hopes that the Gil Psychology Internship Program will prompt other departments to offer similar opportunities. “From the beginning, Dean Gil embraced with zeal our idea and challenge of implementing a pilot psychology internship program. The fund pays tribute to her service to the College as dean and to her background as a clinical health psychologist, distinguished professor and department chair,” the alumna said. Students could work as an intern in a clinical setting such as a mental health center, hospice or program for the autistic or learningdisabled. It could be a job assisting school guidance counselors, or doing school testing and evaluation. It could mean conducting lab research at a pharmaceutical company. Or it
could be work in marketing or another field that attempts to change human behavior. While the type of workplace will vary widely, only those that offer superior oversight and training will be accepted, said Steve Buzinski, faculty director of the program. The students will work eight to 10 hours a week. They will also meet weekly with Buzinski for a class to review psychology proficiencies and for professional skill development. Competition for the 20 to 30 internships per year will be intense. The department will require a cumulative GPA of 3.4 or higher, plus an interview and strong letters of recommendation from faculty. “The idea is to offer a high-quality experience,” Buzinski said. “Our interns are going to be making a significant impact on the workplace and gaining important skills.” • For more information about the Gil Psycholog y Internship, contact Dana Ripperton, internship manager, department of psycholog y, dripper@ email.unc.edu, (919) 962-4155. — By Rah Bickley ’86
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 13
GLOBAL READY 14 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
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Joint degree from UNC and the National University of Singapore gives students an edge
arolina took its global education ambitions to a new level in 2007, when the College of Arts and Sciences established an unusual joint degree program with the National University of Singapore (NUS), considered among the best universities in the world. Undergraduates from UNC and NUS can study abroad at the partner institution for two to four semesters and receive a degree from both universities when they graduate. The program is open to students majoring in economics, English literature, geography, history and political science, and will be expanded to biology majors this fall. A joint UNC-NUS degree is an enviable credential for students who wish to work in the global arena. David Crawford, the first Carolina student to enroll in the program, graduated from UNC and NUS in 2011 with a joint degree in geography. He applied to the program during his first year at Carolina, and spent his entire sophomore year (2008-09) in Singapore. He says it was “transformational.” Crawford’s experience at NUS — supported by a UNC Phillips Ambassadors scholarship [see page 16] —launched him on an intense global adventure. His NUS studies and experiences helped him gain a UNC Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF), as well as internships in Singapore, Bangladesh and Hungary, and a graduate degree in international development from Britain’s University of Manchester. Since beginning his studies in Singapore, he has traveled to 40 countries. Now he works in Washington, D.C., for
Accenture, one of the largest international consulting firms in the world. He uses communications technology to address global supply-chain issues. “I wouldn’t be where I am today,” he said, if not for the UNC-NUS experience. Originally from Huntersville, N.C., Crawford took geography courses at NUS in tourism, migration and international development (all taught in English). He also studied Chinese. Through a class taught by Brenda Yeoh, professor of geography and dean of the NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Crawford became interested in the foreign workforce behind Singapore’s robust economy. He obtained an internship in Singapore’s “Little India” community, where he worked during the school year with TWC2 (Transient Workers Count Too) a nonprofit addressing migrant rights. His SURF fellowship supported a summer internship on migrant issues in Bangladesh. That resulted in a publication with UNC Geography Professor Nina Martin. They presented their findings at a conference at NUS. “The whole year helped me develop in ways I wouldn’t have otherwise,” said Crawford. ★ A global village Crawford enjoyed living at NUS in a dormitory suite with other international students from all over the world. “It was like living in a global village,” he said. He made friends with students from Singapore, New Zealand, Canada and Europe. He also explored the affordable international cuisine available at “hawker centers,” food stalls for which Singapore is famous. C O N T I N U E D
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 15
During his year in Singapore, Crawford was able to travel throughout Southeast Asia. He visited Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Macao, all easily accessible from Singapore. Crawford’s enthusiasm for studying in Asia reflects a recent trend. About 175 UNC students go to Asia annually, with about 20 percent choosing to study in Singapore. Nine Carolina students have graduated with the joint UNC-NUS degree so far, with two more set to graduate in 2015. Fifteen NUS students have also graduated with the joint degree. Many more UNC students have studied in Singapore over the past decade as part of semester or summer programs based at NUS. A total of 374 UNC students have studied there since 2003, and 177 NUS students have studied for similar periods at Carolina. ★ World-class partners Like Carolina, NUS is a researchintensive university with outstanding learning opportunities for students. The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2013-14 placed the National University of Singapore 26th in the world and 2nd in Asia. It’s also affordable: Carolina students pay UNC tuition and fees to study at NUS, where housing and food on campus are also
★ Phillips Ambassadors The Phillips Ambassadors Program was established in 2006 with a generous gift from alumnus Earl N. “Phil” Phillips Jr. of Chapel Hill, a business executive and former U.S. Ambassador to the Eastern Caribbean and his family. This scholarship given annually to about 30 undergraduate students combines a financial award for a study abroad program in Asia with an academic course that puts the experience in greater global context. By the end of 2014, the program will have supported 200 Carolina students, including two of the three NUS joint degree program participants featured in this story.
relatively inexpensive. “The joint degree program provides a unique opportunity for our students to get a broader and deeper education in their major by studying with outstanding faculty at two world-class universities, instead of just one,” said Bob Miles, UNC associate dean for study abroad and international exchanges. Carolina’s NUS partners agree. The joint degree program gives students at both schools “a degree that fewer than 25 people in the entire world have right now,” said Shirley Koh, NUS senior manager in the dean’s office for the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. NUS is the oldest university in Singapore, founded in 1905. The main Kent Ridge campus is modern, with highrise buildings and recreation areas spread across 370 acres. Students take shuttle buses to reach some parts of campus, like they do at Carolina. They also have easy access to the hyper-efficient MRT, a mass transit system linking subways and buses all over urban Singapore. ★ Cosmopolitan and complex Studying at NUS means a chance to live in an exciting, international city-state. Located at the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula, Singapore is a gateway to Asia, the fastest growing region of the world. It also enjoys one of the world’s highest per capita incomes. Singapore’s 5.3 million people reflect a blend of Asian cultures. Forty percent of the population come from another country.
16 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
They include executives of multinational corporations from all over and thousands of low-wage migrant laborers streaming in from throughout Asia. Three in four Singapore residents have roots in China. About 13 percent are Malaysian and 9 percent Indian. The official languages are English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil. The population is also religiously diverse. About one third are Buddhists, with plenty of practitioners of Christianity, Hinduism and Taoism, along with Sikhs and Zoroastrians. About 17 percent practice no religion. Singapore was part of a British settlement for many years, until 1963, when the region formed the nation of Malaysia. The sovereign city-state island now known as Singapore separated from Malaysia in 1965. Since then it has been a constitutional republic with a parliamentary system, but it’s always been dominated by one political party. Citizens enjoy free expression in private, but they can be punished for being openly critical of the government. It’s illegal to carry a gun, and drug trafficking can be punishable by execution. When visitors first arrive in Singapore they notice three things: It’s remarkably clean, green and safe when compared to major cities of the United States and Europe. Litter is swiftly swept away, trees shade more than half of the urban streetscape, and one can walk at night and travel on public transit worry-free. Located about 90 miles from the
★ SEAS: Exciting, early intro
artificial trees that light up futuristic Gardens by the Bay, a Singapore horticultural park promoting sustainability. ★ BELOW LEFT: One in three people living in Singapore are Buddhists, and the sacred icons can be found in diverse poses everywhere. This is one of many seen in a temple in Chinatown.
★ LEFT: David Crawford during his sophomore year in Singapore. ★ BELOW: One of the giant,
Equator, it is also hot and humid year-round (think Carolina summer). But its vibrant parks and gardens, aircooled museums and casinos, and riverside promenade and harbor make it easier to cope with high temperatures. Students roam the spice shops, markets and food stalls of Little India, China Town, Kampong Glam and Arab Street. They sample chili crabs, spicy Laksa, mutton masala, and, believe it or not, ice cream sandwiches made with bread. Shopping for deals and labels seems to be the national pastime. Silks and batiks are cheap in the sari shops of Little India. And high-end designer apparel can be found in Prada’s waterfront boutique or along touristy Orchard Road, where thousands of young people throng beneath the moving neon ads pulsing music from high-rise storefronts. ★ She never looked back Jennifer Yeh graduated with a joint degree in English and comparative literature, with honors, from UNC and NUS in 2013.
She liked NUS so much that she decided to spend both her junior and senior years studying there. She remains in Singapore today, where she works for a private tutoring company helping elementary age students improve their English skills. Yeh was raised in Cary by parents who emigrated from Taiwan. She speaks Mandarin and was interested in studying in Asia. After meeting students from NUS who were studying at UNC, she decided to try the joint degree program in Singapore. She never looked back. “The classes were great,” she said. She especially enjoyed the literature courses, which were small seminars and tutorials that were part of the NUS honors program. NUS social life revolves around the residence halls. Yeh stayed in King Edward VII Hall, centrally located on the hilly Kent Ridge campus, where UNC students live and take most of their courses. She got immersed in many extracurricular activities, playing intramural sports (net ball and touch rugby), developing sets for a theatrical production, working on the yearbook, and participating in dance and an awards program. “I am still close to friends I made there,” she said. •
Among the Carolina students participating in the shorter summer programs based at NUS, are 25 students every year who enroll in UNC’s Southeast Asia Summer (SEAS). Funded by a gift in 2005 from the Twelve Labours Foundation, the eightweek program is designed to introduce Tar Heels to the region at the end of their first year. It’s especially appealing for students who have not yet been abroad or may not be fluent in another language. Madelyn Usher ’15, a political science major and public policy minor from Charlotte, had never been on an airplane before when she flew to Singapore in May 2012 at the end of her first year to participate in the summer program. “I was the first one in my family to get a passport,” she said. The SEAS program provides a great introduction to Singapore, the region and other cultures. As part of the program, students have classes at NUS and travel together to other points in Southeast Asia. Usher visited Bangkok, Brunei and rural Thailand. It’s not unusual for SEAS participants to study abroad again. Usher was accepted in the UNCNUS joint degree program. When she learned she also had won a Phillips Ambassadors scholarship to support the adventure (see page 15), she decided to stay on in Singapore for her sophomore year. She will graduate in 2015 with a joint degree in political science from UNC and NUS. The SEAS program helped her make the giant leap from having no travel experience at all, to wanting to fully immerse in another culture for an extended period of time. Both opportunities were made possible through privately supported study abroad scholarships. “When you read about other places and cultures it’s only half an education,” she said. “You have to see it firsthand.”
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 17
HEELS IN HONG KONG: EAST MEETS WEST IN GLOBAL CAPITAL B Y
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t the end of her first year at Carolina, Jashawnna Gladney ’16 had never been out of the country or even flown on an airplane. The Thomasville, N.C., native was eager to see the world. Her dream came true last June when she boarded a jet in Raleigh for a 17-hour trip halfway around the planet to a leading global financial hub in one of the world’s fastest growing regions. She had won a competitive Hong Kong Alumni Club Study Abroad Scholarship (see page 19) and would spend five weeks in an international program at Chinese University of Hong Kong, followed by two weeks teaching English to adolescents on the coast of mainland China. “It was by far the best experience of my life,” she said of the summer of 2013. “It was fascinating — the cultural differences, the food, the opportunity to learn about it all while living there.” She lived and studied on a modern verdant campus with students from Hong Kong, mainland China and all over the world. She took classes in traditional Chinese medicine and Chinese philosophy. She saw firsthand how Chinese doctors employed both Chinese medicine and western practices. She visited an herbal medicine garden and a hospital, and was given the chance to practice acupuncture and learn about the 29 different pulses in Chinese medicine. Gladney also enjoyed cultural field trips that revealed Hong Kong as a place where East and West intersect in surprising ways. She and classmates visited nearby Lan Tau Island west of the bustling city. There they stopped at Tai O, a picturesque traditional fishing village, where houses are built on stilts directly over the sea. The students also trekked up 260 steps to see the world’s largest outdoor seated Buddha statue at the ridge-top Po Lin monastery complex on the same island. To reach this sacred icon visitors are directed past souvenir stands, eateries and billboards hawking competitive
commercial ad space. Gladney also got to see what life is like in rural China. She volunteered to teach two classes, a total of about 40 students, age 10-16, at a local school in the Fujian Province. They had been studying English since they started elementary school, so her job was to encourage them to converse more confidently. “We taught them American games and songs, such as Hokey Pokey,” she said, to help them incorporate English words. All of these experiences had a profound effect on Gladney. “I’ve changed,” she said. “I’m much more globally and culturally aware.”
Back at UNC she is focusing her studies on her new interest in combining public health, education and policy, she said, “to make a difference in the world.” Gladney is part of a growing trend of Tar Heels choosing to study abroad in Asia (see related story pages 14-17.) Over the past decade, 149 Carolina undergraduates have studied in Hong Kong, where UNC’s Study Abroad Office has exchange programs with two major institutions: Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)
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and the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Hong Kong holds a special appeal. An exciting metropolis of 7 million people, it has a booming free-market economy with one of the highest per-capita incomes in the world. As a former British colony, it pulses with a fusion of European and Asian influences evident in its architecture, cuisine, culture and politics. Residents of this “special administrative region” enjoy more personal freedom than their counterparts in the rest of the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong attracts students who are curious about China, but may not speak the local languages. With clear, bilingual signs on streets and shops, and a mass transit system that is fast, clean and easy to navigate, students have no problems getting around. The sub-tropical climate is especially appealing during the “winter” months. Students like to explore parks, trails and outdoor markets. They seek out hole-in-the-
take the MTR subway to a mega shopping mall or into town to explore nightlife, markets and eateries. Mainland China is only 40 minutes away by train. Sarah Wilkey ’14, a UNC exercise and sport science major who grew up in Atlanta, enjoyed spending the spring term of her junior year at CUHK. She took five classes in geography of ★ ABOVE: Daniel Chan, CUHK student adviser, at the serene China, Hong Kong literature, Pavilion of Harmony pond on campus, overlooking Tolo Harbor. the philosophy of life, ★ TOP LEFT: Jashawnna Gladney poses with the “Big Buddha” statistics and biomedical at Po Lin monastery. ★ BOTTOM LEFT: Sarah Wilkey at the engineering. She especially Temple of 10,000 Buddhas. enjoyed conducting biomechanical research wall noodle shops, where a hearty meal may at a nearby hospital laboratory, where she analyzed an ankle sprain basketball injury cost the equivalent of $3 in U.S. currency. Whether looking down from Victoria Peak, or using a model-based image matching across the harbor while riding the Star Ferry, program. “It was my first opportunity to conduct they marvel at the neon skyline and laser a research project like this,” she said. “I used light shows that illuminate Victoria Harbor. new technology I had never used before, Even shoppers on a student’s budget and worked in a hospital lab setting, in Hong can find great deals on foot massages, Kong!” Pashminas and jade jewelry, while evading She hopes that the work she did in street hawkers touting “handbags, watches, Hong Kong will help her stand out when she tailors” and more. On long weekends, applies to graduate school for biomechanics. students have plenty of time to explore disco and karaoke, hop a train to adjacent ★ University of Hong Kong mainland China, or board a cheap flight to Founded in 1910, the University of other Asian cities. Hong Kong (HKU), with 22,000 students, is considered one of the best English★ Chinese University of Hong Kong Established in 1963, Chinese University language institutions in Asia. It’s located in a more condense, vertical urban campus of Hong Kong is a first-rate, comprehensive in the heart of Hong Kong, which makes it research institution with about 14,000 especially attractive to students interested students and four Nobel laureates on its in the hustle and bustle of 24/7 city life. faculty. It’s situated in the New Territories Students enjoy the nearby nightclubs, on the northern edge of Hong Kong. The restaurants and markets in the Central campus features high-rise classrooms and district, accessible from the world’s longest residence halls, athletic fields, parks and escalator, 2,600 feet of moving stairs and trails spread across 335 acres on the side sidewalks. of a mountain, with stunning views of Tolo Komal Patel ’14, a public health/ Harbor. It’s a comfortable place to study and nutrition major from Cary, liked HKU’s to make friends with students from all over urban campus and its educational the world, away from the noise and crowds opportunities. She could choose from a of the central city. wide range of classes spanning the arts UNC students can select courses and sciences. During her fall 2012 study taught in English from a wide range of abroad experience there, she took a class disciplines spanning the arts and sciences, on the psychology of Buddhism taught by business, law and engineering. They can also study Mandarin or Cantonese. They can a Buddhist monk. She learned meditation
practices and attended a retreat at the monastery. She also studied the history of Western and Chinese medicine, art history and philosophy. She lived in an international hall with students from China and all over the world. And she traveled to mainland China, Malaysia, Thailand and Japan. “I’m grateful for the entire experience,” she said. “Hong Kong was overwhelming at first. But soon I realized I could use public transportation on my own, meet new people, go anywhere by myself, even at night. I learned I can adapt to anything and learn new things. This had a great effect on me, and I still reflect on it a year later.” •
★ Alumni Support Study Abroad Jashawnna Gladney would not have been able to study in Asia last summer (see story on page 18) without the scholarship support provided by the Hong Kong Alumni Club. She and Melody Lee, an anthropology major from Charlotte, were the first two recipients of the new award. Established in 2008, the Hong Kong club is the first Carolina alumni group to provide support for study abroad. They raised $42,000 to support a total of six students (two each year) for a five-week summer study program at Chinese University of Hong Kong. The alumni club created the scholarship specifically for Carolina Covenant Scholars, high-achieving undergraduates from low-income households, who have the opportunity to graduate from UNC debt-free. “We wanted to help more students study abroad because it helps broaden anyone’s education,” said club co-chair Alex McMillan ’94, a British citizen who studied at UNC on a Morehead Scholarship (now called Morehead-Cain Scholarship). He’s been living and working in Hong Kong for more than a decade. More than 100 Carolina alumni live in Hong Kong.
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 19
GAGGLE Six recent entrepreneurship alumnae land jobs with the search giant B y
P a m e l a
B a b c o c k
n the 2013 comedy
a community for
women in science and
actors Vince Vaughn
technology “to continue
and Owen Wilson play
to do awesome things
laid off 40-something
watch salesmen who
Bouchon works in Google’s New
York office to amplify
against scores of tech-
programming for major
savvy younger interns
for a coveted job at the
such as NASA,
code.org and National Chris Klemens
land internships at
The two actors perhaps could have gotten a leg up by enrolling in Carolina’s minor in
Geographic. She recently demonstrated her passion for beekeeping
ABOVE: From left, Abby Bouchon and Meghan Lyons in Google’s New York office.
in a video highlighting how Google Glass,
“e-minor” program, based in the department
controversial $50 billion company that’s
a wearable computer with an optical head-
of economics in the College of Arts and
shaping today and tomorrow.
mounted display, could be used to teach
Sciences. At the tech behemoth, six standout
Two got their start as Google interns.
beekeeping. The video was shot in a most
The e-minor program consists of classes
unlikely place — atop New York’s landmark
young UNC alumnae are doing everything
and an internship, and it provides real-world
Waldorf Astoria hotel on Park Avenue.
from writing code, making YouTube music
lessons from successful entrepreneurs.
The segment was then shared with over
better and promoting STEM — science,
Nearly 1,000 students have enrolled in the
800 members of the Google+ Beekeeping
technology, engineering and math —
e-minor since it launched in 2005.
careers to using their tech skills to promote
Raleigh native Abby Bouchon ’13,
Bouchon calls the opportunity to work
causes and sports. They all credit the
a biology major, joined Google in a role
at Google “a once in a lifetime experience.
e-minor program for much of their success.
that makes the most of her keen science
UNC and the entrepreneurship minor taught
aptitude and desire to be part of the next big
me that if you stick with your passions and are
thing. She says she hopes to help create
true to yourself, you can shoot for the stars.”
These “Googlers,” as employees are known, are working at a sometimes
20 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
For Meghan Lyons ’13, a former UNC field hockey player from Wilmington, Del., the journey to Google has reconnected
now owns YouTube and the Android operating system.
One example is Huntington, N.Y. native Mackenzie Thomas ’13, a marketing
Getting an internship at Google isn’t
associate for politics and causes in
her to her alma mater. She’s pursuing her
easy — the company reportedly gets 40,000
community partnerships for Google+ at
passion for sports and social platforms as a
applications for 1,500 slots each year. Interns
corporate headquarters in Mountain View,
marketing associate in Google+’s community
are called Nooglers, short for new Googlers.
Calif. While an undergrad, she was co-
partnerships in sports in New York. While at Carolina, Meghan served
Snagging a regular job also is tough.
director of the UNC Chancellor’s Student
In the past year, the company received
Innovation Team, co-founder and co-curator
a wide variety of organizations, including
nearly 1.3 million applications for 15,317
of TEDxUNC and co-president of the
the Carolina Athletics Strategic Plan
openings — or nearly 85 for each opening,
Campus Y, UNC’s center for social justice.
Advisory Board and two terms as president
according to Great Rated!, a job-seeker web
of the Student Athlete Advisory Council.
site produced by the Great Place to Work
minor and extra-curricular activities she and
Her passion for connecting athletes to
Institute in San Francisco.
counterparts were involved with help “breed
Thomas says the entrepreneurship
the type of student that
made her a natural fit for
looks for interesting
opportunities that are
In January, Lyons
both challenging and
savvy, former Tar Heel
“Many of us are
basketball star Harrison
Barnes, a forward with
quirky and have these
the NBA’s Golden State
disparate interests that
Warriors, for a Google+
often blend together
in creative ways,” she
Most recently, she
says. “Thus we have very interesting stories Logan Chadde
worked with Denver Bronco Terrance “Pot Roast” Knighton to take Broncos fans to Super Bowl XLVIII with the team through Google
coming out of college but also skill sets and past experiences that really are transferable
ABOVE: Mackenzie Thomas (left) and Jane Hall at the Googleplex in Mountain View, Calif.
to the real world.”
Glass. Lyons said the e-minor introduced
UNC’s e-minor program is unique
• Forging partnerships in politics
her to some of the most creative minds at
because it’s targeted to students in the arts
Carolina — and, in turn, some of her greatest
and sciences. Students may choose one of
economics and minors in both business
five tracks to focus on: commercial, social,
administration and entrepreneurship to good
scientific, sports and artistic.
use. She is partnering with influential, game-
“It’s neat to see my fellow UNC grads doing well. The projects that many of us
Buck Goldstein, University Entrepreneur
Thomas is putting her degree in
changing organizations to build and leverage
worked on together at Carolina provided a
in Residence, says the women’s diverse
communities of interest on Google+. The
great launching pad,” she said.
roles at Google are “a tribute to great
goal is to give citizens around the world the
students,” but noted that all had assembled
opportunity to interact with thought leaders
impressive resumes while undergraduates
ranging from former U.S. Presidents to Nobel
by taking part in programs, conferences
Peace Prize winners, while highlighting
as a search engine provider, has long since
or initiatives that made them attractive to
“Benefit Corporations” such as vintage-
become more. The burgeoning company
• ‘A tribute to great students’ Google, which was founded in 1998
C O N T I N U ED
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 21
inspired eyeglass manufacturer Warby
the publication of a “Google Doodle,” the
Parker and organizations like TED and the
fun, artistic changes sometimes made to the
journalism and a minor in entrepreneurship,
It Gets Better Project.
Google logo, that supported equality around
says she integrates Google+ with a variety of
sports partners to help the athlete build his
“It’s sort of like a newsroom,” Thomas explains. “We’re making sure that a lot of what we do is timely and relevant and in touch with what’s happening now.” Just weeks on the job, Thomas was
Lyons, who has a degree in business
or her personal brand, create unique content
• Advocating for STEM and more
and enhance the fan experience.
Bouchon is a marketing associate
“In the past few years, we’ve seen a
in Google’s Community Partnerships in
huge shift in the world with the integration
sent to Washington, D.C., to interview
education. She has a degree in biology and
of various social media platforms,” she
former Vice President Al Gore about climate
minors in chemistry and entrepreneurship.
says. “Through Google+ Hangouts on Air,
change. Shortly after Nelson Mandela
While an undergraduate, she interned at RTI
we have the opportunity to give athletes an
died, she helped plan and execute a virtual
International in Chapel Hill, was a Carolina
opportunity to connect directly with their
tribute via Google Hangout that included
Research Scholar, and was marketing and
the Dali Lama, Bishop
• Former intern helps tweak script
Desmond Tutu, Richard Branson, Anderson Cooper
and Mary Robinson,
who got her start as
the first woman
a Google intern is
president of Ireland
Charlotte native Jane
and former UN High
Hall ’13, an associate
manager in Google’s
And during a
headquarters. Hall has
event called Giving
a degree in advertising
Tuesday, Google+ and
and minors in
Mashable teamed up
to host the first-ever
information systems —
12-hour “Hangout-athon,” which is similar
a perfect background ABOVE: Thomas helped to advertise a “Hangout-a-thon” which raised money for social
to a telethon that raises Thomas was there doing programming
Hall works on Google’s
causes, on this electronic board in Times Square.
money for social causes.
for her job.
shopping and brand teams on campaigns PR director of TEDxUNC.
one might see online or on television that
when she got a call from someone at
“I’m trying to expose the ‘awe and
NASDAQ who wanted to feature the
wonder’ of the sciences to those who don’t
she’s been working on the launch of Google
fundraiser on its electronic board in Times
get to see it on a daily basis, like we had the
Shopping Express, a same-day delivery
Square and needed an image — stat. She
opportunity to do in UNC labs,” Bouchon
service in the San Francisco Bay area.
scrambled to find out the dimensions, and it
was live later that day. Thomas also recently tackled the issue
Bouchon, Thomas and Lyons all worked on Carolina’s TEDxUNC
help explain Google services. Recently,
“It feels like working on a start-up, which I love because it’s small and scrappy,” Hall says.
of global LGBTQ equality at the Winter
conferences, which annually bring
Olympics through a week-long series that
together innovative thinkers to discuss
photos or videos for a press release or meet
looked at supporting LGBTQ individuals in
approaches to some of the world’s biggest
with product teams or engineers to produce
sports, the media and schools. This led to
road maps that lay out the product’s long-
22 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
On a typical day, Hall might shoot
term vision. Hall has always loved technology. Before that, she was product manager for a In college, she also interned for Twitter
small team of engineers whose focus was to
working to promote Twitter usage on campus
make Google’s Chrome browser faster.
— particularly for student government candidates — and later for Square Inc. She was one of five Google marketing interns chosen to provide feedback on
• ‘Not just a whimsical world’ In January 2014, Google was named #1 on Fortune magazine’s “100 Best Companies to Work For” list for the fifth
• Pooch helps while writing and reviewing code
time. Not surprisingly, the company of more than 42,000 employees is known for its
Burlington, N.C. native Stephanie
strong mix of work and play. Perks are the
the script for “The Internship,” a Google
Zolayvar ’12, has a degree in computer
stuff of legend: onsite cafes, dry cleaners,
film designed to show what it’s like to be a
science, studied entrepreneurship, and is a
bowling alley, subsidized massages, people
20-something intern at the company. She
software engineer in Google’s Seattle office.
riding scooters in the hallways.
hopes the film helps dispel the myth “that you
On most days, she can be found writing
have to be a computer science major to even
code and reviewing other people’s code. Her
library with giant screens of revolving
get close to working here, because that’s
rescue dog, Maya, is usually on her lap or
books. Employees can tap their phone
The New York office has a virtual
certainly not true.”
against a book to
download it, then
• Like YouTube music? She’s making it better
read it in a private study area hidden behind the walls.
Many offices have
who got her start as
slides that funnel
a Google intern is
employees to lower
Rebecca Crabb ’12,
floors. Crabb had
knee surgery a year
Scholar and former
ago and avoids them. Duncan Germain
Carolina soccer player with a degree in computer science and a minor in entrepreneurship. She’s an associate
“You go really fast and the landing is a little sketchy, so I’m afraid of the slides,” Crabb
ABOVE: Stephanie Zolayvar is able to take her rescue dog, Maya, to work with her.
product manager in
admits. The free
Google’s San Bruno office, where she works
close by playing with colleagues’ canines.
food is legendary — there’s a saying that
on YouTube music.
One of her favorite perks is that she can
employees pack on 15 pounds when they
bring her dog to work.
join Google. But several of the Carolina
Prior to joining Google, she interned at Evolution Robotics, a software firm, and
Most of her work focuses on Google’s
“Googlers” agree that there’s much more to
for One Laptop Per Child, which she helped
cloud platform of products — including a
implement in Peru by teaching teachers and
new product being built from the ground up.
students how to use laptops as educational
Zolayvar said e-minor classes taught her
here is just how hardworking and how well-
that “people like me can just go out and do
rounded so many people are,” Bouchon
says. “It’s not just a whimsical world of
Crabb works closely with Google’s user-experience staff, engineering and cross-
Zolayvar noted that her team at Google
the job than the perks. “One of the coolest parts about being
primary colors and scooters. It’s really
functional teams to take a product from idea
is about 30 to 40 percent women. “The cool
about working with people who want to
to launch and in particular, to make the music
thing is that women are not only at Google,
change the world through technology and
consumption experience better for viewers.
they’re also in leadership positions.”
social good.” •
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 23
They’ve Got the Beat
reative writing professor Bland Simpson remembers well the first time he met music professor Mark Katz. It was the first week of classes in spring of 2013, and Simpson was teaching the inaugural “Collaboration: Composers and Lyricists” course in a Hill Hall classroom. Katz’s students were jamming in “The Art and Culture of the DJ” in the room right above Simpson’s class. “He said, ‘I’m here to warn you that my class upstairs has DJ music in it, and we’ll be making a lot of noise, so if we disturb you, just let me know,’” Simpson recalls. “And I said, ‘Oh, we’ll just make noise back.’” The students in these contemporary music classes are not all music majors — their academic pursuits span the arts and sciences. And that’s precisely the point, argues Katz. He says most musicians in the world do not read music notation with any proficiency. He wants musicians of all types to feel welcome, not just those with formal training. A new initiative he calls the Carolina Beat Academy offers three courses in addition to the DJ one: “Beat-Making Lab,” “MC (or Rap) Lab” and “Rock Lab.” These courses do something that few universities do: They offer hands-on training in popular music composition and performance, Katz says.
Popular music classes teach songwriting, DJ culture, more K I M
W E A V E R
S P U R R
’ 8 8
A B OV E: Creative writing professor Bland Simpson (foreground) and music professor Mark Katz (seated) are inspiring students’ creativity with their classes in popular music.
24 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
“They are relevant, substantive and meaningful, and they do all the things our critics would like to see more of — connecting students to the real world and instilling in them an entrepreneurial mindset and an interest in social engagement,” Katz says. “I see no
dissonance, to use a musical term, between the study of classical music and the study of any other kind of music. It’s all music.” Simpson’s creative writing students produced a professionally mastered CD at Chapel Hill’s The Rubber Room studio at the end of their course, which focused, per the title, on collaboration — a critical skill valuable to any profession, he says. “People are on teams everywhere: in labs, in business, in publications,” says Simpson, Kenan Distinguished Professor and long-time member of the Tony Award-winning string band, The Red Clay Ramblers. “And in the workshop model, for courses in writing music and lyrics, or fiction or playwriting, these [experiences] are confidence builders. It helps to know that it doesn’t have to be perfect to share it among friends, who can help you decide, what’s going to make it better?”
Music: The Art and Culture of the Hip-Hop DJ (Oxford University Press) was recently named by Rolling Stone magazine as one of the top music books of the year. (And yes, he’s an amateur DJ, too.)
Hip-hop for cultural diplomacy Katz admits that friends he went to high school with would be amused to learn that this “classical nerd” who has written about Beethoven, Bach and Stravinsky has also written a seminal book on the history of the hip-hop DJ. He was always the kid who played “air violin” instead of “air guitar,” Katz jokes. But when he was about 13, he
An innovation grant from UNC’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH) helped Katz develop new courses that led to the creation of the Carolina Beat Academy. He will continue to inspire colleagues who have creative ideas as he takes over the helm of the IAH in July. His initial idea for the beat academy led to private support from UNC alumnus John Powell and most recently, a $1 million
first heard the sound of “scratching” on an MTV video of Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit.” Katz was hooked. One thing led to another and Katz decided to make the intersection of technology and music culture the focus of his research. His 2012 book, Groove
U.S. State Department grant that will create a program called Next Level, which will use hip-hop to promote international cultural exchange and conflict resolution. It’s impossible to stop the toe-tapping, head-bobbing and finger-snapping when you walk into the DJ class. On the first day
“They are relevant, substantive and meaningful, and they do all the things our critics would like to see more of — connecting students to the real world and instilling in them an entrepreneurial mindset and an interest in social engagement. I see no dissonance, to use a musical term, between the study of classical music and the study of any other kind of music. It’s all music.”
— MARK K ATZ
of class this January, the DJs-in-residence, A-Minor and SK, invite students to the front of the room to try “scratching” by moving a vinyl record back and forth on a turntable. Gray Gerald ’13, who graduated with a communication studies degree and a focus on media production, says that when he took the DJ class taught by Katz last spring, it changed his life. Up until that point, Gerald knew he wanted to do something involving music and the arts, but he wasn’t sure what. “The first day of class, I’m watching what the [guest DJs] are doing, and I was mesmerized,” he says. Gerald began immersing himself in DJ life, going to office hours every Tuesday, observing DJs at work and more. He entered an essay contest at the end of the semester sponsored by drink maker Red Bull and ended up winning DJ equipment which he has used to start his own business. Since then, he has been doing gigs as “DJ Gray Area.” “I have a huge amount of creative energy and a desire to share it in a positive and productive way,” Gerald wrote in his winning essay. “I was searching for a profession that I could take on which would allow me to utilize these skills, but nothing felt quite right. Deejaying feels right.”
Composers + lyricists = ‘spontaneous combustion’ Simpson won’t teach his “collaboration” class again until spring 2015, but this semester he’s teaching playwriting in that same Hill Hall •
C O N T I N U ED
CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2014 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 25
classroom that inspired so much “spontaneous combustion” last spring. When he next offers it, the course will be cross-listed in English and music. One day early in the current spring semester, Simpson hops to the piano to rouse students into a vocal warm-up of a Charlie Poole song, urging that “our voices do better when we warm up; that’s as true for people on stage as those who are going to sing.” Simpson had taught previous courses that focused just on lyric writing, but adding in the composing element was new. Students were paired up and wrote 42 songs over the course of the semester; 10 made their way onto the final CD. “There were some students who had never been in a studio. Someone said, ‘This fulfills one of my dreams, to be in a recording studio and sing on a record,’” Simpson says. “I knew from the strength of the work … that it was the right thing to do.” Joey Rasmus ’14, who is double majoring in economics, and peace, war and defense, got hooked after taking Simpson’s class. With Simpson’s guidance, he’s written the full book and lyrics to a musical called “The Bipartisan” that he hopes to get produced this spring. The satirical look at gridlock in Congress features an independent voter fresh out of graduate school who’s from North Carolina’s Fourth District, which includes Chapel Hill. At the close of the semester, the students also put on a concert. “Bland is like a dad in the back watching his kids, and at the end we surprised him and sang one of his songs, ‘Follow You All Over the World,’ and he started crying. It was incredible,” Rasmus says. “In the songwriting class, you could tell that this is what Bland loves to do.” Biology major and creative writing minor Kati Moore ’14 plays guitar and violin and is in a local band, but she didn’t want to major in music. The Carolina Scientific magazine editor says classes like Simpson’s are important because they have introduced her to “a great community of students who are into music at UNC, who are not necessarily music majors.” •
FR O M L E F T: Jacob Sharp, Wood Robinson, Joseph Terrell.
MIPSO Up-and-coming acoustic trio bleeds Carolina blue B Y
K I M
W E A V E R
S P U R R
’ 8 8
he southern string band Mipso, made up of 2013 UNC alums Joseph Terrell on guitar, Jacob Sharp on mandolin and Wood Robinson on double bass, are going to be putting a lot of miles on their Subaru this spring. The North Carolina natives with the sweet harmonies are on tour again after the success of their second album, “Dark Holler Pop,” which was released last fall. It landed at No. 8 on Billboard magazine’s bluegrass charts. The Asheville Citizen-Times wrote, “Mipso delivers fresh-faced progressive bluegrass with an over-gloss of sunny pop.” Terrell and Sharp, Morehead-Cain Scholars, first met during a college visit trip after they were admitted to UNC. Later Terrell and Robinson played together in a rock cover band called Funkasaurus Rex. The three eventually joined up their sophomore year, and the best friends all enrolled in creative writing professor Bland Simpson’s “Collaboration: Composers and Lyricists” class during the spring of their senior year. Music professor Mark Katz was Terrell’s thesis adviser. Perhaps surprisingly, none of them are music majors. Terrell received degrees in religious studies and cultural studies, Robinson pursued geology and environmental science, and Sharp majored in geography and global studies. “Our degrees taught us about the world we’re living in, and how to solve problems,” Sharp says. We are doing that in music, but we could have done a wide variety of things and have been equally prepared.” Both Terrell and Sharp had also taken
26 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2014 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES
lyric-writing classes with Simpson. But the collaboration class “was totally different,” says Terrell. “What I took away from it was what it’s like to work with different people and how you can cross-pollinate ideas,” he says. “I had to work with people whose musical backgrounds were way different from mine.” Shortly after commencement, the group spent a month in Japan and China and headlined at the third oldest bluegrass festival in the world in Japan. They made connections after Sharp spent the summer of 2012 doing undergraduate research on the bluegrass community in Japan. “The concerts in China were some of our rowdiest times. In Shanghai we ended with a small crowd coming on stage and singing John Denver’s ‘Country Roads’ together,” Sharp says. They took their friend, 2012 journalism major Jon Kasbe, with them and he made a documentary film, “Mipso in Japan,” about the trip. They plan on entering the film in about 70 festivals. Despite their travels far and wide, you only have to listen to the song “Carolina Calling” on the new CD (or join the more than 19,000 viewers who have watched the video on YouTube) to know that their love for their alma mater and the Tar Heel State rings true. “We get to make a living doing what a lot of people dream of doing,” says Robinson, who had just spent several hours in a coffee shop booking gigs. “It’s humbling to go to all of these incredible communities and feel as though you’re embraced as one of their own.” • Learn more at www.mipsomusic.com.
R E S E A R C H
Teen Health Tracker Connecting the dots from adolescence to aging B Y
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A B O V E : Sociologist Kathleen Harris oversees the nation’s longest-running study on adolescent health.
magine if we had the ability to predict how teens’ health, social experiences, genetic makeup and living environment might influence their physical state later in adulthood. Now, dig further: What if we knew how it might influence their heath trajectory all the way into old age? How might that knowledge affect the ability of healthcare providers and policymakers to create a pathway to better health? This vision drives the work of Kathleen Mullan Harris, James E. Haar Distinguished Professor of Sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences and a faculty fellow of the Carolina Population Center. She is the principal investigator and director of the nation’s longest-running study on the health of adolescents and their transition into early adulthood, spanning two decades. Harris hopes that the U.S. National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health (or Add Health for short) will become the nation’s and perhaps the world’s most comprehensive study on aging. At UNC, coinvestigators come from multiple disciplines across campus, including sociology, public
health, biostatistics, cardiology, economics, epidemiology, genetics, nutrition and more. The latest step toward making this vision a reality is a new $29 million, 5-year renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). An NIH review panel called the study a “national treasure” for the research community, citing it as “the only major study to trace the broad spectrum of health issues over the early life course, in combination with the evolving human capital, family and environmental situations of youth.” • ANATOMY OF ADD HEALTH One of Add Health’s early goals was to understand the health and developmental trajectories of adolescents as they grow into adulthood. This is the 20th year of the study, which has attracted more than $150 million in total funding to UNC. The study originally surveyed a nationwide sample of 20,745 children in grades 7-12 during the 1994-1995 school year (when they were 12-19 years old). These
children were then surveyed again in 1996. All racial and ethnic groups in the population of young people were represented in the sample. The study drew upon 132 public and private middle and high schools in 80 urban, suburban and rural communities across the nation. It was unique because it collected multi-level and multi-generational health data from schools, classmates, peers, romantic partners, siblings and parents. Additional information about the communities and built environment where the adolescents lived was folded into the mix. (For example: city and county crime data, socioeconomic statistics, walkability of communities, the number of parks and green spaces, and the air quality.) After the first two waves of data collection during adolescence, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development encouraged Harris to continue following the participants as they transitioned into early adulthood. Two more C O N T I N U E D
PA G E
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A B OV E: Kathleen Harris addresses UNC’s Board of Trustees about Add Health, which has attracted more than $150 million in total funding to UNC.
waves of surveys ensued in 2001-2002 (when respondents were 18-26 years old) and 2007-2008 (when respondents were 24-32 years old). The response rate at the last interview in young adulthood, 15 years after the adolescent interview, was more than 80 percent, which demonstrates a remarkable retention of the survey participants over time. With the latest funding, a fifth wave of data collection is scheduled to take place in 2015 when the former adolescent cohort will be moving through their 30s. • TR ANSITION TO ADULTHOOD: VULNER ABLE PERIOD FOR HEALTH Harris says Add Health has led her to value research integrated with other disciplines with biomedical and public health perspectives. To add objective health measures to the vast social, behavioral and environmental data, Harris collected physical samples that included blood, urine and saliva, which were then analyzed for cholesterol, glucose levels, C-reactive protein (a measure of inflammation), sexually transmitted diseases, hemoglobin A1C (a marker for diabetes), various markers of immune function (as indicators of chronic stress), as well as an array of genetic markers. With the longitudinal life course data in Add Health, researchers have discovered that the transition from adolescence into early adulthood is a vulnerable period for health that sets trajectories into adulthood. “These are young adults, so you think they should be healthy, but in the last wave we found 25 percent have hypertension and 6 percent have diabetes,” she said.
“That’s a very high percentage among 24-32 year olds. We’re expecting to see an explosion of chronic illness earlier than normal in their life course.” Harris said when adolescents move out of the house, they enter a high-risk time period for poor health and health behaviors. Although some of the health risks “straighten out” in later adulthood, results show increased use of tobacco products and alcohol in this life stage, along with an increase in the acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases, an increase in obesity, a lessening of physical activity and a loss of regular health care. “But we also find that depression is less common and suicidal thoughts are lessened — so adolescents feel great, but they are not behaving in ways that help their health,” Harris says. • FROM ADOLESCENCE TO AGING Harris plans to continue shaping Add Health into a multigenerational study of the parents of the original participants, the participants themselves and the 15,000 children the participants have given birth to since they filled out their first Add Health questionnaire in 1994. By collecting genetic samples from all involved, Harris envisions researchers performing genetic mapping between generations as well as studying how social influences and the built environment have affected people’s health across their lives. “Most aging studies start at age 50,” she points out. “The National Institute of Aging knows that is too late because the aging process starts much earlier. So they are eager to get their hands on Add Health
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because they know they have so much to learn about aging from our data.” So far the data gleaned from Add Health have spawned 20 books and 75 book chapters, more than 500 theses and dissertations, and nearly 2,000 peerreviewed articles published in more than 350 different academic journals. Researchers have delved into topics as diverse as what causes health disparities, the causes and consequences of obesity, geneenvironment interactions, substance use and abuse, and social stratification processes, to name only a few. Harris says she wants the biggest take-home message from Add Health to be this: “Don't overlook adolescence, it’s very important — especially in terms of the effects of the social environment.” Looking ahead to the next wave of data collection, and to the expected findings of declining health, Harris offers a glimmer of hope: “Add Health offers one of the best opportunities for understanding pre-disease pathways,” she says. “Maybe there are environmental or behavioral precursors to disease that can be identified so that we can develop interventions earlier in adolescents’ lives.” •
DATA TROVE • Add Health is the nation’s longestrunning study on adolescent and adult health, 20 years and counting. • Add Health data has been shared with more than 10,000 researchers around the world. • The 20,000 children who originally participated in Add Health have now moved into adulthood and have about 15,000 children of their own. • Findings from the study provide insight on obesity, hypertension and heart disease, diabetes, chronic stress, teen pregnancy, STDs, alcohol and substance use and abuse, depression, suicidal thoughts, and the effect of social environments upon choices and health outcomes, among other things. • Learn more at www.cpc.unc.edu/ projects/addhealth.
R E S E A R C H
ADDICTION SCIENCE Unraveling clues to addictive behaviors W H I T N E Y
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Photo illustration by Steve Exum
and pleasure centers. Carelli’s work shows that dopamine release occurs in response to drug cues, such as when an addict sees drug paraphernalia. While such cues often result in craving and relapse, Carelli has recently shown that prior experience with cocaine — even in relatively small amounts — can also profoundly alter normal learning. Although laboratory rodents can form simple associations, like learning that a tone signals food, their ability to form more complex associations is greatly impaired. “This impairment in learning that occurs simply as a consequence of prior cocaine exposure may be profound for some people,” she said. Such subtle deficits in learning may prohibit addicts from selecting behaviors that will maximize adaptive long-term goals over their short-term desire to take drugs. “These findings provide novel insight into why addiction remains a chronically relapsing disorder despite repeated attempts at sobriety,” she added. Additionally, substance use can negatively affect the immune system. Kenan Distinguished Professor and Psychology Department Chair Donald Lysle investigates how opiates — specifically heroin — impact the brain and the immune system. Examining the brain-immune system link highlights how drug abuse not only leads to addiction but also has a major impact on health and disease resistance. “My focus is mapping how drugs of abuse alter neuro-circuitry and neurophysiology to induce the brain to signal the immune system,” he said. “The idea is to develop — in concert with other strategies — addiction treatments that also could reverse or block the negative health consequences of substance abuse.” Lysle’s early research showed that a single injection of heroin can produce a
he headlines are never far away. A young actress or musician enters a rehabilitation center to confront problems with drugs or alcohol. A singer or actor is discovered, lifeless — having lost the battle with addiction. Addiction doesn’t discriminate. It strikes men, women, young, old, rich and poor. While national statistics say 40 million Americans over age 12 struggle with alcohol and drug addiction, very little is known about how the disease works. On April 2, 2013, President Barack Obama announced the BRAIN Initiative (Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies) — a new research effort to revolutionize our understanding of the human mind and uncover new ways to treat, prevent and cure brain disorders like drug addiction. It’s this mystery that neuroscience researchers in UNC’s department of psychology are trying to solve. By looking inside the brain and testing clinical interventions, they’re learning how drugs and alcohol affect the brain and are designing strategies to help break the cycle of addiction. • THE SCIENCE BEHIND ADDICTION Before clinical work begins, researchers must understand the physical changes addiction prompts in the brain. For example, professor and behavioral neuroscience program director Todd Thiele studies the interplay between protein-like molecules
and binge drinking — consuming five or more drinks for men and four or more for women within two hours. His goal: seeing how binge drinking morphs the brain, igniting dependence. “When we drink alcohol, there are changes in the systems of the brain,” Thiele said. “They’re transient changes after one episode, but after more drinking, those changes become rigid and long-lasting.” Thiele’s team measures the magnitude of such changes in laboratory rodents. Researchers also study the effects of the release of a neurochemical called corticotropin-releasing factor. Brain analyses, Thiele said, show increased CRF levels. The neurochemical plays a direct role in encouraging binge drinking behavior, and lasting increases in CRF activity following a history of binge drinking may increase the risk of alcohol dependence. Ultimately, Thiele said, understanding CRF activity could help identify pharmaceutical targets that could prevent binge drinking. Regina Carelli, Stephen B. Baxter Distinguished Professor and psychology department associate chair, also uses animal models to study how drugs impact the brain and behavior. Carelli serves on the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. Her team uses electrochemistry to monitor dopamine activity. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter in the brain’s reward
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A B OV E: Professor Regina Carelli and colleagues are tackling the complex problem of drug and alcohol addiction.
90-percent reduction of immune competent cells — those responsible for normal immune responses. His work reveals a complex relationship between the brain and the immune system. In fact, he shows that the immune system also plays a role in controlling aspects of brain function and that the immune system is intimately involved in many of the responses we see in drug addiction. “By studying the effects of abused substances on the brain and the immune system, we will be better able to develop strategies that block the health consequences and the addictive properties of these drugs,” he said. • THE CLINICAL APPROACH UNC’s neuroscience efforts also extend beyond the lab. Several faculty are merging scientific research with clinical activities, designing neuroscience-based methods and interventions to treat addictions. For example, associate professor Stacey Daughters uses advanced diagnostic imaging strategies to monitor how the addicted brain responds to stress, particularly among human cocaine users. “We can look at the neural indicators of distress tolerance,” Daughters said. Distress tolerance refers to a person’s inability to
tolerate negative emotional states, such as feelings of irritability and anxiety that often result in relapse of drug use in addicts. The theory behind Daughters’ study is that individuals with poor distress tolerance have lower functional levels in the brain areas that control decision-making and goal-directed behavior. And, the inability to manage stress can lead to relapses in substance use. But is bolstering tolerance to avoid treatment setbacks possible? Daughters’ team is using web-based and smartphone technology to find out. Treatment program participants receive frequent text messages, reminding them of positive behaviors, their goals and ways to reach them. Analysis continues, but initial results are positive. Smartphone participants are less likely to relapse and are more likely to stick with treatment. Ultimately, she hopes her research can be used to train counselors in the best treatment-delivery methods. But addiction is notoriously difficult to treat and relapse is common. That is why psychology professor and Center for Developmental Science Director Andrea Hussong is studying the factors that lead up to addiction. By understanding these factors, better programs can be designed to prevent addiction, especially in those who are most vulnerable. The work of Hussong and psychology professors Patrick Curran and Dan Bauer shows that on average children of alcoholics have greater emotional and behavioral problems than their peers by age 2 and that those problems persist into adulthood, especially for children whose alcoholic parents also have depression. These emotional and behavioral problems, in turn, are linked to risk for addictions beginning in adolescence. Hussong and her colleagues are trying to prevent these problems from arising. By working with mothers who are in residential treatment for addictions and their pre-school aged children, this research team is working one-on-one with families to help their children succeed. “Overall, UNC’s psychology faculty are making significant headway in demystifying the cloud of addiction, and shedding needed light on the neurobiology of this chronically relapsing disorder,” Carelli said. •
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B UD D IN G N EURO S C IEN T I S T S By Whitney L.J. Howell
arolina undergraduates know all about using their brains to earn top honors. But, in recent years, they’ve become increasingly interested in just how and why the brain works the way it does. Such curiosity has blossomed into a groundswell fascination among students clamoring to learn more about neuroscience, the study of the mysterious inner-workings of the brain. The shared attraction has been so strong that it’s changed the way students approach the topic — and, it could change how the University teaches it, as well. In 2009, a few students launched the Carolina Neuroscience Club (CNC) — a campuswide interest group that provides an extracurricular opportunity to delve into the most recent neuroscience discoveries. The group now boasts an overall membership of more than 200 students. “Neuroscience is such a growing field,” said CNC member Marie Clements, a senior majoring in psychology and biology. “There are new discoveries being made every day. So, there’s a good chance that students will learn something they didn’t already know at these meetings.” Increased interest in neuroscience across campus reflects a growing intrigue about the brain, said CNC faculty adviser Kelly Giovanello, associate professor of psychology. Having club members from both science and non-science majors plays directly into the interdisciplinary evolution of both research and clinical neuroscience. Students have requested that faculty design a neuroscience minor. The minor is in the proposal phase right now. Regardless of the outcome, the students involved deserve credit for transforming the study of neuroscience at UNC, Giovanello said. “It’s really been a grassroots movement by the students in terms of their desire to start a neuroscience academic concentration,” she said. •
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fter living in Chapel Hill since birth, serving as editor-in-chief of The Daily Tar Heel, and graduating from Carolina Phi Beta Kappa, Thanassis Cambanis was eager to “cover the world.” He learned about journalism “by being a journalist,” he said of his four years at the DTH. And he learned how to think about the world, he said, by studying its history and culture. Cambanis graduated in 1996 with a B.A. in history, with honors in creative writing. After turning down a plum offer from the St. Petersburg Times, he hit the road on his own terms. He explored South America and Africa, ending up in Greece where he had family roots. He wrote for a local magazine there and soon signed on with the Associated Press. His news beat: all of Greece. “It was a dream,” he said, “to be able to write about the politics, culture and social changes of a whole country. You’re a generalist with a regional specialization and your main task is to think critically and learn as much as you can. I loved it. Still do.” He’s been living the dream ever since, including stints in New York and Washington, and more than a decade covering the hot spots of the Arab world for The Boston Globe
and The New York Times, and as a book author. He earned a master’s degree in public affairs and international relations at Princeton University in 2000. He then joined The Boston Globe, rising to Iraq Bureau Chief (2003-2005) in Baghdad. For a war correspondent, it was the place to be in the aftermath of 9/11. He covered the invasion of Iraq independently, without being embedded with U.S. military. “It was fascinating, sometimes scary and unstable,” he said of Iraq. ”Everything that happened was interesting and important.” He continued as co-bureau chief for the Middle East (2005-2007), covering Islamic politics, the rise of Hamas and the LebanonIsrael war. When the Globe closed its foreign bureaus, he kept on covering the human drama behind the war, as a correspondent for The Times and as a freelancer. He traveled to a bombed out village in Lebanon, where he encountered a Hezbollah fighter, armed with a Kalashnikov and happy to talk about his faith and his life. In 2010, Cambanis published his first book, A Privilege to Die: Inside Hezbollah’s Legions and Their Endless War Against Israel. A critic for the New York Times Book Review called him “one of those rare foreign
correspondents more interested in the impact of the carnage on human beings than in military maneuvers or bang-bang.” Now Cambanis lives in Beirut with his wife, New York Times bureau chief Anne Barnard, and their two young children. He’s writing a second book, this one about the Egyptian revolution. He calls it “the most exciting story” of his career. Though Cambanis realizes that the Arab revolutionaries now face formidable challenges, he admires their commitment to a civil society. “We saw people who had been kept down for generations suddenly standing up for their rights in non-violent ways,” he said. “That was really inspirational and exciting.” What advice does he have for Carolina undergraduates today? “If you are driven and resourceful and creative, try to find a way to support yourself doing what you love and getting better at it.” • — Cambanis received a Young Alumni Award from the General Alumni Association in October. He writes “The Internationalist” column for The Boston Globe, contributes to national publications, and is a Fellow at The Century Foundation. His Twitter handle is @tcambanis.
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A L U M N I P R O F I L E LEF T A N D BELOW: Army vet and opera singer BR McDonald is working with veterans on re-launching their careers in the arts.
Veteran’s path takes him into arts entrepreneurship B Y
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rian “BR” McDonald ’01 jokes that when he was in an Army special operations unit, getting ready to jump out of an airplane from 12,000 feet, he didn’t tell the guy next to him that he was an opera singer. Now he’s happy to tell the story of how a preacher’s kid with a talent for music went to Carolina, majored in music and religious studies, learned to sing like a pro, entered the military, spent years helping fight terrorists and now is turning his passion for the arts and veterans into a full-time venture. McDonald’s career as an Army linguist and intelligence specialist helped prepare him to jump full-time into a unique venture, the nonprofit Veteran Artist Program (VAP). The organization, which McDonald founded in 2009, helps veterans launch (or re-launch) careers in the arts by connecting them to working artists. “I do consider myself an entrepreneur,” says McDonald, who also earned an MBA from Loyola University Maryland in 2013. Many veterans have drive and artistic skills, but their years of service have disconnected them from the professional networks working artists need.
Magic Flute,” says he was a “talented and charismatic young man.” Melissa Martin ’00, now voice lecturer in the department of music, starred as the romantic lead, Pamina, to McDonald’s Tamino in that Hill Hall production. “I really remember him as being very outgoing and having an infectious enthusiasm and passion for what we were doing,” she says. McDonald also found time to moonlight in the Clef Hangers, a student a cappella group, serving as president his senior year. “It’s always been who I am to be doing a lot of things,” McDonald says. “Carolina offered me that opportunity. It was a perfect place to do a lot of different things.”
“How do we transition from that heightened military deployment experience back into the arts?” McDonald asks. VAP puts veteran artists and professional artists together on projects — performances, gallery exhibits, albums, films and more — to produce art informed by veterans’ experiences, and help provide them the professional connections they need. It’s also helping McDonald transition from life in the military and intelligence community back to the arts, the latest turn in his unusual life. PAT H TO C A RO LIN A
McDonald lived with his missionary parents in Taiwan for eight years as a child. He learned to speak Mandarin Chinese before moving to Virginia Beach, Va., in eighth grade. Throughout high school he sang in church and was involved in band, chorus and musical theater, and then entered Carolina as a dual music/religious studies major. Terry Rhodes, a professor of music and senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities who directed McDonald in an opera workshop production of “The
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After graduating in 2001, McDonald spent the following summer working at a church in the Washington, D.C., area as a youth minister and musician. He also toured with a band, and at one point found himself in Fayetteville, N.C., where he met some military linguists. Considering his own experience with languages, he pondered enlisting in the military. The horror of 9/11 cemented his decision to enlist, and he entered the Army in January 2002. He spent two years studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute, and eventually found his way into doing intelligence work in a special operations unit. His role was to provide intelligence support for “door kickers” — special forces units, such as elite SEAL teams, who go after terrorists. McDonald left the Army in December 2008, but continued to work in intelligence as a private contractor until last year, when he made VAP his full-time job. He now aims to grow VAP, doing more projects in cities across the country. He also hopes to expand the effort to Europe in the next few years. Ultimately the aim is to put veterans to work in the arts so they can share their perspectives and experiences. “They’re always looking for these different, unique perspectives in the arts world,” McDonald says. “These artists, who now happen to be veterans, have developed this distinctive experience after 9/11.” •
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Statistician’s journey to ‘genius’ took hard work
M A R K
T O S C Z A K MacArthur Foundation
f Susan Murphy’s story tells us anything, it’s that “genius” takes a lot of hard work. Murphy (Ph.D. ’89) is a 2013 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant.” The grants provide unrestricted funding to some of the best A B OV E: Alumna Susan Murphy is developing smart phone apps to help people who are battling addiction and brightest in a wide range of fields, or mental illness. from science to the arts, culture and public policy. istry at UNC and chair of the UNC/NCSU clinicians implement and understand clinical The fellowship, accompanied by a joint department of biomedical engineering, trials for chronic conditions, which often $625,000 prize, was awarded to Murphy says the two of them are “a bit stubborn.” involve changes in therapy over time. for her work in using advanced statistical “Once we decide to do something, we In the case of traditional clinical trials techniques to help find better treatments for just do it,” says Albritton. The sisters — two for acute conditions — think hypertension, mental illness and other chronic conditions. for instance — doctors might compare the As the H.E. Robbins Professor of Statistics of five girls, all now high achievers — grew effectiveness of one drug vs. another. It’s and a professor of psychiatry at the University up in rural Louisiana. Their parents and grandparents, though, simply expected they treatment A vs. treatment B. of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, would do well in school. But in chronic conditions, such as she’s working with psychiatrists, computer depression or substance abuse, doctors scientists and other experts to develop smart “H OW C A N W E USE DATA TO and therapists might implement a series of phone apps that would help people who are treatments: first treatment A, then treatment B, battling addiction or mental illness stay sober HELP US FIG UR E O U T THE BE S T then treatment C and so forth. and recover. WAY F O R PATIEN T S TO EITHER Clinicians need to assess the effectiveness But it began with a lot of hard work in M A N AG E THE M SELV E S BE T TER , of each treatment and when it might be time Chapel Hill. O R HELP CLINI CI A N S FIG UR E to make a change. Murphy’s work helps She came to Carolina in the 1980s as a O U T H OW TO M A N AG E THE M researchers run clinical trials that produce graduate student in statistics. In her first year BE T TER? ” those kinds of answers. she found herself in an academic boot camp. At Murphy’s first stop after grad school, Now she’s working with computer scienThough she had always been good at math, as a statistics professor at Penn State, she tists and clinicians to develop interventions that graduate statistics was exponentially more reached out to help a colleague in psychology. might change over time, based on feedback demanding. “It was extremely intense,” she The psychologist was studying the impact of from patients and their needs at a particular says. “I just lived, breathed statistics.” various therapies on children with behavior stage of recovery. Those smart, adaptive in“I would go to class and I would problems and was struggling to understand terventions could even be programmed into understand the first 10 minutes or so,” she says. “The rest of the class I would just struggle why it appeared that tutoring might be having a smartphone application that could help a negative impact on students’ behavior. It people better manage their own condition. to take accurate notes.” took Murphy three months to figure out what The work has many applications beyond Murphy discovered, though, that she she needed to know — and what she didn’t chronic mental illness. Potentially, it could could go home, work through the notes, need to know — before she could help the be applied to everything from weight loss and eventually understand everything that psychologist with her data. to making sure people stay on maintenance had been covered in class. Later, that same “Some of what she wasn’t telling me medications necessary for their health. approach allowed her to delve into other was really important to know,” Murphy says. “This is to me the big open area,” Murphy academic specialties, such as psychology, said. “How can we use data to help us figure and work with researchers to apply advanced “Neither one of us knew what I needed to know and what I didn’t need to know.” out the best way for patients to either manage statistics to their research. Starting with that work, Murphy has themselves better, or help clinicians figure out Murphy’s sister, Nancy Albritton, the how to manage them better?” • Debreczeny Distinguished Professor of Chem- delved deeply into how researchers and
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A B OV E: Becky Begalle has a passion for helping young female athletes learn to prevent and manage ACL injuries.
Graduate student focuses on ACL injuries B Y
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“…TO ENHANCE THE PHYSICAL WELL-BEING AND QUALIT Y OF LIFE OF PEOPLE BY CRE ATING AND DISSEMINATING KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THE CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES OF HUM AN MOVEMENT DISORDERS, INCLUDING BEHAVIOR AL, PHYSIOLOGICAL AND MECHANICAL FACTORS …”
dd just three words, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), to this, the core of the mission statement of the College of Arts and Sciences’ curriculum in human movement science, and there it is, Becky Begalle’s driving passion in tidy summary. The seamless thread that has run through all aspects of her life, beginning with a childhood and youth spent in upstate New York, has been “exercise, fitness and wellness,” explains Begalle ’14. She is a fifthyear doctoral candidate in the curriculum, and a research and teaching assistant in the department of exercise and sport science. As a student-athlete in high school and college, Begalle experienced her share of injuries but values what participation in sport contributed to who she has become. She worked clinically as an athletic trainer for seven years where she witnessed a large number of ACL knee injuries and often second ACL injuries. She wanted to better understand prevention and management issues to contribute to better long-term outcomes for athletes.
Today Begalle is helping to address problems with ACL injuries that threaten to unravel the lives of so many people, especially, girls and young women, who are more susceptible to such injury during sport in comparison to their male counterparts. In addition to teaching, she explores the neuromuscular and biomechanical factors that may play a role in human movement disorders. Begalle earned an undergraduate degree in athletic training from Canisius College in New York state and graduated from Plymouth State University in New Hampshire with a master of science in sports medicine. Immediately prior to coming to UNC for “the total package” (teaching and research), she was an athletic trainer and exercise science adjunct instructor at Skidmore College in New York. After graduating this May, Begalle will become an assistant professor in the athletic training education program at Illinois State University. “There are really no good estimations of numbers of ACL injuries that occur annually.
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P R O F I L E Reports range from 250,000 annually in the U.S. to two million worldwide. What we do know are the poor long-term outcomes associated with injury and reconstruction, which require invasive surgery,” says Begalle. Those outcomes, she adds, “lead to a lifetime of pain and dysfunction”: • Some 30 percent of athletes suffer a second ACL injury once they return to sport. • Nearly 100 percent will have signs and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis within five to 10 years. • About 70 percent of patients never return to the sport they previously played, or they retire early from participating. Further, fear of re-injury and discouragement brought on by the pain of surgery and rehabilitation causes some in this group to give up all physical activity, which leads to even bigger health problems. Vigilance, education and intervention are needed more than ever. According to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, 216,573 students participated in sports at the high school level during the 2011-2012 academic year. This represented a 38 percent increase in participation over the last decade. “This is a conservative number for young people at risk for ACL injury in North Carolina because it does not include those participating in recreational sports or exercise,” cautions Begalle. “In fact, the majority of ACL injuries in sport are non-contact injuries. Movement patterns are the problem, and we all make movements that could be self-injurious. That’s why this is also a public health education issue.” Begalle, who’s often invited to speak publicly about her work, has found that parents and physicians are very open to this information. Coaches, on the other hand, can be a harder sell as time spent focusing on injury prevention cuts into limited practice time. She’s also the first to acknowledge “there’s much we know about ACL injuries and much we don’t know.” “Awareness is a big part of dealing with these problems. But we also have to remember that injuries are an inherent risk with sport participation, so we need to continue to improve our management of these injuries as well,” she says. •
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“ n the ’50s, most male students smoked in class, especially in seminars. When asked a question, they would take out a tobacco pouch, fill their pipe, stamp down the tobacco, light up, and take a few puffs — before answering the question. As a nonsmoker and the only female, I was at a distinct disadvantage, so for a brief time, I tried smoking a pipe. But what I find most interesting, looking back on this picture is the way I am dressed for class — a far cry from the way female students dress today! UNC had a dress code at the time. Women were not allowed to wear shorts or slacks, even in the lobby of the women’s residences.”
— Pam (Jewett) Hitchcock ’58, from The School That Jack Built: City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1945-2012.
• Remembering William Friday: Power, Purpose and American Higher Education (UNC Press) by William A. Link. Few North Carolinians have been as widely respected as William Friday (1920-2012), the former president of the University of North Carolina system, and professor in the College of Arts and Sciences in his later years. Friday is ranked as one of the most important American university presidents of the post-World War II era. Available for the first time in paperback, Link’s second edition is updated to trace Friday’s remarkable career and commemorate his legendary life. • A Permanent Member of the Family (Ecco HarperCollins) by Russell Banks (English ’67). A master collection of new stories from the acclaimed author of The Sweet Hereafter, Rule of the Bone and Lost Memory of Skin. Packed with Banks’ trademark lyricism and reckless humor, the books’ 12 stories examine the many ways that we try — and sometimes fail — to connect with one another, as we seek a home in the world. • The Southerner’s Handbook: A Guide to Living a Good Life, (HarperWave) curated by the editors of Garden & Gun magazine. More than 100 instructional and narrative essays teach you all you need to know about southern food, style, drink, sporting and adventure, home and garden, and arts and culture. UNC creative writing program director and professor Daniel Wallace contributes
essays entitled “Rules of the Road Trip,” “Southernisms” and “The Great Southern Novel.” You’ll also find pieces by Roy Blount on telling a great story and Jack Hitt on the beauty of cooking a whole hog. • Eating Asian American: A Food Studies Reader (NYU Press) edited by Robert Ji-Song Ku, Martin F. Manalansan and Anita Mannur. Chop Suey. Sushi. Kimchi. The contributors to this anthology, including Heidi Kim and Jennifer Ho in UNC’s department of English and comparative literature, bring into focus the potent forces of class, racial, ethnic, sexual and gender inequalities that pervade and persist in Asian American culinary practices. One reviewer wrote that the book “skillfully navigates the vexed terrain of food politics.” • The Scarlet Thread (Harper & Row) by Doris Betts. This reissue of the late North Carolina author and UNC English professor’s second novel features an introduction by Robert Morgan and essays by Sally Buckner and Marjorie Hudson. Set in the North Carolina Piedmont just after Reconstruction, it is a “story of liberation, of escape through vocation, of possibility even among seeming insurmountable barriers.” The book won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction. • The Days of Anna Madrigal (Harper) by Armistead Maupin (English ’66). The suspenseful, comic and touching farewell novel in Maupin’s bestselling “Tales of the City” series follows one of modern literature’s most unforgettable and enduring characters — Anna Madrigal, the 92-year-old legendary transgender C O N T I N U E D
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landlady of 28 Barbary Lane — as she embarks on a road trip that will take her deep into her past. • The Making of a Southern Democracy: North Carolina Politics from Kerr Scott to Pat McCrory (UNC Press) by Tom Eamon (Ph.D. political science ’76). Eamon charts the state’s political transformation into a modern democratic society to show that this change was more than evolution — it was a revolution, one that largely came about through political means, driven by strong movements and individuals working for change. The book has been called “the most comprehensive analysis of North Carolina politics from World War II to 2012.” Eamon teaches at East Carolina University. • The Workboats of Core Sound (UNC Press) written and photographed by Lawrence S. Earley (Ph.D. English ’75). Along the wide waters of eastern North Carolina, the people of many scattered villages separated by creeks, marshes and rivers, depend on shallow-water boats, both for their livelihoods as fishermen and to maintain connections with one another and the world. As Earley discovered, each workboat has stories to tell and a critical role to play in maintaining a community’s memories. Includes nearly 100 of Earley’s striking photographs. • The School That Jack Built: City and Regional Planning at UNC-Chapel Hill, 1945-2012 (Department of City and Regional Planning) by Edward J. Kaiser ’66 and Karla Rosenberg ’12. Two UNC
alumni have compiled a comprehensive, entertaining history of Carolina’s city and regional planning department. Jack Parker was hired by UNC in 1945 to start the planning program. The fledgling department flourished under his leadership for the next 29 years. A vibrant story with anecdotes by alumni and faculty and 100 photos. • Bringing God to Men: American Military Chaplains and the Vietnam War (UNC Press) by Jacqueline E. Whitt (Ph.D. history ’08). During the Vietnam War, chaplains’ experiences and interpretations of war placed them on the margins of both military and religious cultures. Because chaplains lived and worked amid many communities — religious and secular, military and civilian, denominational and ecumenical — they often found themselves mediating heated struggles over the conflict, on the home front as well as on the front lines. Whitt is an assistant professor of strategy at Air War College. • Pageants, Parlors and Pretty Women: Race and Beauty in the Twentieth-Century South (UNC Press) by Blain Roberts (Ph.D. history ’05). As Roberts shows in this incisive work, the pursuit of beauty in the South was linked to the tumultuous racial divides of the region, where the Jim Crow-era cosmetics industry came of age selling the idea of makeup that emphasized whiteness, and where, in the 1950s and 1960s, black-owned beauty shops served as crucial sites of resistance for civil rights
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activists. Roberts is an associate professor of history at California State University, Fresno. • Lobbying America: The Politics of Business from Nixon to NAFTA (Princeton University Press) by Benjamin Waterhouse, UNC assistant professor of history. The book explores the role that large, national business associations — and their lobbyists — played in shaping economic policy and the conservative political movement during the 1970s and ’80s. Waterhouse takes readers inside the mind-set of the powerful CEOs who responded to the crises of inflation, recession and declining industrial productivity by organizing an effective and disciplined lobbying force. • The Bible: A Historical and Literary Introduction, by Bart Ehrman and The Other Gospels: Accounts of Jesus from Outside the New Testament (Oxford University Press) by Ehrman and Zlatko Plese. In The Bible, UNC religious studies scholar Ehrman presents a historical survey that is comprehensive, yet succinct and easily accessible. One reviewer wrote: “It’s the next best thing to attending a college Bible 101 class.” In The Other Gospels, Ehrman and UNC religious studies colleague Plese offer the reader a compilation of more than 40 ancient gospel texts and textual fragments that do not appear in the New Testament. The book includes controversial manuscript discoveries of modern times, such as the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Judas Iscariot.
F I N A L P O I NT
Reflection at the Malecón F
“ or over 100 years, the malecón (seawall), dividing Havana from the ocean, has protected the old city from storms and flooding.
But for most Habaneros, ‘el Malecón’ is the site for nighttime gathering, loving, fishing and reflection. A stormy afternoon close to the sea, smelling the salty air mixed with seaweed and oil fumes, is a much needed moment to unwind the life frustrations of the island, as perhaps this man is doing. Stretching only 90 miles to the north, the United States offers Cubans hope and opportunities, and many from my generation have left, as I did in 2004.” • — Photo by Abel Valdivia, a Ph.D. ‘14 candidate in biology whose research interests center on marine ecology and conservation biology. He is currently focusing on understanding the dynamics and structure of coral reef ecosystems under human and climate change impacts in order to better support conservation efforts tailored to preserve these fragile ecosystems. His photo was a winner in the annual Carolina Global Photography Competition.
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Published on Mar 11, 2014
Carolina Arts & Sciences is the alumni magazine of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.