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SPRING • 2015

LOVIN’ L AVA

A UNC geologist probes Chile’s volatile Llaima Volcano

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L S O I N S I D E : Hungry for the humanities A mapmaking pioneer Help for first-generation students A newcomer embraces the Tar Heel State

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FRO M T HE DE AN Carolina Arts & Sciences

Spring 2015

Closing one chapter, beginning another

As seniors get ready for spring commencement

and cross things off their Carolina bucket lists, they’ll say goodbye to their life as undergrads but hello to the new opportunities ahead. Jackie Fritsch

Their journey, as they close one chapter and begin another, reminds me of my own. As many of you may know, I announced in November that I would be stepping down as dean of the College of Arts and Karen M. Gil

Sciences at the end of the academic year. My time as dean has been both fruitful and rewarding, but I

look forward to returning to the department of psychology, where I can apply some of the teaching innovations that are changing the way we help students learn. I hope you’ll take the time to read about the inspiring work of our faculty, alumni and students in this issue, as they demonstrate the value of the sciences and the humanities from Chapel Hill to Chile. Explore magazine.college.unc.edu for more content, photos and videos. Here are some highlights: • Our Hollywood internship program, now in its 23rd year, provides practical work experience and connects students with pros in the entertainment industry. • A UNC geologist is using cutting-edge technology to better predict when one of South America’s most active volcanoes will erupt. • A $3 million grant from President Obama’s “First in the World” initiative will fund a new program to boost retention and graduation rates for first-generation students at UNC. • Our new master’s program in global studies prepares students for careers in international work. • Creative community offerings show that adult learners are still hungry for humanities programs that illuminate their lives. • An Honors undergraduate minor and a master’s curriculum in medicine, literature and culture explore the social, cultural and ethical aspects of medicine. • An exercise and educational therapy program brings hope to cancer patients, including beloved UNC women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell. We know that many of these programs and opportunities are made possible by the support of our alumni and friends, for which we continue to be grateful. Last fall, we received a $5 million gift to provide “say yes” funds to empower department chairs to be more agile, responsive and innovative. As I return to teaching, I look forward to continuing the conversation with you about what makes the College so special. With gratitude,

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 • Tammy J. McHale Senior Associate Dean, Finance and Planning • Abigail Panter Senior Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education • Robert J. Parker, Jr., Senior Associate Dean, Development, and Executive Director, Arts & Sciences Foundation • Terry Rhodes Senior Associate Dean, Fine Arts and Humanities

Arts & Sciences Foundation Board of Directors, Spring 2015

• 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 • Robert J. Parker, Jr., Chapel Hill, NC, Executive Director and Secretary • Amy Berry Barry ’91, Naples, FL • Eileen Pollart Brumback ’82, New York, NY • R. Duke Buchan III ’85, Palm Beach, FL • Sunny H. Burrows ’84, Atlanta, GA • Courtney Miller Cavatoni ’93, Atlanta, GA • Thomas C. Chubb III ’86, Atlanta, GA • Mark P. Clein ’81, Chevy Chase, MD • Luke E. Fichthorn IV ’92, Brooklyn, NY • J. Henry Froelich III ’81, MBA ’84, Charlotte, NC • Cosby Wiley George ’83, Greenwich, CT • John C. Glover ’85, Raleigh, NC • Henry H. Hamilton III ’81, Katy, TX • Heavenly Johnson ’05, Chicago, IL • 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 • R. Alexander Rankin ’77, Goshen, KY • Catherine Craig Rollins, ’84, Atlanta, GA • David S. Routh, ’82, Chapel Hill, NC • Tready Arthur Smith, ’92 BSBA, Tampa, FL • Karen L. Stevenson ’79, Los Angeles, CA • Marree Shore Townsend ’77, Greenwich, CT • 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 Steve Exum

Carolina Arts & Sciences

Spring 2015

DE P A R T ME N T S inside front cover

FROM THE DEAN Closing one chapter, beginning another

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34 ALUMNI PROFILE Donn Young

F EAT U R E S 14 • Tracking the Earth’s Heartbeats

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Creative community programs attract a broader public audience

26 • Life-Changing

FINAL POINT Studio art major Linnea Lieth’s original illustration is a send-off gift for the Class of 2015

A $3 million grant will provide support for first-generation students

30 • The Art and Science of Medicine

inside back cover Kevin Patrick Robbins

22 • Hungry for the Humanities

COLLEGE BOOKSHELF

Global travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest reflects on her new life in Chapel Hill, plus books on African fashion, women and democracy in Cold War Japan, the downfall of a marriage, a Southern recipe collection, a cool cat named Louis Fellini and more

18 • A World of Opportunities New master’s program prepares students for international careers

Sandy McNally’s family business helped Americans navigate the highways

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Geologists use next-generation technology to monitor one of South America’s most active volcanoes

HIGHLIGHTS

A global water photography project, Heels in Hollywood, giving hope to cancer patients, helping students chart their career goals, how sea turtles find their way home and more

Students explore medicine through the lens of the humanities

COVER PHOTO: Researchers hike across volcanic

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ash to install a seismometer on Llaima Volcano in southern Chile. Photo by Mary Lide Parker ’10.

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 1


C A RO LI N A

ARTS&SCIENCES

Spring 2015

Editor • Kim Weaver Spurr ‘88 Associate Director of Communications

Videos Explore the magazine online with extra content at magazine.college.unc.edu.

Editorial Assistants • Kristen Chavez ‘13 • Parth Shah ’15

For more videos, visit our YouTube channel at youtube.com/ user/UNCCollege.

Graphic Designer • Linda Noble

5 • Hollywood Heels

Contributing Writers • Pamela Babcock • Chrys Bullard ’76 • Kristen Chavez ’13 • Stephanie Elizondo Griest • Michele Lynn • Mary Lide Parker ’10, Endeavors magazine • Dee Reid • Parth Shah ’15 • Dianne Shaw Contributing Photographers and Artists • Martin Bader • Kristen Chavez ’13 • Alexander Devora • Steve Exum • Alexis Fairbanks • Jackie Fritsch • Shandol Hoover • Beth Lawrence ’12 • Linnea Lieth ’17 • Sheila Oliver • Mary Lide Parker ’10, Endeavors magazine • Kevin Patrick Robbins • Lars Sahl • Dan Sears ’74, UNC News Services photographer • 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 2015. If you wish to receive Carolina Arts & Sciences News, our periodic email bulletin, please send us a note with your name, mailing address and email address to: college-news@unc.edu. 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

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Kristen Chavez

Director of Communications • Geneva Collins

Internship program connects students with alumni and other industry pros

7 • First-Year Seminars Incoming students study with top professors, explore complex topics in small classes

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Kristen Chavez

15 • Lovin’ Lava

Researchers analyze volcanic activity in Chile in real time

More Online at magazine.college.unc.edu. • Media and the Movement

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Creating a digital archive of civil rights voices

Stay Connected to the College via Web, social media News/Events: college.unc.edu Facebook: www.facebook.com/UNC.College YouTube: youtube.com/user/UNCCollege Instagram: instagram.com/unccollege Twitter: twitter.com/unccollege

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Online

Mary Lide Parker

Carolina Arts & Sciences

ONLINE EXTRAS


H I G H L I G H T S

‘Can-Do’ Dean to Step Down

Gil will return to teaching, research in psychology B y

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Jackie Fritsch

L E F T: “There is never a best time to leave a job you love,” said Gil, stepping down after six years at the helm of the College, “but it’s the right time to return to teaching.” A national search for her successor is underway.

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ne of the first and most important actions Karen Gil took when she became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences in July 2009 was to instill a culture of “getting to yes,” said those who have worked closely with her. Maintaining morale and positivity was no easy feat in 2009. The nation was in the throes of the worst economic recession since the Depression. The University’s budget was severely constrained. Faculty recruitment and retention were major issues. The College had had five deans or interim deans in six years. “She wanted us to be known as the ‘Can-Do Dean’s Office,’” said Tammy McHale, senior associate dean for finance and planning, to focus on creative solutions and short- and long-term goals instead of fixating on obstacles and limited resources. McHale said her team still uses the “can-do” phrase today when facing challenges. Gil, who announced in November that she will step down as dean at the end of the academic year to return to the department of psychology, provided muchneeded stability and implemented several key measures that have strengthened the College and positioned it for the needs of the 21st century, said Jonathan Hartlyn, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs. Under Gil, the College: • Began transforming large lecture classes to make them more engaging and effective. Carolina has received national recognition for its efforts in implementing “active learning” strategies, and the

College now has a director of instructional innovation. • Created the first new science departments in 40 years — applied physical sciences and biomedical engineering — to respond to growing demand for the disciplines. • Advanced global education at Carolina by hiring more faculty in the social sciences, humanities and fine arts with global expertise, launching a master’s in global studies program and raising funds for studyabroad and foreign internship experiences. • Expanded digital education through the Digital Humanities Lab and Initiative. • Strengthened the popular minor in entrepreneurship, adding new areas of concentration and a new office suite for faculty and student collaborations. • Doubled the size of Honors Carolina by adding new faculty positions. • Saw its endowment grow from $375 million to more than $600 million. Currently, 26 percent of College faculty are supported at least in part by private funding, an increase of over 2 percent in six years (no small feat in a tough economic climate and considering that the number of tenured and tenure-track positions in the College also grew). • Hired its first director of faculty diversity initiatives, hired more women in the sciences and enhanced recruitment and advancement efforts for faculty members from diverse backgrounds. Many who worked with her praised Gil for her vision, her strategic focus, her support for academic department chairs, creating an

environment that fosters collaboration, her ability to listen and seek feedback and her sense of commitment to Carolina. “It was never about her — she was always working on behalf of other people, as chair [of the psychology department] as senior associate dean [of undergraduate education and later of social sciences] and as dean,” said Bruce Carney, interim College dean and later provost. She also managed the College during the difficult time in which academic irregularities were uncovered. “When she knew something was wrong, she jumped in; she didn’t try to hand it off,” said Bill Andrews, who served as Gil’s senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities until 2012. “She grasped immediately that it was a serious problem and oversaw the implementation of many reforms in the College to ensure that it couldn’t happen again.” Gil also supported the arts and humanities when the value of a liberal arts education was being questioned by some. “I didn’t have to explain their value to her; keeping them on an upward trajectory was just in her core,” said Terry Rhodes, senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities. “Coming from someone with a science background — that was just huge.” Holden Thorp, Gil’s predecessor as dean (he was appointed chancellor of UNC-Chapel Hill and is now provost at Washington University in St. Louis), provides these words of advice for the outgoing dean: “Enjoy the next stage and feel great about everything you’ve done for Carolina.” •

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H I G H L I G H T S

Inside Out

S t u d e n t s bri ng gl o b a l wa t e r p h o t ogra p h y p ro j e c t t o UN C B y

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ED talks are designed to spread ideas and inspire, usually in the form of short, powerful presentations that are under 18 minutes. And that’s just the effect French photographer JR’s talk had on UNC students Caroline Orr ’16 and Norman Archer ’17. The two have teamed up to bring JR’s Inside Out photography project to UNC. Inside Out is a global art campaign with a simple founding principle: Pick a theme, take portraits of people involved with the issue and install life-size black-and-white prints of the photographs on streets, walls, rooftops — wherever they can be seen by the public. “From the suburbs to Paris, to the wall of Israel and Palestine, to the rooftops of Kenya, to the favelas of Rio,” said JR in his 2012 TED talk, “I would like to bring art to improbable places, create projects so huge with the community that they are forced to ask themselves questions.” Orr, a studio art and art history major, and Archer, an anthropology major, will be using their Inside Out Project as a platform to spread awareness about the universitywide academic theme, “Water in our World,” which ends this spring. The two met in 2013 through A Drink For Tomorrow, a student organization that advocates for global water access. “The concept of water is so ubiquitous. I really like the idea of using water to connect people with different interests,” said Archer. “Art should be something for everyone to see, not just something you have to pay to go see at a museum. The Inside Out Project is a way to spark real discussion about water.” Planning for the project began last April. “Back in the spring, I just sent a cold email on one of those contact forms on the Inside Out website,” said Orr. “The kind of email that you pretty much know you’re not

Alexis Fairbanks

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A B O V E: To highlight UNC’s water theme, life-size portraits of people underwater will be displayed on campus as part of the Inside Out global photography project.

going to get a response, and if you do it’s probably going to be an automated reply a couple weeks later. But Rhea Keller, one of the project coordinators at Inside Out based in New York City, replied almost immediately.” Keller, a 2011 UNC alumna and art history major, was excited to see interest in a project at her alma mater. “Inside Out is a platform for people to stand up on anything they care about,” Keller said. “I was hoping someone would bring the project to Chapel Hill.” Archer said the goal of the project is to highlight the diverse roles water plays in our lives. For example, an athlete may rely on water to hydrate herself during practice. A groundskeeper might use water to tend to the plants on campus. “We don’t want 100 photos of UNC students just smiling. We want to take action shots and candid shots — otherwise, it’s just a yearbook,” he said. Although the theme of water has been touched on by some other Inside Out projects, Archer and Orr have set their

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campaign apart by taking pictures of some of their subjects underwater. “There have been hundreds and hundreds of these projects done around the world. But underwater portraits have never been done before. It really gets at the theme of water in a unique way,” said Archer. Archer, Orr and their team of photographers plan on installing the project in late March to coincide with UN World Water Day. They’ll take to the walkways and walls of campus to share their portraits and spread their message. “We intend for this to not only show how water shapes our lives, but to inspire people to be thankful for the many ways it helps us,” said Orr. “We want people to recognize and think twice about just how much water impacts our lives.” • “Water in our World,” launched in 2012, officially comes to a close as a pan-campus theme at the end of the academic year. “Feeding a Hungry World” will be the next campuswide initiative, debuting in fall 2015.


H I G H L I G H T S Photo courtesy of Suzanne Weerts

Hollywood Heels Int er nship pr ogr am c onnec t s st u de nt s wit h alumni and ot her indust r y p r os B y

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cores of UNC alumni have launched careers in the film and TV industry thanks to a communication studies internship program that sends students to Hollywood for prestigious internships at production companies, agencies, studios and related businesses every summer. The roster of 300-plus graduates of the UNC Hollywood Internship Program puts students in contact with established pros like director Peyton Reed ’86 (Marvel’s upcoming Ant-Man), writer/ producers John Altschuler ’85 and Dave Krinsky ’85 (Silicon Valley, King of the Hill) and Oscar-winning editor Hughes Winborne ’74 (Crash). The success of the program, now in its 23rd year, does not surprise professor emeritus Hap Kindem. In addition to the contributions from “outstanding alumni” since the program’s inception, “we have support for more specific skills — such as writing skills, screenwriting skills, storytelling skills, film and television and new media technology skills — that are directly relevant for employment in the entertainment industry,” he said. When Kindem and dramatic art alumnus Jeff Hayden ’46 decided they needed someone within the industry to lead and develop the program, screenwriter Paul Edwards (BA ’71 history, MA ’78 communications) was the obvious choice. One of the hardest things to understand about the industry, said Edwards, the longtime director of the program, is the importance of networking. He knew only one person before he moved out to Los Angeles in 1979. A few odd jobs later, he got his break with the chance to write for the television show Quincy M.E. through a connection he made while working on a movie. As he tells the approximately 20 students who go through the program every year, “I can teach them in three months what it took me three to five years to figure out.” In addition to internships, the students attend a month-long lecture series, which follows the filmmaking process from writing to distribution and introduces the interns to people in those fields and others. Interns on the program’s acting track take classes at Warner Loughlin Studios, owned by acting coach and alumna Warner Loughlin ’78.

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One of Loughlin’s students was Victoria Male ’14, who recently signed with a commercial talent agency. Her internship at Nancy Nayor Casting was invaluable, she said: “It was almost like a crash course in the professional industry in LA. It was great to see the practical, business side of the acting industry.” Being thrust into a chaotic city can be harrowing, but the support network of fellow interns and alumni helps smooth the transition for the interns. A significant figure in that network is Suzanne Weerts ’88, who has assisted Edwards in coordinating and running the program for the past 16 years. Weerts also organizes the end-of-summer reception at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the organization that awards the Oscars and has also supported the Hollywood Internship Program with more than $200,000 in grants and in-kind donations over the past 20 years. That reception celebrates the completion of the internships and puts the interns face-to-face with other UNC alumni in Los Angeles, including previous Hollywood interns. Brittany Hendricks ’14 got her job on the new CW show The Messengers through Cortney Carrillo ’02, another Hollywood internship graduate and an editor on the Fox show Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Carrillo had been a guest during one of the lectures, and he and Hendricks reconnected at the reception. To prove Edwards’ point about networking, as many as 15 UNC alumni have been hired at ZEFR, a rights management company. One of them, Mattie Van Schoor ’10, works with major brands and films to track the use of copyrighted material as a way to better engage with consumers. “For every job that I’ve had in LA, I’ve found a way to hire somebody else either from the program or UNC in general because we have this amazing network of people,” she said. Though some interns return to North Carolina or go elsewhere, many choose to stay in the LA area. In an industry where networking and connections are so integral to securing a job (or even an apartment), the contacts from the internship are essential, according to Male. “I don’t know how anyone does this without an amazing alumni network and the community we have out here.” • Photo courtesy of Victoria Male

ABOVE: Interns through the years at the 2014 reception. RIGHT: Victoria Male at Comic Con.

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ONLINE EXTRA: Watch a video about the internship program at magazine.college.unc.edu/extras. Kristen Chavez ’13 is a graduate of the internship program and is currently a multimedia intern for the College of Arts and Sciences. CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 5


H I G H L I G H T S

YOUNG SCHOLARS CLAIM HONORS ABOVE: Compared to a control (left), mice treated with a chemotherapy drug using the device experienced significant tumor growth reduction, as confirmed by the lack of brown staining.

Potential pancreatic cancer treatment could increase life expectancy

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ancreatic cancer cells are notorious for being protected by a fortress of tissue, making it difficult to deliver drugs to either shrink the tumor or stop its growth. Now UNC researchers have developed a device that could change all that: By using electric fields, the device can drive chemotherapy drugs directly into tumor tissue, preventing their growth and in some cases shrinking them. The work opens the possibility of dramatically increasing the number of people who are eligible for life-saving surgeries. It represents a fundamentally new treatment approach for pancreatic cancer, which has a 75 percent mortality rate within a year of diagnosis — a statistic that has not changed in more than 40 years. “Surgery to remove a tumor currently provides the best chance to cure pancreatic cancer,” said Joseph DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC and William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at NC State University. “However, often a diagnosis comes too late for a patient to be eligible for surgery due to the tendency of the tumors to become intertwined with major organs and blood vessels.” James Byrne, a member of DeSimone’s lab at UNC, led the research by constructing the device and examining its ability to deliver chemotherapeutic drugs effectively to pancreatic cancer tumors, as well as two types of breast cancer tumors. •

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wo Carolina seniors and two young alumni have won prestigious awards for graduate studies. arah M. Bufkin of Atlanta, a 2013 graduate, received a Rhodes Scholarship, the world’s oldest and best known award for graduate study. The award funds study at the University of Oxford in England. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in moral, legal and political philosophy on a Mitchell Scholarship in Northern Ireland. Bufkin came to Carolina on a Morehead-Cain Scholarship. She graduated with a double major in cultural studies and history and a minor Sarah Bufkin in creative writing, focusing on poetry. At UNC, Bufkin was an Honors Carolina student. She served as the editor-in-chief of Campus BluePrint, as a columnist at The Daily Tar Heel and was a counsel in the University’s student-run honor system. Bufkin has interned for The Huffington Post and ThinkProgress. She plans to use her time at Oxford to pursue a doctorate in politics and ultimately practice civil rights law. asha Seymore, a UNC senior, and Thomas Golden, a 2011 graduate, received the George J. Mitchell Scholarship, which supports graduate studies in Ireland and Northern Ireland. Seymore, who is from New Bern, plans to graduate with a double major in economics and global studies and a minor in business administration. He serves as the class president for the UNC Class of 2015. He also is a member of Honors Carolina. Seymore is a gifted athlete and a Morehead-Cain Scholar. He made the junior varsity basketball team at Carolina as a first-year student and earned a walk-on spot for the varsity basketball team this fall. He will use his Mitchell Scholarship to study the possibilities of peace through sports at the University of Queens in Belfast. Golden, who is from Bradley Beach, N.J., graduated from UNC as a Morehead-Cain Scholar with a major in English and minors in chemistry and Spanish. He is now in medical school at Rutgers University. Golden had an early desire to become a physician for the disenfranchised and spent a summer in South America researching health care systems for the impoverished. Before medical school, Golden worked as an emergency room technician in Mississippi. He plans to study public health at University College Cork with the goal of improving health care delivery. arah Cooley, a senior Morehead-Cain Scholar and geological sciences major and mathematics minor, received a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The award is a merit-based scholarship that covers graduate studies at Cambridge University. Cooley, from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, has conducted undergraduate research in glaciology and arctic hydrology, including examining trends in the timing of the Siberian River ice breakup and studying the surface strain rates on the Taku Glacier in southeast Alaska. She plans to pursue a master’s degree in polar studies at the University of Cambridge. • Sarah Cooley

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he First Year Seminars Program offers innovative, inventive and one-of-a-kind classes designed to help incoming students make the transition from high school to a global research university. First-year students have the option to explore diverse topics and delve into hands-on research, which can range from traveling to farmer’s markets to study the effects of globalization to a trek to the mountains of California to collect geological data. In small classes, students build lasting relationships with some of Carolina’s top professors and their fellow classmates as they discuss and analyze complex issues. “It doesn’t get more active than that, I don’t think, than when you’re actually in the field with the faculty member, learning as they learn,” said Drew Coleman,

Kristen Chavez

First-Year Seminars: Gateway to success at Carolina

A B OV E : Associate English Professor Jane Danielewicz (right) in her first-year seminar class.

assistant dean for the First Year Seminars Program. Some students are drawn to first-year seminars that align with their intended majors or known interests, but Coleman suggests that it is better to take the opportunity to tackle something unfamiliar. Dana Salmon, linguistics major, took English professor Bill Andrews’ course, “Slavery, Literature and Film.” “I think that’s the beauty of first-year seminars, that they’re super specific,” said

Salmon. “It’s a great way to get into a field that maybe you wouldn’t really have the opportunity to explore later when you’re further into your major.” More than two-thirds of Carolina students take at least one first-year seminar, and that number is expected to grow, said Coleman. • ONLINE EXTRA: Visit magazine.college.unc. edu/extras for a video. Story and video by Kristen Chavez ’13.

TOPPIN WINS NATIONAL OPERA AWARD

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F R OM LEFT: Award winners Louise Toppin and Samuel Ramey.

ouise Toppin, professor and chair of the music department, has received the 2015 Legacy Award from the National Opera Association. The award recognizes the importance of racial and ethnic diversity in professional opera and honors individuals who have made significant contributions toward that goal. Toppin is an internationally acclaimed opera singer. She came to UNC in 2010 and is the former head of the voice area in the music department. She has performed all over the world, was a finalist in the Munich International Competition and won the Metropolitan Opera regional auditions. She has received critical acclaim for her operatic, orchestral and oratorio performances in the United States, Colombia, Czech Republic, Scotland, Japan, China, Uruguay, Sweden, the Caribbean, Bermuda, New Zealand, England and Spain. She has recorded 16 commercial CDs of American music for Albany, Centaur and Cambria record labels. Toppin is the director of the nonprofit organization Videmus, which promotes the music of African-American concert composers through recordings, performances and educational programming. Through Videmus, she administers annually the George Shirley AfricanAmerican Art Song and Opera Aria Competition, which gives $12,000 to high school and college voice students throughout the United States. The Legacy Program began in 1995 in observance of the 50th anniversary of singer Todd Duncan’s contract with the New York City Opera. It was the first contract for an AfricanAmerican singer with a major U.S. opera company. Toppin and bass-baritone Samuel Ramey (the Lifetime Achievement Award recipient) were honored at the national convention of the National Opera Association. •

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H I G H L I G H T S

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hemist James F. Cahoon is among 126 scholars to receive the 2015 Sloan Research Fellowship by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The fellowships go to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders. This is the second major award given to early-career scientists that Cahoon has received in recent months. In October, he was awarded a Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering, which invests in future leaders who have the freedom to take risks, explore new frontiers in their fields of

study and follow uncharted paths that can lead to groundbreaking discoveries. “These fellowships provide a well-deserved recognition of Jim’s accomplishments and will help him continue his active research program,” said Valerie Ashby, professor and chair of the chemistry department. “I have no doubt that his research efforts will be the source of major breakthroughs in the field of semiconductor nanomaterials and their exciting applications.” Cahoon, an assistant professor of chemistry, focuses his research on the design of materials at the nanoscale — a size regime hundreds of times smaller than the width of a human hair. His group uses chemistry to control the shape of materials labeled semiconductors. By controlling the shape of semiconductors James

at the nanoscale, his group is expected to yield a new strategy for developing new technologies, ranging from solar cells and optical circuits to thermoelectric systems. UNC has had 45 Sloan and six Packard recipients since the awards were established, highlighting Carolina’s strength as an innovation and research hub. •

Lars Sahl

HITTING A DOUBLE: Cahoon scores two major science honors

Cahoon

Breastfeeding prepares baby’s belly for solid food T

he moment of birth marks the beginning of a beautiful, lifelong relationship between a baby and the billions of microbes that will soon colonize his or her gastrointestinal tract. In a study published in Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, researchers from UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and the UNC School of Medicine found that a baby’s diet during the first few months of life has a profound influence on the composition, diversity and stability of the gut microbiome. These factors, in turn, influence the baby’s ability to transition from milk to solid foods and may have long-term health effects. The discovery adds to the growing awareness that the gut microbiome plays a major role in helping us digest food and fight pathogens, among other functions. “This study provides yet more support for recommendations by the World Health

Organization and others to breastfeed exclusively during the first six months of life,” said Amanda Thompson, associate professor in the department of anthropology, a Carolina Population Center faculty fellow and the study’s first author. “We can see from the data that including formula in an infant’s diet does change the gut bacteria even if you are also breastfeeding. Exclusive breastfeeding seems to really smooth out the transition to solid foods.” The analysis revealed that during the first few months of life there were clear differences between the microbiomes of babies that were exclusively breastfed as compared to those fed both formula and breast milk. Although microbiome research is still in

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its early stages, gut microbes are thought to potentially play a role in obesity, allergies and gastrointestinal problems, such as irritable bowel syndrome. “The study advances our understanding of how the gut microbiome develops early in life, which is clearly a really important time period for a person’s current and future health,” said Thompson. •


H I G H L I G H T S

FOR SEA TURTLES, THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE HOME

A

Dan Sears

dult sea turtles find their way back to the beaches where they hatched by seeking out unique magnetic signatures along the coast, according to new evidence from UNC biologists. “Sea turtles migrate across thousands of miles of ocean before returning to nest on the same stretch of coastline where they hatched, but how they do this has mystified scientists for more than 50 years,” said J. Roger Brothers, a graduate student in biology. “Our results provide evidence that turtles imprint on the unique magnetic field of their natal beach as hatchlings and then use this information to return as adults.” While earlier studies have shown that sea turtles use the Earth’s magnetic field as a guide while ABOVE: Biology professor Kenneth Lohmann out at sea, it has remained unclear (pictured above) and graduate student J. Roger whether adult turtles also depend on Brothers found that turtles imprint on the unique magnetic features to recognize and magnetic field of their natal beach as hatchlings and return to the nesting sites chosen use this information to return as adults. by their mothers before them, the researchers explain. Several years ago, biology professor Kenneth Lohmann, who is co-author of the new study, proposed that animals including sea turtles and salmon might imprint on magnetic fields early in life, but that idea has proven difficult to test in the open ocean. In the new study, Brothers and Lohmann took a different approach by studying changes in the behavior of nesting turtles over time. The researchers analyzed a 19-year database of loggerhead nesting along the eastern coast of Florida, the largest sea turtle rookery in North America. They found a strong association between the spatial distribution of turtle nests and subtle shifts in the Earth’s magnetic field. In some times and places, the Earth’s field shifted so that the magnetic signatures of adjacent locations along the beach moved closer together. When that happened, nesting turtles packed themselves in along a shorter stretch of coastline, just as the researchers had predicted. In places where magnetic signatures diverged, sea turtles spread out and laid their eggs in nests that were fewer and farther between. Sea turtles likely go to great lengths to find the places where they began life because successful nesting requires a combination of environmental features that are rare: soft sand, the right temperature, few predators and an easily accessible beach. •

Pérez quoted on U.S./Cuba relations

Louis Pérez Jr., J. Carlyle Sitterson Professor

of History, is a leading scholar on Cuba. Pérez contributed to the global discussion on the reopening of diplomatic relations between the United States and Cuba. “To speak to Cuba is to speak to Latin America,” Pérez wrote in a Dec. 18 op-ed for CNN. The decision to reopen relations with Cuba, Pérez elaborated, signals the United States’ willingness to respect national sovereignty in a region that continues to grapple with the effects of centuries of colonialism. He also is director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas. Pérez’s principal teaching fields include 20th century Latin America, the Caribbean and Cuba. Among his books are Cuba in the American Imagination: Metaphor and the Imperial Ethos (University of North Carolina Press, 2008) and Cuba: Between Reform and Revolution (Oxford University Press, 2006). Pérez has served on a number of journal editorial boards, including Inter-American Economic Affairs, Latin American Research Review, The Americas and the American Historical Review. Among his other appearances in the media on the opening of diplomatic relations: • “Cubans Curious to See if Diplomatic Shift Leads to Democracy,” NPR, Dec. 18. • “Music a Longtime Feature of Cuba-U.S. Cultural Exchange,” NPR, Dec. 18. • “16 Ways to Profit from Better U.S. Cuban Relations,” Market Watch, Jan. 16. • “U.S. Needs to Keep Past in Mind with Cuba,” Tribune News Service, Feb. 5. •

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 9


Giving Hope G e t R EA L & HEEL h e l p s ca n ce r p a t ients r e a l iz e b e n e fi t s o f e x e rci s e an d e d u c a t io n a l t h e ra p y B y

C

D i a n n e

S h a w

ancer patients are usually advised to rest after treatment, but a pioneering UNC program is proving that recovery is faster if patients exercise. Get REAL (Recreation Exercise Active Living) &HEEL is an exercise and educational therapy program for cancer patients with over 275 “graduates” since it began in 2006. Claudio Battaglini, associate professor of exercise and sport science in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences, is its director. He co-founded the program with Diane Groff, associate professor of exercise and sport science. Get REAL&HEEL is one of a handful of such programs in the United States. It has grown from serving post-therapy breast cancer patients to patients with blood and other cancers, and will soon serve patients actively undergoing treatment. The program is housed in a wooded setting near campus where 24 patients attend each 16-week course. Patients use words like “lifeline” and “life-changing” to describe their participation. Andre Novak from Chapel Hill, a multiple myeloma patient, joined the program after seeing how it helped his wife, Hollie, a breast cancer survivor. “Cancer pain has been a major issue, limiting not only what but also how much I can do,” Novak said. “After Get REAL&HEEL, my pain levels have decreased, so I am less dependent on pain medication, and the increase in stamina means I can do some of the work I used to do. Even though there is effort involved, the rewards you get far outweigh the effort put in.” The program has many collaborators across campus, including faculty and graduate students from exercise and sport

Sheila Oliver

H I G H L I G H T S

A B O V E : UNC women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell performs strengthening exercises with associate professor Claudio Battaglini.

science, UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, UNC Hospitals, the School of Nursing, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, as well as community partners in North Carolina and elsewhere in the United States and abroad. Battaglini revamped Get REAL&HEEL based on participant feedback. “Originally, patients worked one-onone with an exercise trainer and attended a few group sessions, but they told us they wanted more time with other patients to get to know each other,” he said. “Now we create a social network that is extremely important to patients during their recovery process.” In addition to exercise, patients participate in educational sessions on nutrition, yoga, coping strategies and other topics, led by Lineberger staff members. The UNC exercise oncology clinical research component has expanded dramatically, pairing exercise and sport science professors and graduate students with UNC medical and nursing faculty. “Early studies showed that exercise could help to alleviate side effects from cancer treatment, such as fatigue, and [provide] overall physical conditioning,” Battaglini said. “So even though patients may be tired, if they begin exercising, they start feeling better more quickly. There’s a tremendous psychological impact on the patients.” He and other UNC scientists are now exploring the science behind why exercise is beneficial to patients. Some studies are: • examining effects of exercise on geriatric breast cancer patients undergoing treatment • investigating long-term effects of exercise on colorectal cancer patients

10 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

• researching the use of exercise to alleviate loss of muscle mass from specific therapies for prostate cancer. Although the program is based in Chapel Hill, workshops developed with the Komen Foundation enabled over 600 participants in six neighboring counties to attend programs on using exercise and other coping mechanisms to improve quality of life. Get REAL&HEEL has contributed to the development of sister programs in Australia and is assisting three universities in Brazil to implement satellite programs. “What gives me and the team the greatest satisfaction is to see a smile on a patient’s face and know that by the work we’re doing, they’re feeling better,” Battaglini said. “We are giving them hope.” • ONLINE EXTRAS: To learn more about the program, visit: getrealandheel.unc.edu.

C A S E S T UDY: S Y LV I A H ATC H E L L

UNC women’s basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell was diagnosed in 2013 with leukemia. Soon after her diagnosis, she contacted Battaglini, who worked with her throughout her treatment and after to regain strength. “Exercise was a major component of my cancer treatment plan and recovery. It has helped me tremendously, not only physically but also mentally; without it, I am not so sure how well I would have gone through the cancer process,” she said.


H I G H L I G H T S

Mary Lide Parker

Beth Lawrence

$5 MILLION GIFT WILL CREATE DEAN’S ‘SAY YES’ FUND

TO P: Former biology chair Bill Kier said ‘say yes’ funds provided him with flexibility to support a diversity of needs. L EF T: History chair Fitzhugh Brundage used the funding to support projects beyond campus.

T

he College of Arts and Sciences has received a $5 million gift to provide Dean Karen M. Gil with “say yes” funds that empower department chairs to be agile, responsive and innovative. The gift, from an anonymous alumni couple, will create a new $4 million academic leadership endowment and provide an additional $1 million — $200,000 a year over five years — in immediate funds as the endowment builds. “As a former department chair, I know the importance of having strategic funding, whether I needed to be able to recruit or retain a valuable faculty member, pay for summer research expenses or support faculty in their teaching or scholarly work — the list is as diverse as our academic departments,” said Gil. In 2010, the donors committed $1 million for the same purpose. “We could see a real difference in how department chairs were able to support faculty and students, as well as their own research,” said one of the donors. “For teaching and research-oriented faculty, serving as a department chair can be time-consuming and challenging. Our gift demonstrates our confidence in Carolina’s arts and sciences tradition by providing the dean with resources for the College’s leadership, particularly at the department level.” The 2010 gift allowed Gil to award grants ranging from $5,500 to $30,000 from the fund to 28 department chairs. Those chairs have, in

turn, distributed the grants to more than 200 faculty members, from the fine arts and humanities to the social and natural sciences. One of every four tenure or tenure-track faculty members in the College has received support from the first gift. Many more undergraduate and graduate students also benefited through enhanced classroom and experiential learning opportunities. Biology professor and former department chair Bill Kier, who received a grant from the first gift, said it “provided me with flexibility to support a diversity of needs, including undergraduate teaching, graduate training and postdoc support. The funding has had remarkable impact already on my teaching, my training of students, my research and even on my administrative and service duties here at UNC.” History chair Fitzhugh Brundage used the funding to support projects beyond campus, including the inaugural North Carolina History Education Workshop in April 2014. The event brought together N.C. public school history teachers, university researchers and public historians. “The original gift has already had a transformative effect on my ability to recruit and support effective faculty leaders and to enable these leaders to truly lead in their departments,” said Gil. “We are very grateful to the donors for this visionary gift that will benefit generations of faculty.” •

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 11


H I G H L I G H T S

Parker named executive director of Arts and Sciences Foundation

W

hen Rob Parker walked through the doors of the Arts and Sciences Foundation as its new executive director in October 2014, he already had a deep appreciation for its mission. Parker was part of Carolina’s development team from 2000 to 2009, his last position as director of capital gifts at the Arts and Sciences Foundation. He provided strategic leadership for major gift activity for the Carolina First campaign, in which the College surpassed its $350 million campaign goal by more than $30 million. Before joining the foundation, Parker served as director of major gifts for Kenan-Flagler Business School and as a regional major gifts officer in University Development. As executive director of the foundation and senior associate dean for development for the College of Arts and Sciences, Parker leads a 26-person staff composed of development officers and donor relations, prospect management and administrative professionals. “I am deeply grateful to Dean [Karen] Gil for inviting me to return home to Carolina,” said Parker. “The College remains the heart and soul of this great university, and I am excited about working with colleagues, the foundation’s board and our generous benefactors to secure the

philanthropic support that will enable our faculty to prepare our students to meet the challenges and seize the opportunities that the 21st century presents.” Before returning to Carolina in October, Parker was vice president for college advancement at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Ga., a position he’d held since 2009. At Agnes Scott, he planned, organized and executed the school’s largest fundraising effort to date — The Greatness Before Us campaign, which has raised more than $87 million toward its $100 million goal. Parker began his career in development at the University of Chicago, where he earned an M.A. in religious studies (1989) and a doctorate in theology (1997). He has a B.A. in history from Baylor University in Texas. Parker is married to Beth Taylor and they have two daughters, Larkin and Sallie. • ARTS AND SCIENCES FOUNDATION EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS • John G. Webb – 1983-1988 • Elizabeth Fitts – 1988-1989 • Barbara Habel (now Hyde) – 1989-1992 • Dennis Cross – 1992-2000 • James W. May Jr. – 2001-2012 • Shannon Kennedy – 2012-2014 • Robert J. Parker Jr. – 2014-present

Rob Parker

FOUNDATION @ 40 Created in October 1975 to raise private support for the College of Arts and Sciences, the Arts and Sciences Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2015. Its first executive board of directors included Frank B. Hanes Sr., Elizabeth Dowd, James R. Gaskin, William F. Little and Charles M. Shaffer. Today, the foundation’s endowment of nearly $200 million supports students with scholarships, graduate student fellowships, and study abroad and undergraduate research funding. It also aids faculty with research funding, fellowships, course enhancements and technology. About $400 million in University endowment funding also benefits the College, for a total of more than $600 million in endowment support.

N.C. Collection, University of North Carolina Library at Chapel Hill

Lectures before laptops In 1975, while alumni were drawing up the charter for the

Arts and Sciences Foundation, these Carolina students were crowded into James Devereux’s English class. The students in this photo, taken Oct. 1, 1975, wrote papers on a typewriter, communicated with far-flung friends and family via letters and landline phones, and listened to music on the radio, vinyl albums or on a “new” technology — cassette tapes. Are you in this photo, or know anyone who is? In what building was this class held? Email Kim Spurr, spurrk@email.unc.edu, and share your UNC memories of 1975. We may post them on our website.

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Shandol Hoover

H I G H L I G H T S

Mapping the Route to ‘Go Anywhere’ Joining for c es to help studen ts c har t their futur es B y

C h r y s

B u l l a r d

’ 7 6

TO P : Alumni Dinner by the Dozen brings students and an alumnus or alumna together for lively conversation and good food. BOT TO M : Last June, Honors Carolina hosted Heels in Health Care for first-year students. Alessandra Sacchi and Michael Dong practiced drawing blood on a simulation model at the UNC School of Medicine.

W

hat do you want to be when you grow up? Banker, physician, college professor? Adventurous, self-reliant, creative? The Go Anywhere Initiative, a partnership between Honors Carolina and University Career Services, helps students explore not only what they want to do, but who they want to be — to discover a life well-lived. “Go Anywhere helps students develop the translational skills to connect what they’re learning in a wide-ranging arts and sciences curriculum to the work they aspire to do and the life they aspire to live,” said Jim Leloudis, associate dean for Honors Carolina and director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence. “It’s about helping them navigate a more intentional path through Carolina to connect with their futures.” The concept for Go Anywhere grew out of the Honors Carolina strategic plan and was reinforced by findings of a faculty working group charged by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Karen Gil and led by Leloudis. Across campus, O. Ray Angle, director of University Career Services, was earning national recognition for his innovative approach to career services. Leloudis and Angle met to discuss partnership opportunities, and Go Anywhere emerged as a best practice. The initiative will officially debut in fall 2015 and offer a firstyear-to-senior developmental arc. “We’re creating a culture of career development on campus,” Angle said. “The partnership and our service delivery all flow from a core mission to help students clarify and attain their career goals with skills that last a lifetime.” Pre-launch programs are underway. Shandol Hoover, associate

director for student development and special projects for Honors Carolina, organizes alumni dinners, coffees, workshops and career boot camps to connect students to distinguished alumni in a variety of career fields. Two new staff members — Honors Carolina advising and career guides — will be supported 50/50 through the campus partnership. Kristin Irish MBA ’94, a member of the Honors Carolina external advisory board, former head of campus recruiting at UBS Investment Bank and relationship manager in the career office at Yale University, was an early architect of the partnership and serves on the career guides search committee. “At Yale, the relationship managers had real-world work experience,” she said. “It really resonates with students when the people mentoring them have been where they want to go. That’s what we’re trying to do with our Honors Carolina career guides.” Loyal Wilson ’70, founder and advising director of Primus Capital Partners and a member of the Honors Carolina external advisory board, and his wife, Margaret, made a generous contribution to support the career guides’ positions. As Carolina parents, they see the initiative’s potential firsthand. “Students going to college have aspirations for their lives,” Loyal Wilson said. “They believe that if they do well in college, they will do better in life. This program will help them connect the dots between the classroom and their aspirations. I want to see Go Anywhere grow, gain traction and benefit all students across the university so that when we bring students in as first-year students, they leave not only with a broad liberal arts perspective, but with a direction that helps them prosper.” Diana Dayal, a junior biology major from Apex and co-president of the Honors Carolina student board, is already benefiting. Through Go Anywhere, the pre-med student shadowed a UNC Hospitals physician on his daily rounds. It changed her perspective. “More than learning about physiology or bioethics, I saw that being a doctor is about connecting with patients,” she said. “That’s something you can’t always learn in a classroom.” •

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 13


A team of researchers uses cutting-edge technology to better predict when and how one of South America’s most active volcanoes will erupt.

TRACKING THE EARTH’S HEARTBEATS P H O T O S A N D S T O R Y B Y M A R Y L I D E P A R K E R ’10

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6

7

1

2

4

8

5

3

9

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1. The research team readies the state-of-the-art seismometers. 2. Layers of tephra document multiple eruptions. The red coloring is most likely due to oxidized iron, part of a blend of volcanic material extruded during eruption. 3. Llaima Volcano is reflected in Lake Arcoiris in Conguillío National Park. 4. From left, incoming UNC graduate student Tim Ronan, UNC professor Jonathan Lees and Lei Shi, a Ph.D. candidate at Georgia State, pose with the seismometers. 5. Volcanologists must obtain special permits to access areas of the volcano that are off-limits to tourists. 6. UNC Ph.D. candidate Rebecca Rodd records seismometer data. 7. Some 2,000 images were recorded during the expedition. 8. UNC undergraduate Patrick Gouge buries a cable connecting a seismometer to a solar panel. 9. Some seismometers are placed several miles away from the volcano.

I

n the small mountain town of Melipeuco, Chile, it is a perfect summer day. Hundreds of people have gathered along the town’s main drag to watch the end of a 70-kilometer bike race. Bikers speed across the finish line to the sound of cheers and applause. Suddenly a different noise pierces through the warm afternoon — a long, low siren emanating from the town’s emergency loudspeaker system. The siren sounds for 30 seconds, then stops. It does not go off again; it’s only a test. Had the siren sounded twice, it would be time to evacuate the town. This alert exists to warn residents when Llaima Volcano, just 11 miles away, is about to erupt. Among the crowd are geophysicists, volcanologists and computer scientists from four U.S. universities. They have traveled here to install devices that will provide vital information about the seismic activity on and around the volcano. Even when a volcano isn’t anywhere near eruption, tiny earthquakes happen regularly. “Your beating heart is very similar to the little earthquakes happening around a volcano,” said Jonathan Lees, chair of the department of geological sciences in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences and one of the lead researchers on this expedition. “So imagine you have little monitors tracking your heart rhythms. Suppose you have a heart attack — those monitors could assess the level of stress your heart is under to determine the proper response.” That is precisely what Lees wants the instruments to do on Llaima: track and analyze the volcano’s activity in real time, including during an eruption. Working with computer scientists from Michigan State University and Georgia State University, Lees hopes to revolutionize volcano monitoring equipment to make it cheaper, more responsive and easier to transport and install. This new seismic technology has the potential to greatly improve the way volcanoes are monitored — and enhance emergency response before and during eruptions. This is how volcanologists typically collect data: They pack up their equipment and hike to a site on the volcano to install a station, which includes a seismometer, battery and solar panel to power the equipment. The seismometer records the ground’s movements onto a memory card. Four to six months later, the researchers hike back to the spot, download the data and compare it to data collected by other seismometers around the volcano. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. “The cost of the equipment is an issue because we may not be able to get it back,” Lees said. “If that volcano erupts and 15 feet of ash falls on top of a station, we’re never getting it back.” In other words, all the data the seismometer recorded is

gone, along with $20,000 worth of equipment. Traditional stations are also heavy; the battery alone weighs about 30 pounds. “Right now we have three people carrying one station,” Lees said. “In the future, it will be one person carrying four stations.” The future of seismology is starting here on Llaima. In addition to installing traditional stations, Lees and his team, which includes UNC undergraduate and graduate students, are installing 40 next-generation versions. Each station weighs about 17 pounds and costs about $350. Unlike older station models, the new stations are networked — they talk to one another. According to Lees, when one of these stations feels a big shake, it reaches out to the others to ask, “Did you guys feel that?” A station can detect all kinds of movements, which might be from animals or even nearby off-road vehicles. If the other stations also pick up the shake, that means it’s an earthquake. They respond to the first station’s query and work together to figure out the exact location of the tremor. After eight hours of walking, digging and connecting cables along the volcano during a January expedition, the researchers open a laptop. The stations are blinking on the screen, already sending messages to the computer. Lees compares the system to a brain, with the connections between stations acting like synapses — which makes sense if the volcano is the heart. When the heart starts to beat faster or harder, the brain responds, processing each of those actions. This batch of stations is just the first generation of the new technology. They will remain on Llaima until mid-April, and team members will remove them before heavy snow accumulates. Jordan Bishop, a UNC junior geology major, assisted with the installation of Michigan State’s stations. “Each station took about 30 minutes to set up,” Bishop said. “It was cool to see this brand-new technology in the field and to know that it’s something you helped to do.” The dream, according to Lees, is to one day be able to drop hundreds of these instruments all the over the volcano — from helicopters. “But you can’t jump from now into the future; you have to go through these steps,” he said. “This is the first big step toward that goal.” Technicians from the department of geosciences at Boise State University assisted with the transport and installation of stations. The expedition was funded by the National Science Foundation. • ONLINE EXTRAS: Watch a video about the Chile volcano expedition at magazine.college.unc.edu/extras. View more photos at facebook. com/UNC.College.

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 17


OPPORTU A World of

Donn Young

Sarah Miller Frazer, left, Andreina Malki and Sijal Nasralla are three of the 10 students in the inaugural class of the new M.A. in Global Studies program.

18 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES


UNITIES Opportunities

New M.A. program prepares students for global careers

D

BY

M I C H E L E

LY N N

uring an undergraduate

semester abroad in Cameroon, Sarah Miller Frazer spent time in the classroom but also traveled around the country to explore issues firsthand. “Academically it was very rewarding and rigorous, but the parts I enjoyed even more were the experiential components,” Frazer said. “Visiting the U.S. Embassy and meeting with the ambassador, going to the World Bank, getting out to small villages and seeing people striving to meet their own needs — I loved having that on-the-ground experience and getting outside the classroom to see what was happening.” When it came time to apply to graduate schools, Frazer sought a program with a heavy emphasis on field experiences and interdisciplinary research. She enthusiastically chose the new master’s program in global studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. The two-year program, which launched last fall, aims to prepare C O N T I N U E D

O N

PA G E

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CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 19


students with the knowledge and conceptual skills needed for careers in international work. In their second year, students are

and international politics. • Between college and

graduate school: “I taught

elementary school English for

strongly encouraged to study abroad,

a year in the small village of

conduct field research or do an internship

Gourdon, France. After that,

to supplement their coursework and

I spent four years in Chapel

to complete a capstone policy brief or

Hill as the program director

research paper in their final semester.

for Nourish International, an

“The addition of the master’s program has brought a new intellectual and professional energy to the existing

international development nonprofit.” • Area of research focus:

curriculum in global studies,” said Erica

Economic development,

Johnson, lecturer and director of graduate

specifically the way that

studies.

social enterprise can support

The inaugural class consists of 10 students. Here are profiles of three. They discuss why they chose UNC, the most

community development in West Africa. • Why UNC’s master’s in global

AB O VE: Sarah Miller Frazer spent a year

surprising insight they’ve gained in a global studies program: “I was really excited by

before graduate school teaching English

studies class, their postgraduation dream

the emphasis on practical skills in addition

to first-graders through the U.S. Fulbright

jobs and more.

to scholarly rigor. I felt that combination

Program in Gourdon, France.

would prepare me best for a future

Sarah Miller Frazer Frazer said her time in Cameroon

Andreina Malki

career.” • Most surprising insight gained in

Having moved to South Carolina

furthered her interest in international

a global studies class: “The way that

from Uruguay at age 12, Malki is acutely

development and global issues. “My

every global challenge we face as a global

aware of globalization and transnational-

biggest takeaway is that people who are

society is so interconnected: Politics and

ism. “I have a very interdisciplinary

living in poverty still have the right to live

economics are all influenced by people,

academic background and have experi-

with dignity,” she said. “Community-led

the relations between countries, the

enced living in two very different parts

development — where communities are

environment, as well as social norms and

of the world, so the field of global studies

able to meet their own needs with the

culture.”

is a perfect fit for me,” she said.

support of outside resources and advice — is the best way for changes to be made.”

• Dream job:

“It changes frequently!

Today my dream job is to be an

• Hometown:

Paysandú, Uruguay.

• Undergraduate institution and

Centennial, Colo.

international development consultant who

major: Furman University, Class of 2012

• Undergraduate institution and

would partner with communities to build

— double major in psychology and Asian

major: Pomona College, Class of 2009

their capacity for addressing their own

studies.

— double major in French literature

challenges.”

• Hometown:

20 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

• Between college and graduate


Photo courtesy of Sarah Miller Frazer

subject that we study and

• Between college and graduate

for any topic in our class,

school: “I worked as an artist-in-

the complexities and

residence teaching music improvisation

interconnections go beyond

in a community organization called The

the discipline, beyond the

Studio in Amman, Jordan. I was also part

subject and the topic we

of a project called ‘Palestine: the Graphic

have at hand. There are so

Novel,’ and worked in public schools

many entangled complexities and a refugee resettlement for three years that I have become aware of

doing afterschool programming and case

since I started the program.”

management. Most recently, I did an

• Dream job:

“One

that will let me combine my knowledge of China

oral history project in Lebanese refugee camps.” • Area of research focus: Mobility,

and Chinese international

Arab cities and social movements. “I want

policy with work for an

to primarily study Westerners who were in

organization dedicated to

Arab cities at the time of the Arab Spring.”

promoting institutional and

• Why UNC’s master’s in global

school: “I coordinated the medical

educational partnerships between China

studies program: “I was drawn by

outreach program and public health

and the U.S. across a wide range of fields.”

this program going a little deeper than

operations for Central America and the Caribbean at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.” • Area of research focus: A global

a traditional international relations

Sijal Nasralla

program. I knew that I wanted the rigor

While he considers himself a

of international relations, but I also wanted

Southerner, Nasralla also spent a lot of

the flexibility to take different kinds of

economy concentration with a focus on

his childhood visiting family members in

classes. This program allows me to get

the Chinese presence in Latin America.

Jordan and Palestine. “Being Palestinian

the Middle Eastern Studies certificate,

has a lot of impact on my relationship to

a program between UNC and Duke

studies program: “I am excited to be

my studies, my research topics and my

University.”

part of the first cohort in this emerging

interest in social justice movements,” he

discipline. There aren’t many global

said. “This master’s program will give

a global studies class: “Everyone has the

studies programs in this part of the

me skills that will help me in working

ability to be working and studying what

country. I like the Triangle, an extremely

on issues that are important to my two

they want. It is a [structured course of

dynamic area as far as research, education,

homes.”

study], but every student has the support to

• Why UNC’s master’s in global

entertainment and diversity. I also was

• Hometown:

attracted to the flexibility in both the

• Undergraduate institution and

professional and academic training.” • Most surprising insight gained

in a global studies class: “For every

Charlotte, N.C.

• Most surprising insight gained in

pursue their own interests.” • Dream job:

“I’m interested in

major: UNC-Asheville, Class of 2010

starting community centers mobilizing

— integrated major of anthropology

around rights and healing in post-violence

and music.

countries or contexts.” •

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 21


Creative community programs attract a broader public audience B Y

P

D E

erhaps you’ve heard the perennial prognosis that the study of humanities is a dying field. Critics contend the curriculum is either too narrow (focusing on “dead white males”), too broad (expanding to embrace “multiculturalism”) or too irrelevant (learning for learning’s sake). But these criticisms would spark lively debates among the thousands of lifelong learners of all ages and backgrounds who throng to seminars and special events sponsored year-round by the Program in the Humanities in UNC’s College of Arts and Sciences. After 35 years, the humanities program is more popular, inventive and relevant than ever. During 2013-14, it reached nearly 3,000 adult learners, through weekend seminars as well as teacher-training workshops (see sidebar on page 25), shorter talks and activities in bookstores, museums and theaters, and, most recently, adult spelling bees and live game shows in nightclubs. The humanities program provides a public face for Carolina and for oftenmisunderstood humanities scholarship. “This is a great way for our faculty to reach out and serve the community and the state of North Carolina, as part of our essential mission as a public university,” said Lloyd Kramer, professor of European history, former history department chair and now the first tenured faculty director of UNC’s humanities program. “We are conveying to the public that exploring the humanities in thoughtful ways helps us understand the meaning of life,” he said. “That’s how the humanities matter

E

R

E

I

D

HUNGRY

in today’s world, and that’s more important than ever.” Kramer has been participating in the humanities seminars since joining the UNC faculty in 1986.

ADVENTURES IN IDEAS From its 1979 founding by the late UNC distinguished philosopher Maynard Adams, the humanities program has offered weekend seminars, “Adventures in Ideas.” Adams believed that public understanding of the humanities enhances knowledge that is essential to the functioning of a democratic society. Today’s seminars continue to reflect and build on Adams’ vision by bringing together eager adult students and renowned scholars to explore important issues and interdisciplinary connections between the past and present. “This is a great way for our faculty to reach out and serve the community and the state of North Carolina, as part of our essential mission as a public university. We are conveying to the public that exploring the humanities in thoughtful ways helps us understand the meaning of life. That’s how the humanities matter in today’s world, and that’s more important than ever.” — LLOY D K R A M ER Recent seminars have been especially timely. Last fall, humanities program participants explored “Elections, Politics, and Power Struggles from Ancient Rome to Modern North Carolina,” as the mid-

22 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

term elections continued to shake up state politics. Another seminar dove into “Sports in America” when headlines were reporting on controversies in collegiate and national athletics. In February, program participants explored “Latin America and the United States,” including a discussion on “Cuba in the American Imagination,” as President Obama sought to loosen travel restrictions to the island nation. It’s no wonder that “Adventures in Ideas” seminars have attracted the Triangle’s growing population of retirees. “After more than 25 years of parenting and working, we wanted to be able to fill in gaps in our understanding of the world outside of our work and family,” said Bob Jolls, who chairs the program’s external advisory board. He and his wife, Cecelia, have attended more than 100 program seminars since they retired to Chapel Hill in 1994. “We also wanted the chance to meet outstanding professors as well as fellow community members who would share our interest in learning,” Jolls said. “Our best professors are able to bridge the knowledge gap and make their insights accessible to community members.” UNC faculty seem to enjoy the program’s seminars as much as the students do, said UNC historian Richard Talbert, who chairs the program’s faculty advisory committee. “Most participants are well read, openminded and impressively experienced in all C O N T I N U ED

O N

PAG E

24


for the

A BOVE: In an Adventures in Ideas seminar, students listen to UNC religious studies scholar Bart Ehrman’s lecture on ‘The Lost Gospels.’

Kristen Chavez

HUMANITIES

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 23


kinds of spheres,” said Talbert, a popular seminar guest and a leading scholar of ancient world maps. “They are the kind of students that instructors want to engage with and be challenged by.”

TOP: Historian Lloyd Kramer is the first faculty director of the program. MIDDLE: Executive director Max Owre emcees the Adult Spelling Bee. BOTTOM LEFT: Events like the spelling bee and a game show called Oh the Humanities bring humanities programs to nontraditional settings. BOTTOM RIGHT: Can you spell ‘drogue’ and ‘torsion?’ Those were some of the words spelling bee participants faced.

24 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

Kevin Patrick Robbins

Kevin Patrick Robbins

Kevin Patrick Robbins

Kramer wants to expand the program’s reach beyond the traditional seminar format to attract a more diverse audience. He and executive director Max Owre have broadened the scope and reach of the seminars by collaborating with Triangle theaters, museums, bookstores and comedy clubs. The fall 2014 seminar “Small Treasures: Dutch and Flemish Art in the 16th and 17th Centuries” was held in Raleigh in collaboration with the N.C. Museum of Art’s exhibition of the small treasures of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hals and their contemporaries. Speakers included UNC historians Kramer and Tatiana String, along with museum curator Dennis Weller. “Participants told us it opened their eyes to the connections between history and art,” said Kramer. The humanities program also is collaborating with Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill to cosponsor “Humanities in Action,” shorter weekly faculty talks on timely topics. For example, the spring 2015 schedule includes: eminent military historian Richard Kohn on national security threats, Duke-UNC national security expert David Schanzer on the origins of ISIS (the Islamic State), and UNC public policy professor Patricia Sullivan on the limitations of military force. The bookstore also is co-hosting the “Spotlight on Scholars” series, showcasing one professor each week, such as American

Dan Sears

NEW COMMUNITY COLLABORATIONS


Kristen Chavez

Research Triangle Park biotech professional who managed to spell the words “impuissance” and “chiliasm” (Greek for 1,000 years). He said he was pleased to atone for his fourth-grade spelling bee loss (when he flubbed “interesting”). Also on tap is a new quiz show, ABOVE: Bart Ehrman, a popular humanities program speaker, has Oh the Humanities, published extensively on the New Testament and Early Christianity. featuring Carolina faculty “in compromising positions,” studies scholar John Kasson discussing his according to the program website. recent book on Shirley Temple. In addition, The format, akin to NPR’s Wait Wait Flyleaf co-sponsors a weekly Great Books … Don’t Tell Me!, pairs UNC scholars Reading Group, which kicked off the with DSI comedians. The March show series with The Sun Also Rises with UNC’s featured associate professor of art eminent Hemingway scholar, Joseph Flora. Cary Levine and associate professor of media and technology studies Sarah ADULT SPELLING BEES Sharma. They were asked to provide AND LIVE GAME SHOWS “amazing facts” about their research, Most recently, the humanities to introduce “a person or thing” they program launched “NightLabs” — a study and let comedians ask 20 yes/no series of lively educational game shows questions about it, and to describe a in “nontraditional settings,” i.e. local “villain or hero” in their specialty. They nightclubs. The $6 admission price is also participated in rapid “crossfire” cheaper than going to a movie. questioning and had to identify a surprise The series is being emceed by “call-in guest.” program executive director Owre, a rock In April, the humanities program guitarist-turned-French historian, with will unveil an ethics game show, Ask comedians at DSI Comedy Club on West Rameses. (Picture “Dear Abby” crossed Franklin Street in Chapel Hill. with Car Talk.) The inaugural show will On a freezing night in February, the star UNC distinguished philosopher Adult Spelling Bee (no, it’s not X-rated) and ethicist Susan Wolf, answering drew more than a dozen contestants ethical dilemmas posed anonymously cheered on by a mixed crowd of by audience members. According to the college students, young and mid-career online program description, the format is professionals, and retirees. While spellers designed to help observers “learn how a struggled onstage with unfamiliar words philosopher approaches life and comes such as purser, drogue, torsion and away a better person.” noumenon, comedians Kit FitzSimons Just another example of how the and Grace Carnes (dressed like a bumble Program in the Humanities is attracting bee) wisecracked and provided word thousands of fans who enjoy exploring derivations and patter. intellectual ideas in their daily lives. • The winner was Aaron Beyerlein, a

FREE TEACHER-TRAINING WORKSHOPS The humanities program provides a major public service through its N.C. Civic Education Consortium, which provides yearround teacher-training workshops that benefit K-12 public school educators and students statewide. The program is funded by private grants. Teachers participate in free professional development workshops with access to university humanities scholars, interactive educational training and teaching materials. In addition, the consortium’s online database provides some 700 lesson plans aligned with N.C. curriculum standards as well as resources for after-school and extracurricular programs. During 2014, nearly 300 teachers participated in consortium workshops with faculty from UNC and other universities. About one-third took part in the “Hidden Histories” workshops, which explored challenging topics not fully addressed in state textbooks, such as race and civil rights history. Teachers returned to the classroom ready to share what they learned with the more than 40,000 students they teach per year, according to Christie Hinson Norris, consortium director and former Durham middle school teacher. Last year, nearly 21,000 Web users downloaded resources from the consortium database. “I have been an educator for 28 years. … I don’t think I have ever attended [a workshop] that has provided more ways to engage students, bring standards to life … and demonstrate learning in authentic ways while making real-world connections,” said Kim Busch, a teacher at Lakeshore Middle School in Mooresville. “We treat teachers as professionals,” Norris said. “And they appreciate the opportunity to learn with university faculty and their peers.” •

ONLINE EXTRAS: To learn more about the consortium and to access the online database of K-12 resources, visit www.civics.org.

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 25


T

LIFE-CHANGING A 2012 alumnus is studying

HE SON OF COLOMBIAN IMMIGRANTS AND THE FIRST IN HIS FAMILY TO GO TO COLLEGE, NESTOR ALEXIS RAMIREZ ’12 BUCKED THE ODDS, THANKS TO A SUPPORT NETWORK OF UNC PROGRAMS AND MENTORS.

the first-generation experience he knows firsthand BY

PAMELA

BABC O C K

The New York native hopes to continue changing the narrative for others like him. He’s a Ph.D. student in education studying first-generation students and will soon become a graduate assistant for The Finish Line Project, a program fueled by a $3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to boost graduation rates for first-generation students and others who face unique challenges, including rural, transfer and historically underserved students. “People kind of forget how much students lose when they don’t have the social capital or parents who went to college,” Ramirez explained. Ramirez plans to study policies to retain rural and first-generation students, who face special challenges adjusting to college life but who have not been well studied. About 20 percent of Carolina’s

“People kind of forget how much students lose

undergraduates are first-generation — meaning neither parent received a four-year degree.

or parents who went to college.”

Ramirez, a self-described introvert,

NESTOR

immersed himself in college and creating an identity for himself early. He was active in Carolina Firsts, a program for first-generation students, an admissions ambassador and a college adviser with the Carolina College Advising Corps. That’s not always the case for so-called “first-gens.” They often don’t know how to make friends and navigate the social connections that make them successful, and C O N T I N U E D

O N

PA G E

when they don’t have the social capital

28

26 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

RAM I R E Z


Kristen Chavez

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 27


they need help mastering time management and other soft skills. Ramirez’s parents married as teens and didn’t finish high school. Born in Flushing, N.Y., Ramirez moved with his family to Sunrise, Fla., west of Fort Lauderdale, and later to Durham, where he graduated from Southern High School. Ramirez admits there were challenges when he came to Carolina. He said he didn’t know how to meet people, had no time management skills, didn’t know what a college lecture looked like and “didn’t really know what to do to prepare myself to be a good student.” “A lot of that stuff comes with being around people or family that openly talk about their experience in college,” Ramirez said. “When you aren’t surrounded by people who are highly educated or have gone to college, it’s like starting a mile from the starting line.” After getting a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in philosophy, Ramirez spent two years as an adviser for the Carolina College Advising Corps, working in high schools in Western North Carolina. His job was to help create a college-going culture, particularly for low-income and firstgeneration students. “It was life-changing,” Ramirez said, adding that the experience was a big reason he’s now pursuing a doctorate in education with a concentration in policy, leadership N.C. Minority Presence Fellowship. Ramirez said his parents are proud of him as he works to improve outcomes for students with backgrounds similar to his.

Kristen Chavez

and school improvement, where he has a

“Changing policy and developing these kinds of programs really is a sure-fire way to impact students and to try to solve a problem

TO P: Last May, Chancellor Carol Folt received an honorary Carolina Firsts pin from outgoing student

head on,” Ramirez said. “And that’s a big

organization president Lara Taylor. B OT TO M: Abigail Panter (left) and Cynthia Demetriou received a

deal for me.” •

$3 million grant to boost retention and graduation rates for first-generation students.

28 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES


REACHING THE FINISH LINE

$3 million grant funds a program to boost retention, graduation rates for first-generation students B Y

P A M E L A

B A B C O C K

C

arolina is upping its game to boost

on this campus,” said the grant’s principal

education costs, cultural differences and lack

retention and graduation rates for first-

investigator, Abigail Panter, the College’s

of family support.

generation and historically underserved

senior associate dean for undergraduate

college students with a $3 million grant

education and a psychology professor. “The

colleges who intend to major in STEM

from President Obama’s “First in the World”

onus is on us to figure out ways to change

(science, technology, engineering and

competition through the U.S. Department

the infrastructure and to develop successful

mathematics) fields face unique challenges.

of Education. The grant is designed to help

strategies that exist after the funding is over.”

While nearly half express interest in STEM, a

Campus partners for the new initiative

much smaller fraction graduate with degrees

the United States reclaim its title of first in the world in college graduates. The Department of Education awarded

include the Center for Faculty Excellence, the American Indian Center, the Academic

Students transferring from community

in these fields. UNC is already revamping some STEM

$75 million to 24 institutions to expand access Advising Program, the Center for Student

classes to engage students through active

and increase completion rates while reducing

Success and Academic Counseling, and the

learning techniques and encourage them to

education costs. Competition was keen:

School of Education.

pursue science degrees. It is also providing

Nearly 500 institutions applied.

At Carolina, about 20 percent of

transition courses that help students across

At Carolina, the funds are being

undergraduates are the first in their family

the board understand Carolina’s academic

used to launch The Finish Line Project, a

to head to college, according to the grant’s

expectations.

multipronged, four-year program based

executive director, Cynthia Demetriou,

in the College’s Office of Undergraduate

director of undergraduate retention. First-

students to identify their strengths and

Education. It will target first-generation

generation students are twice as likely as

persist at the university, and that’s different

students as well as rural, transfer and

non-first-generation students to leave college

than a lot of retention programs, which

historically underserved students (such as

before the start of the second year.

identify students that are failing out and then

minority males and American Indians) and use

Carolina’s four-year graduation rate is

a variety of methods to help students succeed 84 percent, but drops to about 62 percent academically, including curricular innovations,

for first-generation students. Roadblocks

outreach and support.

for this group include insufficient academic

“We have ideas that we believe will work preparation, the need to work to cover

“This is really about encouraging

attempt to understand why they are failing,” Demetriou said. “We really want to help students think about how to move in the direction of those strengths.” •

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 29


The Art and Science of Medicine

Students explore medicine through the lens of the humanities K I M

W E A V E R

S P U R R

’ 8 8

H

onors Carolina senior Natalie

Deuitch spent one summer living in an alternative medicine clinic in India

experience essay, she found out so much more. “The knowledge and all of the

and another in a UNC biology lab,

connections I made with patients and

where she studied how two proteins

doctors have given me the insight to ask

interact to cause sporadic colon cancer.

more questions about medicine, culture

The native of Boone is pursuing majors in biology and food studies,

and healing in real life,” she wrote. Both experiences, the Burch Fel-

and an interdisciplinary honors minor

lowship in India and the William W.

in medicine, literature and culture — a

and Ida W. Taylor Honors Mentored

minor just in its third year.

Research Fellowship (under the guid-

Last year, Deuitch was diagnosed

ance of biology professor Mark Peifer),

with Celiac disease, so for her food

were made possible by private support.

studies thesis she is examining not

Deuitch is interested in pursuing a ca-

only the biology of that disease, but its

reer in public health or research.

personal and societal implications.

This fall, Carolina will launch a new

“My brain is in a lot of different

master’s curriculum in literature, medi-

places,” Deuitch said, laughing. “I do

cine and culture. Faculty across the UNC

very scientific research in the lab, but

School of Medicine and the College of

it’s cool to see how I think about things

Arts and Sciences have been working

differently because of a literature

on the development of the master’s for

background.”

about seven years, and the undergradu-

When Deuitch traveled to Hyderabad to study ayurveda, a traditional Indian healing and wellness

ate minor provided an opportunity to introduce students to the field. Medicine, literature and culture are

system, she wanted to find out how

sometimes collectively referred to in

the treatment works on a biological

the academy as medical humanities.

scale. But, as she revealed in a post-

C O N T I N U E D

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32

Senior Natalie Deuitch is interested in pursuing a career in public health. She stands in front of the painting ‘Warning Sign’ by Allison Tierney (MFA ’15) in the Hanes Art Center.

30 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

Steve Exum

B Y


CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 31


Courses encourage students to examine medicine not only as a

Studying diseases in far-flung locales Sophomore Kendall Flanigan

then visited the Museum of London to see artifacts such as beak-like cones

“scientific enterprise” but as a cultural

of Atlanta is majoring in English and

containing incense that people wore to

practice embedded in changing

is on the pre-medicine track. She is

try to treat the disease.

ideas about disease, doctor-patient

also pursuing the minor in medicine,

relationships and medical ethics.

literature and culture. She spent last

school, but also in possibly pursuing a

summer on a Burch Field Research

graduate degree in medical humanities

students both an intellectual and

Science Seminar in London taking

at King’s College London — one of

an emotional capacity to recognize

companion courses focused on

UNC’s global partners — between her

essential issues for the medical

infectious disease. UNC professor Ann

undergraduate and medical careers.

profession and to read texts they may

Matthysse taught the biology course,

Sophomore Allie Polk envisions a

not encounter elsewhere,” said Michele

and Union College professor Andelys

career in public health. The Nashville,

Rivkin-Fish, an associate professor in

Wood taught the literature course.

Tenn., native is not officially pursuing

“Medical humanities creates in

the department of anthropology, which

Students pored over a map

Flanigan is interested in medical

the minor, but she says a first-year

has offered a medical anthropology

created by physician John Snow, who

seminar on “Doctors and Patients”

minor for about 20 years. “They may be

documented an 1854 cholera outbreak,

taught by associate professor of

studying the body and its physiology

and followed it to its geographic

English Jane Thrailkill is “her favorite

and anatomy … but the human, social,

source. They learned about the plague,

class so far at Carolina.” Thrailkill has

cultural and spiritual [dimensions] are all a part of how you deal with a

Steve Exum

medical condition.”

32 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES


also taught the gateway course to the

in as scholars overlap —questions

An exciting time for medical

minor.

about careers, the meaning of life,

humanities at UNC

For the final project in Thrailkill’s class, students examined “The Faces of Illness” through in-depth study

sustainability and difficult decisions,” Thrailkill said.

Award-winning writer Terrence Holt is an assistant professor of social

Rick Stouffer, chief of cardiology

and geriatric medicine and an adjunct

of an illness they selected. Polk

in the UNC School of Medicine, teaches

assistant professor of English and

literally went the extra mile for her

an honors course in the minor, “The Art

comparative literature. He has an MFA

assignment when she took a spring

of Medicine.”

and Ph.D. in creative writing and

break trip with her dad to Carville,

Students explore topics such as

La., to visit the last center in America

medical ethics, poverty and how the

for treating leprosy, which is often

U.S. health care system compares to

referred to today as Hansen’s disease.

other countries’.

The leprosarium, which closed in

British literature, respectively, and an M.D. His most recent book, Internal Medicine: A Doctor’s Stories, was

Students are required to do half-

featured last fall on NPR’s Science

1999, is now a military base and

day “observerships” — volunteering

museum. Polk interviewed Simeon

at a UNC cardiology lab or at clinics in

Peterson, the oldest surviving patient,

Chapel Hill, Carrboro or Yanceyville, a

autobiographical writing workshop

who still lives there.

rural community in Caswell County.

for second-year medical students

Polk also spent a summer in

“In interventional cardiology, we

Friday. Holt first proposed an

about a decade ago. He will team up

Kampala, Uganda, volunteering at an

deal with life and death decisions,”

with associate professor of English

HIV/AIDS clinic.

Stouffer said. “I think it helps students

Jordynn Jack to lead the new master’s

become more engaged and to realize

curriculum.

“All of this has shown me the importance of compassion in medical

that some day they may be making

care,” she said. “If you take the time

those decisions. These things are

to really speak with people and hear

very complicated and nuanced, so no

their stories, you’re going to be a

simple rule applies across all patients.”

much better caregiver.”

UNC first-year medical student

He thinks UNC is well-positioned to become a leader in this field. “Whether you’re simply intellectually curious and want to do original independent research in a

Helen Powell of Burlington, N.C., took

burgeoning interdisciplinary field, or

Emphasizing listening, critical

Stouffer’s course as an undergraduate

whether you’re working to become the

reasoning, problem-solving

and found the experience invaluable

kind of caring clinician we need our

to her understanding of life beyond

doctors to be … study in this field gives

hospital walls.

you an extraordinary advantage,” Holt

Thrailkill and Rivkin-Fish embraced the interdisciplinary focus of medical humanities and created

“A lot of undergraduates come

and co-taught an Honors Carolina

to Carolina with a gung-ho attitude

course together — “Narrative,

about going into medicine, but they’ve

“‘This is now your world. You need to

Literature and Medicine” — in spring

never been exposed to the softer side

go out and make it better.’ And the

2013.

of medicine and what it means outside

humanities are really good at that.” •

“As the College and higher

said. Thrailkill agrees. She tells students:

of just treating the pathology,” said

education more broadly are thinking

Powell, who was en route to volunteer

ONLINE EXTRAS: Read Deuitch’s

about how we are preparing students

at the Samaritan Health Center Mobile

Burch Fellowship essay and listen to an

for an uncertain world to come, these

Clinic at an apartment complex in

NPR interview with Holt at magazine.

questions that we are interested

Durham.

college.unc.edu.

CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 33


A L U M N I

P R O F I L E

Mapmaking Pioneer

Sandy McNally ’63 served as head of iconic business that helped Americans hit the highways D E E

R E I D

Long before Siri and GPS, travelers relied

on another essential guide, the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Alumnus Andrew “Sandy” McNally IV served as CEO, president and chair of Rand McNally & Co. for more than two decades. The iconic business was co-founded in 1868 by his Irish immigrant great-great grandfather (Andrew McNally) and was passed on to four generations until the family divested its interests in 1997. Rand McNally & Co. grew to encompass printing, publishing and, most famously, mapmaking. The McNallys were innovators — creating new and costeffective methods for producing maps, route information and geographic data that revolutionized how Americans planned and conducted their trips. The company began mapping roads even before cars were mass produced. It published its first road map (New York City & Vicinity) in 1904, four years before the Ford Model T came on line. In 1924, the mapping pioneers produced Auto Chum, precursor to the Rand McNally Road Atlas. By 1960, the road atlas appeared in full color. A digital version came out in 1993. Rand McNally city maps and road atlases became ubiquitous necessities for business and vacation travel, stashed in the trunk or glove compartment between trips. The company also produced globes, geographical-political maps and world atlases that are still widely used today in libraries, high schools and colleges. It’s no wonder that Rand McNally became a cultural icon. Charles Lindbergh relied on Rand McNally maps during his historic first trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. Rand McNally references popped up in literature (O. Henry), film (Bing Crosby’s Star-Spangled Rhythm) and television (The Simpsons). One episode of ALF involved the

discovery of a fictional Rand McNally map to outer space. Sandy McNally, the last family member to lead the company, fondly recalls growing up in post-World War II Chicago when his father was running the business and Americans were falling in love with the open road. “When we took a long car trip in the 1950s and ‘60s, it was for exploration and adventure,” McNally Sandy McNally said. “It was fun and exciting. The highways were expanding, gas was cheap and people were driving all over the McNally went to work for the family business, country.” starting in Chicago. His geography studies McNally understands the pivotal role came in handy. Within two years, he was sent his family’s business played in America’s early to Mexico City to become general manager of travel boom. a Rand McNally printing plant in partnership “Travelers needed maps,” he said. with a company there. “We made it easier for them to plan their “I got great experience running a printing trips, including where to stop and what to business while being fully immersed in see along the way.” another country and culture,” he said. Young McNally was eager to see the He returned to Chicago in 1966, where country, too. He enjoyed family trips to he worked in the Rand McNally division national parks out west. He attended high responsible for publishing textbooks and maps school in Pennsylvania with students from for schools. He was only 34 when he became different parts of the country. When his company president in 1974. During his tenure, classmates encouraged him to apply to the company grew to employ more than UNC, he took a trip to Chapel Hill for a 4,000 people in four business divisions. campus visit. McNally was the first in his family to “I really liked it,” he said. “Carolina study at Carolina. He’s pleased that both ended up being a wonderful experience for of his sons and a son-in-law also received me. I never regretted a minute of my time undergraduate degrees at Chapel Hill. there.” He has served on the University’s Board McNally credits a favorite professor, the of Visitors and remains a special fan of the late UNC geographer J. Douglas Eyre, for department of geography in the College helping to map his academic journey. of Arts and Sciences. He established an “I took an introductory course from endowment fund for the department as well him,” McNally recalled. “I got to know him, as an endowed distinguished lecture series to took at least one more course with him and honor Professor Eyre, his mentor. decided to major in geography. He was my McNally returned to Carolina on mentor and adviser. He helped me find my University Day last October to receive a way.” Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma After graduating from Carolina in 1963, mater. •

34 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

Martin Bader

B Y


C O L L E G E

B O O K S H E L F

No Man Nomad No More S T E P H A N I E

E L I ZO N D O

G R I E S T

Alexander Devora

B Y

S

ince leaving my hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas, at age 18, I have lived in Austin, Seattle, Washington D.C., Moscow, Beijing, El Paso, Brooklyn, three cities in Mexico, Princeton, Iowa City and a remote village near the New York/Canada border. My journey to Chapel Hill commenced with a terrible breakup (“no man”) that helped me realize it was finally time to put down roots (“nomad no more”). This excerpt reflects on my first month here.

N

orth Carolina promised a calmer life, a nourishing life, one that would restore instead of deplete. And also delight: every day, it seemed, I found a new source of happiness. The way men young and old called me “Ma’am” and women called me “Honey.” The way any patch of green was good enough for a garden, and the way each plant wore a little name tag. The way waitresses always asked if I wanted grits or biscuits with that. The way strangers parted on the bus: “You have yo’self a good day now!” The fried catfish on the breakfast menu and the fried green tomatoes on the dinner menu. The mammoth butterflies delicately sipping nectar. The abundance of bike trails. The hand-plucked music that spilled from backyards and garages and porches. The deer that, when you stood still, emerged from the trees. The stories and the laughter that inspired even more stories. One morning, I woke up worrying this state might make me a little too soft, that I’d lose my urban edge. I like to write about things like drug trafficking and human smuggling: Where do butterflies fit in that? But then I tuned in WUNC and discovered I could get arrested at the capital that very afternoon if I wanted, along with hundreds of others at the weekly Moral Monday demonstrations. I logged onto Facebook and saw that I could caravan up to Washington for the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s historic march, or — if that wasn’t possible — participate in one of thirteen rallies being held across the state. From there I followed links to the North Carolina Justice Center, the Durham Immigrant Solidarity Committee, and El Pueblo. Before I knew it, my fingers had curled into note-taking position. As a travel writer, place is my chief muse — its legends, its issues, its people. Yet I have never written about a place while still a resident of it. I wrote my first book, a travel memoir about Russia,

China, and Cuba, while ensconced in my childhood bedroom in Texas. My Mexico memoir sprung from a succession of art colonies in New York, Nebraska, Arkansas, and Texas. I started a book about silence in Barcelona, and another about the Texas/ Mexico borderland while roaming around the New York/Canada borderland. Part of the reason is circumstantial: as someone who constantly changes locations but writes at a glacial pace, I simply never catch up to writing about where I actually am. I take mad notes, reams of them, while my boots are on the ground, but I don’t spin them into stories until I’m thousands of miles away. I have come to relish the distance this system brings, as it enables me to make sense of the particular time I spent in the particular place. Otherwise, I’d probably step onto the street each morning and realize everything I had written the night before was wrong. Yet I could be living in North Carolina for years to come. Decades, even. Nomadism could be ending right here, right now, and while I find this terrifying, it is also immensely relieving. Because when I think back to that awful morning that precipitated this move, I realize that my compulsion wasn’t just to find a source of income, but to find a source of home. And while I still haven’t figured out what this home will ultimately look like — whether I’ll fill it with a man and children or pets and plants or maybe just books and me — I am profoundly grateful to have a home (and a bed with a headboard) of my own in such a magical place. So here I am, one month into my Carolinian adventure, the first place I’ve ever visited without a return ticket. What stories will I find here; which scenes will I re-create? Time to step out and find out. • Griest is assistant professor and Margaret Shuping Fellow of Creative Nonfiction at UNC. Her essay appears in Amazing Place: What North Carolina Means to Writers, edited by Marianne Gingher, UNC professor of English and creative writing. © 2015 Used by permission of the University of North Carolina Press, www.uncpress.unc.edu. C O N T I N U E D

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CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES • SPRING 2015 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • 35


C O L L E G E

B O O K S H E L F

• Euphoria (Atlantic Monthly Press) by Lily King (English ’85). King’s breathtaking novel focuses on three young anthropologists of the ’30s caught in a passionate love triangle that threatens their bonds, their careers and, ultimately, their lives. Set between two World Wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria has been called an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration and sacrifice. King’s book made The New York Times Book Review’s “10 best books of 2014.” • Dept. of Speculation (Vintage) by Jenny Offill (English ’90). Offill’s latest book also made the NYT Book Review’s 2014 “best books” list. In her second novel, the author assembles fragments, observations, meditations and different points of view to chart the course of a troubled marriage. “Dept. of Speculation” became the couple’s code name for all the thrilling uncertainties that lay ahead. When their relationship reaches a sudden breaking point, the wife tries to retrace the steps that have led them to this place. • Living Wages (Tupelo Press) by poet and UNC creative writing lecturer Michael Chitwood. Stitching a seam. Sweeping a floor. First light after working the all-night shift. These are small moments in everyday jobs, but surprisingly luminous. In his 10th book, Chitwood captures “making a living” as he describes hard, often dangerous labor, and also the quiet of housekeeping and office routines. • Saint Anything (Viking Juvenile) by Sarah Dessen (English ’93). The Los

Angeles Times calls Dessen “something of a rock star in young adult fiction.” Her 12th novel introduces Peyton, a teenager who seeks solace from her older brother’s recklessness with a boy named Mac and his family. Saint Anything made Publisher’s Weekly’s list of “most anticipated books of spring 2015.” • The Southern Living Community Cookbook: Celebrating Food and Fellowship in the American South (Oxmoor House) by Sheri Castle (RTVMP ’82). Castle spent months going through more than 45,000 reader recipes sent to Southern Living magazine over the years to put together this collection of must-have regional favorites. • The Cat’s Pajamas (Inkshares) written and illustrated by Daniel Wallace, J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor and director of creative writing at UNC. Meet Louis Fellini, the feline star of Wallace’s first children’s book. Louis lived in a time long ago when cats wore clothes, worked in cities and went on picnics. But the cats dressed all the same, and Louis wanted to be himself. One reviewer wrote: “A warm, weird, wonderful book for your inner child (or actual child). You will like this book from page one.” • Terrified: How Anti-Muslim Fringe Organizations Became Mainstream (Princeton University Press) by Christopher Bail, UNC assistant professor of sociology. Bail demonstrates how the beliefs of fanatics are inspired by a rapidly expanding network of anti-Muslim organizations that exert

36 • COLLEGE.UNC.EDU • SPRING 2015 • CAROLINA ARTS & SCIENCES

profound influence on Americans’ understanding of Islam. He analyzes more than 100 organizations struggling to shape public discourse about Islam, tracing their impact on hundreds of thousands of newspaper articles, television transcripts, legislative debates and social media messages produced since the Sept. 11 attacks. • Women and Democracy in Cold War Japan (Bloomsbury) by Jan Bardsley, UNC associate professor of Asian studies. Bardsley offers a fresh perspective on gender politics by focusing on the Japanese housewife of the 1950s as a controversial representation of democracy, leisure and domesticity. Each chapter explores the contours of a single controversy, including debate over the royal wedding in 1959, the victory of Japan’s first Miss Universe and the unruly desires of postwar women. She also examines the ways in which the Japanese housewife is measured against equally stereotyped notions of the U.S. housewife. • African Fashion, Global Style: Histories, Innovations and Ideas You Can Wear (Indiana University Press) by Victoria Rovine, associate professor of art history. The author introduces fashion designers whose work reflects African histories and cultures and demonstrates that dress styles associated with indigenous cultures may have all the hallmarks of high fashion. A reviewer wrote that Rovine “confirms that the intriguing topic of fashion is also serious business in Africa.” •


F I N A L P O I NT

Congratulations Class of 2015.

We asked Linnea Lieth, a sophomore from Chapel Hill, to create

an original illustration as a send-off gift for our graduating seniors. She said the drawing represents a class of hardworking students who are on the brink of transition into the real world, coming to terms with the important question: Are you ready? Lieth is a studio art major with minors in German and poetry. She loves drawing (naturally!) and appreciating the art that can be found in music, film, literature and everyday life.​ •


NONPROFIT U.S. POSTAGE PAID UNC–CHAPEL HILL

COLLEGE OF A RT S & S C I E N C E S T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F N O RT H C A RO L I N A AT C H A P E L H I L L C A M P U S B OX 3 1 0 0 205 SOUTH BUILDING CHAPEL HILL, NC 27599-3100

Hill Hall Seat Campaign Ad-CAS Mag v1_Layout 1 2/12/15 11:19 AM Page 1

NAME A SEAT.

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he renovation of historic Hill Hall, home to the department of music, will transform its auditorium and restore the rotunda to its original beauty. Be part of its legacy.

Name a seat in Hill Hall’s James and Susan Moeser Auditorium.

www.hillhall.unc.edu Contact Peyton Daniels, associate director of development, at (919) 843-5285, or peyton.daniels@unc.edu, to name a seat or learn more.

Profile for UNC College of Arts and Sciences

Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine, spring 2015  

Carolina Arts & Sciences is the alumni magazine of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Carolina Arts & Sciences magazine, spring 2015  

Carolina Arts & Sciences is the alumni magazine of the College of Arts and Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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