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.
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 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 this website 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.