I’m enjoying my first semester as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and I’m delighted that this issue is devoted to exploring how to spark creativity across the disciplines. Thinking in new ways to solve old problems has been critical to my own neuroscience research.
In this issue, you’ll read about how guest artists in our long-running Process Series share their works-in-progress and benefit from audience feedback. You’ll learn about BeAM and our makerspace network that encourages students to pick up tools and apply knowledge learned in the classroom. You’ll experience the work of two faculty in the social sciences and a student entrepreneur who thought outside the box to tackle problems of poverty, disease and child welfare. You’ll meet PlayMakers’ new producing artistic director and hear about her creative approach to her job.
Don’t miss the stories of three alumni who reinvented themselves and their careers thanks to a Carolina education that was both broad and deep.
We continue our coverage of UNC’s academic food theme with profiles of a student and three alumni who are doing creative work in the food world while giving back to their communities.
We also take you on a journey to the beautiful Galapagos to learn how UNC marine scientists are examining the impact of El Niño on the islands.
Be sure to check out additional magazine content, including videos and expanded stories, at magazine.college.unc.edu.
I concur with my colleague, UNC chemist and award-winning teacher Brian Hogan, who said this about creativity: “I am constantly dreaming up new and creative ways to connect scientific material to art, cinema or music. Describing the complex chemical reactions that take place in the cell is similar to describing how an orchestra works. I continuously strive to generate new and creative ways of improving teaching and learning.”
I hope this issue will inspire you to reflect on the value of creativity to your work.