Author Archives: Kaitlin Barker

About Kaitlin Barker

Arts and Sciences Deans Office

Respect your (book)shelf: New books by College faculty and alumni (fall 2017)

Once and For All  (Viking Books for Young Readers, June 2017) by Sarah Dessen (English ’93). The latest from young adult fiction writer Dessen focuses on wedding planner Louna, whose summer job is to help brides plan their perfect day, even though she stopped believing in happily-ever-after when her first love ended tragically. But charming girl-magnet Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged now that he’s met the one he really wants, and maybe Louna’s second chance is standing right in front of her.

Best Creative Nonfiction of the South, Volume II: North Carolina (Texas Review Press, October 2017), co-edited by Michael Chitwood, faculty member in creative writing, and Casey Clabough. This North Carolina volume contains essays that celebrate and document the Tar Heel state’s diverse cultures and geography, from the mountains to the sea. It features works by five UNC creative writing faculty members: Bland Simpson, Michael McFee, Stephanie Griest, Randall Kenan and Marianne Gingher. All of the writers included in the book come from diverse backgrounds, generations and artistic traditions.

Health Equity in Brazil: Intersections of Gender, Race and Policy (University of Illinois Press, July 2017) by Kia Caldwell, associate professor of African, African American and diaspora studies. Brazil’s leadership role in the fight against HIV has brought its public health system widespread praise. But the nation still faces serious health challenges and inequities. Though home to the world’s second largest African-descendant population, Brazil failed to address many of its public health issues that disproportionately impact Afro-Brazilian women and men. Caldwell draws on 20 years of engagement with activists, issues and policy initiatives to document how the country’s feminist health movement and black women’s movement have fought for much-needed changes in women’s health.

The Land of Enterprise: A Business History of the United States (Simon & Schuster, April 2017) by Benjamin Waterhouse, associate professor of history. A new, gripping history of America —told through the executives, bankers, farmers and politicians who paved the way from colonial times to the present — reveals that this country was founded as much on the search for wealth and prosperity as the desire for freedom. The Land of Enterprise is not only a comprehensive look into our past achievements, but offers clues as to how to confront the challenges of today’s world: globalization, income inequality and technological change.

The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live and Die (Penguin Random House, May 2017) by Keith Payne, professor of psychology. The levels of inequality in the world today are on a scale that have not been seen in our lifetime, yet the disparity between rich and poor has ramifications that extend far beyond mere financial means. In The Broken Ladder, Payne examines how inequality divides us not just economically; it also has profound consequences for how we think, how we respond to stress, how our immune systems function, and even how we view moral concepts such as justice and fairness. Read more in The New York Times.

The Idea of the Muslim World: A Global Intellectual History (Harvard University Press, April 2017) by Cemil Aydin, professor of history. When President Barack Obama visited Cairo in 2009 to deliver an address to Muslims worldwide, he followed in the footsteps of countless politicians who have taken the existence of a unified global Muslim community for granted. But as Aydin explains in this provocative history, it is a misconception to think that the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims constitute a single religio-political entity. The Idea of the Muslim World searches for the intellectual origins of a mistaken notion and explains its enduring allure for non-Muslims and Muslims alike.

The Gauntlet (Balzer + Bray, May 2017) by Megan Shepherd (international studies ’04), New York Times bestselling author of the Madman’s Daughter Series. In this thrilling finale to the Cage series, Cora and her friends have escaped the Kindred station and landed at Armstrong — a supposed safe haven on a small moon — where they plan to regroup and figure out how to win the Gauntlet, the challenging competition to prove humanity’s intelligence and set them free. With the whole universe at stake, Cora will do whatever it takes, including pushing her body and mind to the breaking point, to escape Armstrong and run the Gauntlet — though it might destroy her in the process.

QL 4 (TouchPoint Press, May 2017) by James Garrison (English and history ’68). Private First Class Bell, a newly-minted U.S. Army MP, quickly discovers that there’s more than a war going on along QL 4, the main road from Saigon into the Mekong Delta. It is old-fashioned crime and corruption. He doesn’t want to get involved, just serve out his time and go home, but life for an American MP in Vietnam in 1970 doesn’t work that way. QL 4 is a story of intrigue, betrayal and crime among soldiers on the same side in an unpopular war.

Flame in the Mist (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, May 2017) by Renee Ahdieh (English and political science ’05). The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place — because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just 17, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor’s favorite consort — but en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan who have been hired to kill her. Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the Black Clan and track down those responsible for the target on her back. However, once within their ranks, she finds herself falling in love — a love that will force her to question everything she’s ever known.

On Tokyo’s Edge: Gaijin Tales from Postwar Japan (Red Mountain Press, May 2017) by Gordon Ball (M.A. English ’76, Ph.D. English ’81). These 23 short stories reaffirm author Ball’s absorption with, and illumination of, “vanished” people, places and times. The book re-creates the texture of life among a rarefied group of relatively isolated foreigners in American–Occupied Japan and in the decade following Occupation. Peopling these interrelated short fictions are a great range of vivid characters, including schoolmates, lovers, military men, chemistry teachers, maids, a lustful preacher and a missionary of exemplary character.

Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital (UNC Press, November 2017) by Chris Myers Asch (M.A. history ’00, Ph.D. American history ‘05) and George Derek Musgrove. Monumental in scope and vividly detailed, Chocolate City tells the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in our nation’s capital. Emblematic of the ongoing tensions between America’s expansive democratic promises and its enduring racial realities, Washington often has served as a national battleground for contentious issues, including slavery, segregation, civil rights, the drug war and gentrification. But D.C. is more than just a seat of government, and authors Asch and Musgrove also highlight the city’s rich history of local activism.

New Voyages to Carolina: Reinterpreting North Carolina History (UNC Press, October 2017) by Larry E. Tise (Ph.D. American history ‘74) and Jeffrey J. Crow. New Voyages to Carolina offers a bold new approach for understanding and telling North Carolina’s history. Recognizing the need for such a fresh approach and reflecting a generation of recent scholarship, 18 distinguished authors have sculpted a broad, inclusive narrative of the state’s evolution over more than four centuries. The volume provides new lenses for reimagining the state’s past. Transcending traditional markers of wars and elections, the contributors map out a new chronology encompassing geological realities; the unappreciated presence of Indians, blacks and women; religious and cultural influences; and abiding preferences for industrial development within the limits of “progressive” politics.

Searching for Subversives: The Story of Italian Internment in Wartime America (UNC Press, November 2017) by Mary Elizabeth Basile Chopas (Ph.D. history ‘13). When the United States entered World War II, Italian nationals living in this country were declared enemy aliens and faced with legal restrictions. Several thousand aliens and a few U.S. citizens were arrested and underwent flawed hearings, and hundreds were interned. Shedding new light on an injustice often overshadowed by the mass confinement of Japanese Americans, Chopas traces how government and military leaders constructed wartime policies affecting Italian residents and demonstrates the lasting social and cultural effects of government policies on the Italian American community.

Claiming Turtle Mountain’s Constitution: The History, Legacy, and Future of a Tribal Nation’s Founding Documents (UNC Press, September 2017) by Keith Richotte Jr, an assistant professor of American studies. In this book, Richotte offers a critical examination of one tribal nation’s decision to adopt a constitution. By asking why the citizens of Turtle Mountain voted to adopt the document despite perceived flaws, he confronts assumptions about how tribal constitutions came to be, reexamines the status of tribal governments in the present and offers a fresh set of questions as we look to the future of governance in Native America and beyond.

Color and Character: West Charlotte High and the American Struggle over Educational Equality (UNC Press, September 2017) by Pamela Grundy (M.A. history ’91, Ph.D. history ’97). At a time when race and inequality dominate national debates, the story of West Charlotte High School illuminates the possibilities and challenges of using racial and economic desegregation to foster educational equality. Drawing on nearly two decades of interviews with students, educators and alumni, Grundy uses the history of a community’s beloved school to tell a broader American story of education, community, democracy and race — all while raising questions about present-day strategies for school reform.

The Farmhouse Chef: Recipes and Stories from My Carolina Farm (UNC Press, September 2017) by Jamie DeMent (B.A. history ’01). From fall’s “Sage- and Sausage-Stuffed Acorn Squash” to “Pear and Bacon Salad,” to summer’s “Sugarcane Barbecue Chicken” and “Watermelon Mojitos,” DeMent’s cooking style highlights no-nonsense approaches using great ingredients combined with easy preparations for supercharged flavor. Accompanying the recipes are DeMent’s deliciously observant stories illuminating what life is really like on a working farm.

Lost Luggage (Poisoned Pen Press, October 2017) by Wendall Thomas (B.A. English ’81, M.A. English ’85). Cyd Redondo, a young, third-generation Brooklyn travel agent who specializes in senior citizens, has never ventured farther than New Jersey. Yet even Jersey proves risky when her Travel Agents’ Convention fling, Roger Claymore sneaks out of her Atlantic City hotel room at 3 a.m. Back in Brooklyn, when she reads about smugglers stopped at JFK with skinks in their socks or monkeys down their pants, she never imagines she will join their ranks. But days after the pet store owner next door to Redondo Travel is poisoned, she finds herself thrown heels-first into the bizarre and sinister world of international animal smuggling.

The Bright Hour (Simon & Schuster, June 2017) by the late Nina Riggs, former UNC creative writing instructor. Nina Riggs was just 37 years old when initially diagnosed with breast cancer. Within a year Riggs, the mother of two sons ages 7 and 9, and married 16 years to her best friend, received the devastating news that her cancer was terminal. How does one approach the moments, big and small, with both love and honesty? Exploring motherhood, marriage, friendship and memory, even as she wrestles with the legacy of her great-great-great grandfather, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Riggs’s breathtaking memoir continues the urgent conversation that Paul Kalanithi began in When Breath Becomes Air. She asks, what makes a meaningful life when one has limited time?

Listening for Africa: Freedom, Modernity and the Logic of Black Music’s African Origins (Duke University Press, August 2017) by David Garcia, associate professor of music. In Listening for Africa, Garcia explores how a diverse group of musicians, dancers, academics and activists engaged with the idea of black music and dance’s African origins between the 1930s and 1950s. Garcia examines the work of figures ranging from Melville J. Herskovits to Dámaso Pérez Prado, and others who believed that linking black music and dance with Africa and nature would help realize modernity’s promises of freedom in the face of fascism and racism in Europe and the Americas, colonialism in Africa, and the nuclear threat at the start of the Cold War.

Reenu-You (Book Smugglers Publishing, March 2017) by Michele Tracy Berger, associate professor of women’s studies. New York City, August 1998. On a muggy summer day, five women wake up to discover purple scab-like lesions on their faces — a rash that pulses, oozes and spreads in spiral patterns. As more women show up with the symptoms, one clear correlation emerges: an all-natural, first-of-its-kind hair relaxer called Reenu-You. At the heart of the epidemic are these five original women; each from different walks of life. As the world crumbles around them, they will discover more about each other, about themselves, and draw strength to face the future together.

Deadly Justice: A Statistical Portrait of the Death Penalty (Oxford University Press, October 2017) by Frank Baumgartner, Richard J. Richardson Distinguished Professor of Political Science, Marty Davidson, Kaneesha R. Johnson, Arvind Krishnamurthy and Colin P. Wilson. Deadly Justice, which Baumgartner wrote with four former UNC undergraduate students, is a comprehensive examination of the record established through 40 years of experience with the “new and improved” death penalty. The book’s empirical focus provides hard statistical evidence that not only has the modern system retained the vast majority of the issues that concerned the justices in Furman v. Georgia, but several new problems have arisen as well.

Brooklyn’s Renaissance: Commerce, Culture and Community in the Nineteenth-Century Atlantic World (Palgrave Macmillan, June 2017) by Melissa Meriam Bullard, a UNC professor of Renaissance and Early Modern European history. The book shows how modern Brooklyn’s proud urban identity as an arts-friendly community originated in the mid-19th century.  Before and after the Civil War, Brooklyn’s elite, many engaged in Atlantic trade, established more than a dozen cultural societies, including the Philharmonic Society, Academy of Music, and Art Association. Bullard provides a cultural analysis of Brooklyn’s development in the context of the Renaissance in Europe.

The Hamlet Fire: A Tragic Story of Cheap Food, Cheap Government and Cheap Lives (The New Press, September 2017) by Bryant Simon (B.A. history ’83, Ph.D. history ’92), professor of history at Temple University. On the morning of Sept. 3, 1991, the day after Labor Day, the Imperial Food Products chicken plant factory that had never been inspected burst into flame. Twenty-five people — many of whom were black women with children, living on their own — perished that day behind the plant’s locked and bolted doors. After spending several years talking to local residents, state officials and survivors of the fire, award-winning historian Bryant Simon has written a vivid, potent, and disturbing social autopsy of the town of Hamlet, the chicken factory, and this time that shows how cheap labor, cheap government and cheap food came together in a way that was bound for tragedy. Read a Washington Post review.

Rocket Fantastic: Poems (Persea, September 2017) by Gabrielle Calvocoressi, assistant professor of creative writing and Walker Percy Fellow in Poetry. Rocket Fantastic reinvents the landscape and language of the body in interconnected poems that entwine a fabular past with an iridescent future by blurring, with disarming vulnerability, the real and the imaginary. Publishers Weekly writes: “These poems balance wildness and control in a fearless treatment of eros, identity, trauma and all that resists easy categorization.” The book has been called “a spellbinding reinvention of self, family and gender.”

Deborah and Her Sisters: How One Nineteenth-Century Melodrama and a Host of Celebrated Actresses Put Judaism on the World Stage (University of Pennsylvania Press, November 2017) by Jonathan M. Hess, Moses M. and Hannah L. Malkin Distinguished Professor and chair, department of Germanic languages and literatures. Before Fiddler on the Roof, before The Jazz Singer, there was Deborah, a tear-jerking melodrama about a Jewish woman forsaken by her non-Jewish lover. Within a few years of its 1849 debut in Hamburg, the play was seen on stages across Germany and Austria, as well as throughout Europe, the British Empire, and North America. Hess offers the first comprehensive history of this transnational phenomenon, focusing on its unique ability to bring Jews and non-Jews together during a period of increasing antisemitism.

A Place Called Home: The Social Dimensions of Home Ownership (Oxford University Press, October 2017) by Roberto Quercia, director of UNC’s Center for Community Capital (CCC), and former CCC researchers Kim Manturuk and Mark R. Lindblad. The book offers a rigorous analysis of the social impacts and non-financial effects of affordable homeownership. A Place Called Home argues that homeownership is not only important for financial reasons, but also functions as a social tool that can improve the lives of low- and moderate-income people. The authors observe that homeowners, when compared with renters, have: better health outcomes; experience less stress in times of financial hardship; experience a greater sense of trust in their neighbors; have access to more social capital resources; and are more likely to vote.

Read a Q&A with Dana Coen, director of UNC’s Writing for the Screen and Stage program, about the new book, Twenty-Five Short Plays: Selected Works from The University of North Carolina Long Story Shorts Festival, 2011-2015 (UNC Press).

New book celebrates UNC student playwrights

Dana Coen, director of UNC’s Writing for the Screen and Stage minor in the department of communication, brings extensive professional experience as a playwright and screenwriter to the classroom. Before arriving at Carolina in 2009, Coen spent over 35 years in New York and Hollywood. He wrote and directed numerous plays prior to serving as co-executive producer of the CBS series JAG for eight seasons.

Dana Coen, director of the Writing for the Screen and Stage program, says a new book featuring former students’ one-act plays gives readers “an opportunity to visit the minds of young creatives” at UNC

Dana Coen, director of the Writing for the Screen and Stage program, says a new book featuring former students’ one-act plays gives readers “an opportunity to visit the minds of young creatives” at UNC.


Recently he discussed the program and Twenty-Five Short Plays: Selected Works from The University of North Carolina Long Story Shorts Festival, 2011-2015, published by UNC Press in September.

Q: What is The Long Story Shorts One-Act Festival, and what inspired you to create it?

A: A few years after joining the program, I altered the introductory course so that students wrote a short play and a short screenplay. When I read the f

irst set of short plays, I thought, “I need to do something with these.”  So I started imagining a way that students could develop the work in collaboration with professionals, seasoned actors and directors. The festival is a celebration of their work. One-act plays allow playwrights to address big topics in economical ways. It’s a great way to start them off.

Q: What was your goal in pulling together these plays into a book?

A: I want the world to know that college-age students are capable of good writing as long as there’s supervision. This book provides a living example that young writers can produce work of value.

Q: Why should a general audience read this book?

A: It provides an opportunity to visit the minds of our young creatives. The writers express a depth of intellect and feeling that I don’t think most people would expect from 19- and 20-year-olds. The plays are so diverse. I describe Chill Pill as “politically correct reunites with socially correct.” In Pegging Out, two brothers, trapped in a British coal mine, ponder their individual destinies. Bad Connection is a satirical comedy about device-addicted college students struggling to communicate.

Q: What have some of the student playwrights gone on to do?

A: One graduate turned an internship on the TV series The Flash into a produced episode. She was only two years out of the program. Another is running the L.A. office of a well-known production company. One of our playwrights has had two of his plays produced Off-Broadway. A graduate was a staff writer for Haven on the Syfy channel for a number of years.

Q: Tell us about this year’s festival.

A: One of the plays is written entirely in iambic pentameter. Another is simply two mismatched characters in a car.  It’s hilarious. And then there’s one in which a father and son work out their relationship in a game of poker. These are just three examples of how different these plays can be. I’ve discovered if you challenge students to dig deeply about who they are and how they view their world, they will express themselves in fascinating ways.

Watch a video about the Writing for the Screen and Stage Program.

Long Story Shorts 2017 will take place in Swain Hall, Studio 6, Friday, Nov. 3, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 4, at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Admission is free. For more details, visit UNC Writing for the Screen & Stage on Facebook or

Actors who have performed in the plays featured in the book will do a series of readings at local bookstores this fall. Visit for more information.

This is just one example of the various works published every year by Carolina faculty and alumni; find more here!

Interview by Michele Lynn


Opening doors, emboldening dreams

College’s role in UNC campaign emphasizes innovation, entrepreneurship, experiential learning and more.

College campaign priorities include support for first generation students like Lookout Scholar Samantha Grounds.

College campaign priorities include support for first generation students like Lookout Scholar Samantha Grounds.

First-year student Samantha Grounds of Marietta, Ga., arrived on campus in August as one of Carolina’s first Lookout Scholars. Class valedictorian, captain of the soccer team and president of her high school’s National Honor Society, she is eager to explore all that Carolina has to offer.

She hopes to pursue a degree in public health. Her dream is to travel the world, providing medical care in impoverished countries, a passion she discovered during recent mission trips to Nicaragua and Peru.

Lookout Scholars is a donor-funded initiative that supports first-generation college students, providing the resources they need to succeed at Carolina. Grounds is part of the inaugural class of 40 Lookout Scholars at UNC. (Read more at

A donor’s generosity has opened doors of access and opportunity for Grounds. The Oct. 6 public launch of the University’s comprehensive campaign, The Campaign for Carolina, hopes to similarly inspire Carolina alumni and friends to support transformative initiatives that advance the mission and vision of the College of Arts & Sciences under Dean Kevin Guskiewicz.

A critical juncture

The College’s goal for the campaign will exceed $700 million as part of a broader University-wide goal. During the campaign’s “quiet” phase, which began Jan. 1, 2015, the College raised more than $265 million. This includes a record-shattering $91.3 million in new gifts and commitments in the fiscal year that ended June 30. That total is 30 percent more than the previous year — a record in itself.

Doctoral Hooding ceremony held May 13, 2017 at the Dean Smith Center. Photo by Jon Gardiner.

Doctoral Hooding ceremony held May 13, 2017 at the Dean Smith Center. Photo by Jon Gardiner.

Leadership gifts have supported entrepreneurship, PlayMakers and dramatic art, Honors Carolina, the Institute for the Arts and Humanities, the Learning and Writing Center, graduate student stipends and other areas of critical support for students and faculty.

“We’re at a critical juncture in the pursuit of knowledge and the need to push boundaries to address the problems that we as a nation and a world face,” said Rob Parker, senior associate dean for development for the College. “For us to continue to remain a top university globally, philanthropic support is more essential than ever.”

Campaign priorities

Among the College’s key campaign priorities are investments in research and teaching that will have a dramatic impact on North Carolina, the nation and the world.

The new Institute for Convergent Science (read more here) will bring together chemists, physicists,

Kirsten Consing at her internship at the UNC Mother Infant Research Studies through the Karen M. Gil Internship Program in Psychology.

Kirsten Consing at her internship at the UNC Mother Infant Research Studies through the Karen M. Gil Internship Program in Psychology.

biologists and health scientists to develop real-world applications that tackle challenges in fields including renewable energy, clean water and more effective drug delivery solutions.

Another focal point will be increasing experiential learning opportunities for students through study abroad (read more here), academic internships, faculty-mentored research and the new campus makerspaces.

Other key priorities include support for faculty recruitment and retention, entrepreneurship, Southern studies, Jewish studies, digital humanities, graduate student support and global education.

“Our donors are stepping up to propel UNC forward as a leader among public research universities both nationally and internationally,” Guskiewicz said. “I could not think of a more exciting time to be at Carolina.”

Read more about campaign priorities.

Story by Erin Kelley ’13 

PlayMakers, dramatic art celebrate $12 million gift

A $12 million gift to PlayMakers Repertory Company and the department of dramatic art will significantly increase the University’s performing arts programming by expanding educational opportunities for students and enhancing performance and outreach offerings available to the community.

at the gift celebration with the Cole Porter song “You’re The Top.” Photo by Jon Gardiner.

Graduate students serenaded Gillings at the gift celebration with the Cole Porter song “You’re The Top.” Photo by Jon Gardiner.

The endowment, from longtime arts patron Joan H. Gillings, is the largest single gift by a living individual to benefit the performing arts at Carolina. In honor of the historic gift, the Center for Dramatic Art will be named the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art.

Chancellor Carol L. Folt joined Kevin Guskiewicz, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences; Adam Versényi, chair of the department of dramatic art; and Vivienne Benesch, PlayMakers’ producing artistic director, at a celebration announcing the gift on Sept. 11.

Gillings’ commitment will enable the department to recruit and retain top graduate students by funding additional scholarships in acting, costume production and technical production annually. It will also expand PlayMakers’ vital education and outreach programs, including a ­­new Mobile

Joan H. Gillings is honored Monday September 11, 2017 at the UNC Center for Dramatic Art on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Chapel Hill resident and longtime arts patron, Joan H. Gillings, has committed the largest single gift ever to the performing arts at Carolina. The $12 million endowment will enable PlayMakers to increase community outreach efforts, introduce new theatre works and support graduate students in the department of dramatic art. The building that houses the department and PlayMakers will also be named the Joan H. Gillings Center for Dramatic Art. Photo by Jon Gardner.

Joan H. Gillings is honored at the UNC Center for Dramatic Art. Gillings has committed the largest single gift ever to the performing arts at Carolina. Photo by Jon Gardner.

Shakespeare initiative, and its K-12 educational matinee and teaching artist residency programs. In addition, the gift will foster the development of new plays to engage the University and national theater community with innovative and socially conscious work.

Gillings, who has served on the Friends of PlayMakers Advisory Board since 2008 and as its chair since 2013, acquired a love of theater while attending plays on Broadway and in London’s West End. She said that the high quality of PlayMakers productions and her interactions with master of fine arts students inspired her gift.

“I can’t tell you how important this is to me. Having PlayMakers in our own backyard is incredible,” Gillings said. “It’s all about the students. They are our future.”

Established in 1925, the department of dramatic art is the second-oldest theater department in the country. PlayMakers, the professional theater in residence, recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Read more about the endowment, celebration, and the value of PlayMakers on the College’s website, here and here.

$3 million gift will benefit Honors Carolina

Laurie and Peter Grauer. A $3 million gift will endow the Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina Fund.

Laurie and Peter Grauer. A $3 million gift will endow the Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina Fund.

Peter Grauer ’68 believes in how Honors Carolina can change students’ lives.

Grauer, chair of worldwide media company Bloomberg L.P., served for more than 15 years as chair of the Honors Carolina Advisory Board. A recent $3 million gift commitment will endow the Peter T. Grauer Associate Dean for Honors Carolina Fund.

The endowment will provide salary and research funding. It allows the associate dean to pursue scholarly endeavors and to have a source of discretionary funding to support ongoing program development and curriculum innovation.

“Honors Carolina is a magnet to attract the best and brightest students,” Grauer said. “It gives Carolina a bold and lasting competitive advantage. It provides our faculty with the opportunity to work with truly gifted students. Honors Carolina makes the Chapel Hill experience even more unique, even better.”

Associate Dean for Honors Carolina Jim Leloudis is the fund’s first recipient. Leloudis has served as associate dean for Honors and founding director of the James M. Johnston Center for Undergraduate Excellence for more than 18 years. His research focuses on the history of the modern South, with emphases on labor, education, race and reform.

Heather Boneparth ’80, current chair of the Honors Carolina Advisory Board, said, “It is quite fitting that Peter’s gift will honor Jim’s exceptional leadership and ensure that Honors Carolina will continue to benefit from the leadership required to continue the path of innovation which has become the hallmark of the program.”

Dean Kevin Guskiewicz added, “The Grauer Fund will allow Jim and his successors to sustain the tradition of excellence associated with Honors Carolina.”

Grauer is a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Program for Management Development. He is a former member of the UNC Board of Trustees.

Story by Mary Moorefield


With Mellon grant, launches ‘Humanities for the Public Good’

The Southern Oral History Program, in collaboration with Carolina Public Humanities’ Carolina K-12 program, hosted the Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellows in Civil Rights workshop at UNC in June.

The Southern Oral History Program, in collaboration with Carolina Public Humanities’ Carolina K-12 program, hosted the Carolina Oral History Teaching Fellows in Civil Rights workshop at UNC in June.

A four-year, $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation will significantly advance Carolina’s efforts in humanities education, research and teaching at UNC-Chapel Hill.

The initiative, “Humanities for the Public Good,” will use multiple strategies to integrat

e public humanities into the curriculum, tap the potential of digital technology for humanities scholarship and teaching, and reach out to diverse communities to elevate awareness of existing humanities activities at Carolina as well as foster new avenues of public engagement.

The principal investigator of the grant is Terry Rhodes, senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities in the College. Robyn Schroeder, who oversaw several public humanities efforts at Brown University, will manage the grant’s programmatic elements as initiative director.

It will focus on three broad themes:

  • Employing new educational models for the humanities that reconfigure education and promote the public humanities in the curriculum.
  • Integrating contemporary, digital approaches into research and education.
  • Expanding the public humanities through more engagement with diverse communities beyond the academy.

“What is exciting about this initiative is that it is a natural evolution of Carolina’s identity as a university ‘of the public and for the public,’” Rhodes said. “This grant will allow us to meaningfully advance the theme of ‘humanities for the public good’ in ways that will benefit our students and faculty enormously.”

Read more here.

Colloredo-Mansfeld tapped for senior leadership post

Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs.

Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld, senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs.

Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld became senior associate dean for social sciences and global programs in the College of Arts & Sciences on July 1.

As senior associate dean, Colloredo-Mansfeld oversees the departments/curricula and other units in the social sciences as well as the global programs of the College that are housed together in the FedEx Global Education Center.

Colloredo-Mansfeld served as chair of the department of anthropology from 2013 to 2017.

He has been at Carolina since 2008, coming from the University of Iowa. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA in 1992 and 1996, respectively, and his B.A. in anthropology and European history from UNC in 1987, where he was a Morehead Scholar and graduated Phi Beta Kappa.

His scholarly research and teaching focus on indigenous peoples, consumer cultures and local food systems. Much of his work has concerned indigenous peoples in the Ecuadorian highlands. He recently began collaborating with colleagues at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, or USFQ (Carolina’s partner in the Galápagos Science Center), comparing models of community tourism in conservation areas in the Galápagos and the Andes.

Colloredo-Mansfeld replaces Jonathan Hartlyn, who served as senior associate dean for nearly eight years and has returned to his home department of political science.

Carolina ranks 33rd in world universities

UNC-Chapel Hill ranks 33rd in the world and 23rd in the United States among global universities, according to the 2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) released by the Center for World Class Universities at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in August.

The Old Well in bloom, August 2017.

The Old Well in bloom, August 2017.

UNC was ranked 35th in 2016 and 39th in 2015. This year, Harvard University placed first, followed by Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, respectively.

Since 2003, ARWU has ranked more than 1,200 universities and published the best 500 universities annually.

The center also released subject area rankings in 2017. Carolina had 11 subjects that scored in the top 20 in the world, demonstrating notable strengths in the field of medical sciences. Those rankings and subjects, which include some departments in the College of Arts & Sciences, are:

  • 2nd in dentistry and oral sciences
  • 4th in statistics
  • 6th in pharmacy and pharmaceutical sciences
  • 8th in public health
  • 10th in nursing
  • 12th in education
  • 12th in sociology
  • 13th in biological sciences
  • 17th in finance
  • 18th in computer science and engineering
  • 19th in communication.

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Confronting energy poverty in Southern Africa

The National Science Foundation recently awarded a $4.8 million grant to UNC-Chapel Hill to help researchers study how to alleviate energy poverty in Southern Africa.

Women walk home carrying fuel-saving cookstoves in Kasungu, Malawi. A new $4.8 million NSF grant will help researchers study how to alleviate energy poverty in Southern Africa.

Women walk home carrying fuel-saving cookstoves in Kasungu, Malawi. A new
$4.8 million NSF grant will help researchers study how to alleviate energy poverty in
Southern Africa.

Energy poverty is the lack of access to modern energy sources such as electricity and modern fuels — crucial resources to the well-being of individuals and communities, the environment and to the stability and growth of national economies. In sub-Saharan Africa, an estimated 620 million people lack access to electricity, and 730 million use solid biomass and inefficient stoves as their primary source of cooking energy.

The project is an NSF Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE), an innovative program that promotes international collaboration among scientists to address complex, multidisciplinary problems. The Energy Poverty PIRE is led by Pam Jagger, an associate professor of public policy.

A main focus of the PIRE program is to train the next generation of scientists to solve complex real-world problems. The Energy Poverty PIRE program will provide training and research opportunities for 70 undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines, including public policy, geography, sociology, forestry and environmental science and engineering.

The program is administered by the Carolina Population Center (CPC). Co-PIs of the project are Michael Emch, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Geography, and Barbara Entwisle, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Sociology. Jagger, Emch and Entwisle are CPC Faculty Fellows.

Core partners include NC State University, RTI International, the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Malawi), Copperbelt University (Zambia) and the University of Zimbabwe.

Read more here.

NFL grant funds concussion research

The NFL will fund a $2.6 million international study on the role of active rehabilitation strategies in concussion management.

Led by scientists at UNC-Chapel Hill and the Medical College of Wisconsin, the research will involve international collaborations and diverse participants — high school, college and professional athletes — across a variety of sports.

A $2.6 million grant from the NFL is funding an international study on the role of active rehabilitation strategies in concussion management, such as those being used at the Matthew Gfeller Center, above.

A $2.6 million grant from the NFL is funding an international study on the role of active
rehabilitation strategies in concussion management, such as those being used at the
Matthew Gfeller Center, above.

The project was identified as a priority at the NFL’s International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank.

The study, one of the first of its kind, will examine the efficacy of two clinically supervised management strategies, including both the international concussion return-to-play protocol and early therapeutic interventions for concussions.

Professional athletes from the Canadian Football League and New Zealand Rugby, as well as amateur athletes from American and Canadian colleges and universities and Wisconsin high schools, will be included in the study. The research will cover a variety of sports, including football, rugby, soccer, lacrosse, basketball and ice hockey. The three-year study will enroll more than 200 concussed athletes, both male and female.

“Currently there’s little information available about the most effective strategies to manage and treat concussion,” said Johna Register-Mihalik, the co-principal investigator at UNC, assistant professor of exercise and sport science and faculty member of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center. “We want to see how early, clinically guided activity could benefit recovery from concussion.”

Other members of the UNC investigative team include co-principal investigator Kevin Guskiewicz (dean of the College, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Exercise and Sport Science and co-director of the Gfeller Center), Stephen Marshall (Injury Prevention Research Center and epidemiology), Jason Mihalik (exercise and sport science and a director of Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related TBI Research Center), Shabbar Ranapurwala (Injury Prevention Research Center and epidemiology), Karen McCulloch (division of physical therapy) and Paula Gildner (project manager, Injury Prevention Research Center). UNC undergraduate and graduate students are also involved in the research.

Read more here.