UNC-Chapel Hill

Cover image for a recent issue of The New Republic with a cover story about the decline of black political power in the South.
The New Republic

  

The percentage of black state legislators in the South that serve in the majority party has declined rapidly in the past 10 years—from 99 percent in 1994 to 4.8 percent today.

Graphic Illustration of "Allowed": A response to a 2013 Saudi law allowing women to ride bicycles only for leisure and only if accompanied by a male guardian.
Mohammed Sharaf

When Kuwaiti artist and graphic designer Mohammad Sharaf gets angry, he creates art.

Anne Firor Scott
Les Todd / Duke Photography

Earlier this week, President Obama awarded Chapel Hill historian Anne Firor Scott the National Humanities Medal.

She was honored "for pioneering the study of southern women. Through groundbreaking research spanning ideology, race, and class, Dr. Scott’s uncharted exploration into the lives of southern women has established women’s history as vital to our understanding of the American South."

Soccer Ball Image
Flickr/Sonny Abesamis

    

As the 2014 World Cup draws to a close, all eyes are on Brazil. Historical data shows the effects of this tournament may go far beyond the walls of the stadium.

Ringlets, a baby-doll face and a sweet singing voice may be the most recognizable aspects of Shirley Temple's famous persona.

UNC graduates
unc.edu

Many colleges and universities across North Carolina have added thousands of alumni.  Students from UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University were among those to turn their tassels Sunday. 

Harvard surgeon and best-selling author Atul Gawande spoke at UNC's commencement. The theme of Gawande's speech was how to find the right place to live and work after graduation.

"One thing I came to realize after college was that the search for purpose is really a search for a place, not an idea," says Gawande. 

Meet Terri Phoenix

Apr 21, 2014
Headshot photo of Terri Phoenix, the director of the LGBTQ Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.
lgbtq.unc.edu

Terri Phoenix (T) grew up always feeling like an outsider. As a young child in a poor, fragmented family, Terri moved around more than ten times before starting high school and was always the "new kid."

South Building and the Old Well, UNC Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt

An independent review is discrediting the findings of a whistleblower at UNC-Chapel Hill.

Mary Willingham is an academic advisor at UNC-Chapel Hill who first blew the whistle on no-show classes two years ago. More recently she claimed that one-fourth of all Carolina athletes were reading at our below a fourth-grade level.

UNC-Chapel Hill officials disputed the methods she used in making that assertion. The school hired three professors at other institutions to review Willingham’s data.

Emilio Vicente
emiliosbp.com / Emilio Vicente

    

Emilio Vicente says he ran for student body president at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill because he wanted to give a voice to the voiceless at his school. But as gay, undocumented Latino student, Emilio gained national attention. He recently lost the race to fellow student Andrew Powell.

Left to right: Christian Adams - cello / Nathan Spain - drums / Peter Vance - guitar and vocals / Gabriel Reynolds - piano and vocals / Mary Koenig - vocals and auxiliary percussion / Eli Howells - violin
Morning Brigade / http://morningbrigademusic.com

    

Above Our Heads, the first album by Chapel Hill band Morning Brigade, took an in-depth look at love and relationships. Their second album offers an even more vulnerable examination of these themes. Songwriter and vocalist Peter Vance finds inspiration and catharsis in writing about his personal history and medical struggles.

David Pizarro black and white photo, laughing
http://www.peezer.net/

  

Feelings of disgust can be a useful in navigating environmental threats. When we are disgusted, we avoid contaminated or poisonous things. But new research shows that disgust may also subconsciously influence our political and moral judgments. Psychology professor David Pizarro examines the ways disgust affects decision-making in the political realm.

The report aims at bringing a better balance between academics and sports at UNC at Chapel Hill.
Tnbailey09 voa Creative Commons

Over the past week, a new iteration of the UNC-Chapel Hill sports/academic scandal has been making headlines.

Yan Liang / Energy Frontier Research Center UNC-Chapel Hill

The Frontier Research Center at UNC-Chapel Hill has built a system that converts solar energy into fuel, so power can be used even after the sun sets.  The US Department of Energy is funding the research.

Instead of storing solar electricity in an expensive battery, researchers use the sun's energy to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen.  Two of the Center's papers about the process were recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

creative commons

We all like a good chuckle, but what if laughing was actually good for more than entertainment?

Research from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill indicates that laughter may be good for far more. In honor of that, here are some great comedy acts to laugh at. You can hear the State of Things show on the topic of humor here.

Warning: Videos below may contain strong language or content.

Black Nativity is a Hollywood adaptation of Langston Hughes' gospel libretto.
Fox Searchlight

 

Originally a play by poet Langston Hughes, Black Nativity makes its big screen debut. 

Creative Commons

Doctors are increasingly concerned by the risk of concussions in football and other sports.  

The National Football League Players Association is partnering with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Brain and Body Health Program and other universities to help better treat and evaluate former players for injury, particularly to the brain.

2 children, box of gift. Drawing
www.CommuniGift.com

Angel trees are in many places in our communities: churches, malls. Each ornament on the tree has a child's name on it, and a list of gifts the child would like for the holidays. Human "angels" take the tag, go shopping, and return some of those gifts wrapped and ready in time for the holidays.

A new start-up company is trying to update the model.

"CommuniGift" is an online platform, designed to make finding and shopping for needy children and families easier.

It works a couple of different ways.

Unsung Founders Memorial, UNC-Chapel Hill
Don McCullough / Flickr.com

Tim McMillan is a senior lecturer at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill's Department of African, African American and Diaspora Studies.  He is also the creator of The Black and Blue Tour.  In 2001 Tim was teaching a seminar called “Defining Blackness” when he realized how much of UNC’s  own racial history went overlooked.  He started the Black and Blue tour of the UNC campus to help people gain a more nuanced perspective. He knows these conversations can make people uncomfortable.

Dean Smith Center, UNC Chapel Hill
Dave DeWitt

The University of North Carolina basketball program is considering renovating or possibly replacing the Dean Smith Center.

The school's Athletic Director, Bubba Cunningham, would like to add premium seating to the arena.  Similar changes were recently made to the football stadium in Chapel Hill to become what is now called the "Blue Zone." Cunningham said the seats may largely pay for themselves.

unc.edu

On Saturday UNC Chapel Hill inducted its first female chancellor, Carol Folt.

UNC's Sylvia Hatchell Diagnosed With Leukemia

Oct 14, 2013
UNC Athletics

North Carolina women's basketball coach Sylvia Hatchell has been diagnosed with leukemia.

In a release from the school Monday, Hatchell said she would temporarily step away from her coaching duties to focus on treatment. She said she would remain involved with the team and expected to "return to my sideline responsibilities as soon as possible."

The report aims at bringing a better balance between academics and sports at UNC at Chapel Hill.
Tnbailey09 voa Creative Commons

A panel of academic and athletic leaders have released a report aimed at re-defining the role of sports on campus at UNC-Chapel Hill.  Committee members listed 28 recommendations they hope will help bring a better balance to school and sports on campus. 

The Southern Oral History Program mapped oral histories with DH Press in their project Mapping the Long Women’s Movement.
RENCI

Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed an easy-to-use website-building tool that puts previously complex digital programming into the hands of historians and researchers. The new tool, called the Digital Humanities Toolkit or DH Press, provides a way for historians, researchers, teachers and others to create interactive websites, virtual tours, data maps and multimedia archives with a WordPress platform. It also organizes data in more easily searchable and intuitive ways, such as mapping.  UNC-Chapel Hill’s Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) and its Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) collaborated on the new tool.

Debra Saunders-White
NC Central University

College students began meeting their new roommates and unpacking boxes last week at several of the large universities in the Triangle and Triad. This year, the freshmen won’t be the only new faces on campus.

Carol Folt began her first official day on the job as chancellor at UNC-Chapel Hill a little over a month and a half ago. She replaced Holden Thorp, who is now the provost at Washington University in Saint Louis. Folt comes to Carolina from Dartmouth. She’s the first woman to lead UNC-Chapel Hill.

Julius Chambers
Citizenplastic / commons.wikimedia.org

In 1948, William Chambers, a black maintenance worker in Montgomery County, NC was denied payment for a job by a white customer. William Chambers spent many afternoons searching for an attorney to represent him, but all the white lawyers he asked refused. William told this story to his son, Julius Chambers, who then vowed to become a lawyer and fight for justice.

Cover of the book 'Sounds of War: Music in the United States during World War II'.
Philip E Pascuzzo/National Archives / Oxford University Press

    

World War II was fought not only with guns and bombs but also with strings, brass, and percussion.

The American government used classical music as part of the war effort to demonstrate the cultural dominance of the Allies. The military also used songs to rally American troops.

A dorm at UNC-Chapel Hill.
madrigals via Flickr, Creative Commons

UNC Board of Governors members voted unanimously to cancel a policy allowing men and women to live together on the Chapel Hill campus.  The vote nullified the UNC Chapel Hill trustee board's endorsement of gender neutral housing.

Some male and female students were going to live together in 32 living spaces set aside in two dorms starting this month.  But the board of governors said that arrangement would be inappropriate.  Chairman Peter Hans says their consideration of the policy included the unfavorable opinions of some state lawmakers.

The pink ribbon is a symbol for breast cancer awareness.
TipsTimes

UNC- Chapel Hill and Duke researchers will share national grant money to further breast cancer studies. Ten programs at the schools will get $3.6 million from the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The research will investigate causes and develop vaccines.

Pam Kohl, the director of Komen's Triangle to the Coast affiliate, says this funding can be as important to scientists as it is to patients. Kohl points to Komen Scholar Kimberly Blackwell of Duke as one of those who benefited.

A screen shot from the Surge Guidance System shows storm surge data from Hurricane Sandy, which hit the east coast in October 2012.
RENCI

Researchers at UNC-Chapel Hill are using storm surge data to give coastal communities a better idea of what they can expect during hurricanes. 

The university's Renaissance Computing Institute, or RENCI, has a network called the Surge Guidance System.  It gathers intricate details of ocean activity to calculate where, how and when storm surge will affect certain areas. 

Jay Bryan speaking at the Carrboro Centennial.
Justin Valas/ Flickr / creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en

The small town of Carrboro was once a prominent mill town in the early to mid-1900s. But after all of the mills closed down and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill continued to grow, the town became a haven to students and an evolving arts scene.

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