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13 minutes | Mar 11, 2020
Well Said: Revitalizing Morganton
Morganton, North Carolina, has historically been known for its strong manufacturing and textile industries, but those industries took a significant hit during the 2009 recession and companies moved much of their operations overseas. Unemployment in the town rocketed to 15%. Carolina alumna Sara Chester '07 saw that critical time as a chance to reshape the city's economy and build a better future by encouraging businesses to plant their roots in Morganton. She is now working to bring Morganton back to life as the co-executive director of the Industrial Commons, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing an inclusive economy throughout western North Carolina and creating a culture of dignity for manufacturing workers. On this week's episode, Chester talks about how Industrial Commons is redefining Morganton and the industries it has relied on for decades by harnessing the power of local workers and small businesses.
8 minutes | Feb 26, 2020
Well Said: 2020's extra special day
There are 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week and 366 days in 2020. “The Earth doesn't orbit the sun in exactly 365 days. There's a little bit extra,” said Jordan Sheely, a senior astrophysics major and science educator at Morehead Planetarium and Science Center. “It's about .24 days, so just about a quarter of a day. Every year we're behind by just a little bit.” That means people like Carolina sophomore Lauren Stiller only get to celebrate their true birthday every four years. “Every year that passes is basically a fourth of a year for me,” Stiller said. “So, as a 19-year-old, I say, ‘I'm four and three fourths.’ So, I'll be turning 5 this year.” On this week’s episode, hear about the little struggles and big celebrations that come with having a rare birthday and the science behind it, too.
13 minutes | Feb 19, 2020
Well Said: Honoring the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Negro Leagues — professional baseball leagues comprised mostly of African American players. The leagues were created in 1920 as a response to non-white players being kept out of major league baseball. “As long as there has been baseball, there have been African Americans playing baseball,” said Matthew Andrews, a teaching associate professor in the College of Arts & Sciences' history department. “But as baseball got organized, African Americans found themselves excluded from organized baseball.” Andrews and other historians study the Negro Leagues using primary sources like newspapers, but a large portion of the leagues’ history is actually unknown. On this week’s episode, Andrews shares the history of the Negro Leagues, tells some of the leagues’ stories that have survived the test of time and examines the true reasons that the leagues were created in the first place.
14 minutes | Feb 12, 2020
Well Said: Falling in love with love songs
Love songs have the power to define big moments in our lives. “You have a proposal song or a wedding song or a prom song, and then people remember that moment and they remember that song,” Jocelyn Neal said. The Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of Music in the College of Arts & Sciences, Neal specializes in Southern music studies, but she said love songs fulfill the same purpose in all genres. “They come in so many different layers,” she said. “There's been a number of people who've done great research on what songs are about, and without a doubt, three-quarters of songs in country music — and slightly higher in pop— are either about happy love or lost love, and that's the framing device.” No matter what state of love someone might find themself in, there’s a song out there to express it. On this week’s episode, Neal shares what makes a good love song.
16 minutes | Feb 5, 2020
Well Said: Sitting courtside with Freddie Kiger
“Each day, each event measured in hours, minutes, seconds and then lost to eternity. A precious few are not. They linger, committed to memory, treasured. This rivalry is just that, timeless.” Those are the words of Freddie Kiger ’74, ’77 (M.A.) describing Carolina’s rivalry with Duke. It’s a subject he knows well, having watched about 100 basketball games between them from courtside. While finalizing his master’s degree in history, Kiger began working with the men’s basketball team as a statistician. The first time he worked a Carolina-Duke game in Chapel Hill was on March 2, 1974. That game featured a Carolina comeback from eight points down with only 17 seconds to play. Walter Davis made a buzzer-beater to send the game to overtime, which the Tar Heels then won comfortably. “I thought Carmichael’s roof was going to collapse,” Kiger said. On Saturday, as Carolina hosts Duke in the latest installment of the rivalry, Kiger will be at the scorer’s table relaying statistics to the television broadcasters. He’s worked with ESPN, CBS, NBC and other networks for major events like the Olympics and the X-Games, but nothing, he said, compares to a Carolina game against Duke because of the success of both men’s basketball programs. “Let’s just talk NCAA titles,” Kiger said. “You’re talking about two schools eight miles apart who have won 11 national championships. That’s staggering.” On this week’s episode, Kiger will share the stories he’s accumulated over nearly 50 years of being involved with Carolina basketball and what he’s learned along that journey.
10 minutes | Jan 29, 2020
Well Said: Investigating potential cancer treatments
Growing up, Lindsey James always loved solving problems and puzzles. She even majored in chemistry in college because it combines science with the problem-solving she liked about math. James liked chemistry so much, she earned her doctoral degree in it from Carolina in 2010, and she’s been here ever since. Now at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, her research into possible treatments for cancer, HIV and other diseases helps to add pieces to the puzzles of these diseases. In her lab, she creates molecules that target specific proteins that are believed to play roles in the development of those diseases. In December 2019, Pinnacle Hill, the medical innovation investment partnership between Carolina and Deerfield Management Company, awarded James with funding to continue trying to develop better treatments for multiple myeloma, the second most prevalent blood cancer in the country. “The Pinnacle Hill funding definitely takes everything to a new level,” James said. This project is trying to create a compound that inhibits a specific protein that research literature suggests plays a significant role in the progression of a specific subtype of multiple myeloma. If she’s successful, James’ research will lead to greater understanding about the diseases and might lead to more effective treatments. James knows that her success might reveal more problems about the disease that need solving, but that’s what she loves about her career. “There’s a lot of failure, but then those successes are really rewarding,” James said. “You tackle it one day at a time and solve problems.” On today’s episode, James explains how she tackles medical problems one day at a time and why she loves doing it at Carolina.
9 minutes | Jan 22, 2020
Well Said: A profession of mythic proportions
Daniel Wallace wasn’t a voracious reader growing up. “I was an average reader. I was an average writer. Nobody took me aside when I was a kid and said, ‘You’re one of the lucky ones, you’ve got that special spark,’” Wallace said. But Wallace had that spark after all. Today, he is Carolina’s J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English and the director of the College of Arts and Sciences' creative writing program. He’s also the author of "Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions." “All I wanted to do is a book,” Wallace said. “Once I got that published, or once I was told, ‘We are going to publish your book,’ I was so happy. I thought, and this is not an exaggeration, ‘I’m going to be happy forever.’” At Carolina, he shares with his students what being a writer is really like. “I feel like everything that I’m working on, when I’m working on it, is wonderful. It’s only the next day that I realize that it’s not,” Wallace said. “I have a lot of rejection. In other words, I understand the process.” On this week’s episode, Wallace shares his writing journey from the beginning — the good, the bad and the creative.
12 minutes | Jan 15, 2020
Well Said: Growing from study abroad experiences
“It really does change your life and the trajectory that your life can take,” said Erin Hager, a senior psychology student from Wilmington who studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, for the fall semester in 2018. Those changes in trajectory come from the personal and social growth you experience while abroad. “A big realization was that I can do anything that I want to by myself,” she said. “That squashes a lot of fear because if you want to do something, you know you can do it by yourself.” And those changes affect academic and professional opportunities, too, with study abroad participants traditionally doing better in the classroom, said Heather Ward, the associate dean of UNC Study Abroad and International Exchanges. By 2023, Carolina wants more than half of its students to study abroad before graduation to give more students the opportunity to have those benefits. “It’s our obligation as a public university to make that opportunity available for every student and to not make it a privilege for some,” Ward said. Ahead of the Study Abroad Fair and the Feb. 10 application deadline for summer, fall and year-long programs, Hager shares what she learned in Chile and how those lessons shaped the rest of her Carolina career.
11 minutes | Jan 8, 2020
Well Said: The fall season rewind
Today is the first day of classes of the spring semester, but before we jump into all the excitement it has in store for campus, we are revisiting some of our top stories from this past fall — the Tar Heel Bus Tour and FallFest. In October, Maria Estorino, the associate university librarian for special collections and director of Wilson Library, rode one of the three buses that together covered more than 1,600 miles across North Carolina. Jovan Sheshbaradaran is a first-year student from Gastonia, North Carolina, who began his time as a Tar Heel the same way as thousands of others — signing up for many Carolina student organizations at FallFest in August. On this week’s episode, Estorino shares the new perspective participating in the Tar Heel Bus Tour gave her regarding her role at Wilson Library, and Sheshbaradaran reflects on his experiences from his first semester at Carolina.
13 minutes | Dec 18, 2019
Well Said: The sounds of Winter Commencement
More than 1,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional students turned their tassels to signify their graduation Sunday at Winter Commencement. The celebration acknowledged more than just the students, as commencement speaker Bill Ferris reminded the graduates to consider the contributions they have received from friends and family. “When you see a turtle sitting on a fence post, you know he had some help getting there,” said Ferris, a two-time Grammy Award-winner and beloved Carolina professor. “Each of us are like that turtle, and the families and special friends who helped us arrive at this place, we are celebrating today.” Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz presided over the ceremony, which was his first as chancellor after he was named to the position Dec. 13. He called upon the words of Fred Rogers, who defined a hero as someone who responds to the needs of the world, to inspire the graduates to be heroes of whom their hometowns would be proud. On this week’s episode, we share the excitement surrounding the Winter Commencement ceremony and the thoughtful advice graduates received.
9 minutes | Dec 11, 2019
Well Said: From Carolina to Cisco
Winter Commencement is a time to celebrate the graduating Tar Heels. But, Bryan Hernandez, a graduating UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School business administration major, knows the day is about more than him. It’s a day to celebrate all of the people who have helped him get to this moment, like classmates, professors, mentors and, especially, his parents. “They gave up everything, so we had the chance to go to college,” he said. “It’ll definitely feel like their hard work paid off, too.” Hernandez has certainly put in some hard work of his own, though, to get to this day. He applied to Carolina as a high school senior in Sanford, North Carolina, but he was not offered admission. Instead of attending another university, Hernandez decided to take advantage of the Carolina Student Transfer Excellence Program. He completed his general education requirements during two years at Sandhills Community College. Then, he transferred to Carolina in the fall of 2017 as a junior. On this week’s episode, Hernandez explains how he took advantage of every opportunity available at Carolina and why he feels so prepared for his next journey in life — a position at Cisco.
10 minutes | Dec 4, 2019
Well Said: This is your brain on stress
Everyone gets stressed. It’s a natural part of life. We all face many stressors every day. Stressors can take many forms — jobs, relationships, children. For college students, final exams are one of the stressors they face throughout the semester. Final exams begin Dec. 6 at Carolina. To appropriately deal with stress, Anthony Zannas said, you don’t want to avoid it. “There are certain things in life that we have to come to terms with,” said Zannas, an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine who studies how stress interacts with our bodies. “There are many studies showing that the more you avoid a stressful situation, the more stressful it will become when you actually face it.” Zannas researches epigenetics and examines how stressors influence the chemicals on top of DNA that determine whether genes will be active or not. His research can help identify people with stress-related disorders earlier. “If we can detect these epigenetic changes that happen in response to stress early on,” he said, “then we might have a chance of targeting those individuals earlier.” On this week’s episode, Zannas explains the differences between good and bad stress and shares some tips on how we can better deal with the stressors we face every day.
9 minutes | Nov 27, 2019
Well Said: It's OK to have seconds
What’s your favorite food? How you answer that question probably isn’t only about how the food tastes but also the memories you associate with the food. For Andrew Hardaway, a research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine, his favorite food is mashed potatoes. Specifically, his mother’s mashed potatoes. He’ll make sure to go back for a second — or even a third — helping of them on Thanksgiving. As a member of Thomas Kash’s lab, Hardaway researches how food interacts with the brain. He recently found that cells in the central amygdala — the area of the brain associated with memory, decision-making and emotional responses — drive the consumption of food after basic needs are met. “At Thanksgiving, when you sit down and you think about your favorite food, think about how your amygdala is being activated in that moment,” Hardaway said. It’s not something that most of us need to think about, but it’s crucial for helping treat people with binge eating disorders. In addition to eating a large amount of food in a short amount of time, binge eating is also associated with a loss of control. People with binge eating disorders cannot control their eating behavior, which can lead to other problems, like obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular issues. Although there are some treatments and medications available, understanding what’s going on in the brain can help treat people with binge eating and other food disorders. “For those people, it’s very difficult to just flip a switch in their brain and change behaviors,” Hardaway said. “They need another tool in the toolbox, and that’s what we’re going to provide.” On this week’s episode, Hardaway shares his favorite Thanksgiving traditions, defines comfort foods and explains the differences between binge eating and the overeating we all might do to celebrate the holiday.
16 minutes | Nov 20, 2019
Well Said: The art of hip-hop
It’s hard to describe a “typical” classroom experience at Carolina. From makerspaces to research labs, learning spaces are designed to provide hands-on experiences. On this episode of Well Said, Katz shares what drew him to research and teach hip-hop and discusses the culture of DJing. The room is decorated with graffiti Katz commissioned from alumni artists and filled with turntables, recorders and CD players for his Art and Culture of the DJ and Rap Lab classes. On this episode, Katz shares what drew him to research and teach this hip-hop and discusses the culture of DJing.
9 minutes | Nov 13, 2019
Well Said: Learning and teaching investigative reporting
When Nikole Hannah-Jones ’03 (MA) was in high school, she became obsessed with one year: 1619 — the year African slaves were first transported to an English-speaking colony in the Americas. As the 400th anniversary of that voyage was approaching, Hannah-Jones found herself at the New York Times Magazine, where she works as an investigative reporter. She pitched a project to re-examine the legacy of slavery in this country tied to that event. “I feel like my whole career and, in some ways, my whole life was geared toward this moment,” said Hannah-Jones, who received her graduate degree from the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Her 1619 Project debuted in August with essays, poems, short fiction, a photo essay and an audio series, and they all work together to build a case that slavery is one of the foundational elements of the country’s development. “We can’t understand why things are like they are in the country until we grapple with the fact that slavery is at our foundations,” she said. Significant amounts of research, investigation and fact-checking went into this project, and Hannah-Jones learned those skills at Carolina. “I think you see what I learned here in my work every day,” said Hannah-Jones, who was a Roy H. Park Fellow at the journalism school. And she’ll be returning to Carolina on Nov. 16 to officially kick off a collaborative relationship between Carolina and the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting, a national organization she co-founded to train investigative journalists of color. On this week’s episode, Hannah-Jones will explain how Carolina helped prepare her for that pivotal moment to lead the 1619 Project and why she’s returning to Carolina to train more journalists.
9 minutes | Nov 6, 2019
Well Said: WXYC and the first internet simulcast
Do you remember what the internet was like back in the early ‘90s? It wasn't at all like what it is now. There were about 1,000 websites then. Today, there are more than a billion, and that's growing every second. “The coming of the World Wide Web set a different expectation about how the internet would be used,” said Paul Jones, a clinical professor at the UNC School of Information and Library Science. The internet was initially mostly used to share files, like email, audio or software. Now, we use it for nearly everything, including streaming media. Jones was instrumental in creating the internet as we know it today. Jones led a group of students to work with emerging technology and archive the digital world in 1994. The archive was called SunSITE, but is now known as ibiblio.org. One of those students was working as a student DJ at WXYC — Carolina’s student radio station — and asked a groundbreaking question, “Why can’t we broadcast the radio everywhere?” That question led Jones and Michael Shoffner, the student DJ, to organize the first radio broadcast streamed over the internet on Nov. 7, 1994. On this week’s episode, Jones and Shoffner, who is also a faculty member at the School of Information and Library Science, explain the challenges they had to overcome to make history.
9 minutes | Oct 30, 2019
Well Said: Spooktacular tales
With more than two centuries of history, Carolina is bound to have ghost stories. The campus has legends filled with duels gone awry, top-secret student societies and friendly, pranking ghosts. In this episode of Well Said, the UNC Visitors Center staff shares spooky stories from some of Carolina’s most famous ghosts and legends.
12 minutes | Oct 23, 2019
Well Said: The collective memories of 1619
When you think of critical moments in American history, what do you think of? The Mayflower, the Declaration of Independence, Pearl Harbor? This year is the 400th anniversary of another seminal moment in American history — when African slaves were first brought to an English-speaking colony in the Americas. “This anniversary is an important moment to go back and interrogate the meanings in different ways, from different perspectives and with a new eye,” said Joseph Jordan, the director of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. The Stone Center will investigate the meanings of this moment with its 1619 Collective Memory(ies) Project, which will feature a conversation among a panel of experts engaged with their audience. “We want to have a multi-vocal conversation where different voices are able to talk about their interpretation of the events,” Jordan said. “It opens up so many possibilities for new discoveries.” On this week’s episode, Jordan shares details behind the collective memories project, explains why it’s so important to remember this moment in American history and examines how this project fits in Carolina as a place for intellectual discoveries.
11 minutes | Oct 16, 2019
Well Said: The Tar Heel Bus Tour
On this week’s podcast, Lynn Blanchard, the director of the Carolina Center for Public Service, explains why 90 faculty members and administrators are spending fall break on buses touring the state.
11 minutes | Oct 9, 2019
Well Said: Celebrating Carolina’s birthday with Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz
On Oct. 12, 1793, the cornerstone of Old East was laid, making Carolina the first public university in the nation. To mark that occasion and to celebrate Carolina’s future, we celebrate University Day on Oct. 12 every year. “Our history as the nation’s first public university gives us a unique opportunity to celebrate what makes us uniquely Carolina,” said Interim Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz. What makes Carolina unique is its commitment to serving the state of North Carolina, which is this year’s University Day theme. “We’re celebrating the fact that we are passionately public, that we are the leading global public research university that has stayed true to its mission,” Guskiewicz said. As a member of the faculty since 1995 and the Kenan Distinguished Professor of Exercise and Sport Science, Guskiewicz knows how fundamental serving the state is to Carolina’s identity. Before serving as interim chancellor, Guskiewicz led the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and was dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. What keeps him committed to Carolina is the faculty, staff and students who are devoted to serving our state. “I stepped foot on this campus 24 years ago and felt something special. It just felt right, and it’s felt right for 24 years,” he said. “It comes back to the people and the mission.” On this week’s episode, Guskiewicz explains what he thinks differentiates Carolina from its peers.
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