Our mission

A marine scientist flies drones off the coast of North Carolina to gather data on native bonnethead sharks. A psychologist offers treatment to women and children addicted to opium in Afghanistan. A historian leads the nation in biographies on Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

These are UNC-Chapel Hill’s researchers, and we are Endeavors — the publication that introduces you to them. Committed to showcasing Carolina’s best science, we use well-crafted stories and vibrant visuals to immerse you in our inspiring research.

Why is requiring police officers to wear body cameras more complicated than it sounds? What happens when a marine scientist teams up with a local fisherman? Why does a nuclear laboratory have a collection of empty champagne bottles? Can virtual reality change the way we communicate?

Browse through our stories and you’ll see why UNC-Chapel Hill is one of the leading research institutions in the nation. You’ll get a glimpse of the people who make Carolina research so special, and a new perspective on the way the world works. Thanks for reading.

-the Endeavors team


Meet the Team

Layla Dowdy | Director

Layla Dowdy develops and executes communication strategy for the Office of Research Communications, which publishes Endeavors. In her role as director, she oversees content production that aims to increase awareness of the value and impact of Carolina’s research accomplishments.

She relishes in promoting the diverse diversity of research at Carolina. When she’s not immersed in communicating science, she can be found spending time cheering on the Tar Heels with her family.

(919) 962-7765

Alyssa LaFaro | Editor

Toys. Workplace safety. Women. Science. Alyssa LaFaro brings a unique — and vast — set of writing experience to the editorial roundtable at Endeavors. As the magazine’s editor, she develops and leads content production, manages social media platforms, and creates both written and visual stories that share the awe-inspiring research of UNC’s faculty.

Her favorite stories to tell are simply those about people with passion spilling out of their pores — whether a physicist crazy for nuclei, the world’s leading expert on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or an educational program manager determined to help immune-compromised children interact with nature.

(919) 962-6136
Stories by Alyssa
Mary Lide Parker | Writer and Video Producer

Mary Lide’s love for science journalism started the first time she held a juvenile Kemp Ridley sea turtle, but it really kicked into high gear when she spent 10 days filming a research expedition on the Llaima volcano in southern Chile.

From a remote mountain town in South America, to a farm in the San Joaquin Valley of California, to a laboratory on UNC’s campus, Mary Lide always carries two things: her camera and her curiosity for how the world works. As an alum of the UNC School of Journalism, she has lots of tools to tell science stories effectively including photography, multimedia, writing, and a little social media savviness.

(919) 962-7767
Stories by Mary Lide
Darren Abrecht | Webmaster

A former online news producer for McClatchy and the Christian Science Monitor, Darren Abrecht is now happily the webmaster of endeavors.unc.edu and research.unc.edu. He lives in Durham and has been known to represent himself online as a chimpanzee in a space suit.

(919) 962-6137

Corina Cudebec | Graphic Designer

(919) 962-0130

Patrick Seelinger | Communications Intern

Pat Seelinger studies journalism at UNC-Chapel Hill and is the communications intern for the UNC Office of Research Communications. His area of focus is in interactive storytelling, specifically using the web as a unique platform for engaging stories. Pat loves coffee, punk rock and live music, which combine to form a mild case of tinnitus that he’s pretty much gotten used to by now.

Stories by Pat