Alyssa LaFaro

On any given day, Alyssa can be found photographing the effects of climate change, digging up long-lost information in the University Archives, or writing furiously in her Bynum Hall office. As the editor of Endeavors, she’s mastered the art of “wearing many hats.” When she’s not behind a camera or a computer, she’s meeting regularly with communicators, students, and faculty from across campus to learn about the latest research projects and unlock new opportunities for collaboration.

Posts by Alyssa LaFaro:

Hashtag Politics

During the 2016 presidential election, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft all hired dedicated teams of partisan staffers to work one-on-one with campaigns to target voters. UNC journalism professor Daniel Kreiss explains their motives in a first-of-its-kind study.

CURE-ious Chemistry

Chemistry undergraduates are developing their own research questions and projects in a new class at UNC, thanks to the drive and dedication of organic chemistry professor Nita Eskew.

Water Over the Bridge

From the competitive ports of China, to the innovative flood gates of the Netherlands, to the shifting sands of the Outer Banks, the sea creeps farther up the coastline every single day, and the distance between the top of the water and the bottom of bridges decreases — a major issue for port economies. UNC American studies professor Rachel Willis searches for solutions to help these communities cope with the impact of sea-level rise.

Putting the “You” in “Thank You”

Some researchers believe gratitude is a fundamental human emotion, connecting us to friends and partners who support our well-being. Two UNC psychologists focus on the long-lasting effects of living a life full of thanks.

In Sync

12,340 miles separates the North Pole from the South Pole. But many geophysicists believe the two points are connected. How has always been a mystery, but UNC geophysicist José A. Rial has a hypothesis — they actually “talk” to each other through a natural process called synchronization.

Alive: The Life Cycle of a Painting

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, what is a nearly 500-year-old painting worth? “Portrait of a Young Lady” sat in storage at the Ackland Art Museum since its arrival there in 1968 — until UNC art history professor Christoph Brachmann pulled it from the vaults last year. He immediately sensed the potential importance of this piece, thought to be created in 1522 by Barthel Bruyn, a German Renaissance painter.

Conserving Rare Plants: It Takes an Army

Fort Bragg, the largest military installation in North Carolina, spans 500 square miles packed with sand dunes, longleaf pines, and a handful of rare and endangered plants. To protect the vital vegetation covering training lands, the army base has partnered with the North Carolina Botanical Garden to reintroduce four species endemic to the region.

The Cure Code

When Fred Sanger figured out how to sequence DNA in 1975, the world changed — and so did UNC. As more and more scientists dove headfirst into the field of genetics, the university realized the need for a department dedicated to this cause. Since its founding in 2000, the UNC Department of Genetics has continuously made the top-five list of NIH program funding and has grown to include 80 faculty, who have taken the world of research and medicine by storm.

Folklore FX

The experimental environment at WXDU provides an artistic haven for Duke University students and Durham locals alike — a sentiment that UNC archivist and folklorist Jaycie Vos hopes to capture.