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 and faculty from across campus to learn about the latest research projects and unlock new opportunities for collaboration. This fall, she hopes to don another hat: student. She’s enrolling in a master’s program with the Curriculum for the Environment & Ecology to get a firsthand look at the other end of the research spectrum.

Posts by Alyssa LaFaro:

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.

A RAPID Response to Hurricane Matthew

In the months following one of the most destructive hurricanes of the past decade, UNC researchers had to act fast. Using a unique grant from the NSF, they’re testing water quality in Lumberton — one of the hardest-hit places during the storm.

Growth from the Ground Up

A Robeson County tortilla manufacturer is ready to increase his production from 25,000 pounds of tortillas a week to 120,000 pounds. UNC Kenan-Flagler MBA student Ben Holmes is helping him do just that — through NCGrowth, an affiliate of the Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute for Private Enterprise.