The full-time staff of Endeavors stand in front of an abstract orange statue. Left to right (front): Alyssa LaFaro, Corina Cudebec, Layla Dowdy; left to right (rear): Andrew Russell, Darren Abrecht.

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

Portrait of Layla Dowdy

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 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
lhdowdy@email.unc.edu

Portrait of Alyssa Lafaro

Alyssa LaFaro | Editor

Alyssa LaFaro oversees content creation for both the digital and print editions of Endeavors. She produces multimedia stories on a variety of topics, but especially enjoys writing about environmental science, culture and language, and passionate scientists.

She loves reading, cooking, vintage fashion and home décor, and lifting weights — and is overjoyed that she can almost do 10 pullups in row.

(919) 962-6136
amlafaro@email.unc.edu

Portrait of Darren Abrecht

Darren Abrecht | Webmaster

Darren Abrecht is the webmaster of endeavors.unc.edu and research.unc.edu. A lifelong learner, his career as a web producer has been split between online journalism and university research support. He lives in Durham with his son.

(919) 962-6137
darren@unc.edu

Portrait of Corina Cudebec

Corina Cudebec | Graphic Designer

Corina Cudebec has been designing since she was 14, after receiving her first design software. From illustrations to web design, layouts to infographics, Corina is in charge of branding for UNC Research and Endeavors. She enjoys thrifting, crafting, going on adventures with her partner, and snuggling her three cats, Archer, Milo, and Aspen.

(919) 962-0130
ccudebec@email.unc.edu

Portrait of Andrew Russell

Andrew Russell | Photographer/Videographer

Andrew Russell is a photographer/videographer for the Office of Research Communications. He is a recovering newspaper photographer who loves to make photos and videos about interesting people. He enjoys film, music, and walking outside. He is also weirdly completist about the works of Stephen King and Radiohead.

Portrait of Elise Mahon

Elise Mahon | Multimedia Intern

Elise Mahon combines her skills of visual and written storytelling to tell research stories and oversee the office’s Instagram account. As a senior in the UNC Hussman School of Media and Journalism, she is majoring in photojournalism and minoring in anthropology and environmental studies. She hopes to become an expedition and research photographer. When not researching a story, planning a photo, or drinking a scary amount of coffee, you’ll find her reading, hiking, or finding ways to get outside.

Portrait of Megan Suggs

Megan Suggs | Writing Intern

Megan Suggs writes research stories and manages the office’s social media. She is a second-year master’s student in the UNC Hussman School of Media and Journalism and strives to become a science communicator in a newsroom or other science-affiliated organization. She enjoys hiking, playing board games, and trying new food.