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:

Fighting Fire with Fire

In its mission to inspire understanding, appreciation, and conservation of plants, the North Carolina Botanical Garden conducts a series of controlled burns each year to manage wildfires and maintain rare plant and animal habitats in Chapel Hill and Durham.

One Size Won’t Fit All

Nearly 35 percent of Americans are considered obese — a diagnosis that has become so common the American Medical Association recognizes it as a chronic disease. While the diagnosis is the same for all, the treatments vary; what works for one person typically doesn’t work for another. In response, researchers from across UNC have joined forces to tackle this ever-growing problem.

Soldering Learning Leaks

New research from Carolina Demography shows how students “leak out” of the postsecondary educational pipeline and examines education outcomes at North Carolina public schools, identifying where interventions could be implemented. UNC researchers have long been at work to close these gaps, from early childhood classrooms to public policy platforms.

A Father for Social Science

The Odum Institute, the first social science research center in the world, has trained and supported hundreds of researchers specializing in everything from anthropology to city and regional planning to public health for the past 95 years. And it all exists thanks to the determination of one eccentric man.

Military Mindset

Before 2001, the use of prescribed psychoactive medications in U.S. Army warzones was restricted. But an increase in mental health awareness, low recruitment numbers, and longer deployments during the War on Terror — the longest-running conflict in American history — has shifted the rules and regulations for military mental health treatment. UNC medical anthropologist Jocelyn Chua speaks with active duty service members, veterans, and health care providers to learn more.

Combating Concussions

There are a thousand ways service members can receive mild traumatic brain injuries during training and active duty. Ten years ago, basic concussion testing protocols didn’t account for the intense activities required of this population. UNC researcher Karen McCulloch has worked to change that.

A Tooth for a Tooth

When an adult loses a front tooth, dentists can replace it with an implant. What about children, who have years of development ahead of them? The answer: relocate an existing tooth to the site of the missing tooth. UNC dentists are the first in the U.S. to try this innovative procedure, called autotransplantation.

Wading into Wikipolitics

Can conservatives and liberals work together? Data scientist Bill Shi is hopeful that they can, thanks to his new study using data gathered on the community of editors who contribute to Wikipedia.

An Editor’s Endeavors

To celebrate Endeavors’ 35th birthday, former editor Neil Caudle shares thoughts from his 15 years with the magazine, touching on the importance of research communication and his favorite moments at UNC.

Gut Instinct

Just 10 years ago, no one knew how to grow intestinal stem cells outside of the body, preventing scientists from uncovering the mysteries of the gut and the problems surrounding it. But in 2010, that all changed — when Scott Magness’s lab became the first in the United States to grow “mini-guts” inside a petri dish, using them to develop better treatments for human gastrointestinal diseases.