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:

Just Jump In

Kou Yang lets curiosity guide him into the research lab at the Gfeller Center, where he’s uncovered his desire to become an athletic trainer.

Coastal Connections

Liah McPherson accidentally got involved in research at UNC when she tried to enroll in a graduate class as a freshman — an experience that’s led her to new colleagues and fostered her love of dolphins.

Carpe Datum

Every day, humans create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. How do we protect, store, and transfer it all? A team at RENCI has spent the last decade developing the Swiss Army knife of data management, called iRODS, that does all those things — and it’s used by a variety of institutions across the globe.

Emotional Environment

When Meredith Emery photographed geography researchers conducting fieldwork, she couldn’t believe what she saw — a slew of litter along streambeds and forest lines. Now she’s sharing these images through a multimedia project blending art and science in an effort to change how the public relates to and thinks about the local environment.

The Modern Family

As the world changes and diversifies, so do family dynamics. But research on the topic is slow to move away from the ideas established 50 years ago. To bring it into the 21st century, a team of researchers from the UNC Center for Developmental Science have written nine papers that shine a light on the modern family and offer advice for parents on how to help their teens navigate today’s multicultural world.

A History Lesson for Teachers

For K-12 teachers, Carolina houses a goldmine of information like archival maps, photos, and recordings — but finding those materials can be difficult. The Southern Oral History Program and Carolina K-12 joined forces to bring educators to campus, helping them uncover resources for use in the classroom.

The South’s Time Capsule

Cherokee language resources. Dean Smith’s personal papers. A first-person account of an enslaved woman. For more than a century, UNC researchers and libraries have collected millions of southern artifacts and documents — making Carolina a hub for the study of the American South.

Like Mother, Like Child

One in nine new moms struggle with depression — but single moms, immigrants, and those in low socioeconomic situations are even more susceptible. And their children, whose brains triple in size and make nearly 1,000 nerve connections in the first three years of their life, are directly affected. To combat this, UNC nurse scientist Linda Beeber has spent the past two decades developing mental health interventions that treat both the mother and the child as a unit, called the “dyad.”

A Massage for Your Brain

A series of studies by one research group in Oregon reported that, on average, children move one full level down the autism spectrum after 20 weeks of Qigong Sensory Training (QST) — a type of massage therapy adapted from Traditional Chinese Medicine. UNC postdoc Kristin Jerger found these results so intriguing that she has published a feasibility study for a new line of research on the neural mechanisms of QST massage.

The Flora Files

In the last 50 years, botanists have discovered more than 500 new species of plants across the Southeast. But it takes decades to actually study and record their existence — a feat that the UNC Herbarium has been tackling since its inception in 1908.