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:

A Sharper Image

UNC researchers Jianping Lu and Otto Zhou have spent the last two decades refining technology that makes X-ray machines smaller, faster, safer, and sharper — research that’s changing the world of dentistry, medicine, and security.

A Cool Recovery

Before 2000, if a patient arrived at a hospital unconscious after undergoing cardiac arrest, their chances of leaving alive and with all their brain function intact was slim to none. Now, 50 percent wake up and go home thanks to a cooling therapy, brought to UNC in 2007 by emergency physician Larry Katz.

The P’urhépecha Podcasts

Through community radio and podcasts, Maria Gutierrez strives to preserve her ancestral language and identity — that of an indigenous people from Michoacán, Mexico, called the P’urhépecha.

Curiosity Ignited

Jessica Wolfe has been fascinated by medieval and Renaissance culture for more than 30 years. She is drawn to obscure writers and scholars who have made critical and long-lasting contributions to the literary world, but are often overlooked. Their histories and works drive her creativity and curiosity — and have inspired her to write her first-ever biography.

Spiritual Evolution

Through study of a “new” Japanese religion called Tenrikyo and centuries of Japanese history, PhD student Timothy Smith strives to understand how cultural shifts morph belief systems across generations.

A Public Health Prognosis

Graduate student Rachel Woodul spent two years researching what might happen to hospital capacity when the next pandemic strikes. When it arrived, she compared what her model — and others’ — got wrong to improve how we react to public health crises in the future.

Unearthing the Planet’s History

About 2 billion years ago, the oceans were green, the land red and rocky, and only 1 percent of Earth’s atmosphere was oxygen. How did the planet become what it is today? UNC geochemist Xiao-Ming Liu collects samples of soil, rocks, and water from places like Hawaii to find the answer.

The Life Botanic

Alan Weakley has spent his career cataloguing the plants of the Southeastern United States. Most recently, he has compiled this work into a digital guide that will aid fellow botanists and citizen scientists alike as they unearth and admire the colorful flora of the South.

Building Resilience for Storm-Battered N.C.

The record-breaking 2020 Atlantic hurricane season included 30 storms, and while North Carolina managed to dodge the 12 hurricanes that made landfall, that won’t always be the case in the future. A team of interdisciplinary researchers at UNC is combining their expertise in areas like human health, ecology, and urban planning to create a long-term holistic plan helping vulnerable communities prepare for the next generation of extreme weather events.