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 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.

An Origin Story

Most theoretical physicists don’t see their predictions confirmed in their lifetimes, as it can take centuries to discover the physical phenomena that mark them true. But that hasn’t been the case for UNC's Laura Mersini-Houghton, who’s seen six of her predictions about the origins of the universe verified in the last decade — a feat that’s grabbed everyone’s attention, from documentary filmmakers to the late Stephen Hawking.

The Survivors

Heat-resistant. Cold-weather tough. Outer space savvy. If anything, tardigrades are survivors above all else. But what makes them so resilient? Thomas Boothby strives to figure that out and discover how these microscopic animals can be used to preserve biological samples like blood, human tissue, and vaccines.

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.