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:

Different Disorders, Similar Stigma

People with autism are twice as likely to use drugs and alcohol than someone without the disorder — a statistic that most people are unaware of. To educate the public on this topic, UNC autism professional Ann Palmer and addiction specialist Elizabeth Kunreuther teamed up to write a book: “Drinking, Drug Use, and Addiction in the Autism Community.”

Catalyzing Innovation

Over the last five years alone, more than 15 UNC students have accepted jobs at Eastman, a materials and specialty additives company in Kingsport, Tennessee. On top of hiring Carolina grads, the company supports research projects across four departments within three schools at UNC, creating a successful model for how industry partnerships function at the university.

The Kids Are Not Alright

Even though more than 1.4 million American children under the age of 18 care for siblings or parents who have a chronic illness or disability, support for this demographic is in short supply. UNC geographer Elizabeth Olson and collaborators look to other countries as models for growing youth caregiver resources in the United States.

The One Doing the Talking

Across the nation, data indicate that meaningful conversations between teachers and students from kindergarten to third grade are limited to an average of 28 total minutes per day — something that prevents children from developing their ability to communicate in important ways. The Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute’s FirstSchool initiative strives to change that.

Brotherhood of Hope

In October 2010, seven men embarked on a rare and unexpected journey — they joined a support group for widowed fathers. The experience was so instrumental in their healing that the group’s organizers, UNC researchers Don Rosenstein and Justin Yopp, wrote a book about it called, “The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life.”

Making Scientists

Thanks to an industry partnership with Eastman and the Eastman Foundation, UNC’s BeAM makerspace program provides the resources for free 3-D printing to all students, faculty, and staff — encouraging a culture of creativity at Carolina.

Speaking Math

Imagine a sentence so long that it would take an entire lifetime to read it — that’s the kind of problem Joaquín Drut faces every day. The UNC physicist works with numbers too large to compute in an effort to better understand the way our universe works.

Why a Fly?

The genome of a fruit fly is strikingly similar to that of a human — so much so that scientists have been studying these tiny insects for over 100 years, in search of treatments for diseases like spinal muscular atrophy and neurological disorders. UNC geneticist Bob Duronio is one of those scientists.

Hashtag Politics

During the 2016 presidential election, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Microsoft all hired dedicated teams of partisan staffers to work one-on-one with campaigns to target voters. UNC journalism professor Daniel Kreiss explains their motives in a first-of-its-kind study.