Research UNCovered


Research UNCovered is a weekly series showcasing the many faces of research at Carolina, from undergraduate students to faculty, across all disciplines. Each Wednesday, learn what inspired our researchers to pursue their field, how they’ve overcome obstacles, and a little about their lives beyond their labs and offices.

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Perry Hall

Perry Hall is an associate professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He researches how music and expressive culture emerging from grassroots African American spaces shape the American perspective.

Julianna Prim

Julianna Prim is a PhD student in the Human Movement Science Curriculum within the Department of Exercise and Sports Science and the Department of Allied Health Sciences' Division of Physical Therapy. She helps develop concussion-testing protocols for active duty military members and uses brain stimulation to treat individuals with chronic low-back pain.

Chad Stevens Heartwood

Chad Stevens Heartwood is an associate professor within the UNC School of Media and Journalism. As a documentary filmmaker and journalist, he researches the collision between human needs and the environment. His most recent project, “Farmsteaders,” follows a young family focused on resurrecting their late grandfather’s dairy farm.

Eleftheria “Ria” Kontou

Eleftheria “Ria” Kontou is a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of City and Regional Planning within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She uses transportation models to uncover whether ride-sourcing platforms like Uber and Lyft affect city road crashes, injuries, fatalities, and DUI rates to help urban planners identify solutions for safe, efficient mobility.

Juan Carlos González Espitia

Juan Carlos González Espitia is an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. In his historical study of syphilis in the Spanish-speaking world, he explores the ways the disease affects private and public life, literature, the arts, medical discourse, politics, and public policy.