Research UNCovered


Research UNCovered is a biweekly series showcasing the many faces of research at Carolina, from undergraduate students to faculty, across all disciplines. Every other 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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Maggie Melo

Maggie Melo is an assistant professor within the UNC School of Information and Library Science. She studies how design and spatial interventions can be integrated into makerspaces and other environments to foster the inclusion of diverse user communities.

Nihar Vaidya

Nihar Vaidya is a junior double-majoring in computer science and statistics and analytics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He is also a Chancellor's Science Scholar. He uses computational neural networks to analyze brain patterns found in MRI data sets to predict when patients may encounter seizures caused by epilepsy.

Paige Ouimet

Paige Ouimet is a professor of finance in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. Through the lens of societal challenges like income inequality, gender diversity, and the opioid epidemic, she studies how businesses impact society and how society impacts businesses.

Ganga Bey

Ganga Bey is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Epidemiology within the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and a fellow in the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. She studies how people’s beliefs about identity, worth, and ability affect their stress, aging, and susceptibility to disease.

Pedro Sáenz

Pedro Sáenz is an assistant professor and director of the Physical Mathematics Laboratory in the Department of Mathematics within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He works to demonstrate that some odd behaviors displayed by electrons and other atomic-sized particles can be recreated with larger particles visible to the human eye.

Cynthia Fraga Rizo

Cynthia Fraga Rizo is an associate professor within the UNC School of Social Work. She researches intimate partner violence, sexual abuse, and human trafficking to prevent such acts and provide survivors with effective services and interventions.

Dain Ruiz

Dain Ruiz is a rising sophomore majoring in biology and a Chancellor’s Science Scholar within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies expansion disorders caused by repetitions in DNA — like Huntington’s Disease, Friedreich’s Ataxia, and Myotonic Dystrophy — to develop therapeutics to treat them.

Christina Rudosky

Christina Rudosky is a teaching assistant professor of French in the Department of Romance Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies surrealism and why objects were coveted, collected, and brought to life through writing and art during this 20th-century avant-garde movement.

Julian Rucker

Julian Rucker is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a fellow in the Carolina Postdoctoral Program for Faculty Diversity. He studies beliefs about structural racism, perceptions of societal racial inequality, and motivations to rectify racial disparities.

Kimberly Burnett

Kimberly Burnett is a PhD student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies the role of gospel music in African American literature and its relationship to depictions of Black womanhood.