Society

Society: Understanding Human Nature and Behavior

Zardas Lee

Zardas Lee is a PhD student in the Department of History within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. They explore how people from small colonies in South and Southeast Asia pursued dreams of freedom and independence in the 1940s and ’50s while empires and superpowers dominated the world order.

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.

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.

Learning As We Go

Teachers are stressed. Students are struggling. Parents are shouldering more responsibilities than ever before. While the controversy surrounding when and how schools should reopen has led to policy debates and changes in family dynamics, UNC epidemiologists and education researchers find hope in the lessons from this year.

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.

In It for the Long Haul

For some COVID-19 patients, the initial infection is just the start of the battle. Post-COVID syndrome occurs when a person's symptoms continue long after their infection ends. A new clinic at UNC hopes to not only help these patients, but also provide researchers with valuable data about this strange syndrome.

Rachel Woodul

Rachel Woodul is a PhD student in the Department of Geography within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences and a research assistant at the Carolina Population Center. She uses geographic information systems to model infectious disease spread, with a specific focus on epidemics and pandemics.

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.

READDI, Not Reactive

For decades, scientists warned of the potential for a global coronavirus outbreak. But when SARS-CoV-2 emerged, no therapeutics, drugs, or vaccines were readily available. The Rapidly Emerging Antiviral Drug Development Initiative (READDI) — founded by researchers at UNC and the Structural Genomics Consortium — is not only finding solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, but also drugs and therapeutics for future viral outbreaks.