Society

Society: Understanding Human Nature and Behavior

Priscilla Layne

Priscilla Layne is an associate professor in the Department of Germanic and Slavic Languages and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of African, African American, and Diaspora Studies within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. Through literature and film, she studies German identities, how culture affects national boundaries, and the representation of marginalized peoples.

Jieni Zhou

Jieni Zhou is a PhD student in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies how shared positive experiences in romantic relationships contribute to relationship quality and physical health outcomes.

Local Ink, Inc.

For nearly a century, the University of North Carolina Press has been shining a spotlight on its home state and region. Conceived by its founders as an incentive for university faculty to engage in research by giving them a local outlet for publication, it soon became much more: an amplifier of voices and a tool for change.

Forging a Legacy

Over its 110-year history, journalism at Carolina has evolved from a single course in the Department of English into the internationally renowned UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. While the program has experienced exponential growth, its commitment to instilling students with innovative storytelling skills remains steadfast.

The Formula for Reform

Jessica Smith is a professor within the UNC School of Government and director of the Criminal Justice Innovation Lab. Her decades-long career at Carolina has evolved alongside the state’s criminal justice system, which she has helped transform using an evidence-based formula for reform.

Expecting the Unexpected

After Myron Cohen watched the first patient at UNC Hospitals die from AIDS in 1982, he knew it was a disease to be reckoned with. He spent the next 40 years helping to recruit the most promising infectious disease experts from across the nation to build a program that’s become a leader in HIV. Today, UNC excels in understanding all aspects of HIV, from prevention to a potential cure — expertise that is now being used to tackle COVID-19.

Seth Noar

Seth Noar is a professor within the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media and a researcher at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. He studies how people can effectively use communication to change behavior and improve health.

For the Love of Language

Since 1984, over 100,000 Karen refugees have fled their homeland of Myanmar to escape civil war. Since then, more than 40,000 have resettled in the U.S., and more than 5,000 live in North Carolina. Such displacement greatly affects lives, and even language — within just three generations their native tongue is barely spoken. Linguistics PhD students Amy Reynolds and Jen Boehm strive to understand this shift and hope to preserve the Karen people’s histories in the process.

Sounding the Alarm

Racial discrimination is not only a matter of sight — sound can also be racialized. Petal Samuel’s research traces colonial bans on drums and horns included in slave codes to modern-day noise abatement efforts in black communities.

Emily Hynes

Emily Hynes is a PhD student in the Department of Music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She studies women who made music within prisons of the American South from the 1930s to '40s and creates interactive digital maps to convey this information.