PhD student Samuel Akau engenders creative, participatory public policies.
Farnosh Mazandarani is a PhD student in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. She studies popular pornographic media content in the U.S. and how trends in popularity coincide with societal and cultural events, advances, and movements.
Eduardo Tadafumi Sato is a PhD candidate in the Department of Music within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. He studies how music is defined across national borders and unpacks the social and political definitions of what makes music “national,” specifically within Brazil.
Most UNC-Chapel Hill PhD students oversee their own research projects for their dissertations. But Kriddie Whitmore did it in a foreign country — and with the added challenges of a language barrier, bad weather, and limited equipment. This past summer, Whitmore traveled to the Andes Mountains in Ecuador, tackling their demands with incredible tenacity and creativity.
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.
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.
Irene Manning is a PhD candidate in the Department of Chemistry within the UNC College of Arts & Sciences. She develops functional materials that capture PFAS — chemicals created in the production of goods like Teflon, stain-resistant fabrics, and food packaging — and remove them from water.
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.
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.