UNC

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.

Curiosity Ignited

Jessica Wolfe has been fascinated by medieval and Renaissance culture for more than 30 years. She is drawn to obscure writers and scholars who have made critical and long-lasting contributions to the literary world, but are often overlooked. Their histories and works drive her creativity and curiosity — and have inspired her to write her first-ever biography.

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.

Sing Wai Wong

Sing Wai Wong is a third-year periodontology resident in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry. He studies how autophagy — the process by which the body cleans out damaged cells to regenerate new, healthy cells — affects bone loss in the mouth.

Irene Manning

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.

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.

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.

Unearthing the Planet’s History

About 2 billion years ago, the oceans were green, the land red and rocky, and only 1 percent of Earth’s atmosphere was oxygen. How did the planet become what it is today? UNC geochemist Xiao-Ming Liu collects samples of soil, rocks, and water from places like Hawaii to find the answer.