Interim Dean Terry Rhodes takes a sip from the Old Well on the first day of classes.
This issue celebrates the tenacity of our first-generation students — and a few of the uniquely Carolina programs that support them during their time on campus. I am enormously proud of the national recognition we are receiving for our longstanding commitment to help first-generation, rural, transfer and underserved students overcome barriers to access and affordability and to graduate on time.
I am also impressed with the students I have met in these programs. They are making the most of their time as Tar Heels by delving deeply into research opportunities, studying abroad, serving the community and participating in academic internships. I am profoundly grateful to the inspired alumni whose generosity made possible some of these student success programs.
Our new general education curriculum, known as IDEAs in Action, is another uniquely Carolina undertaking. If you’re not familiar with the term, the gen ed curriculum is the core coursework all students take regardless of their major. Our new curriculum, three years in the making, has been boldly reimagined: new interdisciplinary courses for first-year students, more opportunities to conduct research and empirical investigations, more encouragement to take part in global education. It won’t be fully implemented until next year, but we are piloting key courses now. You can read more about the new curriculum in this issue, too.
I also believe the deep-rooted dedication of our faculty to their students and their work is another uniquely Carolina trait. For what I mean, see our feature story on three faculty who have retired but continue to shine a light on UNC through impressive research productivity, course development and student mentoring.