Finding our compass
I am a Raleigh native, a Carolina alumna and a member of the faculty since 1987 — Tar Heel born and bred! Thus I am especially delighted that this issue is devoted to Carolina students, faculty, staff and alumni who are making the world a better place in ways large and small.
My predecessor, Kevin Guskiewicz, loves saying that Carolina is “passionately public” — meaning that it is in our DNA to give back to others, to make a difference. (Kevin, if you have not heard, is now our interim chancellor. You can read more about his transition — and mine — here.) Making a difference can take many forms, from running a charity that corrects clubfoot in children to developing tools to identify at-risk teens to helping North Carolina newcomers overcome language and social barriers. Our cover package is merely a jumping-off point; there are many other stories of Carolina change agents throughout this issue.
I am especially proud of the role that the College’s Humanities for the Public Good initiative is playing in connecting our faculty, staff and students to the wider community, so that we can exchange ideas, information and energy. As senior associate dean for fine arts and humanities, I was the principal investigator on this four-year grant funded by the Mellon Foundation. It is through efforts like these that we demonstrate the value that the arts and humanities play in our lives. They provide us with the tools and knowledge we need to grapple with the many large and complex societal issues we face today.