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Sarah Treul

Sarah Treul (photo courtesy of UNC-Chapel Hill)


Kevin Marinelli

Kevin Marinelli (photo by Kristen Chavez)


Treul, Marinelli to lead Program for Public Discourse

Sarah Treul and Kevin Marinelli have been tapped to lead the UNC Program for Public Discourse.

The program was launched in 2019 to bring together UNC-Chapel Hill faculty and students to build a stronger community by offering every student the opportunity to become a more informed, engaged and skilled citizen.

Treul, Bowman and Gordon Gray Distinguished Term Professor of Political Science, is faculty director of the program, and Marinelli, who taught rhetoric at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, is executive director.

As faculty director, Treul will define the strategic priorities and objectives of the program, working in coordination with the College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Office, relevant department chairs and program faculty.

She has been on the Carolina faculty since 2009. Her research interests are American political institutions, specifically congressional primary elections and decision-making in the U.S. Senate.

As executive director, Marinelli will be responsible for managing programming. This includes mentoring the Polis Fellows, undergraduates who produce a periodical, Polis, that debates contemporary topics of wide interest; recruiting speakers for campus events; and working with the Center for Faculty Excellence and other campus entities to support civic engagement and the wider use of structured advocacy, rhetoric and debate in the classroom.

Marinelli is a rhetorical scholar who previously served as director of the Speaking Center at Davidson College for three years before joining MIT in 2019. He will also teach courses in the department of communication.

PPD seeks to build a culture of robust debate and civic engagement at Carolina while upholding the core principles of academic freedom of expression and academic inquiry.