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University Gazette

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

We know what you did this summer

Who says summer is a slow time in the world of academia? Certainly not Carolina’s faculty and staff, who were busy at work around the world, across the country and here on campus. When the Gazette asked for submissions about how these hard-working Tar Heels were spending the summer, we received so many messages and photos. We are sharing a few of those messages here.



Carl Ernst distinguished professor in religious studies

 Dakar, Senegal

Camera Here I am in Senegal with my friends from the Universite Cheikh Anta Diop as we launch the new Center for the Study of Religions and Spiritualities. Carolina has partnered with UCAD in Dakar for several years, including Carolina Performing Arts performances by Grammy winner Youssou N’Dour.



Sandy Smith-Nonini adjunct assistant professor of anthropology

 San Juan, Puerto Rico

Camera In July, I went to Puerto Rico with my son, filmmaker Roque Nonini. We’re making a documentary called Dis.em.POWER.ed: Puerto Rico’s Perfect Storm about the long (and for some, ongoing) blackout after Hurricane Maria. We’ll distribute it free to educators and nonprofits.



Camera I led a National Endowment for the Humanities workshop at the New Bedford Whaling Museum to help K-12 teachers from across the country interpret Herman Melville’s Moby Dick for 21st century students.

Tim Marr American Studies

 New Bedford, Massachusetts
















Lorna Avilés teaching assistant professor of Spanish

 Cusco, Perú

Camera My students studied Spanish and did community service work in neighboring villages. The Healthy Homes project improves living conditions for these villagers with water filters, hygienic storage and cleaner burning stoves. Students enjoy the messy work of making mud stoves.



Bernard Bell director of the Shuford Program in Entrepreneurship in China

 Shanghai, China

Camera I spent three weeks in Shanghai with 15 students, all interns at Chinese companies, paired with a Chinese roommate for cultural education and studying Mandarin Chinese. Each week, we invited a Chinese entrepreneur for dinner and had a lunch with hosts who spoke only Chinese.