Today, we’ll hear from sophomore Frank Wu, who recently visited the annual Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium.
With more than 60% of undergraduates conducting research, you never know what exciting projects your peers may be doing. Below please find my interview with Michele Bresler, who is doing research on mouse intestine cell fission, and Jason Dunn, who is researching unemployment and obesity.
Michele, can you summarize your project?
The intestinal epithelium is one of the most rapidly turning over tissues in the body which makes it very vulnerable to chemotherapy drugs. My research was to isolate the intestinal stem cells which are responsible for replenishing the intestinal tissue after damage and create a culture condition where these cells can survive but not continue to proliferate. Once these conditions were set, we are able to manipulate the cells to discover a trigger for the cell fission in the hopes of finding a drug that can be given to chemotherapy patients to increase the rate of cell fission and the rate of tissue replenishing in the intestine after damage.
What did you learn?
I’ve learned an immense amount of laboratory skills and techniques that I would have never had the chance to do if I had not decided to pursue research. I even learned to remove the small intestine from a mouse! Besides the laboratory based skills, I’ve been able to improve my science writing and reading skills through having to read numerous scientific journal articles and write articles and presentations myself.
What connections did you make?
Through my research lab I have been able to form connections with the doctors, PhDs, medical students, graduate students, and professors that work in my lab and the labs that surround us. Research is very collaborative and I have had the opportunity to work closely with some of the best stem cell researchers in the field.
Do you have advice for other students wanting to do research?
My advice for anyone who is wanting to do research is to take your time picking a place that you want to work in. There are so many opportunities to do research here at Carolina so don’t rush into the first opportunity you find. Make sure that the research you decide to pursue is something that you are really passionate about so you are able to dedicate the right amount of time and enjoy what you are doing!
Jason, is there a correlation between unemployment and obesity? What did your research reveal?
I found some interesting relationships between unemployment and obesity, but to draw more conclusions, I would really need to have more information on how individuals spend their time and what they are eating. One interesting insight was finding that after at least three years of unemployment, white individuals gain weight while black individuals lose weight. However, that result was only significant for males.
You mentioned that our faculty was very supportive of your work.
Professor Gilleskie helped guide me through the process of developing my thesis topic, and she was instrumental in helping me figure out how to develop a model to test, determine the regressions, analyze the results, and write up my findings. I met with her weekly to work one on one on my project to ensure that the research was sound and that I met my goal.
Check out other awesome opportunities for research at Carolina here.
Today we share the story of our own Domonique Garland, a senior at Carolina and a leader within the Admissions Ambassador program for the Office of Undergraduate Admissions:
On Thursday, April 19, I received a call from the Chancellor’s Office asking if I would be interested in introducing the President of the United States during his visit to campus the next week. Of course, I had to say yes while silently screaming and jumping up and down in my apartment. The Office told me that I would meet with them the next day and they would collect information so that President Obama’s administration could decide who they actually wanted for the introduction. On Sunday, April 22, I received a call from the White House saying that I was chosen to give the introduction for President Obama. I literally ran into every room in my apartment jumping, screaming, dancing, flipping, and anything else you can imagine. Then I called my mom and for the next 30 minutes all I heard was screaming through the phone as she was jumping on her bed. The next 48 hours flew by fast. I had to write my speech, get it edited, practice, re-work the speech, practice some more and go to dress rehearsal.
The dress rehearsal was like a walk-through of how the program would go. I was warmly welcomed by the UNC coordinator, the publicist for UNC, the coordinator for the administration, as well as some of the Secret Service. I was also grateful to see another familiar face, Will Leimenstoll, who is a fellow Ambassador and just won the election for Student Body President. Tuesday was the big day and when I say big, that is still an understatement. I was able to invite my family to the speech and they were elated. Finally, it was time for me to go down into the corridor. When I entered the corridor, the Secret Service was all around. The program began and it was amazing to watch the program from where I was standing and to see the background work of something that seems to just happen so easily. All of a sudden a huge crowd was walking toward me and in the midst of this crowd was President Barack Obama. I just stood there in awe. He went into the back hallway first to take pictures with the ROTC representatives, and then they said “Domonique, it is your time.” The President of the United States came out, gave me a hug, took pictures with me, and then asked about what I was doing. Right before I went on stage he said “Are you ready?” I replied, “Are you ready?” He laughed and said “Yes” and I replied, “Then I am too!”
My name was announced as I walked out of the corridor. Just that short conversation with the President calmed my nerves so much that I was not nervous when I went on stage to do the speech.
After I completed my speech, the President walked on stage and gave me a hug. Then I walked off and as I was doing so, I heard him mention my name and say that I would be a great teacher. It was literally like a dream.
The whole day just did not feel real and even today I am still amazed and thrilled that I was able to have this opportunity.
–Domonique Garland, ’12 (Elementary Education)
As in past years, we have two deadlines for first-year applications. This time of year we get a lot of questions about our two application deadlines: What’s the difference? Which should I do? Will applying early give me a better chance?
One of the most important things to know is that applying early does not commit you to a binding decision. You may apply elsewhere for binding or other early admission programs. We want to give you more options, rather than less.
Why do we offer two deadlines?
We find it makes the whole experience much more pleasant. For you and for us. You can choose whichever deadline is most convenient for you, and best fits your schedule. And we don’t have to read all 30,000+ applications at one go. Just thinking about that makes me shudder. I don’t think it would be humanly possible.
Although we have two deadlines, we evaluate each application against our entire pool of applicants. For this reason, there is no inherent advantage in applying first vs second deadline. The only advantage for one over the other lies in which deadline allows you to submit the best application you can.
Why apply first deadline?
- Be considered for ALL scholarships and special opportunities we offer. A handful of our merit scholarships (such as the Pogue) are selected from Early Action applicants. And a few of the Excel@Carolina opportunities, including assured admission to Business and Pharmacy and the Chancellor’s Science Scholars Program, are only offered to EA applicants. These are only a small portion of the opportunities we offer to admitted students, and plenty of Regular Decision students are offered great scholarships and Excel opportunities. But for fullest consideration, it’s best to apply Early Action.
- Have more time to make a thoughtful decision about which college is the right fit for you. You’ll have more time in the spring to visit schools, talk to students, and consider what you need for a successful college experience.
- Spread the work of applications over a longer span of time. If you are applying to multiple schools, you can get your Carolina application out of the way early, and be less stressed while completing the others.
Why apply second deadline?
- Be able to submit first semester grades. If your junior year grades are not as high as you’d like, it might be a good idea to apply second deadline, so that we will be able to see the first semester grades of your senior year.
- Take the SAT/ACT one more time. For second deadline, you can take the tests in December and the results will still reach us in time.
- Have more time to submit the best application you can. Take extra time with your essays and get thoughtful recommendations for your teacher and counselor.
You choose the deadline that suits you best, and we’ll give your application our full attention when it arrives. Let us know if you have more questions!
This week we’ll hear from sophomore Frank Wu, who visited the annual Carolina Undergraduate Research Symposium last Friday.
With more than 60% of undergraduates conducting research, the symposium was in its 14th year this past week. Most importantly, the symposium brings together undergraduate of all backgrounds and majors. In my case, I was able to participate in research on income inequality during my first year, but I really enjoyed attending to symposium and learning more about the other kinds of undergraduate research going on at Carolina.
From projects such as Spanish phonology, the relationships between obesity and unemployment and wound healing, Carolina offers the opportunity for undergraduates to engage in research across all disciplines—the arts/humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.
Not only was I able to see the research from my peers, I started some valuable conversations on their research and how we can utilize their research to make a difference in the world—a common goal for all Carolina students. In addition, I ran into quite a few friends doing research I had never expected. It was great hearing about the time they spent on these projects and the experience they’ve gained through them. As a result, I’ve sincerely been inspired to conduct further research myself, and hopefully write a senior thesis down the road!
One of the students I met during the symposium is Anand Shah, who is doing research on wound healing. I took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.
As part of your project, you synthesized a chemical that produces nitrous oxide, which has positive medical effects. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?
For my research, I synthesized nitric oxide-releasing scaffolds. The goal of my project was to see the nitric oxide-releasing scaffolds’ effect on cell proliferation and migration. Both of these abilities are vital in the wound healing process so now that I have confirmed the enhancing effect these scaffolds have on cell proliferation and migration, I am looking to test the effects in vivo. This will hopefully result in a faster wound healing process.
How did you get started doing research?
I became involved in research the summer after my first year. My path to involvement started in my Chem 241H class where Dr. Tiani had each student in the class interview an analytical researcher here at UNC. I was assigned to interview Dr. Schoenfisch and after looking into the research he was involved in, I found the projects interesting and decided to ask if he had any open positions. Luckily he did have a couple of spots open as seniors were graduating.
Do you have any advice for other students who want to do undergraduate research?
To first-year students I would recommend looking into a department they are interested in and then look at what professors in that department are involved in. With this list of professors students should try to stop by during their office hours or send them an email explaining their interest. From personal experience I have found how professors here are very interested in helping out students and even if they don’t have an open spot they can easily recommend colleagues of theirs who do.
Check out other awesome opportunities for research at Carolina here.
Stay tuned for another blog entry from Frank — Undergraduate Research Part II!
My name is Symone, and I’m a Carolina Covenant Scholar from Durham, NC double majoring in sociology and African American studies. When I came to Carolina four years ago, I was 100% sure that I wanted to be a nurse. It wasn’t until my sophomore year that I realized my passions lay elsewhere.
Through the liberal arts foundation that Carolina provides, I was able to explore a variety of subjects, which is how I discovered my interest in sociology. After taking a course entitled “Blacks in North Carolina,” I added African American studies as my second major. I finally felt as though I had found my way academically, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do after graduation.
I decided to reach out to one of my professors, Geeta Kapur, because I greatly admired the passion she had for her legal work and the excitement she brought to it. That was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. She encouraged me to take time to reflect and think about what motivated and inspired me. Thanks to Professor Kapur, I was able to define my passion, which is to provide underprivileged children with the resources and opportunities that will transform their outlook and enhance their future.
Armed with this new purpose, I began researching opportunities that aligned with my goals. As soon as I found the Carolina College Advising Corps, I knew that it was the perfect organization for me. I’m so honored to begin working as a college advisor this fall and to help low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented high school students pursue higher education!
As promised, we’re posting a list of FAQs regarding transfer credit. We’re also partnering with the Academic Advising Program to answer your questions on advising. If you have comments or questions, please post them here for Ni-Eric Perkins, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions for Enrollment and Kim Nelson, Senior Academic Advisor from the Academic Advising Program.
How will my credits transfer? You may transfer a maximum of 75 semester hours from a four-year school and 64 semester hours from a two-year school. In general, you will be awarded credit for an academic course with a grade of a C or better from an accredited institution if Carolina has a similarly equivalent course. Please note that college algebra, engineering, architecture, agricultural and other technical courses do not transfer. Additionally, professional school courses such as business, journalism, education and nursing rarely transfer. For more, please see the Transfer Credit Guide.
How will the courses that I’ve transferred fulfill Carolina’s curriculum and my degree requirements?
The Transfer Equivalencies database maintained by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions may provide initial information about how courses may transfer to UNC-CH. After the admissions office has confirmed how a student’s credits will transfer to Carolina, the following resources will be helpful to see how the transferred courses will fit into Carolina’s curriculum and individual degree requirements.
The Undergraduate Bulletin provides complete information about degree requirements, all majors and minors available at Carolina, course descriptions, and information about policies and procedures at Carolina.
Academic Worksheets, which provide a one page synopsis of degree requirements, are available on the Advising website. A worksheet is available for all majors. The student can use the worksheet and the information in the Bulletin to tentatively determine how their transferred credits may be used.
Departmental websites offer additional helpful information. Academic advisors in the Academic Advising Program will assist admitted students regarding the completion of degree requirements. In the meantime, please visit the Advising website to learn more about the curriculum and academic options.
How do I find the abbreviations for the courses listed in the undergraduate bulletin? You can find the abbreviations for the courses listed in the Undergraduate Bulletin under the Table of Contents. The Table of Contents in the undergraduate bulletin will let you know on what page(s) the course abbreviations are listed.
What if I don’t get into a professional school program I applied for… do I have to reapply for the College of Arts & Sciences?No. you will not have to reapply to the College of Arts & Sciences. Your enrollment will continue if you are not accepted into a professional school program.
What if I went to both a 2-year school and a 4-year school? Is my cap 64 or 75 credit hours? If a student takes courses from a combination of a two-year and four-year institution, the maximum number of transferable hours will be determined by the most recent institution attended. Moreover, if the last institution a student attended is two-year then the student can only transfer a maximum of 64 hours, while if the most recent institution was a four-year then the student can transfer a maximum of 75 hours
Do dual enrollment courses count towards my transferrable hours?Yes.
I would like to have my courses re-evaluated. What is the process?After you have received your credit evaluation, you can fill out the re-evaluation form located on our website. Along with the form, be sure to have copies of the course description and syllabus of the class you wish to have re-evaluated. Once you submit your request, you should receive a decision by email within 30 days.
There are some errors with my credit evaluation. What do I need to do to have them corrected? You can email the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (919) 966-3621.
I need to register for classes. When will I receive my evaluation? You will receive your credit evaluation through email shortly after you receive your admit decision.
Do military courses transfer? Professional school courses such as business, journalism, education and nursing or credits earned during active-duty military service rarely transfer.
How can I get a copy of my transfer credit evaluation? While we do not send paper copies of transfer evaluations, the Admissions Office will email your transfer credit evaluation to you. You can request a copy of your evaluation by emailing email@example.com
Do AP credits count towards my transferrable hours? Yes. Once you have enrolled at Carolina and we have received official reports for AP or IB tests, we will award credit based on individual departmental requirements.
Will my credit evaluation be complete before I go to orientation? Credit evaluations are completed once you have been admitted. Your evaluation should be complete by the time you go to orientation. If not, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.
Hi all. I asked my colleague Dave Meredith to write a bit about how students are selected for merit scholarships and the Honors Program. Dr. Meredith is the liaison in our office who works with the various faculty, offices, and selection committees who award merit scholarships and select students for the Honors Program. I hope this information is helpful, please let us know in the comments below what additional questions you might have. Thanks, Julie
It is about that time of year when we start getting a lot of questions about scholarships (including the Morehead-Cain and Robertson) and the Honors Program. I want to explain how the Admissions Office works with these offices to select students. To learn more about the characteristics and qualities each scholarship seeks, please visit their websites (Robertson, Morehead-Cain, University-awarded scholarships, Pogue, Honors Program).
When the Admissions Committee in our office reviews applications, we are looking for characteristics including academic excellence, impactful leadership, writing ability, and more. As we make decisions about which students we feel would be a good fit for Carolina, we also nominate students for further review by a number of other offices for scholarships and the Honors Program.
Each deadline, the Admissions Office receives between 10,000 and 13,000 applications. From this pool, we select about 600 students for further review by a team of faculty members. How do we select these 600 or so students, you ask? Great question! I can tell you it isn’t based on your SAT, class rank or even GPA. Of course the students we’re considering in this review are all incredibly accomplished students but all of the students we admit have a strong academic record. So for scholarship consideration, rather than focus on numbers, we look very closely at the essays and recommendation letters to find evidence of what I like to call “being a mental wrestler.” A mental wrestler is someone who likes ideas, is curious, and approaches topics from different angles. A mental wrestler has probably said something in class that caused the whole class to stop and say “Hmmm, I never thought about it like that.”
From this pool of 600-ish nominated students, a team of faculty will select about 300 students to invite to the Honors Program and 130 students to participate in Scholarship Day. Some students may be invited to both, but they are independent invitations. This process repeats itself in late winter for our second-deadline applicants.
We also nominate students for two external scholarships: the Morehead-Cain and Robertson. We are fortunate to be able to nominate about 40 out-of-state applicants for consideration by the Morehead-Cain committee and about 150 students (both NC residents and out-of-state) for the Robertson Committee to review. Once these committees have reviewed our nominees, they directly contact the students they select.
Beginning in 2010, we began nominating students for the Pogue Scholarship. We will nominate about 60 NC residents and about 15 out-of-state students for this scholarship. The Pogue Committee will then contact these students directly with further information about the review process.
Please note that all of the numbers I’ve included are averages over the past two to three years. We do not have strict quotas.
I hope this information clarifies how the Admissions Office assists with the selection process for these opportunities. Thanks.
Carolina students go on to do some pretty amazing things after spending four years with us. Over the next two weeks, we’ll share some of their stories with you. First up is Kahlil…
My name is Kahlil, and I’m a senior from New Carrollton, MD studying economics and political science. During my nearly four years at Carolina, I’ve been able to grow and carve out my niche through the extracurricular and academic opportunities I’ve explored.
As a Pogue Scholar, I studied abroad in Santiago, Chile, which was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It broadened my worldview and gave me real-world experience to accompany my Spanish minor. My involvement in organizations such as Phi Beta Kappa, Ebony Readers Onyx Theater, and Carolina Language Partnership exposed me to diverse students who challenged and strengthened my beliefs and opinions.
Although I came to Carolina to study political science, I quickly fell in love with economics because it caused me to think in a different way and consider the logical motivations for every action. Professor Ralph Byrns was the first person to explain economics to me, and he used personal experiences to make the topics relatable. The quality of education I’ve received at Carolina and the experience I’ve gained helped me earn admission into the School of Business at Wake Forest University, where I was awarded a Corporate Fellowship to complete my master’s degree in management.
I’m excited that you’re considering Carolina and sincerely hope that you’ll join our community in the fall.
Next up in our Q&A series: the Assured Journalism program. Through Assured Journalism, students not only get assured admission to the J-school, but early exposure to all the resources within the school and special coursework that allows them to jump-start their studies. To tell us more about the program, here’s Thomas Gooding, a first-year from High Point, NC. (Get more info about all nine special opportunities that we offer to incoming first-year students.)
Madison Morgan (left), Elizabeth Gooding (right), and me at Relay for Life on campus
What do you hope to do with your degree in journalism?
I plan to pursue a specialization in reporting, multimedia or electronic communication. With my degree, I hope to investigate human rights and international conflict as a reporter or foreign correspondent for a national news organization.
What past experiences made you want to study journalism?
My mom is a graduate of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism, and her experiences as a reporter have inspired me to pursue a career as a journalist. She helped convey the significant influence of journalism in facilitating conversation and inspiring change.
In addition, many experiences in high school nurtured my interest in journalism. I had the opportunity to write a monthly opinion column for my local paper, through which I realized the value of challenging readers to consider important issues that affect our community. Overall, my experiences helped me understand the importance of informing the world and thus fostering positive change.
What are some of the benefits of being in the Assured Journalism program?
Students in the program have the opportunity to explore the field early in their careers at UNC-Chapel Hill. A wonderful benefit of the program is the opportunity to interact with top professors at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, which allows students to build relationships and gain the individual attention necessary to excel at the school. The program challenges students to think creatively and profoundly, gain new perspectives of mass communication and discover their potential as journalists. Through the Assured Journalism program, I have developed confidence as a student and gained an opportunity to pursue my goals in my first year of college.
Any study abroad, internship, extracurricular, or other interesting experiences you’ve had or plan to pursue?
The opportunities available through the Assured Journalism program and the School of Journalism and Mass Communication are many. I hope to write for The Daily Tar Heel, the student-run newspaper at UNC-Chapel Hill, which has earned numerous national awards and honors. I also hope to participate in broadcast and multimedia journalism through Carolina Week and Reese News.
Academically, the school offers a unique opportunity in conjunction with UNC’s Kenan-Flagler Business School to pursue business journalism. It is just one of the many specializations offered, from photojournalism to electronic communication.
In addition, I would love to take advantage of the study abroad opportunity in London, which boasts state-of-the-art multimedia studios and contact with professionals from the BBC, The Times and The Guardian. The study abroad programs in Spain, Argentina, France and Australia are also exceptional opportunities.
Why did you choose Carolina?
The liberal arts education that Carolina offers can be summed up in one word: opportunity. The diversity of disciplines and fields of study at Carolina allows students to explore beyond their immediate interests and discover their greatest passions. It allows students to learn how to think critically, search for innovative solutions to problems and make important decisions.
Community and diversity are incredible aspects of the Carolina family. Not only racial and cultural diversity, but also diversity of study, opportunity, and exposure to new ideas and issues. At Carolina, students know that they can be themselves. We celebrate the value of each individual and the uniqueness of his or her background.
Most importantly, the Carolina family is dedicated to helping students and faculty succeed. Opportunities inside the classroom and in the community, local and international, provide every student with what it is he or she needs to excel. The Carolina community is dedicated to each Tar Heel with the trust that he or she will make a positive impact on the world.
What else would you tell prospective students who are interested in studying journalism at Carolina?
The UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication is one of the most distinguished in the United States. Students in the school learn from top professors who have worked with major news organizations and come from diverse backgrounds of journalism experience. There are numerous opportunities on campus for students to immerse themselves in journalism. It is truly an exceptional and rewarding program.
When you apply to Carolina, you’re automatically considered for a number of special opportunities. In addition to merit scholarships and the Honors Program, we also consider you for programs that match incoming students with some of exciting opportunities that exist on this campus.
We recently posted about Assured Enrollment in Business, and today we’re focusing on a similar program we offer for students interested in Journalism. Carolina students generally apply to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication during their second year of study at Carolina. Each year, however, a select group of outstanding first-year students are offered assured enrollment in the undergraduate program in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication–widely acclaimed as one of the best such programs in the nation.
Students who are chosen for the program take two special first-year seminars focusing on journalism. In this way, students are able to start exploring their interest in journalism from the first day they step on campus. There’s no obligation to pursue journalism if students’ interests lead them elsewhere–they’re always free to choose another major if they wish.
All applicants are considered for this program just by applying for admission–there’s no separate application required.