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A crowd of masked students head into Kenan Stadium.

Meet Carolina’s newest class

This fall’s cohort of first-year and transfer students is the largest and most diverse in University history. Here are some highlights.


two researches with equipment in front of a mountain scene

A project of her own

Most UNC-Chapel Hill PhD students oversee their own research projects for their dissertations. But Kriddie Whitmore did it in a foreign country — and with the added challenges of a language barrier, bad weather, and limited equipment.


Nichola Lowe pictured smiling in the City and Regional planning department building

Putting skill to work

Nichola Lowe spotted the gaps in the U.S. workforce long before the pandemic shined a light on them. Most recently, she’s written a book on the topic and is using lessons from the pandemic to drive her current research.


Juan Castro smiling in front of the Old Well on UNC-Chapel Hill's campus

Belonging and empowerment

Senior Juan Castro wasn’t sure that he’d find his place at Carolina. But through the Carolina Covenant, the Latinx Center and volunteer opportunities, the Tar Heel found a sense of belonging in Chapel Hill.


Morgan Clark stands outside with greenery around her.

Understanding our universe

Morgan Clark, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of physics and astronomy, studies neutrinos, a tiny particle in our universe. She will join 64 other graduate students in gaining access to world-class training and state-of-the-art facilities at the Department of Energy’s national laboratories.


Cole Mueller stands in cap and gown in front of the Old Well.

Class of 2020: Cole Mueller

Cole Mueller has seen all of Carolina’s storied traditions up close as a member of the Order of the Bell Tower. But when the pandemic cut his time, he missed out on experiencing some of those biggest milestones. This weekend, he’ll be crossing them off his bucket list.


Closeup of Luisa Penaflor smiling at the camera. Donn Young.

Meet a Tar Heel: Luisa Peñaflor: Poet and Thomas Wolfe Scholar

Luisa Peñaflor, a first-year creative writing major from Simpsonville, South Carolina, is the 2021 Thomas Wolfe Scholarship recipient. We spoke with Peñaflor about her creative writing background and her first-year experience as a Thomas Wolfe Scholar.


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