2003 Impact Award Winners

As a special recognition of graduate students during our 100th anniversary, the Graduate School presented the Centennial Awards for Graduate and Professional Students. These prestigious awards recognize graduate students whose research contributes to the state of North Carolina. An award committee composed of 10 faculty members from a variety of disciplines across campus looked at numerous worthy entries and chose five Centennial Award winners and 12 Dean's Award winners. Award winners received a cash award and an engraved plaque. They presented their research during the Centennial kickoff.

The award winners include:

Dean's Awards

Biographies

Rachel Avery, Epidemiology

Health Effects Associated with Exposure to Airborne Emissions from Industrial Hog Operations in Eastern North Carolina

Before entering the graduate program in Epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health in 1998, Rachel worked in pesticide health education with migrant and seasonal farm workers in North Carolina. She received a Masters of Science in Public Health in 2002 and is working on her Ph.D. in Epidemiology.

At UNC, she has been working with Dr. Steve Wing on research into the health effects associated with exposure to emissions from industrial hog operations in eastern North Carolina.

Rachel's Research Project: Health Effects Associated with Exposure to Airborne Emissions from Industrial Hog Operations in Eastern North Carolina

Rachel investigated the effect that exposure to the odor from industrial hog operations in eastern North Carolina has on the function of the secretory immune systems of people living on neighboring properties. Fifteen non-smoking adults who live within 1.5 miles of at least one industrial hog operation participated in this study.

Rachel investigated one mechanism that might explain health effects among neighbors exposed to hog operations odor: that exposure to odor from industrial hog operations has a psychophysiologically medicated effect on the secretory immune system specifically that malodor as a stressor exerts an immunosuppressive effect on secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA). The analysis of data from Rachel's research suggests exposure to odor does have an effect on secretory immune function and is particularly important in that it documents a physiologic effect among neighbors of industrial hog operations.

In documenting health effects associated with exposure to airborne emissions from industrial hog operations, this work can inform policy decisions at state and local levels in North Carolina and elsewhere. It also contributes to the larger body of evidence that is examined by institutions such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency, which sets policy at the federal level. The research certainly has potential for a lasting impact current research played a role in the state's decision in 2001 to commission a study of alternative methods of treatment of hog waste.

Angela Hornsby, Joe Mosnier, Katie Otis; History

Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition- A Project of the Southern Oral History Program, UNC-Chapel Hill

Angela Hornsby

Angela is a Ph.D. candidate in history at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her general research interests include twentieth-century United States history involving women, gender, African-American, and oral history. As a recipient of the inaugural Conrad Oral History Fellowship, Angela explored the impact of Latino immigration on a historically black neighborhood in northeast central Durham, North Carolina. She co-authored "Neighborhood Voices: New Immigrants in Northeast Central Durham."

Angela, along with fellow students Joe Mosnier and Katie Otis, were awarded Centennial Awards for Graduate and Professional Students for their work on "Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition A Project of the Southern Oral History Program."

Angela's Research Project: "New Immigrants and Neighborhood Change"

The "Listening for a Change" initiative by the Southern Oral History Program is an oral history-based study of North Carolina's profound post-WWII transformation and a documentation of the historical roots of key challenges facing North Carolinians today. Before conducting oral history interviews, graduate student researchers first completed extensive archival and other preliminary research.

Angela's project, "New Immigrants and Neighborhood Change," explored the impact of the growing Latino population in northeast central Durham, a neighborhood historically populated by African-Americans. Through oral histories, African-American and Latino interviewees describe the rapid change during the past 15 years in life styles, work, and social patterns.

Angela's research yielded much fruit: a bilingual booklet distributed throughout the community, a bilingual CD-ROM, and a very successful neighborhood cultural event widely attended by both African-Americans and Latinos. Angela also described her work in a paper presented at the Oral History Association's annual meeting.

Joe Mosnier

Joe, a doctoral student in the Department of History at UNC-Chapel Hill, is a recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Dissertation Grant. His dissertation examines the legal history of the civil rights era, including a study of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based civil rights law practice, which played a decisive role in advancing federal civil rights law.

Joe, along with fellow students Angela Hornsby and Katie Otis, were awarded Centennial Awards for Graduate and Professional Students for their work on "Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition A Project of the Southern Oral History Program." While researching his project and through his work with the SOHP, Joe has completed more than 200 oral history interviews with North Carolinians.

Joe's Research Project: "North Carolina Business History"

The "Listening for a Change" initiative by the Southern Oral History Program is an oral history-based study of North Carolina's profound post-WWII transformation and a documentation of the historical roots of key challenges facing North Carolinians today. Before conducting oral history interviews, graduate student researchers first completed extensive archival and other preliminary research.

Joe's research, "North Carolina Business History," explores the transformation of the state's economy since World War II. Joe interviewed representatives of tradition industry (furniture, textiles, tobacco, and agriculture) and today's dominant enterprises (banking and financial services, pharmaceuticals, utilities and other services, and agribusiness). Joe's project demonstrated not only the structural outline of these economical changes, but also explained why so many citizens, particularly in rural areas beyond the Piedmont, remained hobbled by poor education and restricted opportunity.

Joe's efforts yielded a principal component of the Teacher's Institute and a paper (co-authored with Dr. Peter Coclanis) presented to the Oral History Association annual meeting and now being readied for publication.

Katie Otis

Katie is a doctoral candidate in History and a research assistant with the university's Southern Oral History Program. As a team member on the program's "Listening for a Change" project, Katie documented the human effect of the devastating flooding that followed Hurricane Floyd in late 1999. Katie's oral history interview series, entitled "Voices After the Deluge," was conducted in several eastern North Carolina communities, including Greenville, Grifton, Rocky Mount, Rosehill, and Wallace.

Katie, along with fellow students Angela Hornsby and Joe Mosnier, were awarded Centennial Awards for Graduate and Professional Students for their work on "Listening for a Change: North Carolina Communities in Transition A Project of the Southern Oral History Program."

Katie's Research Project: "Voices After the Deluge"

The "Listening for a Change" initiative by the Southern Oral History Program is an oral history-based study of North Carolina's profound post-WWII transformation and a documentation of the historical roots of key challenges facing North Carolinians today. Before conducting oral history interviews, graduate student researchers first completed extensive archival and other preliminary research.

Katie's project, "Voices After the Deluge," documented the devastating effect that Hurricane Floyd flooding had on North Carolinians in fall 1999. Through an early series of interviews with elderly flood victims in eastern North Carolina communities, Katie examined the flood's impact on the support networks for elderly flood survivors.

In other interviews, Katie sought out other flood victims, federal and state relief officials, community leaders, and volunteers in an examination of disaster relief provisions. She focused on how relief disbursement decisions were made and the political dimensions of public policy decision-making in flood-affected areas.

Katie is currently organizing a public forum, scheduled for June 2003, where she will share her research with eastern North Carolina communities and moderate a public discussion about the success and failure of relief provisions. She hopes the forum honors the tenacity of the flood survivors and provides policy makers and relief officials with specific recommendations that will improve preparations for and responses to the inevitable next natural disaster.

Bradley Lamphere, Ecology

Seeing the Big Picture Through DNA: A Novel Approach to Link Individual Behavior to Population Dynamics in a Bioindicator Species for Coldwater Streams

Bradley is a doctoral student in Ecology at UNC-Chapel Hill. Before pursuing a graduate degree, he worked as an ecological consultant on the East Coast and learned the mechanisms of environmental protection. Bradley's academic goal is to apply ecological theory to real-world problems and has spent a great deal of time in the streams of western North Carolina working toward that goal. His field sites are all on the Nantahala River and its tributaries in Macon County.

Bradley's Research Project: Seeing the Big Picture Through DNA: A Novel Approach to Link Individual Behavior to Population Dynamics in a Bioindicator Species for Coldwater Streams

Accurate forecasting of population trends is one of ecology's great challenges. Current population models simulate birth and death rates well, but generally underestimate the rate of immigration in and out of the population, simply because immigration events are difficult to observe directly. Bradley's project introduces a novel approach to estimate immigration rates that avoids the underestimation bias present in other methods of assessing individual movements.

Bradley is testing this approach on the mottled sculpin, a small non-game fish, to facilitate its use as a bioindicator species for North Carolina's coldwater streams. The bioindicator approach uses a species known to be sensitive to the threats facing a habitat like the "canary in a coal mine" to indicate damage to the habitat.

From 2000 to 2002, Bradley conducted mark-and-recapture surveys of fish populations in headwater tributaries of the Nantahala River. Among the 1,400-plus fish recaptures, Bradley found individuals moved up to 180 meters, about six times farther than the longest move seen in previous work. Bradley also plans to assess individual movements over 200 meters by using microsatellite DNA markers.

Adding long-distance movement data to the data from Bradley's direct captures will yield a complete picture of sculpin movement from the individual to the population scale. Such a view would improve existing models of sculpin population dynamics and therefore facilitate the species' use as a bioindicator. In addition, this project will be among the first to integrate genetic data with direct observations to produce realistic immigration predictions.

This approach could be useful with many species that feature difficult-to-observe, long-range movements. This project will aid conservation and management efforts and potentially enhance understanding of population dynamics as well.

Mahyar Mofidi, Health Behavior and Health Education

Problems with Access to Dental Care for Medicaid-insured Children: What Caregivers Think

Mahyar practiced dentistry for five years in an underserved community before becoming a doctoral student in the UNC Department of Health Behavior and Health Education. His research interests include health care disparities, patient-health care provider communication, and coping mechanisms in chronic illness.

His Centennial Award-winning research project concentrated on low-income North Carolina families who found barriers in their attempts to access dental care for their children who are insured by Medicaid.

Mahyar's Research Project: Problems with Access to Dental Care for Medicaid-insured Children: What Caregivers Think

Access to dental care is a significant problem for Medicaid-insured children in North Carolina. Prior to this study, no research was conducted in the state on the caregivers' perspectives on dental care access.

This study sought to answer four major questions:

Interviews with 11 focus groups, composed of 77 caregivers, predominately mothers, were conducted in two urban locations and one rural location in North Carolina. Four of the focus groups consisted of African-American participants, three groups consisted of American Indian participants, three groups consisted of Latino participants, and one group consisted of Caucasian participants. The study used an open-ended interview guide for the groups and the content validity of the guide was established through reviews by experts in dental public health, health behavior and consumer advocacy. Trained facilitators conducted the focus group interviews.

Mahyar's research found that negative experiences with the dental health care system discouraged many caregivers in the study from obtaining dental services for their Medicaid-insured children. Searching for a dental care provider where choices are severely limited, arranging an appointment, and finding transportation were stressful, leaving caregivers discouraged and exhausted.

Caregivers who successfully negotiated these initial barriers often encountered additional barriers in the dental care setting, including long waiting times, and attitudes and behavior from the dental staff and dentists ranging from judgmental and disrespectful to discriminatory. To avoid facing such experiences, some participants often postponed or cancelled dental visits.

Caregivers identified suggestions to help improve dental care access, including educating caregivers on how to effectively gain access to dental care and providing cultural and sensitivity training to dentists and their staffs. Current proposals to solve the dental care access problem, such as increased rates of Medicaid reimbursements and patient education, although necessary, will likely be insufficient until many of the obstacles and suggestions identified by the caregivers are addressed.

Susan Yackee, Christine Kelleher; Political Science

Tracking County Responses to Welfare Reform

Susan Yackee

Susan is a doctoral candidate in Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has a long-standing research interest in welfare reform and federalism issues. Susan co-edited a book on welfare reform in North Carolina, "Meeting Challenges: North Carolina Responds to Welfare Reform," published by UNC-Institute of Government Press. Susan has spent time working in the U.S. Senate and the U.S. Department of Education.

Christine Kelleher

Christine is a doctoral student in Political Science at UNC-Chapel Hill. She is currently working on her dissertation, which investigates how institutional and environmental factors influence the degree of policy responsiveness in local governments. Christine co-edited a book on welfare reform in North Carolina, "Meeting Challenges: North Carolina Responds to Welfare Reform," published by UNC-Institute of Government Press.

Susan's and Christine's Research Project: Tracking County Responses to Welfare Reform

The pair highlighted the importance of North Carolina county governments as local governments responded to new welfare-related policymaking power and pursued the goal of moving welfare recipients to work. They looked particularly at the sudden and dramatic shift in the provision of social services in the state.

Susan and Christine's research sought to answer two questions: How have North Carolina counties responded to the 1996 national and 1997 state legislation devolving new welfare-related policymaking power and authority? What were the objectives of welfare reform and were counties able to achieve these goals?

Susan and Christine gathered information from three different sources:

  1. from 23 in-depth county reports, which provided a contextual examination of the ramifications of "devolving" power to counties, how county actors respond to changes in responsibilities, and the differing goals of these officials;
  2. from 425 survey responses by county officials in 99 North Carolina counties, which provided previously unexplored information concerning how perceptions of county-state relationships have changed as a result of the decentralization of power to the counties; and
  3. from tracking federal, state and local welfare dollars to each county.

Susan and Christine's research found that Social Services administrators, such as county DSS Directors and Work First administrators, played a critical role in the implementation of welfare reform. They also found that there was perceived organizational culture change in the county Departments of Social Services. For instance, the survey results supported a radically different set of job responsibilities for Work First administrators after the 1997 welfare reforms and a reaching out by Work First administrators to community groups to build coalitions to assist the poor. Finally, welfare reform afforded counties the fiscal resources necessary to change county programming and encourage county-level innovation. These results indicated that both the goals and spending patterns of North Carolina counties shifted as a result of welfare reform.

Nathan Allen, Pharmacology

Site-specific Integration of the Adeno-associated Virus Type 5

Nathan is in his fourth year of study at UNC-Chapel Hill, having entered the Department of Pharmacology through the Interdisciplinary Biomedical Sciences Program. He has received support from the Virology and Pharmacology training grants and conducts research in the lab of Dr. R. Jude Samulski. Nathan's research centers on the possibility of making gene therapy an effective long-term treatment for genetic disorders such as cystic fibrosis and hemophilia.

Nathan's research project: Site-specific Integration of the Adeno-associated Virus Type 5

Thousands of children are born each year with congenital disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and hemophilia, which they inherited from their parents, many of whom did not even realize that they were carriers of the genetic components. In North Carolina alone, an estimated 200 babies are born each year with cystic fibrosis, one of the most common of the hereditary diseases. Nathan's goal is to make gene therapy an effective long-term treatment for these genetic disorders.

Gene therapy is the idea that corrective genes can replace those that are defective. Such treatments have the potential to cure genetic disorders, though currently, not without harmful side effects. One of these side effects is the possibility that the delivered gene will integrate into an undesirable location of the genome. One potential method to deal with this possibility is to design vectors that can integrate into the genome in a specific region known to be unrelated to the side effects. This is the foundation of Nathan's research the investigation of the ability of the Adeno-associate virus (AAV) to integrate site-specifically into chromosome 19.

AAV is a non-pathogenic member of the dependovirus genus of the parvovirus family. It cannot replicate without the assistance of a helper virus such as Adenovirus. Infection of a cell with AAV in the absence of a helper virus causes AAV to enter into a latent through an integration mechanism whereby the genome of AAV inserts itself into the host cell's DNA. This integration event occurs preferentially at a region of the human genome termed AAVS1. This site is located on chromosome 19 at the position 19q13.3qter. This site-specific integration is unique among viruses that infect eukaryotic cells.

These studies will lead to the design of gene therapy vectors capable of targeting the integration of therapeutic genes site-specifically into the human genome. Such vectors may then be used as a long-term treatment of genetic disorders with decreased risk of random insertional mutagenesis.

Eleanor Camann, Geology

Beach-Dune-Nearshore Interactions: Shackleford Banks, North Carolina

Eleanor "Ellie" Camann is a fourth-year Thomas S. and Caroline H. Royster Fellow who lives at the North Carolina coast and works at the University's Institute of Marine Sciences in Morehead City under the direction of Dr. John Wells.

She has enjoyed teaching labs at UNC-Chapel Hill, as well as courses at Carteret Community College and the Duke University Marine Lab, and plans to enter academia when she graduates.

Ellie's research is being conducted on Shackleford Banks in Carteret County, but is applicable to other coastal areas in the state and could lead to better coastal zone management decisions.

Eleanor's Research Project: Beach-Dune-Nearshore Interactions: Shackleford Banks, North Carolina

North Carolina has perhaps the most extensive and arguably the most geologically interesting barrier island system in the world. The coast is one of the state's most valuable and fragile natural resources, as well as a major vacation and relocation destination. Much of the North Carolina coast is less developed than most other U.S. coastlines and more suited for taking preventive measures to avoid over-development. Shackleford Banks, a small barrier island that is part of Cape Lookout National Seashore on the North Carolina coast, is the focus of Ellie's study.

What is learned on Shackleford Banks will be valuable to the National Park Services, teachers leading field trips to the area, island visitors, and scientists who may want to study how things function in nature and investigate ways in which man can live in cooperation with the beach rather than in conflict with it. This study will assist Cape Lookout National Seashore personnel in making decisions on how to manage island areas and facilities within the park without damaging the natural environment. This study also will provide recent geological and geographical information about Shackleford Banks, compile pre-existing information from various sources, and serve as a starting point for future studies.

The various components of a coastline are inextricably linked, yet they are usually studied in isolation. This study will help rectify that problem by investigating important questions related to interactions in beach-dune-nearshore systems. Where is sediment moving and why? Ellie's research tests the hypothesis that morphological variability in coastal dunes is directly related to features and processes of the littoral zone (the dry beach and nearshore). By establishing relationships between these various areas of a shore, we might be able to answer the sediment question.

Among the specific objectives of Ellie's study are to:

Ellie is analyzing aerial photographs and airplane-mounted laser topographic data (LIDAR), completing extensive subaerial surveys with Real Time Kinematic Global Positioning Systems (RTK-GPS) equipment, and collecting hydrographic data on sea currents, waves, seafloor depths and bottom features in the nearshore. With over one year of data collection completed and approximately two years left to go, initial survey results have been very promising in meeting the objectives described above.

Rebecca Gary, School of Nursing

The Effectiveness of Home-based Exercise in Older Women with Diastolic Heart Failure

Rachel's research directly contributes to knowledge that will be used to change the management of women with heart failure in North Carolina. She studied the use of exercise (walking) to address symptom management (e.g. difficult breathing and pain) in older women with heart failure.

She traveled throughout the Piedmont, spending several months monitoring heart disease in research participants and walking with those in the exercise intervention group. She met with older women in their homes because most of them are not able to drive or in some cases, to travel comfortably.

Rebecca found that the use of low- to moderate-intensity home-based exercise, rather than education about heart disease alone, is a safe and effective strategy for improving functional capacity and quality of life in older women with diastolic heart failure.

The results of Rachel's research are ground-breaking and will have an impact on the recommendations health care providers make to older women all over the state of North Carolina. Since heart failure is the most common health problem and reason for hospital admission for people 65 years old or older in North Carolina, Rachel's research has the potential to help health care personnel lower health care costs in addition to lowering the physical and psychological burden associated with diastolic heart failure.

Barbara Hahn, History

Making Tobacco Bright: Big Business, Small Farms, and the Construction of the Tobacco Culture, 1865-1935

After coming to Carolina to pursue the Ph.D., Barbara's commitment to local history helped her pick her research topics. She is currently a doctoral candidate researching a dissertation on the interaction of the tobacco industry and tobacco agriculture before the New Deal.

While Barbara's dissertation research covers the entire bright-tobacco belt of the Carolinas and parts of Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, a great deal of her story and a great deal of her research takes place in Greenville and Farmville, both in Pitt County, North Carolina. She also focuses on the tobacco manufacturing towns, especially Durham, North Carolina.

Barbara's Research Project: Making Tobacco Bright: Big Business, Small Farms, and the Construction of the Tobacco Culture, 1865-1935

The tobacco economy of North Carolina raises a host of questions about its origins:

How did the big business of cigarette manufacturing and the small family farms of tobacco agriculture fit together into a single production system? Why did the mechanization and marketing revolutions that drove the booming tobacco industry at the turn of the last century maintain, rather than transform, the intensive handiwork and family labor that cultivated its raw materials? Why did the New Deal allotment-and-subsidy system for this crop prove so popular and durable? Agricultural, economic, and social historians have explored the world of the tobacco farmer from their various perspectives, while business historians have been fascinated by the transformation of tobacco manufacturing into big business in the New South. Barbara's research combined the history of tobacco's manufacturing and marketing end with its agricultural raw-material suppliers to explore how the tobacco economy evolved in North Carolina.

During seven months of research, Barbara read all of the papers of James Buchanan Duke and most of the incoming correspondence of Benjamin Newton Duke in order to understand the leaf-buying system that the American Tobacco Company trust established in the early 1890s. Barbara also checked the records of "decentralizing plantations," large landholdings on their way to becoming tenant and sharecropper farms. In these records, she tried to recover the various processes people used to make bright tobacco and the contests between landlords and tenants, often former masters and slaves, over the labor process.

Barbara read many pamphlets and books of instruction for growing bright tobacco and spent considerable time recording census data into Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software programs. These programs will enable her to map county-by-county tobacco production data between the years 1869 and 1929. Finally, Barbara read the records of general stores, stored in Raleigh, North Carolina, to track the processes by which people began to grow tobacco, the relationship between producing and selling leaf, and the role of local merchants in promoting the tobacco culture.

Barbara's research conclusions are tentative at this point, but certain things are clear: Farmers and industrialists, landlords and merchants, together dictated the forms their relationships took. Everybody involved in creating the North Carolina tobacco economy go at least some of what they wanted, whether they were black, white, or American Indiana, rich or poor, farmer or industrialist. That explains the durability of the tobacco culture and the reasons that the federal farm policies preserved that culture. The negotiations over technological processes that occurred a century ago continue to shape the economic basis of the state and the lives of its citizens.

Bin He, Biochemistry and Biophysics

A Unique Mechanism of the Androgen Receptor Transactivation and its Possible Role in Prostate Cancer Development

Bin He received his doctoral degree from UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics in December 2002. During his studies, he received the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center Graduate Fellow Award in 2001 for his work on the androgen receptor and its critical role in prostate cancer. Bin's research was fundamental to understanding the molecular basis of prostate cancer development and progression, and will have a long-lasting impact on the future of androgen receptor/prostate cancer research.

Bin He's Research Project: A Unique Mechanism of the Androgen Receptor Transactivation and its Possible Role in Prostate Cancer Development

Prostate cancer is the major contributor to cancer-related deaths in men in the United States. North Carolina has the fifth highest prostate cancer death rate in the United States. It is generally recognized that the androgen receptor (AR) has a major role in stimulating the growth of prostate cancer. The AR is mainly a transcriptional activator, regulating prostate proliferation and differentiation by regulating transcription of prostate specific genes, including the prostate specific antigen. A better understanding of how the AR regulates transcription could provide new methods to intervene the growth of prostate cancer.

The androgen receptor is a member of the steroid receptor family, which also includes estrogen receptor. However, AR has been different from other receptors in many ways. How might this difference affect the role of AR in prostate cancer development?

Three years of tests demonstrated a unique mechanism of AR transctivation. Together with Dr. Christopher Gregory, Bin proposed a competition model. Under normal physiological conditions, when AR is bound to testosterone or dihydrotestosterone, AF2 (activation function 2) of AR is occupied by the FxxLF motif in the NH2-terminus. As a result, AR does not recruit TIF2/SRC1 family coactivators due to their low expression levels.

However, during hormone deprivation therapy, the testosterone or dihydrotestosterone become unavailable but adrenal androgens persist. When bound to adrenal androgens, the AF2 site of the AR prefers the LxxLL motif over the FxxLF motif. Overexpression of TIF2 and SRC1 enhances the transactivation medicated by the AR through the AF2 site.

The model used by Bin has practical implications. It has been proposed to use LxxLL peptide to inhibit the estrogen receptor activity, thereby inhibit the growth of breast cancer, whose growth depends on the estrogen receptor. Bin's model indicated that similar peptides might be useful in treating recurrent prostate cancer.

Jonathan Hiam, Music

Black Mountain College and its Central Influence on American Musical Culture

Jonathan is a doctoral student in the Department of Music at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is currently a member of the American Musicological Society and the Society for American Music. As a vocalist, Jonathan has performed regularly in Boston and New York City.

Jonathan's research is a study of music and musicians at Black Mountain College, an experimental institution near Asheville, North Carolina, and its central influence on American artistic culture. The college existed from 1933 through 1956. Jonathan's research on Black Mountain College relies heavily on the North Carolina State Achieves in Raleigh.

Jonathan's Research Project: Black Mountain College and its Central Influence on American Musical Culture

Black Mountain College was founded in western North Carolina in 1933 as an experiment in progressive education and communal living. Before it closed its doors in 1956, the college had educated important artists, musicians and writers, and attracted a faculty of paramount influence in their respective areas. In particular, Jonathan examines music at Black Mountain College, placing this North Carolina institution at the forefront of American musical culture in the twentieth century.

Jonathan's research relies heavily on primary sources such as personal interviews and musical scores, particularly information stored at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh. The majority of Black Mountain's own records and miscellaneous collections were donated to the state shortly after the college closed.

Jonathan has established a discrete connection between Black Mountain and fin-de-siecle Austro-German musical culture and to the music of the American avant-garde in the mid- to late-century. He looks at the unique historical and societal conditions surrounding Black Mountain College and the musical repertory associated with its musical training. A goal is to establish a set of specific music-aesthetic criteria unique to Black Mountain College that advanced the cross-pollination of Austro-German and American musical cultures.

Mimi Misung Kim, Social Work

The Impact of Trauma on Substance-abusing Homeless Men

Mimi is a fourth-year doctoral student in the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Social Work. She is a recent recipient of a two-year dissertation grant, funded by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. It will examine the relationships of trauma, homelessness, and substance abuse among males. Mimi was also included in the North Carolina Governor's Institute on Substance Abuse Public Scholars Program to study how local community service providers deal with persons who have experienced trauma.

Mimi's Research Project: The Impact of Trauma on Substance-abusing Homeless Men

Mimi's research investigates trauma (e.g. sexual, emotional, physical abuse in childhood and/or adulthood) and trauma's consequences in the lives of homeless men in Wake County, North Carolina, who also have substance abuse disorders. Consenting adult homeless males from two homeless shelters and one substance abuse agency in Wake County are participating in the study.

Mimi's study is guided by the following aims:

To determine more precisely the nature and prevalence of trauma and violence within a population of substance-abusing homeless men. To contribute to the literature on trauma and substance abuse that would advance the knowledge of the different effects of the types of trauma and its duration (e.g. single episode or long-term) on homeless episodes in substance-abusing men. To first present findings on specific traumatic events and how they shape the person who experiences those events and their relationships to specific choices, such as substance abuse or specific patterns of homelessness. To build and estimate a time-ordered statistical model that examines the effects of trauma on homelessness and substance abuse with consideration to predisposing factors (i.e. demographics, life stressors, mental health history, health factors and social support networks.) Data on demographics, life stressors, mental health, physical health, social support and substance abuse from 30 homeless men have been collected using interviews to explore these areas of interest. Initial qualitative analysis results indicate repeated experiences of childhood sexual abuse, substance abuse both in the respondents and their primary caregivers and episodic homelessness and risk behaviors. Building on these data, 300 self-administered survey instruments will be administered to homeless men to collect quantitative data in the same areas.

Once completed, this project will contribute to the understanding of the role of trauma in exacerbating a predisposition to future trauma and substance abuse, controlling for factors such as mental health disorders and life stressors. Project findings will be invaluable to North Carolina policy makers for information about more comprehensive and appropriate intervention for treating homeless substance-abusing men based on the vagaries of North Carolina.

Hye-Chung Monica Kum, Computer Science

Social Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation through Data Mining: Workfirst Data Management and Analysis in North Carolina

Hye-Chung (Monica) Kum is a doctoral student in the Computer Science Department at UNC-Chapel Hill. She has an M.S. in Computer Science and an M.S.W. in social work. Based on her unique interdisciplinary interest, Hye-Chung is interested in collecting, managing, and mining social welfare data for social welfare policy analysis and program evaluation practical research that can assist front-line social workers and policy makers make informed decisions.

To better serve social services, Hye-Chung created a new approach to data mining ApproxMAP. Hye-Chung has worked extensively with the social welfare data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to generate reports for state and federal DHHS and North Carolina state legislators.

Monica's Research Project: Social Policy Analysis and Program Evaluation through Data Mining: Workfirst Data Management and Analysis in North Carolina

While doing extensive work with various social welfare data from North Carolina during her dissertation project, Hye-Chung identified a practical research problem that could not be studied via existing methods. Such needed research in social work could only be completed when scholars in computer science get involved; unfortunately, very few computer scientists are aware of the many interesting problems in social work.

Hye-Chung's research is focused on sequential pattern mining given a sequence of sets. For example, service pattern analysis tries to collect and analyze data on various monthly welfare services over time (i.e. {investigation, foster care}, {foster care}, {foster care, transportation}) The goal is to identify common patterns and its variations as well as the subgroups that follow such patterns. Thus, there was a strong need for methods to analyze sequence of sets. However, conventional methods in social science, computer science, and computational biology had limitations for this application.

Hye-Chung developed ApproxMAP, a new approach to approximate sequential pattern mining. Its goal is to organize and summarize sequence of sets to uncover the underlying trend (called consensus patterns) in the data. ApproxMAP uses clustering as a preprocessing step to group similar sequences and then mines the underlying consensus patterns in each cluster directly through multiple alignments.

Hye-Chung has used ApproxMAP to understand the service patterns of children who had a substantiated report for abuse or neglect. This is a first step to better understanding and improving the foster care system in North Carolina. This concise data mining was never possible before. Using ApproxMAP, Hye-Chung has also analyzed North Carolina state foster care placement patterns (to better understand the different placement patterns through which a child moves).

Until recently, many of the welfare policy and program decisions had to be made based on impressions and beliefs because there were limited mechanisms to empirically evaluate and accurately understand the various aspects of the welfare systems. Hye-Chung now hopes to develop ApproxMAP as a public software program for easy use by social workers and social scientists.

Dionne Law, Epidemiology

The Spatial and Spatiotemporal Distributions of Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Optimize Interventions in Wake County, North Carolina

Dionne, a doctoral candidate in UNC-Chapel Hill's Department of Epidemiology, successfully defended her dissertation in December 2002. She has a keen interest in environmental, reproductive, and infectious disease epidemiology, including the distribution of sexually transmitted diseases.

Dionne has participated in several teaching and research projects, most notably a collaborative project between Wake County Human Services and UNC-Chapel Hill to assess the feasibility of preventing HIV infection through the enhancement of sexually transmitted diseases (STD) services in Wake County, North Carolina.

Dionne's Research Project: The Spatial and Spatiotemporal Distributions of Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Optimize Interventions in Wake County, North Carolina

Sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates are higher in the South than other parts of the United States. Chlamydial infection, gonorrhea, syphilis, and HIV rates for North Carolina are among the highest in the nation. Billions of dollars are spent every year to reduce the long-term burdens of STDs on society.

STD intervention and prevention strategies rely on a sound understanding of the spatial and spatiotemporal distribution of STDs. Spatial decisions include determining where to target interventions and disease prevention strategies, enhancing existing STD services, partnering with community-based organizations, allocating resources for STD detection and treatment services, concentrating outreach screening and treatment, and targeting mass medical and education campaigns. Spatiotemporal decisions include determining the phase of the STD epidemic, predicting how the disease will move through eh community, identifying new areas vulnerable to STD invasion, and deciding whether new healthcare facilities should be short- or long-term. If core STD groups can be defined geographically through spatial or spatiotemporal analysis and disease mapping, STD interventions can be optimized quickly and objectively.

The purpose of Dionne's research is to investigate the spatial and spatiotemporal distribution of STDs in Wake County, North Carolina. In this process, she also wants to provide and utilize rigorous spatial and spatiotemporal analysis and mapping techniques including:

Analyze and map the spatial distribution of reported STDs for Wake County, namely chlamydial infection/non-gonococcal urethritis, gonorrhea, primary and secondary syphilis and HIV infection. Conduct a spatiotemporal analysis of chlamydial infection to demonstrate the use of Bayesian maximum entropy (BME) in verifying the persistency of a spatial core of chlamydial infection transmission and analyzing and mapping changes in the spatial distribution of chlamydial infection over time.

Dionne's research provides site-specific information and suggestions for intervention optimization that can be used to improve STD interventions and preventions strategies in Wake County. For instance, key areas with high HIV incidence and areas with people at increased risk for HIV infection due to high incidence of other sexually transmitted diseases identified on Dionne's STD maps are used by researchers to decide where to open non-traditional and alternative HIV testing sites. North Carolina officials have expressed interest in using the methods and STD maps to decide which community-based organizations to partner with for future interventions.

Christopher McKenna, English

Early Movie-going in a Tri-racial Community: Robeson County, North Carolina (1896 -1940)

Chris is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he also served as a teaching fellow. Prior to attending UNC-Chapel Hill, he spent 15 years working at Wall Street brokerage firms. For his award-winning project, Chris conducted research at various sites in Robeson County, North Carolina.

Christopher's Research Project: Early Movie-going in a Tri-racial Community: Robeson County, North Carolina (1896 -1940)

Chris' work investigates the history and sociological impact of motion picture exhibition practices in Robeson County, North Carolina, during the first several generations of American movie exhibition.

The demographics of Robeson County roughly equal Caucasian, African-American and Native American populations make an interesting background for a study of movie-going in America. In particular, to what degree did local movie exhibitors seek to expose non-white groups to America's first truly national mass entertainment medium?

In Robeson County, the complications posed by a significantly sized third racial demographic group the Lumbees, the largest American Indian community east of the Mississippi River led to the development of a unique type of public space. Tri-racial movie exhibition halls were created, equipped with three distinct (though unequal) sets of entrances, stairways, galleries, ticket booths and seating facilities designed specifically to serve three separate racial groups. Chris found historical evidence of this "entertainment tripartheidism" through oral histories, newspaper accounts, and the physical exhibition structures.

Chris hopes his research will add the first significant study of early movie-going experience of Native Americans and of the business practices accompanying tripartheid motion picture segregation in America. His work could certainly encourage additional research into Robesonian tripartheidism in general. As Lumberton's Carolina Theater celebrates its 75th anniversary this June, more can be known about its history as the first Robeson theater to actively court a tri-racial audience, albeit in a segregated manner.

Mihai Niculescu, Nutrition

Choline Deficiency Inhibits Cell Proliferation and is Associated with Hypomethylation of CDKN3 Promoter in IMR-32 Cells

Mihai us a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he works under the supervision of department chair Dr. Steven Zeisel. Mihai's work is focused on the relationship between dietary choline availability and cell proliferation. Choline has been recognized by the Institutes of Medicines in the National Academy of Science as an essential nutrient required in the human diet. This year, he was nominated for an ASNS Procter & Gamble Graduate Student Award.

Mihai's Research Project: Choline Deficiency Inhibits Cell Proliferation and is Associated with Hypomethylation of CDKN3 Promoter in IMR-32 Cells

Choline has been recognized by the Institutes of Medicines in the National Academy of Science as an essential nutrient required in the human diet. In fact, adequate nutrient intake is required for normal fetal development. Choline aids normal structure development of cell membranes. Studies performed on rodents after they had been denied choline as fetuses showed brain development had been affected. Functional changes, such as loss of memory and reduced learning ability, have been associated with diminished neuronal proliferation in specific brain areas.

At this point, scientists know that choline deficiency alters the rate of neuronal proliferation and their ability to migrate and differentiate. What scientists do not know is what mechanisms lead to these negative outcomes and how choline deficiency can be prevented or perhaps over-passed.

Mihai hypothesizes that choline deficiency is able to impair the normal function of some of the genes involved in cell proliferation by altering their methylation status. It is already known that a hypomethylated gene is associated with an increased expression of its protein product. By performing gene expression analysis, Mihai found that many genes required for cell cycle progression are inhibited (cyclones and cyclin-dependent kinases) and that some of the cell cycle inhibitors are overexpressed. Among these, he tested the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 3 gene in order to find if its overexpression could be associated with changes in the gene methylation.

Mihai found that methylation of this gene is changed at a specific site and that choline deficiency is able to induce gene hypomethylation that is associated with an increased gene expression and concomitant changes of other related cell-cycle regulators. He has shown that choline deficiency results in decreased DNA methylation of cell cycling genes and he is currently broadening his search for affected genes by using gene array techniques.

Andrea Williams, English

Reexamining North Carolina Slavery in "Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy"

Andrea is a doctoral student and a Thomas S. and Caroline H. Royster Fellow in the Department of English at UNC-Chapel Hill. Her research concentrates on African-American literature and American literature up to 1900. Her project examines the 1843 autobiography of Moses Grandy, a former slave in Camden County, North Carolina. What puts Grandy's narrative in another category from other slave narratives is his subtle, yet daring, assertion of black males' civil rights in antebellum America. Andrea's editing project prepares Grandy's text for a forthcoming collection of North Carolina slave narratives to be published by the University of North Carolina Press.

Andrea's Research Project: Reexamining North Carolina Slavery in "Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy"

North Carolina boasts more antebellum African-American authors than any other state in the Union. Published in 1843 in London, "Narrative of the Life of Moses Grandy; Late a Slave in the United States of America" chronicles Moses Grandy's enslavement in Camden County, North Carolina, his subsequent freedom in the Northeast, and his eventual abolitionist travels and lectures in the British Isles.

Andrea is editing Grandy's work for inclusion in an upcoming anthology of four North Carolina slave narratives. She is providing an introduction, suggestions for further reading, a note on the text, and annotations for the narrative. One challenge for Andrea is engaging questions of authenticity and authorship through the introduction, which are critical to understanding early African-American autobiography. Like several other slave narrators, Grandy verbally dictated his experience to a collaborative abolitionist writer.

Another challenge for Andrea is the fact that Moses Grandy's tale has previously received little analysis of the narrative. Although thin in its description of Grandy's life, the original book made a unique and daring assertion for the mid-1800s: that black men are true men, deserving not only emancipation but additional privileges of American citizenship reserved only for men. This view was risky, considering that contemporary racist thought at the time categorized black males with white women, as dependent and in need of supervision by white men.

To the extent that his narrative reaches beyond the expected anti-slavery theme to advocate black men's' civil rights, it risked offending many white readers even liberal anti-slavery whites who either feared or resented the social equality that Grandy envisions as true freedom. By positing black manhood rights as the subtext of his otherwise conventional slave account, Grandy took a measured, although genuine, risk by raising the stakes of his narrative's rhetorical agenda well above the more modest sociopolitical claims of his predecessors in the slave narratives.