About this Issue

Intangible Qualities

The Fountain is an annual publication of the Graduate School of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The purpose of this publication is to showcase the achievements of graduate students, to inform readers about new Carolina graduate education programs and activities, and to highlight the important impact of private funding on graduate education at Carolina. The Fountain is supported by private gifts from generous alumni, friends and donors of the Graduate School.

This year’s edition of The Fountain examines the intangible qualities of graduate education that affect excellence at Carolina.

These intangible qualities span across a broad range of disciplines, whether you are a student who explores science in the lab, or who creates works of art in the studio. You cannot see, measure, or count these qualities, but you can sense them.

The National Research Council has been collecting data that will be used to rate doctoral programs. We expect the final report to be released in the near future. The NRC’s ratings will offer valuable, comprehensive information based on extensive quantitative data, but scores and statistics reveal only part of the picture.

This issue fills in the blanks and explores the abstract characteristics that are so hard to quantify, yet can make all the difference in a graduate student’s experience. These articles offer a handful of examples of interdisciplinary collaboration, collegiality, applied research, and innovation at Carolina, painting the rest of the portrait of graduate education quality.

The Fountain is produced by graduate students under the guidance of Sandra Hoeflich, Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Education, Fellowships, and Communication. Luca Semprini and Jeremy Cramer are Co-Senior Editors. Brian Conlin is a contributing writer and Rebecca Prettyman is a contributing editor. All four students are master’s candidates in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

We hope you will enjoy this year’s issue. Please send your ideas and feedback to sandra_hoeflich@unc.edu.

—The Fountain Staff

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
200 Bynum Hall, CB# 4010
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-4010

A special thanks to our donors: The Fountain is produced exclusively with private funding.


Graduate School Dean:
Steven Matson
Associate Dean for Interdisciplinary Education, Fellowships and Communication:
Sandra Hoeflich
Senior Editors:
Jeremy Cramer & Luca Semprini, School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Contributing writer:
Brian Conlin, School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Contributing Editor:
Rebecca Prettyman, School of Journalism & Mass Communication
Will Owens, excluding the photo on page 3, which is Dan Sears and all photos on pages 12-14, which are ©istockphoto.com
Photography Coordinator:
Katie Biasi
Blue Frog Design, L.L.C.
Web Designer:
Rachell Underhill


To the members of the Graduate Education Advancement Board for their invaluable assistance and support.

GEAB Board Members

  • Penny Aldrich
  • Donald Buckley
  • F. Ivy Carroll
  • Timothy Crowder
  • William Darity
  • Lana Dial
  • David Edwards
  • Donna Falvo
  • Jean Grainger
  • Boka Hadzija
  • Michael Harpold
  • Frances Hoch
  • Verla Insko
  • M. Ross Johnson
  • Blair Kutrow
  • Robert Laport
  • Bibb Latané
  • Howard Lee
  • David Lewis
  • Susan Lord
  • David McCoy
  • David McNelis
  • Philip Nelson
  • Ellen Peirce
  • Laurie Sanford
  • Kenneth Smith
  • Carol Smithwick
  • Richard Stevens
  • Peace Sullivan
  • Priscilla Taylor
  • Beth Whitaker

Emeritus Board Members

  • Lyle Jones
  • Juanita Kreps
  • Charles Weiss
  • Shirley Weiss

Honorary Board Members

  • William Friday
  • Barbara Hardin
  • Paul Hardin
  • Mrs. Thomas Royster