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About Us

The Weiss Program

The Weiss Urban Livability Program was established in 1992 by Drs. Charles and Shirley Weiss, retired professors and long-time supporters of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.Each year, between 7 and 10 first-year UNC graduate students from a wide range of departments are chosen based upon their interestin urban areas and "urban livability." The program is designed to improve communities through interdisciplinary exploration of the concept of "urban livability." The Weisses active involvement with the arts, education, and civic organizations, coupled with extensive world travel, convinced them that a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary approach is essential to improving the quality of life in contemporary communities. Believing that graduate students are an invaluable resource for the future, the Weisses created a program that centers on the support and nurturing of graduate students.

The Weiss Urban Livability Program promotes talented graduate students pursuing scholarly and practical improvements in urban livability. The one-year fellowship provides additional financial support to students who have been accepted into one of the many graduate programs at UNC from which Fellows are routinely selected. Fellows have the opportunity to meet with faculty from across the campus, as well as scholars and practitioners from outside the University. They examine the broad area of urban livability and how scholars from various disciplines approach their research.

A unique aspect of the program is the Community Project, which is designed and completed by fellows over the course of the year to positively impact some aspect of urban livability in their own community.

2004's Group

The 2004 Fellows represent seven departments within The Graduate School:

James R. Hull, Senior Fellow, Sociology
Steven F. Collins, Communications Studies
Kristen H. Hampton, Environmental Science
Lindsay M. Hirschfeld, Sociology
Stacey M. Isaac, Public Administration
Amber D. Levofsky, City and Regional Planning/Business
Lydia J. Moyer, Art
David J. Sehat, History

Purpose/Explanation of the Project

This web site was constructed as the Community Project for the 2003-2004 class of Weiss Fellows. Its goal is to promote for current and prospectiveresidents the "urban livability" of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area by documenting some of the interesting, but often obscure or unseen historical, natural, visible, and inhabited features of our community. The Chapel Hill-Carrboro area, though only one part of Triangle, has a long history and cultural identity that is part of its attraction to current and would-be residents. This projects celebrates that sense of place and commends it to you. We hope that readers of this site will be educated and entertained by some of those things that make our community unique, and be inspired to discover their own "unseen" stories of the surrounding area.

The Graduate School at UNC-Chapel Hill

All Text and Photos © 2004.