Graduate School News

UNC Alumni to Give Second Annual Sequoyah Lecture March 22

March 5, 2012

Two UNC-Chapel Hill doctoral graduates, representing the fields of history and cell and molecular physiology, will be the featured speakers at the second annual Sequoyah Distinguished Lecture on March 22.

The free public event will be held at 7 p.m. at Alumni Hall I of the University's George Watts Hill Alumni Center. A reception will follow.

Cary Miller, who received her Ph.D. in history, is an associate professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She also is the author of “Ogimaag: Anishinaabeg Leadership, 1760-1845,” published by the University of Nebraska Press. Miller's book research included accounts from the Ojibwes, American and British officials and people who interacted with the Ojibwes in official and unofficial capacities.

Before joining the UW-Milwaukee faculty, Miller served on the faculty of Lake Superior State University. As a graduate student at Carolina, she was instrumental in creating the First Nations Graduate Circle, a graduate and professional student organization that provides advocacy, support, professional development, mentoring and other enrichment opportunities to American Indians campuswide.

Miller's presentation will focus on her ongoing research and on the foundations of the First Nations Graduate Circle.

Damon Jacobs, who received his Ph.D. in cell and molecular physiology, is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He recently began working in the laboratory of Pamela Tran, Ph.D., assistant professor. His current research is focused on ciliopathies, a growing class of diseases and conditions that arise from defects in primary cilia.

Jacobs' fellowships and awards include the Haskell-KU IRACDA Postdoctoral Fellowship, a three-year National Institutes of Health-sponsored fellowship. He is the author of numerous science publications and has given presentations on his research and on science career opportunities for American Indian students. While at Carolina, he served as president of the First Nations Graduate Circle and was a member of the American Indian Center Advisory Board.

Jacobs' presentation will focus on his ongoing research and on the ways under-represented graduate students can deal with challenges they may face.

The Sequoyah Distinguished Lecture is connected with the Sequoyah Dissertation Fellowship, within The Graduate School's Royster Society of Fellows. Now in its 15th year, the Royster Society of Fellows is The Graduate School's most selective fellowship program. The Sequoyah Distinguished Lecture and Dissertation Fellowships are supported by gifts from private donors.

The lecture event is part of The Graduate School's American Indian Graduate Student Recruitment Event, which will take place March 22 and 23.

“We are delighted to have Cary and Damon back with us on campus as we welcome prospective American Indian graduate students to visit our graduate programs,” said Sandra Hoeflich, Ph.D., associate dean for interdisciplinary education, fellowships and communication at The Graduate School. “Both Cary and Damon provided exceptional leadership in creating a supportive community for Native graduate students while they were students at Carolina. After successful completion of their doctoral degrees, both are now creating strong careers while still making outreach to Native students a priority.”

The event's sponsors are The Graduate School and First Nations Graduate Circle. For more information, please contact Deb Saine at or Carol Douglas at