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Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Campus Connections.

UNC featured in John Grisham's new book

John Grisham’s latest novel, “Camino Island,” hit the bookstore shelves on June 6. The new book’s leading character, Mercer Mann, is a fictional writing instructor at UNC. She is losing her job and is a prime target to be recruited for an undercover assignment. Her recruiter comes to Chapel Hill and wines and dines Mercer at Spanky’s and the Lantern restaurants. (Chapelboro.com)

Zena Cardman didn't always want to be a NASA astronaut, but she is one now

UNC alumna Zena Cardman was with a group of friends eating breakfast the day she got a phone call that would change her life. In late May, Cardman learned she had been chosen as a member of a class of 12 new NASA astronaut candidates who could, one day fly to the International Space Station or even deep space destinations like the moon or Mars. (Mashable)

NFL Grant Funds Concussion Research Led by UNC

The NFL will fund a $2.6 million international study on the role of active rehabilitation strategies in concussion management, led by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Medical College of Wisconsin. The project was identified as a priority at the NFL’s International Professional Sports Concussion Research Think Tank. (UNC.edu)

UNC program to train shelter dogs as support animals in jeopardy

UNC PAWS takes dogs from local shelters and trains them to become emotional support animals. Dozens of clients have benefited from the program, which is now in jeopardy. Dr. John Gilmore, the program director, said his staff has always pooled together leftover money and grants to help pay for UNC PAWS. The group turned to a crowd-funding effort to raise $50,000 (donate) by the end of June. (WRAL.com)

Linnea Smith And Her Daughters Pass Down a Passion For Giving Back

The women of the Smith family – Dr. Linnea Smith, Kristen Smith and Dr. Kelly Kimple – have each found a distinct way to serve others. Giving back comes naturally to Linnea thanks to her having “the kind of personality that goes into the helping professions,” she says. Linnea has also served on the board for the UNC School of Social Work for many years. (Chapel Hill Magazine)

How UNC grad Zena Cardman joined NASA's newest class of astronauts

When Zena Cardman was growing up, she said her mother took her outside at night to watch meteor showers, which gave her “a sense of awe about the universe.” But she didn’t aspire to be an astronaut until she was in college. Ms. Cardman said her favorite space movie is “Apollo 13” — she was watching it with friends, “trying not to stress out,” when NASA called. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

UNC Students Receive Grants from National Security Education Program

A federal workforce enhancement program has granted scholarships to two students at UNC as part of its mission to promote global awareness within the ranks of government. The National Security Education Program has initiatives that encourage students to pursue language training and employment opportunities that are conducive to national security. (Chapelboro.com)

UNC oncologist and researcher named head of the National Cancer Institute

President Trump has named Norman “Ned” Sharpless, the director of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, to lead the National Cancer Institute. The oncologist and geneticist will succeed Doug Lowy, who has been acting director of NCI since early 2015. Sharpless, 50, has done extensive work on how cells age and become malignant. (Washington Post)

UNC among best-value colleges in country, Forbes says

Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are among the best-value colleges in the country, according to a new ranking. Forbes magazine ranked the top 300 colleges in the country, taking into account several metrics from each school. Duke ranked No. 12, and UNC landed in the No. 15 slot. (WRAL.com)

UNC Grad Student Chosen for Econ Conference with Nobel Laureates

How will you spend your summer vacation? Karlye Dilts-Stedman, a graduate student in the Economics Department, will be spending part of hers with the Nobel Laureates in Economics. She has been selected to participate in the 6th Lindau Meeting on Economic Sciences to be held from 22 – 26 August 2017 in Lindau, Germany. (UNC.edu)

Gov. Roy Cooper evokes Woody Durham in declaring June Aphasia Awareness Month

Gov. Roy Cooper was among the thousands in this state who came of age to the familiar soundtrack of Woody Durham’s voice on the radio. Durham, the longtime play-by-play voice of UNC football and men’s basketball games, visited the governor’s mansion on Wednesday while Cooper signed a proclamation designating June Aphasia Awareness month in North Carolina. (Durham Herald-Sun)

Zena Cardman is UNC's first alumna accepted into NASA's astronaut program

On a hot August afternoon, Zena Cardman is working on her laptop from the comfort of her couch when she feels her phone buzz. The screen displays a number she doesn’t recognize—an area code from Houston. She hesitates to answer, thinking it might be a marketing call. She picks it up. A woman’s voice says, “Hello, this is the Astronaut Selection Office.” (UNC.edu)

UNC's MJ-school wins 3rd-straight Hearst Journalism national championship, 7th overall

The UNC School of Media and Journalism has a new banner in its future after winning its third-straight Hearst national championship. The Hearst Foundation awarded the national champions $25,000. The win brings the MJ-school's total to seven national championships — five since 2010 — for the Hearst Journalism Awards Program, more than any other university. (UNC.edu)

Newest Members of ‘Old Students Club’ Reflect on Time at Carolina

Judy Heller Knauer ’67 said she was a bit hesitant when it came to reserving her spot at the Old Students Club Luncheon, even for a free lunch. “The title ‘Old Students Luncheon’ was a little off-putting to me,” she said. “But if we’re the youngest of the old students, I guess that feels good.” James Lee Love, class of 1884, named the Old Students Club. (UNC General Alumni Association)

Photographs by Hugh Morton: An Uncommon Retrospective

Discover the diverse people, beautiful landscapes, beloved sports and changing culture of North Carolina throughout the 20th century. This traveling exhibit produced by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library presents images taken by prolific photographer Hugh Morton (1921-2006). His photographs from a career spanning eight decades showcase his love for North Carolina. (North Carolina Museum of History)

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