Augmented Health Care

Henry Fuchs is always looking 20 years ahead, and two decades from now the computer scientist thinks augmented-reality eyeglasses will be the norm. Fuchs and his team of students and colleagues are developing an augmented-reality program to aid in laparoscopic surgery training and, maybe one day, revolutionize minimally invasive surgery.

Back Where it all Started

Jared Richards recalls childhood memories walking through the halls of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and the awe of all that surrounded him. Now a research internship is making it possible for Richards to return to museum and contribute to the world-renowned institution.

Stepping into the Lab

For the past year and a half, Jackson Richards has been working with Jason Franz, assistant professor in the Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering, to investigate balance impairment and fall risks in adults due to aging and neurological disease or injury. Their goal is to introduce new rehabilitative approaches for preserving mobility and preventing falls.

In Your Own Backyard

Climate change affects the timing of spring leaf growth, insect activity, bird migration, and breeding. Allen Hurlbert, associate professor in the Department of Biology, leads undergraduate students in surveying arthropods – like caterpillars, beetles and spiders – to see if plants, insects, and birds all respond to climate change to the same degree.

Making Rounds in Rocky Mount

A group of high school students start their summer mornings walking up and down business and residential streets of Rocky Mount. Their routes are dotted with stops to talk to business owners and curious residents wondering what kids in bright green t-shirts are doing all over town. As the teens make their rounds, they update business information into a phone app.

Over 800 miles away, students in Chicago start their day the same way, and have been for almost 10 years.

Both parties work for MAPSCorps – a nonprofit that employs local teenagers to map businesses in their community. The information is updated every year, and the data are gathered on a free, online mapping program.

UNC researchers have teamed up with counterparts at the University of Chicago, community partners, and local teens to map businesses in Rocky Mount and help the public discover resources in Nash and Edgecombe counties.

Quitin Thomas

Quitin Thomas has never been skydiving, but he can imagine how it feels. It’s like walking into a fight ring.

“Coming down the ramp and you’re hearing the loud music and you’re hearing the people,” he said. “It was just, it’s like jumping out of a plane for the first time; your adrenaline is rushing.”

Thomas was a senior at Lake City High School when his wrestling coach introduced him to mixed martial arts. His coach began teaching him MMA techniques before wrestling practice, and soon Thomas joined him in training at Florence Fight Farm in Timmonsville.

He says he’s been hooked ever since. Now 23 years old, he is looking to become a professional MMA fighter in the UFC or Bellator within two years. For Thomas, that means training five days a week and competing in fights throughout the year. The support he has found at Florence Fight Farm pushes him to reach those goals.

The Rhymes in my Head

You're in the Fight

The lift of the Pentagon ban prohibiting women from taking combat positions means hundreds of thousands of front-line jobs will open to women. Capt. Elizabeth Arrington however thinks the ban hasn't imposed on her career, “Despite the path the Army has kind of chosen for me, I’ve still had a say in it and I’ve still chosen to do things that are fulfilling and interesting to me.”

Arrington has reached a level in her career that many others, men and women, have not. Currently in her fifth year of serving in the Army, she is now in the Sapper engineering career course in Ft. Leonard Wood, Mo. Arrington has deployed to Afghanistan three times, the first time as a platoon leader and the other two times to engage the local populace.

Like many other women deployed in the past decade, Arrington found herself in combat situations even though her title wasn’t a “combat role.” Part of Arrington’s duties during her first deployment was to supply a large US base near the Pakistan border. “Our mission wasn’t to conduct offensive operations,” Arrington said, “but we do come in contact with the enemy.”

After completing the engineering career course, Arrington will be deployed again.

The Last Generation

Once in a Blue Moon

Janet Moreland has always loved adventure. Previously an avid windsurfer and skier, Moreland now spends her free time kayaking on the Missouri River. On April 14, Moreland will begin a 2,600 mile kayak trip from the source of the Missouri River in Montana to St. Louis. The trip will take her about three and a half months. Moreland lives near Cooper’s Landing in Columbia, Mo. and was inspired to do the trip after talking to a kayaker who was almost done with this challenge.