Purple flowers and trees surround the Old Well on a sunny day.

Scene from the Old Well on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on May 3, 2022. (Johnny Andrews/UNC–Chapel Hill)

Morehead-Cain Scholars and Alumni landed new jobs, assumed leadership roles, published books, received advanced degrees and prestigious scholarships, were recognized for public service and academic excellence, and more. Here’s who made a move this spring.

  • Jim Rogerson ’65 completed two sections of his memoir, Education of a Liberal Redneck. The first section, “Beginnings,” documents his early years and coming-of-age experiences, from 1943 to 1961. The section “Chapel Hill” is dedicated to memories from his time as a Morehead-Cain Scholar from 1961 to 1965.
  • George Wainwright, Jr. ’66 of Morehead City, North Carolina, received the Friend of the Court Award, the highest honor bestowed by the state’s judicial branch.
  • The Aspen Institute awarded Francis Collins ’77, former director of the NIH, the Henry Crown Leadership Award.
  • Chuck Lovelace ’77 received a Distinguished Service Medal Citation from the UNC General Alumni Association for his service to the Morehead-Cain and Carolina communities as executive director of the Program (from 1987 to 2021). The alumnus was also appointed to the North Carolina Community Foundation board of directors.
  • Attorney at Law Magazine named Mike McIntyre ’78 of Raleigh the “Attorney of the Month” for his work to create economic development opportunities in rural and coastal communities within the state.
  • Steve Toben ’78, president of the Flora Family Foundation, will retire this July.
  • Ron Boatwright ’81 was appointed to the UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Visitors (BOV).
  • Greg Kats ’81 was recognized by the American Institute of Architects as the 2022 Honorary Membership Recipient for his “pivotal role in mainstreaming the ideals of green building” in the United States for more than three decades. The alumnus also delivered a keynote address, “Smart Surfaces Coalition,” at a workshop on sustainable cities at Harvard on May 17.
  • Clive Stafford-Smith ’81 has launched 3DCentre, a startup that seeks to prepare youth for careers in the fields of human rights, climate action, and economic justice.
  • David Keesler ’84 has been elected chair of the UNC General Alumni Association Board of Directors to serve for the 2022–2023 academic year.
  • Frank Bruni ’86, a New York Times opinion writer, was conferred with an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University at commencement on May 8. The alumnus delivered Carolina’s commencement address.
  • Steve Maler ’87 directed Anthony Rapp in his “Without You” solo show in New York City.
  • Scott Martin ’88 received a Level 2 Alpine Certification with the Professional Ski Instructors of America. The alumnus is a part-time ski instructor with the Ski and Snowboard School–Aspen in Colorado.
  • Todd Capitano ’89 has joined Bishop, Dulaney, Joyner & Abner in Charlotte.
  • The second season of All Creatures Great and Small, produced in part by James Dean ’89, released in the United States via PBS MASTERPIECE on January 9. The season was shot in the Yorkshire Dales in northern England. The alumnus also co-produced Apocalypse Clown with Morgan Bushe. The movie is an ensemble comedy directed by George Kane.
  • Wayne Goodwin ’89 was named commissioner of the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles.
  • Patton McDowell ’89 published the book, Your Path to Nonprofit Leadership: Seven Keys to Advancing Your Career in the Philanthropic Sector in March (Advantage Media Group).
  • Eileen Dordek ’90 of Chicago ran for state representative (District 13).
  • John Bakht ’91 joined Norton Rose Fulbright’s corporate, mergers and acquisitions, and securities team as partner.
  • Peter Henry ’91 was jointly appointed to the Hoover Institution and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
  • Malini Moorthy ’91 became general counsel of argenx, a global immunology company in Minneapolis.
  • Shilpi Somaya Gowda ’92 announced that Amazon Studios is set to make a movie out of her first novel, Secret Daughter.
  • Dr. Locke Karriker ’95 was awarded the Morrill Professorship from Iowa State University, which recognizes faculty members who have demonstrated outstanding success in teaching and learning. Karriker is a professor in the Department of Veterinary Diagnostic and Production Animal Medicine in ISU’s College of Veterinary Medicine, and he directs the university’s Swine Medicine Education Center.
  • Pearce Landry ’95 was appointed to the UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Visitors (BOV).
  • Amy Wright ’95 received a National Endowment for the Humanities grant to complete her book, Serial Storytelling in Mexico from Nationhood to Now, 1821–2021. Amy is an associate professor and the director of Spanish graduate studies at Saint Louis University.
  • Michelle Jana Chan ’96 released a travel and literary podcast, The Wandering Book Collector.
  • Pam Alston Oliver ’96, executive vice president of Novant Health, was named “Citizen of the Year” by the Psi Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity for her health equity work and service to the Winston-Salem community during the pandemic. She was also recognized by Modern Healthcare as a 2021 “Top Diversity Leader in Healthcare” for leading diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts within Novant’s four-state network. The alumna also delivered the commencement address for Salem College in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The alumna also received an honorary doctor of humane letters from the college.
  • Bethany Hedt-Gauthier ’99, Donald Fejfar ’21, and colleagues co-authored a paper about childhood immunization during the COVID-19 pandemic in Haiti, Lesotho, Liberia, and Malawi. The article was published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization on February 1.
  • Bethany Hedt-Gauthier ’99, Ananya Tadikonda ’23, and colleagues published a paper on the impact of COVID-19 on the use of maternal health services in Haiti, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mexico, and Sierra Leone. The paper was published in the BMJ Global Health journal in January.
  • Janora McDuffie-Ryan ’99 was this year’s official Oscars announcer for the Academy Awards on March 27.
  • Will Alston ’00 was appointed to the UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Visitors (BOV).
  • Nick Detmer ’01 was promoted to deputy chief investment officer with the Indiana Public Retirement System. He previously served as deputy chief investment officer and director of private equity.
  • Jamie DeMent Holcomb ’01 was appointed CEO of Kidzu Children’s Museum in Chapel Hill.
  • Michal Osterweil ’01, a teaching associate professor of global studies at Carolina, received a 2022 Diversity Award (faculty category) for her efforts to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at the University and its communities.
  • Aaron Hiller ’03 of the U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary was promoted to chief counsel and deputy staff director. Hiller served on the committee for both of Trump’s impeachment trials.
  • Cal Shook ’03 was one of 12 writers to receive the PEN/Robert J. Dau Short Story Prize for Emerging Writers for her short story, “Man, Man, Et Cetera,” published by the Virginia Quarterly Review.
  • Charlene Wong ’04 was named the first Assistant Secretary for Children and Families at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Homefront: A Musical, with music and lyrics by Creighton Irons ’05, became available for licensing through theatrical licensor Uproar Theatrics.
  • Amir Barzin ’06 and colleagues received the 2022 C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Award for leading the University’s COVID-19 response through the Carolina Together Testing Program. Amir is the medical director for UNC Health Virtual Care Services and the UNC Health Clinical Contact Center and an assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine’s family medicine department.
  • Seb Gibbs ’06, a director of original series at Netflix, and his team gave a series order to The Diplomat, a political thriller drama that will be filmed in the UK. The series will have eight 50-minute episodes.
  • Naimul Huq ’08 became senior vice president of operations at VaynerNFT.
  • Antonio McBroom ’08 received the operator excellence award from Ben & Jerry’s for his outstanding work as a franchise owner.
  • Josh Diamonstein ’09 joined Rebellion Defense, a defense tech startup, as a market research analyst.
  • A film directed by Ed Perkins ’09, The Princess, premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival in January. The documentary, streamed on HBO and HBO Max, marked the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death.
  • Lex (Cribbs) Aram ’12 was promoted from manager to senior manager of workforce transformation at Deloitte in Toronto.
  • Caroline Ott Ford ’12 of Charlotte, North Carolina, was promoted as a talent strategist at Accenture from the North America market to the global division.
  • Troy Smith ’12 was promoted from consulting manager to assistant vice president of state and charter initiatives at Public Impact in Chapel Hill.
  • Foresight, a software sales startup co-founded by Sagar Shukla ’15, raised more than $500,000 in seed funding. The alumnus launched the company in 2021 to help other software companies reach prospective clients using data.
  • Akhil Jariwala ’14 became a principal product manager at Persefoni, a climate management and accounting platform.
  • Elizabeth Soffer ’16 was matched at Boston Children’s and Boston Medical Center for her pediatric residency.
  • Amy Woff ’17 was promoted to manager of player development with Major League Soccer in New York City. The alumna was previously senior coordinator of player development.
  • Anna Dodson ’18 was named a North Carolina Albert Schweitzer Fellow.
  • Lauren Zitney ’19 co-authored her first published academic article, “Can social media monitoring help identify the next EVALI? An examination of Reddit posts about vitamin E acetate and Dank Vapes,” in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, an international journal.
  • Matthew Keith ’21 was promoted from office production assistant to production coordinator at Insomniac Events in Los Angeles.
  • Geoff Sayre-McCord, a Morehead-Cain Alumni Distinguished Professor of philosophy, received an excellence in teaching award from the UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Governors.
  • Three alumni were appointed to the UNC–Chapel Hill Board of Visitors (BOV): Ron Boatwright ’81, Pearce Landry ’95, and Will Alston ’00.
  • Shivam Bhargava ’22 has received the Donald T. Lysle Award (Chancellor’s Award) for the scholar’s exemplary service contributions.
  • Benjamin Humphries ’22 has received the Robert B. House Memorial Prize in Poetry (Chancellor’s Award) for the scholar’s distinguished work in poetry.
  • Kelsey Rappe ’22 received the Jacques Hardré Undergraduate Award for Excellence in French (Chancellor’s Award) for the scholar’s outstanding undergraduate work in French language and literature.
  • Praveena Somasundaram ’22 received the Ernest H. Abernethy Prize (Chancellor’s Award) in Student Publication Work for for the scholar’s distinctive work in the field of student publications.
  • Clay Morris ’23 received the Ernest H. Abernethy Prize (Chancellor’s Award) in Student Publication Work for the scholar’s distinctive work in the field of student publications.
  • Ray Palma ’23 received the Brenda W. Kirby Award (Chancellor’s Award) for working to “establish a community of cooperation and service between students and constituents of the larger University.”
  • Simon Palmore ’23 received the Joshua Meador Prize from the UNC Department of History for his paper, “Tearing Down a Building Won’t Stop Them: Memory as Source of Power in Brooklyn, Charlotte.” The prize recognizes the best History 398 Capstone Seminar research essay.
  • Ethan Phillips ’23 ran for student body president.
  • Kartik Tyagi ’23 was elected rising senior class president at the University.
  • Greear Webb ’23 received the Ernest L. Mackie Award (Chancellor’s Award) for character, scholarship, and leadership. The scholar also received the 2022 Inaugural Elizabeth Cofield Award for Social Advocacy from the Flood Group, and he was recognized by the North Carolina League of Conservation Voters Foundation during Black History Month.
  • Eugenia Chow ’24, Milena Jojic ’24, Bridget Mizener ’20, and Allison Reilly ’24 won the 2021 USA Ultimate College Championships (Division I) in Norco, California, with Pleiades, a Women’s Club Ultimate Frisbee team at Carolina. The team defeated the University of Washington (15 to 7) in the final round, scoring Pleiades’s first national championship title. The game was broadcast live from ESPNU.
  • Laura Saavedra Forero ’25 and Megan Murphy (UNC–Chapel Hill ’23) were elected co-presidents of the UNC Campus Y for the 2022–2023 academic year.
  • Seven scholars received 2022 Chancellor’s Awards, the University’s highest student honors for excellence in academics, extracurricular activities, and leadership.
  • UNC–Chapel Hill inducted 17 scholars into Phi Beta Kappa, the most prestigious academic honor society in the United States.

Published Date

June 1, 2022


Asian Alumni, Awards and Honors, Black Alumni, Education, Entrepreneurship and Startups, Law, Nonprofit, Tech, Women Alumni, Young Alumni

Article Type

Alumni Stories, News