Sarah Blythe is a Teaching Fellow and doctoral candidate in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  She holds an M.A. in English from the University of Kansas where she wrote her thesis on Jane Austen.  Now an avid Americanist, Sarah’s dissertation focuses on the volatile decade leading up to the US Civil War.  In it, she reexamines the significance of the “juicy” or “gorgeous” literature and art that appeared in 1850s.   While at UNC, Sarah has taught a number of courses: ENGL 105i: Writing in the Natural Sciences; ENGL 122: Intro to American Literature; ENGL 144: Popular Genres, as well as ENGL 101 and ENGL 102: a first year writing sequence that is slowly being phased out of UNC but is no less fun to teach. When not thinking about literature, you might find her snapping photographs with her vintage Leica.


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Callie Hood is a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from Hickory, NC. She plans to double major in Math and Physics during her time at UNC.  Callie spends her spare time reading pretty much anything (from Jane Austen to George R.R. Martin), marathoning various and sundry TV shows on Netflix, and being generally ridiculous with her friends.

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Amy House is an undergraduate student at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with an intended major in biology. She attended North Buncombe High School, where she was a state champion varsity cheerleader; she is particularly interested in community service. Amy is a member of the Chancellor’s Science Scholars and is interested in pursuing an M.D./Ph.D. and working in medical research, possibly relating to disease or pathology.

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Conor Lynch is a student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who has lived in North Carolina his whole life. He enjoys entertainment through watching various worldwide sporting events and following the movement towards and the discussion of advanced statistics in the world’s most popular sports. He enjoys television shows such as Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Person of Interest, and British Top Gear.

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Walker O’Brien is a freshman math and physics major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He has lived in New Jersey, Colorado and North Carolina but prefers Colorado.  He plans on getting a PhD in physics or aerospace engineering. He wants to work with an aircraft company or a space agency in research and development and would like to focus on aircraft manufacture.

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Dante X. Harris is a good-willed young man born and raised in Jacksonville, NC. He currently has 5 sisters and 6 brothers in his family. He loves sports, school, and basically anything fun. His favorite activities are working out, playing chess, parkour, MMA, football, and gymnastics.

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Solomon Starling is a chemistry and mathematics double major at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. He is the middle child of three boys, all who are avid and successful percussionists. In middle and high school, Solomon made the All-State Honors Band for percussion six years in a row, maintaining the first chair position his junior and senior year. Since high school, he has learned how to swing dance, a hobby he never thought he would enjoy.

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Kelly Petrarca is a freshman at UNC-Chapel Hill but is originally from Sanford, NC.  She is currently a Biology major.  Though Kelly likes Biology, she would consider pharmacy or Clinical Laboratory Science.  During high school, Kelly was on her high school swim team for four years.  She also played the violin for six years.  Kelly enjoys learning about the fascinating systems of the natural world from the function of cells to the process of evolution.

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Kevin Chung is a first-year student at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill, majoring in Environmental Science. Originally from Seoul, South Korea, and then Houston, Texas, Kevin hopes to gain valuable literary experiences in the field of various science disciples for his potential career in such field. Apart from scientific writing, he enjoys the simple joys of reading classic novels as well as children’s novels, such as his all-time favorites The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery and The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. When not pouring his full attention towards his academic endeavors, Kevin enjoys spending his time at the Ehringhaus Field playing soccer, or relaxing in the comforts of his dorm room playing various instruments, primarily guitar and, his most recent prized acquisition, the djembe.

Mia Madduri is a first-year student majoring in Biostatistics and minoring in Chemistry. She is from Hickory, North Carolina and graduated from North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. She writes for the Daily Tar Heel, volunteers at UNC Hospital, and helps in Burch Lab. In her free time, she likes to read, watch horror movies with terrible plots, and eat spicy food.

Chiara Salemi is a first year student at UNC-Chapel Hill.  She is passionate about physics and dance and enjoys really good food.  She is a Chapel Hill native, but despite staying close to home, she plans on traveling throughout her life.  One of her life goals is to visit all seven continents.  Her other life goals include learning interesting things and being happy.

Bryant Su is a Pre-Med Freshman student with a major in Biomedical Engineering. He graduated from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics, but also attended Pinecrest High School (NC) and Paul Laurence Dunbar High School (KY). While he has always showed an avid interest in the sciences, he has struggled to make a choice between ultimately going into the field of medicine or the field of research. In the majority of Bryant’s free time, one can find him either dancing, watching others dance, or listening to new music to dance to later on. Junior year, he was first exposed to the world of BBoying, but has since expanded to Locking, Popping, Bhangra, and Bollywood dance. He is also an excited member of the Morale Committee for UNC Dance Marathon.

Amanda Lohmann is a first-year undergraduate at UNC-Chapel Hill and plans to major in quantitative biology or physics. At the back of her closet, underneath a pile of laundry she forgot to wash before she left for college, she has stashed a piece of paper informing the world that she has graduated from East Chapel Hill High School, although she almost failed to obtain this document after an incident in which she dropped her Tale of Two Cities book out a window and was informed she either had to pay a fine or locate the book if she wished to be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony. Other things about Amanda include that she played soccer throughout high school and that she is of the opinion that cheese is not, as maintained by certain individuals, a gift from God but is in fact the Earthly, spongey, orangey-yellow manifestation of Lucifer himself. In her spare time, she enjoys running around a track and arguing with her roommate over whose turn it is to make the popcorn and who has to use the broom to divert the resulting smoke out the window so it won’t set off the smoke detector.

Miguel Sandoval is a student at UNC Chapel Hill studying to hopefully become a doctor. Maybe, he doesn’t really know. He just knows he wants to do something important, make a difference. His life is still in flux. He has also never heard of the word Americanist, so that’s new. He enjoys playing tennis, and has friends at Duke. Otherwise, he is the only person from his high school in Miami, FL that attended UNC. He is not sure why, it’s a great school. He also enjoys traveling and the television/film media. He has been said to range from a very good writer, to a mediocre one, so he is not sure what to expect from this class and is excited to improve his writing skills and such. He is of Colombian and some Peruvian heritage, and is trilingual, as he studied German the first 11 years of his public school education.

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Jesse Barnes is a first-year Biology major at UNC-Chapel Hill. He is from Eden, North Carolina, which is a small town in the Northern Piedmont area. His scientific interests are primarily focused around ecology, wildlife, and conservation, and he plans on becoming a conservation biologist. In his spare time, he also frequently pursues his musical interests as a singer in the Carolina Choir and the UNC Walk-Ons. In short, Jesse is a tree hugger, animal lover, and music enthusiast.

Thomas Hennessey is a first year biology major at UNC Chapel Hill.  His career interests aren’t finalized yet, but lie in the fields of veterinary medicine, scientific research, and scientific writing.  He’s been interested in science and nature from an early age, as his parents were both scientists who taught him to appreciate the natural world both in an educational setting and outside of class on family hiking trips.  In his free time, he enjoys reading horror/science fiction (especially Edgar Allan Poe and H.P. Lovecraft), watching NFL football (mainly the New England Patriots and Arizona Cardinals), and walking his dog (who unfortunately can’t be at school with him), and he’s looking forward to a great semester in ENGL 105i.

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Jacob Settlemyre is a first-year computer science major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with an affinity for Astronomy and Mathematics. He enjoys programming both as a hobby and with prospects of building games for various platforms. In his time at the university he has participated in activities organized by the Computer Science Club, his team earning first place at the semester’s first Hackathon. He hopes to further his studies in this field and climb his way to the top of the Club hierarchy to one day rule it with an iron fist (or perhaps Power Glove…).

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Matt Litzsinger is currently a freshman at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, planning to double major in Computer Science and Music Composition. He graduated from the NC School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, NC in 2013. He also is very passionate about instrumental music and plays trombone, piano, and euphonium, hoping to extend this range of instruments in the future. He is currently very excited about drum corps and is auditioning for Carolina Crown. His curiosity about the world fuels many interests, including genealogy, math, science, research, philosophy, neuroscience, and biomimicry. He is an introvert, so he likes to talk and think about deep topics; He created a blog to explore these interests.  His picture is aboard NASA’s “Vomit Comet”, which simulates microgravitational conditions in space through parabolic motion. There is 30-40 seconds of 0g, then 90-100 seconds of 1.8g. This was a part of the HUNCH program (High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware), through which his team tested the effects of spinal elongation on the human spine. He also worked in the field of Toxicology at NCSU in the Summer of 2012, testing the Oxidative Injury of Carbon Black Nanoparticles in Human Lung Fibroblasts in vitro.

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Ellie Kravets is a potential biology or environmental science major from New Orleans, Louisiana. Back in New Orleans, she was a volunteer and later an intern for the Audubon Zoo’s education department, where she worked primarily in a wildlife theater that put on animal- and conservation-themed shows for the public. Her work at the zoo sparked an interest in all things ecology or animal related, which she hopes to further pursue at UNC.