Morehead-Cains on the move: Fall 2022

News & Spotlights | December 1, 2022

Students walk around the campus of UNC–Chapel Hill among trees with yellow leaves.

Morehead-Cain Scholars and Alumni landed new jobs, received accolades, earned advanced degrees, and more. Here’s who made a move this fall.

  • Richard A. Vinroot ’63 received a William Richardson Davie Award for his extraordinary service to the University and society. The double alumnus is an attorney, an army veteran, and the former mayor of Charlotte. His philanthropic support of Carolina enabled the establishment of the Robert W. Bradshaw Jr. Distinguished Professorship and the Robert W. Bradshaw Jr. Public Administration Fellowship in the School of Government.
  • Harvey Kline ’66 published the 10th edition of his textbook, Latin American Politics and Development, for which the alumnus is a co-editor. Kline is a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Alabama.
  • Taylor Branch ’68 received the 2022 Freedom Award at an event at the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis on October 20. The alumnus was honored as someone who has made “significant contributions in civil rights and who has laid the foundation for present and future leaders in the battle for human rights.” Taylor won a Pulitzer Prize for his trilogy that chronicles the life of Martin Luther King Jr. and the history of the civil rights movement.
  • Bill Aiken ’72 has been inducted into the Tennessee Boys & Girls Clubs Hall of Fame. Bill has served on the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chattanooga’s board of directors since 1979. The alumnus practices law at Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel P.C. in Lookout Mountain.
  • Doug Farnsley ’73 was elected mayor of Prospect, Kentucky, after serving on the Prospect City Council. The alumnus campaigned on improving public safety, green spaces, and walkability within the city.
  • Alan Murray ’77, CEO of Fortune Media, has joined the AARP Board of Directors.
  • David Ballard ’78 has joined Buffkin/Baker as chief clinical officer for the firm’s healthcare practice.
  • Jim Henry ’79 has been elected to the Tabor Academy Athletic Hall of Fame in Marion, Massachusetts, for his achievements in wrestling, football, and crew. In 1975, he was the Class A New England Independent Schools wrestling champion in his weight class. Henry has also completed seventeen marathons since 2003. The alumnus will be inducted into the hall of fame in October.
  • Mike Vandenbergh ’83 has been named a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow to support research on political polarization as a barrier to climate action. The alumnus is the David Daniels Allen Distinguished Chair at Vanderbilt Law and director of the Vanderbilt Climate Change Research Network.
  • Jerry Blackwell ’84 of Blackwell Burke P.A. was confirmed by the Senate to be a United States District Judge for the District of Minnesota. The alumnus was also honored with a Distinguished Alumnus Award on University Day on October 12, and he delivered the keynote address at the Alumni Forum.
  • Ben Sutker ’87 has started the Charlotte Executive MBA program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, his third degree at Carolina.
  • Laura Walker ’88 has published a poetry book, psalmbook, which seeks to channel voices of the Book of Psalms as “an act of radical listening.”
  • Alex Hodges ’90 joined Vernacare as CEO in September, departing from Owens & Minor. The Chorley, England–based company works with healthcare institutions to prevent waste-related infections.
  • Carolyn Payne ’95 won an EMMY for her documentary 9/11: One Day in America, released by National Geographic. The alumna was the executive producer for the series.
  • Fred Wherry ’96 has been appointed vice dean for diversity and inclusion in Princeton’s Office of the Dean of the Faculty.
  • Rossi Anastopoulo ’17 published a book, Sweet Land of Liberty: A History of America in 11 Pies, on October 25. Chris Combemale ’19 is her literary agent.
  • Emma Richardson ’01 has joined the United Nations Division of Global Affairs Canada to represent Canada on the executive boards of UN Women and the United Nations Population Fund. Emma is an assistant professor at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The alumna co-authored a paper this fall, “Preparing for the United Nations Security Council: Canadian approaches to policy development,” published by SAGE.
  • Kemp Gouldin ’02, founder of Because Baseball, and Bobby Evans ’91, former San Francisco Giants general manager, participated in MLB’s first international “Play Ball Weekend” from Egypt, along with all 30 MLB Clubs and 120 MiLB Clubs around the world.
  • Joanna Pearson ’02, author of Now You Know It All, is a finalist for the Library of Virginia Literary Awards (fiction category).
  • Karine Dubé ’03 has joined the UC San Diego School of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases and Global Public Health as an associate professor.
  • Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum ’04 opened her first major solo exhibition on September 8 at Galerie Lelong & Co. in New York City. The exhibition, I have withheld much more than I have written, features new works, including a large installation and paintings.
  • Mariam Missaghi Cline ’05 was promoted to associate general counsel of product with Airbnb.
  • Meredith Lentz Williams ’05 is joining Salisbury Academy in Rowan County as upper school head. The school will open for the fall 2023 semester. The alumna was formerly the principal of North Rowan High School in Spencer, North Carolina.
  • Graham Boone ’09 was appointed executive director for Heels4Life, a nonprofit that helps UNC Football players benefit from Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) opportunities.
  • Caroline Djamalov ’09 won a Washington State Supreme Court case in King County as a senior prosecutor, establishing for the first time that animal abuse can be recognized and criminally prosecuted as domestic violence in Washington. In addition to winning the appeal, the alumna was also the original trial prosecutor who secured a conviction.
  • The Daily Tar Heel features Ed Perkins ’09 for directing The Princess, a film that marks the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death. For his final Summer Enrichment Program experience as a Morehead-Cain Scholar, Ed interned at National Geographic Television & Film in New York under Kim Freer Woodard ’96, then the studio’s executive producer.
  • A Raleigh-based sustainability company founded by Alex Lassiter ’10, GreenPlaces, has secured $4 million in funding led by Felicis.
  • Jordan Meer ’13 has joined MN8 Energy, a renewable energy assets company, as chief strategy and investment officer.
  • Rachel Myrick ’13 has received the 2022 Merze Tate Award for the best doctoral dissertation in international relations, law, and politics.
  • Oliver Rose ’13 received the 2022 Young Professionals in Family Wealth Award, along with 24 others. Oliver was part of the founding team of Cresset, an investment advisory firm.
  • Nicole Julian ’14 became a consultant with the Bridgespan Group.
  • Tait Chandler ’15 has been promoted to environmental program specialist III with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation.
  • Niki Shamdasani ’15 and her younger sister, Ritika, made the Forbes “30 Under 30” list for 2023 in the “Youngest” and “Retail & Ecommerce” categories. The two were recognized for launching Sani, an apparel brand inspired by South Asian culture.
  • Claire Bennett ’16 became a senior consultant for state and local government with Guidehouse.
  • Taylor Sharp ’16 won the Firsts That Last film competition through Visit NC for his short documentary, Jacob’s First Mandolin. The video features the founding story of Mipso, a North Carolina quartet formed by Taylor’s brother, Jacob Sharp ’13, along with Joseph Terrell ’13, Libby Rodenbough ’14, and Wood Robinson (UNC–Chapel Hill ’13).
  • Martha Isaacs ’17 has been awarded a prestigious Schwarzman scholarship, which funds a master’s in global affairs at Beijing’s Tsinghua University. Isaacs is Carolina’s 12th Schwarzman Scholar since the scholarship began in 2015.
  • Colby Kirkpatrick ’19 has become brand marketing manager for The Points Guy, a travel website and blog. In one of his recent posts, he shares how he went on a Highway 1 road trip for “free.”
  • Lauren Zitney ’19, a strategy and innovation project coordinator at RTI International, helped pass Ranked Choice Voting in Fort Collins, Colorado. The alumna served as treasurer for the issue committee that mobilized for its passing. Fort Collins is now the largest city in the state to use RCV, an electoral system that allows voters to rank candidates by preference.
  • Cecilia Beard ’20 became a senior content writer with Yotpo.
  • Ashton Martin ’20 will serve a four-year term on the Order of the Golden Fleece Foundation Board. Ashton is the health policy analyst for the United South and Eastern Tribes of the Sovereignty Protection Fund.
  • Levi McCracken ’21 has launched a decluttering startup called TAG Organizing.
  • Capri D’Souza ’22 will attend the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in two to four years through the school’s deferred enrollment program. The recent graduate plans to work at Bain & Company in Atlanta beginning this September as an associate consultant.
  • Kelsey Rappe ’22 has joined Daymaker as a content specialist. The charitable giving platform for companies is run by CEO Brent Macon ’12.

Do you, or a classmate, have news to share with Morehead-Cain? Let us know by submitting a news update. We want to celebrate your milestones with you.

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