When she was 9 years old, Hendrée Jones saw a television show about teenage runaway girls that sparked an idea. She came up with a concept for a two-story building with living space upstairs and a restaurant with an arcade downstairs where the teens could work during the day. Today, she is the executive director of UNC Horizons, a substance abuse treatment program for pregnant women and mothers. “I knew I always wanted to help women,” she said.
Nancy Rodriguez-Bunn wanted to be bank teller so that her grandparents would no longer have to stand in line to wait for service. “Interestingly enough, my first job was as a bank teller, so you can say that I achieved my goal when I was 16 years old,” she laughed. Today, the mathematics professor uses modeling and analysis to shed light on topics like urban crime, segregation, cell movement and ecology.
Sarah Schmitt dreamed of becoming Sylvia Earle, the beloved underwater explorer, after her aunt gave her Earle’s signed autobiography when she was 11. After that, she spent her summers on Chesapeake Bay, learning to sail and crab with her grandfather. Today, she studies the strong connection between hydrology and ecology in tropical islands including the Galápagos.
In 2016, the Women in Science Wednesday series featured a different UNC-Chapel Hill researcher each week whose focus fell within the fields of science, technology, engineering or mathematics. These features have been an immense success, highlighting the work of various female researchers at all levels of their careers, from a variety of departments across campus. The series will continue to honor UNC’s prestigious women in science in 2017.
By Alyssa Lafaro, Office of Research Communications
Published January 9, 2017