The Tar Heel Bus Tour kicked off this morning as 90 faculty members and senior administrators hit the road to learn more about the state they serve, the issues North Carolinians care about and the people who are working to effect change.
After leaving Chapel Hill, the group separated into three routes that will travel more than 1,600 miles of the state over three days. Today, the buses stopped in Kannapolis, Siler City, Snow Hill, Winterville, Lumberton and Rocky Mount.
On the west route, Tar Heels visited the UNC Nutrition Research Institute in Kannapolis to learn more about the institute’s cutting-edge research, which is bringing precision nutrition to North Carolinians. Precision nutrition developed at the institute can help health care providers improve patients’ health, enhance brain development and more effectively treat diseases like obesity and cancer. The group also toured Kannapolis and met with city officials to learn about the redevelopment of the former mill town.
More than 200 miles away in Rocky Mount, the bus on the east route examined how the University is working in Nash and Edgecombe counties. Tar Heel Bus Tour participants heard a presentation on how Carolina faculty members are teaming up with MAPSCorps — a nonprofit that employs local teenagers to map businesses in their community. They also met with community members to discuss Project GRACE, which works to reduce the spread of HIV in African American communities.
The final bus — heading southeast — made their first stop in Siler City, where they were met by Paul Cuadros, an associate professor in the UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media. Cuadros led the group through a tour of the town while discussing the migration of the Latinx population in the area. Tar Heels, including Interim Chancellor Kevin M. Guskiewicz, then met with Siler City government officials before heading to Lumberton to see how Carolina has been partnering with the town in disaster recovery efforts.