Dinner With Faculty

Engage with faculty on a more intimate level and ask those questions you’ve been eager to pose. Dinner With Faculty gives you the opportunity to dine and discuss with 11 participants and a popular UNC faculty member. Free-ranging discussion encouraged. This is the one opportunity where discussing religion and politics at the dinner table is perfectly acceptable.

Dinner at The Carolina Club begins at 6:30 p.m. and includes three courses plus coffee and tea. Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. Jacket required for men; no jeans, please.

Cost and RSVP

RSVP today.

Dinner: $40; GAA members pay only $25
Attend all four dinners for $140; GAA members pay only $80

Lunch: $25; GAA members pay only $15

Tuition is fully refundable for any cancellation made three weeks prior to the event. Any cancellations made two weeks prior to the event are subject to a 50 percent cancellation fee. No tuition is refunded if the cancellation is made the week of the event.

Sept. 14: Ritchie Kendall

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Ritchie Kendall coordinates the selection of Honors Carolina students and is responsible for Honors course programming and extracurricular activities. He is an award-winning English professor who has served as Director of Undergraduate Studies, Director of Graduate Studies, and Assistant Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature. He is completing a book manuscript, Stage Business: The Representation of Commercial Exchange in the Early Modern English Theater. The study examines a range of emergent economic activity in London in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries as represented in the city comedies of Dekker, Heywood, Jonson, Middleton, and others. Changing modes and sites of production and distribution of goods, shifts in concepts of credit and exchange, and alterations in the patterns of accumulating and dispersing wealth are among the areas investigated.

Dean Kendall earned his undergraduate degree from Yale, and then master’s and PhD degrees at Harvard.

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Oct. 5: Brent Wissick (7:00 p.m. start)


Brent Wissick has taught cello, viola da gamba, and chamber music at UNC since 1982. A member of Ensemble Chanterelle and principal cellist of the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, he is also a frequent guest with American Bach Soloists, Folger Consort, Boston Early Music Festival, Concert Royal, Dallas Bach Society, Vancouver Early Music Festival and Collegio di Musica Sacra in Poland.

In addition to teaching cello at UNC, he directs its Cello Choir, Viol Consort and Baroque Ensemble; he also teaches classes in Historical Performance Practices and String Methods for Music Education Students as well as a First-Year Seminar in the Physics of Music with Laurie McNeil, chair of the Physics Department. He has served as mentor of the Kenan Music Scholars and is chair of the String Area.

His current research and performance interests include the cello music of Benjamin Britten, Chopin’s Cello Music on period instruments and French Gamba Music. A graduate of the Crane School of Music at Potsdam College in NY and of Penn State (MM cello, 1978), he also studied with John Hsu at Cornell University and was an NEH Fellow at Harvard in the 1993 Beethoven Quartet Seminar. He has taught at the College of St Scholastica in Minnesota (1978-82), Chautauqua Institution and the 1997 Aston Magna Academy at Yale; and has presented lectures, master classes and recitals at schools, colleges and workshops throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

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Nov. 2: Elizabeth Engelhardt


Elizabeth Engelhardt joined the Department of American Studies as the John Shelton Reed Distinguished Professor of Southern Studies in January 2015. Her most recent book project, The Larder: Food Studies Methods from the American South, is an anthology that thinks about diverse ways we can write and talk about southern cultures through food. She is also the author of A Mess of Greens: Southern Gender and Southern Food (2011), a monograph that investigates the changing food story of the US South.

For her research she draws from letters, diaries, cookbooks, novels, photographs, government records, short stories, and material objects. She works to collect and build alternative archives as well, especially in terms of oral histories with living subjects, and, increasingly, the seeds, heritage ingredients, tastes, and even sounds of the communities whose stories she aims to document and analyze.

Elizabeth serves on the board of the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization dedicated to the documentation and celebration of the complicated stories of food in diverse communities of the US South. During her previous ten years at the University of Texas at Austin, she helped to found and served on the board of Foodways Texas, a similar organization working to understand the multi-racial, multi-ethnic cultures and foods of the state. Elizabeth earned her B.A. from Duke and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Emory.

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Nov. 14: Malinda Maynor Lowery (Lunch)


Malinda Maynor Lowery works in social and political history from interdisciplinary and non-traditional points of view. Her interests include Native American history, southern history, historical geography, foodways, music, race and ethnicity, identity, and community-engaged research, including documentary film and oral history. Her current book manuscript in-progress is The Lumbee Indians: An American Struggle (under advance contract at University of North Carolina Press). She is also working on three articles: “‘You Seem Like a Pied Man:’ Racial Ambiguity and Murder in Montgomery County, Georgia, 1893,” (under review at the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era); “Kinship and Capitalism in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations” (book chapter under review at the University of Nebraska Press); and “‘White in Fact But Black in Theory’: The Story of Charlie Patton, ‘King of the Delta Blues’” (in progress).

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Dec. 14: Lora Cohen-Vogel


With a focus on domestic education policy, Lora Cohen-Vogel is interested in identifying the programs and practices that are successfully raising schooling outcomes for traditionally underperforming students in the United States.

Cohen-Vogel is currently a co-principal investigator of the Early Learning Project at UNC-Chapel Hill, a $4 million grant from the Institute of Education Sciences. In that project, she leads a team that is examining how policy coherence (or lack thereof) may mediate the effect of high quality PreK experiences on children’s later life outcomes.

Through 2015, Cohen-Vogel was co-principal investigator of the five-year, $13.5 million National Center for Research and Development on Scaling Up Effective Schools, a research-practice partnership between UNC, Vanderbilt University, Florida State University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Education Development Center, and two of the nation’s largest school districts.

Through her work with the Center, Cohen-Vogel developed an interest and expertise in continuous improvement research. Today, she writes and speaks widely on the topic and the potential she believes it holds for system improvement.

Articles by Cohen-Vogel have been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, the American Journal of Education, Teachers College Record, and Educational Administration Quarterly, among others.

Leading the Division of Education Policy and Politics (Division L), Cohen-Vogel is a Vice President of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association. She has also served as President of the Politics of Education Association. She is on the editorial board of Educational Researcher. She has a B.A. from Colgate University in Psychology and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in Leadership and Policy Studies.

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Point of Contact

Catherine Nichols '89
Senior Coordinator of Faculty Relations and Travel
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Catherine joined the GAA in Sept. 2016. She loves connecting faculty with alumni and the community. As an alumna of UNC and native of Chapel Hill, she’s thrilled to represent UNC and the alumni community through her work. Catherine enjoys spending time on campus with her family and traveling at any opportunity. She also enjoys movies, biking and reading.