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Faculty Travel Hosts

About Our Faculty

Many Tar Heel Travel trips feature lectures by our award-winning faculty. Faculty members who have traveled with us recently or who are scheduled to travel with us include the following.

Peter Coclanis

Coclanis_Peter_webPeter Coclanis, Albert R. Newsome Professor and former chair of the history department, is director of the Global Research Institute at UNC. The Global Research Institute, founded in 2009, is envisioned as a center for scholarly research on key international questions. Previously, he served as UNC’s first associate provost for international affairs, providing leadership for the University’s international endeavors, serving as spokesman and overseer of international activities, and leading in the development of UNC’s global mission.  In fall 2005, Coclanis held the Sir Thomas Stafford Raffles Distinguished Professorship in History at the National University of Singapore.  He travels a great deal to Southeast Asia and has published extensively on the region, and serves on the board of the Kenan Institute Asia.  Born in Chicago, Coclanis received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1984, joining the faculty at UNC that same year.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest

SEGRIEST Photo for bookletStephanie Elizondo Griest is an Assistant Professor and Margaret R. Shuping Fellow of Creative Nonfiction. A globe-trotting author and activist from South Texas, her books include the memoirs Around the Bloc: My Life in Moscow, Beijing, and Havana (Random House) and Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines (Simon & Schuster) as well as the best-selling guidebook 100 Places Every Woman Should Go (Travelers’ Tales, 2007). She has also written for the New York Times, Washington Post, The Believer, Earth Island Journal, and Texas Monthly, and she edited Best Women’s Travel Writing (Travelers’ Tales, 2010).  Griest’s awards include a Henry Luce Scholarship to China, a Hodder Fellowship at Princeton, the Margolis Award for Social Justice Reporting, an International Latino Book Award, and a Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Gold Prize. Stephanie will serve as UNC Lecturer on our 2017 Cultural Cuba trip.

Klaus W. Larres


LarresBProf. Klaus W. Larres, Ph.D.,
is the Richard M. Krasno Distinguished Professor of History and International Affairs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. He also is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington, DC. At present he is a visiting fellow at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) in Berlin, Germany’s leading think tank on security and international affairs.

Larres is an expert on U.S. and European foreign relations and global order during the Cold War and the post-Cold War years. His work focuses on transatlantic relations, European (in particular German and British) and U.S. foreign policies and not least on American and German policies toward China and S.E. Asia as well as Russia. Larres also continues working on the politics of Winston Churchill and global order and leadership issues. At the SWP in Berlin he focuses on a project comparing the U.S. and Germany’s policies toward China within a transatlantic context.

Klaus will serve as UNC Lecturer on our 2017 Cruise the Rhine River trip.

Read more about professor Larres.

Jodi Magness

MagnessJodi Magness is the Kenan Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and adjunct professor of classics and archaeology.  Her career has included research and teaching positions at Brown University and Tufts University, where she taught Classical Archaeology for ten years.  Her 2002 book on The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls won the Biblical Archaeology Society’s award for “Best Popular Book on Archaeology” and was selected as an “Outstanding Academic Book for 2003” by Choice Magazine.  She earned a B.A. in Archaeology and History from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a Ph.D. in Classical Archaeology from the University of Pennsylvania.  Since 2011, Magness has directed excavations at the ancient Jewish village of Huqoq in Galilee.  She was featured as lead archaeologist in the 2013 National Geographic IMAX film Jerusalem. Magness will serve as enrichment lecturer on our Treasures of Peru trip in 2017.

Read about Magness’ latest discoveries on her 2015 Huqoq dig.

Kevin Stewart

Kevin Stewart is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at UNC-Chapel Hill. He received his PhD from UC Berkeley and his research is focused on the evolution of mountain belts, including the Rocky Mountains of Montana and Wyoming. Stewart has won several University teaching awards and is the co-author of Exploring the Geology of the Carolinas from UNC Press. He has served as UNC enrichment lecturer on previous alumni tours to Alaska and the national parks of the Northwestern and Southwestern U.S. Professor Stewart will serve as lecturer on our Exploring Iceland trip in 2017.

Stephen Walsh

Stephen J. Walsh is the Lyle V. Jones Distinguished Professor; Professor of Geography; Director, Center for Galapagos Studies; Co-Director, Galapagos Science Center, San Cristobal Island, Galapagos Archipelago, Ecuador; Member, Curriculum for the Environment & Ecology; Research Fellow, Carolina Population Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and Adjunct Professor, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

In the Galápagos Islands, Walsh is leading the UNC Galapagos Initiative with faculty from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and through a Memorandum of Understanding with the Galápagos National Park. Walsh is conducting a host of research topics in the Galápagos Islands that include mangrove forests and endemic bird populations; land use and invasive plant species; social and ecological vulnerability of beaches; and dynamic systems modeling of social, terrestrial and marine subsystems in the Galapagos Islands and the interactions of local factors and global forces on social and ecological dynamics and adaptive behaviors for sustainability. Much of the research is conducted at the Galapagos Science Center, which is also shared with students from UNC through Study Abroad Programs that are conducted during the spring semester as well as summer sessions. In addition, Walsh is the Co-Editor of a new Galapagos Book Series with Springer Science & Business Media, “Social and Ecological Interactions in the Galapagos Islands.” The first book in the Series was recently published, edited by Walsh & Mena (2013), “Science and Conservation in the Galapagos Islands: Frameworks & Perspectives.”

Stephen will serve as UNC Lecturer on our 2017 Galapagos Islands trip.