Current Students

Nick Allen

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Masters Student, Concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture
HHIVE Lab Coordinator
HHIVE Website Designer and Communicator  

Nick comes from Virginia Tech where he graduated with dual degrees in Professional & Technical Writing and Literature & Culture. Faculty members there sparked his interest in Health Humanities and lead him towards an honors thesis which considered three of Hemingway’s works as illness narratives, both to confront Hemingway through an alternative lens and to consider the value and applicability of his work to modern patients of chronic suffering, terminal illness, and aging. As an M.A. student at UNC, Nick plans to explore other aspects of the aging experience and how we might confront these inevitable challenges with grace and sagacity.


Mary Carol Barks

Headshot of Mary Carol Barks

Masters Student, Concentration in Literature, Medicine, and Culture

Mary Carol Barks holds a B.A. from Auburn University where she studied English Literature with an interest in the medical humanities and multidisciplinary research. While doing coursework at UNC Chapel Hill, Mary Carol is an Associate in Research at Duke University’s Margolis Center for Health Policy where she studies doctor-patient communication and shared decision-making, particularly when patients experience life-threatening illness. Mary Carol hopes to continue this line of research, helping clinicians guide their patients through challenging treatment decisions that effectively coincide with each patient’s values, goals, and life as a whole.